Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

NOVEMBER 3, 2004 NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY CODE AMENDMENT/ ZON2004-00331 (CITYWIDE) NOVEMBER 3, 2004 NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY CODE AMENDMENT/ ZON2004-00331 (CITYWIDE)

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: NOVEMBER 3, 2004

SUBJECT: NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY CODE AMENDMENT/ ZON2004-00331 (CITYWIDE)

Staff Coordinator: Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

  1. Introduce Ordinance No. ___, a City initiated proposal to amend Title 17 of the City’s Municipal Code clarifying the Neighborhood Compatibility triggers and establishing specific exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirement.
  2. Adopt Resolution No. 2004-__, thereby amending the Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook to make the language consistent with the proposed code amendments.

BACKGROUND

On October 19, 2004, the City Council opened the public hearing to consider establishing exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirement for certain small projects. After discussing the language recommended by the Planning Commission, the Council unanimously accepted the proposed Code amendment language and directed Staff to prepare the appropriate Ordinance and Resolution for consideration at the November 3, 2004 Council meeting. Pursuant to Council directive, attached to this Staff Report is the Ordinance and Resolution.

DISCUSSION

Proposed Neighborhood Compatibility Exemptions

The attached ordinance contains the proposed Code amendment language to Section 17.02.030(B) presented to the Council at its October 19, 2004 meeting (the underlined text represents new language and the strike-out text represents deleted language). Since the October 19th meeting, Staff has added language to Section 2 to further clarify the intent of the two-year period. As currently drafted, projects that qualify as an exemption to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirement shall only be permitted once every two years. This requirement is intended to discourage individuals from incrementally increasing the size of their home by submitting numerous applications that qualify as an exemption to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirement. Staff recommends that the Council accept the

proposed Code amendment language this evening by introducing the draft Ordinance attached to this Staff Report.

Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook

Given that the Neighborhood Compatibility review process is proposed to change with the adoption of the proposed Code amendment language, the Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook will need to be amended to be consistent with the new exemptions. Therefore, Staff recommends that the Council amend the Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook to include the proposed Code amendment language by adopting the attached draft Resolution.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

One-Year Review of the Neighborhood Compatibility Requirements

As reported at the October 19th meeting, Staff will be presenting a report to the City Council in January 2005 on the effectiveness of the new Neighborhood Compatibility requirements based on public comments received from the questionnaire.

In addition, Staff will continue to monitor the type of projects being processed under the Neighborhood Compatibility requirement, as well as public reaction to the amended process and amended triggers. Staff will update the Council on the monitoring results so that the Council can assess whether additional small projects, such as the enclosure of un-roofed breezeways as discussed by Mayor Pro-Tem Clark at the October 19th meeting, should be added to the list of exemptions.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, aicp

Director of Planning, Building

and Code Enforcement

Reviewed,

Les Evans

City Manager

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Draft Ordinance No. ____
  • Exhibit ‘A’ – Addendum No. 11 to Environmental Assessment No. 694
  • Draft Resolution No. 2004-___
  • Exhibit ‘A’ – Amended Excerpts to the Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook

ORDINANCE NO. ___

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING TITLE 17 OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE BY ESTABLISHING EXEMPTIONS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR CITYWIDE RESIDENTIAL ZONED NEIGHBORHOODS.

WHEREAS, on May 6, 2003, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 389 amending Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code as it pertains to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements. At that time, the Council directed Staff to monitor the effectiveness of the new rules for one-year; and,

WHEREAS, on October 7, 2003, during the one-year review period, a resident of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes informed the Council during public comments at a regularly scheduled meeting that the new Neighborhood Compatibility rules were time consuming and costly for residents proposing minor additions to existing single-family residences. In response, the Council directed Staff to investigate the possibility of establishing exemptions to the new rules; and,

WHEREAS, on February 17, 2004, pursuant to City Council direction, Staff presented the Council with draft language that would establish exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements. After reviewing Staff’s suggested language, the City Council initiated the Code amendment proceedings; and,

WHEREAS, on June 26, 2004 a notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on July 13, 2004, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence regarding said amendments to Title 17 as set forth in the Planning Commission Staff Report of that date; and,

WHEREAS, after discussing the proposed language, the Commission directed Staff to explore redefining and expanding the exemptions and to consult with the City Attorney. The Commission continued the public hearing to its July 27, 2004 meeting; and,

WHEREAS, at its July 27, 2004 meeting, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing, without discussion, to its August 10, 2004 meeting to allow Staff additional time to consult with the City Attorney; and,

WHEREAS, on August 10, 2004, the Planning Commission discussed the revised language proposed by Staff and the City Attorney. After considering public testimony and reviewing the recommended language, the Planning Commission directed Staff to bring back the appropriate Resolution for adoption at its August 24, 2004 meeting; and,

WHEREAS, on August 24, 2004, the Planning Commission reviewed and considered the proposed code amendments to Title 17, and adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2004-33 forwarding its recommendation to the City Council for its consideration.

WHEREAS, on September 30, 2004, a notice of a City Council public hearing on the code amendment was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the City Council conducted a public hearing on October 19, 2004, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence regarding said amendments to Title 17 as set forth in the City Council Staff Report of that date. After reviewing the recommended Code amendment language, the City Council directed Staff to bring back the appropriate ordinance and resolution for consideration at its November 3, 2004 meeting, and continued the public hearing; and

WHEREAS, on November 3, 2004, the City Council held the continued public hearing, at which time 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 ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The City Council has reviewed and considered the amendments to Chapter 17.02 of Title 17 of the Municipal Code.

Section 2: The City Council finds that the amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code are consistent with California Government Code Section 65853, zoning amendment procedures.

Section 3: The City Council finds that the amendments to Title 17 are consistent with the Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan and Coastal Specific Plan in that they uphold, and do not hinder, the goals and policies of those plans, in particular to carefully control and direct future growth towards making a positive contribution to all elements of the community.

Section 4: The City Council further finds, based upon its own independent review, that there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Title 17 would result in new significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of the effects, as previously identified in Environmental Assessment No. 694 and the Negative Declaration, adopted through Resolution No. 97-25 in conjunction with Ordinance No. 320 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the Municipal Code, because the new amendments establish some very minor exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements and make other minor non-substantive revisions to the Development Code. Accordingly, the Council hereby finds that Addendum (No. 11) to the prior Negative Declaration, which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A," complies with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Section 5: The City Council finds that the amendments to Title 17 are necessary to preserve the public health, safety, and general welfare in the area, while balancing property rights.

Section 6: Paragraphs B of Section 17.02.030 of Title 17 is hereby amended to read as follows (the underlined text represents new language and the strike-out text represents deleted language):

      1. Development standards.

B. Neighborhood Compatibility.

    1. The following residential development projects shall be compatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood:

    1. A new residence that is proposed to be developed on a vacant lot;
    2. A new residence that is proposed to replace an existing residence;
    3. An existing residence that is proposed to be remodeled or renovated such that fifty percent or greater of any existing interior and exterior walls or existing square footage is demolished;
    4. An addition to an existing single-family residence or the construction of any new detached structure that individually, or when combined with prior additions cumulatively, results in the greater than of: (i) 750 square feet of additional floor area, or (ii) a 25% expansion of the total square footage of all of the original structures constructed on the property, including the main residence, the garage, and all detached structures;
    5. The construction of, or an addition to, a new second story or higher story; pursuant to Chapter 17.02 of the Development Code;
    6. Projects that result in lot coverage that exceeds the maximum allowed in Chapter 17.02 of the Development Code;
    7. The construction of, or an addition to, a deck, balcony or roof deck to a second story or higher story if the total area of the deck, balcony or roof deck that is eighty (80) square feet or larger in area or projects more than six (6) feet from the existing building; and,
    8. An addition of a mezzanine to an existing structure that modifies the exterior of the structure, other than except for flush mounted doors and windows.

2. The projects listed in the following subparagraphs (a through d)shall be exempt from the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements of this Paragraph B. However, no property shall be issued a permit for a project that is subject to the same subparagraph more than once in a two-year period without complying with the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements:

    1. An addition to an existing single-family residence that meets the following criteria:

    1. Is 16-feet or less in height, as measured according to the criteria stated in Section 17.02.040(B); and,

        1. Is not being constructed along the facade facing any street; and,
        2. Is 250 square feet or less in floor area; and,
        3. Complies with all of the City’s residential development standards.

    1. An addition or conversion of non-habitable floor area to habitable floor area that does not result in exterior modifications other than the placement of flush mounted doors and windows.
    2. The construction of a minor non-habitable accessory structure, such as, but not limited to, a cabana, a pool changing room, a storage shed, or a playhouse, that meets the following criteria:
    3. i. Is 12-feet or less in height, as measured from lowest adjacent grade as stated in Section 17.48.050(D); and,

        1. Is less than 250 square feet in floor area; and,
        2. Complies with all of the City’s residential development standards.

    4. The enclosure of a roofed breezeway between legally permitted structures or the enclosure of a 250 square foot or less patio cover, provided the enclosure:
    5. i. Is 16-feet or less in height, as measured according to the criteria stated in Section 17.02.040(B); and,

        1. Is attached to the primary structure; and,
        2. Complies with all of the City’s residential development standards.

      1. As defined in Section 17.02.040(A)(6) of this chapter, neighborhood character means the existing characteristics in terms of the following:

a. Scale of surrounding residences;

    1. Architectural styles and materials; and
    2. Front, side and rear yard setbacks.

4.  The determination of whether a new single-family residence or an addition to an existing single-family residence is compatible with the neighborhood character shall be made by the director or planning commission in the course of considering the applicable permit application(s) for the proposed residence.

       5.   Public Notice. Notice for an application that requires a neighborhood compatibility finding shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation and given to owner’ s of property within five hundred feet of the project, to all persons requesting notice, to any affected homeowner’ s associations, and the applicant pursuant to Section 17.80.090 (Notice of Hearing) of this title. Said notice shall be given at least fifteen days prior to a decision on the application.

Section 7: The rights given by any approval granted under the terms of Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code prior to the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance shall not be affected by the amendments to Title 17 by this ordinance and shall continue in effect until and unless they are modified, revoked, expired or are otherwise terminated according to the terms of the approval or the terms of Title 17 as they existed prior to the effective date of this ordinance.

Section 8: The amendments to Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code as identified herein shall apply to all development applications submitted after the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance and to all development applications for which a final determination has not been made by the City prior to the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance.

Section 9: 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 adopts the foregoing amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code.

Section 10: The City Clerk is directed to certify to the passage and adoption of this ordinance and to cause the full text of this ordinance to be published as required by law.

PASSED, APPROVED, ADOPTED, and ORDERED this 3rd day of November, 2004, by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTION:

ABSENT:

_____________________

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, hereby certify that the above Ordinance No. __ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting thereof held on November 3, 2004.

__________________________

City Clerk

 

ADDENDUM NO. 11 TO ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT/

NEGATIVE DECLARATION (EA/ND) NO. 694

November 3, 2004

On April 1, 1997, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 97-25, thereby adopting a Negative Declaration for Environmental Assessment No. 694 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the City's Municipal Code. Prior to its adoption, the Negative Declaration was circulated for public comment from March 4 through March 24, 1997 and no substantive comments were received from any persons or responsible agencies. In adopting the Negative Declaration, the City Council found: 1) that there would be no significant adverse environmental impacts resulting from the adoption of the amendments; 2) that many of the amendments were clarifications and minor non-substantive revisions; and 3) that the substantive amendments would reduce impacts on the environment since the requirements and regulations governing development in the City would generally be strengthened, thereby further reducing any adverse impacts to adjacent properties and upon the environment.

The City Council has reviewed the amendments to Title 17 of the Development Code that establishes specific exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements. Based upon its own independent review, the City Council finds that there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Title 17 would result in new significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of the effects, as previously identified in Environmental Assessment No. 694 and the Negative Declaration, adopted through Resolution No. 97-25 in conjunction with Ordinance No. 320 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the Municipal Code. This is because the new amendments establish some very minor exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements and make other minor non-substantive revisions to the Development Code. Accordingly, pursuant to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, the City Council finds that no further environmental review is necessary other than the adoption of this Addendum No. 11.

RESOLUTION NO. 2004-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY HANDBOOK IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADOPTION OF ORDINANCE NO. ___ AMENDING TITLE 17 OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE REGARDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF EXEMPTIONS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY REQUIREMENT.

WHEREAS, on May 6, 2003, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 389 amending Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code as it pertains to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements. At that time, the Council directed Staff to monitor the effectiveness of the new rules for one-year; and,

WHEREAS, on October 7, 2003, during the one-year review period, a resident of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes informed the Council during public comments at a regularly scheduled meeting that the new Neighborhood Compatibility rules were time consuming and costly for residents proposing minor additions to existing single-family residences. In response, the Council directed Staff to investigate the possibility of establishing exemptions to the new rules; and,

WHEREAS, on February 17, 2004, pursuant to City Council direction, Staff presented the Council with draft language that would establish exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements. After reviewing Staff’s suggested language, the City Council initiated the Code amendment proceedings; and,

WHEREAS, on June 26, 2004 a notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on July 13, 2004 at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence regarding said amendments to Title 17 as set forth in the Planning Commission Staff Report of that date; and,

WHEREAS, after discussing the proposed language, the Commission directed Staff to explore redefining and expanding the exemptions and to consult with the City Attorney. The Commission continued the public hearing to its July 27, 2004 meeting; and,

WHEREAS, at its July 27, 2004 meeting, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing, without discussion, to its August 10, 2004 meeting to allow Staff additional time to consult with the City Attorney; and,

WHEREAS, on August 10, 2004, the Planning Commission discussed the revised language proposed by Staff and the City Attorney. After considering public testimony and reviewing the recommended language, the Planning Commission directed Staff to bring back the appropriate Resolution for adoption at its August 24, 2004 meeting; and,

WHEREAS, on August 24, 2004, the Planning Commission reviewed and considered the proposed code amendments to Title 17, and adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2004-33 forwarding its recommendation to the City Council for its consideration.

WHEREAS, on September 30, 2004, a notice of a City Council public hearing on the code amendment was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the City Council conducted a public hearing on October 19, 2004, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence regarding said amendments to Title 17 as set forth in the City Council Staff Report of that date. After reviewing the recommended Code amendment language, the City Council directed Staff to bring back the appropriate ordinance and resolution for consideration at its November 3, 2004 meeting, and continued the public hearing; and

WHEREAS, after receiving public testimony at the public hearing, on November 3, 2004, the City Council introduced Ordinance No. ___ amending Chapter 17.02 of Title 17 of the Municipal Code establishing exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements; and

WHEREAS, in the introduction of Ordinance No. ___, the City Council further found that there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Title 17 would result in new significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of the effects, as previously identified in Environmental Assessment No. 694 and the Negative Declaration, adopted through Resolution No. 97-25 in conjunction with Ordinance No. 320 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the Municipal Code, because the new amendments establish some very minor exemptions to the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements and make other minor non-substantive revisions to the Development Code. Accordingly, the Council adopted Addendum (No. 11) to the prior Negative Declaration.

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

Section 1: The City Council finds that the Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook, as set forth in Exhibit ‘A’ hereto, shall be amended to reflect the amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code set forth in Ordinance No. __.

Section 3: The City Council finds that the amendments to the Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook, as set forth in Exhibit ‘A’ attached hereto, results in substantially the same intent as the document adopted by the City Council on May 6, 2003.

Section 4: The amendments to the Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook shall be effective on the same date when Ordinance No. ___ becomes effective.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 3rd day of November, 2004.

________________________________

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. 2003-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on November 3, 2004.

__________________________

City Clerk