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Staff Review Committee Meeting Minutes December 4, 2003

Staff Review Committee Meeting Minutes December 4, 2003

THURSDAY, 9:00 A.M., DECEMBER 4, 2003

CALL TO ORDER:Chairman Rosen called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:Mullis, Becerra, Thompson, Wallin, and Yang (for Tabatabaee)
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT:Mizokami, and Norton


November 20, 2003 approved as amended.



PRJ03-00797 - ZON03-00069. APPLICANT DAVID FREEDMAN; PROPERTY OWNER: RICK HALE. Request to reduce the required side yard setback by 20% from 10'-0" to 8'-0" for a new 3-car garage and new front porch at 720 Santa Barbara Avenue (approximately 133 west of Santa Barbara Avenue and Terraza Place) (R-1-20 zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA Guidelines).

The applicant, David Freedman and property owner, Rick Hale were present.

Planning Intern Mizokami stated that the applicant is proposing an 871 square-foot 3-car garage. The plans show that the width of the new garage is 32 feet, which is larger than the required width of 28 feet. The existing garage would be used as a habitable space that would include a new bedroom, a new bath, a living area, and a kitchenette. The applicant meets the Code requirements of three parking spaces, as needed with the new addition.

A new front porch to the entry way is also being proposed. The posts of the porch would encroach into the 35-foot setback by two and one half feet. Since the porch would add architectural value to the property, the 20/20 rule may be applied. In this case, the width of the posts may encroach as long as it is within 20% of the entire width of the house providing the garage is approved today. Without approval of the garage it would not meet this criteria.

Staff has an issue with the proposed kitchenette. By definition, a kitchenette makes the proposed habitable addition to the house a "limited second dwelling unit." The criteria for a limited second dwelling unit is 1) having rear alley access; 2) the property being a corner lot, 3) the property having 150% of the required minimum lot size. This property does not qualify for any of the three criteria for second units. Staff's recommendation to approve this project is based on the differential in pad elevations for the property; the existing landscape on the side of the property between the two residences, and the encroaching garage not being a habitable space.

Mr. Hale stated that perhaps the kitchenette might have been mislabeled on the plans. The intent was to have storage space and perhaps a coffeemaker for his mother-in-law who is mildly physically disabled. There are no plans for plumbing. Chairman Rosen said that Staff is very sympathetic to those kinds of issues but the Committee must be stringent about enforcing Code requirements regarding second kitchens, and therefore second units. If the property is sold, another owner could easily convert the space into a second unit.

The applicant was asked the reason the garage is wider than required. Mr. Hale explained that it is to accommodate an SUV or a pickup truck. Committee Member Mullis wondered whether the exterior entrance to the old garage (being proposed to be converted to habitable space) should be allowed. Chairman Rosen said that it would be a good idea to close off the entrance in order to tie the garage conversion area to the house. There are two options, expand the wall, or close off the door completely, resulting with only one entryway into the house in this area.

MOTION made, SECONDED and CARRIED by all members present, to APPROVE PRJ03-00797 - ZON03-00069 as conditioned below. Resolution No. 347.

  1. That a second kitchen or any food preparation area, as defined by the Code, would not be permitted.
  2. A recorded Deed Restriction stating that the new habitable addition is not a second unit.
  3. The applicant shall either close off the exterior door of the new bedroom (former garage) or maintain this door and extend this portion of the wall outward +/- 5'-0", thus converting the existing side yard entry into an interior door or hallway connecting directly to the new bedroom.
  4. Final building plans shall comply with Building Code setback requirements prior to issuance of permits.
  5. That all corrections generated through the plan check and inspection processes are incorporated by reference as conditions of approval and would include any requirements generated by the Engineering, Building and Fire.
  6. That the final building plans be substantially in conformance with plans approved by the Site Plan Review Committee.

There is a 10-day appeal period where any action by this Committee can be appealed to the Planning Commission and ultimately to the City Council.