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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

December 11, 2002

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Crane at 4:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Chairman Crane; Commissioners Griffin, Price, Savage, Stopper, and LeQuire

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Kusch, Associate Planner Eastman, Project Planner Linnell, Senior Engineer Wallin, and Recording Secretary Keasling

MINUTES:

Commissioner LeQuire asked that Page 185 say that he agreed with Wayne Wedin comments that Grace Ministries would have a positive impact on the City of Fullerton.Commissioner Savage asked that on Page 186, first paragraph, at the end of the first sentence to insert after the word "industry," "or housing, which would be a financial draw on the City as well." Commissioner Savage asked to add on Page 186, first paragraph, after the word "problem," "during the five-day week."Commissioner Savages asked to add "however on Sunday, in the final phase, we may see parking and circulation problems. See attachment A, the field study. If problems come up, we can resolve them in the six-month review process or condition ten."Chairperson Crane asked that on page 179 state that the public hearing was open and the applicant to be the first speaker.MOTION by Commissioner Griffin seconded and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, that the Minutes of the December 4, 2002, meeting be APPROVED AS AMENDED.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

4:00 P.M. SESSION

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ02-00299 / ZON02-00040 (MAJOR SITE PLAN). APPLICANT: PHILIP POLAND; PROPERTY OWNER: GERALD M. STEINER.

Staff report dated December 11, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request for a conditional use permit to allow an industrial building to exceed the maximum floor/area ratio within an industrial zone on property located at 3621 West Commonwealth Avenue. Vicinity sketches were displayed.

Associate Planner Eastman reported that the scope of the project concludes repair of a 6,960 square foot portion of the property which was damaged by a fire. The existing building is 19,000 square feet. The part of the project which requires a conditional use permit is 3,480 square foot second addition which is being added to the rear of the building.

Commissioner LeQuire asked if the addition would change the amount of staff that would be employed, and if more employees are added, would this change the parking requirement. Associate Planner Eastman advised that the agency would reduce the number of employees because equipment will be added to automate the process.

Associate Planner Eastman provided two letters to the Commission. One was from the property owner the other was from the Fullerton Airport regarding additional parking spaces that are being provided.

Commissioner LeQuire asked if the two-story building to the east was equivalent or close to the new addition. Associate Planner Eastman said it would be very similar, and added that the addition would add another nine feet to the height of the existing structure.

Commissioner Price asked if there had been any feedback from any of the neighbors either in support or opposition and Associate Planner Eastman advised he had not heard anything.

Public hearing opened.

Architect Philip Poland, representing the applicant, informed the Commission that the rear of the building was destroyed by fire and the proposed addition is over the portion to be replaced.

Chairperson Crane asked if the applicant had read and concurred with all the recommended conditions of approval, and Mr. Poland answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Savage informed the Commission that he is familiar with this area because he used a hanger near this agency and feels they are good neighbors.

Public hearing closed.

The title of Resolution No. 7003 APPROVING a request to allow an industrial building to exceed the maximum floor/area ratio of 0.45 to .050 on property located at 3621 West Commonwealth Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION to approve by Commissioner Savage, seconded and CARRIED unanimously, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ02-00271 / LRP02-00011 / PM 2002-187 & CUP - 1063 (APPLICANT: CT REALTY CORP; OWNER: RAYMOND MANAGEMENT, LLC.

Staff report dated December 11, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to change the zoning designation from MP-200,000 to MP-100,000; subdivide the existing 8.51 acre parcel into two parcels measuring 4.79 acres and 3.62 acres and modify a previously-approved Conditional Use Permit to exceed the floor area ratio for the MP zone on property located at 800 South Raymond Avenue (southeast corner of Kimberly Avenue and Raymond Avenue) (M-P zone) (Negative Declaration). Vicinity sketches were displayed.

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that to facilitate the parcel map request, the applicant was requesting a zone amendment to the property from its current designation of MP-200 to MP-100,000. The adjacent property to the east received a zone amendment from MP-200,000 to MP-100,000. The requested zone change is consistent with the adjoining zone classification of MP-100,000.

The proposed project requires a modification to the previously approved conditional use permit to permit an increase in the otherwise allowable base floor area ratio for the MP zone. The base floor area ratio for the MP zone is .40. With approval of the Conditional Use Permit, the Fullerton Municipal Code allows an increase of up to 200% of the base floor area ratio. With the previously approved site plan, the proposed subdivision would result in a floor area ratio of .56 for parcel 1, and .72 for parcel 2.

The proposed project does not include any additional building area. The revised Conditional Use Permit serves to clarify how the previously approved building area would be distributed among the parcels. The previous staff report dated June 26, 2002, analyzed the additional building area in relation to the City's traffic analysis zones and development capacity. Staff recommended approval of the request.

Assistant Planner Kusch made a revision to the staff report on page 3; the Conditional Use Permit heading should read 1063A and not 1067A.

Chairperson Crane noted that staff was recommending a private reciprocal emergency access easement as a condition, but asked if there were any concerns about drainage or utility easements. Senior Engineer Wallin advised that the he and the applicant can make sure that there would be reciprocal access drainage easements.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant David Ball, CT Realty, responded to the question about easements; in the process of permitting this project, the Engineering and Planning Departments have asked for compliance for cross easements for drainage, and this agency would comply. The utilities are within each of the properties, and there appears to only be one small area where a drainage easement would be needed. The fire department has asked for emergency access, and this has been incorporated into the working drawing.

Mr. Ball added the reason for the lot split is that the property currently is about 113,000 square feet of industrial, with a similar amount of square footage as self-storage. This would allow this agency to increase the marketing area, and would be able to offer the industrial building for sale to a user rather than ending up with two tenants. Mr. Ball requested modification to Condition Number 6. The plan was for a trash truck to not have to turn around. The trash enclosure would be reconstructed in a more accessible way for the trash truck. Aside from that one modification, all conditions are accepted.

Commissioner LeQuire asked if the reason for modifying the lot line was because of the trash enclosure placement, and Mr. Ball advised it was not. The modification was in case there was someone who wanted to bring in a larger truck, it would meet all the movements of a larger truck, including fire trucks.

Chairperson Crane pointed out that the "Condition Number 6" was not a condition, but only a comment. Chairperson Crane asked if the applicant had read and concurred with all the recommended conditions of approval, and Mr. Ball answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Stopper asked if parcel two would be the self-storage facility and Mr. Ball answered affirmatively. Commissioner Stopper asked if an area on the east property line, would remain an area for trash. Mr. Ball advised it would be additional parking for about 15 cars for the tenant occupying the east portion of the building.

Public hearing closed.

The title of Resolution No. 7004 APPROVING a request to subdivide the existing 8.5-acre parcel into two parcels measuring 4.79 acres and 3.62 acres, respectively, was read and further reading was waived. The title of Resolution No. 7005 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of an amendment changing the zoning designation from M-P-200 to M-P-100 on property located at 800 South Raymond Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. The title of Resolution No. 7006 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a request to modify a previously approved Conditional Use Permit to exceed the floor area ratio for the MP zone, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolutions be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 3
REVISIONS TO THE ADOPTED ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT A-1480.

Staff report dated December 11, 2002, was presented to change, correct, and clarify specific ordinances, which were issued to the Commission, and one modification to the ordinance requiring to require minimal landscaping in the front yard. Staff suggested that the Planning Commission recommend to City Council certification of the Negative Declaration and approval of the amendment as written.

Commissioner Savage asked about page 46 of the zoning ordinance, second story additions, to be limited to a maximum of 70% in R-1 and R-1P. Commissioner Savage asked if this request is due to some of the "big boxes" that are being built around town. Senior Planner Mullis advised this was true, and only applies to the R-1 zone classification.

Commissioner Savage inquired about page 48 of the zoning ordinance, with regard to the retaining wall provisions. Senior Planner Mullis advised that there was a problem with the height of retaining walls. The City is requesting an amendment to the code that was established last year, adding that the side yard would be the same as the back yard. Commissioner Savage advised that on page 226 of the zoning ordinance, it should state "10 working days."

Commissioner Stopper asked about the landscaping on page 49 and 108 of the zoning ordinance, and wanted to know how the City was going to accommodate people who like the look of "natural" landscaping. Chief Planner Rosen advised that the natural "flora and fauna" are included. This would include sod, plants or ground cover. The intent was to prevent weeds and front yards that are completely concreted over and painted green.

Commissioner Stopper wanted to know what Code Enforcement would do with property that already exists in those conditions. Chief Planner Rosen advised that the new code would only apply if those homeowners wanted to redevelop the property, the City would ask the property owner to comply with this requirement.

Commissioner Stopper asked what would happen if the homeowner wanted to sell their property. Chief Planner Rosen said it would not affect the sale. These property would not have to comply with the requirement unless the homeowner was asking to redevelop the property (i.e. seeking a permit for new construction). This would apply to major redevelopment, not a minor plan.

Commissioner Stopper suggested the amendment date be in the code book on all codes that have been changed or added. Chief Planner Rosen said the amendment date is displayed at the end of each section, but said the amendment date would be added to the front cover. The amendment date already exists on the Internet.

Commissioner Savage suggested a "revision page."

Commissioner LeQuire wanted to know what would happen if a senior bought property and landscaped the property so as to have the least amount of maintenance as possible. Chief Planner Rosen suggested that the new homeowner would need to make a sketch of what he wanted to do, and the City would approve it administratively, as a landscape plan. Commissioner LeQuire asked to verify the code for detached non-habitable buildings. Chief Planner Rosen reported that this code applies to front yards only.

Commissioner LeQuire inquired about the code on vacancy rate limitation on page 62 in the Zoning Ordinance. Senior Planner Mullis explained that currently, no units could be converted from rental to ownership if the vacancy rate is 3% or less. The new provision would allow a conversion of rental to ownership housing only under the condition that it is affordable and the applicant has an agreement with the redevelopment agency.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Stopper reported that he had reservations about the changes associated with landscaping, because of the concern about people reflecting a different view of what they consider landscaping of their home than what would be in the new code.

Commissioner LeQuire voiced that he shared that concern as well.

Chief Planner Rosen suggested that if problems arise from the new wording, and staff is unable to get resolution with the public on this issue, Code Enforcement would come back to the Commission and modify the language to make it easier to administer.

Commissioner Griffin commented that the landscaping issue was very subjective and recognized that it was difficult for staff to balance. He commended Code Enforcement for updating the code as they see problems. Commissioner Griffin also noted that he appreciated the code provision that restricts the area that of the second story to 70% of the first story area.

The title of Resolution No. 7007 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a request to change, correct, and clarify specific parts of the zoning ordinance, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

7:00 P.M. SESSION

ITEM NO. 4
PRJ02-00205: GENERAL PLAN REVISION LRP02-00007; ZONING AMENDMENT LRP02-00008; DEVELOPMENT PROJECT ZON02-00030 .

Staff report dated December 11, 2002, was presented to consider a General Plan Revision changing the land use designation from "Low Density Residential" to "Commercial" on the Land Use Map of the General Plan; to consider Zoning Amendment changing the zone classification from R-1-10,000 to C-1; and to consider a Development Project for a new two-story, 7,225-square foot general office building on property located at 1601 North Harbor Boulevard (west side of Harbor Boulevard, between approximately 1250 feet and 1530 feet north of Valley View Drive) (R-1-10,000 zone) (Negative Declaration) (Continued from October 9, 2002). A vicinity sketch was displayed.

Senior Planner Mullis reported that the proposed site plan would provide the development of the two-story building on the southerly end of the property with a parking lot to the north. This would require some retaining walls, because the building and parking lot would be built into the hill. The retaining wall would be a "stepped" retaining wall that would be proposed to accommodate the building and the parking lot.

Staff is proposing that the Planning Commission recommend to City Council approval of the three applications subject to the conditions listed in the staff report.

There have been a couple of calls regarding the project. Staff has attempted to address the questions as they have come up. This item has gone to RDRC on more than one occasion because of architectural issues, and the applicant has basically modified the architecture to be more of the same in the area.

Commissioner LeQuire asked about changing the number of the compact parking spaces, from eight to seven full-size parking spaces. Senior Planner Mullis stated the Commission could recommend that, and that it could be done administratively.

Commissioner Savage asked for some information on the grading ordinance that allows buildings and parking lots to go into a hill like the proposed project. He was concerned about going into the hill with homes above it.

Senior Planner Mullis reported the general process of reviewing projects through plan check would require that the applicant provide structural calculations and adequate hydraulic information and adequate grading analysis to insure that they would not be creating a slope instability. The grading ordinance states how steep a slope can be and how tall it can be at certain locations. Senior Engineer Wallin added that once this is built, a building would be holding up the slope, which is structurally better than a slope.

Commissioner Savage wanted to know if the grade was two to one. Senior Engineer Wallin advised it was two to one unless a soils report was done. The soils report could be one and a half to one. If it exceeds that, the wall would have to be raised enough to keep the correct slope.

Commissioner Savage asked about the term "scenic corridor." Senior Planner Mullis explained that scenic corridor has special design requirements, and is most predominantly related to landscaping.

Chief Planner Rosen added that the scenic corridor view is sometimes beyond the buildings, and the goal is to create as much open space as possible by the location of the building. In this case, the view is of the hillside.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant and architect Paul Kim, stated they are proposing to build a commercial building, two stories high and 3,600 square feet on each floor, totaling 7,200 square feet. The second floor would be set back from the ground floor.

The parking lot would be on the north side of the building and exits to the ground floor along Harbor Boulevard. The second floor would be accessible from the exterior on each side of the building. There would be ten to thirteen feet of landscape along Harbor Boulevard, so that would shield the parking area. There would also be a 30-inch high retaining wall to shield the parking lot. The hill itself would be landscaped to soften the appearance. There would be enough light fixtures for the parking lot area and building.

Commissioner Price asked if the owner had seen the twelve conditions of approval in the staff report and if he agreed with them. Mr. Kim advised the owner was aware of all the conditions, and believes the owner agreed with them.

Commissioner Griffin questioned if Mr. Kim had a proposed use or tenant for the building at this time. Mr. Kim advised it would be the retail store or office, not a medical office.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the applicant felt that 28 or 29 parking spaces would be sufficient for whatever the use would be. Mr. Kim stated it was enough and it meets the City's parking requirements, and they are using the space that is available.

Commissioner Savage noted that this project went through the RDRC three times, and the third time through it passed with the Chairman being the only vote against the project. The Chairman's reasoning was that he did not think the building's design was responsive to the hillside. He recommended that the architect make some minor changes on the architecture. Mr. Kim advised that the building was built against the hill, which is why the second floor had a setback from the ground floor.

Chairperson Crane wanted to confirm that the building would not have a medical office use. Mr. Kim advised that there is not sufficient parking for medical office uses, and the building is not designed for that type of use.

Owner Jay Ho stated that he read the conditions and was willing to comply with the City's conditions.

Tinamarie Karp, 1466 North Marelen Drive, advised that she was also speaking for Martin and Stacy Andelman, 1472 North Marelen Drive. Mrs. Karp's had some concerns in regards to geology and soils reports, which had not been submitted at this point. Basically the homeowners would like an evaluation to be made as far as the impact of cutting into the hillside.

Senior Engineer Wallin stated that the applicant would have to have a full set of plans because they are cutting into the hillside so that would have to be approved with a geological report. Chairperson Crane inquired if the technical engineer would be on site during the construction period. Senior Engineer Wallin advised that would be correct.

Mrs. Karp wanted to make sure that the correct type of retaining wall would be built to protect their properties. Chairperson Crane advised the applicant would have a technician on site during the construction period, a report would be done and then it would be reviewed by staff.

Mrs. Karp wanted to know when the homeowners could review these reports after the City reviews them. Chief Planner Rosen advised that once the plans are submitted for plan check, they become public, but copies can only be made by the civil engineer or by the property owner. They could be reviewed at City Hall. If anyone was interested, staff could take down names and phone numbers and when the reports were ready to be reviewed, staff could give interested parties a call. Chief Planner Rosen advised Mrs. Karp that she could give this information to Senior Planner Mullis when this process has been approved.

Chief Planner Rosen said that staff would "flag" the computerized file stating there needs to be a special notice given once the plans come in.

Mrs. Karp asked if there were negative findings, would they be able to have someone look at the reports and then oppose this project and the City's recommendations. Chief Planner Rosen advised of the appeal process. Usually if the engineer's findings were far apart, a permit would not be issued until an independent third party opinion and advice has been sought.

Mrs. Karp pointed out that the homeowner's concern includes future problems that are not foreseeable, and felt that these problems might bring about long after the construction is completed.

Mrs. Karp asked about the irrigation needs of the lower property that is being built and the changes to the existing irrigation from Marelen Drive down to Harbor Boulevard. She asked if proper irrigation would be provided at mid point, from the homeowner's backyards down to and through the retaining wall to get to Harbor Boulevard. This would include rainfall.

Chief Planner Rosen reported that the City has a very strict grading inspection process. The City requires grading inspections in several steps, to make sure it is put in the proper way to protect the hillside.

Chairperson Crane indicated that two of the conditions of approval relate to landscape and irrigation, and also to the grading and soils reports.

Senior Engineer Wallin reported that in the engineer's letter there is a requirement that they build an interceptor ditch at the property line to intercept any water coming from the upper lots and deposit it to the storm drain.

Mrs. Karp asked if conditions be set by the City in restricting construction activity on weekends and early morning hours. Chairperson Crane advised there is a City ordinance that restricts the hours of construction.

Mrs. Karp asked if these ordinances could be altered in any way. Chief Planner Rosen advised that City Council could apply a more stringent ordinance if there was a compelling reason.

Chairperson Crane advised Mrs. Karp that this item will go before Council and she could bring it up at that time if there is a specific reason she wanted to change those hours.

Mrs. Karp asked if this property was zoned Commercial, and if this project is built, could it be limited to the reasonable hours of operation as far as whatever tenants are allowed. It seemed it would be offices and not retail. Chairperson Crane advised that the hours could be limited as a condition of approval.

Mrs. Karp asked if the parking be only during business hours, or would the public have a 24- hour access to the parking lot. The 24-hour parking would be protested by the homeowners. Chief Planner Rosen advised that the applicant could post it to restrict the parking to legitimate customers of the business. If they post it properly the police department can enforce it. The applicant can also give homeowners his phone number and they can call him and explain the problem.

Mrs. Karp inquired about the noise that might occur from this new project. Chief Planner Rosen advised that the City has a noise ordinance and it could be enforced because it is adjacent to residential area.

Mrs. Karp asked about the lighting in the parking lot. She was concerned about the locations and where they would be pointed, and the times of operation. Chairperson Crane pointed out one of the conditions is the exterior lighting is arranged so that it does not have direct rays off to adjacent properties.

Mrs. Karp wanted to know if there was going to be any landscaping within the property, and was concerned about the type of trees that would be planted that might overgrow and obstruct the homeowner's view. If the homeowner's have reasonable and legitimate protest, would the City be willing to listen and call for changes in these areas in the homeowner's behalf.

Chairperson Crane advised that one of the conditions is that a detailed landscape plan be done and presented to City staff for review. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that the City would be willing to work with the neighbors and applicant to try to accommodate any problems.

Commissioner Stopper asked Mrs. Karp how long she has owned that property. Mrs. Karp replied that her father was the one that built the residence on the property. Mrs. Karp has owned the property for the past seven years.

Commissioner Stopper questioned if Mrs. Karp had heard or knew anything about slippage of the hillside. Mrs. Karp reported that her neighbor was having work done to their pool, and the workers drained the water through the side yard, instead of channeling it to Marelen Drive. As a result a large piece of Mrs. Karp's property was washed away. Commissioner Stopper pointed out that this was not an incident of nature, and asked if Mrs. Karp knew of any historical record that could have caused any damage. Mrs. Karp advised she had not heard of anything.

Mrs. Karp asked if she could give staff a copy of the homeowner's concerns. Chairperson Crane said staff would accept the copy for file.

Commissioner Griffin asked Mrs. Karp if, in 1991, her father asked the City to approve the parcel map to allow the down slope portion of the three lots to be consolidated to create the subject property. Mrs. Karp said this was true. Commissioner Griffin wanted to know if the homeowners have had a chance to meet with the applicant and the current owner of the project property. Mrs. Karp advised she had not.

Anand Decy, is the owner of commercial property south of the project lot, 1501 North Harbor Boulevard. Mr. Decy commented that in the past there had been hillside slide problems. There was extensive reinforcement back then, and now there appears to be some more sliding problems at 1501 North Harbor Boulevard. This is happening without any water running.

Mr. Decy wanted to know if the parking lot was going to be big enough, and asked if it was possible to open up some curb-side parking. Chairperson Crane advised that the on-street parking issue could not be approved at this time, but he could apply for that and it would go through the Traffic and Circulation Committee.

Stacy Andelman, property owner at 1472 Marelen, voiced that her and her husband are strongly opposed to having any construction done because it would impact their property value. Right now the property owners have a view and would like to keep it that way. Another reason for opposition is the noise, the lights, the traffic, and erosion. The construction noise would make their dog go crazy, which would bother their neighbors. Mrs. Andelman voiced that she hopes this project will not go through.

Chairperson Crane asked the applicant and owner to answer some questions. Chairperson Crane inquired as to how long construction would take. Mr. Ho and Kim estimated completion of construction approximately one year from the date it starts, and construction should start in approximately two months.

Chairperson Crane asked staff what the hours of operation would be. Chief Planner indicated there are no specific hours proposed as a condition that restrict the operational times.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Savage reported that he lives next to a hillside property in a similar circumstance. He suggested that the homeowners should be happy that somebody was going to take the responsibility to stabilize that hillside correctly. One concern was that the Chairman on the RDRC did not vote in favor of this project saying it was not responsive to the hillside setting. Commissioner Savage pointed out that this would not stop him from supporting this project, but wanted to hear how the other Commissioners felt.

Commissioner Price added that the people who live above this project have legitimate concerns that they should insure that everything would be done correctly and safely. Commissioner Price felt that the lateral support for the hill would be stabilized as a condition of development and is a good thing. He said that all the concerns that were mentioned would be either enforced by police or code enforcement, and that staff would make sure that everything was done properly. Commissioner Price noted that this project would improve the looks in that portion of Harbor Boulevard, and supported the project.

Commissioner Griffin agreed that this was a good project for the site and said it sounded like the former developer contemplated some type of development on the site, so he supported this project also.

Commissioner LeQuire felt there are sufficient safeguards all the way that if the site is developed, it will be developed in a way that it is not going to pose a risk to the people above them. He added that he would be willing to trade one parking space for full size parking. But either way, he would support this project.

Commissioner Stopper pointed out that as long as the applicant had met all the conditions that staff recommends, he would support the project. Commissioner Stopper felt that the property does not appear to have any instability over the last decade. Commissioner Stopper indicated that the project has merit and he would support it.

Chairperson Crane recommended that the property owners keep in touch with staff and review the documents as they are presented. This item will go to City Council, so it is not to say that this item will move forward. This item would go to Council on January 21, 2003, the 7:30 p.m., session, and a public notice would be sent. Chairperson Crane indicated that he would support this project.

MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded and carried unanimously that the negative declaration be CERTIFIED. The title of Resolution No. 7008 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a Development Project for a new two-story, 7,225-square foot general office building, on property located at 1601 North Harbor Boulevard was read and further reading was waived. The title of Resolution No. 7009 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a request to consider a General Plan Revision changing the land use designation from "Low Density Residential: to "Commercial" on the Land Use Map of the General Plan and to approve a Zoning Amendment changing the zone classification from R-1-10,000 to C-1 on property located at 1601 North Harbor Boulevard, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolutions be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

A short break was taken at this time.

ITEM NO. 5
PRJ02-00354: CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT ZON02-00047. APPLICANT: TOM LENNON; PROPERTY OWNER: ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF ORANGE

Staff report dated December 11, 2002, was presented pertaining to a master plan of development for St. Juliana's Church and School, including the proposed construction of a new 15,130-sq.-ft parish hall, the expansion and renovation of the existing church to create a sanctuary with 930 seats, and the reorganization of existing on-site parking areas property located at 1316 North Acacia Avenue (northeast corner of Acacia Avenue and Melody Lane) (R-1-10,000 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines). A vicinity sketch was displayed.

Commissioner Price disclosed that he is a member of the St. Juliana Parish, and has no personal interest in this matter and will hear the proposal.

Senior Planner Mullis reported that the applicant would like to expand the church facility in a variety ways and pointed out the proposed areas of the project; a storage facility that would be used by both the elementary and high schools, new offices, new parish hall with meeting areas on the outside, and a minor expansion of the church facility with a tower element. This would expand the number of seats from 655 to 930 seats.

This project would require a Conditional Use Permit which is for the expansion of the church and school facilities, that include the conditions of approval that are being proposed that would limit the number of students to 325 students, which is approximately the number the school has currently. The current Conditional Use Permit does not have a limit.

A construction management plan would be required, which would manage the parking during construction. Another condition would be a limit on the concurrent use of the church sanctuary and the parish hall to insure that the combination of those two facilities would not have more than 900 persons in combination.

A neighborhood meeting was held, but only a few people were in attendance. Most of these issues had been discussed when the Rosary School expansion was proposed almost six months ago, and heard before this Commission on a couple occasions. This project would be consistent with conditions that were established for the restriping and redesign of parking plan that would be compatible between the two projects. Most the parking issues have been worked out between the two facilities previously by this Commission. Staff recommended approval of this project, subject to the conditions.

Commissioner Stopper asked about Condition 13, the maximum concurrent occupancy of the sanctuary and parish hall is restricted to 900 persons, but the plan is to build a sanctuary that handles 930 seats. Senior Planner Mullis advised that 900 is based on how much parking is available on the site at any one time.

Project Planner Linnell reported that the parking is determined by one parking space for every three seats. Staff's concern was making sure that the church operates their two facilities in a manner to where they do not have events that would require more parking than that is available. To be safe, staff established a number of 900 to give some kind of buffer.

Chief Planner Rosen indicated that the Commission could change this amount to 1080 if necessary. Commissioner Stopper felt that increasing occupancy to 1,040 would be more consistent and logical, and asked the Commission to consider this amount to match the sanctuary and social hall seating capacity.

Commissioner LeQuire wanted to know if there was a condition that requires the high school students to park on campus, and if it was in force at this time. Senior Planner Mullis advised there was no condition at this time, but there was a phased parking plan. Phase one has been finished, and phase two would be completed this summer, which is the redesign of the parking stalls and after that they would have enough parking on site to be able to park on campus.

Commissioner Savage asked what the current seating is in the sanctuary. Senior Planner Mullis advised 655. Commissioner Savage questioned if that included the choir seating. Senior Planner Mullis said it would be included. Commissioner Savage further asked how many parking spaces were in the area west of the long parking lot for the students and Tom Lennon advised there were 158 spaces.

Public hearing opened.

Tom Lennon, Associate and Senior Architects with Carlisle Coats Architects, stated he is the representative for St. Juliana Catholic Community, and introduced members of the church. Mr. Lennon thanked Bob Linnell and Melanie Mullis for all their hard work.

Chairperson Crane asked if Mr. Lennon had read all the conditions and agreed to them. Mr. Lennon advised that he had read them, but does not agree with all of them. Mr. Lennon reported that Condition Number 10, limiting the enrollment to 325 students, was one of the items they wanted to discuss. At this point there are 324 students, with 36 students per class. However, the principal would like to have a little more breathing room in case there are some special opportunities for other types of classes that the school does not offer right now, so they would like to bump enrollment up to 330.

Item Number 13 limits the facility to 900 persons in concurrent use. The parking spaces are laid out in a way that it would be hard for all those spaces to be used for assembly gatherings. However, not all the spaces will be used for either school, so the suggestion would be to eliminate the 13 spaces that are used in the Rosary High School staff lot. The facility plans on using all of the spaces that are in the central lot, as well as using as much of the spaces up to the northeast as possible, on all big events. The resulting number of available parking spaces (349) should allow over 1,040 persons at concurrent events.

Another issue is there are four parcels involved, the large parcel, the flag lot, the rectangular lot, and then the narrow one, which is where the church is. The client would like these parcels included in the resolution.

Chairperson Crane confirmed the two items that need to be resolved in the conditions are to bump up the enrollment to 330 and to allow an increase in occupancy for concurrent events to 1,040 persons.

Mr. Lennon displayed some slides of the current parking area. There is a fence about four feet high between two rows of parking spaces. This fence has been there since Rosary High School was built, and has been a problem for both facilities. Both facilities coordinate events to not have a problem for parking. This parking area will be redesigned per the new plan. A retaining wall will be built to the west, taking off about 750 square feet of the upper playground for the school. This decision has come about by working with Planning, Traffic, Engineering, and Police to try and come up with a parking solution that would work for both facilities. Mr. Lennon reported that he is the one that redesigned the parking area for Rosary, to try and make this work.

The entire north quarter will be restriped for Rosary High School. This area has diagonal parking, and very small spaces, so this restriping will make it more convenient. The parking for Rosary will end up being 226 spaces.

Mr. Lennon stated that the church has 656 seats right now, including the choir loft. The 930 seats would include the choir seats, as well as the 24 that have been included in the chapel. The chapel is a requirement by the Catholic Church and Bishop Brown.

This church is looking to get an approval on the master plan, as a Conditional Use Permit, to allow the construction and renovation of the sanctuary. The plans are to start the storage building this summer. This would be a two-story facility, the top will be used by Rosary, and the bottom would be used by St. Juliana.

Commissioner Savage inquired if the 24 seats in the chapel would be used for normal mass. Mr. Lennon advised they are usually not used except in overflow circumstances, such as Easter and Christmas.

Commissioner Stopper asked how many parking spaces would be lost when the sanctuary is moved to the east. Mr. Lennon reported that they would actually gain parking spaces by restriping the diagonal spaces and the removal of the fence.

Sherry Chapman, 1627 Mountain View, stated her concern for the traffic. Fullerton Creek Road and Melody Lane are already bad, but with the new changes, it will be worse.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Savage reported that he and his wife attended St. Juliana's Church Sunday, and while there, noticed that the sanctuary was 60-70% full, but the parking situation was busy, he had to park at Rosary High School. There were about 10-15 cars in this area, which brings up a concern about parking. Due to the changes that will be made, Commissioner Savage was in support of this project, with a condition to be added that will bring this project back to review after a six-month or one-year period of time. At this time, the neighbors can discuss any problems. Commissioner Savage felt if the request allows 1,040 persons for concurrent events, it should be reposted and heard again. He suggested the neighbors should review the plans and ask questions if there are any concerns.

Commissioner LeQuire commended St. Juliana and Rosary for working together and coming up with the master plan. After driving by at 7:30 a.m. and again just before 8:00 a.m., there was a long line of cars, and there were many of the students parking in the street, so there was concern about the phase where the students were suppose to be parking on campus. In considering the request to allow up to 1,040 persons at concurrent events, he would support the project. Commissioner LeQuire asked if staff had to readvertise for this type of change.

Chief Planner Rosen advised that this item was a Conditional Use Permit, conditions such as this could be added with Commission review, and did not have to be readvertised.

Commissioner LeQuire had a concern about raising the enrollment to 330. The neighbors have been told that the request for enrollment was 325. Overall, Commissioner LeQuire was in support of this project.

Commissioner Griffin hoped that the architect heard the concerns of Ms. Chapman, including the ingress and egress, and felt that these issues must be addressed. Commissioner Griffin would not support modifying condition number 10 for the same reason Commissioner LeQuire spoke of, but would support the modification of Condition Number 13.

Commissioner Stopper stated that the enrollment limit of 325 is what was approved, and should not change for the same reasons. As far as condition 13, there would be no problem in increasing the allowable occupancy to 1,040 persons, and he supported the project.

Commissioner LeQuire advised that he has no problem with the parking spaces going up to 1040 persons. After driving through the area, he commended everyone on doing a good job on the traffic and parking mitigation procedures that have already been in place.

Commissioner Price indicated that he would fully support this project, but felt the enrollment condition should stay at 325, because of the prior hearings and promises that were previously made. Condition Number 13 should be changed to 1040 persons. As far as the concerns about the traffic and parking, people have to remember that this is still work in progress, the applicant has not completed all the work that needs to be done, and they are still working through the traffic issues. Commissioner Price asked Chief Planner Rosen if there was any review of the Conditional Use Permit with the Rosary High School application, because that could give Ms. Chapman some assurance.

Chief Planner Rosen said there was a condition for Planning Commission Review, one year after the installation of the modular classroom. By that time all of the provisions of the parking management plan will have been implemented, including all the restriping, red curbing, and the reconfiguration of the parking lot. All of the parking and traffic management recommendations will be in place so staff could see how they are working.

Chairperson Crane also supports this project, without the request to raise enrollment to 330, and felt it should stay at 325. As for the concurrent use of facilities, he agreed with the 1,040-person limitation. Condition Number 17 allows potential review process, which is if there are three complaints; this item would come back to the Commission.

The title of Resolution No. 7010 APPROVING a request for a master plan of development for St. Juliana's Church and School, including the proposed construction of a new 15,130-sq.-ft parish hall, the expansion and renovation of the existing church to create a sanctuary with 930 seats, and the reorganization of existing on-site parking areas on property located at 1316 North Acacia Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED, including the modification to Condition No. 13.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report of the recent City Council meeting.

  2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    There were no public comments.

  3. AGENDA FORECAST:

    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be January 8, 2003, at 4:00 p.m.

Chief Planner Rosen advised that the next meeting will involve an appeal of a Notice and Order and described what this would entail. Legal council will be present.

Chairperson Crane inquired if there would be a new commissioner appointed. Chief Planner Rosen advised that a new Commissioner would be on Board by the first meeting in January.

Chairperson Crane asked about the reorganization of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. Chief Planner Rosen said that would be the first meeting. Also at this meeting is an abandonment that was previously on the agenda.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:19 p.m.

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