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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 9, 2005 4:00 & 7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairman Griffin at 4:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Chairman Griffin, Commissioners Fitzgerald, Francis, Savage, Hart, and Stopper
ABSENT: Commissioner Bailey
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Eastman, Assistant Planner Kusch and Recording Secretary Baker
FLAG SALUTE: Chairman Griffin
MINUTES: Commissioner Stopper read the third paragraph on page 163 with his changes inserted. Written text was submitted.

Chairman Griffin asked to have a comment by Carol Greutter added on page 159: "That they had heard that the Planning Commission had already decided to approve the project and it was a done deal."

MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Savage and CARRIED unanimously that the Minutes of October 26, 2004, be APPROVED AS AMENDED. The vote passed 5 - 0, with Commissioner Fitzgerald abstaining due to an absence.

4:00 P.M. SESSION

PUBLIC HEARING

ITEM A
TRANSPORTATION CENTER STUDY UPDATE


Rob Ferrier, Project Manager for the Fullerton Redevelopment and Economic Development Department gave a presentation and asked the Commission to receive the report and provide comments. He discussed the following:
  • Goals in and around the downtown over a 10-year period
  • The purpose of the study
  • Displayed a map showing the primary study area and the secondary study area
  • Completion of high profile developments in the downtown
  • The evolution of downtown and a heightened awareness of new development opportunities
  • City Council's and Fullerton Redevelopment Agency's commitment to planning the historic core
  • Avoid negative impacts on new businesses
  • Vision, land use and urban design focus
  • Held monthly public workshops where 1,000 key stakeholders and public were invited
  • Host committee representatives comprised of Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, City Council, RDRC, Planning Commission, and PAC #2 members
  • Workshops facilitated by a professional architectural planning group - Field Paoli
  • Interactive game board exercises at the workshop
  • Visioning exercises
  • Reviewed other cities, both smaller and larger than Fullerton
  • Displayed photos of the workshops and explained the data received
  • Urban design concepts
  • Postcards from the future, compilations of pictures of what residents want to see in Fullerton
  • Strategy by system and the strategy by area are the urban design concepts that would bring the postcard images to fruition.
He displayed the four "postcard" images that were created to show the possible looks desired for Fullerton. The first postcard showed a vibrant and active mixed-use transit center with shops, restaurants, offices and housing located in high-quality, contemporary buildings. The second postcard represented a quaint train station with a world-class museum that celebrates trains and the railroad. The third postcard showed an historic downtown with alleys and paseos, passages and courts, with a pedestrian scale and a distinct character. The fourth postcard showed green edges where beautiful landscapes merge downtown with the surrounding neighborhoods and educational institutions.

Project Manager Ferrier spoke about strategies by system or by area, a network of landscape passages of streets, alleys, and pedestrian paths to connect downtown to surrounding areas. It was a public place creating a network of parks and plazas, tying downtown to other pedestrian areas. Also, it would be expanding the mixed-use in downtown by expanding the boundaries. A common theme from each meeting was to have high-quality, long-lasting development.

Project Manager Ferrier reviewed the suggestions from the workshops where the ideas given were to 1) combine and not separate land uses, 2) to tighten and not widen the auto and pedestrian scale, and 3) to grow and not to shrink the urban form and buildings.
  • Design strategies focused on the historic downtown, the transportation center, the downtown, the education centers, and the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Encouraging retail office hotel and museums
  • Desire for taller buildings as distinctual markers
  • Encouraging new retail and cultural venues
  • Alleys for pedestrian use
  • Neighborhoods would have improved connectivity to downtown
  • Continue streetscapes and the landscape into downtown
  • Pedestrian bicycle connections from educational areas into downtown
Recommended actions:

Select a developer/partner for parcel-level planning and development of a mixed-use project at the Transportation Center. Mr. Ferrier stated that they had received twelve responses and the submittal period was closed. Staff will convene a review committee to review each submittal after which four or five will make a presentation to the City Council
  • Examine the impact on businesses and other major arterials, such as Brookhurst, State College and Euclid of a one-way couplet system for Harbor and Lemon
  • City Council recently authorized a feasibility study and it is occurring now
  • Extend mixed-use zones along major street corridors beyond the core of downtown
  • Extend mixed-use zones along major street corridors beyond the core of downtown
  • Create a locus of development around the ongoing renovation of Fox by developing some underutilized parcels.
  • Demolition of buildings in the area to relocate McDonalds and open up subsequent development
  • Encourage public open spaces and plazas in new dev.
  • Displayed pictures of how open space is used in Fullerton and other cities examples
  • Consider a mixed-use project north of amerige at City Hall
  • Extend streetscape improvements making Chapman a green boulevard
  • Enhance the Senior Center
  • Examine the re-use of a storm channel north of Chapman
  • Design Commonwealth as an urban boulevard with taller buildings
  • Define minimum widths for sidewalks
  • Re-program the existing open space at Lemon and Chapman working with Fullerton College
  • Designate and design a new bicycle boulevard connecting downtown to surrounding areas
  • Develop a new project in accordance with urban design strategies
  • Ensure the highest quality of architecture
Mr. Ferrier discussed that this project has been or will be reviewed by the Project Area Committee #2 on October 20, 2005, the RDRC on October 27, 2005, the Planning Commission on November 9, 2005 and the City Council on November 15, 2005.

Chairman Griffin spoke about the work Redevelopment put into the project.

Commissioner Francis spoke of his excitement regarding this study. He said that he followed the recommendations of the Arroyo Group study 10 years ago.

Commissioner Savage asked how the channel could be turned into an asset instead of an eyesore. Chief Planner Rosen said that there currently are no specific concepts. Staff would be looking for engineering solutions to box the channel and create a space over it that would be aesthetically pleasing.

Commissioner Savage spoke of other cities and their mature trees and felt there was a limited space for trees in Fullerton because of the setbacks. He spoke about the concept of plazas in Portland, Oregon.

Commissioner Savage asked for the difference between an RFQ and an RFP. Mr. Ferrier explained that the RFQ (Request for Qualification) is where the City looks for a partner who would engage in the planning process and enter into an ENA (Exclusive Negotiating Agreement), split the bill of the planning studies, and engage with City staff in developing plans. The partner would provide submittals of qualifications, and would be chosen from their quality of work in the past. The RFP (Request for Proposal) is where an idea for a project, and a plan, are submitted up front.

Commissioner Savage asked why it was not more desirable to have an RFP submitted where the idea is up front. Mr. Ferrier said that the more desirable RFQ process is a formless, open setting, and the end result is reached together in a public setting of workshops. Commissioner Savage felt the City should have something similar to the Sacramento world class railroad museum. The 1995 version had more of a definition of a railroad museum.

Commissioner Hart said that she attended some of the workshops and was impressed. She asked how the borders of downtown were determined. Project Manager Ferrier said that the physical limit of downtown is Commonwealth, with Richman and Lawrence, and Berkeley to Valencia. Commissioner Hart asked if the one-way traffic study at Lemon and Harbor was conceptual. Project Manager Ferrier answered that currently there was a feasibility study being prepared. Chief Planner Rosen said that a basic engineering analysis is to make sure the capacity of the road system is maintained. Because Lemon is identified in the master plan of highways in the County street system, it is necessary to review the capacity issue. After a basic analysis, then staff can decide to move forward or not with a one-way couplet study. Commissioner Hart asked if there has been input from restaurant owners regarding Harbor north or south becoming a one-way street. Chief Planner Rosen said that the preferred way was to have Harbor heading south and Lemon heading north to avoid traffic crossing over Lemon. He also said that the goals were to see a public benefit in downtown with wider sidewalks, more landscaping, etc.

Commissioner Fitzgerald applauded staff on the study. She asked if OCTA was taking into consideration that the capacity issue was connected with the ability to funnel traffic to Brookhurst and Euclid. Chief Planner Rosen said that it was a fundamental question on how to redirect traffic from Lemon and Harbor. She asked about financial viability. Chief Planner Rosen said that some projects are already funded, some funds will come when the development occurs. The Redevelopment Agency is about to issue $77 million of bonds for public improvements. A portion will go to fund these improvements.

Commissioner Fitzgerald asked if Fullerton was looking to contain or expand the downtown. Project Manager Ferrier answered that there is an interest in both. Staff's recommendation was not supported by 100% of the community; there is a local minority against the idea. Commissioner Fitzgerald asked if there would be any scientific polling done to see what residents' buy in was. Project Manager Ferrier said that it could be done. She suggested that he poll those who were not able to come to the meetings.

Commissioner Stopper felt that the 1995 plan was well used, well served, and was pleased with the draft document. He felt it was a good, technical, systematic approach and that the consultant captured the issues discussed at the meetings. The consultant sorted the input and did a good job integrating it into an urban planning document.

Commissioner Stopper also thought there were good ideas:
  • Tighten and not widen the pedestrian scale
  • Growing up the buildings and having distinctive streets
  • Not abandon alleys, use them as more pedestrian friendly areas
  • Chapman, Commonwealth, Harbor, Highland and Lemon with wider, more pedestrian friendly medians.
Chairman Griffin said that members of the community have concerns with transportation and circulation through downtown. He encouraged staff to remember that there is a portion of the community needing to travel north and south to and from work. One-way streets could be a great alternative, however, he felt it will have opposition.

Project Manager Ferrier stated that it is only a consideration, a one-way street in downtown isn't necessarily going to happen.

Judith Kaluzny, 149 W. Whiting, since 1964. She attended all four workshops. Several comments:
  • She was concerned that it was "planning by a popularity poll"
  • She had asked for instruction as to what constitutes good planning
  • Elements of downtown and what makes it functional.
  • Open space for private use.
  • Concerned with the transportation center.
  • Bus station not addressed.
  • Will the bus station be moved to the other side of Lemon.
  • Need for another open space.
  • Parking lots on Amerige closed down.
  • Not financially viable.
  • Energy use, future transportation plans.
  • Not what people want.
  • Keep open space in front of the train station.
  • High rises around edges of downtown with attractions in the center.
  • Closing down open space.
  • Game board session was only 30 minutes. There was no consensus, but great ideas.
  • Tunneling Harbor underground was one suggestion.
  • 3.5 million spent on an alley that is less than one block long.
  • Stucco arcades down Harbor in the past.
  • Beware of planning what seems like a good idea.
Commissioner Francis spoke about the parks developed in Amerige Heights, the downtown museum plaza providing more open space, the parking lot in front of the train depot, and the SOCO alley improvement. He spoke of how he and other restaurant owners have invested their money in downtown.

Ms. Kaluzny felt that when the dollar figure would be cited, the money could be found.

Jim Ranii, 123 N. Cornell, formerly on the PAC 2 and the Policy Advisory Committee. He also participated in the Arroyo group study 10 years ago and was a former Planning Commissioner, as well as a member of other committees.
  • He felt it was a great study and it would help the City and commission to do their job.
  • Benchmarks against what they can evaluate.
  • In favor of higher buildings to allow ground floor availability.
  • He spoke of the density of the 10 largest cities in America and in comparison, Fullerton has a more dense population than San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston with a density of 5,600 per square mile.
  • Fear that it would be built out with two and three story buildings.
  • He spoke of public plazas.
Bob Root, is a 56-year resident and a member of the citizen group that developed the 1995 Arroyo study. He explained that the Fullerton Railway Plaza Association was established in 1997 as a non-profit corporation. He spoke of the need for the railroad museum to be emphasized in the new study. He felt that it could be a Southern California version of the world-class railroad museum in Sacramento. He provided a copy to the Redevelopment staff of several pages in the study where they added the wording with a railroad museum emphasis. He felt that such a museum would be a large undertaking and would need assistance. He felt there was a larger population to appeal to in Southern California than in Sacramento.

Commissioner Savage agreed that a world-class museum in Fullerton would be a great asset. Mr. Root stated that the California State Railroad Museum located in Sacramento is associated with the California Parks Department which provides a good funding source for them. Commissioner Savage asked if Mr. Root would be willing to make a presentation at a future Planning Commission meeting, and Mr. Root answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Savage suggested that the Planning Commission agendize a railroad presentation by the Fullerton Railway Plaza Association.

Jim Alexander, a Fullerton resident, agreed that an emphasis on a railroad museum was missing in the draft study, since it was mentioned in the original study from 1995.

MOTION to receive and file the report by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Savage and passed by a vote of 6 - 0.

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ05-00413 - PM2005-188. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNERS: ALEX AND MARIANNA FISCHER-MILITARU.


Staff report dated November 2, 2005 was presented pertaining to a request to consider revisions to an approved one-lot subdivision that created four individual condominium units on property located at 312 W. Wilshire Avenue (south side of Wilshire Avenue, approximately 170-220 feet west of the centerline of Highland Avenue) (R-5 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15315 of CEQA Guidelines).

Senior Planner Eastman reported that the applicant was requesting approval of modifications to a previously-approved parcel map. The proposal was to revise the approved project, which included a condition that a garage be made a carport with non-dedicated parking. The applicant originally desired a two-car garage that was identified as a "common area" on the parcel map. The Planning Commission had conditioned that this common area be an open carport, with no garage door. The applicant desires to revise the parcel map to return it back to a garage and make the parking spaces dedicated to units A and D. The vicinity map was displayed and the zoning and surrounding uses were identified. Mr. Eastman stated that residents were notified within a 300 ft. radius and an aerial photo of the site was displayed.

A background of the project was presented. The development was originally approved as an apartment complex, after having several RDRC meetings and revisions requested by the RDRC. After approval and the start of construction, the applicant requested approval of a condominium subdivision, which was approved by the Planning Commission, subject to conditions. The applicant is now requesting a revision to one of the conditions of approval. Senior Planner Eastman displayed each level of the floor plan. The revised condo plan shows the removal of the common area. The required number of guest spaces in the R-5 zone is not established by the zoning ordinance. The approved plan showed four spaces available for guests; this version only shows two spaces. Staff was concerned with the potential use of the common garage; the garage is no longer a common area, with each of the two spaces dedicated to a unit. The project is exempt from the CEQA.

Staff recommended approval of the proposed revision, removing condition #8 and complying with all other previous conditions of approval.

Commissioner Hart asked if the applicant was exempt from having designated guest parking since it is zoned R-5. Senior Planner Eastman stated that it is not defined in the code as to how many guest and tenant spaces are required for R-5; it only requires three parking spaces, covered or uncovered. Commissioner Hart asked if the applicant met the development standards under the current zoning. Senior Planner Eastman answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Stopper asked about the history of the garage as a common enclosed garage with a door. Senior Planner Eastman said that it was originally designed as a common garage. The condition of approval in question (condition no. 8) was added to ensure that it be opened up and made available for guest and tenant parking. Commissioner Stopper was also concerned that it could become a common storage area and not used for parking. Senior Planner Eastman identified that the proposed revised plan has assigned one garage to unit A and one to unit D, which are the largest two units.

Commissioner Stopper asked what the street parking is on Wilshire. Senior Planner Eastman said that there is no overnight street parking on Wilshire, Highland or Amerige Avenues.

Commissioner Francis asked to review the map showing the boundaries of notification. Commissioner Francis stated that he lived within the boundary and recused himself from this item and left the room for the remainder of the discussion.

Commissioner Fitzgerald asked if the location of the common laundry located in the garage was also a concern. Staff was previously concerned with alternative uses and implications regarding association maintenance. Each unit had a laundry area and the common space could be used for another purpose. Staff had wanted clarification from the applicant, and to have it noted on the plans. There is a need to accurately reflect the intended use on the plans since the documents are a permanent record. He stated that the applicant could clarify his intentions if needed.

Commissioner Savage asked what changed staff's mind. Senior Planner Eastman said that staff originally recommended the removal of the garage doors and making those spaces for guests. The original parcel map plans were drawn to show the enclosed garage as being a common ownership, and staff felt this would not work. Staff was concerned that the "common" garage would be storage or a game room, and not dedicated parking spaces. The proposal has only two guest spaces. The code does not identify the how many guest stalls are needed; staff is reluctant to require them. Although the City Council has expressed a concern with storage and the rental of garage space; the applicant does meet the development standards for number of spaces, and he believes he has the right to move forward with his request. To a degree, there are competing policy issues; the question is before the Planning Commission.

Public hearing opened.

Alex Fischer-Militaru, expressed the need for a garage. Commissioner Stopper asked if units A and D were the two largest condos. Mr. Fisher-Militaru stated that they each had three bedrooms and were 1,800 square feet in size. Commissioner Stopper also asked if a Homeowner's Association would be managing the units, and Mr. Fisher-Militaru answered affirmatively.

Chairman Griffin asked the applicant if he was planning a common laundry area in the garage. Mr. Fisher-Militaru said that he would make it available to residents. The units do not all have laundry rooms, just a laundry closet for stackable washers and dryers, however, none will be installed initially.

Public hearing closed.

Senior Planner Eastman clarified that Unit A has three bedrooms and a den; Unit D has three bedrooms; Unit C has two bedrooms; and Unit B has three bedrooms and a den.

Commissioner Savage asked where the parking and common area was. Senior Planner Eastman showed on the plans that there would be two outdoor parking spaces. These two guest spaces have not changed from the approved and proposed plans.

Commissioner Savage felt that the applicant needed the flexibility of the two extra spaces and did not want them assigned to a specific unit with a garage door.

Commissioner Hart felt that the applicant met the development standards, and it was hard to prohibit the applicant when he meets it.

MOTION by Commissioner Hart to approve the request, seconded by Commissioner Fitzgerald.

Discussion:

Commissioner Fitzgerald agreed with Commissioner Hart and was concerned; she also felt it was difficult to disapprove because of the code.

Commissioner Stopper felt that it met the code, but not the intent. He thought on-site guest parking is needed. There was discussion regarding the intent of the R-5 parking requirements. He felt that the last decision of the Planning Commission was correct; he would not be supporting the change.

Chairman Griffin asked staff if the Commission had the authority to deny this request. Chief Planner Rosen told him that they did have the authority to deny it.

Chairman Griffin said that he would not be approving this application.

Commissioner Fitzgerald said that while she seconded the motion, she would be voting against it.

Commissioner Hart voted in favor and Commissioner Savage, Commissioner Fitzgerald, Commissioner Savage, and Commissioner Stopper voted against it. The MOTION failed by a 4 - 1 vote.

The title of Resolution Number PC-05-38 denying a resolution to a one-lot, four-unit condominium subdivision to allow an enclosed garage with dedicated resident parking, in lieu of a carport and open parking spaces, on property located at 312 West Wilshire Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper to deny this request, seconded by Commissioner Savage and passed by a vote of 4 - 1 with Commissioner Hart voting no.

Commissioner Fitzgerald asked that the R-5 zones parking be clarified in the Code. Chief Planner Rosen stated that staff would be researching this and bringing the residential section back to the Planning Commission and the City Council for an update and it would be addressed then.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ05-00644 - ZON05-00082. APPLICANT: M & H PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC.; PROPERTY OWNER: M & H REALTY PARTNERS, L.P.


Staff report dated November 2, 2005, was presented pertaining to a request for a major site plan and a modified Conditional Use Permit to demolish an existing building, approximately 590,000 square-foot in size, and construct a new 371,000 square-foot commercial retail center and gas station on property located at 601-629 South Placentia Avenue (west of the intersection of Placentia Avenue and Crowther Avenue) (Home Depot/Sam's Club) (M-P-200 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15302 of CEQA Guidelines).

Chief Planner Rosen presented the staff report dated November 9, 2005 regarding a major site plan and modification to a CUP. He explained site circulation, construction phasing and conceptual landscaping.

Chief Planner Rosen mentioned two letters received recently regarding the site that were distributed to the Commission. Chairman Griffin received the letter from South Park Company and Hewlitt & Holmes for the record.

Commissioner Hart asked where the focal point and access would be from Placentia Avenue. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the signalized intersection and main access was at Crowther, and the second access would be south of the property and would not be signalized. The second access will have additional studies regarding any necessary widenings. Gas station circulation will also be studied.

Commissioner Fitzgerald questioned ingress and egress and the street improvements at the railroad crossing. Chief Planner Rosen said that staff was in discussion with the City of Placentia since Placentia owned the street to the west curb face. Fullerton has a cooperative agreement with Placentia on the maintenance of the street and it is a pro-rata shared maintenance.

Commissioner Stopper asked if there was any circulation on the west side. Chief Planner Rosen answered that there was no site access on the north or west side of the property.

Scott McPherson, Vice President of M & H Realty and Dave Geiser, Director of Design and Construction had no comments and were available for questions.

Commissioner Stopper asked if Mr. McPherson had a copy of the South Park letter and was he amenable to work with them on their concerns. Mr. McPherson stated that he had already met with Don Sutro of South Park the day prior, had discussed the concerns mentioned in the letter, and they will be flexible and address his concerns.

Public hearing opened.

Mark Zaner, spoke about the container trucks going out of the access easement, serving their distribution center. The gas station will change the use of the mutual access easement. He was concerned with the safety of the passenger cars conflicting with the truck traffic. He felt that the development is exciting, and would work with the applicant.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Francis said he was excited and it was a great project.

The title of Resolution Number PC-05-39 approving a major site plan and a modified CUP to demolish an existing building, approximately 555,000 square feet in size, and construct a new 371,000 square-foot commercial retail center and gas station on property located at 601-629 Placentia Avenue was read, and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Hart and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

ITEM NO. 3
PRJ04-0004A - ZON04-00002A. APPLICANTS: ZAREMBA GROUP AND PETER WHITTINGHAM; PROPERTY OWNER: MAYO FAMILY TRUST.


Staff report dated November 2, 2005, was presented pertaining to a request to modify the previously-approved architecture of an approved site plan for a 13,800-square-foot drive-thru pharmacy 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). Vicinity sketches were displayed.

Chief Planner Rosen reported that there would be no changes to the site plan, the only proposed changes are to the architecture. The proposed change will draw from the architecture of the newly construction St. Jude medical offices. Brick and stucco was added with color textures along with additional windows. The elevations were displayed.

Chairman Griffin clarified that the Planning Commission would be approving no change in the use or size, only approving the changes to the architecture.

Staff recommended approval of the project.

Peter Whittingham, thanked staff for their work. He stated that the previous architecture had flaws and the RDRC enthusiastically supported the revisions.

Public hearing closed.

Chairman Griffin and Commissioner Stopper thanked them for making the architectural changes, it was the only concern of the Planning Commission.

The title of Resolution Number PC-05-40 APPROVING a modification of the previously-approved architecture of an approved site plan for a 13,800-square-foot, drive-thru pharmacy, on property located at 2200 North Harbor Boulevard was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Savage and passed unanimously by a vote of 6 - 0 that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

7:00 P.M. SESSION

ABSENT: Commissioner Francis and Commissioner Bailey

STAFF PRESENT: Engineering Director Don Hoppe and Engineering Assistant Voronel

Deputy City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow was also in attendance.

Items 5 and 6 were heard out of order because both would be continued.

ITEM NO. 5
PRJ05-00618 - SUB05-00010. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: HEUNG S. SHIN.


A request for abandonment of an 80-foot-wide public right of way on property located at 1010 Crestview Drive (between Euclid Street and the intersection of La Mesa Drive and Valley View Drive) (R-1-20 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines)

MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Fitzgerald, and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that this item be CONTINUED until December 14, 2005.

ITEM NO. 6
PRJ04-00387 - ZON04-00047 - ZON04-00053. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: ABRAHAM TABAJA.


A review of compliance with conditions for a previously-approved Conditional Use Permit, and possible setting of a revocation hearing for same Conditional Use Permit, for an automobile repair and sales business, on property located at 801-811 West Commonwealth Avenue (C-H zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines

Commissioner Savage asked what legal options the Planning Commission had if Mr. Tabaja was not able to attend the January 25, 2006, hearing.

Kimberly Hall Barlow stated that the Planning Commission has given the applicant sufficient notification for these hearings and would be able to proceed without his attendance.

MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded by Commissioner Savage, and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that this item be CONTINUED to the January 25, 2006 meeting.

ITEM NO. 4
PRJ04-00238 - LRP04-00007. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: LSF II FULLERTON.


Staff report dated November 2, 2005, was presented pertaining to a request to amend Amerige Heights Development Agreement DA-00-01 to provide an extension of time to complete certain public facilities in the Amerige Heights Specific Plan, including the Amerige Heights Community Center and Barrett Park (Trailhead Park). The Amerige Heights Specific Plan is generally located north of Malvern Ave, east of Gilbert St, south of Pioneer Ave, and west of Bastanchury Road (Specific Plan District) (Previously certified EIR) (Continued from September 14, 2005)

Commissioner Savage stated the he was not in attendance at the previous meeting where this item was heard. Chief Planner Rosen said that the Planning Commission would be hearing this item in its entirety.

Chief Planner Rosen displayed the site plan and gave a history of the project and summarized the proposed amendment.

Commissioner Savage asked who negotiated the removal of the public restroom at Holcomb Park. Chief Planner Rosen stated that it was discussed between staff, the master developer and the homeowners. It was not required as part of the specific plan. The community was concerned with safety, and the Homeowners' Association responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the restroom.

Commissioner Savage asked if in the original negotiations were there discussions to build the bathroom, or provide a dollar figure the developer would contribute to the building of the park. Chief Planner Rosen said that it was negotiated that parks would be constructed and the plans would be approved by the City. There was not a specific requirement for providing the bathroom. When the landscape plans were submitted, they were approved with a bathroom. After the community concern was voiced, the landscape plans were modified and the funds were allocated elsewhere. The bathroom was not a part of the original plan, just as part of the landscape plan. Commissioner Savage asked, when approved by City Council, if the bathroom becomes a part of the plan. Chief Planner Rosen stated that it was not, and all of the site plans and public improvements were negotiated between staff and the master developer.

Commissioner Savage asked staff to clarify if the restroom was a part of the original approval. Chief Planner Rosen answered that the restroom was not a part of the original Specific Plan or Development Agreement. It was approved, pending the Planning Division negotiating the configuration of the park. The Specific Plan had general guidelines, the rest was all negotiated. Chief Planner Rosen said that the park site plans and public improvements were negotiated between staff and the master developer. Commissioner Savage was concerned if the citizens were told that there would be a restroom at the park. Chief Planner Rosen stated that it was only through the negotiations with the developer, Parks and Recreation and Development Services staff. It was not part of what the citizens were told at community meetings. Commissioner Savage said it would make a difference to him if the citizens knew about it.

Commissioner Hart asked for clarification on the community center if the developer or the City commited to the building of the center. Chief Planner Rosen said that both committed to it, and that park fees for the Amerige Heights Community Center, and the Bastanchury Sports Park and Greenbelt will pay. Staff was going to ask for bid drawings and if there is not enough funding, we will modify plans or seek additional funding from City Council.

Commissioner Hart asked if the original request was to relieve LSF II of the financial responsibility of building the community center. Chief Planner Rosen stated yes but that this request would only extend the completion date.

Commissioner Fitzgerald asked in which account the $190,000 was deposited. Chief Planner Rosen was not sure, but said that the intent was to go to fund the construction of the community center.

Commissioner Stopper understood that the Planning Commission was reviewing this request because it was required by state law to consider the original development agreement and any amendments. He asked for a review of the negotiation history with Raytheon regarding the lease process. Commissioner Stopper asked what consideration the City would be asking for this delay. Chief Planner Rosen explained that some of the delay was caused by the City, and some was by the developer. Staff is cooperating with them to meet the goal of completing the public components. He felt it was reasonable to allow sufficient time to finish the building.

Commissioner Savage asked about the discrepancy of costs for different bathrooms planned at various parks in Fullerton and if the $190,000 would be enough money today to build a bathroom. Chief Planner Rosen could not elaborate various amounts listed for bathrooms built in various parks in Fullerton. He stated that the $190,000 was already deposited and he did not think that the City would be able to build a bathroom for that amount at today's prices. Commissioner Savage asked if there was another option if the Planning Commission did not want to remove restrooms from the plans. Chief Planner Rosen felt that there was probably not any other recourse or solution since the Park was already dedicated to the HOA.

Deputy City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow reported that the City Council can approve the amendment without Planning Commission approval. The City Council did memorialize the arrangement over a year ago and the bathroom in-lieu funds were paid a long time ago, contingent on the approval of the fourth amendment. This could be revisited if the City Council did not approve it. The bathroom was not a part of the Development Agreement or the Specific Plan. The residents did not want to deal with the issue of a bathroom and, therefore, staff was willing to remove it from the plan.

Chairman Griffin reiterated what staff and the Deputy City Attorney discussed.

Deputy City Attorney Barlow said that this request was going to City Council; it is also committed in the MOU and memorialized in fourth amendment. If it was not approved, Deputy City Attorney Barlow did not know if it would go to litigation or a refund would be given.

Chairman Griffin asked if there was consideration to get something back. The City received park fees to build two facilities and the park was designed and built. The park cost more than planned, and staff did not have a firm bid on the cost of the community center. Chief Planner Rosen said that there was another funding source other than park fees. Chief Planner Rosen also stated that another funding source was a land fee where the developer did not have the property to provide, so they bought the property and gave back $1.8 million to the City.

Public hearing opened.

Pete Noyes, LSF II, stated that the City decided last year to hold off on the construction of the building until they were sure of sufficient funds after the completion of the sports park.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Stopper was not comfortable that the Planning Commission did enough due diligence. He was not comfortable in agreeing with the change. This was nothing against the developer or the City. He felt that there should be more options and would not supporting the amendment.

Commissioner Savage did not disagree with Commissioner Stopper. He felt that staff had latitude to negotiate a deal, and perhaps in the future the Planning Commission should wait until the project is presented in its entirety to approve it. He felt that staff worked in the best interest of the community and would be supporting the project.

Commissioner Hart was concerned with amount of time added and the added construction costs. She was concerned that the City would have to come up with the shortfall. She felt that the Planning Commission did not have a choice and she would be supporting it reluctantly.

Commissioner Fitzgerald felt that the Planning Commission should be practical and learn lessons from this. She would be supporting the project to move ahead and get it done in two years.

Chairman Griffin felt that this was a good compromise since the item was heard in September. He felt the developer should not be faulted because the City did not have sufficient funds. He felt it was the best solution and wanted to move forward and would be supporting it.

The title of Resolution Number PC-05-31 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of Amendment #4 of Development Agreement DA-00-01 providing an extension of time to complete certain public facilities including Amerige Heights Community Center and Barrett Park (Trailhead Park) in the Amerige Heights Specific Plan, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Fitzgerald, seconded by Commissioner Savage and CARRIED by a vote of 5 - 1, with Commissioner Stopper voting no, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

OTHER MATTERS

COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

Chairman Griffin and Chief Planner Rosen thanked Recording Secretary Baker for her service and congratulated her on a promotion. Commissioner Savage asked that staff agendize a presentation at a following Planning Commission meeting regarding the railroad museum.

Chief Planner Rosen will contact the Association and set up a time for a presentation.

Commissioner Fitzgerald asked for a clarification of the R-5 zoning. Chief Planner Rosen is working on a residential zoning update.

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 Commission's jurisdiction.

AGENDA FORECAST

The next regularly-scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be December 14, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. The November 23, 2005, meeting will be canceled.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:06 p.m.
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