03/26/2002 Planning Commission Agenda March, 2002, 03/26/2002, Planning, Commission, Meeting, Agenda, A request to grant a 1-year extension of Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 for a 2,729-square-foot addition and 166 cubic yards of related grading for an existing single-family residence on a bluff-top lot, Grant a 1-year extension via Minute Order, thereby setting the final expiration date of Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 as March 26, 2003, with all conditions of approval contained in P.C. Resolution No. 2000-17 remaining in full force and effect The 03/26/2002 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Agenda
Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission Agenda March 26, 2002
March 26, 2002

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 Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Department.

...end of disclaimer...

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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, MARCH 26, 2002

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. 2002-03


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:



COMMUNICATIONS:

Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • None

Staff:

Commission:


NEW BUSINESS:



1. PLANNING COMMISSION ORIENTATION – PROCEDURES AND INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS (JR, City Attorney)

Recommendation: That the Planning Commission receive and file the information presented by Staff and the City Attorney.


AGENDA NOTE: NEW BUSINESS will be continued towards the end of the Agenda with Item #6.



CONSENT CALENDAR:



2. MINUTES OF MARCH 12, 2002


3. PERMIT EXTENSION REQUEST (CASE NO. ZON2002-00100): Gene & Terry Rolle (applicants), 38 Seacove Drive (KF)

Requested Action: A request to grant a 1-year extension of Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 for a 2,729-square-foot addition and 166 cubic yards of related grading for an existing single-family residence on a bluff-top lot.

Recommendation: Grant a 1-year extension via Minute Order, thereby setting the final expiration date of Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 as March 26, 2003, with all conditions of approval contained in P.C. Resolution No. 2000-17 remaining in full force and effect.


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



CONTINUED BUSINESS:



4. COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND SITE PLAN REVIEW CASE NO. ZON2001-00032: 120 Spindrift Lane / Maniscalco (BY)

Request: A request to allow the construction of a new 470 square foot carport and a 526 square foot addition to the residence over the new carport. The proposed addition is proposed at a height of 17.75’, as measured from the point where the lowest foundation meets finished grade (102.84’) to the top of the highest ridge (120.59’), and 11.27’, as measured from the highest elevation of existing pad covered by structure (109.32’) to the highest ridge. A Variance is required to encroach into the required front and side setbacks, to exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage by the Development Code, to waive the City’s requirement for a garage containing two enclosed parking spaces, and to exceed the addition square footage limitation in the Coastal Zone. The improvements are proposed on a property located within the Appealable portion of the City’s Coastal Zone.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt Resolution No. 2002-__, approving with conditions Coastal Permit, Variance and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2001-00032).



5. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296, and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742: Verizon Wireless Services, Mr. John Koos, (applicant), 32201 Forrestal Drive. (BH)

Requested Action: Construct a 30-foot high "monopole" (simulated pine tree monopole antenna) west of the existing Ladera Linda Community Center Buildings, east of the soccer fields, and southwest of the existing tennis courts. In addition, a 240-square foot fenced area with equipment cabinets is proposed adjacent to the new antenna pole.

Recommendation:Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__, denying "without prejudice" Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296, and Environmental Assessment No. 742.


PUBLIC HEARINGS: (NO ITEMS)



NEW BUSINESS (Continued):



6. Issues to be Discussed at the Joint Meeting with the City Council and Finance Advisory Committee Concerning the Crestridge Properties (gp)

Recommendation: That the Planning Commission identify issues pertaining to the Crestridge properties that they would like to discuss at the joint workshop between the City Council, Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee on May 7, 2002.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff



7. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF APRIL 9, 2002.

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
April 9, 2002, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.


AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2002

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. 2002-03


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

COMMUNICATIONS:

Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • None

Staff:

Commission:


NEW BUSINESS:







1. PLANNING COMMISSION ORIENTATION – PROCEDURES AND INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS (JR, City Attorney)

Recommendation: That the Planning Commission receive and file the information presented by Staff and the City Attorney.

MEMORANDUM

TO: Chairman and Members of the Planning Commission

FROM: Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

DATE: March 26, 2002

SUBJECT: Planning Commission Orientation

Staff Coordinator: Gregory Pfost, AICP, Deputy Planning Director

RECOMMENDATION

Receive and file the information presented by Staff and the City Attorney.

DISCUSSION

The City Council has recently appointed three new Planning Commissioners. Usually, at the first or second meeting after the appointment has been made, Staff and the City Attorney provide an orientation for the benefit of the new Planning Commissioners. Attached to this report are a number of documents that will assist the new Planning Commissioners with their new position. At the March 26, 2002 meeting, the City Attorney will discuss the Brown Act and various other legal issues, while the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement will provide a brief overview of the distributed materials. Since the five incumbent Planning Commissioners should already be in possession of the distributed materials, only the new three Commissioners have been provided with the noted Attachments.

Attachments:

General Plan and Land Use map
Development Code (Municipal Code Titles 16 and 17) and Zoning Map
Housing Element (August 2001)
Coastal Specific Plan
Western Avenue Specific Plan
Height Variation Guidelines
Antenna Guidelines
Planning Commission Resolution No. 2000-18 (Rules and Procedures)
Committee and Commission Handbook
Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Employee Organization Chart
Empty Notebooks with Numbered Tabs for use


CONSENT CALENDAR:



2. MINUTES OF MARCH 12, 2002

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
PLANNING COMMISSION AND TRAFFIC COMMITTEE
JOINT MEETING
MARCH 12, 2002


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.


FLAG SALUTE

Chairman Jones of the Traffic Committee led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.


ROLL CALL

Deputy City Clerk Jackie Drasco swore in the new Planning Commission.

Present: Commissioners Cartwright, Cote, Long, Mueller, Reed, Tomblin, and Chairman Lyon
Absent: None

Traffic Committee

Present: Committee members Shepherd, Schurmer, Wall, and Chairman Jones
Absent: Committee members Hildebrand and Reuben were absent. Committee member Covey was recused.

Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Mihranian, Public Works liaison Jules, and Recording Secretary Peterson.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Without objection, the agenda was approved as presented.


COMMUNICATION

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed one item of correspondence relating to the Marymount project.

Director/Secretary Rojas reported that at the last City Council meeting the new Planning Commissioners were appointed, and he welcomed the new members. He reported that interviews for the Chairman position would be held on April 2 and that the joint meeting with the Finance Advisory Committee, City Council, and Planning Commission regarding the Crestridge properties would be held on May 7.

Commissioner Cartwright reported that the president of Miraleste Hills HOA had called him and explained that she would not be able to attend the meeting and asked him to report that the board had no additional issues or concerns with the Marymount EIR.


CONSENT CALENDAR

1. Minutes of February 26, 2002

Commissioner Long noted clarifications and typos on pages 4, 12, 13, and 15.

The minutes were approved as amended, (4-0-3) with Commissioners Cote, Reed, and Tomblin abstaining since they were not at that meeting.


PUBLIC HEARINGS

2. Marymount College Facilities Expansion – Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meeting: 30800 Palos Verdes Drive South

Chairman Lyon began by explaining that tonight’s joint meeting with the Traffic Committee was being held for the sole purpose of identifying issues and questions that should be addressed in the project’s Environmental Impact Report and that the merits of the project would be discussed at a future meeting. He gave a brief summary of the role of the Planning Commission and what the Planning Commissioners are charged with doing and the process involved in hearing an item before the Commission.

Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report. He explained that, pursuant to CEQA, a scoping meeting provides an additional venue to solicit public comments on environmental issues that should be considered or analyzed as part of the preparation of the Environmental Impact Report. He noted that the City’s consultant hired to prepare the Environmental Impact Report would be making a presentation on the CEQA Guidelines. He stated that this meeting occurs within the comment period for the project’s Notice of Preparation, therefore in addition to receiving public comments at the meeting the City will continue to accept written comments for the EIR until March 28, 2002. He stated that to date the City has received 8 comment letters pertaining to the Notice of Preparation. These letters pertain to environmental concerns that should be analyzed in the EIR with respect to geology, noise, traffic, visual impacts, air quality, and grading. Mr. Mihranian emphasized that the intent of the meeting was to receive public comments on potential environmental issues that should be addressed in the project’s EIR and discussion on the project merits should be held until public hearings on the project applications are considered.

Glenn Lajoie with RBF Consulting explained he was serving as the project manager for preparation of the environmental documentation and process for the Marymount project. He stated that his responsibility was to serve as an extension of City staff and provide an objective review of potential environmental impacts in accordance with CEQA guidelines. He stated that his efforts were focused on the legally sound process and to provide the proper checks and balances of the projects issues in order for the public, reviewing agencies, and the City to have a clear understanding of potential impacts and the significance of impacts. He explained that he was currently proceeding with the preparation of the Draft EIR and gave an explanation of the EIR process and what would be examined. He explained that this meeting was intended for him to better understand the communities environmental concerns and noted that the comments received during the 30-day review period would be considered. He stated that the purpose of this meeting was to focus on remarks with regards to environmental concerns.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Jeff Ray 11144 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A. stated he was the planning consultant for the proposed project and was not here to advocate the project. He stated the Marymount presentation was only a brief presentation to put the project into context. He briefly explained that Marymount was asking for a revision to the Conditional Use Permit to develop buildings, play fields, parking lots, and amenities to the property. He noted that a grading permit would be required as well as a Variance for the setbacks to allow greater distance between the student housing and student parking.

Dr. Thomas McFadden 30731 Ganado Drive presented a brief history of the college explaining the college moved to the Peninsula in 1960 and at the present site since 1975. He explained the mission of the College was to work with students for the first two years of their college experience to provide them with the skills needed to transfer to selective baccalaureate degree granting institutions, and felt they were tremendously successful in achieving that mission. He felt the school was so successful because of the small class size and the emphasis on the community. He discussed the enrollment and student population of the school, noting that Peninsula High School typically sends more students to Marymount College than any other high school. He discussed the proposed master plan stating it called for the addition of a library, athletic facility, residences for 270 students, and a Fine Arts classroom building. He stated that the plan had no proposal for an increase in enrollment, as enrollment was currently capped at 750 students and there was no intent to change the cap. He stated the plan was not an extension of the campus into the neighborhood, as parking would be moved on to the campus. He stated there would be a decrease in traffic, as students would be living on campus. Finally, he explained the reason Marymount was proposing the project was to provide a complete on campus college experience for the students.

Scott Boydstun 248 S. Mills Road, Ventura, stated he was the project architect working with Marymount College. With the use of a power point presentation he showed the current configuration of the campus and explained that the premise behind the new master plan was to create a pedestrian core for the campus and to reorganize the campus on the perimeter of the site and reconfigure it so that it is much more efficient to use. He displayed slides and drawings of the proposed plan and explained the new configuration of the campus.

Jim Jones stated it was his job tonight as Chairman of the Traffic Committee to give a brief overview of 4 ½ hours of work in session plus the hours of the individual committee members before and after their meeting, which took place on February 25, 2002. He explained the Traffic Committee’s methodology was to take areas of concern related to traffic and synthesize these concerns into bullet points, which was submitted to the Public Works Department. He explained that the way to judge a project such as this was on volume, access, and circulation and that there were five areas to the report: general traffic concerns, access, parking, circulation, and construction traffic.

Regarding general traffic concerns, the Traffic Committee suggested an accurate handle be achieved for existing and proposed student enrollment. Further, what was the projection for the number of cars and what was the usage forecast not only for the presence and absence, but also the times of travel in and out of the property and what is the credibility of those projections. How many students now own cars at Marymount and how many would give them up if they lived on campus? Are students likely to leave campus between classes and what trip generation during the day would be generated? Finally, how does the project traffic correlate with peak traffic hours in the community. He stated that the Traffic Committee would like to know the accident and incident traffic history within the Marymount campus vicinity during the last five years. They asked for new and authoritative data on all volume, movement, and speed counts that can be made available on Palos Verdes Drive East from Miraleste Drive all the way down the switchbacks to Palos Verdes Drive South. He stated that if the data is outdated, the Committee requests new surveys be conducted. In the area of access, the Traffic Committee was concerned with the propose entrance area. He noted that it was currently set at a 30-degree angle and it has been reconfigured to a right angle to the street. However, there is a proposed information kiosk in the middle driveway and the Traffic Committee was concerned about the lane crossing in the parking lot. The Traffic Committee requested the applicant redesign the entrance area. He felt that a single entry and exit area was a potential bottleneck and asked that thought be given to providing additional ingress and egress areas. He noted an existing chained exit that could be used immediately. He suggested an uphill right turn lane into campus be created and felt there may be existing roadway that would accommodate that. He asked research be completed with the actual use of shuttles to the academic campus from the off-site housing locations. Chairman Jones suggested that to foretell what may happen with this project a study on the existing traffic patterns from the Palos Verdes Drive North housing facility should be analyzed to predict what student car use may occur.

Regarding access, Chairman Jones noted that garbage collection for the three proposed dormitories would impact other traffic on campus and asked how will the traffic from the new residence halls be moved to the trash pick-up points and how will the trash haulers then pick up that trash. He discussed a study prepared for the college by KAKU regarding parking and questioned the number of required parking places by City code versus the number required by the obvious use.

The Traffic Committee suggested a scale model or scale plans be prepared so that they could see what the traffic access and flow would be. He asked if there would be enough parking for both faculty and students. Regarding on-street parking, he asked for some feedback as to what the thought is on street parking and if there was something inherently wrong. He asked that traffic information at the intersections of Western and First Street and Miraleste Drive and First Street be added to the study currently being conducted of major intersections. He asked what the proposed haul route was for ingress and egress of construction vehicles, how much material was being exported from the site and how many truckloads could be expected, what times it would take place and for how long.

Chairman Jones noted a canyon near the campus and asked what the possibility was of putting in a temporary roadway that would come up on the proposed tennis court area as a pick-up and drop-off point for construction vehicles, thereby avoiding the campus area otherwise used by vehicles.

Lois Karp 31115 Ganado Drive showed a power point presentation and stated she represented the Concerned Citizen Coalition / Marymount Expansion (CCC/ME), which is an organized group of homeowners who reside in the area that immediately surrounds Marymount College. She stated there was an open space view corridor buffer which abuts the college along Palos Verdes Drive East and divides the college from neighboring residences. In order to maintain this open space buffer and the neighborhood’s quality of life, the CCC/ME would like to submit an alternate plan for consideration in the EIR. She gave a brief history of Marymount College on the Peninsula and their gradual expansion at the site. She disagreed with the enrollment numbers given and quoted sources which gave enrollment of the college at over 900 students. She felt the present cap of 750 students was a misrepresentation of the total number of students on campus and felt the cap must count all students and uses of the college and be a finite number. She stated the EIR needs to determine how many people are actually using the campus. She stated that the current proposal increases the footprint of the college almost two and one half times its present size, which will be overpowering and incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood. She stated that the adverse impacts of this expansion project cover a wide range from noise and traffic to inexperienced drivers on the dangerous roads to environmental concerns about the grading and the moving of 85,000 cubic yards of dirt. She noted that immediately east of the college was the San Ramon Canyon, which has experienced land movement that the City is in the process of repairing. She was concerned about the expansion of the college causing geological problems in the neighborhood.

Ms. Karp stated that Marymount College currently used 21.6 acres of United States Navy surplus land located at Palos Verdes Drive North, just east of Western Avenue, for student housing. She explained that the site has town homes which Marymount has refurbished and is presently using as dormitories for approximately 300 students. Also on the site are basketball courts, volleyball courts, and a game room. She proposed that the EIR study an alternative plan in which Marymount continues to use their extended campus on the navy land and to think of their new expansion project in two parts: an academic campus located at Palos Verdes Drive East and Crest Road and the living campus located at Palos Verdes Drive North and Western Avenue. She stated that this was not a new concept, as it was what the college was doing today. She felt there was ample room at the living campus to add an athletic facility, gymnasium, playing fields, pool, and a cafeteria. The academic campus could be enhanced with a new academic library, art studio, maintenance building, and refurbish existing buildings. She felt this alternate proposal would allow Marymount to have all of the amenities they envision for the students and allow the neighbors to be free of the adverse impacts of noise, traffic, and the inappropriate intrusion of a large institution in their neighborhood. It would also maintain the open space buffer she previously mentioned.


RECESS AND RECONVENE

At 8:35 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess to 8:50 p.m. at which time they reconvened.


PUBLIC HEARING (cont)

Barbara Covey 2742 San Ramon Drive stated that she was a member of CCCME as well as a member of the Traffic Committee, which she has recused herself from since she lives within 500 feet of Marymount College. She stated that the EIR should examine the potential dangers to the terrain surrounding Marymount College if the college were to grade and move 85,000 cubic yards of dirt. The EIR should also determine if it would be wise for Marymount to build a 2-story library and maintenance shop at the back of their property next to the known Southshore Landslide, which abuts the terrace where Marymount and San Ramon co-exist.

Vinita Penna 15328 U.S.S. Antietam, San Pedro stated she was currently a sophomore at Marymount College and felt that Rancho Palos Verdes and Marymount College are complimentary to one another and therefore whatever was good for Rancho Palos Verdes was good for Marymount College. She requested the EIR address the many ways Marymount College is a benefit to the Rancho Palos Verdes community.

Dr. Sue Soldoff 3414 Coolheights Drive stated that the CCC/ME does not speak for her or her husband. She stated that she does have concerns about potential noise emanating from the residence halls at night and the potential for additional traffic at odd hours. She asked that the EIR focus on these issues. She asked the EIR also address the impact of nighttime and weekend traffic around the current college residences and how does that compare with traffic around Marymount College at these times now. She expected the data to be collected and analyzed in an unbiased manner by RBF Consultants and was confident Marymount would resolve any problem areas set forth in the EIR to the benefit and satisfaction of the majority of neighborhood residents. She stated she supported Marymount and the Marymount improvement project and was delighted and honored the college was part of her neighborhood.

Mitchell Hahn 31245 Ganado Drive was concerned that there was quite a bit of crime on the campus that was whitewashed over and felt that should be assessed in the EIR. He was concerned that a dormitory atmosphere fosters crime. He felt the actual enrollment numbers should be known and the College should comply with the cap established in the Conditional Use Permit. He stated he was against the project because of its incompatible nature with the surrounding neighborhood.

Emil Stache 2912 Vista Del Mar stated he was the president of the Seacliff Hilltop HOA and the views he was presenting were those of the HOA. He stated he opposed the project for the reasons of devaluation of their homes, crime, and traffic, and the possible increased litter in the neighborhood.

William McGinn 28208 Palos Verdes Drive East did not feel that noise from the campus was a problem and felt the college was taking the utmost effort to subdue any noise problems. He suggested the EIR seriously consider what measures the college has taken, proposes to take, and should take in order to mitigate noise.

Jim Gordon 3538 Bendigo Drive distributed a handout to the Planning Commission and requested the EIR address the visual impacts of the proposed five large buildings. He requested a computer visualization, model, or other illustration showing the very large mass of the combined five buildings. He felt that the proposal by a two-year college for dormitories on campus was unique and unusual across the United States.

Tom Redfield 31273 Ganado Drive distributed a handout to the Planning Commission. His main concern was the view issue and the view corridor. He stated that the houses that now look down onto a beautiful hillside with ocean views would instead be looking down onto a parking lot, athletic field, tennis courts, field houses and buildings.

George Zugsmith 3746 Hightide Drive asked about the designation of a footpath just below the dormitories down to Palos Verdes Drive East. He was concerned that this would encourage student parking on Ganado Drive and the adjacent streets. He noted that the immediate area currently has very low traffic and kids have historically played in and around the streets. He was concerned that with students driving in the neighborhood there was a high probability that there would be a traffic accident or injury to a child or worse. He did not feel there was enough parking on campus to contain all of the vehicles. He asked that the EIR address this issue and the liability that can come from it.

Sam Van Wagner 2763 San Ramon Drive stated he was very pleased to see the City’s consultant agrees with many residents that this project has a plethora of areas with a potential for causing significant environmental impacts. He focused his comments on the geology and soils issue area and noted that the consultants had placed three of the four components of the issue area into the potentially significant impact category, the highest risk level under CEQA. He indicated on a slide where his houses was situated in relation to the San Ramon Canyon Landslide. He stated this was an active landslide adjacent to Marymount, and as the consultant clearly points out additional new landslides could be triggered by the project excavation. He was concerned about the project’s affect on his home as well as the homes of his neighbors. In addition, all residents of Rancho Palos Verdes should be concerned about the potential City liability for damages in the event of another landslide. He concluded by stating he looked forward to an extensive and intensive study and a full articulation of the geologic threats looming if the project is approved.

Neil Nichols 2823 San Ramon Drive questioned the additional cost of City services with the addition of the new residents in the dorms.

Daryl Creighton 3562 Heroic Drive felt the EIR should include the consideration of the entire Rancho Palos Verdes community both from a social and economic standpoint.

Ann Armstrong 30132 Via Borica stated she was also speaking on behalf of her husband and that they have been involved with Marymount College since their establishment on the peninsula. She felt a new and expanded library at Marymount would be one of Rancho Palos Verdes gems. She felt the EIR should contain information about the issue of enrollment and the enrollment cap.

Glenous Absmeir 85 Rockinghorse Road stated she was very impressed with the landscaping at Marymount as well as the absence of litter on campus. She asked if there would be the use of vegetation for noise abatement and would like to see the EIR address the issue of how the college building plan will affect the landscaping effort.

Reza Bavafa 30651 Ganado Drive discussed the concerts and speaker series on the Marymount campus and asked that the EIR consider the other aspects, as well as amenities and increased extra curricular activities the college has to offer to the community.

Earle Casta 3324 Narino Drive stated his main concern was that of view preservation and the projects potential to create a view impairment from his residence.

Linda Rawlings 29624 Grandpoint stated she was a member of the Miraleste Hills HOA, her son was a recent graduate of Marymount College, and is an Associate Professor at the college. She asked the EIR look into the history of the crimes associated with students at Marymount College and would there be a projected increase in crimes with the proposed project

Mary Bavafa 30651 Ganado Drive asked that the EIR address the following issues: 1) how real estate in the Mira Catalina area of Rancho Palos Verdes has been affected by having a college in their neighborhood; 2) has the cost per square foot of housing in the Mira Catalina area increased or decreased over the past few years; 3) how does the increase or decrease compare with other parts of the peninsula.

Felix Krasovec 30741 Ganado Drive stated he has coached many youth league teams and it is very difficult to find places to practice. He submitted to the Planning Commission an article from the PV News articulating the need for playing and practice fields. He understood the facilities proposed by Marymount College were primarily for the use of the students, however he asked the EIR to see if Marymount College would allow the proposed soccer field and basketball courts to be used on a limited basis by the youth leagues of the peninsula. He also asked the EIR to address the possible impact that such limited usage would have on the surrounding community.

Larry Ivins 28203 Golden Meadow Drive stated enjoys a beautiful view from his residence and would be worried about his view if he lived near the project site. However, he felt one should look at the architect’s rendering of the proposed buildings at the college and note what an improvement will be made. He noted that the school is there and will stay there, so it may as well be improved. He also noted the lecture series and entertainment offered by the college and asked the EIR to take that into consideration.

Loyd Kenworthy 3071 Deluna Drive stated that Marymount College has been an asset to the community and a good neighbor and asked that the EIR make note of this. He also stated that in regards to the new dormitories he did not see any service access available for trucks, trash, and fire department vehicles and asked the EIR to address this issue.

Dan O’Callahan 31127 Palos Verdes Drive East felt that Marymount College has been good for the peninsula, however he would like to see the college stay as it is because of the mass of the proposed project and the proximity to his property. He asked the EIR address whether or not students would stay on campus as well as property values in the immediate neighborhood. He also felt this project involved a quality of life issue and was also concerned with the traffic impacts to the neighborhood.

Dr. Nancy Sanders 6502 LeBec Place stated she was a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes as well as a faculty member at Miraleste College. She asked the EIR to consider and study the difference between having a commuter campus where the students come and go each day and the quality of life in the student community on campus.

Eric Randall 6528 Madeline Cove Drive asked that there be an objective evaluation of how property values will be affected by the proposed expansion.

Laura McSherry 2714 San Ramon Drive was concerned about the geology and the problems at San Ramon Canyon. She was concerned about what excavation will do to the entire slide area. She mentioned the noise issue and noted that there would be the added noise from car alarms and music from the parking lot abutting residences on San Ramon Drive.

Karen Thordarson 29122 Whitespoint Drive understood that Marymount College has plans that will improve the parking situation in the entire neighborhood and asked what those plans were and asked that they be reflected in the EIR.

Alberta Samuelson 6045 Via Sonoma asked that the EIR consider not only the immediate area surrounding the college but the entire community and the neighboring cities and the affects of the project economically, socially, and culturally.

James Reeves stated that he serves as Vice President of Student Services and College Operations at Marymount College. He asked that the EIR reflect staffing levels that are currently available to students both in the residence halls and on campus in support of student life. He felt it was important to accurately reflect the kind of parental adult supervision available to the students. He noted that if the EIR addresses crime data it could be found at the Department of Education where all educational institutions must report their crime data each fall.

Shane Armstrong 15290 USS New Jersey, San Pedro stated she was the Associate Dean of Students at Marymount College and it was her job to ensure that all students have a safe and supportive campus community in which to learn and grow. In light of this, she felt it was important that the EIR review how the college currently handles judicial matters.

Susan Garman 15370 USS Antietam, San Pedro stated she was the Director of Student Life at Marymount College and was responsible for finding concrete cultural, social, recreational, and intellectual programs for the college. She felt it would be important for the EIR to look closely at the level and quality of programs available to students both during the school week and on weekends.

Dr. Max Negri 40 Seacove Drive felt it was very important for the EIR to address parking on campus and in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the college.

David Bond 2343 Sunnyside Ridge Road stated he was fully in support of Marymount College and was anxiously looking forward to the improvements planned for the campus. He felt it was important to the students to have housing on campus. He was also confident that the City would deal with any geologic concerns before allowing any expansion of the college.

Chairman Lyon thanked the speakers and closed the public hearing.

Bill Schurmer from the Traffic Committee stated that he was concerned about the efficiency of moving vehicles into the campus off Palos Verdes Drive East. In his observations and talking to the head of security of the campus, there were several things he would like to see considered in the EIR. First, he would like a protected left turn signal considered on the westbound Palos Verdes Drive East. Secondly, the possibility of a dedicated right turn lane on Palos Verdes Drive East going into the campus. Also, he felt it might be beneficial to have a no right turn on red. He asked there be something in the EIR addressing the issue of incentive or ways to motivate students not to park on the street. He was concerned with the proximity of the soccer field as it is to the curb on Palos Verdes Drive East, and felt that soccer balls and other projectiles flying over the fence onto Palos Verdes Drive East would be a serious impediment to traffic and therefore felt the fence height should be taken into consideration. He asked that the EIR contain a profile of the drivers using the Marymount campus.

Commissioner Long asked that when staff prepares the staff report or the EIR is prepared, that a discussion be included on the possible violation of the existing Conditional Use Permit regarding student enrollment, and what affect if any this would have on the Planning Commission jurisdiction over the permit application. Secondly, because there is risk of geological disturbance, he would be interested in the applicant’s ability to procure adequate liability insurance which could be verified as not having any exclusion for land subsidence problems during the course of construction, with the City and potentially affected neighbors being named as additional insurers. He discussed the parking report and the statement that the purpose of the project was to reduce the number of trips to and from the college, but at the same time the project includes the addition of parking spaces. He felt the two statements were not consistent with one another. He hoped that the Traffic Committee would look at and consider the impacts on traffic not only based on existing conditions on Palos Verdes Drive East, but also based on hypothetical conditions of more cars traveling at the speed limit. Finally, he noted that if Palos Verdes Drive East were narrowed he would like consideration given to the impact that will have on non-motorized traffic on Palos Verdes Drive East.

Commissioner Cartwright complimented the speakers and felt their comments were very helpful. He was concerned about geology, view impairment, traffic, and parking and felt most of that had been covered thoroughly as potential impacts in the Initial Study. However, he had not heard much about the impact of construction on the availability of parking and the impact of construction workers on the parking at the school.

Traffic Committee Chairman Jones felt that each of those points were very thoroughly examined and answers given by the architect and the college helped shape the Traffic Committee’s specific questions discussed earlier.

Commissioner Mueller had concerns about the high-density housing that the dormitories would present. He was impressed by comments from the speakers regarding view corridors and was also very concerned about view corridors and asked that preserving view corridors be addressed in the EIR. He was concerned with the traffic on Palos Verdes Drive East and felt the Traffic Committee had done a good job identifying the issues. He discussed the issue of parking and felt it had to be looked at very carefully. He asked that the EIR address the issue that the dormitory buildings basically cap the canyon on the north side and a situation may have been created where acoustic noise would be deflected off of Palos Verdes Drive East back down the canyon. He felt the acoustic analysis should include noise generated from the soccer field and how it propagates down the canyon to the residents who live below and to the west of the proposed soccer field. He stated he would like to see fully scaled architectural plans at the upcoming public hearings.

Commissioner Reed was also very impressed with the audience presentations. She asked for some type of scale model of the project to better visualize the elevations and mass of the project. She was concerned with the issue of traffic and while there are proposed additional parking spots, she wished to know how the neighborhood would be impacted. She asked if there were plans to increase off-campus housing at the Palos Verdes Drive North facility, and if so, how this would affect traffic. She stated she was concerned with the geology of the area and was sure the EIR would thoroughly address any possible impact either through excavation or additional building on the property. She asked that the affect of additional housing on the utilities be addressed. She discussed noise and parking along the area near San Ramon Drive. It had been expressed to her that there would be foliage to minimize the amount of noise coming from vehicles parked by San Ramon Drive and that those parking areas would be limited to staff and faculty. Therefore, there would be no noise after 7:00 p.m. She asked that this be addressed in the EIR. She had also been informed by the people from Marymount that the hedge along Palos Verdes Drive East would reduce the noise levels and asked what type of foliage would be used and will the landscaping actually diminish the noise levels.

Commissioner Tomblin asked to see a comparison of dormitory situations on different campuses throughout the area in the EIR. He too had a concern with the parking situation, particularly near the San Ramon Drive area.

Commissioner Cote appreciated the comments made by the various community members. She too asked that some type of model be developed so that the Planning Commission and the community could truly understand what was being proposed. She felt that it was important that the EIR not look at one issue such as noise, utilities, or traffic as separate issues, but rather all issues should be combined together and looked at as scenarios.

Chairman Lyon asked what the purpose of the trail leading down to Ganado Drive was and if that could be a catalyst for students parking on Ganado Drive. He too felt that the EIR should take a serious and intensive look at the geology of the area. He endorsed the inclusion of the Coalition’s alternative in the analysis by the EIR consultant.

Commissioners Long and Mueller agreed that the Coalition’s alternative should be considered in the EIR.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

Chairman Lyon suggested putting the Planning Commission orientation earlier in the Agenda, possibly as the first item.

Director/Secretary Rojas agreed.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that an item regarding the discussion issues for the joint workshop would be added to the agenda.

Chairman Lyon requested that the joint workshop item be the last item on the agenda.


ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 p.m.





3. PERMIT EXTENSION REQUEST (CASE NO. ZON2002-00100): Gene & Terry Rolle (applicants), 38 Seacove Drive (KF)

Requested Action: A request to grant a 1-year extension of Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 for a 2,729-square-foot addition and 166 cubic yards of related grading for an existing single-family residence on a bluff-top lot.

Recommendation: Grant a 1-year extension via Minute Order, thereby setting the final expiration date of Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 as March 26, 2003, with all conditions of approval contained in P.C. Resolution No. 2000-17 remaining in full force and effect.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MARCH 26, 2002

SUBJECT: PERMIT EXTENSION (PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2002-00100): REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF VARIANCE NO. 461-REVISION ‘A’, COASTAL PERMIT NO. 159-REVISION ‘A’ AND GRADING PERMIT NO. 2144 (ROLLE, 38 SEACOVE DRIVE)

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, aicp, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Grant a 1-year extension via Minute Order, thereby setting the final expiration date of Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 as March 26, 2003, with all conditions of approval contained in P.C. Resolution No. 2000-17 remaining in full force and effect.

BACKGROUND

On November 23, 1999, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 99-43, thereby conditionally approving Variance No. 461, Coastal Permit No. 159 and Grading Permit No. 2144. These approvals were for the 2,582-square-foot expansion of an existing single-family residence on a bluff-top lot, including one hundred sixty-six cubic yards (166 CY) of related grading. The variance application was required because the existing house is located partially seaward of the coastal setback line and coastal structure setback line established for the lot by the City’s Coastal Specific Plan. In granting these original approvals, no seaward expansion of the house was allowed in those areas of the lot located in the coastal setback and coastal structure setback zones. The initial approval of Variance No. 461, Coastal Permit No. 159 and Grading Permit No. 2144 was valid for one year, or until November 23, 2000.

On April 3, 2000, the property owners applied for revisions to the variance and coastal permit portions of the approvals in order to allow a 147-square-foot area on the seaward side of the living room to be enclosed. On June 13, 2000, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2000-17, thereby conditionally approving Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’ and Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A.’ The revised project approvals were valid for one year, or until June 13, 2001.

On February 2, 2001, the property owners submitted plans to the Building and Safety Division to begin the plan check process. In the course of Building and Safety plan check, the structural foundation system of the project evolved to the point where more than fifty percent (50%) of the existing house would probably have to be demolished. This created a potential conflict with the Planning approvals for the project and the Development Code’s provisions regarding nonconforming structures. Due to the encroachment of the existing house seaward of the coastal setback and coastal structure setback lines, the demolition of more than fifty percent (50%) of the structure would require the correction of the nonconformity (i.e., relocating the house out of these setback areas). The property owners have met with Planning and Building Staff several times over the past few months to discuss the available options to address this situation. In the meantime, the property owners were granted a one-time, 6 month plan check extension in the summer of 2001, but Building and Safety plan check for the project was set to expire at the end of February 2002 unless a building permit was issued. Since the property owners were not ready to obtain a building permit by that date, on February 25, 2002, they requested an extension of the Planning approvals for the project, accompanied by the appropriate fee. Building and Safety plan check subsequently expired on February 28, 2002.

DISCUSSION

Pursuant to Section 17.86.070(A) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code (RPVDC), "[any] permit or approval…shall become null and void unless the applicant commences upon the permitted use within the time permitted by [the Development Code.]" A permitted use is defined as having "commenced" if:

  • The applicant has submitted an application for a building permit, if such a permit is required for the permitted use; or

  • The applicant has begun development and no building permit is required for the permitted use; or

  • The applicant has occupied a property and commenced the permitted use, if no development is required for the permitted use; or

  • The applicant has complied with all conditions applicable to the permit or approval, if the above-mentioned provisions do not apply to the permit or approval at issue.

Pursuant to RPVDC Section 17.86.070(C), any development permit application initially approved by the Planning Commission shall be valid for one year from the date of final action. However, upon a showing of substantial hardship, delays beyond the control of the applicant or other good cause, the Planning Commission may extend this period one time for up to one additional year.

Due to the expiration of the original Building and Safety plan check for this project, it is not considered to have been "commenced" within the required time period. The property owners submitted their extension request prior to the expiration of the approvals on February 28, 2002. As discussed above, the applicants are working on a solution to address the structural needs of the project without demolishing more than fifty percent (50%) of the house. The applicants fully intend to complete the project, but additional time is needed to re-design the foundation system to try to comply with all of the original conditions of approval for the project. If the Planning Commission grants the extension request, the final expiration date for Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144 will be March 26, 2003*. Based upon continued compliance with the conditions of approval that were originally imposed upon the project in 1999 and 2000, Staff believes that granting the requested 1-year extension is appropriate.

*If the project has not commenced by March 26, 2003, the applicants will still be eligible to request administrative re-issuance of the project (pursuant to Section 17.86.070(D) of the Development Code) until March 26, 2004, after which no further extensions are allowed.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission grant a 1-year extension until March 26, 2003 for Variance No. 461-Revision ‘A’, Coastal Permit No. 159-Revision ‘A’ and Grading Permit No. 2144, with all conditions of approval contained in P.C. Resolution No. 2000-17 remaining in full force and effect.

ALTERNATIVES

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

1. Grant an extension of the Planning approvals for this project for a period of less than one year.

2. Do not grant an extension of the Planning approvals for this project.

Attachments:

Applicant’s extension request (received February 25, 2002)
P.C. Resolution No. 2000-17


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



CONTINUED BUSINESS:



4. COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND SITE PLAN REVIEW CASE NO. ZON2001-00032: 120 Spindrift Lane / Maniscalco (BY)

Request: A request to allow the construction of a new 470 square foot carport and a 526 square foot addition to the residence over the new carport. The proposed addition is proposed at a height of 17.75’, as measured from the point where the lowest foundation meets finished grade (102.84’) to the top of the highest ridge (120.59’), and 11.27’, as measured from the highest elevation of existing pad covered by structure (109.32’) to the highest ridge. A Variance is required to encroach into the required front and side setbacks, to exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage by the Development Code, to waive the City’s requirement for a garage containing two enclosed parking spaces, and to exceed the addition square footage limitation in the Coastal Zone. The improvements are proposed on a property located within the Appealable portion of the City’s Coastal Zone.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt Resolution No. 2002-__, approving with conditions Coastal Permit, Variance and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2001-00032).

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MARCH 26, 2002

SUBJECT: COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND SITE PLAN REVIEW (CASE NO. ZON2001-00032)

PROJECT ADDRESS: 120 SPINDRIFT LANE

APPLICANT:
EDWARD CARSON BEALL AND ASSOCIATES,
MILES PRITSKAT
23727 HAWTHORNE BLVD.
TORRANCE, CA 90505

PHONE: 310-378-1280 X34

LANDOWNER:
MR. & MRS. JIM MANISCALCO
133 SO. GRAND AVE., RM LA 4565
LOS ANGELES, CA 90071-3197

PHONE: 213-229-7398

STAFF: BEILIN YU

COORDINATOR: ASSISTANT PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION: A REQUEST TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 526 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION TO AN EXISTING SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE AND THE REPLACEMENT OF AN EXISTING CARPORT WITH A NEW 470 SQUARE FOOT CARPORT. THE PROPOSED ADDITION IS PROPOSED TO BE LOCATED ABOVE THE PROPOSED CARPORT, AT A HEIGHT OF 17.75’, AS MEASURED FROM THE POINT WHERE THE LOWEST FOUNDATION MEETS FINISHED GRADE (102.84’) TO THE TOP OF THE HIGHEST RIDGE (120.59’), AND 11.27’, AS MEASURED FROM THE HIGHEST ELEVATION OF THE EXISTING PAD COVERED BY STRUCTURE (109.32’) TO THE HIGHEST RIDGE.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-___; APPROVING WITH CONDITIONS COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND SITE PLAN REVIEW (CASE NO. ZON2001-00032).

REFERENCES:

ZONING: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL – RS-2

LAND USE: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.02, 17.48, 17.64, AND 17.72

GENERAL PLAN: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: COASTAL SPECIFIC PLAN (SUBREGION 6)

CEQA: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 1)

ACTION DEADLINE: APRIL 5, 2002

BACKGROUND

On August 21, 2001, Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit No. 41 was approved by the City Council to allow the submittal of the necessary Planning Department applications to request approval for the construction of a 1,179 square foot two-story addition.

On August 23, 2001, the applicant submitted applications for a Variance, Costal Permit, Height Variation, and Site Plan Review to the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement for processing. The request was for the construction of a 644 square foot garage and storage addition built to the front property line, and a 535 square foot addition to the residence and over the proposed garage.

After initial submittal of the plans, the City received many correspondences in opposition to the proposed project from the surrounding neighbors (see attached letters). The correspondences indicated concerns in regards to view impairment, setback of the addition from the property lines, and size. In order to address the view concerns of the neighbors, the applicants revised the proposed project and on January 28, 2002 the applicants submitted revised plans. The revised plans included an open carport, instead of the previously proposed two-car enclosed garage. As a result, the proposed project under this application includes the construction of a new 470 square foot carport at the same location of the existing carport, a 103 square foot crawl space, and a 526 square foot addition to the residence over the proposed carport. Subsequently, Staff deemed the applications complete on February 7, 2002.

On February 7, 2002, the City mailed the required public hearing notices to 55 property owners within a 500-foot radius from the subject property, the Portuguese Bend Club Homeowner’s Association, and the California Coastal Commission. Subsequently, a notice of public hearing was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on February 9, 2002.

After additional concerns were raised by Staff, the applicants requested to continue the public hearing from the February 26, 2002 Planning Commission meeting to tonight’s meeting to allow them additional time to redesign the proposed project and address Staff’s concerns.

To address Staff’s concerns in regards to view impairment, the applicants redesigned the addition and lowered the ridgeline from 122.84’ elevation to 120.59’ elevation, lowering the addition by 2.25’. Additionally, to address the Homeowner’s Association’s concerns, the applicants redesigned the additions, so that the additions will be setback 2’-0" from the front property line and 2’-6" from the west side property line. The carport and the master bedroom addition were proposed to be located up to the front and side property lines as in the original proposal.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

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

Class 1 exempts projects that consist of the minor alteration of private structures and expansion of uses beyond that previously existing. The proposed project involves an addition to an existing residential structure. Therefore, Staff has made this determination because the proposed project consists of a minor alteration to an existing residential structure.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject property is an RS-2 (Single Family Residential) zoned lot located at 120 Spindrift Lane within the Portuguese Bend Club, which is within the City’s Landslide Moratorium Area and Coastal Setback Zone. The property is a rectangular-shaped parcel measuring 3,611 square feet in area.

According to the applicant, the parcel is currently developed with a 1,554 square foot single-story single-family residence, a detached 456 square foot carport, 357 square foot deck area at the side of the structure, and 380 square foot deck area at the front of the structure, resulting in a 2,747 square foot building footprint. The structure is non-conforming since the original residence was constructed in approximately 1950 under the authority of Los Angeles County with a 1’-0" side yard setback and a 4’-2" front yard setback, where the City’s Development Code requires 5’-0" and 20’-0" minimum respectively. Additionally, the subject property is non-conforming because the existing lot coverage on the subject property is 76%, which exceeds the maximum 40% lot coverage allowed by the Development Code. Furthermore, the deck area at the side of the structure encroaches into the neighboring property to the rear (north).

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant proposes construction of a 470 square foot carport at the same location as the existing carport, the construction of a 104 square foot crawl space to the east side of the carport, the construction of a 526 square foot addition to the existing residence located above the proposed carport and partially (180 sq. ft.) over the existing front deck, and the construction of a bay window addition to the dining area (over the existing rear deck). In order to correct the encroachment into the neighboring property to the north, the applicant is proposing to remove the portion of the deck which is encroaching into the neighboring property. In addition, the applicant is proposing to expand the deck by 31 square feet, in an area located between the existing deck and the proposed addition.

The proposed bay window addition will maintain more than the required 5’-0" side yard setback, but will encroach 9’-4" into the 15’-0" required rear setback area, maintaining only a 5’-8" rear yard setback. The proposed addition is proposed to be located 4’-0" from the side property line, and a portion of the addition (the master bedroom) is proposed to be located 3’-6" from the front property line. Another portion of the addition (the master bathroom) is proposed to be located 2’-0" from the front property line. The applicant is also proposing a 67 square foot balcony around the proposed addition, which will be setback 2’-6" from the side property line and 2’-0" from the front property line. The proposed carport will remain open on all sides, with no new walls. The proposed carport is proposed to be supported by columns and the existing living room’s exterior wall. Currently, there is a 4’-6" high retaining wall on the east side of the carport, and the applicant is proposing to replace the existing retaining wall with a similar 4’-6" high retaining wall with open lattice screening above it.

The addition to the residence will allow for a new master bedroom, a new bathroom, and a new closet. The proposed addition to the residence will result in 2,035 square feet of habitable area. The proposed improvements will result in an additional 55 square feet to the building footprint (31 sq. ft. from the rear deck addition and 24 sq. ft. from the additional carport area). As such the improvements will result in 77.6% lot coverage.

CODE CONSIDERATIONS AND ANALYSIS

As discussed in the background section above, the applicants revised the originally proposed project to include an open carport, instead of a two-car enclosed garage. Additionally, as described in the project description above, the applicant is proposing a 526 square foot addition above the proposed carport. Although two-story structures require approval of a Height Variation, the proposed addition does not constitute a second story addition because according to the Development Code’s definition of a "story", "a story is a space in a building" and according to the Code’s definition of a "building", a building is "a fixed structure consisting of walls and a roof". Since the applicant is proposing to maintain an open carport with no walls of enclosure, the proposed carport is not considered a building. Furthermore, a carport is defined in the Code as a permanent roofed structure with not more then three enclosed sides. Therefore, Staff considers the proposed carport a structure but not a building. As such, the addition above the carport is not considered a second story. This together with the fact that the proposed addition is within the allowable height limit, means that a Height Variation application is not required.

As discussed in the site description section above, the existing residence and carport are non-conforming structures because the existing residence and carport which were constructed under the authority of Los Angeles County, do not meet the current setback and lot coverage requirements. As stated above, the applicant is requesting to replace the existing non-conforming carport with a new carport. According to Development Code Section 17.84.060(C)(1), a non conforming structure which requires a building permit may be restored to original condition, provided that the cost of such restoration does not exceed fifty percent of the replacement value of the structure, otherwise the restoration of said structure shall conform to all current development standards. As such because removing the existing non-conforming carport will exceed the fifty percent value of the structure, the applicant is required to build a new enclosed garage by the Development Code. However, because the applicant is proposing the construction of a new carport, this request will require approval of a Variance from the requirement to construct a new enclosed garage.

As discussed in the project description section above, the proposed bay window addition will maintain more than the required 5’-0" side yard setback, but will encroach 9’-4" into the 15’-0" required rear setback area, maintaining only a 5’-8" rear yard setback. The proposed addition is proposed to be located 4’-0" from the side property line, and a portion of the addition (the master bedroom) is proposed to be located 3’-6" from the front property line, and another portion of the addition (the master bathroom) is proposed to be located 2’-0" from the front property line. The proposed balcony around the addition is proposed to be located 2’-6" from the side property line and 2’-0" from the front property line. The City’s Development Code requires 5’-0" and 20’-0" minimum for the side and front yard setback respectively. As such a Variance application is required to encroach into the front and side yard setback area.

As discussed in the background section above, the subject lot is non-conforming because the existing lot coverage on the subject property is 76%, which exceeds the maximum 40% lot coverage allowed by the Development Code. The proposed project will increase the existing lot coverage on the subject lot to 77.6%. As such, the applicants are requesting a Variance to deviate from the maximum allowable lot coverage thus allowing them to increase the lot coverage to 77.6%.

Additionally, 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 (including garage area) shall require the analysis of the "Neighborhood Compatibility" finding. The proposed addition will result in an additional 526 square feet. From the building permits on file, the original structure was determined to be 1,233 square feet (including carport). As such, the proposed addition results in an increase of 42.7% of the original structure. Therefore the "Neighborhood Compatibility" finding is required. The Neighborhood Compatibility finding is discussed below along with the Site Plan Review development application.

Lastly, the subject property is located within the appealable area of the City’s Coastal Zone. The proposed project does not meet the established criteria to be exempt from obtaining a Coastal Permit; thus, a permit is required. In addition, Section 17.72.040(C) allows one minor addition to each residence that is located partially or completely in the Coastal Setback Zone, provided that the addition is less than two hundred and fifty square feet. A Variance application is required since the applicants are requesting to exceed the addition square footage limitation in the Coastal Zone.

The Variance, Site Plan Review, Neighborhood Compatibility, and Coastal Permit findings will be discussed below.

Variance

Section 17.64.010 of the Development Code allows for a Variance from the strict interpretation of any development regulations or standards which promotes the intent and purposes of the Development Code, as determined by the Planning Commission. In this case, the applicant’s proposal requires a Variance for four different Development Code standards that are proposed to be exceeded. The code standards for which the Variance is proposed are:

  1. To reduce the side, front and rear yard setbacks
  2. To exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage
  3. To waive the requirement for a garage containing two enclosed parking spaces
  4. To exceed the 250 square foot addition limit allowed in the Coastal Zone

In granting a Variance, the City’s Development Code requires that the Planning Commission make four (4) findings in reference to the property under consideration (the City’s Municipal Code language appears in boldface type, followed by Staff’s analysis in normal type). In order to grant the applicant’s Variance request all four findings have to be made for all four components of the application. As such, the Staff Report has been structured so that the discussion for each component is discussed under each numbered finding. Please note that the Variance discussion below is divided into the following categories: a) to reduce the side yard setback from 5’-0" to 2’-6", the front yard setback from 20’-0" to 2’-0", and the rear yard setback from 15’-0" to 5’-8"; b) to exceed the maximum lot coverage of 40% to 77.6%; c) to waive the requirement for a garage containing two enclosed parking spaces to an open carport containing two parking spaces; and d) to exceed the 250 square foot limitation for additions located within the Coastal Setback Zone.

  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.

  1. Reduction of Front, Side and Rear Setback
  2. The subject property is an RS-2 zoned lot, which requires a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet. Due to the size of the lot (3,611 square feet), the size of the residence, and the existing site and floor plan configuration of the residence, the proposed carport replacement and addition at the front of the structure is in a feasible location. Further, the proposed carport will be located at the same location as the existing carport, and the rear of the lot contains a very small triangular yard area (approximately 430 square feet in size), which is not sufficiently large enough to accommodate the proposed addition. Thus, there are physical constraints due to the small size of the subject parcel that act as exceptional circumstances to the property involved, which do not generally apply to other property in the same zoning district.

    The existing carport is currently built to the front and side property lines. The existing front deck is also built up to the front property line. The applicant is proposing to build a portion of the addition over the front deck up to the front property line. Therefore, since the addition will not project beyond the existing carport and front deck, and the existing front yard setback will remain, Staff believes there will be no additional impacts than what currently exist. Further, as discussed above, Staff believes that the lot has exceptional circumstances since the Portuguese Bend Club was developed with small lot sizes that limit side and front yard areas. As such, this finding can be made and adopted.

  3. Exceedance of Lot Coverage
  4. The subject lot currently does not meet the maximum allowable lot coverage requirement of 40%. As stated in the site description above, the current lot coverage on the subject property is 76% and the proposed improvements will increase the lot coverage to 77.6%. The proposed carport is proposed to be located at the same location as the existing carport. The proposed addition is proposed to be located above the proposed carport and partially over the existing front deck, which are calculated into the current lot coverage. The only additional lot coverage resulting from the proposed improvements is a result of the 31 square feet of additional deck and the additional 25 square feet of carport area. Since the additional lot coverage will only increase the existing lot coverage by 1.6%, Staff believes that the lot has exceptional circumstances since the Portuguese Bend Club was developed with lots of much smaller size than that required in the RS-2 zoning district, and the current lot coverage already exceeds the allowable lot coverage. As such, this finding can be made.

  5. Lack of a Two-Car Garage
  6. The subject lot currently contains a 456 square foot carport. The applicant is proposing to replace the existing carport with a new 470 square foot carport. Because of the size of the property and the configuration of the property, the proposed location for the carport is the most feasible location to locate the carport. As stated in Finding No.1a. above, Staff believes that the lot has exceptional circumstances since the Portuguese Bend Club was developed with small lot sizes that limit side and front yard setback areas, therefore, the lot would not be able to accommodate a garage or a carport with the required setbacks. However, Staff is of the opinion that an open carport is less intrusive than an enclosed garage because the open carport will not include any additional walls that will be located within the setback areas close to the property lines. As such, this finding can be made.

  7. Exceedance of the 250 square foot addition limit

The applicant proposes to exceed the 250 square foot limit for additions located partially or entirely within the Coastal Setback Zone by 276 square feet. Staff believes that there are exceptional and extraordinary circumstances for the additions to exceed the 250 square foot limitation due to the fact that the entire property is located within the coastal setback zone, whereas other residences in the City’s Coastal Zone are partially located within the coastal setback zone, and there is no flexibility to allow additions that are not subject to the 250 square foot threshold. Furthermore, Staff believes that the size of the addition over the 250 square foot limit is warranted since the size of the addition is within the range of other Variances granted by the City to exceed the 250 square foot limit. Please note that the overall size of the home will be discussed below under the Neighborhood Compatibility Section. As such, 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.

  1. Reduction of Front, Side and Rear Setback
  2. A majority of the lots within the Portuguese Bend Club do not meet the minimum setback requirements for the front, sides, or rear. Therefore, since the proposed addition will not project beyond the existing building footprint, the requested variance would not provide the landowner a special privilege that is not currently enjoyed by other property owners in the area. As such, this finding can be made and adopted.

  3. Exceedance of Lot Coverage
  4. Since the majority of the residences within the Portuguese Bend Club do not respect the maximum allowed lot coverage requirements, the Variance will not provide the landowners a special privilege currently not enjoyed by other property owners. Additionally, the applicant is requesting to increase the existing lot coverage by only 55 square feet, which 1.6% of the lot. As such, the applicant is requesting to maintain similar condition on the subject property, a privilege currently enjoyed by the property owner. As such, this finding can be made.

  5. Lack of a Two-Car Garage
  6. The subject property and the majority of the properties in the Portuguese Bend Club are currently improved with a carport instead of the required enclosed two-car garage. The granting of the 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 and is currently possessed by the property owner. As such, this finding can be made.

  7. Exceedance of the 250 square foot addition limit

As mentioned in Finding No. 1 above, Staff believes that the size of the addition over the 250 square foot limit is warranted since the size of the addition is within the range of other Variances granted by the City to exceed the 250 square foot limit. As such, the granting of the Variance will not provide the landowners a special privilege currently not enjoyed by other property owners. As such, this finding can be made.

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

  1. Reduction of Front, Side and Rear Setback
  2. As mentioned earlier, the proposed carport and master bedroom addition will not project beyond the existing building footprint, therefore the reduction of the side and front setback would not be materially detrimental or injurious to the public welfare since the lot currently does not meet the minimum setbacks. Additionally, the proposed addition will not significantly impair any view from the surrounding properties, since the proposed addition is proposed to be 1’-0" higher than the existing highest ridgeline.

    The granting of the Variance to allow the proposed bay window to encroach into the required rear yard setback by 9’-4" will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the surrounding properties because the proposed bay window will not project closer to the rear property line than the existing building and the proposed bay window will not exceed the existing ridgeline, therefore, not impairing the surrounding property’s ocean view. As such, this finding can be made.

  3. Exceedance of Lot Coverage
  4. The granting of the Variance to allow the excess lot coverage on the subject property will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the properties in the area. The majority of the proposed improvements are proposed at the same locations as existing improvements, therefore not significantly increasing the lot coverage on the subject property. The existing excess lot coverage is currently not detrimental to the public welfare and injurious to the properties in the area, as such the proposed lot coverage will also not be detrimental to the surrounding properties. As such, and this finding can be adopted.

  5. Lack of a Two-Car Garage
  6. The subject lot is currently improved with an open carport. The applicant is proposing to replace the existing carport with a new 470 square foot carport, therefore providing two parking spaces. By providing two parking spaces on the subject property and off the private streets, the applicants will be mitigating parking problems on the neighborhood’s private streets, which are a concern to the residents in the neighborhood since the streets are very narrow. As such, Staff believes that the two-parking-space carport will not be detrimental to the public welfare and injurious to the properties in the area.

  7. Exceedance of the 250 square foot addition limit

As discussed in Finding 3a. above, the proposed addition will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property since the proposed addition will not create significant or cumulative view impairment from adjacent neighbors. Also the upper story does not cause a significant infringement of privacy to the surrounding neighbors because the proposed master bedroom addition is located toward the front of the subject property which will be abutting the front yard of surrounding properties, which are not used as gathering areas. Furthermore, the proposed addition will be architecturally compatible with the neighborhood, as discussed in the Neighborhood Compatibility Section below. As such, the Variance to allow the addition to exceed the 250 square foot addition limit will not be materially detrimental or injurious to the public welfare, and 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 General Plan land use designation for the neighborhood within which the subject property is located is Residential, 1-2 DU/acre. The development of accessory structures and additions for single-family residences is consistent with this underlying land use designation. In addition, the improvement is consistent with the General Plan’s goal "to require … suitable and adequate landscaping, open space and other design amenities to meet community standards for environmental quality" (General plan, p. 78). Further, the proposed addition does not significantly impact the ocean views from the surrounding properties, therefore, complying with the General Plan’s goal to "prohibit encroachment on existing scenic views reasonably expected by neighboring residences" (General Plan p. 78). As such, Staff believes that granting the Variance will not be contrary to the City’s General Plan, and this finding can be made.

Further, the subject property is located within the City’s Coastal Zone, and is subject to the goals and policies of the Coastal Specific Plan. The proposed improvements will not be contrary to the objectives of the Coastal Specific Plan as discussed in the Coastal Permit Section below.

Coastal Permit:

In considering a Coastal Permit application, Section 17.72.090 of the Municipal Code requires that the Planning Commission make two findings (Development Code language is boldface, followed by Staff's analysis in normal type):

1. That the proposed development is consistent with the coastal specific plan.

The subject property is located within Subregion 6 of the Coastal Specific Plan, which is solely developed as a single-family community, within the confines of the Portuguese Bend Club. The subject property is identified for residential land use in the City’s Coastal Specific Plan. The proposed addition is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan land use designation of residential since the project involves an addition at an existing single-family residence, which will not alter the existing primary use or density of the property.

The Coastal Specific Plan indicates that a portion of Subregion 6 is located within a geologic hazard area. The property is located within the coastal structure setback zone and within the City’s Landslide Moratorium area. As such, new permanent structures in this zone are not prohibited, but limited to one minor addition that does not exceed 250 square feet. If approved, the proposed project will be consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan, since the addition will not aggravate the existing geologic hazard, even if the overall square footage of the addition will exceed the 250 square feet limitation.

As an initial requirement for properties within the City’s landslide moratorium area, a Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit (LME No. 41), was approved on August 21, 2001. As required by Section 15.20 and by the City’s Coastal Permit ordinance, geotechnical reports were submitted, reviewed and approved by the City’s Geotechnical Consultant. The consultant determined that the project would not aggravate the landslide situation, and that the subject property is suitable for the proposed project. Further, the proposed project will be reviewed, inspected and approved by the Building and Safety Division to ensure compliance with all safety standards of the Uniform Building Code. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan, and this finding can be adopted.

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

The project site is located between the sea and the first public road paralleling the sea (i.e., Palos Verdes Drive South). Section 30212(a) of the Coastal Act states that "public access from the nearest public roadway to the shoreline and along the coast shall be provided in new development projects." The proposed project meets the definition of a "new" development" under Section 30212(b) of the Coastal Act. However, this project is exempt from the requirement to provide public coastal access (pursuant to Section 30212(a)(2)) because adequate public coastal access already exists nearby, at the City’s Abalone Beach Park and at the Ocean Trails project. In addition, the subject property is relatively small and does not directly abut the beach or a public road, so providing public access through or across the lot would be infeasible. The project site is a developed, single-family residence and is unsuitable for water-oriented recreational activities (Section 30220 of the Coastal Act). However, the Portuguese Bend Club community does provide opportunities for water-oriented recreation for its residents, members and their public guests. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project is consistent with the applicable public access and recreation policies of Article 2 and 3 of Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act.

Site Plan Review / Neighborhood Compatibility:

The Neighborhood Compatibility finding involves the analysis of the ten (10) closest homes to the subject property, in terms of scale (total structure size), architectural style, and front yard setbacks. The following table provides a summary of the 10 closest homes to the subject property.

TABLE 2

PROPERTY ADDRESS

LOT SQ. FT.*

BUILDING SQ. FT.
(garage/carport included)

NO OF STORIES

102 Spindrift Drive

2,797 sq. ft.

1,876 sq. ft.

SPLIT LEVEL

104 Spindrift Drive

3,289 sq. ft.

1,593 sq. ft.

SPLIT LEVEL

105 Spindrift Drive

6,233 sq. ft.

1,020 sq. ft.

SPLIT LEVEL

108 Spindrift Drive

3,228 sq. ft.

1,189 sq. ft.

TWO

109 Spindrift Drive

3,520 sq. ft.

1,438 sq. ft.

ONE

118 Spindrift Drive

4,835 sq. ft.

1,599 sq. ft.

SPLIT LEVEL

121 Spindrift Lane

2,801 sq. ft.

1,418 sq. ft.

ONE

122 Spindrift Drive

4,896 sq. ft.

1,326 sq. ft.

ONE

124 Spindrift Drive

3,881 sq. ft.

1,500 sq. ft.

SPLIT LEVEL

125 Spindrift Drive

4,321 sq. ft.

1,670 sq. ft.

SPLIT LEVEL

Average

3,980 sq. ft.

1,463 sq. ft.

SPLIT LEVEL

120 Spindrift Lane

3,737 sq. ft.

2,010 sq. ft.
(existing w/ carport)

SPLIT LEVEL

2,523 sq. ft.
(proposed w/ carport)

SPLIT LEVEL


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

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

According to the above table, the total structure sizes (including garage area) of the neighboring homes range from 1,020 sq. ft. to 1,876 sq. ft., with an average size 1,463 square feet for the ten (10) closest developed properties. As previously mentioned, the subject residence is currently 2,010 square feet (carport included). After the proposed addition is constructed, the total size of the structure (carport area included) will be 2,523 square feet. In relation to the neighboring properties, the subject residence will be approximately 1,060 square feet larger than the average structure size, and approximately 647 square foot larger than the largest home (102 Spindrift Lane).

The proposed structure size will be larger than the 10 surveyed homes, however, the surrounding properties are downslope or upslope lots, which contain split level homes, many of which are two stories along the street of access. As such, the apparent bulk and mass of the proposed addition above the carport, although technically not a two story, will be compatible with the split level homes found in the neighborhood.

Additionally, the Planning Commission recently approved substantial additions to homes in the Portuguese Bend Club. On September 26, 2000, the Planning Commission approved a 1,567square foot addition to a 1,588 square foot residence, for a resulting structure size of 3,155 square feet. And on October 12, 1999, the Planning Commission approved a 1,434, square foot addition to a 1,809 square foot residence, for a resulting structure size of 3,243 square feet. As such, Staff is of the opinion that the proposed structure is within the range of structure sizes recently approved in the Portuguese Bend Club, and this finding can be made.

  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.

The Portuguese Bend Club Community is developed mainly with beach cottages. They employ simple construction, flat roofs, and wood siding. Most of the homes are situated on downslope and upslope lots. However, the lots at the end of the cul-de-sac are situated on pad lots, or lots sloping with the street, such as the subject property. The proposed project incorporates beach cottage architecture, such as the flat roof, with plastered concrete block. Staff believes that the proposed materials and architectural style will be compatible with the materials and architectural style found in the neighborhood.

Based on the discussion above, Staff is of the opinion that the proposed residence will be compatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood and as such this finding can be made.

  1. Front yard setbacks

None of the homes in the surrounding neighborhood appear to comply with the required 20’ front yard setback. By maintaining a 2’-0" front yard setback and not building up to the property line, the proposed addition will be compatible with the immediate surrounding properties. As such, Staff is of the opinion that the proposed front setback for this project is compatible with the surrounding residences.

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff believes that the proposed project is compatible with the immediate neighborhood.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

As mentioned in the Background Section above, the City received many letters of opposition to this project. The correspondences indicate concerns in regards to view impairment, setback of the addition from the property lines and size. These correspondences were received before the revised plans were submitted to the City on January 28, 2002. After the notice of public hearing was sent to the properties owners within 500’ radius of the subject property, the City received more correspondences, and many neighbors contacted the City in regards to the proposed project expressing similar concerns as those expressed in the correspondences received by the City prior to the revisions to the proposed project. As such, Staff conducted site inspections to determine view impacts from 108 Spindrift Lane, 111 Spindrift Lane, 118 Spindrift Lane, and 124 Spindrift Lane. Staff found that the original project would have a significant view impact from the viewing area of 118 Spindrift Lane, but not from the viewing areas of the other properties.

As such, the applicants requested that this item be continued from the February 26, 2002 Planning Commission meeting to allow them more time to redesign the proposed project and address the neighbors’, as well as Staff’s concerns. As discussed above, the applicants redesigned the proposed addition by lowering the addition by 2.25’. Staff conducted a subsequent view analysis site inspection from 118 Spindrift Lane and found that, as revised, the proposed addition will not significantly impair the view of the ocean from 118 Spindrift Lane. Additionally, the property owner of 118 Spindrift Lane has also submitted a letter to the City, stating that, as revised, the proposed project addresses the concerns he raised in his previous letters. The City has not received any other correspondences since the revision of the proposed project.

Further, the City has received comment letters from the Portuguese Bend Club Homeowner Association. In the last letter received by the City on March 20, 2002, the Homeowner’s Association expressed their support of the proposed project since the applicants addressed the Homeowner’s Association’s concerns regarding setbacks, parking, and height.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the discussion and analysis, Staff determined that the four findings for granting a Variance can be made in a positive manner to warrant approval for the following: a) to reduce the side, front and rear setbacks; b) to exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage; c) to waive the requirement for a garage containing two enclosed parking spaces; and d) to exceed the 250 square foot addition limit allowed in the Coastal Zone.

Additionally, the two findings for granting a Coastal Permit can be made to allow the existing structure to expand within the Coastal Zone, and the proposed addition will be compatible with the immediate neighborhood in terms of scale, architectural design and front yard setback. Therefore, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission approve with conditions the Coastal Permit, Variance and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2001-00032).

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to Staff’s recommendations, the following alternatives are available for consideration by the Planning Commission:

  1. Deny Coastal Permit, Variance, and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2001-00032); or
  2. Provide the applicant with direction regarding re-design of the proposed project, and continue the project to allow the applicant time to revise the proposal.

ATTACHMENTS

  • P.C. Resolution No. 2002 - __
  • Conditions of Approval
  • Letters of Concerns

P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING WITH CONDITIONS A VARIANCE, COASTAL PERMIT, AND SITE PLAN REVIEW (CASE NO. ZON2001-00032) FOR THE REPLACEMENT OF AN EXISTING CARPORT WITH A NEW 470 SQUARE FOOT CARPORT, AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 526 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION LOCATED ABOVE THE NEW CARPORT, AT 120 SPINDRIFT LANE, WHICH IS LOCATED WITHIN THE APPEALABLE AREA OF THE CITY’S COASTAL ZONE.

WHEREAS, on August 21, 2001, the City Council approved Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit No. 42 (LME No. 42) for a 1,179 square foot addition. The approval thereby allowed the applicant to submit the required Variance, Site Plan Review and Coastal Permit applications for consideration and,

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2001, the applicant, Miles Pritskat, representing property owners Jim and Susan Maniscalco, submitted applications for Variance, Coastal Permit and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2001-00019), requesting approval for a 644 square foot garage and storage addition to the front of the residence, abutting the side and front property lines, and a 535 square foot addition to the residence over the proposed garage for property located within the Appealable portion of the City’s Coastal Zone at 120 Spindrift Lane; and,

WHEREAS, on January 28, 2002, the applicants submitted revised plans to the City, requesting approval for a 470 square foot carport, a 103 square foot crawl space, and a 526 square foot addition to the residence over the proposed carport; and,

WHEREAS, on February 7, 2002, the applications were deemed complete by Staff; and,

WHEREAS, on February 7, 2002 the required public notices for the February 26, 2002 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 February 9, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, on February 21, 2002, the applicants requested that the public hearing be continued from the February 26, 2002 Planning Commission meeting to the March 26, 2002 Planning Commission meeting; and,

WHEREAS, on February 26, 2002, the Planning Commission continued the publ;ic hearing to the March 26, 2002 Planning Commission meeting; 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 Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that the Variance, Coastal Permit, and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2001-00032) would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt under Class 1 (Existing Structures) since the project involves an addition to an existing residential structure; 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 March 26, 2002, at which time all interested parties were given an 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 requested Variance is warranted to exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage because the subject lot is much smaller than the minimum 20,000 square foot lot required by the RS-2 zoning district standards, the current lot coverage of the subject property already exceeds the allowable lot coverage, and the proposed addition and the proposed carport will not significantly increase the lot coverage. These factors constitute exceptional or extraordinary circumstances that do not generally apply to other RS-2 zoned properties in the City.

Section 2: The requested Variance is warranted to exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage because the majority of the residences within the Portuguese Bend Club do not respect the maximum allowed lot coverage requirements, as such the Variance will not provide the landowners a special privilege currently not enjoyed by other property owners under like conditions.

Section 3: The requested Variance is warranted to exceed the maximum lot coverage because the current lot on the subject property already exceeds the allowable lot coverage and the current is not detrimental to the public’s welfare or properties in the area, as such, the proposed lot coverage will also not be detrimental to the public’s welfare or properties in the area.

Section 4: The requested Variance is warranted to waive the requirement of an enclosed two-car garage because the subject property is not able to accommodate the code required enclosed two-car garage because of the size and configuration of the lot, and an enclosed two car garage in the required setback areas will be more intrusive than an open two car carport. As such there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, which do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning district.

Section 5: The requested Variance is warranted to waive the requirement of an enclosed two-car garage because the subject property and the majority of the properties in the Portuguese Bend Club are currently improved with a carport instead of the required enclosed two-car garage, and the Variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial right of the applicant, which right is possessed by other property owners under like conditions.

Section 6: The requested Variance is warranted to waive the requirement of an enclosed two-car garage because the applicant is proposing to provide two parking spaces with an open carport, and by providing two parking spaces on site, the applicants will be mitigating parking problems on the private streets. As such, the open carport will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the properties in the area.

Section 7: The requested Variance is warranted to encroach into the required front, side and rear setback areas since the tract was developed with small lot sizes that limit the side, front and rear yard areas.

Section 8: The requested Variance is warranted to encroach into the required front, side and rear setback areas since the subject property and the majority of the lots within the Portuguese Bend Club do not meet the minimum setback requirements, and the requested Variance will not provide a special privilege currently enjoyed by the property owners and other property owners in the area.

Section 9: The requested Variance is warranted to encroach into the required front and side setback areas since the proposed addition will not adversely impacts the ocean view of the surrounding properties, as such, the Variance will not be materially detrimental to the properties and improvements in the area.

Section 10: The requested Variance is warranted to exceed the 250 square foot addition threshold in the City’s Coastal Area because the entire property is located within the Coastal Zone and there is no flexibility to allow additions that are not subject to the 250 square foot threshold.

Section 11: The requested Variance is warranted to exceed the 250 square foot addition threshold in the City’s Coastal Area because the size of the addition is within the range of other Variances granted by the City in the Portuguese Bend Club Area, therefore, the Variance will not provide the landowners a special privilege currently not enjoyed by other property owners.

Section 12: The requested Variance is warranted to exceed the 250 square foot addition threshold in the City’s Coastal Area because the portion of the addition which exceeds the 250 square foot threshold does not impair the ocean view of the surrounding neighbors, and therefore, the addition which exceeds the 250 square foot threshold will not be detrimental to the public welfare and injurious to the properties in the area.

Section 13: The requested Variance is warranted because is not contrary to the objectives of the General Plan or the policies and requirements of the Coastal Specific Plan in that the addition does not significantly impact the ocean views from the surrounding properties, therefore, complying with the General Plan’s goal to "prohibit encroachment on existing scenic views reasonably expected by neighboring residences" (General Plan p. 78).

Section 14: The proposal is consistent with the City’s Coastal Specific Plan since the addition will not alter the existing primary use or density of the property, and will be consistent with the residential uses in the area.

Section 15: The subject property, which is located between the sea and the first public road, is consistent with applicable public access and recreation policies of the Coastal Act because, although the proposed project meets the definition of "new development" under Section 30212(b) of the Coastal Act, no provisions of public access are required of this project since adequate nearby public coastal access exists at the City’s nearby Abalone Cove Beach Park and at Ocean Trails project. The project site is a developed, single-family residence and is unsuitable for water oriented recreational activities. Therefore, the proposed project is consistent with the applicable public access and recreation policies of Article 2 and 3 of Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act.

Section 16: The proposed project is compatible with the scale of surrounding residences because an analysis of the surrounding residences shows that although the proposed project will be larger than the 10 closest homes, the surrounding lots are downslope and upslope lots, which contains split level homes, many of which are two stories along the street of access. As such, the apparent bulk and mass of the proposed addition above the carport, although not a two-story, will be compatible with the apparent bulk and mass of the split level homes found in the neighborhood. Therefore, although the proposed home will be larger than the surrounding homes, the design of the proposed project creates an apparent bulk, mass and scale that are in keeping with the scale of the surrounding residences.

Section 17: The proposed project is compatible with the architectural style and material of the surrounding residences because the surrounding homes are developed as beach cottages and they employed simple construction, flat roof and wood siding. The proposed project incorporates similar beach cottage architecture, such as the flat roof and plastered concrete block.

Section 18: The proposed project is compatible with the front yard setbacks of the surrounding residences because none of the homes in the surrounding neighborhood appears to comply with the required 20’ front yard setback. Although the surrounding residences do not appear to be built up to the front property line, many homes have high fences near the front property line, which has similar effect as the proposed addition located along the front property line.

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 with conditions Variance, Coastal Permit, and Site Plan Review (Case No. 2001-00032) for the replacement of an existing carport with a new 470 square foot carport, and the construction of a 526 square foot addition to the existing residence, located above the proposed carport.

Section 20: Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or by any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Section 17.80 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 March 26, 2002, the date of the Planning Commission’s final action.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 26th day of March 2002, by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTIONS:

ABSENT:


_______________________
Frank Lyon
Planning Commission Chairman

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


EXHIBIT "A"
CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL

VARIANCE, COASTAL PERMIT, & SITE PLAN REVIEW
(CASE NO. ZON2001-00032)

  1. The approval shall become null and void after one (1) year from the date of approval unless the approved plans are submitted to the Building and Safety Division in initiate the "plan check" review process, pursuant to Section 17.86.070 of the City’s Development Code. This approval shall become null and void if, after initiating the plan check process or receiving a building permit to begin construction, said plan check or permit is allowed to expire or is withdrawn by the applicant.
  2. The abandonment or non-use of this approval after a period of one (1) year shall terminate the approval and any privileges hereunder shall become null and void.
  3. 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 shall achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with said plans and conditions.
  4. In the event that a Planning requirement and a Building & Safety requirement are in conflict with one another, the stricter standard shall apply.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Approval of Variance, Coastal Permit, and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2001-00032) allow for the construction of a 470 square foot carport at the same location as the existing carport, the construction of a 104 square foot crawl space to the east side of the carport, the construction of a 526 square foot addition to the existing residence located above the proposed carport and partially (180 sq. ft.) over the existing front deck, the construction of a 67 square foot balcony around the proposed addition, the construction of a bay window addition to the dining area (over the existing rear deck) and the construction of a 31 square foot addition to the side deck, located between the existing deck and the proposed addition. PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, SUBJECT TO REVIEW AND APPROVAL BY THE DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT AND THE BUILDING OFFICIAL, A STRUCTURE SIZE CERTIFICATION BY A CERTIFIED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL BE SUBMITTED.

  8. The proposed carport is proposed to be located 2’-6" from the side property line and 2’-0" from the front property line. The proposed master bedroom addition shall be located 4’-0" from the side property line and 4’-0" from the front property line. The master bathroom addition shall be located 2’-0" from the front property line. The proposed bay window is proposed to be located 5’-8" from the rear property line. PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, SUBJECT TO REVIEW AND APPROVAL BY THE DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT AND THE BUILDING OFFICIAL, A SETBACK CERTIFICATION BY A CERTIFIED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL BE SUBMITTED.

  9. The proposed master bedroom addition shall not exceed the 17’-9" in height, as measured from the point where lowest foundation meets finished grade (102.84’) to the highest ridge (120.59’). PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, SUBJECT TO REVIEW AND APPROVAL BY THE DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT AND THE BUILDING OFFICIAL, A HEIGHT CERTIFICATION BY A CERTIFIED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL BE SUBMITTED.

  10. The proposed carport shall be permanently maintained so that it remains open on all sides. No new walls shall be constructed around the proposed carport. No wall shall be constructed between the rear of the carport and the rear deck addition.
  11. PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF BUILDING PERMITS, SUBJECT TO THE REVIEW AND APPROVAL BY THE DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT AND THE BUILDING OFFICIAL, THE DESIGN OF THE COLUMN LOCATED ON THE REAR OF THE PROPOSED CARPORT SHALL BE SUBMITTED. The columns located on the rear of the proposed carport shall be the minimum width required by the Department of Building and Safety.
  12. The retaining wall located between the carport and the crawlspace shall not exceed 4’-6" in height and the area above the retaining wall shall be remain open. `
  13. The Variance application is to allow the proposed lot coverage to exceed the maximum allowed lot coverage thus increasing the lot coverage to 77.6%.
  14. No grading is permitted with this approval.
  15. Construction of the project shall substantially conform to the plans stamped as approved by the Planning Department with the effective date of this approval.
  16. Pursuant to a foliage analysis conducted by Staff in February 2002, there is no foliage on the subject property that significantly impairs a view from the viewing area of another parcel.
  17. If lot drainage deficiencies are identified by the director of public works as part of subsequent approvals, all such deficiencies shall be corrected by the applicant.
  18. Roof runoff from all buildings and structures on the site shall be contained and directed to the streets or an approved drainage course.
  19. If required by the city geotechnical staff, the applicant shall submit a soils report, and/or a geotechnical report, for the review and approval of the city geotechnical staff, prior to issuance of any future building permits.
  20. A hold harmless agreement satisfactory to the city attorney promising to defend, indemnify and hold the city harmless from any claims or damages resulting from the requested project. Such agreement shall be submitted to the director prior to the issuance of a building permit.
  21. The applicant shall submit for recordation a covenant agreeing to construct the project strictly in accordance with the approved plans; and agreeing to prohibit further projects on the subject site without first filing an application with the director pursuant to the terms of this chapter. Such covenant shall be submitted to the director for recordation prior to the issuance of a building permit.
  22. All landscaping irrigation systems shall be part of a water management system approved by the director of public works. Irrigation for landscaping shall be permitted only as necessary to maintain the yard and garden.
  23. All other necessary permits and approvals required pursuant to this code or any other applicable statute, law or ordinance shall be obtained.



5. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296, and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742: Verizon Wireless Services, Mr. John Koos, (applicant), 32201 Forrestal Drive. (BH)

Requested Action: Construct a 30-foot high "monopole" (simulated pine tree monopole antenna) west of the existing Ladera Linda Community Center Buildings, east of the soccer fields, and southwest of the existing tennis courts. In addition, a 240-square foot fenced area with equipment cabinets is proposed adjacent to the new antenna pole.

Recommendation:Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__, denying "without prejudice" Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296, and Environmental Assessment No. 742.

MEMORANDUM

TO:

CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM:

DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE:

MARCH 26, 2002

SUBJECT:

CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226 (CUP226), GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296 (GP2296), AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742 (EA742)

Staff Coordinator: Brent Hurwitz, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-___, denying without prejudice Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No.2296, and Environmental Assessment No. 742.

BACKGROUND

On October 9, 2001, the Planning Commission considered Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742.

The applications filed requested the approval of a new wireless communication transmission facility (cellular antenna) in the form of a simulated power pole. The thirty foot (30’) tall pole, twenty inches (20") in diameter was proposed to accommodate the placement of four (4) antenna panels inside the pole.

The location of this "monopole" was proposed to be wholly within City owned property. Specifically in an open, hill top field west (upslope) of the Ladera Linda Community Center, north (upslope) of the homes on Helm Place, and east of Ladera Linda’s public tennis courts. At the time, the Applicant requested grading approval to excavate fifteen (15) cubic yards of earth to accommodate a fourteen foot (14’) deep caisson foundation for the monopole. Further, 240-square foot, twelve foot (12’) high, prefabricated equipment cabinet that would include with a roof-mounted Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna. The cabinet was proposed to be located adjacent to, and north of, the new monopole structure. The cabinet required an air conditioning system to maintain the interior temperature for the sophisticated equipment within. The cabinet was to be surrounded by a six-foot (6’) high protective fence and a landscaping hedge.

Staff’s recommendation at that time was to deny the project. This recommendation was based on Staff’s analysis: the proposed antenna pole would create significant adverse visual impacts; was inconsistent with the Goals and Policies of the General Plan; and did not meet the criteria for establishing such facilities as outlined in the City’s Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines. Further, Staff had determined that, as proposed, the facility would not preserve a view corridor from the site’s public trails. This could be seen as an unreasonable opportunity cost imposed on the general public; the natural scenery of the Forrestal and Ladera Linda areas would experience significant adverse impact which outweighed the potential benefit of enhanced wireless service for a finite period.

In addition to receiving staff’s recommendation regarding the proposed project, the Planning Commission received comments from property owners and residents about the proposed project and site at the October 9 meeting. Residents expressed concern about the potential for significant visual impact of the facility, especially because of its hilltop site that looks down on their neighborhood. The resulting view would be prominent from the homes as the monopole would be silhouetted against the sky as it protruded above the ridgeline. Further, residents stated that sufficient alternatives to the proposal presented had not been comprehensively researched nor had an exhaustive list of other sites feasible to Verizon’s needs been developed. For example, residents presented the fact that "stealth" techniques employed elsewhere to make the transmitter less visible were not employed nor had Verizon proposed locations which would be less invasive to its setting.

As a result, the Commission concurred that further evaluation was needed, and directed the Applicant to meet with the neighbors to reach an acceptable design compromise. The Planning Commission tabled the item to a future date to allow sufficient time for the Applicant and the residents to meet and reach an acceptably redesigned facility for presentation back to the Planning Commission.

On November 13, 2001, the item was returned to the Planning Commission for consideration at a duly noticed public hearing.

As directed by the Planning Commission at the previous hearing on October 9, 2001, John Koos (Applicant’s Representative) did meet with the surrounding neighbors and with Staff at the Ladera Linda Community Center. Predominantly, there was discussion regarding the location of the antenna pole and its ridgeline proximity creating excessive visibility; a perceived lack of aesthetic value including incompatibility with the site’s environ’s; and the perceived potential for noise created by the facility.

Knowing specific concerns of the neighbors, the Applicant then studied selected alternatives: placement of the antenna pole near the top-of-slope, south of Ladera Linda’s public tennis courts; costuming the monopole with synthetic conifer tree branches and leaves; installing equipment cabinets rather than a prefabricated equipment building and retain the enclosing fence and hedge previously proposed and their relocation to the public tennis courts and the toe-of-slope; and providing natural Conifers (pine trees) near the created one as an attempt to further reduce the "monopine’s" visibility. Additionally, the applicant agreed to move the antenna mock-up from it’s previous location to the newly proposed location. Applicant noted that engineering tests would be required to determine if the relocation would satisfactorily address the needs as established by Verizon Wireless. As of the time of the hearing, the evaluations had not been completed nor was the mock-up relocated.

As requested by the Applicant, and as believed appropriate by Staff, the Planning Commission accepted staff’s recommendation to, again, table the matter to a future date. The determination to again postpone the matter was to provide the Applicant with sufficient time to submit the necessary information as well as to allow Staff, in turn, adequate time to appropriately analyze the modified project.

On January 22, 2002, the Applicant returned to the Planning Commission at a duly noticed public hearing with the completed evaluations by Verizon and City Staff complete. At that time, the community again expressed considerable opposition to the project. Of greater significance, Staff was not able to establish the factual basis for

At the January 22, 2002 Planning Commission Meeting, the Planning Commission agreed unresolved issues remained, and that additional community outreach by Verizon was needed to reach a mutually satisfactory project proposal. As requested by the Applicant, the item was continued to a date certain of March 26, 2002.

DISCUSSION

Since January 22, 2002, Staff retained open dialogue with the Applicant as well as with the residents. Staff continued to convey the residents’ eagerness to again meet with the Applicant to address the identified, outstanding issues. However, the Applicant was not able to meet with the residents nor to address the issues identified by the Planning Commission.

As such, since there has been no visible progress since the January 22, 2002 Planning Commission meeting, Staff is again recommending denial "without prejudice" of this application. A more detailed analysis of the project application and the reasons for Staff’s recommendation is included in the attached January 22, 2002 Staff Report. The denial "without prejudice" will allow the Applicant to submit a new application for a revised project.

ALTERNATIVES

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

  1. Approve Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742, and direct Staff to prepare and circulate a Mitigated Negative Declaration and return to a future Planning Commission meeting with the appropriate Resolutions; or
  2. Deny Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742.

P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-____

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DENYING "WITHOUT PREJUDICE" CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296 AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742 FOR A COMMERCIAL ANTENNA FACILITY CONSISTING OF A NEW 30-FOOT-HIGH MONOPINE (SIMULATED PINE TREE MONOPOLE ANTENNA), RELATED EQUIPMENT CABINETS, AND 15 CUBIC YARDS OF GRADING TO PROVIDE FOR A 14-FOOT DEEP CAISSON FOUNDATION FOR VERIZON WIRELESS AT THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF AN EXISTING PAD AREA BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY CENTER BUILDINGS AND THE SOCCER FIELDS, JUST SOUTHWEST OF THE TENNIS COURTS, AT THE LADERA LINDA COMMUNITY CENTER LOCATED AT 32201 FORRESTAL DRIVE (APN 7564-001-912).

WHEREAS, on September 19, 2000, the applicant TetraTech, representing Verizon Wireless, unofficially submitted an application for Conditional Use Permit No. 229, Grading Permit No. 2296, and Environmental Assessment No. 742 to allow the installation of a commercial antenna facility at the ladera Linda Community Center, located at 32201 Forrestal Drive (APN 7564-001-912); and,

WHEREAS, on January 16, 2001, the City Council authorized the City Manager to sign conditional use permit and associated applications and on behalf of the City, and allowing the applications to proceed through the required permit review process; and,

WHEREAS, on February 15, 2001, Conditional Use Permit no. 226, associated applications, and related plans were officially submitted to the Department; and,

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2001, upon submittal of Grading Permit No. 2296 and placement of the temporary mock-up silhouette, the applications were deemed complete; 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 Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), the City of Rancho Palos Verdes prepared an Initial Study and determined that there is substantial evidence that the approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 226 and Grading Permit No. 2296 would result in a significant adverse effect upon the environment. Specifically, with regards to affecting a scenic vista and having a demonstrable negative aesthetic effect; 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 October 9, 2001, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission continued the October 9th, 2001 public hearing to November 13, 2001 to receive requested revisions, and tabled the November 13, 2001 public hearing to give the applicant additional time to submit a revised project; and

WHEREAS, the applicant submitted revised plans and photo simulations on January 2, 2001 and January 11, 2001; and

WHEREAS, after additional notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on January 22, 2002, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission continued the item to the March 26, 2002 public hearing to give the applicant additional time to meet with residents near the proposed site and submit a revised project proposal at which time all interested parties were given an 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: Although the proposal complies with setback standards, it would need additional significant setback from the top of the transitional slope to adequately address visual and aesthetic impacts. Due to the visual and aesthetic impacts, and the inability of the applicant to locate the monopole on the property without causing said impacts, the site is not adequate in size and configuration to accommodate the proposed use (antenna and associated equipment).

Section 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 site is accessed via Forrestal Drive, which is a public residential street that connects to Palos Verdes Drive South, the proposed use will generate negligible additional trips to and from the site, and there will be no adverse effect upon existing levels of service for abutting public streets or nearby intersections.

Section 3: The project will have a significant adverse impact with regards to affecting a scenic vista. The project consists of a new monopole, simulated as a pine tree. Since the views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island are in a westerly direction from the Stalwart Trail along Forrestal Drive towards the new antenna facility, the new pole will project into the ocean views from the pedestrian trail along Forrestal Drive. The pole will, thus, be in the foreground of the view and will be taller than the existing trees in the immediate area, which further amplifies its appearance.

The project will also have a demonstrable negative aesthetic effect upon the adjacent residences that are located downslope of the antenna facility. The new pole will be constructed approximately 120 feet from the closest residential structure and at the top of the transitional slope, the new pole will be significantly apparent from the residences and from the rights-of-way along Helm Place, Valor Place and Dauntless Drive. Although a protective fence and hedge will surround the facility, the pole will continue to project from behind the landscaped area, and the appearance of the new facility will be exacerbated by the topography and location of the new facility at the top of the transitional slope.

Section 4: The proposed use is contrary to the General Plan because Infrastructure Policy No. 8 of the General Plan "[requires] adequate landscaping or buffering techniques for all new and existing facilities and networks, in order to reduce the visual impact of many infrastructure facilities and networks" (page 138). Although the new antenna will be camouflaged as a pine tree, Staff believes that the facility will not blend with the surrounding environment since there are no trees adjacent to the antenna at a similar height. A new view obstruction is being proposed in an area that presently has none.

Section 5: The proposed antenna facility is not consistent with all of the Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines adopted on June 24, 1997 by the Planning Commission. The proposed tower will project higher than the existing trees in the immediate area and will project into the view of the ocean from Stalwart Trail. Thus, the proposal does not preserve the view corridor. The project may also have an aesthetic expense (impact) upon the adjacent residences that are downslope of the proposed facility, since the facility will add a new view obstruction in an area that is presently open to view. Further, the Ladera Linda site and the Forrestal property have been kept in a natural state to the greatest extent feasible. The vistas, scenery and natural setting of these areas are evident, especially from along the trails in the area. This amenity is a benefit to the community and the general public, and installation of the new facility will detract from the natural environment and create an adverse visual impact. Thus, the proposed antenna facility will provide disproportionate cost to the general public by affecting the natural visual amenities of the area.

Section 6: The City’s review of Conditional Use Permit No. 226 is consistent with the local zoning authority reserved to the City under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Section 7: The grading permit application for the 14-foot-deep caisson foundation complies with Development Code Section 17.76.040, which allows caisson foundations of 10-feet or more below existing grade with a minor grading permit. However, it is associated with Conditional Use Permit No. 226 and Environmental Assessment No. 742, and, therefore, cannot be granted if those applications are denied.

Section 8: Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or by any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Chapter 17.80 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 March 26, 2002, the date of the Planning Commission’s final action.

Section 9: For the foregoing reasons and based on information and findings contained in the Staff Reports, minutes, and records of the proceedings, the Planning Commission hereby denies without prejudice Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742.

PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED this 26th day of March, 2002 by the following roll call vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTIONS:

ABSENT:


_______________________
Frank Lyon
Chairman


___________________________

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


PUBLIC HEARINGS: (NO ITEMS)



NEW BUSINESS (Continued):



6. Issues to be Discussed at the Joint Meeting with the City Council and Finance Advisory Committee Concerning the Crestridge Properties (gp)

Recommendation: That the Planning Commission identify issues pertaining to the Crestridge properties that they would like to discuss at the joint workshop between the City Council, Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee on May 7, 2002.

MEMORANDUM

TO: Chairman and Members of the Planning Commission

FROM: Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

DATE: March 26, 2002

SUBJECT: Issues to be Discussed at the Joint Workshop with the City Council and Finance Advisory Committee Concerning the Crestridge Properties

Staff Coordinator: Gregory Pfost, AICP, Deputy Planning Director

RECOMMENDATION

Identify issues pertaining to the Crestridge properties that the Planning Commission would like to discuss at the joint workshop between the City Council, Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee on May 7, 2002.

BACKGROUND

Last year, at meetings on March 27, 2001, May 8, 2001, May 22, 2001 and June 26, 2001, the Planning Commission reviewed a proposed senior affordable housing project to be constructed on a vacant parcel at the northwest corner of Crestridge Road and Crenshaw Boulevard. The City's Redevelopment Agency (RDA) owns the vacant site, and at that time, the RDA had entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with a Developer to build the proposed project. At the June 26, 2001 Planning Commission meeting, the Developer requested to change the project from 52 apartment units to 40 or 42 condominium units. The Commission felt that, given the Institutional zoning designation of the parcel, the issue of changing the project to condominiums needed to be addressed by the RDA (City Council) before the Planning Commission could take any further action on the development proposal. Subsequently, the Planning Commission tabled the item until the RDA (City Council) addressed the issue of whether or not the Developer could file a Tentative Tract Map for a Condominium development on the RDA owned site.

On August 21, 2001 the RDA considered various issues pertaining to the proposed project including the issue of condominiums and whether or not to enter into a new Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with the project developer. The RDA Board decided: (1) not to approve the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement between the RDA and the development company (Indian Ridge Crest Gardens, LLP); and (2) not to grant a "buy-back" provision to the developer Charles Brumbaugh; and (3) to direct staff to consider other options for the property, including the feasibility of a park.

On October 12, 2001, a development company, Standard Pacific, submitted a request for a use determination for the vacant parcel located immediately adjacent to and west of the Agency owned property located on Crestridge Road. The request was for a determination that senior condominiums are similar to and no more intensive than other conditionally permitted uses in the Institutional zoning district. Standard Pacific was considering purchasing the property from its current owner, Crestridge Estates llc, and pursuing an application for a 104-unit senior condominium project on the site. On October 26, 2001, the Director issued a determination that senior condominiums are not consistent with the Institutional zoning district. On November 12, 2001, the developer filed an appeal of the Director’s determination. On December 11, 2001, during the hearing of the appeal, the Planning Commission expressed a concern that a condominium use may not be consistent with the Institutional zoning district. Not wishing to have a negative vote, the applicant withdrew his application at the meeting. Although the applicant withdrew the application, the Planning Commission felt this was an important topic that needed further discussion. As such, the Planning Commission recommended that the City Council and Planning Commission conduct a joint workshop to hear public input on what the community believes to be appropriate uses for the subject property at the same time the City Council would be addressing the Redevelopment Agency owned property. Further, the Planning Commission requested that the workshop address the issue of the needs for and appropriate location of senior housing throughout the peninsula.

At the December 18, 2001 City Council meeting, based upon the Redevelopment Agency's direction at the August 21, 2001 meeting, the City Manager reported on various options for the use of the Agency-owned Crestridge property. At that meeting, after considering the Planning Commission's recommendation, the City Council directed Staff to schedule a joint workshop, with the Council, Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee to consider potential land uses on the Agency-owned Crestridge property and the adjacent privately owned Crestridge property.

At their March 11, 2002 meeting, the City Council agreed to hold the joint workshop on May 7, 2002 at 6:00 p.m. The City Council also agreed that issues of discussion should be identified, so as to facilitate public input at the joint workshop. To that end, the Council is scheduled to identify issues of concern for the workshop at its upcoming April 2, 2002 meeting. At this time, Staff is also providing an opportunity for the Planning Commission to do the same.

DISCUSSION

The purpose of this report is to identify issues pertaining to the Crestridge properties that the Planning Commission may wish to focus on at the joint workshop between the City Council, Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee on May 7, 2002.

The following are issues that Staff believes may be discussed at the May 7th workshop. The Planning Commission may wish to agree with these issues, modify them or identify additional issues for discussion.

  1. Is a residential condominium use an appropriate use for the Institutional Zone?

  2. Should a City Park be built on the RDA owned property?

  3. What methods should the City use to evaluate the various statements of interest from Palos Verdes Art Center, Exceptional Children's Network, Standard Pacific, Affirmed Housing Group, and Corporation for Better Housing's proposed projects?

  4. What are the financial implications to the City and the Redevelopment Agency in choosing a use other than what the RDA purchased the property for, which is affordable housing?

  5. What are the needs for Senior Citizen housing on the Peninsula, and what sites in the City can help accommodate that need?

  6. Should a Specific Plan be created for the Crestridge properties in order to further define the optimum development patterns, physical constraints and potential uses?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Although this item was not publicly noticed, notice of the May 7, 2002 workshop will be sent to the newspaper for publication, all homeowner associations within the City, the interested parties lists for both properties and the Marriott Assisted Living Facility property, potential users that have submitted statements of interest on the RDA owned property, and to all property owners within a 500' radius of the subject properties. In addition, the workshop will be advertised on the City's website and cable reader board.

ATTACHMENTS:

Area Site Plan


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff



7. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF APRIL 9, 2002.

PLANNING COMMISSION

PRE-AGENDA

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2002


CONSENT CALENDAR:


1. MINUTES OF MARCH 26, 2002


CONTINUED BUSINESS:(NO ITEMS)



PUBLIC HEARINGS:


2. HEIGHT VARIATION (CASE NO. ZON2001-00015): 4155 Palos Verdes Drive South / Lenders (RL)

A request to allow an additional 1,584 square-feet of living space to an existing 2,335 square-foot one-story single-family residence. The addition will include 896 square-feet on the first floor and 688 square-feet on the proposed new second floor. The total structure size will increase from 2,335 square-feet to 3,919 square-feet. The height of the proposed new second story will measure 19’-1" as measured from highest existing (preconstruction) grade to be covered by the structure to ridge, and a maximum overall height of 20-6"’ as measured from lowest finished grade to ridge.


3. HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 928, VARIANCE NO. 487, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 586, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2276, SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 9127: 4206 Admirable Drive / Barez (DB)

A request to allow the construction of 2,083 square foot addition to an existing single story residence, which is proposed to measure 15.83’ from the highest point of finished grade covered by structure and 25.93’ from the lowest point of finished grade covered by structure; to allow a 16-foot front yard setback, 52% lot coverage, and a six-foot tall block wall in the street side setback (along Schooner Drive); to allow 188 cubic yards of cut and 219 cubic yards of fill, for a total of 407 cubic yards of earth moved; and to deviate from the Municipal Code prohibition on grading and construction over extreme slopes.


4. HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 941 and GRADING PERMIT NO. 2286: 3261 Crownview Drive / Iskander (KF)

A request to allow the construction of a new, 3-story, 4,257-square-foot (including 917-square-foot garage) single-family residence, which is proposed to measure 3.00’ from the highest point of existing grade covered by the structure, and 26.00’ from the finished grade adjacent to the lowest foundation. The project also proposes 2,131 cubic yards of grading for the residence and driveway.


NEW BUSINESS: (NO ITEMS)

*Please note that that the actual Agenda may well expand, or possibly contract, based upon conditions (such as Continuances of public hearings, Withdrawals, etc.) prior to this meeting.

Date prepared: Thursday, March 21, 2002

Commission


ADJOURNMENT: