Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Agenda July 16,2002
   

TO:HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM:DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE:JULY 16, 2002

SUBJECT:APPEAL OF PLANNING COMMISSIONíS APPROVAL OF HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 930 AND GRADING PERMIT NO. 2279 (6528 NANCY ROAD)

Prepared By:Ara Michael Mihranian, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Resolution No. 2002-__ overturning the Planning Commissionís approval of Height Variation No. 930 and Grading Permit No. 2279, thereby upholding the appeal filed on behalf of the appellants (Miraleste Neighborhood Coalition) and denying, without prejudice, the project applications.

BACKGROUND

On June 12, 2002, the City Council, after considering public testimony, determined that the proposed residence, at a height of 24 feet, creates a significant view impairment from neighboring properties and is designed in a manner that is incompatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood. Therefore, the Council unanimously agreed to overturn the Planning Commissionís approval, thereby denying the project applications, without prejudice.

In response to the Councilís action, Staff prepared a resolution, denying the project applications without prejudice, for adoption at the July 2, 2002 City Council meeting. However, at the July 2nd meeting, the City Council noted further corrections to the appeal resolution and directed Staff to revise the resolution for adoption at the July 16, 2002 City Council meeting. As such, attached is the revised appeal resolution.

CONCLUSION

Based on the City Councilís action at its June 12, 2002 meeting, Staff recommends that the Council adopt Resolution No. 2002-__, overturning the Planning Commissionís approval of Height Variation No. 930 and Grading Permit No. 2279, thereby upholding the appeal by denying, without prejudice, the project applications.

FISCAL IMPACT

Section 17.80.120 of the RPVMC states that in the event the City Council overturns the Planning Commissionís decision, the appellants are entitled to a full refund of the appeal filing fee. As such, since the City Council upheld the appeal, Staff has processed a full refund of the appeal filing fee, in the amount of $940.00.

Respectfully submitted,
Joel Rojas
Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:
Les Evans
City Manager

 

ATTACHMENTS

  • C.C. Resolution No. 2002-__ (see below)

RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DENYING, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, HEIGHT VARIATION N0. 930, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2279, AND MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 596, THEREBY OVERTURNING THE PLANNING COMMISSIONíS APPROVAL TO ALLOW THE DEMOLITION OF AN EXISTING SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE TO ACCOMMODATE THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW 3,921 SQUARE FOOT, TWO-STORY, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 6528 NANCY ROAD, AND UPHOLDING THE APPELLANTíS (MIRALESTE NEIGHBORHOOD COALITION) APPEAL.

WHEREAS, on May 2, 2001 the subject applications, Height Variation No 930, Grading Permit No. 2279 and Minor Exception Permit No. 596 were submitted to the Planning Department by the property owners, Mr. and Mrs. Letvin of 6528 Nancy Road, to allow the demolition of an existing 1,522 square foot single-family residence to accommodate the construction of a new 3,921 square foot, two-story, single-family residence with 594 cubic yards of associated grading; and,

WHEREAS, on November 6, 2001 the Cityís Geotechnical Engineer reviewed and conditionally approved the applicantsí geotechnical reports and studies; and,

WHEREAS, after several meetings attended by Staff and the property owners and their architect, revised plans were submitted and deemed complete for processing on November 5, 2001; and,

WHEREAS, on November 5, 2001, the required public notices for the December 11, 2001 Planning Commission meeting were mailed to property owners within a 500 foot radius of the subject property, and a notice was published in the Peninsula News on November 10, 2001; and,

WHEREAS, in response to the public notice, the City received several comment letters from neighboring property owners expressing concern with the accuracy of the project silhouette. After further investigation, Staff re-measured the silhouette and determined that the footprint of the silhouette was incorrectly plotted by approximately five (5) feet, which directly impacted the depicted height. As such, the public hearing was continued to the January 22, 2002 Commission meeting to allow the applicants to revise the silhouette; and,

WHEREAS, on January 7, 2002 the applicants informed Staff that the project silhouette was revised. Soon thereafter, Staff measured the silhouette and determined it was plotted correctly, accurately depicting the proposed height of the structure. However, Staff was unable to re-notice the public hearing in time for the January 22, 2002 meeting, and therefore the Planning Commission continued the public hearing to the February 26, 2002 Planning Commission meeting; and,

WHEREAS, on January 10, 2002, the required public notices for the February 26, 2002 Planning Commission meeting were re-noticed to property owners within a 500 foot radius of the subject property, and a notice was published in the Peninsula News on January 12, 2002; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Quality Act, Public Resources Code Section 21000 et.seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et.seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(F) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that Grading Permit No. 2191 would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Class 3); and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the requirements of Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on February 26, 2002, at which all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence: and,

WHEREAS, at their February 26th meeting, after hearing public testimony the Planning Commission adopted a motion, with a vote of 3-2, Commissioners Mueller and Long dissenting, approving Height Variation No. 930 and Grading Permit No. 2279 to allow the construction of a new single-family residence, and denying Minor Exception Permit No. 596; and,

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2002 an appeal was filed with the City on behalf of the Miraleste Neighborhood Coalition, requesting that the City Council overturn the decision of the Planning Commission; and,

WHEREAS, on May 2, 2002, the required public notices were mailed out to property owners within a 500í radius of the subject property, the appellants, and interested parties informing them of the appeal and the scheduled City Council public hearing on June 4, 2002. Furthermore, a notice was published in the Peninsula News on May 4, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, on May 23, 2002, a courtesy notice was mailed out to property owners within a 500í radius of the subject property, the appellants, and interested parties informing them that the date of the City Council meeting has been moved to June 12, 2002 due to the lack of a quorum at its June 4, 2002 meeting; and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the requirements of Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the City Council held a duly noticed public hearing on June 12, 2002, at which all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence;

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE, AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: With regard to Height Variation No. 930:

  1. The proposed project has not been designed and situated in a manner as to adequately minimize the impairment of views from surrounding properties. The Planning Commission, at its February 26, 2002 meeting, modified the design of the structure in order to reduce view impacts that would result from the proposed project as set forth below:

    1. Reduce the roof pitch from 3ľ:12 to 3:12
    2. Conduct additional grading so that the existing building pad is lowered by approximately 2 to 4 feet
    3. Reduce the height of the interior ceiling for both the lower and upper level so that the overall structure is reduced in height by no less than 1í-6".

However, based upon the evidence that was presented at the public hearing, and the record that is on file in this case, the City Council finds that the proposed modifications will not adequately minimize the view impairment that will be caused by the proposed project because the portion of the structure that exceeds sixteen feet in height will still significantly impair the views of the harbor and the ocean from neighboring properties. Accordingly, the City Council cannot make the required finding that the structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view from neighboring properties.

  1. The proposed structure, when considered exclusive of foliage, does significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel. The design and height of the proposed project creates a significant view impairment from neighboring properties beyond that which would result from a structure built to the maximum permitted "by right" height limit of 16í/20í because the portion of the structure that exceeds sixteen feet in height will significantly impair the views of the harbor and the ocean from properties in the immediate vicinity of the subject property. Therefore, the City Council cannot make the required finding that the proposed structure, when considered exclusive of existing foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel, which is another finding that is required by Section 17.02.040 to issue a Height Variation for a structure.
  2. The proposed structure is not compatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood because at 3,921 square feet, the design of the structure will create a bulky structure that visually appears imbalanced and disproportional to the size of the project site and the homes that are located on neighboring properties. Therefore, the required finding requiring compatibility of the proposed structure with the character of the immediate neighborhood cannot be made.
  3. The proposed structure does result in an unreasonable infringement of privacy from the immediate neighboring properties because the height of the proposed structure and its close proximity to the property lines situates the windows on the upper level in a manner that would allow one to overlook onto the yard area of the neighboring properties, thereby creating an unreasonable infringement of privacy. Therefore, this finding cannot be made.

Section 2:With regard to Grading Permit No. 2279:

The construction that is proposed for this project has been found to significantly adversely affect visual relationships and views from neighboring properties, as discussed in Section 1 of this Resolution. Therefore, the City Council also hereby finds that the grading that was proposed for this project to minimize view impacts from neighboring properties will not eliminate the significant view impairment from neighboring properties because although the requested earth movement is to lower the overall grade elevation of the building pad, due to the size of the proposed structure, views of the ocean and harbor still will be significantly impaired from neighboring properties. Therefore, the finding that the grading and related construction will not adversely affect the visual relationships with, nor the views from neighboring properties, cannot be made for this project.

Section 3:With regard to Minor Exception Permit No. 597:

The Planning Commissionís determination on the Minor Exception Permit, denying the applicantís request to allow the street-facing balcony to encroach into the required front yard setback, was not appealed to the City Council by any individual. However, Section 17.78.030(D) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code states that if one component of a project is appealed, then the entire project is considered by the City Council. The City Council, in considering the appellantís appeal, denied the Height Variation and the Grading Permit applications for the project. The Planning Commissionís decision denying the Minor Exception Permit has not been altered by the City Councilís determination. Accordingly, the Planning Commissionís decision denying the Minor Exception Permit is hereby affirmed.

Section 4:For the foregoing reasons, and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes, and other records of proceedings, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby overturns the Planning Commissionís decision to approve Height Variation No. 930 and Grading Permit No. 2297, and thereby denies the applicants request to construct a new 3,921 square foot, two-story, single-family residence consisting of 1,566 square feet on the lower level, 1,629 square feet on the upper level and a 726 square foot attached two car garage at a height not to exceed 24í, as measured from the lowest finished grade (97.20í) adjacent to the structure to the top of the highest roof ridgeline. Furthermore, the City Council also upholds the Planning Commissionís denial of Minor Exception Permit No. 596. This denial is without prejudice to the applicantís right to re-file another application to develop on this property within the one year period specified in Section 17.80.110 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code.

Section 5. The time within which judicial review of the decision reflected in this Resolution, if available, must be sought is governed by Section 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure and other applicable short periods of limitation.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 16th day of July, 2002.

_______________________________

Mayor

ATTEST:
_________________________________

City Clerk
State of California)
County of Los Angeles) ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes)

I, JO PURCELL, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2002-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on July 16, 2002.

__________________________

City Clerk