Council Chambers - City Hall
July 9, 2003
Persons addressing the Planning Commission shall be limited to 10 minutes unless an extension of time is granted by the Chairman, subject to approval of the Planning Commission. When any group of persons wishes to address the Commission, it shall be proper for the Chairman to request that a spokesman be chosen to represent the group.
Public comment will be allowed on agenda items at the time the item is considered.
Public comment will be allowed on matters not appearing on the agenda but within the Planning Commission's jurisdiction, at the end of the agenda. No action may be taken on off-agenda items except as provided by law.
The Planning Commission's approval or denial of any action on this agenda shall become final and effective ten days after its decision unless an appeal is made in writing within this ten-day period to the City Council by either an applicant or an opponent. The filing of an appeal within such time limit shall stay the effective date of the order of the Planning Commission until such time as the City Council has acted on the appeal. Anyone interested in making an appeal should contact the Development Services Department for assistance.
4:00 P.M. SESSION
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Price at 4:00 p.m.
Chairman Price; Commissioners Crane, Francis, Griffin, LeQuire, Savage, Stopper
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Assistant Planner Kusch, Senior Civil Engineer Wallin, and Recording Secretary Bird
Minutes from June 11, 2003 meeting: Commissioner Crane asked for a correction on page 69, middle paragraph where it reads, "Assistant Planner Kusch said that if there is a separate rezoning." He asked that the word "if" be stricken, as it is not appropriate. He noted that on page 79, the sixth paragraph down, where it reads, "Commissioner Crane asked if staff would accept that condition." He asked that the paragraph be stricken, as he was not sure what they are referring to. Chief Planner Rosen explained that the tape was not working at the last meeting. Commissioner Stopper asked for a correction on page 73, the 3rd paragraph from the bottom, he felt the language was correct and there were two places where the word "of" should be the word "to." The sentence reading "the area near Carhart to Malvern Avenue," and the sentence reading "felt there had been problems with the water north to the south." He asked for a correction on the top of page 74 to add in the word "King", so it reads "Mr. King does not see it as a problem." He asked for a correction two paragraphs below that so that the sentence reads Commissioner Stopper reiterated that the combination of drainage and large fill under Lot 2 is a problem and the Planning Commission with City staff should not pass it on, but address it now before we vote on this project.
MOTION by Commissioner Crane, seconded and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, Chairman Price abstained, that the Minutes of the June 11, 2003, meeting be APPROVED AS AMENDED.
Next Resolution No. PC-03-21
ITEM NO. 1
PRJ03-00300 - SUB03-00002. APPLICANT: ST. JOSEPH HEALTH SYSTEM; PROPERTY OWNER: CITADEL PROPERTIES ORANGE.
Staff report dated July 9, 2003, was presented pertaining to a request to abandon a 10-foot-wide water easement along Harbor Boulevard and a portion (21.29 feet long) of a 10-foot-wide sewer easement, on property located at 2151 North Harbor Boulevard (halfway between Harbor Boulevard and Laguna Road) (Specific Plan District).
Senior Civil Engineer Wallin gave a detailed report of the project; and noted that staff was supportive of the project with the conditions as outlined in the staff report.
Commissioner Stopper asked if the property north of this would also be abandoned. Staff replied the property just north of this property is the service station; the water line runs the entire length of Harbor Boulevard and, at this time, they are only abandoning what has been requested.
Commissioner Crane questioned if staff would return at a later date and request to abandon the rest of that line. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin reported this could happen, but it is not anticipated.
Public hearing was opened, but there was no one present who wished to speak on the matter.
Commissioner Stopper asked if it was just his perception or if abandonment's are done one at a time; and questioned if they can only be looked at individually, or could a whole area be done at once. Senior Civil Engineer Wallin replied they tried to look at this whole site, but since the applicant was in negotiations with the property to the south of this, they chose not to include the rest of the property, which would slow down the process. He noted staff was hopeful that when the applicant comes back for the other developments, it will clean up the rest of the abandonment necessary at that point.
Commissioner Stopper encouraged staff, for efficiency reasons, to clean up the books once and for all and proceed with the necessary abandonments now instead of waiting and proceeding three to five years from now.
Mr. Dunlap, a spokesman for the applicant stated they support staff recommendations.
The title of Resolution No. PC-03-21 RECOMMENDING to the City Council abandonment of a 10-foot wide water easement along Harbor Boulevard and a portion (21.29 feet long) of a 10-foot wide sewer easement on property located at 2151 North Harbor Boulevard, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote that said resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
ITEM NO. 2
PRJ02-00145 - ZON02-00015. APPLICANT: INTERNATIONAL PARKING DESIGN; PROPERTY OWNER: ST. JOSEPH HEALTH SYSTEM
Chairman Price reported that staff has requested this item be continued to July 23, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote, that this item be CONTINUED to the meeting of July 23, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.
ITEM NO. 3
PRJ03-00257 - LRP03-00011. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON
Staff report dated July 9, 2003, was presented pertaining to a request by the City Council regarding a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code that would prohibit the installation of chain link fencing in required street setbacks on residentially zoned properties.
Assistant Planner Kusch displayed photos of different types of fencing, noted that the proposed amendment does not address wrought iron fencing; and he noted that currently a wood or chain link fence under six-feet high does not require a permit.
Commissioner LeQuire asked if wood fencing with wire mesh was allowed. Staff replied if it acts as a trellis and is not higher than three-feet high in the front yard it is allowed, but if the trellis is higher than three feet, it is not permitted by code.
Commissioner Crane asked if there were variations to the fence heights required in front yard setbacks, and if construction sites would be affected by this change. Assistant Planner Kusch noted that non-view obscuring fences can go to a height of six feet and shall be in accordance with the setback; however, no fence in the front or side yard area facing a street of a corner lot shall be constructed of chain link or other wire material. He reported that construction sites would be exempt from this code section up to a certain time frame. Staff recommended approval to the City Council as outlined in the staff report.
Commissioner Francis asked what would happen to the residents that currently have chain link fencing and if those properties would be grandfathered in; and questioned if a permit would be required. Staff reported that no decision has been made on dealing with that issue, but noted there was a section in the Fullerton Municipal Code dealing with the abatement of nuisances, and if the City followed that protocol, they would notify each property owner.
Chief Planner Rosen reported there was no intent of abating the existing fencing, and abatement is not being proposed, they are looking at it from this point forward; and noted that staff is not proposing a permit process at this time.
Commissioner Stopper noted that this item was given to staff at the direction of a City Council member asking staff to look into it and questioned if staff would have pursued this issue otherwise; and questioned if there had been a series or frequency of complaints from the general public. Chief Planner Rosen noted that staff had no intent of regulating this particular use; there have been minor complaints over the years, usually dealing with encroachment onto a neighbor's property; and noted this item was brought forward to the Planning Commission in response to a request from the City Council.
Chairman Price asked what considerations would be given in determining the removal of a fence from a construction zone, and noted that 24 hours seemed like a short period of time and questioned the reason for the quick removal. Assistant Planner Kusch reported this was based on a zoning ordinance adopted for another city, staff thought it was reasonable and left a clause that allows the Director of Development Services to extend the time frame.
Chairman Price questioned if an applicant can appeal the Director's decision and if so who would hear the appeal. Staff replied they could appeal the decision to the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Savage stated that he thought this would be a relatively simple issue, but in reviewing some of the photos shown, some of the chain link fences are aesthetically pleasing, but he noted a variation in the quality of the wrought iron fences shown. He asked how other cities handle this, since in some areas chain link fits the area. He also questioned if there was a building code for fences.
Chief Planner Rosen stated he did not think any of the other cities ordinances regulated the quality of the chain link fences, they either prohibited them, allowed them or required a permit. Assistant Planner Kusch reminded the Commission that the focus from Council was to address only chain link fencing.
Commissioner Crane asked if this regulation applies only to front or side area fences, and if it would apply to parks, schools, golf courses or privately owned mobile homes. Assistant Planner Kusch replied the regulation only applied to front and side area fences; fences that are six feet or higher have to be set back from the side or rear at least five feet from the property line. Chief Planner Rosen noted the regulations would apply only to residential properties, not apply to any public land, schools or parks.
Commissioner Crane questioned whether vinyl coded chain link fence that many of the sports complexes use would be allowed. Staff stated that the amendment does not address the quality of the material.
The public hearing was opened.
Dorian Hunter, Fullerton asked philosophically why people are opposed to chain link as opposed to other types of fencing. She noted usually they are used in areas where they are not intended to be attractive, but more utilitarian, and some of the new materials, like the black vinyl are nice looking. She noted that she was concerned with fences in general, the design and how they fit into the community.
Judith Kaluzny, asked what the term setback meant and which Councilmember requested this study. Chief Planner Rosen stated Councilmember Wilson requested this study; and that residential zones have certain setback areas, which can be 15, 25, or 35, it is the number of feet from the back of the sidewalk.
Ms. Kaluzny stated she was not fond of chain link fences, but was concerned about the financial burden this would impose on citizens if they were required to get a new fence. She felt it could cause a troublesome situation, and it did not seem reasonable, especially with public property, parks and schools being exempt from this requirement. Chief Planner Rosen assured her that it was not the intent to require people to change their fences.
The public hearing was closed.
Commissioner LeQuire commented that when he saw the photos he thought some of the wrought iron and chain link fences were attractive, while others were not. It was his opinion that the City can and should regulate whether a fence is open or solid, the height and the setback, but did not think the type of material should be regulated. He was not supportive of this item.
Commissioner Savage concurred with Commissioner LeQuire and was not supportive of this item. He stated he was more interested in regulating the design guidelines of fences rather than attacking one type of building material.
Commissioner Crane noted he was not opposed to the use of chain link fencing, but he was opposed to the height and setback of chain link fence. He suggested imposing a height restriction for chain link fencing in a front yard setback or in a setback on a corner lot.
Commissioner Savage concurred with Commissioner Crane and questioned what the most common complaint was with regard to fences to which Code Enforcement responds. Chief Planner Rosen noted that most complaints deal with property line issues when a fence requires a permit, but one is not obtained, and then they are required to get a permit and occasionally they will have to reduce the height of the fence to conform to the code. He had no recollection of a chain link fence ever being abated for any reason.
Commissioner LeQuire stated that, in response to Commissioner Crane's suggestion, he was not opposed to establishing height guidelines. He questioned what the current code was as to the height of fence allowed for front, back and side yards. Chief Planner Rosen answered that it was three feet within the front yard setback area, unless it is non-view obscuring in which case it can go up to six feet, with solid pilasters. A regular side yard is six feet, within five feet of the side yard property line, it can go up to eight feet. Street side, a fence can go six feet behind the sidewalk and up to eight feet if it is a heavy commercial area for sound attenuation or security.
Commissioner Stopper commented he was not supportive of this item; fences are usually put up for one or two reasons: aesthetics or for security purposes--trying to keep something in or out. He felt this area was not something in which the Commission should be involved, and if a decision must be made about fencing in the City, then staff should look at fencing overall in both residential areas and commercial areas, and come forward with something from a material standpoint (size and shape); and if a permit system is necessary then proceed from there.
Commissioner Francis noted that while chain link is industrial and can rust, it was not the Commission's responsibility to ban it, and he also would not support this item.
Commissioner Griffin stated he was not going to support this item. He noted if it was the consensus of the Commission to deny this, they should do so and suggest to staff in the denial to Council that they ask for further direction if they decide to move forward with a citywide fencing policy. He questioned if this item was denied, could it be appealed to the City Council.
Chief Planner Rosen noted the action of the Commission was a recommendation back to the City Council; the Commission can recommend not supporting the proposed ordinance.
Chairman Price asked if the Commission makes a recommendation not to support it, would it still go to the City Council. Staff replied in the affirmative.
Chairman Price noted that he was concerned about the cost that would be passed on to anyone who would want to put in a three-foot high chain link fence to keep in their dogs, pets or children, and that this would create a greater burden on people. He felt the fencing issue should be looked at, but in a more comprehensive fashion and he would not support this item.
Chief Planner Rosen recommended that the Commission recommend to the City Council that they not adopt the proposed ordinance for the following reasons: issues dealing with cost, that this item should be handled in a more comprehensive manner, not just chain link fence, but fencing in general; should also look at fencing of other properties, public and commercial properties; and that the quality may be an issue as much as the material itself.
Commissioner Griffin asked that another item be added with regard to existing fences and the issues that will come up in five years from now when someone complains about a neighbor's chain link fence, which would not be allowed. He felt the extreme would be where staff would have to go out into the community and document every fence as of the date of the ordinance, in order to have a history of who would be grandfathered in and who would not. He added it could be a nightmare to enforce such an ordinance.
Commissioner Crane suggested that an option for a reduced height of chain link fencing in the setback be passed on to Council as well.
The title of Resolution PC-03-22 RECOMMENDING that the City Council NOT AMEND Sections 15.17.050A, 15.56.100 pertaining to chain link fencing with the concerns as outlined previously, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
The meeting afternoon session adjourned at 5:14 p.m. to the evening session.
7:00 P.M. SESSION
All commissioners were present.
ITEM NO. 4
PRJ02-00427 - LRP02-00013. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON
Staff report dated July 9, 2003 was presented pertaining to a request to the change the zoning of certain parcels in the Pico-Carhart neighborhood from R-1-7,200 to R-1-10,000; to establish Chapter 15.44 of the Fullerton Municipal Code entitled Rural Street Overlay Zone; to place a Rural Street Overlay on certain properties within the Pico-Carhart neighborhood; and to adopt design guidelines for the Pico-Carhart neighborhood (Negative Declaration).
Senior Planner Mullis gave a background of the proposal. She explained that currently all properties are zoned R-1-7,200; and, in the 1960's, the neighborhood requested the area maintain its rural status, having no curbs/gutters or sidewalks, which it still maintains today. It was reported that surveys were sent to property owners regarding their zoning preference, and the majority showed a preference of R-1-12,000 (the majority of the responses were in the northern portion of the neighborhood). Staff showed and reviewed a summary of sub area characteristics for the neighborhood.
Staff recommended proposing R-1-10,000 with some R-1-7,200 and partial rural street overlay. It was noted that currently there are two properties that are in the process of being subdivided and 24 could be subdivided under the proposed zoning. If the zoning were changed to R-1-10,000, 297 parcels would be affected, and approximately 40 lots would become non-conforming because they are not 10,000 square feet. An overview of the different architectural styles in the area, where no two homes are alike, shows the range of property maintenance from very rural/country yards to manicured yards with formal landscape design, the few two-story homes in the area, and garages that are not the predominant feature from the street were shown in a slide presentation.
Senior Planner Mullis noted there have been questions about non-conforming lots and noted if this were to go forward, the lots that do not meet 10,000 square feet would have to meet current development regulations under the Code. She noted the reason staff recommended R-1-10,000 was because the side-yard setbacks for R-1-12,000 would be seven feet, and for R-1-7,200 and R-1-10,000 there was a five-foot side-yard setback. This would not create a significant increase in the number of lots that could be built on, and when it was discussed with the community at various meetings, there was general concurrence that R-1-10,000 was acceptable.
Chairman Price recommended that letters received from Richard and Joan Kuder dated July 9, 2003, Ron and Sheila Carpenter dated July 3, 2003, Betsy Warner, dated June 23, 2003 and an e-mail from Barbara Croddy dated July 9, 2003 be entered as part of this public hearing.
Commissioner Crane questioned why the area was zoned R-1-7,200; what was the number of potential additional homes that could be built if the properties were left at R-1-7,200 and at R-1-10,000. Senior Planner Mullis noted the area was zoned sometime in the early 1960's and she was unsure of the reasoning. An estimate of the realistic number of additional homes would be between 40 and 50 for R-1-7,200 and between 25 and 30 for R-1-10,000.
Commissioner Crane asked how many of the lots at R-1-7,2000 would meet the recently recommended guidelines to have a limited second dwelling unit. Senior Planner Mullis stated her best guess would be about 50.
Commissioner Crane clarified that under current zoning there could be 50 limited second dwelling units, and 50 additional housing units. Chief Planner Rosen noted these numbers should not be combined; in the report to Council staff identified the addition of 130 additional potential homes in the area, which could potentially be subdivided, and some portion of that number is realistic.
Commissioner Le Quire stated there were probably some people who did not know about the new limited second dwelling unit guidelines that went into effect, and asked staff to clarify this for the audience.
Senior Planner Mullis reported that state law requires cities to address second dwelling units and adopt development standards for them. A recent change in state law now requires that cities may no longer require a discretionary application, and no conditional use permit is required. She noted this matter would be going to the City Council for approval in August.
Commissioner Crane asked if the rural street design guidelines addressed flag lots, noting a flag lot that is 50 feet wide at the street or in the back would allow for a pool or tennis court to be put in. Senior Planner Mullis noted they did not define flag lots for this project, and the design guidelines could be clarified.
Commissioner Stopper asked if the proposed regulation would basically "grandfather" any lot that is under the R-1-10,000. Senior Planner Mullis noted any lot would be allowed to have a single-family home, although they would be required to meet the R-1-10,000 development regulations, and there would be no effect on a new property owner if someone decided to sell their property.
Chief Planner Rosen noted that staff was not proposing any new legislation or ordinance that affects the existing language; the only item that would change would be setbacks and floor area ratios.
Commissioner Stopper asked for clarification of Item D of the Design Guidelines (Exhibit F) dealing with the size and mass of homes, and compatibility with adjacent properties. Senior Planner Mullis noted it was not a standard, but rather a guideline that they are trying to have the property owner's work with each other and staff to be sensitive to adjacent property owners.
Regarding the non-conforming lot issue, Commissioner Griffin questioned if a property owner constructs an addition, or if a house burns down and they rebuild, would they be allowed to cover more of the lot with a R-1-10,000 or R-1-7,200 zoning requirement. Senior Planner Mullis explained that it was determined by floor area ratio, with R-1-10,000 they can cover 45%, and with R-1-7,2000 they can cover 50%; currently in the area there are two lots with 35% floor area ratio; however, the majority of the existing homes in the neighborhood has a 20-25% FAR.
Commissioner Crane questioned if as many houses as possible were built out, how would the infrastructure hold up. Senior Planner Mullis noted there was adequate capacity for sewer and water, but there are some issues regarding storm drain. The issues on Carhart through the Arroyo/Malvern area was a private problem, because it is not a public drainage system. She noted there have been sewer problems predominantly on Carhart and Stephens which are mainly due to tree roots.
The public hearing was opened.
Kevin Bass, 900 N. Valley View, referred to Planning Area S, located in the extreme northeast area of the project. He explained that this area was a subdivision tract and noted if the zoning was changed to R-1-10,000, nine of the 11 property owners would be non-conforming. He expressed concern that the "grandfather" nature of the legislative code could be changed, and the property owners would not be able to have additions or meet the requirements. He suggested these 11 lots be taken out of the Pico-Carhart neighborhood zone change; and expressed support for the concept of an overlay zone.
Chairman Price asked if the street had curb, gutters and streetlights; and if the non-conforming designation would have any effect on the value of their property. Mr. Bass replied they do have curbs, gutters and streetlights, and noted that often appraisers ask if property is conforming or non-conforming and they could lose value on their properties.
Commissioner Crane stated that Mr. Bass' idea to remove this area as part of the Pico-Carhart neighborhood, yet apply the concept of an overlay zone, intrigued him and questioned why. Mr. Bass noted the overlay zone is how the planning department can control the development and the guideline would allow staff to maintain the feel of the neighborhood.
Commissioner Crane asked if the concept of an overlay zone could be applied to other lots to maintain character of neighborhood; and questioned if Mr. Bass had any other items to add to the overlay zone. Mr. Bass replied affirmatively, and gave examples of different areas in Anaheim where they use this concept. He noted that if concern was maintaining character and reducing the number of subdivisions, the overlay zone can accomplish this. He noted that possibly the design guidelines should focus on mature trees; he suggested using other city jurisdictions to pull ideas; using a design review committee and possibly having graphics as well as written guidelines would be helpful.
Keith Vaughn, Fullerton, indicated this was a rural area. They neighborhood is trying to avoid curb, gutters, sidewalks, and lot splits, and the only way to accomplish this is to change the zoning to R-1-12,000.
Chairman Price recommended that a faxed letter, received at 6:02 p.m. from Rick Forbes, dated July 9, 2003, be entered into the public record.
Edward Moorlach, questioned if the street width for Ramona was 40 feet or 50 feet, as depicted on the map. If the width is 50 feet, the garages are pushed back even further; and questioned if a house could be built on the small triangle lot on Arroyo. He stated that he felt he was being penalized for having a 7,000 square-foot lot, and with the R-1-10,000 zoning he would only be able to use 45%.
Staff replied the street width is between 40 and 50 feet. Chief Planner Rosen stated he was not sure if it was a legal lot, but if the City applied this type of zoning, which precluded a house from being built on the property, the City would provide some kind of a variance.
Chairman Price noted that whatever impediments there are to building on that lot would be the same whether it was zoned R-1-7,200 or R-1-10,000. He told Mr. Moorlach that if this amendment is passed, it would affect all of the lots in the area, and he understands his objection.
Ann Bardin, a representative of Associates of Real Estate spoke on behalf of the owners of the vacant lots at 1051 and 1061 Arroyo Drive. she explained that they have submitted two sets of grading and building plans with the City, and are planning on putting in a shared driveway for access to both lots. She provided the Commission with a handout (copy on file) depicting her lots are larger than most of the lots in the zone, and this issue seemed to be concerned primarily with smaller houses on smaller lots. She added that her proposed houses are fairly large, and will be well set back from Arroyo Drive. She feared they would not be in compliance with all of the design guidelines for the rural overlay areas, and requested that the lots at 1051 and 1061 be included in Sub Area R and outside of the rural overlay area. She supported the recommendation for larger lot size minimums, because it was well researched by staff, but felt the rural overlay guidelines need more review as they seem to be potentially overly restrictive.
Commissioner Stopper asked what were her reasons for wanting the two properties in the "T" section on Arroyo moved to the "R" section. Ms. Bardin noted at this time there is no curb, it stops right at the edge of their property and the driveway will come out onto the wider part of the street before the bend and before it becomes a rural road.
Chairman Price asked if they were currently going through the plan check process. Chief Planner Rosen noted the lots are large, and he thought the properties met the design guidelines for the overlay zone.
The Commissioners and staff asked Ms. Bardin which guidelines she thought her developments didn't meet. Ms. Bardin replied they are looking at having two stories so #C the step back, and #D the size and mass of the residence.
Commissioner Francis asked why if she were going to bring a good development to the area, she wouldn't want it as part of the overlay so that everyone is comfortable under the guidelines stated. Ms. Bardin felt that item C could be restated in such a way as "the second story doesn't dominant at the street level".
Winifred Hopkins, Fern Drive, noted that previously people weren't building houses as big as they do now. She stated that, over the years, developers have split the lots, and there was no vested interest in the nature of the neighborhood, because the subdivisions were used only for profit. She supported the proposal.
Todd Warden, 1429 Malvern Avenue, endorsed the expansion of the lot sizes, because the cohesiveness of the neighborhood needs preserving. He reminded the Commission that the Fullerton bike loop goes through the neighborhood and is used by many people. He noted that restoration of some of the homes in the area was not addressed, and some of the new homes going in are "obnoxious." He felt the lots that have been addressed in areas S and T should stay as is, some of them face the access routes to the Fullerton Loop. He expressed support in keeping the lots and layout as is to maintain the cohesiveness of the neighborhood.
Liz Anderson, North Arroyo noted her property was currently in the process of a subdivision and she expressed support for maintaining the R-1-10,000 designation.
Commissioner Crane asked if the lots currently "in process" (the one on Arroyo and the one on Pico) would be affected by this zone change, and Chief Planner Rosen replied negatively.
Liz Anderson stated the feel of the neighborhood could change with smaller lots.
Melinda Guinaldo, 781 Carhart, noted she has been working with Betsy Warner and is the one who got the ball rolling on this whole zoning issue. She thanked staff for listening to all of the neighborhood concerns, and translating this very clearly and carefully to the rest of the community. She noted it was important to maintain the rural neighborhood, and this can be accomplished by increasing the lot size to R-1-10,000 and applying the rural street overlay.
Sheila Carpenter, 765 Carhart, read a prepared statement (copy on file) noting the current R-1-7,200 zoning has been in place since 1950 with all property owners aware of this fact. She felt the obstacles her and her husband have encountered have been deliberate. The compromises have been costly not only financially but also in time spent away from family. She noted that as soon of some her neighbors learned that they were planning to subdivide a petition was started, and not once has a neighbor attempted to communicate to them. She noted they were not aware of the petition until it had been submitted to the City. Upon obtaining a copy of the petition she determined 23 signatures as unreadable, two had signed multiple times using the same address, three people signed multiple times using different addresses, one phone number was used five different times by four different people, one address was used by four different individuals with four different phone numbers, four people who signed have a street address outside of the neighborhood, and not only was the petition signed by homeowners, but renters, children and grandchildren. She stated that she and her husband are completely against the rezoning.
Robert Johnston, 901 Dover Drive, Newport Beach, speaking as an agent for Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter, asked that if the Commission approved the R-1-10,000 zone change, the Planning Commission make a recommendation to exclude the Carpenters property from consideration for rezoning.
Craig Hostert, 1100 S. Raymond Avenue asked how many surveys were sent out, how many were received back and how many were in favor of the zone change. He also noted the overlay design was a good idea and lot size did not necessarily maintain character in a neighborhood.
Senior Planner Mullis noted they sent out 368 surveys and 56% responded back and the results of this survey can be found on page 3 of the staff report.
Mollilou Forbes, 755 Carhart Avenue, read a prepared statement noting that residents don't want changes, and if the City changes the plan, it should be responsible for any loss caused by its decision. She noted the rural style neighborhood has many positive attributes and requested that her property at 747-755 Carhart be grandfathered into the R-1-7,200 and be exempted from any proposed changes.
The public hearing was closed.
A short recess was called at 9:00 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 9:10 p.m.
Commissioner Stopper asked staff to advise the Commission on the flexibility they have in addressing what staff has put together as a recommendation. He also asked if the Pico-Carhart rural street overlay was a new concept.
Chief Planner Rosen noted the Commission has considerable flexibility and staff was not limiting the Commission's discretion or recommendation to the Council. The Commission may modify guidelines or recommend only certain boundaries, but he cautioned them about avoiding "spot zoning." He explained the Pico-Carhart rural street overlay zone and guidelines would be the first developed for the city.
Chairman Price explained the Commission had several choices: they could completely reject the idea, modify the overlay zone, accept some change in the actual recommendation as far as zoning, or add variables to deal with the design guideline recommendations.
Commissioner Stopper suggested they speak to each issue one at a time - rather than trying to take care of all of them at once.
Chairman Price concurred and suggested taking up the issue of a proposed rural street overlay, zone including the rules associated with it.
Commissioner Crane supported the rural overlay district, and the establishment of a set of design guidelines. He felt some of the items in the design guidelines needed clarification and a little work to enhance them. He asked if an outside source or City staff prepared these guidelines, and Chief Planner Rosen, answered that professional City staff had prepared them.
Commissioner Francis concurred with Commissioner Crane, but did not agree with item B regarding mature trees.
Chairman Price asked if there was a general consensus that the proposed rural street overlay area is a good idea for this neighborhood, but some work is needed on the guidelines.
Chief Planner Rosen suggested modifying the recommendation and referring the guidelines to the RDRC with parameters, possibly providing picture examples or other graphic examples of the intent. He noted it was the intent of the City to not cut down trees, which is an adopted policy, to preserve existing trees wherever possible and this guideline reiterates this fact.
Chairman Price asked if anyone on the Commission felt the rural street overlay should be extended to Valley View Place.
Commissioner LeQuire agreed that the area should be exempted since it has a different type of development from the rest of the neighborhood.
Chief Planner Rosen noted it was not on the rural street designation, the houses were developed as tract houses and it is at the Commission's discretion whether to include it or not, and they could modify the ordinance slightly to specifically apply only to rural streets.
Commissioner Crane recommended excluding Valley View Place.
Commissioner Stopper recommended excluding Norby Lane to remain consistent.
Chairman Price suggested keeping it the way it is with the proposed rural street overlay.
Chairman Price asked for suggestions, with respect to the guidelines.
Commissioner Stopper suggested the guidelines be submitted to the RDRC for their input of what would match and what they think should be done in this area. Commissioner Savage concurred.
Chairman Price noted there was some concern with some of the guidelines and suggested the Planning Commission minutes be forwarded to the RDRC for their input.
Commissioner LeQuire asked for clarification that the guidelines do not impact a property owner until the property is developed, and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.
Chairman Price asked if there was a general consensus of support to accept staff's recommendation on whether to change the zone. Also, if the proposed rural street overlay is adopted, the area does not need to be rezoned because the adopted guidelines will address the concerns of the neighbors to retain the quality of their neighborhood. He noted the area is unique and should be preserved. There is concern in balancing the interest of those that want to preserve the neighborhood with those who have purchased property with the eye of development and have counted on the R-1-7,200 zoning, and the Commission must consider their rights. Development in the future will be subject to the proposed rural street overlay district and he felt this would be sufficient protection.
Commissioner Savage clarified that zoning laws are not the "end all," there are laws above the zoning laws, namely the General Plan that preserve the character of the neighborhood. He believed that this neighborhood's pattern of development is consistent with R-1-10,000 and changing to R-1-10,000 would assist in balancing the neighborhood. Because of current economics, the focus has changed to smaller lot size, as well as the value of housing going up, and that is why the development surge is taking place. He stated that he preferred the R-1-10,000-RS-PL, as recommended by staff.
Commissioner Crane concurred with both Chairman Price and Commissioner Savage. He felt strongly that the overlay zone would help the intent of the General Plan, which is to maintain the character of the neighborhood. This could be maintained with the use of the design guidelines, and he didn't feel changing the zone classification was necessary.
Commissioner Griffin felt the Commission was in a very difficult situation, because the zoning has been there since 1960, and people who have bought in the area are aware of this. He voiced support for the overlay zone, and noted it was an excellent way to capture the heritage of this area. He would not support a zone change.
Commissioner Francis asked how this would affect the Carpenters. Chief Planner Rosen stated that this action would not affect them, since the Planning Commission had approved their subdivision and the appeal is scheduled to go to Council on August 5, 2003. If a zone change were approved, it would become effective 30 days after approval, which would make it sometime in October.
Commissioner LeQuire noted decisions like this are tough on everybody since all of the property owners are emotionally invested in the outcome. He felt strongly that the Commission needs to protect the uniqueness of that neighborhood. He noted most people bought with the R-1-7,200 zoning, and it was not right for those with larger lots to have the right to subdivide taken away from them. He supported the R-1-7,200 zoning designation.
Commissioner Stopper commended staff on the great job they did in providing so much data and information. He noted the rural overlay zone would provide people with what they are looking for in terms of assurance that the character of the neighborhood will not be changed overnight. It was his opinion that it was not necessary to change the zoning, and asked that the guidelines be sent to the RDRC for review.
Commissioner Francis supported the rural overlay zone and the R-1-10,000 zone change.
Commissioner Savage asked if the Commission was suggesting maintaining the R-1-7,200 lot size to maintain the character of the neighborhood.
Chairman Price replied that the suggestion is to retain the R-1-7,200 square-foot lot size, since the mean lot size for many properties is less than 10,000 square feet, and adopting a R-1-10,000 zone change would make over half the lots non-conforming.
Commissioner Griffin asked Chief Planner Rosen to review exactly what we are voting on.
Chief Planner Rosen noted the first action would be the recommendation to ADOPT the rural street overlay district in title, with the recommendation to the Council that the Rural Street Overlay Design Guidelines be applied.
The second action would be the recommendation to ADOPT the specific guidelines for the Pico-Carhart area, which would be implementing the specific guidelines for that area.
The third action would be changing the zoning from R-1-7,200 to R-1-7,200-RS-PC (R-1-7,200 Rural Street - Pico Carhart), which would go to the City Council in August with effective dates in September.
Commissioner Griffin asked if this would be noticed again, and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively. He asked the Commission if they wanted the Design Guidelines to go through the RDRC before going to Council, or did they want staff to embellish upon the guidelines.
Chairman Price recommended having the RDRC look at the guidelines prior to it going before council. Commissioner Griffin concurred with Chairman Price.
Commissioner Crane asked if the Rural Street Overlay would apply to all rural streets in Fullerton, such as Las Palmas Drive. Chief Planner Rosen clarified that it would be available to all streets at the initiation of the Commission or from the neighborhood, and staff would develop specific guidelines.
MOTION by Commissioner Crane, seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote, that the Negative Declaration be CERTIFIED.
The title of Resolution PC-03-24 RECOMMENDING to the City Council ADDING Chapter 15.44 establishing a Rural Street Overlay zone to the Fullerton Municipal Code was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Griffin, seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote that said resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED.
The title of Resolution PC-03-23 RECOMMENDING to the City Council ADOPTION of the design guidelines for the Pico-Carhart neighborhood was read, and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded and CARRIED by a 7-0 vote that said resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.
The title of Resolution PC-03-25 RECOMMENDING to the City Council a change in the zoning of certain parcels in a neighborhood from R-1-7,200 to R-1-7,200-RS-PC (Rural street overlay/Pico Carhart) on certain properties generally located on the south side of Valley View between Adlena Drive and Fern Drive, the north and south sides of Fern Drive, between Fern Drive Elementary School and Carhart Avenue, Norby Lane, Arroyo Place, Arroyo Drive, Johnson Place between Carhart Avenue and Stephens Avenue, Buena Vista Drive, Rose Drive, Beverly Drive, Wesley Avenue, West side of Euclid Street between Malvern Avenue and Valley View Drive, Carhart Avenue, Ramona Drive, Valley View Place, North side of Malvern Avenue, between Carhart Avenue and Euclid Street, Stephens Avenue between Malvern Avenue and Valley View, and Fern Drive, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded and CARRIED by a 5-2 vote with Commissioner Francis and Savage voting no, that said resolution be ADOPTED AS AMENDED.
Chairman Price noted this item will go before the City Council probably sometime in August.
Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief update on recent City Council meetings and noted the Carpenter appeal was scheduled for August 5, 2003.
Commissioner Savage noted the College Park District between Chapman and Commonwealth and Lemon and Raymond is currently zoned R-2, and questioned if it could have been R-1 in the past, and suggested considering changing the zoning back to R-1 because of the development that is going on in the area, the parking and traffic problems, and the current occupancy is more owner than renter occupancy.
Chief Planner Rosen noted the area is R-2-P and has been R-2 for over 50 years. He explained that the Commission can adopt a Resolution of Intent with some basis or concern or a specific issue is typically how a Resolution of Intent is initiated. The staff would then go out and workshop the neighborhood. He explained the item could also be agendized for a future meeting.
Chairman Price asked that it be put on a future agenda and encouraged the Commissioners to visit the area.
Commissioner Crane suggested talking to Tom and Katie Dalton who live in the area to get a general feeling about the area.
Commissioner Crane brought up the issue of the college and the Master Plan, noting the colleges thought is to demolish the Wilshire auditorium. He noted as a citizen he is concerned with the demolition of historical buildings and thought the Commission would like to draft a letter or pass a Resolution to the School District to not demolish this historical landmark.
Chief Planner Rosen suggested agendizing this item as well and inviting the College to attend and present their Master Plan.
The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be July 23, 2003, at 7:00 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:17 p.m.