1. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1061. APPLICANT: JACK FRANKLYN; PROPERTY OWNER: WALT JOHNSON. A request to change the use for an existing building where parking does not meet current standards for the proposed use, a 6,100-square-foot restaurant, (pursuant to Section 15.30.060E of the Fullerton Municipal Code) on property located at 125 West Santa Fe (north side of Santa Fe Avenue, approximately 300 feet west of Harbor Boulevard) (C-3 zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines).
Staff report dated April 1, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to change the use for an existing building where parking does not meet current standards for the proposed use, a 6,462-square-foot restaurant, (pursuant to Section 15.30.060E of the Fullerton Municipal Code) on property located at 125 West Santa Fe (north side of Santa Fe Avenue, approximately 300 feet west of Harbor Boulevard) (C-3 zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines).
Assistant Planner Kusch indicated the restaurant would occupy a 5,881 square-foot space with a 581 square foot patio proposed at the rear of the building. Photos and elevation drawings of the relevant property, parking, and adjacent businesses were shown.
The building was built in 1921 and was originally used as a blacksmith shop. For the last 25 years it has had a warehousing function. No significant changes are proposed for the exterior. Existing businesses along the 100 block of Santa Fe Avenue include a juice processing plant, a recently approved bar, upholsterer, roofing contractor, and an auto repair and machine shop.
In April of 1996, City Council approved a plan to improve traffic flow and parking related to the Transportation Center area. In October of 2001, a portion of the north side of the 100 block of West Santa Fe Avenue was rezoned from M-G General Industrial to C-3 Central Business District Commercial. In October of 2000, Conditional Use Permit CUP-1035 was approved by the Planning Commission to allow for a bar with off-site parking (Continental Lounge, at 115 W. Santa Fe Avenue.) In January of 2002, the Redevelopment Agency completed construction of a 13-space public parking lot.
In December of 2001, the City hired a transportation consultant to conduct a traffic circulation, parking and access study for Santa Fe Avenue between Harbor Boulevard and Malden Avenue. The study included the survey of existing businesses and their parking and traffic circulation needs. Proposed street improvements identify Santa Fe Avenue as one-way only, with time-restricted, angled parking along the north side and two-hour time-restricted truck parking along the south side. Construction on these improvements is expected to commence by June 30, 2002.
The current proposal is similar to other buildings in the downtown where parking is provided offsite or through public parking areas. The applicant's current location is part of the Villa Del Sol, and no parking is dedicated to its use. The parking demands are met by a small common parking lot, with public parking in close proximity, and patrons who walk from nearby commercial and residential locations.
During the day or before 6:00 p.m., the applicant proposes to utilize the recently built 13-space public parking lot directly to the west of the proposed property. In addition, the City is in the process of making traffic and off-street parking improvements along Santa Fe Avenue from Harbor Boulevard to Highland Avenue. These improvements will include 43 angled parking spaces on the north side of Santa Fe Avenue from Harbor Boulevard to Highland Avenue. All proposed parking along Santa Fe Avenue and within the public parking lot is restricted to two hours between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. After 6:00 p.m. the applicant has gained permission from Fullerton Community Bank to use the bank parking lot. A letter has been provided giving this permission from C.W. Gregory, Director of Fullerton Community Bank. This is adjacent to 130 and 200 W. Commonwealth Avenue, within a block of the subject site. (Aerial views were shown). The staff believes parking will be adequate.
There are no engineering recommendations for this request, since the City will complete all public improvements with the reconstruction of Santa Fe Avenue. Public notices were mailed to property owners within a 300-foot radius of the property. No calls were received regarding this application. Additionally, the transportation consultant surveyed surrounding businesses concerning the proposed parking and circulation modifications to Santa Fe Avenue. Staff recommended approval of the request.
Commissioner Stopper questioned what plans the City has to redo Santa Fe Avenue, which way will be one way, and how the parking will be angled. Assistant Planner Kusch indicated that plans have yet to be approved, however, the consultant is recommending one-way westerly on Santa Fe Avenue. The exception is trucks that access the juice processing plant will be allowed to exit opposite the one-way direction and turn right on Harbor Boulevard. There will be three parallel parking spaces in front of the restaurant and angled parking past the alley. Commissioner Stopper asked if the project had been funded yet. Assistant Planner Kusch indicated he did not know about funding, however, improvements will be started by June 30th. These improvements will go all the way to Highland Avenue from Harbor Boulevard. It was asked if these would be Redevelopment Agency funds. Chief Planner Rosen confirmed that information.
Commissioner Stopper further asked how the parking situation at Fullerton Bank would work in regard to the existing parking lot postings. He was concerned that the permission for restaurant patrons to park there would not be recognized, and there was the risk of cars being towed away. Chief Planner Rosen indicated the posting hours would have to be modified.
Assistant Planner Kusch added that Steamers Café on Commonwealth Avenue also does not have on-site parking, and patrons use street parking on Commonweath Avenue as well as parking in the Napa Auto Parts parking lot at Malden Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.
Commissioner Griffin asked how many spaces were in the lot at the current location in the Villa Del Sol, and Assistant Planner Kusch estimated about 20-30. Commissioner Griffin also asked what the Redevelopment Agency is envisioning in regard to the parking situation and is the City looking to purchase property. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the City is currently active in negotiations with property owners of vacant lots. There will not be a need to demolish any buildings, because there are vacant lots in existence.
Commissioner LeQuire wanted to know if the plans include any work along the alleyway for lighting, and expressed concern for patrons walking to the restaurant after sundown. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that the Redevelopment Agency is looking at the need for lighting for several alleys in the proposed area. Commissioner LeQuire observed that there doesn't seem to be a crime problem as much as lack of use. Assistant Planner Kusch responded that when the application was routinely routed to the Police Department, they did not indicate that there were any problems that would affect this proposal.
Commissioner Stopper commented that there is no artificial lighting in the evening in the parking lot next to the proposed building. Chief Planner Rosen indicated light standards are there, but there is no power yet, and will be corrected soon. Assistant Planner Kusch indicated that landscaping would also be addressed for the area.
Chairman Crane asked about the problem for employee parking if the public parking areas were restricted to two hours. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that the City could offer permits for employees if necessary. Street parking along Commonwealth Avenue during the day is an option, as well as parking near the Transportation Center.
Public hearing opened.
Jack Franklyn reported that his current location is 4,000 square feet in size. Commissioner Price asked how the City's transportation improvement timing corresponds with the restaurant's plans. Mr. Franklyn indicated that he is planning an opening date of June 1st, and does not feel that parking is an issue as he faces the same limitations at his current location. Commissioner Price asked if he had reviewed the staff report and set of conditions that are recommended, and Mr. Franklyn answered affirmatively.
Commissioner Griffin asked if the two-hour parking restriction would be sufficient for customers during the week. Mr. Franklyn indicated it would not be a problem, since the business lunch rush only needs one hour. Commissioner Griffin asked how many employees the restaurant has on an average and Mr. Franklyn responded that he has between 18-20 in the old location, with more planned for the new location. Mr. Franklyn indicated that not all employees will need parking, but he will oversee that employees park where they should. Commissioner Griffin asked about the process for the County Health Department. Mr. Franklyn has already received all approvals necessary.
Public hearing closed.
There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6960 GRANTING a Conditional Use Permit to change the use for an existing building where parking does not meet current standards for the proposed use, a 6,462-square-foot restaurant, (Pursuant to Section 15.30.060E of the Fullerton Municipal Code) on property located at 125 West Santa Fe Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. Motion by Commissioner Savage, seconded and carried unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.