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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

JANUARY 26, 2005

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Griffin at 7:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL

PRESENT: Chairman Griffin, Commissioners Bailey, Francis, Hart, Price, Savage, Stopper

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Sowers, Engineering Director Hoppe, Senior Civil Engineer Voronel, and Recording Secretary Baker

ALSO PRESENT: Assistant Planner Sowers introduced a delegation from Shanghai, China. They are city employees from construction management, redevelopment and land use planning departments and are attending CSUF for six months. Various departments have met with them and a spokesperson stated that they have learned much and were interested in witnessing the Planning Commission meeting.

FLAG SALUTE

Chairman Griffin

MINUTES:

Commissioner Savage asked that on page 7, paragraph 6, and is in an industrial park in Fullerton be deleted and replace it with and is the owner of an industrial building in the noticed area. In the same paragraph delete on Sundays and replace it with 24 -7.

Commissioner Stopper asked that on page 2, the top paragraph in the last sentence add During 2004, on the same page on the sixth paragraph change the word reporting to assigned. On page 8 the first line, change Engineer to Attorney.

Chairman Griffin asked on Page 7 in the sixth paragraph, the word required be changed to requested. Also on page 8 in the fifth paragraph, add if before agreed to by the Commission. Also on page 9 add after the last word drawn, add and requested that staff update the term of office sheet.

Commissioner Bailey asked that on Page 8 in the fifth paragraph on the fourth line the statement unless the applicant proves that any be deleted and change it to read if such use is not compatible.

MOTION by Commissioner Bailey seconded by Commissioner Savage and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, with Commissioner Francis abstaining, that the Minutes of December 15, 2004, be APPROVED AS AMENDED.

PUBLIC HEARING

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ04-01128 SUB04-00010. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON; PROPERTY OWNERS: SABING H. LEE; DALE & DEB BEELER

Engineering staff report dated January 26, 2005 was presented pertaining to a request to abandon a 15-foot wide and 64.06 foot deep alley by the City to the underlying in-fee property owners. The alley is located on the west side of Richman Avenue, approximately between 278 and 293 feet south of Glenhaven Avenue.

Engineering Director Hoppe presented the proposed abandonment of the alley. He displayed photos of the alley, a residence located at 819 N. Richman, and also views of the alley from the street and surrounding properties. He stated that this was an unimproved paper alley and the two property owners support the abandonment. The residents were not interested in the abandonment of the slope; this abandonment was only for the stub portion of the alley off of Richman Avenue. Engineering Director Hoppe stated that staff also supported the abandonment.

Public hearing opened.

Commissioner Francis asked staff if they knew who owned the property originally. Director Hoppe stated that he did not; however, once it is abandoned the alley would be split down the center with one-half going to the property owner on the north, and the other half would go to the property owner to the south.

Commissioner Hart asked if the homeowners would need to have an easement to access their property after the division of property was made. Engineering Director Hoppe answered affirmatively, that ingress and egress easements would be reserved. He also stated that there was a private matter of property exchange so that the owner to the south could rebuild their garage.

There were no members of the audience who wished to comment on this item.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Savage stated that since both property owners affected were taking equal ownership and it will be taken off the City tax roles, he thought it was a great idea and he would support the abandonment.

The title of Resolution No. PC-04-23, RECOMMENDING to the City Council the ABANDONMENT of a 15 foot wide and 64.06 foot deep city-owned alley to the underlying in-fee property owners on property located at 819 North Richman Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Francis and passed unanimously by members present 7-0, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ04-01129 ZON04-00120. APPLICANT: CHIN LEE; PROPERTY OWNER: SAI R. PARK

MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded by Commissioner Bailey, and passed unanimously, that this item be continued to a date uncertain.

ITEM NO. 3
PRJ04-00109 ZON04-00116. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: NATHAN KVETNY

Staff report dated January 26, 2005 was presented pertaining to a request for a zoning adjustment for a maximum 10% reduction in the number of parking stalls required for an approximately 1,900 square-foot general office, to facilitate the conversion of an existing carport into office space, reducing the required parking by one stall, on property located at 2001 East Chapman Avenue (northeast corner of Chapman Avenue and Mountain View Place) (O-P zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines).

Assistant Planner Sowers reported that the Director of Development Services, acting as the Zoning Administrator, elected to refer the request to the Planning Commission because a letter of opposition was received when the zoning adjustment was noticed.

Assistant Planner Sowers displayed pictures and aerials of the site. She explained that there were currently six parking stalls in the rear, and two off of Mountain View. She also discussed recent development of the area that created a pattern where lots are 14 feet shorter on the east of Mountain View than on the west. The City acquired a 20-foot alley, reducing the subject site even more. It was the smallest of all lots zoned Office-Professional and currently occupied by an office site.

Assistant Planner Sowers stated that special circumstances were applicable to this property, and the adjustment did not constitute or grant special privileges. The use would continue to operate as a general office, as permitted in the Office Professional zone. Staff recommended approval of the zoning adjustment with conditions, as outlined in the staff report.

Public hearing opened.

Commissioner Bailey discussed the letter sent by Holly and Michael Constantin of Ivycrest Montessori School. Assistant Planner Sowers described where the school was located, which was immediately to the east and north of the subject property.

Nathan Kvetny, introduced himself as the owner of the Optometry office. He explained that 90% of his business is managed-care patients, scheduled by appointment only, with no walk-in business. He explained that his patients were seen expeditiously, with approximately three spaces used per hour. The proposed additional space would be used for a lunch room and filing, and he requested a reduction to seven parking stalls, instead of eight.

Commissioner Hart asked Dr. Kvetny how many employees worked at his office. He stated that there were two full-time employees, and one who works part-time occasionally. Commissioner Hart asked if three spaces were used for staff and Dr. Kvetny answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Francis asked if Dr. Kvetny worked in the office on a regular basis and Dr. Kvetny answered that he did. Commissioner Francis concluded that three spaces would be left for patients. Dr. Kvetny stated that seldom are all spaces occupied because of the spacing of patients appointment times. He offered staff to peruse his appointment books.

Commissioner Bailey asked if staff would park on the street, if spaces were not available. Dr. Kvetny stated that they presently do park on Mountain View Place.

Commissioner Francis asked Assistant Planner Sowers to reiterate the square footage of the building. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that it was 1,900 square feet, parked at General Office, which is one space for every 250 square feet, or 7.6 spaces. The zoning adjustment would require Dr. Kvetny to provide 6.84 spaces (rounded up to 7.0), and the handicapped space was included in that total.

Michael and Holly Constantin, owners of Ivycrest Montesssori School, felt that the situation was not just, and they felt discriminated against. She read the letter submitted to Chairman Griffin.

Chairman Griffin stated for the record that the Constantins provided a letter dated 1/26/05.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Price asked if there were any other complaints about the proposal, other than Constantins, and Assistant Planner Sowers answered negatively.

Commissioner Hart asked about the conflicting parking requirements mentioned in the letter. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that the Fullerton Municipal Code states that medical offices less than 5,000 square feet only need one parking space for every 250 square feet, per the approval of the Director of Development Services. It was a City standard and applied to many other office spaces in Fullerton.

Commissioner Francis asked what the required parking would be for a 3,000-square-foot medical building. Chief Planner Rosen said that there could be some mitigating circumstances for various types of medical buildings; however, it would most likely be one parking space for every 250 square feet of office space. Mr. Rosen also stated that eye doctors were considered as general office use, and not medical office use.

Chairman Griffin asked Chief Planner Rosen about Item #3 in the letter received from the Constantins. He asked for staffs opinion about the denial by City staff of parking on Mountain View. Chief Planner Rosen stated that parking on public streets would not be counted towards parking requirements for improvements to the property. Chief Planner Rosen encouraged the Constantins to not create a parking lot on that side of the property.

Chairman Griffin recalled previous discussions relating to Item #4 regarding special events in the evening. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the City encouraged the Constantins to use on-site parking and not park on the street, although the City does not have the right to deny on-street parking. He also stated that if a use had a parking overflow issue, the CUP would be revisited.

The public hearing was reopened.

Holly Constantin stated that she was concerned with the lack of access granted to students and staff from Mountain View Place. She also stated that Dr. Kvetny called the City to complain about the parking situation which was enforced by City Code Enforcement Officers.

The public hearing was closed.

Commissioner Francis stated that he had to find parking for his business in downtown Fullerton. He found the spaces and did not try to get a reduction, because he thought it was bad planning. He could not see what the future holds, or what type of business would be there in the future, but he was not in support of the request because the parking requirement was eight spaces or more.

Commissioner Price did not see that it is a problem. Dr. Kvetny stated that no other neighbors were complaining, the problems are between the Constantins and Dr. Kvetny. He did not feel it would impact the neighborhood.

Commissioner Bailey asked Dr. Kvetny if there were multiple doctors at this location.

The public hearing was reopened.

Dr. Kvetny stated that there were never two doctors working at the same time. When two doctors are there on the same day, one is either training or doing adjustments.

Commissioner Bailey asked for a breakdown of the doctors hours. Dr. Kvetny stated that he works part time. The full-time optometrist works one or two days, maximum. Dr. Kvetny stated that he adjusts glasses, and does not do examinations at the same time.

Commissioner Hart asked what the hours of operation were, and Dr. Kvetny answered that the hours of operation are 9 a.m.6 p.m., and not open on weekends or evenings.

Chairman Griffin asked what the existing carport would be converted to. Dr. Kvetny stated that it would be used for a lunch room and file storage.

Mr. and Mrs. Constantin stated that there was an article in the News Tribune stating that Dr. Kvetny sold his business and two other doctors were listed as owners of the Fullerton Business Center, in a Fictitious Business License.

Commissioner Hart asked Dr. Kvetny if he owned the property and Dr. Kvetny answered negatively. He had sold the business and the building, and escrow closed 1/26/05. Dr. Kvetny was proceeding with this request because he felt he should finish what he had started.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Price suggested that the Planning Commission disregard the bad blood between the two businesses and only look at the facts. The optometry office has been operating for a long time and he felt that the removal of one spot would not have a very detrimental affect.

Commissioner Francis felt that the future was not known and would not be supporting it. He agreed that a parking problem could occur.

Commissioner Stopper felt there was a problem with the timing and questioned if this was the proper course, since escrow closed the day of the hearing. He felt that the Planning Commission needed to have the new owners authorization for improvements. Commissioner Stopper also stated that parking issues were a high priority in Fullerton. He had difficulty making a connection between the Constantins and Dr. Kvetny; he did not feel that the parking issue would affect the Constantins. He felt that the proposal met code requirements and he would be in support of it.

Commissioner Hart stated that she had been to the site and initially thought it seemed like a logical expansion, under the roof line. She stated that the Planning Commission did not have the track record of the new owner. If there was no change, she would be in support. With a new owner, and a possible new philosophy, she would not be supporting it.

Commissioner Bailey asked to review the photo of the front of the property. He felt that it was up to the Planning Commission to plan the parking needs appropriately. He stated that since the Planning Commission had not heard from the new owner and did not know his growth plans, he would not support it.

Chairman Griffin did not understand the relationship between the Constantins and Dr. Kvetny. He agreed with Commissioners Hart and Bailey concerns that it was unknown at this time what the new owners plans would be. Even though Dr. Kvetny assured the Planning Commission that business would remain the same as in past, he would not be in support.

Commissioner Francis suggested removing the two palm trees and adjusting ingress and egress to allow more space for parking.

The title of Resolution No. PC-05-02, DENYING a zoning adjustment for a maximum 10% reduction in the number of parking stalls (reducing the required parking by one stall) for an approximately 1,900 square-foot general office to facilitate the conversion of an existing carport into office space on property located at 2001 East Chapman Avenue was read and further reading was waived. Commissioner Stopper suggested that the motion be AMENDED to include the words without prejudice. MOTION by Commissioner Bailey seconded by Commissioner Savage, and passed by a 5-2 vote, with Commissioners Price and Stopper voting no, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED.

Commissioner Savage asked why it should be denied without prejudice.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that without prejudice meant that the applicant could reapply at any time, without having to pay the entire fee and would not have to wait six months. The Commission concurred.

Commissioner Bailey asked if the new owner could reapply. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the process was not tied to the owner, but to the application.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that this matter could be appealed to the City Council with an application fee of $142.

The Planning Commission took a short break.

The Planning Commission reconvened at 8:28 p.m.

ITEM #4
PRJ03-00539 LRP03-00016 APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON

Staff report dated January 26, 2005 was presented pertaining to a request to modify the parking standards contained in Chapter 15.55 of the Fullerton Municipal Code pertaining to retirement complexes.

Commissioner Francis indicated he had received a call from a developer. He asked if the Morgan Company requested a continuance in this matter. Chief Planner Rosen stated that Senior Planner Mullis would be addressing that issue in her presentation.

Senior Planner Mullis reported that approximately one year ago, the City Council adopted a Resolution of Intent to look at Senior Housing parking standards. Staff found that Fullerton had the lowest standards, compared to other cities. Staff was not directed to review assisted living with central dining.

Staff had received complaints from residents of Senior Housing projects about parking available to them. Staff recalled that Fullerton Fountains requested modifications to their project to convert guest spaces to resident spaces. Amerige Villa also had on-site parking problems.

Staff surveyed a number of units and the parking spaces that were provided in senior apartments in other Orange County cities: Remington Senior Apartments, Vintage Canyon, Palm Island and Victoria Woods. Senior Planner Mullis reviewed each complex, displayed photos and provided an overview.

Staff recommended modification to parking standards and believed that the standards were not high enough. Through the CUP process, each project could provide a study of their characteristics and ask for less parking, if appropriate.

Staff has had discussions with representatives from the Morgan Group, proposing the development at Rosecrans and Euclid. They are finishing a parking demand analysis and will present it to staff tomorrow.

Staff recommended a continuation to the February 9, 2005 Planning Commission meeting. Staff received a letter from Sunrise supporting the application. They have type IV or VI, and were not recommending changes.

Public hearing opened.

There was no on present who wished to speak on this matter.

Commissioner Francis believed that developers have time and money invested and should be notified.

MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Bailey, and passed unanimously that this item be CONTINUED to February 9, 2005.

OTHER MATTERS

Chief Planner Rosen reviewed the affordable housing information provided in the agenda packet.

Commissioner Stopper asked if 20% of the redevelopment funds were to be used for low and moderate income housing. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there was a lawsuit against the City and a subsequent settlement, which requires deeper targeting with a higher portion of funds going to low and very low income.

COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

Commissioner Savage informed Chief Planner Rosen that Deputy City Attorney Barlow had not returned his calls. He stated that he had asked for more information regarding the legalities of the 300-foot radius, because he recused himself at the last meeting due to the location of his business. Chief Planner Rosen stated that information will be presented to the Planning Commission at the next meeting.

REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

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

PUBLIC COMMENTS

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

AGENDA FORECAST

The next regularly-scheduled Planning Commission will be on February 9, 2005, at 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

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