April 14, 2004
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Stopper at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Stopper, Commissioners Francis, Griffin, Hart, Savage and Bailey (arrived at 4:10 p.m.)
ABSENT: Commissioner Price
MOTION by Griffin seconded by Savage and CARRIED unanimously that the Minutes of the March 24, 2004 meeting be APPROVED as WRITTEN.
4:00 P.M. SESSION
ITEM NO. 1
PRJ04-00119 SUB04-00002. APPLICANTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS: ELAINE M. REDFIELD AND CRAIG LA MUNYON.
Staff report dated April 7, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to abandon excess street right-of-way on Sunny Crest Drive (adjacent to 1403 Sunny Crest and 1300 Sunny Crest at the intersection with Marelen Drive and Valley View Drive). (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines).
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin described to the Commission the purchase of the right-of-way and explained the abandonment of a portion of Sunny Crest and Marelen. On the original tract map, Sunny Crest curved around to Harbor Blvd. When the courthouse was built, the streets were realigned to their present configuration. The realignment required that the City purchase four lots. After the streets were constructed, there was a remnant of one of the purchased lots and the old street easements were not abandoned. The unused street easements and remnant parcel have been incorporated within the adjoining lots. The Maintenance Services Department brought this to staffs attention because of the ongoing maintenance of City-owned property that was not being used by the public. One of the fee owned parcels is on a slope and has no real value. The other fee parcel is too small to be developed on its own. Therefore, the value to the City is offset by the liability and maintenance, and the applicant has only been charged a processing fee.
Commissioner Savage asked what the square footage would be after the abandonment. He was curious if the parcel could be subdivided, because, while a sizable piece of property; it was all hillside and cannot be developed. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that he had not calculated the square footage, but he felt that the existing homes would have to be demolished and relocated in order to subdivide. Commissioner Savage also asked what the zoning was for that area. Chief Planner Rosen told the Commission that the zoning for that area was R-1-10,000. Mr. Wallin said that if the Commission was concerned about further subdivision, a covenant could be recorded to restrict them from further subdivision in the future.
Commissioner Savage asked how these parcels are found. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin said that this parcel was found because Maintenance Services advised him of the time and cost of maintaining it. Commissioner Savage asked if there was an easy way to find such pieces of property. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that there were many small parcels owned by the City and were difficult to track.
Commissioner Hart asked if there was any additional City property in this area that extended to the adjoining lot. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin said there were no more parcels to be abandoned nearby, but the City could add a deed restriction, as part of the conveyance of the fee-owned slope, that the property could not be subdivided. Staff could impose a condition in that there would be a covenant restricting subdivision in the future, and could make that recommendation to the City Council.
Commissioner Griffin talked about the gross square footage and the possibility of making a flag lot. He would like the condition restricting future subdivisions placed on this property.
Commissioner Francis did not feel a condition was necessary because the property owner would still have to go through the City process. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin said that if there was no covenant, but the lot was large enough to subdivide, the burden would be on the City to find reasons to deny. If there was a covenant, the property owner would have to go through a different process to remove the covenant before he could subdivide. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin pointed out the street easements (pink areas) on the overhead display, and the fee-owned parcels (green and blue areas).
Public hearing opened, but there was no one present who wished to speak on this matter. Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Savage supported the request, with an added condition restricting a subdivision in the future.
Commissioner Griffin concurred with Commissioner Savage.
Commissioner Bailey abstained because he had not heard all the testimony.
Commissioner Hart also did not want the owner to benefit from the abandonment. She requested that a restriction be added so the owner could not subdivide, thus keeping the integrity of the neighborhood.
Chairman Stopper suggested the condition be worded as follows: If the abandoned property adds sufficient size to the lot to allow its potential to be subdivided within the present zoning, the owner shall be required to come back to the Commission to have that restriction lifted before the subdivision can occur.
Commissioner Francis concurred with Chairman Stopper.
Chairman Stopper asked Chief Planner Rosen to clarify the wording. Mr. Rosen said that there was a consensus to recommend approval to the City Council of the abandonment of the right-of-way described by Senior Civil Engineer Wallin and the excess property, and add a condition that covenants be recorded against the property if the abandonments would result in sufficient property to allow further subdivision of the property in the future under the current zoning. Chief Planner Rosen further explained that covenants would not be recorded if the final calculations on the property were 21,000 square feet, instead of 19,000 square feet. The one condition would record covenants, and the other one would not because they would not be able to subdivide the property based on the current zoning.
The title of Resolution No. PC-04-11 RECOMMENDING to the City Council the ABANDONMENT of excess street right-of-way on Sunny Crest Drive located adjacent to 1403 Sunny Crest Drive and 1300 Sunny Crest Drive at the intersection with Marelen Drive and Valley View Drive was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Griffin and carried by a vote of 50, with Commissioner Bailey abstaining, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED.
ITEM NO. 2
PRJ02-00145 - SUB04-00003 APPLICANT: ST. JUDE MEDICAL CENTER; PROPERTY OWNER: CITY OF FULLERTON.
Staff report dated April 7, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to abandon a portion of street right-of-way on the south side of Bastanchury Road, from Harbor Boulevard to approximately 425 feet east of St. Jude Way.
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reminded the Commission that they recently approved a parking structure east of St. Jude. One of the conditions was that road improvements be made on the south side of Bastanchury Road and a right-turn pocket be provided into the parking structure. There is a steep hill along the south side of Bastanchury Road, and a structure at the top of the hill at the new entrance; the applicant has asked to narrow the road to push the wall farther out to reduce its height. Staff felt this was a reasonable compromise, to allow for sufficient vehicular and pedestrian traffic. There is also a slope easement and, in the past, these slope easements were required so that the roads integrity was in tact. Over the past couple of decades, the policy has shifted to put the burden of responsibility on the property owner. With the slope easement abandoned, St. Jude would maintain the slope and put up a retaining wall. Therefore, staff recommended abandonment of the slope easement and part of the street to allow the building of the retaining wall.
Chairman Stopper asked for more details on the first page of the staff report where there was a request for the sidewalk to be narrowed along this section. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that a normal sidewalk was eight feet wide. Staff was requesting that it be narrowed up to five feet, which is the minimum required for pedestrians. The reduced parkway would include a curb, five feet of sidewalk, two feet of landscape and the wall.
Chairman Stopper asked how far the sidewalk would extend. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that the sidewalk would extend all the way along Bastanchury Road, on the south side of street.
Commissioner Hart asked about the location of the easement. She also asked if the exit would remain, and Mr. Wallin answered affirmatively. The original site plan was to install a solid median.
Chairman Stopper discussed a condition that there would be no left turns coming out of St. Jude and the new entrance would have a traffic light.
Commissioner Bailey asked if this would be taking away pedestrian access, or sidewalk space. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that it would not take away pedestrian access, just narrow it from eight feet to five feet.
Public hearing opened, but there was no one from the public who wished to speak. Public hearing closed.
Chairman Stopper felt that the only issue was the loss of sidewalk, and was concerned about the speed of eastbound and westbound traffic on Bastanchury.
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin wanted to alleviate concerns and told the Commission that staff had a plan under study, and construction should begin some time next year to build an off-road Class 1 bike path from Bastanchury to Valencia Mesa. He did not feel there was excessive pedestrian traffic currently along Bastanchury. Chairman Stopper did not like losing space on what he considered the safer side of the sidewalk.
Commissioner Savage asked what the length of the sidewalk would be, and Senior Civil Engineer Wallin told him it would be 425.52 feet in length. He asked if the sidewalk would widen as it goes further east. Mr. Wallin stated that the sidewalk would be designed this summer. Commissioner Savage noted that there were several places in the City where sidewalks are narrower than five feet.
Commissioner Francis felt that five feet was adequate, and that it met all ADA requirements.
Commissioner Savage supported the project.
Commissioner Bailey discussed a resident who asked the City to be more pedestrian-minded at the Council meetings regarding sidewalk policies. Commissioner Bailey favored the off-road bike path and he supported the project.
Commissioner Hart asked staff if there would be a wider sidewalk across the street. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin told her that ultimately there would be sidewalk on the north side, but it was not designed yet. He assumed it would be an eight foot sidewalk. Commissioner Hart felt it would be similar to walking alongside cars on the freeway, therefore, she preferred no sidewalk and no pedestrian access on the south side.
Chairman Stopper stated that he supported the change, but had reservations of narrowing the sidewalk. He thought in the future that the sidewalk could be closed off when the six lanes were opened up.
Commissioner Savage concurred with Commissioner Hart, and suggested they negotiate a deal with St. Jude, and the property owners across the street, to have no sidewalk on the south side.
Commissioner Bailey felt that omission of a sidewalk could lead to more liability than to have a smaller one there, because people might walk in the street
The title of Resolution No. PC-04-12 RECOMMENDING to the City Council the abandonment of a portion of street right-of-way and slope easement on the south side of Bastanchury Road from Harbor Boulevard to approximately 425 feet east of St. Jude Way was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Bailey, seconded by Commissioner Savage and carried unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
ITEM NO. 3
PRJ04-00004 ZON04-00002 SUB04-00001. APPLICANT: PETER WHITTINGHAM; PROPERTY OWNER: MAYO FAMILY TRUST
Staff report dated April 14, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to construct a 13,880 square-foot, drive-thru pharmacy, and abandon a street (Balboa Road) on property located at 2200 North Harbor Boulevard (northeast corner of Harbor Boulevard and Bastanchury Road) (C-1 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines).
Assistant Planner Sowers informed the Commission that this was a combined proposal addressing a major site plan and abandonment. The existing vacant restaurant space of 6,500 square feet would be eliminated, and replaced with a 13,880 square foot drive-thru pharmacy.
Ms. Sowers also discussed the surrounding land uses, parking, circulation and landscaping, as well as the architecture initially proposed. The Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC) felt that the project, as originally proposed, lacked architectural interest, and did not foster a pedestrian environment on the site. Staff believed this site could be designed to accommodate both autos and pedestrians. When the application went forward to the RDRC, staff had 19 conditions that it presented for consideration. The RDRC did not specifically address those issues. In order to move the project forward, the RDRC felt a recommendation of denial would address its overall concerns of the site plan and architecture, and move it forward to the Planning Commission. Staff noted that the Planning Commission was provided with a memo detailing the outcome of the RDRC meeting, and its reasons for denial attached to staffs memorandum to the RDRC detailing the recommended conditions of approval. Ms. Sowers stated that the applicant had expressed a willingness to address the concerns of staff and the RDRC. Ms. Sowers noted that the application included the abandonment of Balboa Road and the adjacent alley, and introduced Senior Civil Engineer Wallin to continue the presentation.
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin spoke to the Commission about the applicants desire to have a building larger than what is allowed on the parcel as it currently exists. The abandonment of Balboa was proposed as a solution to add additional area to the parcel. Mr. Wallin told the applicant that concurrence of the other two property owners would be required. The other property owners would still have access; the curb would be removed adjacent to the applicants property with perpendicular parking in its place. The new property lines were displayed in red on the vicinity sketch. One of the conditions of the abandonment was that the City would obtain the required right-of-way on the north side of Bastanchury Road to complete the improvements on Bastanchury. This eight foot right-of-way would provide the necessary space for a future sidewalk. He explained that the area of the required dedication for road purposes was encumbered by a slope and sewer easement already restricting development of that area. The street would remain as a public access and utility easement.
Commissioner Francis asked for clarification. Mr. Wallin told him that the City would abandon the right-of-way easement (Balboa Road), subject to reserving it for utilities and access. It would no longer be the Citys responsibility for maintenance and liability, but it would always remain as access for the other lots and fire and emergency access.
Commissioner Savage asked about the applicants second property located to the east of Balboa Road, north of the alley. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin told him it was a separate lot with trees and a slope, but no buildings. The surface use of this lot has been dedicated to the City for park purposes.
Commissioner Hart asked about the effect of the dedication of the eight-foot area on Bastanchury in relation to the future widening of the road. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that the condition of approval on the abandonment of Balboa would give the City the additional right-of-way required for the future expansion of Bastanchury.
Commissioner Bailey asked if the applicant must dedicate any part of his lot. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that as part of the site plan, staff was requiring the applicant to dedicate a right-turn pocket bus bay on Harbor Boulevard.
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that if the applicants site plan was not approved, staff would no longer support abandonment.
Commissioner Griffin questioned provisions for the ongoing maintenance of Balboa Road after the abandonment. Mr. Wallin stated that, similar to a private street, a CC&R-type agreement would have to be set up among the affected property owners for continued maintenance. Mr. Wallin further noted that the joint use, access, and maintenance agreement required as a condition of approval of the abandonment should include the provision that Balboa Road be maintained to the level required for a private street.
Chairman Stopper asked about the narrowing of Balboa Road and the dedications on Bastanchury and Harbor. Mr. Wallin said that, as conditioned, the east side around the cul-de-sac would remain in its current configuration. The curb on the west side will be taken out and perpendicular parking spaces would be added against the building. A minimum 25-foot to 30-foot drive aisle will remain for access, exceeding the requirements of the Fire Department. He clarified that the dedication on Bastanchury is a condition of the abandonment, while the dedication on Harbor is a condition of the site plan. Additionally, he noted that had the right-of-way on Bastanchury not been required, staff would still have supported the abandonment of Balboa Road.
Assistant Planner Sowers clarified that because of the abandonment, both the major site plan and abandonment would go forward for approval at City Council. Staff recommended approval to the City Council of the major site plan, subject to conditions contained in the staff report, as well as the conditions in the RDRC memorandum, with the added condition that final site and architectural plans be submitted for review and approval of RDRC. Staff also recommended approval of the abandonment, subject to the conditions in the staff report, with the added condition that the approval of the abandonment be contingent on the approval of the site plan.
Commissioner Savage asked about the action of the RDRC referencing the memorandum provided by staff. He requested staff to summarize the meeting, since minutes were not available for review by the Commission. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that the RDRC hoped the applicant would address its concerns and come back to them before going to the Planning Commission. Due to scheduling issues, the applicant requested that it move forward and RDRC could not approve the project as presented. The specific reasons for denial were the building orientation to the corner, rather than towards Harbor, the lack of a true pedestrian linkage coming off of the right-of-way and bus stop on Harbor, and the lack of interaction in the design of the building and landscaping in relation to the convalescent hospitals. The RDRC also discussed the possibility of the building being moved closer to the corner and the need for more natural light into the building through the addition of more windows.
Commissioner Francis asked why the RDRC did not recommend approval of the project with additional conditions to address its specific concerns and questioned if the RDRC did not support this type of use at this location. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that while she could not specifically speak for the RDRC, she believed that given the timing of the project moving forward to Planning Commission, and its concerns with the project, the RDRC felt they had to recommend denial. Assistant Planner Sowers reiterated that the RDRC only reviewed the site plan and architecture, not the use.
Chairman Stopper asked about traffic circulation patterns. Assistant Planner Sowers said that there would be a two-way driveway off Balboa and a two-way driveway off of Harbor. The drive-thru is proposed for the north end of the site, accessed from Balboa Road.
Commissioner Savage assumed there would be no left-hand turn lane from Bastanchury to Balboa. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that this assumption was correct because a median would be constructed in conjunction with the improvements to St. Judes property to the south. A signal would be added on Bastanchury to the east of Balboa Road that will allow for u-turns back to the project site. Emergency and fire access, however, are proposed to be provided through the median to Balboa Road.
Commissioner Hart asked where the signal would be located and was concerned with the safety issues. Mr. Wallin stated that the signal would be on the east side of St. Jude, at the bottom of the hill in the area of the new parking structure. Mr. Wallin noted that the signal and the improvements to Bastanchury will increase the safety of traffic entering and exiting the project site.
Commissioner Francis asked what would happen if the RDRC continued to recommend denial of the project. Assistant Planner Sowers said that the decision of the RDRC is appealable to the Planning Commission. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the Planning Commission could eliminate staffs recommended condition to return final site and architectural plans to the RDRC.
Assistant Planner Sowers stated that the applicant was present with a revised site plan and elevations in which they are working to meet the concerns of staff and the RDRC. Assistant Planner Sowers clarified that the revised plans had just been completed by the applicant and had not been review by staff.
Public hearing opened.
Peter Whittingham of Curt Pringle and Associates, 2532 Dupont Drive, Irvine, California, introduced himself as the applicant. He stated that his firm was retained by the ownership of the property, the Mayo Family Trust. He thanked and commended staff for their efforts. He felt that this could be a unique and beneficial project. The Cocos ownership decided to close the restaurant, and was not interested in working with the new owner on refurbishing the building. He apologized for not having sufficient copies of the site plan for the Commissioners, and also for not having included the exterior light fixtures and the location of the pedestrian walkway proposed by staff.
Mr. Whittingham said that subsequent to the submittal of plans in January, he met many times with City staff. He met with Ms. Sowers prior to the RDRC meeting and reviewed the 19 changes staff had suggested. He did not make changes prior to the RDRC meeting, and felt in hindsight that perhaps it would have been best if they had incorporated the changes to give the RDRC a better sense of the architectural elements proposed. He spoke of the subsequent inclusion of five mature eucalyptus trees into the landscape design to address concerns of the RDRC. He noted that the plans provided for dedications to accommodate a bus turnout and additional right-of-way. He further noted that the reciprocal easement agreement among the parties to the abandonment required a slurry seal of Balboa every three years.
Mr. Whittingham addressed the conditions mentioned in the Engineering staff report. He expressed concern over two of the conditions: (1) the requirement that a four foot wide ADA compliant sidewalk be maintained along the east side of Balboa; and (2) the requirement for an eight-foot wide dedication along Bastanchury Road. He proposed a crosswalk, as an alternative to the required sidewalk, and stated that the property owner of the parcel required to make the dedication was currently not in agreement. He welcomed the opportunity to work with the City to obtain the dedication, however, he was fearful that this could delay the approval and construction.
Mr. Whittingham concluded by stating he believed in the revised plans they had met all but one of the recommendations of staff and the RDRC.
Commissioner Francis asked which recommendation was not addressed, questioned the location of the drive-through entrance, and the reason that Cocos vacated the property. Mr. Whittingham responded that the building remained oriented to the corner, rather than Harbor Boulevard. He noted that the placement of the driveway entrance was due to staffs recommendation for sufficient ingress and egress, and to accommodate drive-thru stacking. Cocos experienced severe electrical failure after a leaky roof during a rain storm.
Commissioner Hart asked about traffic circulation. Mr. Whittingham also explained that the drive-thru was for prescription pickup only.
Elaine Lewis, 2900 N. Maple, stated that she is excited about a plan like this. She wants a drive through pharmacy. She said she has reviewed the plans and likes what she sees.
Judy Berge, 115 Malvern Avenue stated that her mother was a resident of Evergreen Convalescent Home. She said that she was originally against the project, but after hearing the testimony, she was pleased that there would be a provision for left turns for fire and ambulance, and that the eucalyptus trees would remain. She was concerned about delivery trucks to existing convalescent home and the proposed pharmacy. Staff stated that the delivery trucks will possibly need to be rerouted. She also discussed having parking marked on Balboa.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Francis questioned staff on the rationale for the condition to return to the RDRC. Chief Planner Rosen stated that it was typical, especially on controversial and high-profile projects, to include the condition that final site and architectural plans be review by the RDRC. RDRC would generally review color and materials and review the construction drawing for consistency with the submittal, unless otherwise directed by the conditions of approval.
Commissioner Francis asked if there could be a compromise so the final site and architectural plans would be reviewed by the Director of Development Services. Mr. Francis was concerned that returning to the RDRC was a waste of the applicants and RDRCs time. Chief Planner Rosen noted that staff would already be reviewing the final site and architectural plans. He recommended that, should the Commission desire, the condition be modified to add that the Director review the final site and architectural plans for consistency and conformity with the submitted architectural elevations when the final plans are developed. Only if inconsistencies were identified, would the item be returned for review by the RDRC.
Commissioner Savage supported the project. He felt it was a good layout and architecturally similar to current development in the City. He felt that staff would probably prefer the project go back to RDRC. He asked for clarification on the dedication on northern part of Bastanchury, east of Balboa. While supportive of both the site plan and the abandonment, he was concerned that all parties were not in agreement on the dedication.
Chief Planner Rosen reiterated that the dedication on Bastanchury was a condition of approval of the abandonment, as was the provision of continuous sidewalk around the cul-de-sac. He asked the Commission to comment on the applicants request for a waiver of these two conditions.
Commissioner Griffin asked if the applicant had given any consideration to reducing the size of the building to one that would not require the dedication of Balboa. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that staff discussed reducing the footprint with the applicant, but was informed that the plans reflected the desired alternative to meet the needs of the tenant.
Commissioner Francis asked staff if they would abandon the street with or without the dedication on Bastanchury Road. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated that after initial discussions with the applicant regarding the abandonment of Balboa Road, it became evident that additional right-of-way was needed to ultimately widen Bastanchury Road. Mr. Wallin explained that if the recommended condition remained, and the applicant was unable to negotiate an agreement for the dedication, the applicant could not proceed with the construction of the pharmacy.
Commissioner Griffin stated that he was not concerned with the pharmacy use, although he commented that there was another pharmacy 200 feet away. He felt that the proposed building had a square box look, like other CVS pharmacies. For clarification, however, he noted that neither the number of pharmacies in the vicinity nor the architecture, were within his purview. He was concerned with the dedication and the abandonment, and was not interested in moving forward until the private property owners were in agreement for the dedication on Bastanchury. He stated that private enterprise works better in these types of transactions than local agencies. He wanted the dedication agreement signed before moving forward. He noted that the preservation of a sidewalk system throughout the cul-de-sac was necessary, and supported the inclusion of the condition as written.
Commissioner Hart said that the eight-foot wide dedication was a big issue for her. She had a problem moving ahead unless the other property owner agreed to the dedication. She would like to see the dedication issue resolved by involved parties. She did not want to override the RDRC decision, and wanted to keep them involved in the process. She noted that she did not have specific issues with the plans, and supported the project if the dedication issue could be resolved.
Commissioner Savage asked for clarification on the process for pursuing the dedication separately from the development application. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin said that staff would approach the landowner and request dedication in exchange for fair market compensation. He said if the property owner refused, City Council would review a request by staff for condemnation. City Council had not supported condemnation proceedings for right-of-way purposes in many years.
Commissioner Bailey was concerned that the developer and architect were not from Southern California. He suggested that it not be such a cookie cutter plan and that the red squares on the east elevation were not sufficient to integrate this side of the building into its surroundings. He suggested that the architect tour the City and look for a method to integrate the building with its surroundings, and the front elevation of the building, perhaps through the inclusion of windows. The architecture, however, was not a deal breaker for him. He was in support of the site plan and the abandonment.
Commissioner Francis was in support of the project, pending the agreement of the other property owner for the dedication. He would approve the site plan which could be more of an incentive for the applicant to make the deal for the dedication. He did not feel he had support to bypass further RDRC review.
Chairman Stopper was concerned with the unanimous denial of RDRC. He felt that the RDRC plays an important role in the process that the Planning Commission does not, because of its different specialties. He sensed it was rushed through RDRC, and perhaps that they did not feel they had enough time to work with the project. Chairman Stopper laid out the options before the Commission: (1) The Planning Commission could recommend approval and send it forward to the City Council; (2) modify the recommendations of staff and recommend approval as modified; (3) recommend denial; or (4) continue the item. He suggested it be continued to another meeting, because he could not support a partial project with open issues, specifically the lack of agreement for the dedication on Bastanchury Road. He would not support the project in its present configuration.
Commissioner Francis felt that the Planning Commission should not stall the process at this stage.
Commissioner Savage agreed the project should move forward and not delay it another month or two. He felt it should go back to the RDRC for approval because it is a major building. He felt it was a good project and did not want to see CVS get discouraged and move to another town. He did not want to cost the applicant additional money if there was not a valid reason for it.
Commissioner Griffin sought clarification that the dedication on Bastanchury Road, and the preservation of a sidewalk on the east side of the cul-de-sac, were both conditions of the abandonment. Chief Planner Rosen responded in the affirmative. Commissioner Griffin also sought clarification on the condition on the site plan that it return to RDRC. Chief Planner Rosen responded that as the condition was written, RDRC review would occur on final site and architectural plans after obtaining City Council approval. Alternatively, the Planning Commission could require the project to return to the RDRC prior to the City Council hearing. Commissioner Griffin stated that he supported the condition to return to the RDRC after the City Council hearing, as he did not want to stall the process. Chief Planner Rosen stated that if the applicant desired to propose alternative designs to the RDRC, they could do so prior to developing complete working drawings.
Commissioner Savage asked if the applicant might have something to offer to make the decision easier, and if they had reconsidered the plans.
The chairman reopened the public hearing.
Dino Savant, representative of the Mayo Family Trust, introduced himself. He said that the sidewalk was not carried through the cul-de-sac in an effort to create better pedestrian access, and a pedestrian crosswalk from the sidewalk on the west side of the cul-de-sac. He felt providing a crosswalk would remove the need to walk near the steep slope on the east side of the cul-de-sac. He believed one member of the RDRC supported the project until the final vote, and that the RDRC had concerns with the use and site plan, but not the architectural design. They were willing to accommodate the RDRC requests, such as integrating the mature trees into landscape design. The building size had been reduced to accommodate the dedications on Harbor and Bastanchury on the applicants property. The condition requiring the dedication on Bastanchury was added after all parties had already agreed to the abandonment of Balboa, and the related reciprocal access agreement. He would continue trying to obtain the agreement for the dedication on Bastanchury, east of Balboa, from the property owner; however, this was a condition placed upon their project over which they had no control.
Commissioner Bailey asked the applicant if a written agreement among the parties was already in place before the City added the condition requiring the dedication on Bastanchury east of Balboa. Mr. Savant responded affirmatively and stated that they had an agreement in principle, a letter agreement for the abandonment, prior to the addition of dedication condition. He noted that all the parties signed off on the abandonment application.
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin was not sure when the dedication became a condition. He noted that when staff originally suggested the abandonment of Balboa, all parameters of the approval were not considered because the feasibility of obtaining support from all affected parties was unclear. He indicated his desire for the additional right-of-way at the very start, but did not make it an absolute condition, merely a request. In the past few months with the initial design of Bastanchury underway, it became clear that an additional eight feet of right-of-way would be needed. Staff tried working diligently with the applicant and does not think the applicant was misled.
Chairman Stopper stated that the inclusion of the condition was more of a progressive disclosure.
Commissioner Francis said that staff works hard on behalf of the City, and did not believe there was any intention to specifically mislead the applicant. He noted however, that the applicant had proceeded in good faith to obtain agreement from the affected property owners for the abandonment. He did not believe however, hearing how the events had unfolded, that it should be the applicants responsibility to obtain the dedication on Bastanchury.
Mr. Savant reiterated that staff did not mislead them.
Commissioner Savage questioned Mr. Savant on the negotiations with other parties to the abandonment agreement. Mr. Savant reported that the negotiations involved (1) the commitment that there be no change to the ingress/egress to the properties; (2) the commitment that there be no change to the sidewalk or curbs; (3) the commitment that there be no change to the width of Balboa; and (4) a monetary requirement. Mr. Savant noted that they have met all these requirements for the abandonment agreement, including financial compensation. He stated that obtaining the agreement for the dedication would most likely require additional financial compensation.
Commissioner Griffin felt strongly that the dedication on Bastanchury was needed for the City, and should remain a required condition of the abandonment approval. He felt the applicant had done an excellent job of negotiating to this point, and should continue attempting to obtain the remaining agreement for the dedication. He felt it was not appropriate for taxpayers to pay for condemnation procedures for this area.
Commissioner Griffin questioned the location of the sidewalk on the east side of Balboa. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin clarified that the condition did not specify the existing sidewalk be maintained--only that a continuous sidewalk be provided. Commissioner Griffin questioned the applicant on the need for parking stalls in the cul-de-sac. Mr. Savant responded that he believed it would be possible to accommodate both the continuous sidewalk as conditioned, and the parking stalls, while meeting the circulation requirements of the Fire Department. Commissioner Griffin reiterated that he supported both the site plan and the abandonment with the conditions as written. He would like the project to move forward to City Council and then return to RDRC to give them the opportunity to review the project again.
Commissioner Savage believed that the provision of a sidewalk system around the cul-de-sac was important for the surrounding properties.
Commissioner Hart asked about maintenance of Balboa following the abandonment. John Baker, Mayo Family Trust, stated that the reciprocal access agreement for Balboa provided for regular maintenance of Balboa, including slurry seal every three years, the cost of which would be the responsibility of the Mayo Family Trust. He noted that the agreement included the provision that the current ingress and egress do not change for the adjacent property owners.
Commissioner Bailey asked how Balboa would be divided, if abandoned. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin answered that the private fee ownership goes to the center of the street. With the right-of-way easement removed by the abandonment, the lot lines would reflect the underlying fee ownership.
Chief Planner Rosen reported that he was in attendance at the RDRC meeting. He did not believe that the RDRC was opposed to the use on the site, but that the RDRCs concern was the use, and its corporate architecture was driving the site planning and architecture.
Public hearing closed.
Chairman Stopper asked for a summary of the motion for approval as written to provide clarity to the Commission before moving forward.
Chief Planner Rosen stated that the Commission had been presented with two resolutions recommending approval of the site plan and the abandonment of Balboa Road. The conditions under debate were the continuous sidewalk and the dedication as part of the abandonment. All of the site plan and architectural conditions from the staff report and the RDRC memorandum had been combined into the draft resolution.
Commissioner Savage remarked that the issue of the dedication was troublesome. He understood staffs position; however, requiring the dedication may be putting the applicant in an unfair bargaining position because they had already negotiated for the abandonment of the alley and Balboa Road. He stated that he would support the project as it stood, or as modified to remove the condition requiring the dedication.
Commissioner Francis agreed with Commissioner Savage. He felt it was wrong to tell the applicant to get the approval for the abandonment from all parties, and then require the applicant to obtain a subsequent agreement for the dedication. He would not support the abandonment with the condition requiring the dedication on Balboa. He was in complete support of the site plan.
Commissioner Bailey concurred with Commissioner Francis. He felt that staff works toward the Citys best interest, but believed that CVS and the Mayo Family Trust had put money and time into obtaining agreement for the abandonment. He was in full support of the site plan, but wanted to remove the condition of the abandonment requiring the dedication on Bastanchury.
Commissioner Hart felt that the dedication was needed in order to ultimately widen Bastanchury Road. With the City supporting the abandonment, the applicant was gaining the use of Balboa in their site design. She supported the project as presented.
Commissioner Griffin stated that his 23 years in negotiations with developers has shown him that developers are better suited to get the dedication than the City. He did not believe there should be a cost to city, and would only support the project it if the condition requiring the dedication on Bastanchury remained.
Commissioner Francis asked how the applicant could be required to get this dedication for the City, because if the street was abandoned, it is already to the Citys advantage. Chairman Stopper responded that it was a negotiation process of quid pro quo, and that the development community is in a better negotiating position that the government.
MOTION by Commissioner Francis to accept staffs recommendation for the abandonment of Balboa and the alley, with the removal of Condition #2 as listed in the Engineers staff report. Commissioner Bailey seconded.
Chief Planner Rosen asked for a clarification on the motion that, by removing Condition #2, the condition requiring the dedication along Bastanchury would be removed. Commissioners Francis and Bailey concurred.
The title of Resolution PC-04-13 RECOMMENDING to the City Council the abandonment of Balboa Road and the alley north of Bastanchury Road, east of Balboa Road, eliminating Condition #2, that an eight-foot wide easement on Lots 8 11 of Tract 3524 be dedicated for street purposes prior to recordation of the abandonment, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION was made by Commissioner Francis, and seconded by Commissioner Bailey, but failed due to a tie vote, with Commissioners Francis, Bailey and Savage voting aye and Commissioners Stopper, Hart and Griffin voting no.
Commissioner Savage felt that the Commission should approve the applicants request. He asked if Condition #2, or any other condition, could be appealed or removed at the City Council level. Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.
MOTION by Commissioner Savage to RECOMMEND approval to the City Council of the major site plan and the abandonment as recommended by staff. Commissioner Griffin seconded.
Commissioner Griffin reiterated that the applicant would move forward with conditions as stated (including continuing negotiations for the dedication) and encouraged the project to move forward.
Commissioner Bailey did not know why deep pockets and big trusts had to pay for it and he did not support the resolution.
Commissioner Savage agreed with Commissioner Bailey, but felt that the applicant had the right to continue in negotiations for the dedication. He would not support a resolution that would stop the process.
Commissioner Francis did not want to stop the project, and felt it could be appealed to the City Council and decided at that level.
Chief Planner Rosen stated that the approval or recommendation of denial of the project would still go on to City Council for the ultimate decision. The concerns of the Planning Commission would be reported to the City Council in the Minutes.
Commissioner Savage withdrew his motion.
MOTION by Commissioner Griffin to recommend approval to the City Council of the major site plan and the abandonment as presented. Commissioner Hart seconded.
Chief Planner Rosen suggested they vote on the abandonment and then the site plan separately because there are two separate resolutions.
The title of Resolution PC-04-13 RECOMMENDING to the City Council the abandonment of Balboa Road and the alley north of Bastanchury Road, east of Balboa Road, as conditioned was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, and seconded by Commissioner Hart, however the motion died due to a tie vote with Commissioners Stopper, Hart and Griffin voting aye and Commissioners Francis, Bailey and Savage voting no.
The title of Resolution PC-04-14 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of site and architectural plans for construction of a 13,880 square foot drive-thru pharmacy on property located at 2200 North Harbor Boulevard was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Francis, seconded by Commissioner Savage and carried unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
Chief Planner Rosen stated that the City Council would tentatively hear this item at the May 18th hearing, and staff will note the Commissioners split vote, which is a denial of the recommendation.
Commissioner Griffin asked what would happen if the applicant came back and asked to build a 12,000 sq. foot building, without the abandonment of Balboa Road. Chief Planner Rosen replied that there would be a new site plan and staff would consider the extent to which it conformed to the approved site plan. A non-conforming site plan would repeat the review and approval process.
RESOLUTION OF INTENTION
A Resolution of Intention to change the zoning of the property located at 501 North Pomona from C-1 (Limited Commercial) to C-3 (Central Business District Commercial) and change the General Plan designation from Commercial to Downtown Mixed Use; and a request to change the zoning of the properties located at 509-515 North Pomona from R-3 (Limited Density Multi-Family Residential) to C-3 (Central Business District Commercial) and change the General Plan designation from Medium Density Residential to Downtown Mixed Use on property generally located at the northwest corner of East Chapman and North Pomona Avenues (Negative Declaration).
Chief Planner Rosen told the Commission that the City was in the process of acquiring additional parking behind the FOX Theatre and Angelo and Vincis restaurant located north of Pomona, which would require relocating McDonalds to the corner. This would also require a change to a C-3 zone. This was the initial step, and there was no public hearing on the matter. The City Council would have the final approval
The title of Resolution PC-04-15 DECLARING its intention to consider changing the zone classification from C-1 (limited commercial) to C-3 (Central Business District Commercial) and change the General Plan designation from Commercial to Downtown Mixed Use; and a request to change the zoning of the properties located at 509-515 North Pomona from R-3 (Limited Density Multi-Family Residential) to C-3 (Central Business District Commercial) and change the General Plan designation from Medium Density Residential to Downtown Mixed Use on property generally located at the northwest corner of East Chapman and Pomona Avenues was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Francis, seconded by Commissioner Griffin and carried by a 5-0 vote, with Commissioner Savage abstaining, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
PRJ03-00804 ZON03-00071. APPLICANT: THE OLSON COMPANY; PROPERTY OWNER: BUSHALA BROTHERS)
An update of trail revisions at the Ice House building as related to a 120-unit condominium project between Harbor Boulevard, Walnut Avenue, Walnut Way and Truslow Avenue, previously reviewed by the Planning Commission on March 10, 2004.
Chief Planner Rosen stated that this item was for the Commission to receive and file. Staff met with the applicant several times to work out a resolution agreeable to all parties regarding the access to the delivery area. Commissioner Griffin thanked Commissioner Francis and staff for a good resolution to what could have been a problem.
Chairman Stopper concurred with Commissioner Griffin.
MOTION by Commissioner Savage motion to receive and file, seconded by Commissioner Griffin carried unanimously by a 6-0 vote.
Commissioner Francis discussed the new City Council business cards.
Chief Planner Rosen informed the Commission that staff was working out issues regarding a website problem with the vendor. Staff will be finding a new vendor if this is not resolved in a timely manner.
Commissioner Bailey announced that he will be out for a month, due to a medical condition.
REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS
Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report on recent City Council meetings
There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commissions jurisdiction.
The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be April 28, 2004, 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Stopper asked for an update on the West Coyote Hills project. Chief Planner Rosen said that staff is still in the process of conducting additional studies, based on the comments received during the first review regarding, biological studies, traffic studies, and water availability. Those will be completed and staff will start a new process of document review.
Chairman Stopper asked if there might be another EIR review. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there might be another whole or partial EIR review, depending on the results of the studies.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:51 p.m.