October 9, 2002
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Crane at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Crane; Commissioners Griffin, Price, Savage, Stopper, Wilson, and LeQuire
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Kusch, Program Planner Linnell, Senior Engineer Wallin, and Recording Secretaries Keasling (4:00 p.m.) and Stevens (7:00 p.m.)
Commissioner Stopper requested that the September 11, 2002 minutes reflect that the flag salute had been implemented into the meetings. With the above correction noted, MOTION by Commissioner Wilson seconded and CARRIED unanimously, that the Minutes of the September 11, 2002, meeting be APPROVED AS AMENDED.
4:00 P.M. SESSION
ITEM NO. 1
PRJ02-00083-CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-239b. APPLICANTS: JOHN DELOOF; PROPERTY OWNER: MORNINGSIDE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
Staff report dated October 2, 2002, 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 on property located at 1201 East Dorothy Lane.
Assistant Planner Kusch reminded the Commissioners that this item was continued from the August 28th, 2002 meeting. At that meeting, the Commission directed staff to do a site inspection that would include the Building, Planning and Fire Departments. The inspection found that the center was in compliance with the zoning and building codes, but the Fire Department found some items that needed to be corrected for the facility to comply with the fire code. Assistant Planner Kusch pointed out that the Fire Department inspection report contained the needed corrections, and was inside the packet issued to the Commissioners.
At the August 28th, 2002 meeting, there was a discussion about the need for a continuous block wall along the church's east property line. In 1989, the child-care center's Conditional Use Permit was modified to increase the enrollment capacity and, as a condition of approval, a block wall was required and built along the east property line of the church by the child-care's playground areas. Photos of the playground area and block wall were shown.
Since the increase in enrollment, the facility had begun to use the western portion of the lawn area, which is between the buildings and Dorothy Lane. The Fullerton Zoning Ordinance states that an outdoor play area that adjoins any property with a residential zone must be improved so as not to constitute a nuisance to the residents.
Assistant Planner Kusch stated that a solid six-foot high masonry wall would be constructed along the perimeter of the facility adjacent to all outdoor play areas to mitigate noise.
A wood fence exists between the memory garden of the church and the single-family home to the east at Hollydale and Dorothy Lane. The applicant advised at the August 28th, 2002 hearing that if required, only the western portion of the lawn area would be used as a playground. The western portion of the lawn area is approximately 75' from the residences to the east.
The facility exceeds the State's requirement of outdoor activity area without the use of any of the lawn area. Several Commissioners expressed concerns about use of the lawn area for a playground. The concern was in regards to the proximity to the neighboring single-family residences without a buffer, such as a block wall. The applicant expressed a desire not to construct the block wall due to construction cost.
A grade difference of four feet exists at the property line shared by the church and the two residential properties east of the front lawn area. The wall would be ten feet in height, four feet retaining and six feet for sound attenuation. Some of the existing trees may have to be removed to accommodate a block wall.
Staff is recommending the planting of a hedge, including trees, along both sides of the existing sidewalk that leads from Dorothy Lane to the church facility instead of the block wall. A photo was displayed showing the trees along the east property line and the sidewalk going from Dorothy Lane to the church facility. The hedge and trees would limit play activity to the west of the sidewalk. Limiting the play area to 75 feet away from the neighboring residential properties, would mitigate play activity noise to the western side of the lawn area. The removal of the mature trees and the addition of a 10-foot high block wall would be expensive for the applicant.
Assistant Planner Kusch advised that a condition of approval had been added addressing the recommended landscaping. Staff made a correction to Condition #5 adding the following sentence: "The front lawn area east of the existing sidewalk shall not be used for play activity." Staff is recommending approval subject to the conditions contained in the memorandum.
Public hearing opened.
John Deloof, applicant and president of the Morningside Church, is a member of the governing board, and a member of the board at the children's center. Mr. Deloof introduced Pastor West, Marcia West, director of the children center, and some members of the congregation.
Mr. Deloof discussed three aspects of the application. He received the staff report and minutes from the September 11, 2002 meeting on Monday, October 7th, 2002, so the time to seriously consider all of its ramifications and take this item to the September board meeting had been very limited.
Mr. Deloof felt there was no evidence of a noise problem. The major play areas are at the northern end of the property, with walls, which is a much higher density than the front lawn area. All these areas and all rooms and buildings of the church are dual purpose. No areas are reserved exclusively for the children's center. Mr. Deloof stated they only had about one and a half complaints over the past ten years from only one neighbor, so there is no existence of a noise problem. Further, there is no risk to approving the application, because 112 children have already been using the facility since 1995.
The additional children, ages six through twelve, attend the after school program,. These children do not show up until 12:30 p.m., on Wednesday and 2:30 p.m., on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There is a small margin of activity in terms of the time, which is in the afternoon when the general ambient noise is higher in the neighborhood anyway. None of the programs use the front play area often. The children do not wander around the church, because there is one teacher for every twelve children, so they are well supervised no matter where they are.
Mr. Deloof pointed out the priorities of Morningside Presbyterian Church. The facility must follow the standards given by the governmental bodies. These standards were issued from fire department safety inspections, the Department of Social Services of the State of California licensing inspections, and the State of California in playground safety. This agency will rework the playgrounds to accommodate State mandated inspections which have been done. A rubber surface has been installed in the middle playground for $11,000, and the church is planning to do work on the upper playground, which is another $5,000. Because of these mandates, the funds and managerial resources are thin, but all of these items must be complied with by the first of the year.
Mr. Deloof introduced Mr. Paul Caranza. Mr. Caranza is the soon-to-be new owner of the corner property at 1201 Kensington. Mr. Deloof expressed Mr. Caranza's concern that the ten-foot block wall will seem a little confining.
Mr. Deloof told the committee that the fire inspection corrective actions have already been started. The report was received on October 4, 2002, and the Fire Department extended the due date until November 4, 2002.
Mr. Deloof stated that this organization partially concurred with staff's recommendation for Condition #5 (the hedges along the sidewalk). The hedge would be the boundary to the play area. Mr. Deloof stated that this hedge could be a hiding zone, and said that he did not think the licensing board would accept such a hedge, and this type of feature is not an acceptable approach. However, the notion of utilizing any other means to avoid a ten-foot high block wall is certainly appealing and he would like to proceed further with other options.
A possible solution would be to construct a six-foot high fence from the edge of the sanctuary line over to Mrs. Lundgren's property (diagonally) on the southeast corner. This would further extend the current fence about fifteen feet, which is above a grade, creating a problem. Mr. Deloof said they would give up 15 to 18 feet so they can preserve the lawn area and at the same time provide a buffer to those two neighbors.
Mr. Deloof was very leery of the landscaping solution because of the hiding problem. Much had been invested in the landscaping, and he would like to build a six-foot high wood fence that would not block Mr. Caranza property. This was only one idea, but further time is needed to work up a satisfactory approach for this part of the property.
Commissioner Wilson asked staff if the hedge was to create a barrier or could there be a different kind of landscape, like flowers or something more low growing. Assistant Planner Kusch advised the goal was a barrier to provide play apparatus from going to the east play area. It is possible that a fence combined with landscaping may be an option.
Commissioner LeQuire suggested postponing any actions until after November 4, 2002, which is the completion goal for the Fire Department's corrections. This way, the Commission can monitor the work on the fire report, and it would give 30 more days for the applicant, neighbors and staff to meet and come up with a solution.
Betty Lungren, lives at 1207 N. Hollydale, which is just east of the church sanctuary. She has lived there since 1969, however the church did not start the child-care business until 1970. Ms. Lungren said she has complained many times in the past, but she wanted to advise everyone that she was not the neighbor who was quoted in the Fullerton Tribune. Ms. Lungren felt the plan staff is recommending would work well.
Ms. Lungren said that she was told the church never intended to have more than 76 children, when at the time they had 112 children. Mr. Deloof told her that they never had any intension of changing the memory garden. Ms. Lungren would like the memory garden to stay, although the children can climb the tree and look into her yard.
Ms. Lungren advised that the traffic was also a problem.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Savage thought Commissioner LeQuire suggestion had merit and requested this item be continued to the November 13, 2002 agenda.
MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that the item be CONTINUED to November 13, 2002.
ITEM NO. 2
Staff report dated October 9, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to allow a reduction in the required parking for a proposed restaurant use on property located at 415 South Harbor Boulevard (southwest corner of Harbor Boulevard and Truslow Avenue) (C-H zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines). Photos of the property were displayed.
Program Planner Linnell reported that the building has twelve parking spaces at this time, but that restaurants require more parking than retail uses. By code, 32 parking spaces would be required, and there are only twelve spaces on site. The property owner is negotiating with the City to buy additional property, which is public land on the north side of this property. This would enlarge the property owner's area another 11 spaces, and give 23 on-site spaces for the restaurant, which is still deficient by code. There was a provision in the code that allows the Planning Commission to approve a Conditional Use Permit to reduce the required amount of parking in cases like this.
Program Planner Linnell advised that staff was recommending approval of this request, because the restaurant would have limited seating, and because of its location, and the type of restaurant, would not require more than 23 spaces.
Commissioner Stopper asked how big the property is that is being sold by the City. Program Planner Linnell said the sale entails a strip of land 20 feet in width that goes the full distance from Harbor Boulevard all the way back to the alley. Commissioner Stopper asked if that would allow sufficient parking. Program Planner Linnell advised it would be sufficient. Commissioner Stopper asked how many handicap parking spaces were required. Program Planner Linnell advised that the Building Code sets the requirement, but he believes it is one per every twenty spaces.
Commissioner Stopper asked about Condition #3 in staff's report. The property owner would provide a landscape and irrigation plan that covered all landscape areas on the private property. Commissioner Stopper asked if a plan would be implemented. Program Planner Linnell advised the intent, was to have an approved plan, and any improvements implemented before occupancy of the building.
Chairperson Crane asked if it also applies to the grading and drainage plan. Program Planner Linnell responded in the affirmative.
Commissioner Griffin asked if the property to be sold was due to the applicant wanting to build the restaurant, and Program Planner Linnell answered affirmatively.
Commissioner Griffin asked why the City is not offering to sell more of the land, so the parking, requirements could be met fully. Program Planner Linnell said he did not think there was any way to meet the requirements of 32 spaces. This request would be the best solution, because the rest of the property would be for landscaping and open space for appearance sake.
Jack DeRosas, applicant, and owners Roberto Ceja and Celso Calderon were present. Mr. DeRosas advised that Roberto Ceja and Celso Calderon currently own two restaurants in Orange. Mr. DeRosas advised that it would be a family-based business, and the hours would be 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. There would be an alcohol license to serve beer and wine, but no live music or dancing. Mr. DeRosas stated that the owners read and concurred with all of the recommended conditions of approval.
Aaron Gregg, 110 East Wilshire, represented his mother who is the owner of the Gregg Plaza Shopping Center, directly across the street from this project. Mr. Gregg stated his concern would be the parking. He stated that because there was no access from Harbor Boulevard, patrons would have to go to Valencia Drive, turn right, go down an alley, and then into the property. To leave, patrons either have to go back out the same way, or down to Highland Avenue. The parking had been a problem for years. All overflow parking ends up in the Gregg Plaza Shopping Center, and people jaywalk across the street. Mr. Gregg voiced that any new business coming into town should comply with the parking requirements.
Commissioner Price asked if Mr. Gregg would have less of an objection if there was direct access from Harbor Boulevard into the on-site parking. Mr. Gregg advised that it would help the situation.
Commissioner Price asked if an entrance and exit along Harbor Boulevard could be possible. Senior Engineer Ron Wallin advised that a point of access from Harbor Boulevard would not be an option due to the safety issues.
Tony Bushala, 129 West Ash Avenue, felt that all businesses should follow code requirements, and added that directly across the alley from the restaurant, there are residences that may be affected by the restaurant patrons. Mr. Bushala added that even though there are conditions, many times these conditions are not followed. He thought that if approved, this restaurant should stay open no later than 10:00 p.m.
Mike Miller, 201 Valencia Drive, voiced his concern about the possible parking problem, and people wanting to go to this restaurant from southbound Harbor Boulevard. Mr. Miller was also concerned about headlights going into residences' windows.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner LeQuire noted that staff report states that 50% of the floor area of the restaurant is the dining area. He asked how many parking spaces would be required for a restaurant of that size. Program Planner Linnell advised that the City looked at the total square footage for the restaurant and allocated a requirement of one space for every one hundred square feet. Other cities use the number of seating in the restaurant to determine the parking requirement.
Commissioner LeQuire asked if staff could calculate how many parking spaces are required by the number of seats or the amount of floor area. Program Planner Linnell advised that the applicant had a floor plan with 50 to 60 seats, and if normal standards of one parking space for every three seats were applied, then 20 parking spaces would be the requirement.
Commissioner Wilson recommended to approve the request, but added to include the condition of staying open no later than 10:00 p.m., due to the residences being so close.
Commissioner Griffin suggested this item be continued to explore whether more land could be acquired for more parking spaces, and also to discuss other means of entry to the parking lot.
Chief Planner Joel Rosen clarified that if the applicant was successful in achieving more land for more parking spaces, this item would not have to come back to the Commission. This item would meet all the code requirements and be allowed to go ahead without any special conditions placed on it.
Commissioner Stopper asked if the difference between the proposal and code requirement was nine parking spaces and staff answered affirmatively. Commissioner Stopper expressed concern that nine spaces could not be found in the land that is available. Chief Planner Rosen advised that staff looked at a variety of options for the City's property. It currently provides a visual amenity to the community and people congregate in that space, so staff was concerned about eliminating too much of this property, including the mature trees. This was why more land was not offered to the applicant.
Commissioner Stopper suggested continuing this item to see if the applicant and staff could some how acquire more parking spaces, and at that time he would be more supportive.
Commissioner Price asked if Mr. Gregg could post "Gregg Plaza parking only" signs for his property, and if it would become an enforcement issue? Chief Planner Rosen advised that it would and would be hard to enforce because the violation would have to be witnessed. Chief Planner Rosen added that the 50 or 60 parking spaces the City will construct in Paseo Park, just around the corner from this project north of Truslow Avenue, would be more convenient to visitors of the restaurant than parking across the street.
Commissioner LeQuire asked where the 50 or 60 spaces would be proposed. Senior Engineer Wallin advised that these additional spaces were meant for the new park and nearby businesses.
Commissioner Price said he would support this item if there was a restriction on the hours of operation. He also felt that access from Truslow Avenue should be revised.
Commissioner LeQuire advised that he supported this application, with the additional parking, and asked that the condition of hours of operation be included.
Commissioner Wilson suggested putting a directional parking sign at Harbor Boulevard and Truslow so that people know there is additional parking. Chief Planner Rosen said that this could be done.
Commissioner Price asked when the parking in the new park would be completed. Senior Engineer Wallin advised that staff is trying to have it out to bid in the next month or two, so it should be constructed in the spring or early summer of 2003.
Chairperson Crane said that he doesn't see a major issue with the total number of parking spaces, and he agreed with staff that 23 spaces would be an adequate number to serve the facility.
Chairperson Crane asked if the Conditional Use Permit only applied to this restaurant. For example, if this restaurant was not successful and another restaurant came in and was able to seat 100 people, how would the Conditional Use Permit apply to the new restaurant?
Chief Planner Rosen advised that the CUP runs with the land, so if a new restaurant took over that was going to be substantially different, they would have to go back for a modification of the CUP.
Commissioner Price asked if the applicant could advise the Commission if the 10:00 p.m. condition would be a problem. The applicant indicated he could comply with this condition.
The title of Resolution No. 6999 APPROVING a request to allow a reduction in the required parking for a proposed restaurant use on property located at 415 South Harbor Boulevard was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded and CARRIED by a six to one vote with Commissioner Stopper voting no, that said Resolution be adopted as amended with an added condition for hours of operation, which would include closing at 10:00 p.m.
ITEM NO. 3
AMENDMENT PRJ02-00257 AND LRP02-00010
RESTAURANT OVERLAY DISTRICT
Staff report dated October 9, 2002 was presented to consider creating a Restaurant Overlay District within and beyond the boundaries of the Central Business District.
Chief Planner Rosen reported that a resolution of intent was adopted by the City Council directing staff to prepare a restaurant overlay district for the downtown area. The purpose for this restaurant overlay district was to streamline the process for restaurants that are deficient in parking. The property in item two on the agenda was not included in this district overlay zone. Restaurant uses are part of the economic engine that helps revive and improve the downtown area. The City had been very supportive of restaurants in the downtown area, for their economic and social benefit. The City Council and the Planning Commission have approved a number of restaurant uses in the downtown, which have a Conditional Use Permit which relieve them of the parking requirement. Overhead images were shown of the downtown area. Some of the images listed sites where public parking is allowed to provide parking requirements.
An image was shown of the proposed restaurant overlay district boundary. Restaurants in the overlay area would not need to provide any on-site parking.
Staff based its support of this overlay district on a parking study that was done in June 2002 and was presented to City Council. That study found a surplus of parking, but may not be convenient to all the downtown businesses. The study recommended short term actions in terms of enforcement: 2-hour time limits, allowing the turnover of parking for the business that were nearby; looking at acquiring some parcels for additional parking; monitoring the parking demand over time; and of course, as new developments come forward and provide more on site parking for those developments, and to look at ways of leveraging those developments to increase the public supply of parking.
The study recommended developing a valet parking program. This will be brought to Council shortly. This would provide a mechanism by which restaurants would want to operate any of the clubs or reception halls that are in downtown and could activate a valet service. This would have to go through a special permit process, and presently is on a case-by-case basis. Pedi cabs have been implemented in the past week and staff is aggressively looking to expand the parking in and around the transportation center because of the success of the train station and commuter activity that was occurring there.
Chief Planner Rosen pointed out some of the restaurants outside of the existing public parking districts, would have to get a Conditional Use Permit to expand.
A slide was displayed showing existing parking and potential sites for additional parking in the downtown area. The City was divided into four quadrants, northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast. The slide showed existing public parking areas, proposed parking areas, parking structures or areas that are under study that staff was examining for establishment of parking structures or parking lots.
Staff was strongly in support of this proposed overlay district. With the proposed and existing parking, and the proposed restaurant uses that are anticipated downtown, this ordinance would facilitate establishment of those restaurants and continue in the economic development of the downtown area.
Commissioner Stopper asked if the parking lot in the new park area was included in this overlay district. Chief Planner Rosen advised it was not included.
Chairman Crane asked why the following areas were not included: the old Masonic temple and commercial buildings; the Santa Fe area where the juice factory is; and the corner of Pomona and Chapman. Chief Planner Rosen advised that staff debated on where the boundary should be. The area off of Chapman and West of Harbor currently has no public parking on the ground and no proposed parking. Staff was concerned that if any restaurant uses were established, they would have to park in the residential area or across the street in public spaces, which would not be convenient. The overlay district could be modified in the future to include additional areas.
Chief Planner Rosen pointed out that the northwest area of Pomona and Chapman was C-2 zoned. Staff focused on C-3 zoned (Central Business District) which allowed a little more flexibility and higher density.
Commissioner Stopper asked about the public parking on Chapman between Pomona and Lemon, and how close the public parking had to be to be included in this overlay district project. Chief Planner Rosen responded that the Plummer parking structure was not included because there are no commercially-zoned properties.
Commissioner LeQuire suggested that the area of Fox Theater be added to the boundary.
Commissioner Price asked if areas were added, would there be a public notice issue? Chief Planner Rosen advised that the public notice was issued to everyone 300 feet around the overlay district and provided notice internally and to the properties outside of the proposed district. If this was to be included, staff would send out another notice to make sure staff increased the buffer on that side and invited the neighborhood from Malvern and Jacaranda areas.
Commissioner Price asked if they could just make that recommendation and then have a re-notice when it goes to City Council for a final decision. Chief Planner Rosen said that is what staff would do.
Commissioner Savage asked how much time and money would it take to get permits for restaurants to get started. Chief Planner Rosen answered that a CUP is $2,700 and it was at least a 60-day process to get through the hearings etc. That does not include their time for preparation of plans and things that they may or may not be able to use as part of their construction project.
Commissioner Savage asked if it fails at the Planning Commission level, with no prejudice, do they have to file the entire process over again, including the $2,700, if they decide they want to come back. Chief Planner Rosen advised that if it is denied, even without prejudice, typically they are required to pay a whole new filing fee. Staff may apply a modified fee if it is not too far after the denial, because staff still would have all the information and staff reports to use for resources.
Commissioner Wilson asked if this process would deal with the RDRC and other organizations. Chief Planner Rosen advised that was correct, it does not waive any of the architectural requirements or any regular approval process for those restaurants.
Commissioner Griffin asked where the City was getting the funds to provide parking structures at West Amerige, Santa Fe, and Fox Theater. Chief Planner Rosen advised the City had approximately four million dollars to fund parking structures for Fox Theater area. The City had applied for and was approved for a State grant to construct parking structures near the Transportation Center.
Commissioner Griffin asked if that money was to replace the existing parking structure. Chief Planner Rosen said it would be in addition to it, not necessarily added on to it, but could be at another location.
The public hearing was opened.
Judith Kaluzny, 400 West Malden, has an office at 149 West Whiting. Ms. Kaluzny was concerned about the vision for the downtown area and whether just parking structures are the only vision.
Pete McGosky is the owner of the property on Commonwealth and West Santa Fe. Mr. McGosky's concern was for staff to make sure the parking facilities were constructed first before the development of the restaurants.
Cameron Irons, real estate broker, owner of Rock-n-Taco and Chomp was concerned about the Springfield building being included in the Restaurant Overlay District. If a restaurant moved into that building, there would be no parking for customers. A similar concern was with the Williams' Company building. If there was a way to limit the exemption to the size of the restaurant project, where they would have to get a CUP if above a certain size, the average size restaurant is no problem. The problem would be when a large restaurant was put in, it could affect the parking situations.
Mr. Irons asked if this ordinance only applied to restaurants. Chief Planner Rosen answered yes, and advised that there was a 200-seat limit that triggers the CUP requirement, and it would not apply to a reception hall type use.
Mr. Irons stated that he agreed with the proposed angled parking on Commonwealth Avenue.
Mr. Irons asked about the four million dollars, and if these funds could be used for other projects. Chief Planner Rosen added that because these are bonds, there are limitations on the location.
Mr. Irons voiced his concern about the proposed structure on West Amerige. If this public parking lot was dug up, the nearby companies would go out of business because there would be no other way to enter the businesses.
Walt Johnson, 118 West Commonwealth Avenue, agreed with staff and strongly recommended the Commission approve the restaurant overlay district.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Stopper commended staff on doing a great job on this project, however, wanted to make a motion to include in the Restaurant Overlay District the property that is south of the flood canal bordered by Harbor Boulevard and Malden Avenue.
Commissioner Wilson commended staff for the work done on this project, but with the Springfield building and the potential for customers to affect the rest of the businesses there, should be looked at down the road.
Commissioner Wilson suggested that the Amerige parking structure possibly include ground-level commercial businesses with parking above it and behind it, so that you add retail space to downtown and generate more customers.
Chief Planner Rosen advised that there would be commercial, as well as residential.
Commissioner Savage supported the proposal the way the boundaries are currently drawn.
Chairperson Crane added that it was important that the plan for the parking facilities be developed before the businesses are opened, and encouraged staff to go forward.
The title of Resolution No. 6992 APPROVING a request to consider creating a restaurant Overlay District within and beyond the boundaries of the Central Business District was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded and CARRIED unanimously, that said resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
The 4:00 p.m. meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m., to the 7:00 p.m., session.
7:00 P.M. SESSION
ITEM NO. 4
PRJ02-00201. APPLICANTS: CRAIG AND CHRIS HOSTERT; PROPERTY OWNER: IVAN W. PADEN.
Staff report dated October 2, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to subdivide a 34,000-square-foot parcel into four lots on property located at 1340 Pico Street (south side of Pico Street, between approximately 350 feet and 525 feet west of Carhart Avenue) (R-1-7,200 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines). A vicinity sketch was displayed.
Program Planner Linnell reported that the applicant would demolish the existing residence to subdivide the parcel into four lots. The property is basically unimproved, except for the house. Fern Drive school students and parents presently use Pico Street to access the parking area of the school. The residence to the east would be most affected. This is a semi-rural area and the City intentionally does not improve roads with curb and gutter in order to keep it a rural road. Two parcels will front on Pico, and two parcels would be tandem to the rear. The lot sizes will be 8,500 square feet, but staff did not feel it was consistent with the prevailing pattern of 9,000-10,000 square foot lots in the area. Staff was recommended denial of this proposal, but added that they could recommend approval of a three-lot subdivision of equal lots containing 56 feet of frontage. Staff recommended denial without prejudice, to allow the applicant to return immediately with a different proposal and not have to wait the customary six months. Staff also recommended that the Commission consider a zone change from R-1-7,200 to R-1-9,000 to avoid further subdivisions of this type in the area.
Commissioner Wilson asked what level of zoning was being recommended by staff. Program Planner Linnell answered that any minimum lot size may be specified, but staff would support an R-1-9,000 or greater amount for this neighborhood.
Chief Planner Rosen noted that any proposed amendment would be heard by the Commission at a later date, and not voted on during this hearing.
Commissioner Price disclosed that he personally knew the applicants and some persons who may speak on this matter. He also felt that because the applicants believed the four-lot proposal was more visually appealing, it was unlikely that the applicant would bring forth another proposal.
Chief Planner Rosen noted that a resolution was prepared, including conditions of approval, should the Commission desire to approve the project.
Commissioner Price asked if there was a prevailing pattern of development for this area. Program Planner Linnell stated that there are several smaller lots in the area, but the majority of them are over 9,000 square feet in area. Most are long and narrow, and staff's concern was to promote what the residents would expect, in a new subdivision, such as 50-foot lot widths.
Commissioner Wilson questioned what staff's vision was for the development of the two southern lots. Program Planner Linnell was unsure what an new applicant would propose, but felt the Commission should consider what the lot sizes should be for these properties and consider a rezoning to reflect the appropriate lot size.
Commissioner Savage asked if Commission approved this proposal and recommended an R-1-9,000 zoning designation, would this prejudice it in any way? Program Planner Linnell felt that the Commission should be consistent in its recommendation with regard to the two issues.
Public hearing opened.
Craig and Chris Hostert, applicants, reported that they wanted to keep the rural character of the block in tact and be sensitive to the neighborhood. They could obtain a 28-foot side-yard setback by pushing homes to the middle of the lot. Composition roofs would be used, to maintain the neighborhood character. They had met with several residents to obtain opinions on the proposal. They showed photos of various configurations, and also how three homes in a row would look as opposed to the four homes in a tandem layout. Mr. Hostert also mentioned how the lots in the area differ in size.
Commissioner Stopper asked if the applicant had read the recommended conditions of approval, including the Engineering report, and Mr. Hostert answered affirmatively.
Ken Placek, 1339 Pico, directly across from the proposed development, voiced opposition to the project. The points of opposition were:
- Overbuilding of lot and concerned about future building of 765 Carhart Avenue.
- Will ruin the rural style of the neighborhood
- Met with developers but never reached an agreement and would reject any proposal of this size.
- Four houses sharing common driveway is unacceptable and would need to provide additional parking and cul-de-sac. People would not be able to park on a common driveway.
- The three lot-proposal looks too "tract" style, as well as the four-lot plan, and the size of the two-story residences is too excessive. Most homes in the neighborhood have detached garages in the rear. There is only one two-story home presently on Pico Street, and three or four of them would be too many.
- This is horse property and would set undesirable precedence of removing other horse properties in the area.
Mike McNamara, 1336 West Fern Drive, reminded the Commission that Pico Street is a dead-end street. Most homeowners have narrow driveways and Pico is only 23-feet wide. Buses come into Fern Drive and use Pico Street to exit. Four homes would be too massive, and trash company would not drive down a flag lot and there would be an additional 20 trash containers every week. He would prefer to see no more than two homes on this lot.
Carol Winkle, 1316 Pico Street, felt this proposal would add too much density and did not want an "Amerige Heights" look in this neighborhood. This project would set a precedence of high-density construction in this area. The whole proposal is about money and the developer was flippant about neighborhood concerns. There are no other multiple-dwellings on Pico, and she is circulating a petition to change the zoning.
Elizabeth Warner, 1332 Pico Street and directly adjacent to the proposed project, would like the zoning to be R-1-10,000. By accepting the four homes, she would appreciate the 22 feet between her and the next house, but would lose privacy in her rear yard. She does not believe it is in the best interest of the neighborhood. Streets are very narrow and people often times believe it is a one-way street. Traffic impacts would be significant. In answer to a question from Commissioner Price, she would not favor the three-lot plan, because a residence on the nearest lot would have only a five-foot seide yard setback.
Chairman Crane suggested that the neighborhood should ensure a petition to rezone the area, adequately reflects the desire of the neighborhood.
In rebuttal, Craig Hostert stated that he is a Fullerton resident and the landowner has the right to develop the property. He felt their proposal would best fit in with the neighborhood and to deny any development of the land would not be feasible. Any traffic issues with the school should be addressed to the school or police department. Should the Commission choose not to approve the request, he asked for a continuance of the matter.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner LeQuire thanked the neighbors for their attendance. He noted that the staff report concluded the proposal was not consistent with prevailing pattern of development in the area. He recommended denial without prejudice.
Commissioner Savage stated he had met with developers. He was recommending a consideration of an R-1-9,000 rezone, and denial without prejudice of the four-lot subdivision. If the R-1-9,000 zone change was not approved, he would support the present proposal, because of the long narrow lots of this neighborhood, there is one side with no development, and the lot is large enough for these four homes.
Commissioner Griffin wanted to know how long a review of the rezoning would take, and Chief Planner Rosen answered that it would probably be heard no earlier than February 2003. Commissioner Griffin also wanted to ensure that staff would look at a large enough study area to give a concise recommendation. He asked that the matter be continued.
Commissioner Price noted that this was a diverse neighborhood with no consistent pattern of development, other than the fact it is rural. The proposed subdivision meets or exceeds all zoning requirements. Persons have the right to develop their property if code requirements are met, and he did not want to set a dangerous precedence by denying proposals such as this. The Commission must be mindful of the rights of homeowners who wish to develop.
Commissioner Stopper also believed that the proposal met code requirements, and felt "character of the neighborhood" was the primary issue. He noted that neighbors did not want two houses to look the same, and hoped the applicant listened to the neighbors concerns. He also recommended that the item be continued.
Commissioner Wilson deferred to the Commission majority. He appreciated the inconsistent architectural style of the neighborhood, but reminded those present that this neighborhood would definitely change in time and not be the same 20 years from now.
Chairman Crane concurred with Commissioner Stopper that the proposal met all code requirements, and the character of the neighborhood was the primary concern. He questioned the applicant if he would prefer a continuance or a denial without prejudice. Mr. Hostert asked for a continuance of the matter.
MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and CARRIED unanimously, that the item be CONTINUED to a date uncertain. Commissioner Griffin encouraged the applicant to show any new design to the neighborhood before presenting it to the Commission.
ITEM NO. 5
PRJ02-00205 - LRP02-00007 - LRP02-00008 - ZON02-00030. APPLICANT: PAUL KIM; PROPERTY OWNER: KARL J. KANDEL
Staff memorandum dated October 2, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to change the land use designation of the General Plan from "Low-Density Residential" to "Commercial"; to change the zone classification from R-1-10,000 to C-1; and to consider site and architectural plans for a new, two-story, 7,225-square-foot general office building on property located at 1601 North Harbor Boulevard (west side of Harbor Boulevard, between approximately 1250 feet and 1530 feet north of Valley View Drive) (R-1-10,000 zone) (Negative Declaration).
MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that this item be CONTINUED to November 13, 2002.
ITEM NO. 6
PRJ02-00197. APPLICANT: JIM MC CANN RESIDENTIAL DESIGN; PROPERTY OWNER: CAROLINE DRUIFF
Staff report dated October 2, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to allow a 640-square-foot limited second dwelling on property located at 440 West Malvern Avenue (south side of Malvern Avenue, approximately 127 feet east of the Richman Avenue centerline) (R-1-7.2P zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15303 of CEQA Guidelines).
Associate Planner Eastman reporte that State law mandates that the City consider "granny" units (secondary units), which the City complies with through the Conditional Use Permit process. It was noted that the State recently passed a law requiring the City to allow secondary units in single-family residential zones, subject to standards which ensure consistency with the neighborhood. The new law will go into effect June 2003, and will subject secondary units to administerial approval, rather than discretionary approval.
Staff originally had issues regarding the proposed site design, but these concerns were resolved by the revised plans which are consistent the single-family zone. There were historic preservation issues, which will be resolved through horizontal siding, a stone chimney, and double hung windows. The proposal was reviewed by the RDRC, and those recommendations have been incorporated in the conditions of approval and site plan.
Commissioner Wilson asked if alley access requirements would be taken into consideration when staff revises the ordinance to be in compliance with State law. Associate Planner Eastman stated that guidelines would be considered and established after a full review of the State law has been undertaken.
Commissioner Stopper noted Condition #13 required the owner to occupy one of the units and asked what the basis for this requirement was. Associate Planner Eastman explained that this would prevent it from becoming a total rental property, and code requires this to maintain the sense of ownership in the neighborhood. Commissioner Stopper asked if this condition could be required after the new law is passed, and staff would most likely keep this in the code, but would ask for Commission discretion on how they wished to pursue this. Commissioner Stopper asked how utilities would be handled and Associate Planner Eastman stated that utilities would most likely be underground, as required by Engineering, and addressed in the plan check process. Chief Planner Rosen added that there are exemption provisions if undergrounding is a financial hardship.
Commissioner Savage asked if staff had statistics of owner-occupied, single-family units in the City, as opposed to those in surrounding cities, and Chief Planner Rosen was unsure but staff would research the matter.
Caroline Druiff, applicant, stated that she will be living in the new unit over the garage and renting out the main residence. She does a great deal of traveling and would like to keep her property while retaining her lifestyle.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Wilson felt this would fit well into this neighborhood, particularly with the preservation overlay, and supported the recommendation.
Commissioner Savage also supported staff's recommendation, but expressed his concern with the new law which essentially changes neighborhoods from R-1 to R-2. He reminded the Commission that this type of housing places a burden on schools, churches, and would have an impact on Fullerton's housing base.
Chairman Crane encouraged staff to bring a report to the Commission regarding the new state law and the standards the City may wish to impose.
The title of Resolution No. 6995 approving a request to allow a new 640-square-foot limited second dwelling unit on property located at 440 West Malvern Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Wilson, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
ITEM NO. 7
PRJ02-00155. ZON02-00017 (CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT) AND ZON02-00018 (MAJOR SITE PLAN). APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: ORANGE KOREAN CHURCH.
Staff report dated October 2, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to allow the expansion of an existing church facility with a library and office use; and a major site plan review to consider a 3,140-square-foot addition to accommodate the office and library uses for property located at 643 West Malvern Avenue (northeast corner of Malvern Avenue and Woods Avenue) (R-1-7.2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of the CEQA Guidelines).
Associate Planner Eastman reported that this request was for an expansion of an existing church. The church owns two parcels, the north side of Malvern Avenue has the church buildings, and the south side contains the parking lot. Five residences to the east have a preservation overlay zoning, but the church does not. Aerial photos were shown, as well as photos of the existing structure and grounds. The addition will be located on the east side of the sanctuary building, and will be a 3,140 square foot office and library addition, with four private offices, common office space, library, entry lobby and unisex restroom. The sanctuary will not be expanded. The expansion in 1964 included the present sanctuary and the parking lot on the south side of Malvern Avenue. The site is legal non-conforming and has never met minimum parking requirements. Associate Planner Eastman noted that additional properties on North Woods were noticed of the hearing, in addition to those within a 300-foot radius.
Staff had received six letters to date opposing the project, and a neighborhood petition with 90 signatures, also in opposition. In addition, staff also received a petition from the Church's congregation with 212 signatures supporting the project. The letters and petitions were distributed to the Commission for their review. A summary of analysis/issues was presented concerning development standards, noise, parking, and architecture. The project complies with minimum requirements and the proposed addition complies with parking requirements, even though the main sanctuary does not. Condition No. 3 requires that the office and library areas shall not be used during church services, or other assembly activities, to mitigate parking impacts on the adjacent neighborhoods. The applicant concurs with this condition, but asked that it be revised to include language stating that pastors may utilize the private office areas during services for activities which do not require visitation (such as meetings).
Associate Planner Eastman stated that the project had been revised to reduce impacts on the adjacent neighborhood. Revisions included a reduction of the addition's height along Malvern Avenue, more articulation and building material variations, windows on the east elevation and increased landscaping. The 30-foot eastern setback shall be landscaped to discourage activities and thus mitigate noise. In addition, the design and building materials shall be such as to eliminate noise in the new office/library area.
Commissioner Stopper asked what would be the required number of parking spaces for this size of sanctuary, and what was presently provided. Associate Planner Eastman answered that the existing lot provides 114 spaces, and today's code would require an estimated 294 spaces, based on a calculation of 884 fixed seats in the existing sanctuary. If the gymnasium is used for assembly purposes, more spaces would be required. City code does not require parking for the proposed ancillary uses. Commissioner Stopper also asked what the Fire Department occupancy load was. Associate Planner Eastman was unaware of the Fire Department requirements.
Commissioner Wilson asked if the existing CUP required review of the use, and Associate Planner Eastman answered negatively. The existing CUP dates back to 1958, and there were not many conditions imposed at that time.
Commissioner Savage asked how Condition No. 3 would be enforced. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the proposal meets code requirements, and the new language was added to mitigate parking problems. Spot checks would be made to the property and the church was aware of the neighborhood concerns, and possible revocation of the CUP. Commissioner Savage also asked if there would be only one door to the addition. Associate Planner Eastman explained that, to meet exiting requirements, another exterior door at the rear may be added, but used only for emergency access.
Commissioner LeQuire noted that three additional parking spaces were proposed to be added and was concerned that they would be losing at least 15 spaces with the addition, because congregants were parking in the cemented area adjacent to the proposed addition. Associate Planner Eastman advised that this area was not to be used for outdoor activities of any kind. The applicant had applied for a CUP in 1996 to utilize this area as a playground area, but the request had been withdrawn. A retaining wall was subsequently constructed, although it was made clear to the church that the useable area created by the wall could not be used without modifying the CUP. Staff felt that the addition would "seal off" this area and also aid in sound attenuation to the adjacent property to the east. This area is not allowed to be used for parking and was not calculated in the parking area required for the church.
Commissioner Griffin asked if there were hours of operation for this use, and Associate Planner Eastman answered negatively. Commissioner Griffin also asked if staff was aware of Ron Johnson's concerns. Associate Planner Eastman answered affirmatively, and stated that some of Mr. Johnson's were not addressed with this proposal because the office/library uses would not impact parking or traffic. Commissioner Griffin asked if the City could impose hours of operation for a church, and Associate Planner Eastman answered that it was possible, but would prefer to investigate the legalities of the nexus prior to doing so.
Public hearing opened.
Mike Kim, 15661 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park spoke on behalf of the Orange Korean Christian Church. He reported that the request was not only for the addition of an office/library, but to be a better neighbor, particularly to Mr. & Mrs. Johnson to the east. The concrete area in question is not to be used for parking and was paved in an attempt to keep the area clear. The best solution would be to construct an addition, and the remaining 30-foot setback would be heavily landscaped. A footpath and sidewalk area would be provided, that would discourage assembly and parking. The conditions of approval require that Fire Department upgrades be provided, and the design of the addition would not allow for future expansion and additional assembly use. They have attempted to integrate suggestions from Mr. Johnson into the plans. Mr. Kim had read and concurred with all the recommended conditions of approval, including the modified language to Condition No. 3.
Commissioner Savage asked where deliveries would be made, if the concrete area is taken up by the expansion. Mr. Kim explained that delivery trucks are allowed by the California Vehicle Code to the public street for this purpose.
Commissioner Stopper asked for the estimated time of completion for the addition, and Mr. Kim answered that they hoped to be completed by June or July 2003.
Commissioner Price asked if construction would impact the parking, and Mr. Kim answered that construction would not occur on Sundays, which is when most of the people are present.
Commissioner Wilson questioned whether the library would contain closed circuit television monitors to enable congregants to view church services, and Mr. Kim answered negatively.
Ron Johnson, 625 West Malvern Avenue, submitted a petition of opposition from the neighborhood, as well as additional letters from surrounding residents, which were entered into the public record. He gave a Powerpoint presentation regarding architecture of the neighborhood, and suggested that the library have a residential faade. He also opposed additional parking spaces adjacent to residences, and showed photos of overparked streets during church services. He also displayed photos of poor maintenance, and areas which lack adequate landscaping. He suggested the following:
- Eliminate parking in the rear
- Reduce the building height to a single-story level
- Reduce the width of the building
- Change the paved sidewalk to a stepping stone path
- Prohibit use for music practices, Sunday school classes and organized meetings
- Restrict the hours so that no church activities take place before 7:00 a.m or after 9:00 p.m.
Joe Tran, 621 West Malvern Avenue, stated that the church is a non-conforming use. Code Enforcement has had to make numerous visits to the site to address code violations. The church should find another location to accommodate its expanding congregation. The CUP should be reviewed on a periodic basis, as well as for Fire Department requirements for occupancy. He also felt that the plan should be reviewed extensively by staff.
Sharon Keyser, 855 Grandview, read a letter and distributed copies to the Commission. Issues included parking, noise, code violations, trash, and non-conformity to the adjacent neighborhood.
Jeff Kritz, 612 North Woods, showed photos of parking impacts to adjacent streets.
Chris Romer, 732 Oceanview, also showed photos of parking on adjacent streets.
Debbie Kniegge, 622 Jacaranda, complained of car alarms and PA systems.
Margaret Brown, 616 Leland Drive expressed concern regarding parking, speeding in the alleys, and trash. She suggested bussing congregants to church.
Jack Brown, 616 Leland Drive, stated that emergency vehicles are unable to get through for emergencies. He also questioned how staff would monitor whether or not church members are utilizing the office/library areas for assembly uses.
Albert Lund, felt that the church has outgrown this location and no expansions should be allowed.
Ron Chu, 2414 Playa del Vista, pastor of the church, apologized to those in attendance. He stated that he has tried to rectify the problems, particularly the parking. He constantly tells parishioners not to use car alarms early in the morning and to be mindful of the neighbors. They have moved some of the youth programs off site, and discontinued Bible studies and other activities, including deliveries, on the concrete area. He felt the addition would help to mitigate noise.
Commissioner Stopper asked how many persons attend Sunday services, and Pastor Chu answered that there can be as many as 1,000 persons, but they are spread over three services. During the week, there is a Friday night service, but there are only approximately 40 persons in attendance.
David Clarke, 616 North Woods Avenue, stated that he hears noise from an adjacent neighbor's air conditioner, and the new addition will also require air conditioning, thus adding to the noise.
John Carroll, 616 North Drake, questioned how many conditions of the previously CUP had been violated. He opposed the expansion based on the continued violation of the previous CUP.
Commissioner Wilson asked if this would be additional space, or a remodel of existing office space, and Mr. Kim answered that this would be new area.
Jim Cavanaugh, 620 North Drake Avenue, wished to address the issue of safety because children in the area play in the surrounding streets and he fears for them.
Charles Kim, 2901 Terraza Place, elder of the church, has given his cell phone number to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kritz and they make every attempt to solve any problems which arise.
Ron Johnson again spoke and said the church had only recently contacted the neighbors after presenting their proposal. In answer to a question by Chairman Crane, Mr. Johnson suggested that perhaps a shuttle bus could be a solution.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Wilson asked if Condition No. 18, concerning a one-year review, could be changed to a six-month review after occupancy. He also asked for the parameters regarding Condition No. 21, and Chief Planner Rosen clarified that revocation of the CUP because of three or more complaints could only apply to the proposed addition. Chief Planner Rosen also added that there was sufficient setback, and architecture was compatible with the existing building, with no material impact to historic resources adjacent to it. Commissioner Wilson also asked if the church would be willing to make additional architectural enhancements to the front of the building. Mr. Kim mentioned that the front of the building had been in existence since the 1960's and has modified the design in an attempt to use different materials in the front to make a compatible architectural design. Mr. Kim stated that Staff had previously suggested that the church replace some of the windows, replaster, and revitalize the existing structure.
Commissioner LeQuire stated that there had been an ongoing problem with parking and would not support any expansion until building code issues and parking issues had been addressed. The church must also concentrate on being a good neighbor before he could entertain an expansion. He applauded the good work of the church, but felt they should concentrate on being good neighbors.
Commissioner Savage recognized the importance of churches in the community, but would not support the expansion because of the credibility problems with surrounding neighbors. He was not confident that Condition No. 3 would be adhered to.
Chairman Crane noted that the real problems are traffic, parking and noise and asked that a parking/traffic study be conducted to see if any mitigation measures could be imposed on the church. He did not feel that the expansion would exacerbate an existing problem, and would entertain a motion for continuance. Commissioner Price concurred that he did not feel the expansion would add to the existing problems, but would not wish to burden the surrounding neighborhoods with even the potential of additional impacts. He felt that offsite parking should be explored and addressed and would entertain reviewing an expansion at a later date.
Commissioner Wilson concurred with the above recommendations and referenced a similar problem with Rosary High School. He did not see postponing a new office and/or library as a detriment to the church use itself until a traffic and parking study is done, and recommended continuance of the matter.
Commissioner LeQuire added that existing problems should be mitigated, and a one-year review would not be applicable after the addition is constructed.
Chairman Crane felt a traffic study should be prepared by a professional traffic engineer.
Commissioner Griffin also felt that the traffic engineer should be funded by the church, but chosen by staff. He suggested that the church consider a type of "self-patrol" to address the parking issue, and advised the residents to call either the City Manager or Police Chief regarding any parking issues that are not being resolved when calls to the Police Department are made. He supported the recommendation for a traffic study.
Commissioner Stopper thanked all who attended to express their opinions. He acknowledged the existing parking problems which will take a long time to solve. He agreed that the expansion would not affect an already existing problem and encouraged the residents and church to develop a better form of communication. It is not up to the Commission to decide whether the church has outgrown the site, but should be a decision of the congregation itself. He supported a continuance of this matter to give the church and neighborhood a chance to get together, and to have a traffic study conducted.
Chairman Crane asked if the applicant would prefer a continuance of the matter or a denial without prejudice, and Mr. Kim asked for a continuance. Chairman Crane clarified that this would include a parking study, sharing that information with the neighbors, and bringing it back to the Commission at a later date. Mr. Kim concurred with the Commission's recommendation. Commissioner Price reminded Mr. Kim that staff would need to approve the choice of a traffic engineer.
MOTION by Commissioner Wilson, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that this item be CONTINUED to a date uncertain, and that a traffic study be conducted, including mitigation measures.
Mr. Johnson requested that the mailing radius be extended past the 300-foot range for notification of the next meeting, and Staff indicated they most likely consider it.
REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS
Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report of recent City Council meetings.
There were no public comments.
The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be October 23, 2002, at 4:00 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:40 p.m.