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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 11, 2006 7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairman Savage at 7:01 p.m.
PRESENT: Chairman Savage; Vice Chairman Francis; Commissioners Griffin, Fitzgerald, Hart, and Stopper
ABSENT: Commissioner Bailey
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Eastman, Assistant Planner Kusch, Senior Civil Engineer Voronel, Planning Consultant Wolff and Clerical Assistant Leopold
FLAG SALUTE: Chairman Savage
MINUTES: Commissioner Griffin requested a change be made on page 253, paragraph two of Item No. 3 to change "Chairman Griffin" to "staff." Commissioner Stopper requested a change be made on page 247, fourth paragraph, to change "retirement" to "restaurant." MOTION made by Commissioner Hart, SECONDED by Commissioner Griffin and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, that the Minutes of December 14, 2005, be APPROVED AS AMENDED
Chairman Savage introduced himself as the new Chairman for 2006 and recognized Commissioner Griffin for his outstanding work as 2005 Chairman and presented him with his name sign. Chairman Griffin thanked staff and the Commissioners and expressed how much he enjoyed being part of the Planning Commission.

Vice Chairman Francis arrived late to the meeting.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

ITEM NO. 1.
PRJ05-00710 - ZON05-00100. APPLICANT: JESUS DE DIAS AND ED CRUZ; PROPERTY OWNER: MILTON FLAAG.


Staff memo was presented pertaining to a request for a Conditional Use Permit to expand an existing bar use into the adjacent tenant space on a multi-tenant property located at 561 S. Euclid Street (southwest corner of Euclid Street and West Avenue) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines) (HAL).

Chairman Savage stated Items No. 1 and 2 were recommended by staff to be continued to a date uncertain. MOTION made by Commissioner Fitzgerald, SECONDED by Hart, and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said item be CONTINUED to a date uncertain.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ05-00761 - ZON05-00110. APPLICANT: THE CHURCH OF SOUTHLAND. PROPERTY OWNER: KB VENTURES, INC.


Staff memo was presented pertaining to a request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow a church use in an existing office building on property located at 1401 S. Brookhurst Road (west side of Brookhurst Road, approximately 190 feet south of Orangethorpe Avenue) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines) (AKU)

MOTION by Commissioner Fitzgerald, SECONDED by Hart, and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said item be CONTINUED to a date uncertain.

ITEM NO. 3
PRE05-00080 - PRE05-00080. APPLICANT: JAMES LORAN; PROPERTY OWNER: STANDARD PACIFIC CORPORATION.


Staff report dated January 4, 2006, was presented pertaining to a request to install entry gates at the Turnleaf Development (Cedars and Aspens) on property generally located on the east and west side of the Fullerton Sports Complex on the south side of Bastanchury Road (Specific Plan District) (AKU).

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that public notices were mailed to property owners of the 212 residences in the development, as well as within 300 feet of the overall development boundaries. To his knowledge, staff has not received any correspondence or calls regarding the project. Staff is recommending that the Planning Commission recommend approval to the City Council to amend Master Specific Plan 1A to allow entry gates for the Turnleaf Development subject to the conditions contained in the staff report.

Vice Chairman Francis asked for clarification on the having the master plan changed. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the proposed amendment would not change the City's General Plan, but rather the Specific Plan for the East Coyote Hills planning area.

Commissioner Hart asked for Council's reasoning of not gating the community when this project was approved. Assistant Planner Kusch answered that, typically, gates are not installed since it creates the perception of a separate, isolated community. Commissioner Hart asked if, philosophically, the City has changed its perspective of gated communities. Assistant Planner Kusch answered that nothing has gone before the Council to change the City's policy.

Commissioner Stopper asked Assistant Planner Kusch to point out the trail system on the aerial map. Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the trail system did not go through the development. Chief Planner Rosen clarified there is a sidewalk system that extends from Bastanchury Road into the Sports Complex, but no formal recreational trail extends the length of the complex up to Bastanchury Road.

Commissioner Stopper asked for the distance and location of the trail to the South, in the dam area and Senior Planner Eastman pointed it out on the aerial map.

Commissioner Griffin asked if public access entrances were not going to be blocked, and Assistant Planner Kusch answered affirmatively.

Senior Civil Engineer Voronel showed the Commission on the aerial map where the public streets are located. She said the location where the gates are going to be placed is a private area. Commissioner Griffin said he wanted to make sure there was not any blockage in getting to the trails. He does not see installation of the gates as blocking access to the trails.

Vice Chairman Francis said it sounded like the master plan was being changed to allow this development, and perhaps others down the road. Chairman Savage clarified that the Master Specific Plan is for this area only, not for the entire city.

Commissioner Stopper asked for the present protocol of community access and the hours of operation for the Sports Complex. Chief Planner Rosen wasn't aware of the present hours, but said the complex operates on the weekends for sporting events, and sometimes celebrations in the evenings.

Commissioner Stopper questioned the access restrictions for the two entrances to the Sports Complex parking lot. Chief Planner Rosen said the City generally closes off full access during the evening hours when the Complex is not in use. He added that the barricades would not prevent pedestrians from accessing the Complex.

Commissioner Fitzgerald questioned why this was before the Commission at this time, since the project was approved in 2001. Assistant Planner Kusch said it was a request made by the applicant, who from staff's understanding represents the Homeowner's Association.

Public hearing opened.

Craig Kissler, 2596 Pear Blossom Street, spoke on behalf of the applicant, Mr. Loran, who unable to attend the meeting. Many of the homeowners were told by the original developer, Standard Pacific, that it was going to be a gated community. He mentioned that eventual approval for the gates would be later reviewed by the City. A majority of the residents signed a petition to get this project moving forward to install gates. He stated that vandalism to their pools have occurred by non residents. There has been identity theft from stolen mail, and unauthorized solicitation in the neighborhood.

Commissioner Stopper asked Mr. Kissler how he knew that the vandalism was caused by outsiders, and if anyone had been arrested or prosecuted. Mr. Kissler said no one has been arrested; however, a security business was hired to keep a monthly log of the vandalism. Mr. Kissler said extra fencing that extends above existing gates have been placed, but have not deterred kids from getting in the area. He explained security measures that were implemented because of the vandalism.

Vice Chairman Francis stepped out of the room and returned a few minutes later.

Chairman Griffin asked if Mr. Kissler tabulated how many signatures he received. Mr. Kissler said the approximately 70 percent of the 212 property owners signed the petition encouraging approval of the entry gates. Vice Chairman Francis asked how many of the 70 percent of people signed yes or no and for what reason. Mr. Kissler said he thought about 10 percent said no, but he was unaware of the reasons.

The following residents were in support of the project.
  • John Sopko, 2541 Sunflower St.
  • John Hensley, 2563 Avocado
  • Brenda Smith, 680 Almondwood St.
  • Efrain Olivas, 676 Almondwood St.
  • Kurt Sineri, 466 Periwinkle St.
  • Jim Miller, 2556 Plum St.
  • Larry Bridges, 2526 Pear Blossom
  • Chi An Sung, 623 Poplar St.
  • Chuck Bloomer, 605 Poplar St.
  • Hitesh V., 2545 Sunflower St.
  • Se Kwong Chang, 673 Oak Tree St.
  • Hiacynth Martinez, 2514 Plum St.
  • Angelica Pretti Capeloto, 628 Oak Tree St.,
  • Carmen Veronica Olivas, 676 Almondwood St.
Their concerns were:
  • Identity theft
  • Solicitors
  • Stolen mail
  • Vandalism
  • Speeding cars
  • Traffic overflow from the Sports Complex
Some of the supporters stated it would provide a safer environment for the children in the neighborhood.

The following persons were opposed to the project:
  • Bruce Guter, 2505 Sunflower St. Mr. Guter gave a copy of his statement to the Commission.
  • Lorraine Gersitz
Commissioner Griffin stepped out of the room and returned a few minutes later.

Public hearing closed.

Vice Chairman Francis did not have a problem with placing a gate in this community. If the Commission allows them to put a gate up, it is up to their HOA, which is a democracy, to work it out within their complex.

Commissioner Griffin was not a proponent of gates and was not convinced that they would be a deterrent. This complex is different than other gated communities, since it's self contained and all of the streets are privately owned. Commissioner Griffin voted in support to recommend this to the Council. He stated since he thinks the community has such strong feelings about this issue, it should go to the Council level.

Vice Chairman Francis asked for clarification on Commissioner Griffin's decision.

Commissioner Fitzgerald said she was not a fan of HOA or gated communities. She agreed with staff and their interpretation of this project. Commissioner Fitzgerald also agreed with Commissioner Griffin that living near the Sports Complex was a great benefit and burden at the same time. She asked Chief Planner Rosen if these streets have speed bumps. Chief Planner Rosen replied that they were not installed, and since it's a private street they can add speed bumps, subject to Fire Department approval. She does anticipate supporting this request because she thinks it is a question that needs to be considered by Council.

Commissioner Hart said she is philosophically opposed to gates in the City of Fullerton. She stated that she does not live in a gated community and does not have this many problems. She understands the community's feelings and believes the Sports Complex is causing a great deal of the residents' problems. Commissioner Hart stated she has mixed feelings about this issue. In her opinion, the only way the gates would be effective is if there were guards at the gate. She stated she would not be in support of this project.

Commissioner Stopper shared Commissioner Hart's comments. He doesn't believe a gate would give the community the security they're looking for and recommended they should be manned gates. Commissioner Stopper agreed to proceed to City Council and let them make the decision.

Chairman Savage was not in support of the project. He stated that problem which needs to be dealt with is people taking advantage of the residents. He doesn't think that a community locking its gates and pushing the problem into other neighborhoods is a solution.

The title of Resolution No. PC-06-01 RECOMMENDING approval to the City Council to amend Master Specific Plan 1-A to allow the installation of entry gates at the Turnleaf Development, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION made by Commissioner Griffin, SECONDED by Commissioner Fitzgerald and CARRIED by a 4 - 2 with Commissioners Hart and Savage voting no, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

Vice Chairman Francis asked when the project would be going to Council. Chief Planner Rosen answered a date was not currently set, but would normally go within 30 - 60 days, most likely sometime in March.

The Commission took a five-minute break.

ITEM NO. 4
PRJ04-00606 (CUP-776C - ZON04-00061). APPLICANT: YOUNG SHIN; PROPERTY OWNER: FULLERTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.


Staff report dated January 4, 2006, was presented pertaining to a request to consider a modification to an existing Conditional Use Permit for a church facility and exceed the base Floor Area Ratio in the O-P Zone, on property located 1818 West Avenue (south side of West Avenue between approximately 170 feet and 430 feet west of the southwest intersection of West Avenue and Brookhurst Road) (O-P zone) (Categorically Exempt Under CEQA Guidelines) (AKU).

Assistant Planner Kusch provided an overview of the church project and presented an aerial photograph, site plans and elevations. If approved, staff was recommending that the conditions of approval would supersede previous conditions.

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that the development did not increase the impacts on the surrounding roadways, because the proposed project does not increase the number of trips to the site. The proposed building will not be used concurrently with the existing sanctuary, except for the children's classrooms. However, the development is still subject to the City's standard traffic mitigation fees. He reviewed the guidelines for the project, and excluding the proposed rear setback, staff believed the project complied with the guidelines pertaining to Conditional Use Permits for religious institutions. Staff recommends approval of the proposed fellowship hall building and modification to the existing conditional use permit based on the findings and subject to the conditions contained in the staff report.

Assistant Planner Kusch stated that public notification was sent to property owners within 300 feet of the project. Staff has not received any correspondence or phone calls concerning the request.

Commissioner Stopper asked if the present parking layout, including compact and regular size parking stalls, would stay the same. Assistant Planner Kusch said there is a limitation that the number of compact stalls would be no more than 30 percent of the overall total. Staff did review this and found it does comply with these standards.

Senior Planner Eastman said staff has reviewed the submitted site plan and is in compliance with the code as conditioned. Commissioner Stopper asked if staff had looked at this with the standard universal parking stall size and was there any significant difference. Senior Planner Eastman said staff has not looked at the use of universal stalls.

Commissioner Stopper said when he toured the site he noticed the power utilities were still overhead, and there was nothing in the conditions about putting the utilities underground. Senior Civil Engineer Voronel said all utilities that are going to cross over the property and new utilities will be installed underground. None of the power poles in the public alley are conditioned for approval. As part of the condition of approval, the poles will not be placed underground.

Commissioner Stopper asked about the proposed kitchen. He asked about the kitchen codes and how they differ from the restaurants in town. Chief Planner Rosen said it is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The Building Official will determine how commercially oriented the operation will be in terms of the foods being cooked.

Public hearing opened.

The following persons were opposed to the project:
  • Rich Ward, 1866 West Blvd.
  • Sean Hillman, 1873 West Ave.
  • Roger Rasp, 1823 W. Ash Ave.
  • Sharon Arnold-Rasp, 1823 W. Ash Ave.
The following were concerns expressed with this project:
  • Mid-block crosswalk access
  • Overflow parking
The neighborhood also requests compliance of the original CUP 776.

The following were in support of the project:
  • Jason Dorse, 601 S. Lambert Dr.
  • Kuying Park, 2226 Root St.
  • Ellen Ahn
  • Joseph Shin, 1010 Crestview
Commissioner Fitzgerald noted that staff was recommending the Commission make an exception for the residential setback, from 30 to 25.8 ft. If they are required to increase the setback, could the church then build whatever they want. Ms. Shin said the O-P zoning code requires the 25-foot setback, unless they design a building with windows, which would require a bigger setback.

Farshad Zaltash, SPC Traffic Engineer, conducted a parking study for this project, addressing the requirements made by the City. His conclusion was that the existing parking supply met the demands of the proposed development. There are no impacts as a result of church activities or services. If approval is granted, there will no longer be a need to use the six parking spaces for outside fellowship activities, so there will be six additional parking spaces and less noise in that location. The demand is 137 parking spaces, which does not include the off-site parking at the child care center or Pacific Drive School. He stated that the church has an agreement with Pacific Drive School; if there is a need they can shuttle back and forth between the church and the parking lot. His study did not verify a need because the existing parking supply meets the demand.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Stopper said one of the things that is very important from a Planning Commissioner's standpoint is to look at the land use. He felt this is a positive use of the land and supported of the project.

Commissioner Griffin was concerned with decreasing the suggested 30 feet setback from the adjacent residential properties. He asked if the rest of the commissioners had similar concerns. Chairman Savage shared Commissioner Griffin's concern with the setback. Vice Chairman Francis also concurred.

Commissioner Hart said as long as the parking issue is squared away, she did not have an issue with the project. However, she would like the rear setback to meet the code with no variation. Commissioner Hart supported the project.

Commissioner Fitzgerald asked staff for explanation of the O-P zoning designation, and how staff accepted a lesser setback. Chief Planner Rosen explained there were discussions held and stated some of the concerns. Commissioner Fitzgerald applauds what the church is trying to do and said it is a real benefit to the community, parishioners and West Fullerton. However, the church should take the neighbors' rights into consideration and asked for more discussion.

Chief Planner Rosen said he would enforce limiting the exterior stairway for emergency egress by requiring proper door hardware through the plan check process. Senior Planner Eastman stated that the Commission would have to add this as a condition of approval in order to enforce it. Commissioner Stopper stated he would uphold and support that position. Commissioner Griffin said the condition was acceptable and was a proponent of the 30-foot setback, but would support a condition restricting that stairway egress be emergency only and that the appropriate door hardware be installed. Vice Chairman Francis concurred.

Chairman Savage said there was a consensus to add an additional condition to restrict the exterior stairway for emergency exiting only. Commissioner Griffin asked for clarification about the condition of the rear setback. Chairman Savage said if the exterior stairway was for emergency exiting only, that the Commission would accept the smaller setback.

The title of Resolution No. PC-06-02 modifying an existing conditional use permit to allow the construction of a two-story, 10,486-square-foot building and granting a conditional use permit to exceed the base floor area ratio for the O-P zone on property located at 511 South Brookhurst Road, and 1815 and 1818 West Avenue, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION made by Commissioner Hart, SECONDED by Commissioner Stopper, and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be APPROVED AS AMENDED, to include an additional condition to reduce impacts on the residents to the south, doors on the southern side of the new fellowship building shall be for emergency egress only. The doors shall be affixed with panic hardware, "emergency exit only" signs, and an audible alarm, all of which shall remain fully functional at all times. The doors shall remain locked from the exterior, shall not be propped open and shall not be used except in an emergency.

Chief Planner Rosen explained the appeal process.

OTHER MATTERS

None

COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

Senior Civil Engineer Voronel provided an update on abandonment of the horse trail related to 1010 Crestview.

Commissioner Fitzgerald expressed her concern in participating in the upcoming meeting regarding the First Evangelical Free Church.

Chief Planner Rosen announced the Director of Development Services' retirement date.

REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

There were no items reviewed.

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 January 25, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 10:50 p.m.
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