Staff report dated June 20, 2001, was presented pertaining to a request to allow a subdivision for the development of 145 single-family dwellings, revision to the Master Specific Plan to change the designation of the property from multi-family to single-family residential, and reduce the number of dwelling units allocated to the lot (PA 2 of the East Coyote Hills Specific Plan) from 390 units to 145 units, and change the zoning designation on the property from O-G (Oil-Gas) to SPD-O (Specific Plan District with an Oil Overlay) on a 30.37-acre lot located on the south side of Bastanchury Road, west of Brea Boulevard and east of the Sports Complex (P-L zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration tiered from previously certified Environmental Impact Report).
Senior Planner Mullis showed photos of the site and surrounding areas. She reported that Planning Area 1, west of Fairway Isles Drive, would contain 80 single-family dwelling units, with lot sizes averaging 4,412 square feet. A sound wall is proposed along Bastanchury Road, currently proposed to be within the 5 to 7-1/2 foot-high range. A central recreational area is proposed, along with view parks to be accessible from within the project area only. Planning Area 2, west of the Morningside Retirement community, will contain 132 single-family dwelling units, with lots averaging 5,418 square feet. One central recreational area and view park will also be provided.
In the early 1990s, an amendment was made to the East Coyote Hills Master Specific Plan, and an Environmental Impact Report was prepared. The proposed project has fewer impacts than were envisioned in the previously-certified EIR. Staff believes that the Negative Declaration which is tiered off the previously-certified EIR adequately addresses the impacts of the project, and the mitigation measures approved in the previous EIR have been incorporated into the Mitigated Negative Declaration. Also, a letter from the Fullerton School District had been received by staff indicating its support of the project.
Commissioner Sandoval noted that the Engineer's letter required all utilities to be placed underground, however the Specific Plan states that only electrical service lines must be underground. She inquired if the Specific Plan should be modified to include all utilities, including cable and telephone. Senior Planner Mullis answered that technically all utilities are covered in the Engineering letter, but staff would modify the Specific Plan.
Public hearing opened.
Dana Bieber, project manager with Standard Pacific Homes, is the applicant. She gave a brief history of Standard Pacific's involvement with the City of Fullerton in the past, and how the proposed project had evolved from that presented as part of the East Coyote Hills Specific Plan in the early 1990's. Standard Pacific had originally intended to begin this project in 1997, but had to obtain abandonments on some inundation easements which encumbered the property, and complete a land exchange with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to expand the size of the sports complex. In fall of 2000, the land exchange was complete and in spring 2001, a proposal was presented to the City. Although the plans met the intent of the zoning code, the overall design did not meet the desires of City staff in terms of other recently-approved residential projects. The major changes included: (1) combining open space greenbelts within the project into larger, more useable private parks; (2) the addition of five-foot wide, landscaped parkways, on both sides of the streets; (3) elimination of the project entry gates; (4) more architectural enhancements on house elevations; (5) varied garage configurations; (6) elimination of three-car-wide garage doors on front elevations; and (7) better massing of roof forms. These changes resulted in a loss of five lots on PA1, and eight lots on PA2, but Standard Pacific concurred with staff's recommendation that this will produce a better living environment for future residents.
In 1996, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) approved a remedial plan for the abandonment of 14 on-site oil wells and clean up of any crude oil found on the site. As soon as the mass grading of the property is complete, the project environmental consultant will write a final report that will be reviewed by the OCHCA, who will write a clearance letter approving residential development of the property. As part of the Master Specific Plan approval in 1991, an EIR showed that there were no endangered species because of the degraded nature of the vegetation of the oil fields. As part of the land exchange with the Army Corps of Engineers within the past four years, extensive environmental analysis was conducted. The mitigation for removal of some areas of sensitive plant species is a series of trail improvements and other improvements within the existing 77-acre, U.S.-owned, natural habitat, directly south of the property.
The access point for the entire project will be at the existing signalized intersection at Bastanchury Road and Fairway Isles Drive. Planning Area 2 has an additional entrance/exit that is aligned with the entrance to Loma Vista Cemetery, but would be restricted to "right-turns only" in and out of the project. A homeowner's association will be formed to maintain the private streets, private storm drain, private parks and recreational center, landscaped parkways and perimeter slopes and landscaped buffer. Standard Pacific has made offers to both the elementary and high school districts to pay higher school impact fees than what is legally required at this time. Both districts have accepted the offers and final school fee mitigation agreements are presently being drafted.
As a community outreach project, Standard Pacific mailed a notification to over 800 surrounding property owners. The mailer briefly described the proposed projects and invited residents to community information meetings which were held on May 29 and May 30, 2001. Approximately 50-60 property owners attended both meetings, and in general positive responses were received. Aside from traffic concerns, and the proposed lighting to the sports park, the applicant met with the manager of the Morningside condominiums. As a result of that meeting, a higher wall will now be constructed along the property boundary, landscaping will be added to the rear yards of the Standard Pacific project which borders the Morningside facility, and money will be given to Morningside to plant two new trees on its property.
Ms. Bieber concluded by stating she had read and concurred with all conditions of approval and mitigation measures. She also thanked staff for all of their cooperation and professionalism during this process.
Commissioner Wilson asked if the rooflines of the project would have different elevations. Ms. Bieber confirmed that all rooflines will be varied, and all architectural styles will dictate a different roof pitch.
Mike Quaranta, while supportive of the actual layout of the project, felt that the proposed noise wall along Bastanchury Road would not attenuate the noise for the properties to the north. He felt the traffic plan was not adequate, and the City was not reviewing how any future projects would impact Bastanchury Road. He also reported the danger in having school age children cross Bastanchury Road to get to Beechwood School.
James Antenow, 801 Rolling Hills Drive, felt that there was an absence of many property owners because of the 4:00 p.m. meeting time. He expressed concern that there would be a 7'-8' high wall along Bastanchury Road, which would not be aesthetically pleasing. He also stated that the City could not accurately depend on a traffic report prepared in 1996, and that volumes would significantly increase with this project. In addition, he asked about the possibility of flooding near the golf course. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reported that Bastanchury Road would be widened in front of the proposed development. As part of the original Development Agreement, Unocal has contributed $325,000 to the City towards the construction of Bastanchury Road to the west. Mr. Antenow also questioned if the sports complex would be subject to flooding, and Senior Civil Engineer Wallin indicated that the complex is within a ten-year flood zone and could expect some flooding.
Mark Graham, 207 Claire Avenue, stated that he had not been contacted concerning any of the community meetings. It was his understanding that the sports complex would be expanded to the south and would be closer to his property, along the existing trail. He also reported that many small animals, i.e. squirrels, birds, rabbits, coyotes, have lost their homes and are relocating to the residential areas. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that the existing trail would be closed and a newer, improved trail would be developed. Further, the sports complex would not be moved closer to the residential, but the grading will continue closer to the existing homes.
Ken Patchett, resident of Fairway Village, also stated that he had not received notice of any community meetings. He stated that a block wall would not be conducive to a "scenic corridor" which was the designation placed on Bastanchury Road. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that there will be a 35-foot wide landscaped setback from the wall to the street edge. The height of the wall will hopefully be less than eight feet, and the setback will be heavily landscaped. It was Mr. Patchett's understanding that all of the improvement will be to the south side of Bastanchury, but he questioned whether any improvements would be made to the north side where sidewalks are located. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin clarified that the only improvements on the north side will be across the City's Library site. Mr. Patchett reminded the Commission that there are places where trees are uprooting the sidewalk on the north side.
Carl Wilkins, Executive Director of Morningside, reported that many of the residents whose homes abut the Standard Pacific property, had concerns about security and noise. Mr. Wilkins met with Standard Pacific representatives who noted the residents' concerns and agreed to increase the wall from 6'-3" to 9' on Morningside's side, and 8' on the Standard Pacific side. It will also be extended another 100 feet south of the existing wall. Gravel will also be provided on the temporary road to eliminate dust, and trees will be planted on both sides of the wall.
Chris Heusser, resident of Lark Ellen Drive, was pleased that the density for the site had been reduced, that it would not be a gated community, and she hoped that the new homes would be affordable. She asked if median islands would be installed on Bastanchury Road, and if the landscaped setbacks would be uniform with the existing landscaping to the north and south. Ms. Heusser noted that the Specific Plan, Section 126.96.36.199 still references the property as being gated, and asked that this be stricken before going to City Council.
Jim Raggets, resident of Fairway Village, reminded the Commission how dangerous it will be for children crossing Bastanchury Road to get to Beechwood School.
John Minyo, resident of Fairway Village, stated the following:
- The 1996 traffic study was not accurate.
- There would be a deceleration lane for Fairway Village residents for vehicles traveling southbound on Bastanchury Road.
- Many illegal U-turns are being made into Fairway Village daily.
- Cars must back up from Loma Vista Cemetery onto Bastanchury Road, if the chain is across the main gate
- How can the developer provide private streets without having a gated community?
- The north side of Bastanchury Road should be investigated, and perhaps removal of some of the trees uplifting the sidewalks would be necessary.
Dana Beiber again spoke before the Commission. Regarding the existing traffic conditions along Bastanchury Road, she reminded those in attendance that the impacts will be less than what had been approved in the original certified EIR, because of the reduced density. Chief Planner Rosen added that the area in front of Fairway Village has significantly deeper setbacks and grade differential.
Commissioner LeQuire advised the applicant may wish to consider doing earthwork by placing the block wall atop a berm, which would absorb more of the noise and be visually attractive.
Public hearing closed.
Vice-Chairman Crane asked that the June 27, 2001, letter from the Fullerton School District be entered as part of the public record.
Commissioner LeQuire commended the developer for making an effort to contact as many residents as possible, and for mitigating many of the concerns expressed by the residents. He appreciated the reduction in density, and hoped that the wall along Bastanchury Road could be constructed with as little negative impact as possible. He supported the project.
Commissioner Allred-Blake thanked those in attendance for speaking before the Commission. She also had concerns about the beautification of Bastanchury Road and supported the project.
Commissioner Wilson also spoke favorably about the reduction in density and supported the project. He added that Standard Pacific has developed quality projects in the past, and worked well with the City. Commissioner Sandoval concurred.
There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that the Mitigated Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED.
The title of Resolution No. 6922 RECOMMENDING to the City Council adoption of a Specific Plan for Planning Areas 1 and 2 of East Coyote Hills on 48.98 acres located on the south side of Bastanchury Road, west of Brea Boulevard, was read and further reading was waived. The title of Resolution No. 6923 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of an Amendment to Chapter 15.17 of the Fullerton Municipal Code changing the zone classification from O-G (Oil-Gas) to SPD-O (Specific Plan District with an Oil Overlay) on an 18.61-acre lot located on the south side of Bastanchury Road, west of Brea Boulevard and the Sports Complex and on a 30.37-acre lot located on the south side of Bastanchury Road west of Brea Boulevard and east of the Sports Complex, was read and further reading was waived. The title of Resolution No. 6921 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a modification to a previously-approved Master Specific Plan by changing the designation of the property from multi-family to single-family residential; reducing the total number of dwelling units from 390 to 145; eliminating Section 3.3.2 and modifying Section 23.1 of the Master Specific Plan, and approving a tract allowing a subdivision of 132 single-family dwellings on property located on the south side of Bastanchury Road, west of Brea Boulevard, and east of the Sports Complex, was read and further reading was waived. The title of Resolution No. 6920 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a modification to a previously-approved Master Specific Plan by changing the designation of the property from multi-family to single-family residential; reducing the total number of dwelling units from 100 to 80; and approving a tract allowing a subdivision of 80 single-family dwellings on property located on the south side of Bastanchury Road, west of Brea Boulevard, and west of the Sports Complex, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Sandoval, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolutions be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.