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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE FULLERTON PLANNING COMMISSION

COUNCIL CHAMBERS - FULLERTON CITY HALL

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 9, 2000 4:00 P.M.

CALL TO ORDER:
The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman Sandoval at 4:00 p.m.
ROLL CALL:
Chairman LeQuire (arrived at 4:26 p.m.); Commissioners Allred, Crane, Sandoval and Simons

ABSENT: Commissioners Godfrey and Munson

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis; Program Planner Linnell, Associate Planner Viado; Assistant Planner Kusch; Senior Civil Engineer Wallin and Recording Secretary Stevens

ALSO PRESENT: Assistant City Engineer Hoppe

MINUTES:
MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Minutes of the January 26, 2000, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.

4:00 P.M. SESSION

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

ZONING CODE UPDATE WORKSHOP
Program Planner Linnell first gave a brief recap of the past two year's workshops for the benefit of the two newest commissioners. Four sections of the Zoning Code have already been reviewed by the Commission thus far. The sections being discussed at this time are: Public Land Classification; Commercial Greenbelt Classification; Community Improvement District; and Site Plan Review. Staff has made revisions to these sections which are basically formatting changes, moving text from one chapter to another, and clarifying the intent of the code in certain areas of text.

Commissioner Simons noted on page 13, under Signs, it states that "Only one indirectly lighted, low-level monument sign shall be allowed per frontage on an arterial street." He inquired whether the intent would be changed if the word "arterial" were removed, and Program Planner Linnell indicated that it should remain.

Commissioner Sandoval noted the sentence "In all cases, a residential style of architecture shall be required" under Site Development Standards, Section A--Permitted Building Height and Appearance. She asked if the word "residential" would be descriptive enough for staff to enforce. Program Planner Linnell replied that staff took this concept from another section and was satisfied with the term in this context.

On page 7, Section 15.46.025, Ministerial Exemptions, Commissioner Crane referred to "a minor addition is defined as being twenty-five percent or less of the existing building square footage. Such a development project shall be subject only to plan check review prior to the issuance of any permits." He felt that with larger industrial buildings, twenty-five percent would be a sizable addition, and should be subject to more than just a basic plan check review. He suggested that perhaps a maximum square footage should be added to the language. Program Planner Linnell reminded him that any plans received for plan check include a review by both the Building and Planning Departments. Chief Planner Rosen added that staff was comfortable with the language as written, pertaining to industrial building additions. If all parking, landscape and setback requirements are met, there would be no reason to subject it to any further review. This is also replicated in other parts of the code.

Commissioner Crane also wished to know if the public would be made aware of the on-going changes to the code, particularly the sections cited in handouts. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that the planning staff will be updating all materials as new information becomes available.

Public hearing opened.

Marie Whaling, Fullerton resident, first informed the Commission that the staff report back-up material was not listed in chronological order. Program Planner Linnell explained that there were two sections, a red-lined copy and a final copy and each were numbered separately. Mrs. Whaling suggested that all pages be numbered sequentially.

Public hearing closed. Program Planner Linnell displayed a schedule of the remaining update sessions which would be heard by the Commission.

CITY CEQA GUIDELINES WORKSHOP
Associate Planner Viado submitted the City's guidelines to implement the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). She gave a brief explanation of what CEQA is: a statute requiring state and local agencies to identify significant environmental impacts of their actions, and to avoid or mitigate those actions, if feasible. She showed a slide presentation covering such topics as who must comply with CEQA, when and why CEQA was enacted, and basic CEQA requirements and guidelines. A flow chart was submitted which outlined procedures which City staff follows when reviewing the potential environmental impacts of proposed developments.

Chief Planner Rosen further explained that CEQA does not require a City to "fix" every environmental impact; rather, mitigating them to a point of satisfaction of the City Council.

Commissioner Simons asked how the new guideline book compares to the one used by staff in the past. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the other documents have been incrementally developed, and not comprehensively updated until the present time. The new book now documents current procedures and brings the guidelines up to date.

Commissioner Sandoval noted that the code describes the staff site review committee as "five members appointed by the City Manager," whereas the CEQA guidelines gives more detail to each member, i.e. Building Official, Civil Engineer, Fire Department representative and Police Department representative. She suggested that staff be consistent when listing such items in both documents.

Commissioner Crane made the following comments:

The Environmental Review process flow chart, on page 2 could be shortened. Associate Planner Viado indicated that the state guidelines (longer version) would be adopted by reference, and that the City has streamlined the process as shown on page 3. Commissioner Crane suggested putting in the shortened version.

On page 4, Commissioner Crane made reference to a section of bulleted items. He felt that the descriptions in these items were subjective and should be clarified.

In Appendix D, there is a distribution list of persons receiving copies of Notice of Preparations and Other Environmental Documents. Commissioner Crane felt that specific names of individuals should not be used, but rather their titles. This would ensure that the document would be forwarded, should a named individual no longer be there. Chief Planner Rosen stated that copies of the documents are only sent to individual persons as a courtesy, and because the document is published in the newspaper, it is not imperative that individual persons receive a copy.

Chairman LeQuire suggested adding Paul Dudley's title, Director of Development Services, on the last page of the document. Staff concurred.

7:00 P.M. SESSION

ITEM NO. 4
TRACT TR-15965. APPLICANT: FRED TICE; PROPERTY OWNER: H. LYNN SHELLER FAMILY TRUST
Chairman LeQuire informed the audience that staff would be continuing this item, and asked if there was anyone present who wished to speak on this matter. There being no one present, MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said item be CONTINUED until February 23, 2000.
ITEM NO. 1
TRACT TR-15970. APPLICANT: JENSEN C. CHEN; PROPERTY OWNER: STAN & ADRIENNE COHEN.
Staff report dated February 4, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to subdivide a 1.70-acre parcel to create six single-family residential lots on property located at 3701 Puente Street (southwest corner of Puente Street and Las Riendas Drive) (R-1-10,000) (Negative Declaration) (Continued from January 12, 2000).

Assistant Planner Kusch gave a brief review of the previous Planning Commission hearing on this matter. At that meeting, it was proposed that Lots 5 and 6 would back up to Puente Street, thereby allowing a 6'-0" high block wall along Puente Street. Staff has added a new condition of approval to reorient Lots 5 and 6 to have their frontage on Puente Street, thus limiting the height of a solid block wall to 3'-0" along Puente Street.. Another concern voiced by surrounding neighbors was the proposed drainage of the property. The applicant has since submitted a revised drainage plan, which was reviewed by the Engineering Department. Staff has added another new condition of approval to address the concern of displaced vermin during the onset of construction. This condition requires a site inspection by Orange County Vector Control, or a licensed exterminator, prior to the issuance of permits or removal of trees. Staff is recommending approval, as conditioned in the revised staff report.

Commissioner Sandoval asked if a private storm drain line, to be maintained by the homeowners or their homeowner's association, was a standard condition of approval. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin answered that this was not a standard condition, but because it will only serve two or three of the new lots, it would not be of benefit to any other properties in the area.

Chairman LeQuire recalled that the property owner immediately south of the proposed site expressed concern regarding a line-of-site issue when exiting his driveway. Chief Planner Rosen explained that since the new lot's front yard will be adjacent to this property, any fence along Puente Street would have to be non-view obscuring.

Public hearing opened.

Jensen C. Chen, applicant, reported that he had read and concurred with all of the new recommended conditions of approval.

Commissioner Allred asked if the two lots facing Puente Street would have fencing in their rear yards, and Mr. Chen answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Simons questioned if any fencing would be in the front of Lots 5 and 6. Mr. Chen pointed out on the vicinity sketch where a 6-foot block wall would be located at the corner of the development.

Engel Shen, 1111 Corporate Center Drive, Monterey Park, civil engineer for the project, also made himself available for questions.

Bob Engemann, 755 Sunny Hills Road, thanked the Commission and staff for continuing this matter and allowing the residents more time to meet with the developer. He asked that staff explain the drainage system in more detail. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reported that there would be a private line along the southerly boundary of the tract, where it will pick up the drainage, deliver it to Puente Street, and run north to a catch basin.

Richard Molino, 3637 Puente Street, was satisfied with the new modifications and requested that the Planning Commission approve the project. He submitted another petition signed by neighbors who also favored the revised plan.

Kathy Molino, 3637 Puente Street, also thanked the Commission and staff for the revised site plan. She also wished clarification on the fence issue. Assistant Planner Kusch clarified the two types of fencing which would be installed. Mrs. Molino added that she hoped the new development would conform with the existing homes.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Simons was satisfied that the neighborhood concerns had been mitigated with the revised site plan and favored the project.

Commissioner Allred had concerns about the aesthetics of the project, particularly with the two lots facing Puente Street, and the walls which would be constructed to the rear of those properties. However, she supported staff's recommendation.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED. The title of Resolution No. 6863 APPROVING a tentative tract map to subdivide an existing 1.70-acre parcel to create six single-family residential lots on property located at 3701 Puente Street, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 2
SITE PLAN SP-784 (MAJOR) AND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1017. APPLICANT: JACK DE ROSAS; PROPERTY OWNER: HOLIE MOLIE
Staff report dated February 1, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to consider site and architectural plans for a 500-square-foot addition to an existing 1,550-square-foot commercial building and to allow the floor area ratio (FAR) to exceed .300 on property located at 111 North Euclid Street (west side of Euclid Street, approximately 150 feet north of Commonwealth Avenue) (C-1 zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 1 of CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from January 26, 2000).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that the Fullerton Municipal allows minor additions to commercial buildings to be reviewed by the Staff Site Plan Review Committee when all development standards are met. However, because the applicant proposes to exceed the floor area ratio (FAR) for the site, the application must be reviewed by the Planning Commission. The proposed addition will be to the rear of the existing building, and consist of a storage area. The plan meets or exceeds applicable zoning codes relating to setbacks, parking, landscaping and on-site circulation. Staff recommended approval of both requests.

Commissioner Simons questioned whether the addition could be used for retail purposes, and Associate Planner Kusch answered affirmatively.

Public hearing opened.

Jack De Rosas, applicant, and Albert Tang, owner, were present. Mr. De Roses stated that the owner was uncomfortable with the placement of the proposed trash enclosure. Because it is proposed to be located adjacent to the alley, Mr. Tang feared graffiti, loitering and dumping by public. He asked that it be allowed to either remain as is, or moved to another approved location. Chief Planner Rosen suggested adding a condition of approval requiring that an approved trash enclosure be provided, subject to the approval of the Director of Development Services. Assistant Planner Kusch advised that he had received a call from a neighbor west of the alley who also raised the issue of the trash enclosure.

Public hearing opened.

Marie Whaling, Fullerton resident, asked what type of establishment this business was, and staff informed her it was a retail operation.

Public hearing closed.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6864 APPROVING site and architectural plans for a 500-square-foot addition to an existing 1,500-square-foot commercial building and to allow the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to exceed .300 on property located at 111 North Euclid Street, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED, including the addition of Condition No. 10 relating to the trash enclosure.

ITEM NO. 3
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1018. APPLICANT: LINDSEY IP; PROPERTY OWNER: IMPERIAL FULLERTON PARTNERS
Staff memorandum dated February 2, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request for a dental office use in a C-M, Commercial Manufacturing zone, on property located at 375 East Imperial Highway. Staff discovered a 1983 policy which allows office uses at this property without the need for a Conditional Use Permit. The item was withdrawn by staff, and a letter of apology was sent to the applicant.
ITEM NO. 5
ZONING CODE WORKSHOP UPDATE. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON
Program Planner Linnell recapped the items discussed at the 4:00 session.

Commissioner Simons asked if the gnatcatcher and cactus wren were still on the endangered species list. Chief Planner Rosen answered that the gnatcatcher is still considered endangered; however, the cactus wren now has a different classification because it is not diminishing as quickly.

Public hearing opened.

Marie Whaling, referenced page 6, Section 15.25.030, Item B. She inquired whether the word "release" in the phrase "release of any public property" meant "give-away." Chief Planner Rosen explained that there were many types of public land owned by various public agencies. Typically, the transfer of public property occurs by a sale.

On page 7, Section 15.25.040, Item B, Mrs. Whaling noted the phrase "following a public hearing with notice thereof." was eliminated. Commissioner Sandoval informed her that the beginning of the paragraph stated that this item would be heard by the Community Services Commission, an advertised public hearing.

Public hearing closed.

Chairman LeQuire stated that all Commission comments had been received and filed pertaining to this matter.

ITEM NO. 6
CITY CEQA GUIDELINES
Associate Planner Viado recapped the items discussed in the 4:00 session and asked if there were any further comments.

Commissioner Sandoval suggested that rather than concentrating on names and titles in Appendix D, which lists mailing distribution, the Appendix could be updated as changes occur. Commissioner Sandoval also advised staff to ensure that accurate locations of any corrections be made prior to the document being submitted to the City Council.

Public hearing opened.

Marie Whaling noted the following:

  • Page 16, first item: Decision-Making Body. She was uncomfortable with the phrase "such as the City Council, Planning Commission, or Staff Review Committee." She felt that the Staff Review Committee should not have the same governing power as the City Council in approving or disapproving projects. Chairman LeQuire assured that that each of those committees had their own part in the approval process.
  • Page 10 in the Initial Study, under Mandatory Findings of Significance. Three items were listed as (a), (b) and (c). Mrs. Whaling noted that in the CEQA Handbook, there also was an item (d) listed. She asked if this was omitted inadvertently. Associate Planner Viado clarified that in the most recent CEQA document received by staff, only the first three items were listed. Mrs. Whaling desired to see all four items listed.
  • Appendix D, listing the Fullerton News Tribune as the official publication for advertising any legal notices. Mrs. Whaling felt that all legal publications should be advertised in the Orange County Register and not just the Fullerton News Tribune, which is only published on Thursdays.
Public hearing closed.

There was a consensus of the Commission to recommend the guidelines to the City Council for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6865 RECOMMENDING to the City Council adoption of the "Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA Guidelines) by reference and adoption of the City of Fullerton Environmental Review Guidelines for Implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)," was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, 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 March 8, 2000, at 4:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Becky Stevens
Clerk to the Planning Commission
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