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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

January 28, 2004

CALL TO ORDER

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

ROLL CALL

Chairman Stopper; Commissioners Francis, Griffin, Hart, Price, and Savage

ABSENT: None

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Kusch, Assistant Planner Sowers, Senior Engineer Wallin, and Recording Secretary Stevens

FLAG SALUTE:

Commissioner Savage

MINUTES:

MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that the Minutes of the January 14, 2004, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.

INTRODUCTION

Chief Planner Rosen introduced Dingfa Zhang to the Commission. Mr. Zhang was from the Pudong province of Shanghai, China, and one of 16 students taking part in a public policy program at California State University, Fullerton.

4:00 P.M. SESSION

PUBLIC HEARING

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ03-00761 - ZON03-00066 - ZON03-00067. APPLICANT: FULLERTON STATION, INC.; PROPERTY OWNER: NUTWOOD AVENUE LLC.

Staff report dated January 21, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to modify a site plan by converting the existing service station to a mini-market, an eight-seat, fast food restaurant, and a full-service carwash, in addition to the reorientation and refacing of the existing canopy; and a Conditional Use Permit for the construction and operation of an approximately 1,260 square-foot building for use as a full-service car wash, at an existing gas and service station, on property located at 2950 East Nutwood Avenue (southwest corner of Nutwood and Placentia Avenue) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines.) (Continued from January 14, 2004).

Staff report dated January 21, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to modify a site plan by converting the existing service station to a mini-market, an eight-seat, fast food restaurant, and a full-service carwash, in addition to the reorientation and refacing of the existing canopy; and a Conditional Use Permit for the construction and operation of an approximately 1,260 square-foot building for use as a full-service car wash, at an existing gas and service station, on property located at 2950 East Nutwood Avenue (southwest corner of Nutwood and Placentia Avenue) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines.) (Continued from January 14, 2004).

Assistant Planner Sowers reported that the applicant's proposal modifies an existing site plan, and requests a Conditional Use Permit. The surrounding uses are commercial with residential to the east in the City of Placentia. The proposed project would convert three existing service bays into an expanded mini-market/fast-food restaurant, mezzanine office space, and the architecture would be upgraded. A full-service car wash will be added to the rear of building, for which an entrance and queuing area would be added on the west side of the site. The existing canopy will be reoriented, and a detailing bay and customer waiting area will also be installed on the east side of the site. The project requires 19 parking spaces, with eight located in front of the proposed market, and the remaining 11, predominately for use by employees, located along Nutwood Avenue. The site would be accessed by four driveways, two off of Nutwood Avenue and two off of Placentia Avenue. The queuing area would provide six dedicated spaces to the car wash operation, and nine spaces are dedicated to the finishing area. Twelve pumping positions will be provided to patrons for fueling purposes. The 40-foot wide driveways to the west and south will provide on-site circulation. Fuel tankers will enter the site from Nutwood Avenue, and fuel deliveries will occur after 7 p.m. to reduce impacts to on-site circulation. The architectural detail was described by staff and color elevations were provided.

Staff report dated January 21, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to modify a site plan by converting the existing service station to a mini-market, an eight-seat, fast food restaurant, and a full-service carwash, in addition to the reorientation and refacing of the existing canopy; and a Conditional Use Permit for the construction and operation of an approximately 1,260 square-foot building for use as a full-service car wash, at an existing gas and service station, on property located at 2950 East Nutwood Avenue (southwest corner of Nutwood and Placentia Avenue) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines.) (Continued from January 14, 2004).

A Conditional Use Permit is required for the car wash in this commercial zone to ensure compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood. The operation will move from west to east across the site and the dryer (the noisiest area of the operation) will be located at the east end of the building, facing Placentia Avenue. The applicant provided staff with a noise analysis of the dryer levels, which will be 70 decibels, 80 feet from the equipment, consistent with ambient noise levels. An analysis also conducted showed the closest office to the dryer to be 179 feet, and the closest residence is 186 feet from the dryer. Although the gas station and mini-market would be a 24-hour operation, the applicant will restrict the hours for the car wash from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Staff recommended approval of the request, and noted that no calls were received in support or opposition of the project.

Staff report dated January 21, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to modify a site plan by converting the existing service station to a mini-market, an eight-seat, fast food restaurant, and a full-service carwash, in addition to the reorientation and refacing of the existing canopy; and a Conditional Use Permit for the construction and operation of an approximately 1,260 square-foot building for use as a full-service car wash, at an existing gas and service station, on property located at 2950 East Nutwood Avenue (southwest corner of Nutwood and Placentia Avenue) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines.) (Continued from January 14, 2004).

Commissioner Hart noticed a "pull in" detailing section, and asked if it would affect ingress and egress of those vehicles using the car wash. Assistant Planner Sowers said detailing would not be a major component of the business; this would not be a heavily used area and vehicles could pull in and back out when finished. Based on the site layout, staff felt that utilizing the dedicated spaces for the car wash operation would work out best.

Chairman Stopper asked about overall circulation, because to the south and west, there are property owners who would use the westerly driveway. He questioned whether there were any agreements with the applicant and these property owners. Assistant Planner Sowers clarified that there was a 40-foot driveway to which each parcel had a 20-foot easement. Chairman Stopper also asked if citizens in the City of Placentia were notified of this project, and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively, adding that no comments regarding the proposal were received.

Public hearing opened.

Atabak Youssefzadeh, architect, was available to answer questions. Commissioner Francis asked where people would wait for their vehicles. Mr. Youssefzadeh pointed out on the vicinity sketch where a 20' x 19' square foot area would be located, to allow persons to view their cars from that area. Commissioner Francis asked if customers would have to back out upon completion, and Assistant Planner Sowers answered affirmatively, due to a landscaped planter separating the street from the parking spaces.

Chairman Stopper asked if applicant had read and concurred with the 17 conditions of approval, and Mr. Youssefzadeh replied affirmatively.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Price felt this was a good project and referenced a similar project in the city which was very successful. He was confident that backing out of the site would not be a problem, and noted another car wash with similar staging that also was successful.

The title of Resolution No. PC-04-02 APPROVING a modification to a site plan by converting an existing service station to a mini-market, an eight-seat, fast-food restaurant, and a full-service car wash, in addition to the reorientation and refacing of the existing canopy; and a Conditional Use Permit for the construction and operation of an approximately 1,260-square-foot building for use as a full-service car wash, on property located at 2950 East Nutwood Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded by Commissioner Francis and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 2
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1030A. APPLICANT: RONALD E. NEWELL; PROPERTY OWNER: WEST EXECUTIVE OFFICES FULLERTON

Staff report dated January 21, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request for a revision to a previously-approved Conditional Use Permit, increasing from 25 to 40 the number of single-display automobile retail licenses within a multi-tenant office building on property located at 2736-2742 West Orangethorpe Avenue (south side of Orangethorpe Avenue between 140 and 180 feet east of the southeast corner of Orangethorpe and Magnolia Avenues) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines)

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that in September 2002, Conditional Use Permit CUP-1030 was approved to allow 25 single-display auto sales licenses at 2736-2742 West Orangethorpe Avenue. The applicant was now seeking approval to increase the auto sales licenses to a total of 40. The subject site was improved with two office buildings, measuring 15,888 square feet. There are a total of 70 parking spaces on site, resulting in a surplus of six parking spaces. The Magnolia street frontage is owned by Caltrans, and at the time the original CUP was approved, the parking next to the Magnolia entrance was under construction and inaccessible. As part of the CUP approval, the applicant was required to repair the parking area and install landscaping at the driveway entrance. These subsequent improvements were not submitted to the City for review, and did not meet Code requirements, due to the location of parking within the required 10-foot street setback. The proximity of the two parking spaces to the Magnolia entrance creates a hazard for vehicle egress and ingress for the pending CUP modification. Staff recommended removing the two parking spaces closest to Magnolia Avenue, and either extending the existing landscaping planters, to a minimum depth of 10 feet from the existing sidewalk, or striping those spaces for no parking. The applicant must rectify the situation with Caltrans, and staff recommended that the two parking spaces be striped "No Parking" until landscaping improvements were completed. A total of 68 parking spaces would then be available for the office building.

A previous problem related to auto sales businesses was that the property was becoming an auto sales lot, and overflow parking would occur on adjacent lots where no surplus parking was available. Since the CUP was approved, the Code Enforcement Department had received no complaints concerning this issue. The applicant would now like to increase the number of licenses, and staff feels this should be dependent on available parking. Parking should be provided by each licensee for one vehicle. In three separate field checks, staff found there did not appear to be a parking problem, and all of the spaces set aside for vehicle display were rarely utilized. Aerial photographs were displayed depicting lack of vehicles parked in marked spaces on three different dates.

Prior to the current CUP, auto sales events have provided inadequate parking. Advertising and promotions including searchlights, tents, lights, balloons and streamers have been used to advertise such sales events. Staff prohibits such events, and also recommends a six-month review of this project, which would allow existing businesses to operate and allow staff ample time to monitor compliance with the conditions of approval. If conditions are not adhered to, the Planning Commission could reduce the number of licenses, modify the conditions, or revoke the Conditional Use Permit.

The original Conditional Use Permit was conditioned to submit a landscape plan and have a six-month review by the Planning Commission. The landscape plans were not submitted, however, and the due to an oversight by staff, the six-month review did not occur.

Because the applicant met all conditions of approval, with the exception of the landscape plan, staff recommended that the current proposal be approved. Property owners within a 300-foot radius were notified of the hearing, and staff had not received any calls or comments either for or against the proposal.

Commissioner Francis asked for specific violations reported by Code Enforcement. Assistant Planner Kusch said auto sales lot events were occurring on weekends, when banners and signs were displayed, making it difficult to monitor by staff. However, these events have not occurred since the original CUP was approved. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that Code Enforcement would conduct inspections on weekends, if necessary.

Assistant Planner Kusch added that most of the car sales are conducted at auctions, but according to the Department of Motor Vehicles each licensee must have an office and one space per vehicle.

Commissioner Price asked for clarification on the landscape plan. Assistant Planner Kusch verified that the property along Magnolia Avenue was owned by CalTrans. The applicant had to adhere to the CalTrans time frame, therefore landscaping plans were never submitted. If CalTrans will not allow for the proposed landscaped improvements, staff was recommending the striping of the two parking spaces next to Magnolia Avenue with "no parking." Commissioner Price asked for a time frame for completion of the improvements, and Assistant Planner Kusch estimated approximately three months.

Commissioner Hart asked if the parking spaces in question were dedicated to an office space, and Assistant Planner Kusch answered negatively; wheel stops for these spaces were not marked for a designated licensee.

Chairman Stopper asked if removing the two spaces would still meet code requirements for parking, and Assistant Planner Kusch answered affirmatively, but only under a Conditional Use Permit. If it were any other retail business or medical office, there would be a deficit of parking.

Commissioner Francis asked if landscaping was ever added off of Magnolia Avenue. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the applicant made an attempt to put it in, but it did not meet code requirements.

Public hearing opened.

The applicant, Ron Newell, made himself available for Commission questions. He noted that the DMV requires office space for this type of business. Some tenants do not even furnish the office or put in a telephone, but the DMV will license them as long as they have a home base. Mr. Newell claimed the parking spaces are rarely used because the tenants are usually not there. Originally the parking spaces off of Magnolia Avenue did not belong to the applicant, but they added irrigation and what they believed would be adequate landscaping. He would be happy to landscape if Caltrans would approve, or restripe according to City request.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the site in Fullerton was considered the point of sale, and Mr. Newell said all DMV forms are mailed to this address so theoretically, it was. Mr. Newell confirmed that the City of Fullerton receives tax dollars from the sale of each vehicle.

Public hearing closed.

The title of Resolution No. PC-04-03 APPROVING a revision to a previously-approved Conditional Use Permit increasing from 25 to 40 the number of single-display automobile retail licenses within a multi-tenant office building, on property located at 2736-2742 West Orangethorpe Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Griffin, and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN. Commissioner Francis advised staff to ensure that a six-month review would occur.

ITEM NO. 3
PRJ02-00745 - PM2003-209. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: RICHARD J. BOYD

Staff report dated January 21, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request for a parcel map to subdivide one existing lot into two 5,829-square-foot lots, and a Zoning Adjustment to permit the lot size of the new parcels to be 5% below the 6,000-square-foot minimum lot size required for the zone, on property located at 2626 Olive Avenue and 2627 Cherry Avenue (north side of Cherry Avenue, between approximately 50 and 100 feet east of the northeast corner of Cherry Avenue and Vine Avenue, and on property located on the south side of Olive Avenue between approximately 50 and 100 feet east of the southeast corner of Olive Avenue and Vine Avenue) (R-1-6 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15315 of CEQA Guidelines).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported the subject property was subdivided by deed in 1944 and is recognized as one legal parcel, which was annexed to the City of Fullerton in 1954. The adjacent property on the southeast corner of Olive/Vine is currently improved with a single-family residence. The subject property has an existing accessory structure on the property. The applicant proposes to demolish this structure and subdivide the lot into two parcels, each developed with a single-family residence. Assistant Planner Kusch displayed pictures of the subject property and adjacent properties. As with any subdivision request in an established area, existing subdivision patterns must be reviewed. Assistant Planner Kusch described the lot sizes surrounding all four sides of the subject property and showed these on a vicinity sketch. Staff believed the proposed subdivision was consistent with the subdivision pattern and lot sizes in the area. Existing parcels along Cherry and Olive Avenues have the same lot size and street frontage as the proposed parcels. Because the minimum lot size of the proposed parcel is 6,000 square feet, the applicant is also requesting a zoning adjustment reducing the required lot size by 5%. This adjustment would not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and the R-1-6,000 zone. Staff believed that a zoning adjustment should be approved.

A public hearing notice was mailed to all property owners within a 300-foot radius, and 92 responses opposing the project were received. Assistant Planner Kusch noted that all of the letters were identical, except for the signatures. Staff recommended approval of the request.

Chairman Stopper requested that the 92 copies of a letter opposing the project should be made part of the public record.

Public hearing opened.

Michael Baum, owner, made himself available for questions. Commissioner Price asked if he had seen copy of the opposition letter and Mr. Baum answered negatively, so staff presented him with a copy. Commissioner Price asked if this was a working farm, and Mr. Baum said it was not at this time, but he believed it was prior to the time he purchased it. Mr. Baum did not plan on using it as such at any time in the future.

Commissioner Francis asked who the Boyd family was, and if Mr. Baum was aware of any opposition. Mr. Baum replied that the Boyd family were original owners, he did not know there was opposition to the request, and had not spoken with any of the surrounding neighbors.

Commissioner Francis also asked if split-hoofed animals would be allowed on this property and staff answered negatively because the lot was too small. Chief Planner Rosen indicated he would look up in the code if chickens, rabbits, or smaller animals would be allowed.

Don Jervis, co-owner of the property clarified that it was not a working farm when they bought it for development. They previously purchased property on the corner of Olive/Vine, did a major rehab, and it is now a beautiful addition to the area. They propose to construct single-story homes, to be consistent with the neighborhood.

Commissioner Francis asked if the public may utilize this lot as a park, or if the applicant would construct anything other than a single-family residence, and Mr. Jervis answered negatively.

Mr. Mark Boyd spoke in opposition to the request, and wants to save the family farm. Quail, pheasant and chickens previously were raised on this property, and he pointed out the presence of a chicken coop on the vicinity map. He felt that the community liked the farm there and would like it to be put back in operation. The family had obtained legal counsel to ensure that the sale of the property was "above board," and his relatives were not being taken advantage of.

Chairman Stopper reminded Mr. Boyd that the Planning Commission was not a court of law, and would only be addressing the proposal before them.

Mr. Boyd stated that he had been advised that water, sewage and electricity had not been upgraded in all these years, and this new housing would overtax those utilities in this area. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin said that the City was in charge of the water and sewer and had no concerns with this project. He was unaware of any place in Fullerton that Edison could not serve and must, by law, provide electricity.

Public hearing closed.

Chief Planner Rosen Code read to the Commission that portion of the zoning code pertaining to livestock.

Commissioner Griffin sympathized with Mr. Boyd, but as a commissioner he could find no reason to deny the request because the plan was consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. He supported the project as presented.

Commissioner Francis grew up in a rural area and he was aware of farm properties. He felt this neighborhood resembled more of a neighborhood than a farm, and would support the lot split.

Commissioner Hart also liked rural areas in Fullerton, but a farm would be inappropriate in this location. According to staff's findings, she would also support the request.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. PC-04-04 GRANTING a Parcel Map to subdivide an existing lot into two 5,829-square-foot parcels and a Zoning Adjustment to permit the lot size of the new parcels to be 5% below the 6,000-square-foot minimum lot size required for the zone, on property located at 2626 Olive Avenue and 2627 Cherry Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded by Commissioner Francis, and CARRIED unanimously, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

Commissioner Francis advised that this item could be appealed and Chief Planner Rosen explained the appeal process.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

    Chief Planner Rosen discussed term limits which were asked at a prior meeting. Commissioner Savage also asked for a Coyote Hills East Specific Plan, and was advised that staff would provide one.

    Chief Planner Rosen also informed those attending the Fullerton High School tunnel tour that hard hats and flashlights would be required. There would be two tours, one on Wednesday February 11, 2004, and one on Thursday, February 19, 2004.

  2. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

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

  3. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    There were no public comments.

  4. AGENDA FORECAST

    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be March 10, 2004, at 4:00 p.m. The February 11 and 25, 2004 meetings have been canceled.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

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