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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

April 9, 2003


The meeting was called to order by Chairman Price at 4:00 p.m.


Chairman Price; Commissioners Crane, Savage, Stopper, LeQuire and Griffin

ABSENT: Francis

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Kusch, and Recording Secretary Bird


Commissioner Crane asked for a correction on page 22, second paragraph, changing Commissioner Crane to Commissioner Price, where it says "Commissioner Crane asked if Father Kissell agreed." Motion by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and carried by a 6-0 vote, that the Minutes of the March 12, 2003 meeting be APPROVED AS AMENDED.




Staff memorandum was presented pertaining to a request to abandon 211.95 feet of Grove Place (east of Lemon Street) (P-L zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from March 26, 2003).

Chairman Price noted that this item was previously continued from March 26th and is continued to a date uncertain.


Staff report dated April 9, 2003 was presented pertaining to a request to construct a 640-square-foot, two-story limited second dwelling unit and single-car garage on property located at 1607 Avolencia Drive (north side of Avolencia Drive, from 118 to 208 feet west of Sunnycrest Drive) (R-1-10 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15303 of CEQA Guidelines).

Chairman Price recused himself from this matter.

Commissioner Crane reported that his firm was the architect on the item and he also recused himself from the matter.

Vice-Chairman LeQuire clarified there must be a majority vote of the members present for the item to pass.

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that the request was for the addition of a two-story, 640-square-foot limited second dwelling unit on a property zoned R-1-10,000, with a lot size of approximately 17,290 sq. ft. Planner Kusch noted that to qualify for a limited second dwelling unit, the property must meet one of three eligibility requirements: it must have alley access, be a corner lot, or have a lot size that is at least 150% of the minimum lot size for the zone in which the property is located. He noted this property qualified on two counts: alley access and meeting the 150% lot size requirement. Photos were shown of the property and the surrounding area, including an aerial view of the property.

Assistant Planner Kusch reported that staff was aware of a new state law, effective July 1, which will preclude cities from requiring a discretionary process such as a conditional use permit. The new law will not pre-empt the City from applying development standards, such as minimum lot area, parking requirements, lot size or configurations, dwelling area or architectural compatibility. He noted that an amendment to the City Zoning Ordinance relating to this new law will be presented at the April 23rd Planning Commission meeting. He noted that since the proposal was for a detached structure, the applicant would be required to have a Conditional Use Permit regardless of the new law, because a detached two-story structure currently requires a Conditional Use Permit.

Proposed floor plans were displayed and plans were reviewed which included a proposed 12-foot setback, open parking space at the east property line, and exterior to match the existing house. Assistant Planner Kusch noted the proposed dwelling was architecturally compatible with the existing dwelling and staff recommended approval.

Commissioner Stopper asked what the situation was with regards to utilities and the primary dwelling. Assistant Planner Kusch replied the property was not exempt from fees; they have the same permit, sewer and school fees; and in terms of utilities, the property is currently served with water, sewer, electricity and cable.

Commissioner Savage asked for clarification regarding the new law, that the Commission would no longer be reviewing the 640-square-foot granny units, and questioned if needing one of three requirements would change with the new law. Chief Planner Rosen reported that an amendment will be presented to the Commission addressing the new state law requirements, but he was unsure if any specific changes were going to be made to the Code in terms of restrictions or qualifications. He added that it would be within the Commission's purview to adjust those standards.

Commissioner Savage clarified that currently there would be no changes unless the City chose to make them; and asked if this particular project would still have had to be reviewed since it is a two-story, detached unit. Chief Planner Rosen stated this was correct, if nothing was done between now and July 1, the only change would be that a Conditional Use Permit would not be required for single story detached limited second dwelling units or attached limited second dwelling units..

Vice-Chairman LeQuire asked: (1) if there was a new standard on any two-story dwelling that the second story could only be 70 or 80%, (2) if this unit fell into that criteria; and (3) if the gray shed on the left side of the property was going to be moved to another location on the property or removed completely. Assistant Planner Kusch reported that the shed was going to be retained on the property, and it was his understanding that the criteria only applied if the unit was attached to the residence. Chief Planner Rosen noted that section did not apply to a second dwelling unit provision, only to the main dwelling unit.

Vice Chairman LeQuire asked for clarification with regards to intrusion into the residential area and how many of the lots in the area would fall under the 150% requirement, since there are only three or four properties which all appear to be at that end of the street. Planner Kusch agreed that is a fair assumption.

Public hearing opened.

Jeff Hutchison, property owner, clarified that the gray shed is located partly where the proposed new building will be and it will be relocated; he also noted that with regard to the utilities, they are currently located at the back of the property.

Ruth Perez, 1613 Avolencia, stated she has a concern about the windows facing her property and questioned why they couldn't be faced more towards the alley instead of her back yard.

Vice-Chairman LeQuire asked staff if there were requirements on the design of the building that would address her concerns. Planner Kusch noted it was the north elevation drawing, which included a bathroom, kitchen and bedroom.

Mr. Hutchison noted a six-foot fence blocks the lower window, the small window is an obscured bathroom window, and the other window looks out over the top of her garage and the alley.

Ms. Perez questioned if the window was necessary.

Vice Chairman LeQuire asked if there were any requirements to address her concerns, or if it was a design option.

Steve Kaltoff, architect, 110 E. Wilshire Avenue noted the window was an emergency exit out of that bedroom and is required by code, as the other two windows are fixed and not big enough in which to exit.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Griffin voiced his support for the project noting it looks good; will blend in with the surrounding neighborhood; and fits the architectural design of the neighborhood.

Commissioner Savage supported the project, noting the windows Ms. Perez referred to looked down on the garage.

Commissioner Stopper supported the project because it falls into the form of progress. With very few open spaces left in the City, property owners will have to take the opportunity of what they have and build from there.

Vice Chairman LeQuire felt that the second story blends in well with the apartments behind the property and he supported the project.

There was a consensus of the Commission for approval. The title of Resolution No. PC-03-10 APPROVING a request to construct a 640-square-foot, two-story limited second dwelling unit and single-car garage on property located at 1607 Avolencia Drive was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded and passed by a 4-0 vote, with Commissioners Crane and Price abstaining, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

Chief Planner Rosen explained the appeal process.


Staff memorandum was presented pertaining to a request for a Special Event permit for a three-day used car sales event in the parking lot area of Troy High School, to raise funds for the Troy Tech Support Organization, on property located at 909 North State College Boulevard (southwest corner of State College Boulevard and Dorothy Lane) (P-L zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines).

Chairman Price reported that this item was continued to a date uncertain.



A request to consider amending Chapter 15.17 of the Fullerton Municipal Code to modify the development regulations for Limited Second Dwelling (Negative Declaration)

Chief Planner Rosen reported that an amendment to the Code was necessary due to the new state laws taking effect July 1, 2003; a Resolution of Intention begins the process and would be presented at the Planning Commission meeting of April 23, 2003.

Commissioner Stopper asked what affect the new laws would have on multiple stories, and if it applies to adding a second story to a single-story dwelling. Chief Planner Rosen noted the requirement would not change, a detached two-story structure requires a CUP and that requirement will stay in place.

Commissioner Savage stated that he was philosophically opposed to the 640-square-foot program the state is imposing on the cities, it goes against what the citizens want and he suggested sending a recommendation to the City Council that they advise the state legislators that this is not a good plan for the cities.

Chairman Price asked staff for clarification that currently the only matter before the Commission is to consider the Resolution of Intent and vote on it, noting there will be an opportunity to discuss and express their views at a public hearing. Staff responded that he was correct.

Commissioner Griffin asked for information from the staff about what, if anything could be done, to assist the City in this matter; questioned if there was any way to protect neighborhoods with certain configurations from the state requirements by deeming the neighborhood of a specific architectural nature; and what, if any recourse the City will have to accomplish this.

Chairman Price questioned if it was necessary to have the City Attorney at the meeting to give instructions on what discretion the Commission has, and help with what is and is not mandated.

Commissioner LeQuire concurred with Chairman Price noting that since it is a new state law he felt the City Attorney should be present.

The Commissioners asked if it would be possible to have a list and/or graphics of the options of what the criteria will and will not fit; which lots on Avolencia would and would not qualify, and a way to get a handle on how many lots in Fullerton will be affected with the new laws.

Chief Planner Rosen noted that this item was tentatively scheduled for April 23rd, but could be changed to May to give staff enough time to compile the information requested by the Commission.

The reading of Resolution No. PC-03-11 was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Crane, seconded and PASSED by a 6-0 vote, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.


Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report on recent City Council meetings.


Commissioner Savage commented on the nice book bag he purchased from the Library and encouraged people to buy one.


The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be April 23, 2003, at 4:00 p.m.

Chief Planner Rosen reported that the college abandonments may be back on April 23rd, and the Chapter 15 amendments will probably not be on that agenda. It was reported that a meeting would be held on April 22, 2003 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the EV Free Church at Brea Blvd. and Bastanchury regarding the West Coyote Hills area and there are notices posted throughout the City. The meeting is to be moderated by Professor Ray Young of Cal State Fullerton; presentations will be given by the developer, Pacific Coast Homes, the Save Coyote Hills committee, and former Mayor, Bob Ward. A lively question and answer session is expected and they will likely have a follow up meeting to answer questions. This meeting is simply to present the facts. He noted that there was some question of whether or not the Commissioners should attend, and left it to their own individual discretion.

Chairman Price stated the Commissioners should be aware that the meeting will be videotaped and shown on cable and asked that staff e-mail the Commissioners of the dates and time of the playback.

There being no further business the meeting was ADJOURNED at 4:40 p.m.

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