AUGUST 2, 2005 HEIGHT VARIATION (case no. ZON2004-00087) FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 28129 ELLA ROAD.

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: AUGUST 2, 2005

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION (case no. ZON2004-00087) FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 28129 ELLA ROAD.

Staff Coordinator: Dave Blumenthal, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

That the City Council adopt Resolution No. 2005-__, overturning an appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of a Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087), thereby approving a 1,246 square foot two-story addition to an existing 2,282 square foot single-family residence.

DISCUSSION

On July 19, 2005, after conducting a duly noticed public hearing and considering all oral and written testimony, the City Council overturned the Planning Commission’s denial of a Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087), thereby approving a 1,246 square foot two-story addition to an existing 2,282 square foot single-family residence. In order to memorialize the Council’s action, staff has drafted the attached Resolution No. 2005-__ (attached), for City Council adoption.

RESOLUTION NO. 2005-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES OVERTURNING THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S DENIAL OF A HEIGHT VARIATION; THEREBY APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, THE 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 two-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 16, 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 from 24.6’ to 21’; 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, memorializing 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 two continuances, the duly noticed public hearing was continued to April 5, 2005, and was continued a second time to June 21, 2005, and a third time to July 19, 2005, at which time all interested parties were given opportunity to be heard and present evidence;

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that the Height Variation would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt under Class 1 (Section 15301); and,

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

Section 1: That the approved project includes the construction of a 1,246 square foot two-story addition to an existing 2,282 square foot one-story residence.

Section 2: The Height Variation is warranted since the applicant has complied with the early neighborhood consultation process established by the City, which requires the applicant to obtain the signatures of at lest 70% of the landowners within 100 feet and 25% of the total number of landowners within 500 feet (including those within 100 feet). The applicant complied with this requirement by obtaining 80% of the property owners’ signatures within 100 feet and 32% of the signatures of the property owners within 500 feet of the subject site.

Section 3: The Height Variation is warranted, since the proposed addition to the existing structure that is above sixteen feet in height does not significantly impair a view from public property (parks, major thoroughfares, bike ways, walkways or equestrian trails), which has been identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Specific Plan, as City-designated viewing areas. There are no public property viewing areas, as designated within the General Plan (page 189) or the Coastal Specific Plan (page C-10), within the vicinity of, or that view across, the subject site.

Section 4: The Height Variation is warranted, since the proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory. The Municipal Code defines a ridge as, "an elongated crest or a linear series of crests of hills, bluffs, or highlands;" and a promontory as, "a prominent mass of land, large enough to support development, which overlooks or projects onto a lowland or body of water on at least two sides." While there is a transition slope on the rear of the building pad, it does not constituent a ridge or promontory. Furthermore, the subject property is located within a fully developed single-family residential tract, so that the adjoining properties currently are developed with single-family residential structures. As such, the project site is not located on a ridge or promontory.

Section 5: The Height Variation is warranted, since the addition to the existing structure that is above sixteen feet in height, as defined in Section 17.02.040(B) of this Chapter, when considered exclusive of existing foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel. If the viewing area is located within a structure, the viewing area shall be located in a portion of the structure that was constructed without a height variation permit or variance, or which would not have required a height variation or variance when originally constructed had this section, as approved by the voters on November 7, 1989, been in effect at the time the structure was constructed, unless the viewing area located in the portion of the existing structure, which required a height variation permit or variance, constitutes the primary living area (living room, family room, dining room or kitchen) of the residence. In considering significant view impairment, the City Council analyzed the views from 28215, 28221, and 28237 Lomo Drive, and found as follows:

28215 Lomo Drive: This property currently has a view of the Pacific Ocean, extending north to Malibu, with the proposed structure being located to the left side of the view frame. While the portions of the addition that are over 16’ will block a small portion of the ocean view, it is not considered a significant portion of the expansive view. Furthermore, no part of the proposed structure will impair the view of a landmass or landmark and the property still will have an ocean view over the structure and around the structure.

28221 Lomo Drive: This property also currently has a view of the Pacific Ocean, extending north to Malibu, with the proposed structure being located towards the center of the view frame. As with 28215 Lomo Drive, while the portions of the addition that are over 16’ will block a small portion of the ocean view, it is not considered a significant portion of the expansive view. Furthermore, no part of the proposed structure will impair the view of a landmass or landmark and the property still will have an ocean view over and around the structure.

28237 Lomo Drive: This property also currently has a view of the Pacific Ocean, extending north to Malibu, with the proposed structure being located towards the right side of the view frame. As with the other two properties, while the portions of the addition that are over 16’ will block a small portion of the ocean view, it is not considered a significant portion of the expansive view. Furthermore, no part of the proposed structure will impair the view of a landmass or landmark and the property still will have an ocean view over the structure and around the structure.

Even though the proposed project creates view impairment to properties on Lomo Drive, the segments of the project, which are higher than the 16’ by-right height limit, only impair a portion of the view of the Pacific Ocean, and therefore, will not block the view of any landmass or other landmark, including Malibu or the Queen’s Necklace. Furthermore, all three of these properties will maintain an ocean view above and around the proposed structure, giving them a continuous view frame. When the proposed view impairment is compared with the expansive view that these properties will retain, the view impairment is not found to be significant.

Section 6: The Height Variation is warranted, since the view impairment that exists from the viewing area of another parcel is determined not to be significant, as discussed in the previous section, and the proposed addition to an existing structure that is above sixteen feet in height is designed and situated in such a manner as to reasonably minimize the impairment of a view. The applicant has minimized the plate heights (8’ on first floor and 8’-6" on second floor) within the residence and has utilized a low roof pitch (3:12 pitch), thus minimizing view impairment caused by the structure.

Section 7: The Height Variation is warranted, since there is no 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 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. This analysis was completed by projecting a similar size addition onto the homes located at 28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road, and then considering the combined view impairment that would be caused by the portions of the proposed addition and the projected additions that would exceed 16’ in height. In considering the issue of significant cumulative view impairment, the City Council found as follows:

28215 Lomo Drive: The three additional homes (28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road) used in the cumulative view analysis extend to the left beyond this property’s view frame. Nevertheless, should all the properties construct additions of a similar size; this property would maintain a view of the Pacific Ocean above and to the right of the project site. While the portions of these additions that are over 16’ could block a small portion of the ocean view, the City Council found that the loss of such a small portion of the remaining expansive view would not be a significant view impairment.

28221 Lomo Drive: Should the three homes (28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road) construct additions of a similar size as the proposed project, the portions of the additions that are over 16’ could block a small portion of the ocean view in the center of the view frame. Nevertheless, this property would maintain a view of the Pacific Ocean above and around the homes. When taking this into account, the minimal amount of impairment that would be caused by the portions of the additions that are over the 16’ "by right" height limit, the City Council found that the loss of such a small portion of the remaining expansive view would not be a significant view impairment.

28237 Lomo Drive: When proposed additions of a similar size to the proposed addition are added to the three other homes (28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road) in the analysis, the potential cumulative view impact extends from the right side of the view frame towards the center of the view frame. Nevertheless, this property still would retain a view of the Pacific Ocean above and around the homes. When taking this into account, the minimal amount of view impairment that would be caused by the portions of the additions that exceed the 16’ "by right" height limit, the City Council found that the loss of such a small portion of the remaining expansive view would not be a significant view impairment.

Even though the proposed project, in conjunction with projecting an addition of a similar size onto the homes located at 28203, 28211, and 28303 Ella Road, could create a cumulative view impairment to properties on Lomo Drive, the elements of the project that are higher than the 16’ by-right height limit, only impair a portion of the Pacific Ocean, and therefore will not block the view of any landmass or landmark, including Malibu or the Queen’s Necklace. Furthermore, all three of these properties will retain an ocean view above and around the proposed structures, giving them a continuous view frame. When the small loss of view is compared with the expansive view that these properties still would have, the City Council finds that the potential cumulative view impairment would not be significant.

Section 8: As is discussed in the staff report, dated July 13, 2004, that was prepared for the Planning Commission, which is incorporated herein by this reference, the Height Variation is warranted, because the proposed addition complies with all other code requirements, including all requirements of Title 17 of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code (setbacks, lot coverage, parking requirements, etc). Additionally, it is found that even though the existing garage does not meet the front setback requirement, Municipal Code Section 17.84.060(E) allows the non-conforming setback to remain, since the applicant is not demolishing more than 50% of the existing structure.

Section 9: The Height Variation is warranted, since the proposed structure is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character. Even though the proposed residence that is larger than the other homes in the area it is still compatible with the neighborhood since the design of the home, the use of multiple roof planes, the increased setback for the second floor, and the articulation in the facades gives the home a smaller appearance and a reduced bulk and mass. Additionally, since there is no predominate architectural style used in the neighborhood and since the addition will incorporate the use of stucco, wood, and ledgestone siding and dimensional shingle roofing, which will match the existing residence, the architectural design of the structure will blend into the neighborhood. Furthermore, the intent of neighborhood compatibility is to achieve an addition that is designed to have the home blend in with the existing neighborhood. Based on the analysis that was completed, it is found that the proposed home will not significantly deviate from the appearance of the other homes in the area. As such, it is found that the proposed structure is consistent with the character of the immediate neighborhood with respect to architectural style and materials, bulk and mass, number of stories, structure size, front, side, and rear yard setbacks, and open space between structures.

Section 10: The Height Variation is warranted since the addition to the existing structure that is above sixteen feet does not result in an unreasonable infringement of the privacy of the occupants of abutting residences. A condition of approval has been added that requires the window on the north façade of the northern most bedroom on the second floor either must be removed, must be clerestory window, or must consist of translucent glass. With the implementation of this condition of approval, the privacy impact has been mitigated below a level of significance.

Section 11: 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 12: For the foregoing reasons and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes and other records of proceedings (dated July 13, 2004, August 10, 2004, October 12, 2004, October 26, 2004, March 1, 2005, April 5, 2005, June 21, 2005, July 19, 2005, and August 2, 2005), the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby approves the Height Variation to allow for the construction of a 1,246 square foot addition to a 2,282 square foot residence (Case No. ZON2004-00087); subject to the conditions contained in Exhibit 'A', attached hereto and made a part hereof, which are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the area.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 2nd day of August 2005.

 

______________________________

Mayor

ATTEST:

____________________
City Clerk

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

I, __________________, 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 February 1, 2005.

_________________________________

City Clerk

Exhibit "A"

Conditions of Approval

Resolution No. 2005-__

Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00087)

  1. The approval of a Height Variation is to allow for the construction of a 1,246 square foot addition to the existing 2,282 square foot residence. More specifically, the addition shall consist of a 182 square foot addition on the east (rear) side of the first floor of the residence and a new 1,064 square foot second floor. Additionally, this approval allows a 100 square foot roof deck on the southwest corner of the residence.
  2. Approval of this Height Variation shall not be construed to mean any waiver of any applicable zoning regulations, or any Federal, State, County, and City laws and regulations. Unless otherwise expressly specified, all other requirements of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code shall apply.
  3. The applicant/property owner shall submit to the City a statement, in writing that they have read, understand and agree to all conditions of approval listed below. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days of the effective date of approval shall render this approval null and void.
  4. The approval shall become null and void after one (1) year from the date of this approval unless the approved plans are submitted to the Building and Safety Division to initiate the "plan check" review process, pursuant to Section 17.86.070 of the City’s Development Code. This approval shall become null and void if, after initiating the "plan check" review process, or receiving a building permit to begin construction, said "plan check" or permit is allowed to expire or is withdrawn by the applicant.
  5. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved preliminary plans or any of the conditions if such modifications shall achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with said plans and conditions.
  6. Permitted hours of construction are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No work is permitted on Sundays or legal holidays.
  7. The project shall substantially conform to the plans stamped, and dated the effective date of this approval, approved by the Planning Department.
  8. The construction site and adjacent public and private property shall be kept free of all loose materials resembling trash and debris in excess of that material used for immediate construction purposes. Such excess material may include, but not be limited to: the accumulation of debris, garbage, lumber, scrap metal, concrete asphalt, piles of earth, salvage materials, abandoned or discarded furniture, appliances or other household fixtures.
  9. In the event that a Planning requirement and a Building & Safety requirement are in conflict with one another, the stricter standard shall apply.
  10. All applicable permits required by the Building and Safety Division shall be obtained by the applicant prior to the commencement of construction.
  11. The approved project shall maintain a maximum 22% lot coverage.
  12. The proposed residence shall not exceed a 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.
  13. BUILDING HEIGHT CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. A LICENSED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL PREPARE THE CERTIFICATION. CERTIFICATION SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITY’S BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO ROOF FRAMING/SHEETING INSPECTION.

  14. The proposed structure shall maintain the following minimum setbacks:
  15. 15’ rear (proposed: 107’)

    5’ north side (proposed: 5’-3")

    5’ south side (proposed: 5’-4")

    20’ front (proposed: 36’/existing: 14’-3")

  16. In order to protect the privacy of 28123 Ella Road, the window on the north façade of the northern most bedroom on the second floor shall either be removed, be a clerestory window, or consist of translucent glass. Prior to the issuance of building permits, the plans shall be modified to reflect the changes to meet this condition of approval.
  17. Based on a foliage analysis conducted by staff on April 20, 2004, it is found that the two pine trees on the west side of the residence significantly impair the view from the property located at 28327 Lomo Drive. As such, these two pine trees shall either be removed or trimmed so they are no taller than the existing ridgeline of the residence. The trees shall removed or trimmed prior to the issuance of building permits.