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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 2005 4:00 & 7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairman Griffin at 4:01 p.m.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Griffin, Commissioners Cowen, Francis, Hart, Savage, Stopper
MEMBERS ABSENT: Commissioner Bailey
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede, Redevelopment Manager Castaneda, Project Manager Ferrier and Recording Secretary Baker
FLAG SALUTE: Chairman Griffin
RECOGNITION: Chairman Griffin recognized former Commissioner Rick Price for his time serving the Commission. A resolution from the City Council was read and presented.
MINUTES: MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Hart, and CARRIED by a 5-0 vote, with Commissioner Cowen abstaining, that the Minutes of March 23, 2005, be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.

PUBLIC HEARING

ADJOURN AS PLANNING COMMISSION CONVENE AS BOARD OF APPEALS

ITEM NO. 1
UPDATE TO THE 1995 TRANSPORTATION CENTER STUDY

Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede introduced himself and Redevelopment Project Manager Robert Ferrier, who would be making the presentation. He also introduced Ramona Castaneda, Redevelopment Manager.

Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede outlined the process for undertaking an update to the 1995 Transportation Study. He explained that a Host Committee would consist of a group of representatives from various City commissions and committees and the City Council. The meetings would be noticed as regular City Council meetings so that all Councilmembers could attend. Monthly meetings would also be scheduled during the summer.

Redevelopment Project Manager Ferrier stated that in February 2005, the Redevelopment Agency/City Council authorized an update to the Transportation Study. He gave a PowerPoint presentation and explained that the purpose of the 1995 Transportation Center Study was to establish a vision and set of goals for the Transportation Center, that would look forward 10 to 12 years. The original focus area was an area surrounding the train station, including Lemon Street, Highland and Commonwealth Avenues, to Truslow Avenue. The 1995 plan included a secondary area north of Commonwealth. Land uses, the market demand for those uses, patterns of traffic circulation, urban design and public art were also part of the 1995 study. A significant amount of community input was received through workshops. Staff, policy makers, residents, business owners, property owners and community organizations were all represented. He displayed a map of the original main study area and the secondary areas. He discussed the vision for the Transportation Center and downtown, which is to create a desirable destination with a mix of shops and restaurants, entertainment venues and cultural facilities. He listed the developments over the last 10 years, and discussed the need to review the growth and the physical limits of downtown. He also said that any projects currently in the planning stages would not be stopped or delayed because of the study.

Redevelopment Project Manager Ferrier said that the focus of the Update will define study area boundaries, review the vision and land use recommendations for possible revision, consider new areas for study, and discuss urban design techniques for new development to minimize impacts on existing residences and businesses. The kick-off meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 19, 2005 at the Senior Center. The dates of future meetings are: May 19, June 16, July 21 and August 23. He said there would be significant outreach with about 1,200 invitations sent out to residents and business owners, and posters will be placed throughout the downtown.

Commissioner Francis spoke about his participation in the community input for the 1995 study and how he has used those recommendations. He was disappointed that there was no movie theater; that was one recommendation that was still needed. He asked about the consultant, and the monetary amount authorized for the study was sufficient.

Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede responded that the consultant, Mr. Frank Fuller, FAIA of Field Paoli Architects, has worked with many cities on urban design master planning, including Anaheim, Long Beach and Glendale. The consultant would be meeting with Council members in the next few days.

Chief Planner Rosen told the Commission that he met with Mr. Fuller and toured his office while he was in San Francisco attending the APA conference.

Commissioner Francis asked if it would be a comprehensive study for $45,000. Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede said that there could be separate procurement of follow-up studies after this study was done, if there were additional planning issues to address, or more meetings were required than originally planned. Mr. Zur Schmiede reminded the Commission that the 1995 study required a complete traffic study and a full economic report. He said that now that downtown was a proven success story, the focus now would be on vision, land use and urban design.

Commissioner Stopper felt that the 1995 study was very successful, and it would not be necessary to spend much more for a quality product by the end of the year.

Commissioner Cowen asked about Commissioners attending the public meetings. Staff reported that they would meet all noticing requirements if a quorum is anticipated.

Chairman Griffin stated that the representative from the Planning Commission would be reporting back and advising the Commission of their progress. He encouraged the Commissioners to attend the meetings.

Commissioner Cowen asked if there would be a workshop with only the Planning Commission and City Council. She felt that the feedback of the citizens was different at an open community meeting. Chairman Griffin concurred. Mr. Zur Schmiede stated that a Planning Commission workshop could be included in the process.

Commissioner Savage asked if the landscaping would be addressed in this study.

Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede said that he was not sure what level of physical planning would address landscaping, but there would likely be specific recommendations for follow-up studies to determine how to treat certain areas. He also mentioned the major arterial beautification plan he was proposing for the Five-Year Capital Improvement Program.

Commissioner Hart asked if the study was directly limited to the downtown area. Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede responded that the study boundaries identified in the 1995 study may grow. Community input will help define the boundaries.

Commissioner Francis reiterated that he felt that $45,000 was not sufficient for the study. He asked if parking would be reviewed. Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede responded that the budget was sufficient to conduct the meetings, receive input, review the vision and boundaries and provide land use and urban design action recommendations, which may include follow-up studies.

Chairman Griffin asked the Commission if they concurred with Commissioner Stopper as a representative for the host committee. Commissioner Savage suggested that Commissioner Francis be an alternate. There was a consensus that Commissioner Stopper would be the representative and Commissioner Francis was the alternate.

Commissioner Stopper stated that he planned to keep the Planning Commission advised by e-mail. Chairman Griffin asked that Commissioner Cowens e-mail be forwarded to the Commission.

MOTION to receive and file the report by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Hart and passed unanimously by members present 6 0.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:47 p.m. to the 7:00 p.m. session.

RECONVENED PUBLIC HEARING

Chairman Griffin introduced Jennifer Cowen as new Planning Commissioner and stated that Commissioner Francis was reappointed by City Council.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ05-00113 LRP05-00001. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON

A request to amend Title 15 of the Fullerton Municipal Code regulating the renting of parking spaces in multi-family developments (Negative Declaration).

Senior Planner Mullis reported that the City staff initiated this application as a result of a request from the City Council. The amendment pertains to apartments of four or more units, and the number of spaces allocated to each unit. The landlords would be required to allocate on an equitable basis one space per unit. Property owners would have 90 days to comply from the effective date of the ordinance, and additional time could be granted. There would be a grandfathering of some projects that do not comply. Staff received one inquiry from the Apartment Association of Orange County, who received notification of the meeting and a copy of the staff report.

Staff recommended that the City Council certify the Negative Declaration and approve PRJ05-00113 LRP05-00001.

Chairman Griffin stated that the letter from Mr. Zarcos was received for the file.

Commissioner Francis asked for an example of how this became an issue. Senior Planner Mullis explained that while staff did not have a specific location, there was an issue with a resident in a parked complex with one space per unit, who had not been given the opportunity to rent a parking space because the space was rented to another tenant and there was no overnight parking allowed nearby.

Commissioner Stopper asked what criteria are used to establish the necessary number of spaces. Senior Planner Mullis stated that code defines multi-family as a complex with four or more units, and was not intended to include condos or single-family duplexes. She stated that it was directed toward apartments with centralized control over parking. Commissioner Stopper referred to the draft ordinance attached to the staff report and asked if the tenant did not own a vehicle, could different arrangements be made. Chief Planner Rosen stated that he did not think the apartment owner would delegate the rights to the tenant to rent out a space not being used by the tenant.

Senior Planner Mullis added that staff was attempting to develop language tying each space to a unit on a month-to-month agreement. If the tenant leaves, the space would be assigned back to the unit.

Commissioner Stopper asked if there was any quantification on the impact and how to enforce it. Senior Planner Mullis responded that enforcement would be on a complaint basis, and it would be difficult to foresee the impact.

Commissioner Stopper asked about page 2, item 3 in the draft ordinance regarding a CUP. Chief Planner Rosen stated that this, in part, was dealing with a landlord who would be renting surplus spaces to non-residents. It is currently prohibited to rent spaces to non-residents.

Commissioner Bailey asked about the wording in Section 1.1: is used only by the tenants of the corresponding rental unit. He suggested changing the wording by replacing used only by with made available to. He also wanted to make sure that a new renter would always have a space available to them.

Commissioner Hart felt there was some confusion in the draft ordinance. Senior Planner Mullis stated that staff was trying to make sure that all tenants would receive at least one space. Commissioner Hart asked if there was also a provision for senior, convalescent, or assisted living housing. Senior Planner Mullis replied that this amendment does not address that provision.

Commissioner Cowen asked if landlords have been studied to see what their current practices are regarding space rental, and asked what the penalty for non-compliance would be. Senior Planner Mullis stated that they would receive an administrative citation and could ultimately be taken to court for non-compliance.

Commissioner Cowen asked how the property owner would be notified if this was approved by City Council. Staff told her that a letter with a description of the ordinance would be sent, along with a description of the process for requesting a time extension, if there was a special need. The letter received from the Orange County Apartment Association was discussed. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the Association had suggested distributing stickers for spaces which are provided on a first come, first served basis. Senior Planner Mullis stated that this ordinance did not address that scenario.

Commissioner Savage asked if a law could be written so that landlords could not rent to tenants whose total number of vehicles is greater than the number of spaces available. Senior Planner Mullis said she would confer with the State office. The unfair and inequitable distribution of the spaces was the main concern.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that this proposed ordinance was at the direction of the City Council and was not initiated by staff and that the City Council was anxious to consider this matter. He said there had been numerous hearings on overnight parking issues recently and this was one of the issues raised.

Commissioner Hart felt it was important to have feedback from apartment owners, and she felt there was not enough information provided.

Public hearing opened.

There was no one who wished to speak to this matter.

Public hearing closed.

Chairman Griffin stated that the intent of City Council was that there were regulations of how many spaces are to be allocated to certain multi-family units. Zoning requires a certain number of spaces per unit. He also was not ready to recommend this to the City Council.

Commissioner Stopper said that he was struggling with changing parking requirements in the City. There were various elements of parking problems and no public to comment. He felt it was necessary to hear from the community directly. He would like to address the root problem, and could not currently support this request without more information.

Commissioner Francis was comfortable with the proposed ordinance because he had spoken to the City Council.

Commissioner Savage was not ready to vote on this matter and forward it to the Council. He felt there needed to be a better solution.

Commissioner Bailey believed there was a parking problem. He suggested fine tuning the ordinance and changing the wording regarding storage. He asked for one more review before recommending it to Council.

Commissioner Hart concurred. She felt that there was a housing problem to the extent that some people are living in garages. She also felt that they needed more community input.

Commissioner Cowen added that the City Council was eager to deal with overnight parking, however, there was a consensus to get it right.

Chairman Griffin suggested a workshop with a tenant association and the Apartment Association of Orange County, along with city staff and legal staff to discuss the writing of the ordinance. He acknowledged that the City Council wanted to move ahead, but also felt the item needed more time and work to perfect it.

Commissioner Francis asked who contacted the Apartment Association of Orange County. Senior Planner Mullis said that staff mailed the association a notice regarding this matter.

Chairman Griffin heard that there were several specific areas that do not sound right to the Planning Commission. He asked that staff notice landlords and meet with legal counsel, representatives from the Orange County Apartment Association and perhaps a tenant group, if available.

Commissioner Savage wondered if this ordinance will help or resolve the parking problem.

Commissioner Francis thought it would help, because he felt that many garages are being used for storage, not parking.

Chairman Griffin felt that the language of the ordinance does not get to the heart of the problem.

Commissioner Francis suggested this wording: if you rent an apartment and do not have a car, you could lease the space out. If you do have a car, you may not rent out your space.

Commissioner Bailey felt that all aspects should be reviewed and he was not ready to move forward with it.

Commissioner Hart felt it was important to know who is renting the spaces out, whether it was a tenant or the landlord.

Chairman Griffin asked what staff thought was the right thing to do. Chief Planner Rosen suggested a motion to continue the matter to a date certain. Staff could schedule meetings with tenants, the tenant who complained originally, and the apartment association.

Commissioner Bailey asked if someone rented a space and chose to use it for storage, how that should be dealt with. Chief Planner Rosen said that the existing language addresses it.

Commissioner Savage felt that if people are living in garages or have excessive storage in a garage, Code Enforcement should handle it. Chief Planner Rosen stated that it is handled on a complaint basis.

Chairman Griffin wondered if a proactive focus on a certain area would be appropriate. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there were additional resources that would need to be provided in order to handle that.

Commissioner Stopper asked for notification of the meeting to participate with the tenants and landlords. He requested that each group appoint a representative to address the Planning Commission when this item returns.

MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Savage to CONTINUE to May 25, 2005. The motion passed unanimously by a vote of 7 0.

ITEM NO. 3
CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS CUP-1056 AND CUP-1057. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON; PROPERTY OWNER: GRACE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

A staff report was presented pertaining to a six-month review of the operations of a church and temporary sanctuary (with related off-site parking) and a private school in a proposed commercial zone on property located at 1645 West Valencia Drive (north side of Valencia Drive, east of Brookhurst Road and south of Commonwealth Ave.) (Environmental Impact Report). As required by a condition of project approval, the Planning Commission is conducting a public hearing to review the operation of Phase 1 of the project. Phase 1 consists of the remodel of an existing building for a school and temporary sanctuary, with the addition of a gymnasium.

Senior Planner Mullis explained that the December, 2002 approval of Grace Ministries to use and redevelop the Hunt Wesson/Con Agra facility for school and church purposes was conditioned to be reviewed in six months after the certificate of occupancy was granted for each phase. Issues brought up during the public hearing process were related to parking, traffic and noise. Staff determined that the parking spaces exceeded the required minimum during the peak periods on Sunday morning. The shuttles and parking attendants assist in directing traffic to the lot on Brookhurst, away from the adjacent neighborhood.

Senior Planner Mullis stated that the City received no complaints from Police Department in this six-month period; however, two complaints regarding sidewalk closure and a banner without permits were received during the construction of phase 1. No complaints had been received since the operation began in November. The letter provided to the Commission was from an adjacent property owner (and was faxed to Grace Ministries) relating to noise from outdoor activities, traffic control measures in the street, a permanent sign to replace the temporary sign for the high school, and the drop off area on Valencia blocking traffic.

Staff recommended that the Commission receive and file the report. Chairman Griffin stated that the Planning Commission would also note the receipt of Mr. Slades letter. Senior Planner Mullis displayed pictures of the site.

Chairman Griffin announced that Mr. Slades letter was received as a matter of record.

Commissioner Francis asked if the plans had been submitted for Phase Two, if there is a police officer assisting with traffic control, and discussed the shuttle service from Brookhurst. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the plans have not been submitted yet, and Grace Ministries reimburses the City for an off-duty officers services relating to traffic control.

Public hearing opened.

Mr. Kim from Grace Ministries stated that they appreciate using this property in Fullerton and the opportunity to serve church members and the community. The facility provides Christian education and they also have an outreach to the community in Fullerton, the Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA and YWCA, and Florence Crittenton Services.

Commissioner Cowen asked if the church was responsible for the traffic control and she asked who coordinated the traffic volunteers. Mr. Daniel Kahn from Grace Ministries stated that the volunteers organize and enforce church policies, but were not able to direct traffic on the public street.

Public hearing closed.

MOTION by Commissioner Cowen, seconded by Commissioner Stopper to receive and file the report. Motion passed unanimously 7 0.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

    Commissioner Francis mentioned that he had not seen anything removed yet from Mr. Browns residence and the Commission discussed the timeline and the letter received from Marshal Dual and Kirke Warrens response regarding Mr. Browns property and the Commissions action.

    Commissioner Savage was concerned that some residents are living in garages.

    Chairman Griffin stated that this situation was not unique to Fullerton, it was a pervasive problem.

    Commissioner Savage asked if Code Enforcement could allocate additional funds to enforce any misuse of parking garages/spaces.

    Commissioner Stopper discussed the progress he has seen on recent developments:

    • Walgreens on Chapman
    • Commonwealth and Lawrence is being graded.
    • Chief Planner Rosen stated that the owners are trying to sell. The buildings were torn down and another developer will be submitting a proposal for a revised mixed use project.
    • Carhart subdivision is being graded to build six homes.
    • Farmer Boys Chief Planner Rosen stated that it is in plan check
    • CVS Pharmacy
    • Chief Planner Rosen stated that they are proposing to enlarge the previous application and resubmitting a new application to modify the building and they have a two-year period before the application would expire.

    Chairman Griffin asked about the final outcome of the right-of-way dedication along north side of Bastanchury Road. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the City received funds to acquire a portion of the right-of-way and were in negotiations with the property owners to acquire it and are hopeful they would not have to go through condemnation. The acquisition would not delay the development of the corner, whether Bastanchury was widened or not.

    Commissioner Savage discussed a lot on the west side of Harbor near the driving range. Chief Planner Rosen stated that he had not seen any plans.

    Commissioner Bailey asked when Rent for Less would return to the Commission. Senior Planner Mullis answered that it was scheduled for May.

  2. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    The University Heights project was approved with conditions on April 5, 2005. A condition was offered late by City Council to enforce the recommendation of the RDRC to restrict the height of the building closest to the residential homes.

  3. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    There was no one from the public who wished to speak on any matter within the Commissions jurisdiction.

  4. AGENDA FORECAST

    The next regularly-scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be April 27, 2005 at 7 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

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