Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE FULLERTON PLANNING COMMISSION
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - FULLERTON CITY HALL
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 12, 1998 4:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Sandoval at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Sandoval; Commissioners Ballard, Godfrey, LeQuire, Munson, Ranii and Simons
Director Dudley, Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Commerdinger (4:00 p.m. session only), Program Planner Linnell, Associate Planner Bane and Recording Clerk Stevens
MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, with Chairman Sandoval abstaining, that the Minutes of the July 22, 1998, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.
- ITEM NO. 1a
- AMENDMENT A-1449. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON.
Staff report dated August 5, 1998, was presented to change the zone classification from M-P-80,000 to M-P-40,000 on property located at 1645 East Orangethorpe Avenue and 1141 South Acacia Avenue (northwest corner of Orangethorpe and Acacia Avenues) (M-P-80,000 zone) (Negative Declaration) (Continued from June 24, July 8, and July 22, 1998).
- ITEM NO. 1b
- PARCEL MAP PM-98-150 AND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-994. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: L. J. VACCHER.
Staff report dated August 5, 1998, was presented pertaining to a request to consider plans to subdivide into two lots the property located at 1645 East Orangethorpe Avenue and 1141 South Acacia Avenue (northwest corner of Orangethorpe and Acacia Avenues) (M-P-80,000 zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 1 of CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from June 24, July 8 and July 22, 1998).
Staff announced that Items 1a and 1b would be heard simultaneously. Program Planner Linnell reported that the two-acre parcel in question has already been improved with two buildings. The applicant is requesting to subdivide the parcel into two lots, each being approximately 40,000-square-feet. This action will clear up an illegal subdivision which existed on the property before purchase by the current property owners. In order for the City to approve the parcel map, the zoning classification must also be changed to accommodate the request. Also, because the property owners wish to place the property line down the middle of the parcel between the two buildings, it is difficult for the applicant to comply with Building Code requirements. A copy of the memo from the Building Official was given to the Commission which outlines what is necessary to meet these requirements, and will be included as a condition of approval.
L. J. Vaccher, Orvac Electronics, indicated that he had read and concurred with all of the recommended conditions of approval. He expressed concern over one of the Engineering conditions requiring that one of the driveways be eliminated. The adjoining property owner feared that this would cause more traffic to travel onto her property. Program Planner Linnell indicated that the applicant could discuss this item with the Engineering Department. If the Director of Engineering determines that the driveway must be removed, a revised site plan must be submitted and be subject to approval by the Director of Development Services. Chairman Sandoval requested that the Resolution be amended to reflect this change.
Public hearing closed.
There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED. The reading of the title of Resolution No. 6796 GRANTING a parcel map to subdivide into two lots the property located at 1645 East Orangethorpe Avenue and 1141 South Acacia Avenue, was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED.
The reading of the title of Resolution No. 6797 RECOMMENDING that the City Council change the zone classification from M-P-80,000 to M-P-40,000 on property located at 1645 East Orangethorpe Avenue and 1141 South Acacia Avenue, was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
- ITEM NO. 2
- ZONING CODE WORKSHOP #1.
Staff report dated August 4, 1998, was presented pertaining to the possible reorganization, reformatting and amendments to the City's Zoning Code. The overall objective is to make the code easier to use, and avoid any fundamental changes. This item will cover possible revisions to the Residential Chapter of the Zoning Code. Formal adoption hearings for the Residential Chapter are tentatively scheduled for April 1999.
Associate Planner Bane reminded the Commission that this was the first in a series of workshops. Staff's desire was to inform what revisions had been made thus far, and obtain specific comments from both the Commission and the public. He emphasized that staff wished to focus on the "big picture" comments; any editorial comments or typographical/grammatical errors may be made by the Commission on their draft copies. Staff will not make any final recommendations to the City Council at this time.
A frequent users group has been formed to assist staff in reviewing the code. Detailed comments have been received from that group, the City Attorney, and other members of City staff. Associate Planner Bane displayed an overhead projection depicting what changes to the code staff has made to date, including formatting and reorganization. He pointed out three discussion items for which staff wished clarification from the Commission:
- Should the code permit bed and breakfast uses in R-1 zones or duplexes in R-2 zones?
- Should the third parking space requirement for five or more bedrooms be applicable to R-2 zoning?
- Should there be minimum requirements for U-shaped driveways? For example, should that portion of the driveway which more or less parallels the front property line (where cars would be parked) be outside the front yard setback?
Director Dudley reminded the Commission that it was not staff's intent to do a total "rewrite" of the code at this time. Staff hopes to only make the code more user friendly.
Commissioner Ranii's comments included: (1) the affordable housing section of the code should be reviewed by the Affordable Housing Committee; and (2) he felt it was unreasonable that home-based businesses not be allowed to have customers park in a residential zone, and asked that this requirement be removed.
Director Dudley reiterated that if the Commission wished to address policy issues, the level of the rewrite would have to be changed, which would involve greater expense and staff time.
Commissioner LeQuire suggested that a representative from the Affordable Housing Committee sit in on the frequent user's committee. He was satisfied that the project is starting on tract, and as each section is completed, the Commission will forward their comments to staff. Periodic discussions will be held, with a final review after completion. Further, he felt that Bed and Breakfast uses should not be allowed in the R-1 zone.
Commissioner Munson requested clarification as to the exact input which staff was requesting from the Commission.
Commissioner Ballard stated that he understood staff's request was to first put the code in a more readable form, then address other issues. Regarding the three discussion items, Commissioner Ballard inquired whether the public was made aware of the rewrite. Associate Planner Bane answered that while staff wished to avoid any fundamental changes at this point, each workshop is advertised for the benefit of the public.
Commissioner Godfrey suggested that staff highlight the major issues which they deal with during their daily work. Director Dudley indicated that staff will do this when the package again comes before the Commission in April.
Commissioner Ballard asked for a red-lined copy, as well as a hard copy, of each section being revised. Staff concurred.
Public hearing opened.
Mike Trimble, 520 West Malvern Avenue, suggested that a section entitled "Definitions" should be added to the code, to avoid different interpretations by the general public and staff.
Director Dudley stated at this time, the Commission should give their comments on the three discussion items, and forward their red-lined copies to staff for incorporation.
Commissioner Ranii: (1) No B & B's in either R-1 or R-2 zones; (2) yes to the third space parking requirement in the R-2 zone; and (3) did not feel that the driveway should take up the majority of the front yard and a designated amount of greenspace should be required.
Commissioner Ballard: (1) He did not want B & B's in R-1 zones (perhaps in an R-2 with a Conditional Use Permit, however); (2) the third parking space requirement should be applied to R-2 zoning, as well as R-1, and (3) U-shaped driveways should not have to be behind the front yard, because typically these homeowners do not park in their driveways. He added that the U-shaped driveway should be based on the lot size or the linear square footage to the street.
Chairman Sandoval: (1) No B & B's in R-1 zones; however, perhaps in an R-2 zone with a CUP; (2) yes to the third parking space requirement in R-2 zones; and (3) U-shaped driveway requirements should be defined so staff may be consistent in their direction.
Commissioner Godfrey: (1) No B & B's in residential zones; (2) yes to the third space parking requirement; and (3) the U-shaped driveway requirement needs definition.
Commissioner Simons: (1) No B & B's in residential; (2) yes to the third space parking requirement; and (3) U-shaped driveways should be based on linear footage or size of the lot. Commissioners Munson and LeQuire concurred.
There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction.
The afternoon session was adjourned at 5:12 p.m. to the evening session at 7:00 p.m.
7:00 PM SESSION
Chief Planner Rosen introduced Virginia Viado, the new Associate Planner in the Development Services Department.
- ITEM NO. 3
- CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-899. APPLICANT: STUART'S ROLLER WORLD; PROPERTY OWNERS: HARRY AND MARY DRAPEL.
Staff report dated August 5, 1998, was presented pertaining to a modification/revocation hearing for a roller rink, arcade, snack bar and proshop in an existing commercial building, to consider whether to revoke, modify or allow the continuance of said use, on property located at 464 West Commonwealth Avenue (southeast corner of Commonwealth and Richman Avenues) (C-H zone) (Categorically exempt per Class 1 of CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from February 11, 1998).
Senior Planner Commerdinger reported that this item was last reviewed by the Commission on July 8, 1998. Since that time, the owner has put the building on the market, and the applicant has informed staff that he no longer wishes to pursue the construction of the outdoor skate park. The applicant will also no longer continue with the replacement of the illegal addition on the west side, and will return it to its original condition. (No plans have been received by staff for this work). There had been one police call generated due to a petty theft, and there is still an outstanding Building Code violation for the illegal penalty box at the western end of the building. There are still outstanding maintenance issues which also exist. Because of the independent actions of the operator, and the continued unresolved Building Code issues, staff recommended revocation of the Conditional Use Permit.
Responding to a request by Commissioner Godfrey, Senior Planner Commerdinger reviewed the list of conditions of approval, and noted those to which applicant had either complied or not.
Chairman Sandoval asked that, if the Conditional Use Permit were to be revoked, would all operations cease, and Senior Planner Commerdinger answered affirmatively.
Commissioner LeQuire noted the existence of several inoperable vehicles along the west side. Senior Planner Commerdinger answered that while staff had not addressed this issue specifically, they have had numerous conversations with the operator regarding general maintenance of the property.
Public hearing opened.
Stuart Silver, operator of Stuart's Roller World, felt that the only open issue was the construction of the penalty box. Plans have already been submitted for the work, a permit has been obtained, and he anticipates that the cost will be approximately $55,000. Because of budget restraints, he asked the Commission for a 45-day extension to complete the construction of the penalty box. He stated that it was his intent to remain at this location for some time, because of the difficulty in selling buildings such as this. He is presently in the process of removing the inoperable vehicles from the site, and he was confident that he had satisfactorily addressed the parking problem. Mr. Silver's attorney has informed him that legally he has a prescriptive easement to utilize the driveway of the adjoining property to the east, and he has placed no parking signs on the French Village property. He has also installed additional landscaping and a sprinkler system to enhance the appearance of the property. Public skating sessions will no longer occur, thus eliminating the problem of large parties and accompanying parking problems.
Commissioner Munson inquired as to the length of the lease for this property, and Mr. Silver answered that the lease has another six years to run. Mr. Silver added that, while he has spoken with the City of Anaheim regarding possible relocation to that City, no agreements had been finalized. Commissioner Munson expressed annoyance with being asked for an extension of time, because of the fact that Mr. Silver has continually failed to comply with all of the conditions of approval.
Commissioner Simons asked if a permit was obtained for construction of the penalty box. Mr. Silver stated that a permit had been obtained, but never signed off by the inspector because it was found that the concrete was poured incorrectly. Commissioner Simons also asked if the applicant was in possession of the $55,000 needed for the construction. Mr. Silver answered that he had already applied for bank loans and was confident that funding could be obtained.
Commissioner Ballard noted that the staff report indicates no plans had been received by staff for the penalty box, yet the applicant stated that he submitted plans which had gone through two plan checks. Senior Planner Commerdinger reported that when the new addition on the west side was inspected in January, the building inspector had required the footings, wall and header be opened up to view the structural elements. Mr. Silver was then directed to have a licensed engineer draw up a set of plans to rectify the problem. These plans were submitted for plan check, a correction letter was generated, the engineer then made the corrections and resubmitted a second set of plans. Although the second set of plans corrected a number of the items specified in the correction letter, some were still not addressed. Senior Planner Commerdinger then received a call from Mr. Silver who stated that he would not pursue the construction, and would be demolishing the addition. Director Dudley further stated that no plans had been submitted for either the demolition, or design of the replacement exterior wall. Senior Planner Commerdinger indicated that there were two options: either retrofit the existing building to meet code, or demolish the wall and return it to its original condition. Should Mr. Silver desire to pursue completion of the penalty box, there were still outstanding corrections to be made to the second set of plans.
Commissioner Godfrey reiterated his concerns with this operation, specifically the lack of a reciprocal parking agreement with Mrs. Plummer, lack of security personnel on the premises outside of the building to address the parking problem, and the length of time to correct the trash enclosure problem.
Daniel Bowen, attorney for Florence Plummer, referenced his letter to the Commission concerning health and safety issues, and a list of ongoing conditions to which the applicant has not complied. He emphasized that a prescriptive easement does not exist unless there is a judgment from a superior court which decrees such, and there is none in this case.
Lloyd Miser, has been a tenant in the French Village for over 25 years. He cited instances of trash, inoperable cars, inadequate landscaping, and non-compliance with conditions of approval.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Munson felt that the applicant did not conduct his business in a positive manner, and staff has continually attempted to assist Mr. Silver with various issues, but to no avail. He recommended revocation of the Conditional Use Permit. Commissioner Simons concurred.
Commissioner Godfrey also recognized non-compliance with various conditions of the CUP, and did not feel that the Commission could continue to support the operation.
Commissioner LeQuire did not feel that the applicant was a role model for the many children who frequented the facility, because of his failure to comply with the rules of his Conditional Use Permit. While he favored this type of use in the community, due to the constant frustration expressed by surrounding property owners, he felt that the CUP should be revoked at this time.
Commissioner Ranii stated that because of the applicant's failure to produce a parking agreement with his neighbor to the east, he would also support staff's recommendation.
Commissioner Ballard added that because of applicant's lack of credibility thus far, he would also be in favor of revoking the CUP.
Commissioner LeQuire inquired as to the status of all operations if the CUP was revoked. Director Dudley informed him that the applicant had a ten-day period in which to appeal. Should he do so, and the City Council upholds the Planning Commission decision, the applicant must cease all operations, or the matter will be turned over to the City Attorney.
There was a consensus of the Commission to revoke the Conditional Use Permit. The reading of the title of Resolution No. 6800 REVOKING a Conditional Use Permit for the operation of a roller rink, arcade, snack bar and pro shop in an existing commercial building on property located at 464 West Commonwealth Avenue, was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
- ITEM NO. 4
- SITE PLAN SP-753 & CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-995. APPLICANT: MICHAEL MURPHY; PROPERTY OWNER: PU KI CHONG.
Staff report dated August 5, 1998, was presented pertaining to a request to consider site and architectural plans for a 7,200-square-foot, sit-down restaurant on property located at 305 North State College Boulevard (west side of State College Boulevard, between approximately 480 and 612 feet south of Chapman Avenue) (O-P zone) (Negative Declaration).
Program Planner Linnell reported that the property in question is presently a vacant, unimproved parcel. The property owner proposes to construct a new sit-down restaurant in an O-P zone. The site plan meets all development standards, including parking, and a future 10-foot dedication for the widening of State College Boulevard. The restaurant faces the street, away from the surrounding single-family residences west of the site. The parking layout will be to the south and towards the rear of the property. Staff recommended approval of the request, including a condition which allows staff to further review the architectural design of the restaurant.
Commissioner Munson questioned the hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight, seven days a week, and asked for the criteria in establishing these hours. Program Planner Linnell answered that these hours were used for recently approved drive-thru restaurants in the City. Also, the property to the south of the proposed restaurant is zoned Office-Professional, so there would likely be no new residential construction in the future.
Commissioner Simons noted the existence of an 8-foot block wall on the west side of the property, while the fence on the south side is only 5 feet. Program Planner Linnell reminded him that staff was not concerned with the height of a fence between two commercial properties, as they would be with a fence between commercial and residentially-zoned property. Director Dudley added that the 8-foot wall to the west consisted of two feet of retaining wall.
Commissioner Ballard stated that the initial request was for a 7,200-square-foot restaurant, but the staff report listed it at 6,500 square feet. Program Planner Linnell clarified that the original proposal was for 7,200 square feet, but the parking requirements could not be met, so the size of the building was reduced.
Commissioner Godfrey asked if the former restaurant next to the site had any compatibility problems with the surrounding neighborhood. Program Planner Linnell answered affirmatively, that complaints had been received regarding the restaurant use. Director Dudley added that the main complaint had not been with noise or parking, but with the trash dumped at the rear of the property.
Public hearing opened.
Michael Murphy, architect for the property owner, stated that the applicant had originally request 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. as the hours of operation, but he would like to keep the hours as stated by staff in the conditions of approval. Mr. Murphy further stated that he had not received a copy of the Engineer's letter. After reviewing a copy of the Engineer's letter, he concurred with the conditions listed.
The following persons spoke in favor of the project:
Jay Chong, son of the property owner. He stated that he met with the surrounding residents, and most supported the project.
Martha Adams, 301 North Concord Avenue. She favored the project because the vacant lot has been an eyesore for many years, and she felt that a family restaurant would be beneficial to the neighborhood.
Carter Neal, 300 North Concord Avenue, welcomed a sit-down restaurant of this type. His only concern was the lighting, but he was confident that this issue could be resolved by the applicant.
Chris Paulson, 218 North Concord Avenue, indicated that there has been a problem with transients camping out on the vacant lot, and this would be a much needed improvement to the area.
Public hearing closed.
There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED. The reading of the title of Resolution No. 6798 APPROVING site and architectural plans for a 6,500-square-foot, sit-down restaurant on property located at 305 North State College Boulevard, was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
- ITEM NO. 5
- SITE PLAN SP-754 & CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-996. APPLICANT: ROBERT L. JOHNSTON; PROPERTY OWNER: LAGUNA J.L.W. PARTNERS.
Staff report dated August 5, 1998, was presented pertaining to a request to consider site and architectural plans for a two-story, 9,750-square-foot building, and to allow the new building to exceed the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) on property located at 110-120 Laguna Road (northwest corner of Valencia Mesa Drive and Laguna Road) (C-2 zone) (Negative Declaration).
Program Planner Linnell reported that the property presently consists of two parcels-the property to the south is vacant; and the property to the north is an existing office building. The applicant proposes to demolish the northern structure, consolidate the two parcels, and construct a medical office building. The major issue concerns parking; however, the entire ground floor will be designated as parking, with the majority of the office space on the second floor of the structure. The majority of the required parking will be satisfied on site, where 44 of the 49 spaces will be provided, and the remaining five being situated on the south side of Laguna Drive which is a private street. Program Planner Linnell pointed out that private streets may be counted for available parking spaces. Also, a certain portion of the second story must be used as general office-the entire second story cannot be used strictly as a medical office use. The allowed Floor Area Ratio for this zone is .35, and with a Conditional Use Permit, this may be increased to .70; however, the applicant only wishes to increase the FAR to .45 at this time.
Public hearing opened.
Robert Johnston, stated that this project was proposed by local physicians who required additional office space for their practices. He indicated that he had read and concurred with all the recommended conditions of approval.
Velma Bushjordan, 1712 Sunnycrest Drive, first thanked Program Planner Linnell for his knowledgeable input regarding this matter. She expressed her opposition to the project because of increased air pollution, and an increase to parking problems which already exist in this area. She did not feel that there would be ample parking for both employee and patient parking, and feared that the trash trucks would not be able to turn around in the parking lot of the building. Program Planner Linnell explained that the applicant must conform the parking layout to allow a turnaround area for the trash trucks to use. M. G. Disposal has already reviewed the site plan and stated that their drivers would be able to service the property with the proposed layout.
Dr. Stephen Nicholas and Dr. Martin Stauber, Fullerton Orthopedic Medical Group, also opposed the project as presented. They presently occupy the 20,000-square-foot medical building across the street from this site, and indicated that their 115 parking spaces are inadequate to accommodate their patient load. They feared that this project would exacerbate an already overcrowded area, with not only medical parking, but Auto Club, St. Jude, travel agency, car wash, and other commercial parking in the area.
Barbara Marr, opposed the project because she felt that all 49 spaces should be provided on site, and any further parking on Laguna Drive would create a major traffic problem.
Ken Brown, architect for the project, stated that this project would not be detrimental to the area, and that the majority of existing parking problems occur from the car wash. He pointed out that the Pavillion project has more than the required parking spaces, and the St. Jude facility also has extra parking spaces from the bank. Because of the location of the entrance of the new facility, he believed tenants and patients won't cross the street to park in the new building because parking would be more difficult to access.
Jeff Weber, owner of one of the two parcels in question, reiterated that the car wash contributes to the largest majority of parking problems. Patrons of the travel agency will usually not park across the street from that building, and the proposed parking scheme will accommodate all parking on the other side of Laguna Road.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Godfrey supported staff's recommendation, because the project will create 44 off-street parking spaces which presently do not exist. He was confident that the highest and best use of the property was being demonstrated. Commissioners Ranii and Simons concurred.
Commissioner Ballard opposed the project because he felt that all parking should be provided on site. He advised staff to review the Conditional Use Permit for the Sunny Hills Car Wash to determine if they were supplying adequate parking for that use.
Commissioner LeQuire favored the project, but also advised staff to review the Conditional Use Permit for the car wash, and contact the property owner, if necessary. Director Dudley informed the Commission that staff would investigate the matter.
Commissioner Munson supported the project, because it was his opinion that the majority of parking problems were occurring on the other side of Laguna Road. However, he asked that a report be presented to the Commission after staff's review and discussion with Unocal. Chairman Sandoval concurred.
There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Ranii, seconded and CARRIED unanimously, that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED. The title of Resolution No. 6799 APPROVING site and architectural plans for a two-story, 9,750-square-foot office building on property located at 110-120 Laguna Road, and to allow the new building to exceed the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of .350 for the site, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Godfrey, seconded, and CARRIED by a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Ballard voting no, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
- ITEM A
- RESOLUTION OF INTENTION. AMENDMENT A-1453. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON. The reading of the title of Resolution No. 6801 DECLARING Planning Commission intention to consider amending Chapter 15.20 of the Fullerton Municipal Code pertaining to development standards in the PRD zone, was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Ranii, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
- ITEM B
- REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report on recent City Council meetings.
- ITEM C
- PUBLIC COMMENTS There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction.
- ITEM D
- AGENDA FORECAST The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be September 9, 1998, at 4:00 p.m. The August 26, 1998, meeting has been canceled.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.
Clerk to the Planning Commission