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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes



WEDNESDAY MAY 24, 2000 4:00 P.M.

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

ABSENT: Commissioner Munson

ALSO PRESENT: Bob Hodson, Director of Engineering; Chris Meyer, Director of Administrative Services

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

MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Minutes of the May 10, 2000, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.


Staff memorandum dated May 18, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to consider site and architectural plans for a proposed 2,400-square-foot, drive-thru restaurant with an indoor playground on property located at 2751 W. Orangethorpe Avenue (northeast corner of Magnolia and Orangethorpe Avenues) (C-H zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from May 10, 2000).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that a self-serve car wash facility currently exists on the site, which will be demolished. Revised elevation plans had recently been received by staff and had not been reviewed by the public. A new condition had also been added since the previous meeting requiring that a "silent speaker box" be installed. Staff was in receipt of a letter from the adjacent property owner to the east of the site requesting that a block wall be installed, however staff did not support the recommendation. Staff recommended approval of the request.

Commissioner Simons inquired why staff did not feel the block wall would be necessary. Assistant Planner Kusch replied that there were concerns such as graffiti, loitering and trash. A block wall would also not allow tree wells and additional landscaping to be planted on that side of the property.

Public hearing opened.

Charles Cobb, 21321 Cold Springs Lane, Diamond Bar, first thanked staff for their assistance in this matter. He voiced his concern with the addition of Condition 15, stating that it would be difficult to operate the drive-thru window with the silent speaker box, but assured the Commission that the volume would be reduced in the evening hours. He also reported that the restaurant intends to install an "LED" screen, which will show each customer order as it is placed, thus eliminating the need for two-way conversation. Until the unit is installed, he requested that Condition No. 15 be eliminated, however he had read and concurred with all of the remaining conditions.

Commissioner Simons asked how the applicant felt about a block wall being constructed on the east property line. Mr. Cobb concurred with staff's concern pertaining to trash, loitering and graffiti, and felt that a wall is not necessary.

Commissioner Godfrey noted that the architectural plans reflect a new design which differs from other Burger King restaurants within the city. Mr. Cobb explained that this was a redesign which Burger King is attempting to instigate, and it is their hope that all of their restaurants will eventually reflect this new architectural style. Commissioner Godfrey also noted the presence of LED screens at other drive-thru restaurants, and asked if it was available to Burger King. Mr. Cobb stated that the technology was not available for Burger King to purchase at this time, but they hoped to have access to it within a 12-month period.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Sandoval wished clarification of Condition No. 15. Chairman LeQuire stated it was his understanding that the use of the existing speaker box would be limited. Chief Planner Rosen suggested that the condition may be modified to require the new technology to be installed as soon as it becomes available and, in the meantime, the volume shall be reduced after certain evening hours.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6878 APPROVING site and architectural plans for the construction of a 2,400-square-foot, drive-thru restaurant with an indoor playground, on property located at 2751 West Orangethorpe Avenue, 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 AMENDED, modifying Condition No. 15 as follows:

"The exterior speaker for the drive-thru restaurant shall only be operational at full volume between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. daily. From 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., the volume shall be lowered so as not to be heard by the surrounding residential area. The applicant shall install a "silent speaker" (LED) display within twelve months of the issuance of building permits. When the new LED speaker technology is installed, orders will be taken at the silent speaker box between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m."
Staff report dated May 17, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to allow a human services agency (Crittenton Services of Orange County) to house up to 12 children in a 3,600-square-foot, single-family home as part of a residential treatment program on property located at 901 East Chapman Avenue (north side of Chapman Avenue, approximately 250 feet east of Yale Avenue) (O-P zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines).

Program Planner Linnell reported that a Conditional Use Permit is required for this use because the request is to shelter more than six children at this facility. A group home or community care facility is exempt from local control by State law where there are six or less residents. The proposed residence will be enlarged, and improvements to the site will be made to accommodate an additional four parking spaces. Access would be exclusively from Chapman Avenue. A number of neighboring residents and business owners have expressed concern over this use, and the applicant has held a number of meetings to address these concerns:

  • Adequate amount of parking shall be provided on site, so no on-street parking will occur on the residential streets to the north.
  • The number and type of children living in the house, and the type of supervision provided.
  • Unannounced visits by parents or other visitors which may create an emergency situation.

Staff recommended approval of the request with three conditions of approval.

Commissioner Godfrey inquired whether this use had a minimum on-site parking standard for staff members. Program Planner Linnell answered that there was no parking standard for this type of use, and are usually evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Staff believes that four parking spaces would be adequate for this operation. Commissioner Godfrey also asked if this facility must abide by State licensing regulations, as well as the conditions put in place by the City, and Program Planner Linnell answered affirmatively. Chief Planner Rosen added that there is a provision in the Zoning Code for social service agencies which require that they comply with state Health & Safety Code requirements.

Public hearing opened.

Joyce Capelle, Florence Crittenton Services, 801 East Chapman Avenue, Suite 230, first thanked the community members for their input. She gave a brief description of the facility, and emphasized that there would be no more than 12 girls, ages 4 to 12 years. They have not yet applied for a community care license, pending the outcome of the Planning Commission hearing.

The disturbance "level" of a child is based on a system created by the State of California. The child at a higher level of disturbance would be sheltered at a different type of facility. The girls at the proposed facility are at Level 12, and there would not be any girls above that level. Because visitors to the site will only include staff, court-appointed personnel, and social workers, the proposed four spaces will be adequate. She added that no parental or family visitation of any kind would take place at this facility. Only minor interior building modifications will be made which will not change the character of the historic building. Most of the children will attend school during the day, and after school the girls will be transported to the Harbor Boulevard campus to participate in a day treatment program. There would be a ratio of one staff member for every four girls, with additional staff during the evening hours and on weekends as required.

Commissioner Simons questioned whether a reciprocal parking arrangement had been made with the owner of the lot behind this facility. Ms. Capelle stated that Crittenton Services leases office space in the adjacent two-story building, and is granted a certain number of underground parking spaces as a condition of their lease, and their staff may park at that location. However, no parking arrangements have been made with the lot directly behind their facility.

Commissioner Godfrey asked if any of the girls rated at Level 12 had the tendency to be violent or subject to criminal behavior. Ms. Capelle answered that there are no guarantees with disturbed children, however the intended residents are carefully screened so no children with a history of violent or predatory acts would be accepted.

The following persons spoke with regard to this matter:

Carolyn Sheldon, 520 North Cornell Avenue
Michelle Wedemeyer, 514 North Cornell Avenue
Jim Sheldon, 520 North Cornell Avenue (presented a neighborhood petition listing general concerns, and also a list of neighbors who concurred with the additional conditions)
Teresa Stachelski, 555 North Cornell Avenue
John Phelps, 1840 Lexington Drive (supported the project)
Diana Yates, 521 North Lincoln Avenue
Bill McGarvey, 3005 Persimmon Place (supported the project)
Bob Stachelski, 555 North Cornell Avenue

Their points of concern included:

  • No one from Crittenton Services or the City attempted to contact any of the surrounding residents prior to the notice of public hearing of this matter, or commented on the impact of the project.
  • There have been almost 500 calls for service at the other two Crittenton facilities within the past two years.
  • That adequate on-site parking be provided, so traffic impacts to surrounding residential streets shall be minimal.
  • Air conditioning should be added to the home
  • That additional conditions should be added to the Conditional Use Permit as follows:

    1. Only girls between the ages of 4 and 12 may be served at this location.
    2. There should be a maximum ceiling of 12 girls between the ages of 4 and 12, even if square footage is added to the property.
    3. Only girls categorized as Rate Classification Level (RCL) 12 and lower can be served at this location.
    4. Girls shall be screened for a history of vandalism, fire starting and chemical dependency. Only girls with no prior history of these behaviors should be placed at this location.
    5. Access to the property shall be restricted to Chapman Avenue. This means police, social workers and anyone else who needs to access the property.
    6. No visitation by family members or other alleged perpetrators at this location. All visits of this type shall be conducted at another facility.
    7. Fencing around the property's perimeter needs to be upgraded to six feet in height to prevent access to the medical buildings to the east and the neighborhood to the north of the property.
    8. A residential advisory panel consisting of neighborhood residents, as well as representatives from the Police Department and Crittenton Services shall be established so that impact to the quality of life in the neighborhood can be minimized. This panel shall meet quarterly.
    9. During the hours between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., supervision at the facility shall be the strongest. If eight girls are currently residing at the location, then two staff shall be present during these hours. If 12 girls reside at the facility, then three staff need to be present during these hours.
    10. Any modifications to these conditions, including the population served, should not be considered "minor land use modifications." All modifications to this permit and its conditions shall be subjected to another review and approval of a Conditional Use Permit. The Director of the Development Department and/or other representatives or employees of the City should not be allowed to approve such changes without a public hearing.
    11. This permit shall be granted for a period of six months, at which time the impact of the facility to the surrounding community can be reevaluated.
Public hearing closed.

At this time, Chairman LeQuire suggested that Joyce Capelle give her comments to the additional conditions suggested by the residents. Ms. Capelle stated that she agreed upon most of the conditions with the exception of Condition No. 9. She explained that if there are eight girls or less, state law requires only one "awake" staff to be present during the "sleeping hours" with regular patrol by an "officer of the day." If more than eight girls are on site, then one additional staff member will be provided. Regarding Condition No 7, they will extend the existing four-foot high fence at the north side of the property, and the gate will be permanently secured. Further, while air conditioning of the facility would be impossible at this time, they would add window air conditioners to the home at a later date.

Commissioner Godfrey favored the project, including addition of the conditions of approval as listed by the residents, with staff making whatever "wordsmithing" changes are necessary. Commissioner Simons concurred.

Commissioner Crane felt that Condition No. 9 should be modified to require additional staff members on site during the "sleeping" hours, but supported the project. Ms. Capelle reminded the Commission that two staff members would be present at all other times, other than the graveyard shift. Having one staff member, and a "floating" personnel during the sleeping hours is acceptable by state law, and to add another staff member during this time would be a financial hardship on Florence Crittenton Services.

Commissioner Allred questioned whether having only a Chapman Avenue access created a hardship for the facility. Ms. Capelle replied that the group home is amenable to this condition; Commissioner Allred then stated that she would support the project.

Chairman LeQuire also supported the project, and cautioned staff that the meaning of the new conditions not be altered when rewriting them for the final resolution. He also did not feel that additional staff members are warranted for Condition No. 9.

Commissioner Sandoval was uncomfortable adding conditions which would be different from those listed in the state requirements. Commissioner Godfrey reminded her that the Commission may impose conditions which are more strict than the licensing conditions of the State of California.

Commissioner Godfrey felt that the six-month review would not be necessary in this case and suggested that this condition be deleted. The Commission concurred.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6879 APPROVING a Conditional Use Permit to allow a human services agency (Crittenton Services of Orange County) to house up to 12 children in a 3,600-square-foot, single-family home as part of a residential treatment program on property located at 901 East Chapman Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Godfrey, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED.

Staff report dated May 17, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to allow a personal service facility (beauty salon) in an O-P zone as part of a proposed change of occupancy and remodel of an existing office building on property located at 802 East Chapman Avenue (southeast corner of Chapman and Yale Avenues) (O-P zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that requests for a non-office/professional uses in an O-P zone are reviewed for potential impacts relating to noise, parking and circulation. The proposed business is a beauty salon, and because it is run on an appointment basis, staff does not anticipate any traffic impacts or parking shortage. The proposed building is currently vacant, and minor modifications will be made including additional landscaping along the required 15-foot setback along Yale Avenue, and restriping of the parking to allow for a handicapped parking space. The air conditioning unit on the roof will be screened so as not to be visible, and the applicant has also submitted a petition of support from surrounding residents. Staff recommended approval of the request.

Mina Chai, spoke on behalf of the applicants, Daniel and Jennifer Doan. The applicants are already owners of another beauty salon in the city, and only minor interior modifications will be made. The applicants have read and concur with the recommended conditions of approval.

There was consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6880 APPROVING a Conditional Use Permit to allow a personal service facility (beauty salon) in an O-P zone as part of a proposed change of occupancy and remodel of an existing office building, on property located at 802 East Chapman Avenue, 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.

Administrative Services Director Meyer first noted that the public hearing for the proposed changes to the budget will be heard by the City Council on June 6, 2000, at 7:30 p.m. He gave a brief description of the General Fund; 70% of this fund is obtained from three sources: sales tax, property tax, and motor vehicle in lieu tax. The property tax is proposed to increase by 6%, the sales tax increase by 7% and the motor vehicle in lieu fee by approximately 12%. He gave reports on the City's infrastructure, General Fund reserves, and the inception of a new Unrestricted Capital Outlay Fund. Staff is recommending that monies be appropriated from this fund for park rehabilitation and street repair/reconstruction. Other recommendations include: opening the Main Library on Sundays, make First Night a free event, and to allocate an additional police officer to monitor red light enforcement.

The Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget has increased by approximately $4.5 million dollars (City funds) and $650,000 (Redevelopment Agency funds).

Commissioner Simons noted that the Infrastructure Committee had not yet received a copy of the budget. Director Hodson informed the Commission that all budget information will be shared with that committee.

Commissioner Allred, being the newest member of the Commission, inquired as to why the CIP was being presented to the Planning Commission. Administrative Services Director Meyer explained that state law requires that the City's Five-Year Capital Improvement Program be found to conform with the General Plan by the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Crane was curious as to why the $75,000 allocated for the Laguna Lake restoration project was so low. Director of Engineering Hodson explained that the City is currently studying the area to determine what exactly the restoration project will entail. There is presently no design or construction costs in that amount. Commissioner Crane also questioned the $150,000 earmarked for the southwest corner of Wilshire and Pomona Avenues. Director Hodson stated that this is a "passive" area, and not fully defined. A grassy area, landscape, hardscape, benches and a drinking fountain to complement the Museum Plaza are being proposed.

Commissioner Simons asked if the City would lose all of the $5.5 million dollars in Fund 830, if it was not used. Director Meyer stated that, although this is unallocated money, if the City consistently does not utilize the 20% set-aside funds, the state may take it. Chief Planner Rosen added that, after five years, these funds get reallocated to the County and may be spent in nearby communities. Commissioner Simons also questioned what changes would be made to the Council Chambers and Council offices. Director Meyer answered that the first phase would be a study for design changes, such as new lighting, seating, flooring, sound system, media presentation system, and an integrated cable set-up for televising the meetings. Commissioner Simons asked if funds for pedestrian improvements would be allocated for expansion of the train museum. Director Hodson explained these are carryover amounts which would be unspent by June 30 and were for pedestrian access between Commonwealth Avenue and the train station. The Transportation Center parking expansion does not relate to the Railroad Museum, but a need for more commuter traffic parking, such as possibly another parking structure.

Chairman LeQuire felt that the document was in compliance with the General Plan. He added that he felt $50,000 for gutters and sidewalks would not be sufficient. Director Hodson indicated that $650,000 would be placed in the residential street program, and sidewalks, curbs and gutters are included in that amount. Chairman LeQuire also stated that there are several request for proposals for projects recommended by the Emergency Services Task Force, and hoped that funds would be made available for those projects.

Commissioner Godfrey asked about the status of the Maintenance Services Remodel project. Director Hodson reported that the project will be completed in June, and maintenance crews have already moved in.

MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the City's Five Year Capital Improvement Program is consistent with the General Plan.

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 June 14, 2000, at 4:00 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:03 p.m.
Becky Stevens
Clerk to the Planning Commission
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