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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

July 14, 2004

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Stopper at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Chairman Stopper; Commissioners Bailey, Griffin, Hart, Savage

ABSENT: Francis, Price

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Senior Civil Engineer Wallin, Assistant and Recording Secretary Baker

FLAG SALUTE:

Commissioner Bailey

MINUTES:

Commissioner Bailey asked for a correction on page 95, the seventh paragraph, showing Western and 25th Street, not West 125th Street.

Commissioner Griffin requested:

Change the first paragraph on page 95 to: He felt that it was not fair to recommend revocation of the encroachment agreement for Back Alley, when there are other encroachments permitted in the area, and thought that the entire Central Business District should be reviewed.

Change the last paragraph of page 92 to: He felt that in all fairness he could not place one more condition on the Back Alley, as it should not be their responsibility alone to fix the problem in the area.

Change the fifth paragraph on page 93 to: direct staff to bring the entire issue of encroachment agreements in the Central Business District back to the Planning Commission.

MOTION by Commissioner Bailey seconded by Commissioner Griffin and CARRIED unanimously by the members present that the Minutes of June 23, 2004, be APPROVED AS AMENDED.

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ04-00387 ZON04-00047 ZON04-00053. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: ABRAHAM TABAJA.

Staff memorandum dated July 7, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to construct an automotive repair building measuring approximately 1,740 square feet, and allow a Conditional Use Permit for automobile sales and repair on property located at 801-811 West Commonwealth Avenue (north side of Commonwealth Avenue between the northwest corner of Commonwealth and Jefferson Avenues and approximately 135 feet west of the northwest corner of Commonwealth and Jefferson Avenues) (C-H zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from June 9, 2004).

Chief Planner Rosen stated that the revised site plan came in very late and this item would probably be deferred to the August 11, 2004 Planning Commission meeting.

MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Hart, to continue this item to August 11, 2004.

ITEM NO. 2
PRJ04-00548 LRP04-00014. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: CITY OF FULLERTON.

Staff report dated July 7, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to change the existing General Plan land use designation from Government Facilities to Medium Density Residential and change the zoning designation from P-L, Public Land, to R-3, Limited Density Multiple Family Residential, for a potential redevelopment project on property located at 1500 North Gilbert Street (northeast corner of Pioneer Avenue and Gilbert Street) (P-L zone) (Negative Declaration).

Senior Planner Mullis reported that the existing Fire Station site is on the northeast corner of Pioneer and Gilbert. The new Fire Station under construction is on Rosecrans, west of Gilbert and will be completed in August, 2004. The existing station will become surplus property after all the functions have been moved to the new site. She displayed aerials, site plans and indicated where the current fire stations are located throughout the city. She explained the zone change and told the Commission that the area is mostly multi-family, except for Amerige Heights, which is a single-family neighborhood.

Staff is recommending that the Planning Commission approve the Resolution, recommending to the City Council adoption of a Negative Declaration, a General Plan Revision to change the designation from Government Facility to Medium Density Residential and a zoning amendment changing the parcel from Public Land P-L to an R-3 zone.

Chairman Stopper asked when the transfer to the new station is complete, would there be any negative impact to the homeowners regarding insurance premiums. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the new location would adequately serve the community, based on Fire Department regulations and she thought it was a better location to serve the entire community. Senior Planner Mullis did not feel any homeowners would be negatively affected. Chairman Stopper also asked if the Fire Department had been involved in the planning process and Senior Planner Mullis answered affirmatively.

Public hearing opened.

Anthony La Vorgna, 2217 Loma Alta Drive, he told the Commission that there was the only one resident on his block who received a notice of the meeting. He was upset that he and his neighbors were not notified, and asked staff what the boundaries were. Chief Planner Rosen told him that notices were sent to residents who lived within a 300 foot radius from the perimeter of the property. Mr. La Vorgna felt that this was a controversial project, and asked that the boundaries be increased to include more single-family residences on Loma Alta because of the transient residences in the fourplexes. He felt that whatever is changed on Loma Alta Drive impacts the entire neighborhood. He spoke of the traffic and his many calls to the Police to try to reduce the speeding.

Commissioner Bailey suggested to Mr. La Vorgna that he contact Mr. Mark Miller in the Traffic Engineering Department. He told him that they are open to residents requesting traffic studies, proposing calming measures, and the Transportation and Circulation Commission hears issues and then makes recommendations to the City Council.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Griffin supported the suggestion of expanding the notification process. He recognized that typically sending notices within 300 feet of the project makes sense. When this project comes before the Planning Commission again, he felt the notification boundary should be expanded to the east to Canyon Drive.

Commissioner Bailey felt that when a fire station was closed and moved, the entire community should be aware of it. He suggested notifying residents in the water bill. He was in support of the change.

No further comments.

The title of Resolution No. PC-04-24 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a general plan revision to change the Land Use designation from Government Facilities to Medium Density Residential and to change the existing zone classifications from P-L (Public Land) to R-3 (Limited Density Multi-Family Residential) on property located at 1500 North Gilbert Street, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Savage, seconded by Commissioner Hart and passed unanimously by members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

Chief Planner Rosen stated that the City Council would review this item on August 17, 2004.

ITEM NO. 3
TRACT TR-15658A. APPLICANT: HAL MC NAUGHTON; PROPERTY OWNER: CITY OF FULLERTON.

Staff report dated July 7, 2004, was presented pertaining to a request to modify the conditions of approval for Tract 15658 to transfer some of the maintenance responsibilities of Mountain View Park from the Presidential Collection Homeowners Association to the City for properties generally located at the northwest corner of State College Boulevard and Bastanchury Road (R-1-7.2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines).

Senior Planner Mullis reported that in 1999, the developer was required to construct Mountain View Park and the Homeowners' Association was required to maintain the park. She displayed an aerial photograph showing the general outline of the tract. It had common open space, mostly slopes and the park below. The developer improved the park and the Homeowners' Association was to maintain it and provide liability insurance. The Homeowners' Association had requested to amend those requirements because the insurance is expensive and park is heavily used. Trash pickup, water and electricity are higher than the homeowners had estimated. The Homeowners' Association is requesting to continue to maintain landscaping and irrigation, and eliminate water and electricity costs, the maintenance of lighting, infrastructure and parking lot, trash pickup and liability. Notification was sent to property owners within the tract and property owners within 300 feet of the tract. This does not change the park improvements or requirements for the maintenance of the park, but only shifts some of the responsibility to the City. Staff recommended approval to the City Council because the original plan was approved by the City Council.

Commissioner Bailey asked what the cost to the City would be. Senior Planner Mullis stated that she did not have the figures, but she believed trash pickup was a small, incremental amount, probably not more than $1,000 per year. Water and electricity are estimated to be $7,000 per year.

Commissioner Hart asked if the school fees were reduced per dwelling, based on the park. Senior Planner Mullis told her that the school fees had nothing to do with park improvements or maintenance. The developer negotiated the school fees with the School District. Commissioner Hart asked if the park fees were negotiated. Chief Planner Rosen answered that in the negotiations, the park fees were adjusted for the improvements to the park because a larger park was required due to planning requirements. He added that only an incremental credit was given to the developer.

Commissioner Savage said that he had visited the park and saw that many people use the park. Senior Planner Mullis agreed that there was a lot of activity, especially on clear days. Commissioner Savage commented that on weekends the trash was not picked up often enough.

Chairman Stopper asked for clarification of the original agreement. He recalled that the developer built the park, but it is owned by the City. He stated that the conditions of approval were associated with the maintenance of the park and holding the City harmless. He asked if the conditions of approval for the parks in Amerige Heights were the same.

Chief Planner Rosen told him that the parks at Amerige Heights are owned by the Homeowners' Association, in fee, and the City had public access easement over those parks. The Homeowners' Association provides liability and electricity, and the public has access to the park. The City has not made a financial investment in those parks. He told the Commission that it is different than the older parks throughout the City, which the City owns and maintains. In contrast, the Brea Dam is leased by the City from the Army Corps of Engineers for public recreational use and that park is maintained by the City.

Chairman Stopper asked who owned the equipment at Mountain View Park and who would be responsible for replacement. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the Homeowners' Association had been responsible for replacement under the current scenario, however, the City would take over that responsibility if the modification is approved. The Homeowners' Association will maintain the landscaping and irrigation, which includes fertilizer, spraying, and replacing dead sod and trees. It would also include irrigation valve replacement and upkeep. Staff had a statement added that the contractor they chose would provide insurance adequate with the risk management requirements.

Chairman Stopper was surprised that utilities and water service was not currently paid for by the City. He asked who polices the park. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the Police Department should respond to calls of vandalism, theft, loitering, etc. Senior Planner Mullis told him that the Police Department needs to respond, and perhaps it had been unclear to the Police Department that Mountain View Park is a City park under their jurisdiction.

Chairman Stopper was concerned that there were no posted hours of operation. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the Community Services Commission could recommend to the City Council setting the hours of operation.

Public hearing opened.

Hal McNaughton, President of the Homeowners' Association, said that this is a very outstanding park which is used more at night than during the day. He answered the concern regarding trash pickup. The Association is having trash picked up twice a week, as required. He said that the park was popular and there had been problems with parties and some vandalism. He was concerned with the Police Departments lack of response to requests because the police thought it was a private park. He also felt that the residents were not qualified to handle the park maintenance and decisions regarding repair/replacement of park equipment and furniture. The Homeowners' Association agreed to maintain the landscaping and they have a contractor who maintains the entire area.

Commissioner Bailey asked how much was spent on insurance, and Mr. McNaughton approximated that it was $200 per month.

Commissioner Hart was concerned that the Police Department was not responding to residents complaints. She saw it as a place that should be patrolled. Chief Planner Rosen stated that it should not make a difference in response whether it was maintained privately or by the City.

Chief Planner Rosen was surprised that Police Department was still confused with this matter. He stated that Community Services was supposed to have sent a memo, because of the unusual relationship. He stated that he would make sure that the Police Department is made aware that this is a city park and they need to respond, if the modification is approved.

Chairman Stopper asked who would be responsible for the replacement of benches, play equipment, tables, trash, park furniture, fountains, trash receptacles, etc. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the City would now be responsible to replace any of the above mentioned items that are damaged.

Marlin Smith, a resident of the Presidential Collection homes, stated that they have an additional assessment in their Homeowners Insurance because of the park liability issue.

Chairman Stopper asked if with the new agreement they could recover that. Mr. Smith stated that perhaps they could recover a portion of it.

Marva Johnson, a resident of the Presidential Collection homes. She spoke about the:

  • Excessive amounts of trash, having larger trash cans provided
  • Possibility of studying the growth patterns of the area
  • Noise complaints to the Police Department, with no response
  • Review the hours of operation and post them at the park
  • Compare the traffic count to Amerige Heights

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Savage supported the modification. He thought it was valiant to have tried something new.

Commissioner Hart stated that she often passes by the park. She felt the homeowners should not have the burden of the maintenance and liability. She recommended approving the modifications.

Commissioner Griffin concurred with Commissioners Savage and Hart and supported the modification. He stated that the final decision will be made by the City Council, because the financial decision is not in the purview of the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Bailey felt that the homeowners were made aware of the maintenance responsibilities when they purchased their homes. However, he felt that the park was a great benefit to the City, so he would support it.

Chairman Stopper complimented staff for their work and the Homeowners' Association for bringing this issue to staffs attention. He stated that he had recently walked through the park and commented on the view and the steep terrain. He felt that the City should be responsible for the maintenance of the park and the liability.

The title of Resolution No. PC-04-25 RECOMMENDING to the City Council approval of a request to modify the Conditions of Approval for Tract 15658 to transfer part of the maintenance responsibilities of Mountain View Park from the Presidential Collection Homeowners Association to the City, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Hart, seconded by Commissioner Savage and passed unanimously by voting members present, that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

Chief Planner Rosen informed the Commission that this item was scheduled to be heard by the City Council on August 17, 2004.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. RESOLUTION OF INTENTION. PRJ04-00548 LRP04-00014. APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON

    Continued to the next meeting when all Commissioners would be present.

  2. COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

    Chief Planner Rosen distributed a draft registration form for the Planning Officials Forum that is sponsored by the Planning Directors Association. Chairman Stopper recommended that all of the Commissioners attend and he felt it was a good learning process. The City would pay for the registration fee.

    Chief Planner Rosen also told the Commission about an upcoming conference to be held in Los Angeles September 18 22, 2004 called Railvolution. He explained that the workshop will end up at the Fullerton Transportation Center with a walking tour of downtown Fullerton. He will be coordinating the event in Fullerton due to Mr. Galvins retirement.

    Chief Planner Rosen informed the Commission of Senior Civil Engineer Wallins retirement and the Commission congratulated Mr. Wallin.

    Commissioner Savage mentioned the Chamber of Commerce July magazine that listed the 25 most influential people in Fullerton. He wanted to recognize Planning Commissioner Rick Price and Development Services Director Paul Dudley, who were mentioned in the magazine.

    Senior Planner Mullis advised the Commission of a community meeting that will be held on July 27, 2004, to review a single-family conversion to an after school facility and new construction for day care at 1300 Brookhurst Place.

  3. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    Chief Planner Rosen reviewed the items discussed at the last City Council meeting.

  4. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    None

  5. AGENDA FORECAST

    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be July 28, 2004, at 4:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:19 p.m.

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