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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10, 2005 4:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairman Griffin at 4:03 p.m.
PRESENT: Chairman Griffin, Commissioner Hart, Commissioner Cowen, Commissioner Stopper
ABSENT: Commissioner Bailey, Commissioner Savage, Commissioner Francis
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Sowers and Recording Secretary Baker
FLAG SALUTE: Chairman Griffin
MINUTES: Commissioner Hart asked that it be shown in the motion on page 128 that she had recused herself and was absent, not abstaining. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Cowen to approve the minutes from July 6, 2005 as AMENDED and passed by a vote of 3 - 1, Commissioner Hart abstained.

Commissioner Hart asked that "to consider this tonight" replace "try to not to" on page 139. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Hart to approve the minutes from July 13, 2005 as AMENDED and passed by a vote of 4 - 0.

PUBLIC HEARING

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ04-00238 - LRP04-00007. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: LSF II FULLERTON.
A request to amend Amerige Heights Development Agreement DA-00-01 to provide an extension of time to complete certain public facilities in the Amerige Heights Specific Plan, including the Amerige Heights Community Center and Barrett Park (Trailhead Park). The Amerige Heights Specific Plan is generally located north of Malvern Ave, east of Gilbert St, south of Pioneer Ave, and west of Bastanchury Road (Specific Plan District) (Previously certified EIR) (Continued from July 13, 2005)

MOTION by Commissioner Cowen, seconded by Commissioner Hart to continue this item to September 14, 2005 and passed by a vote of 4 - 0.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ04-00791 - ZON04-00078. APPLICANT: JEFF ERICKSON; PROPERTY OWNER: ST. JUDE MEDICAL CENTER.
A request for a major site plan to construct a 4,473 square-foot bank building (Bank of America), and a zoning adjustment for a 20% reduction of the required building setback along Valencia Mesa Drive from 10 feet to 8 feet, on property located at 2101 North Harbor Boulevard (northwest corner of Valencia Mesa Drive and Harbor Boulevard (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines)

Senior Planner Mullis presented the staff report dated August 10, 2005 regarding a request to construct a new bank at the corner of Valencia Mesa and Harbor Boulevard. It will be a 4,472 square foot building measuring 19 feet tall. They will be providing 18 parking stalls to be accessed from Valencia Mesa. The building orientation and parking access would be to the west. Staff is requesting a reduction of the building setback from 10 feet to 8 feet along Valencia Mesa Drive.

An aerial photo was displayed and surrounding businesses were described. Staff discussed the landscaping on the frontage, the shared access to the west and north driveways, the plaster finish, the metal awning elements, and the modern design. The east, north and west elevation frontage views from Harbor were displayed. The floor plan was discussed along with a revision to include an interior ATM located in a vestibule, therefore, increasing security.

Staff recommended approval of the application, as submitted, including a reduction in the setback.

Commissioner Stopper asked about the rationale of a two-foot variance on the setback of Valencia Mesa. Senior Planner Mullis spoke of the unusual shape of the lot, which was narrow along Harbor Boulevard. In keeping with the design on that side of the street, the setback was needed because of the configuration of the lot, which is narrower along Harbor than Valencia Mesa. Chief Planner Rosen stated that a small portion of the building was encroaching into the setback. Senior Planner Mullis identified on the site plan the portion encroaching into the setback.

Commissioner Stopper asked if there was no variance, the applicant would have to reduce the building by 50 feet. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the code allowed for this type of variation in the regulations through a zoning adjustment.

Commissioner Stopper was concerned with the line of visibility along Valencia Mesa. Senior Planner Mullis stated that only conceptual landscaping was displayed. Staff would review the final landscape plans to ensure adequate visibility. Senior Planner Mullis said that code required that plantings or signs would not be higher than three feet tall in the view clearance areas.

Commissioner Hart asked about the planters shown on the curbside and the distance to the street. Senior Planner Mullis said that it is a landscaped parkway along with the sidewalk, which is 10 feet to the curb, with a 20 foot setback from the curb face.

Public hearing opened.

Jeff Erickson of Gensler Architects, is the architect on the project. He requested an amendment or clarification on Page 4, Item 8 under Engineering conditions regarding the current driveway off of Harbor. He referenced the comment stating that the driveway providing access to Harbor Boulevard shall be removed. He requested that the existing bank remain in operation prior to the new bank opening. The driveway would be removed after the new bank opens.

Chairman Griffin asked the applicant if the conditions are agreeable. Jeff Erickson said that they were basically in agreement, other than a few issues to be modified regarding the ADA ramp and sidewalk encroachment.

Commissioner Stopper discussed the Planning Commission's desire to soften up a "cookie-cutter" corporate look. He asked the Planning Commission to consider adding a condition that the RDRC review architecture, material and colors before issuing final permits.

Chairman Griffin confirmed that the Planning Commission recommendation would not go to the City Council unless it is appealed.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Cowen asked how different this plan is compared to the current bank building. Chief Planner Rosen said that the existing building has modern stucco and is similar to the existing medical office buildings to the north. Senior Planner Mullis and Chief Planner Rosen told the commission that they had many conversations with Bank of America regarding adding decorative features, awnings, etc. and it is consistent with the surrounding buildings on the same side of the street. Commissioner Cowen felt that planning staff could handle this issue and did not feel that another condition was necessary.

Commissioner Stopper discussed the architecture of the buildings adjacent to the proposed site. Chairman Griffin felt that staff would influence the architecture of the building.

Commissioner Hart suggested to the applicant that since Harbor is a scenic corridor, they could make it more attractive.

Chief Planner Rosen suggested that the Planning Commission could add a condition to require more enhanced architecture on one side of the building.

Chairman Griffin felt that the conditions were sufficient.

The Title of Resolution PC-05-23 APPROVING the site and architectural plans for a 4,473 square foot bank building (Bank of America) and a zoning adjustment for a 20% reduction in the required building setback along Valencia Mesa Drive from ten feet to eight feet, on property located at 2101 North Harbor Boulevard was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Cowen, seconded by Commissioner Hart and approved by a vote of 3 - 1, with Commission Stopper voting no.

ITEM NO. 3
PJR05-00491 - LRP05-00008 - CLARIFICATION OF AMBIGUITY.
An interpretation of the Fullerton Municipal Code pertaining to the definition of a "story" for a single-family residence located at 613 West Valley View Drive

MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Hart to continue this item to August 24, 2005. Passed by a vote of 4 - 0.

OTHER MATTERS

Chief Planner Rosen stated that the City would pay for registration if any Planning Commissioners wanted to attend the Planning Directors' Association seminar.

Commissioner Stopper advised the Planning Commission that the fourth meeting of the Update of the Downtown Transportation Study would be held August 23, 6:30 in the Library and it would be the last meeting. He would send e-mail reminders to the Commissioners.

Commissioner Cowen advised that she would not be at next meeting because of her wedding.

Staff advised the Planning Commission that Commissioner Francis was still in the hospital with a serious infection.

COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

Former Commissioners Rick Price and John Silber were recognized for their time served on the Planning Commission and the RDRC. Chief Planner Rosen discussed the upcoming Fox Theatre restoration update. The video will be presented by the Historic Theater Foundation at the next Planning Commission meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

There was no one present who wished to comment on any item on the agenda.

AGENDA FORECAST

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be August 24, 2005, at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:38 p.m.
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