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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes



WEDNESDAY AUGUST 11, 1999 4:00 P.M.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Godfrey at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Godfrey; Commissioners Ballard, LeQuire, Munson, and Sandoval

ABSENT: Commissioners Ranii and Simons

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Program Planner Linnell, Senior Civil Engineer Wallin and Recording Secretary Stevens

ALSO PRESENT: Redevelopment Operations Manager Galvin

MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED by a 4-0 vote, with Commissioner Munson abstaining, that the Minutes of the July 28, 1999, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.


Staff report dated August 4, 1999, was presented pertaining to a request to subdivide a 1.45-acre hillside property into four lots on property located at 1314 North Raymond Avenue (east side of Raymond Avenue between approximately 200 feet and 310 feet south of Miramar Drive (R-1-10,000 zone) (Negative Declaration).

Program Planner Linnell reported that the property in question is improved with a single-family residence, which is presently undergoing a remodel, and will ultimately be the largest of the four lots. All four lots will be accessed by a private driveway along the south property line. The primary issues with this proposal are the grading and drainage. As stated in the staff report, part of the property would have to be filled in, and a new pipes would be installed underground to convey water running from the north, into a catch basin at the southern end of the property. He indicated that there were a couple of items not addressed in the staff report that needed to be discussed. A slide show was displayed depicting where the ravine would be filled in, and how the drainage would travel to the catch basin. He noted that there were concerned property owners who feared that the proposed drainage plan may negatively impact their property.

Senior Civil Engineer Wallin explained that there is presently a ravine on site where the runoff traverses the site and enters a storm drain inlet and pipe on the church property to the south. The applicant proposes to fill in the ravine and build a new storm drain line that will connect directly to the church's storm drain, where the water will be outletted to a natural ravine downstream of the church property.

Program Planner Linnell added that one of the conditions of approval was that property owners to the north and south must agree to the proposed grading plan, which involves going onto those properties and altering the land form to some extent. The church property to the south will be the most affected of those two properties.

Commissioner LeQuire inquired whether the new grading and configuration would require modification to the existing catch basin which is on the church property to the south. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin answered that staff looked at making sure that the storm drain constructed on this site would protect the new homes to be built. The pipe will be designed to carry the flow from applicant's property to the south, and will not cause any more water flow to the church than would already occur under normal conditions.

Commissioner LeQuire also questioned how the proposed plan differed from the plan approved in 1962. Program Planner Linnell said originally a three-flag-lot subdivision had been approved, backing up to Raymond Avenue, and individual driveways would have been provided for each lot. The present configuration proposes a private driveway for all four properties.

Commissioner Ballard stated his understanding that a down-slope property owner must accept any natural drainage to his property, and each property owner downstream must subsequently accept that runoff. Because the applicant will conduct hydrology studies, the new pipe must be installed underground to accept 100-year-flood runoff from the swale, and deliver it downstream. He also felt that any additional drainage/runoff which may be created by the addition of hardscape on this parcel of land, would still be received and distributed to the southern property as it always had in the past, and that no significant increase would be experienced by the church property to the south.

Program Planner Linnell reiterated that no grading permit would be issued for this project until staff is in receipt of an agreement from the property owners to the north and south, indicating that they are in concurrence with the grading plan proposed by applicant.

Commissioner Ballard assumed that MG Disposal would not be driving down the length of the proposed driveway, and asked if a trash enclosure had been considered by the applicant. Program Planner Linnell clarified that there would be a turnaround area for both MG Disposal and emergency vehicles. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin added that, while staff reminded the applicant that the trash containers for all four lots might have to be brought up to the public street (Raymond Avenue), they had not broached the subject of a trash enclosure.

Chief Planner Rosen reported that staff had a concern with the slope on the eastern portion of the property, which recently had three very mature trees removed prior to staff's visit to the site. Staff would normally require landscaping to stabilize slopes during grading, but in this instance, he wished to add a condition that the applicant replace those trees, to be consistent with the Zoning Ordinance.

Chairman Godfrey inquired if the Engineering Department had considered any increased runoff by the addition of hardscape on this parcel. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that the applicant would have to design a system to convey any water that entered his property, also taking into consideration any additional runoff due to development of the site. Staff felt the additional runoff would be minimal in this case.

Public hearing opened.

Michael Kim, 12362 Beach Boulevard, Suite 2, Stanton, project engineer, first emphasized that the project as proposed would not change the present drainage pattern. In fact, the proposed underground storm drain system will help mitigate some of the existing drainage problems. Based on the preliminary hydraulic study, there are two drainage areas on site, and both are off the proposed site. He also noted that an Orange County Flood Control assessment shows an increased generation of approximately 7 c.f. of water per second, or 3,100 gallons per minute in a 100-year storm. The proposed pipe, even at 1% slope, will convey approximately 22 c.f. of water per second. As the lot stands now, the water runs down through an open gulley, and as it traverses downwards, it collects silt, debris, leaves and rocks (bulking factor), which adds to the volume of water delivered to the existing corrugated metal catch basin on the church property. The applicant is proposing to install a trash grate, to collect any debris, so only clear water will enter the storm drain system, and the runoff to the church will be less than is delivered now. There is an approximately 45-foot-wide, 6-foot deep depression on the church property where the corrugated metal catch basin is located. The applicant will replace the existing catch basin with a City-approved manhole and inlet, and fill in the depression, thus reducing maintenance problems in that area. He added that he had met with members of the church board, and was confident that mitigation measures could be imposed to address their concerns, including attempting to save an oak tree on the property line. In conclusion, he felt the project would have a minimal impact on the area, because only four units are being proposed, when six could be allowed. With the proposed improvements, particularly the drainage, the area would be enhanced.

Commissioner Munson inquired if the proposed "fill in" of the eastern property line of Parcel 4 had any effect on the drainage through the gulley of the eastern boundary of the lot. Mr. Kim replied that there would be significantly less drainage on the eastern property line, because the existing natural grade is very steep. The proposal is to "cut" on the north and "fill" on the south so the property will be leveled and the speed of the water will be reduced. Also, the pad area of this lot will be graded in such a way as to have a berm on the outer perimeter of the pad to prevent any runoff from the pad area onto the slope.

Dave Schenk, 1802 West Crone, Anaheim, is in the process of purchasing a home on a lot south of the church. He wished clarification concerning the water flow onto his property. On advice from Chairman Godfrey, Mr. Shenk spoke with Senior Civil Engineer Wallin for this information.

Thomas Garsha, 1421 North Hollydale Drive, pointed out the large ravine on the vicinity sketch, and explained the water flow during heavy rains. He expressed concern about additional runoff from the proposed development. He also felt that the rural aesthetics of the area would be compromised, because of the project design. Commissioner Ballard reminded Mr. Garsha that the proposed lots were legal, because the area is zoned R-1-10,000. The Planning Commission could not debate the aesthetics of the project, and that the existing property owners most likely did not hold easements for light, view and air.

Sylvia Lyons, 53 Hunter Point Road, Pomona, is a member of the church to the south of the property. She wished to make the Commission aware of the concerns expressed to the applicant. In addition to the oak tree, she indicated that there are four ficus trees at the parking lot level, which may be lost if the proposed "fill" of the depression is made. She mentioned a 6-foot retaining wall which will also be required, and the possibility of graffiti. She asked that the existing trees be shown on the plan, as well as an elevation of the retaining wall.

Commissioner LeQuire asked if Ms. Lyons was speaking as the church's designated representative, and Ms. Lyons stated that she had been asked to speak by the church's executive board.

Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reminded the speaker that if the church does not give its permission, the applicant will be unable to make any alterations to the church property.

Sam Harry, 1411 North Hollydale Drive, reported that over the years he has had to move his fence in 10 feet from the property line because the water had washed away the land beneath it. With the addition of the proposed development, he feared further erosion and accumulation of trash in the ravine adjoining his property.

Ed Malkowitz, 1274 Miramar Drive, did not feel that the proposed development would "enhance" the area, and may decrease property values of existing homes.

Joe Kubas, 1341 Hollydale Drive, distributed photos to the Commission showing the slope on his property. He cautioned that the amount of water which will collect on the church property, where the pipe is located, may cause erosion in that area, as it already has on his own property. He questioned whether the water would drain off the church property after the retaining wall is constructed. He also informed the Commission that the applicant had removed six stands of very large pepper trees, and there is no root structure to support the slope. Chairman Godfrey reminded him that the applicant would be required to replace those trees.

Richard Campos, 1337 North Hollydale Drive, expressed his concern about the introduction of additional sheet flow into the main drain system and drainage ditch. He had also experienced erosion on his property and concurred with previous statements made by his neighbors.

Chairman Godfrey recalled Mr. Kim to the podium. He asked if the applicant had read and concurred with the recommended conditions of approval, and Mr. Kim answered affirmatively. Further, Chief Planner Rosen wished to add a condition that additional trees and landscaping, subject to the approval of the Director of Development Services, be planted on the eastern property line. Mr. Kim also understood and concurred with that condition. In response to Mr. Kubas' concern about the drainage of the retaining wall, Mr. Kim explained how the water would drain off the church, and not impact Mr. Kubas' property.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Sandoval appreciated all the comments and concerns of the neighbors; however, it appeared that the proposal met all specifications and code requirements. She favored the project as presented, with the additional condition of approval.

Commissioner Ballard also felt the proposal fit the zoning code requirements and was satisfied that mitigation measures would be taken to protect surrounding properties. He was confident that the amount of water that has always been accepted and passed through the area would not increase. He realized that there was a drainage problem with the large ravine to the east of the parcel, and suggested that an assessment district be formed from properties which abut this ravine, to determine what could be done to mitigate the problem. He also supported the project.

Commissioner Munson, while of the opinion that the project was too massive for this area, said he would vote to support the project because it met all code requirements. He urged the neighbors in attendance to keep in contact with both the Engineering and Development Services staff to ensure that all concerns are alleviated during the construction process. He also wished to have the appeal process explained to the audience.

Commissioner LeQuire concurred with other Commissioner's comments, even though he too felt the project was ambitious for the area. He supported the project as presented, and asked for a reading of the additional condition, so the applicant and Commission could hear exactly what was being voted on. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there was a specific provision in the hillside grading ordinance pertaining to trees and landscaping on slopes, and that would be incorporated as one of the conditions of approval.

Chairman Godfrey reiterated that an assessment district could be created to mitigate problems experienced by the neighbors. Because the project met all code requirements, he also would vote in favor of the project.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED. The title of Resolution No. 6835 GRANTING a parcel map to subdivide an existing 1.45-acre hillside property into four lots on property located at 1314 North Raymond Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED, to include the modification of Condition No. 5 and adding language from the hillside grading ordinance pertaining to the eastern portion of the property.

Chief Planner Rosen explained the appeal process, which must be conducted within ten days.

Redevelopment Operations Manager Galvin reported that the guidelines distributed to the Commission would most likely not occur for approximately eight years. The guidelines pertain to areas around stations that would be served by the future Centerline Project (Urban Rail System). He explained that a station for that system would be located at Fullerton's Transportation Center and one or two stations would be in the Orangethorpe/Harbor area. Because land uses in the vicinity of the stations will be intensified to encourage increased ridership, the guidelines must be reviewed by the Planning and Transportation Commissions, before going to City Council. The guidelines from all cities in the corridor from Fullerton to Irvine will be collected by OCTA and become part of the application for Federal funding.

Commissioner LeQuire indicated that he was presently serving as the Planning Commission representative on the Urban Rail Committee. Because he is also on the Fire Service Committee, he asked to be excused from the Urban Rail Committee, that that Commissioner Sandoval serve as the Planning Commission representative. Commissioner Sandoval accepted the position as Planning Commission representative.

MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Planning Commission recommend approval of the guidelines to the City Council.

Commissioner Sandoval noted that of all the cities along the corridor, Fullerton has the advantage of already having a Central Business District plan, guidelines and active redevelopment.

Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report on recent City Council meetings.
There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction.
The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be September 8, 1999, at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The August 25, 1999, meeting has been canceled.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Becky Stevens
Clerk to the Planning Commission
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