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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

September 8, 2004

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Stopper at 4:01 p.m.

ROLL CALL

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

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Acting Director/City Engineer Hoppe, Assistant Planner Kusch, Assistant Planner Sowers and Recording Secretary Baker

FLAG SALUTE:

Commissioner Price

MINUTES:

MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Griffin and CARRIED unanimously that the Minutes of August 11, 2004, be APPROVED as submitted.

4:00 P.M. SESSION

PUBLIC HEARING

CONSENT CALENDAR:

Final inspection report for Fullerton City Lights, 224 West Commonwealth Avenue.

MOTION to approve receipt of the report by Commissioner Price, seconded by Commissioner Hart and passed unanimously by members present.

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ04-00219 ZON04-00024 LRP04-00003 LRP04-00004 LRP04-00005 LRP04-00006. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: ST. JUDE HOSPITAL.

Staff report dated September 1, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to approve a master plan for the development/redevelopment of the St. Jude Medical Center campus which will include a zone change from O-P to SPD, a modification of the General Plan to allow specific plan districts on properties with an Office designation, increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) permitted for the hospital campus, and modify the location and type of certain recreational and bike trails adjacent to the site, a Major Site Plan for the development of the southwest wing, a Specific Plan and a Development Agreement for property located at 101 East Valencia Mesa Drive (generally located between Harbor Blvd. and the Brea Dam, and Valencia Mesa Drive and Bastanchury Road) (O-P zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration).

Commissioner Price disclosed that his wife was a neo-natal intensive care nurse at St. Jude and this project will not have a financial impact on them, therefore, he was not going to recuse himself.

Senior Planner Mullis presented the staff report on the St. Jude Master Plan replacement plan. She explained that in 1994 after the Northridge earthquake, new regulations were developed by the State to require seismic safety upgrades for hospitals and acute care facilities. City staff has been working on this for several years with St. Jude. These upgrades were to be completed by 2008, however, St. Jude received an extension until 2013, with all acute care facility upgrades to be completed by 2030. She displayed an overview of the property and a schematic of the hospital facility.

Senior Planner Mullis explained the various stages of the building phases, the extension of Valencia Mesa, the reconfiguration of the driveways and a new driveway access to the expanded parking structure through the Tennis Center. She also described the sky bridge that connects the pedestrian bridge to the medical office building located on the west side of Harbor Boulevard.

Senior Planner Mullis provided on overview of the applications required for the project. A General Plan Revision is proposed to permit Specific Plan Districts for land designated office, modify some of the bikeways and recreational trails in the vicinity of the site, and a higher Floor Area Ratio will be permitted for the hospital complex. It will change the zoning from O-P to a Specific Plan District. She displayed elevations for the southwest wing in Phase I, as well as a materials board.

Staff recommended approval and recommendation to the City Council, Certification of the Mitigated Negative Declaration, approval of the General Plan revision, the zoning amendment, the Specific Plan, the Development Agreement, and the Major Site Plan. The Community Services Commission reviewed the project and recommended approval. The Bicycle Users Sub-Committee asked that the bike lane between Harbor and Valencia Mesa be maintained as a Class III. Staff is recommending elimination of that bike lane

Chairman Stopper asked why staff was recommending elimination of the bike trail. Senior Planner Mullis told him that it is because there was not enough right-of-way, too much traffic, and too many conflicts along this segment of Harbor Boulevard. Bicycles can ride on any public street and nothing is being taken away, it just wont be designated as part of the bicycle route. Engineering is working on revising the Bicycle Master Plan.

Commissioner Hart asked what the difference was between a regional trail and a connector trail. Senior Planner Mullis explained that a regional trail is intended to be a regional connection to broader trails in Carbon Canyon and Yorba Linda. She said the only physical difference in the trails is their width, they are both paved and non-paved trails.

Commissioner Savage asked if there were any studies on usage and how many bikes a day use the trail. Staff stated that there have not been studies done on the usage, and they did not have that information.

Applicant: Bob Fraschetti, President and CEO of St. Jude Medical Center and Bill Eveloff (Executive Architect/AVP Design with St. Joseph Health Systems), gave a brief history of St. Jude and its mission in Orange County:

  • Expanded emergency services up to 50,000 visits a year
  • St. Jude Heart Hospital
  • Virginia K. Crosson Cancer Center
  • Nationally recognized center for rehabilitation since 1957
  • St. Jude Breast center
  • Center for women and children
  • St. Jude Medical Plaza
  • The Knott Family Endoscopy Center
  • Mobile vans for care to the underserved
  • Provides outreach services in 2003 up to $14,000,000
  • Community benefits, programs and activities

Mr. Fraschetti displayed an aerial of the hospital grounds in 1957 and also in 1994. He felt it was a priority to meet the demand for medical service in the community, and to address seismic legislation as mandated in SB 1953. He reviewed the four phases of the project:

  • Phase 1 2004 2013 (Southwest wing)
  • Phase 2 2013 2016 (Parking Structure Expansion Southwest Wing & Drive E)
  • Phase 3 2016 2023 (Temporary Loading Dock, New Mechanical Plant, Northeast Wing)
  • Phase 4 2023 2030 (Northwest Wing and Skyway Connection to Pedestrian Bridge)

Mr. Everloff discussed landscaping enhancements, the grade differential and elevations. He also discussed the traffic and trail improvements.

Burnie Dunlap discussed the length of time spent on a project that covers approximately a 30-year span. He thanked City staff for several years of work on the project, and asked if the Commission had any questions.

Commissioner Francis asked if because of SB 1953, other hospitals will be forced to close if they are not able to make seismic upgrades, and has St. Jude estimated a possible increase in the number of patients. Mr. Fraschetti stated that 25% of the hospitals in Southern California will be closing, and it was difficult to estimate how many new patients will come to St. Jude because of the closures.

Commissioner Bailey asked:

  • What are the projections on emergency department usage (because it is increasing faster that was projected and have already reached the 2008 projections)
  • What the capacity will be in years to come

Mr. Fraschetti stated that Phase 1 would increase the emergency room to 56 beds, but it was difficult to project 30 years in advance. They will meet the demand as they know it, and as the towers become available, the emergency room can be expanded. The existing emergency department will be adjacent to the new one and can be used during seismic retrofitting.

Chairman Stopper heard the long-range plan four years ago. He was impressed with the overall project, however, he was concerned with the circulation on the site, particularly Driveway C. He was concerned that St. Jude had the option to decide whether Driveway C could become permanent or not.

Burnie Dunlap stated that in the Development Agreement there was never an intentional option of making Driveway C permanent. If St. Jude determines that driveway C needs to be permanent, they would have to apply to the City for that. St. Jude was clear that Driveway C was only temporary.

Rock Miller, Traffic Flow Engineer, prepared the Traffic studies for St. Jude. He stated:

  • The Hospital does not know if they will need to use Driveway C beyond phase 2
  • It was only needed for construction purposes
  • The details of all the parking management that have not been worked out yet.

Rock Miller said that vehicles entering the property will not cause a problem with traffic flow on Harbor, and they are planning on a right-turn lane in Harbor Boulevard so that traffic off of Bastanchury will stay manageable.

Chairman Stopper reiterated that he had difficulty with the traffic circulation and exiting vehicles.

Mr. Miller said that they are continuing to review this issue. It is only a consideration and there is a need to control parking, paid or other. He has advised that a north or south exit would be more appropriate. He added that the front parking lot might become an employees lot.

Chairman Stopper was also concerned with the elevation difference between the parking lot and Harbor because there is not clear and direct viewing for vehicles entering the parking lot. He did not see any reference in the Development Agreement regarding Driveway C being used as a permanent drive.

Acting Director/City Engineer Hoppe referenced the City Engineers letter stating that required improvements shall be subject to the review and approval of the Director of Engineering, whether or not Driveway C becomes permanent.

Chief Planner Rosen said it was never the intent to make this condition totally at the discretion of St. Jude. Staff could go back and modify the language to clearly state that the City Engineer review this issue before the decision of a permanent drive is made.

Senior Planner Mullis directed Chairman Stopper to Page 2-8 of the Specific Plan. It stated that if St. Jude, in their best business judgment makes a determination and want Driveway C to become permanent, then they are to apply to the City for authorization.

Commissioner Savage felt that there was a consensus between St. Jude and City staff that this decision was not an option of St. Jude, and that wording should be put into the Development Agreement.

Burnie Dunlap stated that St. Jude does not feel that they have the authority to make a decision like that.

Commissioner Hart asked about the letter from the City of Brea regarding traffic issues and if it had been addressed. Mr. Dunlap found that there would not be a significant impact on the intersections in Brea and has responded to the City of Brea comments.

Lorraine Gersitz lives behind St. Jude, apologized for coming late and asked about the affected bike trails, especially in the Brea Dam Area. Chief Planner Rosen stated that both recreational and bike trails would not be significantly affected. He stated that access to the trail system will be retained and that only the design of the trails will be modified.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Price asked what the public reaction had been to the mailing. Senior Planner Mullis said that staff had not received any phone calls and responded to only one person at counter. Chief Planner Rosen said he received one call regarding the setbacks on the property and the caller was satisfied with his explanation.

Chairman Stopper mentioned the letter from the Chamber endorsing the project.

Commissioner Savage said he was supportive of such an ambitious project. He felt it would bring a world class facility to Fullerton.

Commissioner Price felt it was a great project and that the design is top notch. He appreciated the work between City staff and St. Jude staff. He was concerned in the beginning with increases in density, but felt that St. Jude had adequately dealt with it. He supported the project.

Commissioner Bailey thought there was outstanding cooperation on this project between City staff and St. Jude. He agreed that there should be a trigger when the final decision is made on Driveway C. He suggested marketing the project to the public to mitigate any problems.

Commissioner Francis was amazed at the architecture and felt that it would not go out of style.

Commissioner Griffin agreed that it was an aggressive and beautiful project. He thought City staff and St. Jude staff did a great job and it was a nice presentation.

Commissioner Hart thanked St. Jude and City staff. She felt Fullerton was fortunate to have St. Jude, and the project would be wonderful for the City.

Chairman Stopper stated that Fullerton is blessed to have St. Jude Hospital. He felt that it was one of the six strengths of the City: the Airport, railroad, educational centers, fine arts and quiet, non-profit organizations (caring for distressed individuals). He was impressed with the leadership, management, planning and felt that cooperation accomplishes much. He said he still had a big issue with Driveway C and wanted to see a traffic review trigger, but felt it was not an issue during construction. Chairman Stopper felt that City staff had been taxed by this project and he said he was a big supporter of St. Jude.

MOTION to recommend certification of the Mitigated Negative Declaration by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Bailey all in favor, passed unanimously by voting members present.

The title of Resolution Number PC-04-28 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a General Plan Revision to change the land use element of the General Plan to allow Specific Plan Districts on properties with an Office designation, increase the Floor Area Ratio permitted for the Hospital Campus and modify the location and type of certain recreational and bike trails adjacent to the site, to change the existing zone classification from O-P to SPD and adopt a Specific Plan for property located at 101 East Valencia Mesa Drive was read, and further reading was waived.

The title of Resolution Number PC-04-29 RECOMMENDING to the City Council adoption of a Development Agreement, as defined by Section 65865.2 of the California Government Code, between the City of Fullerton and St. Jude Medical Center pertaining to property located at 101 West Valencia Mesa Drive with a recommendation to add language that clearly states that the City has final approval as to whether the Harbor Access Drive (Driveway C) may become permanent, was read and further reading was waived.

The title of Resolution Number PC-04-30 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a Site Plan to construct a four-story southwest wing, approximately 109,590 square feet in size, including a basement and rooftop mechanical penthouse, on property located at 101 East Valencia Mesa Drive was read and further reading was waived.

MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Bailey and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that Resolutions PC-04-28 and PC-04-30 be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN and Resolution PC-04-29 be ADOPTED AS AMENDED.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ04-00556 PM2004-195. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: CAL-PERL FULLERTON 5, LLP

Staff report dated September 1, 2004, was submitted pertaining to a request to subdivide an existing 9.2-acre commercial center into two parcels on property located at 1001 North Harbor Boulevard (west side of Harbor Boulevard, between Valley View Drive and Berkeley Avenue) (C-3 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15315 of CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from August 11, 2004).

Commissioner Price recused himself because he is a tenant under a long term lease, and left the room.

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that this item was continued from the August 11, 2004 Planning Commission meeting to allow time for the applicant and the engineer to address recommended public improvements. A condition of approval was added to address the parking and landscaping.

The applicant is proposing to subdivide the existing 9.2 acre La Mancha shopping center, which is bordered by Harbor, Berkeley and Valley View. Parcel 1 contains an occupied multi-story office building and Parcel 2 contains a Carrows restaurant, a gas station and a multi-tenant Ralphs Shopping Center. It is zoned C-3 Central Business District Commercial. The Municipal Code does not require a minimum lot size, and it meets the required Floor Area Ratios. Assistant Planner Kusch identified the proposed parcel line on the site plan. He stated that a reciprocal parking and vehicular access agreement is required. Engineering is requiring modifications to the northernmost driveway, and a provision of future street dedication for a bus bay right-turn pocket. They also suggested closing the northernmost driveway and relocating the shared access from Harbor to Berkeley.

Staff recommended that the applicant submit a revised parking layout for review and approval of the Director of Development Services, to offset any vehicular circulation, parking or landscape deficiencies, as a result of the street dedication. Engineering identified potential future improvements. Public notification was sent to residents within a 300 ft. radius. There was only one inquiry, but no concerns were voiced.

Commissioner Francis asked if the applicant wanted to divide the parcel to sell it. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the applicant was a new owner and he was not sure of their intent.

Commissioner Savage asked if the proposed subdivision met the parking standards for all types of uses on the lots, and if the parking agreement would become part of the deed process. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that there would still need to be a shared parking agreement. He told the Commission that there was a surplus of parking on the site since the Linda Evans health club left. The CUP for the health club was still valid for six months. Currently, the parking meets code and the parking agreement would become part of the deed process. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the improvements proposed by Engineering may impact the parking. Staff is concerned that the parking would be reduced. Chief Planner Rosen stated that those improvements would only be triggered if there was major development on the property.

Mark Perlmutter, applicant and a property owner, answered Commissioner Francis question about subdividing. He stated that the lender was requiring that they segregate the parcels, and the office building would be released from the loan.

Commissioner Francis asked if he has had potential tenants inquire about the Linda Evans space. Mr. Perlmutter said that there has been interest from 24 Hr. Fitness, beauty chains, and a drugstore. He wished to rent it as soon as possible.

Commissioner Bailey asked about the release clause. Mr. Perlmutter responded that the loan required the release of the office building piece as security for the loan, which requires the site be subdivided. Then there will be a loan only on Parcel 1 (office building) and they will continue the loan with the lender on the shopping center piece. They are currently negotiating with Carrows; their lease expires in December. Mr. Perlmutter added that this was a parking-sensitive piece of property.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Savage supported the project because he did not see a significant change on the usage of the property.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the applicant had obtained any estimates on the installation of the fire hydrant. Mr. Tabaja stated that it will be approximately $22,000. Commissioner Francis was confident that the City has triggers if the applicant decides to build and he was in support.

Commissioner Bailey asked how the parking would be affected if the applicant would sell either parcel. Chief Planner Rosen stated that they would have to assume the responsibility of the shared parking agreement or build a parking structure. Commissioner Bailey stated he was in support of the project.

Chairman Stopper asked for a clarification that the parking as well as the access would be part of an agreement. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there would be a CC & R.

Commissioner Hart stated that as long as the access to the property was not limited, she did not have a problem with it.

The title of Resolution Number PC-04-31 granting a parcel map to subdivide a 9.2-acre parcel into two lots on property located at 1001-1235 North Harbor Boulevard was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded by Commissioner Francis, and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 3
PRJ04-00647 ZON04-00064. APPLICANT: MICHELLE ALFIERI; PROPERTY OWNER: FULLERTON ASSOCIATES.

Staff report dated September 1, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request for a major development project to construct a new 3,100-square-foot restaurant with a drive-through window (Farmer Boys Restaurant) on property located at 1446 North Harbor Boulevard (east side of Harbor Boulevard, approximately 600 feet north of the Harbor/Brea Boulevard divide) (C-3 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines)

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that this property was formerly a Red Onion restaurant. The Municipal Code requires review by the RDRC for new construction or vacant property in designated Redevelopment areas. On August 26, 2004, the RDRC unanimously approved the project, however, they requested a redesign of the architecture and a re-examination of the new renderings. They felt that the property design was not unique or sensitive to the quality image of Fullerton.

Assistant Planner Kusch displayed photos from Harbor Boulevard and described the circulation patterns. He explained that the drive-through lane was reviewed by Engineering and was an acceptable length. Staff recommended mounded landscaping along Harbor Boulevard, discussed the dimensions of the parking spaces, and installing do not enter signage at the driveway entrance along the east property line next to the fire lane. Traffic Engineering recommended a reconfiguration of the north driveway to allow only northbound exiting. Assistant Planner Kusch discussed landscaping, showed elevations and described the proposed materials to be used.

Commissioner Francis commented that it would look different with mounds and asked if there was a requirement to have the base of the building consistent with the Auto Club.

Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the RDRC did not think the architecture blended with the Auto Club building. Staff received 33 petitions concerning potential noise and odors. Staff recommended a menu board designed so that the speaker area was low enough so cars would block the sound westward and up the slope on the west side of Harbor.

Commissioner Francis stated that several of the petitions have Harbor and Marelen addresses. Assistant Planner Kusch talked with the property owner of the Auto Club and they were concerned with the landscaping along Harbor, the handicapped access being blocked by the proposed curb, and vehicular movement.

Staff recommended approval of the site plan, subject to the conditions.

Commissioner Savage asked that the RDRC review the revised site plan and the conditions. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the applicant had already submitted revised site plans and all staffs requests are covered in the conditions.

To meet landscaping requirements, diamond tree wells will be added. To offset any deficiencies, two empty tree wells will be added along Harbor Boulevard. City maintenance will determine the type of trees, and will maintain them.

Commissioner Hart asked if the north exit currently exists, and Assistant Planner Kusch answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Price asked what the hours of operation were. The applicant answered that they are 6:00 a.m 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Commissioner Savage asked about codes relative to food preparation smells. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the codes do not address odors, only air quality emissions, and it is regulated by AQMD. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there are strict air quality rules, which require a considerable amount of cleansing to reduce the odor by scrubbing. He also stated that there was currently another restaurant across the street.

Commissioner Savage asked about the AQMD requirements. Chief Planner Rosen said the applicant could elaborate on it.

Commissioner Price asked if staff knew the square footage of the Sizzler across the street. Chief Planner Rosen was not sure, but said that it was larger and had more seating capacity.

Commissioner Bailey asked if the Sizzler was currently mitigating odors. Staff responded that they are also required to comply with AQMD regulations regarding odors and smoke.

Commissioner Griffin asked for a clarification of the site plan. Assistant Planner Kusch explained that Edison had an above-ground vault, and the island was meant to delineate a one-way drive.

Chairman Stopper asked if the primary entrance will be modified. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the drive apron needs to be modified to meet minimum handicap and engineering standards.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant Hank Lowinger is the Construction Manager for Farmer Boys. He stated that the revised site plan submitted recently does depict the modifications and changes that were discussed tonight. The architecture has been softened to integrate the design with the Auto Club by removing the main tower. He discussed other stores in Brea, Anaheim, and Tustin. He stated that they use the most current equipment to alleviate strong odors and smoke. He said they are proposing a 3,100 sq. ft. site and he believed that Sizzler is approximately 3,800 4,800 sq. ft.

Commissioner Griffin asked how many Farmer Boys restaurants are located in Southern California, He answered that there were 49, only one which does not have a drive-through.

Chairman Stopper asked the applicant if the 19 conditions were acceptable. The applicant answered affirmatively and stated that the new site plan reflects the conditions. He said that they were working with staff and RDRC to meet everyones need.

Commissioner Price said that he thought the circulation was difficult in the Mira Loma store. Mr. Lowinger said that he would like a larger parcel and they want customers to come and go with the least amount of difficulty.

Commissioner Francis asked what percentage of their business is drive-through. Mr. Lowinger said that 22 24% was drive-through business.

No further comments.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Griffin had major concerns with circulation of the property, but no concerns with Farmer Boys. He could not support the restaurant as a drive-through because of the traffic circulation.

Commissioner Francis felt that if the restaurant owner was comfortable with the layout, he would support it.

Commissioner Savage asked Commissioner Griffin if his concerns were only regarding circulation on the property or also the exiting and entering.

Commissioner Griffin stated that he was concerned with both issues of the traffic circulation. He felt that as a consumer he would be frustrated if there was not ingress and egress in the same driveway. He felt it would cause traffic problems with customers possibly trying to make u-turns if they miss the entrance. Commissioner Francis felt it was Farmer Boys problem, not the Citys problem.

Commissioner Hart felt that it would be a City problem if people missed the entry on a fast thoroughfare. She did not have a problem with the Farmer Boys restaurant, but she felt that the drive-through was awkward circulation. She could not support the circulation as proposed.

Commissioner Bailey felt that the circulation was confusing. He did not think that people would heed the one-way or do not enter signs without a physical barrier. He visited a Farmer Boys and was impressed with the cleanliness and top quality food. He suggested a reorientation of the drive-through to the other side. He could not support the project as it stands.

Commissioner Price favored the Farmer Boys restaurants. He previously had an office in the building next to the site, was familiar with the potential congestion in the parking lot and did not like the layout. He discussed the mounding, the potential noise, and a time limitation for speakers at the menu board. He did not like the layout, he suggested a new plan with a different circulation pattern.

Commissioner Savage agreed with Commissioner Francis and also Commissioner Griffin. He stated that if there was a circulation problem, it is a business decision and the applicant would suffer or correct it. He would support the project with RDRC approval.

Commissioner Griffin asked if it was feasible to move the electrical vault underground. Acting Director/City Engineer Hoppe did not believe that Edison would move a high voltage facility underground.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that staff directed the applicant to make modifications to the driveway as shown on the site plan to reduce conflicts, and not allow direct access from Harbor Boulevard because of potential future conflicts. Staff would continue to not support any additional access to this property along Harbor Boulevard. The only option was to close the driveway on the north side of the property, if that was the only circulation issue that the Commission had.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the restaurant was not a drive-through would staff still recommend no egress and ingress. Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Francis stated again that it was not the best design, but it was the applicants problem.

Chairman Stopper felt there were problems with traffic circulation, not with the lot or the restaurant. He was not in support of the project in the current configuration. He asked the applicant if they were interested in a continuance.

Commissioner Francis asked that since staff will not allow direct access to Harbor Boulevard, what are there design alternatives. Chairman Stopper stated that it will be up to the applicant to modify.

Commissioner Savage asked what the driveway circulation was when the Red Onion was there. Acting Director/City Engineer Hoppe said that he could not recall significant problems, and felt that closing the entrance was not the best idea. He did not have the accident history available and stated that staff wanted to reduce potential conflicts.

Chairman Stopper asked the applicant if they were interested in a continuance or calling for a vote now.

Mr. Lowinger stated he was interested in a continuance.

There was a consensus of the Commission to CONTINUE this matter until the October 13, 2004, meeting. The motion was voted upon and passed unanimously by voting members present.

ITEM NO. 4
PRJ04-00650 ZON04-00065. APPLICANT: LA BOXING FULLERTON INC.; PROPERTY OWNER: ROBERT ERNST.

Staff report dated September 1, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request for a Conditional Use Permit to place additional fitness equipment in a previously-approved fitness center, on property located at 720 North Harbor Boulevard (southeast corner of North Harbor Boulevard and Union Avenue) (C-3 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines)

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that the Site Plan Review Committee approved a trade school at this site in September, 2003. By adding additional cardiovascular and strength equipment, it triggers the CUP to be reviewed because this facility would now be defined as a health club. Standard parking requires 14 parking spaces for retail, however, the applicant is proposing special boxing or kickboxing events occasionally that could attract 50 60 people. There have been no Police or Code complaint records at this site. Staff recommends a parking management plan prior to special events. Staff has recommended landscaping improvements with drought tolerant plants along Harbor Boulevard. Assistant Planner Kusch displayed the site plan and modified floor plan. Residents within a 300 ft. radius were notified and staff recommends approval, subject to the conditions in the staff report.

Commissioner Francis asked if they currently meet parking criteria, and Assistant Planner Kusch answered affirmatively. He asked if the applicant considered a shared parking agreement with the car wash across the street.

Commissioner Price asked what the restrictions were for street parking on Union. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that he did not know the restrictions.

Public hearing opened.

Anthony Geisler, President L A Boxing, stated that he was only placing five or six additional pieces of equipment, and was surprised that they were originally considered a trade school and now would have to be considered a health club. He said that the occasional sparing matches were for customers and usually are held on a Saturday night, beginning at 8 p.m. He has an agreement with the car wash to use their site for special event parking and customers can also park on Union. He said that L A Boxing has operated with a CUP for 12 years in Costa Mesa, two years in Alisa Viejo and eight months in Fullerton.

Commissioner Bailey asked what customers were charged. Mr. Geisler stated that packages run $199 per month with $85 down which provides 4 hours of instruction.

Chairman Stopper asked if the applicant was in agreement with all the conditions. Mr. Geisler had not seen the conditions, and after review he stated that he was in agreement with all of the conditions.

Commissioner Francis asked if changing the use to a health club would change requirements. Chief Planner Rosen stated that they have met all the requirements for their use.

Commissioner Bailey said he was originally concerned, but now is pleased with the site. He was in full support and glad that the corner would be landscaped and maintained.

The title of RESOLUTION Number PC-04-33 GRANTING a Conditional Use Permit allowing a health club use by allowing cardiovascular and strength exercise equipment in a previously approved boxing and kickboxing training facility on property located at 720 North Harbor Boulevard was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Bailey, seconded by Commissioner Savage and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

RECESS

At 6:45 a 15-minute recess was called.

RECONVENE

The meeting reconvened at 7:08 p.m.

7:00 P.M. SESSION

ITEM NO. 5
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1025A. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: FLORENCE CRITTENTON SERVICES, INC.

Staff report dated September 1, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to amend an existing Conditional Use Permit for a Human Service Agency and permit either a boys and girls foster care home or a foster care and adoption office, which would result in amending previously approved conditions, on property located at 901 East Chapman Avenue (north side of Chapman Avenue between approximately 102 and 182 feet west of the northwest corner of Chapman Avenue and Cornell Avenue) (O-P zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines)

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that this was a request to amend a CUP. In February 2004, the applicant ceased operations of a 24-hour foster care home. The applicant was requesting to use the property as a foster care and adoption office and seeking to retain a CUP for a foster care home. The applicant requested revisions to the existing CUP as outlined under #3 in the staff report. Assistant Planner Kusch discussed property access, the current staffing of the facility, and the self-closing security gate. He displayed site plans and photos of the site.

A neighborhood panel had been required to monitor the impact of foster care on the surrounding areas. It consisted of neighborhood residents, police department and staff from Crittenton. Since its inception, few neighbors have attended and the applicant is requesting a disbanding of this group. Staff was not aware of any complaints.

Residents were notified within a 300-foot radius and no inquiries were received.

Staff is recommending approval, subject to conditions in the report. The first seven conditions apply to the foster care home and the remaining two not only apply to the foster care home, but also to the facility, when used as an adoption office.

Commissioner Price asked the applicant if the use is presently for foster care and adoption, in future use it for residential for foster kids. Staff answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Francis asked if the foster care program had its own guidelines, why did staff add condition #4. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that staff felt it was prudent to include because it was carried over from the previous approval.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant: Joyce Cappelle, 801 E. Chapman Avenue, wanted to clarify that Community Care Licensing has a very prescriptive set of standards to follow. She said that if the facility reopens as a foster care home, she would not have any objections to Condition #8 being added again.

Commissioner Price asked what was the probability of reopening the home. Mr. Capelle said that it is not likely to reopen this facility as a group home. If the opportunity arises, she would like to reopen, however, it will most likely not occur.

Diana Yates, lives near the site and has spoken with Joyce in the past. She was concerned that she did not receive a notice. She asked that they be sent in envelopes, not on a postcard.

Public hearing closed.

The title of Resolution Number PC-04-34 approving a modification to an existing Conditional Use Permit for a Human Services Agency (Crittenton Services for Children and Families) and permit either a boys or girls foster care home or a foster care and adoption office on property located at 901 East Chapman Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Francis, seconded by Commissioner Savage and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

Chairman Stopper stated that he was a big supporter of Crittendon and complimented Ms. Capelle on her work.

ITEM NO. 6
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1052A. APPLICANT: SANDY KATES; PROPERTY OWNER: JOHN CHEN

Staff report dated September 1, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request for a modification to a previously-approved Conditional Use Permit to include an expansion of an existing bar (Back Alley) located at 116-1/2 West Wilshire Avenue, to an adjacent tenant space located at 116 West Wilshire Avenue (south side of Wilshire Avenue between approximately 200 and 250 feet west of the southwest corner of Wilshire Avenue and Harbor Boulevard) (C-3 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines)

Commissioner Francis recused himself, due to a conflict of interest, and left for the evening.

Assistant Planner Sowers presented the staff report. She reminded the Commission that a CUP was previously granted to Back Alley and recent revocation proceedings were denied. The application expands the bar use to the front tenant space facing Wilshire Avenue. The existing bar remains in the rear tenant space. She specifically discussed the operations, the patios, and the increased occupancy.

Staff recommended approval of CUP-1052A, with additional conditions beyond those of the original CUP, to ensure compatibility with the surrounding land uses.

Commissioner Savage asked which window staff was recommending be closed at 10 p.m. Staff explained that it was a window which provides a bar service to the patio areas.

Commissioner Price asked for clarification that if the applicant returned to a Type 47 license (restaurant with full bar), he would not need a CUP. Assistant Planner Sowers answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Griffin asked staff to clarify the applicant noting that the staff report indicates that it is the City of Fullerton. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that there was a typographical error on the staff report, however the notice was correct. The applicant is the business owner, Sandy Kates and the property owner is John Chen.

Commissioner Griffin also asked if the applicant was requesting modifications. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that the applicant was expanding the bar use and has requested the modifications to the CUP. The expansion had not been previously approved, only discussed.

Commissioner Bailey asked if staff would be requesting limiting any alcoholic beverages on the private patio area after 10 p.m. Assistant Planner Sowers answered affirmatively.

Assistant Planner Sowers explained that Back Alley had a patio comprise of both private and public areas. Commissioner Bailey asked staff if the applicant were to delineate the private portion, would alcohol consumption be able to continue after 10 p.m.

Commissioner Bailey asked if the outdoor dining in the downtown area is going to be studied.

Chief Planner Rosen said that suggestions to the Planning Commission will be submitted soon on this subject.

Chairman Stopper briefed the Planning Commission on the recent City Council meeting where this was discussed, and stated that the Commission will be asked to review proposed guidelines and make a recommendation to the City Council.

Commissioner Bailey had a concern that the City was unfairly passing requirements for one business when it is not known what will ultimately be implemented for the entire downtown.

Commissioner Savage asked about the proposal on outdoor usage, if this patio will be included in this proposal, and if this patio complies with the draft guidelines. Chief Planner Rosen said that this patio would be included, and stated that staff would likely requesting a more decorative railing.

Chairman Stopper asked how many establishments have an encroachment agreement with the City for outdoor uses, such as this one. Chief Planner Rosen answered that off the top of his head he believes there are six.

Chairman Stopper said that there is a standard to set. Chief Planner Rosen agreed and anticipated more use requests as new establishments come to the downtown and said that staff would need additional guidance.

Chairman Stopper asked what criteria was used to set the 10 p.m. limit. Chief Planner Rosen said that it was a recommendation from the consultant based on experiences with other cities throughout the country as well as being the transition time between the early evening and late evening crowd in downtown Fullerton.

Captain Geoff Spalding, Fullerton Police Department, stated that businesses can serve alcohol up to 2 a.m. and concurred that downtown activities change in Fullerton at 10 p.m.

Sandy and Brandy Kates, owners of Back Alley:

  • Indicated a general concern that the City is developing new procedures for him before others are required to comply and requiring things of his business that are not required of others
  • Indicated a concern with closing the window to the patio area in which he has invested in construction costs, which provides the ability for security to have visibility to the patio, and which was designed for security and is therefore not decorative to be viewed by bar patrons if closed during operating hours
  • Stated that customers food sales is both for dining in the bar as well as take out
  • Stated that there were no problems during the time the task force was patrolling the downtown
  • Stated that his security staff is always clearly identified

There was a brief discussion on the outdoor patio situation at Revolucion after Chief Planner Rosen stated that using his ability to do so, the Development Services Director is requiring the removal of the public patio at Revolucion. Commissioner Bailey asked if the patio would actually be physically removed. Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Price asked if the encroachment permit was issued annually, and if it has to be renewed or could it be terminated. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there are notification requirements prior to the termination of the permit.

Commissioner Savage asked Mr. Kates if he preferred to wait until the Planning Commission establishes the new downtown guidelines to consider his application. Mr. Kates answered that he needs to open the front area and prefers to resolve the issues now. He felt that staff was overreacting to the issue, and should not have issued six alcohol licenses in a row because there are too many bars next to each other. He felt that curtailing the time period for alcohol sales was taking a step backward stating that the root causes of the problems should be addressed. He was willing to take out the public patio.

Commissioner Bailey asked about the food service at Back Alley. Mr. Kates stated that they have ribs, chicken and beans provided by the operation leasing the kitchen space.

Brandy Kates was not in favor of any conditions beyond those of the original CUP.

Commissioner Bailey mentioned that Back Alley already does staff training and provides security.

Chairman Stopper asked Mr. Kates to advise the Commission if he has a problem with any of the conditions.

Mr. Kates had some concerns with several conditions but after some discussion and clarification agreed to comply with all the conditions, except for #8 (limiting the time of alcohol sales on the patio).

Commissioner Griffin asked staff if other bars had to submit a controlled access plan at this time and was this as a result of the report from the consultant. Chief Planner Rosen stated that there is not a requirement for other restaurants or bars to provide a controlled access plan but that it was the result of discussions with the Fire Department. Bar exit pathways are required to be provided, but this is the first business that is required to mark it.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that these requirements would regulate future owners of this establishment also.

Commissioner Griffin agreed with the applicant that the window should not be closed, but he suggested they not sell alcohol from that window after 10 p.m. He felt it was unfair to impose conditions for Back Alley, when other businesses are not required to comply with similar conditions.

Commissioner Bailey felt that it was ludicrous to condition the closure of the patio service and not condition other businesses in the downtown area. He felt he should be able to sell alcohol from within his business.

Commissioner Savage felt it would be difficult to legislate every patio to have uniform conditions within the City.

Chairman Stopper felt it was the intent of the City Council when asking the Planning Commission to establish uniform conditions for the downtown, and he believes the Planning Commission can agree on something. He realized the issue of wanting to always give equal treatment to the downtown businesses, and felt that it does an injustice singling out one or another.

Commissioner Price felt that part of the problem was that this use was unique. This is a bar and other businesses are restaurants and do not have the CUP requirements. He suggested that it might be easier to remove #8 entirely.

Commissioner Bailey and Commissioner Griffin agreed.

The Commission discussed the possibility of removing Conditions 8, 10, 11 & 16.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission to only remove Condition #8.

Commissioner Hart recalled that Mr. Kates had previously discussed opening a restaurant. Mr. Kates answered that he was planning a bar with some tables for food.

Commissioner Savage clarified his response that he was in agreement with the window being closed, but not in agreement with alcohol in the encroachment area after 10 p.m. He suggested fencing in the private patio.

Commissioner Hart still had an issue with removing Condition #8.

Commissioner Savage asked if Mr. Kates wanted to have alcohol on the encroachment area. Mr. Kates answered affirmatively. He said that the patios are not causing the problems in the downtown area and no one else is restricted.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Griffin felt strongly about this issue because Mr. Kates competitors are not subjected to the same conditions and he did not think it was fair to him to impose restrictions in this manner.

The title of RESOLUTION NO. Planning Commission-04-35, modifying a previously approved Conditional Use Permit to expand an existing bar into an adjacent tenant space on property located at 116 and 116 West Wilshire Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded by Commissioner Price and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED, by removing Condition 8.

ITEM NO. 7
PRE04-00053 PRE04-00053. APPLICANT: PACIFIC COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION; PROPERTY OWNER: WRA PROPERTY MANAGEMENT.

A request for a Special Event permit allowing a two-day credit union auto show sale to be held on September 18-19, 2004, in the parking lot of the Plaza Imperial Office Park, on property located at 401 East Imperial Highway (north side of Imperial Highway between Bonita Place and Palm Street) (C-M zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15304 of CEQA Guidelines).

Assistant Planner Sowers explained that there was no staff report and that the Planning Commission previously approved a similar event in November, 2003. This is a special event permit which will be held between Bonita Place and Palm on Imperial. Staff recommended approval.

Chairman Stopper informed staff that since last time, tenants in the buildings have increased and there is a third church, increasing Sunday traffic. Two out of those three tenants require a CUP and dont have one. Chief Planner Rosen thanked Chairman Stopper for the information.

There were no further public comments.

Public hearing closed.

The title of Resolution Number PC-04-36 approving a Special Event Permit to hold a Credit Union auto show and loan promotion on property located at 401 East Imperial Highway was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded by Commissioner Savage and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN. OTHER MATTERS

OTHER MATTERS

  1. COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

    There was no Commission/Staff Communication.

  2. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief update on recent City Council meetings. PUBLIC COMMENTS

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

  3. AGENDA FORECAST

    The next regularly-scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be September 22, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. Staff reviewed the proposed items listed in the agenda forecast.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:01 p.m.

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