JUNE 21, 2005 APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S DENIAL OF A HEIGHT VARIATION (case no. ZON2004-00087), FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 28129 ELLA ROAD. (Applicant: Stan Anderson, for AEG Architects; Property Owner: Jaime Anvaripour; Appellant: Moss & Associates, on behalf of Jaime Anvaripour) JUNE 21, 2005 APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSIONíS DENIAL OF A HEIGHT VARIATION (case no. ZON2004-00087), FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 28129 ELLA ROAD. (Applicant: Stan Anderson, for AEG Architects; Property Owner: Jaime Anvaripour; Appellant: Moss & Associates, on behalf of Jaime Anvaripour)

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 21, 2005

SUBJECT: APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S DENIAL OF A HEIGHT VARIATION (case no. ZON2004-00087), FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 28129 ELLA ROAD. (Applicant: Stan Anderson, for AEG Architects; Property Owner: Jaime Anvaripour; Appellant: Moss & Associates, on behalf of Jaime Anvaripour)

Staff Coordinator: Dave Blumenthal, Associate Planner

DISCUSSION

This item was continued, at the request of the property owner, from the City Council meetings of March 1, 2005 and April 5, 2005. The staff report (attached) for this item was originally transmitted to the City Council in advance of the March 1, 2005 agenda packet, on February 16, 2005. Additionally, on April 5, 2005, staff transmitted two comment letters that were received regarding this item (see attached staff report, dated April 5, 2005). Since the writing of the April 5, 2005 staff report, staff has not received any additional correspondence.

Attached is the complete staff report and all its attachments, including the resolution and all correspondence previously distributed to the City Council.

Attachments:

 

 

 

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MARCH 1, 2005

SUBJECT: APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S DENIAL OF A HEIGHT VARIATION (case no. ZON2004-00087), FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 28129 ELLA ROAD. (Applicant: Stan Anderson, for AEG Architects; Property Owner: Jaime Anvaripour; Appellant: Moss & Associates, on behalf of Jaime Anvaripour)

Staff Coordinator: Dave Blumenthal, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Resolution No. 2005-__, denying the appeal, thereby upholding the Planning Commission’s denial of a Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087).

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This item is being brought before the City Council for consideration due to an appeal, which has been filed on behalf of the project applicant, of the Planning Commission’s decision to deny, without prejudice, a Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087). The proposed Height Variation is a request to construct a 1,246 square foot addition to an existing 2,282 square foot single-family residence. Based on the analysis in this report, staff feels that there is no new evidence or information provided by the appellants to warrant overturning the Planning Commission’s denial of the revision. As such, staff is recommending that the City Council deny the appeal.

BACKGROUND

On February 25, 2004, the applicant submitted a Height Variation application requesting to construct a 1,246 square foot two-story addition to the existing single-family residence. This application was deemed complete by staff on May 27, 2004.

On July 13, 2004, the Planning Commission conducted a duly noticed public hearing to consider the Height Variation. After considering all written and oral testimony, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing until August 10, 2004, and directed the applicant to redesign the project to address the Commission’s concerns of significant and significant cumulative view impairment that the project was creating. At the request of the applicant, on August 10, 2004, the Planning Commission again continued to the public hearing to the regular Planning Commission meeting on October 12, 2004.

On September 20, 2004, the applicant submitted a revised project that included revisions to the plate heights and roof pitch, thereby reducing the proposed structure’s height by an additional 4’-0".

On October 12, 2004, after considering all written and oral testimony on the revised project, the Planning Commission denied the project due to concerns about the project causing significant cumulative view impairment to properties located on Lomo Road. The Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2004-44, formalizing their decision, on October 26, 2004.

On November 9, 2004, the applicant filed a timely appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision, requesting that the City Council reconsider the Planning Commission’s denial of the Height Variation (see attached appeal letter).

On January 20, 2005, notice of the City Council public hearing was sent to all property owners within 500’ of the subject site. Additionally, the notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on January 22, 2005.

SITE & PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The subject property is a 12,275 square foot parcel within the single-family residential (RS-4) zone. The site is currently improved with a 2,282 square foot single-family residence, which currently has a maximum height of 15.3’, as measured from the lowest grade adjacent to the building foundation/slab (102.5’) to the highest ridgeline of the residence (117.8), and 14.53’, as measured from the highest elevation of existing building pad covered by structure (103.27’) to the highest ridgeline of the residence.

The applicant’s request is to construct a 182 square foot addition to the eastern side on the existing first floor and construct a new 1,064 square foot second floor on the residence. Additionally, the applicant is proposing to construct a 100 square foot roof deck on the southwest corner of the residence. As revised, the proposed residence would have a maximum height of 21’, as measured from the lowest grade adjacent to the building foundation/slab (102.5’) to the highest ridgeline of the residence (123.5’), and 20.23’, as measured from the highest elevation of existing building pad covered by structure (103.27’) to the highest ridgeline of the residence.

DISCUSSION

A detailed background, site description, code consideration, and staff analysis of the Height Variation application is contained in the attached Planning Commission staff reports, dated July 13, 2004, August 10, 2004, October 12, 2004, and October 26, 2004. In addition, the minute excerpts from these Planning Commission meetings are attached hereto. Therefore, the body of this "Discussion" section will focus on the issues raised by the Planning Commission in their review of the revised project.

When considering the revised project, the Planning Commission felt that the revised project created significant cumulative view impairment. According to the Municipal Code, "Cumulative view impairment shall be determined by: (a) considering the amount of view impairment that would be caused by the proposed new structure that is above sixteen feet in height or addition to a structure that is above sixteen feet in height; and (b) considering the amount of view impairment that would be caused by the construction on other parcels of similar new structures or additions that exceed sixteen feet in height." Additionally, according the Height Variation Guidelines, as amended by the City Council on April 20, 2004, cumulative view impairment should be considered with other nearby parcels within the view shed, usually not to extend beyond three or four parcels. When analyzing the cumulative view impairment, the Planning Commission considered the combined effects caused by the proposed project and if the properties located at 28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road would construct additions at the same height of the proposed project. In their deliberations, the Planning Commission noted that they felt that the cumulative effect would cause significant view impairment to the properties located at 28327 and 28221 Lomo. As such, the Planning Commission denied the Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087), by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Karp dissenting.

In the appeal letter (attached), the appellant states that they are appealing the denial for the City Council’s consideration because the Commission did not rely on staff’s evaluation, the Commission did not rely on actual observations of the site, the Commission was shown photographs at previous hearings that prejudiced the outcome, there was a significant reduction in the height and mass of the structure, the property owner is being deprived the right to build a second story, the applicant was deprived due process, there was no evidence to support the Planning Commission’s decision, and not all Commissioners observed the silhouette from the viewing area of the other homes.

As previously noted, the Planning Commission denied, without prejudice, the request by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Karp dissenting. Based on a review of the Planning Commission’s minute excerpts from all of the meetings (attached), the Commission’s main concern with the proposed structure was the view impairment created by the second story. The Commission’s decision was derived from their consideration of all of the evidence before them, which included staff’s analysis, all written and oral testimony, photographs of the site and the view impairment, the project plans and constructed silhouette, and the Planning Commission’s personal observations of the project. Furthermore, in staff’s opinion, the appellant’s statement of the property owner being deprived of their due process right is inaccurate. As noted in the Planning Commission minute excerpts, the property owner and their representatives were given time to present their case to the Planning Commission, including time for a rebuttal after all other verbal testimony was given.

Notwithstanding staff’s recommendation for approval, at the conclusion of the October 12, 2004 public hearing, the majority of the Planning Commission felt that while the applicant had worked hard to reduce the impacts, the proposed second story addition would create significant cumulative view impairment upon the properties located at 28327 and 28221 Lomo, and therefore denied the applicant’s request.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Correspondence Received:

All correspondence received prior to the Planning Commission hearings (attached) have been analyzed in the attached Planning Commission Staff Reports. Nevertheless, staff has received one comment letter regarding the appeal, which was sent from Mr. and Mrs. Brewster, property owners of 28221 Lomo Drive. In their letter, they state that they are opposed to the proposed project because it will block their ocean view.

FISCAL IMPACT

The appellants have paid $940.00 in appeal fees to cover the cost of processing the appeal. Should the City Council uphold the appeal, these fees will be refunded to the appellant, thus the cost of processing the appeal will be borne by the City.

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to staff’s recommendation, the following alternatives are available for the City Council’s consideration:

  1. Uphold the appeal, thereby overturning the Planning Commission’s denial of a Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087); or,
  2. Identify any issues or concerns with the proposed project, and provide the applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the hearing to a date certain.
  3. Identify any issues or concerns with the proposed project, and remand the project back to Planning Commission for further review and analysis.

Respectfully submitted:

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

Reviewed:

Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

RESOLUTION NO. 2005-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DENYING AN APPEAL, THEREBY UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S DENIAL, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, OF A HEIGHT VARIATION (CASE NO. ZON2004-00087), FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 28129 ELLA ROAD.

WHEREAS, on February 25, 2004, the applicant submitted an application for a Height Variation requesting to construct a 1,246 square foot second-story addition to an existing 2,282 square foot single-family residence. On March 26, 2004, staff completed the initial review of the proposed plans, at which time the application was deemed incomplete due to missing information on the project plans and/or applications. The applicant submitted the additional information to the City on April 27, 2004; and,

WHEREAS, the Height Variation application was deemed complete by staff on May 27, 2004; and,

WHEREAS, on July 26, 2004, the property owner submitted a letter to the City granting a 90-day extension to the Permit Streamlining Act; and,

WHEREAS, on September 20, 2004, the applicant submitted a revised project that included revisions to the plate heights and roof pitch, thereby reducing the proposed structure’s height by an additional 4’-0"; and,

WHEREAS, on July 13, 2004, August 10, 2004, and October 12, 2004, the Planning Commission conducted duly noticed public hearings. At the conclusion of the October 12, 2004 pubic hearing, and after accepting oral and written testimony and deliberating on the matter, the Planning Commission denied the Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087), due to the potential for significant cumulative view impairment caused to the properties located 28327 and 28221 Lomo Drive; and,

WHEREAS, on October 26, 2004, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2004-44, affirming their decision to deny the Height Variation; and,

WHEREAS, on November 9, 2004, the applicant filed a timely appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision, requesting that the City Council reconsider the Planning Commission’s denial of the Height Variation; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to a notice that was issued pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the City Council scheduled a public hearing on the appeal to be held on March 1, 2005; and,

WHEREAS, due to the appellant’s requests for a continuance, the duly noticed public hearing was continued to April 5, 2005, and was continued a second time to June 21, 2005, at which time all interested parties were given 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: The Height Variation is not warranted, since there would be significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application. Cumulative view impairment is determined by: (a) considering the amount of view impairment that would be caused by the proposed new structure that is above sixteen feet in height or addition to a structure that is above sixteen feet in height; and (b) considering the amount of view impairment that would be caused by the construction on other parcels of similar new structures or additions that exceed sixteen feet in height. The properties located at 28327 and 28221 Lomo Drive currently have a view that extends from Malibu southerly to Catalina Island. This view includes the Queen’s Necklace and the Pacific Ocean. In order to investigate cumulative view impacts to 28327 and 28221 Lomo Drive, an analysis was completed to consider additions, which would be similar size and height as the one that is proposed on the subject property, to the properties located at 28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road. Due to the subject project being located in the center of the view frame and the amount of the Pacific Ocean view that will be impaired by the subject project, together with similar projects on the properties located at 28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road, the City Council hereby finds that the cumulative view impairment to the properties located at 28327 and 28221 Lomo Drive that would result from development of the proposed project and similar projects on the adjoining properties would be significant. Because of the significant cumulative view impairment that would result from this project, the City Council cannot make all of the findings that are required to approve this height variation application.

Section 2: The time within which the 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.

Section 3: For the foregoing reasons and based on the evidence and testimony that was presented at the public hearing, including the information and findings included in the Staff Reports, Minutes and other records of the proceedings relating to this matter (July 13, 2004, August 10, 2004, October 12, 2004, October 26, 2004, March 1, 2005, April 5, 2005, and June 21, 2005), the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby denies the appeal, thereby upholding the Planning Commission’s denial, without prejudice, of the subject Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087).

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 21st day of June 2005.

______________________________

Mayor

ATTEST:

____________________
City Clerk

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

I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2005-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting thereof held on June 21, 2005.

_________________________________

City Clerk