Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO:HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM:DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE:DECEMBER 3, 2002

SUBJECT:REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF THE FEES RELATED TO CASE NO. ZON2002-00527 (ENCROACHMENT PERMIT) [REQUESTOR: MICHAEL & VIRGINIA CICORIA, 62 OCEANAIRE DRIVE]

Staff Coordinator:Eduardo Schonborn, aicp, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Approve the requested fee waiver.

BACKGROUND

In November 1998, Code Enforcement Staff received a complaint regarding two pilasters exceeding 42-inches in height, in front of property located at 62 Oceanaire Drive and within the public right-of-way. After working with the property owner, Mr. Michael Cicoria submitted an Encroachment Permit application to the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department. The purpose of the application is to attempt to legalize two existing pilasters within the public right-of-way. A total fee of $1,400.00 was assessed as part of the Encroachment Permit application submittal.

DISCUSSION

Pursuant to Section 17.78.010(B) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code (RPVDC), the City Council may grant a request to waive the fees associated with a development application if it finds that:

  1. The applicant or the beneficiary of the use or activity proposed by the applicant is a nonprofit corporation registered with the State of California; or
  2. The use or activity proposed or the activities of the beneficiary of the use or activity proposed are charitable, educational or otherwise provide a substantial benefit to the public; or
  3. The applicant has demonstrated a financial hardship, as determined by the City Council, on a case by case basis.

Mr. Cicoria asserts that his application is not "after-the-fact" and should not be subject to the fees because he claims that the pilasters were erected some time prior to the City’s incorporation. The City has evidence – through aerial photographs taken on December 27, 1972 – that the pilasters existed prior to the City’s incorporation. The pilasters were constructed at the driveway entry to his property after several incidents, primarily during foggy nights, where motorists continued driving onto his driveway as if they believed that Oceanaire Drive continued and was not a cul-de-sac street that ended at Mr. Cicoria’s property.

Staff believes that the pilasters have provided, and continue to provide, a benefit to the public in that they help motorists discern the end of the cul-de-sac, which is located in an area that is very dark at night and susceptible to fog. The Director of Public Works has concurred with Planning Staff’s determination that the pilasters provide a benefit to motorists. The lighting mounted on the pilasters enhances this benefit because it provides for a visual landmark that is consistent with an entry to a private residential property, and that Oceanaire Drive has ended. As such, Staff believes that this is consistent with the criteria of RPVDC Section 17.86.080 and is sufficient to warrant approval of the requested fee waiver.

CONCLUSION

Staff believes that Mr. Cicoria’s request for a waiver of the penalty fee associated with the Encroachment Permit for Case No. ZON2002-00527 is warranted, based upon the required findings under RPVDC Section 17.78.010(B). Therefore, Staff recommends that the City Council approve Mr. Cicoria’s request.

FISCAL IMPACT

The approval of the requested fee waiver will result in the City bearing the costs associated with the processing of this application.

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to Staff’s recommendation, the alternatives available for the City Council’s consideration include:

  1. Deny the requested waiver of the fees.
  2. Grant a reduction in the fees, in an amount to be determined by the City Council.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, aicp, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans, City Manager