Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

MEMORANDUM

MEMORANDUM

TO:HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM:DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MARCH 4, 2003 SUBJECT:FINAL TRACT MAP NO. 52666 (APPLICANT: 3200 PALOS VERDES DRIVE WEST, LLC.)

Staff Coordinator:Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Approve parkland dedication (Quimby) fees for Final Tract Map No. 52666 pursuant to the City’s Parkland Dedication Fee formula in the amount of $116,804.51; Direct Staff to execute and file a Subdivision Improvement Agreement; Consider the applicant’s request to accept an Affordable Housing In-Lieu Fee; and approve Final Tract Map No. 52666.

BACKGROUND

On September 4, 2001, the City Council adopted Resolution Nos. 2001-70 and 2001-71, approving a Mitigated Negative Declaration and Tentative Tract Map No. 52666 to allow the division of a 3.92 acre lot into 13-lots for residential development, subject to conditions of approval (see attachment). The Tract Map approved by the City Council is located within the RS-4 zoning district, on property at 3200 Palos Verdes Drive West, bound between the City of Palos Verdes Estates to the North, Alida Place to the South, Palos Verdes Drive West to the West and Via Victoria to the East.

On May 15, 2002, the applicant submitted Final Tract Map No. 52666 to the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department for approval. Approval of the Final Map is contingent on the applicant demonstrating that all Conditions of Approval of the Tentative Tract Map have been met. As part of the Conditions of Approval, the applicant must pay the parkland dedication (Quimby) fees prior to approval of the final map (see attached Conditions of Approval to Resolution No. 2001-71). Furthermore, pursuant to Section 16.20.140 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code (RPVMC) a Subdivision Improvement Agreement shall be filed and executed by the City Council prior to the approval of the Final Map. Therefore, in addition to the Council’s approval of the final map,

acceptance of the parkland dedication fee and the execution of the Subdivision Improvement Agreement is also before the Council this evening.

It should be noted that according to Section 17.11 of the RPVMC, the proposed project is subject to the City’s Affordable Housing requirement. Pursuant to the Development Code, the proposed project requires the construction of one (1) affordable housing unit, unless an in-lieu fee is deemed acceptable by the City Council. The applicant respectfully requests that the City Council consider accepting an in-lieu fee this evening, rather than constructing an affordable housing unit. The applicant’s request will be discussed in greater detail later in this report for consideration by the Council this evening.

DISCUSSION

Based on a review of the Final Tract Map, Staff believes that the layout and design of the Final Map is in substantial conformance to the Tentative Tract Map approved by the City Council on September 4, 2001. Although the lot area and lot dimensions of the proposed 13 lots were slightly modified to address concerns raised by the City Engineer pertaining to the street slope and grading, the changes are minor in nature and do not result in dimensions that are below the minimum standards required in the RS-4 zoning district. The modifications are considered minor in that lot areas changed by no more than 430 square feet, and the lot lines moved by no more than 3 feet. No other design aspects of the Tract Map have been changed. Therefore, Staff is of the opinion that the design of the Final Map is in substantial conformance with the approval of the Tentative Tract Map.

In addition to reviewing the layout and design of the Final Map, Staff has also reviewed the Conditions of Approval adopted by the City Council for the Tentative Tract Map. According to Staff, which includes the City Attorney, the City Engineer and the City Public Works Director, the Final Map is in substantial conformance with the Conditions of Approval for the Tentative Tract Map, except for the grading quantities.

During the City Engineer’s review of the grading plans, a concern was raised with regard to the grade elevation of the street and the proposed construction of a retaining wall and earth berm that encroached onto neighboring properties in the City of Palos Verdes Estates. He also discovered a miscalculation in the grading quantities called out on the original grading plans. As a result of the City Engineer’s concerns, the street elevation was lowered so that a retaining wall and earth berm would no longer be necessary. As such, the grading quantities were recalculated resulting in a change from the original approval of 16,500 cubic yards of earth movement to 24,900 cubic yards of earth movement. Furthermore, the change to the grading quantities requires 3,100 cubic yards of export rather than the approved 1,500 cubic yards of import.

According to Grading Condition No. 4 (see attached Conditions, Page 8 of 12), any revisions that result in a substantial increase to the approved grading quantities shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission as a revision to the grading application. Based on the above, Staff is of the opinion that the grading quantities are substantially higher than originally approved, therefore requiring the Planning Commission’s review of a revised grading application. However, Staff does not believe that the increase to the grading quantities results in a substantive change to the design or layout of the Tract Map that would prevent the Council from approving the Final Map this evening because the street elevation remains in its original location, but at a lower grade elevation. Furthermore, prior to issuance of any grading permits, a revised grading application will have to be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission.

Based on the above discussion, Staff believes that the Final Map is in substantial conformance with the Tentative Tract Map. Therefore, once the required bonds are posted and the required fees are paid by the applicant, the Final Map can be recorded with the Los Angeles County Recorders Office. It should be noted that the City Clerk and City Engineer will be instructed not to sign the title page of the Final Map until all bonds are posted, fees paid, including the Parkland Dedication In-Lieu Fee, and miscellaneous engineering sign-offs obtained by the developer.

Parkland Dedication Fees

Pursuant to Chapter 16.20.100 of the City’s Municipal Code (see attachment), as a condition of approval of a tentative tract or parcel map, the subdivider shall dedicate land, pay a fee in lieu thereof, or a combination of both, at the option of the City, for park and recreational purposes. Because there is no park or recreational facility designated in the General Plan to be located in whole or in part within the proposed subdivision to serve the immediate and future needs of the residents of the subdivision, the map was conditioned so that the subdivider, in lieu of dedicating land, shall pay a fee equal to the value of the land prescribed for dedication. The calculation of the fee is now being presented to the City Council for acceptance.

According to the Development Code, where a fee is required to be paid in lieu of land dedication, the amount of such fee shall be based upon the fair market value of the amount of land which would otherwise be required to be dedicated. The fair market value of land shall be determined by the City Council using one of four alternative methods. These methods are: 1) the assessed market valuation established by the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor, if the land has been assessed within the last calendar year; 2) the sale price of land if sold within the last five years plus the inflation rate and any contingencies at the time of sale; 3) the sale of comparable properties within the last year; or 4) a land appraisal prepared by a member of the appraisal institute.

On July 8, 2002, the applicant submitted a copy of the escrow documents with the final sale price of the property (see attachment). According to the escrow documents, the subject lot was sold for $2,200,000.00 in July of 1998. In order to accurately assess the subject property’s current "fair market value", the Consumer Price Index (C.P.I.) for each year subsequent to the sale of the lot was added to the final sale price. According to the C.P.I. for Los Angeles County, as established by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 3.92 acre lot is currently valued at $2,515,789.50, based on the following calculation:

1998$2,200,000.00 x 2.00% (C.P.I.) = $2,244,000.00

1999$2,244,000.00 x 2.30% (C.P.I.) = $2,295,612.00

2000$2,295,612.00 x 3.70% (C.P.I.) = $2,380,549.60

2001$2,380,549.60 x 2.10% (C.P.I.) = $2,430,541.10

2002$2,430,541.10 x 3.70% (C.P.I.) = $2,515,789.50

As such, Staff calculated the per/acre value of the subject property at $641,783.03 ($2,515,789.50 / 3.92 acres). Based upon the current market value, the calculation of the Quimby park fee is as follows:

Market Value of the Subject Property (per acre)$641,783.03/acre

multiplied by: Parkland Dedication requirement0.0140 acre per dwelling unit

multiplied by: Number of dwelling units:13 dwelling units

equals:$116,804.51

As a result, Staff recommends that the total amount of $116,804.51 be accepted as the fee in lieu of land dedication.

Subdivision Improvement Agreement

According to Section 16.20.140 of the RPVMC, prior to the approval of a Final Map, the applicant shall execute and file a Subdivision Improvement Agreement with the City that specifies the improvements to be constructed and the period within which the improvement work shall be completed. Furthermore, in the event the applicant fails to construct the improvements within the established time period, the Agreement shall specify remedies within which the City can complete the improvement work and recover all costs and expenses from the applicant through the establishment of surety bonds or cash deposits.

A Subdivision Improvement Agreement, prepared by the City Attorney, was given to the applicant for his review. The applicant and his attorney have reviewed and accepted the specified terms and conditions of the Agreement. A signed copy of the Agreement is attached to this Report for the Council’s review this evening. If the Council finds the terms and conditions to be acceptable, Staff seeks Council direction to execute and file the Agreement.

Affordable Housing

As noted earlier in this Report, Staff believes that the Final Map is in substantial conformance with the Conditions of Approval for the Tentative Tract Map. General Condition No. 7 states that the development of the lots shall comply with the requirements of Title 17 of the City’s Municipal Code. Pursuant to Section 17.11 of the Municipal Code, the applicant is required to designate a portion of the new residential units as affordable housing units (5% for very low income or 10% for low income households). For this project, the developer would need to designate one (1) of the 13 units as an affordable housing unit. However, as an alternative to constructing an affordable housing unit on-site, the applicant may: 1) Request that the City Council consider accepting an in-lieu fee, which at this time is $1.10 per square foot of structure floor area; 2) Demonstrate to the City Council (through the preparation of a feasibility study) that providing an affordable housing unit is not feasible; or, 3) Construct an affordable housing unit at an off-site location within the City boundary limits.

As such, the applicant has reviewed the City’s Affordable Housing Ordinance and is of the opinion that the project is located in an area that may not be considered optimal for the construction of an affordable housing unit. Therefore, the applicant respectfully requests that the City Council consider accepting an in-lieu fee (see attachment). According to the applicant, the subject site is not considered an optimal area for the construction of an affordable housing unit for the following reasons:

  1. Public Transportation – The project site, located on Palos Verdes Drive West, is not readily accessible to public transportation.
  2. Neighborhood Services – The project is located in an area that is several miles from the nearest grocery store or other neighborhood serving establishments. Furthermore, with inadequate public transportation and the topography of the general area, access to such services may be considered limited.
  3. Public Services – The project site is located several miles away from government services, such as hospitals, Federal, State, and County offices.

In considering the aforementioned reasons, it should be noted that public transportation is available to residents of the Peninsula by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Palos Verdes Transit Authority. In fact, the MTA has a bus route that runs along Palos Verdes Drive West. Notwithstanding, bus service within the immediate area may be considered limited in regards to hours of operation and frequency. As for neighborhood services, the nearest grocery store is Ralph’s, (an on-site bank, postal annex, and pharmacy are located within the Ralph’s grocery store) located at the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and Crest Road. Additionally, the Golden Cove Shopping Center (currently under renovation) which is considered a neighborhood serving establishment is located at the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive West and Hawthorne Boulevard. These two establishments are located on bus routes served by the MTA and the Peninsula Transit Authority. The nearest hospital is located in the City of Torrance.

Another option the Council may consider in place of constructing an affordable housing unit on-site is requiring the applicant to construct an affordable housing unit at an off-site location within the City boundary limits. The applicant believes that this is not a viable option because there are no multi-family zoned parcels available in the City for such development. However, since the project requires the construction of one (1) affordable housing unit, such structure may be constructed in any residentially zoned parcel in the City.

It should be noted that according to the State’s most recent Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), between 1998 and 2005, the City is required to construct thirteen (13) "new" affordable housing units, with which 25% (4 units) may be considered conversion units, meaning existing housing units converted to affordable housing units. The Ocean Trails Development is required to provide four (4) on-site affordable housing units (currently under construction) and four (4) off-site rental units (at a later date). Since it is unknown at this time whether the Ocean Trails’ off-site units will be "new" or converted units, Staff is taking the most conservative approach and is expecting the off-site units to be converted units. Therefore, because Ocean Trails will be providing four (4) off-site converted units, the state’s maximum permissible number of converted units has been met, and all remaining affordable units to be provided in the City must be "new" construction in order for the City to receive full credit towards meeting its RHNA. As such, if it is desired that the applicant construct an affordable housing unit on a site other than the project site, Staff believes it should be a "new" unit occurring on vacant land within the City.

Notwithstanding, if the Council accepts the applicant’s request to pay an in-lieu fee, Section 17.11.050 of the RPVMC states that the fee for an affordable housing unit shall be established by City Council Resolution, which is currently $1.10 per square foot of structure area for the entire tract. At this time the exact fee is unknown because building plans have not been submitted to the City with the exact square footage of floor area that would be constructed on each lot. However, since the Conditions of Approval for the Tract Map established a maximum structure size for each of the proposed lots, Staff has determined that the fee would not exceed $77,220.

In the event the Council selects the option of paying an in-lieu fee, the fee will be collected at the time a building permit is issued for each residence. However, if the Council determines that an affordable housing unit should be constructed on-site or at an off-site location, Section 17.11.040 of the RPVMC requires that the Director approve its location prior to Certificates of Occupancy being issued for more than 50% of the units in the tract or 50% of the individual lots sold.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Construction Vehicles

According to Street Condition No. 5 of Resolution No. 2001-71, the applicant is required to obtain approvals from officials at the City of Palos Verdes Estates to allow the use of their streets for project related construction vehicles. Additionally, the condition states that in the event Palos Verdes Estates prohibits the use of their streets for construction vehicles, the applicant shall be required to obtain approvals from the City’s Public Works Director to allow a temporary break in the roadway median.

As recently reported to the Council during the Border Issues update, the applicant has proposed an alternative scheme for the ingress and egress of construction related vehicles that would not require the use of streets in Palos Verdes Estates nor the temporary break to the roadway median of Palos Verdes Drive West (see attachment). According to the applicant’s representative, construction vehicles hauling material to an off-site location will adhere to the following plan:

  1. According to a discussion between the Director of Public Works and officials from Palos Verdes Estates, the City of Palos Verdes Estates will allow the hauling of material on their streets from this project, if it is going to a destination in Palos Verdes Estates. Therefore, construction vehicles hauling material to a site in Palos Verdes Estates will exit the project site by turning right onto Palos Verdes Drive West.
  2. Construction vehicles transporting material to an off-site location not in Palos Verdes Estates will exit the project site by turning left onto a coned-off lane on Palos Verdes Drive West (northbound side) immediately adjacent to the roadway median. The construction vehicles will travel within the coned-off lane for approximately 300 feet up to the median opening for Alida Place. At the median opening, the construction vehicles will cross over and merge with vehicles traveling on the southbound side of Palos Verdes Drive West. This route will require the installation of temporary street signs, cones, and flagmen to ensure public safety.

The City’s Public Work’s Director has reviewed and approved the above proposal.

Residential Development

Notwithstanding approval of the Final Tract Map, all future development on the subject properties shall be subject to review by the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department, including the City’s geotechnical Consultant. As noted in the attached Conditions of Approval, the development of each lot with a single-family residence will be reviewed by the Planning Department on an individual basis. In addition to the residential standards adopted by the City Council by the Tentative Tract Map, the proposed residences will be subject to the City’s Neighborhood Compatibility review requirements.

Public Notification

At the time the Tentative Tract Map was being processed, the City received several comments from adjoining neighbors expressing concerns with the development of the map. The neighbor’s concerns were subsequently addressed during the processing of the tentative map. Pursuant to the City’s Subdivision Ordinance, a public hearing by the City Council is not required for approval of a final map. Notwithstanding, in order to keep the neighbors informed, on February 25, 2003, City Staff sent the Neighbors a Courtesy Notice informing them of tonight’s meeting. Any comments received after the transmittal of this Staff Report will be presented to the Council the night of the meeting.

 

CONCLUSION

Based upon the above discussion, Staff recommends that the City Council: 1) Approve the parkland dedication (Quimby) fee of $116,804.51; 2) Direct Staff to execute and file the Subdivision Improvement Agreement; 3) Determine whether the applicant shall construct an affordable housing unit or pay an in-lieu fee; and 4) Authorize the recordation of the final map with the Los Angeles County Recorders Office.

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to Staff’s recommendation, the following alternatives are available to the City Council:

  1. Identify any issues or concerns with the proposed calculations, provide Staff and/or applicant with direction in using an alternate method in determining the "fair market value", and continue this item to a future agenda;
  2. Identify changes to the Subdivision Improvement Agreement and direct Staff to modify the Agreement for consideration at a future meeting; or,
  3. Request further information from the applicant regarding the request to accept an affordable housing in-lieu fee and continue this item to a future agenda.

Respectfully submitted:

 

Joel Rojas, AICP

Director of Planning, Building

and Code Enforcement

Reviewed,

 

Les Evans

City Manager

 

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Tentative Tract Map Conditions of Approval (Resolution No. 2001-71)
  • Chapter 16.20.100 of the RPV Municipal Code
  • Final Sale Price of Subject Property (Escrow Documents)
  • Subdivision Improvement Agreement
  • Applicant’s Affordable Housing In-Lieu Fee Request
  • Applicant’s Proposed Construction Vehicle Alternate Route