09/25/2001 Planning Commission Agenda September, 2001, 09/25/2001, Planning, Commission, Meeting, Agenda, Mark Meyers 17870 Skypark Circle, Irvine (representing Cingular Wireless). He briefly explained the project and its installation. He stated that he had read the staff report and agreed with all of the conditions of approval. He displayed photographs of the antenna mock-up showing how the antenna will be integrated into the existing building, Senior Planner Mihranian stated there was no connection, but believed the applicant was responding to staff’s recommendations to modify the plan for compliance with the Coastal Specific Plan, which establishes height limitations within vertical zones The 09/25/2001 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Agenda
AGENDA
September 25, 2001

DISCLAIMER

The following Planning Commission agenda includes text only version of the staff reports associated with the business matters to be brought before for the Planning Commission at its Regular Meeting of this date. Changes to the staff reports may be necessary prior to the actual Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Commission may elect to delete or continue business matters at the beginning of the Planning Commission Meeting. Additionally, staff reports attachments, including but not limited to, pictures, plans, drawings, spreadsheet presentations, financial statements and correspondences are not included. The attachments are available for review with the official agenda package at the the Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Department area at City Hall.

...end of disclaimer...

** CLICK HERE FOR PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA

** CLICK HERE FOR PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORTS


This agenda has been prepared for the orderly progression of Planning Commission business.  The Planning Commission is very interested in hearing your comments and encourages your participation in the meeting.  These agenda instructions are intended to familiarize you with how the meeting will be conducted, what to expect and how to most effectively participate in the process.

Staff Reports

Detailed staff reports on the items contained in this agenda are available from the Planning Department the Friday before the meeting and are posted for public viewing immediately prior to the meeting in the hallway outside the chambers.  The Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department is located at City Hall at 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.  The Department's public counter hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  The telephone number is (310) 377-6008.

Organization of the Agenda

The Planning Commission agenda is divided into the following sections:

Consent Calendar: This section consists of routine items, which, unless a request has been received from the public, a Commission member or Staff to remove a particular item for discussion, are enacted by one motion of the Planning Commission.
Continued Business:  This section consists of items that were held over from a previous Planning Commission meetings and for which a decision has not yet been made.
Public Hearings: This section is devoted to noticed public hearings which have not been previously heard by the Commission.
New Business: This section is for items that do not require a noticed public hearing.  Pursuant to adopted Planning Commission procedure, the Commission will, except under exceptional circumstances and with the consent of the majority of the Commission, adjourn its meetings on or before 12:00 a.m. and not consider new business items after 11:00 p.m., with any unfinished business being continued to the next regular, adjourned, or special meeting.
Audience Comments: This part of the agenda is reserved for making comments on matters which are NOT on the agenda.  Comments must be limited to matters within the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission.  Due to State law, no action can be taken on matters brought up under Audience Comments.  If action by the Commission is necessary, the matter may be placed on a future agenda, or referred to Staff, as determined by the Commission.

Presentation of Agenda Items

Unless the Chairperson in his or her discretion should direct otherwise, the order of the presentation is generally as follows:

(a) Presentation of staff report, including any environmental analysis or recommendation.
(b) Questions of staff by members of Planning Commission.
(c) Public hearing opened.
(d) Presentation of the applicant(s) or appellant(s).
(e) Presentation of persons in favor of the requested action.
(f) Presentation of persons in opposition to the requested action.
(g) Rebuttal comments by the applicant(s) or appellant(s), if requested.
(h) Closing comments by staff.
(i) Public hearing closed.

 

How to Speak on an Item

 In order to speak on an item, please completely fill out a Request to Speak form and return it to the recording secretary.  These half-sheet forms (which are printed on colored paper) are available on the table in the hallway outside the chambers or from the recording secretary, who is seated on the left-hand side of the dais (the table with the blue skirt at the front of the meeting room), next to the light timer.  Requests to speak on an item must be submitted to the recording secretary prior to the completion of the remarks of the first speaker on the item.  No request forms to speak on the particular item will be accepted after that time.

 After your name is called by the recording secretary, please approach the lectern and speak clearly into the microphone.  The height of the microphone may be adjusted by hand if necessary.  Before beginning your comments on the item, please state your name and address for the record.

 The length of time that each person is allowed to speak on individual items is determined by the Chairman and is usually based on the number of speakers on the particular item.  Normally, the applicants and appellants are limited to a five (5) minute presentation and a three (3) minute rebuttal (if requested). All other persons are generally limited to three (3) minutes per person. 

 Submittal of Written Correspondence

 You may submit written evidence to the Planning Commission through the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and request that the Commission receive copies of the submitted materials prior to the meeting.  However, such written evidence must be submitted by 12:00 noon on the Monday prior to the Planning Commission meeting.  If any written evidence is submitted after the Monday noon deadline, the Commission will not consider it at the meeting.  However, it will be distributed as part of the agenda packet for any forthcoming meeting, provided that the item is continued.  This does not prevent you from reading written comments that are submitted late into the record as part of oral comments, in accordance with the time limits discussed above.

Conduct at the Meeting

The Planning Commission has adopted a set of rules for conduct during Planning Commission meetings. Although it is a very rare occurrence, the Chairperson may order from the Planning Commission Chambers any person(s) who commit the following acts with respect to a regular or special meeting of the Planning Commission:

1. Disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior toward the Commission or any member thereof, which interrupts the due and orderly course of said meeting.
2. A breach of the peace, boisterous conduct or violent disturbance, which interrupts the due and orderly course of said meeting.
3. Disobedience of any lawful order of the Chairperson which shall include an order to be seated or refrain from addressing the Commission.
4. Any other interference with the due and orderly course of the meeting.

Your cooperation in making the Planning Commission meeting run smoothly and fairly for all participants in greatly appreciated.

 

 

BEGINNING OF PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2001

FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK, 29301 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD

REGULAR MEETING

7:00 P.M.


SCHEDULING NOTES

REQUESTS TO SPEAK ON AN ITEM MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE RECORDING SECRETARY PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF THE REMARKS OF THE FIRST SPEAKER ON THE ITEM. NO REQUEST FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THAT TIME.

PURSUANT TO ADOPTED PLANNING COMMISSION PROCEDURE, NEW BUSINESS ITEMS NOT HEARD BEFORE ll:00 P.M. WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY CONTINUED AND WILL BE HEARD ON THE NEXT COMMISSION AGENDA.

NEXT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-31


 

CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

COMMUNICATIONS:

Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

NONE

Staff:

Commission:


CONSENT CALENDAR:


1.MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

    RECESS/COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-agenda items) at APPROXIMATELY 8:30 P.M.:

    PUBLIC HEARINGS:


2. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 158-REVISION 'E': Makallon RPV Associates llc, Tract No. 46628 (Oceanfront) (KF)

    Requested Action: Modify Condition Nos. Q4 and Q5 of Resolution No. 92-27 to allow 30-inch-tall seat walls and planters and 42-inch-tall built-in barbecues within the rear-yard setback areas of all of the residential lots in Tract No. 46628 (Oceanfront).

    Recommendation: Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001- ___, approving Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’.


3.TENTATIVE TRACT MAP NO. 53305, CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 228, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2242 and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 738: California Water Service Company & JCC Homes, Inc., 5837 Crest Road (KF)
    Requested Action: Subdivide the 4.99-acre California Water Service Company (CWSC) site into ten (10) lots for a single-family residential planned development (RPD). The proposed project includes seven (7) residential lots, one lot for a private street, one lot for the existing CWSC office and one lot for the existing underground CWSC reservoir. The CWSC office and reservoir will remain on the site. The homes proposed by the applicant include a mix of 16-foot-tall split-level and 26-foot-tall two-story homes, ranging from approximately 5,600 to 6,500 square feet of living area. The proposed residential lots would range from approximately 10,900 to 14,400 square feet. The proposed project would also require approximately 9,000 cubic yards of earth movement.

    Recommendation: Open the public hearing, accept public testimony on the proposed project and the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration, and continue the matter to the Planning Commission meeting of October 9, 2001.


4. VARIANCE PERMIT NO. 475, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT MO. 572, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2228, SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8808 REVISION "A", AND COASTAL PERMIT NO. 161 REVISION "A": 33 Marguerite Drive (AM)

Requested Action: Allow the construction of a 3,795 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence. The proposed addition consists of a 1,431 square foot basement, a 1,438 square foot addition to the main residence and a 926 square foot four-car garage addition. Furthermore, the applicants request to relocate the previously approved 480 square foot guest house over the existing second unit. The Variance request is to allow construction in excess of 250 square feet within the Coastal Setback Zone and to allow the guest house to exceed the Development Code’s 12 foot height limit for a detached guest house (proposed 23 feet). The Minor Exception Permit is to allow a 6 foot high fence along the front property line. The Grading Permit is to allow 829 cubic yards of associated grading for the proposed basement and yard improvements. Since the subject property is located within the City’s designated Coastal Zone (Appealable Area), a Coastal Permit is required.

Recommendation:Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-___; approving, with conditions, Variance No. 475, Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Grading Permit No. 2228, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ‘A’, and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ’A’


CONTINUED BUSINESS:


5.LONG POINT RESORT: Consisting of Coastal Permit No. 166, General Plan Amendment No. 28, Conditional Use Permit No. 215, Conditional Use Permit No. 216, Parcel Map No. 26073, Grading Permit No. 2229, Grading Permit No. 2230, and the associated Final Environmental Impact Report; Destination Development Corporation, (applicant), 6610 Palos Verdes Drive South and 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard. (AM)

Requested Action: Approve Coastal Permit No. 166, Conditional Use Permit No. 215, Grading Permit No. 2229, Conditional Use Permit No. 216, Tentative Parcel Map No. 26703, Grading Permit No. 2230 and General Plan Amendment No. 28 for the Long Point Resort.

Recommendation:Staff recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review and discuss the project’s EIR and forward a recommendation to the City Council for certification at their October 16th meeting; 2) Review and discuss the Grading Permit findings for both the Resort Hotel Area and the Upper Point Vicente Area; 3) Continue the discussion on the revised site plans for the Resort Hotel Area and the Upper Point Vicente Area and determine whether the plans are acceptable to the Commission and consistent with the August 14th and August 28th motions; 4) Consider the applicant’s request to introduce a modification to the Upper Point Vicente Area site plan; 5) If deemed appropriate, review the revised draft resolutions and conditions of approval for the project applications; and 6) If deemed appropriate, forward a recommendation to the City Council for consideration at their October 16th meeting.


NEW BUSINESS:(NO ITEMS)


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:


Staff


6. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 9, 2001.

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
October 9, 2001, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.


AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2001

FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK, 29301 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD

REGULAR MEETING

7:00 P.M.


SCHEDULING NOTES

REQUESTS TO SPEAK ON AN ITEM MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE RECORDING SECRETARY PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF THE REMARKS OF THE FIRST SPEAKER ON THE ITEM. NO REQUEST FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THAT TIME.

PURSUANT TO ADOPTED PLANNING COMMISSION PROCEDURE, NEW BUSINESS ITEMS NOT HEARD BEFORE ll:00 P.M. WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY CONTINUED AND WILL BE HEARD ON THE NEXT COMMISSION AGENDA.

NEXT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-31


 

CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA


COMMUNICATIONS

Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

NONE

Staff:

Commission:


CONSENT CALENDAR

5. MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

DRAFT

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lyon at 7:05 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

Chairman Lyon called for a moment of silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives in New York and Washington D.C.

FLAG SALUTE

Chairman Lyon led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ATTENDANCE

Present:Commissioners Cartwright, Long, Mueller, Paulson, Vannorsdall, Chairman Lyon

Absent:Vice Chairman Clark was absent (excused)

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Without objection, the agenda was approved as presented.

COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed a set of plans relating to Agenda Item No. 3 and five letters regarding Long Point. At the direction of the Commission, he distributed 7 items of late correspondence regarding Long Point.

Commissioner Mueller discussed the letter by Commissioner Long that was published in the Daily Breeze and Peninsula News. He felt it was a Commissioner’s right and privilege to express their views in public after a vote has been taken on any matter before the Commission. He stated that he would accept Chairman Lyon’s challenge from the last meeting to continue to convince the Planning Commission of his views on the Long Point project and looked forward to upcoming discussions on the project.

Commissioner Long commented on the letter to the editor dated August 30, 2001 written by Sonya Hayes. He applauded the second half of the letter, which discussed her points of view regarding the Long Point project. He was disappointed in the first half of the letter where she stated that it dishonors the Commission for Commissioners to present different views. He stated that he remains unrepentant and continues to feel that he is free to express his own views even when they differ from the majority.


CONSENT CALENDAR

  1. Minutes of August 14, 2001
  2. Without objection the minutes were approved as presented, (6-0).

  3. Minutes of August 28, 2001
  4. Chairman Lyon noted on page 11, fifth paragraph, "hole no. 2" should be inserted for clarification.

    Commissioner Long stated that on page 3 Vice Chairman Clark had stated he regretted the timing of the letter to the editor. He felt this should be reflected in the minutes. He also noted on the same page that his comment regarding the letter to the editor had been misstated and offered a clarification.

    Commissioner Long noted on page 5 that he had asked his e-mail addresses be included.

    Commissioner Paulson noted a wording clarification on page 4 of the minutes. He also referred to page 6 regarding the enrollment at the Montessori school. He asked that the paragraph be clarified.

    Commissioner Long noted a grammatical error on page 19 of the minutes. He also referred to page 22 and asked that his comments regarding his vote on the motion be added to the minutes.

    Commissioner Cartwright asked that the paragraph on page 4 regarding computer accesses be clarified.

    Without objection the minutes were approved as amended, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Mueller abstaining since he was absent from that meeting.

  5. Amendment to conditions for Height Variation No. 901 and Site Plan Review Permit No. 8822: Jack & Irene Hung, 27856 Longhill Drive

Commissioner Long asked staff if they had measured the distance from this property to his home.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that they had not.

Commissioner Long felt he should recuse himself from this item. He felt his residence was probably more than 300 feet from the project, however he could not be sure.

Chairman Lyon waived the reading of the staff report.

Without objection, the item was approved as presented, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Long abstaining.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

  1. Variance No. 485, Grading Permit No. 2294 and Encroachment Permit No. 34: William Urso (applicant) 3825 Crest Road

Chairman Lyon waived the reading of the staff report.

Commissioner Mueller asked for clarification in the staff report. He noted that on page 1 the requested height of the fence was 6 feet, however in the following pages of the report it was referred to as 5 feet.

Associate Planner Schonborn stated that the fence was 5 feet high as measured from the grade closest to the street, and 6 feet in overall height on the low side.

Commissioner Mueller asked if a condition could be added regarding the visibility through the fence.

Associate Planner Schonborn stated that per the definition of a fence, the fence must have a visibility of light and/or air of at least 80 percent through the vertical area.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if the current fence was in the public right-of-way and if that fence was permitted.

Associate Planner Schonborn stated that the current fence was in the public-right-of-way and there were no approvals for that fence.

Commissioner Mueller noted that the plan showed pilasters every six feet. He asked that a condition be included that stated pilasters could be placed no less than 6 feet apart.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if there was a condition included that would ensure the owners could not have vines or plants growing along this wrought iron fence that would obstruct the 80 percent light and air.

Associate Planner Schonborn answered that incorporation of a condition that a minimum 80 percent light and air be maintained would cover the potential of growing bushes and vines.

Commissioner Lyon opened the public hearing. There being no speakers, the public hearing was closed.

Commissioner Vannorsdall moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-28 thereby approving Variance No. 485, Grading Permit No. 2294 and Encroachment Permit No. 34, seconded by Commissioner Paulson.

Commissioner Mueller asked the motion be amended to include language that the fence have 80 percent light and air visibility and the pilasters be placed no less than every 6 feet.

Commissioner Vannorsdall accepted the amendment, seconded by Commissioner Paulson. Approved, (6-0).

5.Conditional Use Permit 231: Focus on Learning Center 500 Silver Spur Rd.

Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She stated that the request was in compliance with the Development Code in terms of the required parking spaces. She stated that the proposed project will not have a significant impact on the traffic flow, noise level, or an increase in intensity of the use of the existing building. She stated that the applicant had contacted staff after the staff report had been distributed and indicated that the hours of operation on Saturday were 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is different than what was indicated in the staff report. She stated that staff recommends approval of the Conditional Use Permit with the modified condition regarding the Saturday hours.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Santee Albiar 3603 Hidden Valley Lane, PVP, stated she had spoken to the owner regarding the drop-off and pick-up space and he had indicated he would comply fully with whatever staff recommended.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if she was in agreement with the conditions presented in the staff report.

Ms. Albiar stated she was in agreement.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-29 thereby approving Conditional Use Permit No. 231, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (6-0).

6.Conditional Use Permit No. 198 – Revision ‘A’ Compass Telecommunications, representing Cingular Wireless, 500 Silver Spur Rd

Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He stated that staff had reviewed the proposal for compliance with the Conditional Use Permit and found all applicable findings could be made in a positive manner. Therefore, staff recommended approval of the Conditional Use Permit.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Mark Meyers 17870 Skypark Circle, Irvine (representing Cingular Wireless). He briefly explained the project and its installation. He stated that he had read the staff report and agreed with all of the conditions of approval. He displayed photographs of the antenna mock-up showing how the antenna will be integrated into the existing building.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if there were any plans for antennas at additional sites.

Mr. Meyers stated that he was a contractor of Cingular Wireless, and based on the work he was contracted to do, there was no additional work. He felt there may be additional sites planned in the future, based on information provided through their network layout.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Paulson moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-30 thereby approving Conditional Use Permit No. 198 – Revision ‘A’, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. Approved, (6-0).

  1. Planning Commission e-mail policy
  2. Chairman Lyon stated that the staff report had done a very good job addressing and summarizing a policy for Planning Commission e-mail.

    Commissioner Mueller discussed the use of e-mail and how it is being used in every day life in many facets. He noted that computers were available for use in public libraries and free e-mail was offered through several companies. He stated he supported the staff recommendations.

    Commissioner Long also supported the staff recommendation and acknowledged that some people prefer a hard copy of the correspondence. He asked staff if they had researched the City’s ability to digest the e-mail.

    Director/Secretary Rojas answered that he had checked with the City’s technical support and was informed that the City could not digest the e-mail at this time.

    Commissioner Cartwright commended the staff on the staff report and felt the suggested policy was a good one. He stated that if a Commissioner receives an e-mail from the public on their private e-mail address they still had the obligation to make sure City staff received the information and distributed it to the other Commissioners.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

    John Freeman 6850 Faircove Drive complimented the Planning Commission on the progress made since the first meeting regarding e-mail policy. He stated that disclosing private e-mail communications was not a requirement of the Brown Act, however the Assistant City Attorney had informed him that there was a due process law requiring all information be shared amongst the Commissioners. He stated he had not reviewed this law. He discussed the city roster and stated that any information the City has on elected or appointed officials is also public information. He noted that this was discussed in the California Public Records Act. Finally, Mr. Freeman noted that anyone traveling can get their e-mail from any computer in the world.

    Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

    Commissioner Mueller noted that he has all of his private e-mail sent to his home computer rather work. He did not think it was appropriate for him to do City business while at work. He encouraged the public to use the city e-mail address when sending correspondence to the Planning Commission.

    Commissioner Long endorsed Commissioner Mueller’s comments. He encouraged the public to use the Planning Commission e-mail address rather than the personal ones as he felt that using the separate Planning Commission e-mail address would allow him to review the Planning Commission correspondence in an orderly manner. He stated that he has two e-mail addresses that correspondence could be sent to, however he could not be sure how efficient using those addresses would be as it would depend on how many other e-mail was received that particular day.

    Commissioner Paulson asked for clarification on disclosure of e-mail and when e-mail was considered public information.

    Assistant City Attorney Pittman clarified that when the e-mail was received on the pc@rpv.com address in was automatically a matter of public record. He stated that when e-mail was received at the Commissioner’s private e-mail address it was up to the Planning Commissioner to determine if that information required disclosure.

Chairman Lyon moved to adopt the staff recommended procedures regarding e-mail, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (6-0).

RECESS AND RECONVENE

    At 8:10 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess to 8:25 p.m. at which time they reconvened.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (REGARDING NON-AGENDA ITEMS)

    John Freeman 6850 Faircove Drive discussed the Planning Commission’s reaction and comments to Commissioner Long’s letter to the editor in August. He asked why the Commission had no comments regarding Vice Chairman Long’s letter to the editor which appeared in the Daily Breeze a few days prior to Commissioner Long’s letter. He concluded that if the Commission agreed with the Commissioner it was o.k. to write the letter, if the Commission did not agree with the Commissioner it was not o.k. to write the letter. He asked the Commission to act consistently and adopt consistent policies. He asked the Commission to encourage all open communications regardless if they agreed with the position or content.

    Lois Larue 3136 Barkentine Road discussed Jim York and the fences that he had put in place along the property line of the Upper Filiorum property.

CONTINUED BUSINESS

8. Long Point

Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report. He stated that in response to Planning Commission direction, a revised site plan had been submitted to staff and is now before the Planning Commission. He explained the revised plan to the Commission. He stated that the City’s golf safety sub-consultant had reviewed the modified plan and his comments and recommendations were included in the staff report. Mr. Mihranian explained that the applicant had submitted an alternative layout to the Upper Point Vicente Park area with respect to the modified hole no. 2. He stated that staff had not analyzed this alternative, however the Planning Commission may wish to consider this proposal if desired.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if there were any connection between the reduction of the villas and the proposed golf holes.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated there was no connection, but believed the applicant was responding to staff’s recommendations to modify the plan for compliance with the Coastal Specific Plan, which establishes height limitations within vertical zones.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if there were other concerns regarding views from these vertical height zones.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that there were concerns with respect to one of the casitas. He stated there was a condition imposed addressing this issue.

Commissioner Paulson noted in the staff report there was a copy of a fax from the city’s biological sub-consultant, Ann Johnson, regarding the trails near holes 3 and 4 (south and east of the Coast Guard location). He reviewed the fax and noted that the trails would cut through ungraded existing habitat and ungraded new habitat. He also noted that these trails would increase the indirect impacts to habitat and wildlife in these areas, and that the sub-consultant had recommended relocating the trails. He asked staff if they had in comments on these trails.

Senior Planner Mihranian responded that staff was recommending that the trail be realigned along the golf cart path to address the concerns raised by the consultant.

Commissioner Paulson discussed the area of the villas. He asked if the City had ever approved a subdivision in the past with the type of density this villa project was proposing.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that there were subdivisions existing close to that density in regards to lots per acre. He noted, however, that other subdivisions are zoned residential while this subdivision is not zoned residential, but commercial/recreational. He noted that the subdivision recently approved by the Planning Commission off Palos Verdes Drive West was zoned for 13 lots on 3.92 acres.

Senior Planner Mihranian added that the subject property was the only property located in the City zoned for commercial/recreational uses. He did not think the commercial/recreational zoning district was designed to accommodate residential units and the villas are considered accommodations in association with the hotel. He stated that the Commission has the mechanism to regulate the lot size criteria through a Conditional Use Permit.

Commissioner Paulson asked if staff was comfortable with the conditions relative to the height issues.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that staff was comfortable with the height issues concerning the villas as measured from existing grade.

Commissioner Paulson noted a condition stating that if the villas are not sold they will revert back to the hotel. He asked if a third party could buy all 32 units as a whole.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that it was conceivable for someone to buy all 32 units, however the same restrictions would exist.

Commissioner Paulson discussed Exhibit F and the discussion regarding the Rancho Palos Verdes Parks Master Plan of 1989. He noted that in this discussion a municipal golf course was mentioned for the Upper Point Vicente Park area and noted that golf was not a new idea for the use of the area.

Commissioner Paulson then discussed the development agreement in the draft conditions of approval. He stated that this was a condition that the Planning Commission requested be put in, however he felt that the wording should be more specific guaranteeing upfront money paid annually to the City based on the returns of the resort area.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated the wording could be clarified.

Commissioner Paulson noted that the word "equestrian" should be eliminated from 50B, page 8, regarding trail use.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that this trail was actually off the site along Palos Verdes Drive South and was in compliance with the City’s Conceptual Trails Plan, as the trails along Palos Verdes Drive South are designated in the plan as multiple-use trails which include pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian users.

Commissioner Paulson questioned the condition of approval regarding tee times. He asked if this draft condition was meant to give preference to golfers living in the City over guests at the hotel.

Commissioner Long stated that the literal words of the draft condition were that residents get priority tee times over non-residents who are not staying at the hotel. He stated there was nothing in the condition saying that residents get a priority over guests at the hotel.

Chairman Lyon stated the purpose of the condition was that residents of Rancho Palos Verdes will have a priority over non-residents. He stated that whether or not hotel guests will have priority over city residents will be a matter of policy that still must be developed.

Director/Secretary Rojas added that the Commission can direct that city residents will have priority tee time over hotel guests if that is what they choose to do.

Commissioner Cartwright asked what procedure the Planning Commission was going to follow regarding the public hearing and discussions of this project.

Chairman Lyon suggested the Planning Commission and public hear from the applicant first to better understand the new proposal before the City. Following that, he suggested allowing each Commissioner time to discuss their thoughts on the overall issues before them, and then hear comments from the public on what had been said. He felt the Commission could get more meaningful public comments based on what the Planning Commissioners were discussing rather than on what had been submitted previously.

Commissioner Cartwright felt the Commission should hear from the public before expressing their thoughts and concerns. He stated that his opinion was based on the staff report, input from the public, listening to the applicant, and discussion amongst the Commissioners. The Commission agreed.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Mike Mohler 11777 San Vicente Blvd. Los Angeles (applicant), explained that the plan submitted focuses mainly on the Lower Point Vicente area and that there are no changes made to the Upper Point Vicente area. He stated that, at the direction of the Planning Commission, the plans had been revised to reflect a dedicated driving range and practice facility of the same quality as the prior plan and separate hole no. 8. He showed on a display how the plan had been modified to accommodate these requests. He explained how hole no. 8 had been modified and noted that Ocean Trails, Pebble Beach, Pelican Hill, and Spanish Bay all have par 3 holes shorter than this particular par 3. Mr. Mohler pointed out that two of the villa units are now single story, thereby reducing the villa count to 30. He stated the two units were originally 26-foot structures within a 16-foot high zone.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if any new major utility lines would have to be brought in for the project.

Mr. Mohler answered that all major utilities were already stubbed into the site. He stated they would abandon existing water lines in deference to new water lines throughout the project site.

Commissioner Paulson asked about the trail discussed earlier in the Upper Point Vicente area and if the developer would be willing to relocate that trail.

Mr. Mohler answered that the developer would relocate the trail according to staff and the City’s biological consultant’s recommendations.

Chairman Lyon asked that the audience try to limit their comments to items that the Planning Commission has not heard before. The Commission agreed to a two-minute time limit for each speaker.

Sonya Hayes 54 Via Capri discussed the concerns that the Long Point Resort would be successful and the City can be assured their money will be there. She stated that the series of trails built by CPH at the end of Hawthorne Boulevard combined with the proposed trails at Upper Point Vicente Park and the proposed trails through the old Marineland site will always be available to the public for their use, at the developer’s expense. She felt the Planning Commission should apply all of the necessary conditions to the project and recommend approval to the City Council.

Rowland Driskall 30 Via Capri discussed a letter he wrote regarding 14 reasons for Long Point and Ocean Trails to enter into a joint development agreement. He stated he received a favorable e-mail response from Ken Zuckerman of Ocean Trails. He stated that the Coastal Commission letter of August 20 poses another hurdle for the developer if he continues to pursue City property for the use of resort golf. He stated that the letter indicates that if the City requests the city park to be graded as a golf course then the city park will be subject to a review as though it were in the coastal zone, and request for an Incidental Take Permit will not be granted. He stated that he has three goals regarding this agenda item: 1) save the park; 2) see Ocean Trails succeed as a world-class 18-hole golf course; and, 3) see Destination Resorts build a world class resort on their own property.

Bob Nelson 6612 Channelview Court stated he was a businessman and the business side of this project must be emphasized. He stated that the Finance Committee report was well known and stated that if changes to the project occurred as proposed in May it would endanger the internal rate of return and endanger the project. He stated that the City was losing $394,000 per month while the City was debating placing more milestones upon the developer. He encouraged the Planning Commission to make a decision and move the project to the City Council.

Dena Friedson 1737 Via Boranado, PVE, discussed the Coastal Commission and their authority to review the affect of golf at Upper Point Vicente. She stated that the suggested conditions of approval do not limit the number of days that guests could occupy the villas. She stated that if guests were to stay longer than 30 days then the transient occupancy tax would be lost, unless the guests signed an agreement with the hotel to pay the tax for their extended business. She did not think the proposed tentative parcel map had any benefit to the City.

Joseph Picarelli 30311 Via Borica discussing hole no. 4 and speaking on behalf of St. Paul’s Church, referred to the City sub-consultant on golf course safety. He stated that the sub-consultant referred to 1960 and 1970 golf standards because this golf course was designed as a 1960/1970 golf course. Therefore, he has made a judgement to review this golf course safety based on that basis. He felt that was totally unacceptable as there are new standards which the golf consultant has made clear to the City are not being used. He stated that the drives from hole no. 4 put the entire cul-de-sac and part of the church’s property in the way of errant shots. He felt this was a tremendous liability the City is assuming.

Ann Shaw 30036 Via Borica stated that in previous meetings the public has heard continually about the importance of golf as a draw to the Long Point Resort. She did not think the public would be drawn to a par 32, 9-hole golf course. She agreed that there were many golf courses that have a short par 3, however they do not have four short par 3 holes on a 9-hole golf course. She felt the Planning Commission should recognize golf for what it was, an amenity the same as a swimming pool, tennis court, and spa. She stated these amenities were primarily a method to enhance the ability to acquire investment capital. She stated that Destination Resorts was unwilling, not unable, to reduce the number of rental units on the Long Point site. She felt the Planning Commission should ask the developer to make a scale model of the development, including both the Upper Point Vicente area and the lower area.

Alfred Sattler 1904 Avenida Aprenda stated that, in addition to a need for trails for those in wheelchairs and those less physically capable, there was a need for trails which are more strenuous. He felt that trails should be layed out so as not to minimize impact on habitat.

Barbara Sattler 1904 Avenida Aprenda hoped that the Commission had the opportunity to read some biological comments and that there were now letters from California Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Coastal Commission all of who are very much concerned with the impact to habitat this project would cause. She reminded the Commission that the biological concerns of this project are part of the original motion and she did not want this aspect of the project lost in all of the details being discussed.

William Tolliffee 6347 Tarragon Road stated that the latest resort site map illustrates how impossible it is to put a safe golf course and a first class golf academy in with the hotel, villas, casitas, parking lot, and other amenities. He felt there were a number of hazards associated with the holes on the Upper Point Vicente site. He felt that the lack of a beach, no museums or other entertainment within a reasonable driving distance, no local nightlife of special interest would not the resort a very attractive destination.

Holly Cain 52 Avenida Corona suggested, in addition to the golf academy, two putting greens at different levels of experience. She felt that along with a practice area and a good driving range, these amenities would make for a better ambiance rather than a short 9-hole golf course. She felt a first class golf academy would be a far superior amenity to a first class resort hotel than an inferior 9-hole golf course. She distributed to the Planning Commission a copy of an attachment to a letter to Mike Mohler from David Levine from Natural Resource Consultants who is conducting a survey of Upper Point Vicente Park. She noted that the circled areas represented gnatcatcher pairs. She asked the developer to put the yardage onto each hole and felt that this would show that this proposal was not a championship 9-hole golf course. Further, she asked the developer to define the term public play course. She understood the terms private course, semi-private course, and public course, but she had not heard the term public play course. She asked that a condition of approval be added that there will be no nets or fences allowed on that golf course. She stated that if a golf ball causes a problem at a hole then the hole should be re-evaluated.

Barbara Gleghorn 28850 Crestridge Road discussed the Parks Master Plan. She stated that when the plan was developed years ago the City was looking for anything they could do to get revenue for the City. She noted that the plan has never been approved by the National Parks Service. She stated that the only current and only existing program of utilization is one that has passive recreation in the bluff areas where the golf course is planned. She stated that any action that makes the area into a golf course will require a change of the program of utilization.

Stasys Petravicius 15 Seacove Drive discussed a trip he recently took to Ohio. He explained that the City he visited had a population of approximately 12,000 and that the local City park there not only contained the civic center, but a library, an Olympic sized swimming pool, a jacuzzi, tennis courts, a baseball field, and acres of open space. He felt this was a good example of what a civic center should be like.

Commissioner Vannorsdall felt that in Ohio the County and State most likely paid for these improvements. He wondered who would pay for these type of improvements in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Mr. Petravicius did not feel money was an obstacle, it was just a matter of desire.

Lois Larue 3136 Barkentine Road discussed a recent letter to the editor in the Peninsula News stating that the Planning Commission seemed to be apologetic about what was being offered. She stated this piece of property was probably the last big piece available along the ocean and Destination Resorts was most likely going to make alot of money with this property. She stated that the City has the final say, but one would never know that by the way the Planning Commission was talking. She did not think the City should bend over backwards to give the developer everything he wanted. She felt the Planning Commission should tell the developer what the City wants.

Tim Fitzhugh stated he was speaking on behalf of the Los Angeles diving community. He stated they had two concerns which they felt would make this project a disaster for the Los Angeles diving community. He stated there were some rock reefs offshore in an area he indicated on the map. He stated showed that one set of rock reefs is easily accessible rock beach that is also a launching beach for kayaks and divers. He stated that by limiting the access to the beach to the one switchback road, this effectively denies access to the public beach by kayakers and divers. Additionally, he was concerned by the pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer runoff from the golf course into the ocean.

Commissioner Paulson asked Mr. Fitzhugh if any development placed on the site would be disastrous for the diving community.

Mr. Fitzhugh stated that development was inevitable on the site. However, he felt that the development should not have runoff that could potentially affect the offshore habitat and should allow the public easy access to the public beach.

Angelica Brinkman-Busi, San Pedro, discussed the fragmented habitat proposed by this project. She stated that the developer has been discussing numbers but what was needed was quality habitat. She stated that habit needed to be contiguous. She pointed out that there was no buffer between the holes and the habitat areas.

Mike Mohler (in rebuttal) stated the developer has planned to install a parking lot closer than currently exists to the public beach discussed earlier that will be open to the public forever. Further, they are proposing to make the path down to the fishing access wheelchair accessible. He explained that the requirements of the City and the EIR call for higher water quality than exists today. He also discussed the linear elements of the habitat as shown on the plans and stated that those linear elements are up to six times wider and bulkier than the linear elements provided at Ocean Trails. He pointed out that Ocean Trails is now having a successful increase in nesting pairs of gnatcatchers. He also stated that the proposed golf course has a higher safety rating and safety setbacks adjacent to public paths and development than Ocean Trails. He stated that the proposed golf course was intended to be a fun golf course and was not a championship golf course by virtue of the decisions made by everyone at this forum. He felt there were four or five golf holes that were every bit as good as those found at Ocean Trails. He stated that the current yardage of the proposed golf course was 2,570 yards.

Commissioner Paulson asked what the total distance from the tee to the hole was on holes 4 and 3.

Mr. Mohler answered that on hole no. 4 the distance from the pro tee it was 162 yards and from the upper tee it was 122 yards. On hole no. 3 the distance was 327 yards.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Chairman Lyon began by stating he has heard many good arguments for and against the golf course. He stated that the process the Planning Commission must follow was to look at each of the permits and to consider all of the findings for each of the permits. He stated that the Planning Commission had not even begun to look at the findings. Moreover, the Commission must carefully review the conditions of approval. He stated he had many concerns about the safety issues of the golf course that had not been discussed. Chairman Lyon stated that the Planning Commission must also look at all of the details of the resort hotel area, which they had not begun to do. With that being said, he felt the Planning Commission was in the position of having several more meetings before they could get through all of the necessary details. He realized that the priorities of the developer were not with the golf course but with the villas and casitas. He indicated an area on the map that the resource agencies had indicated they may not be able to approve if development was planned. He wondered what the point was to approve a plan, knowing it would not be approved by these resource agencies.

Chairman Lyon felt very strongly that the Planning Commission should provide the City Council with alternatives. He stated the very obvious alternative was to say no golf at Upper Point Vicente. He felt the Commission should be able to come up with a reasonable compromise to present to the City Council to consider. He stated that he planned to suggest a motion to forward the following conclusions and recommendations to the City Council for their consideration and action: 1) the Planning Commission supports the concept of a resort hotel on the Long Point property; 2) it is believed that an agreement with Ocean Trails golf course and the availability of a suitable golf practice facility and/or driving range is important to the success of the project; 3) it is uncertain whether a contiguous 9 hole golf course is necessary for the project to succeed; 4) however, to this end, the Planning Commission supports by a vote of 4-3 use of the lower (southeastern) portion of Upper Point Vicente for golf provided that a revised project plan incorporating certain public safety, habitat protection and parkland development conditions is acceptable to the Commission. Otherwise golf on Upper Point Vicente is denied; 5) to date no plan totally acceptable to the Commission has been submitted by Destination Development Corporation; 6) the Planning Commission recommends that the City Council decides whether to: a)deny the project, b)direct that the project be restricted to the developer owned land, or c) conditionally approve the project using some city land along the lines specified in the most recent plan revision and conditions of approval; and, 7) if 6b or 6c is selected by the City Council, the City Council may wish to ask the Planning Commission to further develop appropriate conditions of approval. Chairman Lyon stated that he felt it was easier to make the big decision first and then work the details.

Commissioner Paulson stated that he needed the details to help him form his opinion on the larger issues. He was very concerned about the environmental impact from holes 3 and 4 and the trail issue in that area. He stated that if he were to make a motion it would be very similar to Chairman Lyon’s motion. He felt he could support much of what the Chairman said in his motion.

Commissioner Long felt that the Chairman had framed a good way of looking at the issues. He felt the difficulty was that the Planning Commission had not yet begun to discuss the permit findings and therefore he did not think it was appropriate for the Planning Commission to follow option no. 6 and essentially abdicate in their considerations the permit findings and have the City Council make that decision for them. He stated that early in this process the Planning Commission had asked the City Council for a workshop and guidance on how to proceed with this application. He noted that the City Council had elected not to have a workshop or give guidance other than to follow their standard procedure. In that sense he felt it was premature to send a recommendation to the City Council until they have had a chance to consider the permit findings. Following that procedure, the City Council would receive a recommendation on the land use issue, the amendment to the General Plan, and the permit findings.

Commissioner Long acknowledged that, given how long this application has been before the Planning Commission it was understandable to reach a final decision soon. However, given how long the application has been before the Planning Commission and the Commission has not yet addressed the permit findings, he did not feel it was appropriate to try to rush the matter to conclusion. He felt this was especially important given the upcoming November election. He felt that the right group to make a decision on this project might be the City Council as comprised subsequent to the November election rather than prior. He felt that at a very minimum before any motions are made the findings should be discussed amongst the Commissioners.

Commissioner Paulson agreed that the Planning Commission needed to discuss the findings before forwarding anything to the City Council. He stated that a recommendation to the City Council had to address what the Planning Commission found in their analysis of the project.

Chairman Lyon stated that the reason he suggested the motion was to expedite the process and get it before this City Council before the November election. He did not think it was fair to the developer to stall the process until after the November election. He felt that the current City Council was qualified to make a good judgement. He did not like to see politics influence the process of the Planning Commission. As an individual, he was ready to make a decision, as presented earlier. He stated he expected to and was willing to review and sharpen some of the conditions.

Commissioner Long suggested reviewing the findings item by item, because from his point of view it was one thing to ask him to support golf on public land and another thing to ask him if he has heard enough facts to make the factual findings that he is required to make to issue permits.

Commissioner Cartwright asked staff to comment on the biological impacts that were of concern to the resource agencies.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that this project involves a take of habitat and that take will require a permit to be issued by the Federal government. Because of that, the resource agencies need to be involved with the process. In reviewing the most current project, they looked at the current proposal and made comments stating they had concerns from a biological perspective. They made some very loose statements about what they felt could be done in terms of golf layout that was more beneficial from a biological perspective and stated that additional time would be needed to review the current proposal.

Commissioner Cartwright asked staff about the biological issues involved with holes 3 and 4 and if they could or could not be mitigated.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that from the EIR perspective staff has determined that the impacts can be mitigated to a level of less than significant, in terms of revegetation and design. He noted that it was not uncommon in the past for the City to take a position on biological issues which the resource agencies do not agree with. The issues are then worked out between the two.

Commissioner Cartwright had a bit of a concern with the Chairman’s proposed motion. He felt that the Planning Commission was given a task and they should present the City Council with some recommendations. He felt that in the past the findings have not been presented in a manner that would allow the Planning Commission to make a decision. He felt the Planning Commission has been tied up with the land use issue and have not focused on the permits and the findings. He felt the Planning Commission should focus on the permits and there were some decisions that needed to be made in order for his to take a position on the larger picture. He was uncertain as to whether a 9 hole golf course was needed or required for the success of the hotel.

Chairman Lyon explained that the Planning Commission had approved a motion approving golf for a limited portion of the Upper Point Vicente area provided the developer submit a plan that was acceptable to the Planning Commission. He noted that the first plan that came back was unacceptable, and he felt this second plan was unacceptable. He stated that he did not want a third plan to come back but would rather explain to the City Council what had happened and that an acceptable plan had not been presented to the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Vannorsdall stated that he could not go along with the proposed motion and felt it was a complete abdication of the responsibilities of the Planning Commission. He felt the current plan before the Commission was an acceptable plan and the developer had done what the Commission had requested of him. He did feel the Commission should go through the findings related to this current plan.

Commissioner Paulson stated he could not support a motion that would go to the City Council without the Commission first going through the procedure of reviewing the findings. Concurrently with that review, it would allow the Commission to address the issue of holes 3 and 4 and the trails in question. He proposed that at the next meeting the Commission and staff immediately start a discussion of the findings.

Chairman Lyon realized the Commission was uncomfortable with his proposed motion and felt the findings for each permit should then be discussed at this meeting rather than waiting for the next meeting.

Commissioner Long moved to find the current plans submitted were not acceptable to the Planning Commission and that pursuant to the earlier motion, the use of Upper Point Vicente for golf purposes be denied, seconded by Commissioner Mueller.

Chairman Lyon felt it was unfair to the Vice Chairman, who was absent, for the Planning Commission to vote on an important motion where his vote would make a difference.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that the Planning Commission had asked the developer to return with a plan that put the dedicated practice facility back into the plan. He stated that the developer had done that. He felt this plan was basically acceptable to him. He noted there were still issues of golf safety but that staff felt they could be mitigated.

Chairman Lyon asked staff if they felt it was likely or unlikely that the resource agencies would approve a plan that uses golf where holes 3 and 4 are currently located.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that, based on statements made at a meeting held last week, he did not think the resource agencies would issue a take permit for the proposed design.

Commissioner Cartwright asked what would be necessary to do to get the resource agencies approval.

Director/Secretary Rojas felt that the resource agencies wanted a larger block of habitat somewhere on Upper Point Vicente. He noted that these were opinions based on discussions and nothing had been put in writing or formalized.

Commissioner Long repeated his motion. The motion failed, (2-4), with Commissioners Cartwright, Paulson, Vannorsdall, and Chairman Lyon dissenting.

The Commissioners discussed how to proceed with a discussion of the findings and decided to review the findings in the order the staff presented them in the staff report.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman suggested reviewing the draft findings and if the Commission found that they could approve the draft findings, then direct staff to prepare the appropriate resolutions. He suggested the Planning Commission wait until the next meeting to formalize that when the Commission could also go through the findings of the EIR and the EIR consultants will be available for questions.

Chairman Lyon asked if the Commission should vote on each permit in turn or review all of the permits and take one vote.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman stated that the permits could be voted on in turn, in which case they should do so in a particular order as some of the permits are dependent on the approval of others. He did not think the order mattered on the resort hotel site but on the Upper Point Vicente property the General Plan Amendment should be reviewed prior to the grading permit or the conditional use permit.

Senior Planner Mihranian clarified that Exhibits ‘A’ through ‘D’ relate to the resort hotel area and Exhibits ‘E’ through ‘G’ relate to the Upper Point Vicente area.

Chairman Lyon began with Exhibit ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 166.

Commissioner Mueller stated he had a concern with the height of the villas, which was discussed on page 2 of Exhibit ‘A’. He noted that the condition stated that the buildings would be 16 feet above grade for the single story buildings and questioned how high above Palos Verdes Drive South that would be.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that the ridge height of the 16-foot high villas would be approximately 3 feet above Palos Verdes Drive South. He stated that the other villas outside of zone 1 would also be approximately 6 feet above the street elevation of Palos Verdes Drive South.

Commissioner Mueller stated that he did not understand a view corridor if you could not see the ocean from the street. He stated he had an objection to a ridgeline that was six feet above the road and felt it was important to maintain the view for cars driving along Palos Verdes Drive South.

Commissioner Paulson felt Commissioner Mueller had a good point and asked if a condition added that the ridge height will not exceed the level of the road of Palos Verdes Drive South.

There being no further comments, the Commission agreed to approve Exhibit ‘A’ as amended.

Chairman Lyon then discussed Exhibit ‘B’, Conditional Use Permit No. 215. He noted that the description of the number of golf holes beginning on page 4 was incorrect. Chairman Lyon then moved through each page of Exhibit ‘B’ individually asking for any comments regarding each page.

Commissioner Long noted that on page 4 and continuing on to page 6, the mitigation measures outlined for traffic weren’t sufficient. He did not think that, based on the facts heard at the meetings, the Planning Commission could make the necessary finding. He was not convinced that the mitigation measures listed on page 6 were satisfactory. He did not want to see Palos Verdes Drive South have the same traffic problems encountered on Palos Verdes Drive North, which he felt were unsatisfactory. He noted these traffic problems were especially heavy in the morning hours heading east on Palos Verdes Drive North.

Chairman Lyon stated that the City Engineer, the City Traffic Consultant, and the Traffic Committee have all analyzed the potential traffic and all believe there would not be a problem.

Commissioner Vannorsdall stated that not only the current project was considered when discussing traffic impacts, but future potential projects.

Commissioner Paulson reviewed the EIR and the number of trips that the project would generate. He did not see where the hotel would, by itself, cause significant additional traffic.

Commissioner Long felt that may be true, but he felt he would like to see a comparison as to how many trips were generated on Palos Verdes Drive North and how many would be generated on Palos Verdes Drive South. He felt that some of the same underpinnings for what is bad on Palos Verdes Drive seem to be emerging on Palos Verdes Drive South. He wondered what the final straw would be for Palos Verdes Drive South.

Commissioner Vannorsdall pointed out that this was a hotel use and there would not be the same type of traffic flows as those generated on Palos Verdes Drive North.

Senior Planner Mihranian noted that the EIR addressed average daily traffic. The EIR stated that Palos Verdes Drive North between Crenshaw Blvd. and Palos Verdes Drive East experienced approximately 28,000 trips with a level of service of D during a.m. peak hours and E during p.m. peak hours. The EIR stated that the level of service for Palos Verdes Drive South was rated B. He also noted that with the development there would approximately 14,900 trips on Palos Verdes Drive South. He noted that this figure included the anticipated growth through 2010.

Commissioner Long was persuaded that the findings regarding traffic could be made.

Commissioner Long raised a question on page 8 of Exhibit ‘B’ regarding bicycle safety along Palos Verdes Drive South.

Senior Planner Mihranian responded that when the golf safety expert reviewed the plan he did not consider the golf course and its proximity to Palos Verde Drive South because of the grade difference and the villas that are between the golf course and the street.

Commissioner Long was satisfied.

There were no further questions and the Planning Commission unanimously approved Exhibit ‘B’ as presented.

Chairman Lyon addressed Exhibit ‘C’ page by page.

Commissioner Cartwright asked staff why the parcels were being split the way they were.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that the applicant’s request of a parcel map was to separate the uses of golf, villas, and hotel operations.

Commissioner Long asked if there was an advantage to the City of dividing the land into these parcels.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that the main advantage would be that if it becomes necessary in the future, it would be easier for the City to take control of all of the golf facilities with the parcels split as proposed.

Chairman Lyon asked why parcels 2 and 3 were separated.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that if parcels 2 and 3 were combined it would conflict with the hotel parcel that maintained the entry road easement to the hotel facility and further result in a land locked condition.

Chairman Lyon noted that the golf hole identification numbers on parcels 2 and 3 were incorrect and needed changing.

After reviewing the rest of Exhibit ‘C’ the Planning Commission unanimously approved Exhibit ‘C’ as amended to change the golf hole identification numbers on parcels 2 and 3.

Commissioner Long asked if the Comission should consider Exhibit ‘D’ or wait until the amended grading plan was presented.

Associate Planner Mihranian stated that the most recent grading plan submitted to the City does not include the relocation of hole no. 8 and the practice facility. He stated the plan also does not include the lowering of the proposed grade.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that staff needed to update the findings in Exhibit ‘D’ once the new plan was received and felt the Planning Commission should consider Exhibit ‘D’ at a later meeting.

Chairman Lyon reviewed Exhibit ‘E’ and asked the Commissioners for their comments.

Commissioner Long stated that he was opposed to the General Plan amendment, did not think the proposed use was a public use, felt the proposed use of the land endangers open space, and felt the Commission should recommend the General Plan amendment be rejected.

Chairman Lyon moved to recommend approval of the General Plan amendment, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (3-2) with Commissioners Long and Mueller dissenting.

Commissioner Paulson clarified that all the Commission had approved by recommending approval of the General Plan amendment was an active recreational land use in the area.

Chairman Lyon reviewed Exhibit ‘F’. He stated that the number of golf holes needed to be updated throughout.

Commissioner Paulson asked staff to clarify the discussion of noise and lighting on pages 8 and 9 of Exhibit ‘F’.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that if the standards of noise and lighting could not be mitigated to a level of less than significant in the EIR, then the City would adopt a statement of overriding considerations. He stated that this was a typical procedure per CEQA.

Commissioner Long asked how the Commission was going to address finding no. 4. He stated that by definition the Planning Commission could not amend the General Plan. He felt the Planning Commission could recommend all of the findings except finding no. 4 could be made as to this permit application. If the General Plan is amended by the City Council, then this finding could be made.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman stated that within the body of the finding the Planning Commission could set forth a statement that assuming the City Council adopts the General Plan amendment recommended concurrently herewith this finding could be made. He stated the Planning Commission could also condition the finding expressly on the City Council adopting the General Plan amendment.

Commissioner Long stated that he was not in support of the General Plan amendment. He stated that if the General Plan amendment is adopted by the City Council then he agreed finding no. 4 could be made. However, if he had to say that he recommended the City Council adopt the General Plan amendment, he could not do that.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman stated that the Resolution will state that a General Plan amendment has been submitted and reviewed by the Planning Commission concurrently with this application. The Planning Commission can specifically condition the approval of the Conditional Use Permit on Upper Point Vicente on the adoption of the General Plan amendment.

Commissioner Long stated that addressed his concerns.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted on page 8 that there was the topic of fencing. He stated that the applicant had submitted a proposal for fencing along the fairway for hole no. 2. He stated that if the Commission accepts the fencing then the findings language needs to be amended as there was a statement in the findings stating that the lack of fencing will enhance the natural setting of the site.

Commissioner Long suggested changing the wording to minimization of fencing rather than lack of fencing.

Director/Secretary Rojas felt that would suffice.

Chairman Lyon stated staff could also delete the second sentence of the statement so that it would read "unless the Commission finds that a fence is warranted, staff believes that a lack of fencing will enhance the natural setting of the site."

The Planning Commission unanimously approved Exhibit ‘F’ as amended.

Senior Planner Mihranian noted the findings in Exhibit ‘G’ do not include language pertaining to the grading revisions the Commission directed the applicant to make and needed to be revised.

Chairman Lyon stated that the Planning Commission had approved all of the findings with the exception of the two grading permits.

Commissioner Paulson asked staff if the Planning Commission continues with what they are doing at the next meeting, will that be listed as a public hearing.

Assistant City Attorney stated that at the next meeting, based on the Planning Commission deliberations and recommendations, public comments can be opened if the Planning Commission so chooses.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that he would like to discuss holes 3 and 4 at the next meeting.

Commissioner Paulson stated he would like to discuss the issue of the water tank.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 a.m.

 

RECESS/COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-agenda items) at APPROXIMATELY 8:30 P.M.:


PUBLIC HEARINGS:



2. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 158-REVISION 'E': Makallon RPV Associates

llc, Tract No. 46628 (Oceanfront) (KF)

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: SEPTEMBER 25, 2001

SUBJECT: CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 158-REVISION ‘E’

PROJECTADDRESS: TRACT NO. 46628

APPLICANT:
TREVOR DODSON
MDS CONSULTING
17320 REDHILL AVE. #350
IRVINE, CA 92614
PHONE: (949) 251-8821

LANDOWNER:
TIM HAMILTON
MAKALLON RPV ASSOC. llc
4100 MacARTHUR BLVD. #200
NEWPORT BEACH, CA 92660
PHONE: (949) 622-8400

STAFF COORDINATOR: KIT FOX, aicp, SENIOR PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION:MODIFY CONDITION NOS. Q4 AND Q5 OF RESOLUTION NO. 92-27 TO ALLOW 30-INCH-TALL SEAT WALLS AND PLANTERS AND 42-INCH-TALL BUILT-IN BARBECUES WITHIN THE REAR-YARD SETBACK AREAS OF THE RESIDENTIAL LOTS IN TRACT NO. 46628 (OCEANFRONT)

RECOMMENDATION:ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-__, APPROVING CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 158-REVISION ‘E’

REFERENCES:

ZONING: RS-1/RPD

LAND USE: DEVELOPED AND VACANT RESIDENTIAL LOTS

CODE SECTIONS:17.40.060(C)(1), 17.60.050(A

GENERAL PLAN: RESIDENTIAL ≤1 DU/ACRE

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: COASTAL, SUBREGION 1

CEQA STATUS: FINAL EIR NO. 35

ACTION DEADLINE: OCTOBER 19, 2001

 

BACKGROUND

On March 17, 1992, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 92-27, thereby approving (on appeal) Conditional Use Permit No. 158, Coastal Permit No. 94 and Grading Permit No. 1439 to establish a residential planned development (RPD) in conjunction with the approval of Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 46628. Conditional Use Permit No. 158, et al. established architectural and site development standards for the seventy-nine single-family residences to be built as a part of the project, including setbacks, building height and open space requirements.

On July 27, 2001, the project applicant, Makallon RPV Associates llc, submitted a request for Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'E' to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. The applicant's request proposes modifying the conditions of approval regarding allowable accessory structures within the required rear-yard setback areas of the residential lots in Tract No. 46648. The application was deemed complete on August 20, 2001.

SITE AND PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The subject property is the Oceanfront community (Tract Map No. 46628), a 132-acre, 79-home subdivision located at the southerly terminus of Hawthorne Boulevard at Palos Verdes Drive West. The site is surrounded by single-family neighborhoods to the north and east, the Point Vicente Interpretive Center to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The land use and zoning designations for the site are Residential, <1 DU/acre and RS-1/RPD, respectively.

The applicant's proposal requests modifications to the language of two conditions of approval regarding accessory structures in the rear-yard setback areas of the residential lots. Currently, the only accessory structures allowed to encroach into these setback areas are in-ground pools and spas. Several of the new property owners in the Oceanfront community have expressed interest in constructing additional accessory structures—such as built-in barbecues and low planter walls—in the rear-yard setback areas, but strict interpretation of the current conditions of approval does not allow these encroachments. Therefore, the developer has requested these modifications on behalf of the current and future homeowners in the Oceanfront community.

CODE CONSIDERATIONS AND ANALYSIS

Condition Nos. Q4 and Q5 of P.C. Resolution No. 92-27 for Conditional Use Permit No. 158 read as follows:

Q4.The minimum rear-yard setback shall be twenty-five (25) feet for Lots 31 to 57, 58 to 67, 78 and 79. No accessory structures (except pools and in-ground spas) and minor equipment shall be permitted within the rear-yard setback of these lots.

Q5.The minimum rear-yard setback shall be fifty (50) feet for Lots 1 to 30 and Lots 68 to 77. No accessory structures (except pools and in-ground spas) and minor equipment shall be permitted within the rear-yard setback of these lots.

The purpose of these conditions was to maintain and enhance visual corridors along and through the rear yards of the homes in the community, especially those homes that back up to the bluff-top loop road (Via Vicente/Calle Entradero). The reason for the applicant’s request is to allow the current and future residents of the neighborhood to make additional, but limited improvements in their rear-yard areas while still maintaining the intent of these conditions.

In considering a conditional use permit revision, Section 17.60.050(A) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code (RPVDC) requires the Planning Commission to make all of six findings in reference to the property and project under consideration (RPVDC language is boldface, followed by Staff's analysis in normal type):

  1. The site is adequate in size and shape to accommodate the proposed use and for all of the yards, setbacks, walls, fences, landscaping and other features required by the Development Code or by conditions imposed to integrate said use with those on adjacent land and within the neighborhood.
  2. All of the residential lots in the Oceanfront community are at least 20,000 square feet in size. Pursuant to the Development Code, none of the accessory structures that could encroach into the rear-yard setback areas of these lots (i.e., pools, spas, equipment, garden walls, etc.) constitutes lot coverage. As such, this revision will have no impact upon the ability of individual lots to accommodate development with a single-family residence. Therefore, Staff believes that the site is adequate for the proposed revision.

  3. The site for the proposed use relates to streets and highways sufficient to carry the type and quantity of traffic generated by the subject use.

  4. The Oceanfront project is served by public streets. If the proposed revision is approved, the additional accessory structures permitted in the rear yards of the homes would have no effect upon the sufficiency of adjacent public streets to provide access to the homes. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project would relate to streets and highways sufficient to carry the type and quantity of traffic generated by the proposed use.

  5. In approving the subject use at the specific location, there will be no significant adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof.

  6. The applicants request permission to allow planters and seat walls up to thirty (30) inches in height and built-in barbecues up to forty-two (42) inches in height in the rear-yard setback areas. Staff believes that the low height of these proposed accessory structures makes them unlikely to create significant view or aesthetic impacts on adjacent private properties and public rights-of-way. In order to ensure this, Staff also recommends adding a condition of approval that would restrict these accessory structures from being placed on the slope areas in the rear- and side-yard setbacks. Therefore, Staff believes that, as conditioned, the proposed revision will have no significant adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof.

  7. The proposed use is not contrary to the General Plan.

The Urban Environment Element of the City’s General Plan (pp. 56, 78 and 192) contains the following goals and policies:

It is the goal of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes to preserve and enhance the community’s quality living environment; to enhance the visual character and physical quality of existing neighborhoods; and to encourage the development of housing in a manner which adequately serves the needs of all present and future residents of the community.

Housing Activity Policy No. 13: Require proposals for development of areas which impact corridor related views to analyze the site conditions and address the preservation of such views.

Housing Activity Policy No. 14: Prohibit encroachment on existing scenic views reasonably expected by neighboring residents.

Visual Aspect Policy No. 1: Develop controls to preserve existing significant visual aspects from future disruption or degradation.

These goals and policies acknowledge "[scenic] views [as] one of the most valuable natural resources…on the Peninsula" (General Plan, p. 77). As discussed above, Staff believes that limited height of the proposed accessory structures will have no adverse effect upon existing and future view corridors. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project is consistent with the City’s General Plan.

  1. If the site of the proposed use is within any of the overlay control districts established by RPVDC Chapter 17.40 (Overlay Control Districts), the proposed use complies with all applicable requirements of that chapter.

The project site is subject to the performance criteria of the OC-1 (Natural), OC-2 (Socio-Cultural) and OC-3 (Urban Appearance) overlay control districts. Performance Criterion No. 1 of the OC-3 overlay control district states that development shall not:

[result] in the change in elevation of the land or construction of any improvement which would block, alter or impair major views, vistas or viewsheds in existence from designated view corridors, view sites or view points at the dates of adoption of the General Plan and the Coastal Specific Plan in such a way as to materially and irrevocably alter the quality of the view as to arc (horizontal and vertical), primary orientation or other characteristics.

As discussed above, Staff believes that the proposal revision would have little or no potential to adversely affect public views that are identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Specific Plan. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project is consistent with the applicable standards of the OC-3 (Urban Appearance) overlay control district.

  1. Conditions regarding any of the requirements listed in this paragraph, which the Planning Commission finds to be necessary to protect the health, safety and general welfare, have been imposed:

    a. Setbacks and buffers;
    b. Fences or walls;
    c. Lighting;
    d. Vehicular ingress and egress;
    e. Noise, vibration, odors and similar emissions;
    f. Landscaping;
    g. Maintenance of structures, grounds or signs;
    h. Service roads or alleys; and
    i. Such other conditions as will make possible development of the city in an orderly and efficient manner and in conformity with the intent and purposes set forth in the City’s Development Code.

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff recommends modifying Condition Nos. Q4 and Q5 and adding Condition No. Q6 as follows (additions underlined, deletions struck out):

Q4.The minimum rear-yard setback shall be twenty-five (25) feet for Lots 31 to 57, 58 to 67, 78 and 79. No accessory structures (except pools and in-ground spas) and minor equipment shall be permitted within the rear-yard setback of these lots, with the exception of in-ground pools and spas; pool and spa equipment; planters and seat walls up to thirty (30) inches in height; and built-in barbecues up to forty-two (42) inches in height.

Q5.The minimum rear-yard setback shall be fifty (50) feet for Lots 1 to 30 and Lots 68 to 77. No accessory structures (except pools and in-ground spas) and minor equipment shall be permitted within the rear-yard setback of these lots, with the exception of in-ground pools and spas; pool and spa equipment; planters and seat walls up to thirty (30) inches in height; and built-in barbecues up to forty-two (42) inches in height.

Q6.No accessory structures will be allowed to encroach upon the existing slope areas in the rear- and side-yard setback areas of any residential lot.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On September 5, 2001, public notices were mailed to the applicant, the property owner and one hundred forty-two other property owners within a 500-foot radius of the project site.  On September 8, 2001, public notice of the September 25, 2001 public hearing for Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’ was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News. As of the date this report was completed, Staff had received one letter in opposition to the proposed project from Virginia Leon (see attached letter). It should be noted that the revisions proposed by this application will have no effect upon the size of the homes in the Oceanfront community nor upon the existing temporary signs, both of which are cited as concerns in the letter from Mrs. Leon.

CONCLUSION

Based on the discussion presented above, Staff believes that all of the required findings for the approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’ can be made for the requested revisions to Condition Nos. Q4 and Q5. Therefore, Staff recommends adoption of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, approving Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’.

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to the Staff recommendation, the following alternatives are available for the Planning Commission's consideration:

  1. Approve Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’ with further modifications, and direct Staff to prepare an appropriate P.C. Resolution and conditions of approval for Planning Commission consideration at the next meeting.
  2. Deny Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’, and direct Staff to prepare an appropriate P.C. Resolution and conditions of approval for Planning Commission consideration at the next meeting.
  3. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, provide Staff and/or the applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

Please note that it will be necessary to obtain an extension of the action deadline from the project applicant if this project is continued beyond the current October 19, 2001 action deadline.

Attachments:


P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__
Project application
Public comments
Project site plan

P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING A REQUEST FOR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 158-REVISION ‘E’ TO ALLOW 30-INCH-TALL PLANTERS AND SEAT WALLS AND 42-INCH-TALL BUILT-IN BARBECUES TO ENCROACH INTO THE REAR-YARD SETBACK AREAS OF THE RESIDENTIAL LOTS IN TRACT NO. 46628 (OCEANFRONT)

WHEREAS, on March 17, 1992, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 92-27, approving Conditional Use Permit No. 158 in conjunction with Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 46628 for a residential planned development of seventy-nine single-family lots and five open space lots on a 132-acre vacant site, located seaward of the terminus of Hawthorne Boulevard at Palos Verdes Drive West, between the Lunada Pointe community on the north and the Point Vicente Interpretive Center on the south; and,

WHEREAS, on February 25, 1997, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 97-12, approving Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'A' for minor revisions to certain conditions of approval related to the relocation of Lots 78 and 79 of Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 46628, as required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and this action was subsequently upheld by the City Council on March 11, 1997; and,

WHEREAS, April 14, 1998, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 98-13, approving Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'B' for miscellaneous revisions to the development standards for Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 46628; but this action was subsequently overturned on appeal to the City Council on June 16, 1998; and,

WHEREAS, on November 28, 2000, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2000-41, approving Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'C', et al. for three tract entry observation booths on the interior streets of the tract, as well as modifications to the tract perimeter fencing and the installation of tract identification signage, which was subsequently upheld on appeal to the City Council with the adoption of Resolution No. 2001-08 on February 8, 2001 but appealed to the California Coastal Commission on February 26, 2001 and has been held in abeyance; and,

WHEREAS, on July 10, 2001, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2001-16, denying with prejudice a request for Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'D' and Coastal Permit No. 94-Revision ‘B’ to allow the proposed residence on Lot 33 of Tract Map No. 46628 to have main roof ridgelines oriented less-than-perpendicular to Palos Verdes Drive West; and,

WHEREAS, on July 27, 2001, the applicant, Makallon RPV Associates llc, submitted an application for Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'E’ to allow modifications to the conditions of approval regarding the encroachment of accessory structures into the rear-yard setback areas of the residential lots in Tract Map No. 46648; and,

WHEREAS, on August 20, 2001, the application for Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'E’ was deemed complete by Staff; and,

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 approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision 'E’ would have a significant effect on the environment because the environmental impacts of the project have been previously addressed by the mitigation measures adopted pursuant to Final Environmental Impact Report No. 35; and,

WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on September 25, 2001, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE PLANNING COMMISSION DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1:The Planning Commission makes the following findings of fact with respect to the application for Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’ to modify the conditions of approval regarding the encroachment of accessory structures into the rear-yard setback areas of the residential lots of Tract Map No. 46628:

  1. The site is adequate in size and shape to accommodate the proposed revision because all of the residential lots in the Oceanfront community are at least 20,000 square feet in size. Pursuant to the Development Code, none of the accessory structures that could encroach into the rear-yard setback areas of these lots (i.e., pools, spas, equipment, garden walls, etc.) constitutes lot coverage. As such, this revision will have no impact upon the ability of individual lots to accommodate development with a single-family residence.

  2. The site for the proposed use relates to streets and highways sufficient to carry the type and quantity of traffic generated by the subject use because the additional accessory structures that could be permitted in the rear yards of the homes would have no effect upon the sufficiency of adjacent public streets to provide access to the homes.

  3. In approving the subject use at the specific location, there will be no significant adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof because the applicants only request permission to allow planters and seat walls up to thirty (30) inches in height and built-in barbecues up to forty-two (42) inches in height. The low height of these proposed accessory structures makes them unlikely to create significant view or aesthetic impacts on adjacent private properties and public rights-of-way. In order to ensure this, a condition of approval that would restrict these accessory structures from being placed on the slope areas in the rear- and side-yard setbacks is also proposed.

  4. The proposed use is not contrary to the General Plan because the General Plans contains several goals and policies that acknowledge "[scenic] views [as] one of the most valuable natural resources…on the Peninsula" (General Plan, p. 77). The limited height of the proposed accessory structures will have no adverse effect upon existing and future view corridors.

  5. The project site is subject to the performance criteria of the OC-1 (Natural), OC-2 (Socio-Cultural) and OC-3 (Urban Appearance) overlay control districts. Performance Criterion No. 1 of the OC-3 overlay control district states that development shall not "[result] in the change in elevation of the land or construction of any improvement which would block, alter or impair major views, vistas or viewsheds in existence from designated view corridors, view sites or view points at the dates of adoption of the General Plan and the Coastal Specific Plan in such a way as to materially and irrevocably alter the quality of the view as to arc (horizontal and vertical), primary orientation or other characteristics." The proposed revision would have little or no potential to adversely affect public views that are identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Specific Plan.

  6. The Planning Commission hereby modifies Condition Nos. Q4 and Q5 of Resolution No. 92-27 and adds Condition No. Q6 to Resolution No. 92-27 as follows (additions underlined, deletions struck out):

    Q4.The minimum rear-yard setback shall be twenty-five (25) feet for Lots 31 to 57, 58 to 67, 78 and 79. No accessory structures (except pools and in-ground spas) and minor equipment shall be permitted within the rear-yard setback of these lots, with the exception of in-ground pools and spas; pool and spa equipment; planters and seat walls up to thirty (30) inches in height; and built-in barbecues up to forty-two (42) inches in height.

    Q5.The minimum rear-yard setback shall be fifty (50) feet for Lots 1 to 30 and Lots 68 to 77. No accessory structures (except pools and in-ground spas) and minor equipment shall be permitted within the rear-yard setback of these lots, with the exception of in-ground pools and spas; pool and spa equipment; planters and seat walls up to thirty (30) inches in height; and built-in barbecues up to forty-two (42) inches in height.

    Q6.No accessory structures will be allowed to encroach upon the existing slope areas in the rear- and side-yard setback areas of any residential lot.

Section 2:Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or by any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Section 17.60.060 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, any such appeal must be filed with the City, in writing, and with the appropriate appeal fee, no later than fifteen (15) days following September 25, 2001, the date of the Planning Commission’s final action.

Section 3:For the foregoing reasons and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes and other records of proceedings, the Planning Commission of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby approves Conditional Use Permit No. 158-Revision ‘E’ to allow 30-inch-tall planters and seat walls and 42-inch-tall built-in barbecues to encroach into the rear-yard setback areas of the residential lots in Tract No. 46628 (Oceanfront).

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 25th day of September 2001, by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTIONS:

ABSENT:

_______________________

Frank Lyon
Chairman

_____________________________
Joel Rojas, AICP
Director of Planning, Building
and Code Enforcement; and Secretary
to the Planning Commission


3.TENTATIVE TRACT MAP NO. 53305, CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 228, \GRADING PERMIT NO. 2242 and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 738: California Water Service Company & JCC Homes, Inc., 5837 Crest Road (KF)

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: SEPTEMBER 25, 2001

SUBJECT: TENTATIVE TRACT MAP NO. 53305, CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO.228,GRADING PERMIT NO. 2242 AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 738

PROJECT ADDRESS: 5837 CREST ROAD

APPLICANT:
JCC HOMES, INC.

3480 TORRANCE BLVD. #300
TORRANCE, CA 90503
PHONE: (310) 540-3990

LANDOWNER:
CALIF. WATER SERVICE CO.

5837 CREST RD.
RPV, CA 90275
PHONE: (310) 377-5525

STAFF COORDINATOR:KIT FOX, aicp, SENIOR PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION:ALLOW THE SUBDIVISION OF A 4.99-ACRE SITE INTO A 10-LOT RESIDENTIAL PLANNED DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING SEVEN RESIDENTIAL LOTS, ONE PRIVATE STREET LOT, ONE LOT FOR THE EXISTING WATER COMPANY OFFICES AND ONE LOT FOR THE EXISTING UNDERGROUND RESERVOIR

RECOMMENDATION:ACCEPT PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON THE PROPOSED PROJECT AND THE DRAFT MND, IDENTIFY KEY ISSUES OF CONCERN AND PROVIDE STAFF AND/OR THE APPLICANT WITH DIRECTION IN MODIFYING THE PROJECT, AND CONTINUE THE ITEM TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF OCTOBER 9, 2001

REFERENCES:

ZONING: RS-4

LAND USE: EXISTING WATER COMPANY OFFICES, MAINTENANCE YARD AND RESERVOIR

CODE SECTIONS: 16.16.020, 17.74.070, 17.76.040

GENERAL PLAN: INFRASTRUCTURE-FACILITY

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: N/A

CEQA STATUS: MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION ACTION DEADLINE:OCTOBER 17, 2001

BACKGROUND

On September 18, 2000, the project applicant, JCC Homes, Inc., submitted a request for Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, Grading Permit No. 2242 and Environmental Assessment No. 738 to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. The applicant's request is a proposal to subdivide the 4.99-acre California Water Service Company (CWSC) site on Crest Road into a 9-lot residential planned development (RPD). The application for Conditional Use Permit No. 228 was submitted on December 18, 2000, a revised 10-lot tentative tract map was submitted on January 16, 2001, and additional information was submitted on March 20, 2001. The applications were subsequently deemed complete on April 17, 2001.

SITE AND PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The subject property is the 4.99-acre CWSC site, located between Crest Road and Scotwood Drive, just east of Highridge Road along the City’s boundary with the City of Rolling Hills Estates. The property includes the existing CWSC offices, maintenance yard, parking lots and an underground reservoir. Vehicular access to the site is currently available from both Crest Road and Scotwood Drive. The site is surrounded by detached single-family residences (Mesa Palos Verdes) to the north, east and south and attached single-family residences (Seaview Villas) in the City of Rolling Hills Estates to the west. The land use and zoning designations for the site are Infrastructure-Facility and RS-4, respectively.

The applicant's proposal requests permission to subdivide the site into ten (10) lots for a single-family RPD. The proposed project includes seven (7) residential lots, one lot for a private street, one lot for the existing CWSC office and one lot for the existing underground CWSC reservoir. The CWSC office and reservoir will remain on the site. The homes proposed by the applicant include a mix of 16-foot-tall split-level and 26-foot-tall two-story homes, ranging from approximately 5,600 to 6,500 square feet of living area. The proposed residential lots would range from approximately 10,900 to 14,400 square feet. The proposed project would also require approximately 9,000 cubic yards of earth movement.

CODE CONSIDERATIONS AND ANALYSIS

The proposed project involves a tentative tract map, a conditional use permit and a grading permit. In addition, based upon the environmental assessment submitted with the above-mentioned applications, a draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) has been prepared for the project. Each of these applications is discussed separately below.

Tentative Tract Map No. 53305

Any division of land that proposes to create more than four (4) lots requires the approval of a tentative tract map. The Planning Commission’s role in reviewing the tentative tract map is advisory. Pursuant to Section 16.16.020(C), the final action on a tentative tract map application is taken by the City Council. The table below summarizes the consistency of the proposed subdivision with the RS-4 development standards for new lots:

Lot

Area

Width

Depth

Standard

RS-4 lot

Minimum

10,000 SF

Minimum

75’

Minimum

100’

Proposed Residential Lots

1

14,493 SF

83.3’

146.0’

2

12,101 SF

83.3’

146.0’

3

11,751 SF

83.3’

140.1’

4

10,923 SF

87.5’

124.0’

5

11,080 SF

87.5’

125.7’

6

12,054 SF

100.7’

125.7’

9

11,848 SF

76.3’

135.0’

Proposed Non-Residential Lots

7
(Reservoir & pump station)

74,032 SF

-

-

8
(Office & equipment yard)

48,374 SF

-

-

10
(Private street)

10,969 SF

-

-


In addition to these minimum lot standards, the proposed subdivision also meets the following standards for tract maps, as delineated in Chapter 16.20 of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance:

Public Streets, Highways, Alleys and Easements: The proposed street within the tract will be private. However, the City will require the developer to dedicate appropriate public easements within the private street for utility infrastructure and emergency access purposes. The City will also require the developer to dedicate to the City the vehicular access rights to Scotwood Drive from Lot 9, so that all driveway access for this lot will be from the private street.

Private Streets, Alleys or Ways: As mentioned above, the proposed street will be private. The street will exist as an easement over portions of Lots 7 and 8, and as a separate lot (Lot 10). Maintenance of the private street will be the responsibility of a homeowners’ association. The private street will not be gated without separate City approval.

Utility and Drainage Easements: Existing easements over the site will be retained. New easements necessary for the proposed development will be reserved and offered for dedication to the appropriate agencies.

Park and Recreation Dedications and Fees: The developer will retain Lot 7, which contains CWSC’s underground reservoir and pump station, as open space. Upon the review of the City Council, the developer shall also be required to pay an in-lieu park fee to the City.

Soils/Geology Report: The City’s geotechnical consultant has conceptually approved the proposed subdivision. Additional, detailed analyses will also be required prior to the construction of any residences in the subdivision.

Survey Monuments, Bonds and Other Securities: The developer will be obligated to bond for and complete all required infrastructure improvements that are part of this project.

General Plan Consistency: The General Plan land use designation for the subject property is Infrastructure-Facility, while the zoning designation for the property is RS-4. The Infrastructure section of the General Plan’s Urban Environment Element states that "[it] shall be a goal of the City to ensure adequate public utilities…to all residents, while maintaining the quality of the environment." In addition, Infrastructure Policy No. 1 calls upon the City to "[cooperate] with California Water Service Company…to improve water service (pressure and flow) in areas of inadequate service." The proposed subdivision will retain the existing CWSC facilities, including the office, reservoir, pump station and a portion of the maintenance yard. The portions of the site that are proposed for residential development are "surplus" areas that are not needed by CWSC for its continued operations. As such, their use for residential purposes is consistent with the site’s zoning, and it will not impair CWSC’s ability to continue serving the City’s residents, as discussed in the General Plan.

In conclusion, Staff believes that the proposed tentative tract map is consistent with the City’s subdivision regulations, as well as the zoning and General Plan land use designations for the site.

Conditional Use Permit No. 228

The establishment of an RPD requires the approval of a conditional use permit. With the approval of an RPD, a developer is allowed greater flexibility in the design of residential development. In return, consistent with the RPD development standards, the developer agrees to provide at least thirty percent (30%) of the subject property as permanent open space area. In this case, the developer is proposing 26-foot-tall homes on Lots 4, 5, 6 and 9, and is requesting a reduction in the 20-foot street-side setback requirement for Lot 9. In return, Lot 7—which contains the existing CWSC underground reservoir and pump station—would be preserved as open area. Lot 7 encompasses thirty-four percent (34%) of the total site. Staff proposes that a deed restriction or other appropriate instrument be recorded on Lot 7 to ensure its preservation as open area to serve as a buffer and passive recreation area.

In considering a conditional use permit application for an RPD, Section 17.74.070 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code (RPVDC) requires the Planning Commission to make all of twelve findings in reference to the property and project under consideration (RPVDC language is boldface, followed by Staff's analysis in normal type):

  1. The proposed Residential Planned Development conforms to the intent of the General Plan and any specific plan adopted by the City.

The General Plan designated the CWSC site as Infrastructure-Facility, while the City’s zoning map designates the property RS-4. This is the same zoning designation as the surrounding Mesa Palos Verdes community, which is designated Residential, 2-4 DU/acre in the General Plan. As discussed above, the CWSC office, maintenance yard, reservoir and pump station will remain so that the site will continue to fulfill its role consistent with the General Plan. The portions of the property that are proposed to be developed for residential use are portions that are no longer necessary for CWSC’s operations. As such, their transition to uses that are consistent with the surrounding Residential, 2-4 DU/acre land use designation conforms with the intent of the General Plan. It is the primary goal of the Land Use Element of the General Plan "to provide for land uses which will be sensitive to and enhance the natural environment and character of the community, supply appropriate facilities to serve residents and visitors, promote a range of housing types, promote fiscal balance, and protect the general health, safety and welfare of the community." According to the General Plan, undeveloped property that is designated Residential, 2-4 DU/acre "has low and moderate physical and social constraints and the density is compatible with the adjacent existing and future densities." Staff believes that these characteristics are applicable to the subject property.

  1. The proposed Residential Planned Development conforms to the uses and development standards contained in Chapter 17.42 (Residential Planned Development) of the City’s Development Code.

  2. As a condition of approval, Lot 7 of the subdivision will be retained as an open area. This lot exceeds thirty percent (30%) of the total site area, thereby complying with RPVDC Section 17.42.040(C). Pursuant to Sections 17.42.040(C)(3) and (4), Staff proposes that Lot 7 would be dedicated to CWSC as the "appropriate agency" to oversee its management and maintenance. The proposed homes will meet or exceed the City’s off-street parking requirements, and the lot coverage/open space requirements of the RS-4 zoning district will also be met. The existing CWSC facilities will be retained on the site, which is permitted pursuant to Section 17.42.030(E). Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project conforms with the provisions of Chapter 17.42.

  3. The proposed Residential Planned Development conforms to the intent of the provisions and requirements of the City’s Development Code, including but not limited to the residential development standards of Chapter 17.02 (Single-Family Residential Districts). In particular, the plans indicate that adequate consideration has been given to the scale, architectural styles and materials of both the proposed and surrounding residences.

  4. The typical homes in the surrounding Mesa Palos Verdes community are 35-year-old ± 2,400-square-foot, 2-story and split-level homes with 2-car garages on 9,000-square-foot lots. The homes exhibit a variety of architectural treatments, and many of them have been renovated and upgraded over the years. The homes proposed by the developer range from 5,600-square-foot to 6,500-square-foot, 2-story and split-level homes with 3-car garages on lots that average 12,000 square feet in area. The developer proposes a variety of façade treatments for the homes, which will be compatible with the surrounding residences. In addition, all of the proposed homes comply with the 20-foot front-yard setback requirement, which also applies of the existing Mesa Palos Verdes homes.

    As mentioned above, the proposed residences are significantly larger than the existing Mesa Palos Verdes homes. However, they are consistent with the size of homes approved by the City in other subdivisions of RS-4 zoned property, including the Wallace Ranch community and the recent 13-lot subdivision on Palos Verdes Drive West north of Alida Place. The six homes at the end of the proposed cul-de-sac will form their own "neighborhood," which does not relate directly to surrounding residences. However, the home on Scotwood Drive will be seen in direct context with surrounding homes.

    As depicted in the table below, the scale of the proposed house on Lot 9 (relative to lot size) is more than one-and-a-half times the scale of the nearest ten homes. The scale and height of the proposed home also creates significant view impairment for homes located across Scotwood Drive, and significant privacy infringement for the home at 5840 Scotwood Drive and several units in the Seaview Villas townhomes. As such, Staff recommends limiting the height of the house on Lot 9 to sixteen feet (16’) and limiting the overall size of the house to 4,000 square feet.

    Address

    Lot Size

    Lot Type

    Stories

    Structure Size

    Structure/Lot Ratio

    Lot 9, TTM 53305

    11,848

    Pad

    2

    6,622

    0.56

    29541 Oceanport

    9,280

    Pad

    2

    2,868

    0.31

    29535 Oceanport

    9,030

    Pad

    2

    2,950

    0.33

    29538 Oceanport

    9,310

    Pad

    2

    2,774

    0.30

    5811 Scotwood

    9,130

    Pad

    2

    2,774

    0.30

    5805 Scotwood

    8,910

    Pad

    2

    2,868

    0.32

    5806 Scotwood

    9,020

    Pad

    2

    2,868

    0.32

    5814 Scotwood

    9,090

    Pad

    2

    2,945

    0.32

    5822 Scotwood

    9,000

    Pad

    2

    2,868

    0.32

    5832 Scotwood

    9,000

    Pad

    2

    3,216

    0.36

    5840 Scotwood

    8,990

    Pad

    2

    3,530

    0.40

    Average

    9,076

    2,966

    0.33

    Several neighbors along Scotwood Drive have also expressed concern about potential view impairment from the proposed 26-foot-tall homes on Lots 4 through 6. Due to recent uncooperative weather conditions whereby Santa Catalina Island and the ocean horizon have been seldom clearly visible, Staff has been unable to determine with certainty if these proposed homes would significantly impair protected views. If it were demonstrated that they do, Staff would recommend limiting the heights of these homes as well. It is clear, however, that the upper floors of these proposed homes will be visible from the homes on Scotwood Drive.

  5. The site and grading plans indicate adequate consideration for the preservation of existing trees and native plant growth, watercourses and other natural features, and natural topography. Creation of individual "pads" for each home site, in hillside areas, shall be discouraged. Building design shall accommodate the site.

  6. The are no natural features, watercourses or topography on the subject property. However, there are a number of mature, non-native trees and other foliage on portions of proposed Lots 1 through 4. Surrounding residents on Stonecrest Road and Sunmist Drive—whose rear yards abut the subject property—have expressed concern about retaining this mature foliage to serve as a visual buffer. As a mitigation measure, the draft MND (discussed below) recommends retaining as much of this foliage as possible, and planting replacement foliage as needed. Staff recommends that the Planning Commission consider requiring the developer to modify the scope of grading along the project’s easterly and southerly perimeter so as to avoid impacting this foliage. With these additional modifications—or other project modifications as deemed appropriate by the Planning Commission—Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project.

  7. The plans for the proposed development show that adequate consideration has been given to privacy at the individual, family and neighborhood levels, including visual and acoustical privacy, in terms of the separation or orientation of dwelling units and private outdoor living areas.

  8. The developer has plotted the proposed homes on the lots based upon the standard RS-4 setbacks: 20-foot front, 15-foot rear and 10-foot sides. The rear yards of all of the proposed homes exceed the 15-foot minimum setback, and they all abut the rear yards of surrounding homes (Lots 1 through 3), the existing reservoir area (Lots 4 through 6) or the CWSC maintenance yard (Lot 9). All of the proposed homes comply with the 50-percent lot coverage standard of the RS-4 district. As such, Staff believes that reasonable privacy will be provided in the rear yard areas. However, residents abutting the side property lines of Lots 3, 4 and 9 have expressed concern about the proximity of the proposed residences to adjacent, existing residences. In these cases, the proposed residences would be only ten or eleven feet from the rear property lines of the abutting residences. The elevations of the homes plotted on Lots 3 and 4 have few windows facing toward the east, so Staff does not believe that there will be significant privacy infringement from indoor areas. However, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission consider requiring the developer to increase the side setback on Lots 3, 4 and 9 to provide greater separation between the proposed homes and abutting residences. As such, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project, with additional modifications.

  9. The plans indicate that adequate consideration has been given to auto and pedestrian circulation, discouraging through-traffic on local streets, speed control, access, convenience, safety and the recreational aspects of pedestrian and bicycle circulation; and an indication on the plans that the design of any proposed streets that vary from City standards will perform the function required and that the off-site improvements will not create maintenance costs to the City which greatly exceed the costs for standard off-site improvements.

  10. The proposed private street would mainly serve the residents of the new subdivision. Trips to and from the CWSC facility would primarily use the existing driveway from Crest Road. As such, resident and CWSC traffic will be segregated. In addition, CWSC will restrict access to or through its site after business hours, which will limit the ability of motorists to use the site as a short-cut between Crest Road and Scotwood Drive. Since the proposed street will be private, the maintenance costs will not be borne by the City. The proposed street has been reviewed by the City’s Public Works Department, and will also require final approval by the Fire Department prior to recordation of the final tract map. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project.

  11. The plans indicate that common open space areas will be suitable for recreational use and valuable for views, conservation or separation of dwelling units.

  12. The open space area would be the existing lawn on top of the underground reservoir. Since the reservoir will remain, it would not be appropriate for this property to be used for active recreational use. However, it is ideal for passive recreational use (such as walking or picnicking) and to function as a buffer for the surrounding homes to the north and northeast of the project site. As such, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project.

  13. The plans indicate that adequate consideration has been given to the provision of common recreation areas and facilities, in relation to the size of the private lots and reduced recreation opportunities in private yards.

  14. The proposed lot sizes all exceed the minimum 10,000-square-foot standard of the RS-4 district. These proposed lots would be adequate to provide for the development of private recreation areas and other accessory uses on each lot. As such, Staff does not believe that the proposed project warrants the inclusion of common recreational facilities for its residents.

  15. The plans indicate adequate consideration for adjacent existing and future developments, and the extension of the circulation, open space, drainage and utility systems from one development to another.

  16. The project will continue to provide for infrastructure connections to the surrounding neighborhood. Aside from these, however, Staff sees no need or opportunity for connection with circulation or open space systems in the surrounding neighborhood.

  17. In approving the subject use at the specific location, there will be no significant adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof.

  18. As discussed above, Staff believes that there are or may be elements of the proposed project that would have adverse impacts upon adjacent properties. These concerns are shared and amplified by some of the surrounding residents. However, Staff believes that this finding could be made with appropriate modifications to the project.

  19. If the site of the proposed use is within any of the overlay control districts established by Chapter 17.40 (Overlay Control Districts) of the City’s Development Code, the proposed use complies with all applicable requirements of that chapter.

    The subject property is not located within an overlay control district. Therefore, this finding does not apply to the proposed project.

  20. Conditions regarding any of the requirements listed below, which the Planning Commission finds to be necessary to protect the health, safety and general welfare, have been imposed:

    a.Special setbacks and buffers,
    b.Fences or walls,
    c.Lighting,
    d.Vehicular ingress and egress,
    e.Noise, vibration, odors and similar emissions,
    f.Landscaping,
    g.Maintenance of structures, grounds or signs,
    h.Service roads or alleys, and
    i.Such other conditions as will make possible development of the city in an orderly and efficient manner and in conformity with the intent and purposes set forth in the City’s Development Code.

If approved, Staff would recommend inclusion of appropriate conditions to ensure the protection of public health, safety and general welfare. These conditions would include any mitigation measures identified in the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration for the project, which is discussed below.

In conclusion, Staff has noted certain inconsistencies of the proposed project with the required findings for the approval of an RPD. Staff has suggested some project modifications to address these issues. Several surrounding residents have also suggested project modifications that would better integrate the project into the existing neighborhood. Staff recommends that the Planning Commission consider incorporating some or all of these suggestions into the project, and directing the applicant to make the appropriate changes to the project accomplish this.

Grading Permit No. 2242

The table below summarizes the proposed grading associated with this project:

Cut

Fill

Total Earth Movement

Net Earth Movement

7,968 CY

1,024 CY

8,992 CY

<6,944 CY>


The maximum depth of cut proposed is eight feet (8’) within the footprint of the proposed houses and the maximum depth of fill proposed is three feet (3’). The final pad elevations for Lots 4 through 6 will not be significantly different from the existing grade. Most of the proposed cut will occur on Lots 1 through 3, which will be downslope lots with a 10-foot-tall transitional slope between the upper and lower pads. Much of the proposed fill will occur on the rear portion of Lot 9 in order to create a flat pad for the proposed house, with some additional fill on Lots 4 and 5. A 5-foot-tall retaining wall is proposed along a portion of the easterly side property line of Lot 4, and along the rear property line of Lot 9 (facing the maintenance yard).

In considering a grading permit application, RPVDC Section 17.76.040(E) requires the Planning Commission to make nine findings in reference to the property and project under consideration (RPVDC language is boldface, followed by Staff's analysis in normal type):

1. The grading does not exceed that which is necessary for the permitted primary use of the lot, as defined in Section 17.96.2210 of the Development Code.

The proposed project encompasses less than nine thousand cubic yards (9,000 CY) of earth movement. Based upon similar construction of new homes on vacant lots elsewhere in the City, this is a relatively small quantity of material for the construction of seven homes and a private street. In most cases, the final pad elevations of the proposed lots will not vary significantly from the existing site topography. The graded areas will be confined to the proposed residential lots and private street, which comprise less than half of the total site. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project.

2. The grading and/or related construction does not significantly adversely affect the visual relationships with, nor the views from, neighboring properties.

As discussed above, the proposed residence on Lot 9 would significantly impair a protected view at its current height. As such, Staff would recommend that the height of this house be reduced so as not to exceed sixteen feet (16’) from the proposed pad elevation of 1200.0’, which is the existing grade at the center of the proposed house. If this pad were lowered further—as has been suggested by some neighboring residents—the overall grading quantity for the project and the net export of material from the site would increase. Although Staff believes that limiting the height of the house could adequately address the view and privacy concerns of the neighbors without increasing the amount of grading, the short-term impacts associated with additional export may be offset by the long-term benefit of view impacts that are reduced or eliminated entirely. With respect to the other lots, the pad elevations will not be significantly different from the existing grade of the site, with the exception of the lower pad areas of Lots 1 through 3. As discussed previously, it may be appropriate to reduce the height of the houses on Lots 4 through 6 to address the view concerns of the neighbors along Scotwood, which could also be accomplished—at least in part—by lowering their pads and exporting additional material from the site. Therefore, Staff believes that, although the related construction may adversely affect some views as currently proposed, the grading itself—as currently proposed—would not. However, with appropriate modifications to the project, Staff believes that this finding could be made.

3.The nature of the grading minimizes disturbance to the natural contours, and finished contours are reasonably natural.

The site is generally flat. With the exception of the transitional 3:1 slopes on Lots 1 through 3, no large new slope areas will be created. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project.

4.The grading takes into account the preservation of natural topographic features and appearances by means of land sculpting so as to blend any man-made or manufactured slope into the natural topography.

There are no natural topographic features on the subject property. Therefore, this finding is not applicable to the proposed project.

5.For new single-family residences, the grading and/or related construction is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character, as defined in Section 17.02.040(A)(6) of the Development Code.

As discussed above, Staff believes that the proposed project is generally consistent with immediate neighborhood character, with the exception of the house proposed for Lot 9 along Scotwood Drive.

6.In new residential tracts, the grading includes provisions for the preservation and introduction of plant materials so as to protect slopes from soil erosion and slippage, and minimize visual effects of grading and construction on hillside areas.

The proposed project is a new residential tract, but is not located in a hillside area. The approval of a grading permit for this project would be conditioned to require implementation of slope protection and erosion control, as well as compliance with the provisions of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. In addition, Staff would recommend that the developer be required to retain and protect as much of the existing mature foliage on the site as possible. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project, subject to modifications.

7.The grading utilizes street designs and improvements which serve to minimize grading alternatives and harmonize with the natural contours and character of the hillside.

The proposed project does involve the construction of a new private street, but the site is not located in a hillside area. Nonetheless, the grading for the private street comprises as fairly small portion of the overall grading proposed. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project.

8.The grading would not cause excessive and unnecessary disturbance of natural landscape or wildlife habitat through removal of vegetation.

There does exist mature foliage on the site, but no wildlife habitat that supports any sensitive (i.e., endangered or threatened) species. As discussed above, Staff would recommend retaining as much of the existing mature foliage as possible. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding could be made for the proposed project, subject to modifications.

9.The grading conforms with the minimum standards for finished slope, depth of cut and/or fill, retaining wall location and height, and driveway slope established under Section 17.76.040(E)(8) of the Development Code.

Private driveways will be generally flat so as not to exceed the maximum 20-percent slope allowed. The proposed transitional slopes on Lot 1 through 3 will not exceed 3:1. The height and location of any retaining walls will be consistent with City Code. The proposed 8-foot depth of cut would be within the building footprint of the downslope homes on Lots 1 through 3, which is consistent with providing the required "step" within these houses. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed grading conforms with the minimum grading standards of Section 17.76.040(E)(8) the Development Code.

In conclusion, Staff believes that all of the applicable grading findings could be made for the project, with the inclusion of some of the modifications proposed by Staff and neighboring residents.

Environmental Assessment No. 738

Based upon the information provided by the developer, Staff determined that the proposed project could have significant impacts upon the environment unless mitigation measures were imposed. Accordingly, a draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) was prepared for the project, and has been circulated in accordance with CEQA. The 21-day public comment period for the MND will end on Friday, October 4, 2001. For this reason, Staff is only recommending that the Planning Commission accept public comment on the project and MND at tonight’s meeting, with final action on the conditional use permit and grading permit to be taken on October 9, 2001, along with a recommendation on the tentative tract map and MND. Final action to certify the MND would be taken by the City Council, in conjunction with its review of the tentative tract map for the project. This is scheduled for October 16, 2001, although it may be rescheduled depending upon the action taken by the Planning Commission.

The draft MND identified several potential environmental effects that require mitigation to reduce their impacts to less-than-significant levels. Most of these effects are short-term and construction-related, such as noise, construction hours, air quality, haul routes and the like. However, the discussion of aesthetic impacts identified the view impacts of the proposed house on Lot 9 as significant unless the height of the house is reduced. In addition, a mitigation measure is recommended to require the developer to protect as much of the existing mature foliage on the site as possible so as to provide a buffer to adjacent residences.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On September 5, 2001, public notices were mailed to the applicant, the property owner and one hundred seventy-two other property owners within a 500-foot radius of the project site. On September 8, 2001, public notice of the September 25, 2001 public hearing for Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, et al. was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News. As discussed above, Staff has also prepared a draft Mitigated Negative Declaration for the project and circulated notice of same. As of the date this report was completed, Staff had received eight letters in opposition to this application, which are attached to this report. The issues of concern raised in these letters include:

  • Retaining the existing landscape buffer around the project perimeter and increasing the required side-yard setbacks for the homes on Lots 3, 4 and 9 for privacy and visual screening

  • Construction-related impacts, such as noise and air quality

  • View impairment and neighborhood compatibility related to the size and height of the proposed homes

  • Additional traffic from the new homes

  • Retaining the property for its current use

Staff recommends continuing this matter to the next Planning Commission meeting. At that time, the public comment period for the draft MND will have ended, and Staff will be prepared to present draft P.C. Resolutions for the Commission’s consideration. The continuance will also give Staff, the developer and the neighborhood additional time to work out any outstanding issues with the proposed project.

CONCLUSION

Based on the discussion presented above, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission accept public testimony on the proposed project and the draft MND, identify key issues of concern and provide Staff and/or the applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the item to the Planning Commission meeting of October 9, 2001. At this time, Staff sees the following as key issues to be addressed by the Planning Commission at tonight’s meeting:

  • The maximum size and height of the proposed residences, especially the residence proposed for Lot 9
  • The degree to which the existing mature foliage on the site should be retained as a privacy buffer and visual screening
  • The appropriateness of requiring the developer to increase certain setbacks, particularly on Lots 3, 4 and 9, in order to provide additional separation from surrounding residences

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to the Staff recommendation, the following alternatives are available for the Planning Commission's consideration:

  1. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, provide Staff and/or the applicant with direction in modifying the project and/or conditions of approval, and continue the public hearing to another date certain.

Please note that it will be necessary to obtain an extension of the action deadline from the project applicant if this project is continued beyond the current October 17, 2001 action deadline.

 

Attachments:

Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration
Public correspondence
Project applications and supplemental information
Tentative tract map and project plans [full-sized and reduced]


MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION FOR

TRACT NO. 53305

  1. Project Title:

Tract No. 53305

Lead Agency Name and Address:

City of Rancho Palos Verdes
30940 Hawthorne Boulevard
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-5391

Contact Person and Phone Number:

Kit Fox, AICP, Senior Planner
(310) 544-5228

Project Location:

The project site is located between Crest Road and Scotwood Drive and between Seaview Drive and Stonecrest Road. See Figure 1 which shows the location of the project.

5.Project Sponsor's Name and Address:

    JCC Homes, Inc.
    3480 Torrance Blvd., Suite 300
    Torrance, CA 90503

6.General Plan Designation:

    Residential 4-6 DU/acre

7. Zoning:

Single Family Residential (RS-4).

8.Description of the Project:

The proposed project covered by this Initial Study consists of the subdivision of an existing 4.99 acre lot located at 5837 Crest Road West in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The lot will be subdivided into 9 lots supporting 7 new single-family residential units, a private street, and the existing California Water Service Company’s office and underground reservoir. The subject property currently contains the water company’s office, underground reservoir, parking lot and equipment storage area of which the storage area and parking lot will be demolished to accommodate the proposed development. Existing vegetation on portions of the north, south, east and west of the project site will also be removed.

9.Surrounding Land Uses and Setting:

Existing single-family residential development surrounds the project site on the north, east and west. As previously discussed, the California Water Service, company’s office, underground reservoir and equipment storage area is located on the project site. An access road has also been developed onto the project site from Crest Road and Scotwood Drive. A number of exotic trees and shrubs are currently growing on the portions of the north, south, east and west boundaries of the project site. The underground water reservoir is covered with turf. See Figure 2, which shows the layout of the proposed lots on the project site.

Figure 1 Vicinity Map
Figure 2 Layout of lots on the project site

10.Other public agencies whose final approval of the proposed project is required (e.g. permits, financing approval, or participation agreement):

  • Regional Water Quality Control Board
    Los Angeles County Sanitation District.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS POTENTIALLY AFFECTED:

The environmental factors checked below would be potentially affected by this project, involving at least
one impact that is a "Potentially Significant Impact" as indicated by the checklist on the following pages.

Land Use and Planning

 

Biological Resources

 

Aesthetics

 

Population and Housing

 

Energy and Mineral Resources

 

Cultural Resources  

Geological Problems

 

Hazards

 

Recreation  

Water

 

 

Noise

 

Mandatory Findings of Significance  

Air Quality

 

Public Services

Transportation and Circulation

 

Utilities and Service Systems

DETERMINATION: (To be completed by the Lead Agency).
On the basis of this initial evaluation:

I find that the proposed project COULD NOT have a significant effect on the environment, and a NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.

 

I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not be a significant effect in this case because the mitigation measures described on an attached sheet have been added to the project. A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.

X

I find that the proposed project MAY have a significant effect(s) on the environment, but at least one effect (1) has been adequately analyzed in an earlier document pursuant to applicable legal standards, and (2) has been addressed by mitigation measures based on the earlier analysis as described on attached sheets, if the effect is a "Potentially Significant Impact" or "Potentially Significant Unless Mitigated." An ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT is required, but it must analyze only the effects that remain to be addressed.

 

 

I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, there WILL NOT be a significant effect in this case because all potentially significant effects (1) have been analyzed in an earlier EIR pursuant to applicable standards and (2) have been avoided or mitigated pursuant to that earlier EIR, including revisions or mitigation measures that are imposed upon the proposed project.

 

___________________________________________________________
Signature

___________________________________________________________
Date

___________________________________________________________
Printed Name

___________________________________________________________
For City of Rancho Palos Verdes

 

EVALUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS:

1)A brief explanation is required for all answers except "No Impact" answers that are adequately supported by the information sources a lead agency cites in the parentheses following each question. A "No Impact" answer is adequately supported if the referenced information sources show that the impact simply does not apply to projects like the one involved (e. g. the project falls outside a fault rupture zone). A "No Impact" answer should be explained where it is based on project-specific factors as well as general standards (e. g. the project will not expose sensitive receptors to pollutants, based on a project-specific screening analysis).

2)All answers must take account of the whole action involved, including off-site as well as on-site, cumulative as well as project-level, indirect as well as direct, and construction as well as operational impacts.

3)"Potentially Significant Impact" is appropriate if there is substantial evidence that an effect is significant. If there are one or more "Potentially Significant Impact" entries when the determination is made, an EIR is required.

4)"Potentially Significant Unless Mitigation Incorporated" applies where the incorporation of mitigation measures has reduced an effect from "Potentially Significant Impact" to a "Less than Significant Impact." The lead agency must describe the mitigation measures, and briefly explain how they reduce the effect to a less than significant level (mitigation measures from Section 17, "Earlier Analysis," may be cross-referenced).

  1. Earlier analysis may be used where, pursuant to the tiering, program EIR, or other CEQA process, an effect has been adequately analyzed in an earlier EIR or negative declaration. Section 15063 (c) (3) (D). Earlier analyses are discussed in Section 17 at the end of the checklist.

 

 

Issues and Support Information Sources

 

Sources


Potentially Significant Issues

Potentially Significant Unless Mitigation Incorporation


Less Than Significant Impact

 

No
Impact

1.LAND USE AND PLANNING. Would the proposal:

a)Conflict with general plan designation or zoning?

1,2

     

X

The General Plan land use designation for the project site is Residential. The zoning designation for the project site is single family residential 4-6 DU/acre, which requires a minimum lot area of 10,000 square feet. The proposed project is a 7 lot residential subdivision that is consistent with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, including the 10,000 square foot minimum lot area requirement and the contiguous lot area. Therefore, the proposed project will not result in a significant adverse impact related to conflicts with City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan or zoning designations.

b)Conflict with applicable environmental plans or policies adopted by agencies with jurisdiction over the project?

1

     

X

The proposed project is consistent with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan policies. There are no other agencies with jurisdiction over the proposed project.

c)Be incompatible with existing land use in the vicinity?

       

X

The project site is surrounded by existing residential development within the City’s designated residential 4-6 DU/acre zoning district. The proposed residential project will be compatible with existing residential development in the vicinity of the project site in that the proposed tract map lots will meet the zoning district’s minimum 10,000 square foot lot area and all residential development will be in full compliance with the Development Code’s standards for setbacks, height, lot coverage, etc.

d)Affect agricultural resources or operations (e.g. impact to soils or farmlands, or impacts from incompatible land uses)?

       

X

There are no existing agricultural resources or operations on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project will not result in a significant adverse impact related to agriculture.

e)Disrupt or divide the physical arrangement of an established community (including a low-income or minority community)?

       

X

The proposed project is surrounded by existing residential development. The proposed project will be developed on a site that is currently occupied by existing California Water Service Company (Cal Water) buildings, maintenance yard, underground water reservoir and parking lot, of which the maintenance yard and parking lot will be removed. The proposed project will be a continuation of the existing residential development in the area and will not disrupt or divide the physical arrangement of an established community.

2.POPULATION AND HOUSING. Would the proposal:

a)Cumulatively exceed official regional or local population projections?

     

X

 

Implementation of the proposed project would result in an increase in the population in the City by approximately 21 persons, based on an average household size of 2.95 persons. However, the proposed project is consistent with the General Plan land use designation for the project site. Therefore, the minimal increase in population associated with the proposed project is not anticipated to exceed regional or local population projections.

b)Induce substantial growth in an area either directly or indirectly (e.g. through projects in an undeveloped area or major infrastructure)?

     

X

 

The proposed project would not induce substantial growth directly because the increase in population in the City would be minimal. The proposed project would not induce substantial growth indirectly because the proposed project is not anticipated to require substantial new infrastructure.

c)Displace existing housing, especially affordable housing?

       

X

The proposed project includes demolition of a parking lot and maintenance yard on the project site. Under the proposed project, these existing structures will be removed and 7 new residential structures will be developed on the project site. The existing structure that will be demolished is not low-income housing. The proposed project will result in a net increase of 7 new residential structures in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The project developer will also pay required affordable housing fees to offset the projects impacts on affordable housing in the City.

3.GEOLOGIC PROBLEMS. Would the proposal result in or expose people to potential impacts involving:

a)Fault rupture?

3

   

X

 

The project site is three miles from the Palos Verdes fault, four miles from the Compton fault, 11 miles from the Inglewood and San Pedro Basin fault and 20 miles from the Santa Monica and Elysian faults. The known faults that are most likely to have the most significant impact on the proposed project are the Palos Verdes, Compton, Inglewood and San Pedro basin faults. Therefore, fault rupture would not occur on the project site.

b)Seismic ground shaking?

3

   

X

 

The project site is generally geologically stable and suitable for development. However, the project site could be impacted by ground shaking resulting from future seismic events. The proposed project would be designed based on the most current building standards included in the Uniform Building Code. This will protect the proposed homes from damage caused by future earthquakes.

c)Seismic ground failure, including liquefaction?

3

   

X

 

As discussed in the response to question 3a) and 3b) the project site could be impacted by future seismic events. There are no nearby saturated soils on the project site that could liquefy during a seismic event.

d)Seiche, tsunami, or volcanic hazard?

1

   

X

 

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan states that seiches are not considered to be a significant hazard in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes because most development in the City is located well above the Pacific Ocean where a tsunami would be generated. A tsunami would not impact the project site because project site is located on a hillside above the area that would be impacted by a seismic generated wave on the Pacific Ocean. A future earthquake could generate a wave within the water reservoir located on the project site. However, the water reservoir is located underground and a seismically induced wave has never known to have been generated in the reservoir that has resulted in any damage to the reservoir or on land adjacent to the reservoir. There are no known active volcanoes in the vicinity of the project site. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to seiches, tsunamis or volcanic hazard.

e)Landslides or mudflows?

3

 

X

   

The topography of the site is comprised of a relatively level pad with a northerly ascending and southerly descending slope of the Palos Verdes Hills. The geology of the site includes sedimentary bedrock, colluvium and fill. The project site is generally geologically stable and suitable for development based on the project geologic investigation. Due to the topography and geology of the site there is some potential for landslides or mudflows. The geotechnical study prepared on the project includes a number of measures that reduce potential project related landslide or mudflow impacts. Implementation of these measures covering site grading and composition, slope construction, foundations, retaining structures, swimming pools, and site surface drainage will reduce these impacts to below a level of significance. The following mitigation measure will ensure that these measures are implemented as part of this project.

G-1 Subject to review and approval by the Director of the City Planning Building and Code Enforcement Department (City PBCE) and prior to issuance of grading permits, the project proponent implement are of the recommendations in the Geotechnical Engineering & Engineering Geologic Exploration report (Western Laboratories, July 21, 2000) prepared for the project.

f)Erosion, changes in topography or unstable soil conditions from excavation, grading or fill?

3

 

X

   

Based on the topography and geology of the project site there is some potential for erosion and unstable soil conditions from excavation, grading or fill. However, the proposed construction and grading operations will not have an adverse effect on the project site or adjacent properties, provided the work is performed according to the recommendations of the project geotechnical report. Implementation of mitigation measure G-1 will reduce erosion and unstable soil conditions to below a level of significance. Significant changes in the site topography will not occur and no mitigation is proposed.

g)Subsidence of the land?

3

 

X

   

The project site is generally geologically stable and suitable for development according to the project geologic investigation. Implementation of mitigation measure G-1 will reduce the potential for land subsidence on the project site to below a level of significance.

h)Expansive soils?

3

     

X

The site is generally geologically stable and suitable for development according to the project geologic investigation. No expansive soils were found on the project site. Therefore, no mitigation measures are proposed.

i)Unique geologic or physical features?

4

     

X

The project site slopes southerly downhill toward the Pacific Ocean. There are no unique geologic or physical features on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project will not impact any unique geologic or physical features on the project site. Therefore, no mitigation is proposed.

4.WATER. Would the proposal result in:

a)Changes in absorption rates, drainage patterns, or the rate and amount of surface runoff?

3,4

 

X

   

The project area is currently paved for parking and some runoff is generated that flows onto the undeveloped portions of the site. Development of new homes on the project site will result in the construction of additional impermeable surfaces (roofs, driveways, sideways, etc.) which will generate more surface runoff, change existing site drainage patterns and result in an increase in absorption of this runoff into site soils. However, the project geotechnical report contains a discussion on site surface drainage and contains a number of measures that provide for the correction of runoff and its disposal on and off the project site. Implementation of these measures will reduce changes in absorption rates, drainage patterns and water runoff to below a level of significance. The following mitigation measure will ensure that these measures are implemented as part of this project. Another measure is also included to reduce runoff from the project site to below a level of significance.

W-1 Site surface drainage measures included in the project Geotechnical Engineering & Engineering Geologic Exploration report (Western Laboratories, July 21, 2000) shall be implemented by the project developer during project construction.

W-2 Subject to review and approval of the City Public Works and Building and Safety Department and prior to issuance of grading permits, the project proponent shall submit a stormwater management plan which shows the on-site and off-site stormwater conveyance system that will be constructed by the project proponent for the purpose of safely conveying stormwater off of the project site. These drainage structures shall be designed in accordance with the most current standards and criteria of the City Engineer and Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to ensure that default drainage capacity is maintained. The plan shall also show whether existing stormwater facilities off the site are adequate to convey storm flows.

b)Exposure of people or property to water related hazards such as flooding?

       

X

The project site is not currently subject to flooding because of its location above the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, the new homes to be constructed as part of this project will not be subject to flooding. No mitigation is proposed.

c)Discharge into surface waters or other alteration of surface water quality (e.g. temperature, dissolved oxygen or turbidity)?

   

X

   

The water quality impacts of the proposed project related to stormwater runoff during construction are discussed below in response to question 4j. Runoff from the project site is low because of the limited number of structures on the site. Development of new homes on the project site does not include any discharges to surface water other than pollutants from the residential area that would be transported in storm runoff. Developed residential areas typically generate motor oils, pesticides, animal wastes, detergents and a variety of other household and landscaping related waste that are carried in stormflows along the ground and street surfaces and in drainage areas. These pollutants could result in a significant adverse impact related to water quality. The following mitigation measure will reduce the impact of the proposed project related to the water quality of stormwater runoff to below a level of significance.

W-3 In accordance with the Clean Water Act, coordinate with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) regarding the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the project. The developer shall obtain this permit and provide the City with proof of the permit before construction activities begin on the project site.

W-4 Appropriate Best Management Practices, including sandbags shall be used to help control runoff from the project site during project construction activities.

d)Changes in the amount of surface water in any water body?

   

X

   

As discussed above in the response to question 4a), the proposed project is anticipated to result in an increase in the rate and volume of stormwater runoff from the project site. However, mitigation measure W-2 will ensure that the stormwater drainage system for the proposed project has adequate capacity to accommodate this increase in stormwater runoff. The proposed project is anticipated to result in an increase in the volume of water that will be discharged into the ocean because the project will decrease the volume of water stored in the soil on the project site and will increase the volume of stormwater runoff which will be deposited into the ocean. The increase in the amount of water that will flow into the ocean is anticipated to be minimal compared to the existing volume of runoff that flows into the ocean from the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to an increase in the amount of surface water in any water body.

e)Changes in currents, or the course or direction of water movements?

     

X

 

The proposed project is not anticipated to result in a change in water currents because development of the project site will not impact a stream or other water body. The proposed project will result in minor modifications to the existing drainage pattern on the site. However, stormwater will continue to be discharged to the area storm drain system which has the capacity to accept an additional amount of runoff water. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to changing currents, or changing the course or direction of water movements.

f)Change in the quantity of ground waters, either through direct additions or withdrawals, or through interception of an aquifer by cuts or excavations or through substantial loss of groundwater recharge capability?

3

X

The proposed project would not pump any of the groundwater under the project site to the surface for project drinking water or landscaping. Some water used for landscape irrigation could percolate into the groundwater. The increase in the impervious surface area on the project site would decrease the amount of water that could percolate into the soil on the project site. However, this would be offset, to some degree, by water added to the project site for landscaping. Groundwater seepage was not observed in any of the exploratory trenches that were excavated on the project site to determine the geologic conditions of the project site. No springs or water seeps were observed on the slopes on the project site. Therefore, a substantial amount of groundwater is not anticipated to be encountered during excavation. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a substantial change in the quantity of groundwater, either through direct additions or withdrawals, or through interception of an aquifer by cuts or excavations or through substantial loss of ground water recharge capacity.

g)Altered direction or rate of flow of groundwater?

     

X

 

The proposed project is not anticipated to change the direction or flow rate of groundwater under the project site because the excavation associated with the construction of the proposed project is not anticipated to intercept the groundwater table.

h)Impacts to groundwater quality?

1

 

X

   

The excavation associated with the construction of the proposed project is not anticipated to intercept the groundwater table. However, the proposed project may impact groundwater quality, if the groundwater table is intersected during project excavation activities or water from the site percolates into the groundwater table. The water quality requirements the project must comply with are described in the City’s recently approved Stormwater and Urban Runoff Pollution Control (SUSMP) Ordinance. The project tentative map and preliminary grading plan shall be submitted to John Hunter and Associates (JHA) for review and comment prior to issuance of grading permits. Any changes to these plans as required by JHA will be made to the plans to help ensure runoff water quality. Mitigation measure W-3 would ensure that proposed project water quality impacts are reduced to below a level of significance.

i)Substantial reduction in the amount of groundwater otherwise available for public water supplies?

     

X

 

The proposed project would not use the groundwater under the project site for drinking water or to irrigate landscaping on the project site. The proposed project would use water from the County Sanitation District of Los Angeles. Therefore, the proposed project will not result in a substantial reduction in the amount of groundwater otherwise available for public water supplies.

j)Storm water system discharges from areas for materials storage, vehicle or equipment fueling, vehicle or equipment maintenance (including washing), waste handling, hazardous materials handling or storage delivery or loading docks, or other outdoor work areas?

   

X

   

The construction of the proposed project has the potential to reduce surface waster quality during stormflow. Residential construction typically adds pollutants to storm water through discharges such as: soil erosion, cleared vegetation, building materials and pollutants from vehicle storage and maintenance. Therefore, the proposed project could result in significant adverse impacts related to water quality. The following mitigation measures will reduce the impact of the proposed project related to the quality of stormwater runoff during construction to below a level of significance.

W-5In accordance with the Clean Water Act, the project proponent shall coordinate with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) on the preparation of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for the proposed project.

k)A significantly environmentally harmful increase in the flow rate or volume of storm water runoff?

     

X

 

As discussed above in the response to question 4a), the proposed project is anticipated to result in an increase in the rate and volume of stormwater runoff. However, mitigation measure W-2 will reduce this impact related to stormwater rate and volume to below a level of significance.

l)A significantly environmentally harmful increase in erosion of the project site or surrounding areas?

   

X

   

As discussed above in the response to question 4j), the proposed project is anticipated to result in an increase in erosion. However, mitigation measure W-4 will reduce this impact related to erosion to below a level of significance.

m)Storm water discharges that would significantly impair the beneficial uses of receiving waters or areas that provide water quality benefits (e.g., riparian corridors, wetlands, etc.)?

     

X

 

The drainage system for the proposed project would connect to the existing offsite drainage system which outlets to the rocky intertidal zone near the beach and the ocean. The existing offsite drainage system that would be used by the proposed project consists primarily of unvegetated man made drainage channels and pipes. Mitigation measures W-3 and W-4 will reduce the impacts of the proposed project related to stormwater pollution to below a level of significance.

n)Harm to the biological integrity of drainage systems and water bodies?

     

X

 

Stormwater from the proposed project would be directed into the new onsite drainage system which will connect to the existing stormwater drainage system that outlets to the rocky intertidal zone and the ocean. It is anticipated that the additional amount of stormwater from the project site will not harm the biological integrity of the intertidal zone and the ocean where this water will flow because the required SWPPP will take pollutants out of this water before they leave the project site.

5.AIR QUALITY. Would the proposal:

a)Violate any air quality standard or contribute to an exiting or projected air quality violation?

4

   

X

 

The proposed project is anticipated to be consistent with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Air Quality Management Plan based on the discussion below.

Table 6-3 Screening Table for Construction – Quarterly Thresholds of Potential Significance for Air Quality in the 1993 SCAQMD California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Handbook shows that a project with less than 1,309,000 square feet of residential floor area, less than 24,000 vehicle miles traveled on paved roads and less than 177 acres of graded area is not anticipated to result in a significant impact related to the SCAQMD thresholds of significance for emissions. The proposed project is anticipated to satisfy these criteria and, therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to short term construction emissions.

Table 6-2 Screening Table for Operations – Daily Thresholds of Potential Significance for Air Quality shows that projects with less than 166 single family housing units are not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to air quality. The proposed project includes 7 residential units which is less than the 166 units threshold in Table 6-2. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to emissions after the houses are built.

b)Expose sensitive receptors to pollutants?

   

X

   

The project site is immediately adjacent to existing residential development to the north, east and west of the project site. Located to the immediate south of the property is a Southern California Edison (SCE) commercial office facility. The residential areas and commercial area could be impacted by dust and emissions from construction vehicles generated during construction of the proposed project. The following mitigation measures will reduce the impact of the proposed project related to air quality during construction to below a level of significance.

AQ-1Prior to the issuance of grading permits, the project proponent shall demonstrate to the Director of Planing, Building and Code Enforcement that dust generated by grading activities shall comply with the South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 403 and the City Municipal Code Requirements which require watering for the control of dust.

AQ-2During construction, all grading activities shall cease during periods of high winds (i.e., greater than 30 mph). To assure compliance with this measure, grading activities are subject to periodic inspections by City staff.

AQ-3The project proponent shall provide the Director of PBCE with weekly certifications that all construction equipment is fitted with emission control devices and kept in proper tune.

c)Alter air movement, moisture, or temperature, or cause any change in climate?

     

X

 

The proposed project includes the construction of 7 residential structures that are all within the City’s permitted height limits on a 4.99 acre project site that is surrounded by existing residential and commercial development. The proposed project is not large enough to result in a substantial change in air movement, moisture, temperature or climate.

d)Create objectionable odors?

     

X

 

The proposed project would not create any significant objectionable odors. Odor from construction equipment that uses diesel fuel may be created. However, these odors are not considered to be significant because of their short duration during project construction.

6.TRANSPORTATION/CIRCULATION. Would the proposal result in:

a)Increased vehicle trips or traffic congestion?

5

 

X

   

The nearest streets to the project site are Crest Road and Scotwood Drive. A number of construction vehicles would access the project site using an existing 30 foot wide easement accessible from both Crest Road and Scotwood Drive. These construction vehicles trips would be temporary and end when all project construction activities have been completed. No fill material will be transported onto the site. There will be approximately 7,968 cubic yards of cut material, of which 1,024 cubic yards will be used for fill. The remaining 6,944 cubic yards will be exported resulting in approximately 463 truck haul trips, based on a truck haul capacity of approximately 15 cubic yards per truck.

Based on the standard trip generation rate for single family homes, as listed in the Institute of Transportation Engineer’s (ITE) publication Trip Generation (6th edition, 1997), the proposed project would generate 124 vehicle trips on an average weekday and approximately 131 trips on an average Saturday. This increase in traffic will not significantly increase vehicle trips or create a significant amount of traffic congestion on the roads used by project residents’ automobiles. However, hauling of soil could damage City streets. A measure has been included that requires the project proponent to repair any damage to City streets by hauling activities.

T-1Prior to the issuance of a grading permit for the project, the project proponent shall prepare a haul route plan for approval by the City’s Public Works Department. The project proponent shall also be required to post a bond with the City in an amount determined by the Public Works Department that will provide for the repair of City streets damaged by the hauling of soil to the project site.

b)Hazards to safety from design features (e.g. sharp curves or dangerous intersections) or incom-patible uses (e.g. farm equipment)?

2

   

X

 

The project site will be accessed via an existing access road from either Crest Road or Scotwood Drive. A proposed private road is proposed and would be accessed from Scotwood Drive. This new road is not anticipated to create safety hazards from design features since the road will be designed to City standards.

c)Inadequate emergency access or access to nearby uses?

     

X

 

The proposed project would have adequate emergency access from the proposed new private road and Scotwood Drive. Some traffic could be subject to minor delays when large construction vehicles such as haul trucks access the site. However, the proposed project is not anticipated to require any roads to be permanently closed during construction. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to adequate emergency access or access to nearby uses. The City’s Fire Department will also review the project plans to ensure that adequate emergency access is provided to the project site.

d)Insufficient parking capacity on site or offsite?

2

     

X

Adequate parking would be provided on the new private street and the lots within the subdivision on the project site. These on site parking areas are anticipated to be adequate to serve the proposed project. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to parking capacity on site or offsite.

e)Hazards or barriers for pedestrians or bicyclists?

1

   

X

 

The project site is on private property that does not contain improved bicycle trails or pedestrian paths. The City’s General Plan designates Crest Road as an urban pedestrian trail and bike loop trail. Crest Road and other roads adjacent to the project site are not anticipated to be closed during construction. Crest Road will be available for use for biking and walking during and after construction of the proposed project. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in substantial new hazards or barriers for pedestrians or bicyclists adjacent to the project site.

f)Conflicts with adopted policies supporting alternative transportation (e.g. bus turnouts, bicycle racks)?

       

X

The proposed project is not near alternative transportation facilities such as bus turnouts. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to adversely impact alternative transportation.

g)Rail, waterborne or air traffic impacts?

       

X

The proposed project is not near rail, waterborne or air traffic facilities. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to adversely impact alternative transportation.

7.BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES. Would the proposal result in:

a)Endangered, threatened or rare species or their habitats (including but not limited to plants, fish, insects, animals or birds)?

8

     

X

Paved parking and a maintenance yard are located on the project site. There is some vegetation on the site including, trees and shrubs planted by Cal Water. Vegetation on portions of the north, south, east and west boundaries of the site is scheduled to be removed. Due to the level of activity upon the property and the surrounding development, no significant animal life or activity has been noted. There are no known endangered, threatened or rare species or their habitats on the project site.

b)Locally designated species (e.g. heritage trees)?

8

     

X

There are no locally designated species such as heritage trees on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project will not impact locally designated species.

c)Locally designated natural communities (e.g. oak forest, coastal habitat, etc.)?

8

     

X

There are no locally designated natural communities on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project will not impact locally designated natural communities.

d)Wetland habitat (e.g. marsh, riparian and vernal pool?)

8

     

X

There is no known wetland habitat on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant impact after mitigation related to wetland habitat.

e)Wildlife dispersal or migration corridors?

8

   

X

 

Paved parking and a maintenance yard are located on the project site. There are no permanent surface water features nor significant wildlife habitat on the project site. The site does not provide for significant native wildlife dispersal or migration opportunities because the site is already developed and is surrounded by existing residential development and roads, which prevent most native wildlife from accessing the project site. Therefore, the proposed project will not result in a significant adverse impact related to wildlife dispersal or migration corridors.

8.ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES. Would the proposal:

a)Conflict with adopted energy conservation plans?

       

X

The proposed project will not conflict with any known energy conservation plans.

b)Use non-renewable resources in a wasteful and inefficient manner?

     

X

 

The proposed project would result in an increase in the consumption of automotive fuels, natural gas and electricity in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. However, this increase in the use of non-renewable resources is not anticipated to be substantial because only 7 residential units that would be developed under the proposed project which is insignificant compared to the amount of non-renewable resources consumed by existing residential units in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

c)Result in the loss of availability of a known mineral resource that would be of future value to the region and the residents of the State?

1

     

X

There are no known significant mineral resources on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project will not impact mineral resources.

9.HAZARDS. Would the proposal involve:

a)A risk of accidental explosion or release of hazardous substances (including, but not limited to: oil, pesticides, chemicals or radiation)?

     

X

 

The proposed residential units will not require the use of a significant amount of hazardous materials during construction or during the long term operation of these structures. Any hazardous materials that are used on the project site would be transported, stored and disposed of according to existing state and federal laws. Some quantities of fertilizers, pesticides and other materials used by residents could end up in runoff water coming off the project site. However, mitigation measures W-3 and W-4 will reduce these materials to below a level of significance before they exit the project site. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to the accidental explosion or release of hazardous substances.

b)Possible interference with an emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan?

     

X

 

Crest Road is a designated disaster route in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The proposed project is not anticipated to result in the closure of Crest Road during construction. Approximately six trucks would be hauling soil to the site each day which would not generate enough truck traffic to impede the use of this road during an emergency situation. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to emergency response or evacuation plans.

c)The creation of any health hazard or potential health hazard?

   

X

   

Pollutants in runoff could create a health hazard. However, implementation of mitigation measures W-3 and W-4 would reduce the level of pollutants in runoff to below a level of significance.

d)Exposure of people to existing sources of potential health hazards?

4

   

X

 

The proposed project is a residential project and is not anticipated to expose people to existing sources of health hazards. There are also no known existing health hazards on the project site. There is an existing parking lot and maintenance yard that would be removed under the proposed project. The maintenance yard would be demolished consistent with all applicable local, state and federal demolition laws.

e)Increased fire hazard in areas with flammable brush, grass or trees?

   

X

   

The project site is not located in a high fire danger area and there have been no wildland fires on the project site in the past. Most of the project site is covered by paved parking and a maintenance yard, which would be removed. New residential structures and landscaping would be built and installed on the project site under the proposed project, which may increase fire hazards on the project site. Mitigation measure PS-1, shown below is the response to question 11a), will reduce the impact of the proposed project related to fire hazards to below a level of significance.

10.NOISE. Would the proposal result in:

a)Increase in existing noise levels?

   

X

   

The proposed project would result in an increase in noise on the site during and after construction. Existing residential development is immediately adjacent to the project site. Construction of the proposed project will result in an increase in noise levels in the area due to construction equipment and traffic. However, the City does not consider construction noise significant because it is temporary, provided that it occurs between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Noise levels from the residences on the project site after construction is complete are anticipated to be similar to noise from existing residential development in the vicinity of the project site. Noise associated with traffic trips to and from the site is not anticipated to increase substantially because of the low number of trips that will be generated by the proposed project. The following mitigation measure will reduce noise impacts to below a level of significance.

N-1Project construction activities shall comply with applicable City noise restrictions. Construction activities shall be limited to hours between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. No project construction will be allowed on Sundays or on holidays.

b)Exposure of people to severe noise levels?

   

X

   

Construction of the project will result in the generation of very high noise levels from time to time. However, these noise levels are not considered significant because they are temporary and will occur between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday as allowed by the City’s Noise Restrictions. Noise levels from the residences proposed to be constructed on the project site are anticipated to be similar to those created by the residents in the vicinity of the project site. Mitigation measures N-1 will reduce these construction noise levels to below a level of significance.

11.PUBLIC SERVICES. Would the proposal have an effect upon, or result in a need for new or altered government services in any of the following areas:

a)Fire protection?

   

X

   

The proposed project will result in an increase in the demand for fire protection services. The following mitigation measure will reduce the impact of the proposed project related to fire protection to below a level of significance.

PS-1The project proponent will coordinate with the County of Los Angeles Fire Department to determine the appropriate mitigation to compensate for the increase in the demand for fire protection services due to the proposed project and any special site design considerations that would minimize fire hazards. The cul-de-sac to be constructed as part of this project shall be constructed to Fire Department Standards to allow room for fire trucks to turn around in the cul-de-sac.

b)Police protection?

   

X

   

The proposed project will result in an increase in the demand for police protection services. The following mitigation measure will reduce the impact of the proposed project related to police protection services to below a level of significance.

PS-2The project proponent will coordinate with the County of Los Angeles, Office of the Sheriff, to determine the appropriate mitigation to compensate for the increase in the demand for police protection services due to the proposed project. Appropriate police service fees shall be paid before a Use and Occupancy Permit is issued for the project.

c)Schools?

     

X

 

The proposed project is served by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. Current state law permits local school districts to assess development fees, which would apply to the proposed project, as a method of financing expansion of school facilities to accommodate new students. The proposed 7 unit residential project would generate approximately two grade K-8 student and one grade 9-12 students for a total of three new students, which would attend local public schools. This is based on the following household student generation factors developed by Don King Consultants, under contract with the local school district: 0.1684 grade K-5 students, 0.0572 grade 6-8 students and 0.1582 grade 9-12 students, per single-family residential dwelling. The appropriate school fees would be paid by the project proponent to the school district before new homes are occupied. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to schools.

d)Maintenance of public facilities, including roads?

     

X

 

The proposed project would result in an increase in the demand for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the County of Los Angeles to maintain public facilities such as roads, sidewalks and the drainage system. This increase in the demand for maintenance of public facilities is not anticipated to result in a need for new or altered government services and is not considered to be a significant adverse impact of the project.

e)Other governmental services?

       

X

The proposed project is not anticipated to result in an increase in the demand for other governmental services.

12.UTILITIES AND SERVICE SYSTEMS. Would the proposal result in a need for new systems or supplies, or substantial alterations to the following utilities:

a)Power or natural gas?

     

X

 

There is an existing Southern California Edison (SCE) substation adjacent to the project site. The substation is separated from the site by an existing access road to the Cal Water headquarters building and maintenance yard. The Southern California Gas Company (SCGC) would provide natural gas to the proposed project. The proposed project will result in a minimal increase in the demand for power and natural gas compared to the existing demand for power and natural gas in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Construction contractors are required by state law (CA Government Code 4216) to coordinate with Underground Service Alert (Dig Alert) prior to excavation to determine the location of existing utilities. This required coordination will minimize accidental impacts to utility lines on the project site. All power lines will be placed underground in compliance with the City’s Development Code. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to power and natural gas.

b)Communications systems?

     

X

 

The proposed project will result in a minimal increase in demand for new communications systems compared to the existing demand for communications systems in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The construction contractor is required by state law to coordinate with Underground Service Alert prior to excavation to determine the location of existing utilities. This required coordination will minimize accidental impacts to communication system lines on the project site. Telephone and other communication system lines serving the new residents will be places underground in compliance with the City’s Development Code. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to communication systems.

c)Local or regional water treatment or distribution facilities?

     

X

 

As discussed in the response to question 12g) below, the proposed project will result in an increase in the demand for water. No new offsite water treatment or distribution facilities are anticipated to be needed to serve the proposed project since capacity exists in the local water treatment plant serving the project site. The project proponent will be responsible for installing all water lines on the proposed project site. Therefore, the project will not significantly impact local or regional water treatment or distribution facilities.

d)Sewer or septic tanks?

     

X

 

The County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (CSDLAC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (DPW) provide wastewater service to the project area. The proposed project is anticipated to result in a minimal increase the amount of wastewater generated in the CSDLAC and DPW service area. Based on the CSDLAC generation factor for single family residential of 260 gallons per day per residential unit, the 7 proposed residences are anticipated to generate a total of 1,820 gallons per day of sewage. This increase may require the extension of wastewater distribution facilities and an expansion of wastewater treatment facilities to ensure adequate wastewater distribution and treatment capacity. The project proponent would be responsible for constructing any required new wastewater distribution facilities on the project site. The project proponent would be required to pay a connection fee equivalent to the cost of expanding the system to accommodate the wastewater generated by the proposed project. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to wastewater treatment or distribution facilities.

e)Storm water drainage?

   

X

   

See response to question 4a.

f) Solid waste disposal?

     

X

 

It is anticipated that the solid waste generated on the project site will be picked up by Waste Management and transported to the Falcon Refuge transfer station in Wilmington. Some of the waste will be deposited in the BKK Landfill in West Covina and the remainder of the solid waste will be disposed of at Surf Incineration Plant, which is owned and operated by the City of Long Beach. Based on a generation factor of 7.8 pounds per day of solid waste per single family residence in the City of Los Angeles Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Manual for Private Projects, the proposed project would generate approximately 55 pounds of solid waste per day. This increase in solid waste is minimal compared to the total amount of waste disposed of at the BKK Landfill and Surf Incineration Plant on a daily basis. Both of these solid waste disposal facilities are anticipated to have adequate capacity to accommodate the solid waste generated by the proposed project. The project proponent and residents would comply with all existing mandatory recycling regulations. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to solid waste disposal.

g)Local or regional water supplies?

   

X

   

Cal Water or its successor would provide water to the proposed project. Cal Water purchases water from the West Basin Water Association, which is a distributor for the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). Assuming that the water demand for the proposed project will be 125% of the wastewater generated on the site, which is estimated to be 260 gallons per day per unit, the proposed project is anticipated to result in an increase in the demand for water of 2,275 gallons per day (260 x 125% = 325 gallons per day per unit; 325 gallons per day per unit x 7 units = 2,275 gallons per day). This increase in demand for water is minimal compared to the amount of water used in the Cal Water service area. The project proponent would be responsible for installing any new water distribution facilities required on site. The following mitigation measures will reduce the impact of the proposed project related to local or regional water supplies to below a level of significance.

U-1Prior to project approval by the City, and subject to the review and approval of the City PBCE, the project proponent shall provide evidence that they have received confirmation from the California Water Service Company that current water supplies are adequate to serve the proposed project.

U-2The City shall ensure that construction plans and specifications for all proposed homes shall include the following interior water conservation measures for the following plumbing devices and appliances:

    • Reduce water pressure to 50 pounds per square inch or less by means of a pressure-reducing valve.
    • Install water-conserving clothes washers.
    • Install water-conserving dishwashers and/or spray emitters that are retrofitted to reduce flow.
    • Install one-and-one-half gallon, ultra-low flush toilets.

U-3Landscaping and irrigation plans for the public and private open space areas shall be submitted by the project
proponent and approved by the Director of PBCE, prior to the issuance of building permits. Said plans shall
incorporate, at a minimum, the following water conservation measures:

    • Extensive use of native plant materials.
    • Low water-demand plants.
    • Minimum use of lawn or, when used, installation of warm season grasses.
    • Grouped plants of similar water demand to reduce over-irrigation of low water demand plants.
    • Extensive use of mulch in all landscaped areas to improve the soil’s water-holding capacity.
    • Drip irrigation, soil moisture sensors, and automatic irrigation systems.
    • Use of reclaimed wastewater, stored rainwater or grey water for irrigation.

U-4The project proponents shall contact the Department of Water Resources for information on other water conservation techniques which could be incorporated into the project design. Evidence of compliance with such other recommendations shall be submitted to the Director of Environmental Services, prior to the issuance of building permits.

13.AESTHETICS. Would the proposal:

a)Affect a scenic vista or scenic highway?

     

X

 

Access to the project site is provided via Crest Road on interior site access road off Crest Road and Scotwood Drive. There are no scenic highways in the City so the project would not impact such a highway. The City’s General Plan does designate scenic vistas in the City, with some roadways offering views of the Pacific Ocean. Crest Road offers views of the ocean and the project site. Ocean views from this road will not be blocked because of the development of the proposed project. However, views of the ocean from the interior site access road and Scotwood Drive are currently blocked by intervening trees. Ocean view will be improved for those living on the project site since the trees on the project site next to Crest Road will be removed during project construction. Therefore, ocean views will be improved for some residents living on the project site.

b)Have a demonstrable negative aesthetic effect?

   

X

   

Trees and shrubs now growing on the north, south, east and west sides of the below ground reservoir on the project site will not be removed as part of the proposed project. The project site is located across from existing residences on the north side of Scotwood Drive. The height of the proposed residence will also have adverse privacy impacts upon the adjacent residence to the east on Scooted Drive and upon the condominium units to the west on Seaview Drive South. As proposed, the one project residence to be constructed on lot 9 of the proposed tracts on the south side of the street will impair the ocean views for those residences on the north side of Scotwood Drive. The height of this residence will have to be lowered to reduce the impact of the house on existing ocean views. The rest of the proposed residential development will be constructed no higher than the "by right" height limit of 16 feet as established by the designated zoning district for down-sloping lots, or will be allowed up to 26 feet in height where no significant view impairment results. The following mitigation measures will help to reduce aesthetic impacts on residents adjacent to the project site to below a level of significance.

AS-1 the residence to be constructed on Lot 9 on the project site shall be lowered to reduce the impacts on existing views for residents living on the north side of Scotwood Avenue. The height of this home shall be reduced so that it meets the City’s Development Code on view impairment for residential structure.

AS-2 The residences to be constructed on Lots 1 through 3 shall not exceed 16 feet in height, as measured pursuant to the standards for down-slope lots in the City’s Development Code. The residences to be constructed on Lots 4 through 6 shall not exceed 26 feet in height, as measured pursuant to the standards for pad lots in the City’s Development Code.

AS-3 To the maximum extent feasible, existing foliage along the south and east boundaries of the tract and along the south boundary of Lot 7 shall be retained to preserve the privacy of adjacent residences. Prior to grading permit issuance, the applicant shall submit a tract landscape plan for the Director’s review that delineates the existing foliage to be removed and preserved, as well as new foliage to be planted. The Director may require the planting of additional replacement foliage to ensure the privacy of adjacent residences.

c)Create light or glare?

   

X

   

During the day, light reflecting off of the existing residential development adjacent to the site creates light and glare. Light and glare is also generated adjacent to the project site at night by vehicles and residences. The new homes would generate new light and glare that would be visible from adjacent residences. Light and glare from the proposed project is anticipated to be similar in terms of the types of sources and intensities compared to the light and glare from existing adjacent residential development. The proposed project would also result in new, temporary, light and glare from reflections off of construction equipment during construction. To reduce light and glare impacts to below a level of significance, all exterior lighting for residential structures shall comply with the City’s Development Code. An exterior lighting plan shall be prepared by the project proponent to ensure that exterior light sources do not create an offsite nuisance. This increase in light and glare due to the proposed project is not anticipated to be substantial and therefore, is not considered to be a significant adverse impact.

AS-4 The project proponent shall submit a lighting plan for approval of the Director of PBCE prior to issuance of the project and residential building permits.

14.CULTURAL RESOURCES. Would the proposal:

a)Disturb paleontological resources?

       

X

No paleontologic resources are known to occur on the project site. However, if important paleontologic resources exist on the project site they could be impacted during grading and excavation of the project site. The following mitigation measure will reduce project impacts on these resources to below a level of significance.

CR-1The project proponent shall retain a qualified paleontologist and archeologist to monitor grading and excavation. In the event undetected buried cultural resources are encountered during grading and excavation, work shall be halted or diverted from the resource area and the archeologist and/or paleontologist shall evaluate the remains and propose appropriate mitigation measures.

b)Disturb archaeological resources?

       

X

No archaeological resources are known to occur on the project site. However, if important archaeological resources exist on the project site they could be impacted during grading and excavation of the project site. Implementation of mitigation measure CR-1 will reduce project impacts on archaeological resources to below a level of significance.

c)Affect historical resources?

       

X

There are no known historical resources on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to historical resources.

d) Have the potential to cause a physical change which would affect unique ethnic cultural values?

There are no other cultural values associated with the site. Therefore, the project will not impact any cultural values.

7

   

X

 

e)Restrict existing religious or sacred uses within the potential impact area?

There are no known religious or sacred uses on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to religious or sacred uses.

     

X

 

15.RECREATION. Would the proposal:

a)Increase the demand for neighborhood or regional parks or other recreational facilities?

     

X

 

The proposed project would result in an increase in the population in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes by 20 persons. This increase in population would result in an increase in the demand for recreation facilities based on the City’s goal of 10 acres of parkland and recreational facilities for every 1,000 residents. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes uses a formula to determine the amount of parkland required for dedication and/or the associated in-lieu fee. Appropriate park fees will be paid by the project proponent to off set the impact of the project on local parklands. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant adverse impact related to recreation. Such fees shall be determined by the City Council prior to final map approval.

b)Affect existing recreational opportunities?

       

X

The project site is private property. No permitted recreation activities currently exist on the project site. Therefore, the proposed project will not impact recreational opportunities on the project site. Impacts of the project on offsite recreational facilities will be offset by the payment of parkland in-lieu fees according to Section 16.20.100 of the City’s Development Code. Payment of these fees will reduce the project’s impacts on offsite recreational resources to below a level of significance.

16.MANDATORY FINDINGS OF SIGNIFICANCE.

a) Does the project have the potential to degrade the quality of the environment, substantially reduce the habitat of a fish or wildlife species, cause a fish or wildlife population to drop below self-sustaining levels, threaten to eliminate a plant or animal community, reduce the number or restrict the range of a rare or endangered plant or animal or eliminate important examples of the major periods of California history or prehistory?

     

X

 

The proposed project is not anticipated to substantially degrade the quality of the environment, substantially reduce the habitat of a fish or wildlife species, cause a fish or wildlife population to drop below self sustaining levels, threaten to eliminate a native plant or animal community, reduce the number or restrict the range of a rare or endangered plant or animal or eliminate important examples of the major periods of California history or prehistory.

b)Does the project have the potential to achieve short-term, to the disadvantage of long-term, environmental goals?

     

X

 

The proposed project will not achieve short-term, to the disadvantage of long-term, environmental goals.

c)Does the project have impacts that are individually limited, but cumulatively considerable? ("Cumulatively considerable" means that the incremental effects of a project are considerable when viewed in connection with the effects of the past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects)

     

X

 

The proposed project is a relatively small project compared to existing and ongoing development in the vicinity of the project site and there are no major proposed projects in the vicinity of the project site. The environmental impacts of the proposed project will be below a level of significance after mitigation. Therefore, the proposed project is not anticipated to result in a significant cumulative impact.

d)Does the project have environmental effects which will cause substantial adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly?

     

X

 

The proposed project does not have environmental effects which will cause substantial adverse effects on human beings.

17.EARLIER ANALYSES

Earlier analysis maybe used where, pursuant to the tiering, program EIR, or other CEQA process, one or more effects have been adequately analyzed in an earlier EIR or Negative Declaration. Section 15063 (C) (3) (D). In this case a discussion should identify the following items.

a)Earlier analysis used. Identify earlier analyses and state where they are available for review.

No earlier Negative Declarations or EIRs for the project site were used in the preparation of this Initial Study.

b)Impacts adequately addressed. Identify which effects from the above checklist were within the scope of and adequately analyzed in an earlier document pursuant to applicable legal standards, and state whether such effects were addressed by mitigation measures based on the earlier analysis.

No effects from the above checklist were analyzed in an earlier CEQA document for the project site.

c)Mitigation measures. For effects that are "Less than Significant with Mitigation Incorporated," describe the mitigation measures which were incorporated or refined from the earlier document and the extent to which they address site-specific conditions of the project.

No mitigation measures were incorporated or refined from previous CEQA documents for the project site.

18.

Source References

No effects from the above checklist were analyzed in an earlier CEQA document for the project site.

1

City of Rancho Palos Verdes. City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan. September 13, 1988.

2

Lanco Engineering. Tentative Tract No. 53305 (Map). July 20, 2000.

3

Western Laboratories Geotechnical Engineering. Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geologic Exploration Proposed Residential Development Sixth Lot Southwest Of Scotwood Drive and Stonecrest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, California. July 21, 2000.

4

Hart Crowser, Inc. Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report 2.8-acre Portion of 4.5-acre Facility 5837 Crest Road Rancho Palos Verdes, California. May 19, 2000.

5

South Coast Air Quality Management District. California Environmental Quality Act Air Quality Handbook. 1993.

6

Institute of Traffic Engineers. Trip Generation (6th Edition). 1997.

7

City of Rancho Palos Verdes. City of Rancho Palos Verdes Parks Master Plan. 1989.

8

City of Rancho Verdes Natural Communities Conservation Plan.

ACRONYMS

Cal Water

  California Water Service Company

NPDES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

CEQA

  California Environmental Quality Act

RWQCB

Regional Water Quality Control Board

City PBCE

  City of Rancho Palos Verdes Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department

SCAQMD South Coast Air Quality Management District

JHA

John Hunter and Associates

 

SUSMP Stormwater and Urban Runoff Pollution Control

K-8

Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade

 

SWPP Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

MWD

Metropolitan Water District    

 



 

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: SEPTEMBER 25, 2001

SUBJECT: VARIANCE NO. 475, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 572, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2228, SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8808 REVISION ‘A’, COASTAL PERMIT NO. 161 REVISION ‘A'

PROJECT
ADDRESS:
33 MARGUERITE DRIVE

APPLICANT:MILES PRITZKAT
EDWARD, CARSON, BEALL
23727 HAWTHORNE BLVD
TORRANCE, CA 90505

PHONE: 310-378-1280

LANDOWNER: MR. ALEX KOZINSKI
MS. MARCY TIFFANY
33 MARGUERITE DRIVE
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA 90275

PHONE: 310-541-5885

STAFF COORDINATOR: ARA MICHAEL MIHRANIAN, SENIOR PLANNER

THOMAS BROTHERS GUIDE: PAGE 822 / E-2

 

REQUESTED ACTION:A REQUEST TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 3,925 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION TO AN EXISTING SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE CONSISTING OF 1,431 SQUARE FOOT BASEMENT, A 1,467 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION TO THE MAIN RESIDENCE LEVEL, AND A 1,027 SQUARE FOOT ATTACHED FOUR-CAR GARAGE AT A PROPOSED HEIGHT OF 14’-6" AS MEASURED FROM THE HIGHEST EXISTING GRADE COVERED BY STRUCTURE (170.38’) TO THE TOP OF THE HIGHEST ROOF RIDGELINE (185’). FURTHERMORE, THE APPLICANTS REQUEST TO RELOCATE THE PREVIOUSLY APPROVED 480 SQUARE FOOT GUEST HOUSE OVER THE EXISTING SECOND UNIT, AND TO CONSTRUCT A NEW SWIMMING POOL AND SPA. THE VARIANCE REQUEST IS TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION WITHIN THE COASTAL STRUCTURE SETBACK ZONE AND TO ALLOW THE GUEST HOUSE TO EXCEED THE DEVELOPMENT CODE’S 12 FOOT HEIGHT LIMIT FOR A DETACHED GUEST HOUSE (PROPOSED 24 FEET). THE MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT IS TO ALLOW A 6 FOOT HIGH FENCE ALONG THE FRONT PROPERTY LINE. THE GRADING PERMIT IS TO ALLOW 829 CUBIC YARDS OF ASSOCIATED GRADING FOR THE PROPOSED BASEMENT AND YARD IMPROVEMENTS. SINCE THE SUBJECT PROPERTY IS LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY’S DESIGNATED COASTAL ZONE (APPEALABLE AREA), A COASTAL PERMIT IS REQUIRED.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-___; APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, VARIANCE NO. 475, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 572, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2228, SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8808 REVISION ‘A’, AND COASTAL PERMIT NO. 161 REVISION ’A’

REFERENCES:

ZONING: RS-1

LAND USE: SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.02, 17.10, 17.48, 17.64, 17.66, 17.70, 17.72, 17.76.030, and 17.76.040

GENERAL PLAN: RESIDENTIAL 1 DWELLING UNIT PER ACRE

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: COASTAL SPECIFIC PLAN

CEQA: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 1)

ACTION DEADLINE: OCTOBER 30, 2001

BACKGROUND

On May 31, 2000, Staff administratively approved Site Plan Review No. 8808 and Coastal Permit No. 166 to allow the construction of a 2,106 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence in the form of three detached structures consisting of a 523 square foot guest house, 839 square foot second unit and a 744 square foot detached garage. Soon after building permits were issued, the property owners contacted Staff requesting significant modifications be made to the approved plans. At that time, Staff informed the applicant that the requested modifications would require revisions to the approved applications as well as the submittal of additional applications. Therefore, while contemplating the design revisions, the property owners requested to proceed with the construction of the second unit with the ability to combine the square footage permitted for the detached garage and second unit under the original approvals. Staff considered the applicants’ request and determined that since the 744 square foot garage was no longer going to be constructed under the original approvals, that combining a portion of the square footage for the detached garage to the second unit for a total structure size of 1,000 square feet would be permissible provided that no changes to the height or setbacks occurred. As such, Staff approved the applicants’ request as a minor modification to the original entitlements.

On July 12, 2000, revisions to the subject applications were submitted to the Planning Department to allow modifications to the originally approved plans. In addition to revisions to the Site Plan Review and Coastal Permit applications, the property owners submitted an application for Variance No. 475, Grading Permit No. 2228, Height Variation No. 913 and Minor Exception Permit No. 572. After an initial review of the applications and architectural plans, the subject applications were deemed incomplete by Staff, with a request for further information. Furthermore, on March 27, 2001 the architectural plans were modified in a manner that no longer required the processing of a Height Variation application. The subject applications were eventually deemed complete by Staff on August 30, 2001. Soon thereafter, the required public notice, indicating the date, time and location of the public hearing, was mailed to property owners within 500’ radius of the subject property, all interested parties, and published in the Peninsula News informing the general public of the proposed project and inviting any comments for consideration. Pursuant to the Permit Streamlining Act, a decision must be made by October 29, 2001, which is sixty days from the date of completeness.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject property is located at 33 Marguerite Drive, in an area designated by the City’s Zoning Map as a RS-1 (Single-Family Residential) zoning district. The subject lot

is a 43,815 square foot interior lot that is accessed off Palos Verdes Drive West, on the seaward side of the street and is bound between a developed residential lot to the south and an undeveloped residential parcel to the north. The properties to the south of the subject lot are a part of a residential tract, known as Lunada Pointe, which was developed under the City’s residential development guidelines. Several of the properties to the north were part of an older tract which was recorded prior to the City’s incorporation. The properties along Marguerite Drive, including the subject property, are located within the City’s designated Coastal District and several of these properties are situated between the Mean High Tide Line and the first public road. Although the subject property is considered a bluff top property, it’s boundary lines do not extend to sea level, but rather create a pie shaped wedge that connects to the neighboring properties to the north and south at the rear of the property. The area between the top of the bluff and the rear boundary line consists of extreme slopes that are estimated to be steeper than 1:1.

The subject property contains a gradual descending slope from Marguerite Drive to the driveway’s motor court yard. Access to the subject property is obtained by a 120’ long concrete driveway that gradually descends with the natural terrain’s descent to the motor court yard. The subject property currently consists of a primary residence which is 3,116 square feet and a detached, 1,000 square foot, second unit. The primary residence was originally constructed in 1955 under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County and contained an attached two car garage, which was later converted into habitable floor area when a detached garage was approved by the City in 1985. The detached garage was approved and built as a three car garage, which was later converted into a two car garage with the third space being used as an office/studio. The subject residence consists of four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and dining room. The existing residence is approximately twelve (12) feet in height, as measured from the lowest pre-construction grade to the top of the roof ridge line. The subject lot does contain foliage over sixteen (16) feet in height that has the potential to impair views from neighboring properties, which will be discussed later in this report.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The proposed project consists of a 3,925 square foot addition consisting of a 1,431 square foot basement, a 1,438 square foot addition to the main level of the existing residence and an attached 1,027 square foot four-car garage addition to the existing main residence. The proposed addition will be approximately 14’-6" in height, as measured from the highest existing grade covered by structure to the highest roof ridgeline, and 16’-6" as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure (168.38’) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline. Furthermore, the applicants request to relocate the previously approved 480 square foot guest house partially over the existing second unit (the guest house was originally approved to be located in the area between the second unit and the existing main residence).

The applicants request a Variance to allow the construction of 27 square feet within the Coastal Setback Zone and to allow the guest house to exceed the Development Code’s 12 foot height limit for a detached guest house (proposed 24 feet). The Minor Exception Permit is to allow a 6 foot high fence along the front property line. The Grading Permit is to allow 829 cubic yards of grading consisting of 634 cubic yards of cut for the proposed basement and 195 cubic yards of cut for the proposed driveway. Since the subject property is located within the City’s designated Coastal Zone (Appealable Area), a Coastal Permit is required.

In addition to the above structural improvements, the applicants request to abandon the existing septic system by connecting to the public sewer line that runs below Marguerite Drive. Furthermore, as a means of addressing on-site drainage concerns, a new sump pump is proposed that will divert water collected by catch basins throughout the yard area to Marguerite Drive, which will then flow into the City’s storm drains.

According to Staff’s analysis, there is a square footage discrepancy between the applicants calculations and the records on file with the City. In order to accurately describe the actual size of the existing residence in this report, Staff will reference the existing residence as 4,116 square feet (applicant’s calculation), which includes the existing second unit at 1,000 square feet. However, for the purpose of the "Neighborhood Compatibility" analysis, Staff will reference the original structure size as 3,103 square feet, which includes the garage area that was originally attached to the primary residence and later converted into habitable floor area when the detached garage was constructed in 1985.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

In accordance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), staff has determined that this project is categorically exempt under Class 1, Additions to Existing Structures; therefore, no further environmental review is required.

Class 1 exempts projects that consist of an addition to an existing structure that is either less than 50% of the floor area prior to the development or 2,500, whichever is less, or

10,000 square feet if no new public utilities or services are needed. As proposed, the project consists of a 3,795 square foot addition to an existing 3,957 square foot single-family residence (garage included). Although the proposed addition exceeds 50% of the existing residence, the proposed improvements equate to less than 10,000 square feet in area developed with similar structures and full public services. Therefore, Staff has determined that the proposed project, under the provisions set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act, qualifies for a Class 1 Categorical Exemption.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

The following discussion will cover the Variance, Grading Permit, Minor Exception Permit, Site Plan Review and Coastal Permit applications. Each subsection will apply the appropriate findings required under that application (bold type) along with Staff’s analysis (standard type), needed to render a decision. Additionally, if applicable, Staff’s analysis will include those concerns expressed in correspondence received during the public notification period under the appropriate finding.

  1. VARIANCE

Pursuant to Section 17.64.050 of the Municipal Code, the applicants request a variance to allow construction of a 27 square foot addition within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone and to allow the proposed guest house to be constructed partially over the existing second unit at a height of 24 feet, which exceeds the Development’s Code’s permitted height limit of 12 feet for a detached guest house.

  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.

As previously mentioned, the subject lot and residence was developed in 1955, which was prior to the City’s incorporation. In 1978, the City adopted a Coastal Specific Plan which established a Coastal Setback Line based on comprehensive geologic studies of the City’s coastal region at the time. In order to create an additional buffer to address possible slope erosion and other geologic concerns, a Coastal Structure Setback Zone was established twenty-five (25) feet landward of the Coastal Setback Line. The Coastal Structure Setback Zone is an area that limits development to minor structures such as, trash enclosures, storage sheds (less than 120 square feet), dog houses, enclosed water heaters, barbecues, garden walls, air conditioners, pool filters, vents and decking or ground covering less than six (6) inches in height. Any new permanent structures in this zone are prohibited including, but not limited to pools, spas, vertical support members and chimneys. Since the subject property was developed prior to the delineation of the Coastal Setback Line, when the Setback Line was plotted, it placed the majority of the existing residence seaward of the Coastal Setback Line, thereby creating a non-conforming structure.

In order to improve the subject property in a manner that respects the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, all construction activities must occur landward of the Coastal Structure Setback Line. However, with the intention to connect new development to the existing residence along the northern portion of the property, the applicants’ propose to construct 27 square feet of floor area partially within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone. Based on the above discussion, Staff believes that the granting of a variance to allow minimal development within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone is warranted. Specifically, Staff believes that exceptional and extraordinary circumstances exist because the delineation of the Coastal Setback Line was established after the subject residence was constructed, and although the majority of the applicants’ proposed improvements occur outside the Coastal Setback Zone, the development within the zone is necessary to connect the addition with the existing residence.

In regards to the height of the proposed guest house, the applicants request a Variance from the Development Code’s height requirement of 12 feet for detached accessory structures in that the unique lot configuration and topography limits the developable area thus warranting the need to build upward. Staff agrees that the unique lot configuration and topography creates extraordinary conditions uncommon to other properties thus warranting relief from the 12 foot height limit. Specifically, the proposed increase in height is an attempt to limit significant grade alterations to the lot’s topography. Therefore, by partially situated the guest house above the existing second unit, visible topography modifications are minimized and total lot coverage is maintained. Based on the above discussion, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

  1. 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.

The majority of the surrounding lots are developed with single-family residences on lots that are classified as building pads. Most of these properties are developed in compliance with the City’s development criteria, but are not similar to the subject property in that the neighboring lots do not have equivalent site and topographic restrictions that limit the area of development as the subject property. In order for the property owner of the subject property to exercise their right to improve their property in a manner similar to other lots in the same zoning district, an encroachment into the Coastal Structure Setback Zone as well as a deviation in the height limitation for detached accessory structures is requested.

The presence of physical limitations constrains the property owner to a greater degree than other similar properties in the area. Based on the above discussion, Staff believes that a variance to encroach into the Coastal Structure Setback Zone and to increase the height requirement of a detached accessory structure from 12 feet to 24 feet is warranted in that the applicants are not able to enjoy substantial property rights which are possessed by other property owners within the same zoning district. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

  1. That granting 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.

Staff believes that the granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public or the surrounding properties in that the encroachment into the Coastal Structure Setback Zone does not adversely impact properties to the rear in that these lots consist of extreme slopes that descend to the ocean below that cannot accommodate development. In regards to the applicants’ request to exceed the 12 foot height requirement for a detached guest house to a height of 24 feet, a silhouette was erected that allowed Staff to analysis the potential impacts to surrounding properties. Since the subject property descends in height by approximately 20 feet across a span of 120 feet from Marguerite Drive coupled with the significant grade difference of the properties on the inland side of Marguerite Drive, the construction of a guest house over the second unit at a height of 24 feet will not result in adverse impacts to neighboring properties.

Furthermore, the City’s Geotechnical Engineer has reviewed preliminary soils and geology reports and conceptually approved the proposed project in the planning stage. Based on the above discussion, Staff believes that the proposed project will not be detrimental to the public’s welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the area. Therefore, this finding can be made.

  1. That granting the variance will not be contrary to the objectives of the General Plan or the policies and requirements of the Coastal Specific Plan.

The project consists of the construction of an addition to an existing single-family residence, which is consistent with the General Plan’s Land Use Designation of residential – 1 dwelling unit per acre. Furthermore, Staff has determined that the subject property, although located within the City’s Coastal Zone, will not be contrary to the intent of the Coastal Specific Plan in that the subject lot is located in Subregion 1 of the Coastal District that predominantly dedicates land for residential development. Additionally, the subject property was developed prior to the City’s adoption of the Coastal Specific Plan, which when adopted by the City caused a non-conforming condition for the subject property due to the delineation of the Coastal Setback Line. Since plotting the Coastal Setback Line placed a majority of the existing residence within the Coastal Setback Zone, and the proposed improvements to the existing residence will only be a minimal encroachment into the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

Based on the above analysis for the Variance application, Staff believes that the proposed project does meet the required findings needed to grant a variance, and that approval would not result in a special privilege.

B) GRADING

Pursuant to Section 17.76.040(B)(2) of the City's Development Code, the proposed project requires a major grading permit because a total of 829 cubic yards of grading is requested by the applicants, consisting of 634 cubic yards of cut for a basement and 195 cubic yards of cut to expand the driveway motor courtyard. According to the architectural plans, the 634 cubic yards of basement will be entirely under the building footprint, which will not be visible from the exterior of the proposed structure. The proposed cut for the driveway motor courtyard will be supported by a three (3) foot high retaining wall. The following discussion consists of Staff’s analysis of the required nine (9) findings of fact needed for a major grading permit, as stated in Section 17.76.04(E) of the City's Development Code.

1.The grading does not exceed that which is necessary for the permitted primary use of the lot.

The subject property is located in an area designated by the City’s Zoning Map as a RS-1 zoning district. According to the City’s General Plan and the Development Code, a single-family residence is classified as a permitted primary use in the RS Zoning Districts. As proposed, the grading is to accommodate a 3,925 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence. The applicants’ grading request consists of 829 cubic yards of cut, of which 634 cubic yards of cut will be conducted entirely under the existing building footprint in the form of a basement, resulting in 195 cubic yards of visible site improvements. Staff has reviewed the proposed project and believes that the quantity of earth movement proposed by the applicants complies with the development standards for the RS-1 zoning district. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed grading is not excessive for the permitted primary use of the lot.

2.The grading and/or related construction does not significantly adversely affect the visual relationships nor the views from, neighboring properties.

Staff feels that the subject grading will not adversely impact any views from surrounding properties in that the proposed grading will not raise the height of the existing building pad, but rather cut into portions of the existing building pad to accommodate a basement and an expanded motor courtyard. Since the building pad of the subject property is located approximately 20 feet below the street elevation and the proposed grading will be conducted entirely below the existing building footprint or along the toe of the slope between the motor courtyard and Marguerite Drive, Staff believes that the proposed grading will not be visible from the street and the neighboring properties. Therefore, Staff finds that the subject grading will not significantly adversely affect the visual relationship from neighboring properties and can make this finding.

E.3 The nature of grading minimizes disturbance to the natural contours and finished contours are reasonably natural.

The proposed grading is located on a portion of the subject lot that was previously graded to accommodate the existing residence. Additionally, the portion of the subject property that is being improved contains a building pad that is considered relatively flat and thereby will not significantly impact any natural or finished contours. Furthermore, the amount of visible grading proposed is limited to approximately 195 cubic yards, which is considered minor in nature because it will not drastically alter the topography of the site. Therefore, Staff believes that the nature of the proposed grading minimizes the disturbance of the natural and finished contours.

E.4 The grading takes into account the preservation of natural topographic features and appearances by means of land sculpturing so as to blend any man-made or manufactured slope into natural topography.

The grading request is to prepare the subject lot for construction of an expanded motor courtyard that is directly adjacent to the new location of the proposed garage. The subject site is currently developed with a single-family residence that is situated on a relatively flat portion of the subject site. Although the subject site’s natural contours are relatively flat, except where the property descends from Marguerite Drive and the rear portion of the property towards sea level, the proposed grading will not significantly alter the natural contours. Furthermore, the proposed grading will be supported by a three (3) foot high retaining wall that will be barely visible from the street, which will not visibly disturb any natural contours. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

E.5 For new single-family residences, the grading and/or related construction is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character.

This finding does not apply under this application because the proposed project is for an addition to an existing residence. However, since the proposed addition exceeds 25% of the original residence, the analysis of the "Neighborhood Compatibility" finding is required and will be discussed in the Site Plan Review section of this report.

E.6 In new residential tracts, the grading includes provisions for the preservation and introduction of plant materials so as to protect slopes from erosion and slippage and minimizes the visual effects of grading and construction on hillside areas.

This finding does not apply in that the proposed project is not a new residential tract.

E.7 The grading utilizes street design and improvements which serve to minimize grading alternatives and harmonize with the natural contours and character of the hillside.

This finding is intended to apply to new subdivisions, therefore this finding does not apply.

E.8 The grading would not cause excessive and unnecessary disturbance of the natural landscape or wildlife habitat through removal of vegetation.

The proposed project will not disturb any natural landscape or wildlife in that the proposed grading will be located on a lot that was disturbed at the time the original tract and residence was created, and is therefore devoid of native vegetation. Therefore, Staff feels that the proposed grading will not significantly impact any natural vegetation or wildlife habitat.

E.9 The grading conforms to the following standards for: grading on slopes, height of cut/fill, and retaining walls.

According to the City’s Development Code, grading on slopes over thirty-five (35%) percent is permitted if the lot was recorded and legally subdivided as of November 25, 1975. Furthermore, a cut or fill, except for a basement or cellar, should not exceed a depth of five (5) feet and is not allowed on slopes exceeding fifty (50%) percent, unless it is to accommodate a driveway under certain circumstances.

According to the grading plans, no earth movement will occur on slopes equal to or greater than 35% nor will the grading result in slopes exceeding a 50% gradient. In regards to the depth of cut of fill, the grading conducted outside the building footprint will not exceed a height of three (3) feet. As noted earlier, the excavation required to create the basement will exceed a height of five (5) feet, however, the Development Code exempts basements or cellars from the depth of cut or fill requirements. Since the proposed grading will not occur on slopes equal to or greater than thirty-five (35) percent, nor will the depth of cut or fill exceed five (5) feet in height, the proposed grading complies with this finding.

Based on the above analysis of the nine (9) required findings, Staff believes that the proposed grading complies with the requirements set forth in Development Code and conforms with the goals and objectives of the General Plan. Therefore, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission conditionally approve Grading Permit No. 2228.

C) MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT

The applicants’ Minor Exception Permit request is to allow the construction of a new six (6) foot high fence along the front property line. According to Section 17.76.030(C)(1) of the Development Code, the area for which the proposed fence will be located is limited to a height of forty-two (42) inches, unless a Minor Exception Permit is granted. A Minor Exception Permit may be granted provided that one of three findings listed in Section 17.66.050 of the Development Code is positively made. The following is a discussion related to the required findings needed to grant the Minor Exception Permit:

1.The requested Minor Exception Permit is necessary to avoid inconsistencies with the general intent of this Title.

The Development Code currently prohibits privacy walls within the area between the front property line and the closest structure facade to the right-of-way. The Code only permits walls or fences up to 42" in height within this front yard area. The intent of this section of the Development Code is to prevent the fortification of residential neighborhoods, to regulate the aesthetic value of walls or fences, as seen from the right-of-way, and to maintain a feeling of openness between the front yard and the residence.

The subject property is located in a neighborhood that is comprised of residential lots that are predominantly defined as "bluff top" lots in that they are located between the mean high tide line and the first public road and are significantly larger in area than lots in other areas of the City. As such, these lots, including the subject property, are not only larger in area but are also deeper in nature, thus allowing development to be setback further from the street. Because of the unique lot depth, many of the homes on the seaward side of Marguerite Drive are setback greater than twenty (20) feet (the minimum front yard setback for the RS-1 zoning district) from the street. In order to physically identify the property lines while maintaining a level of security from potential trespassers seeking alternative routes to the coast or a place to congregate on the bluffs, many of these lots are enclosed with fences or walls along the front property line. Although some lots are enclosed with solid walls that were built prior to the City’s incorporation at a height of approximately six (6) feet, Section 17.84.060 of the Development Code currently restricts the height of a wall or fence within the front yard area to forty-two (42) inches. Walls that exceed this height requirement are considered legal non-conforming and if voluntarily removed, the new wall or fence would have to adhere to the current code requirements.

Prior to the commencement of the construction activities permitted under the original applications, the subject property contained a solid 10 foot high privacy wall and entrance gate along the edge of the motor courtyard which runs along the toe of the slope that descends approximately 120 feet in length from Marguerite Drive. In order to conduct the construction originally permitted, the privacy wall and entry gate were demolished. The applicants therefore request to re-construct a new fence along the front property line that exceeds the height requirement, up to a maximum height of six (6) feet. In order to exceed the 42" height limit for a fence, the applicants request a Minor Exception Permit to allow a six (6) foot high fence that is 80% permeable to light and air, along the front property line. The applicants’ request will allow the existing wall to be replaced with a fence (see attachment) that is relatively similar to other fences located within the neighborhood. Staff believes that based upon the reasons discussed above, the applicants’ request for a Minor Exception Permit is warranted since prohibiting the proposed fence would be inconsistent with the general intent of the Code to provide general health and safety. Furthermore, the proposed fence will be constructed from wrought iron that will allow the fence to remain predominantly open, preventing a fortification feeling from the street. This is achieved by designing the fence so that at least eighty (80) percent of it is open/permeable. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

In addition to the above finding, Section 17.76.030.D.2 of the Development Code requires that the following criteria to be considered when assessing a Minor Exception Permit for a fence, wall or hedge:

A.The height of the fence, wall or hedge will not be detrimental to the public’s safety or welfare.

The proposed fence will not exceed a height of six (6) feet, as measured from adjacent grade and will be located along the front property line, similar to other fences located on Marguerite Drive. Staff does not believe that the proposed fence will be detrimental to the public’s safety or welfare in that the subject property is not located on a corner lot where the proposed fence may impair the line of sight of on-coming vehicles nor will the proposed fence obstruct the flow of pedestrian traffic since a side walk does not exist along this side of the street. Furthermore, the applicants propose to landscape the area adjacent to the proposed fence to soften the overall appearance of the fence from the public’s perspective. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

B.The line of sight over or through the fence is adequate for safety and does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of an adjacent parcel.

As previously mentioned, Staff believes that the location of the proposed fence on the subject property will not impede on the public’s safety because the fence will be located along the front property line, creating a cohesive connection with similar fences along the street. The harmonious connection with fences along Marguerite Drive maintains a conforming appearance with these lots. In regards to view impairments from surrounding properties, as Staff previously indicated in this report, the surrounding properties are located at a higher elevation with views laterally over the subject property that will not be impaired by the proposed fence. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed fence complies with this requirement.

C. On corner lots, intersection visibility as identified in Section 17.48.070 of the Development Code is not obstructed.The subject property is not located on a corner lot. Therefore, this development criteria does not apply.

D. The height of the retaining wall portion does not exceed the grading limits set forth in Section 17.76.040 of the Development Code.

The proposed fence does not include a retaining wall or any earth excavation, other than what is required for the poured foundation. Therefore, this development criteria does not apply.

Based on the above analysis, Staff believes that Minor Exception Permit No. 572 complies with the City’s development guidelines and should be permitted to allow the construction of a six (6) foot high fence along the front property line.

  1. SITE PLAN REVIEW

Pursuant to Section 17.02.030(B)(1)(d) of the Development Code, an addition to an existing single-family residence that exceeds 25% of the original structure, garage included, shall require the analysis of the "Neighborhood Compatibility" finding. Since the proposed addition is 3,925 square feet and the original structure was determined to be 3,103 square feet, the proposed addition results in an increase that requires the "Neighborhood Compatibility" finding.

The following discussion consists of an analysis of the proposed project in relation to the immediate neighborhood for the "Neighborhood Compatibility" finding and the project’s compliance with the Residential Development Guidelines for the RS-1 zoning district. The discussion on Neighborhood Compatibility" will assess the proposed project in relation to the immediate neighborhood based on the following criteria of review: architectural style, front yard setbacks, and the scale of the surrounding residences.

1)Scale of surrounding properties, including total square footage and lot coverage of the residence and all ancillary structures.

The analysis of this criteria includes a comparison of the proposed project with the total square footage, for both lot and floor area, of the immediate neighborhood. For the purposes of addressing the "Neighborhood Compatibility", Staff assessed the ten (10) surrounding residences, as shown in the following table.

TABLE 1

PROPERTY
ADDRESS

LOT
SIZE*

BUILDING SQ. FT.*
(garage excluded)

NO. OF STORIES

10 Marguerite Drive

45,302 sq. ft.

2,404 sq. ft.

1

11 Marguerite Drive

76,628 sq. ft.

7,788 sq. ft.

2

23 Marguerite Drive

43,560 sq. ft.

4,415 sq. ft.

1

37 Marguerite Drive

39,640 sq. ft.

9,561 sq. ft.

2

41 Marguerite Drive

38,770 sq. ft.

9,335 sq. ft.

2

45 Marguerite Drive

40,950 sq. ft.

8,750 sq. ft.

2

49 Marguerite Drive

46,173 sq. ft.

9,501 sq. ft.

2

53 Marguerite Drive

43,995 sq. ft.

7,333 sq. ft.

2

57 Marguerite Drive

43,995 sq. ft.

4,694 sq. ft.

2

63 Marguerite Drive

36,150 sq. ft.

6,576 sq. ft.

2

AVERAGE

45,516 sq. ft.

7,036 sq. ft.

2

33 Marguerite Drive

43,815 sq. ft.

4,116 sq. ft. (existing without garage)

1

7,014 sq. ft.
(proposed without garage)

1

* The lot sizes indicated in this column are based on information obtained from the Los Angles County Tax Roll (TRW database).

According to the above table, the size of the neighboring homes range from 2,404 sq. ft. to 9,561 sq. ft., with the average size being 7,036 square feet for the ten (10) closest developed properties. As previously mentioned, the subject residence was 3,116 square feet excluding the garage, which prior to demolition under previous approvals was an 817 square foot detached structure. After the proposed addition is constructed, excluding the proposed 1,027 square foot attached four-car garage, the size of the main residence will be 6,041 square feet. It should be noted that of the 6,041 square feet, 1,431 square feet will be in the form of a basement located entirely below the existing building footprint. Therefore, the visible structure size (excluding the garage) is actually 3,583 square feet. Furthermore, the subject property is currently being improved with a 1,000 square foot detached second unit that was approved by Staff under previous entitlements. In addition to the second unit, the applicants obtained approvals for a 480 square foot guest house, which is now being proposed to be constructed partially above the second unit. In combining the existing residence with the previous entitlements and the proposed project, the total structure size is 7,494 square feet (garage not included). Since 1,431 square feet of the total structure size will be in the form of a basement, the total visible structure size is 6,063 square feet (garage not included).

In comparison to the neighboring properties, the improvements proposed on the subject property result in a structure that is comparable to the average structure size and smaller than the largest home (37 Marguerite Drive, located adjacent to the subject residence). Although the square footage calculations mentioned in the above analysis do not include the garage area, even if the proposed 1,027 square foot four-car attached garage were included as part of the analysis, the above figures would be relatively adjusted with a similar outcome. Therefore, since the proposed addition will not result in a structure size that exceeds the size of the largest home, Staff believes that the proposed project is compatible with scale of the neighborhood.

  1. Architectural styles, including facade treatment, structure height, open space between structure, roof designs, the apparent bulk and mass of the structure, number of stories, and building materials.
  2. The subject residence is located in a neighborhood that is comprised of custom built single-family residences that are constructed in unique architectural styles that range between Mediterranean, Contemporary and Colonial themes. The majority of the neighboring homes are relatively new and contain modern features that are distinctly different from the subject property, such as roof eaves, exterior moldings, window trims, lighting and other architectural details. A great majority of the immediate area homes, as identified in the above section, are significantly larger in terms of structure size, number of stories and mass and bulk. Since the existing primary residence is a single-story structure with a shallow roof pitch, and with the proposed improvements the main structure will remain single-story with a shallow continuous roof pitch, Staff believes that the proposed project is compatible with the immediate neighborhood. As for building materials, the proposed structures will be finished in earth tone stucco that is similar to the existing residence and the immediate neighborhood. In an attempt to update the subject property with the proposed structures that will resemble the character of the immediate neighborhood, the applicants propose to incorporate materials, such as bricks, clay tile, custom windows, exterior moldings and other decorative elements. The property owners intend to construct the detached guest house partially over the detached second unit so that they create a cohesive connection with the existing residence in a manner that is compatible with the style of neighboring structures. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project has been designed to blend with the immediate neighborhood and the existing residence by incorporating similar architectural elements seen throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

  3. Front yard setbacks

The subject residence is located in the RS-1 zoning district which requires lots that were created prior to the City’s incorporation to maintain a 20-foot front yard setback. The existing residence and the proposed addition, including the relocation of the guest house, will maintain a front yard setback of approximately 71 feet, which exceeds the City’s minimum requirements and is consistent with the front yard setbacks for the surrounding developed properties. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

Notwithstanding the above analysis on "Neighborhood Compatibility", Staff has also reviewed the proposed addition for compliance with the RS-1 Residential Development Standards as shown in the table below.

TABLE 2

DEVELOPMENT STANDARD

REQUIREMENT

PROPOSED

FRONT YARD SETBACK

20’

94’

REAR YARD SETBACK

15’

26’ from top of slope

SIDE YARD SETBACK

5’

12’-6"

MAX. LOT COVERAGE

25%

25%

BUILDING HEIGHT
ADDITION / GARAGE

16’

14’-6"

BUILDING HEIGHT
GUEST HOUSE

12’

24’


Based on the above table, Staff believes that the proposed improvements, including the construction of a new pool and spa, comply with the City’s Residential Development Standards for the RS-1 zoning district. However, in accordance to Section 17.48.050(D) of the Development Code, detached accessory structures, such as the guest house are regulated through standardized criteria to ensure that these detached structures will be cohesive and ancillary to the primary use of the lot.

According to the architectural plans submitted to the Planning Department, the proposed detached guest unit will be constructed at a height of 24 feet, which exceeds the 12 foot height requirement, as measured from the lowest adjacent finished grade. Although the proposed guest house was previously located in an area of the subject property that could be constructed within the height requirements of the Development Code, the applicants have requested a Variance application for relief from the Development Code’s height criteria. As discussed previously in this report, Staff determined that a variance is warranted to allow the guest unit to exceed the 12 foot height requirement

In addition to the height requirement, the Development Code prohibits the guest house from containing a full kitchen. As shown on the plans, the proposed guest house will consist of sleeping quarters and a full bathroom. With respect to the parking requirements, since a second unit represents the potential for extended visits, the Development Code requires one (1) enclosed parking space in addition to the parking required for the primary residence. According to the City’s residential parking standards, a single-family residential dwelling unit less than 5,000 square feet of habitable floor area (garage excluded) requires two (2) enclosed parking spaces, whereas a residence exceeding that square footage threshold would require three (3) spaces. Since the primary residence will be 6,014 square feet (garage not included), the Development Code requires that the subject property contain three (3) enclosed parking spaces. However, the applicants propose to construct a four (4) car garage to address the parking criteria for the primary residence and the previously approved second unit, which requires one (1) enclosed parking space in addition to the primary dwelling unit. In accordance with the Development Code’s parking criteria, each residential parking space must be a minimum of 9’ (wide) by 20’ (deep), and as proposed, the interior dimension for the proposed garage, as measured from the finished interior walls, will be 40’ (wide) by 20’ (deep).

The existing residence currently maintains a private septic system and as part of the site improvements, the applicants propose connecting the existing residence and the proposed structures to the public sewer line that runs below Marguerite Drive. Furthermore, the applicants propose to update the current on-site drainage system by installing a sump pump with a reservoir tank that will collect diverted water from the subject property and direct it to an outlet along the curbside of Marguerite Drive. In considering whether the proposed sump pump is a viable alternative to address on-site drainage, the Building Official must determine that other alternatives, such as a gravity connection to a storm drain line or conveyance of the storm water over the bluff are not feasible. Having reviewed the alternatives with the Building Official, Staff has determined that routing the water to the neighboring storm water line is not feasible because there is a significant grade difference between neighboring properties, which would require a sump pump and drainage easements. As for diverting storm water over the bluff top, since the subject property’s boundary lines do not extend to the sea, the applicants would be required to obtain drainage easements from the neighboring properties. Therefore, Staff believes that the most practical alternative is to collect the surface runoff in a reservoir tank and use a sump pump to pump the water into the curbside storm drain. The reservoir tank should be able to adequately hold storm water generated by a 100 year storm for a minimum of three hours in the event the sump pump were to fail.

Therefore, based on the above discussion Staff believes that the proposed 3,925 square foot addition as well as the relocation of the 480 square foot guest house is compatible with the immediate neighborhood and complies with the RS-1 development guidelines.

  1. COASTAL PERMIT

In considering an application for a Coastal Permit in an appealable area of the Coastal District, Section 17.72.090 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code requires that the Planning Commission positively make the following two findings:

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

The subject property is located in Subregion 1 of the Coastal Specific Plan, which is located in the Northern most portion of the City’s Coastal Region and is bordered on the north by the City of Palos Verdes Estates and on the south by Pointe Vicente. At the time the City’s Coastal Specific Plan was adopted, the majority of this 187 acre area was predominantly undeveloped, with a few residences and agricultural crops. According to the Coastal Specific Plan, residential activity is considered the most compatible land use designation for the area, from both a physical and fiscal perspective. Furthermore, the Plan suggests that commercial and institutional land uses within this area would not be compatible as residential. In terms of fiscal benefits, a residential land use is much more sound then recreational or large scale agricultural uses. As a result of the Plan’s recommendations, this area is designated by the City’s Land Use Policy Map as a residential land use and is predominantly developed with estate size single-family residences, which are part of residential tracts such as Lunada Pointe and the recent subdivision of Ocean Front Estates, also referred to as Subregion 1.

As proposed, the addition requested by the applicants is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan land use designation of residential since the project involves the addition of 3,795 square feet, consisting of a 1,431 square foot basement, a 1,438 square foot addition to the main residence and a 1,027 square foot attached four-car garage. Furthermore, the applicants request to relocate a 480 square foot guest house previously approved between the second unit and existing residence to an area that is partially situated above the second unit. The majority of the proposed addition will be attached to the existing residence and will not alter the existing primary residential use of the property. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made.

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

The subject property is an interior bluff top property that is located on the seaward side of Marguerite Drive. Although the subject property is located between the sea and the first public road (Marguerite Drive), the site does not provide public access to the shoreline or to recreational areas because of the extreme slope that exists between the top and toe of the bluff. Furthermore, the property does not extend to the coast, but is separated by adjacent privately owned property.

Pursuant to Section 30211(a) of the Coastal Act, provisions state that the public's right of access to the shoreline shall not be interfered with, as a condition of approval for the proposed development. However, Section 30212(b)(3) of the Coastal Act specifically exempts certain projects (improvements to a structure which do not change the intensity of its use where the floor area, height or bulk of a structure is not increased by more than ten (10%) percent, and the structure does not result in seaward encroachment) from this provision. Although the proposed project will increase the existing floor area by more than 10%, the additional floor area will not result in a seaward encroachment. The majority of the existing residence is situated between the Coastal Structure Setback Line and the Coastal Setback Line, and the proposed addition will all be situated, except 27 square feet, on the landward side of the Coastal Structure Setback Line. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made since the subject property does not currently provide, nor will ever provide, public access to the shoreline and it conforms to the policies of the Coastal Act.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the noticing procedure stated in the Development Code for the "Neighborhood Compatibility" finding and a Coastal Permit, a fifteen (15) day public notice was sent out to property owners within a 500’ radius and to the California Coastal Commission, indicating the scope of the proposed project and the date, time and location of the public hearing. On September 8, 2001 a notice was published in the Peninsula News. During the fifteen (15) day noticing period, the Planning Department did not receive any correspondence.

Since the proposed project consists of an addition that exceeds 120 square feet of habitable floor area, a foliage analysis was conducted by Staff. Although the subject property contains foliage that exceeds sixteen (16) feet in height, Staff does not believe that the foliage in question creates a significant view impairment from surrounding properties since there is a significant grade difference between the subject property and surrounding properties, especially those lots that maintain views laterally over the subject property. Therefore, Staff does not believe any foliage needs to be trimmed, laced or removed under this application request.

In regards to the Permit Streamlining Act, since the proposed application was deemed complete on August 31, 2001, a decision must rendered within sixty (60) days, which is October 30, 2001.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above discussion and analysis of this report, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission conditionally approve Variance No. 475, Grading Permit No. 2228, Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ’A’ and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ‘A’ to allow the construction of a 3,925 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence at a proposed height of 14’-6", as measured from the highest grade covered by structure to the highest roof ridgeline, and the relocation of a 480 square foot detached guest house partially over the existing second unit at a height of 24 feet, as measured from the lowest adjacent finished grade.

ALTERNATIVES

The following alternatives are available for the Planning Commission's consideration in addition to Staff’s recommendation (see page 1):

  1. Deny Variance No. 475 and conditionally approve Grading Permit No. 2228, Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ‘A’ and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ‘A’; or,
  2. Deny Variance No. 475, Grading Permit No. 2228, Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ‘A’ and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ‘A’; or,
  3. Deny Variance No. 475, Grading Permit No. 2228, and conditionally approve Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ‘A’ and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ‘A’; or,
  4. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, and provide the applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Draft P.C. Resolution and Conditions of Approval
  • Site Plan and Architectural Plans

 

RESOLUTION NO. 2001-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, VARIANCE NO. 47, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2228, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 572, SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8808 REVISION ‘A’, AND COASTAL PERMIT NO. 161 REVISION ‘A’ TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 3,925 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION TO AN EXISTING SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE, A NEW SWIMMING POOL AND SPA, THE RELOCATION OF A 480 SQUARE FOOT GUEST HOUSE PARTIALLY OVER THE EXISTING SECOND UNIT AT A HEIGHT OF 24’, A 27 SQUARE FEET ADDITION WITHIN THE COASTAL STRUCTURE SETBACK ZONE, A NEW 6’ HIGH FENCE ALONG THE FRONT PROPERTY LINE, AND 829 CUBIC YARDS OF ASSOCIATED GRADING. SAID APPROVALS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE APPEALABLE AREA OF THE CITY’S COASTAL DISTRICT ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 33 MARGUERITE DRIVE.

 

WHEREAS, on May 31, 2000, City Staff administratively approved Site Plan Review No. 8808 and Coastal Permit No. 161 to allow the construction of a 2,106 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence in the form of three detached structures; and,

WHEREAS, soon after building permits were issued for the aforementioned improvements, the property owners contacted Staff requesting modifications to the approved plans; and,

WHEREAS, on July 12, 2001 the subject applications, Variance No. 475, Grading Permit No. 2228, Height Variation No. 913, Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ‘A’ and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ‘A’ were submitted to the Planning Department by the property owners, Mr. Alex Kozinski and Ms. Marcy Tiffany of 33 Marguerite Drive, to allow the construction of a 3,925 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence with a new swimming pool/spa, the relocation of a 480 square foot guest house partially over an existing second unit, 829 cubic yards of associated grading, and a 6’ high fence along the front property line within the City’s designated Appealable Coastal District; and,

WHEREAS, on August 13, 2001 the City’s Geotechnical Engineer reviewed and conditionally approved the applicants’ geotechnical reports and studies; and,

WHEREAS, after several meetings attended by Staff and the property owners and their architect, revised plans were submitted and deemed complete for processing on August 30, 2001; and,

WHEREAS, on September 6, 2001, the required public notices for the September 25, 2001 Planning Commission meeting were mailed to property owners within a 500 foot radius of the subject property, and a notice was published in the Peninsula News on September 8, 2001; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Quality Act, Public Resources Code Section 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 Variance No. 475, Grading Permit No. 2228, Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ‘A’ and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ‘A’, would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Class 1); and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the requirements of Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on September 25, 2001, at which all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

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

Section 1:The Planning Commission finds that the subject property does warrant a variance for relief from City’s requirements pertaining to development within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone and the maximum permitted height for a detached guest house because of exceptional and extraordinary circumstances that have resulted from the topographic restrictions imposed on the property. At the time the City adopted the Coastal Specific Plan, the existing residence, which was developed in 1955, became a non-conforming structure in that when the Coastal Setback Line was plotted it placed the majority of the existing residence seaward of the designated Coastal Structure Setback Zone. Furthermore, coupled with topographic limitations and the Development Code’s restrictions on lot coverage, the subject property cannot be developed in a manner similar to other residences. Therefore, in order to construct the requested approvals in a reasonable manner to the immediate neighborhood, relief from the Development Code’s strict interpretation pertaining to the Coastal Zone and the height limitations to detached guest houses is warranted.

Section 2:The Planning Commission finds that a variance is necessary to allow development rights possessed by other property owners in the same zoning district. Most of the neighboring properties are developed in compliance with the City’s development criteria, but are not similar to the subject property in that the neighboring lots do not have equivalent site and topographic restrictions that limit the area of development. In order for the property owner of the subject property to exercise their right to improve their property in a manner similar to other lots in the same zoning district, an encroachment into the Coastal Structure Setback Zone as well as a deviation in the height limitation for detached accessory structures is necessary.

Section 3:The Planning Commission finds that granting the variance to allow a 27 square foot addition within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone and to allow the guest house to be constructed at a height of 24’, as opposed to the 12’ height requirement, will not be materially detrimental to the public’s welfare or injurious to property within the area in that the properties to the north and south consist of extreme slopes between the building pads and the ocean below that cannot accommodate development. Furthermore, the neighboring properties on the inland side of Marguerite Drive are located at a significantly higher elevation than the subject property with views laterally over the subject development. Therefore, granting the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to neighboring property.

Section 4: The variance will not be contrary to the objectives of the General Plan or the policies and requirements of the Coastal Specific Plan in that the subject property is developed with a single-family residence that is consistent with similar residences within the City’s designated Subregion 1 of the Coastal Zone and that the proposed development complies with the goals and objectives of the General Plan and is consistent with the Residential 1 dwelling units per acre General Plan Land Use Designation.

Section 5:The grading does not exceed that which is necessary for the permitted primary use of the lot in that the proposed 829 cubic yards of associated grading is necessary to prepare the project site for the construction of an addition to an existing single-family residence, which is considered the permitted primary use of the property. The applicants’ grading request consists of 634 cubic yards of cut for the proposed basement and 195 cubic yards of cut for the expansion of the motor courtyard. Since the grading request for the basement will occur entirely below the building footprint, the only visible earth movement is limited to the 195 cubic yards of cut for the expansion of the driveway motor courtyard. Therefore, the Planning Commission finds that the proposed grading is not excessive for the permitted primary use of the lot.

Section 6:The grading and/or related construction does not significantly adversely affect visual relationships nor the views from neighboring properties since the proposed grading will not raise the height of the existing building pad, but rather cut into portions of the existing building pad to accommodate a basement and an expanded driveway motor courtyard. Since the building pad for the subject property is located approximately 20 feet lower than the street elevation coupled with the fact that the neighboring properties on the inland side of Marguerite Drive are located significantly higher in elevation with views of the ocean laterally over the subject property, the proposed grading will not be visible from the street or neighboring properties. Furthermore, the Planning Commission finds that since a majority of the earth movement will occur entirely below the building footprint in the form of a basement this finding can be made.

Section 7:The nature of grading minimizes disturbance to the natural contours and finished contours are reasonably natural in that the proposed grading is to occur on a portion of the project site that was previously graded to accommodate the existing residence. The proposed grading improvements will occur on a defined building pad that is relatively flat and will not require further disturbance to the site’s natural contours or finished contours, which are considered reasonably natural. As proposed, the majority of the grading will be conducted entirely below the building footprint and will not significantly impact any natural or finished contours. Furthermore, the amount of visible grading proposed is limited to approximately 195 cubic yards, which is considered minor in nature because it will not drastically alter the topography of the site, but rather will further improve the existing contours, and no proposed grading will occur within natural undeveloped areas of the site. Therefore, the Planning Commission finds that the nature of the proposed grading minimizes the disturbance of the natural and finished contours and therefore makes this finding.

Section 8:The grading takes into account the preservation of natural topographic features and appearances so as to blend any man-made or manufactured slopes into the natural topography in that the majority of the grading requested will be conducted under the existing building footprint to create a basement. The remaining amount of earth movement, approximately 195 cubic yards of cut, which is considered minor in nature will accommodate an expansion to the driveway motor courtyard. Furthermore, the Planning Commission finds that the proposed grading does not include any modification to the natural topographic features, such as the bluff, so that land sculpturing is not required and therefore makes this finding.

Section 9:The grading will not cause excessive and unnecessary disturbance of the natural landscape or wildlife habitat through removal of vegetation in that the proposed grading will be located on a lot that was disturbed at the time of the development of the original tract when the original residence was created on this lot, and is therefore devoid of native vegetation. In addition this project will not impact the bluff where native vegetation may exist. Therefore, the proposed grading will not significantly impact any natural vegetation or wildlife habitat.

Section 10:The grading conforms with the Development Code’s standards pertaining to grading on slopes, height of cut/fill and retaining walls in that the grading requested is necessary for the development of the subject property and complies with the Development Code’s criteria in that no earth movement will occur on slopes equal to or greater than 35% nor will the grading result in slopes exceeding a 50% gradient. In regards to the depth of cut or fill, other than the excavation required for the proposed cellar, no cut or fill on the lot will exceed a height of three (3) feet. With regards to the excavation required to create the basement, which will exceed a height of five (5) feet, Section 17.76.040(E)(9)(c) of the Development Code exempts the earth excavation for a basement or cellar from the depth of cut or fill requirements.

Section 11:The Minor Exception Permit is necessary to avoid inconsistencies with the general intent of the Development Code in that fence heights within the required front yard area are limited to a height of 42 inches and the applicants desire to construct a 6 foot high fence along the front property line similar to other fences and walls located on the seaward side of Marguerite Drive. Although the intent of this code requirement is to prevent the fortification of residential neighborhoods, to regulate the aesthetic value of walls or fences, as seen from the right-of-way, and to maintain a feeling of openness between the front yard and the residence, the Planning Commission has determined that the subject lot, which is located on a "bluff top", is similar to the other "bluff top" lots in this neighborhood because they are larger and deeper, which allows development to occur further away from the right-of-way, than the other lots that are located on the landward side of the street. Because of the unique lot depth, many of the homes on the seaward side of Marguerite Drive are setback greater than 20 feet from the street. In order to physically identify the property lines while maintaining a level of security, many of these lots are enclosed with 6 foot high fences or walls along the front property line. As proposed, a 6’ high combination fence/wall will replace an existing 42" high wall along the front property line. The proposed combination fence/wall will not exceed the Development Code’s height limit of 6 feet and will be 80% open/permeable to allow light and air to penetrate.

Section 12:The height of the proposed fence will not be detrimental to the public’s safety or welfare in that it will be located along the front property line and will be aligned with other walls and fences located on Marguerite Drive. As for the public’s safety or welfare, the subject property is not located on a corner lot where the proposed fence would impair the line of sight of on-coming vehicles nor will the proposed fence obstruct the flow of pedestrian traffic since a side walk does not exist along this side of the street and the street is at an adequate width to safely accommodate vehicular movement and parking. Furthermore, the applicants propose to landscape the area adjacent to the proposed fence to soften the overall appearance of the fence from the public’s perspective.

Section 13:The line of sight over or through the fence is adequate for safety and does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of an adjacent parcel in that the proposed fence creates harmonious connection with other fences along Marguerite Drive, conforming to the appearances of other existing fences and walls. Furthermore, in regards to potential view impairments from surrounding properties, these views are laterally over the subject property and will not be impaired by the proposed fence since the lots to the immediate east are higher in elevation and maintain views laterally over the subject property.

Section 14:The proposed addition at 3,925 square feet is compatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood in that the largest home on Marguerite Drive is 9,561 square feet (excluding the garage) and that the subject residence’s total structure size, with the addition, will be 7,332 square feet (excluding the garage), which is 2,229 square feet smaller than the largest home (37 Marguerite Drive). Additionally the average square footage of the ten (10) closest homes within the immediate neighborhood is 7,036 square feet and the final structure will be 296 square feet larger than the average structure size. The design of the addition utilizes design elements that reduce the mass and bulk of the structure. Such elements include the use of similar materials and colors, varying the outline of the roof eaves and articulating the building facades. Furthermore, the proposed addition will be constructed at a 71’ front yard setback, which exceeds the 20’ requirement set forth in the Development Code and is consistent with the character of the immediate neighborhood.

Section 15:The proposed project complies with the Residential Development Guidelines for the RS-1 zoning district in that the required setbacks for the front, rear and side yards are adhered to, and that the proposed lot coverage, at 25%, is maximum permitted under the requirements set forth in the Development Code. Additionally, the Development Code requires that structures with habitable floor area exceeding 5,000 square feet maintain a minimum of a three (3) car garage, and according to the plans, a four (4) car garage will be constructed. As proposed, the interior dimensions of the garage comply with the Development Code’s minimum 9’ x 20’ per parking stall requirement.

Section 16:As proposed, the improvements requested by the applicants are consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan land use designation of residential since the majority of the proposed addition will be attached to the existing residence and will not alter the existing primary residential use of the property.

Section 17:The proposed project complies with the policies of the Coastal Act in that the project site does not nor will ever be required to provide public access to the shoreline or to recreational areas because of the extreme slope that exists between the top and toe of the bluff. Furthermore, the property does not extend to the coast, but is separated by adjacent privately owned property.

Section 18:Any interested party may appeal this decision or any portion of this decision to the City Council. If upon the filing of an appeal the City Council upholds the Planning Commission decision, an appeal may be filed with the California Coastal Commission. Pursuant to Section 17.72.100 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, any such appeal must be filed no later than ten (10) days following the final date of the City’s action.

Section 19:For the foregoing reasons, and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes, and other records of proceedings, the Planning Commission of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby approves Variance No. 475, Grading Permit No. 2228, Minor Exception Permit No. 572, Site Plan Review No. 8808 Revision ‘A’, and Coastal Permit No. 161 Revision ‘A’, thereby approving the construction of a 3,925 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence consisting of 1,431 square foot basement, a 1,467 square foot addition to the main residence level and a 1,027 square foot attached four-car garage at a height of 14’-6", as measured from the highest existing grade covered by structure (170.38’) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (185’), and 16’-6", as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure (168.38’) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (185’). Furthermore, said approvals include the construction of a new swimming pool and spa, the relocation of a 480 square foot guest house partially over an existing second unit at a height of 24’, a 27 square foot addition within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone, 829 cubic yards of associated grading and the construction of a 6’ fence along the front property line, subject to the conditions of approval in Exhibit "A".

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 25th day of September, 2001, by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTIONS:

ABSENT:

_____________________
Frank Lyon
Chairman

_______________________________
Joel Rojas, AICP
Director of Planning, Building
and Code Enforcement; and,
Secretary to the Planning Commission

 


EXHIBIT ‘A’

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL

VARIANCE NO. 475, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2228, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 572, SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8808 REVISION ‘A’ AND
COASTAL PERMIT NO. 161 REVISION ‘A’

General

  1. Prior to the submittal of plans into Building and Safety plan check, the applicant and/or property owner shall submit to the City a statement, in writing, that they have read, understand and agree to all conditions of approval contained in this approval. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days following the date of this approval shall render this approval null and void.
  2. The approval shall become null and void after one (1) year from the date of approval by the City, or final action by the California Coastal Commission, if appealed, unless the approved plans are submitted to the Building and Safety Division to initiate the "plan check" review process.
  3. This approval shall not become valid until ten (10) working days following the final action, provided no appeal has been filed to the California Coastal Commission.
  4. The proposed project shall be constructed in substantial compliance with the plans approved and stamped by the Planning Department with the effective date of this approval.
  5. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved plans or any of the conditions if such modifications achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with said plans and conditions.
  6. The proposed project shall be conducted in full compliance with the conditions set forth herein.
  7. In the event that a Planning requirement and a Building & Safety requirement are in conflict with one another, the stricter standard shall apply.
  8. The hours of construction shall be limited to 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. No construction shall be permitted on Sundays or on legal holidays.
  9. The construction site 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 is not 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.
  10. VARIANCE

  11. This approval shall allow the construction of a 27 square foot addition within the Coastal Structure Setback Zone.
  12. This approval shall permit the relocated guest house to be constructed at a height of 24’, as measured from the lowest adjacent finished grade covered by structure (171.33) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (195.25’).
  13. GRADING PERMIT

  14. The proposed grading shall not exceed 829 cubic yards of earth movement, as shown on the stamped and approved grading plans. Of the proposed grading, 634 cubic yards of cut will be for the basement entirely under the building footprint and 195 cubic yards of cut shall be for the expanded motor courtyard.
  15. The maximum depth of cut/fill shall not exceed 5’ in height, except for the excavation required for the basement.
  16. The retaining wall for the motor courtyard shall not exceed three (3) feet in height, as measured from the lowest finished grade.
  17. The City’s Geotechnical Consultant shall review the project in the "plan check" stage to determine whether further reports and investigation shall be required prior to issuance of building permits.
  18. MINOR EXCEPTION

  19. The combination fence/wall located along the front property line shall not exceed six (6) feet in height, as measured from the lowest finished grade adjacent to the wall and shall be eighty (80) percent open/permeable to light and air.
  20. No architectural elements or lights shall be permitted on the fence that exceed the permitted height of six (6) feet, as defined in the above condition.
  21. The area located immediately adjacent to the fence may be landscaped with vegetation that does not exceed 42" in height.
  22. SITE PLAN REVIEW

  23. The project shall allow the construction of a 3,925 square foot addition to an existing single-family residence in the form of a 1,431 square foot basement, a 1,467 square foot addition to the main residence level, and a 1,027 square foot attached four-car garage. The relocated guest house shall not exceed 480 square feet.
  24. A square footage certification shall be required prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy by Building and Safety, verifying that the proposed project adheres to the permitted square footages indicated herein.
  25. The permitted addition to the main residence shall not exceed a height of 14’-6", as measured from the highest existing grade covered by structure (170.30‘) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (185’), and 16’-6", as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure (168.38’) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (185’). A Building Height Certification shall be required.
  26. The Lot Coverage requirement for the subject property located in the RS-1 zoning district shall not exceed 25%. The proposed lot coverage is 25%.
  27. The following minimum setbacks shall be maintained for the proposed addition:
  28. Front Yard: 20’-0" minimum (71’ proposed)

    Side Yard: 5'-0" minimum (10-6" proposed)

    Rear Yard: 15'-0" minimum (26’ from top of slope)

  29. A fully enclosed and operable four-car garage (minimum interior dimension of 9’ x 20’ per parking stall) shall be maintained on the subject property at all times.
  30. The proposed guest house shall not contain any food preparation facilities, such as a oven or stove top. A second unit covenant shall be required to be recorded on the property by the applicants prior to issuance of building permits.
  31. A twenty-five (25) foot turning radius shall be constructed in front of the proposed detached garage.
  32. This approval shall allow the construction of a pool and spa with mechanical equipment.
  33. The proposed pool and spa area shall be enclosed with a minimum 5’ high fence, with a self-closing device and a self-latching device located no closer than 4’ above the ground.
  34. The proposed pool and spa equipment shall be no closer than three (3) feet from the interior side property line (proposed 9’) and shall not exceed 6’ in height. The pool/spa equipment shall be adequately screened from the neighboring properties and the right of way.
  35. The proposed paving, around the pool and spa shall not exceed 30" in height, as measured from adjacent finished grade.
  36. Approvals and permits shall be obtained from the Department of Building and Safety for the approval contained herein.
  37. A on-site drainage plan shall be reviewed and approved by the Department of Building and Safety. All appropriate approvals and permits shall also be obtained from the Department of Public Works.
  38. Approvals and permits shall be obtained from the Department of Building and Safety and the Department of Public Works for the connection to the City’s public sewer system.


CONTINUED BUSINESS


5.LONG POINT RESORT: Consisting of Coastal Permit No. 166, General Plan Amendment No. 28, Conditional Use Permit No. 215, Conditional Use Permit No. 216, Parcel Map No. 26073, Grading Permit No. 2229, Grading Permit No. 2230, and the associated Final Environmental Impact Report; Destination Development Corporation, (applicant), 6610 Palos Verdes Drive South and 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard. (AM)

TO:HONORABLE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM:DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE:SEPTEMBER 25, 2001

SUBJECT:LONG POINT RESORT PROJECT – CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING

Staff Coordinators: Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Senior Planner

 

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review and discuss the project’s EIR and forward a recommendation to the City Council for certification at their October 16th meeting; 2) Review and discuss the Grading Permit findings for both the Resort Hotel Area and the Upper Point Vicente Area; 3) Continue the discussion on the revised site plans for the Resort Hotel Area and the Upper Point Vicente Area and determine whether the plans are acceptable to the Commission and consistent with the August 14th and August 28th motions; 4) Consider the applicant’s request to introduce a modification to the Upper Point Vicente Area site plan; 5) If deemed appropriate, review the revised draft resolutions and conditions of approval for the project applications; and 6) If deemed appropriate, forward a recommendation to the City Council for consideration at their October 16th meeting.

PROJECT BACKGROUND:

The project applicant, Destination Development Corporation, has submitted applications for the Long Point Resort. This proposal involves a mix of uses including a 9-hole public golf course and practice facility, a 400 room hotel (including some bungalow units), 50 casita units with a maximum of 3 keys per unit, 32 single key resort villa units, conference center, related commercial uses, restaurants, trails, public park areas, coastal access points and parking, and natural open space and habitat areas. The overall acreage of the proposed project is approximately 168.4 acres. This includes the privately owned Long Point site (old Marine Land site at 6610 Palos Verdes Drive

South) and the publicly owned Upper Point Vicente property (the areas surrounding the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall buildings at 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard).

The public hearing on the Long Point project was initially opened at the Planning Commission’s April 10, 2001 regularly scheduled meeting and was continued to a site visit held on Saturday, April 14, 2001. The hearing was continued from the April 14th meeting to the Planning Commission’s April 24th, May 17th, June 12th, July 10th, July 24th, August 14th, August 28th, and September 11th meetings, and most recently to September 25, 2001.

At the September 11th meeting, the Commission began to discuss the revisions made to the Resort Hotel Area (RHA) and the Upper Point Vicente Area (UPVA) site plans. As the Commission may recall, the revisions made to the site plans were based on motions adopted by the Commission at their August 14th and August 28th meetings directing the applicant to remove the Hole No. 5 area from the UPVA plan and to re-establish a fully dedicated golf school/practice facility on the RHA. In discussing the modifications made to the site plans, some Commissioners indicated that a vote on the acceptability of the revised site plans could not be conducted without determining whether the appropriate findings can be made. As such, the Commission shifted their discussion from the acceptability of the site plans to the project findings. The Commission was able to positively make all the project findings, except for the grading findings for both the RHA and the UPVA. The Commission was unable to vote on the grading findings because the quantities of earth movement originally presented to the Commission were no longer accurate due to project revisions. As such, the Commission directed the applicant to submit revised grading plans for consideration at their September 25th meeting.

In response to the Commission’s direction, revised grading plans for both the Resort Hotel Area and the Upper Point Vicente Area were submitted to the Planning Department on September 18th. Staff has reviewed the revised grading plans and have found them to be substantially similar to the original grading plans. Nonetheless, the grading findings have been modified to include the most recent quantities and are attached to this report for review by the Commission. In addition to the revised grading findings, attached to this report are the redlined project findings approved at the last Commission meeting. A detailed analysis on the grading plans is provided in the next section.

DISCUSSION

The following discussion encompasses a summary of the required process for the certification of the project’s EIR, an analysis of the revised grading plans for both the Resort Hotel Area and the Upper Point Vicente Area, as well as other project related items identified in the recommendation.

Environmental Impact Report

As indicated in the previous Staff Report, the City’s EIR consultant is currently preparing the Response to Comments on the updated Biological Assessment and Technical Appendices, Volume IV of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). Staff anticipates the completion of the Response to Comments by the EIR consultant no later than Monday September 24th, for which the final document will be distributed to the Commission for consideration at the September 25th meeting.

Pursuant to Section 15107 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a lead agency (the City) shall complete and certify the final EIR of a project within one (1) year from the date of completeness, unless a one time ninety (90) day time extension is requested by the applicant. As such, the project was deemed complete by Staff on July 18, 2000, thus requiring action on the EIR by July 17, 2001. However, the applicant requested a ninety (90) day time extensions due to the additional studies required to complete a comprehensive document, which thereby extended the action date on the EIR’s certification to October 17, 2001.

The City Council is the governing body who will consider all public comments and information regarding the EIR and the re-circulated Biological Section prior to considering certification of the EIR. As a reminder, the re-circulation of Volume IV provided the public an additional opportunity to review and comment on this specific section of the EIR along with the additional biological studies that have been completed since circulation of the Draft EIR. The EIR certification must occur by October 17, 2001. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the Planning Commission review and forward a recommendation on the EIR at its September 25th meeting to allow the Council to take action on the EIR at its October 16, 2001 meeting.

As noted by the Assistant City Attorney at the July 24th meeting, the Planning Commission may forward a recommendation on the EIR without reviewing the Response to Comments on Volume IV, in that the Commission is serving in an advisory capacity for the Long Point project. In other words, provided that the Commission has reviewed the re-circulated document, a recommendation as to the adequacy of the EIR may still be forwarded to the Council. Notwithstanding, it is Staff’s intent to forward the Response to Comments on Volume IV to the Commission prior to the meeting. In the event that the Response to Comments are not completed by the City’s EIR Consultant prior to the meeting, Staff will still provide the Commission with copies of the Responses.

Representatives from the City’s Environmental Consultant team will be in attendance at the September 25th meeting to assist the Commission in their discussion of the project’s EIR and the certification process.

Revised Resort Hotel Area Grading Plans

According to the grading plans recently submitted to the Planning Department, the applicant requests to conduct 837,166 cubic yards of associated earth movement on the Resort Hotel Area. Of the proposed earth movement, the quantity of cut has been balanced with the quantity of fill so that no earth will have to be imported to or exported from the project site. In comparison to the original grading plan for the Resort Hotel Area (RHA) which consisted of 820,800 cubic yards of earth movement, an additional 16,366 cubic yards of earth movement is proposed. The additional earth movement is a result of changes made to the golf course and the practice facility based on the recommendations from the City’s golf Safety Consultant and direction from the Commission.

As the Commission may recall, in discussing the building heights of the proposed Villas along Palos Verdes Drive South with respect to the view corridors established by the Coastal Specific Plan, the Commission directed the applicant to lower the pad elevation in a manner that prevents the structures from exceeding the elevation height of Palos Verdes Drive South. As such, in order to lower the building pads for the Villas, additional earth movement is required. Furthermore, in designing the proposed golf course and golf school/practice facility on the RHA with respect to public safety and the City’s Golf Safety Consultant’s recommendations, grading was utilized to create a bowl effect with earth berms that would adequately contain errant golf shots.

Revised Upper Point Vicente Area Grading Plans

According to the grading plans recently submitted to the Planning Department, the applicant requests to conduct 182,498 cubic yards of associated earth movement on the Upper Point Vicente Area. Of the proposed earth movement, the quantity of cut has been balanced with the quantity of fill so that no earth will have to be imported or exported to and from the project site. In comparison to the original grading plan for the upper Point Vicente Area (UPVA) which consisted of 202,968 cubic yards of earth movement, a reduction of 20,470 cubic yards of earth movement is proposed. The reduced earth movement is a result of revisions made to the proposed golf course, specifically to the area between the cul-de-sac adjacent to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Hole No. 4 and the area between the fairway for Hole No. 2 and Palos Verdes Drive South. Under the current grading proposal, the applicant proposes to grade the area formerly known as the fairway for Hole No. 5 near the City Hall buildings to create a relatively level open space pad area for future use by the City.

Revised Resort Hotel Area and Upper Point Vicente Area Site Plans

As directed by the Commission at previous hearings, the site plans for both the RHA and the UPVA have been revised to comply with the adopted motions made at the August 14th and August 28th meetings. In discussing the site plan revisions at the last meeting, the Commission did not determine whether the plans are acceptable to the adopted motions. For further information regarding Staff’s analysis on the plan modifications, including comments and recommendations from the City’s Golf Safety Consultant and Biological Resource Consultant, see the August 28th Staff Report for the UPVA and the September 11th Staff Report for the RHA.

Golf Safety

At the last meeting, there was considerable Commission discussion on the function of the golf course layout, specifically pertaining to the golf school/practice facility. Concerns were raised with respect to public safety and the golf school/practice facility’s close proximity to the hotel entry road, pedestrian trails, and Hole No. 9. As such, Staff referred to the City’s Golf Safety Consultant who provided further recommendations for the Commission to consider for improving public safety. For a detailed explanation, please see the letter attached to this report, however, in brief, the Consultant recommends the following:

  • The use of earth berms and landform features to contain errant golf shots
  • Increasing the amount of dense vegetation along the golf course fairways to contain errant golf shots
  • Establishing the recommended 175 foot setback from the edge of trail paths to the center of golf fairways

As previously indicated, the Golf Safety Consultant believes that there are no guarantees that golf shots will not be hit off the property or in a direction off the golf course. It is believed that netting, which was not reviewed as part of the project’s EIR, is the only realistic means of preventing errant golf shots from leaving the golf course. Nevertheless, the Golf Safety Consultant believes that if his recommendations are implemented a vast majority of shots will not come in conflict with surrounding amenities.

UPVA Alternative Site Plan

According to the applicant’s latest revisions to the RHA, which was presented to the Commission at their September 11th meeting, the total par for the entire golf course has been reduced from 33 to 32. In order to retain the total par for a complete golf experience, the applicant requests that the Commission consider an alternative site plan to the UPVA, that would accompany the revisions made to the RHA described above. As such, the applicant submitted a modified UPVA site plan, titled as Option C (see September 11th Staff Report Attachment). According to the modified site plan, the applicant requests to realign Hole No. 5 so that the tee is oriented uphill towards the proposed City Yard Facility. In comparing this alternative to the Commission’s motion on August 14th, Staff believes that the proposed modification to Hole No. 5 is inconsistent with the Commission’s motion in that the fairway would extend into the area the Commission eliminated from the golf course design (former Hole No. 5). The applicant has informed Staff that the total park area under this proposal will be approximately .55 acres less than the UPVA site plan deemed acceptable to the Commission’s August 14th motion.

Since this alternative is obviously not consistent with the Commission’s previous motion, and thus may be rejected outright, Staff has not analyzed its potential impacts to public safety or biological resources. However, it should be noted that the modified site plan for the UPVA was included in the transmittal to the City’s Golf Safety Consultant for the RHA site plan. The City’s Golf Safety Consultant completed a preliminary review of this option which was attached to the September 11th Staff Report for review by the Commission. Notwithstanding the lack of a formal review, Staff believes that the modified UPVA site plan may adversely impact areas dedicated for habitat restoration and re-vegetation. Therefore, considering the potential impacts that may result from the modified UPVA site plan, it is at the Commission’s discretion to reject the proposal and not consider discussing its merits or to allow the applicant to formally present this option for the Commission’s consideration.

Potential Project Discussion Items

In addition to the information provided to the Commission in previous Staff Reports, the Commission may choose to further discuss the following items that pertain to the Resort Hotel Area and the Upper Point Vicente Area:

  • Hotel architecture
  • Public parks and trails
  • The use of the Villas
  • Building heights
  • Casitas
  • The design of the golf course
  • Golf course operation
  • The realignment of the pedestrian trail located between Hole No. 2 and the Coast Guard property
  • The 42 space parking area along the cul-de-sac adjacent to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
  • Golf Safety Consultant’s recommendations

Findings

As previously indicated, attached to this Staff Report are the revised grading findings for the RHA and the UPVA. Additionally, the findings approved by the Commission at their September 11th meeting are also attached to this report in a redlined format so that the Commission may review the modifications made at the public hearing.

Conditions of Approval

If after discussing the grading findings and the revised site plans the Commission determines that the RHA and the UPVA plans are acceptable and consistent with the Commission’s August 14th and August 28th motions, the Commission may wish to conceptually approve the application package and review the Draft Conditions of Approval. The attached draft conditions have been once again modified since the last distribution to include the Commission’s comments provided to Staff at the September 11th meeting. It should be noted that the Draft Conditions of Approval have been separated into two documents, one for the UPVA and the other for the RHA and are in a redlined format. Furthermore, the conditions have been categorized according to the development applications requested by the applicant. Since the conditions of approval are still in a draft format, the Commission may find it suitable to continue to add, modify, or delete conditions.

Resolutions

In addition to the Draft Conditions of Approval, if deemed appropriate, the Commission may consider reviewing the Draft Resolutions. Staff will provide the Commission the Draft Resolutions for the project applications on Friday, September 21, 2001 and the Draft Environmental Resolutions on Monday, September 24, 2001 for consideration at the September 25th meeting.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Resource Agencies

As indicated in the September 11th Staff Report, Staff conducted a meeting on September 5th with representatives from the Resource Agencies to provide them with an update of the Long Point project. At that time, the representatives from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Fish and Game indicated they would need additional time to more carefully review the project’s most current design to determine whether the plan would work from a biological stand point if most or all of the open space corridor is dedicated as a habitat preserve. They indicated that they would get back to Staff in a week or two on that issue. To date, Staff has not received any correspondence from the Resource Agencies pertaining to the proposed project. However, Staff has been notified that Bill Tippets from the California Department of Fish and Game plans to attend the September 25th meeting. Furthermore, in response to the meeting with the Resource Agencies and the discussion of this subject matter by the Commission and public at the September 11th meeting, the applicant has submitted a letter, which is attached to this report, summarizing his impression of the concerns raised at the meeting in relation to the project’s acceptability by the Agencies.

As a reminder, although the City (Planning Commission and City Council) has the ability to approve a plan which it believes adequately mitigates any biological impacts, in the end, the Resource Agencies will need to issue a "take" permit to allow the developer to implement the City approved plan. Therefore, ultimately Resource Agency approval of a plan for UPVA will be necessary in order for the proposed project to be developed. Staff intends to continue to work with the Resource Agencies on these biological issues.

Biology

No additional comments have been provided to Staff from the City’s Biological Resource Consultant pertaining to the project revisions. Nevertheless, the Biological Resource Consultant will be in attendance at the Spetember 25th meeting to answer any questions the Commission may have.

Traffic

In addition to the Environmental Consultant’s attendance at the September 25th meeting, a representative from the City’s Traffic Sub-Consultant, Urban Crossroads, will also be available to answer any questions the Commission may have regarding the traffic analysis conducted for the project.

Finance Advisory Committee Status

As noted in the previous Staff Report, it appears that findings and recommendations from the FAC to the City Council, regarding the financial aspects of the project, will be forwarded sometime in October, as directed by the City Council.

Public Comments

Attached to this report are all public comments received by the City at and after the September 11th meeting. The comments submitted were received either via regular mail, e-mail or hand delivery. Staff has separated comments supporting and opposing the proposed project.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Revised RHA and UPVA Grading Plans
  • Applicant’s Letter In Response to Resource Agency Meeting
  • Golf Safety Consultant’s Letter
  • Application Findings (Presented in Exhibits A through G)
  • Draft Project Resolutions
  • Draft Environmental Resolution
  • Draft Conditions of Approval
  • Public Comments

 


NEW BUSINESS:(NO ITEMS)


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

Staff


6.PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 9, 2001.

PLANNING COMMISSION

PRE-AGENDA

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2001


CONSENT CALENDAR


1.MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 25, 2001

CONTINUED BUSINESS:(NO ITEMS)


PUBLIC HEARINGS

2.CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 229, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2283,

and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 740: Verizon Wireless Services, represented by Lorena Martinez at TetraTech Wireless. (ES)

A request to replace an existing 35-foot-high flagpole with a 45-foot-high pole supporting three antenna arrays (six antenna panels mounted inside the pole) for Verizon Wireless, located at the eastern end of the track and field area of Miraleste Intermediate School. A total of 15 cubic yards of grading will be conducted to provide for a 14-foot deep caisson foundation. Further, a 240 square foot, 12-foot-high, prefabricated equipment structure with a roof-mounted GPS antenna is proposed 75-feet south of the new antenna pole, and will be surrounded by a protective fence and hedge.

3.CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296

and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742: Verizon Wireless Services, represented by John Koos at TetraTech Wireless. (ES)

A request to construct a new 30-foot-tall simulated power pole, to accommodate the placement of 4 panel antennae inside the pole, located to the west (upslope) of the existing Ladera Linda Community Center buildings and east of the existing tennis courts. Further, a 240-square foot, 12-foot high, prefabricated equipment structure is proposed adjacent to the new antenna pole.

4.GRADING PERMIT NO. 2191: Mr. and Mrs. Heru Wiredja, 3815 Palos Verdes Drive South. (AM)

A request to allow the construction of a new 7,691 square foot, two-story, single-family residence with a three-car garage, at a proposed height of 9’-6", as measured from the highest existing grade covered by structure to the top of the highest roof ridgeline, and 30’ in height, as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure to the top of the highest roof ridgeline. The Grading Permit is to allow 1,643 cubic yards of associated earth movement to prepare the undeveloped project site for the proposed residence. 5.COASTAL PERMIT NO. 170 and GRADING PERMIT NO. 2260: Eric Johnson, 2 Yacht Harbor Drive. (KF)

A request to construct a new, 16-foot-tall single-family residence and subterranean garage, guest house, studio and swimming pool, totaling 22,715 square feet of habitable and non-habitable space, on an 18.88-acre bluff-top site in the Portuguese Bend Club community.

5.COASTAL PERMIT NO. 172 and GRADING PERMIT NO. 2281: Eric Johnson, 2 Yacht Harbor Drive. (KF)

A request to realign a portion of the private street right-of-way of Yacht Harbor Drive across a 18.88-acre bluff-top site in the Portuguese Bend Club community, in conjunction with the construction of a new, single-family residence.


NEW BUSINESS:(NO ITEMS)

Commission


ADJOURNMENT

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,

October 9, 2001, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park