OCTOBER 27, 2004
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Stopper at 7:00 p.m.
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Chairman Stopper, Commissioners Bailey, Griffin, Hart, Price, Savage
ABSENT: Commissioner Francis
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Senior Civil Engineer Voronel, Economic Development Manager Miller, Fire Marshal Kunze, Fire Chief Reed, Police Captain Spalding and Recording Secretary Baker
ALSO PRESENT:Assistant City Attorney Barlow
MOTION by Commissioner Price, seconded by Commissioner Savage and CARRIED unanimously that the Minutes of October 13, 2004, be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.
7:00 P.M. SESSION
ITEM NO. 1
DOWNTOWN ANALYSIS AND OUTDOOR DINING GUIDELINES
Staff report dated October 13, 2004, was presented pertaining to the Downtown Analysis and Outdoor Dining Guidelines. Senior Planner Mullis stated that the Planning Commission would review downtown eating and drinking establishments and consider recommendations to modify certain regulations regarding outdoor dining.
Senior Planner Mullis reported that the two main issues are the calls for service and the occupancy issues. She also reminded the Planning Commission that the City Council had requested that the Fire and Police Departments submit a report on the incidences reported in the downtown, and a Police Crime Unit was established to monitor the two block area with the highest number of calls for service. In August, the City Council requested that the Planning Commission review the downtown analysis and recommend regulatory changes. The Commission also discussed the new criteria that the Police are using when investigating a call, to determine which establishment the patron had just left, not just the location of the patron at the time of the call.
Chairman Stopper asked for a breakdown of the existing or proposed restaurants in downtown. Senior Planner Mullis stated that currently there are 40 eating and drinking establishments, and an additional seven are proposed. She gave the breakdown of how many have patios, and how many sell beer, wine or have a full bar. She referred the Planning Commission to the maps attached to the staff report, as well as the tables and charts, and discussed them with the Commissioners.
Chairman Stopper asked for an explanation of which type of patio would need an encroachment permit. Senior Planner Mullis explained the types of patios:
- Private patios for private use on private property
- Private patios on public property with an encroachment permit to use for private purposes
- Patio with no sales allowed, general public sitting area, not cordoned off.
Three levels of encroachment on public property:
- Type one for private exclusive use and sale of goods,
- Type two is a private use and the general public can use it, sales can occur,
- Type three no sales can occur and public can use it.
Kay Miller, Economic Manager for the City of Fullerton, introduced herself and stated that she works specifically with restaurants in the downtown area and outdoor dining issues.
Senior Planner Mullis told the Planning Commission that staff had analyzed calls for service as listed in the staff report. She discussed the various reasons for calls for service, the peaks of time that calls are received and reviewed other issues as shown in Charts 1 3. Senior Planner Mullis added that the Fire Department had observed overcrowding and issued numerous warnings and three citations. Fire Department staff was continuing inspections so that overcrowding would not be an ongoing problem.
Staff recommended that the City Council review this issue in 9 12 months. Staff had worked closely with the owners and tenants in a cooperative effort to seek solutions to these issues and since this work has just begun, staff suggested waiting to see if other steps need to be taken at that time. Staff also recommended that encroachment agreements be between the property owner and the City, rather than just the tenant and the City.
Commissioner Savage asked if the City Council requested that the Planning Commission review the entire downtown area or just the two blocks with the most service calls.
Chairman Stopper and Commissioner Bailey stated that they recalled requesting a review of the entire downtown area.
Chief Planner Rosen stated that it was expanded to look at the entire downtown area.
Commissioner Griffin asked if there have there been any recent changes to encroachment permits in the downtown area. Chief Planner Rosen answered that one encroachment permit had recently been revoked by the Director of Development Services for Revoluc?on. Staff was in the process of issuing an abatement notice, the City Attorney had recently met with the owner of Revoluc?on. Additional conditions have been proposed to alleviate the problems, they have reached a general parameter of agreement, and have begun writing a proposal.
Commissioner Griffin asked if both parties had agreed that they may operate their business on a regular basis. Assistant City Attorney Barlow answered affirmatively, adding that the City had not taken formal action yet.
Commissioner Price asked if there had been a change in the number of service calls over the last few weeks.
Captain Geoff Spalding stated that he did not have recent statistics for last two weeks. He said that he had spoken to the night watch commanders; they have said that there are fewer calls. That could be a result of school being back in session and additional enforcement efforts have also had an effect.
Commissioner Griffin asked Captain Spalding about calls to Police dispatch. Captain Spalding explained the BCS (Bureau of Crime Statistics) code and a secondary code that the Police Department is using to more accurately account for the origination of the disturbance, instead of noting the location of the encounter with the police.
Chairman Stopper asked staff about the history of encroachment agreements. He referred to page 6 of 13 in the staff report.
Chief Planner Rosen stated that he did not know the complete history of the encroachment agreements. He stated that the initial agreements were always with the property owner, the tenant may be a party to the agreement, but the property owner must sign off on it. He did not know why it transitioned to a contract between the tenant and the City.
Kay Miller explained that Redevelopment began encouraging outdoor dining in 1994. To make it happen quickly, they worked more directly with the tenants and allowed them to acquire the encroachment permits. It was well received by the restaurants.
Chairman Stopper asked what the rationale was to go from tenant to property owner now.
Assistant City Attorney Barlow said that she was concerned that if the owner was not involved in the permit, there could be a lien against their property for removal, and they would be unaware of it. She suggested that both parties should be involved because of the turnover of tenants. The tenants should also sign a copy of the permit and identify that they agree with the conditions, because they provide the insurance and should indemnify the City and sign that they have received a copy of the encroachment permit, understand the conditions and agree to comply.
Chief Planner Rosen added that the property owner may provide additional discipline if facility removal has been threatened.
Commissioner Price also added that there is usually a lease provision that the tenant comply with the law and if they dont, the landlord can remedy the situation and not involve the City.
Chairman Stopper asked about the long-term recommendations.
Senior Planner Mullis said that Redevelopment had been working with the Downtown Business Association and the Downtown Restaurant Association. It is an ongoing effort, so she did not feel it was necessary to include it.
Chairman Stopper felt that a focus group would benefit the City, as listed in Item #3 of the long-term recommendations.
Chief Planner Rosen stated that staff was implementing all three long-term recommendations in one manner or another by meeting, monitoring, or providing input to the owners. Staff was working with the Police Department and the Fire Department, and focusing on the short-term for list for City Council.
Commissioner Savage asked about the attendance at meetings with downtown business owners. Kay Miller stated that she has had two meetings with property owners. All property owners were invited and 15 20 attended the first meeting, and two or three attended the second meeting.
Commissioner Savage asked if staff was recommending the draft of the Outdoor Dining Guidelines as presented. Senior Planner Mullis answered affirmatively, with the removal of the item relating to the hours of operation, since it no longer applies.
Chief Planner Rosen discussed guidelines dealing with operational hours. He said that the intent was to continue to facilitate and promote outdoor dining in downtown. He said that a consultant had developed hints on how to establish outdoor spaces and what to look out for.
Chairman Stopper asked for staff to provide a copy of an encroachment agreement. It was given to all Planning Commissioners and he wanted that to be noted in the minutes.
Public hearing opened, but there was no one who wished to speak on this matter, and the public hearing was closed.
Commissioner Bailey asked for clarification that the Planning Commission was only reviewing the four revised recommendations. Senior Planner Mullis answered affirmatively--that the revised recommendations are being recommended.
Commissioner Savage complimented staff on such a comprehensive study. He felt that the problems do need to be corrected, and was glad that the property owners, tenants and staff are working together. He supported the recommendations, with a review in nine months.
Commissioner Price also complimented staff on the staff report. He applauded the property owners and City staff for working together. He agreed with the revised recommendations.
Commissioner Savage added that nine months might not be sufficient, it should be reviewed after the summer is over, when the crime rate is typically higher.
Commissioner Hart supported staffs recommendation, and was glad to see everyone working together. She was concerned with the high density of calls and bars so close together.
Commissioner Griffin supported staffs recommendation. He asked for a final report on the Revoluc?on situation. Assistant City Attorney Barlow stated that if an agreement is reached, she would provide the Planning Commission with a copy of the amended encroachment permit.
Commissioner Bailey also felt that it was an outstanding report with great statistics, which made making a decision much easier. Since the short-term recommendations were removed, he would be supporting them as amended and revised. He also suggested that staff review closing the alley access east of Mulberry Street Ristorante off of Wilshire, due to high pedestrian traffic. Chief Planner Rosen stated that is currently being reviewed.
Chairman Stopper discussed that the new developments in downtown would cause more over-crowding and more businesses. He felt that the downtown would expand to the east and the west in the future, and that a special task force was important. He asked the Planning Commission to consider adding the long-term recommendations to be given to City Council, and also complimented staff on the report.
Commissioner Griffin agreed with incorporating the three long-term recommendations as part of the revised recommendations. The third one would be incorporated and become a recommendation to the City Council.
Commissioner Savage was surprised by the crime statistics at McDonalds and asked what staffs solution was. Chief Planner Rosen stated that when McDonalds moves to closer to the high school, the staff will be able to more closely monitor the situation.
Commissioner Price agreed with Chairman Stopper that the recommendations should include long-term recommendations.
Commissioner Bailey asked if approval was required for a Type 47 license. Chief Planner Rosen stated that ABC Licenses are reviewed when an application is made for a Type 47 license and the license could be rejected. There was no hearing or public review process, and is done at staff level. Commissioner Bailey asked if staffs comments are weighed and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.
Chairman Stopper asked Assistant City Attorney Barlow for the legal opinion. She stated that the City has had a long history to not require a CUP of every restaurant. She said it was a cumbersome process which would delay and deter development. The City Council or the Planning Commission could require additional permitting in the downtown area, but it has not historically been done in the downtown area and has not been the direction of the City.
Commissioner Bailey stated that he was in support of the Outdoor Dining Guidelines with the addition of the long-term recommendations.
Commissioner Savage supported the revised recommendations and, if approved, he felt that the Amerige Court project would improve the area.
MOTION by Commissioner Griffin to approve the staff report with revised recommendations and the addition of three long-term recommendations as stated in the staff report on pages 5 & 6, seconded by Commissioner Hart. Motion passed unanimously by all members present.
Senior Planner Mullis stated that the Farmer Boys project was appealed to the City Council by residents. Staff asked for Planning Commission approval of a meeting on November 10, 2004 and December 15, 2004. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission to have one meeting in November and move the December meeting to the new date.
Senior Planner Mullis updated the Planning Commission on the selection of new commissioner members by lottery. It will be agendized for December, after the election. The Planning Commission discussed the various expiration dates of Planning Commissioners terms.
Chairman Stopper noted for the record the receipt of a letter from Laura Lopez regarding an application for subdivision of Hillcrest Lane.
The Commission discussed the three upcoming community meetings.
REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS
Chief Planner Rosen discussed Council actions regarding St. Jude and the Fox Theater proposal.
There was no one from the public who wished to speak on any matter within the Commissions jurisdiction.
The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be November 10, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.