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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT
DATE: JUNE 3, 2003
SUBJECT: THE APPOINTMENT OF AN AD HOC STEERING COMMITTEE ASSIGNED WITH THE TASK OF REVIEWING THE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS OF TITLE 17 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE.
Staff Coordinator: Ara Michael Mihranian, Senior Planner
Review Staff’s recommended process for appointing members to the ad hoc steering committee and the committee’s proposed scope of work, and provide Staff with further direction.
On February 8, 2003, a Joint Workshop was held between the City Council and the Planning Commission at which time the Neighborhood Compatibility Steering Committee (referred herein as the "Committee") presented its recommended amendments to the existing Neighborhood Compatibility review process. At the same time, the Committee informed the Council that during its review of the City’s Neighborhood Compatibility requirement, the Committee identified sections within the Development Code’s Residential Development Standards that warranted further review and updating. In fact, the Committee recommended that the Council consider establishing another Committee to review the City’s residential development standards, particularly the lot density, lot coverage, and setback standards. The Committee indicated that they felt the Code’s current standards where drafted at a time when residential construction resulted in structures that are significantly different from the type of structures being constructed today. Therefore, the Committee felt that in addition to amending the Neighborhood Compatibility requirement, that the Council should eventually consider amending specific sections of the residential development standards.
In response to the Committee’s concerns, the Council directed Staff to agendize a future item to consider the formation of a new Committee with an assigned task of reviewing the City’s current residential development standards.
Appointment of Steering Committee
On December 4, 2001, the Council agreed to form a steering committee to review the City’s Neighborhood Compatibility requirement. At that time, Councilman Clark suggested that in addition to the Committee being comprised of two Council members and two Planning Commissioners, that the Committee also include 4-6 community representatives from the Council of Homeowners Association. The Council agreed with Councilman Clark’s suggestion and directed Staff to work with the Council of Homeowner’s Association in recruiting committee members.
Pursuant to Council direction, the Neighborhood Compatibility Steering Committee was comprised of nine (9) members, five of whom were members of the Council of Homeowner’s Association. As noted by the Council and the Commission at the February 8th Joint Workshop, the composition of this Committee proved to be quite successful because it provided City officials with greater insight on citywide issues. As a result of the success with the Neighborhood Compatibility Steering Committee, Staff is recommending that the Council consider a similar composition of members for the new Residential Development Standards Committee.
If the Council agrees with Staff’s recommendation on the composition of the committee, Staff believes that the Council has the following options to consider for appointing members to the committee:
If the Council finds this to be the preferred option, Staff will contact these individuals within the upcoming week. In the event some individuals are not available to serve on the new Committee, Staff can work with the Council of Homeowner’s Association to select replacement individuals.
Using the approach taken by the Neighborhood Compatibility Committee as a successful guide, Staff anticipates that the Committee meetings would occur at City Hall during City Hall business hours. Based on past experience with the meeting schedule of the Neighborhood Compatibility Steering Committee, Staff is of the opinion that the optimal time for the Committee to meet would be Friday afternoons, unless otherwise instructed by the Council or the Committee.
Committee’s Proposed Scope of Work
As previously noted, the Neighborhood Compatibility Steering Committee, in its review of the City’s residential development process, identified concerns with the current Development Code’s residential standards. Specifically, it was recommended that the new committee review the following:
Based on information provided at the Joint Workshop, it is Staff’s understanding that the scope of work for the new Committee will be based on the above residential development issues. However, it can be expected that the scope of work will expand as the Committee begins to deal with the specific issues and Staff input is provided. Furthermore, the Council may wish to identify additional issues for review at this time.
Date of the First Committee Meeting
Pursuant to the Council’s direction with regard to the appointment of new members to the Residential Development Standards Committee, Staff anticipates the first meeting to occur in late July or early August. This is primarily contingent on the selection and availability of the new committee members.
Unless otherwise directed by the Council or the Committee itself, Staff anticipates the committee meetings to occur on Friday afternoons, similar to the Neighborhood Compatibility committee meetings.
The following alternative is available for the City Council’s consideration in addition to Staff’s recommendation:
The establishment of an ad hoc steering committee, assigned with the task to review the Development Code’s residential development standards, would have no fiscal impact on the City’s General Fund.
Based on the foregoing discussion, Staff recommends that the Council appoint members to the Residential Development Standards Committee and agree on the Committee’s scope of work, as it pertains to its review of the Development Code’s residential development standards.
Joel Rojas, aicp
Director of Planning, Building
and Code Enforcement