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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

May 28, 2003

CALL TO ORDER

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

ROLL CALL

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

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Kusch, Senior Civil Engineer Wallin, Director of Engineering Hodson, Acting Director of Administrative Services Steinbrink, Housing Programs Coordinator Morad, and Recording Secretary Bird

FLAG SALUTE:

Commissioner Crane

MINUTES:

Commissioner Crane asked for a change on page 42, 7th paragraph, the statement "He suggested that the first (alley access)" credit should be given to Commissioner LeQuire for this statement and suggested it be put at the bottom of Commissioner LeQuire's statement in the fifth paragraph. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded and carried by a 6-0 vote, with Commissioner Griffin abstaining, that the Minutes of May 14, 2003 be APPROVED AS AMENDED.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ03-00129 - LRP03-00006 - LRP03-00007 - ZON03-00012. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: SHUN H. KO.

Staff report dated May 28, 2003, was presented pertaining to a request for a General Plan land use designation revision from Commercial to Medium Density Residential, a zone amendment changing the zone designation from C-2, General Commercial, to R-3, Limited Density, Multiple Family Residential; and approval of a Development Project application to construct a four-unit apartment complex on property located at 1061 West Avenue.

Assistant Planner Kusch described the surrounding area, noted that the property is located within Redevelopment Project Area 4, and the project had been presented to the RDRC for guidance in how the project relates to the revitalization of the area. The RDRC felt the proposed architecture was complimentary to the area, but voiced concern with the use of plywood as an external material on the stairs, and sound attenuation of the apartments as they relate to the nearby auto repair businesses.

Two revisions to the staff report were outlined: there was one concern initially with the turn around area of the site plan, and it was determined only half the space needs to be provided, and the remaining portion of the turnaround area could be left as open space; the second revision refers to deleting the last line of staff recommendation #5. Assistant Planner Kusch reported that staff recommends approval subject to the conditions as contained in the report.

Commissioner Savage asked if there would be enclosed garages or open carports and storage areas. Staff replied there would be open carports that will be used solely for parking, since carports cannot be used for storage purposes.

Commissioner Crane questioned if the open space decks are required to have noise mitigation, and if so, recommended changing the wording of Condition #11. Assistant Planner Kusch noted that exterior noise standards are different from interior noise standards and depending on what the outcome of the noise study is, the decks may need to be mitigated as well and Condition #11 could be amended.

Chairman Price asked if the formatting for the Negative Declaration was different. Assistant Planner Kusch clarified that the department had recently revised the format. Chief Planner Rosen stated the fonts are bigger, but the outline and format are consistent with other reports.

Chairman Price reported receiving a letter from Dixie Ghio, dated 5-13-03, and asked that it be included as part of the record.

Commissioner Savage questioned if there was a code relative to garages that states a certain amount of open space must be maintained. Chief Planner Rosen noted any approved parking spaces must be kept open and clear of all obstructions.

Commissioner Francis stated his concern was with the carport parking; he noted there has been a problem in the city with people breaking into cars and suggested that the area be lit up since there would be no garages. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that was a condition of the RDRC, and Condition #7 of the staff report includes adequate lighting to include carports.

Chief Planner Rosen reported that garage doors have plusses and minuses; usually they end up being used for storage and cause parking difficulties on the street. Policing of carports is more difficult, but elimination of the garage doors has been found to be helpful with the parking situation.

Commissioner Stopper asked where the trash enclosure listed in recommendation Condition #8 would be located, and staff replied it was located on the left side of the drive aisle, off of West Avenue.

Chairman Price asked if the trash enclosure was fenced, and Assistant Planner Kusch answered affirmatively and that it would meet the City's trash enclosure standard.

The public hearing was opened.

Dick Walters, Century 21 Commercial Real Estate, representing the applicant and property owner explained how they came to propose the property to be developed with apartments, that there was not enough traffic flow to create a C-1 zoning, and felt the proposal was the best use of the property.

John Silber, 125 West Amerige Avenue, is the architect for the project. He reported that they had been through the RDRC process; initially proposed five units and have reduced the number of units to help better fit on the lot. He noted that with regards to storage and parking, they are envisioning locking storage cabinets in the top portion of the carport.

The public hearing was closed.

Commissioner Savage stated he liked carports better and since there is a parking problem in the area, the carport would make sure the area is used for parking. He also asked staff if Code Enforcement could be sent to an area where the garages are being used less for cars and more for storage.

Commissioner Griffin asked Mr. Silber what the wire mesh of the stairways would look like. Mr. Silber reported it was a safety railing type of material like that seen at Dodger Stadium or over-street walkways; it is a "see-through" open metal mesh that is sturdy and durable.

Commissioner Griffin concurred with Commissioner Savage and asked that Code Enforcement look into the problem with the garages and the space being used for storage instead of parking.

Chairman Price supported the project, noted there is no commercial use for this land; the proposed project was a good use of the land and the zoning change was appropriate. He felt the design was rather plain, but noted the RDRC had approved it.

Commissioner LeQuire noted that normally he does not advocate taking commercial property and changing it to residential, but there is no good commercial use.

Commissioner Francis supported the project and asked staff to follow through and make sure the carports are lit anytime it is dark.

Commissioner Griffin expressed concerns about the exterior design of the development and stated that he would not be supporting the project. He also asked what the rest of the commissioners felt about the design.

Commissioner Crane asked for a modification to recommendation Condition #11.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. PC-03-16 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a general plan revision to change the land use designation of the land use map of the General Plan from "Commercial" to "Medium Density Residential" and to change the existing zone classification from C-2 to R-3 for property; and the title of Resolution No. PC-03-17 APPROVING a development project application for a four-unit apartment complex on property located at 1061 West Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and carried by a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Griffin voting no, that said Resolutions be APPROVED AS AMENDED.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ02-00402A, LRP03-00008, LRP03-00009. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON; PROPERTY OWNER: PEDRO GONZALES.

Staff report dated May 28, 2003 was presented pertaining to a request for a General Plan land use designation revision from Low-Density Residential to Commercial, and a Zone amendment changing the zoning designation from R-1-6, Single-Family Residential, to C-1, Limited Commercial, on property located at 2200 and 2204 West Valencia Drive (south side of Valencia Drive between the southwest corner of Valencia Drive and Pine Drive, approximately 128 feet west of the same street intersection) (Negative Declaration).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported the intent of this request was to make the property more consistent with the adjacent land use. The property previously had two single-family residences that were demolished and was currently being developed as a parking lot. It was noted that conditions had been incorporated into the staff report and it was staff's recommendation to recommend approval to the City Council.

Commissioner Savage stated that he had not supported the development of the parking lot for the market, but since it was proceeding he would support his application to make the zoning and land use designation consistent with the ultimate use of the site.

The public hearing was opened, no one requested to speak, and the public hearing was closed.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution PC-03-18 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a general plan revision to change the land use designation of the land use map of the general plan from "Low Density Residential" to "Commercial" and to change the existing zone classification from R-1-6 to C-1 for property located at 2200 and 2204 West Valencia Drive was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Crane, seconded and carried by a 7-0 vote that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 3
FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.

Chief Planner Rosen noted this item was a review of the Five-Year Capital Improvement Program and introduced Engineering Director, Bob Hodson and Acting Director of Administrative Services, Glenn Steinbrink.

Director Hodson explained that since the Engineering Department administers most of the projects, they are responsible for preparing the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). He noted the Commissioners were being asked to review the CIP and determine that it was consistent with the General Plan.

An overview of various important projects was given, which included the Police Protection Service Project (page N-17), Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Repair (page N-23), Infrastructure (page N-25), State College Grade Separation and widening of Bastanchury Road (page N-27), citywide traffic signal system upgrades (page N-31), sewer system cleaning and requirements (page N-35), Hillcrest Water Reservoir project (page N-37), park projects (pages N-43 to 45), transportation center parking area and Richman Park neighborhood improvements (page N-47) and the status of current ongoing projects (page N-51).

Director Hodson noted that Fullerton has joined with the City of Placentia and applied for funding through various state funding programs including OCTA and Measure M for the State College Grade Separation. Measure M funding has also been applied for the Bastanchury Widening Project. Southern California Edison offers a rebate program that will help defer the cost of the traffic signal upgrades, and bond funds are proposed to pay for the reconstruction of the Hillcrest Water Reservoir.

Commissioner Francis noted that he sits on the Inmate Welfare Jail Board which recently voted to use some money to improve the jail, and questioned if that should still be done if a new jail is proposed. Director Hodson noted that assuming the needs assessment study gets moved up, it would still be a few years before a new jail could be built.

Commissioner Crane asked if the Engineering Department was responsible for ADA improvements, and questioned why these federally mandated improvements were not addressed in the CIP. Director Hodson replied that Engineering is responsible for ADA improvements within the public rights-of-way; at the parks it is a joint effort with the Community Services Department. All new or retrofitted parks comply with ADA guidelines, and there is a transition plan in place that mandates wheelchair ramps be built on all public or street improvements.

Chief Planner Rosen noted that the City is complying as expeditiously as possible with ADA guidelines, and if there is a specific complaint, the City reallocates funds to provide accessibility.

Commissioner Crane inquired who administers the ADA plan; if staff monitors the plan and asked for an update on the transitional plan. Chief Planner Rosen noted the Building Official is the point person and coordinates the facilities. Chief Planner Rosen noted he would bring forward a status of the plan at a future meeting.

Commissioner LeQuire asked if the parking structure at the Transportation Center was a priority, and if the Hunt Branch Project, No. 5485 listed on page N-55 was connected to Grace Ministries. Director Hodson noted Transportation Center parking is set for a completion date of 2004-05, and the Hunt Branch project is not associated with Grace Ministries, it is part of the old skating rink.

Commissioner Stopper commented that he was happy to see so much expended for infrastructure repair, and questioned why all of the street projects listed are for north/south streets, and questioned what process was used to develop the CIP. Director Hodson noted most of the work has already been completed on the east/west major streets, and the City gets additional points if they coordinate their street repairs with surrounding cities. He added that the process has been established over the years, many times it is Council and/or staff recommendation, the Council will review the plan and set new priorities.

MOTION by Commissioner Crane, seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote, that the Five-Year Improvement Program is consistent with the City's General Plan.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. UPDATE OF FULLERTON CITY LIGHTS, 224 East Commonwealth Avenue

    Staff report dated May 28, 2003 was presented, pertaining to a quarterly review of the Fullerton City Lights facility, a 137-unit single room occupancy residential apartment complex on property located at 224 East Commonwealth Avenue.

    Commissioner Savage asked if the SRO Committee was still meeting. Housing Programs Coordinator Morad replied at this time they are still meeting monthly and in June will vote to meet every other month.

    Commissioner LeQuire commended whoever had been working on this project, and noted significant progress had been made. He referred to the Inspection Report dated April 4, 2003, and questioned if there was a different inspector or if they are using a different format, and if there was a preliminary report of the reinspections that were scheduled for May 5th and 6th. Housing Programs Coordinator Morad reported there was a new inspector, Mike Austin, and he was using a different format that works better for the department. She referred to the memo dated May 5th from Michael Austin to Linda Morad stating that all deficiencies on the April 4, 2003 Inspection Report had been corrected.

    Commissioner Savage asked if there was a report on police/fire activity at the location. Coordinator Morad answered that both have calmed down; the Fire Department is no longer attending the meetings, and there are fewer than 10 police calls per month now.

    Commissioner Francis asked what is being done to clean up the project. Coordinator Morad noted that the inspector goes through each unit twice a year with the property managers, and the findings are then reported to the SRO committee twice a year.

    Senior Planner Mullis noted that there was now a high expectation level and in the last year or so there has been a change in the income limits of the project. The slight increase has changed the make up of the residents, plus the property management group is scrutinizing the applications for the project.

    Commissioner Stopper noted this was one of the early projects after he began as a commissioner, and since then there has been a lot of good work done on the project. He added that the city staff and property management company should be congratulated for their hard work. Commissioner Griffin echoed Commissioner Stopper's sentiments.

    The report was received and filed.

  2. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief update on recent City Council meetings and noted a well-attended workshop was held for the Pico/Carhart area on Wednesday, May 21, 2003.

  3. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    There was no one from the public who wished to speak on any matter.

  4. AGENDA FORECAST

    The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be June 11, 2003, at 7:00 p.m.

    It was noted the meeting of June 25, 2003 had been canceled.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:27 p.m.

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