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Unofficial until approved REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY OF COSTA

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Unofficial until approved REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY OF COSTA Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                       Unofficial until approved

                    REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY OF
                    COSTA MESA PLANNING COMMISSION
                                  October 8, 2001


                         The Planning Commission of the City of Costa Mesa, California, met
                         in regular session at 6:30 p.m., October 8, 2001 at City Hall, 77 Fair
                         Drive, Costa Mesa, California. The meeting was called to order by
                         Chair Katrina Foley, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the
                         Flag.
ROLL CALL:               Commissioners Present:
                                       Chair Katrina Foley
                                       Vice Chair Garlich
                                       Commissioners Walter Davenport, Bill Perkins,
                                         and Eleanor Egan
                         Also Present: Willa Bouwens-Killeen, Acting Secretary
                                         Costa Mesa Planning Commission
                                       Marianne Reger, Deputy City Attorney
                                       Ernesto Munoz, Assistant City Engineer
                                       Mel Lee, Associate Planner
                                       Wendy Shih, Assistant Planner
APPOINTMENT:             Commissioner Davenport nominated Vice Chair Bruce Garlich as
                         representative to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District/City of
                         Costa Mesa Liaison Committee, which was seconded by Commis-
                         sioner Egan and carried 5-0.
MINUTES:                 The minutes for the meetings of September 10th and 24th were held
                         over to the Planning Commission meeting of October 22, 2001.
PUBLIC COMMENTS:         Doug Sutton, 2739 Canary Drive, Costa Mesa, expressed his appre-
                         ciation that a liaison from Planning Commission was designated and
                         thought it was a wonderful idea for the community. Vice Chair Gar-
                         lich added that it was a Planning Commission objective to do this so
                         there will be future reporting on events that occur at the Newport-
                         Mesa Unified School District. It was inspired by a session of the
                         Monterey Planning Commission last spring sponsored by the Califor-
                         nia League of Cities to recognize that there are actions that school
                         boards and planning commissions take which are synergistic, particu-
                         larly in terms of land use. He said this will provide a mechanism so
                         there is coordination on those issues. Mr. Sutton also thanked the
                         Commission for their closing arguments at the last public hearing re-
                         garding the Home Ranch Project and said it was an excellent job
                         from beginning to end. He also asked for the following: a reevalu-
                         ation of the City’s role in education; the Commission’s consideration
                         as to whether redevelopment was the best answer for Costa Mesa; he
                         also called for consideration of a community forum to discuss the vi-
                         sion of the City’s infrastructure; environmental issues, housing, etc.
PLANNING COMMISSIONERS   Chair Foley said she received a letter from Cindy Soto of Sierra Life
COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS:    Foundation requesting a requirement related to play areas, play
                         equipment, etc., for new and reopening schools. Chair Foley re-
                         quested private preschool and new school requirements be formu-
                         lated by staff because she said we tend to rely on just the state re-
                         quirements and she would like to see more assertiveness on the City’s
                         part. She asked that this be agendized for a future study session. She
                         suggested staff research the City of Irvine that has numerous re-
                         quirements for schools. She also requested staff agendize a discus-
                         sion reviewing the Westside moratorium for the next study session,
                         or the following session, with the Commission receiving copies of
                         the following: (1) April 13, 1999 Development Services Department
                         memorandum regarding the Westside Specific Plan moratorium dis-
                                                                                               October 8, 2001


                                 cussion; (2) October 21, 1999 Conflict of Interest memorandum from
                                 the City Attorney’s office; (3) March 26, 1999 memorandum from
                                 the Development Services Department; (4) map of the area that
                                 would be under consideration for Westside Specific Plan review; and
                                 (5) an updated list of potentially affected projects and their related
                                 status of entitlement.
CONSENT CALENDAR:                South Coast Plaza Town Center Open Space Easements for the City
                                 Council of the City of Costa Mesa.
                                 Deputy City Attorney Marianne Reger explained that the two open
                                 space easements were for previously entered-into development
                                 agreements between the City and Segerstrom relating to Town Center
                                 and the Center for the Arts. She said the easement amendments are
                                 to accommodate those development agreements and recommended
                                 Planning Commission recommend adoption to City Council.
                                 No one else wished to speak.
MOTION 1:                        A motion was made by Vice Chair Garlich, seconded by Commis-
Open Space Easements (Eastern)   sioner Davenport and carried 5-0, to recommend that City Council
Recommended to City Council      adopt a resolution approving the First Amendment to Open Space
                                 Easement (eastern portion) and authorized the Mayor and City Clerk
                                 to execute the First Amendment to Open Space Easement, based
                                 upon recommendation by the City Attorney’s office.
MOTION 2:                        A motion was made by Vice Chair Garlich, seconded by Commis-
Open Space Easements (Western)   sioner Perkins and carried 5-0, to recommend that City Council adopt
Recommended to City Council      a resolution approving the Third Amendment to Open Space Ease-
                                 ment (western portion) and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to
                                 execute the Third Amendment to Open Space Easement, based upon
                                 recommendation by the City Attorney’s office.
PUBLIC HEARINGS:
APPEAL OF MINOR CONDI-           The Chair opened the public hearing for consideration of Planning
TIONAL USE PERMIT ZA-01-38       Application PA-01-38 for Chip Cox, authorized agent for James R.
                                 Lewis, to allow an automotive impound yard for Jim’s Towing, lo-
Lewis/Cox                        cated at 913 and 917 West 18th Street in an MG zone. Environmental
                                 determination: exempt.
                                 Assistant Planner Wendy Shih reviewed the information in the staff
                                 report and recommended upholding the Zoning Administrator’s ap-
                                 proval, by adoption of Planning Commission resolution.
                                 Appellant, Commissioner Eleanor Egan requested her memo dated
                                 October 5, 2001, the accompanying photographs, and an excerpt from
                                 the City Council minutes, whereby Council authorized a conditional
                                 use permit for the use at its present location during the meeting of
                                 July 21, 1997, become a part of the City’s record. She explained her
                                 concerns involve overconcentration of auto storage businesses and
                                 the subject request is the third in one block of West 18th Street. It
                                 also conflicts with goal number 7 of the General Plan having to do
                                 with a balanced community. She said the second issue is the incom-
                                 patibility with neighboring uses, and that this auto storage business
                                 requires a discretionary permit because of its potential for adverse
                                 impacts on other land uses. She discussed: neighboring uses; in-
                                 compatibility because of nighttime operations; a potential safety issue
                                 for children coming and going to school; and dialogue by Council
                                 Member Monahan with regard to nighttime operations and eventual
                                 approval with a limitation on the hours of operation. She said regard-
                                 less of the limitation, there is still nighttime towing because the busi-
                                 ness requires it. There was discussion between Commissioner Per-
                                 kins and Commissioner Egan regarding a certificate of necessity held
                                 by the applicant. Commissioner Egan said she believed that expan-
                                 sion of the business would increase disturbances.

                                                   2
                                                               October 8, 2001


In response to a question from Commissioner Davenport, Ms. Shih
said there have been no complaints received by staff since the incep-
tion of Jim’s Towing at this location.
Chip Cox, authorized agent for James Lewis/Jim’s Towing, 26272
Yolanda Street, Laguna Hills, the building contractor who con-
structed and assisted in planning the first part of the project, and is
now working on the second part, said expansion of the facility is jus-
tified because the business needs the space. In three years of opera-
tion there have been no complaints to the City about noise or other
issues which he felt, speaks strongly for this business. Mr. Cox dis-
cussed Mr. Lewis’ proactive management style and the appearance of
Jim’s Towing which is architecturally designed and professionally
landscaped and maintained. Except for one apartment house which is
being used to store equipment, the usage on the block is all industrial
and this business is a permitted use in this zone, and is consistent
with the General Plan. He said a professional civil engineer has
drawn all the plans for expansion and it will be professionally built
and matched in detail to the present structure; the block wall and the
landscaping will be the same. He said when Mr. Lewis tows in a ve-
hicle at night, it doesn’t go into the storage yard – the vehicle is actu-
ally kept in the parking lot between the two buildings and that prac-
tice will be maintained with the new yard. He questioned Commis-
sioner Egan’s view that this business is incompatible with the exist-
ing uses because they are in an industrial zone. He said in looking at
the lot, they are just finishing their demolition work and it is sur-
rounded on 3 sides by industrial use property and is the best use for
that property. Mr. Cox asked why auto storage is bad and gave the
City’s parking lot as an example of auto storage during working
hours in front of the building. He pointed out that Jim’s Towing im-
pound yard is behind an 8-foot high block wall and people never even
see what is inside. He said they will remove the driveway on 18th
Street and he described the interior traffic pattern. Finally, he said if
Commission does not approve the minor conditional use permit,
someone else can come along with industrial usage that may have
trucks bring materials in and out; employee trips; use the existing
driveway and create more noise and trips per day than Jim’s Towing.
In response to a question from Vice Chair Garlich, Mr. Cox con-
firmed that the new storage area will be used for longer-term vehicle
storage as differentiated from cars that may be reclaimed the next day
or so by their owner(s).

In response to a question from Vice Chair Garlich, the applicant,
James Lewis, 531 Almadena, Newport Beach, explained how the ex-
pansion of his business would be run and that abandoned vehicles
would be stored for 30 to 60 days in the new storage area and then
sold at auction. In further response, he said the California Highway
Patrol may call once or twice a night, with some of their business
coming from the Auto Club for Southern California and Newport
Beach – occasionally, they will pick up a car at night and place it be-
tween the two existing buildings (administrative and maintenance),
and in the morning they are moved with a forklift into the storage
yard. In response to Chair Foley, Mr. Lewis stated that most of the
cars they deal with at night are picked up from calls by the Highway
Patrol and most have been in wrecks, or are a DUI problem. In re-
sponse to another question from Chair Foley, Mr. Lewis explained if
he were to pick up her car this evening and put it in the yard, she
could go there within 15 minutes and demand it back because she has
the right to get her car at any time. Responding again to Chair Foley,
Mr. Lewis said there might be 2 or 3 vehicles a week picked up at
night; abandoned cars are not towed during the night, and confirmed
again that most of their business takes place during the day.
                  3
                                                            October 8, 2001



Chair Foley asked staff to give an explanation of the statement that
somebody could build something on that site without any minor con-
ditional use permit, and if so, what type of use is allowed there by
right. Ms. Shih said that such permitted businesses could be manu-
facturing or wholesale businesses who proposed an industrial build-
ing on the site, and who go through a development review because
they are meeting all the development standards, without appearing
before Planning Commission. She confirmed that the development
review could be appealed. Ms. Bouwens-Killeen said Planning Divi-
sion does not necessarily know what the use will be in the building at
the time of the development review; they look solely at the develop-
ment in terms of how the building and landscaping are designed for
compatibility with the neighborhood. If the use is unknown, it cannot
be reviewed as part of the development review and would be under a
separate business license at a later date.
Commissioner Davenport pointed out that there is no appeal of a
business license; if someone wants to put a machine shop there, and
it’s a permitted use, and the business license is issued. Ms. Bouwens
Killeen said they may go through the entire construction process for
the shell of the building and not know what use will be in the build-
ing, and that’s perfectly legal. Commissioner Egan asked Ms. Bou-
wens-Killeen to confirm that the Planning Division is aware that cer-
tain uses tend to have adverse impacts on surrounding uses, and that
they have conditions that are applied either in the development re-
view, or through a conditional use permit process. Ms. Bouwens-
Killeen explained if it’s a permitted use, usually the only review
process for dangerous chemicals, for example, is through the Fire
Department, not through Planning Division. In response to another
question from Commissioner Egan, Ms. Bouwens-Killeen said if the
use has been anticipated as causing an impact on the neighborhood,
its been included within code as requiring a minor conditional use
permit. She said Planning Division does try to anticipate all the dif-
ferent uses, however, sometimes something new comes up that is a
permitted use but staff hasn’t been able to anticipate what type of im-
pacts it might have.
Mr. Cox returned to the podium to say he envisions a long-term vehi-
cle storage yard on that site with no noise, no driveway, there is a
landscaped, 8-foot high masonry wall on the street side, and it’s a
plus for the neighborhood as opposed to a possible manufacturing
concern, a machine shop, or anything else that will have more people
going in and out of the driveway, etc.
In response to Chair Foley, Mr. Cox agreed to the conditions of ap-
proval as outlined in the staff report. Mr. Lewis also agreed.
Chair Foley asked staff, with respect to Redevelopment Agency re-
view at this time, what is being considered for this street. There was
discussion on the proposed redevelopment areas and it was confirmed
that this property falls within the redevelopment area ,as well as most
of the Westside area.
Commissioner Davenport confirmed that if another business came
onto the site, no one would have any constraint on them as far as
hours of operation, which could be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Commissioner Egan confirmed that a machine shop or any other
business would be subject to the City’s noise ordinance.

Commissioner Egan made the following comments. In regard to the
“no complaints” matter, she said she has often heard, during the pe-
riod prior to the City’s adopting a proactive code enforcement policy,
there have been no complaints connected with something, and then

                  4
                                                                                              October 8, 2001


                                suddenly people come from everywhere to say they called and com-
                                plained and nothing happened, so “no complaints” is not the decisive
                                issue at all. One of the concerns regarding overconcentration is that
                                every time another use is approved that is the same as another use in
                                the area, its used as justification for yet another similar use and leads
                                to an unbalanced area. She felt the Commission should look at the
                                entire area to see if it’s an appropriate use and if it is appropriate to
                                expand it.
                                Mr. Cox returned to the podium and said he did not believe the entire
                                Westside would be taken over by tow companies. He stated Jim’s
                                Towing is the best looking, the best built building in the area, and
                                certainly the best screened site. He said the second phase would also
                                receive this kind of conscientious detailing. He said on the “no com-
                                plaints” issue, that if there were residents in that area who were con-
                                tinually bothered by careless tow truck operators, the City would have
                                heard about it. He said this business also provides moderate income
                                employment for between 8-10 people in the area, and this is an im-
                                portant consideration. In response to a question from Commissioner
                                Egan, Mr. Lewis said Jim’s Towing operation covers the Highway
                                Patrol anywhere within Orange County, and the primary core busi-
                                ness area includes the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. In
                                response to Chair Foley, Mr. Lewis said he had no other businesses in
                                the County.
                                No one else wished to speak and the Chair closed the public hearing.
MOTION:                         A motion was made by Commissioner Perkins, seconded by Com-
PA-01-38                        missioner Davenport and carried 3-2 (Eleanor Egan and Katrina
Upheld Zoning Administrator’s   Foley voted no), to uphold the Zoning Administrator’s decision of
approval                        approval, by adoption of Planning Commission Resolution PC-01-52,
                                based on analysis and information contained in the Planning Division
                                staff report and findings contained in exhibit “A”, subject to condi-
                                tions in exhibit “B.”
                                Commissioner Perkins felt that because the property is zoned for in-
                                dustrial, even though it is within the Westside Specific plan area,
                                which includes most of the Westside, and the applicant may receive
                                calls only 2 to 3 times a week from the Highway Patrol at night,
                                which does not seem unreasonable, so it must not be contributing to
                                noise in the area. The business operation is a sound use in that zone
                                and expanding the storage area should not be a problem.
                                Commissioner Davenport felt this was an innocuous addition to what
                                is an ongoing business, and because it’s basically long-term storage,
                                he did not see that the impacts of the business would increase. It will
                                not change the number of daytime or nighttime trips, especially not
                                nighttime trips, based on the nature of the storage, and as to any con-
                                cern about redevelopment in the area, if it is to be redeveloped, and if
                                eminent domain were to be part of that, he would rather see a parking
                                area than an industrial building.
                                Vice Chair Garlich said he supported the motion because it is an ex-
                                isting, conforming use on the applicant’s property not considered in-
                                consistent with the General Plan, or incompatible with the uses in the
                                area. It is the most attractive property on the block. It has already
                                been mentioned and discussed with the applicant that most of its tow-
                                ing is not done at night, but during the daytime. He said he is re-
                                spectful of Commissioner Egan’s concerns, but felt they were best
                                handled under the scope of the redevelopment process, which is on-
                                going.
                                Chair Foley said she could not support the motion because she agreed
                                with Commissioner Egan’s concerns and believed the issue related to

                                                  5
                                                                                       October 8, 2001


                         rezoning that area to residential is supported by the General Plan, and
                         goal #10 of the General Plan, objective 284 which encourages the
                         conversion of existing marginal and vacant commercial and/or light
                         industrial to residential where feasible and consistent with environ-
                         mental conditions suitable for new residential development. This
                         does not preclude the initiation of such actions by the City. She felt it
                         was very important the Commission move in a more residentially-
                         minded manner in that area of the City.
                         Chair Foley explained the appeal process.
REZONE PETITION          The Chair opened the public hearing for consideration of Rezone Pe-
R-01-05                  tition R-01-05 for Chester M. Winebright, to rezone existing lots
                         from C1 to R2-MD, for a property located at 115 E. Wilson
Winebright               Street/2340 Newport Boulevard. Environmental determination: ex-
                         empt.
                         Associate Planner Mel Lee reviewed the information in the staff re-
                         port and recommended Planning Commission recommend denial to
                         City Council, by adoption of Planning Commission resolution.
                         Mr. Lee stated that staff asked the applicant to prepare a conceptual
                         plan based on the new residential standards so that staff can deter-
                         mine whether or not this site would be feasible for residential devel-
                         opment per R2-MD standards. The applicant’s plan did not reflect
                         that this property could be effectively developed under the new stan-
                         dards, and that is the primary reason staff is not recommending ap-
                         proval of the rezone as submitted.
                         Commissioner Davenport confirmed that the applicant began the
                         process of combining the two parcels into a single parcel. He asked
                         staff if there was any concern with a continuance to allow that proc-
                         ess to proceed, and to allow the applicant perhaps more time to pre-
                         sent a conceptual plan. He said it would not be necessary to have a
                         full plan that included elevations, but rather a site plan showing the
                         site can be developed as residential. Mr. Lee concurred.
                         Vice Chair Garlich asked if a feasible plan using the new develop-
                         ment standards exists, and could staff work with the applicant to try
                         to further that goal. Mr. Lee concurred and noted the site does have
                         the potential and some unique features to it, one of which is a public
                         alley that could be incorporated into the design of the plan as part of
                         the access which would allow larger lot areas for the individual units.
                         Chuck Keane, General Contractor for the property; 19592 Waterbury
                         Lane, Huntington Beach said he was agreeable to a continuance.
                         Commissioner Davenport confirmed with Mr. Keane that staff and
                         the Commission are looking for something that indicates it is feasible
                         to put a project on the site. Mr. Keane said they would work closely
                         with the Planning Division. Mr. Lee felt a continuance to the meet-
                         ing of November 13, 2001, would provide ample time. In response to
                         Commissioner Davenport, he felt the lot combination would take
                         longer, however, he said once the application is submitted and in
                         process, staff would not be as concerned about it having to be ap-
                         proved and recorded prior to having the rezone move forward.
MOTION:                  A motion was made by Commissioner Davenport, seconded by Vice
R-01-05                  Chair Garlich and carried 5-0, to continue the item to the Planning
Continued                Commission meeting of November 13, 2001.
PLANNING APPLICATION     Planning Application PA-01-16 Jaime Hill, for a conditional use
PA-01-16                 permit to legalize counseling and instructional services for drug, al-
                         cohol, and domestic violence abuse (South Coast Counseling,) with a
South Coast Counseling   minor conditional use permit for shared parking based on offset hours
                         of operation, located at 3001 Red Hill Avenue, Bldg. #2-208 in a PDI
                         zone. Environmental determination: exempt.

                                           6
                                                                                                   October 8, 2001



                                    Withdrawn by the applicant.
PLANNING APPLICATION                Planning Application PA-01-35 for Kenneth Jones, authorized agent
PA-01-35                            for Shaheen Sadeghi, to allow private parties, including live enter-
                                    tainment; extension of operating hours until 2 a.m. 7 days a week; to
Sadeghi/Jones                       operate a separate bar on the outdoor dining patio; and extend hours
                                    for live amplified music on the outdoor dining patio until midnight, 7
                                    days a week for Habana Restaurant, located at 2930 Bristol Street in a
                                    C2 zone. Environmental determination: exempt.
                                    Staff recommended continuance to the Planning Commission meet-
                                    ing of November 13, 2001.
MOTION:                             A motion was made by Commissioner Davenport, seconded by
PA-01-35                            Commissioner Perkins and carried 5-0 to continue the item to the
Continued                           Planning Commission meeting of November 13, 2001.

REPORT OF THE DEVELOP- Review of Zoning Administrator’s determination regarding the re-
MENT SERVICES DEPART- view process for applications for drug and alcohol counseling and
MENT:                  instructional services.
                                    Acting Secretary Willa Bouwens-Killeen reviewed the report of the
                                    Zoning Administrator’s determination regarding the review and ap-
                                    proval process for drug and alcohol counseling and instructional ser-
                                    vices for groups.
                                    The Planning Commission discussed the report and concluded that
                                    there was no existing substantial similarity to any other use listed in
                                    the Land Use Matrix, and that drug and alcohol counseling and in-
                                    structional services would therefore, require a conditional use permit.
                                    Further, the Commission directed staff to initiate and report back sev-
                                    eral requests to the Commission designed to cover the scope of condi-
                                    tions for these group homes. The following motions were then made.
MOTION:                             A motion was made by Commissioner Davenport, seconded by
Drug/Alcohol Counseling             Commissioner Foley to disallow these types of uses until staff identi-
Withdrawn                           fies where they fit in the matrix and how. Deputy City Attorney
                                    Marianne Reger explained that under current code, even though the
                                    land use is not currently designated in the land use matrix, we have to
                                    allow applicant’s to process a CUP because we could not outright
                                    disallow that particular use. Chair Foley withdrew her second and
                                    Commissioner Davenport withdrew his motion
MOTION 1:                           A motion was made by Chair Foley, seconded by Commissioner
Drug/Alcohol Counseling             Davenport and carried 5-0, that the Commission agreed that drug and
No similarity exists/Requires CUP   alcohol counseling and instructional services do not fall into the cate-
                                    gory of “trade and vocational schools” and therefore, requires a con-
                                    ditional use permit.
MOTION 2:                           A motion was made by Chair Foley, seconded by Commission Per-
Drug/Alcohol Counseling             kins and carried 5-0, to directed staff to create a set of standard condi-
Direction to staff                  tions and a set of tailored standards for special cases, i.e., significant
                                    differences; research appropriate state and county licensing agencies
                                    for processing and requirements; set criteria for existing group
                                    homes; and provide a condition for a security program outlining the
                                    elements of security location, times of day, etc.
                                    There was discussion between the Commissioners regarding the
                                    group home elements as described in the second motion, “direction to
                                    staff.”
REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT None.
CITY ATTORNEY:
ADJOURNMENT:                        There being no further business, Chair Foley adjourned the meeting at
                                    8:02 p.m., to the study session of October 15, 2001.

                                                      7
                                      October 8, 2001



Submitted by:




WILLA BOUWENS-KILLEEN, ACTING SECRETARY
COSTA MESA PLANNING COMMISSION




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