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RDRC Minutes January 12, 2006

RDRC Minutes January 12, 2006


Thursday January 12, 2006 4:00 PM


The meeting was called to order at 4:05 PM by Chairman Daybell


COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Daybell; Committee Members Cha and Duncan
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: Committee Member Hoban and one vacant seat
PUBLIC PRESENT: Rick Alvond, Larry Carlson, Jim Clark, Joe Eckharch, John Ellingson, Wolfgang J. Hack, Scott Herman, Jeff Key, Steve Kroh, Harry Mestyanek, Christopher Lowe, Melanie Nichols, Betty Ren, Wayne Saint, Kerry Ston,
STAFF PRESENT: Associate Planner Allen, Senior Planner Eastman, Assistant Planner Kusch, Clerical Staff Leopold, Chief Planner Rosen,


Chairman Daybell requested a change to be made in the December 8, 2005 minutes under Committee Members present from Coffman to Hoban. MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan to APPROVE minutes as AMENDED, SECONDED by Committee Member Cha. Voted 3-0. Passed unanimously.




Item No. 1

Review of approved site plan; architecture; landscaping as conditioned for a request to develop a 68 unit two story assisted living facility for the elderly with 37 parking spaces for an irregular-shaped property (located on the east side of Euclid Street from approximately 690 feet to 1450 feet south of Laguna Road) (R-1-20,000 Zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration). (HA)

Associate Planner Allen provided a staff report.

Public hearing opened

Architect Wolfgang J. Hack reviewed the conditions made in the staff report and requested clarification on some of the conditions - specifically the wall at the rose garden, the width of walkways, and the louver on the roof.

Staff stated that since the rose garden was ultimately not approved as required usable open space, the wall was not required and the condition could be removed.

Staff and the committee discussed the benefit to widening the walkway, specifically in the secured garden.

Staff discussed open space regarding the rose garden, walkways, and louver covering with the applicant. Chairman Daybell reviewed some options with the applicant regarding roof covering.

Senior Planner Eastman stated it was his understanding at the Planning Commission meeting that the whole roof would be covered.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that the requirement for a lover on the roof was adopted by the City Council as a mitigation measure. If an alternative is being proposed by the applicant, staff needs to carefully evaluate the mitigation measure and alternatives proposed and decide if it needs to be taken to the Planning Commission or Council levels to amend the mitigation.

Harry Mestyanek, Ivy Landscape Architects, 434 W. Cedar St. San Diego stated the detailed landscaped plans had been prepared but not submitted with the conceptual plans provided to the RDRC. He believed the detailed plans address all of the items listed under landscape architecture in the staff report. He discussed Item No. 16 regarding a mitigation measure issue regarding storm water quality and reviewed the catch basins locations at the entry and pointed them out on the plans.

Chief Planner Rosen explained that he understood it was downstream mitigation, not upstream, and the catch basin would be located at the outlet of the storm drain across Euclid. Associate Planner Allen read the condition and said it identified separately the fossil filter requirements in the catch basins and a bio swale.

Public hearing closed.

Committee Member Cha said he'd have to study the project and storm drain system in more detail and would like to hear more discussion from staff.

Committee Member Duncan said the staff comments, in terms of material, are acceptable and as far as paint color he is okay with either scenario. He agreed to the staff condition that the landscape come back, since the plans are conceptual. Since more detailed plans will come back to the Committee he would defer comments until then. Committee Member Duncan agreed to staff recommendations.

Chairman Daybell was inclined to go with the applicant's revised proposal for the louver roof covering, to have the individual islands so the equipment is not in view. He stated that having the whole building covered in louver would not look good.

Committee Member Duncan agreed. He suggested that portions of the roof could have a louver system and suggested the architect devise something in terms of form that works out well.

Chairman Daybell said he could support approval of a louver proposal that does not cover the entire roof. He asked if Committee Member Cha had any preference on that. Committee Member answered no.

Senior Planner Eastman said as recommended in the staff report, the plans for the louver will be reviewed by the Director of Development Services. Since it is a mitigation measure on the approved project, staff will need to refer to legal counsel to make sure a change is appropriate.

Chairman Daybell said he wasn't sure if the RDRC would take a look at the storm drainage. He asked the applicant if he would be in agreement with the walkways being 5 ft. in the secured garden area. The applicant answered affirmatively.

MOTION made by Committee Member Cha, SECONDED by Committee Member Duncan to APPROVE project as conditioned by staff with additional recommendation from the RDRC that the applicant develop and alternative roof louver proposal. Passed unanimously.

Item No. 2

A request for an 14-unit, 2 and 3 story two bedroom attached condominium project in Community Improvement District located at 918 South Highland Avenue (generally located on the east side of Highland Avenue between 150 and 275 feet south of Knepp Avenue, west to Tamarack Drive) (R-3 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from October 27, November 10, and December 8, 2005). (HA)

Associate Planner Allen provided a staff report. She stated she had not heard back any feedback from the applicant regarding the staff report.

Public hearing opened.

Nancy Chang, CL Design, 1008 S. Baldwin Ave., Ste. A., Arcadia, said the applicant did not have any problems with the conditions. She presented the two-unit elevation requested from staff.

Committee Member Duncan stated he was ready to approve the project with staff recommendations and supported the fact that the landscape plans come before the Committee again. He said it would be a recommendation that along the Highland Ave. side, given the architecture, the applicant remove sod and work in a Spanish or mission-style planting theme that supports the architectural style, rather than just providing a lawn. The type of planting that would serve this type of architecture would be water conserving. It would help to reduce the mass and the size of the building along the front and focus more on the interior, eliminating as much lawn as possible. Committee Member Duncan said he was in agreement with the project but is eager to see the landscape plans again.

Committee Member Cha said all of the previous comments made from the Committee were reflected in the plans. He was in support to approve the project with staff recommendations reflected.

Chairman Daybell thanked the applicant for their efforts in and agreed with Committee Member Duncan's recommendation to bring back the landscape plans and reduce the amount of lawn.

MOTION made by Committee Member Cha, SECONDED by Committee Member Duncan to APPROVE the project with staff recommendations. Voted 3-0. Passed unanimously.


Item No. 3

Conditional Use Permit request to construct a new 20,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose building, a 21,640 sq. ft. administrative building, a 3 level (two story plus roof parking) parking structure for 787 vehicles and a future parking structure expansion located at 2801 Brea Blvd. (Generally located on the west side of Brea Blvd between Bastanchury Rd. and Rolling Hills Dr.). (R-G Zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration). (JW)

Planner Wolff provided a staff report.

Committee Member Duncan asked about the parking demand. Planner Wolff said the City Council has set a precedent with the church of allowing them to count off site, with on street parking to meet their demand during a limited time on Sunday mornings. They meet the parking requirement for most of the week Monday - Saturday, Sunday afternoon. With the proposed parking structure, they are able to rely on parking spaces on Brea Blvd/Rolling Hills that are not in a single family residential area.

Jim Clark, operations manager for EV Free, 2801 N. Brea Blvd., gave a brief overview on the project and Steve Kroh, Pro Design, reviewed the plans with the committee. He stated it is the intent of the church to remodel the whole campus, in different phases over time.

Scott Herman, H & A Pacific parking structure architect, said they've exhausted every site location to come up with the drawings they have now. He took into consideration the church's three Sunday services and the entrance/exiting issues and discussed materials.

Committee Member Cha asked about the elevation and the one elevator noted on the plans. He said since the plans presented looked preliminary, the traffic flow and foot traffic in the parking lot needs to be studied more. He said there would be a lot more traffic on the North side of the parking lot if people parked in the center parking lot would walk toward the main building rather than the other side of the building.

Mr. Herman stated that predominantly all of the users will be going to the north side. The way it is set up is they're trying to minimize the pedestrian/vehicular conflicts, one way is by introducing the main walkway on the east side of the gymnasium to the rest of the campus. He said the plans were not preliminary, but represented substantial considerations.

Chairman Daybell asked about the location of the walls. Mr. Herman said the lower level of garage is closer to the residences than the existing multipurpose building. Chairman Daybell said it would be preferable not to have the parking structure extending closer to the street than the existing buildings, since it will be a big structure seen from Brea Blvd. and Bastanchury Rd. He said if the parking structure can be squeezed in, it will enhance the appearance.

Chairman Daybell stated they have a situation at the admininistration building with the schematic site plans showing a driveway coming in from Rolling Hills Dr. and going right over the top of a water vault. He was concerned that ground elevation on the church side is higher and if a driveway is cut down to a lower grade then a big retaining wall will be next to the resident's house.

Mr. Clark said the retaining wall is in position and the water vault will have to be relocated regardless. It won't meet current code for the remodel, so it will all be moved and relocated up along the center of the walkway.

Committee Member Duncan asked if there was a requirement for landscaping in the parking lot next to the administration building? Senior Planner Eastman said the code requires 8 percent or 25 square ft. per parking space. It would be required in the construction drawings.

Public hearing closed.

Committee Member Cha said the applicant placed effort into the backside of the parking structure by making it two and three story. He asked the applicant if they can do a little bit more work in the front? There needs to be more green area. He asked if a study was made regarding the parking structure entrance? Chief Planner Rosen said the traffic engineer reviewed the plans and made recommendations regarding improvements.

Committee Member Duncan commented that it is a very nice project and will look great, architecturally speaking. He would support the new design direction and liked the idea of meshing existing materials together and bringing new materials out. It creates an open space area between the parking structure, sanctuary building and new building to the back. He accepted the project, but had a minor suggestion. He stated that along west edge the proposed privet looks to be about 20 ft. on center and may be something that can be strengthened up a bit. Any kind of foliage that looks nice would have a softening effect and would add a bit more light into the backyards and a nice view to vegetation. He suggested looking into something that is fairly continuous, but not necessarily as dense as the proposed project. Committee Member Duncan supported the project.

Chairman Daybell supports the project and particularly liked the latest drawing presented. He stated his concerns regarding the parking structure setbacks and the positioning of the driveway along the administration building. He commented that it may be very awkward and needs to be revisited. Chairman Daybell supported the project and sees a lot of effort was put into project.

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan, SECONDED by Committee Member Cha to APPROVE project with staff recommendations. Voted 3-0. Passed unanimously.

Item No. 4

A request to construct and operate a self-serve retail gasoline service station with 8 dispensers, a 32 foot by 120 foot canopy and 3 underground fuel storage tanks with a capacity of 90,000 gallons in a Community Improvement District located at 900 S. Harbor Blvd. (Generally located on the east side of Harbor Blvd. between 770 and 1232 feet north of Orangethorpe Avenue. (C-2 ZONE) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines) (JW)

Planner Wolff presented the staff report.

Committee member Duncan asked if the property line is splitting the parkway along Harbor? Planner Wolff said yes and it is fully landscaped.

Chairman Daybell asked if the applicants received a copy of the recommended conditions and is he in agreement with them? Planner Wolff answered yes, but there are a few conditions they have concerns with regarding proposed enhanced landscaping.

Committee Member Cha wanted clarification on the right turn exit at the north end of the parking lot. He stated his concerns with the current traffic jam that occurs in the Costco parking lot. He suggested making an entrance/exit nearer the center of the parking lot (near the south side of the proposed gas station) to enhance the traffic. Planner Wolff said the traffic engineer did review the plans and doesn't believe an entrance at that point is a sufficient distance from the existing signaled intersection to meet their standards. It would actually be a traffic problem to put an additional entrance so close to another one.

Public hearing opened.

John Ellingson, consultant engineer's firm, 18215 72nd Ave. South Kent, WA, representative for Costco said the staff report was reviewed by the applicant and they are generally in agreement with each of the conditions, but clarified some items. He stated that under Condition No. 2 he is able to expand the planter area 5 ft. to the north, but needs to maintain 40 ft. from the exit side of the dispensers. He stated the 2 ft -3 ft landscape that separates the fueling facilities from the north side cannot be expanded, but will place trees and provide additional trees along Harbor Blvd. to increase a screening effect. The applicants agree with the rest of the conditions and are ready to move forward with the project.

Resident Christina Gomez, 118 Rosslyn, stated she is against the project. She has complained to Costco, since 1988, regarding noise, trucks, and trash. She said if the gas station is approved, there will be additional problems.

Kim Sanford, 999 Lake Dr., Issaquah, WA, said she was just made aware of Ms. Gomez' complaints with Costco and spoke with the warehouse employees. She said Costco will work out an arrangement with the parties discussed.

Chairman Daybell requested the item be continued until resident's issues are resolved.

Committee Member Cha agreed with Chairman Daybell's comments. He told the applicant to consider making the entrance and exit in the middle of the parking lot and to accommodate traffic movement.

Chairman Daybell stated he didn't think a left turn coming from Harbor Blvd. would work, but would create traffic. Chief Planner Rosen said the City traffic engineer studied the site fairly extensively and discussed various options with the one presented being the best one.

Committee Member Cha stated since he wasn't able to study the neighbor's concerns about Costco's impact on the drainage channel, he would like more time to study it. He recommended that the project be continued.

Mr. Ellingson answered that the drainage issue is not directly related to Costco, but it's a regional drainage channel and Costco is not impacting an existing condition, which would exacerbate the flooding issue on an outside piece of property. Costco would be more than willing to work with the City if there are regional drainage facility issues.

Public hearing closed.

Committee Member Duncan said Costco should look into neighbors concerns and agrees with staff recommendations to increase landscape areas at the gas station. He also agreed with the applicant's suggestion to add more trees on Harbor Blvd. Committee Member Duncan is willing to move forward and approve the project along with staff recommendations.

Chairman Daybell said the gas facility and concept is fine, but is concerned with the resident's concerns.

MOTION made by Committee Member Cha, SECONDED by Chairman Daybell to CONTINUE project for the next RDRC meeting scheduled for January 26, to study case and resident's opinions. (Voted 2-1 with Committee Member Duncan opposed)

Item No. 5

A minor development project request to allow a minor encroachment into the front yard setback by approximately 17 percent (36'-5" in lieu of 43'-7") and to interpret consistency with the Pico-Carhart Rural Street Design Guidelines for a new residence at 156 Ramona Dr. (located on the east side of Ramona Dr., approximately between 339 and 439 feet south of the Arroyo Drive centerline) (R-1 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15301 of the CEQA Guidelines). (AK)

Assistant Planner Kusch provided staff report on the project.

Chairman Daybell asked if the applicant has seen the recommendations in the staff report? Assistant Planner Kusch said yes and they could speak at the meeting.

Senior Planner Eastman clarified that staff did not make a determination that the project does not comply with the design guidelines. In reviewing it, staff had some concerns that would be referred to the Committee for a final determination as to whether the intent of the guidelines is being met.

Public hearing opened

Applicant Mario Valadez gave a brief overview on the project and stated they are complying with the current guidelines.

Chairman Daybell asked questions about the guidelines for development in the area.

Committee Member Duncan said he liked the architecture and the single story element. He is willing to have the applicant move forward with the setback.

Chairman Daybell questioned comments in the staff report and interior construction being such that the library could not be converted into a bedroom at a later date, otherwise garage would need to be bigger.

Public hearing opened.

The following people spoke in opposition of the project:

  • Edward Moorloch, 113 Rose,
  • Harry Price, 150 Ramona Dr.
For the following reasons:

  • Notice posting
  • Setback
  • Building too large for the neighborhood
  • Drainage system
Public hearing closed.

Senior Planner Eastman commented on the notice posting stating it was posted a week prior to the meeting, but someone removed the notice. It came to the staff's attention two days before the meeting, at which time staff immediately reposted the site.

Committee Member Cha said the committee should study this case more in order to review the Pico-Carhart Guidelines.

Committee Member Duncan agreed with Committee Member Cha's comments and stated it was a nicely designed building, but was concerned with the setbacks. He would approve project as is. Committee Member Duncan recommended project for approval with staff recommendations.

Chairman Daybell stated the building meets the codes and is nicely designed. However, he would like to see the setback reduced, if possible. He commented on the RV trailer parked in the applicant's driveway and suggested it be removed. Chairman Daybell approved project with staff recommendations.

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan, SECONDED by Chairman Daybell to APPROVE project with staff recommendations. (Voted 2-1 with Committee Member Cha opposed)

Senior Planner Eastman explained the appeal process to the applicant.

Committee Member Duncan excused himself from the meeting.




No public comments




Chairman Daybell deferred other business to the next meeting.

January 10 City Council
January 11 Planning Commission




Meeting adjourned at 6:33 P.M.