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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
WEDNESDAY MAY 25, 2005 7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Savage at 7:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Commissioners Bailey, Cowen, Francis, Hart, Savage, Stopper
ABSENT: Chairman Griffin
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Engineering Director Hoppe, Senior Civil Engineer Voronel, Civil Engineer Bowers, Assistant Planner Kusch, and Recording Secretary Baker
FLAG SALUTE: Commissioner Savage
MINUTES:

MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Bailey that the minutes of May 11, 2005, be APPROVED AS WRITTEN, with Commissioner Hart abstaining

Chief Planner Rosen stated that a community member posted a notice that the abandonment between Euclid and the intersection of La Mesa and Valley View Drive would be heard tonight. It was incorrect information, the item will be heard on June 1, 2005 at 6 p.m. He informed the audience that the Planning Commission would not be hearing that item tonight.

PUBLIC HEARING

ITEM NO. 1
FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM. To consider the Five-Year Capital Improvement Program (Fiscal Years 2005-2006 2009-2010) and its consistency with the General Plan.

Engineering Director Hoppe stated that the Planning Commission reviews the CIP every year for concurrence with the Citys General Plan. A full presentation will be made to the City Council. He would respond to any questions regarding projects funded in the first or second year.

Commissioner Francis asked if this was the same CIP that was presented last year, Engineering Director Hoppe stated there are a few minor changes. He suggested that if the Commissioners referred to last years CIP they could identify the changes. He said that the park projects were carried over for various reasons; there is a new airport project; the street projects are carried over or new projects; residential or arterial street funding was identified; and there are a few redevelopment projects.

Commissioner Stopper asked about the procedure for the distribution and allocation to different projects. Engineering Director Hoppe stated that with the special projects there is general direction from the City Council to repair the infrastructure. He listed the following projects:

  • The pavement management program identifies the streets in need of repair
  • There were minor sewage and drainage funds available, but City Council had directed those funds for maintenance expenses
  • Home repair funds were directed by Council through the housing division
  • Water funding for water main replacement, identified as part of the master plan
  • Bond issuance for the replacement of the Hillcrest Reservoir
  • Airport project where monies are available for use only at the airport

Commissioner Stopper asked about the allocation process. Engineering Director Hoppe said that before the City was making PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) payments, there were some discretionary funds, but now the funds are specially earmarked. He spoke of the HCD (Housing and Community Development) money which is reviewed by the citizens oversight committee for expenditures. He described the eight maintenance districts for residential streets, which are selected by a computer program in a rolling process for slurry, street reconstruction and crack sealing.

Commissioner Stopper asked what Engineering Director Hoppes view was of how the City is doing in allocating resources to support the infrastructure. Engineering Director Hoppe stated that there is a $152 million deficiency and there has been progress, however, it is deteriorating with age. Grant funds have been acquired for three parks (Byerrum, Valencia and Adlena) this next fiscal year. Staff is considering moving funds from Hillcrest Park to make improvements at Lions Field and also considering moving sewer fees to fund deficiencies. There are many federal and state mandates regarding cleanup. OCTA calculations will allow $500,000 for street repairs this year.

Commissioner Stopper asked if the City was holding our own on the 150 million dollar needs in the infrastructure. Engineering Director Hoppe stated that the City is not gaining, but may be holding our own unless Measure M is not passed.

Commissioner Bailey discussed road deterioration since the severe rains and asked if there were any FEMA monies allocated. Engineering Director Hoppe stated that there were some allocated, but how much the City will receive is unclear. He discussed that it will be difficult to determine how much staff could attribute the road damage directly to water damage, but they would need to identify that prior to funding. He said that $75,000 is allocated for residential street repairs and there are carryover funds from the current year. Staff also applied for matching funds from OCTA for arterial streets, but it requires City funding to match. In the following year, there is $1,000,000 for residential streets. He talked about the wisdom of repairing arterial streets first that handle 10,000 to 30,000 vehicles daily and heavy truck traffic.

Commissioner Cowen encouraged staff to aggressively seek the OCTA matching funds for street repairs and did the City have the matching funds. Engineering Director Hoppe stated that those funds are allocated for the arterial street program. Commissioner Cowen discussed the possible elimination of CDBG funds by the federal government and since the City was allocating a substantial amount of CDBG funds, was there a fall back plan. Engineering Director Hoppe stated that he did not have that information and as long as the program existed, the money would be allocated.

Commissioner Stopper thanked staff for updating the General Plan and supported the CIP as prepared.

Commissioner Bailey also supported the CIP as prepared. He stated that the community is continually complaining about the condition of residential streets and the need for repairs.

Commissioner Cowen commended staff for doing a great job with the funds they had been allocated. She felt there were so few unrestricted capital funds and too many unfunded state and federal mandates to comply with.

Commissioner Savage agreed with the other commissioners.

MOTION Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Hart that the Planning Commission find the Five-Year CIP consistent with the Citys General Plan. Motion passed unanimously by a vote of 6 0.

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 presented the staff report dated May 18, 2005, which was a request to modify the zoning ordinance to ensure that parking in multi-family developments has equitable allocation. Landlords are expected to comply within 90 days of the effective date or request an extension. In April, the Planning Commission had reviewed and discussed this item and on May 10 City staff and the City Attorneys office met with the Apartment Association of Orange County. The concerns were:

  • Allow the landlord to control the reassignment of spaces not being used by a tenant without a vehicle
  • Allow some storage within the parking space, as long as a vehicle can also park
  • Allow a complex that had less than one space per unit to go to a permit system
  • A system based on a first come first served basis was not the best solution
  • Tenants would not be allowed to assign their space to someone else
  • Clarify the guest spaces

The Apartment Association of Orange County requested that additional modifications be made, including:

  • Clarification that the parking spaces could not be reassigned by a tenant
  • Allow a permit system when there is more than one space provided per unit

Since the ordinance was given to the Planning Commission, the City Attorney, staff and the Apartment Association of Orange County had further discussions and staff agreed to a minor text change. The new ordinance was distributed to the Commission. Ms. Mullis reviewed paragraph 2 in section 2 where the phrase was added except as otherwise provided in this ordinance. This allows the tenants to have a space allocated to them, except if there is another process in the ordinance that gives an exception to that requirement. The Apartment Association of Orange County concurred with the revised draft ordinance and a representative was present to answer questions.

Staff recommended that the Planning Commission approve the resolution that recommends City Council certify the Negative Declaration and approve the amendment to the zoning ordinance.

Commissioner Francis asked why the City contacted a lobbyist group like the Apartment Association of Orange County. Senior Planner Mullis stated that staff felt it was important to contact an entity that would have daily input and knowledge from apartment owners and, in the future, have the ability to use their roster base to implement this program on a long-term basis.

Commissioner Francis asked how apartment owners will be notified of the new regulations.

Senior Planner Mullis said that staff will be sending letters to apartment owners notifying them of the change of requirements. She said that these issues are handled by complaints received from residents.

Ray Maggi, 6141 Orange Avenue, Cypress, Vice President of the Legislative Council of the Apartment Association of Orange County, Chairman of the Proactive Rental Association in Santa Ana and Neighborhood Improvement in Buena Park. He stated that he owns and manages Fullerton Palms at 915 W. Orangethorpe. The former owner had rented garages, causing illegal activity to increase. He felt the ordinance is a workable plan allowing the owner to control the allocation of parking to residents. The spaces not needed could be used to serve residents with additional vehicles. This would hold the owner responsible and would bring balance. He felt it was an equitable solution. He thanked staff and city attorneys office and said he has agreed to work with staff to educate apartment owners.

Commissioner Savage asked if there currently was an ordinance against a parking space being filled with storage. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the ordinance is vague; this would clarify it because it did not discuss renting the space to off-site people.

Commissioner Bailey asked if this would put the burden of proof on the owner to prove that the spaces are rented to residents. Senior Planner Mullis stated that in a complaint situation the Code Enforcement staff would review and ascertain if they were meeting the requirements of the ordinance. Storage in a parking space would not be in compliance.

Ray Maggi, discussed how the City of Santa Ana is able to open garages if the landlord can not show documentation of who is using the space. Limited storage is allowed as long as the tenant can also park a car in that space.

Commissioner Stopper thanked staff and was in support of the ordinance. He stated his support but felt it would not solve parking, but that it was a step in the right direction.

Commissioner Hart also thanked staff and said that she had reservations with the original presentation, but was now in support.

Commissioner Cowen encouraged staff to continue work with the interest groups to solve the problem. She was concerned that good landlords not have regulations that did not work for them.

Commissioner Francis felt it was a great ordinance.

Commissioner Bailey commended staff on doing a good job.

Commissioner Savage agreed with the other commissioners and felt it was good to have a representative from the Apartment Association of Orange County here. He was in support.

MOTION by Commissioner Bailey, seconded by Commissioner Hart to adopt the resolution recommending to the City Council certification of the Negative Declaration and approval of the amendment to the zoning ordinance modifying how parking spaces are allocated in multi-family developments. Motion passed unanimously by a vote of 6 0.

ITEM NO. 3
PRJ04-00865 ZON04-00090. APPLICANT: BRUCE WARD; PROPERTY OWNER: MUNIR M. ALI.

A review of compliance, including possible revocation of a Conditional Use Permit for the expansion of an existing car rental agency that would include more than 10 rental vehicles on site, including cars and recreational vehicles, on property located at 824 E. Commonwealth Avenue (south side of Commonwealth Avenue between approximately 124 and 244 feet west of Linwood Avenue) (C-1 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines)

Assistant Planner Kusch presented the staff report dated May 13, 2005. He gave a review of the three times the Planning Commission has heard this item in November, 2004, December, 2005 and February 2005. He reviewed the following items that the Planning Commission asked staff to survey because of safety issues. A building inspection was conducted and a notice of correction was given to the applicant. Staff was waiting for a resubmittal of plans.

Assistant Planner Kusch discussed the following items:

  • Landscape installed along Commonwealth, staff needs to inspect the irrigation system
  • Landscape maintenance deposit has been submitted
  • Relocation of a wrought iron fence
  • Knox Box installed and also a personal gate for fire access, inspection pending
  • Installation of six foot block wall
  • Parking lot striped but rental vehicle area not delineated
  • Vehicles parked in drive aisle and fire access lane not striped
  • Staff received letter (attached to staff report) concerning off-site parking on Lawrence and Commonwealth Avenues
  • Applicant was informed that off-site parking would require revisions to the CUP

Assistant Planner Kusch discussed the following conditions:

  1. Temporary storage container has been removed
  2. Lighting re-directed to not affect adjacent properties
  3. Have not received complaints subsequent to the original complaint
  4. Water quality management plan submitted and approved. Redirecting drainage away from residential properties towards Commonwealth Avenue to allow cars to be washed on site.
  5. Plan check corrections Engineering Department has required the reconstruction of the driveway approach. Permit has not been finalized.
  6. Use of exterior speakers, staff did not see any nor receive any complaints.
  7. Removal of temporary signage
  8. Addressing complaints received by phone and written correspondence regarding the business and compatibility in the neighborhood.
  9. Trash enclosure improvement has been constructed
  10. No further complaints received regarding loading and unloading of vehicles
  11. No advertising for vehicle sales.
  12. Staff did not see restricted vehicle repairs
  13. Work not completed on improvements to the property requested by water engineering.

Staff displayed site photos of landscaping, fencing, parking, and the block wall. The water pipes located in the landscape setback would require screening.

Staff recommended modifying the original resolution to address off-site parking to add the following condition: All employee, customer and rental vehicle parking shall be located on site, approval of a modification of the CUP shall be required prior to using off-site parking.

Staff recommended that the Planning Commission direct staff to review this project in three months and, if necessary, set a hearing before the Planning Commission to consider modifying the conditions of approval or a revocation of the CUP.

Commissioner Cowen asked what causes a CUP to be revoked. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that it would be the decision of the Planning Commission if staff did not get compliance with the applicant.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that notices are sent out and the hearing would give the Planning Commission the opportunity to modify the CUP or set a revocation hearing. Chief Planner Rosen stated that in the past a CUP has been revoked.

Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the applicant is on the right course and the conditions should be handled in three months.

Commissioner Francis asked how many times staff has had to go to the site; how many times the Planning Commission has reviewed this; and what was staffs view of the problem. Assistant Planner Kusch answered six times for staff, four times for the Planning Commission and he felt Mr. Francis should ask the applicant directly what the problem has been.

Commissioner Bailey discussed the history of this applicant. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that since the business license was issued in 2004 requiring not more than 10 vehicles on site, complaints began, which required the CUP.

Commissioner Savage asked if the applicant decided to request off-site parking would it require a change in the CUP and would it have to come back to Planning Commission. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that by revising the CUP, everything would be reviewed.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant, Amjad Hussain, Chief Financial Officer for Rent for Less, discussed that off-site parking was only temporary, due to construction. The work is completed and they will have the debris removed the following day and will call for an inspection. After Mr. Kusch pointed out that company vehicles were parked in the employee parking, Mr. Hussain explained that managers are driving three or four of those vehicles. He stated that they are in compliance with the conditions.

Commissioner Bailey asked what type of debris was there. Mr. Hussain stated that it was dirt removed to put in the pits for WQMP compliance, and the old wrought iron fence.

Commissioner Savage asked since the City is requiring an alteration of the driveway, when did they expect to apply for the permit, what would be the estimated time for construction and completion. Mr. Hussain stated that since the code compliance should be finished the next week, the drawings are ready and they expect to begin then.

Commissioner Bailey asked Mr. Hussain if he was aware of how many vehicles are available on site to rent. Mr. Hussain said that during the summer they should have 20 - 30 vehicles, during a slow season it could be 10 12 vehicles. He also stated that there are other locations that they transfer cars from.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Francis asked Assistant Planner Kusch if it was possible to only bring this item back if they are not in compliance.

Assistant Planner Kusch answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Bailey felt that the applicant had slowed down the process and hoped that the Commission would not have to review it again.

Commissioner Hart spoke also of the time and effort staff had put in to making reasonable requests and not wanting to see this item return again.

Commissioner Savage asked if this needed two motions.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that it may not be necessary to adopt the modification to the existing conditions of approval, it could be withdrawn. It will be reviewed in three months by staff and it would only return to the Commission if there was a problem.

Commissioner Bailey suggested that the Commission leave the additional staff recommendation in because of the parking problem.

Commissioner Francis stated that if there was an issue, it would be back in three months. He suggested staff not add it because the item would return if there was a problem.

MOTION by Commissioner Bailey, seconded by Commissioner Cowen to accept staffs recommendation and amend the CUP to include condition #20.

Discussion:

Commissioner Francis asked for an opinion from Assistant Planner Kusch on the motion. Assistant Planner Kusch did not feel the amendment should be added, because the code addressed it. Staff enforced off-site parking on a complaint basis, they would have a magnifying glass on them now.

Commissioner Bailey asked what the penalty difference was between the code violation or revoking the CUP and how would the law stop them from operating outside of the CUP. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that another public hearing would be necessary. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the CUP requires compliance with all laws, so they could not operate out of the CUP. It would be brought before the Planning Commission for revocation, based upon a violation of a local ordinance.

Commissioner Cowen requested staff add the recommended condition restricting off-site parking as further reinforcement, because the applicant had shown that this may be necessary.

MOTION passed unanimously by a vote of 6 0.

OTHER MATTERS

Commissioner Stopper reminded the Planning Commission of the May 19 Transportation Study Plan Updated meeting to be held 6:30 at the Senior Multi-Service Center. Subsequent meetings will be held June 16, July 21, and August 23.

ITEM NO. 5
PRJ05-00150 PM 2004-324. APPLICANT: JIN PARK; PROPERTY OWNER: J. YEI YOO.

A resolution APPROVING a request to subdivide an approximately 44,128-square-foot parcel into two lots on property located at 1300 North Brookhurst Place (southwest corner of Brookhurst Place and Bastanchury Road) (R-1-20 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15315 of CEQA Guidelines)

Chief Planner Rosen stated that this action was brought forward as a continuation of the last meeting to clarify conditions of the parcel map split, as requested by the Planning Commission.

MOTION Commissioner Cowen, seconded by Commissioner Stopper that the Planning Commission approve the resolution with changes by a vote of 4 1, with Commissioner Hart abstaining, Commissioner Bailey opposing, and Chairman Griffin absent.

COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

Chief Planner Rosen stated that in the past there were no funds available for conferences. Staff has reconsidered and will approve registration fees on a case by base basis, without covering travel expenses.

Chief Planner Rosen mentioned the community meeting on the downtown transportation center study update and deferred it to Commissioner Stopper, as the Planning Commission representative.

Commissioner Stopper gave an update of the community meeting on the downtown transportation center study update and said he would e-mail a summary to all of the Planning Commissioners.

Commissioner Francis asked for an e-mail reminder and Commissioner Stopper stated that he would send one on 6/15 for the next meeting scheduled for 6/16.

REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

Chief Planner Rosen discussed the surplus property at North Gilbert.

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 meeting will be June 8, 2005, at 7 p.m. Chief Planner Rosen discussed a proposed church in an industrial zone at 598 S. State College and the revocation of a CUP for a church that never occupied the space at the same industrial zone.

Chief Planner Rosen told the Commission that the June 22 Planning Commission hearing will be at 4 p.m. for other items and 7 p.m. for the Providence item.

Commissioner Stopper stated that he will be on vacation at the end of June.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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