Staff report dated April 5, 2000, was presented pertaining to a request to subdivide a 3.10-acre parcel to create five single-family residential lots on property located at the southeast corner of Laguna Road and Euclid Street (R-1-20,000 zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration) (Continued from January 12 and February 23, 2000).
Senior Planner Mullis reported that access for this project will be provided off of Yuma Way, even though several properties will back up to Euclid Street. As part of this project, Euclid Street will be widened to its ultimate width, a recreational trail will be provided along its edge, and a storm drain will be extended further south. Improvements to Yuma Way will include widening of the street, and the addition of sidewalks. Although a noise study had previously been prepared for this site, the applicant will be asked to update that study as part of the conditions of approval. There is a natural stream on the property, which will require that applicant obtain appropriate permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and California Department of Fish and Game. A geotechnical analysis was prepared for the project, and additional analysis will be required which ensures that there will be no geotechnical liquefaction issues on site.
Staff has received several telephone calls pertaining to this project. During the past week, staff received a call concerning visibility at Euclid Street and Laguna Road, specifically that vehicles fail to stop at the signal when traveling down Euclid Street, and any obstruction at the intersection could create problems for cars proceeding onto Euclid Street from Laguna Road on a green light. Senior Planner Mullis explained that a corner cut-off will provide adequate visibility at this location. She also noted that a resident brought to staff's attention that a barn to the east of the site houses exotic animals, and the resident asked that this information should be disclosed to any future property owners. Staff recommended approval of the request.
Commissioner Simons questioned when Yuma Way was projected to be extended. Senior Planner Mullis explained that should the property to the south of the site develop as residential, staff wanted to ensure that access to those parcels would be from Yuma Way, and not Euclid Street. The owner of the property to the south had previously informed staff that they may wish to construct a board and care facility in the future and, should this occur, access may need to be taken off of Euclid Street.
Commissioner Simons also asked how the noise levels would be mitigated. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the previous noise study indicated that a masonry wall, between eight to ten feet in height along Euclid Street, would mitigate most of the impacts. Staff is asking that the applicant analyze this information to be sure that it would satisfy the proposed project requirements.
Commissioner Crane noted on the grading plan that the area in question was not level, and was concerned that the wall could go as high as 20 feet. Senior Planner Mullis answered that this was not staff's intent, and the wall will be set back further from the street because of the equestrian trail. Staff anticipates that it would be no higher than 10-12 feet; if it is higher than that, staff would request that additional landscaping be added. Commissioner Crane also wished clarification on the types of exotic animals housed on the southeasterly property. The owner of these animals spoke from the audience, and stated that these were farm animals, i.e. horses, llamas, chicken, sheep, and rabbits.
Commissioner Sandoval pointed out on the Initial Study checklist that the surrounding land uses that identify east and west portions of the property, were reversed. Senior Planner Mullis stated that staff would make that correction in the final document.
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin made a correction to the Engineer's letter under Grading and Drainage, third paragraph, adding a condition "that the City will pay back its portion within two years from the date the storm drain is accepted by the City.
Commissioner Simons noted that on page 1 of the Engineer's letter, a seven-foot wide sidewalk is required, but on page 2 under Access and Circulation, it is listed as a four-foot sidewalk. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin clarified that the dedication shall be seven feet, and the sidewalk shall be four feet. Commissioner Simons further expressed concern regarding the "no parking" requirement imposed on Yuma Way.
Public hearing opened.
Brian Thienes, 16800 Valley View Avenue, La Mirada, represented the developer of this project. He reminded the Commission that this was a previously-approved tract map, which had recently expired, and most of the proposed changes were minimal. He stated that the extension of Yuma Way would occur only if the southern property were developed as residential, thus an easement will be provided between the two parcels. Because of the potential for sound problems, all of the proposed homes will be single-story, thus no portion of the home would be elevated above the sound wall. Mature eucalyptus trees will be planted along the horse trail to enhance the area. Regarding the parking issue, Mr. Thienes reported that the homes will have long driveways which can accommodate several vehicles. The no parking requirement was necessary to keep the fire access clear. He also indicated that he had read and concurred with all of the recommended conditions of approval and mitigation measures, including the Engineer's letter.
Commissioner Allred asked what would be necessary to allow parking on the street. Mr. Thienes explained that the street would have to be widened, and this would seriously impact Lots 2 and 3, which are already the narrowest of the five lots, by reducing the floor plans.
Commissioner Godfrey questioned whether there was an approved easement between Lots 3 and 4. Mr. Thienes said that there is an easement for utilities, ingress and egress, as stated on the plans, which will be kept active until the southern property is developed.
Gardner O'Brien, President of the North Fullerton Homeowners Association, 1100 West Las Palmas Drive, passed out information to the commissioners, which had been discussed at their recent meeting. The issues of most concern were: (1) line of sight; (2) the property traverses a natural stream bed; (3) the existence of the neighborhood farm; (4) the height of the soundproof wall, as well as graffiti prevention measures; and (5) because of the dumping which has occurred on site, residents fear soil contamination.
Mike Faulkner, 952 Paloma Place, emphasized the need for on-street parking, as well as access for those property owners who back up to Yuma Way. He added that he is the property owner with the farm animals, and would like this information disclosed to future buyers of the proposed development.
Kathy Lancaster, 901 Paloma Place, asked that the existing zoning be maintained, and did not feel that a board and care facility would be compatible in this area. She also suggested that the property owner may wish to gift the property to the City to be utilized as a park.
Jean Esslinger, who lives on Paloma Place, reiterated that the residents wish the area to remain as is, with regard to lot sizes and square footage of the proposed residences.
Creed Rucker, lives on Yuma Way, and would like to see the street widened to allow adequate passage for vehicles, plus additional parking.
Otto Kahn, owns the strawberry patch to the south, and stated that he had met with the developer who had been uncooperative and unwilling to listen to Mr. Kahn's suggestions.
Mike Fisher, 2240 Yuma Way, stated that parking has been an on-going problem on this street, and access is also difficult. While supportive of some type of noise reduction, he was concerned the aesthetics of a tall sound wall, and felt that maybe an earthen berm would be more appropriate.
Peter Williams, 2250 Yuma Way, also stated that some type of parking must be allowed on Yuma Way.
Brian Thienes, applicant, again spoke regarding the concerns of the neighbors. He assured those in attendance that the sound wall would not be over 10 feet in height, and would be enhanced with landscaping. Regarding the parking issue, he asked staff if it might be possible to park on at least one side of Yuma Way; nevertheless all off-site parking requirements would be met. With any street widening projects, a line-of-site study will be conducted, and any Army Corps of Engineers and California Fish & Game permits would be obtained. Regarding Mr. Kahn's comments, he indicated that there was a discrepancy as to where the storm drain would be placed, and Mr. Kahn was unwilling to give an easement. Access trail to the property was discussed with the City's Community Services Department, and it was decided that the horse trail should remain on Euclid Street as per the General Plan. Finally, the lots and styles of the proposed homes would be consistent with existing residences.
Commissioner Simons asked if an earthen berm for noise reduction had been considered. Mr. Thienes answered that because of the close proximity to Euclid Street, a block wall should be provided for security purposes. He emphasized that landscaping and mature trees would be planted so the wall would not be visible. Commissioner Simons further inquired if there was any contaminated soil on site because of the dumping which had occurred. Mr. Thienes replied that although there was nothing conclusive from the Phase I study, the soils engineer had found a slight trace of a petroleum contaminant, which will be mitigated on site during grading, or hauled away.
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin stated at this time that the concept of the landscaping element on the outside of the block wall had not been agreed upon. This was because there will be no homeowner's association, and it would be uncertain as to who would maintain the landscaping on the street side of the wall.
Commissioner Godfrey inquired if the developer had considered forming a homeowner's association to maintain any landscaping around the wall. Mr. Thienes stated that the original plan had a five-foot buffer between the edge of the horse trail and wall, and a five-foot landscaped belt between the wall and the horse rail. They felt that if they moved the wall five feet over and only planted trees, it would be easier for the property owner to maintain just the trees. Commissioner Godfrey reminded the developer that the issue of maintenance must be discussed and resolved.
Public hearing closed.
Commissioner Godfrey questioned whether the code allows the animals previously-mentioned on R-1-20,000 property, and if it would need to be specifically disclosed. Senior Planner Mullis informed him that usually this type of information would be the responsibility of the real estate agent, and would not need to be conditioned as part of the approval process.
Commissioner Crane noticed from visiting the site that most of the surrounding streets do allow on-street parking. He asked how wide the streets were in this area. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin answered that the minimum street standard for parking on both sides is 36 feet; on private streets, the code allows this to be reduced to 32 feet, curb to curb, for parking on one side, and 28 feet, curb to curb, for no parking.
Chairman LeQuire asked if it would be possible to allow parking at Lots 1 and 2, which are the largest of the five lots, and then transition the street down to a narrower width with no parking beyond that point. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin replied that the City was only taking an easement for sidewalks, so the lots would meet zoning requirements. If more dedication were taken for street purposes along Lots 1 and 2, this would reduce them to below the 20,000-foot zoning designation. There was a possibility of creating "parking pockets" along the entire length of the street, to allow the lots to remain the same size.
MOTION by Commissioner Simons, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED.
Commissioner Simons' concerns were: (1) disclosure of the farm animals be added as a condition of approval; (2) the size of the proposed homes must be one story; (3) some kind of parking should be made available on Yuma Way, and (4) an enforceable maintenance agreement for the trees and landscaping on the Euclid Street side of the wall be prepared. Commissioner Crane concurred and added that he desired to see another condition requiring a decorative wall, subject to approval by the Director of Development Services.
Commissioner Allred, while supportive of the project itself, could not support staff's recommendation for approval, without allowing on-street parking on Yuma Way.
Commissioner Godfrey advised that adding a condition requiring the disclosure of the farm animals, would be difficult to enforce. He also did not feel it was necessary to include a condition specifying the type of wall, as this would normally be part of the site plan review process. He was concerned about the width of the street for fire access, parking, etc., and could not support approval of the project.
Commissioner Simons suggested that forming a homeowner's association could be added as a condition of approval, or specifically condition that the maintenance shall be provided by the homeowners.
Commissioner Crane questioned whether a condition of approval could be added stating that all homes shall be built as one-story. Commissioner Godfrey felt that this would be unconstitutional, as would the disclosure of the farm animals. Commissioner Sandoval concurred, and added that she too would not support the project unless parking were allowed on Yuma Way.
Chairman LeQuire also could not support the project without benefit of on-street parking.
Because of Commission concern for lack of parking, Chairman LeQuire suggested that the matter be continued. Commissioner Godfrey suggested that staff and the applicant meet briefly at this point to discuss the matter.
Senior Planner Mullis stated that the applicant indicated he desired to widen the street to 34 feet, divide the parking required, and eliminate the sidewalk along the street. Chairman LeQuire granted a five-minute recess to allow staff and the applicant time to study the issue.
Chairman LeQuire reconvened the meeting. Because of unresolved issues, Commissioner Simons moved that this item be CONTINUED until the April 26, 2000, meeting, 4:00 p.m. session. Chairman LeQuire asked if the applicant concurred, and Mr. Thienes answered affirmatively. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Godfrey and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present.
Commissioner Allred requested that any information which needs to be reviewed by staff concerning this matter, be distributed to the Commission as soon as possible. She explained that it was difficult for the Commission to read information that is handed out during a meeting.
Commissioner Godfrey suggested that a courtesy notice be mailed to affected property owners, informing them of the continuance date. Senior Planner Mullis indicated that staff would do so.