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					                                        PLANNING COMMISSION
                                           AGENDA REPORT

                                                                  DATE: August 30, 2012

AGENDA OF:            September 6, 2012

ITEM NO: 1            CP 12-0101                                  140 Front Street


RECOMMENDATION:              That the Planning Commission hold a public hearing, discuss
                             project details and make recommendations to the City Council
                             regarding:

                                Acknowledging the environmental determination; and

                                Approving Planned Development, Special Use, Coastal and
                                 Design Permits, and Boundary Adjustment for the
                                 proposed project.


PROJECT DATA

Property Owner:              Santa Cruz Seaside Company            APN: 007-033-01, 02 & 03
Applicant:                   Golden State Warriors

Application Type:            Special Use Permit, Coastal Permit and Design Permit to
                             construct a 33,648 square foot quasi-public building and
                             supporting structures in the RH zone district. The building is
                             proposed to be used for a period of seven years at which time it is
                             planned that all structures will be removed.              Planned
                             Development Permit to allow variations to setbacks, building
                             height, parking, and to allow sale of alcohol at events. Boundary
                             Adjustment to shift approximately 5,000 square feet of one lot
                             (APN 007-033-02) into 140 Front Street lot (APN 007-033-01).
                             The remainder portion of APN 007-033-02 (1,000 square feet)
                             will be added to 203 Laurel Street (APN 007-033-03) to provide
                             driveway access to the apartments at 203 Laurel Street. One
                             heritage tree will be removed for the project. (Santa Cruz Seaside
                             Company, owner/filed: 6/25/2012)                              AK

                             This project requires a Coastal Permit which is not appealable to the
                             California Coastal Commission. Action taken at this meeting on the
                             Coastal Permit may be appealed to the City Council.




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AGENDA REPORT
PC Meeting of September 6, 2012
SUBJECT: 140 Front Street; Application No. CP 12-0101
PAGE 2


Zoning:                       RH/MU/CZO – Residential High Density / Mixed Use Overlay /
                              Coastal Zone Overlay

Project Consistency:          Consistent with Zoning Code
General Plan:                 H (High Density Residential)
Project Consistency:          Consistent with General Plan/Local Coastal Plan
Land Use - existing:          Parking lot
             - proposed:      Quasi-public arena
             - in area:       Commercial and residential uses

Environmental
Determination:                Statutory and Categorical Exemptions
Planning Staff:               Alex Khoury

BACKGROUND

Project Description. The project application consists of a Planned Development Permit, a
Special Use Permit, a Coastal Permit, a Design Permit, and a Boundary Adjustment to construct
a 33,648 square foot quasi-public building/arena, including supporting structures in the RH zone
district. The structure is proposed to be used for a period of seven years after which time it is
planned that all structures will be removed.

Currently the relatively flat site is paved and is used as a parking lot for the Santa Cruz Seaside
Company; 157 spaces are provided plus 12 parking spaces for the apartment complex at 203
Laurel Street adjacent to the project site on the south. There are three pittosporum trees at the
edge of the parking lot along Laurel Street, one of which is proposed to be removed.

The proposed project includes construction of a 30,000 square foot arena. Seven accessory
structures, totaling 3,648 square feet, also are planned. Five accessory structures to the east of
the arena will be connected to the arena via a covered walkway and will be used for team locker
rooms (with restrooms and showers), coaches’ rooms, training area and laundry facilities. Two
public restrooms will be provided: one to the east of the arena and one to the south.

The arena exterior will be constructed of a steel frame with metal skin composite panel walls, a
vinyl skin roof, and metal doors. The interior will be consist of a slab foundation of concrete and
asphalt, drywall and steel stud walls, thermal insulation, steel doors, suspended lights, and fire
sprinklers. The roof is proposed to be constructed of tensile fabric, which will extend laterally
from the top of the sidewalls to form an airtight joint. The roofline would taper from
approximately 53 to 29 feet in height. The roof is planned to be a white color with blue sides.
The accessory structures will be manufactured, modular plywood buildings.

Seating in the arena will be provided via fixed and retractable bleachers with a seating capacity
of 2,800 seats. The principal use of the building is for the Golden State Warriors D-league
team’s home court between the months of November and April. The team is expected to play 24
home games per year plus up to six additional possible playoff games. Games would be held on
any day of the week with Monday through Saturday games starting at 7:00 PM and Sunday
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games starting at 2:00, 3:00 or 5:00 PM. An average attendance of 2,200 persons is anticipated
with a maximum seating of 2,950 seats (2,800 as indicated above plus 140-150 removable seats
around the basketball court).

During the six-month season when the team is in town, the team would practice every day from
noon to 4:00 PM, with individual workouts in the morning or late afternoons. Game days would
consist of both teams at the facility for an hour shoot-around between 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM,
then back at the facility around 3:00 PM for a 7:00 PM game. Doors would open at 5:30 PM,
and games would be over by 9:30 PM. It is expected that patrons would be gone by
approximately 9:50 PM, and the rest of the staff out by 11:00 PM. When the team is on the road,
some daytime or early evening youth camp games may be held. Approximately 35
employees/staff are estimated to be on the site.

Other basketball or sports related activities may occur in the facility throughout the year. Other
currently anticipated sports events include UCSC men’s and women’s basketball games and
Derby Girls (roller skating). Based on the 2012-13 schedules, the UCSC basketball games would
be similar to the Warriors schedule, and it is estimated that up to 15 games for the men’s games
and approximately 18 games for the women’s games would be held at the facility for a total of
33 events. Approximately eight Derby Girls games may be scheduled.

The City of Santa Cruz may also use the facility as much as 30 times a year for miscellaneous
events. Typical anticipated events include antique fairs, rock and gem shows, festivals and
graduations. The building could accommodate up to 4,000 people with retracted bleachers,
however, it is expected that attendance at non-Warrior events would be between 1,500 and 2,000
attendees per day. These other events would typically occur on weekends mostly during the
daytime throughout the year. Holiday weekends between and including Memorial Day and Labor
Day will be blacked out. At this time, no concerts with amplified music would be allowed at the
arena without additional environmental review.

In summary, with the planned Warriors games, UCSC and Derby Girl games in combination
with other potential events at the arena, it is estimated that the arena will support approximately
100 events annually with the distribution estimated to be approximately 80 events from October
to April and 20 between May and September.

DISCUSSION

Special Use Permit. In the RH zone district public and quasi-public buildings and uses are
allowed with approval of a Special Use Permit. The purpose of a use permit is to allow the
proper integration of essential or desirable uses in certain locations or zoning districts where
such uses can be designed and arranged in such a manner that they can and will be compatible
with existing or planned uses. Findings must be made to allow the use and conditions can be
placed to ensure harmonious integration and compatibility with surrounding neighborhood. Thus
while the RH zone district’s main purpose is to promote high density residential housing it also
allows for the consideration of other uses such public/quasi- public building and uses in a public
hearing review such as this. This zoning code section is adopted as part of Local Coastal Plan.

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SUBJECT: 140 Front Street; Application No. CP 12-0101
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The findings for a special use permit are:

      The proposed structure or use conforms to the requirements and the intent of this title,
       and of the General Plan, relevant area plans, and the Coastal Land Use Plan, where
       appropriate; and
      That any additional conditions stipulated as necessary in the public interest have been
       imposed; and
      That such use or structure will not constitute a nuisance or be detrimental to the public
       welfare of the community.

The proposed structure and use will conform to the requirements and intent of the zoning code
with the variations allowed for under a Planned Development Permit discussed in the next
section. The proposed quasi public/arena structure and related uses are desirable in this location
to provide a stronger linkage between the downtown area and this area south of Laurel Street and
continuing to the beach area. This linkage has been discussed for many years in many different
documents such as in the City Council and Coastal Commission adopted Beach/South of Laurel
Area Plan and the City Council reviewed and accepted River/Front and Lower Pacific Study.
Finally the linkage and its related economic opportunities are included in the recently adopted
City General Plan. There are several goals, polices and action in the Land Use and Economic
Development sections that are references to this linkage:

LAND USE
LU3.5 Encourage a mix of uses, including public facilities, along Lower Pacific Avenue, linking
Downtown with the Wharf.
LU3.5.1 Amend the Downtown Recovery Plan and the Beach and South of Laurel Plan to
encourage and allow additional public and commercial uses along Lower Pacific Avenue and
Front Street.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
ED1.1 Promote Santa Cruz as the principal retail, cultural, recreational, restaurant,
entertainment, and commercial destination in the region.
ED1.1.1 Encourage the development of diverse, innovative, and sustainable business enterprises
that reinforce Santa Cruz’s position as a regional employment, cultural, visitor, and shopping
center.
ED1.1.2 Support the development and expansion of businesses that make a balanced
contribution to the cultural, environmental, and economic health of the city.
ED1.1.3 Encourage the development of year-round businesses and visitor activities, resources,
and destinations that can also attract and engage local residents.
ED1.8 Increase the promotion of Santa Cruz as a year-round tourist destination and enhance and
promote the identity of existing and potential visitor areas in the city.

The structure and use is proposed for a seven year period. The temporary nature of this project
will allow the City and community to evaluate the functionality and benefits of an arena. Then,
in the future, an informed consideration and discussion about construction of a state-of-the-art
events facility in a permanent location could potentially occur. The seven years will allow this

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evaluation and discussion period to happen with the Warriors D-League team as the principle
tenant for the facility but with the opportunity for other users as well. However, it is important
to point out that no such plans are going forward at this time, and any future facility will only be
considered through a separate environmental review and entitlement process. This project is
entirely separate from any potential future project.

The adopted Housing Element identified the project site as being potentially available for
housing with potential provision of 95 units. Since the proposed project would be conditioned
for use on the site for the next seven years, it will not preclude potential housing uses of the site
in the future. Additionally, although the site would be unavailable for housing during this period,
there are other potential housing sites in the immediate vicinity of subject site that could provide
housing opportunities. The Housing Element identifies sufficient other opportunity sites to meet
the City’s housing goals and obligations over this time period.

As stated earlier in the background it is estimated that the main use of the facility will typically
occur in the months between October and April which is considered the off-season for attracting
visitors to Santa Cruz. Having the Warriors D-League and other potential users of the facility
provide potential benefits to the City of Santa Cruz; notably increasing off-season attractions,
expanding the visitor base, adding a new sports amenity and opportunity to our active
community members, as well as exploring interest in a state-of-the-art events facility in the
future.

The structure and use can and will be conditioned to address some of the public concerns of the
project such as parking and noise that will be discussed later in the report. The structure and use
can be developed and operated in a manner to ensure it will not to be a nuisance or be
detrimental to the community. Conditions of approval are recommended to address these
concerns

Planned Development Permit. The Planned Development Permit is proposed to allow
variations on RH zone district regulations to building setback and parking, and to allow the sale
of alcohol during events.

The RH zoning code regulations require a minimum exterior side yard setback along Spruce
Street of eight feet, which the applicant is providing. However, the RH district regulations also
require one foot of setback for each three feet of height which would increase the required
building setback to 17.6 feet along Spruce Street. The RH zoning code regulations also limit the
building within 25 feet of Front Street to not exceed 24 feet in height to preserve the view to
Beach Hill down Front Street. The height of the building for 10 feet beyond the required and
provided 15 foot setback off of Front Street ranges from 29 to 34 feet high. No parking is
proposed to be provided onsite for the use. For a 2,950 seat arena 829 parking spaces are
required under the zoning parking code without allowed reductions. Finally the applicant
proposes to sell alcohol at events, however there is not a provision for the sale of alcohol under
RH zone district uses. The proposal would allow a use variation to allow alcohol sales during
certain events.


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The intent of Planned Development (PD) permit is to make innovative and creative site planning
possible; to help achieve goals stated in the General Plan better through the PD process than
conventional zoning regulations and achieve a balance between those variations granted in the
PD process and public benefits. The goal is to achieve a better project than what may occur
through the use of conventional RH zoning regulations.

Building Height. The RH zone district regulations allow a four story 48 foot high structure. The
height of a building is measured under the zoning code definition as a vertical distance from
average grade to the average midpoint of the roof plane of the highest gable of a pitch or hip
roof. The public notice for this project included a variation to height in the PD permit request.
However, since that time it has been determined that such a variation is not necessary. The
barrel roof is another form of a pitch roof and thus the proposed building height does meet the
RH zone district regulation. The proposed structure is 41 feet to the midpoint of the roof plane.
(The roofline curves from the plate at the top of the wall at 29 feet high, to the roof peak at 53
feet tall.) The proposed height is necessary for two reasons; the structural stability of the roof for
this type of building and the interior height required by the National Basketball Association
(NBA) for height between the court and lighting/ roof truss system. The design of the roof
structure is fairly standard for this type of building and modifying the roof system complicates
the engineering and design of basically a pre-fabricated building. The NBA requires a minimum
of 30 feet free and clear from the outside edge of the basketball court. The proposed height helps
ensure this is achieved and continues to be in the future if a catwalk is added to the interior of the
structure. As well, the fire codes require certain height ceiling above bleachers for fire safety and
a smoke accumulation zone. It should be noted that using the building height definition for a
more traditional roof structure the height could easily be designed to a maximum of 67 feet to the
roof peak.

Building setback. The zoning code requires a 17.6 foot high exterior side yard setback off of
Spruce Street because the maximum height of the building of 53 feet (the gable end) is facing in
that northerly direction. The project proposes the minimum exterior side yard setback in the
permitted in the zoning code. All other required setbacks are being provided. There is no room
on the site to move the building further south or turn the building so to meet the setback that
would not cause a reduction in the building size. The functionality of the building would be
affected by such a decision as there would be a loss of seats, storage and concession areas.

The Beach and South of Laurel design guidelines discusses building setbacks and the need to be
proportionate to the scale of the structure and considerate of existing development with larger
structures requiring more setback for balance of scale and so as to not impose on neighboring
uses. The proposed reduced setback facade faces Spruce Street which has a 50 foot wide right-
of-way. Immediately across the street to the north is a commercial development (Wheel Works
Tire Store). The Wheel Works building would be approximately 100 feet away from the highest
point of the proposed structure. The height of the structure does not impact this nearest use to
the proposed reduced setback at Spruce Street. The proposed structure is 53 feet tall at the peak
in the center of the building along Spruce Street. However, the roofline tapers from 53 to 29
feet in height reducing the impact of that height. The greater 17.6 foot setback would seem to
be more appropriate for a residential use than the proposed public-quasi-public/arena use. The

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variation to reduce the setback with the proposed orientation allows the building to fit on the
property to best possible extent without negatively impacting the surrounding properties.

The RH zone district regulations state that within the first 25 feet of depth along Front Street the
building height be limited to a height of 24 feet. The proposed building at the required 15 foot
setback from Front Street will have a 29 foot height going up to 34 feet at the 25 foot depth point
from Front Street. There is no reference to this requirement in either the adopted Beach and
South of Laurel Plan or the related Design Guidelines, which led to the adoption of this zoning
standard. It was included in the zoning after the fact to address the goal of maintaining view
corridors to Beach Hill along Front Street. Allowing this setback/height variation does not
impact the view to Beach Hill to any great degree along Front Street given the first 15 feet off of
Front Street has no obstructions. In addition the proposed variation is for a limited duration
because of the seven year period of this permit.

Parking. No parking is being provided on this proposed site or established directly for the use.
Kimley Horn and Associates completed a parking analysis based on the same operational
parameters as the traffic study prepared for the proposal and discussed further on in the report.
This firm was selected to complete the work based on their ongoing parking study of the South
of Laurel area. The parking analysis identified 1,600 feet (or just over a quarter-mile) as a
reasonable upper limit for walking to and from the venue, citing prior studies on this subject.

The zoning code requires 829 parking spaces for the 2,950 seat venue and 1,140 parking spaces
for the 4,000 seat venue. The Urban Land Institute identifies approximately a 9-13 percent
greater parking generation rate for weekday and weekend uses compared to the City ordinance.
The California Building Code requires 19 accessible parking spaces. The accessible parking
spaces can be accommodated on-street and off-street at the City’s Laurel Street Extension
parking lot (Lot 17) in close proximity to the venue.

The analysis identifies 2,218 public on-street and off-street and private off-street parking spaces
within the reasonable walking distance of 1,600 feet. Estimating that on average 42 percent of
the parking will already be occupied, that leaves 1,292 spaces available. In summary an adequate
supply of public parking is available within the reasonable walking distance. There are an
additional 1,314 potential parking spaces (assuming an average existing occupancy of 52
percent)
outside this 1,600 foot radius.

General Plan goals, polices and actions directly address this approach to parking for the
proposed structure and use:

MOBILITY
M1.5 Reduce the need for parking and promote parking efficiency.
M1.5.1 Increase land use efficiency and the walkability of activity centers.
M1.5.2 Encourage innovative solutions that provide adequate parking while maximizing living
and working space.
M1.5.3 Manage nonresidential parking in residential areas.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
ED5.4 Review standards and apply creative and flexible approaches to parking supply issues
along commercial corridors, with emphasis on ground floor commercial, tax-revenue-producing
uses.

Given the information above, the City’s General Plan goals, polices and actions are served by the
grant of the parking variation through the planned development process.

To address parking concerns the City and the applicant are working together to plan and develop
parking management strategies, including signage and visitor information, to ensure efficient use
of available parking spaces during events. Parking information will be provided as part of a
ticket holders package as well as on the Santa Cruz Warriors website, the City website and any
other future users website if they have one. A free Mobile App showing parking lot locations,
hours of operations and parking rates in Santa Cruz is available and will be advertised in all
publications regarding events at the arena. The City is working on adding on-street meters to the
Mobile App.

The residential parking permits in the Beach and Downtown Areas vary by season and time of
day and may need to be reviewed and modified if event parking becomes an issue in residential
parking areas. Since the Beach Hill area may be impacted by parkers going to games, the
enforcement period for the Beach Area Residential Permit Program is suggested to be changed if
supported by the Beach Hill residents. This means the restrictions could change from “No Parking
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Everyday, Monday through Sunday, except by permit from May 15 to
September 30” to a year-round program with the same hours of enforcement. Development and
staffing of the residential parking program may need to be incorporated into the event planning
and operational costs. Other modifications to long term meters and additions of new meters may
also be incorporated into the parking solutions for the use over the life of the permit.

The zoning code requires 290 bicycle parking spaces for the 2,950 seat arena. Within the same
1,600 foot radius discussed above are over 100 Class 1 bicycle lockers and many more Class 2
bike racks. It is recommended that some Class 2 bike racks be provided on or adjacent to the site
for persons who wish to ride their bikes to games or to work at the arena. Staff is recommending
that bike racks for 50 bicycles be provided in the first year. The City will monitor the demand
over this time period and if additional racks are needed then the applicant will be required to
increase that number appropriately.

Finally it should be noted that the 157 displaced parking spaces at this site used for parking
Seaside Company employees and UCSC long-term parking will be relocated to different
locations within the City. The 12 space parking lot current used by residents at 203 Laurel Street
will be relocated to the City Lot 17 (Laurel Street Extension Lot) behind Wheel Works next to
the levee, or provided on site at 203 Laurel.

Alcohol Use. The applicant wishes to sell beer and wine during basketball games and possibly
other events that will occur at the proposed facility. This request is being processed as a use
variation under the Planned Development Permit because there is no provision for the sale of
alcohol under the RH zone district list of uses. Under the alcohol definitions a facility such as
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this would be considered a low-risk alcohol outlet. The Police Department has been contacted
and they have indicated no concerns over the on-site sale of beer and wine with the inclusion of
conditions of approval which include the ceasing of alcohol sales at the end of the third quarter.
No off-site sales of alcohol would be allowed. The operators or concessionaire would be
required the appropriate Alcoholic Beverage Control license.

Planned Development Permit (PD) Summary. The goal to achieve a better project than what may
occur through the use of conventional RH zoning regulations is met with the adoption of these
PD variations. Granting the requested PD variations help achieve many of the General Plan
goals, policies and actions mentioned above. There is a balance between these variations
requested through the PD process and potential public benefits to the City of Santa Cruz the
proposed structure and use may bring. As stated earlier, benefits include increasing off-season
attractions, expanding the visitor base, adding a new sports amenity and opportunity to our active
community, encouraging re-investment in properties in the South of Laurel Area, as well as
exploring interest in a state-of-the-art events facility in the future.

Coastal Permit. The proposed develoment is within the Coastal Zone (CZ) zone. Specifically it
is located within Coastal Exclusion Zone B and therefore is not appealable to the California Coastal
Commission. The project site is designated High Density (H) on the General Plan/Local Coastal
Plan, and is zoned Multiple Residence - High Density (RH) which is also part of the Local
Coastal Plan. In the RH zone district public and quasi-public buildings and uses are allowed
with approval of a Special Use Permit. The project will be consistent with all applicable zoning
code sections (with adoption of a PD permit), design plans and area plans incorporated into the
Local Coastal Plan, given that the structure and use is limited to a seven year period. The project
is consistent with key Coastal Program goals to bring visitor serving uses to the beach area and
will help provide linkage between the beach and the downtown areas. One non-native heritage
tree (mock orange-pittosporum undulatum) will be removed, but it is not visually prominent or
distinctive and does not represent a significant or prominent visual element of the surrounding
area. Heritage tree removal is also part of the Coastal Permit.

Design Permit. A Design Permit is required for a project of this size and location in the RH
zone district. The proposed structure is a square 170.5 ft by 177 ft building with an arched or
barrel roof. The arena exterior will be constructed of a steel frame with painted metal skin
composite panel walls, a vinyl skin roof, and metal doors. The roof is proposed to be constructed
of tensile fabric, which will extend laterally from the top of the sidewalls to form an airtight
joint. The barrel roofline would taper from approximately 29 feet at each plate line to 53 feet in
height at the highest point. The roof is planned to be a white color with “Harbor” blue sides. The
main entry doors and ticket windows face toward Spruce Street with exit doors on the other three
sides of the building. The accessory structures will be manufactured, modular plywood
buildings 12 feet in height that will a royal blue color (similar to the Warrior team color) with
white or gray trim and white roofs.

The RH zone district has many references to design under its development standards. These were
adopted to consider permanent residential or more standard commercial buildings as opposed to
a seven year temporary structure. Section 24.10.585(3c) requires that views to Beach Hill be
maintained by creating view corridors through new structures. Pursuant to this section, portions
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of the building(s) shall not occupy more than 60 percent of the top 10 feet of the height limit, as
viewed from the center of the Soquel Bridge. The minimum 40 percent open view to Beach Hill
shall be reasonably distributed over the length of the building. The proposed arena structure
would result in a tapered roofline which approximately 65 percent of the roofline would be
within the top 10 feet of the RH height limit. Therefore, the building will exceed Section
24.10.585(3c) requirements by five percent, and the building will partially block views of
existing hotels and modern structures on Beach Hill as seen from the Soquel Street Bridge
However, the tapered nature of the building reduces the aesthetic impact on Beach Hill. As well
the accessory buildings are well under the height limit an do not block views. Visual simulations
are attached to this report.

Three additional findings in the RH zone district consider the amenity level of the development,
the bulk and massing, and relationship with the San Lorenzo River. The proposed building
would provide amenities consistent with a public-quasi public/arena building that will only be in
operation for seven years. The architecture is fairly plain but standard for such a temporary arena
building. It is notable that there are two other similarly tapered or barrel roofs in the immediate
area with Walgreens and The Mill buildings. The design is not out of place in the context of the
surrounding commercial development. The building will be the largest in the area but its bulk
and mass is appropriate for the type of structure and use proposed. Due to the relatively larger
size of this property, any building on this site would be large in size. It is a goal of the adopted
Beach and South of Laurel Plan and the River/Front/Lower Pacific Study to find ways to
reinvest in the Lower Pacific area, and other larger scale buildings are envisioned and
encouraged in the future.

Landscaping will be provided in a drainage swale that goes around the southeast corner of Front
and Spruce Streets and then down along the Front Street frontage. Appropriate landscaping for
the swale will be provided to filter the water draining off the site. This filtration system will help
protect the San Lorenzo River from any pollutant being drained off the subject site. A condition
of approval will be recommended that additional landscape planters be reviewed for installation
and provided along Spruce and Front Streets after the first year, once the operational
characteristics of the use are better known. Existing lighting around the perimeter of the site will
be maintained and enhanced. New lighting will placed on the buildings where necessary for
security. The project will not result in a major new source of light and glare in that they will be
properly shielded and oriented so as to not increase lighting to the adjacent residents on the
south, properties on Beach Hill and wildlife habitat in the San Lorenzo River. Standard
conditions of approval will address lighting to ensure that exterior lighting will not create
increased light or glare on adjacent properties and especially onto the San Lorenzo River.

The site is uniquely situated to take advantage of alternatives to automobile being adjacent to
the bike and walking trails along the San Lorenzo River levee and bike lanes along Front Street.
Bike racks will be required to be provided onsite for both arena patrons and employees. Bike
riding employees will be able to take advantage of showers provided onsite after their commute.
Bus routes go directly past the subject site on Front Street.

The entry doors toward Spruce Street are designed to keep most of the public orientation of the
building away from the residential units to the south. The building will be designed and
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conditioned to reduce as much noise impacts of the as possible, and to comply with the City’s
Noise Ordinance. This includes careful sound system design, orientation of the speakers, and
door selection and placement to ensure that adequate noise attenuation is achieved. The project
will be required to meet the City’s green building codes and incorporate water saving features
required by the Water Department.

Boundary Adjustment. The proposed boundary adjustment consists of shifting approximately
5,000 square feet of one lot (APN 007-033-02) into 140 Front Street lot (APN 007-033-01) to
allow compliance with water and building codes with the proposed development. The remainder
portion of APN 007-033-02 (1,000 square feet) will be added to the third parcel (APN 007-033-
03) to provide driveway access to the apartments at 203 Laurel Street (APN 007-033-03). APN
007-033-02 currently provides parking (12 spaces) for the apartment building on APN 007-033-
03 to the rear of the project site. The parking for the apartments will initially be provided offsite
at the City-owned Laurel Street Extension lot (behind the Wheel Works business),
approximately 300 feet to the north, either for the length of the permit or until additional parking
can be provided for on the 203 Laurel Street lot.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

The project has been determined to be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act
(CEQA) under a Statutory Exemption pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21083.3 and
State CEQA Guidelines Section 15183 (Projects Consistent with Community Plan or Zoning)
and a Categorical Exemption found in State CEQA Guidelines Section 15332 (Class 32 - Infill
Exemption). The Planning Commission and City Council must consider the record and
testimony and make findings acknowledging the environmental determination in order to
approve the project.

Public Resources Code Section 21083.3/Guidelines Section 15183:

CEQA allows a lead agency (in this case the City of Santa Cruz) to avoid repeating analyses that
were already provided in a certified General Plan EIR (Public Resources Code Section 21083.3)
for projects that are consistent with General Plan and local zoning designations and regulations.
Section 15183 of the State CEQA Guidelines provides further guidance related to Public
Resources Code Section 21083. Specifically, if a project is consistent with an agency’s General
Plan for which an EIR has been certified, the agency shall limit its examination of environmental
effects to those which the agency determines, in an initial study or other analysis:
(1) Are peculiar to the project or the parcel on which the project would be located,
(2) Were not analyzed as significant effects in a prior EIR on the zoning action, general plan, or
community plan, with which the project is consistent,
(3) Are potentially significant off-site impacts and cumulative impacts which were not discussed
in the prior EIR prepared for the general plan, community plan or zoning action, or
(4) Are previously identified significant effects which, as a result of substantial new information
which was not known at the time the EIR was certified, are determined to have a more severe
adverse impact than discussed in the prior EIR. (State CEQA Guidelines Section 15183(b).)
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State CEQA Guidelines Section 15183, subdivision (c) further provides that “if an impact is not
peculiar to the parcel or to the project, has been addressed as a significant effect in the prior EIR,
or can be substantially mitigated by the imposition of uniformly applied development policies or
standards,…, then an additional EIR need not be prepared for the project solely on the basis of
that impact.”

The purpose of the checklist prepared and attached to this report was to evaluate the impact
categories covered in the City’s recently certified General Plan EIR to determine whether the
project’s impacts have been adequately analyzed in the City’s recently adopted General Plan
2030 EIR or whether any new, significant impacts peculiar to the project or project site would
result. Where an impact resulting from the project was adequately analyzed previously, the
review provides a cross-reference to the pages in the General Plan EIR where information and
analysis may be found relative to the environmental issue listed under each topic. The checklist
also identifies whether the project involves new significant impacts or substantially more severe
impacts than analyzed in the General Plan EIR or new significant impacts not peculiar to the site
or project. As indicated above, an impact would not be considered “peculiar” to the site or
project if uniformly applied development policies or standards will substantially mitigate an
environmental effect. Therefore, the following review includes mitigation measures identified in
the General Plan EIR that would be applicable to the site and/or relevant applicable development
policies or standards that will be applied to the project.

Based on the review, it has been determined that the City’s General Plan 2030 EIR has
adequately addressed the following issues, and no further environmental review is required
pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21083.3: agricultural and forest resources;
greenhouse gas emissions; population and housing; public services; utilities; and cumulative
impacts.

The following site-specific impacts have been analyzed and determined to be less-than-
significant in accordance with uniform General Plan policies and zoning regulations and
standards that are to be applied to specific projects within the City: air quality; biological
resources; cultural resources; geology and soils; hazards and hazardous materials; and
hydrology. Thus pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21083.3 and Guidelines Section
15183, no further environmental analysis is required.

The following site-specific issues reviewed in this document were within the scope of issues and
impacts analyzed in the General Plan 2030 EIR, and no new significant impacts have been
identified: aesthetics; land use; transportation/traffic; and noise.

Staff wished to highlight two issues discussed in the environmental document that pose a general
concern: traffic and noise:

Traffic. Hatch Mott MacDonald prepared an initial traffic study, predicated on the assumption of
a capacity of 2,900 (basketball use) seats and 4,000 (concert or other use) seats. The study
concluded that there would be no significant major traffic impacts as the parking distribution at
multiple sites also distributes traffic to multiple streets, instead of concentrating traffic at one
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location as would be typical. The level of service at the ten study intersections are projected to
be at LOS D or below for both configurations, except the State Route 1/9 intersection, which is
LOS E, The 2,900 seat configuration was estimated to generate 940 trips in the hour before the
game and 1,056 trips in the hour after the game. The 4,000 seat configuration was estimated to
generate 1,493 trips in the hour prior to the event and 1,680 in the hour after the event.

The limited vehicle parking in the immediate vicinity of the project site will lead to most driving
attendees parking away from the project site. Those within a reasonable walking distance of the
site would walk from their parking spot to the site. Therefore, most attendees will be walking for
the final leg of their journey to and from the site. Owing to the fact that these trips would be
divided between on- and off-street parking areas in the greater Downtown and Beach areas,
street intersections were analyzed and operate acceptably with either the 2,900 or 4,000 seat
configuration. The sidewalk and bicycle networks were determined adequate to accommodate
walking and bicycling to and from the site. Secure bike parking is provided by the City at Lot 27,
across Laurel Street. A shuttle system was encouraged to distribute parking and encourage use of
the larger parking facilities downtown but is not planned at this time. An informational campaign
about parking for game day will be developed as discussed earlier. Laurel Street Extension
would be closed to through automobile traffic to provide for event management. The actively
managed closure allows for access to the residential uses off of the street and emergency access.

The City’s General Plan 2030 EIR considered construction of approximately 1,090,000 square
feet of commercial uses throughout the City to the year 2030. Thus, the project size of
approximately 33,650 square feet would be within the potential General Plan buildout evaluated
in the EIR. Based on the foregoing analysis, the currently proposed project would not result in
new significant or more significant traffic impacts than analyzed in the General Plan EIR. Thus,
no further environmental analysis is required pursuant to CEQA.

Noise. Smith, Fause McDonald Inc. prepared a noise study for the project that included noise
measurements that were taken at six locations to provide an accurate ambient noise setting at the
project site and at sensitive receptor sites. Seven sensitive receptor sites were analyzed to
represent receivers which will be most susceptible to the proposed arena noise. (Two sites
adjacent to the project site were evaluated as one site.) All of the receptor sites are residential
areas, except for one which was a motel on Beach Hill south of the project site. The
measurements included a 24-hour measurement at three locations, including the apartment
building site adjacent to the project site. Additionally, noise measurements were taken at the
other three receptor locations during the evening period (7:00 PM to 10:00 PM) when a Warriors
game would be held. Based on these measurements, ambient noise levels at and adjacent to the
project site were found to be approximately 70 dBA for Ldn levels (24-hour day/night
measurement), and were found to be between 66.5 and 70 dBA in Ldn at the other receptor sites.

The proposed project would host primarily evening events that would result in generation of
increased sound levels. This is particularly true for the proposed Warriors NBA D-League
basketball games. These events would generate sounds from the basketball game, crowd noise
and public address systems operations. The noise impacts associated with crowd noise and the
public address system operations from the proposed arena were assessed based on measurements
taken during a Golden State Warriors game in 2011 in which several types of measurements
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were taken. The analysis also considered the design of the sound system, sidewall height, door
placement, and arena building materials.

The noise study calculated the resultant Ldn values with the proposed project at each receptor
location. Given the relatively high existing ambient noise levels, the maximum ambient Ldn
noise increase with the addition of the proposed Warriors sports events would be 1.6 dBA Ldn.
According to the City’s General Plan 2030 EIR, a change in noise level of 3 dB is considered
just a noticeable difference, while a 5 dB change is clearly noticeable, but not dramatic. A 10 dB
change is perceived as a halving or doubling in loudness. Additionally, according to the General
Plan EIR, a project would be considered to result in a substantial permanent increase in ambient
noise levels in the project if it would expose outdoor activity areas of noise-sensitive land uses to
a 5 dB increase where existing noise levels are below 60 dBA Ldn or a 3 dB increase in noise
where existing noise levels are above 60 dBA Ldn. Thus, the increase in ambient Ldn noise
levels of less than 2 dB attributable to the operations of the arena would not be considered
substantial.

Sound attenuation of the proposed arena will be provided by multiple elements, including the
barrier effect created by the sidewalls and bleachers. The height of the bleachers is
approximately 16.7 feet, while the sidewalls around the perimeter of the structure will reach a
maximum height of 29 feet as currently designed and will be constructed of a solid steel front.
Constructing an airtight high mass wall behind the speakers will further reduce the transmitted
noise levels outside due to the sound having to travel over the barrier wall. A sidewall height of
28 feet was factored into the noise investigation. The sidewalls are proposed to be constructed of
solid 26 gauge steel front and rear surfaces with a 3-inch deep rock wool filled core. Since they
are approximately twice the height of the bleachers, the sidewalls will represent a sound barrier
in addition to the other sound reductions discussed below. Sound traveling over the barrier wall
will experience attenuation provided by distance traveled, barrier effect over the wall, and the
transmission loss of tensile fabric material. The tensile fabric achieves some noise reduction with
a STC rating of 13. In contrast, sound traveling through the sidewall will only experience
attenuation provided by the sidewall and overall distance traveled since the tensile fabric does
not extend to the ground. The proposed sidewall system has an overall STC rating of 23. Further
controls can be achieved with design and orientation of the sound system.

The project will be conditioned to require that the sound system design, orientation of the
speakers, and door selection and placement will be in accordance with the assumptions included
in the noise study to ensure that adequate noise attenuation is achieved. These measures include
the following measures, which are incorporated into the project Conditions of Approval:
          The speakers shall be mounted behind the bleachers facing towards the court. This
design will mitigate the issue of aiming the speakers directly at the sidewalls/tensile fabric of the
arena and consequently the sensitive receivers behind it.
          Selecting PA grade “horns” in lieu of full bandwidth music speakers, which will
increase the directional control of the sound system and eliminate the production of low-
frequency energy which the tensile fabric has a limited ability to attenuate. If a "horn" type
speaker is selected, encasing the speakers themselves in a solid enclosure will also reduce the
amount of sound energy emitted from the rear of the Locate entry doors so that there is not a
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direct sound path through the doors and the surrounding environment. Positioning these doors
behind bleachers will mitigate a bulk of the speaker and crowd noise energy before if passes
through the doors.
          Select high performance acoustical doors, which will increase the amount of noise
transmission loss before it reaches the exterior of the structure. High performance acoustical
doors should include proper perimeter gasket seals, as well as a threshold and drop door bottom.
The door panel, frame and hardware should come as a complete package from a single
manufacturer with a test report to confirm their ability to provide the required Sound
Transmission Class (STC). The noise investigation assumed a single high performing STC-43
steel door wherever they are located in the final design.

The General Plan 2030 Action HZ3.1.1 requires land uses to operate at noise levels that do not
significantly increase surrounding ambient noise, and Action HZ3.1.2 requires design
approaches to minimize noise impacts from new development on surrounding land uses. With
the project conditions of approval, the project would be consistent with the General Plan Actions
to minimize ambient noise increases. The General Plan EIR concluded that project-level
environmental review and implementation of these policies and actions would reduce potential
permanent ambient noise increases.

CEQA Guidelines Section 15332:

CEQA provides several “categorical exemptions” which are applicable to categories of projects
and activities that the Natural Resource Agency has determined generally do not pose a risk of
significant impacts on the environment. The Class 32 categorical exemption is for “infill
development” projects that meet the following criteria:

(a) The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable
general plan policies as well as with applicable zoning designation and regulations;
(b) The proposed development occurs within city limits on a project site of no more than five
acres substantially surrounded by urban uses;
(c) The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species;
(d) Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air
quality, or water quality; and
(e) The site can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services.

The proposed project meets all of the foregoing criteria to claim the application of the infill
exemption because, as explained in the modified initial study/environmental checklist
documenting the project’s compliance with the Statutory Exemption under Public Resources
Code Section 21083.3, the project is consistent with General Plan and zoning designations,
policies and regulations (including the application of a height variance for part of the roofline),
the project site is 1.148 acres within city limits and is surrounded by existing commercial and
residential urban uses, the existing site is a parking lot and therefore has no habitat value for
special status species, the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic,
noise, air quality or water quality, as explained above and in the modified initial study/checklist
supporting the determination of Statutory Exemption, and the site can be adequately served by
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all required utilities and public services, as existing utility infrastructure already serves the
project area and is sized sufficiently to serve the proposed use.

The City has further considered whether the project is subject to any of the exceptions to the use
of a categorical exemption found at CEQA Guidelines Section 15300.2. This section prohibits
the use of categorical exemptions under the following circumstances:

(a) for certain classes of projects (not the Class 32 infill exemption) due to location;
(b) when the cumulative impact of successive projects of the same type in the same place, over
time, is significant;
(c) where there is a reasonable possibility that the activity will have a significant effect on the
environment due to unusual circumstances;
(d) where the project may result in damage to scenic resources, including but not limited to,
trees, historic buildings, rock outcroppings, or similar resources, within a highway officially
designated as a state scenic highway;
(e) where the project is located on a state designated hazardous waste site; and
(f) where the project may cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical
resource.

As noted above, Section 15300.2(a) does not apply to this project because the Class 32 category
of projects is not excluded on the basis of location. There is no evidence of a potential significant
cumulative impact because successive projects of the same type in the same place have not been
approved and are not proposed. The project will not result in damage to scenic resources or a
scenic highway; the site is not a hazardous waste site; and the project will not cause a substantial
adverse change in the significance of a historical resource. Furthermore, as documented
extensively in the modified initial study checklist prepared for the Statutory Exemption
determination, and explained above, the project would not result in any significant effects on the
environment due to unusual circumstances (or features which are peculiar to the project or
project site).

Therefore, the City is able to document that the project qualifies for the Categorical Exemption
found at CEQA Guidelines Section 15332, the infill exemption, and that none of the potential
exceptions to the use of a categorical exemption apply to this project or the project site.


CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION

It is recommended that the Planning Commission recommend approval of the proposed quasi
public/arena structure and related uses to the City Council. The proposal is desirable in this
location to provide a stronger linkage between the downtown and the South of Laurel areas and
continuing to the beach area. This linkage has been discussed for many years in many different
documents including our recently adopted City General Plan. As well the project may encourage
reinvestment in the South of Laurel area. The Warriors D-League and others potential users
using the facility also provide potential benefits to the City of Santa Cruz; notably increasing off-
season attractions, expanding the visitor base, adding a new sports amenity and opportunities to
our active community, as well as exploring interest in a state-of-the-art events facility in the
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future. Although the City is able to document with substantial evidence that the project will not
result in any significant environmental impacts that were not previously addressed adequately in
the City’s recently certified General Plan 2030 EIR the proposed project’s conditions of approval
will further minimize any potential conflicts with the surrounding neighborhoods. The findings
and conditions for approval are attached for the Planning Commission’s review.


Submitted by:                                       Approved by:




Alex Khoury                                         Juliana Rebagliati
Assistant Planning Director                         Director of Planning       and   Community
                                                    Development

Attachments: Resolution
             CEQA Checklist
             Noise study
             Parking study
             Traffic study
             Photo sims
             Color sheet




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