Staff report dated September 8, 1999, was presented pertaining to a request to consider a tentative tract map to subdivide an approximately 35-acre parcel into 91 numbered and 7 lettered lots for a single-family detached subdivision, including dedication of an approximately one-acre public view park; a zone change from O-G (Oil and Gas) to R-1-7,200-O (single-family development, 7,200-square-foot minimum lot size with an oil overlay) and "OS-VP (Open Space View Park); amend #6 to Master Specific Plan 1A, reducing the allowable number of housing units and reconfiguration of the designated open space; abandonment of a 10-foot-wide trail easement along the northern portion of the site, and approximately 5,600 square feet of Rolling Hills Park for street access to the development, and a Development Agreement, on property located at the northwest corner of State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road (O-G zone) (Environmental Impact Report).
Chief Planner Rosen reported that the parcel in question has been controlled since 1981 under the Coyote Hills East Master (Specific) Plan, to 112 single-family homes, and up to a two-acre public park. The property is zoned O-G (Oil and Gas). This designation will be changed to R-1-7,200-O, and OS-VP (Open Space View Park). Slides were shown depicting the lot as it exists today, including drainage areas, boundaries, access roads, grade and surrounding development. The average lot size for the project is 8,400 square feet, and meets all zoning code and subdivision map ordinance requirements.
Chief Planner Rosen further reported that this project has had a considerable amount of community input in a variety of forums, i.e. informal field meetings with staff, meetings with Coyote Hills committee members, expanded mailing lists to residents, and a community meeting by the developer. One of the key issues includes the two-acre view park which will be maintained by the Homeowner's Association.
Staff has required that the developer keep the grades at a minimum, yet attempt to balance the on-site dirt to avoid the exportation of fill. The grades have been lowered for almost the entire northern perimeter of the site, with the exception of eight lots. Traffic and circulation issues include the widening of State College Boulevard and the addition of a right turn lane and left turn pocket into the site. Maple Avenue, the secondary access to the site, was discussed at length during the community forum. Both access points are proposed to be gated, with private streets in between. Staff believes that for access purposes, this is the best configuration for the site, including access for emergency vehicles.
Mr. Rosen further reported that there is a trail dedicated as part of the tract to the north. A portion of the dedication was a fee lot to the City, which has never been improved or maintained. This lot will be sold to the developer for approximately $25,000, and will be incorporated into the development. This will allow the grades of the properties to the north to "match." To the east of this trail, there is an easement which staff is recommending to be abandoned, and will revert back to the homeowners who may improve the property as they so desire.
The Development Agreement is required as part of the specific plan for this property. The EIR was circulated for public review, comments were received and responded to by staff. Chief Planner Rosen reminded the Commission that the EIR is not required to mitigate to "zero" any environmental impacts. However, if the developer cannot mitigate to zero all items in terms of their impact listed in the EIR, the City may then adopt a Findings and Statements of Overriding Considerations. Two areas in the proposed tract fall into this category: air quality (short-term impacts during the course of construction, i.e. machinery) and hazards (which may occur on site or be created because of the development of the site which cannot be predicted). The MWD line, for example, which runs through the property will require the developer to take special precautions in an attempt to avoid any accidental impacts to that line.
Staff recommended approval of the request, subject to all mitigation measures and conditions of approval.
Chairman Godfrey asked the following questions:
How large is the development due east of the proposed project and how many access points does it contain?
145 units, with two access points from State College Blvd. and Bastanchury Road.
Has there been any subsequent impact from the result of that grading plan to the homes north of the site?
There were many discussions with the adjacent homeowners, and the majority of their concerns were addressed by the developer. The grading was "softened" as much as possible, and walls and landscaping were added.
Will the HOA be responsible for the maintenance of all undeveloped land? Also, who determines what kind of foliage will cover the slopes and other undeveloped areas?
The HOA is responsible for maintenance of all undeveloped areas. The foliage, ground cover, trees, etc. is covered under the City's standard landscape requirements in the zoning ordinance.
There are proposed walls along State College Boulevard and part of Bastanchury Road. What will the height of that fencing be?
The perimeter walls will not be higher than six feet. They will look higher for those properties on site which will mostly be graded significantly lower than State College Boulevard.
Commissioner Simons first thanked staff and the developer for their time and effort with the project. He asked the following questions: Regarding the proposed two acre-park dedicated park, exactly how much acreage will be useable park space, and will the park be available to the public after sale of the first phase?
The revised plan depicts approximately 1.1 acres of land, flat at the top, with slopes, including the parking stalls. The project will require approximately 70,000 cubic yards of dirt to be moved to this corner to create the view park. The park will be fully accessible to the public, with access off State College Boulevard, and will be available within one year of the final map recordation. Chief Planner Rosen explained that the purpose of the park is to provide a passive view area for the public, but not to have an active recreational play area.
Page 4, Paragraph 11 of the staff report indicates that raised medians on Bastanchury and State College will be extended. How far will the extension go?
The median will be extended along the project to the project boundary at Rolling Hills Drive and to approximately one hundred feet of the Bastanchury intersection.
Where will the new left and right turn lanes be located?
City Traffic Engineer Mark Miller pointed out on the vicinity sketch where the new lanes would be installed. He pointed out that the right turn lane from southbound State College to westbound Bastanchury would be extended so that drivers wishing to enter the park would be out of the through traffic lanes.
Regarding the loss of 5,600 square-feet of Rolling Hill Park to be purchased by the developer, who, in turn, will refurbish all of the play equipment, Commissioner Simons indicated he would be hesitant to lose any portion of that property. Further, he felt that a signal should be placed at State College Boulevard and Delicata Drive, with an emergency access at Maple Avenue, and the only access off of State College Boulevard.
Chief Planner Rosen informed the Commission that traffic counts for the area show that a signal at that location would not be warranted. The developer, however, will be required to make a deposit to pay for a signal, if one should be required, after the project is completed. Traffic Engineer Miller added that presently warrants are not met at State College/Delicata. There is presently a project in progress to install traffic signal coordination on State College Blvd., from the south city boundary to Imperial Highway. As the City's Traffic Engineer, he stated that a signal installed at Delicata Drive would fit within the progression design for the coordination, and it may be a prudent move, at this point, to require the developer to install it.
Regarding the Maple Avenue access, Chief Planner Rosen reported that there are two constraints with the plan design. One of these is creating an emergency access only, however the city's subdivision ordinance does not allow cul-de-sacs more than 500 feet in length, and a Maple access turnaround would be approximately 1,500 feet long, and would need approval by the City Council. However, staff still feels that the project, as proposed, is reasonable because of the limited amount of traffic. Staff believes most of the traffic would exit on State College Boulevard, particularly if a signal is installed at Delicata Drive.
What amount would the applicant be required to pay in park and development fees?
The Development Agreement fee starts at approximately $1,200/unit and the park fee is $3,800/unit.
If the Maple Avenue entrance is approved, what upgrades will the developer make to the park?
When the project was originally proposed, the developer met with the Community Services Director to discuss this issue. It will most likely be an access easement through the park, with a cost of approximately $100,000 to the City for upgrading the equipment to all ADA requirements.
The staff report requires all construction deliveries to be made to the site during off hours. What controls can be placed on the developer to ensure that these deliveries would keep those hours?
A pre-construction meeting is held with all the major superintendents and their subcontractors to achieve compliance with all conditions. City staff has the ability to shut down any job in the city that is not in compliance with city ordinances.
What impact will the development have on Fullerton schools?
Staff deferred to representatives from the Fullerton School District who were present and could address this issue.
Who will own the land that an oil well is on when it is no longer producing?
The developer will have to formulate a plan through the HOA to convert those areas back to open space once the wells are abandoned.
Could staff clarify why a home cannot be built over a capped oil well?
All wells must be away from any structures and homes cannot be built on a capped well, because of possible leaks and venting of vapors.
Commissioner Ballard noted that one of the mitigation measures states that the City would have access to the park prior to the approval of the tentative tract map. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that this was in error and should be read as ...prior to the approval of the final tract map. Commissioner Ballard also asked:
Are there any other parks in the City which are maintained privately? Also, because the V-ditch which will run through the park should be maintained by the property owners to the north, who will be responsible if the park is not maintained? Will there be an agreement that will describe what "maintenance" entails?
Chief Planner Rosen answered that the 91 lots will be required to form a Homeowners' Association (HOA) who will be responsible for all maintenance and landscaping in the park. The City will negotiate all performance provisions prior to the final CC&Rs.
Commissioner Ballard felt that it was unfair to require a homeowners' association to maintain a public park. Was any consideration given to imposing a restriction that construction traffic shall not travel through the residential property to the north? Could this be made a condition of approval?
Staff discussed this issue with the developer and all traffic shall enter/exit on State College Boulevard. Staff will list this item as an additional condition of approval.
Are the mitigation measures and conditions of approval the same thing?
Actually, the mitigation measures come from the environmental documents and processing of the Environmental Impact Report. The City is required under state law to have enforceable mechanisms to implement all the mitigations identified in the EIR. The conditions of approval come from City codes and professional judgment which should be applied to the project.
The City may have a "blighted" area where the easement (V-ditch) is located. Has this been addressed between the City and developer?
Staff discussed this matter with adjoining property owners, and the developer and are trying to resolve this issue.
At this time, Chief Planner Rosen made corrections to the staff report:
- Page 3, item 6, the range in lot size shall be changed from 6,500 to 6,630;
- Page 6, item 23, lists the mailing notification radius going to Maple Avenue, when in fact it went all the way to Rolling Hills School;
- Page 11, under Land Use and Parks and Recreation, tentative tract maps shall be changed to final tract maps and under Land Use ...two acres cross shall be corrected to two acres gross. Under Parks and Recreation, the words "per the terms of the Development Agreement" shall be added to Item 3 after the words "City of Fullerton."
- On page 18, under Conditions of Approval, item 4, the words "fronting the site" shall be added after the words "Bastanchury Road".
- Page 18, item 5d shall read: "A portion of the project should consider inclusion of one-story homes to vary the architectural feel..."
Chairman Godfrey suggested that the words "inclusion of parking" be added to Land Use Item 1, after the words "two acres gross."
Commissioner LeQuire asked the following questions:
The land (V-ditch) would revert back to the homeowners upon abandonment. Should the property owner not wish to move his block wall to acquire the additional 15 feet of land, who would be responsible for its maintenance?
Chief Planner Rosen advised that the civil engineer for the project would address that issue.
Could a condition be added that requires Maple Avenue to be closed during the entire construction process?
The Commission may add that condition if there is a consensus.
Who is liable if someone is injured in the view park?
The HOA will be required to have sufficient insurance to cover any liability, however, the City may also have to share a portion of that liability.
The following questions were asked by Commissioner Sandoval:
Does the development and dedication of the park reduce the park dwelling fees paid by the developer?
Chief Planner Rosen answered that this item was negotiated as part of the overall package with the developer. As part of the negotiations, the City will hold the park fee at the current rate, and it would not increase when fees go up next year.
Would the HOA also be responsible for the maintenance (resurfacing and striping) of the view park parking lot?
Yes, the HOA would be responsible for full maintenance of the open space area.
Under Conditions of Approval, No. 12 states that "final design of the view park will be subject to review of the Community Services Commission and the City Council, while the Engineer's letter states that the plans shall be approved by the Director of Development Services.
The final plans will be approved by the City Council.
Regarding the easement area that would revert back to the homeowners, would the developer work with all the residents involved to ensure that drainage flowed smoothly through this area, whether or not the homeowner moved his fence to acquire the additional land?
This issue is a part of the overall drainage plan and will be reviewed by staff to make sure that all on-site drainage complies with all city codes. Chief Planner Rosen noted that negotiations with the property owners to the north, to underground part of the storm drain system, had not been addressed in the Engineer's letter as previously stated, and this would be added as a condition of approval.
Public hearing opened.
Stephen King, Van Daele Development, 2900 Adams Street, Suite C-25, Riverside, thanked the Commission for hearing this matter and studying all of the information presented. He also thanked staff, especially Joel Rosen and Ron Wallin, for all of their assistance. He indicated that Van Daele Development accepts and concurs with all of the mitigation measures and conditions of approval as modified. After numerous discussions with the adjoining property owners, it was his opinion that, for the most part, the majority of the neighbors supported the project. Regarding the Maple Avenue extension, the developer and civil engineer devised a new plan which provides a 20-foot width for emergency vehicles and does not take any land from Rolling Hills Park. Van Daele would still be willing to modify the park structures as set forth in the Development Agreement. Mr. King further explained the drainage system by pointing it out on the vicinity sketch. The developer will also consider the inclusion of some one-story homes where feasible, or a single-story effect.
Chairman Godfrey reminded the audience that this was a preliminary agreement, and a final plan was not complete at this time.
Jens Thielman, Thielman Engineers, stated that, with the exception of three lots, all of the on-site water will drain to the street. The developer will also construct a ditch, next to the V-ditch which will revert back to the property owners, to carry any additional runoff. He reminded the Commission that they would need the approval of the northern property owners to grade on this property up to this point. An underground storm drain would be installed if a consensus of all the neighbors can be obtained.
Lot 41 is the most northeastern on the plan. Mr. Thielman presented an overhead section showing the line of sight between Lot 41 and property at 2016 Sandalwood. The study showed that the view of the Lot 41 home, will not negatively impact the existing home on Sandalwood.
The following persons spoke on the request:
Patricia Godfrey, Assistant Superintendent, Fullerton School District, spoke on the impact of the project on city schools. She stressed the importance of the district's ability to house and educate all students which the project would generate, and indicated that there had been numerous meetings between the developer and school district. She was pleased that an agreement had been reached and would be presented to the Board of Trustees at its next meeting. She thanked the Van Daele Development Corporation and city staff for their assistance.
Ron Smithling, 2016 Beechwood, presented a petition signed by approximately 30 homeowners, along with a list of concerns, including a 15-foot high retaining wall and drainage issues. Three Beechwood addresses, 2016, 2008 and 2000, are most affected by the project and asked that the developer work closely with the homeowners to address their concerns. The petition was entered into the record.
Bob Ward, Coyote Hills Committee, reminded the Commission that 40% of the Coyote Hills Master Plan was planned as open space. He did not think that the sloped area, or parking lot of the view park should be considered as open space, and it should not be represented as a two-acre park. He also cautioned that the park would be most accessible to only southbound traffic on State College Boulevard, and that a turnout on Bastanchury Road was not provided. He suggested placing a deceleration lane for westbound traffic on Bastanchury Road, with an additional parking lot for the view park on the Bastanchury side. This may require the removal of one of the proposed lots.
Irv Helton, 2741 Sequoia Avenue, was concerned about the possible Maple Avenue access because of increased traffic and noise to existing residents.
Joan Lebsac, who lives on Beechwood Avenue, also spoke against having Maple Avenue as an access point because of the large numbers of pets, children and senior citizens who utilize the park. She felt that additional traffic would become a safety hazard and suggested using the view park area as an ingress/egress point to the development.
Jack LeTour, 2017 Beechwood Avenue, spoke in favor of a signal at Delicata Drive, the addition of a sound wall, but did not favor the Maple Avenue access.
Kathy Lancaster, President of the North Fullerton Homeowner's Association, 901 Paloma Place, supported the accessibility of the view park to the public, not using Maple Avenue as an access, the signal at Delicata Drive, and the urban forest concept of the project. She also felt that any funds required of the developer for gnatcatcher preservation should be kept in Fullerton, and not Chino Hills Regional Park.
Earl Asch, 1737 Mimosa Place, pointed out alternative access points on the vicinity sketch which could be utilized instead of Maple Avenue.
Mark Zdunich, 2701 Sequoia Avenue, expressed his concern for his son's safety should Maple Avenue be extended.
Thomas Willowford, 2757 Live Oak Avenue, feared that he would receive an influx of ground squirrels from the new development.
Judy Parrett, lives at the end of Merlin Avenue. She wished clarification of the proposed grading behind her property. Mr. Tillman, civil engineer, explained how the grading would level out approximately ten feet (easement area) behind her six-foot fence, then a three-foot retaining wall before it would again slope up an additional eight-to-ten feet. Because of the close proximity to her yard, she requested that only single-story homes be constructed at this location.
Jack Young, 1600 Sandalwood Avenue, favored the development, and pointed out that most of the trash and debris in the V-ditch adjoining the northern property owners is a result of weed abatement. He also asked for an alternative route to the proposed Maple Avenue access.
Marie Whaling, Fullerton, did not support a signal at State College Boulevard and Delicata Drive because she felt the speed of traffic going southbound on State College Boulevard would create a safety hazard.
Jackie Agee, 1814 Sandalwood Avenue, presented a petition signed by all of the property owners on Sandalwood Avenue, which states that they favor the abandonment of the easement and wish to take back the aforementioned 10-feet of land.
Gregg Plagy, 1934 Sandalwood Avenue, felt that pathways should be installed for existing homeowners to enter Rolling Hills Park and Rolling Hills School from the end of Merlin Avenue. Mr. Plagy also asked questions about the use of the MWD easement.
Mike Gomez, 1700 Sandalwood Avenue, inquired if the developer would be responsible for any dirt, debris, etc. that may fall into the many pools in the area. Chief Planner Rosen reminded the Commission that there were conditions of approval to mitigate this problem as much as possible. Should the neighbors experience any problems such as this, they may contact the developer directly.
Glenn Fay, 1929 Sandalwood Avenue, was disappointed that the developer was not planning to place a footpath to Rolling Hills Park and the new view park for the current residents. He did not feel that ample community input had been obtained concerning this issue.
Scott Wilson, 2751 Merlin Avenue, feared that his view would be impaired by the proposed development. Barry Moore, 1910 Sandalwood Avenue, concurred.
Corey Saenz, 2711 Sequoia Avenue, opposed the Maple Avenue extension. He questioned if Maple Avenue is utilized as an emergency access, would parking be prohibited? Traffic Engineer Miller indicated that there would be some restrictions at the entrance.
Don Black, 3015 Lakeview Terrace, North Fullerton Homeowner's Association, stated that the PM-10 output ("particulate matter to the tenth power") would increase by approximately five pounds per day with this development. He wished to bring this health hazard to the attention of the Commission.
Vivian Boyce, 1820 Sandalwood Avenue spoke in opposition to the Maple Avenue extension, and wished to know if she had recourse if any part of her pool/deck would crack during construction. She requested that the homes constructed behind her be graded with a flat area between her house and the new development. She reminded the Commission that the new development need not be gated, therefore opening it up to foot travel to the park.
Burt Johnson, 2726 Merlin Avenue, inquired if air quality would be monitored during construction. Chief Planner Rosen replied that the developer must file a special program with SCAQMD to ensure that mitigation measures would be taken to alleviate as much dust emission as possible. He wished the record to reflect that he desires access to the parks and that grading be such that it flows with the current properties.
Ed Dahms, 2008 Beechwood Avenue, felt that the City should be responsible for informing the residents where the property lines will be. He asked that the block wall behind the three houses on Beechwood Avenue, connect into the proposed wall at the end of Live Oak Avenue. He also did not feel that the view park was necessary.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner LeQuire felt that the developer attempted to contact as many of the current residents as possible. He supported an emergency access road off of Bastanchury Road, not Maple Avenue, because emergency vehicles could travel faster on a major street. The present development is an improvement over previously-proposed plans. He encouraged the developer to provide pedestrian access off of Maple and Merlin Avenues, but not be available to through traffic. He stressed the importance of having indemnity over any liability for the view park, and urged the developer to address all concerns. He supported the project.
Commissioner Ballard stated that providing pedestrian access through a gated community defeats the purpose of such a development, and the City should not interfere with the developer's plans as proposed. The site lines are not protected, unless a homeowner purchases such an easement for sight, air, or light. Because the project meets all City codes and zoning ordinances, the developer has the right to construct two-story homes. The MWD lines through the property dictates the final elevation and grading of all the lots, and he felt that the lots have already been lowered as far as was feasible. Concerning the signal at Delicata Drive, it was his opinion that it not be installed until such traffic counts dictate. Because a noise problem already exists, he felt that the developer should be only be responsible for a noise wall to the extent that the proposed development contributes to it. The traffic which would be generated if Maple Avenue were utilized as an access point would be minimal, and he supported the project as presented.
Commissioner Sandoval also supported the project, and she felt that a signal should be placed at Delicata Drive, with Maple Avenue as an emergency access. She noted that the property already has a natural slope and the developer has terraced it as adequately as possible, and having the view park at the intersection would not prohibit any views to those traveling on State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road. She supported the addition of a condition restricting all construction traffic through the residential area, and negotiating with the north property owners concerning the easement. During the construction phase, she requested that all residents be informed of whom they may contact with any problems which may arise during construction.
Commissioner Simons thanked all of the community present who expressed their ideas and concerns. He favored a traffic signal at Delicata Drive, that Maple Avenue be used as an emergency access only, and asked that staff again review the parking for the view park. He was satisfied that the developer was willing to listen to all of the residents concerns and he supported the project.
Chairman Godfrey also supported the project. He inquired if the city did not abandon Lot A on the northern tract, could it be utilized as a walkway from Maple Avenue, between the current properties, to the park. Chief Planner Rosen answered that, as a rule, the city did not support walkways or public spaces hidden behind walls because of safety issues. The design presently reflects a 10-foot space but grading and drainage issues would have to be addressed. Chairman Godfrey also supported the signal at Delicata Drive and that the emergency access be off Bastanchury Road.
Director Dudley reminded those in attendance that there are always issues which arise with large construction projects, and residents are free to call city staff at any time. He advised that jobs may be shut down at any time during the construction process.
There was a consensus of the Commission for approval.
The title of Resolution No. 6838 GRANTING a Tentative Tract Map to subdivide an approximately 35-acre parcel into 91 numbered and seven lettered lots for a single-family detached subdivision, including dedication of an approximate two-acre view park, on property located at the northwest corner of State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road, was read and further reading was waived.
The title of Resolution No. 6839 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of Amendment #6 to Master (Specific) Plan MSP-1A to amend the existing Coyote Hills East Master (Specific) Plan by reducing the maximum allowable development potential to 91 units at a density of 2.8 dwelling units per acre and to reconfigure access to open space Area 11 on property located at the northwest corner of State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road, was read and further reading was waived.
The title of Resolution No. 6840 RECOMMENDING to the City Council to abandon a recreational trail easement dedicated on tracts 8202 and 6917 and declare property known as Lot A of Tract 6917 surplus on property located at the northwest corner of State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road, was read and further reading was waived.
The title of Resolution No. 6841 RECOMMENDING that the City Council change the zone classification from O-G (Oil and Gas) to R-1-7,200-O (Single-Family Residential with a 7,200 minimum lot size and an Oil Overlay Zone) and O-G (Oil and Gas) to OS-VP (Open Space-View Park) on property located at the northwest corner of State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road, was read and further reading was waived.
The title of Resolution No. 6842 RECOMMENDING to the City Council adoption of a Development Agreement, as defined by Section 65865.2 of the California Government Code, between the City of Fullerton and Van Daele Development Corporation pertaining to 35 acres of undeveloped land at the northwest corner of State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road, was read and further reading was waived.
MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Environmental Impact Report be CERTIFIED. MOTION by Commissioner Ballard, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolutions be ADOPTED AS AMENDED, as follows:
- The addition of Condition No. 14 that no construction-related traffic shall be allowed to enter or exit this site from Maple, Merlin or Live Oak Avenues.
- The addition of Condition No. 15 stating that the developer shall negotiate with the property owners to the north to "even out the grades" between the adjoining properties and the trail easement area where possible. This may facilitate combining and undergrounding a portion of the drainage system along the northern boundary of the project.
To recommend to the City Council the following modifications:
- That only emergency access be allowed to Maple Avenue and a cul-de-sac be provided at the terminus of Street A of Tentative Tract 15618.
- That a signal be installed at the proposed State College Boulevard entrance to Tract 15618, even if technical "signal warrants" are not met.
- That the portion of the City trail easement on TR 8202 and Lot A of Tract 6917, extending from Merlin Avenue to Rolling Hills Park be retained and improved as a walkway connection from Merlin Avenue to Rolling Hills Park if feasible. If not feasible, then the Lot A should be declared surplus and the trail easement abandoned. Regardless, that portion of the trail easement east of Merlin Avenue is recommended to be abandoned.
- That a five to six-foot high block wall be extended along State College Boulevard to protect the two lots north of the project boundary.
Chief Planner Rosen advised that this item would tentatively be heard by the City Council in October, with subsequent notices mailed to all surrounding residents.