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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

November 13, 2002

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Crane at 4:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Chairman Crane; Commissioners Griffin, Price, Savage, Stopper, and LeQuire

ABSENT: Commissioner Wilson

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Senior Engineer Wallin, and Recording Secretary Keasling (4:00 p.m. session); and Consultant Planner Wolff, Program Planner Linnell and Recording Secretary Stevens (7:00 p.m. session).

ALSO PRESENT: Deputy City Attorney Barlow

MINUTES:

Commissioner LeQuire would like a change on page 156 at the bottom to read "his father" not his father-in-law.

MOTION by Commissioner Savage seconded and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, that the Minutes of the October 23, 2002, meeting be APPROVED AS AMENDED.

FLAG SALUTE

Chairman Crane informed all present about the resignation of Commissioner Wilson, who had been elected to the City Council. Chief Planner Rosen advised that Commissioner Wilson would not have been able to vote on items for the Planning Commission and then take action on them before the Council.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

4:00 P.M. SESSION

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ02-00083. APPLICANT: JOHN DELOOF; PROPERTY OWNER: MORNINGSIDE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Staff report was presented pertaining to a request to modify an existing Conditional Use Permit to allow an increase in enrollment from 76 children to 112 children for a child-care facility at Morningside Presbyterian Church located at 1201 East Dorothy Lane (Categorically exempt under Section 32 of CEQUA Guidelines) (Continued from August 28 and October 9, 2002).

Senior Planner Mullis reported that the applicant desired to increase the number of children at the pre-school from 76 to 112. There were two issues that needed to be resolved. One was an inspection to make sure they were in compliance with all city and state codes. Those inspections have been done, and the school is currently working on a couple of fire department issues that need to be resolved, and the fire department had given until early December to complete them. The second item concerned the play area in front of the church along Dorothy Lane. The previous discussions were to build a block wall along the eastern edge, which abuts the existing homes on Hollydale. The intent was to try and create a noise barrier between the play areas and single-family homes, and the applicant has proposed to construct a 6' high wood fence approximately 12' from the eastern property line. Ms. Mullis informed the committee that this fence was not far enough away, as originally proposed somewhere in the area of the sidewalk. The Commission would have to make an interpretation as to what constituted meeting that code requirement for the noise barrier. The applicant had proposed to only have a play area on the west side of the sidewalk, and to provide supervision to children to make sure they do not play on the east side.

Commissioner Savage asked if the primary reason staff does not approve the wood fence was because it was not enough of a noise barrier. Ms. Mullis advised it was a combination of the wood fence being too close to the property lines, and a wood fence does not act as a noise barrier as well as a block wall.

Commissioner Savage asked if putting boards on both sides of the fence would be sufficient. Ms. Mullis stated that she did not know how much more of a noise barrier that would provide.

Chairman Crane asked if the ordinance required a masonry wall to be built. Ms. Mullis said that the ordinance requires one "abutting or adjacent to a play area."

Ms. Mullis finalized by stating he Planning Commission had several options before them.

  • One option being to not allow any kind of play area in the front yard at all.
  • Another option would provide a physical barrier along the east side of the sidewalk that does not have to be tall; it could be shrubbery, a low fence, or a railing fence to keep the kids from running into the restricted area.
  • The last option is to determine that allowing a play area a certain distance from the residences is acceptable, and provide ongoing monitoring to see how it works.
Public hearing opened.

Applicant John Deloof, felt that Condition 5 was very restrictive. A notation in the staff report stated that the front was not required to have a State of California license, this area is the front yard not a play area, it is secondary to the play area in the back. Mr. Deloof advised that almost all the corrections observed by the Fire Department have been completed; there are a few minor corrections still to be made.

Mr. Deloof met with the neighbors, as suggested by the Commission, and some of the ideas were to build a wood fence 12' from the property line, or 15' from Mr. Carranza's fence. This would provide no activity along the lot line. Two large pine trees would also be removed, and another would be trimmed. Ms. Lundgren and Mr. Carranza did not have any objections to this plan.

Regarding the iron or wooden fence in the open front yard, the church would rather not have a fence break up the area. Mr. Deloof added that they would accept that the area to the east of the sidewalk extending to the lot line, not be a play area. Further, the children center board adopted a policy resolution that the area in question be prohibited from use for play activity. The wood fence would still be installed 12' from the property line.

Mr. Deloof advised that the west area was more than large enough for 60 children at a time. It would only be 60 children because the Social Services Department does not allow co-mingling kids of different ages in a common play area. The children are all accustomed to structured activities, so if a ball ever ends up in the street, play is stopped and a staff member or a designated child would retrieve it.

Mr. Deloof stated that they concur with Conditions 1 thru 4 and 6 thru 9 and requested that Condition 5 have the word "east" inserted as follows: "Outdoor and play activity shall be prohibited on the east front lawn area until installation of a 6' masonry wall along the eastern edge of the play area." A 6' masonry wall will eventually be built to keep any activity away from the property line.

Paul Carranza, 1201 North Hollydale Drive, provided some paperwork to the Commissioners. Mr. Carranza advised that he has observed the children playing on the west side of the sidewalk, that there was very little noise and the wood fence would be sufficient.

Chairman Crane asked Mr. Carranza if what Mr. Deloof is asking would be okay with him. Mr. Carranza advised he would be fine with this correction. Chairman Crane asked if the fence were installed, who would be maintaining that piece of property. Mr. Carranza advised they had discussed this, and it was decided that a maintenance person for the church would be maintaining the area between the property line and the fence.

Mr. Carranza inquired that when a block wall was installed, would the children going be allowed to play on the east side of the sidewalk. Chairman Crane advised the revised condition would read that there would be no play area on the east side of the sidewalk, and that there would be no play area approximately 80' from the property line, because the sidewalk could move in the future.

Betty Lungren, 1207 North Hollydale, voiced her concern that there was nothing in the report stating the children cannot use the memory garden area in the future for a play area, and asked if this could be added as a condition. Commissioner Price specified because there was not a block wall, the client was prohibited from using that as a play area or a child care area. Mr. Deloof expressed that they are not licensed for that area, therefore, no children activities would occur in the memory garden. Mrs. Lungren stated if this were inserted as a condition, she would support Mr. Deloof's proposal.

Chairman Crane asked what the memory garden area was used for. Mr. Deloof stated that it was used for church activities, not children activities. Chairman Crane asked if Mr. Deloof would be supportive in adding the condition that the memory garden area would not be used for child care activities. Mr. Deloof said he would not have any objections if the condition were added.

John West, Morningside Presbyterian Church Pastor, added that there were times during the year the children are brought into the Memory Garden for nature talks and such. But it is a church activity related to the program; it is not a play area where there would be noise.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Price stated that, with the agreement of the neighbors, and the modified changes to the conditions, he sees no reason to not support this proposal. He felt that the wording Chairman Crane suggested; 80' from the east property line would be more specific.

Commissioner Savage said he also supports this item because if the church can get 60 kids out in the front yard, it will keep them out of the closed areas where the noise would be more intense.

Commissioner LeQuire commended the church for following through on the Fire Department inspection requests and suggestions, and supported the proposal with modifications.

Commissioner Stopper thanked the church, neighbors and City staff for coming together and making this project work, and supports this project and its modifications.

Commissioner Griffin asked for a clarification on the wood fence, there is nothing that says a wood fence needs to be built. Chief Planner Rosen said that Condition No. 5 could be could be modified to require that a wooden fence be built within 15' of the property line, and the area to the east would be maintained. Chief Planner Rosen advised that approximately 60-90 days would be given for the church to put up the wooden fence.

Chief Planner Rosen mentioned that he had concerns requiring a wooden fence that had no benefit. The fence would create a secluded area between the neighbor's wall and the fence, and this would create issues about safety and security, including lighting.

Mr. Deloof again spoke and stated said it does not have to be a wooden fence; it could be a wrought iron fence, anything that will keep the children on the west side of whatever barrier.

Mr. Crane asked Mr. Carranza if he wanted to keep the current wooden fence. Mr. Carranza answered affirmatively, because if it were removed, people could see directly into his backyard and house, because the sidewalk is about four feet higher than his backyard. Mr. Carranza also has a dog that would bark if the fence were removed.

Commissioner Price voiced to approve the proposal with the modification of Condition #5 to insert the word "east" before the word "front" in the first sentence and also add the words, "approximately 80' to the west of the property line" and add a condition that a fence will be installed by the applicant within 90 days subject to the approval of the director of Development Services.

Senior Planner Mullis asked the Commission if they wanted to address the memory garden issue. Commissioner Price advised that a condition be added so that the area designated as the memory garden, which is adjacent to the wood fence along the easterly border of the property, would not be used for a play area.

The title of Resolution No. 6995 requesting to modify an existing Conditional Use Permit to allow an increase in enrollment from 76 children to 112 children for a child-care facility located at 1201 East Dorothy Lane, was read and further reading waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED, including the modification to Condition No. 5.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ02-00194 - SUB02-00003. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: NATHAN KVETNY

Staff report was presented pertaining to a request to abandon an alley easement on property located at 2001 East Chapman Avenue (108 to 128 feet north of Chapman Avenue and 61 feet east of Mountain View Place) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines).

Senior Civil Engineer Wallin, advised this was an application for abandonment of an alley segment off of Mountain View Place, at 2001 East Chapman Avenue. This alley basically provides parking for 2001 Mountain View, but does provide access to two other lots. The owners of the two other lots have written an objection to this abandonment, stating that they have a right and a need to use this alley. Due to these objections, staff cannot support the request and recommended denial.

Commissioner Stopper asked if the basis for denial was based on objections, and not safety issues. Mr. Wallin advised the denial was recommended because of the objections from adjacent property owner.

Chairman Crane asked if the City had ever maintained the alley. Mr. Wallin replied that the City had limited funds to maintain alleys, except in redevelopment areas. Chairman Crane asked if the alley had ever been upgraded, and Mr. Wallin responded negatively.

Commissioner Price asked if the owners and occupants of these businesses had been maintaining the alley. Mr. Wallin advised he was not aware of any permits that have been pulled to do any kind of upkeep, which is required.

Commissioner Stopper asked if there was an alley behind the third lot east of the corner of Mountain View and Chapman Avenue. Mr. Wallin answered affirmatively; it had been recommended for abandonment and was going to Council.

Commissioner LeQuire asked if the property on Mountain View consolidated to one parcel with the existing school building on Chapman Avenue and the other properties. Mr. Wallin advised that the parcel to the north of the alley and the two smaller parcels were joined as one, but not joined to the school officially, only through connections regarding parking requirements.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the properties facing Chapman Avenue had access from Chapman Avenue. Mr. Wallin advised that the two small parcels in front of Chapman Avenue had houses on them, and these houses had driveways on Chapman long before the policy of providing alleys and getting driveways off Chapman. But when the Constantines bought those parcels and incorporated them in their school, they already had access to Chapman, and it was logical to keep access to Chapman Avenue, rather than running the school traffic to Mountain View, which is a residential street.

Public hearing opened.

Nathan Kvetny, is the owner of the optometry office at 2001 East Chapman Avenue. Dr. Kvetny said the alley was no more public than the alley that was granted to the Montessori School. The alley was carved out by the City from the property that he now owns. It was built, surfaced, maintained and insured by the owners of this building for 35 years. The alley leads to no other public alley, and will never be used by the public except for patients to turn around into the parking spaces. The City does not need the financial obligation or the legal responsibility by keeping this alley. There has been a sign posted there for the past 35 years that says it is private property parking.

Dr. Kvetny stated that two months ago they had a meeting with the fire inspector. The Constantines and Ms. Mullis were present. The fire inspector said they were satisfied with the present evacuation process which presently exists. The inspector said they would use Chapman Avenue and not the alley if they were called out for an emergency.

Dr. Kvetny said the Constantines can install a walkway on their property, south of their house next to the property line. There is a 14' space between the house and the property line. This would give them a safe and orderly evacuation area.

Commissioner Savage asked if the parking spaces on his property run north and south, and if they are accessed through the alley. Dr. Kvetny said they are only accessed through the alley.

Thomas Edwards, representative for Dr. Kvetny, said there was no public use, and for the past 37 years this alley had been taken care of by the previous owners and now by Dr. Kvetny. The Constantine's letters to the Commission infer that when they purchased the property the access to the alley was part of the deal. But there is no mention of this agreement in the staff reports of June or August. Mr. Edwards felt it was reasonable for the abandonment because there is no denial of access to the Constantine's property. Mr. Edwards said Dr. Kvetny has utilized and paid for maintenance for this alley, and there was a safety issue; vehicles would be driven through a play area.

Commissioner Price asked if the play structure area to the east of the alleyway required a block wall fence. Mr. Wallin advised that there was a requirement to have some type of fencing, but it did not have to be a block wall.

Chief Planner Rosen provided an aerial view of the site and the parking area that was in question.

Holly and Michael Constantin, 2007 East Chapman Avenue (Montessori School), explained because of the expansion, the entrance from the alley is crucial. The Fire Department has not made their inspection yet, but this alley will allow for evacuation, because the children will not be evacuating out onto Chapman Avenue. Another concern was the trash enclosure at the alley's end.

Mr. Constantin stated that the two properties, 2007 and 2011, both had driveway access, and they also had trash pick up on Chapman Avenue. During trash pick up, it caused heavy traffic on Chapman Avenue. One of the options was to move the trash cans to the alley and have trash pick up in the alley. The trash is picked up two times a week.

Another concern was access for a medical, first aid or fire emergency. This alley was also used as a delivery access for the multi-purpose room. When an event is scheduled, tables and chairs are delivered using this alley. Mr. Constantin advised that when this property was purchased, it was with the knowledge that the alley existed.

Mark Reichman, attorney representing the Constantins, pointed out that the possible entries after completion will only have one legitimate entrance which is off Chapman Avenue. When the construction trucks and deliveries start, the access to the alley will be needed.

Mrs. Constantin said when they had the meeting with staff and Dr. Kvetny, there were many offers and suggestions to resolve this matter, and Dr. Kvetny was not willing to try any of them.

Mr. Edwards concluded that Constantins feel, and the staff report reflects, they are not allowed access off Mountain View because of the concern of the neighbors. Also, the alleyway on the northern most portions was actually a driveway. Presently, and in the past, the trash has been picked up on the eastern portion of the property.

Mrs. Constantin advised that the parking off Mountain View for parents, staff or school administration was previously denied by the Planning Commission.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner LeQuire understood that the property was taken from the property that Dr. Kvetny owns now, but if that is true or not, at the last two hearings the Constantin's requested and the Commission approved that 514 Mountain View be used for school use, and be part of the project. That action gave them full access from the west side of their property on the driveway that is on the north side of that property, so this alley is not used by the public, and the school has sufficient access from their own properties both on Chapman and on Mountain View. Commissioner LeQuire stated he would be supportive of abandoning the alley.

Commissioner Price stated that the Constantins use this alley for deliveries and access which would be called a surcharge on a private easement, using it in a much broader sense than it has ever been used. They would not be able to use this alley if it was a private easement. Commissioner Price felt this alleyway should be abandoned and taken off the City's books.

Commissioner Savage stated that the Constantins bought this property with an alley next to it, with the understanding they could use it. Commissioner Savage felt that the Constantins and Dr. Kvetny should try and come to an agreement, but would not support the abandonment based on the facts outline in the staff report.

Commissioner Stopper commented that once the Constantin's facilities are built, there is already access from Mountain View, which would give an opportunity to take things on and off the property. Commissioner Stopper supported abandoning the alley because this alley way was taken from the past property owner, and should be given back to the property owner.

Commissioner Griffin indicated for the record that he was not for or against either of these parties. Commissioner Griffin stated the Commission knew about this alley and he wanted to continue the Montessori School item until this alley item was resolved so everyone would not be arguing tonight. He felt that Dr. Kvetny had a right to receive the same benefit that the Constantins received with their request for abandonment. Commissioner Griffin stated that the expansion would allow access from the Mountain View property, and hopes the Constantines can develop a way to make that access work. Commissioner Griffin advised that he would be voting in favor of abandonment.

Chairman Crane stated that he would also be voting for the abandonment. Chairman Crane felt there are other means for fire, evacuation, trash, and there is another alley off of Hale that can also be used. This would reduce the City's liability and maintenance problems.

The title of Resolution No. 6996 RECOMMENDING to the City Council the abandonment of an alley easement on property located at 2001 East Chapman Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED by a 5-1 vote with Commissioner Savage voting no, that said Resolution be APPROVED AS WRITTEN. Chief Planner Rosen advised that this item would go to City Council on January 21, 2003.

ITEM NO. 3
PRJ02-00260 - SUB02-00010. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT OF NORTH ORANGE COUNTY

Senior Engineer Ron Wallin advised that this item had been pulled and postponed to an indefinite date.

MOTION by Commissioner PRICE, seconded and CARRIED unanimously to postpone item to a date uncertain.

ITEM NO. 4
PRJ02-00267 - SUB02-00011. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: CITY OF FULLERTON

Staff report was presented pertaining to a request to abandon a portion of the alley located between the 100 blocks of West Walnut Avenue and West Truslow Avenue, running from Harbor Boulevard to a north/south alley approximately 165 feet to the west of Harbor Boulevard (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines).

Senior Engineer Wallin advised the Commission that this alley used to run across Harbor Boulevard and through to Highland Avenue. The Harbor Boulevard grade separation was subsequently built, and the alley now has a significant drop at Harbor Boulevard. It is non-traversable, as a result of a dead-end segment, and only serves the back of the building at 100 West Walnut Avenue. The owner of 100 West Walnut has been negotiating with the Redevelopment Agency to purchase an additional 15' to the south of the alley to expand his industrial use, and the Redevelopment Agency is willing to sell this property to that owner.

This abandonment would not affect the proposed park and bridge that crosses over Harbor Boulevard, because the alley abandonment is north of these improvements.

Chairman Crane asked about drainage, and noted that it appeared to be draining towards the west. Senior Engineer Wallin explained that there was a ditch along the top of Harbor Boulevard for drainage. When the owner improves the back of his property, he may continue using this drainage ditch, or he can drain back over to the parking lot and alley, so this was not an issue of concern.

Public hearing open, but no one was present to speak on this matter. Public hearing closed.

The title of Resolution No. 6997 RECOMMENDING to the City Council abandonment of a portion of the public alley between the 100 block of West Walnut Avenue and West Truslow Avenue, running from Harbor Boulevard to a north/south alley approximately 165 feet to the west of Harbor Boulevard, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 6
AMENDMENT A-1473; GENERAL PLAN REVISION GRP-01-04; DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT DA-01-02; CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1056; CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1057; SITE PLAN SP-844 (MAJOR); SITE PLAN SP-845 (MAJOR); AND SITE PLAN SP-846 (MAJOR). APPLICANT: GRACE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL; PROPERTY OWNER: GRACE KOREAN CHURCH AT NORWALK.

Chairman Crane announced that Items 5 and 6 would be heard in reverse order.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that this item had a lot of documentation, which staff had attempted to get to the Commission. There were some documents such as Response to Comments and a Draft Development Agreement which had not been provided. Because of this, staff recommended that this item be continued to another date. He advised the Commission that they may receive the staff report, open the public hearing, take testimony and continue the public hearing to another date. Staff recommended that this date be November 26th, due to a request from the applicant. If a person chose to speak tonight, and the matter was continued, the person would not be allowed to retestify the same information at the next meeting.

Chairman Crane introduced Deputy City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow who reiterated that the entire matter may be continued at the discretion of the Commission. Chief Planner Rosen added that the Commission could not conclude its deliberation, however, because of the outstanding items. Chairman Crane asked the applicant to come forward at this point.

David Choye, applicant, stated that because the project was complicated in nature, and there was information missing, he asked for another meeting to be scheduled in November. There were time constraints concerning construction of the school, which they hoped could be fully operational by September 2003. They had hoped this item would be heard by City Council on December 17, 2002. He informed the Commission that they would have all remaining information to staff within five or ten days, at the very latest.

Commissioner Griffin noted he would be out of town for the next two weeks. Commissioner Stopper announced he would be gone from November 26th-30th. Commissioner Price suggested the first Planning Commission meeting in December to make the December 17th City Council meeting. Chairman Crane suggested December 4th as a possible date, starting at 5:00 p.m. The advertising for the City Council meeting of the 17th could be advertised ahead of time. The minutes of December 4th could be approved at the PC meeting of December 11, 2002. Commissioner Griffin asked for 5:30 p.m. starting time on December 4th, and the Commissioners concurred.

MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that this item be CONTINUED to December 4, 2002, at 5:30 p.m.

ITEM NO. 5
PRJ02-00201 - SUB02-00004. APPLICANT: CRAIG HOSTERT; PROPERTY OWNER: IVAN W. PADEN

Program Planner Linnell reported that this item had previously been presented as a four-lot subdivision on October 9, 2002. The Commission did not support that request at that time, and continued the item to give the applicant an opportunity to revise the proposal. The applicant was now proposing a three-lot subdivision for the same property, with each lot at least 11,333 square feet in area. Staff believed that the new proposal was compatible and respective of the prevailing development pattern in the area. Most of the lots in the area range from 9,000 to 10,000 s.f. and have 50-foot frontages. Staff recommended approval of the subdivision with several conditions to ensure that any development would be in keeping with the rural "flavor" of the area. Conditions outlined in the staff report pertaining to this issue are items No. 1 (front yard setback shall be 25 feet from Pico) and No. 2 (regarding review by Director of Development Services of any design to ensure the massing and scale is compatible with rural architecture in the area.) Any disputes would be settled by the Redevelopment Design Review Committee.

A secondary issue pertained to a rezone of the area, and a number of residents have asked for a larger lot size for any new subdivision of property. Staff was supportive of conducting community meetings to address this request, but did not think that the proposed subdivision should be put on hold until these meetings are complete. Letters have been received by neighbors, both pro and con, and were submitted to the Commission.

Commissioner Price clarified that any new development would not have curb or gutter, and Program Planner Linnell answered affirmatively. Chairman Price also asked if the school district had been notified of this hearing, and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.

Commissioner LeQuire asked about Condition No. 2, the Knox Box requirement, and who would be responsible for the cost. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that the Fire Department normally requires these Knox Boxes to be placed at all entry and exit gates, and would be paid for by the school or the applicant. He said that paving a portion of the road for a turnaround would not be practical and would not be of any added benefit to the Fire Department.

Public hearing opened.

Craig Hostert reported that he had read the recommended conditions of approval, and concurred with Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7. However, he wished modifications to Conditions 1, 2, and 3. Condition No. 3 in the staff report was not worded the same as in the conditions of approval. He requested that the condition contain the same wording regarding the Knox Box and turnaround. Condition No. 1 asked for 25 feet of setback, and the code states the average to be 15 feet. He was concerned because of the shallow depth of the sewer in the street and that pushing the house further back on the lot would require him to install a sewer pump instead of a normal gravity line for the sewer connections. The houses will be longer and, as they are angled back, he would prefer a 20-foot minimum setback, as opposed to 25 feet. His biggest objection was Condition No. 2, which would require the design of the houses to be reviewed by the Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC). He noted that there were no set standards in the neighborhood for massing and scale. He would like to design a home that adds to the rural character of the neighborhood with pulled back garages (Country Cottage style) - he showed a picture of a similar home in Amerige Heights. He felt that Condition No. 2 was too constrictive, and did not feel the Director of Development Services or the RDRC should decide the "overall design". He displayed some of the existing houses on Pico Street, which show no specific design. He reminded the Commission that the plan, as presented, met or exceeded all code requirements.

Commissioner Savage asked where the sewer line was located, and Chris Hostert stated that it was in the middle of Pico Street. Because the sewer is at a higher point than the lot, the farther away from the street a home is built, the more difficult it would be to connect. Mr. Hostert said he would like to set the first house back at 20 feet and stagger the next two homes, going east because the main sewer slopes toward Carhart. Chief Planner Rosen added that the existing home was over 30 feet back from the property line. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that the sewer was only four feet deep in the street, the lot slopes away from the street and the applicant would be fighting grade to make a standard sewer connection. He also did not know if the existing house sewer lateral was built to current code, and the applicant may have to use a sewer pump for the three homes.

Commissioner Price asked if the applicant would be agreeable to a condition that states each garage shall be set back from the front of the house and that the new residences will be in keeping with the character of the neighborhood, and applicant answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Stopper recalled that some or all of the previous four lots would have required pumps, and Mr. Hostert clarified that it would have been necessary on two of the homes. Commissioner Stopper also recalled that the architectural design of the previously proposed four homes were very similar and, for that reason, the item had been continued because the design did not match the neighborhood.

Craig Hostert explained that they were not "resisting" but concerned that the overall design would be decided by one individual, particularly since individual's tastes are different. They would be agreeable to the condition as stated by Commissioner Price and assured the Commission that each elevation would be different. He added that this would not be a "cookie-cutter" project.

Chairman Crane reminded those in attendance that the potential rezone of the area was not a part of this proposal.

Ken Placek, 1339 Pico Street, felt the developer was overbuilding this site, and noted that the property owners were not present to speak on the issue. He feared that this project would set a negative precedence for other projects in the neighborhood. He supported a turnaround area for school busses and emergency vehicles, and a two-lot subdivision as opposed to three.

Betsy Warner, next door to the proposed project, said that the lack of people present for this meeting was not indicative of persons opposing the project, because the neighborhood assumed the Council chambers would be filled because of the other item on the agenda. She also had many signatures from the neighborhood on a petition to rezone the neighborhood. She asked that the Commission not decide this issue until the rezone was resolved, and because architectural designs were not submitted with the new request. She feared leaving the entire design decision to the applicant, particularly because no architectural plans were available. She also stated that the existing home has many sewer problems, and the present owners have stated that the residence should be pumped. She had 57% of neighborhood signatures in favor of rezoning, and only two owners were undecided. She did not speak with any neighbors who were in favor of the proposed project.

Carol Wink, 754 Carhart, owns property at 1316 Pico, and also stated that the majority of the neighborhood favored a rezone of the neighborhood. She did not want the "Amerige Heights look", and would also support a two-lot subdivision. She did not feel the applicant would be sympathetic to the wants of the neighborhood concerning style and architecture. She also did not think that the item should be decided until after a rezone issue was complete.

Wendy Carpenter, 765 Carhart, borders the proposed property to the south. She did not support a rezone of the area and at the last meeting her name and address were used without her permission. The R-1-7,200 zone is well-established for development in the area. She has also talked with neighborhood persons who do not want the area rezoned and she favored the first proposal.

Jeff Meadows, 1321 West Pico, spoke in opposition to the project.

Steve McCahey, listing agent for subject property, stated that the only sewer problem of which he is aware is due to tree roots.

Mike McNamara, 1336 West Fern Drive, felt that cost should not be the deciding factor. While it is a rural neighborhood, no two lot sizes are alike, and no two houses are alike. The minimum frontage is 30 feet, and he would also support only a two-lot subdivision. The new residences will look like tract houses, and will not blend in.

Bob Johnston, supported the applicant's project. He had previously worked with the Hosterts and spoke of their integrity as a builder/developer. He had never heard a complaint regarding their work. Regarding the rezoning, he will be proposing a subdivision of lots in excess of 7,200 feet on the Carpenter property. Mr. Johnston read a letter written by Mrs. Forbes who was opposed to a rezone to her property. Mr. Johnston reminded those in attendance that the lot sizes are diverse in this area.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Griffin asked what was the basis requiring the applicant to meet the Fire Department requirement. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that the Fire Department may request additional access whenever a new project is proposed. Commissioner Griffin was concerned that this applicant would be required to put in a turnaround when none had ever existed.

Chief Planner Rosen added that the Fire Department's request was no different from any other request where additional access is needed for public safety and enjoyment. The Fire Marshal had requested a turnaround for its fire trucks, and staff responded with this condition. Chief Planner Rosen noted that dedications have been required of other developers.

Commissioner Price inquired if the City could legally require Condition No. 2. Ms. Barlow stated that all subdivisions must be compatible with existing neighborhoods and must maintain their integrity. She added that the Commission may find another alternative for the Fire Department turnaround, but there must be a legal nexus in imposing this condition.

Commissioner Savage asked if this condition had been required for the four-lot subdivision, and Chief Planner Rosen answered negatively. The present submittal had been reviewed by a different plan checker at the Fire Department. Senior Civil Engineer added that there was a Knox Box alternative, which would be more desirable than paving and removal of parking on the street.

Commissioner Price asked if the applicant would accept Condition No. 3 as written, and Mr. Hostert asked that the words "Knox Box" be added to this condition.

Commissioner Griffin asked when a developer wants to build a house on the lot which is properly zoned, does the Planning Department review the elevations for each project. Chief Planner Rosen answered that a plan check review of both building and architectural plans for new homes exists, but that an extensive architectural review is not given. Staff will comment on some architectural conditions and encourage changes if they deem it necessary. Properties in preservation zones are put through extensive architectural review, and staff has the discretion to request revisions to make the design compatible to the neighborhood.

Commissioner Stopper recalled the prior proposal and the objections of surrounding property owners. He appreciated that the applicant reduced the number of the lots from four to three, but was concerned that there was no architectural plan submitted with the new proposal. He felt satisfied that Conditions 2 and 3 would protect the character of the neighborhood, and was comfortable with any decisions by the Director of Development Services and the RDRC. He supported staff's recommendations as presented, and the project as presented.

Commissioner Savage noted that the owner had the right to develop his land, within the guidelines of the zoning laws. He was confident that the project would be desirable with the character of the neighborhood, and was also confident with the project, including staff recommendations as presented.

Chairman Crane also felt that a property owner had the right to develop within the zoning standards. He felt that the three lots would fit in with the existing neighborhood and did not wish to make any changes to the conditions of approval. He also supported the project as presented, with the modification to Condition No. 2.

Commissioner Price, while empathetic with the persons who bought in this area 20 or 30 years ago, did not feel it was necessary to have the Director of Development Services review the final plans, and was confident that the developer would design homes that would sell in this area. The plan was consistent with the size of the lots and meets and exceeds all zoning requirements.

Commissioner LeQuire supported the project as conditioned, and felt that the size and style would fit in with the neighborhood.

The title of Resolution No. 6998 GRANTING a parcel map to subdivide an existing 34,000-square-foot parcel into three lots on property located at 1340 Pico Street, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED, including a modification to Condition No. 2.

Chairman Crane noted that this item could be appealed to the City Council within ten days.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report of recent City Council meetings.

  2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    There were no public comments.

  3. AGENDA FORECAST:

    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be December 4, 2002 at 5:00 p.m. Deputy City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow requested a closed session with the Planning Commission at 5:00 p.m. prior to the 5:30 p.m. session.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:02 p.m.

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