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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes



WEDNESDAY March 28, 2001 4:00 P.M.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Simons at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Simons; Commissioners Allred-Blake, Crane, Price, Sandoval, and Wilson
ABSENT: Commissioner LeQuire

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

MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED unanimously, that the Minutes of the February 28, 2001, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.


Staff report dated March 21, 2001, was presented to consider changing the land use designation from "Greenbelt Concept" to "Government Facilities" on the Land Use Map of the General Plan and changing the zone classification from O-G, Oil-Gas to P-L, Public Land, to construct a new fire station on property located on the north side of Rosecrans Avenue, between approximately 470 and 675 feet west of the northwest intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Sunny Ridge Place (O-G zone) (Negative Declaration).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that with current and anticipated growth in the northwest portion of the city, the Fire Department has determined that the fire station presently located at Gilbert and Pioneer would be relocated to the subject site. The McColl Superfund site is located across from the subject property, and remediation of the McColl site includes groundwater monitoring wells, which may be located on the proposed site. To ensure that wells are not disturbed, approval by the Environmental Protection Agency shall be required prior to issuance of grading and building permits. The wells appear to be within the 50-foot setback area, located on the north side of Rosecrans, to accommodate the recreational trail easement. Staff does not foresee relocation of the wells, because they would be within the landscaped and/or driveway area.

The proposal includes the creation of a government subdivision which would be conveyed to the city and, as such, qualifies for an exemption to submittal and procedural requirements for a parcel map. The site plan for the fire station will be subject to City Council approval and review. Staff recommended approval of the request.

Commissioner Allred-Blake asked what the cost and time frame would be for relocation of the wells, and who would be responsible for the cost. Chief Planner Rosen answered that while he was aware that the cost of relocating other wells in the city was approximately $10,000, he was unsure as to the exact cost for these particular wells. The cost would be borne by either the Environmental Protection Agency, Chevron, or other parties involved in the McColl site.

Chairman Simons asked what would happen to the existing fire station on Gilbert Street. Assistant Planner Kusch replied that there have been discussions of making it a community center, although a final plan had not yet been determined.

Commissioner Price inquired if staff had received any input from the community concerning the project, and Assistant Planner Kusch answered negatively.

Senior Civil Engineer Wallin wished the record to reflect that this hearing was only for the zone change, and the comments regarding signals and/or flashing lights would not be addressed at this time, but rather during the hearing for the site plan.

Commissioner Sandoval noted inconsistencies in the Initial Study checklist, and the explanation portion of the checklist. She expressed concern that perhaps the boxes had been checked incorrectly, and staff confirmed that there were no impacts in those areas where an explanation was not provided. Senior Planner Mullis indicated that staff would review the Negative Declaration and make the appropriate changes.

Chairman Simons reiterated that at a prior Planning Commission hearing, the Commission voted to name the new fire station in memory of deceased Fire Chief Steve Magliocco.

Public hearing opened.

William Phillips, Fullerton resident, questioned whether the zone change only pertained to the 1.322 acres, and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.

Public hearing closed.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED as amended. The title of Resolution No. 6913 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a General Plan revision to change the land use designation from Greenbelt Concept to Government Facilities and to change the existing zone classifications from O-G, (Oil-Gas) to P-L (Public Land) on property located on the north side of Rosecrans Avenue, between approximately 470 and 675 feet west of the northwest intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Sunny Ridge Place, 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.

Staff report dated March 21, 2001, was presented pertaining to a request to consider site and architectural plans for the construction of three industrial buildings measuring a total of approximately 221,388 square feet, a subdivision of an existing 11.35-acre industrial parcel into three parcels, measuring 3.24, 4.12 and 3.40 acres, respectively, and an abandonment of a utility easement on property located at the northwest corner of Gilbert Street and Moore Avenue (M-G zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that the applicant is proposing to construct three new industrial buildings on the site with a unified architectural theme. The theme shows consistent storefront designs, and the truck loading doors will not be visible from Moore Avenue or Gilbert Street. The site was previously developed as a manufacturing facility for Hughes Aircraft. Over time significant solvent contamination had occurred in the soil and leached into the ground water. To mitigate this contamination, a groundwater remediation system has been installed on the property. This system includes a groundwater treatment facility and injection and monitoring wells. The proposed placement of the building pads may require relocation or abandonment of existing wells. The site is under jurisdiction of the state Regional Water Quality Control Board and approval of the project is subject to lead agency approval by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The buildings are proposed to be 74,732, 96,967 and 53,670 square feet, respectively. The total building square footage for parcels 2 and 3 exceeds the maximum FAR for the zone. To meet FAR requirements, the building on Parcel 2 would have to be reduced by 8,727 square feet, and the building on Parcel 3 would have to be reduced by 4,483 square feet. To meet code and maintain the existing square footage, the proposed parcel lines would have to be adjusted to increase the size of Parcels 2 and 3. The buildings are proposed for warehouse distribution and manufacturing uses, with minimal office support areas. The proposed parking exceeds code requirements, and landscaping is provided on all street frontages and within the interior of the proposed industrial park. A six-foot wide planter shall be installed along the north property line, adjacent to the flood control channel. On-site circulation is provided via a series of drives leading around the buildings and site, and have been sized to accommodate trucks and emergency vehicles. Staff has also required the applicant to submit a traffic study to determine the impacts of this project on Gilbert Street and Moore Avenue. After review of this study, the Engineering Department has recommended that the entrance off of Gilbert Street be limited to "left-in" for automobiles and trucks, and "right-out" for automobiles only. The site is within 10,000 feet of the Fullerton Municipal Airport, and does not lie within the noise impact areas or the crash hazard zones of the Airport.

Parcel 1 has no direct street frontage, but is provided access via reciprocal access agreements. The parcel containing the existing ground water treatment facility is to the west, and adjacent to Parcel 1. The reciprocal access agreement will also provide access to the existing groundwater injection and monitoring wells contained throughout the property. The parcel map also indicates the presence of an easement, which is proposed to be abandoned by the city.

Staff recommended approval of the request.

Chairman Simons asked for clarification on what changes had been made to the engineer's letter. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin pointed out that under DEDICATIONS, first paragraph, the number 55' shall be changed to 52', under STREETS, first paragraph, the number 47' shall be changed to 44', and the number 240 shall be changed to 110, under TRAFFIC SIGNALS, first paragraph, first sentence, the word "will" shall be changed to "may."

Commissioner Sandoval noted several discrepancies in the Mitigated Negative Declaration. Assistant Planner Kusch indicated that staff would make the necessary corrections.

Commissioner Crane asked for the setback requirement off of Gilbert Street, and the landscape requirement. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the setback for both Moore Avenue and Gilbert Street would be 10 feet, and in addition to the required street landscape, additional landscaping is based on the number of parking spaces provided. The maintenance of all landscaped areas would be addressed in the CC&R's.

Chairman Simons noted that the Engineer's letter called for the improvement of the south half of Moore Avenue and asked who would be responsible for that cost. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin indicated that the applicant would be required to build all of Moore Avenue, and would be able to form a reimbursement agreement, with any future developments paying a portion of those improvements.

Public hearing opened.

Sheri Valainis, Snyder-Langston, 17962 Cowan, Irvine, first thanked staff for their assistance in this matter. She reiterated that the proposed project is consistent with the industrial zoning designation of the property. The project will minimize the impact to the public by: (1) providing an extensive glass storefront design; (2) positioning the truck loading doors so they do not face Malvern Avenue, Gilbert Street or Moore Avenue; and (3) substantial landscaping and street trees will be provided throughout the project. She had read and concurred with all of the recommended conditions of approval, but one, and wished to discuss the matter with the Commission.

Dave Walden, Civil Engineer for the project, noted that Condition #16 required that a Water Quality Management Plan be submitted prior to plan check submittal. He stated that this was not a normal procedure, and asked if this plan could be submitted with plans or prior to the grading plan. Chief Planner Rosen confirmed that the plan could be submitted prior to the grading plan. Secondly, in Condition #18, he asked if the word "implemented" pertained to bonding, and Senior Civil Engineer Wallin answered affirmatively. Thirdly, concerning Gilbert Street, Mr. Walden stated that the old alignment contained some public utilities, and when Gilbert was realigned, the City relinquished street rights, but reserved easement rights for a 12-inch high pressure gas line, a 24-inch sewer line, a 12-inch water line and an Edison easement. This strip is proposed to be abandoned with this project, and relocated outside of the building line. In pursuing the FAR requirement, Mr. Walden asked if the City would consider abandoning the excess parkway along Moore Avenue, retaining it for utility purposes. This would leave a standard eight-foot wide parkway for sidewalk on Moore Avenue, while allowing the developer an additional ten-feet for project use.

Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reported that this item had been discussed with the applicant. The Engineering Department felt that this could be accomplished, and would be reviewing the matter prior to the abandonment hearing by the City Council.

Commissioner Allred questioned if this action would supply the developer with all of the land needed to meet the FAR requirement. Mr. Walden answered that it would give them an additional 5,000-6,000 square feet, but they would still be required to reduce the project by approximately 19,000-20,000 square feet.

Eric Floyd, EDF Associates, environmental consultant for the project, reported that both horizontal and vertical groundwater remediation wells exist on site, and none of these wells would be relocated without the permission of the Santa Ana Regional Quality Control Board (lead agency).

Mr. Bartley, Fullerton resident, feared that the project would produce additional noise and traffic, from both vehicles and large trucks.

Bruce Shaeller, Fullerton resident, expressed concern that the staff report did not call out any sound attenuation walls with the proposed project, thus the surrounding neighborhoods would experience increased noise. The neighborhood north of the site is presently experiencing problems with noise from an outdoor speaker system. He pointed out on the vicinity sketch where he felt sound walls should be placed.

Chief Planner Rosen reminded the Commission that any type of sound walls would not have an impact on the existing noise problem, unless they were constructed up on the hill across Malvern Avenue. He explained that the heights of the proposed buildings, and the grade differential, would serve as a noise buffer for the homeowners to the north. The entire length of Brea Creek Channel will be planted with trees, and trees will also be placed along the southern wall. Further, he was unaware of any problems associated with a loudspeaker, but informed the homeowners to contact the Development Services Department and Code Enforcement would investigate the problem.

Ilene Shaeller, Fullerton resident, also complained of noise problems from an outdoor speaker system of an existing business.

Mr. Bartley again spoke and asked what type of manufacturing would be allowed in this zone. Ms. Valainis stated that at this time only light manufacturing is proposed for the site. Chief Planner Rosen added that the code lists specific manufacturing uses which would be allowed, and also had zoning requirements for heavy industrial uses within 1000 feet of residences. Any operation that would be considered "heavy industrial" must be heard before the Planning Commission at a public hearing.

Commissioner Wilson asked if the code had restrictions concerning hours of operation and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively. Further, the Commission may impose a condition that would restrict the use of an outdoor speaker system, should they so desire.

Frank Ellsworth, Fullerton resident, stated that because of the hour of the Planning Commission meeting, it was difficult for many of his neighbors, who would oppose the project, to attend. He assured the Commission that there were as many as 25-75 residents who would voice the same concerns which were brought to the Commission at this meeting.

Kathy Kong, Fullerton resident, indicated that she experiences offensive odors from the existing food processing plant.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Wilson questioned whether the water treatment wells are safe, particularly since he was aware that the Norwalk fault ran through the property. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin explained that the on-site wells were only five to ten years old, and were structurally sound. Commissioner Wilson also wished clarification on the traffic pattern for large trucks. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reported that trucks may enter off of Gilbert Street, right-hand turns only (southbound), and may exit onto Moore Avenue. Commissioner Wilson favored the project, with an additional condition prohibiting outdoor speakers.

Commissioner Allred-Blake thanked those in attendance for expressing their concerns, and reminded them that if any of their neighbors wish to address their concerns in writing, staff would forward the letters to the Commission for their consideration. She also supported staff's recommendation, but instead of prohibiting the use of outdoor speakers, she wished to restrict the hours of operation. Commissioner Price concurred, and inquired what staff felt the hours of operation should be.

Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the code states the hours shall be 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Commissioner Sandoval expressed disappointment that so many details were being discussed and changes were being made during presentation of the project to the Commission. Because the staff report indicated a deficit in the traffic analysis zone, and since the traffic model is being updated to address these deficiencies, she did not wish to penalize this applicant because the project is in close proximity to a residential area. Chief Planner Rosen informed her that the updated traffic model was almost complete, and more capacity had been added to the deficient zones.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and carried unanimously by voting members present, that the Mitigated Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED as AMENDED. The title of Resolution No. 6914 GRANTING a parcel map to subdivide an existing 11.35-acre industrial parcel into three lots, measuring 3.24, 4.12, and 3.40 acres, respectively, approving site and architectural plans for the construction of three industrial buildings measuring 222,460 square feet and abandonment of a utility easement on property located on the northwest corner of Gilbert Street and Moore Avenue, 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, adding a condition restricting usage of outdoor speakers and including the amended Engineer's letter.

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 April 25, 2001, at 4:00 p.m. The April 11, 2001, meeting has been canceled.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:26 p.m.
Becky Stevens
Recording Secretary
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