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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

COUNCIL CHAMBERS - CITY HALL

May 22, 2002

Call To Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Crane at 7:00 p.m

ROLL CALL

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

ABSENT: Commissioner LeQuire

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Program Planner Linnell, Senior Engineer Wallin, Traffic Engineer Miller, and Recording Secretary Garfinkel

MINUTES:

MOTION by Commissioner Wilson, seconded and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, that the Minutes of the May 8, 2002, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

ITEM NO. 1
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1064. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: JOHN DUHAIME

Staff memorandum dated May 22, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to allow a detached second-story limited second dwelling unit having 640 square feet of livable area on property located at 1724 Grove Place (south side of Grove Place approximately 270 feet east of Acacia Avenue) (R-1-7,200) (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines).

Senior Planner Mullis reported that the proposed two-car garage with access to the front of property located on Grove Place, exceeded requirements by meeting two out of three conditions necessary for that type of structure. The proposed building was architecturally compatible with the neighborhood. If approved, the applicant would be required to place a deed restriction on the property which states that the property owner would always occupy one of the units, and that the units would never be sold separately. Pictures of the property were shown. Staff recommended approval.

Commissioner Stopper inquired about Condition #5, which stated the applicant dedicated two feet of the property for the alley right-of-way. Senior Planner Mullis indicated that an alley must be typically 20-feet wide, however, the existing alley was only 16-feet wide. The applicant was willing to provide two feet along the alley portion of Gordon Lane, thereby helping to meet half of the 20-foot dedication requirement. Commissioner Stopper asked if that was due to a change in the City requirements for the width of an alley. Senior Engineer Wallin verified that the existing alley had a substandard width for an alleyway easement.

Commissioner Savage asked if the other 15 lots in that area would qualify for that type of limited use. Senior Planner Mullis indicated an analysis regarding the amount of properties that would qualify, had not been done. She further added that each application would be handled on a case-by-case basis. Commissioner Savage further asked how many units in Fullerton were currently set up on that basis. Chief Planner Rosen replied that there had been less than a dozen across the entire city in the last ten years.

Commissioner Griffin, in regard to item #2, condition #2, asked if water meters would be split and if sanitation would be billed separately for additional residents living in that unit. Senior Engineer Wallin indicated a second meter was not proposed. He added that sanitation was a percentage of the water consumption; therefore increased water consumption would result in an increased sanitation fee. Chief Planner Rosen added there was a construction fee charged by the sanitation district and a park dwelling fee, so there are substantial costs to any applicant interested in building this type of dwelling.

Commissioner Price asked if any public had responded after the staff report was completed. Senior Planner Mullis indicated that one couple came to the counter to review the plans and, after seeing the proposal, had no concerns. No other communications of concern were received.

Chairman Crane asked Senior Planner Mullis to reiterate the three conditions of qualification, which are as follows:

  1. 150% of the minimum required lot size; or
  2. has access on a public alley; or
  3. was designated as a corner lot.

Chairman Crane asked if a study had been done, as to how many of these types of units could potentially be built in the community. Senior Planner Mullis indicated a study of that type had not been done, however, through the affordable housing analysis there was an estimate of 10 requests per year. Chief Planner Rosen believed an analysis was done about 15 years ago. He said that State law requires cities to have limited accommodations and restrictions for second units. About 2,000 units could qualify under these rules. In reality, due to the small amount of applications and high up-front costs, Chief Planner Rosen did not foresee a large number of requests for limited second dwellings.

Commissioner Wilson asked if the code for the 640-square-foot unit was passed recently. Senior Planner Mullis clarified that a recent change in the Zoning Ordinance was made to allow a second unit to be detached. Commissioner Wilson asked if that was in direct reaction to lawsuits elsewhere. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that in some situations a detached structure was a better design than an attached unit to the main residence.

Chairman Crane requested to know if the unit was compatible with the character of the neighborhood and the General Plan. Senior Planner Mullis indicated the unit would only be visible from the alley, and because it promoted the policy to encourage affordable housing, staff believed it was consistent with the General Plan policies.

Commissioner Wilson asked what amount of housing had been mandated by the State to be zoned for affordable housing. Senior Planner Mullis indicated approximately 1,700 total units need to be provided over the next five years.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant, John Duhaime, of 1724 East Grove Place, Fullerton, was present to speak on this issue. Chairman Crane asked the applicant if he had read the conditions of approval and if he understood them. Mr. Duhaime responded affirmatively.

Commissioner Stopper, upon noticing that the floor plans showed two separate bedrooms with their own baths, asked why the applicant chose that plan. Mr. Duhaime indicated that he believed people prefer their own private bath based on two people occupying the space.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Savage expressed concern that the other 15 lots would meet the requirements to add a second dwelling, and could potentially change the neighborhood use to multi-family from single-family use. Commissioner Savage also expressed his concern that the lack of architecture might not be compatible with rest of neighborhood. Commissioner Savage's third point was the concern of increased traffic and the need for more schools and churches due to the density caused by multi-family use. In retrospect, Mr. Duhaime was willing to improve the existing alleyway, thereby improving the existing property. Commissioner Savage's main concern was the potential for change to the character of the existing neighborhood based on the General Plan.

Commissioner Price agreed with Commissioner Savage that there was a potential of greater crowding and density, however, he did not feel others would avail themselves of that particular application process. Commissioner Price felt the applicant singularly qualified in more than one way and did not feel that the character of the neighborhood would change. Though the plans do not have full architectural details, which was not a condition to the application, the applicant had more than met the necessary requirements. Commissioner Price was in favor of the request.

Commissioner Griffin pointed out that there was no basis to deny the request, because the applicant was within his rights. Commissioner Griffin believed the house fit in with the existing neighborhood, and was in favor of the request.

Commissioner Wilson asked if there was anything planned to improve the construction of the alley, based on the alley's rundown appearance; and if there was a fee or charge for that type of work. Senior Engineer Wallin indicated there was nothing planned at the present, and added that the destruction of the alleys was attributed to large trash trucks and larger vehicles. Senior Engineer Walling said that one or two additional residents would not make a difference. Commissioner Wilson also felt that the architecture does match the house and he would support the request.

Commissioner Stopper personally surveyed the property and felt there would not be any impact to the neighborhood. Commissioner Stopper was in favor of the request.

Chairman Crane thought the new house looked architecturally compatible. Based on the applicant's right to build, all requirements having been met, and the applicant's agreement to the conditions, Chairman Crane was in favor of the request.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6969 APPROVING a request to allow a detached second-story limited second dwelling having 640 square feet of livable area on property located at 1724 Grove Place, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Wilson, seconded, and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 2
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-773A. APPLICANT: ARMONDO RUIZ AND ASSOCIATES; PROPERTY OWNER: ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE.

Staff report dated May 22, 2002, was presented pertaining to a request to allow the placement of a modular building containing three new classrooms on the Rosary High School campus, on property located at 1340 North Acacia Avenue (east side of Acacia Avenue between approximately 480 feet and 780 feet north of Melody Lane) (R-1-10,000 zone) (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines).

Commissioner Price recused himself from that matter.

Program Planner Linnell reported that the Diocese of Orange was seeking approval to place a modular building on the Rosary High School Campus for three additional classrooms to meet the need of existing enrollment at the high school. It was emphasized that the additional classrooms are not intended to increase enrollment, which was currently 720 students. It was noted that the issue was not with the design, location or use of what was being proposed (aerial views were shown), but with the ongoing impact of the prevailing operation of the three schools in that area, (Rosary High School, St. Juliana School, and Acacia Elementary School) and the traffic problems associated therewith.

Various photos of existing parking problems and traffic violations were shown during the morning rush hour last week. Staff believes there was not enough parking on-site, but that improvements can be made. Staff recommended approval with conditions that require the applicant to rectify or alleviate the traffic problem through a traffic study, with measures to be implemented by the applicant.

Staff believes the Diocese needed to look at their existing operation and to do what they can to improve the parking situation. St. Juliana's School has a large parking area that was used for recreational purposes. A fence separated St. Juliana's parking from Rosary High's property. Staff believed the Diocese could reconfigure some ingress and egress in the parking area to create a better situation.

Staff also believed a need existed for overall cooperation and coordination between the three schools in this regard. Rosary High School was proposing to change its school times for better time coordination between the three schools.

The last condition required the staff to review the whole matter in the Fall of 2003.

Commissioner Wilson asked for verification that there was a combined parking total of 292 on-site parking spaces at Rosary High School and St. Juliana's. Program Planner Linnell answered affirmatively, but added that each campus controls their individual parking area. Commissioner Wilson asked if Acacia Elementary was in agreement with that traffic issue. Program Planner Linnell indicated they are a factor in the traffic problem, but are not a party to the request. Commissioner Wilson indicated that he felt all three schools should be involved in that issue financially, since they are all part of the problem. In regard to Condition #10, Commissioner Wilson asked if the three or more verifiable complaints related only to the one modular building. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that the Conditional Use Permit applied to the entire site, not just the modular building.

Program Planner Linnell indicated that one of the conditions that Rosary High School needed to meet is to provide at least 225 parking spaces for their use; that would satisfy the previous Conditional Use Permit of record.

Commissioner Savage inquired as to the current number of classrooms. Program Planner Linnell deferred to the applicant. Commissioner Savage asked if the 720-student body included "bridge" students. Again, that question was deferred to the applicant. Commissioner Savage asked for clarification; due to the fact that the blueprint did not match the aerial view. Program Planner Linnell, said that discussions with Rosary High School representatives earlier in the week, revealed that the site plan received by the Commission was not accurate. There was actually more parking than shown on the site plan. Program Planner Linnell indicated that the City's standards for parking were not currently being met, and staff wanted the traffic study to address these deficiencies with a revised layout. He also noted that the open parking spaces at St. Juliana's are for the school's outdoor P.E. classes; however, 23 spaces were reserved for Rosary High School. Commissioner Savage asked if the area that St. Juliana uses for PE was going to be used as part of the solution to the parking problems. Program Planner Linnell responded that the Diocese has been asked to look at both campuses and come up with a more efficient use of the property. Program Planner Linnell indicated that students had been advised that they could only park on Melody Lane or Fullerton Creek Road.

Commissioner Stopper asked if it was standard for utilities serving the building to be installed underground as mentioned in recommendation #3. Program Planner Linnell responded affirmatively.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the statement noted in the letter from Janice Clevenger, which stated that students at Fullerton Public High School were not allowed to park on public streets, was true. Traffic Engineer Miller answered affirmatively and further indicated that students at Troy High School also have parking restrictions of two hours on any city street.

Chairman Crane asked for the land use acreage of Rosary High School. Program Planner Linnell responded that the high school uses 4.5 of the entire 10.38-acre parcel with a student count of 720. Chairman Crane asked what the State guidelines were for the size of public high schools. Chief Planner Rosen replied that the State requires 40 acres for a full-sized public high school with a student count of approximately 2,000.

Chairman Crane asked whether staff was familiar with the future build-out plans mentioned in the staff report. Program Planner Linnell indicated that St. Juliana's was working on a plan to redevelop their part of the campus, however, it was still in a preliminary state.

Chairman Crane asked what staff felt the timing should be in regard to the traffic issues. Program Planner Linnell indicated that the parking issues needed to be dealt with immediately through a traffic study with measures to be implemented thereafter. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that the parking study shall be done prior to occupancy of the new structure with implementation of the traffic proposals within six months thereafter. He also added that the study would have to be submitted to the City Traffic Engineer for approval after it had been developed.

Chairman Crane asked Traffic Engineer Miller if he envisioned signals at any of the corners. Mr. Miller indicated that, without having a study in-hand his best answer was that signals were not anticipated, and that they might cause more delays than stop signs.

Commissioner Stopper inquired of Traffic Engineer Miller if the City had any plans to do any work in that area. Traffic Engineer Miller responded that reconstruction plans were in the works for Dorothy Lane from Longview all the way to Victoria. It would consist of modifying bike lanes to still allow parking on Dorothy Lane, and also the installation of red curbs, and the enhancement of existing crosswalks around Acacia School. These items are scheduled to be completed by the end of Summer 2002.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant Joe Navoa, Director of Construction Management Services for the Diocese of Orange, 2811 East Villa Real, Orange, CA 92863, indicated he had reviewed all the conditions with the staff and there were no issues. The Diocese was in agreement and would comply with all requirements. Chairman Crane clarified that the applicant did receive further revised conditions and asked if these were also agreed upon. Mr. Navoa answered affirmatively.

In response to questions brought up earlier, Mr. Navoa replied that there were 29 classrooms currently in existence. He also indicated there were no "bridge" students currently at Rosary High School. Mr. Navoa added that there was a reciprocal agreement that allowed shared parking between the Parish and the High School. The parking lot at St. Juliana's was used for mass every day, as well as a pick-up and drop-off point for the elementary school. During the day, the parking lot was a playground facility.

Mr. Navoa indicated that the Diocese was committed to pay the cost of a traffic study, however, in order to get assistance from the public school to implement the traffic recommendations, the help of the City would be needed. In regard to the traffic study and the master plan, the existing traffic problems had to be resolved and future needs must also be addressed.

Chairman Crane asked the applicant if they are willing to pay the incurred costs for a traffic study as a condition of approval without knowing the costs. Mr. Navoa confirmed that he had talked with staff, and the Diocese was prepared to agree to that condition. Chairman Crane asked what staff had presented as potential solutions. Mr. Navoa indicated that information would not be known until a traffic study was done.

Commissioner Stopper asked what the organizational structure of the Diocese was in regard to that property. Mr. Navoa responded that the Diocese was the owner of the entire property, however, the High School, Elementary School and Church all have different methods of operation. The Master Plan and traffic study requested would address the property and these issues as a whole. Mr. Navoa indicated that the condition required 225 spaces, which the Diocese was willing to accomplish. Commissioner Stopper asked the applicant if he was aware of the demographics of the population level of the students in both schools. Mr. Navoa indicated the enrollment for Rosary High School was 720, and 325 for St. Juliana's. Commissioner Stopper asked what the projected enrollment growth was for both schools. Mr. Navoa indicated that, from a facilities standpoint, the schools are maxed out on the limit they can handle. Mr. Navoa also pointed out that part of the condition of that application deals with a cap of the student enrollment at 720. Commissioner Stopper confirmed with the applicant that that property use was maxed out. The applicant responded affirmatively.

Commissioner Stopper asked how the cap for the amount of the students was reached. Ms. Trudy Mazarella, Principal of Rosary High School, responded to that question by stating that Rosary High School was an all girl, college-preparatory, tuition-based school that was land-locked at this site and cannot grow any further. The application was being requested in order to meet the educational needs of the students in order to have the necessary classes that would give them access to State universities. The State now mandates additional classes in fine arts; therefore, Rosary High School needed three additional classrooms. The original Conditional Use Permit allowed 800 students, however, the school was maxed out at 720 due to the physical limitations of the school.

Chairman Crane questioned whether the enrollment would grow based on the 1989 CUP that came to the Planning Commission when the enrollment was not to exceed 600. Mr. Navoa believed that an enrollment cap was not a condition of the Conditional Use Permit in 1989, as it was being recommended today.

Commissioner Wilson asked if there was a limit set by the fire department or the City in regard to maximum occupancy. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that the CUP was not addressing occupancy limits on additional classrooms. He also did not believe they have maximized their physical capacity, however, they do have an operational capacity that seemed to be maximized.

Commissioner Stopper asked the applicant if they had any data projecting there would be no growth in enrollment in the next 5 to 10 years. Ms. Mazarella said that she did not have any information to present, but she indicated that the average class size was 25 students, based on State demands. Commissioner Stopper added that he had a sense that there were no future goals or plans in place.

Commissioner Wilson pointed out that there was no mechanism that provides for verification that Condition #5, requesting a cap of 720 students, would be followed. Commissioner Wilson asked the applicant if they would be agreeable to that condition being adjusted to require proof of enrollment. Ms. Mazarella indicated they would be in agreement and would be willing to give the City a copy of the public affidavit of attendance that they must submit every year to the State.

Commissioner Savage asked Mr. Navoa if he was referring to condition #4 when he talked about the "Master Plan". Mr. Navoa indicated the "Master Plan" meant the entire campus, as a whole would be addressed. Commissioner Savage asked Ms. Mazarella if "bridge" students were students from other campuses sent to attend classes at Rosary High School. Ms. Mazarella replied that 1-3 of Rosary High School's students attend summer school elsewhere, however, students from other campuses do not attend Rosary High School. Commissioner Savage indicated that 32 classrooms (including an additional 3 classrooms) would indicate the classroom sizes would reduce from 25 students per class. Ms. Mazarella confirmed that that was true, however, she verified that these classes are not for the sake of additional students but for the sake of implementing fine art classes. Commissioner Savage asked if the schools are part of a "school district". St. Juliana's and Rosary High School are two schools under the headship of the Diocese of Orange. Commissioner Savage asked if other high schools have fine arts classes. Ms. Mazarella answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the school offered any fine arts classes at that time. Ms. Mazarella responded that some classes are being offered, but they were not enough for all the students to take what they need. Ms. Mazarella confirmed that for 3 or 4 years there would not be enough classes to circulate 720 students. Commissioner Griffin asked when the California State Universities put the fine arts requirement into the system. Ms. Mazarella indicated that all students must have the fine arts classes by the Fall of 2006. Commissioner Griffin asked if they would need to have these classes in place by 2005. Ms. Mazarella responded affirmatively. Commissioner Griffin asked if Rosary High School offered summer school classes. Ms. Mazarella indicated that summer school classes are only offered as remedial classes in math, reading and English, for incoming freshmen. Commissioner Griffin asked if the fine arts classes could be offered in the summer. Ms. Mazarella indicated they may or may not, because the parents are paying school-year tuitions, and they probably would not want to pay additional monies for summer classes.

Regarding the parking situation at Rosary High School, Commissioner Griffin asked if the school had considered any on-campus programs such as carpools, or the purchase of an off-site lot with shuttling. Ms. Mazarella confirmed that they had. Commissioner Griffin asked how many people attended morning mass at the church, Monday through Friday. Ms. Mary Santoni, principal of St. Juliana's, indicated there are approximately 40-50 cars every morning between 8 and 9:45 with masses offered at 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Chairman Crane asked what the estimated length was to develop the parking plan. Chief Planner Rosen indicated the condition of approval required the recommended traffic study and parking plan to be implemented within six months after occupancy of the modular building. Actual plans must be written and approved by August or September. If the applicant did not immediately proceed with the traffic study, the new classrooms would be delayed for a Fall completion date.

Commissioner Stopper noted that since most schools would be on recess by the end of the week, a traffic study without students would not be realistic. Chief Planner Rosen indicated staff had talked with the City Traffic Engineer, and he believed a study could be completed before the end of the school year. Commissioner Stopper also confirmed with Chief Planner Rosen that the conditions could be modified.

Chairman Crane asked how long it took to apply for a building permit. Chief Planner Rosen replied that the typical permit process based on a modular building could be issued within 30 days. Chairman Crane asked if there would be handicap issues and additional restroom space needs. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that he did not believe these were issues that could delay the process.

Commissioner Griffin asked who would be doing the study. Chief Planner Rosen replied that staff had given the names of several traffic-engineering firms to the applicant. Commissioner Griffin asked if the Diocese would be agreeable if it was found that the fence between Rosary High School and St. Juliana's would need to be taken down to share parking. The applicant indicated that the Diocese would review this as part of the solution, if the traffic study recommended using it to mitigate the problem.

Commissioner Savage asked if there had been any problems with children's safety and emergency vehicles. Traffic Engineer Miller responded that he had no knowledge of emergency vehicles having problems entering that area. Accidents had always been a concern with close calls and near misses. There had been a history of various types of accidents over the last ten years. Recently, the crossing guards and the relocation of the crosswalks at Melody Lane and Acacia Avenue, and enforcement with police department motor officers have helped traffic problems.

Commissioner Wilson asked what happened with the process after the traffic study was done. Chief Planner Rosen replied that as the condition was stated currently, it would not come back to the Commission. If certain improvements are required on the City's part, such as additional stop signs or red curbing, that would have to go to the City's Traffic and Circulation Commission. The scope of work would have to be approved, the study written, approved by the City Traffic Engineer, with implementation six months after occupancy of the building and operational improvements required by the traffic and circulation study. Commissioner Wilson expressed concern with the obstinacy of the Diocese in considering the use of the parking lot at St. Juliana's.

The Commission heard the following individuals:

  • Karen Atkinson-Dudley, 1405 Alto Lane / Mrs. Dudley did submit a letter and a petition.
    The following modifications and recommended conditions of approval were submitted for consideration:

    • A photo presentation was made by Mrs. Dudley illustrating traffic congestion on Acacia Avenue, East Melody Lane, and Fullerton Creek Road, including parking and moving violations directly associated with afternoon school traffic.
    • All buses associated with school activities shall be loaded, unloaded or left standing on Melody Lane adjacent to the church building, not less than 100 feet east of Acacia Avenue. If the City's Traffic Engineer determines that that location was not a safe bus stop area, then prior to occupancy of the proposed modular classrooms, the property owner/developer shall reconstruct one or more of the driveways located on the north side of Melody Lane to accommodate the ingress/egress of a 40-foot bus. Thereafter, all loading, unloading and parking of buses shall take place on-site only. This is due to diesel buses parking in the 'red zone' on Acacia Avenue immediately adjacent to residence that are left standing with engines running for up to two and a half plus hours during sporting or other events at Rosary High School.
    • Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the property owner/developer shall submit a detailed landscape plan to be reviewed and approved by the Director of Development Services showing how the modular building will be screened with landscaping from Acacia Avenue. The approved landscape plan shall be implemented to the satisfaction of the Planning Director prior to occupancy of the building.
    • The modular structure shall be set on a permanent foundation. Should the structure not be set on a permanent foundation, then the modular structure and all appurtenant equipment shall be removed within five (5) years from the date of that Resolution.
    • Condition No. 5 (replace "will" with "shall" unless synonymous in Code)
      "Rosary High School willshall comply with the following restrictions:
      • The Rosary High School enrollment willshall have a cap of 720 students, including registered and non-registered students.
      • Starting with the new school year in September 2002, Rosary High School willshall change its schedule so that regular classes will start at 7:50 a.m. and end at 3:003:05 p.m. Any subsequent change to that schedule will be submitted for the review and approval of the Director of Development Services.
      • Rosary High School willshall require all students who drive to school to register their vehicles and to clearly display a current parking permit on or in the vehicle, even if the student does not elect to park in the on-site parking area. All students who drive to school shall be required to park in the designated on-site parking areas whenever on-site parking is available.
      • Rosary High School shall require all students waiting to be picked up after school to wait in the designated on-site loading/off-loading area located in the west parking lot area off Acacia Avenue. Furthermore, students shall be informed at the beginning of each school year of that this requirement and that the loading/off-loading of students in the "red curb" zones on Acacia Avenue is strictly prohibited. If it becomes necessary, Rosary High School teachers/staff will be assigned to monitor the loading/off-loading area to ensure compliance.
      • Condition No. 6 - At least 225250 parking spaces shall be available for use by Rosary High School at all times prior to occupancy of the new classroom building.
  • Brendon Powers, worked at Rosary High School
    • Believed the focus should be the need for the classrooms to meet student needs
    • Parking was a separate issue that needed to be addressed
  • Eileen Doyle, 2851 Rolling Hills Drive, Fullerton, 92835 - a member of St. Juliana's parish and a teacher at Rosary High School
    • Focus on need of classrooms
    • In regard to the number of students, only half of them are eligible to drive and many carpool.
  • Emmy Cummins, 1610 North Lindendale - Had been a resident in that neighborhood for 35 years.
    • Neighborhood was not suffering
    • Traffic problem had been in existence for 35 years
  • Martha Dalby, 1694 North Hale
    • Could not get out on State College Boulevard or Acacia Avenue in the mornings or evenings and was concerned emergency vehicles would not have access
  • Joseph Burns-Simpson, 1114 North Acacia, 3rd house south of Dorothy Lane, south of Acacia School, a St. Juliana parishioner, and a strong believer in the Catholic school system
    • Believed traffic issue was tied into size of school and did not believe enrollment would stay at 720
    • Mr. Simpson showed a sketch of the area and 149 student vehicles parked on Melody Lane and Fullerton Creek Drive on a regular school day
    • Photos were also shown of parked cars
  • Diane Johannes, 1411 North Acacia Avenue - A parishioner of St. Juliana's
    • Supported the Catholic school system but felt traffic was out of hand
  • Roger Hanson, President of Broadmoor Fullerton Homeowners Association (homes east of location)
    • Did not feel there was a connection between building and traffic problem
  • Grace Krasnic, 1601 North Mountain View Place
    • Could not cross Fullerton Creek Drive because of the way the road was designed
  • Mitchell Boyer, 1419 East Alto Lane
    • Building should be contingent on traffic study and implementation of study
      Commissioner Wilson asked if there was land available behind Acacia School.
      Mr. Boyer indicated there was.
    • Believed Rosary High School had outgrown its site
      Commissioner Griffin asked Mr. Boyer if there were parking problems on Alto Lane.
      Mr. Boyer indicated students did not park on the west side of the school.
  • Rick Belliveau, 1621 North Mountain View, also a parishioner at St. Juliana's
    • Bought house because of proximity to school which son attends
    • Property abuts Rosary High School's back parking lot and when gymnasium was built there was an agreement to build a 12-foot wall
    • Previous owner kept wall at 4-feet
    • Wanted to expand wall to 12-feet and contacted Rosary High School three years ago to bring the wall up
    • Rosary High School would not give the information nor would they allow them to dig to find out what the footings were on the 4-foot wall
    • Rosary High School had not been good neighbors. Wanted wall extended as agreed upon in 1989

Commissioner Savage noted that he had viewed the chainlink fence and noticed that it was only four feet.

Chairman Crane requested staff to look into that matter.

  • Grace Krasnic, 1601 North Mountain View Place
    • Indicated only a staggered wall was built by Rosary High School- not a 12-foot wall
  • Karen Kurry, faculty member at Rosary High School
    • Emphasized need for additional classes
  • Russell Betker, 1520 Miramar Drive
    • Felt enrollment would grow as well as traffic problems
  • Alexandra Flecky, 1700 Miramar Drive, shares backyard with Rosary High School
    • Supported extra classrooms
    • Hoped traffic assessment would consider creative alternatives such as a shuttle

Recess was called at 10:10 p.m.

Meeting called back to order at 10:21 p.m.

Mr. Navoa addressed the Commission in rebuttal to the various statements from the audience. He indicated that the Diocese recognized there was a traffic problem, but believed the modular unit would not impact the current traffic problems. The traffic study was being proposed as a condition of approval, and it would document everything discussed, as well as solutions to implement. The Diocese believed that traffic needed to be dealt with now, and the intent was to start addressing the study on Monday, May 27th. It was the Diocese' goal to satisfy the concerns of everyone involved.

Chairman Crane asked Mr. Navoa if there would be any opposition to the additional conditions brought up by Mrs. Dudley.

Chief Planner Rosen suggested that the Diocese be given time to discuss the additional conditions with the principals involved.

Commissioner Wilson noted that he did not believe Conditions 2 and 3 to be applicable.

Chairman Crane requested the applicant to go over the conditions.

Recess was called at 10:26 p.m.

Meeting reconvened at 10:34 p.m.

Mr. Navoa indicated that the Diocese concurred with the additional conditions as long as the traffic study stated they are warranted. Mr. Navoa did not believe Item #2 was an issue, however, he was not sure what the permanent foundation issue was about in Item #3. Mr. Navoa added that a 20-minute staggered time slot for school session times was workable, however, the public school would need to be included in that issue.

Mr. Navoa addressed the options that people suggested in regard to off-site parking and would like to look at all of them with recommendations from the traffic study. Mr. Navoa felt the condition to change the on-site parking count from 225 spaces to 250 spaces would best be left unchanged and could be handled by not allowing sophomores to drive to school.

Commissioner Wilson brought up Condition #6, of CUP-773, established in 1989, page 6, Item 13, relating to "on-site" spaces. Mr. Navoa indicated the Diocese wanted to look at bus or shuttle options due to the fact they did not feel they could find 225 parking spaces on-site. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that the term "on-site" should have been revised in the staff report, thereby giving the Diocese the option of meeting the parking requirements through "off-site" options.

Commissioner Wilson asked if CUP-733A was being amended from 1989. Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.

Chairman Crane referred to the 229 parking spaces required in CUP-733A, and asked if the City required Rosary High School to comply with that number. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that on the site plan there was a total of 292 spaces for both campuses. Through that condition, the barrier between the two campuses would be taken away and required the Diocese to address the comprehensive parking at Rosary High School. Chairman Crane clarified that some of those parking spaces could be off site. Chief Planner Rosen replied that they could in fact be off-site, or if they reconfigured the entire lot, parking could be on site.

Commissioner Wilson recommended using Karen Dudley's language in the conditions.

Mr. Navoa reiterated that the Diocese had no conceptual issues with any conditions as long as they are validated by the traffic study.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Griffin addressed the fact that this was one piece of property with three separate uses, and believed that these uses have created a bureaucracy making this a difficult issue. He believed that this should be looked at as one parcel, and not bringing in the modular building should be considered as a solution to meet additional parking needs. Commissioner Griffin also recognized that the parcel's use was already too dense, even though the applicant indicated more students would not be brought in. Commissioner Griffin suggested that perhaps student enrollment should be reduced in order to free up room for the classes. He felt the traffic study and implementation should happen before any building is allowed to begin.

Commissioner Savage concurred with Commissioner Griffin in regard to the traffic report and issues being dealt with prior to building classrooms. He did not agree with all the conditions proposed by Karen Dudley, and believed in all fairness, that the applicant needed time to read and understand these conditions. Commissioner Savage believed traffic and circulation in the area to be a problem. Staff was commended for their report and Commissioner Savage believed the suggested conditions covered the existing problems. He further recommended that the 720-enrollment cap be enforced.

Chairman Crane commented that the majority of the additional conditions from Mrs. Dudley could be addressed as part of the parking study. He further clarified that Commissioner Savage wanted to review the parking study as part of the conditions for approving the Conditional Use Permit.

Commissioner Wilson believed that with the conditions proposed by staff, there could be a work in progress that would be satisfactory for all. He felt the building should go forward and that staff could deal with the traffic study. Commissioner Wilson believed that condition #4 was sufficient and pointed out that a bond by the Diocese would ensure implementation. Commissioner Wilson supported staff's recommendation for approval.

Commissioner Stopper indicated that the applicant had followed all procedures, policies and practices to file for the Conditional Use Permit, and staff's research gave a lot of data for approval. The property owners, however, had given some mixed signals. Commissioner Stopper believed the property was not efficiently utilized due to divided uses. He also felt that the community was well prepared to deal with these issues. Commissioner Stopper felt the school should move forward to install classrooms, with conditions recommended by staff and with a few changes. He encouraged the owner to address the on-site parking in a single unified way and encouraged the applicant to the spend time to find a quality company to do a traffic study.

Furthermore, Commissioner Stopper recommended that condition #4 be modified to allow time to gather data that would not be available at the present time due to the end of the school session. He believed the study should be done when there was data to be harvested. He did not believe that the study had to be completed prior to occupancy of the building, but modification to condition #4 should read, "The recommendations of the focus study would be implemented before the Fall 2003 semester." Commissioner Stopper also recommended condition #11 be changed to include that the Planning Commission review the CUP after one year.

Commissioner Griffin suggested a continuance should be considered until the traffic study was done and reviewed by the Commission.

Chairman Crane thanked the public that appeared to share their pros and cons. He agreed there was a traffic and parking problem, and that it is important to get a parking and traffic study done. Due to end of school year, however, the study will be different because of different conditions. He was disappointed that the school did not bring the application to the Planning Commission sooner, and felt a decision was being made prematurely due to a lack of planning. He also felt that there was a possible opportunity for the applicant to start the plan check process at the same time the study was in process. He expressed concern that things such as handicapped access and restrooms are issues for the modular building that have not been thought out. He also felt the added conditions proposed by Mrs. Dudley, except for items #2 and #3, could be incorporated into the parking study. There are also issues relative to CEQA, but it does not seem there was intent to circumvent the guidelines. Chairman Crane recommended that the parking study be done prior to approval of the CUP.

Chief Planner Rosen suggested that the Commission move forward with a motion.

Commissioner Stopper motioned that staff's recommendations be approved based on the set of conditions laid out with changes to conditions #4 and #11 that allow a parking study to be completed and implemented with a review in a year by the Planning Commission to verify conditions were met. The title of Resolution No. 6970 APPROVING a request to allow a placement of a modular building containing three new classrooms on the Rosary High School campus, on property located at 1340 North Acacia Avenue, as modified by Commissioner Stopper, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Wilson, but was DENIED by a 2-3 vote with Commissioners Savage, Crane, and Griffin voting no.

Chief Planner Rosen suggested that the Commission take action rather than continue the application. He indicated that the application could be conditioned that the building cannot be built until the study was complete.

Commissioner Wilson recommended that the application be approved with the added condition that no building is placed on the property until the traffic study has come back to the Planning Commission for final review, and a cap of a 720-student enrollment is also added.

The title of Resolution No. 6970 APPROVING a request to allow placement of a modular building containing three new classrooms on the Rosary High School campus, on property located at 1340 North Acacia Avenue, with modification to the conditions of approval that the building not be placed on the property until the traffic study has been reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission, and revising the cap on the student enrollment of 720 to include all students, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Wilson, seconded and CARRIED that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Stopper voting no.

Chief Planner Rosen added that that vote could be appealed within 10 days.

Chairman Crane verified that the letters submitted by the public would be incorporated into the public record.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report.

  2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

  3. AGENDA FORECAST:

    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be June 12, 2002, at 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11.49 p.m.

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