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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE FULLERTON PLANNING COMMISSION

COUNCIL CHAMBERS - FULLERTON CITY HALL

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 13, 1999 4:00 P.M.

CALL TO ORDER:
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Sandoval at 4:00 p.m.
ROLL CALL:
Chairman Sandoval; Commissioners Godfrey, LeQuire, Munson and Ranii

ABSENT: Ballard, Simons

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Program Planner Linnell, Associate Planner Bane and Recording Clerk Stevens

MINUTES:
MOTION by Commissioner Ranii, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Minutes of the December 9, 1998, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN
Commissioner Munson nominated Commissioner Godfrey for the position of Chairman. The nomination was seconded by Commissioner Ranii, and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present.

Commissioner Munson nominated Commissioner LeQuire for the position of Vice-Chairman. The nomination was seconded by Chairman Sandoval and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

ITEM NO. 1 CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1002. APPLICANT: EL TORITO RESTAURANTS; PROPERTY OWNER: CT OPERATING PARTNERSHIP, L.P.
Staff report dated January 6, 1999, was presented pertaining to a request to allow a dance floor for dancing and karaoke entertainment within an existing restaurant (El Torito) on property located at 101 East Orangethorpe Avenue (northeast corner of Orangethorpe Avenue and Harbor Boulevard) (C-2 zone) (Negative Declaration).

Program Planner Linnell reported that this was an existing restaurant (El Torito) in Fullerton Towne Center. A Conditional Use Permit is required for dance floors because of their potential as nuisances to adjacent businesses, and patronage above and beyond a restaurant use. Staff contacted the Police Department regarding this request, and was told that the Police Department had a good rapport with this establishment and could support the use of a dance floor. Staff reminded the Commission that the City had experienced parking problems with this center, but that such problems occur in other parts of the center, closer to the AMC Theaters. The applicant submitted a spot survey of the parking in the immediate area, and staff confirmed the applicant's findings after conducting their own survey. Staff notified nearby businesses of the request, but received no negative feedback. Staff recommended approval of the request, with no additional conditions of approval.

Chairman Godfrey inquired whether staff had investigated other restaurants in the area which had dance floors in their facilities. Program Planner Linnell responded that staff had conferred with the Police Department concerning Geckos, also within Fullerton Towne Center, but was told that there had been very few incidents at that location. Chairman Godfrey further inquired whether the restaurant would be required to provide security with the approval of a dance floor permit. Program Planner Linnell stated that if the restaurant applied for a "live entertainment" permit, the Police Department could enforce that condition, should they so desire.

Public hearing opened, but there was no one present who wished to speak on this matter.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Munson, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED. The reading of the title of Resolution No. 6810 APPROVING a Conditional Use Permit to allow a dance floor for dancing and karaoke entertainment within an existing restaurant (El Torito) on property located at 101 East Orangethorpe Avenue, was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Munson, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 2
ZONING CODE WORKSHOP #3
Staff report dated January 7, 1999, was presented pertaining to the third in a series of workshops to update and reorganize the City's zoning code. This workshop will address proposed revisions to the Planned Residential Development (PRD) chapter. (Continued from December 9, 1998.)

Associate Planner Bane reported that he would be reviewing the discussion items individually, and then receive Commission comments.

  1. Duration of Temporary Uses

    Presently, the PRD code has a one-year time limit on temporary uses such as sales offices for model homes. Staff felt that the one-year time limit be lifted and the code be amended to require that such uses be shut down within 90 days from the sale of the last unit.

  2. Floor Area Ratios in the PRD Zone

    The PRD code has Floor Area Ratios (FARS), which limit the amount of square footage which can be built as a percentage of a lot size--the ratio being .5. This calculates to a 3,000-square-foot home being allowed on a 6,000-square-foot lot and a 1,500-square-foot home allowed on a 3,000-square-foot-lot. The problem with the latter is that it appears much more dense than the home on the larger lot. While there is not a specific lot size minimum requirement, staff has discouraged small lot subdivisions because of this issue. Staff's recommendation is to tier the FAR limits, with smaller lots having smaller FAR allowances. Following further discussion, it was decided that staff would return to the Commission in April with a specific proposal.

    Commissioner Ranii favored this approach, as it maintained flexibility in the PRD zone.

  3. Setbacks from Other Zones

    The PRD code is somewhat gray concerning setback requirements when the PRD zone is adjacent to any zone other than an R-1 or another PRD zone. The P-L zone is the second most common zone to abut a PRD property, but the code is silent on what the setback requirement should be.

    Commissioner Munson asked what the disadvantage would be for setting a specific setback requirement from P-L zoned property. Chief Planner Rosen cited an example where a development backs up to a park. If the homes are turned towards the park, it could serve as extra security for the park, because the front of the homes would face the park area. On the other hand, the visual impact of the park's open space would be compromised by the scale of the buildings. Staff concluded that a normal setback requirement such as 10-15 feet would be beneficial.

    Chairman Godfrey felt that it would be the consensus of the Commission to have a setback requirement for this zone, as well as other zones such as greenbelts.

    Commissioner Ranii added that it would also allow the City to maintain flexibility regarding open space requirements. Commissioner Ranii also asked staff for clarification on the section which reads: ". . .Net land area is defined as the gross land area minus any easements or dedications which effectively prohibit construction in the easement area." He did not feel that the developer should be penalized for easements for underground utilities, etc. Associate Planner Bane advised that staff could amend that section to reflect that if the easement does prohibit construction, but there is nothing slated to be constructed (such as a roadway) an exception could be made.

  4. Developed Recreational Areas as Incentives for Higher FARs

    The PRD code envisions developments with a series of greenbelts and parkway networks to provide increased pedestrian movements. There is presently an incentive (in the form of higher FAR's) to place the units close and accessible to the common recreational areas. However, there is no definition of what a developed recreational area is, such as a permanent improvement, passive open space, or natural undeveloped area.

    Chairman Godfrey pointed out that the code as it now stands allows staff flexibility to work with developers on the best use of the land, and what open space is provided. Commissioner LeQuire added that he felt the burden should be placed on the developer to bring forth projects with ideas on how to best implement the open space requirements.

    Commissioner Munson felt that this matter should be returned to staff to allow them to create their own list of requirements, subject to Commission approval.

    Commissioner Ranii noted that bicycle paths are not mentioned as a credit for open space.

    Associate Planner Bane stated that, per Commission direction, staff will propose new language for this section to determine what would be developed or not, and provide FAR incentives in cases where there may not be development, but where staff felt an acceptable proposal was presented.

  5. Redevelopment Design Review Committee Decisions on Open Space Plans

    Staff proposed to remove the RDRC from this review. The Planning Commission concurred.

Commissioner Ranii questioned the requirement concerning the gating of Planned Residential Developments, and its review at staff level. He felt that this issue should be made public to all the homeowners in a PRD zone, and should be heard at Planning Commission level to ensure that all property owners are adequately notified. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that typically it had been staff policy to hear gate requests for any development, i.e. apartment complexes, at Staff Site Review Committee meetings. In a PRD zone, the request would be made by the homeowner's association and the homeowners would be notified by them. Because of the possibility of conflict, Commissioner Ranii wished language to be placed in the code which would allow staff to bring the matter to the Planning Commission, if necessary. Staff indicated they would make that change.

OTHER MATTERS

REPORT ON UPCOMING PLANNING COMMISSIONERS ORIENTATION WORKSHOP
Chief Planner Rosen reported that the 1999 Planning Commissioner's workshop would be held on January 22, 1999, at East Valley Community Center in Escondido, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. He invited all Commissioners interested in attending the workshop to contact staff as soon as possible.
REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS
Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report on recent City Council meetings.
PUBLIC COMMENTS
There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction.
AGENDA FORECAST
The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be February 24, at 7:00 p.m. The January 27 and February 10, 1999, Planning Commission meetings have been canceled.
ADJOURNMENT
Commissioner Munson thanked Commissioner Sandoval for her service as Planning Commission Chairman for 1998.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:13 p.m.

Becky Stevens
Clerk to the Planning Commission
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