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RDRC Minutes July 14, 2005

RDRC Minutes July 14, 2005


Thursday July 14, 2005 4:00 PM


The meeting was called to order at 4:05 PM by Chairman Daybell


COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Daybell; Committee Members Coffman, Duncan and Cha
PUBLIC PRESENT: Homeowner Chett Britt, Architect John Garcia
STAFF PRESENT: Associate Planner Eastman, Assistant Planner Sowers


Chairman Daybell confirmed that members had received and reviewed the minutes for June 9, 2005. Vice-Chair Duncan pointed out corrections on Pages 3 and 6: Member Duncan should read Member Coffman. A MOTION was made by Committee Member Coffman, SECONDED by Vice-Chair Duncan, and CARRIED unanimously by members present to APPROVE the minutes of June 9, 2005, as amended.

4:00 p.m. Session




A request to add 413 square feet and remodel an existing single family residence located on the south side of Jacaranda (between 303 and 343 feet west of Ford Avenue) (R-1-7.2 Zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of the CEQA Guidelines).

Chairman Daybell briefly explained the process of the meeting.

Assistant Planner Sowers explained the project is before the RDRC because it is in a preservation zone and the addition is greater than 50% of the existing floor area. She presented the project as detailed in the Staff Report dated July 14, 2005. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that staff recommends that the window and door trim match the trim on the existing structure. In addition, the fascia, rafter tails, overhang, and finish should match the existing structure. Application also includes remodeling and raising the roof of the existing porch and bringing the soffit slightly forward from the existing position and adding columns for support as they are in line within the design guidelines for the preservation zone.

Staff requires a 5-foot setback from the structure to the property line. The applicant is proposing a 4-foot 6-inch setback along the west side. Staff requires that there be a 5-foot setback on the new portion. The existing will remain at 4-foot 6-inches and be non-conforming. On the east side, the applicant is proposing to attach an addition to the existing detached garaged. Assistant Planner Sowers stated that the City has a policy where the Director can approve this type of situation; however, staff recommends detaching the addition from the garage and maintaining the garage as a separate structure. In part, because of building code requiring modification to the garage, which is essentially non-conforming, since it's not at a 5-foot setback. Staff recommends approval with conditions outlined in the staff report.

Chairman Daybell confirmed that the applicant received and reviewed the recommended conditions.

Vice-Chair Duncan expressed concern over the porch additions, and the setback separation requirements.

Committee Member Coffman questioned if the conditions of the attachment of the proposed addition to the garage would require that it become a two-car garage. Assistant Planner Sowers said the conditions would not require the applicant to expand the garage. However, since the garage is on the property line it would require a 30-inch parapet on this wall and will need to be a fire-rated wall.

Committee Member Cha questioned the clearance required between the garage and the new development. Assistant Planner Sowers responded that it is a Building code requirement more than anything else. The setback could be minima; without a substantial clearance required. Assistant Planner Sowers responded that clearance was in fact for the purpose of fire safety, so construction methods influence fire rating and reduce the required separation. Associate Planner Eastman added that the separation could in fact be inches, at the determination of the Building Division. However, he indicated that Planning staff had concerns with creating a small space that could create a safety hazard or accumulate trash, rodents and create a sanitation problem. He confirmed that there are no established minimums.

Vice-Chair Duncan asked if it would be possible to potentially create two walls and finish it to look like one wall, as long as the fire-rate requirements are met. Associate Planner Eastman indicated that the applicant would have to work with the Building Division to meet Building requirements.

Chairman Daybell stated that the applicant would need clarification. Committee Member Coffman replied that only clarification from Building is needed, not necessarily from Planning or the RDRC.

Associate Planner Eastman expressed that he did not feel an alternate design would have significant impact on neighboring properties. He discussed that there is a variety of solutions that can be pursued, but staff would work with the applicant to determine what would be best for them.

Chairman Daybell recommended a 3-foot minimum clearance for the sake of practicality.

Associate Planner Eastman agreed and stated that he would work with staff internally to discuss other alternatives.

Committee Member Coffman spoke about the Building code issue and the fire-rated walls. He asked if they were only separated by inches, would they need to be fire-rated walls. Associate Planner Eastman said yes, and reiterated that there are a variety of options that will have no impact on neighbors or have historical implications. Staff is willing to move the project forward and look at the opportunities available.

Chairman Daybell stated that in his opinion, the current proposal without separation would not work.

Chairman Daybell opened the meeting up for public input.

John Garcia, Architect, spoke in regards to the separation issue discussed previously by the Committee. He explained that in his opinion he was familiar with the occupancy and square footage requirements and felt that the code was being met with this proposal.

Mr. Garcia expressed that the one separation required by the code is the layer of 5/8 on one side of the wall. He stated that if the Building Department had something special in mind for this plan he would work with them. He stated that he does not think the 3-foot requirement will be a problem.

Chairman Daybell questioned the applicant regarding the openings from the house and garage. Mr. Garcia confirmed that the only opening is the garage door and there were no windows.

There were no further questions and Chairman Daybell closed the public comment and returned the meeting back for Committee discussion and resolution.

Committee Member Coffman voiced his opinion that the proposal looked fine. He agreed with staff and stated that the separation issue needs to be coordinated with the Building Division. He strongly recommended that they make it 3 feet, but he would not make it a condition of approval. He expressed support for the project provided it meets the building requirements.

Vice Chair Duncan was also in support of the project, but questioned the entry way.

Committee Member Cha was in support of the project but questioned the issue with access if the separation was not made to be a minimum of 3 feet.

Chairman Daybell supported the project as well but strongly suggested that they work with the Building Division and urged the homeowner to think of practicality. He asked about getting the lawnmower to the back yard, and the homeowner interjected that her intentions were to have two lawnmowers, one for the front and one for the back yard. There was a suggestion to add a door from the garage to the rear yard.

A MOTION was made by Committee Member Coffman to approve the project subject to the conditions and recommendations from staff with a strong recommendation from the Committee that the applicant consider a separation between the garage and house. The Motion was SECONDED by Vice-Chair Duncan, and CARRIED unanimously by members present to APPROVE the project.


No public comments.


Associate Planner Eastman introduced Ellis Cha, the new RDRC member appointed by Council Member Quirk. He briefly reviewed staff's understanding of term limits and the new appointment process and asked Committee Member Cha to introduce himself and share some of his background.

Committee Member Cha is a civil engineer by training, had worked for Bechtel Power, had owned a general contractor firm in the City of Rosemead, and presently owns a liquor store in the City of Orange. He has been a Fullerton resident for 11 years.

Subsequently, Associate Planner Eastman asked the Committee Member present to also share some of their background for Committee Member Cha and the benefit of those present. The members provided personal background.

Associate Planner Eastman stated that the Providence Center project on Sunnycrest and Bastanchury was scheduled for Planning Commission review the night before. A mitigated negative declaration has been prepared.

Associate Planner Eastman informed the RDRC that Staff had received a letter on July 11 from an attorney firm in San Francisco representing the Fullerton Citizens for Smart Growth and Against Over Development challenging the document on this project. He briefly reviewed the technical claims and stated that the City would be contracting a third party attorney to obtain a more objective opinion and legal advice. He stated that the project was continued to a date uncertain and explained that the 130+ people attending to provide public testimony were advised that the public hearing would be postponed until all of the information on this project was available.

Chairman Daybell asked Associate Planner Eastman who finances the legal fees and everything else involved with the process of getting this project approved. Associate Planner Eastman replied that the Developer enters into a third-party agreement and is in fact the one responsible.

Assistant Planner Sowers reported that the Sunrise project was recommended for Council approval by the Planning Commission.


Assistant Planner Sowers clarified that there is a forecasted project for the July 28, 2005 meeting. She described the project at 433 W. Malvern: A request to add a two story 1,021 square feet addition to an existing residence in a "preservation" zone. (North side of Malvern approximately between 149 feet and 185 feet east of the centerline of Richman Avenue) (R-1P Zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15201 of the CEQA Guidelines).

Associate Planner Eastman said the Jacaranda Project is scheduled for the Planning Commission on August 10, 2005.

Associate Planner Eastman announced that the Planning Commission had requested a workshop on Planning and Zoning requirements and processes. He informed the RDRC that they would be welcomed to attend if such a meeting moves forward. Nothing has been scheduled as this request was made at last night's meeting.

Associate Planner Eastman also announced that there will be a Downtown Meeting on July 21, 2005 in the Senior Center for all those interested in attending.


Chairman Daybell adjourned the meeting at 5:05 P.M.