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COUNCIL CHAMBERS - CITY HALL

September 11, 2002

Call To Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Crane at 7:00 p.m

ROLL CALL

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

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Program Planner Linnell, Assistant Planner Kusch, Traffic Engineer Miller, and Recording Secretary Keasling

MINUTES:

Page 124, to add the same reason Commissioner Griffin opposed in the last paragraph to the third paragraph. "because he desired to continue the matter until the alley issue was resolved."

Page 112, third paragraph, beginning of last sentence, to read, "Commissioner Stopper felt like there was a "hole" in the notification process"

Page 117, fifth paragraph, first sentence, should read, "guests and residents are the same." The last sentence should read, "resident and guest parking."

MOTION by Commissioner Wilson seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote, that the Minutes of the August 28, 2002, meeting be APPROVED AS AMENDED.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

7:00 P.M. SESSION

PRESENTATION BY FULLERTON JOINT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

Michael Escalante, Fullerton Joint Union High School District Superintendent, reported that the District is in the drawing stage to construct a building, directly behind the administration building at Sunny Hills High School. This is a two-story building, with the bottom portion dedicated as a media center, and the upper portion for traditional classrooms. These buildings will be similar to what is already on campus, but will be more modern.

Fullerton High School's project will be more difficult because there is no empty land to build a two-story structure. Because the front of Fullerton High School is a historical site, no modifications will be done to the front of the building. One problem is that the High School is already impacted with parking, so removing any parking spaces would not benefit the situation, and there is very limited field space. Mr. Escalante asked if anyone had any suggestions to please let him know.

Mr. Escalante advised that beneath the high school there are tunnels that criss-cross and go across the street to Fullerton College. If anything is to be built on campus, these tunnels will need a major renovation because they are deteriorating. The new buildings would take on the same style as the existing buildings.

Commissioner Savage asked how deep the tunnels were. Mr. Escalante answered they were approximately eight feet down, but are six to ten feet wide and six to seven feet tall.

Mr. Escalante noted that a building could be built on stilts to retain as much parking as possible.

The Troy High School project is unique due to Dorothy Lane running directly behind the school, and most of the school is visible to the public. Troy High School is excellent in the Science category, and has won the national competition three times. Due to their excellence in Science, it would only be appropriate to build science classrooms at the back part of the campus.

Commissioner LeQuire asked if there were recent figures for each campus. Mr. Escalante replied that the original plan had seating for 2,000 to 2,400, but this is not rationale. For now, they are looking at 46 classrooms, one being a science class room, but this will be less space for students.

Commissioner Stopper asked if half the money can go towards remodeling and a percentage to seismic retrofit based on the new codes. Mr. Escalante answered that the codes they must follow are even more stringent than the City's codes. They are also required to put ten percent into handicap access items, one item being an elevator, which is very expensive.

Commissioner Stopper asked if they are taking into consideration the parking situation for Fullerton High School, since it is so close to downtown Fullerton. Mr. Escalante advised that building on stilts would not take away any parking.

Commissioner Stopper asked how they were going to deal with student and teacher parking. Mr. Escalante stated that Fullerton High School has never had a problem, but Sunny Hills High School is very much impacted, and one of their commitments will be, to expand the parking situation.

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ02-000140 / ZON02-00012 & ZON02-00013. APPLICANT: MICHAEL AFRAM; PROPERTY OWNER: ALLEN KLEIN

Chairman Crane abstained from this item due to the fact that his firm designed the plans for this applicant.

Staff report was presented pertaining to a request to construct a 10,543 square foot, two-story commercial building for use as a courier and delivery service for property located at 4130 West Commonwealth Avenue (south side of Commonwealth Avenue at the westerly extent of the Fullerton City boundary) (C-H zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported this was a two-part request for a site plan application and a Conditional Use Permit. He displayed photos of the subject site and surrounding properties. The submitted site plan had one modification, which specified required parking lot landscaping along the subject site's south property line. The applicant will be required to submit a landscape and irrigation plan. The landscaping will provide visual relief for the street elevation of the proposed office building.

This property is adjacent and east of the Fullerton City limits. Staff met with representatives from Buena Park to seek comments or concerns. Buena Park staff requested an eight-foot block wall along the west property line. The purpose of the wall is to attenuate potential noise to the adjacent apartment complex. City staff concurred with the recommendation for an eight-foot masonry block wall to be built along the west property line. An existing eight-foot masonry block wall is along the south (rear) property line, adjacent to apartments within Fullerton.

An existing alley within the City of Buena Park serves the subject property. Access to the alley will be for ingress and egress of fire trucks or emergency vehicles.

The Engineering Department had prepared a letter, which covers access and circulation, utilities, street trees, grading and drainage. The applicant will be required to provide sidewalk improvements along Commonwealth Avenue. A condition of approval has been included which requires full compliance with the Engineering Department requirements prior to building occupancy.

The proposed use of the office building will include a garage for repairing the applicant's company vehicles.

The second part of the application is for Conditional Use Permit. The proposed CUP considers the establishment of a courier or delivery service business in a Commercial-Highway zone. A courier business is not listed as a permitted use in any of the City's commercial zones. The Fullerton Municipal Code requires a Conditional Use Permit to permit an unlisted type of business. Staff believes that the proposed courier business is similar and compatible to the permitted office uses directly east of the subject site.

Staff believes this use needs to be compatible with the adjacent residential uses to the south and west. The issues are tied to the business operation in terms of noise, glare and odors. Several of the recommended conditions of approval contained in the staff report address noise, shielding of light fixtures and vehicle maintenance restrictions.

Public hearing opened.

Michael Afram, Vice President of the Landmark Regency Development, advised that the business would operate as a messenger service, as well as a service garage for repairing their service vehicles. It will include corporate offices, a dispatch center and customer service center.

Commissioner Wilson asked how many employees the company has, and Mr. Afram stated there were fifteen to twenty at this location.

Commissioner Stopper asked what kind of vehicles would be used as a shuttle and as a courier. Mr. Afram answered that the courier would be smaller trucks, like cargo vans, and the shuttles would be Ford vans.

Commissioner Savage questioned if all the vehicles would be parking off the property overnight. Mr. Afram advised they would all be parking on site for safety reasons.

Commissioners Price and Wilson inquired if it had to be an eight-foot masonry wall. Assistant Planner Kusch explained that Buena Park staff had requested this, and staff concurred, due to an existing eight-foot wall along the south side. Chief Planner Rosen added that because they would be repairing large vehicles, the height of the wall would serve to mitigate noise to the adjacent apartments.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6992 APPROVING a request to construct a 10,543 square foot, two-story commercial building for use as a courier and delivery service for property located at 4130 West Commonwealth Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Wilson, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 2
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-773A. APPLICANT: ARMONDO RUIZ AND ASSOCIATES; PROPERTY OWNER: ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE

Staff report dated September 11, 2002, was presented to allow the placement of a modular building containing three new classrooms on the Rosary High School campus, on property located at 1340 North Acacia Avenue (east side of Acacia Avenue between approximately 480 feet and 780 feet north of Melody Lane (R-1-10,000 zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines). Continued from May 22, 2002.

Commissioner Price abstained from this item.

Program Planner Linnell reported the current enrollment would stay at 720 for Rosary High School. Planning Commissioners had expressed concern about traffic condition and circulation. A consultant was hired to do a survey and came up with a series of recommendations. Staff supported all of the consultant's recommendations. Mr. Linnell advised that Mark Miller, the City's Traffic Engineer, and City Attorney Christian Bettenhousen were also available for any questions.

Program Planner Linnell reported that staff was recommending that a modification be made to accommodate the time frame for working improvements on Rosary High School campus. Mr. Linnell stated that the applicant's representatives were prepared to provide an overview of the findings of the parking analysis.

Mr. Joe Novoa, Diocese of Orange, reported that the time line consisted of category 1) the staggering of when school starts at Rosary, St. Juliana's, and Acacia Elementary; 2) restriping of the south lot along Melody Lane. This parking area would be reconfigured and used co-operatively by Rosary High School and St. Juliana's School; and 3) a time-frame extension of the north lot, to be completed after the end of the school year.

Paul Wilkerson, Linscott Law and Greenspan Engineering, detailed the findings of the traffic study for the Commission.

Mr. Wilkerson advised the study was done during the last week of May when school was still in session. The observations were done at five-minute intervals, which was unusual, but they wanted a clear picture of traffic patterns. Observations were of entrance and exit to the schools, intersection traffic, pedestrian crosswalks, and any illegal traffic activity. Mr. Wilkerson pointed out that the seniors, on one day, left early but returned to the campus to practice for graduation. To account for this variance from a typical school day, the peak hour and fifteen minute vehicular volumes were adjusted to include the Rosary High School senior traffic.

All three schools have agreed to stagger the starting and ending times. The administration at Rosary High School instructed students to avoid parking on certain public streets, including the south side of Fullerton Creek Drive. Mr. Wilkerson advised the Commissioners that St. Juliana's method of picking up and dropping off of children was very orderly, and not at all chaotic. The parents are lined up within the parking lot and come and go without any problems.

The on-site parking would improve with cooperation by Rosary High School and St. Juliana's School. By reconfiguring the parking lot, additional parking spaces would be available for Rosary High School students without compromising the operation of St. Juliana's School and church.

There would be 49 additional onsite parking spaces if all the recommended actions were implemented. In the upper lot there would be 100 spaces reserved for Rosary High School students, an additional 113 spaces would be available in the parking area closer to Melody Lane, and another 13 spaces would be provided along Acacia Avenue, giving a total of at least 226 spaces.

Mr. Wilkerson reported that there would be very few, if any, compact spaces. He noted that the standard spaces would allow for more parking.

Commissioner Stopper asked what the dimensions of the spaces would be, and Mr. Wilkerson advised 9' x 19'. If the City's standards were used, the parking lot would lose twenty to twenty-five spaces.

If slightly reduced in length, one recommendation is to eliminate on-street parking along the east side of Acacia Avenue, between St. Juliana's drop-off and pick-up area and the Rosary High School drop-off and pick-up area, and convert it to a dedicated right-turn lane. Mr. Wilkerson also suggested painting the curb red, to implement a staging area for vehicles entering the Rosary High School drop-off and pick-up area, which will accommodate better through traffic on Acacia Avenue. With these changes there would be no obstruction on Acacia Avenue.

Another recommendation was to eliminate on-street parking along the north side and south side of Melody Lane east of Acacia Avenue; paint the curb red; and provide a westbound left-turn lane and a westbound right-turn lane at Acacia Avenue and Melody Lane. This would allow more room for vehicles waiting to turn onto Acacia Avenue.

Additionally, to accommodate drop-off/pick-up lane along Dorothy Lane adjacent to Acacia Elementary School, time-restricted parking signs should be installed. Drivers would only be able to use this section of the street during drop-off and pick-up times.

Mr. Wilkerson also recommended the addition of a right-turn lane at the intersection of Fullerton Creek Drive and Yorba Linda Boulevard. This would facilitate traffic waiting to turn right onto Yorba Linda Boulevard.

Mr. Wilkerson noted that students must "register" their vehicle with Rosary High School before they are allowed to use the on-site parking spaces, and are not allowed to park on the east or south curb of Fullerton Creek.

During the summer of 2003, the retaining wall in the upper portion of Rosary High School lot will be relocated and additional parking will be provided in this area.

Commissioner Stopper asked if Mr. Wilkerson could explain why there was an adjustment in his report. Mr. Wilkerson advised it was due to the seniors leaving early and then returning on a day when the traffic counts were performed. This was not the normal daily activity and the count needed adjustment accordingly.

Commissioner Stopper asked, if there would be a retiming of the traffic light at State College and Yorba Linda Boulevards. Mr. Wilkerson advised that this would be his recommendation.

Commissioner Stopper asked Traffic Engineer Miller when the last time this intersection was surveyed, and Mr. Miller answered that it had been done last year.

Commissioner Stopper asked about the staggering of the beginning and ending of the school day. Mr. Wilkerson advised they would be set apart by 15 minute intervals.

Commissioner Savage asked what the size of a compact space was and Mr. Wilkerson answered 7' x 15'. Chief Planner Rosen advised the City's standard size for compact is 8' x 16 and 9' x 19 for standard size.

Commissioner Savage asked how this traffic condition would be rated in terms of difficulty, ten being most difficult. Mr. Wilkerson advised that the existing traffic problems would be no worse than a seven.

Commissioner Savage asked what kind of guarantee or results there will be if the Commission accepted these recommended actions. Mr. Wilkerson advised that category one action had already been implemented and was working well. There was only parking on one side of Fullerton Creek Road, so the evidence is already there. Also, there will be 50 more spaces on St. Juliana's lot, combined with Rosary High School. In regard to the pick up and drop off activity, that chaos would also be alleviated.

Commissioner Griffin asked how many parking spaces would be removed if the traffic regulations were implemented in front of the two schools, meaning the right-turn lane. Mr. Wilkerson advised it would be seven on each side. These spaces are currently not being used during the day, only to drop off and pick up students.

Commissioner Griffin asked to clarify the mass at certain times in the morning at St. Juliana's. Mr. Wilkerson stated that every morning there is mass at 8:00 a.m. The high school students would park on the southerly two rows if parking, allowing sufficient parking for people attending mass.

Commissioner Griffin questioned whether all three schools are agreeing to the recommendations. Mr. Wilkerson advised they are all willing to cooperate.

Commissioner LeQuire asked staff if all these actions were approved by the Commission, and what the review process would be. Mr. Miller advised that the actions involving traffic matters on the public streets would be heard by the Transportation and Circulation Commission in November or beginning of December.

Public hearing opened.

Janis Clevenger, 1507 E. Melody Lane, asked the Commission to approve the recommendations in order to allow more parking for the schools which would open up on-street parking. One issue that had not been brought to the Commission's attention was that it was impossible to turn onto Acacia when students are being dropped off and picked up. Ms. Clevenger believed a parking permit was a good idea, but should be limited to how many spaces are available. Also, she noted that around Troy High School, there is no parking, or limited parking on the public streets, and the same should be implemented here.

Michelle Boyr felt the week the survey was taken was not accurate, because the traffic was very light due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Joseph Simpson, 1114 N. Acacia Lane, stated that on the days the survey was done, there was a great decrease in traffic activity, because Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College were not in session. Also, there were no observations being done at Acacia Elementary School, along Melody Lane, North Acacia Avenue, or Fullerton Creek Road on these three survey days.

Mr. Simpson wanted to know how Rosary High School intended to enforce the sticker system and not allow students to park on the park side of Fullerton Creek Road. Chairman Crane advised that this issue was part of the approval process.

Chairman Crane inquired if the high school was in session on the survey days. Mr. Wilkerson advised that the high school was in session, and Cal State Fullerton traffic did not affect this survey, which was the week of their finals.

Commissioner Griffin asked Trudy Mazzarella, Principal at Rosary High School, if in fact the seniors did leave early and come back later in the day that the survey was performed. Ms. Mazzarella advised that the seniors were permitted to leave early that day and return to practice for graduation.

Public hearing closed.

The consensus of the Commission was to accept the findings of the traffic study, to approve the set of recommended actions with the proposed schedule for making these improvements as outlined in the summary report. Commissioner Savage noted that there would be a review of traffic conditions in the fall of 2003, and assessment of the actions would then be possible.

Chief Planner Rosen said that the resolution for approval would modify and supercede the initial approval of Conditional Use Permit CUP-773A. The modifications involve conditions "d" and "f" to reflect the results and recommendations of the submitted traffic study.

The title of Resolution No. 6991 MODIFYING the conditions of approval of Conditional Use Permit CUP-773A to allow the placement of a modular building containing three new classrooms on the Rosary High School campus, for property located at 1340 North Acacia Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION to approve by Commissioner Stopper, seconded and CARRIED unanimously, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

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

  2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Chief Planner Rosen advised the Commission that Fullerton Heritage would be holding a workshop for the Commissioners if they are interested. This workshop would be on historic preservation. Chairman Crane asked Chief Planner Rosen to set this meeting up.

    Chairman Crane advised the commissioners that Commissioner Stopper had suggested doing a flag salute, and possibly a prayer, prior to each meeting. This will be discussed in greater detail at a later time.

    Commissioner Price suggested that five minutes be the time limit for presentations, and if more time was needed, only three additional minutes would be allowed. Chief Planner Rosen advised that this item needed to be agendized, because it would actually be changing policy. He added that staff would submit a staff report on this issue.

  3. AGENDA FORECAST:

    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be October 9, 2002, at 4:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

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