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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25, 2006 7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairman Savage at 7:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Chairman Savage; Vice Chairman Francis; Commissioners Griffin, Fitzgerald, Hart, Musante and Thompson
ABSENT:
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: MOTION made by Commissioner Fitzgerald SECONDED by Commissioner Hart and CARRIED by a 4-0 vote, (with abstentions from Commissioners Bailey, Musante and Thompson) that the Minutes of January 11, 2006, be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.
Chairman Savage introduced the two newest commissioners, David Musante and Chris Thompson

CONSENT CALENDAR. APPLICANT: ALI RAMEZANI. A request for a six-month time extension for recordation of Parcel Map No PM-2003-193 located at 2200 North Moody Avenue

Chief Planner Rosen made a correction to the agenda and staff report, noting that it was a one-year extension request.

MOTION made by Commissioner Hart, SECONDED by Vice Chairman Francis and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present to ACCEPT item.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

ITEM NO. 1 PRJ04-00387 - ZON04-00047 - ZON04-00053. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: ABRAHAM TABAJA.

Assistant Planner Kusch provided a staff report with 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) (Continued from November 9, 2005) (AKU).

Assistant Planner Kusch said the applicant had been out of the country tending to a family emergency, since September. Staff recommended that this item be continued to the February 8, 2005 meeting to afford the applicant an opportunity to satisfy or modify the conditions of approval, due to the fact that the applicant has recently returned to the country.

MOTION made by Vice Chairman Francis, SECONDED by Commissioner Thompson, and CARRIED by a 5-2 with Commissioners Savage and Fitzgerald voting no, that said item be CONTINUED to the February 8 meeting.

ITEM NO. 2 PRJ03-00887 - ZON03-00080 - ZON03-00081. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: FIRST EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF FULLERTON.

Staff report dated January 18, 2006, was presented pertaining to a request for a Major Site Plan and Conditional Use Permit to construct a new 20,000 square foot multi-purpose building, a 22,000 square foot administrative building, a three-level parking structure (two stories plus roof parking) for approximately 787 vehicles, and a future parking structure expansion to accommodate approximately 227 additional parking spaces, on property located at 2801 Brea Boulevard, (First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton) (west side of Brea Boulevard, extending from Bastanchury Road to Rolling Hills Drive) (R-G zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration)

Planner Wolff reported that staff had received several letters about the project and read the names of people who submitted letters and e-mails.

Staff and the Planning Commission discussed parking and traffic concerns. Chief Planner Rosen noted there was a condition that will continue to require the church to provide a police officer to manage the traffic during Sunday morning worship service times.

Commissioners Bailey and Thompson discussed lighting, landscaping and aesthetics issues with staff.

Commissioner Bailey stepped out of the room and returned shortly thereafter.

Chairman Savage questioned the flood control and sewage drainage. Senior Civil Engineer Voronel presented a sewer and storm drain plan.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant Mel Howell, senior associate pastor, provided background information about the church project and the church's involvement in the community.

The church's architect explained the design and architecture of the proposed buildings.

Scott Herman, H & A Pacific Parking Architect, reviewed the parking garage plans, parking spaces and unloading/loading techniques. The church would gain 415 spaces in the first phase, and about 135 spaces in the second phase. These figures reflect net parking gain beyond spaces currently existing.

Commissioner Bailey asked about the parking issues in the residential area. Mr. Herman said church has always wanted to maintain a friendly relationship with neighbors and would address any concerns regarding parking and traffic overflow.

Traffic engineer Scott Sato discussed the church's parking study. Chief Planner Rosen said the City's traffic engineer would be monitoring the traffic condition and may provide an adjustment to metering of cars off the campus. In response to a letter citing concerns with u-turn activity on Bastanchury, there was no record of accidents in that area.

Tom Merrill, Civic Solutions, church planning consultant, explained the church's strong position to be good neighbors and inform surrounding residents of the project. He reviewed plans and discussed the parking determination, which was based on a study with traffic impact in mind. Mr. Merrill stated the project met the City's standards for setbacks and height.

Commissioner Hart left the room.

The following people spoke in support of the project:
  1. Ken Hoyer
  2. David Nissin
  3. Shirley Rehm, 1001 E. Boxwood Ave.
  4. Dave Brain, 2832 Puente St.
  5. Jenni Key, 543 W. Valley View Dr.
  6. Dan Harlo, 115 Valencia Mesa
The reasons for their support:
  1. Involved in the community
  2. The church is a good neighbor
  3. No impact on properties near church
  4. Church's services and programs are beneficial to community
  5. Worship
  6. Expansion will allow church to better serve people
Commissioner Hart returned.

Commission took a 10-minute break.

The following people spoke in opposition to the project:
  1. Tom McIntosh
  2. Sherrie Wilson, 3033 Wilson Hills Dr.
  3. David Mooshagin, 2932 Firethorn
  4. Valentina Lapierre, 2732 Lantana Ave.
  5. Neal Hartsough, 3101 Lantana Ave., he distributed a letter to the Commission.
  6. Bert Lapierre, 2732 Lantana Ave.
  7. Gary Zavadil, 2740 Lantana Ave., he distributed a copy of his e-mail to the Commission.
  8. Tony Belcher, 1100 San Antonio Ave.
  9. Monica Moore
  10. Julie Brickell, 2724 Santiago Rd. #B
  11. James R. Antonow, 801 N. Rolling Hills Dr.
  12. Mike Quarante
  13. Brad Baier, 2724 Santiago Rd., Apt. B
  14. Vianney Fuhrmann, 2764/2756 Lantana
  15. Rudiger Stuhlmuller, 2756 Lantana Dr.
  16. Frank Hertel, 965 Beechwood
The points of opposition were:
  1. Proposal is contrary to Condition Y of original CUP 539
  2. Church is too big for site
  3. Churches' RG zoning is a residential zone
  4. Loitering and crime in the parking garage
  5. Jaywalking
  6. Parking structure usage
  7. Lighting
  8. Landscaping
  9. Environmental study misleading
  10. Misapplication of zoning ordinance
  11. Disposal of waste water
  12. Overflow parking
  13. Sewer problems from drains crossing through residential area
  14. Additional traffic
  15. Traffic accidents
  16. Sewage inadequate
  17. No privacy for homes abutting church property
  18. Loss of property value
Vice Chairman Francis stepped out of the room and returned shortly thereafter.

Public hearing closed.

Senior Civil Engineer Voronel spoke in response to the comments made by the public regarding the staff's participation in the project process. She discussed the issues raised regarding the sewer line, adding that it was designed to accommodate a built out General Plan. She said there was not a negative impact regarding the sewer and storm drain system, and was unaware of any drainage problems in the area near the church.

Chief Planner Rosen explained that the reports prepared by staff are adequate and accurate, and describe the project in its totality. Chief Planner Rosen reviewed and answered the issues raised by the public. He reviewed code issues, zone and height limitations, setbacks, and traffic study. He said lighting and photometric studies would be conducted and if church has existing problems with overflow lighting, they will need to mitigate those lighting issues which violate the code requirements.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that water runoff from parking areas and parking structures have to be mitigated on site and will not go into the storm drains unchecked. He added that a comprehensive geotechnical seismic analysis would be done as part of building plan check process.

Commissioner Bailey asked if the church was planning on placing ads in the aluminum panels, and Jim Clark, operations manager, answered negatively.

Commissioner Fitzgerald asked what the church's current plans were to replace trees that had been removed. Mr. Clark answered that generally they do replace any tree that is removed, unless it is removed at the request of a neighbor.

Commissioner Musante requested that the privacy issue be an added condition and that the top floor of the garage be used only on Sunday mornings and religious holidays. Commissioner Bailey concurred. Mr. Clark said the church would be willing to consider this, but would ask for some leeway when hosting events. There was also discussion of raising the wall height on the second and third levels of the parking structure to limit views into neighbors' yards.

Commissioner Thompson did not see a legitimate reason to restrict the top floor of the parking structure. Chairman Savage, Commissioners Bailey, Hart and Francis opposed the restriction of parking usage. They also supported recommending the lower wall height on the upper levels of parking structure as shown in current plans.

Chairman Savage stated that landscape was critical to this project, both from the Brea Blvd. side and from the property line. Commissioner Fitzgerald recommended adding an additional statement to Condition 6 about specific landscaping regarding trees. Chief Planner Rosen suggested bringing back a resolution to the Commission for the next meeting to reflect affected amendments.

Vice Chairman Francis said the church had been a part of the community for 50 years and has grown with the City. He was in support of the proposed parking structure and the rest of the project.

Commissioner Hart said the church had worked long and hard to address the community's concerns. The applicant was within their required percentage with respect to lot coverage. In order to grow beyond this point, they would have to look for another place. The church is within its property owner rights to do what they want to do with their lot. Commissioner Hart stated it is for the greater good of the community and supported the project with all of the conditions.

Commissioner Bailey reported that he had met with the applicant and saw them being good neighbors and has faith in them to work with the community and deal with issues that may arise. He was in support of the project with the conditions set forth.

Commissioner Fitzgerald had spoken to the City Attorney about any conflict of interest. She stated her experience while attending the church and the parking problems. She spoke to neighbors in the affected area regarding their concerns. She stated the project was consistent with the General Plan, the setbacks comply with zoning, the parking was compliant to City's policies and she supported the project.

Commissioner Thompson does not see an anticipated significant increase in the number of people who plan on attending the church and supported the project as recommended by staff.

Commissioner Musante felt that staff did a great job addressing the public's concerns. Landscaping is a big issue that should be addressed, and he believes the church does a great community service and he will support the project.

Chairman Savage agreed with mostly everything that had been said and would support the project based on the findings.

The title of Resolution No. PC-06-03 APPROVING a site plan to construct a new 20,000-square foot, multipurpose building, a 21,640-square foot administrative building, a three-level parking structure for approximately 787 vehicles and a future parking structure expansion to accommodate approximately 227 additional parking spaces at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton main campus, located at 2801 North Brea Blvd. was read and further reading was waived. MOTION made by Vice Chairman Francis, SECONDED by Commissioner Bailey and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present that said Resolution be APPROVED in draft, with amendments to the conditions as discussed. The final resolution will return to the Commission at the next meeting with specific language to address the added landscaping condition.

Chairman Savage explained the appeal process.

MOTION made by Vice Chairman Francis, SECONDED by Commissioner Musante and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present that meeting be adjourned without dealing with further matters.

OTHER MATTERS

COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

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 February 8, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 11:55 p.m.
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