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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes



WEDNESDAY APRIL 26, 2000 4:00 P.M.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman LeQuire at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman LeQuire; Commissioners Allred, Crane, Munson, Sandoval and Simons

ABSENT: Commissioner Godfrey

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis; Program Planner Linnell, Senior Civil Engineer Wallin and Recording Secretary Stevens

MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED by a 5-0 vote, with Commissioner Munson abstaining, that the Minutes of the April 12, 2000, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.


Staff report dated April 19, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to subdivide a 3.1-acre parcel to create five single-family residential lots on property located at the southeast corner of Laguna Road and Euclid Street (R-1-20,000 zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration) (Continued from April 12, 2000).

Senior Planner Mullis reported that this item had been continued from April 12, 2000, and due to the number of public concerns voiced at that meeting, the Commission asked staff to further examine specific items. The first discussion item was to determine whether parking could be allowed on Yuma Way. Staff was now proposing to widen Yuma Way to accommodate parking on one side. Secondly, staff reviewed how to soften the impact of the sound wall along Euclid Street. The new proposal will include a meandering future sidewalk and trail along the street, where at least six feet of landscaping, berming and trees may be accommodated along the wall. Lastly, the issue of who would care for the landscaped area was discussed. Because the applicant does not wish to provide a homeowner's association, he suggested that there may be other contractual means of solving this problem. Therefore, a condition had been added to the Engineer's letter that maintenance of this area be provided in a manner acceptable to the Director of Engineering.

Since the previous meeting, staff had received a letter from the North Fullerton Homeowner's Association which discussed several of the issues mentioned above. Other items pointed out in the letter were:

  • That the developer only develop single-story homes. Not only would this be compatible with existing homes in the area, but would allow a lower height for the proposed sound wall, preferably seven feet. Staff still does not believe that seven feet would be high enough to mitigate the noise along Euclid Street, and suggests a wall between nine and ten feet in height would be more appropriate.
  • That the home on Lot 5 face north, and the driveway placed on the east side. The house layout for each lot was not known at this time.
  • That no sidewalks be constructed on Yuma Way.
  • That the developer include a disclosure in its sales agreement describing the pre-existing farm at the end of Yuma Way.

Staff recommended approval of the project with the proposed revisions.

Commissioner Allred asked if the plan would accommodate the street widening to 32 feet. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the actual right-of-way would be widen to accommodate the on-street parking, and a shift in one of the lot lines. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin added that although sidewalks would not be installed, there will be room to install them in the future, if needed. Commissioner Allred further inquired who would bear the cost of installing any future sidewalks, and Senior Civil Engineer Wallin answered that it was unknown at this time whether it would be the homeowner or the City.

Commissioner Simons asked that the letter from the North Fullerton Homeowner's Association be entered as part of the public record. He inquired whether staff had considered a berm along the sound wall, and exactly how high staff expects the wall to be. Senior Planner Mullis answered that the final wall height would be dependent on the orientation of the homes and the exact pad height of those homes.

Commissioner Allred further questioned how the applicant proposed to ensure that maintenance of the landscaping around the sound wall would be provided by the homeowners, if no association were created. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reported that if the applicant could show a maintenance agreement that would be binding upon the owners, the City would approve it.

Public hearing opened.

Brian Thienes, 16800 Valley View Avenue, La Mirada, is the applicant. He reported that he had met with the North Fullerton Homeowner's Association to address their concerns. While he concurred with the majority of the issues, he did have a couple of issues that required further discussion. He stated that they would berm up six feet of landscaping, which would slope up to the wall, and then cut down the visual impact of the wall. However, in those areas where there was a street light or fire hydrant, they would jog the horse trail back towards the sound wall, resulting in a higher elevation.

Secondly he would attempt to form a landscape maintenance agreement, where the homeowners would pay into a fund, without having to form an association. He understood that if such an agreement were not accepted by the City, a homeowner's association would be created. The right of way for the sidewalk on Yuma Way is still in place, and the easement is there to accommodate a future sidewalk.

Lastly, Lot 5 is proposed to be single story, but he was concerned about adding any condition which would prohibit any of the homeowners from adding a second story in the future.

Commissioner Allred questioned the applicant's hesitancy towards forming a homeowner's association. Mr. Thienes explained that homeowner's associations are created when there is an ownership of a common area, with a substantial amount of improvements or maintenance needed in that area. There is also a substantial cost involved, and some liability issues which they wish to avoid.

Commissioner Sandoval inquired whether the applicant had read and understood all of the conditions of approval, including those in the Engineer's letter, and Mr. Thienes answered affirmatively. She wanted to ensure that the items specified in the letter from the North Fullerton Homeowner's Association were not a part of the conditions of approval.

Mike Fisher, 2240 Yuma Way spoke in favor of the project, particularly having no sidewalks, and the height of the sound wall as proposed by staff.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Simons asked specifics on how the landscaped strip would be maintained. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin replied that staff is requiring an association, unless the applicant can present a form which would bind the owners to maintain the parkways, and must be approved by the City Attorney.

Commissioner Crane felt that an anti-graffiti coating requirement should be added to the condition pertaining to the sound wall (Condition No. 4).

Commissioner Allred pointed out that there are examples of homeowner's associations within the city, in tracts where there are no swimming pools or other amenities. Further, she was uncomfortable with only allowing parking on one side of Yuma Way, and could not support the project for that reason.

Chairman LeQuire was satisfied that both the applicant and the city have compromised and come up with an acceptable plan. He felt that allowing parking on one side of Yuma Way would be adequate for the project. Commissioner Simons concurred.

Commissioner Sandoval also supported the project, but did not feel that Condition No. 4 should be modified to include an anti-graffiti coating requirement. Commissioner Crane agreed that the condition should remain as is, with final approval of the wall design subject to the approval of the Director of Development Services.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval, with the Mitigated Negative Declaration having been certified at the previous meeting. The title of Resolution No. 6872 APPROVING a tentative tract map to subdivide an existing 3.10-acre parcel to create five single-family residential lots on property located at the southeast corner of Laguna Road and Euclid Street, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED by a 5-1 vote, with Commissioner Allred voting no, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

Staff memorandum dated April 19, 2000, was presented recommending that this item be continued until May 10, 2000.

MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED by a 5-0 vote, with Commissioner Crane abstaining, that this item be CONTINUED to May 10, 2000.

Staff report dated April 20, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to consider site and architectural plans for a 16-unit apartment complex on property located at the southwest corner of Associated Road and Bastanchury Road (R-3 zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines).

Program Planner Linnell reported that the property in question has been vacant for many years and is zoned R-3. The project will be one three-story building, with 16 townhouse/type units surrounding a courtyard above a parking structure. The access to the development is exclusively from Associated Road by a driveway at the southern end of the property. The project meets all development standards for parking and open space, and respects the flood control easement on the west end of the property. There is an existing five-foot block wall on the property line which will be eliminated, to allow future widening of Bastanchury Road for a right-turn pocket. There will also be 15-foot landscaped setbacks along the street frontages. Staff recommended approval of the request, subject to twelve conditions.

Commissioner Simons inquired whether the development will go up to the existing chain-link fence. Program Planner Linnell answered that the project will encroach approximately 20 feet into the flood control channel area behind the chain link fence. Chief Planner Rosen added that this does not include a building pad, but rather a common recreational open space area. The applicant does not propose to alter the stream bed in any way.

Public hearing opened.

George Behnam, 1150 East Orangethorpe Avenue, Suite 109, Placentia, is the architect for the project. He advised that the Orange County Flood Control Authority has given permission to use the 20 feet as an open space area. The ravine and embankments will not be altered in any way, and the only improvements would be the addition of some benches and a meandering walkway. He indicated he had read and concurred with all of the conditions of approval, and thanked staff for all of their assistance with the project.

Howard Stevenson, 2416 Northcreek Lane, voiced the following concerns:

  • The stream bed is placid for most of the year, but in periods of heavy rain it can swell to up to four times its size.
  • The proposed six-foot wall would not be high enough to provide privacy for the surrounding residents, and a nine-foot wall would be more appropriate. He questioned why the plans did not show any type of trees or landscaping to further soften the visual effect of the development.
  • A three-story building is not compatible in this residential area.
  • A large amount of commuter traffic travels down Bastanchury Road, and he cautioned about the high rates of speeds associated with those vehicles, and the impact it would have on a right-turn pocket.
  • The water pressure of the surrounding homes may be reduced because of this new construction. An extensive study of this issue should be conducted by the city before the parcel is developed.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Simons felt that many of the items brought up by the previous speaker could be mitigated. He suggested that the City's water department conduct a study of the water pressure, he desired to see appropriate landscaping installed, and did not wish to see the stream interrupted by this development. He supported the project as presented by staff.

Commissioner Munson asked if any of Mr. Stevenson's suggestions would be implemented into the conditions of approval. Chief Planner Rosen answered that the Commission could impose any additional conditions that they desired. He added that a landscape/irrigation plan is a condition of approval and would be reviewed as part of the plan check process. The height of the wall could also be increased, if necessary.

Chairman LeQuire stated that, without adding any more conditions, he wished to see the existing trees remain, and whoever would review the landscape plans would pay particular attention to the south property line, so there would be a sufficient screening effect. He also supported the project.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6873 APPROVING site and architectural plans for the construction of a 16-unit apartment complex on property located at the southwest corner of Associated Road and Bastanchury Road, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said item be CONTINUED to May 10, 2000.
Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report on recent City Council meetings.
There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction.
The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be May 10, 2000, at 4:00 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:04 p.m.
Becky Stevens
Recording Secretary
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