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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

WEDNESDAY APRIL 26, 2006 7:00 P.M.

CALL TO ORDER:

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

PRESENT:

ABSENT:

Chairman Savage, Vice Chairman Francis; Commissioners Bailey, Musante and Thompson

Commissioners Fitzgerald, Hart

STAFF PRESENT:

Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Eastman, Senior Planner St. Paul, Senior Civil Engineer Voronel, Assistant Planner Kusch and Recording Secretary Pasillas.

FLAG SALUTE:

Commissioner Savage

MINUTES:

MOTION made by Commissioner Thompson SECONDED by Commissioner Musante and CARRIED 4-0, with Chairman Savage abstaining, that the Minutes of the APRIL 12, 2006 meeting, be APPROVED AS WRITTEN.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

ITEM NO. 1

PRJ06-00026 – ZON06-00014 – PM-2006-111.APPLICANTS:LORENZO REYES AND ALLISON REIS; PROPERTY OWNERS:HILL RANCH PARTNERSHIP AND PIERRE NICOLAS.

Staff memo dated April 29, 2006 was presented pertaining to a request for a tentative parcel map to divide an approximately 3.92-acre parcel into two parcels, measuring approximately 2.69 and 1.23 acres, and a major site plan to construct a drive-thru restaurant measuring approximately 3,200 square feet, on property located at 1250-1260 East Chapman Avenue (south side of Chapman Avenue between Raymond Avenue and approximately 645 feet east of Raymond Avenue) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of CEQA Guidelines) (AKU).

Chairman Savage explained that this project had been withdrawn by the applicant, therefore, it would not be discussed.

ITEM NO. 2

PRJ05-00779 – ZON05-00112 – ZON06-00028.APPELLANT:GREENTREE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION; PROPERTY OWNER:GING L. GIN.

Staff report dated April 26, 2006 was presented pertaining to an appeal of a Staff Review Committee approval for the installation of a telecommunication antenna and equipment on property located at 3121-3175 Yorba Linda Boulevard (generally located on the north side of Yorba Linda Boulevard at the intersection of Sapphire Road) (C-2 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15303 of CEQA Guidelines) (AKU).

Assistant Planner Kusch provided an overview of the project.He described the property and explained that the applicant was requesting to install a 43’ tall monopole antenna and an equipment enclosure at the rear of the property.The proposed antenna would be located between the buildings, adjacent to an access pass that links the two parking areas.

Assistant Planner Kusch added that the Staff Review Committee had reviewed and approved the proposal in March, and the approval was granted because the project met City code requirements.The Staff Review Committee and staff believed that the conditions recommended would mitigate impacts associated with the project that are within the City’s purview.

Assistant Planner Kusch explained that the appellant represented the Greentree Homeowners Association, which is the residential development located adjacent and to the north of the subject property.He stated that the concerns mentioned by the neighbors at the Staff Review Committee meeting were: unknown health risks, the effect on property values, aesthetics, noise, and ongoing security concerns having to do with loitering in the rear parking area.

Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the 1996 Telecommunications Act preempted local government regulations as they pertain to any potential impacts on health or property values for surrounding properties.

Assistant Planner Kusch explained that there were three versions of the antenna submitted by the applicant: 1) a tower that would match the building, 2) a monopine, and 3) a slim-line monopole design.The Staff Review Committee decided that the slim-line design was the most compatible with the property.

Staff recommended the Planning Commission deny the appeal and uphold the Staff Review Committee's approval of the antenna based on the findings and subject to the conditions in the report.

Commissioner Bailey asked which antenna was being recommended and why this style was chosen.Assistant Planner Kusch explained that it was the slim-line pole and was chosen by the Staff Review Committee as well as by staff because they felt the monopine version was out of place in context to the property, and the tower version was out of scale with the building.

Commissioner Bailey asked if the parking lot was still being used or would it be used for equipment only.Assistant Planner Kusch explained that the parking lot would still be accessible and remain unobstructed. There would be a need, on an emergency basis only, to provide for an emergency generator that would occupy one parking space.

Commissioner Bailey wanted to know if the use of a monopine was not chosen because it looked like a tree coming out of the building.Assistant Planner Kusch answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Bailey asked for clarification on the City’s preemption by Federal statute to not look into health concerns.Chief Planner Rosen answered that the City was specifically prohibited by Federal law from regulating these types of uses based on any potential health impacts.

Chairman Savage asked if potential property value impacts would be within the purview of the Planning Commission.Chief Planner Rosen answered that Federal law deals with general regulations for these types of uses and explained that the City had to be reasonable, that there are specific standards by which they are regulated, and those regulations are spelled out in the City’s ordinances.Specifically, economic impacts are not one of the items that are spelled out, and there is case law that prohibits cities from regulating these types of uses based on perceived economic impacts to surrounding properties.

Chairman Savage wanted clarification that the Planning Commission was to review the project as it related to aesthetics and code only, and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Thompson asked if Cingular had allowed the City to choose which type of pole they would like.Assistant Planner Kusch responded that the applicant provided the three options and the Staff Review Committee had decided that the slim-line pole was the preferred version.

Commissioner Bailey asked if there was any discussion about using the monopine and planting two or three additional trees around it. He thought it might be possible to move the pole into the rear parking lot area, but wondered if that would impact the parking situation.Assistant Planner Kusch answered that it would move the pole into the required setback as it relates to the residential zone.

Senior Planner Eastman added that he had color pictures of the three options available. He displayed color pictures of the slim-line pole, the monopine, and the tower.

Public hearing opened.

The following people spoke in opposition of the project:
Barbara Schaefer, 3120 Palm Drive #29
Harold W. Faber, 3134 E. Palm Drive
Richard Neufeld, 3153 Yorba Linda Blvd.|
Jonathan Moffatt, 3140 Palm Drive #42
Christian Ter-Nedden, 3154 E. Palm Drive #52

Their concerns were:
·Distance the pole would be setback from residences and arterial street
·Closeness of pole to the residents
·The number of antenna pole sites in the area and the necessity of having them so close together
·The impact on the residences from noise caused by the air conditioning units
·Were other locations considered
·Stability of the pole construction in case of wind
·Who will monitor; City, FCC, or EPA
·Aesthetics
·Effect on health
·Effect on property values
·Will microwave dish on pole interrupt resident’s satellite reception

In response to the speakers, Chairman Savage stated that the building code set minimum setbacks, not maximum setbacks.Chief Planner Rosen added that some cell towers within the City were put in place prior to the City’s ordinance being adopted. In some cases, the recommendation for setback from an arterial street was suggested, but based on size constraints, the aesthetic impact, and other cell towers in town, the actual setback may be different. He stated that the City had no regulatory authority over the placement and separation between sites.These are a federally protected type of activity. The City tries to co-locate them or put them on another tower when available, but can not force carriers to do so because it is a contractual relationship between two private parties.

Commissioner Thompson stated that this situation was two private parties engaging in a contractual arrangement to place the pole at this site, and the Planning Commission did not have the authority to force the applicant to look for other locations unless they could find a legal means by which to deny the application.

The applicant, Cathy Bardenstien, stated that she worked for Bechtel Telecommunications, the company that will be completing this project for Cingular. She explained that there was a provision in Fullerton’s zoning code for a zoning adjustment, which is an administrative factor, and that was how they were able to reduce the pole’s arterial street setback from the 215 feet. They are in compliance, and the setback from the commercial roadway was just suggested.

Chief Planner Rosen explained that a zoning adjustment was not applied for, nor was it necessary. Staff used the allowable reduction under the zoning adjustment as a rule of thumb when considering how much of a deviation from the suggested arterial setback would be acceptable.

Commissioner Musante asked about the noise from the air conditioning units, would they be boxed and insulating material provided.

The applicant answered that they understood the zoning ordinance and their engineers had designed an enclosure that would keep them in compliance with the noise ordinance.

Commissioner Bailey inquired about the aesthetics.He asked if there was anything else that could be done to make the site more aesthetically pleasing. The applicant answered that she had not seen any other styles that would work in this area.Cupolas on the roof work well on larger buildings, and trees work well in parkland environments. The small area limits what can be done. The pole height is below the minimum height normally requested so that the residential setback requirements could be met.The applicant stated they were willing to do whatever was requested to make the pole as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Commissioner Bailey stated he had noticed new sites going up within the City, but did not like a monopine coming out of a building.He stated that a cluster of trees looked better and wondered if that was possible at this location. The applicant responded that there was not enough room at this location.

Commissioner Musante asked if the parking lot was going to be used.The applicant indicated that they would not impact any of the striped parking spaces. In a black out situation, an emergency generator would be brought in, and would require one space for a short period of time.Commissioner Musante clarified that he was specifically alluding to a cluster of trees, and its impact on parking.The applicant responded that it would have an impact on parking.

Commissioner Musante wanted to know if the parking spaces were not needed, could the tower be moved to the center and a cluster of trees be provided.Chief Planner Rosen responded that this area was required parking for the property. There may not be an existing demand to use the spaces, but technically the spaces are required.

The applicant stated that Cingular Wireless & Bechtel Telecommunications are not doing any construction at this time.Telecommunication sites are very important for safety in the event of an emergency and for 911 coverage. Cellular companies are not required to show a specific need, but evidence was provided to the City showing a substantial coverage hole.There are limits on where cell sites can be placed, and the applicant stated that they did look at two additional properties, but neither land owner was willing to enter into a lease. This pole will provide coverage to people in Fullerton, people passing through Fullerton, and surrounding communities.Regarding structural issues – all designs and plans were signed by licensed engineer. The FCC is the only Federal agency regulating them; they are a licensed carrier and are not free to change frequencies.They are licensed for a specific range of frequencies which is not the 800 MHz referred to by one of the residences.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Thompson asked if Cingular could, if willing, switch styles and Chief Planner Rosen answered affirmatively.

Commissioner Thompson believed this use to be acceptable. He felt Fullerton and its citizens were in need of additional coverage, and although he felt badly for nearby residences, he did not feel there was a choice. He thought the monopine looked better than the plain pole, and recommended to the other commissioners to construct the monopine.

Commissioner Bailey agreed with Commissioner Thompson in that the monopine looked better against the background of other trees, but he felt it might look out of place.He would prefer to put the monopine in a cluster with other trees, but understood that would require a different location. He would be supporting this project.

Commissioner Musante thought the tree façade looked better than a plain pole, and agreed with Commissioner Bailey and Commissioner Thompson.

Vice Chairman Francis asked for a better description of the monopine design. Chief Planner Rosen explained that it was a pole with artificial branches attached, and the pole would be painted to look like a tree trunk, including the possibility of applying fake bark to the pole.Vice Chairman Francis stated he would agree to either the slim-line or monopine design

The title of Resolution No. PC-06-12 DENYING an appeal of a Staff Review Committee approval for the installation of a telecommunication antenna and equipment on property located at 3121-3175 Yorba Linda Boulevard was read and further reading was waived.MOTION by Commissioner Bailey, SECONDED by Commissioner Musante and CARRIED unanimously by voting members present that said Resolution be APPROVED AS AMENDED with an added condition that a monopine be used.

Chief Planner Rosen explained the appeal process.

OTHER MATTERS

None.

COMMISSION/STAFF COMMUNICATION

Chief Planner Rosen reminded the Planning Commission that Paul Dudley’s retirement party was May 5, 2006.

Chairman Savage thanked Vice Chairman Francis for filling in as Chairman in his absence at the last meeting.

Chief Planner Rosen informed the Planning Commission that he had been appointed Acting Director of the Development Services Department upon the retirement of Paul Dudley.Chairman Savage offered his congratulations.

Commissioner Bailey stated that the bricks look great in the SOCO alley.Chairman Savage agreed.

REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

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

PUBLIC COMMENTS

There was no one from the public who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission’s jurisdiction.

Agenda Forecast

The next regularly-scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be May 10, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.

_______________________________

Janelle Pasillas

Secretary

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