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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

October 23, 2002


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


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

ABSENT: Wilson

ALSO PRESENT FOR ITEM NO. 3: RDRC MEMBERS: Richard Daybell, Oscar Johnson, Jeff Kaufman, John Silber, and Mark Blumer

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


Stopper requested that the word "west" be removed on Page 145, first paragraph. On page 139, third paragraph, 3rd sentence, Stopper asked for implementation of a plan, rather than just the word "plan". Chairman Crane wished to change the word "prepared" on page 145, 6th paragraph, to "plans in place and in the process of being implemented". MOTION by Commissioner Stopper seconded and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, that the Minutes of the October 9, 2002, meeting be APPROVED AS AMENDED.




Staff report was presented pertaining to a request for an abandonment of an easement across unimproved land located at the dead end of East Valencia Drive near the intersection of South Balcom Avenue (Valencia Drive between South Balcom and the railroad tracks) (Categorically exempt under Section 15312 of CEQA Guidelines).

Commissioner LeQuire disclosed that his father lives at 501 N. Orangethorpe Avenue, but had nothing to gain or lose by voting on the matter. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin requested that this item be continued to a date uncertain because of property issues recently brought to staff's attention. MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that this item be CONTINUED to a date uncertain.


Staff report was presented pertaining to a request to grant an abandonment of a portion of property in an alley easement for a previously-approved development of a motorcycle facility on property located at 2645 West Orangethorpe Avenue (generally an irregularly-shaped area along an alleyway, 285 feet east of Magnolia Avenue and 250 feet north of Orangethorpe Avenue (C-H zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15312 of CEQA Guidelines).

Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reported that this was an abandonment of a small portion of alley associated with the Harley-Davidson dealership. Originally, the alley had ended at this point, and additional right of way was provided as a turnaround area. When the alley was extended in 1996, the additional piece of alley provided for a turn-around was no longer needed, and staff concurred that this small portion of alley should be abandoned.

Chairman Crane noted that there were utilities coming into the west side of the property. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin indicated that the City was only abandoning the excess portion of alley, and that a full 20-foot wide alley would be maintained, which would not affect any of the utilities currently in that alley.

Public hearing opened, but there was no one present who desired to speak on this matter. Public hearing closed.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. 6995 RECOMMENDING to the City Council the abandonment of a portion of property in an alley easement for a previously-approved development of a motorcycle service facility on property located at 2645 West Orangethorpe Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.


Chairman Crane reported that this item would be a joint meeting with the Redevelopment Design Review Committee members.

Program Planner Linnell reported that this was a workshop to discuss preservation issues as requested by Fullerton Heritage.

Katie Dalton, Fullerton Heritage, explained that the purpose of the workshop was to give information about Fullerton Heritage to the Planning Commission, particularly the newest members. She hoped that perhaps a presentation such as this could be made whenever there are new members to the Commission. She gave a brief history of Fullerton Heritage and their desire to promote preservation in the City. The Secretary of Interior Standards was the main topic of the workshop and to work in conjunction with city staff, commissions and committees. She introduced John Loomis, 30th Street Architects, who had volunteered his time to assist in the workshop and give a presentation.

Chairman Crane asked how many members were active in Fullerton Heritage and Mrs. Dalton stated that there were approximately 100 families. A membership drive was instigated in the early 1970's, at which time the City had no guidelines in place, but was proactive in preservation. The Historic Building Survey was updated in 1990 by this group, and the group advocates the preservation of the older, historic housing in Fullerton. There is a website and hot line for Fullerton Heritage and they attempt to identify all significant properties within the city and list them in the National Register. Chairman Crane asked about the group's annual budget and Mrs. Dalton said that mailing and postage are the main costs, in addition to plaquing all significant buildings within the city. Funds come through private donations and the Fullerton Rotary Club. The website address for Fullerton Heritage is www.fullertonheritage.org.

Program Planner Linnell reported that Chapter 15.48 of the Fullerton Municipal Code defines Significant Property and Historical Landmarks and is adopted by the City. There have been 118 properties identified as significant and 70 Historical Landmarks designations given to various properties. A slide presentation was given and the following issues were reviewed:

  • Design Guidelines for Residential Preservation Zones
  • Residential Preservation Zones and Potential Landmark Districts maps
  • Review Procedures for Designated Historical Landmark and Significant Property
  • Past Examples of Review by the Planning Commission
  • Examples of existing buildings which have constructed additions which must also adhere to preservation guidelines, i.e. Santa Fe depot, Fullerton Police Station, Hetebrink House, Fox Fullerton
  • Secretary of the Interior Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties

Commissioner Price questioned whether a potential buyer would be aware if a property were within a preservation zone, and if it would appear on a deed. Program Planner Linnell replied that most realtors would be aware of this and should inform the buyer.

Commissioner LeQuire inquired if a historical designation would remain with the property, even if it were sold, and Program Planner Linnell answered affirmatively. He added that a new owner could have the designation removed, but this action would have to be approved by the Redevelopment Design Review Committee. Commissioner LeQuire also asked if the property was substantially damaged by fire, or flood what would the guidelines be for rebuilding? Program Planner Linnell answered that it would depend on the amount of damage, and whether or not the building was rendered unsafe, because it may have to be demolished.

Commissioner Stopper asked if a historical landmark would only be applied to a building, or if the land was also considered significant. Program Planner Linnell clarified that usually only the building is designated, but there are cases where the land is as important as the building itself.

Program Planner Linnell introduced John Loomis, who gave a slide presentation. Mr. Loomis presentation showed:

  • The four criteria a property must meet to be designated as historical
  • How a property is identified
  • How a property is designated
  • Residential historic streets
  • Preservation incentives
  • How can a historic resource be maintained
  • Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation

Commissioner Savage asked for clarification of the term "tax act project". Mr. Loomis explained that the owner of a historic building is entitled to a 20% investment tax credit, from costs related to rehabilitation of the building, as long as the rehab plans are consistent with the Secretary of Interior Standards. An owner may also receive rehab incentives without going through the state review process, but it is on a case-by-case basis.

Chairman Crane thanked Mr. Loomis for his presentation. Mr. Loomis commended Fullerton for all of their preservation efforts and hoped they would continue.

Program Planner Linnell questioned proposals involving additions to historic properties. He wished clarification from Mr. Loomis whether the RDRC should find (1) that the addition needs to be similar to the design and features of historic property; or (2) if the addition should be designed separately so there would be no question that it was an addition. Mr. Loomis answered that additions should be made on the least insignificant faade, and if it is more than 50% of the square footage of the existing structure, the addition is too large. In the last 20 years, additions have been made more similar to the existing structure relating to materials, design, etc, so as not to make the addition "obvious." The level of distinction has changed more towards compatibility and respecting the original building. Additions should be subservient to the original structure.

Tom Dalton, President of Fullerton Heritage thanked John Loomis for his presentation and his appreciation to members of the City staff: Bob Linnell, Joel Rosen and Terry Galvin.

Tony Bushala, co-founder of Fullerton Heritage also thanked staff for the presentation. He felt the most important issue facing the Landmarks Commission would be additions to historical buildings. The key is that whatever is added to an existing historic structure should have good architecture, and reviewed on an individual basis.

Isidro Lopez, indicated how proud he was to live in Fullerton because of its preservation efforts.

The special meeting of the Redevelopment Design Review Committee was adjourned at this time.

Commissioner LeQuire asked that correspondence be sent to John Loomis to thank him for his presentation, and staff indicated they would do so.

Commissioner Stopper wanted to know if there was a process by which a new owner would be aware of preservation guidelines when they purchase an historical property. Chief Planner Rosen said that real estate agents are advised of the City's guidelines, but the City would have no knowledge of new property owners. Information is periodically sent to property owners in preservation areas. Commissioner Stopper felt that perhaps Fullerton Heritage should concentrate on this effort. Chief Planner Rosen noted that there are "flags" on all preservation properties in the City which alert staff of requests involving historic properties.

Commissioner Savage inquired as to the status of the Fox Theater. Program Planner Linnell reported that the Fox is designated as local historical landmark.

Chairman Crane asked if the local landmark book is available. Senior Planner Mullis stated that this was available on-line, but copies would be printed and distributed to the Commission.

Commissioner Griffin inquired if there was any notice on a deed stating if a structure was a historical landmark in case the seller did not disclose that information. Chief Planner Rosen said that the county recorder is notified when a property is designated a local historical landmark.




    Senior Planner Mullis reported that she had researched the length of time a member of the public may speak on any item. She gave copies of the City Council resolution for Commission review. Commission may modify rules if necessary and direct staff to prepare a new resolution. Within last two years, the City Council had modified its rules so that no person could speak twice, and a Council majority vote may reduce the time someone may speak. At this time, the Transportation Commission and the Community Services Commission both have five-minute limits.

    Commissioner Price recommended there be a rule that a person can only speak one time; also that the applicant may have 10 minutes and speakers have five minutes or less.

    Commissioner LeQuire supported that recommendation, particularly on more significant issues.

    Commissioner Savage indicated that he had not experienced any difficulty with the existing rules, but would vote with the majority of the Commission.

    Chief Planner Rosen pointed out that existing rules state that whenever a group is present, a spokesperson be designated to eliminate repeating of same issues.

    Commissioner Price noted that Chairman has discretion to give extension of times, if necessary.

    Chairman Crane was not opposed to reducing the time limit because extensions may be granted.

    Chief Planner Rosen suggested that flexibility be added to the resolution leaving a time limit of 10 minutes in, but stating that in more significant issues, with more speakers present, the time would be less, subject to Chairman approval.

    Commissioner Stopper sympathized with those wishing to express their desires concerning any subject. He felt the present chairman was doing a good job. He did not feel that a vote should be taken by a majority of the Commission, but by the chair. He would concur with a 10-minute limit for the first time a person speaks and five minutes for the second talk, and any extensions by Chairman who would announce this at the beginning of the meeting.

    Chairman Crane noted that top of agenda would also have to be changed and staff concurred.

    Commissioner Griffin felt that the public forum gives persons good opportunity to speak on matters which involve their neighborhoods. He also suggested that staff inform people that a spokesperson for a particular group should speak at the meeting. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that staff presently does this.

    Staff will bring back a modified resolution at the earliest convenience.


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


    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be November 13, 2002, at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

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