Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

MARCH 21, 2006 APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION'S DECISION DENYING CASE NO. ZON2006-00085 (VARIANCE, COASTAL PERMIT) MARCH 21, 2006 APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION'S DECISION DENYING CASE NO. ZON2006-00085 (VARIANCE, COASTAL PERMIT) MARCH 21, 2006 APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION'S DECISION DENYING CASE NO. ZON2006-00085 (VARIANCE, COASTAL PERMIT)

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MARCH 21, 2006

SUBJECT: APPEAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION'S DECISION DENYING CASE NO. ZON2006-00085 (VARIANCE, COASTAL PERMIT)

Staff Coordinator: Gregory Pfost, AICP, Deputy Planning Director

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Resolution No. 2006-__, denying the appeal and thereby upholding the Planning Commission's decision to deny the Applicant's request for a Variance and Coastal Permit to construct a swimming pool and spa within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On February 28, 2006, the Planning Commission heard a request from V.H. Property Corp. for a Variance and Coastal Permit to allow a swimming pool and spa to be located within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone on Lot Nos. 9 and 10 of Tract No. 50667, which is located in the development known as the Estates at Trump National. The Coastal Structure Setback Zone is the area located 25 feet landward of the Coastal Setback Line, where new permanent structures are prohibited due to bluff stability concerns identified through a study prepared in the mid 1970's. The Planning Commission did not feel that it could make two of the four required findings in support of the Variance application. As such, the Planning Commission adopted the attached P.C. Resolution No. 2006-10, denying the Applicant's request.

On March 1, 2006, the Applicant filed the attached letter, appealing the Planning Commission's decision to the City Council. As noted in the letter, the Applicant is no longer pursuing the Variance request for Lot No. 10. Therefore, the appeal is only in regards to Lot No. 9.

On March 13, 2006, the Applicant filed the attached letter providing additional information pertaining to the appeal. In the letter, the Applicant has proposed a reduction in the amount of the Variance from a 20' encroachment to a 9' encroachment, provided that the Director approves a 5' modification to the Coastal Setback Line. While the Code's Interpretation Procedure permits the Director to modify the Coastal Setback Line by 5' provided that the request is supported by geotechnical and/or soils reports, Staff does not feel that the findings could be made for a 9' Variance either. As such, Staff recommends that the Council deny the Appeal and uphold the Planning Commission decision.

DISCUSSION

In approving a Variance, the Planning Commission must make four findings of fact. As discussed in the Planning Commission Staff Report dated February 28, 2006 (attached), Staff did not feel that all of the required findings could be made in a positive manner. As summarized in the adopted Planning Commission Resolution (attached), the Planning Commission agreed and denied the Variance request. Specifically, the Planning Commission did not believe that there were exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, or to the intended use of the property, which do not apply generally to other property in the same zoning district, as the subject property is no different than other lots created after City incorporation, which have the same zoning designation (RS-1) and are located in the Coastal Zone. Additionally, the Planning Commission did not feel that a Variance was necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right of the Applicant as the Applicant could still construct a large home while accommodating a swimming pool/spa on the property without the need for a Variance.

On March 13, 2006, Staff received the attached letter providing additional information pertaining to the Applicant's request. In the letter, the Applicant has proposed a reduction in the amount of the Variance from a 20' encroachment to a 9' encroachment, provided that the Director approve a 5' modification to the Coastal Setback Line that would move the Line 5' seaward of its current location. Chapter 17.90, "Interpretation Procedure" (attached), allows the Director to modify the Coastal Setback Line by a maximum of 5' provided that the request is supported by geotechnical and/or soils reports. Such an "Interpretation" decision by the Director is administrative, unless the Planning Commission, City Council or any interested person desiring an "interpretation hearing", makes a request.

If the requested 9' Variance encroachment and the 5' modification to the Coastal Setback Line through the "Interpretation Procedure" were approved, the proposed pool would encroach up to 14' into the current location of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone and 9' into a modified Coastal Structure Setback Zone under an approved "interpretation".

In reviewing the requested change, the Council could consider this a substantial revision and remand the Applicant's request back to the Planning Commission for review and action. However, it is Staff's opinion that regardless of whether the encroachment is 20' or 9', the required findings for approval of a Variance cannot be made. As such, Staff recommends that the Council not remand this back to the Planning Commission, but instead deny the Applicant's appeal, thereby upholding the Planning Commission's decision.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Notice of the public hearing for this project was mailed on March 1, 2006 and published in the Peninsula News on March 4, 2006. As a result of the notification, the City received one comment letter, which was also sent to the attention of the City Council via the Council's email (cc@rpv.com). A copy of the letter is attached. The letter does not support the Applicant's request.

ALTERNATIVES

The following alternatives are available for the City Council:

1. Approve the Variance and Coastal Permit (Case No. ZON2006-00085) for a proposed 9' encroachment into the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, provided that the Coastal Setback Line can be modified by 5', and direct staff to return with a resolution/conditions for approval.

2. Remand the Applicant's revised request back to the Planning Commission for review and action.

FISCAL IMPACT

There are no Fiscal Impacts to the City as a result of this decision.

Respectfully submitted:

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

Reviewed By:

Les Evans
City Manager

ATTACHMENTS:

- Draft Resolution No. 2006-__
- February 28, 2006 Planning Commission Staff Report
- Planning Commission Resolution No. 2006-10
- Letter Requesting Appeal from Vincent Stellio, dated March 1, 2006
- Letter Providing Additional Information from Scott Yarnall, dated March 13, 2006
- Development Code Chapter 17.72.040
- Development Code Chapter 17.90
- Comment Letter from Ann Shaw and Dena Friedson, dated 03/11//06
- Project Plan
- Approved Grading Plan for Lot No. 9

RESOLUTION NO. 2006-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DENYING AN APPEAL AND THEREBY UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION'S DECISION TO DENY A REQUEST FOR A VARIANCE AND COASTAL PERMIT TO ACCOMMODATE A POOL AND SPA WITHIN THE COASTAL STRUCTURE SETBACK ZONE ON A SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 32042 ISTHMUS VIEW DRIVE (CASE NO. ZON2006-00085)

WHEREAS, on June 1, 1992, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 92-53, certifying Environmental Impact Report No. 36 and adopted Resolution Nos. 92-54, 92-55, 92-56 and 92-57, respectively approving Vesting Tentative Tract Map Nos. 50666 and 50667, Tentative Parcel Map Nos. 20970 and 23004, Conditional Use Permit Nos. 162 and 163, Coastal Permit No. 103 and Grading Permit No. 1541 for a Residential Planned Development consisting of a total of eighty-three (83) single family dwelling units, an 18 hole public golf course and public open space on 261.4 acres in Coastal Subregion Nos. 7 and 8; and,

WHEREAS, on August 12, 1992, after finding that an appeal of the City's approval of the project raised substantial issue, the California Coastal Commission denied Coastal Permit No. 103, directed the landowners to redesign the project to address the concerns raised by the Coastal Commission Staff and remanded the project back to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for reconsideration; and,

WHEREAS, on December 7, 1992, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 92-115 approving the Addendum to Environmental Impact Report No. 36 and adopted Resolution Nos. 92-116, 92-117, 92-118 and 92-119 approving Revisions to Vesting Tentative Tract Map Nos. 50666 and 50667, Tentative Parcel Map Nos. 20970 and 23004, Conditional Use Permit Nos. 162 and 163, Coastal Permit No. 103, and Grading Permit No. 1541 in order to address concerns raised by the Coastal Commission with regard to adequate provisions for public open space, public access and habitat preservation; and,

WHEREAS, on April 15, 1993, the California Coastal Commission approved Coastal Development Permit No. A-5-RPV-93-5 (i.e. Coastal Permit No. 103), subject to additional conditions of approval; and,

WHEREAS, on October 5, 1993, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 93-89 approving a second Addendum to Environmental Impact Report No. 36 and adopted Resolution Nos. 93-90, 93-91, 93-92 and 93-93 respectively re-approving Vesting Tentative Tract Map Nos. 50666 and 50667, Tentative Parcel Map Nos. 20970 and 23004, Conditional Use Permit Nos. 162 and 163, and Grading Permit No. 1541 in order to comply with a Court mandate to provide affordable housing in conjunction with the project, pursuant to Government Code Section 65590; and,

WHEREAS, on September 6, 1994, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 94-71 approving a third Addendum to Environmental Impact Report No. 36 and Adopted Resolution Nos. 94-72, 94-73, 94-74, 94-75, 94-76 and 94-77, respectively, approving Revision "A" to the approved Ocean Trails project, including, but not limited to, relocation of the golf course clubhouse from the area southwest of the School District property to an area north of Half Way Point, locating the golf course maintenance facility and four (4) affordable housing units southeast of the corner of Palos Verdes Drive South and Paseo Del Mar, reducing the number of single family residential lots from eighty-three (83) to seventy-five (75) and increasing the height of the golf course clubhouse from thirty (30) feet to forty-eight (48) feet; and,

WHEREAS, between September 6, 1994 and December 20, 2005, the City Council approved various other amendments to the Ocean Trails project, which is now known as the Trump National Golf Club project; and,

WHEREAS, on February 2, 2006, the owner, V.H. Property Corp., submitted an application requesting approval of a Variance and Coastal Permit to accommodate a new swimming pool and spa within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone located on Lot No. 9 of Tract No. 50667, addressed as 32042 Isthmus View Drive; and,

WHEREAS, on February 8, 2006, said application was deemed complete for processing; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provision of the California Quality Act, Public Resources Code Section 21000 et.seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et.seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(F) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), said application for a Variance and Coastal Permit (Case No. 2006-00085) has been found to be statutorily exempt (Section 15270 - Projects Which are Disapproved); and,

WHEREAS, on February 28, 2006, after notice issued pursuant to the provisions of the Development Code, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider the request (Case No. ZON2006-00085), at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and,

WHEREAS, on February 28, 2006, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2006-10, denying the Applicant's request for a Variance and Coastal Permit (Case No. 2006-00085); and,

WHEREAS, on March 1, 2006, the Applicant filed an appeal of the Planning Commission's decision; and,

WHEREAS, on March 21, 2006, after notice issued pursuant to the provisions of the Development Code, the City Council held a public hearing to consider the appeal of Case No. ZON2006-00085, at which time all interested parties were given an 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. There are no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, or to the intended use of the property, which do not apply generally to other property in the same zoning district that would warrant approval of the requested Variance, because: 1) the subject property is part of a newer subdivision approved by the City, which clearly identified the Coastal Structure Setback Zone on the Final Map which is similar to existing lots within other newer subdivisions approved by the City that also clearly have the Coastal Structure Setback Zone identified; 2) similar to other newer subdivisions, the subject property is also zoned RS-1 and has a similar lot size; 3) the City has not issued any Variances to allow pools and spas to be located within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone for any other RS-1 lot; and 4) there is still enough room on the subject property to accommodate a pool and spa outside of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone as was done with other properties under similar conditions.

Section 2. The Variance is not necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right of the Applicant because while the Coastal Structure Setback Zone does significantly affect the buildable area of the subject property, there is still enough room on the subject property to accommodate a pool and spa outside of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone as was done with other properties under similar conditions.

Section 3. Because the findings for the Variance cannot be made and the Variance is denied, the related Coastal Permit is hereby denied as well.

Section 4: 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 denies the appeal and thereby upholds the Planning Commission's decision to deny the Variance and Coastal Permit (Case No. 2006-00085) for a proposed swimming pool and spa within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone.

PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED this 21st day of March 2006.

_________________________
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. 2006-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting held on March 21, 2006.

___________________________
City Clerk

STAFF REPORT

THOMAS GUIDE PAGE 823/F-7

TO:CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: FEBRUARY 28, 2006

SUBJECT: VARIANCE/COASTAL PERMIT (Case No. zon2006-00085)

PROJECT ADDRESS:32042 ISTHMUS VIEW DRIVE (LOT 9 OF TRACT NO. 50667)

APPLICANT:VH PROPERTY CORP
ONE OCEAN TRAILS DRIVE
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA 90275

PHONE:310-265-5525

LANDOWNER:SAME AS APPLICANT

STAFF COORDINATOR: GREGORY PFOST, AICP
DEPUTY PLANNING DIRECTOR

REQUESTED ACTION: APPROVAL OF A VARIANCE AND COASTAL PERMIT TO ALLOW A SWIMMING POOL AND SPA TO BE LOCATED WITHIN THE COASTAL STRUCTURE SETBACK ZONE.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2006-___; THEREBY DENYING THE VARIANCE AND COASTAL PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2006-00085).

REFERENCES:

ZONING: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL – RS-1/RPD

LAND USE: SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.64, 17.72

GENERAL PLAN: RESIDENTIAL – 1 DWELLING UNITS/ACRE

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: N/A

CEQA: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 3)

ACTION DEADLINE: APRIL 8, 2006

PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS RESIDING WITHIN 500’ OF SUBJECT PROPERTY: NONE

BACKGROUND

The City's Coastal Zone covers all land seaward of Palos Verdes Drive South and Palos Verdes Drive West. The Coastal Zone boundary within the City and the entire State was created by the California Coastal Commission as part of the implementation of the State's Coastal Act, which was enacted in 1976. In preparation of the City's Coastal Specific Plan, a comprehensive geologic study of the City's coastal region was prepared. The geologic study segmented the City's Coastal Zone into separate geologic categories that defined where development was suitable and where it was not. As part of this Study, a Coastal Setback Line was established. The geologic study and the City's Coastal Specific Plan identify everything landward of the Coastal Setback Line as areas that appear to be suitable for permanent tract-type residential structures and supporting facilities.

The Development Code, which implements the Coastal Permit procedures for the Coastal Specific Plan, established two separate "Zones" on either side of the Coastal Setback Line. Everything seaward of the Coastal Setback Line is called the "Coastal Setback Zone". Areas twenty-five feet (25') landward of the Coastal Setback Line are within the "Coastal Structure Setback Zone". Development Code Section 17.72.040 (attached) identifies the uses and developments permitted within each of these Zones.

Neither the Coastal Specific Plan nor the Development Code describes why the Coastal Structure Setback Zone (the area 25' landward of the Coastal Setback Line) was created. The only record establishing the 25' wide Coastal Structure Setback Zone is shown on the geologic maps attached to the comprehensive geologic report used to prepare the City's Coastal Specific Plan. The maps specifically identify the 25' required setback. Based upon these maps, the Development Code then established the 25' wide Coastal Structure Setback Zone. Staff can only assume that the 25' wide Coastal Structure Setback Zone was created as an additional buffer to address possible slope/bluff erosion and other geologic concerns.

In June 1992, the City Council approved the Ocean Trails project, which, at that time, included an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, public open space and 83 single-family residential lots. Since June 1992, the project has been revised several times. Today, the approved project includes an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, driving range, public open space and 59 single-family residential lots. The 59 single-family residential lots are within two different tracts; 23 lots within Tract No. 50666 and 36 lots within Tract No. 50667. Tract No. 50666 is still a Vesting Tentative Tract Map, while Tract No. 50667 has been finaled and recorded. Grading for Tract No. 50667 has also been completed. Subsequently, residential lots within Tract No. 50667 can be sold and developed. The Developer has started construction on 5 new residences located at Lot Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Tract No. 50667. These lots are located along the first cul-de-sac street nearest the intersection of La Rotonda Drive and Palos Verdes Drive South.

The entire Trump National Golf Club project, including the two residential tracts, is located within the California Coastal Zone. The entire project obtained approval of a Coastal Permit from the California Coastal Commission. Provided that the development of the project complies with the Coastal Permit issued by the California Coastal Commission, a Coastal Permit is not required for the development of individual structures on the property. The City may issue Coastal Permits on relatively minor items within the project boundaries that were not included as part of the original Coastal Permit, all of which are appealable to the California Coastal Commission.

As noted above, the Coastal Zone and related Coastal Setback Line, Coastal Setback Zone and Coastal Structure Setback Zone were established long before the Trump National Golf Club (formally known as Ocean Trails) obtained its entitlements in 1992. When the original project was approved, the following condition of approval was added:

Q. COASTAL ZONE RESTRICTION
1. The Final Map shall clearly delineate and label the "Coastal Setback Zone" line as established in the City's Coastal Specific Plan. A note shall be placed on the map stating that no permanent structures (except for structures associated with public amenities or unless as allowed by another project condition of approval) shall be allowed closer than twenty-five (25) feet to the Coastal Setback Zone. This area shall be designated on the map as "Building Grading Restriction" area. All lots shown of the Final Map shall provide for a minimum buildable area of 3,000 square feet of contiguous area, exclusive of required setbacks and any portions of the lot located seaward of the Building Grading Restriction Line or they shall be eliminated from the Final Map.

Prior to recordation of the Final Map for Tract No. 50667, which occurred on October 12, 1999, this condition was satisfied as the recorded Final Map identifies the Coastal Setback Line and the 25' wide Coastal Structure Setback Zone. In Tract No. 50667, the Coastal Structure Setback Zone traverses 4 residential lots (Lot Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 17). The development potential on Lot Nos. 9 and 10 is significantly reduced due to the location of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone. Whereas, the development potential on Lot Nos. 8 and 17 is not significantly reduced because the Coastal Structure Setback Zone is entirely within the rear yard setback areas of both lots.

SITE DESCRIPTION

This specific request concerns Lot No. 9 of Tract No. 50667, which is addressed as 32042 Isthmus View Drive. Lot No. 9 is a 22,128 square foot parcel located at the end of an improved cul-de-sac street. The lot is currently vacant, with a flat building pad that slopes slightly to the street of access. There is a 15' high transition slope along the rear of the property that leads into an adjacent open space lot (Lot H) to the south, wherein a public trail that abuts the rear property line of Lot No. 9 is located (see attached Grading Plan). Vacant Lot No. 8 is located to the northeast of the subject parcel, while vacant Lot No. 10 is located to the west. Views from Lot No. 9 are dramatic, focusing on Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean. Only open space lands divide the parcel from the Pacific Ocean.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Development Code Section 17.72.040.B indicates, "Uses and Developments Permitted in the Coastal Structure Setback Zone. Any new permanent structures in this zone are prohibited, including, but not limited to, pools, spas, vertical support members and chimneys. Minor structures and equipment, such as trash enclosures, storage sheds of less than one hundred twenty square feet, doghouses, enclosed water heaters, barbecues, garden walls, air conditioners, pool filters, vents and other minor structures and/or equipment may be allowed. In addition, decks, walkways or similar ground surfacing less than six inches in height, as measured from adjacent existing grade shall be allowed" (emphasis added).

As shown in the attached plan, the Applicant has requested approval of a Variance to this Section of the Development Code to allow the construction of a maximum 1,000 square foot pool/spa to be located within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone.

A separate Coastal Permit is required for the pool and spa because the proposed pool and spa would be located within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, which was not anticipated when the California Coastal Commission approved the entire project. The Planning Commission's decision is appealable to the City Council and the California Coastal Commission.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Staff has reviewed the proposed application for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Upon completion of this review, it has been determined that this request is statutorily exempt from CEQA, pursuant to Guideline Section No. 15270 (Projects Which Are Disapproved). It is Staff’s opinion that the request should be denied, and according to this section, CEQA does not apply to projects that a public agency rejects or disapproves.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

Approval of a Variance and Coastal Permit are required for the proposed project.

In approving a Variance, the Planning Commission must adopt the following findings (findings shown in bold text and Staff's analysis shown in normal text):

1. That there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, or to the intended use of the property, which do not apply generally to other property in the same zoning district.

The subject property is zoned single-family residential (RS-1/RPD). Along the City's coastline, there are many residential subdivisions. The newer tracts, which were approved by the City (Lunada Pointe, Oceanfront Estates, west portions of Seacove Drive and Trump National Estates), all have a zoning designation of RS-1. The residential tracts along the coastline approved by the County prior to the City's incorporation (east portions of Seacove Drive and the Portuguese Bend Club) have a zoning designation of RS-2.

All of the newer tracts along the coast that were approved by the City have the Coastal Setback Line identified on each tract's Final Map. While many of the existing lots in these newer tracts have pools and spas, all of the pools and spas comply with the Development Code in that they are located outside (landward) of the 25' wide Coastal Structure Setback Zone. For these newer subdivisions, the City has not issued any Variances to permit any structures within or seaward of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone.

Alternatively, within the older subdivisions (those recorded prior to City incorporation), the Coastal Setback Line had not been established on the final maps because those subdivisions were created prior to the State's enactment of the Coastal Act in 1976. Most of the structures in these older subdivisions were also constructed prior to the Coastal Act. When the City incorporated and adopted its Development Code and Coastal Specific Plan, the Coastal Setback Line was placed on the City's Zoning Map. This affected the older subdivisions because when the Coastal Setback Line was added, it was located inland of most of the existing older structures and lots in the Portuguese Bend Club and traversed all of the lots and some structures on the east portion of Seacove Drive. Subsequently, many structures in these areas are located in the Coastal Structure Setback Zone or even on the ocean side of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone and are non-conforming. The Code acknowledges these non-conformities by allowing minor additions to structures that are located within the Coastal Setback Zone. Furthermore, in the past the City has issued Variances to permit residential additions and accessory structures to be located within or seaward of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone for the older subdivisions that were approved prior to the City's incorporation.

As discussed above, the subject property is part of a newer subdivision approved by the City, which clearly identified the Coastal Structure Setback Zone on the Final Map. Similar to existing lots within other newer subdivisions approved by the City that also clearly have the Coastal Structure Setback Zone identified, the subject property is also zoned RS-1 and has a similar lot size. As noted, the City has not issued any Variances to allow pools and spas to be located within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone for any other RS-1 lot. As such, Staff does not believe that there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, or to the intended use of the property, which do not apply generally to other property in the same zoning district. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding cannot be made.

2. That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right of the applicant, which right is possessed by other property owners under like conditions in the same zoning district.

While Staff believes that a pool and spa are amenities that the development thereof can be considered a substantial property right, and which the development thereof is a right possessed by other property owners within the RS-1 zoning district, Staff is not aware of any other Variances approved for pools and spas in the 25' wide Coastal Structure Setback Zone on other RS-1 zoned properties.

Further, while the Coastal Structure Setback Zone does significantly affect the buildable area of the subject property, Staff believes that there is still enough room on the subject property to accommodate a pool and spa outside of the 25' wide Coastal Structure Setback Zone as was done with other properties under similar conditions (Lunada Pointe, west portion of Seacove Drive). For example, Staff estimates that the Buildable Area for the subject property, excluding setbacks and the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, is approximately 6,300 square feet. While this specific lot is limited to a one-story structure above grade, the developer may choose to construct a basement to gain additional building size, while still accommodating an at-grade pool and spa within this buildable area. For these reasons, Staff does not feel that a Variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right of the Applicant, and this finding cannot be adopted.

3. That the granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property and improvements in the area in which the property is located.

On Lot No. 9, the distance between the Coastal Structure Setback Line and the rear property line ranges between 60 and 70 feet. If the Variance were approved, the pool and spa would be constructed within the flat pad area of the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, which is approximately 40' from the existing trail that is adjacent to the rear property line. Staff feels that the 40' distance would not be materially detrimental to the public's use of the public trail.

Further, the distance between the Coastal Structure Setback Line and the top of the transition slope near the rear property line averages about 40 feet. If the Variance were approved, the pool and spa would be constructed approximately 15' from the top of the transition slope. Given the distance between the proposed pool and spa location and the top of the transition slope, and that the Applicant would need to obtain approval from the City Geologist for the construction of the pool and spa, Staff feels that the Variance will not be injurious to property and improvements in the area. As such, Staff believes that this finding can be adopted.

4. That the granting of such a variance will not be contrary to the objectives of the General Plan.

The General Plan land use designation for the subject property is Residential Single Family - 1 dwelling unit per acre. The proposed project is a common accessory structure to the main residential land use and is therefore consistent with the General Plan land use designation. Furthermore, the proposed project is not contrary to the objectives of the General Plan. As such, Staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

In approving a Coastal Permit, the Planning Commission must adopt the following findings (findings shown in bold text and Staff's analysis shown in normal text):

1. The proposed development is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan:

The Coastal Specific Plan identifies everything landward of the Coastal Setback Line as areas that appear to be suitable for permanent tract-type residential structures and supporting facilities. The Coastal Specific Plan does not identify the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, which as noted above is the area 25' landward of the Coastal Setback Line. Since the Applicant is proposing the pool and spa in an area that the Coastal Specific Plan acknowledges as suitable for permanent structures, and the proposed pool and spa do not deviate from any policies of the Coastal Specific Plan, Staff feels that the proposed project is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan. As such, this finding can be adopted.

2. The proposed development, when located between the sea and the first public road, is consistent with applicable public access and recreation policies of the Coastal Act.

The subject site is located between the sea and the first public road and is 1 of 36 residentially zoned lots that are part of the entire Trump National Golf Club project. The Trump National Golf Club project includes many public trails, parks and open space areas that provide a wealth of public access and recreational opportunities to the community and region. The proposed project would be located only on the existing residential lot and will not affect any of the existing trails, parks and open space areas. As such, Staff feels that the proposed project is consistent with applicable public access and recreation policies of the Coastal Act. Therefore, this finding can be adopted.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Notice of the public hearing for this project was mailed on February 11, 2006 and published in the Peninsula News on February 11, 2006. As a result of the notification, Staff received one comment letter, which was also sent to the attention of the Planning Commission via the Commission's email (pc@rpv.com). A copy of the letter is attached. The letter does not support the Applicant's request.

CONCLUSION

As noted above, Staff feels two of the Variance findings cannot be adopted. As such, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt the attached P.C. Resolution No. 2006-__, denying the Applicant's request.

ALTERNATIVE

In addition to Staff’s recommendation, the following alternative is available for the Planning Commission to act on:

1. Approve the Variance and Coastal Permit (Case No. ZON2006-00085) and direct staff to return with a resolution for approval.

ATTACHMENTS
- Draft Planning Commission Resolution No. 2006-__
- Project Plan
- Development Code Chapter 17.72.040
- Approved Grading Plan for Lot No. 9
- Comment Letter Dated 02/20/06