05/28/2002 Planning Commission Agenda May, 2002, 05/28/2002, Planning, Commission, Meeting, Agenda, A request to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot (garage included), two-story, single-family residence on an unimproved lot. The proposed residence will be constructed off the existing building pad at a height of 26’, as measured from the highest pre-construction grade elevation (752.00’) of the building pad, to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (778.00’) of the proposed structure. Additionally the applicants propose to conduct 819 cubic yards of associated grading (combined cut and fill calculations) and construct a new 6’ high combination fence/wall along the front property line with a Minor Exception Permit The 05/28/2002 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Agenda
Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission Agenda May 28, 2002
May 28, 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, MAY 28, 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. 2002-08


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:



COMMUNICATIONS:

1. Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

None

2. Staff:

3. Commission:


COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-agenda items):



CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF MAY 14, 2002


2. ADOPTION OF NEW PLANNING COMMISSION RULES AND PROCEDURES RESOLUTION: (JR)

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__; approving minor amendments to the Planning Commission’s rules and procedures.


CONTINUED BUSINESS:



3. HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 899, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2151, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 573, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 745 3787 Coolheights Drive / Nassari (AM)

Request: A request to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot (garage included), two-story, single-family residence on an unimproved lot. The proposed residence will be constructed off the existing building pad at a height of 26’, as measured from the highest pre-construction grade elevation (752.00’) of the building pad, to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (778.00’) of the proposed structure. Additionally the applicants propose to conduct 819 cubic yards of associated grading (combined cut and fill calculations) and construct a new 6’ high combination fence/wall along the front property line with a Minor Exception Permit.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the public hearing to its June 11, 2002 meeting.



4. INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY TABLE: (JR)

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission review the staff prepared decision summaries and provide direction on the content and format that is to be used for future summaries.


RECESS (approximately 8:30 P.M.):



PUBLIC HEARINGS:



5. APPEAL OF FENCE, WALL AND HEDGE PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00032): 32451 Searaven Drive / Foster (BY)

Request: An appeal of the Director's decision to allow an existing hedge located along the east property line to remain, with the condition that a portion of the hedge be lowered to 2’-6" in height.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue this item to the June 11, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.



6. GOLDEN COVE SIGN PROGRAM (CASE NO. ZON2001-00090): 31212-31244 Hawthorne Boulevard / Golden Cove LLC (AM)

Request: A request to approve a Master Sign Program for the Golden Cove shopping center.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__, conditionally approving Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090) for a Master Sign Program at the Golden Cove Shopping Center.



7. HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00035): 112 Spindrift Drive / Wynn (DB)

Request: A request to construct a 575 square foot addition to an existing 1,652 square foot home. The Height Variation is to allow an addition that has a maximum height of 29.7-feet, as measured from the lowest elevation (105.3’) where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof (135’); and has a height of 19.4-feet, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure (115.6’) to the highest point on the roof (135’). The Coastal Permit is to allow the addition to an existing residence located within an appealable area of the coastal zone. The Minor Exception Permit is to allow the proposed addition to encroach three feet into the required 20-foot front setback and to allow 46% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone. The variance is a request to allow the addition to encroach two-feet into the required five-foot side yard setback, thus providing a three foot side yard setback; and to allow an addition greater than 250 square feet to an existing residence located within the coastal setback zone.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-___; approving, with conditions, the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance, and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00035)



8. HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00036): 113 Spindrift Drive / Wynn (DB)

Request: A request to construct a 1,045 square foot addition to an existing 1,248 square foot home. The Height Variation is to allow an addition that has a maximum height of 28.9-feet, as measured from the lowest elevation (111.3’) where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof (140.2’); and has a height of 21.5-feet, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure (118.7’) to the highest point on the roof (140.2’). The Coastal Permit is to allow the addition to an existing residence located within an appealable area of the coastal zone. The Minor Exception Permit is to allow the top floor of the proposed addition to encroach 1’-9" into the required 20-foot front setback. The Variance is a request to allow the middle floor addition to encroach ten-feet into the required front yard setback, to allow an addition greater than 275 square feet to an existing residence located within the coastal setback zone, to allow 49% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone, and to allow a one car garage for a single family residence.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-___; approving, with conditions, the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance, and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00036).


NEW BUSINESS: (NO ITEMS)



ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff



9. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF JUNE 11, 2002.

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
June 11, 2002, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.


AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 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. 2002-08


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:



COMMUNICATIONS:

1. Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

None

2. Staff:

3. Commission:


COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-agenda items):



CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF MAY 14, 2002

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MAY 14,2002



CALL TO ORDER

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


FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Tomblin led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.


ROLL CALL

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

Also present were Director of Planning Building and Code Enforcement Rojas, Director of Public Works Allison, Senior Planner Fox, Senior Planner Mihranian, Associate Planner Blumenthal, City Attorney Lynch, and Recording Secretary Peterson.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA

The Commission agreed to amend the agenda to hear items 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 6, 8, and 2.


COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed 15 letters regarding Agenda Item No. 7 and 3 letters regarding Agenda Item No. 6, as well as two e-mail items that were received on the pc@rpv.com site. He also noted that there was late correspondence regarding Agenda Item No. 7, which he distributed to the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Cote noted that she was absent from the last meeting, but had read the minutes and reviewed the videotape, and felt she could participate on any continuing matter.

The Planning Commissioners noted that they had received a letter from Mr. Ortolano regarding Agenda Item No. 7.


COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (REGARDING NON-AGENDA ITEMS)

None


CONSENT CALENDAR

Before reviewing the minutes, Chairman Cartwright felt the Commission could avoid using a lot of quality time at the Planning Commission meetings in modifying the minutes by having the Planning Commissioners submit their proposed changes to the minutes to the staff, which they will then broadcast to the other Commissioners before the meeting. He felt this would then allow the Planning Commissioners to see the proposed changes before the meeting and would help streamline the meeting. The Planning Commission agreed.


1. Minutes of April 23, 2002

Commissioner Tomblin noted an error on page 2 of the minutes.

Chairman Cartwright noted a change on page 5 of the minutes as well as an omission on page 6.

The minutes were approved as amended, (6-0-1) with Commissioner Cote abstaining since she was absent from that meeting.


CONTINUED BUSINESS



3. Coastal Permit, Variance, Site Plan Review and Height Variation (Case No. ZON2001-00032): 120 Spindrift Lane

Director/Secretary Rojas presented the staff report. He explained that the applicant had filed a height variation and constructed a silhouette, and staff had done an analysis. He noted that the applicant had changed the application to add a 480 square foot garage rather than a 470 square foot carport, and as a result of that a variance was required as the garage was not the required 18 x 20 in size. Nonetheless, staff had performed an analysis of the project and believes that all of the findings for granting the variance could be made as well as the height variation. Further, Mr. Fabian, who had originally objected to the project, had expressed to staff that he no longer has a concern regarding impacts to his view. Therefore, staff was recommending the Planning Commission adopt the attached Resolution approving the applications with the conditions of approval.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

James Maniscalco 120 Spindrift Lane (applicant) stated he was available to answer any questions.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Mr. Maniscalco why he had changed from a carport to a garage.

Mr. Maniscalco responded that they had always wanted a garage rather than a carport, but couldn’t, based on the prior interpretation of story. However, once they applied for a height variation there was no reason not to add the garage rather than the carport.

Commissioner Mueller asked if the smaller garage would be adequate to park the vehicles they now own.

Mr. Maniscalco answered that it would be adequate to park their current vehicles and it would be adequate for almost any vehicles they would own.

Miles Pritzkat 23727 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance (architect) stated that he was also available for any questions.

Commissioner Mueller asked about the change of the height to the lowest point and also asked Mr. Pritzkat for his assurance that the ridge height would be the same as the original proposal.

Mr. Pritzkat explained that by adding walls to the proposed carport to make it a garage the lowest portion of grade covered by structure was pushed out a bit and dropped, however no changes were made to the overall height of the structure.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Cote stated that the silhouette was very helpful to her as well as the neighbors to see the true scope of the project and was pleased that the proper procedure and process had been followed. She supported the current project as proposed.

Commissioner Lyon also had no issues and supported the project.

Commissioner Mueller agreed that the silhouette had eliminated the view issues not only for him but also for the neighbors. He felt that the addition of the garage gave the added advantage of allowing the applicant to park both their cars in it rather than parking them on the street.

Commissioner Duran Reed was also pleased that the height variation process was followed and supported the project. She noted that in upcoming Planning Commission meetings there would be at least two other homes on Spindrift that were seeking changes and addition, and asked the Commission take note that this neighborhood was in a period of transformation.

Commissioner Tomblin stated that he supported the project.

Vice Chairman Long was also pleased the height variation process was followed and the findings were made and supported the project subject to a minor amendment he would propose to the conditions of approval.

Chairman Cartwright felt the outcome of this project was favorable and was pleased that the height variation process had been followed.

Commissioner Mueller moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-05 thereby approving Height variation, Coastal Permit and Variance (Case No. ZON2001-00032) as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Duran Reed.

Vice Chairman Long suggested an amendment to condition no. 6 which he felt should read that the construction site and adjoining private and public properties would be kept clean.

Director/Secreary Rojas agreed that the language should be changed in the condition.

Commissioner Mueller accepted the amendment.

The motion passed, (7-0).


4. Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286: 3261 Crownview Dr.

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report as well as a power point presentation of the proposed project. He stated that, with the exception of the increased structure height proposed with the height variation, the project complies with all of the development standards of the RS-2 zoning district. With respect to the height variation application, he stated that staff believed that all nine findings could be made. He explained that the site was an apparent ridge between Crownview Drive and Miraleste Canyon, however this was the only portion of the site that was developable. He stated that the proposed home had been reviewed for neighborhood compatibility and the size of the proposed home was about average for the surrounding neighborhood. In considering the grading permit, staff felt that all nine findings could be made, and while there was a large amount of grading involved most of it was due to the long switchback type driveway and retaining walls that were necessary. He noted that large retaining walls were not unusual in the Miraleste Hills community or any other similar hillside neighborhoods in the City. He explained that the City’s geotechnical consultant had reviewed and conceptually approved the geotechnical report prepared for the project. Therefore, staff was recommending approval of the height variation and grading permit.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if the project was required to have approval from the Art Jury.

Senior Planner Fox explained that Miraleste Hills did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Art Jury, however staff had notified the homeowners association and they had had no comments regarding the proposal.

Commissioner Tomblin had concerns regarding the driveway and the retaining walls and asked if the neighbors had seen the proposed plans and been made aware of the grading and retaining walls.

Senior Planner Fox answered that as part of the height variation permit there was an early neighborhood consultation process which required the applicant to make the plans available to property owners within a 500-foot radius.

Commissioner Cote asked staff to clarify the geotechnical report process.

Senior Planner Fox explained the process and noted that comments made by the City Geologist could be included in the Resolution and made formal conditions that are part of the action.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Samuel Iskander (applicant) 1901 Flournoy Road, Manhattan Beach stated that he notified all of his neighbors within a 500-foot radius regarding his project and he had heard no objections, with the exception of one family. He explained that the grading was necessary because of the natural slope on the property and the need for the retaining walls. He stated he was available to answer any questions.

Commissioner Tomblin asked Mr. Iskander if this was going to be his residence.

Mr. Iskander replied that this was going to be his residence.

Commissioner Tomblin asked Mr. Iskander if he would be opposed if the Commission suggested some landscaping and some architectural details.

Mr. Iskander did not object.

Lourdes Wan 3249 Crownview Drive was concerned about the grading on the proposed project as well as the stability of the land and the geologic study that was done for the property and if the study done was sufficient. She also was concerned about the existing storm drain and how it would be affected by the proposed home.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Ms. Wan if she would be more comfortable if there was some type of insurance or bond posted during construction to protect her property.

Ms. Wan answered that she would be more comfortable if there was some type of insurance.

Lawrence Wan 3249 Crownview Drive stated he was also very concerned about the geologic investigation done for the project and wondered if the process through the City was thorough enough. He felt the house would be built on a ridge and wondered how that would affect his property. He was concerned with the significant amount of grading required as well as the height and number of retaining walls required.

Senior Planner Fox explained the geologic review process through the City and noted that even though there is a conceptual approval from the city geologist, once the plans have been submitted to building and safety for review there will be additional reports required in conjunction with the technical details and the engineering plans. He also explained that the construction would be inspected on a regular basis by the City building inspectors to make sure everything is being built per plan.

Chairman Cartwright asked if the lot was approved for development at the time the tract was developed.

Senior Planner Fox answered that the lot was part of a tract recorded in the early 1960’s.

Chairman Cartwright asked if there was anything unique about the slope on this lot versus the slope on adjacent properties.

Senior Planner Fox stated that the front slope is steeper than most homes on Crownview, but the back slope is similar to all of the other homes that back up to the canyon.

Chairman Cartwright asked if staff was aware of any land movement in the area.

Senior Planner Fox was not aware of any land movement in the immediate area.

Vice Chairman Long questioned Finding No. 3 of the height variation. He noted that the finding requires that the proposed structure not be located on a ridge or promontory. He stated that the first sentence of the staff report noted that the proposed structure would be located on what appears to be a ridge. He felt the staff report concluded that the Planning Commission has the authority to waive this finding requirement based on the fact that this had been done before. He asked what, if any, authority is there in the City’s ordinance for waiving the requirement for that finding.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that the Planning Commission could not waive a finding, and the finding must be made in some way. He stated that the staff report was saying that the intent of the finding was to not have a house on a ridge or promontory but since there were already houses located on what appears to be a ridge, staff felt the finding could be made.

Chairman Cartwright asked if some consideration had been given due to the fact that this was a legally subdivided lot that was created prior to the City’s incorporation.

Senior Planner Fox responded that this was a major part of the consideration.

Vice Chairman Long asked if the Ordinance granted an exception to the requirement of the finding that the structure not be located on a ridge even if there is a legally subdivided lot.

Senior Planner Fox stated that the Ordinance does not grant that exception, but the intent would be for the Planning Commission to make a finding in some fashion, therefore staff tried to identify some issues that were overriding considerations to the issue of the placement of the structure on the ridge. He noted that this was a legally subdivided lot and a substantial portion of the lot was not buildable by virtue of the open space hazard zoning and the setback requirements.

Vice Chairman Long noted that the property could be developed without a height variation permit and then this finding would not have to be made.

Commissioner Tomblin was concerned that the irrigation and other type of things that go into landscaping might be the trigger to spur some type of slide activity and asked if that was considered in the geologic review.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that staff relies on the City geologist to tell staff if there is a condition at the site that is of concern, and if so a condition is usually added that all planting must be drought tolerant or there should be no irrigation. However, he noted that there was no such concern from the City geologist regarding this project.

Commissioner Cote asked Mr. Wan if his main concern was the stability of the land and the possible affect on his property as grading was taking place.

Mr. Wan answered that this was his main concern.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Mr. Iskander how he felt about providing some type of insurance during the construction of his residence.

Mr. Iskander answered that he would like to protect his neighbor and himself as much as possible.

Chairman Cartwright asked staff how they felt about requiring insurance as part of the planning approval.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that it was not a standard condition of approval that staff placed on projects and it was staff’s position that if everything goes through the proper review and the professionals do their job and sign off on the project then everything should be fine.

Vice Chairman Long asked if the condition for insurance had ever been placed on a project.

Director/Secretary Rojas recalled there had been one or two cases where insurance had been required because of major grading, but he did not recall the cases being single family residences.

Commissioner Lyon was concerned that if the Planning Commissioner were to set a precedent by requiring this type of bond, everyone that objects to any grading at all will want to have a bond. He felt this was an unfair imposition on the developer.

Vice Chairman Long asked staff about the intent of Finding No. 3 and if there was something other than the Ordinance the Planning Commission could look at to discern the intent.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that in looking at the finding, staff felt the intent was to avoid large, tall structures on ridgelines or promontories that are more visible to the public. He stated that there were undeveloped areas where this could be a concern. However, from staff’s perspective, because there are other two story homes in this area, staff believes the finding can be made in that the intent of the Code is to avoid a second story on a prominent ridgeline that is visible to the public.

Vice Chairman Long asked if "ridge" was defined anywhere.

Director/Secretary Rojas read the definition of "ridge" from the Development Code.

Commissioner Mueller asked what might have created this ridge and if it were possible that part of the ridge was created by a cut when creating Crownview Drive.

Senior Planner Fox stated that staff had looked at old grading plans when the tract was created and believed that the slope along the front of Crownview Drive was created when Crownview Drive was created. He did not think the backside of the slope had been altered. He also noted that a trail might have existed from Miraleste Canyon along the top of the area at one time.

Vice Chairman Long asked for the definition of "promontory".

Director/Secretary Rojas read the definition of "promontory" from the Development Code.

Commissioner Mueller stated that he had climbed to the top of the lot and noted that the ridge may have been created by the cut of the road and, in looking at the area it was difficult for him to discuss the area as a ridge. He felt that it blended in with the rest of the neighborhood.

Vice Chairman Long felt that what appears to be a ridge may be a result of man-made alterations and therefore is not a ridge as defined in the ordinance.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Tomblin recognized this was a very difficult lot, and he was concerned with the architectural look of the house, as it appeared to be three boxes put on the side of the hill with a large driveway going up the hill.

Commissioner Duran Reed agreed it was a very difficult piece of property. She discussed the insurance requirement and noted that the Wan’s requested it and Mr. Iskander had agreed to provide it. She did not think this meant the Planning Commission was setting a precedent for all other projects that require grading. She felt that because the two parties were in agreement, it was something the Planning Commission should consider. She felt it was important that no letters had been received nor comments made objecting to the project. She also felt it was important the Homeowners Association had not provided a letter regarding the project one way or the other.

Commissioner Mueller felt there were other driveways in the area that were as steep as the one proposed. He noted that the area was extremely steep and did not think that should cloud the judgment of the Planning Commission. He was relying on the geotechnical reports submitted and reviewed by the City’s consultant to assure the City and the neighbors that it was feasible to build on the lot. As far as the architectural look of the house, he felt that beauty was in the eye of the beholder and did not think it was something the Planning Commission should consider in this case. He was inclined to agree with the staff report and did not see any obstacles.

Commissioner Lyon agreed with Commissioner Mueller’s comments and supported the project.

Commissioner Cote stated that her main concern with the project was with the geological findings, the amount of grading proposed, and the potential unstability or side affects associated with the amount of grading. She would feel more comfortable if the findings and comments from the City geologist were included in the conditions of approval. Her concern with the bond requirement was that she did not understand the extent of the liability to the City if they became involved with that and wanted to know more about the issue before she could support the recommendation.

Vice Chairman Long endorsed a number of the comments by the Commissioners, in particular the comments from Commissioner Duran Reed suggesting the Planning Commission consider, in cases where there are doubts about the geologic issues, conditioning the approval of the grading permit on the provision of insurance. He felt it had been done in the past and there was a mechanism and language by which the Planning Commission could do it. He was not necessarily saying this was the appropriate case for insurance, but the suggestion that the Commission should think it through was a good one. Other than that, he felt all of the findings required by the height variation and grading permits could be made and he was satisfied that he could make the Finding Number 3, as he did not think they were dealing with a ridge within the meaning of the Ordinance. In light of that, he felt this was a project that can and should go forward. He felt that insurance was advantageous to both parties involved, and if the risk is low the premium should be fairly low, and if the premium is quite high it is possible it is a reflection that the risk is quite high. He felt the risk should be borne by the developer, not the people who happen to be the neighbors of the developer.

Chairman Cartwright agreed with most of what had been said. He felt it was a very challenging property to build on. He was comfortable with the geology and the process the City goes through to ensure the geology is satisfactory. He would like to see the comments from the city geologist added to the conditions of approval to ensure the developer will follow the recommendations of the geologist. With regards to the insurance, he did not think the Planning Commission had ever required insurance when constructing a single family residence and was reluctant to do it. He stated that if he had doubts about the geology he would not support the project.

Commissioner Duran Reed moved to approve the Height Variation 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286, as presented by staff, with the added condition there be insurance to cover any problems that might be caused by grading.

Before seconding the motion, Vice Chairman Long proposed an amendment to the motion to instruct staff to determine what, if any, insurance would be reasonably commercially available and to draft a condition based upon the reasonably available commercial insurance and bring this back to the Planning Commission in the form of a Resolution on the consent calendar of the next meeting.

Commissioner Duran Reed accepted the amendment, which would allow conceptual approval of the project, but require the Resolution to return to the Planning Commission for review and approval. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Long.

Vice Chairman Long seconded the motion.

Commissioner Lyon proposed an amendment to eliminate the requirement that there be insurance, and in its place add the condition that the conditions of the City geologist be added to the conditions of approval of the project.

Commissioner Duran Reed did not accept the amendment to the motion.

Vice Chairman Long urged the Planning Commission to reject the amendment to the motion as it would preclude the Commission from considering any possibility for an insurance requirement and get a report back from staff regarding the insurance requirements. As to the geological concerns, these could be incorporated in another amendment to the motion.

Chairman Cartwright stated that he was against adding the insurance onto the cost of building homes in the City without any idea of what that cost will be. He felt that if this was made a requirement in this situation the Planning Commission would end up doing it for almost all situations where grading was involved. He did not understand why this was being considered, as the Planning Commission had not heard anything that says this project would likely cause significant damage to the neighboring property.

Commissioner Lyon asked that there be a roll call vote on his amendment. The amendment failed (3-4) with Commissioners Cote, Duran Reed, Mueller, and Vice Chairman Long dissenting.

Commissioner Cote made an amendment to Commissioner Duran Reed’s motion that geotenchical conditions be made a part of the conditions of approval.

Commissioner Duran accepted the amendment. The motion was now to conceptually approve the project as presented by staff, but to instruct staff to determine what, if any insurance was commercially available and if the cost was feasible. Further, the geotechnical conditions were to be made a part of the conditions of approval. The Resolution would be presented at the next Planning Commission meeting for review and approval, seconded by Vice Chairman Long. Approved, (6-1) with Chairman Cartwright dissenting.

Director/Secretary Rojas was concerned that staff could collect this information by the next meeting and suggested the Resolution be presented at the June 11 meeting. The Planning Commission agreed.


PUBLIC HEARINGS



5. Variance, Site Plan Review, and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00108): 28304 Golden Meadow Drive

Vice Chairman Long recused himself from this application as he was not able to conduct the site visit.

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report as well as a power point presentation. He explained the proposed project and stated that except for the encroachments the project otherwise complies with the standards of the RS-4 zoning district. He displayed the areas of encroachment to the Planning Commission. With respect to the Variance request, he stated that staff believed all four required findings could be made and felt that the proposed encroachment is the only feasible means to provide a garage that meets the minimum interior dimensions without requiring major structural modifications to the living area of the house. In addition, based on information provided by the applicant and verified in the City building permit records, a large number of homes in the immediate vicinity have front setbacks that are much less than 20 feet, and 4 homes in the immediate vicinity have direct access driveways that are only 10 feet long. Therefore, staff felt there were exceptional circumstances applicable to this property that applied. He explained that the Development Code requires the Planning Commission to review Site Plan Review applications where there are encroachments into the intersection visibility triangle. He noted that Public Works staff inspected the site and determined that the location of the proposed addition would not adversely affect public safety. The Minor Exception Permit request allows for the maximum 20 percent reduction in the required front yard setback. In granting the Minor Exception Permit the Planning Commission must make at least one of three findings. Staff believes that two of the findings could be made. Staff also reviewed the project for compatibility with the character of the immediate neighborhood and staff believes the proposed home will not appear disproportionately large compared to the surrounding homes. In conclusion, staff believes all of the required findings for the Variance, Site Plan Review, and Minor Exception can be made for the project and recommend approval of the project.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Ross Thayer 28304 Golden Meadow Drive (applicant) stated he was available to answer any questions.

There being no questions, Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Tomblin moved to adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-06 thereby approving the Variance, Site Plan Review and Minor Exception Permit, as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Mueller. Approved, (6-0-1) with Vice Chairman Long recused.


RECESS AND RECONVENE

At 9:05 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess until 9:15 p.m. at which time they reconvened.


7. Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 573, and Environmental Assessment No. 745: 3787 Coolheights Drive

Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report. He gave a brief background of the property and noted that this lot was excluded when the developer sold the Forrestal property to the City in 1996. Regarding CEQA, staff has determined that the revised project before the Planning Commission may result in a significant impact to the surrounding environment. As such, the project may not be considered a categorical exemption, and the appropriate environment documents were prepared. He stated that the impacts identified in the Initial Study are able to be mitigated to less than significant impact, therefore staff is recommending that the Planning Commission adopt the Environmental Resolution.

Regarding the project, Senior Planner Mihranian explained that staff had suggested moving the proposed residence off the pad and toward the slope, thereby minimizing a potential view impairment from the neighboring property. As a result, the grading quantities and height measurements changed and the silhouette at the site reflects the current revised project, as measured from the highest pre-construction grade of the building pad. He discussed the Grading Permit, Minor Exception Permit, and the Height Variation. He stated that staff had determined the proposed project does not result in a significant view impact, does not result in a significant infringement of privacy from neighboring properties, and that the proposed structure in terms of height, size and character is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. He explained how staff felt the revised project reduced the grading quantities originally proposed, and by allowing the structure to be located off the pad outside the potential view corridor from the neighboring property. Regarding the Minor Exception Permit, staff believes this property is unique because of its configuration and location and warrants the approval of the Minor Exception Permit. He noted there is a trail easement that runs along the side property line and with that easement comes potential security and safety issues. Therefore, staff feels the increase in the height of the fence from 42 inches to 6 feet is warranted.

In addition to the applications before the Commission, staff recognized other issues with regard to the project, the first being the turnaround. He noted that a Settlement Agreement in 1998 implied the subject property would be improved with a hammerhead turnaround but did not specify the design or layout of the turnaround. He explained that the City has considered designs of what the hammerhead turnaround should look like and in concept, approved a layout that was approximately 20 feet by 70 feet. However, as a result of staff’s recommendation to relocate the proposed residence off the pad area, the applicant requested the layout of the hammerhead turnaround be modified. He showed a slide of the proposed layout, explaining it was in the shape of an "S" and provided access to the subject property’s driveway as well as access to the neighboring lot and the public trail easement recorded on that property. Mr. Mihranian explained that there was no specific design for the hammerhead turnaround in the Settlement Agreement and that the design presented by the applicant has been approved by the Fire Department and the City’s Waste Management Company. However, in light of public comments received the Director of Public Works and the City Attorney have presented an alternate design which the Planning Commission may wish to consider a more symmetrical design as an alternative to the applicant’s design.

Chairman Cartwright asked if there was currently an easement for the turnaround.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that the easement for the hammerhead has not yet been recorded. Once an agreement is reached on the design of the turnaround, the easement will be recorded with the L.A. County Recorder’s office. He noted that it would be recorded as a public access easement so that pedestrians and any vehicle could utilize the turnaround.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that, based on the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the property is located in a high fire hazard area, therefore the Fire Department is requiring the removal or thinning of brush. As such the applicants prepared a fuel modification plan which has been reviewed and approved by the Fire Department.

Senior Planner Mihranian discussed the trails on the property and noted that staff was recommending that certain trail easements on the property be conveyed to the City so that the trails recognized in the Conceptual Plan and the Forrestal Management Plan are made available to the public.

Commissioner Lyon asked the Director of Public Works why, at the end of a street like this, there would be a hammerhead turnaround and why it would not be more desirable to put a cul-de-sac in that location.

Director Allison answered that from his standpoint it would be more desirable to have a cul-de-sac at that location, but the Settlement Agreement identifies the improvement as a hammerhead turnaround.

Commissioner Lyon asked what impact the installation of a cul-de-sac would have on the applicant’s proposal.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that the City had looked at the idea of a cul-de-sac but determined that it would probably occupy most of the pad area.

Commissioner Lyon felt a cul-de-sac could be created and using the overhead showed how he thought it could be done with a semi-circle radius beginning at the end of the street. He felt a cul-de-sac was much easier for people to turn around in and it appeared it could be done without impacting the planned structure.

Director Allison stated that public works had not done a lot of studies on the geometry of the turnaround and there may be some possibility of a design similar to what Commissioner Lyon was suggesting. He explained that staff had looked at a standard cul-de-sac design, which staff determined would consume most of the pad area.

Senior Planner Mihranian also explained that whatever turnaround was put there must be approved by the Fire Department and must provide adequate access to the abutting trail as well as the neighboring property.

Commissioner Lyon stated there was an existing swale behind the proposed structure, which ends at the top of the canyon. He did not feel there was any accommodation for the water coming down that swale when the brush is removed and asked what was planned to carry the water safely down the canyon.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that there was a condition on the project that all runoff is to be diverted to the street.

Commissioner Mueller asked for an explanation on the ownership of the lots was generated in the settlement agreement, and specifically, if Mr. Ortolano Jr. was the property owner at the adjacent lot.

City Attorney Lynch answered that Mr. Ortolano Sr. own the existing improved property and there is a small lot between the improved lot and Mr. Nassari’s lot that Mr. Ortolano Jr. had used over the years and after the City purchased the Forrestal property he filed a lawsuit that claimed ownership of the lot by adverse possession, as he had fenced part of the lot, put in landscaping, and put in accessory structures.

Commissioner Mueller asked if there was any reason the street couldn’t be widened on either side, and the logical side to widen the street would be the side with the unimproved lot. He asked if the cul-de-sac could take advantage of the unimproved property.

City Attorney Lynch answered that could only happen if the City were to purchase the property. She added that the Commission could make a recommendation to the City Council that the City should acquire sufficient area from the affected properties to make any type of turnaround the Planning Commission finds acceptable.

Commissioner Tomblin asked if the settlement agreement specified a hammerhead turnaround.

City Attorney Lynch responded that the settlement agreement implies a hammerhead turnaround. She stated that a hammerhead was discussed because it appeared that it might be a more feasible way of getting reasonable access for a turnaround area that would not completely undermine the developability of the subject property.

Commissioner Tomblin noted that there was currently one trail easement on the property and asked if staff was recommending a second trail easement.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that staff would like three trail easements and noted the easements on the overhead.

Commissioner Tomblin asked if there was anything prohibiting the neighbors and applicant from voluntarily giving some of their land to form the cul-de-sac.

City Attorney Lynch answered that there was nothing prohibiting an adjacent property owner contributing their property to try to resolve a situation and make it better.

Vice Chairman Long asked if the unimproved lot owned by Mr. Ortolano Jr. would ever be developable.

City Attorney Lynch responded that it would not, as there were restrictions placed on the lot in the settlement agreement that no new structures could not be constructed on that lot.

Chairman Cartwright asked if there were minimum requirements for a cul-de-sac.

Director Allison answered that the City has adopted the American Public Works Standards which sets the size of the cul-de-sac. He explained the issue was the need to put in a cul-de-sac that preserves the current right-of-way and to do that would push the cul-de-sac further onto the applicant’s property.

Vice Chairman Long asked if the City were to condemn the undeveloped lot belonging to the Ortolano family, would that then improve the type of turnaround the City could construct.

Director Allison felt it was hard to say without actually looking at the site. He felt that some constraints would most likely be removed and there would be more flexibility, but he would like to study the issue first.

Chairman Cartwright asked if the City would accept a sub-standard cul-de-sac.

Director Allison answered that if the Fire Department accepted it, the City most likely would accept it.

Commissioner Cote asked if there would be sufficient signage as to where the trails are located.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that there was a condition attached to the Resolution that requires the turnaround, as well as the trail easements, to be adequately posted with signs that notify the public that it is for public use.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if the concerns from the Fish and Wildlife Service that were in a letter sent to the City had been addressed in the conditions attached to the Resolution.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that they had been addressed.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Sidney Croft 3858 Carson #127, Torrance stated he was the attorney for the applicant. He noted that the applicant has basically yielded on every recommendation made by the staff. He requested that on the trails condition no. 28 the trail location be changed slightly, which would be discussed by the architect. He also noted that the condition called for the spa to be 10 feet from the edge of the property and asked that it be modified to 5 feet. He asked that bio mitigation measure no. 1 be waived. He noted that a condition restricted landscaping to 42 inches in height along the proposed wall and requested that where the trail parallels the property line, that landscaping be permitted at 6 feet. He stated that it would not interfere with views and was for security and privacy. He discussed the hammerhead turnaround and noted that it had been approved by the Fire Department and Waste Management and was what the applicant and the architect relied on when designing the proposed house. He objected to a cul-de-sac design and felt it would take too much of the applicant’s property.

Alex Chang 8730 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel stated he was the project architect. He distributed a drawing depicting the proposed trail easement that was located further from the home than shown on the staff report. He discussed the proposed 6-foot high fence in the front yard and noted that it would not block the view from the neighbor’s property. He felt the applicant’s hammerhead turnaround was a good proposal and felt it was unfair for the City to propose a cul-de-sac at this late stage.

Chairman Cartwright asked if there were any other hammerhead turnarounds in the City.

Director Allison answered that he was not aware of any.

John O’Connor 3729 Coolheights Drive stated there were many children in the neighborhood and the issue of a cul-de-sac versus a hammerhead turnaround was a safety issue. He explained that currently garbage trucks and other large vehicles have to back down the street, which he felt was very unsafe. He felt this was a tragedy waiting to happen as there are so many children in the neighborhood and the trucks backing down the street had limited visibility behind them. He wanted to be sure that whatever was proposed had adequate room for trucks to turn around before heading back down Coolheights Drive.

Commissioner Tomblin asked Mr. O’Connor if he had a preference between a hammerhead design or a cul-de-sac.

Mr. O’Connor answered that he did not care, as long as it actually worked.

Joan Ortolano 3776 Coolheights Drive stated that the City has the full cooperation from her husband and herself to resolve the issue of the turnaround. She clarified that the undeveloped property was solely her son’s property and not part of a family property. She felt that if the Director of Public Works, the City Attorney, Mr. Nassiri’s attorney, her son, and herself were to sit down there may be a positive solution to the problem. She discussed whether the turnaround should be private property with an easement for public access or whether it should be a publicly dedicated street. She asked who would have jurisdiction to resolve any problems on the street and noted that there is no other street in the City with the configuration that was being recommended. She did not know, and did not feel anyone could know, what type of problems might arise in connection with this turnaround in the future. She wanted to know to whom the residents in the City may turn to resolve any problems with the street in the future. For these reasons she urged the City to make this a publicly dedicated street.

Ralph Ortolano 3776 Coolheights Drive stated the residents of Coolheights Drive have been promised a cul-de-sac from Rancho Palos Verdes since 1975. He stated that this configuration appears on several plot plans for city approved tentative tract maps and was known by the parties involved when the Nassiri lot was purchased several years ago. He explained that a cul-de-sac is a standard turnaround in Federal, State, and County jurisdictions and is based on years of safe engineering practices and scientific study. He stated it has been the City’s acknowledged policy and past practice to follow these standards and nowhere in the City is there an existing hammerhead turnaround. Therefore, he felt that departing from City policy and past practice to approve a hammerhead is a deliberate non-compliance. He stated that when the hammerhead was proposed in lieu of the cul-de-sac, none of the residents of the street were consulted for opinion, approval, or discussion, even though it meant not delivering on commitments existing for many years. He also noted that the Traffic Committee was not consulted. He felt that the proposed narrowing of the street, decorative block hammerhead suggests that it is a private driveway and felt the turnaround will not be used by the public. He stated that during the last week a petition was circulated on Coolheights Drive and 102 signatures were collected favoring a publicly dedicated cul-de-sac rather than the proposed hammerhead turnaround. He noted that this was 95 percent of the households contacted. Therefore, he felt a publicly dedicated cul-de-sac was in the best interest of the residents of the street, as well as the applicant, while fully complying with the City’s policies and practices and should meet with the approval of the Traffic Committee and the Department of Public Works.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Mr. Ortolano for clarification on the foliage on his property and if he would be willing to allow foliage to grow from 42 inches to 72 inches.

Mrs. Ortolano stated that the applicant was entitled to 42 inches and anything over than height would destroy her view out of the dining room window.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Ortolano who had been making the promises for a cul-de-sac at the end of the street, as suggested in his presentation, and if there was anything in writing.

Mr. Ortolano answered that the intention to put in a cul-de-sac existed before the incorporation of the City and appeared on numerous tract maps.

Mrs. Ortolano added that Sharon Hightower, a former Director of the Planning Department, had verbally assured the neighbors that a cul-de-sac would be built.

Ralph Ortolano Jr. 3776 Coolheights Drive stated that it was his understanding that he had an agreement for a publicly dedicated street fronting his property. He felt that putting a wall right on the hammerhead limits the utility of it, as this would diminish the actual useable roadway area. He asked that the proposed trails be determined through a public notice and input process. He felt if a trail were placed on a steep part of the slope, human nature would be for the public to trespass onto Mr. Nasiri’s property where it would be more easily hiked. He was concerned with the drainage plan and wanted to make sure his lot did not become inundated with mud during the rainy season.

Vice Chairman Long asked if the agreement for a publicly dedicated street was in the settlement agreement.

Mr. Ortolano Jr. answered that the settlement agreement states the easement he granted will terminate in the extension of Coolheights Drive right-of-way. He stated there was difference between an easement and a right-of-way.

Vice Chairman Long read section 3.1.4 of the settlement agreement and felt it only said the City will be granted a 10-foot public trail easement and asked if the reference to the terminus of Coolheights Drive right-of-way was a reference to a terminus different from what existed at the time the settlement agreement was signed.

Mr. Ortolano Jr. answered that it was understood the Public Works Department was going to review it and be approved, and it was understood there would be a right-of-way extension to the street as it currently exists.

Vice Chairman Long responded that the settlement agreement does not say that and asked if that wording was anywhere else in the settlement agreement.

Mr. Ortolano Jr. answered that there was nothing else in the settlement agreement.

Recess and Reconvene

At 10:40 p.m. the Commission took a short recess until 10:45 p.m. at which time they reconvened.


PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT)

Chairman Cartwright suggested interrupting the hearing for Item no. 7 to hear Item No. 6. The Planning Commission agreed.


6. Height Variation, Minor Exception Permit, Site Plan Review, and Grading Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00029): 6 Headland Drive

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented a brief staff report. He stated that staff had determined that all findings could be made for the Height Variation, Site Plan Review and Grading Permit. However, regarding the Minor Exception Permit, staff analysis found there were no noted practical difficulties, unnecessary hardships, or inconsistencies with the Development Code that applies to this property and therefore recommend the Minor Exception Permit be denied. He explained that there was one minor view impact noted from 98 Headland Drive from foliage on the applicant’s property and staff has recommended that the subject tree that causes the impact be trimmed.

Commissioner Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Robert Shahnazarian 6 Headland Drive (applicant) disagreed with staff’s finding on the driveway. He felt there was a practical difficulty as they had a turnaround driveway that one could not turn around in. He explained that cars had to back out of the narrow driveway and it was dangerous to back out of. He explained that he was planning to build a beautiful home and would like to have the full effect of the turnaround driveway for safety and convenience. Regarding the tree in the backyard, he stated he had already cut part of the tree, which upset another neighbor as it provided shade to their property and blocked the view of the telephone pole and wires. He stated that a member of the View Restoration staff had visited his home and felt there was only one branch towards the south end of the tree that needed to be removed to restore the view for his neighbor, which he agreed to do. However staff was now recommending raising the entire canopy up 20 feet and asked why the recommendation had changed, as he would rather cut the one branch.

Commissioner Cartwright asked Mr. Shahnazarian to address the staff recommendation that the excess 1 percent lot coverage for the driveway could be absorbed somewhere else on the property.

Mr. Shahnazarian answered that he could not see taking any square footage from the house, as the main living floor is 6,800 square feet and the other 2,200 square feet were basement and garage. He noted that it would take removal of 780 square feet to meet the City requirement. He felt the bathroom at the side of the house and move it to the back, but this would make one wing of the house longer than the other, where now they are symmetrical.

Chairman Cartwright asked staff if they had any suggestions on how to absorb the 780 square feet to meet the minimum lot coverage.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that staff’s opinion was that the easiest way would be to narrow the driveway. However, if the applicant wishes to maintain the larger driveway, the master bathroom at the north side of the master bedroom could be moved to the west side of the house. This would eliminate the courtyard on the north side of the house, which counts as lot coverage.

Rosa Velazquez 1842 S. Elena Avenue, Redondo Beach stated that she was the architect for the project. She felt that given the large size of the lot, that one percent additional lot coverage was not excessive and would not hurt the open space of the lot. She stated that lot coverage was increased for safety at the driveway and the backup area near the garage. She felt that the bathroom could be moved, however it would break the symmetry of the proposed house. She noted that there were two large "U" shaped courtyards that were open and landscaped which counted as lot coverage. She felt that by moving the bathroom the amount of excess lot coverage would be reduced to approximately 392 square feet.

Commissioner Lyon suggested reducing a portion of the driveway to a one-car width and leaving half of the driveway where several cars could be parked on the left.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Tomblin asked if the request to exceed the maximum lot coverage was a common request, and if the Planning Commission had ever granted such a request.

Chairman Cartwright could not remember when the Planning Commission had allowed the maximum lot coverage to be exceeded.

Commissioner Duran Reed felt that a 4-car width on a driveway was rather large and there was room for reduction in the width. She also discussed the tree trimming and noted that it was a standard requirement before issuance of permits that all foliage above 16 feet in height be trimmed to a height of 16-feet. As an accommodation to the applicant and the neighbor, staff had agreed to allow the crown to be raised to 20 feet, which she felt was very reasonable.

Commissioner Mueller agreed with the staff report’s suggestion regarding the trimming of the tree. Regarding the lot coverage, he supported Commissioner Lyon’s suggestion to reduce the width of a portion of the driveway.

Commissioner Lyon felt a compromise on the lot coverage was reasonable.

Commissioner Cote felt the compromise in lot coverage was acceptable, given the fact that there was quite a bit of open space in the courtyards and landscaping.

Vice Chairman Long supported the staff recommendations. He understood the concept of trying to compromise, but he did not feel this was the best way to analyze the issue. He pointed out that the Minor Exception Permit requires the Planning Commission to make a finding, and he did not feel the finding could not be made. He did not want to set a precedent in this case by allowing a designer to disregard the code and design something in excess of what the code permits and then allowing a compromise which still exceeded what the code permits. He noted that this was a large house and a large lot, which is not the kind of thing a Minor Exception Permit was designed to address. He felt that in this case the architect designed a project, not paying close enough attention to the code, and after the design was finished the property owners became attached to the design and could not imagine any change in the design whatsoever.

Chairman Cartwright agreed with Vice Chairman Long’s comments and he too supported staff recommendations. He felt the architect designed a very beautiful home, however he too could not make the findings to support the Minor Exception Permit and felt there was the potential to re-design the house.

Commissioner Lyon moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-07 thereby approving the Height Variation, Grading Permit and Site Plan Review, and denying without prejudice the Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00029) with the modification that the tree trimming requirement be changed to provide a view that is no longer significantly impaired, rather than raising the entire canopy of the tree.

Vice Chairman Long suggested a modification to the motion to read that the tree trimming be whatever the staff determines necessary to eliminate any significant impairment of view caused by the foliage. By not specifying raising or lowering the canopy this would allow staff the discretion to determine what was necessary.

Commissioner Lyon accepted the modification, and Vice Chairman Long seconded the motion.

The motion was approved, (7-0).


7. Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 573, and Environmental Assessment No. 745: (continued)

Mohammad Farooq 3777 Coolheights Drive stated he had a significant concern regarding the view from his property and felt the proposed home would obstruct the sunset view from his backyard and dining room. He stated his ocean view from his backyard would also be obstructed. He also stated that if the Planning Commission allowed the Minor Exception Permit to raise the height of the fence to 72 inches, more of his view would be blocked. He asked if the location of the jacuzzi could be moved further back on the property to ensure the applicant’s privacy as well as his own privacy and view protection. He asked if, in the future, he could have some type of view easement to ensure his view will not be obstructed.

Commissioner Cartwright asked staff if any part of Mr. Farooq’s view was protected.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the only protected viewing area, according to the Code, would be the view from the dining room and noted that the lower level and the backyard were not protected view areas. He displayed a photo showing the view from the dining room at 3777 Coolheights Drive.

Commissioner Mueller asked if the photo was taken from a sitting or a standing position.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that it was taken from a standing position.

Commissioner Mueller agreed that the main viewing area of the house was the dining room and asked if the portion of the structure that obstructs ocean and cove view is above 16 feet in height.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that it was above 16 feet.

Commissioner Mueller asked Mr. Farooq if, in sitting down in the dining room, he could see the point on the coastline and asked if the silhouette obstructs that view.

Mr. Farooq answered that he could currently see the point and the silhouette does obstruct that view.

Senior Planner Mihranian reminded the Commission that the intent in locating the proposed residence on the slope rather than on the pad area was to address staff’s concern that if the structure was built to a height of 16 feet it would impair Mr. Farooq’s ocean view. He clarified his previous comment by stating that the view impairment is caused by the portion of the proposed structure that is below the permitted height limit of 16 feet.

Nick Trutanich 3751 Coolheights Drive showed a slide of seven houses on Coolheights which represented 13 children under the age of 11 in the neighborhood. He then pointed out other homes in the neighborhood, including an in-school house that had 15 children under the age of 8. He discussed the trucks that come down the street that have to back down because they can’t turn around. He stated that as homeowners, they would accept nothing less that a cul-de-sac for safety reasons.

Chairman Cartwright acknowledged that Mr. Trutanich’s main concern was that trucks not have to back down the street, but asked what difference it would make if it was a cul-de-sac or a hammerhead turnaround, as long as the trucks could turn around.

Mr. Trutanich answered the trucks could not easily turn around in a hammerhead turnaround and would still have to back up, possibly into a driveway.

Sunshine 6 Limetree Lane displayed an approved Tract Map from 1996 which showed a cul-de-sac and trail connections. She felt the project should be completely denied and could not understand why the City did not buy the project site at the time it acquired the Forrestal property. She did not think the current proposal equals those trails shown on the approved tract map. She felt all trails easements proposed should be trails that could physically be built and used and did not require stairs.

Chairman Cartwright noted that it was now past midnight and asked the Commission, per the Planning Commission Rules and Procedures, if they wished to continue the discussion on the project or continue the item to the next meeting.

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to continue the item to the meeting of May 28, 2002.

Commissioner Lyon suggested that during that time the applicant, staff, and neighbors get together and try to work out the issue of the turnaround.

Vice Chairman Long asked the Director of Public Works to think about what type of cul-de-sacs could be constructed and with what sort of purchases or condemnations of which private properties would be required. He also wanted to know if a cul-de-sac would be an improvement over the proposed hammerhead design.

Chairman Cartwright was troubled by what appeared to be different opinions from the staff and hoped that by the next meeting the staff could agree on what type of turnaround would be best for the project.

Director/Secretary Rojas clarified that in his opinion there is no difference of opinion among staff with regards to the turnaround design. Staff agreed that a cul-de-sac would be the preferred alternative but the Settlement Agreement alludes to a hammerhead design.

Director Allison clarified that given a choice, he would prefer to have a cul-de-sac at the site, but the fact of the matter is there is a settlement agreement that the City must abide by.

Commissioner Mueller asked that staff consider a red curb cul-de-sac where no parking was allowed and would be used for turn around purposes only. He also asked that staff consider a design to include the unimproved lot in the hopes the property could be purchased so that it could become part of the equation and allow the buildable lot to remain a buildable lot.

Vice Chairman Long agreed with Commissioner Mueller’s comments. He asked staff to clarify if the settlement agreement required the City to do any particular thing and if it prevented the City from doing any particular thing, whether it be a cul-de-sac, a hammerhead design, etc.

City Attorney Lynch stated that was correct.

Vice Chairman Long stated that the concerns of the Commission as a whole could be looked at with complete freedom. The Planning Commission could look at the alternatives, and regardless of what was decided on the application, make a recommendation to the City Council regarding the design of the turnaround.

The Planning Commission unanimously continued the item to the next meeting on May 28.


CONSENT CALENDAR (CONT)



2. Adoption of new Planning Commission Rules and Procedures Resolution

The Planning Commission continued the item to the meeting of May 28, 2002.


NEW BUSINESS



8. Institutional Memory Table

The Planning Commission continued the item to the meeting of May 28, 2002.


ADJOURNMENT

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






2. ADOPTION OF NEW PLANNING COMMISSION RULES AND PROCEDURES RESOLUTION: (JR)

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__; approving minor amendments to the Planning Commission’s rules and procedures.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MAY 28, 2002

SUBJECT: AMENDMENT OF PLANNING COMMISSION’S RULES AND PROCEDURES

RECOMMENDATION

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__, approving minor amendments to the Planning Commission’s rules and procedures.

DISCUSSION

At the last Planning Commission meeting, the Commission conceptually approved certain amendments to the Planning Commission’s Rules and Procedures. The amendments involved:1) the eligibility of Commissioners to vote based on the proximity of their residence to a proposed project; 2) clarification that Commissioners should contact Staff if they have questions on a Staff Report; and 3) adding video tape to the list of acceptable methods to review proceedings of previous meetings. The amendments have been incorporated into the attached Resolution for the Commission’s adoption this evening.

Attachments

PC Rules and Procedures (PC Resolution 2002-__)


P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-05

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE CONDUCT OF HEARINGS ON LAND USE MATTERS AND OTHER BUSINESS

WHEREAS, California Government Code Section 65804 requires the City to develop and publish procedural rules for the conduct of zoning and planning hearings, so that all interested parties will have advance knowledge of the procedures to be followed; and,

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission serves as an advisory agency to the City Council with respect to the processing of parcel and tentative maps under the Subdivision Map Act; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the requirements of the California Government Code and the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the Planning Commission desires to specify procedural rules to govern the conduct of hearings on the land use matters, including but not limited to, zone changes and zoning text amendments, variances, conditional use and other permit applications, subdivision requests and appeals of administrative decisions; and,

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission finds clarification of time allocations for presentation of oral evidence at Commission meetings;

WHEREAS, new State regulations, promulgated by the Fair Political Practices Commission, that restrict the eligibility of Commissioners to participate in deliberations or a vote went into effect on January 1, 2002.

BE IT RESOLVED that the following procedural rules shall, insofar as consistent with applicable State laws and City ordinances, govern the conduct of all business, including but not limited to land use hearings, before the Planning Commission of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes:

1. MEETINGS, STUDY SESSIONS, AGENDAS, AND STAFF REPORTS

1.1 Appointment:

Pursuant to Municipal Code Section 2.20.020, the Planning Commission consists of seven regular members appointed by the City Council. The Chairperson is appointed by the Council and the Vice Chairperson shall be elected by a majority of the members of the Planning Commission.

1.2 Quorum:

A quorum to conduct business shall consist of a minimum total of four members of the Commission.

Commission members who live or own property within 500 300 feet of a property that is under review by the Planning Commission are not eligible to participate in deliberations or vote on that item, as specified by the regulations promulgated by the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Commission members who live more than 500 feet but in close proximity to or own property from 300 to 2,500 feet of a property that is under review by the Planning Commission shall determine, after consultation with the City Attorney, if the project would affect them in the amount established by the Political Reform Act and, if so, shall notify the Staff to disqualify them from deliberations on that item.

1.3 Regular Meetings:

Regular meetings of the Planning Commission shall be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. If the regular meeting date falls on a City holiday, then the meeting will generally be rescheduled to the next business day. All regular meetings of the Planning Commission will be called to order at 7:00 p.m., unless advertised otherwise, canceled, or rescheduled.

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. The City Clerk, or his or her deputy, will post notice of any continued hearing or other unfinished business, as required by law.

1.4 Special Meetings:

A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chairperson of the Planning Commission, or by a majority of its membership on its own motion, or at the direction of the City Council. Written notice shall be sent by mail at least twenty-four (24) hours before the time of a special meeting to each member and to each local newspaper of general circulation, to each radio or television station, or cable television operator, which has previously submitted a written request for notice and any other person entitled to notice under the Ralph M. Brown Act. The notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted. No other business shall be considered at the meeting. Written notice may be dispensed to any member who at, or before, the time of the meeting files an oral or written waiver of notice with the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement. The waiver may also be given by telegram or electronic means, such as by fax or e-mail, so that the waiver can be printed and kept in the City's files. Written notice will also be dispensed with as to any member who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes.

1.5 Adjourned Meetings:

The Planning Commission may adjourn any regular, adjourned regular, special, or adjourned special meeting to a time and place specified in the order of adjournment pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code Section 54950, et seq.

1.6 Study Sessions:

The Planning Commission may hold a study session (workshop) as part of a regular, adjourned, or special meeting. When a matter is set for a study session, public testimony on each item will generally be limited to five (5) minutes or more per person, at the discretion of the Chairperson. Public notice for study sessions on specific matters for which public hearings are anticipated in the future will be given in the same manner as that required for public hearings, and a record of the study session shall be entered into the minutes of any such future public hearings.

1.7 Open and Closed Sessions:

Except as otherwise provided in the Ralph M. Brown Act, all meetings of the Planning Commission shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend. The Planning Commission may, upon the advice of and with the presence of the City Attorney or his or her assistant, hold a closed session during a regular or special meeting, or at any time otherwise authorized by law, to consider or hear any matter which it is authorized by State law to hear or consider in closed session.

1.8 Agendas:

At least seventy-two (72) hours before a regular meeting, copies of the Planning Commission's agenda shall be posted and made available at the office of the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement. In accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, the Commission may not take action on any item that did not appear on the posted agenda, unless an exception is made as permitted under Government Code Section 54954.2. The Chairperson may rearrange the order of presentation of items appearing on the agenda as he or she may deem necessary or desirable for the conduct of the meeting. No person shall be entitled to rely upon the order in which public hearing items appear on the posted agenda, and any public hearing on any agenda may commence immediately upon the time the meeting is called to order.

1.9 Staff Reports:

When staff reports exist, they shall be made public whenever they are distributed to the Planning Commission, except in the case of attorney/client privilege memorandum. Staff reports shall be prepared with recommendations and shall include the basis for these recommendations, and included in the hearing record on any application for a change of zone for a parcel of ten acres or more. Reports or recommendations on tentative subdivision maps shall be in writing and shall be served on the subdivider at least three (3) days before any hearing or action on the map by the Planning Commission.

If in reviewing a Staff Report, a Commission member sees omissions, has questions, or is looking for specific information, it is advisable that the Commissioner contact the Director or Staff Planner directly prior to the hearing. Notwithstanding, any explicit direction to the Staff should come through the Chairperson or as a result of a consensus of the Planning Commission.

2. PRESENTATION OF AGENDA ITEMS

2.1 Minutes and Recording:

Hearings shall generally be recorded by electronic device and the tape recording shall be preserved a minimum of 30 days following the hearing or longer, as is necessary, to allow the Recording Secretary, or his or her deputy, to prepare minutes of the hearing and to have them approved by the Commission. During that 30-day period, the tape recording shall be available for inspection by the public.

When a matter is contested and a request to copy and preserve the recorded proceedings is made in writing to the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement, the minutes shall be duly preserved. A copy of any such recording may be purchased at its reproduction cost. Members of the public may also record audio or video tapes of meetings without permission from the Chairperson. In no way shall any such recording be deemed the "official minutes" of the meeting.

2.2 Order of Presentation:

Unless the Chairperson in his or her discretion should direct otherwise, the order of the presentation should be 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.

Public hearings may be reopened by a motion of a Commissioner and approval by the Commission majority at any time during the meeting to permit additional testimony and evidence, either to permit reconsideration of an action or for any other reason. Any questions of the applicant or appellant, or of the interested public, shall be made during the public hearing.

2.3 Rules of Evidence:

Hearings and meetings before the Planning Commission need not be conducted according to formal rules of evidence. Any relevant evidence may be considered if it is the sort of evidence upon which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. The Chairperson may exclude irrelevant or redundant testimony and may make such other rulings as may be necessary for the orderly conduct of the proceedings while ensuring basic fairness and full consideration of the issues involved. Any Commissioner may raise a point of order with the Chairperson to exclude irrelevant or out-of-order testimony from the public. Evidentiary objections shall be deemed waived unless made in a timely fashion before the Planning Commission.

2.4 Burden of Proof:

The burden of proof of all legal prerequisites to the granting of the relief or action sought shall be upon the party requesting such relief or action.

2.5 Written Evidence

Any citizen 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, provided such written evidence is submitted by 12:00 p.m. on the Monday prior to the Planning Commission meeting. If any written evidence 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 shall not prevent any citizen from reading written comments that are submitted late into the record as part of their oral comments, in accordance with the time limits and procedures set forth in Section 2.6.

2.6 Oral Evidence, Time Limits, and Number of Speakers:

A request to speak on an item must be submitted to the Planning Commission Secretary prior to the completion of the remarks of the first speaker on the item. No request forms will be accepted after that time and no additional speakers will be allowed to speak on the item being discussed.

The Chairperson's instructions to the audience will generally follow these guidelines:

1. Any person desiring to speak must first be recognized by the Chairperson.

2. All participants must speak from the podium.

3. All speakers must first state their full names and the names of any persons in whose behalf they are appearing (if any), and are requested to give their addresses.

4. All comments must be made clearly and audibly.

5. All comments shall be directed to the Planning Commission as a body, and not to any particular member.

6. No person, other than members of the Planning Commission, Staff and the person having the floor shall be permitted to enter into the discussion.

7. No questions shall be asked of Commission members, except through the Chairperson.

8. Repetition of comments should be avoided and speakers will be discouraged from reading a submission which has been copied and distributed to the Commission or is contained in the agenda packet.

9. Normally, the applicants and appellants will be limited to a five (5) minute presentation and a three (3) minute rebuttal (if requested). All other persons in favor or opposed to the requested action will be generally limited to a three (3) minute presentation each.

10. Except when necessary for immediate clarification of a particular point, no person shall be allowed to speak a second time until all others wishing to speak have had an opportunity to do so, and then only at the discretion of the Chairperson.

11. Due to unusual complexity of a particular item, the Chairperson, at his or her discretion, may allocate more than five (5) minutes to an applicant or appellant and more than three (3) minutes to all other speakers. Due to a large number of speakers on a particular item, the Chairperson, at his or her discretion, may allocate a specific amount of time to each side, and allow those wishing to speak on each side to designate a spokesperson or to divide the allotted time among themselves.

2.7 Questioning of Speakers:

Any person, other than a Commission member, desiring to direct a question to a speaker or staff member shall submit the question to the Chairperson, who shall determine whether the question is relevant to the subject of the hearing and whether or not it should be answered by the speaker or staff member. Direct questioning of speakers or staff members may be allowed only in extraordinary circumstances, at the discretion of the Chairperson.

2.8 Evidence Received Outside a Hearing:

The Commission does not encourage the receipt of information or evidence on a particular pending matter outside of hearings. If any Commission member receives information during a site visit or through any other means, which he or she feels is pertinent to a pending matter, he or she shall disclose the information or evidence so received during the hearing on the matter. The applicant or appellant shall have the opportunity to supplement or rebut the information or evidence so disclosed, and failure to do so shall be deemed a waiver of any objection regarding the information or evidence.

2.9 City Attorney:

The Chairperson (or any member of the Commission via the Chairperson) may request the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement to request the City Attorney (or his or her assistant) to explain, either in writing or orally to Staff, as appropriate, a legal opinion on a particular matter. The City Attorney or his or her assistant may further advise the Chairperson on matters of evidence and procedure which may arise, including, but not limited to, the desirability of closed sessions to discuss pending or potential litigation.

Commission members are able to contact the City Attorney directly with regard to any concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

3. MOTIONS

3.1 Motions - Second:

Action upon an order, resolution, ordinance, or any other action of the Commission may be proposed by any member by a motion. The Chairperson may make a motion only after all other members of the Planning Commission present have had an opportunity to make a motion on the question. Before a motion can be considered or debated it must be seconded, at which time it shall be on the floor and must be considered. If not seconded, the motion is lost for lack of a second and shall be so declared by the Chairperson.

3.2 Amendment of a Motion:

A motion on the floor may be amended at any time before adoption or rejection. When an amendment is offered, the Planning Commission will debate and take action on the amendment before acting on the original motion. If the amendment is not adopted, the original motion will then be considered. If the amendment is adopted, the original motion as amended will then be considered.

3.3 Withdrawal of Motion or Second:

A motion may be withdrawn by the maker at any time before adoption or rejection, with consent of the second. A second to a motion may be withdrawn by the seconding member at any time before adoption or rejection of the motion. The motion will then be lost for lack of a second and so declared by the Chairperson unless seconded by another person.

3.4 Tabling a Motion:

At any time after a motion has been seconded, any member may move to table a motion. If the tabling motion is adopted, the original motion will remain on the floor but may not again be considered at the meeting at which it was made. The original motion will be considered and voted upon at a regular meeting of the Planning Commission, specified in the motion, unless again tabled at that time. If not considered at such meeting, it will be deemed lost. If the tabling motion is not adopted, consideration of the original motion will continue.

3.5 Discussion, Closure, and Question:

After a motion has been seconded, any member may discuss or comment on the subject of the motion. The Chairperson will recognize members of the Planning Commission with the desire to speak, beginning with the motion's maker, and will protect each speaker from disturbance or interference. When no member wishes to discuss or comment further, the Chairperson will call for a vote on the motion. Any member of the Planning Commission may at any time move to close the debate.

3.6 Motions for Reconsideration:

Motions for reconsideration of a matter may be made by any member who voted with the prevailing majority on the matter to be reconsidered. Any member of the Planning Commission may second a motion to reconsider. Motions to reconsider shall be made at the same meeting as the original motion or an adjourned meeting on the succeeding day. If the matter to be reconsidered was considered at a public hearing, the public hearing will be reopened before additional evidence is received.

4. DECISION-MAKING

4.1 Voting:

Approval of any motion on a general matter brought before the Planning Commission shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present.

4.1.1 Tie Votes:

Any tie vote shall constitute a denial of the motion and may be reconsidered by a motion offered by any member who voted on the matter. If there is no action by an affirmative vote, the result is denial. If the matter involves an appeal and an affirmative vote does not occur, the result is that the decision appealed stands as decided by the decision-maker from which the appeal was taken.

4.1.2 Abstentions:

Abstentions shall not count as votes for the purpose of determining whether there has been an affirmative vote of a majority of the members present, but shall be counted for the purpose of determining whether a quorum is present, unless the abstention was due to a conflict of interest, in which case the Commission member cannot be included in the quorum.

4.1.3 Roll Call:

Voting upon a motion may, at the discretion of the Chairperson, and shall, upon the request of any member, be by roll call. When voting is not by roll call, the Chairperson may, in the absence of objection by any member of the Planning Commission, declare an item to be unanimously approved.

4.1.4 Motions Include Staff Recommendations:

A motion to adopt or approve staff recommendations or simply to approve the action under consideration shall, unless otherwise particularly specified, be deemed to include adoption of all proposed findings and execution of all actions recommended in both the written staff report on file on the matter and any oral staff report presented during the hearing.

4.1.5 Absentees:

A Planning Commission member who is absent from any portion of a hearing conducted by the Planning Commission may vote on the matter at the time it is acted upon provided that he or she has either reviewed the approved minutes of the hearing, or listened to the staff tape recording or viewed the video recording of the entire portion of the hearing from which he or she was absent, provided that a tape recording exists, and if she or he has examined all of the staff report or minutes presented during the portion of the hearing from which he or she was absent and states for the record before voting that the member deems himself or herself to be as familiar with the record and with the evidence presented at the hearing as he or she would have been had he or she personally attended the entire hearing.

4.2 Findings:

On any matter for which state law or City ordinance requires the preparation of written findings, the staff report submitted on the matter will contain findings proposed for adoption by the Planning Commission. Any motion directly or impliedly rejecting the proposed findings should include a statement of alternative or modified findings or a direction that the matter under consideration be continued for a reasonable period of time in order for staff to prepare a new set of proposed findings consistent with the evidence which has been presented and the decision which is anticipated.

4.3 Consent Items:

Items that require little or no discussion by the Planning Commission may be considered as consent items. The Planning Commission will act on these items in one motion at the beginning of the meeting. Approval by the of consent items means that the staff recommendation was approved along with the findings and conditions set forth in the staff report. Any member of the Planning Commission may request that consent items be considered in their regular order on the agenda. Removal of an item from the consent calendar is subject to approval by a majority of the Commission members present.

4.4 Continuances:

Upon a showing of good cause and by request of the applicant, member of the public, or member of the Planning Commission, the Chairperson, at the time set for a hearing on a particular item, may order the hearing to be continued to a specified date and time. Upon the request of any member of the Planning Commission, continuance decisions shall be made by a motion and roll call vote of all members present.

5. CONSTRUCTION AND EFFECT

5.1 Construction:

These procedural rules shall be construed and applied so as to ensure a full and fair hearing of relevant evidence which is offered on a land use matter and to facilitate an orderly analysis of evidence and issues by the Planning Commission. Adoption and implementation of these rules is intended to be consistent with the provisions of California Government Code Section 65010(b).

5.2 Chairperson's Rules of Order:

After issuing a warning, 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.

When there is no provision of these rules of procedure applicable to the conduct of the meeting or hearing of the Planning Commission, the Chairperson shall devise appropriate rules and make final decisions on any points of order which may arise with the concurrence of the majority of the Commission.

PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED this 14th day of May, 2002 by the following vote:

AYES:
NOES:
ABSENT:
ABSTENTIONS:

_______________________
Jon S. Cartwright
Chairman

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


CONTINUED BUSINESS:



3. HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 899, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2151, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 573, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 745 3787 Coolheights Drive / Nassari (AM)

Request: A request to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot (garage included), two-story, single-family residence on an unimproved lot. The proposed residence will be constructed off the existing building pad at a height of 26’, as measured from the highest pre-construction grade elevation (752.00’) of the building pad, to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (778.00’) of the proposed structure. Additionally the applicants propose to conduct 819 cubic yards of associated grading (combined cut and fill calculations) and construct a new 6’ high combination fence/wall along the front property line with a Minor Exception Permit.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the public hearing to its June 11, 2002 meeting.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MAY 28, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 899, ET. AL. / 3787 COOLHEIGHTS DRIVE (THOMAS GUIDE PAGE: 823 / E-5)

Staff Coordinator:Ara Michael Mihranian, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Continue the public hearing to the June 11, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

DISCUSSION

At its May 14, 2002 meeting, the Planning Commission opened the public hearing to receive public testimony on the subject applications. At the meeting, concerns were raised regarding the design of the applicant’s proposed hammerhead turnaround, a potential view impairment caused by the proposed residence, public trail access from Coolheights Drive and the City owned Forrestal property, and brush clearance mandated by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. As a result, the Commission unanimously moved to continue the public hearing to its May 28th meeting so that Staff may further research the concerns raised at the public hearing. Specifically, the Commission directed Staff to consider alternatives to the applicant’s hammerhead turnaround, including the design of a cul-de-sac at the terminus of Coolheights Drive. Additionally, in continuing the public hearing, the Commission directed Staff to conduct a meeting with the applicant and neighboring property owners to consider the feasibility of the alternative "turnaround" designs.

As such, Staff commissioned a civil engineer who routinely works for the City to come up with design alternatives for a turnaround at the terminus of Coolheights Drive. The turnaround alternatives being prepared by the civil engineer include two types of cul-de-sacs and a symmetrical hammerhead turnaround.

Furthermore, the civil engineer is also analyzing the feasibility of the applicant’s proposed "s" shaped hammerhead turnaround. Notwithstanding, according to the civil engineer, it would take approximately two weeks to prepare the necessary plans that conform to the American Public Works Standards. Therefore, due to the time involved in preparing the necessary plans and conducting a meeting with the interested parties, Staff respectfully requests that the Commission continue the public hearing to its June 11th meeting.

Time Limits

As the Commission may recall, at the May 14th meeting, Staff indicated that the action deadline, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is June 9, 2002. Therefore, with only one meeting (May 28th) remaining before the June 9th action deadline, the Commission continued the public hearing to its May 28th meeting. After further investigation, Staff has clarified that the action deadline is July 9, 2002, thereby allowing the public hearing to be continued to June 11th. It should also be noted that the action deadline applies to the adoption of the environmental document. According to CEQA, once the environmental document (Mitigated Negative Declaration) is adopted, the clock for the Permit Streamlining Act is triggered, which requires the City to render a decision on the project applications within sixty (60) days from the adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration.

Noticing

In light of Staff’s request to continue the public hearing, Staff has contacted the applicant and the neighboring property owners (3777, 3776, and 3778 Coolheights Drive) informing them of the proposed continuance to the June 11, 2002 public hearing. Furthermore, Staff has issued a written "Notice of Continuance" to all interested parties in attendance at the May 14th meeting informing them of the change of date.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above discussion, Staff respectfully requests that the Planning Commission continue the public hearing for this item to its June 11, 2002 meeting.



4. INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY TABLE: (JR)

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission review the staff prepared decision summaries and provide direction on the content and format that is to be used for future summaries.


RECESS (approximately 8:30 P.M.):



PUBLIC HEARINGS:



5. APPEAL OF FENCE, WALL AND HEDGE PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00032): 32451 Searaven Drive / Foster (BY)

Request: An appeal of the Director's decision to allow an existing hedge located along the east property line to remain, with the condition that a portion of the hedge be lowered to 2’-6" in height.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue this item to the June 11, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MAY 28, 2002

SUBJECT: FENCE WALL AND HEDGE PERMIT, CASE NO. ZON2001-00122 (FOSTER, 32451 SEARAVEN DRIVE)

Staff Coordinator: Beilin Yu, Assistant Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Continue the item to the June 11, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

BACKGROUND

On May 9, 2002, the Planning Director approved with conditions Fence, Wall and Hedge Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00122) to allow an existing 5’-0" hedge, located along the east side property line to remain. The approval included a condition requiring that the portion of the hedge located closest to Mr. and Mrs. Foster’s residence be lowered to and maintained at a maximum height of 2’-6", as measured from the higher adjacent grade.

On April 29, 2002, the applicants, Mr. and Mrs. Foster, submitted a letter appealing the Director’s decision.

On May 9, 2002, notices were mailed to the adjacent property owners, informing them of the appeal, and the time and place of the May 28, 2002 public hearing. During the noticing period the City received no correspondence pertaining to the proposed project.

DISCUSSION

On May 17, 2002, the applicants submitted the attached letter requesting that the public hearing be continued from tonight’s meeting to the June 11, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

As such, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the subject application to the June 11, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.



6. GOLDEN COVE SIGN PROGRAM (CASE NO. ZON2001-00090): 31212-31244 Hawthorne Boulevard / Golden Cove LLC (AM)

Request: A request to approve a Master Sign Program for the Golden Cove shopping center.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__, conditionally approving Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090) for a Master Sign Program at the Golden Cove Shopping Center.

To: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

From: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

Date: MAY 28, 2002

Subject: SIGN PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00090)

PROJECT ADDRESS :
31212 – 31244 HAWTHORNE BLVD.
GOLDEN COVE SHOPPING CENTER

APPLICANT:
SAN PEDRO SIGN COMPANY
701 LAKME AVE
WILMINGTON, CA 90744

PHONE: 310-549-4661

PROPERTY OWNER :
GOLDEN COVE GROUP, LLC

801 AVENUE OF THE STARS #421
LOS ANGELES, CA 90067

PHONE: 310-553-8500

PROJECT PLANNER : BEILIN YU

ASSISTANT PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION: A REQUEST TO APPROVE A MASTER SIGN PROGRAM FOR THE GOLDEN COVE SHOPPING CENTER.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-___; APPROVING WITH CONDITIONS SIGN PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00090).

REFERENCES:

ZONING: COMMERCIAL NEIGHBORHOOD (CN)

LAND USE: COMMERCIAL RETAIL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.16 AND 17.76.050

GENERAL PLAN: COMMERCIAL

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: N/A

CEQA: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 11 – ACCESSORY STRUCTURES)

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

BACKGROUND

On August 10, 1999 the Planning Commission conditionally approved Conditional Use Permit No. 206, Variance No. 446, Grading Permit No. 2135, and Environmental Assessment No. 711 to allow the construction of a 12,600 square foot addition to an existing 77,550 square foot shopping center (Golden Cove Shopping Center), and to allow 1,220 cubic yards of associated grading to prepare the site for three (3) new retail buildings.

Pursuant to Conditions of Approval No. 25, a Master Sign Program must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission prior to issuance of the building permit for Phase I. As such, on September 27, 2001 the subject application, Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090) was submitted to the Planning Department for processing. The application requests approval of a Master Sign Program for the Golden Cove Shopping Center.

On October 26, 2001, the application was deemed incomplete due to missing information. On March 7, 2002, additional information was submitted to the City, however, the application was again deemed incomplete on April 5, 2002. Upon submittal of additional information on April 30, 2002, the application was deemed complete on May 9, 2002.

The required public hearing notice was sent to 112 property owners within the 500 foot radius on May 9, 2002 and published in the Peninsula News on May 11, 2002. During the noticing period the City received no correspondences pertaining to the proposed project.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

The project qualifies for a Class 11 Categorical Exemption under the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Guideline Section 15311.

Class 11 exempts from the preparation of an environmental document projects consisting of any construction or replacement of minor structures accessory to existing commercial facilities, including on-premise signs. Staff made this determination since the site is developed with a commercial shopping center and the proposed project consists of minor accessories (signs) to the existing buildings on the subject property, with no significant additional site disturbance.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject property is developed with a shopping center, known as the Golden Cove Center, which is located at the southeast corner of Hawthorne Boulevard and Palos Verdes Drive West. The project site has a gross lot area of 6.34 acres and is improved with commercial uses that are mixed in nature, varying from office, retail and restaurant uses. The existing structures consist of a 27,750 square foot private school, a two-story, 38,058 square foot, mixed use office/retail building, and two restaurants in separate buildings, one of which is 6,000 square feet in area and the other is 6,808 square feet.

The subject property is designated by the City’s Zoning Map as a Commercial Neighborhood (CN) zoning district, and is surrounded by a variety of uses ranging from commercial to multi-family. To the immediate north of the subject property, across Hawthorne Boulevard, are single-family residences that are located at a significantly higher elevation than the subject lot. To the east and partially to the south of the subject property is a multi-family condominium complex, referred as Villa Capri. The remaining portion of the south abuts a vacant parcel that is also zoned Commercial Neighborhood, which permits uses similar to the subject property. To the west of the subject property, which is across Palos Verdes Drive West, is a new residential tract, known as Oceanfront, for which seventy-nine (79) detached homes have been approved for construction, along with other residential amenities.

In regards to on-site signs, there are two (2) existing pylon monument signs (pole signs), one of which is located along Hawthorne Boulevard and one along Palos Verdes Drive West. The sign located along Hawthorne Boulevard is 20’-0" high, and contains 22 individual tenant sign panels. The sign located along Palos Verdes Drive West is 42’-0" high and contains one changeable copy panel. Both signs are double faced.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The application requests approval of a Master Sign Program for the Golden Cove Shopping Center. The proposal includes signage standards and criteria for two existing freestanding shopping center identification signs, which are proposed to be refurbished; signage and criteria for four existing buildings (Building A, B, C, and G on site plan) and three new buildings (Building D, E, and F on site plan).

Specifically, the sign program contains criteria for the overall size of the freestanding center identification signs, and the criteria for individual tenant sign panels on each freestanding sign. Additionally, the sign program contains criteria for identification wall signs for the tenants on each building.

The proposed signage criteria is intended to apply to all existing buildings. However, the timing of when the sign program criteria is applied differs by building. For Building B (The Montessori School) signs were approved in August 2001. However, any new signs or proposed sign modifications will need to be consistent with the sign program. The signs for Building A (the existing 2-story building) will be installed presumably after the renovation of the building is completed, most likely some time in late 2002. The signs for Buildings D, E, and F will be installed after these buildings are constructed, most likely some time in 2003. The signs for Building C (The Golden Lotus) will be installed after the renovation of that building is completed. However, it should be noted that said renovation may not occur until 2005. The signs for the Building G (Admiral Risty) are not proposed to change since the Admiral Risty building was not part of the Shopping Center renovation approved by the Planning Commission in 1999. Although, Staff is of the opinion that the existing signage may remain on this building at this time, Staff is of the opinion that in the event any exterior improvement is proposed, any future signage proposed on this building must comply with the proposed master sign program. Thus the criteria for identification wall signs apply for the any future signs proposed on this building.

With regards to the existing freestanding identification signs, the applicant has not indicated when they plan to refurbish these signs. Staff is of the opinion, however, that these signs should be refurbished prior to the final of Building A renovation.

DISCUSSION

Freestanding Signs

Pursuant to Sign Permit Section 17.76.050(F)(4) of the Development Code, a permanent freestanding sign may be approved up to sixteen feet in height if it is the only feasible method of identification for a shopping center. The sign may be double faced, but in no event shall a sign face exceed thirty-two square feet in area.

The freestanding identification signs do not comply with the standards and regulations contained in the above mentioned section since the center contains two freestanding signs, the height of the signs exceed sixteen feet and the sign faces exceed thirty-two square feet in area. However, the freestanding signs were existing prior to the City’s incorporation and modifications to the signs were approved by the City Council on an appeal in 1985. It should be noted that the City Council’s decision to permit a non-conforming sign was primarily based on the reader board being made available for community announcements one third of the year (see attached letter). Nonetheless, under the master sign program, the Planning Commission may wish to consider modifications to the freestanding identification signs.

The applicant is proposing to refurbish the existing freestanding signs. Although the freestanding signs will not comply with the standards and regulations of the Sign Permit Section of the Development Code, the existing freestanding signs do not cause a detriment to the public health, safety, and welfare, and the refurbished freestanding signs will not exceed the envelope of the existing freestanding signs. The height and width of the refurbished signs will be the same as the height and width of the existing signs, and the number of individual tenant sign panels on the sign along Hawthorne Boulevard will remain the same (22). However, instead of the reader board on the sign along Palos Verdes Drive West, the applicant is proposing three individual tenant sign panels. Staff is of the opinion that since the reader board was the primary basis for the City Council’s approval of the non-conforming sign, the reader board on the freestanding sign along Palos Verdes Drive West should be retained. Additionally, Staff is of the opinion that the announcement board shall be designed in such a way, so it is compatible with the refurbished freestanding sign.

As proposed the individual tenant sign panels on the freestanding sign along Hawthorne Boulevard are proposed to be white Plexiglas with applied teal vinyl background and white copy. Staff is of the opinion that the sign faces of the individual tenant sign panels should be aluminum covered with texcote, with routed out letters backed with white Plexiglas. As such, when lit, the interior illumination will only shine through the letters and not through the entire sign panel.

Staff is of the opinion that overall, the proposed freestanding signs will be similar to the existing signs and will not be a major deviation from the existing signs, as such, will not be a detriment to the public health, safety, and welfare, and will not cause any impacts on traffic circulation. Additionally, Staff is of the opinion that the design of the new freestanding signs will be an enhancement to the approved architectural character of the shopping center, since the design of the freestanding signs will be compatible with the design approved for the shopping center. Furthermore, with Staff’s recommendation to use aluminum face covered with texcote which would only allow light to shine through the letters at night, the Palos Verdes Drive West sign will create less illumination and thus be more compatible with the surrounding residential districts.

Building C (Golden Lotus Restaurant) currently contains a freestanding sign along Hawthorne Boulevard. The sign is proposed to remain as it exists, and Staff is of the opinion that since the sign is existing, the sign may remain as is, as a non-conforming sign, which does not comply with the sign program. However, if the tenant proposes to make any future modifications to the freestanding sign, the freestanding sign should be removed at that time, since it does not comply with the sign program. However, Staff believes that face changes to the sign would not be considered as a "replacement" of the sign.

Wall Signs

Staff reviewed the proposed sign program and found that generally the proposed sign program is consistent with the intent and purposes of the Sign Permit Section of the Development Code. The primary purpose of the proposed signs is to identify the establishments located in the shopping center. As a result of the consistent size and design criteria of the sign program, the proposed signs will not subject the citizens to excessive competition for their visual attention. Additionally, the requirements that prohibit signs to take up more than 80% of the area between architectural features and to be centered between architectural features will result in a sign program that is an enhancement to the architecture of the shopping center.

However, after review of the master sign program, Staff has the following recommendations as discussed below.

General Guidelines

The General Guidelines shown on page 1 of the sign program shall be modified to add the following guidelines:

8. Suspended or airborne signs, such as tethered advertising balloons, inflatable signs and/or kites are prohibited.

9. There shall be no exposed neon.

10. There shall be no exposed raceways.

Staff is of the opinion that these items should be included in the general guidelines since the Sign Permit Section of the Development Code does not allow suspended or airborne signs. Staff is of the opinion that in order to improve and maintain the aesthetics of the shopping center, no exposed neon or exposed raceways shall be allowed.

Tenant Sign Requirements

The following is a discussion of the Tenant Sign Requirements shown on page 2 of the Sign Program as proposed by the applicant, and Staff’s discussion and recommendation:

  1. The design and graphics for each sign shall reflect the character of the shop or business it identifies. Design approval shall be based upon compatibility and placement within the storefront architectural features as outlined in these sign guidelines.
  2. Staff is of the opinion that this requirement is appropriate and does not recommend any changes to this requirement.

  3. The tenant shall be solely responsible for all costs involved in the design, construction and installation of their signs.
  4. Staff is of the opinion that this requirement is appropriate and does not recommend any changes to this requirement.

  5. The tenant will be allowed one identification sign limited to the trade name and logo in a single line format, along the building frontage in which a public entry is located. A tenant will also be allowed an additional identification sign upon a street side of the building frontage. But in no case shall a tenant be allowed more than two identification signs.
  6. As proposed, the sign program does not specify when a tenant is allowed more than one identification sign. The modification to Guideline No. 3 specifies that only tenants with a street front façade, which is not the entry to the business, are allowed a second identification sign. Additionally, as proposed by Staff, the guideline specifies that no more than two signs will be allowed per tenant. This condition will ensure that the proposed signs will not constitute a proliferation of signage within the shopping center.

  7. The maximum size of a primary wall sign, including logo, shall be The identification sign, including logo, shall not exceed an area of one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage. Frontage shall be computed on an individual basis in multi-tenant buildings, and the building frontage shall be measured along the side of the building for which the sign is proposed to be located. For businesses with more than one permitted wall mounted sign, the second d sign shall not exceed 75% of the maximum allowable primary storefront sign. In no case shall the length of the sign exceed 80% of the area between the columns or the architectural features in which the sign is located.
  8. When working with the applicant during the review process, Staff suggested that the additional signs on the new buildings facing the street of access be smaller than the signs above the store entries. After further review of the sign program, Staff is of the opinion that the signs facing the street of access should be allowed to be the same size as the signs above the store entries, and the same guidelines for calculating the size should apply. As such, Sign Type B (Secondary Sign) should be eliminated from the sign program.

  9. Calculation of sign area of individually applied letters and logo symbols shall be calculated by a rectangle around the outside of the letters and logo.
  10. Staff is of the opinion that this requirement is appropriate and does not recommend any changes to this requirement.

  11. Sign sizes and specific sign locations for pad buildings are outlined in these sign guidelines. Tenants may use their established logo symbols, and distinctive type styles as long as it complies to the sign guideline outlined herein.
  12. Staff eliminated this guideline and added additional guidelines, as shown below, addressing specific heights, color and type.

    6. All tenant identification wall signs shall be reversed channel letters.

    As proposed, the sign program is proposing internally illuminated channel letters, and flat cut out aluminum letters located on an exposed raceway. As discussed on the General Guidelines above, Staff is of the opinion that exposed raceways should not be allowed in order to enhance the character of the shopping center. As such, Staff is of the opinion that reverse channel letters will be aesthetically superior than the flat cut out aluminum letters. If the applicant would like to backlight the signs, the applicant may choose to illuminate the reverse channel letters, which would provide a superior aesthetic appearance to the signs.

    Additionally, as proposed, the signs are proposed to be internally illuminated channel letters, mounted flush against the wall. With Staff’s recommendation, the signs will be projecting away from the wall, and if the tenant chooses to illuminate the sign, the illumination will provide a wash around the signs, which will create a superior appearance.

  13. The letters of the tenant identification wall signs shall not exceed 18" in height and the logo shall not exceed 24" in height.
  14. Staff added this guideline to clarify the maximum height for the letters and logos.

  15. Tenant identification wall signs color shall be limited to teal, terra cotta, or the tenant’s nationally recognized trademark colors.
  16. As proposed, the tenants are allowed to choose between red, blue, green, yellow, or registered trademark colors. Staff is of the opinion that the proposed colors will not be compatible with the architectural style approved for the shopping center, since the shopping center was approved to incorporate earth tone colors. As such, Staff is of the opinion that the tenants may choose from teal (the color proposed on the pole signs), terra cotta, or the trademark colors, so that the signs are more compatible with the approved architectural style of the shopping center.

  17. The trim caps and returns shall be painted to match the color of the building.

Staff added this guideline to clarify the color for trim caps and returns.

Staff will condition that the sign program be modified to comply and to illustrate Staff’s recommendations and modifications.

Other than the modifications and recommendations discussed above, Staff is of the opinion that the sign program will ensure consistency among the signage in the shopping center, and will ensure that individual tenant signs will not detract from each other, since all the signs will be consistent in size. The sign program will also ensure a harmonious relationship with the buildings on which the signs will be located on, since the sign program requires that the signs be located between architectural features found on the buildings. The sign program will also ensure that the proposed signs will not be a detriment to the public health, safety, and welfare, or cause depreciation of the value of the adjacent properties, since signs, which rotate or flash, or are airborne, along with other signs found to be a nuisance to adjacent properties, are prohibited. Additionally, signs that are found to be unprofessional, such as non-permanent signs are also prohibited in the master sign program.

CONCLUSION

Based on the discussion above, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__, approving Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090), with conditions, a Master Sign Program for the Golden Cove Shopping Center.

ALTERNATIVES

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

  1. Deny Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090); 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
  • Sign Program

P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING SIGN PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00090), WITH CONDITIONS, APPROVING A MASTER SIGN PROGRAM FOR THE GOLDEN COVE SHOPPING CENTER, LOCATED AT 31212 – 31244 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD.

WHEREAS, on August 10, 1999 the Planning Commission adopted Resolution No. 99-40, conditionally approving Conditional Use Permit No. 206, Variance No. 446, Grading Permit No. 2135, and Environmental Assessment No. 711 to allow the construction of a 12,600 square foot addition to an existing 77,550 square foot shopping center (Golden Cove Shopping Center), and to allow 1,220 cubic yards of associated grading to prepare the site for three (3) new retail buildings; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to Condition No. 25 of Resolution No. 99-40 a Master Sign Program must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission prior to issuance of the building permit for Phase I; and,

WHEREAS, on September 27, 2001 the subject application, Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090) was submitted to the Planning Department for processing, requesting approval of a Master Sign Program for the Golden Cove Shopping Center; and,

WHEREAS, upon submittal of additional information on April 30, 2002, the application was deemed complete on May 9, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, the required public hearing notice was sent to 112 property owners within the 500 foot radius on May 9, 2002 and published in the Peninsula News on May 11, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provision of the California Quality Act, Public Resources Code Section 21000 et.seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et.seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(F) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090) would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Class 11, Section 15303(a)); and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the requirements of Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on May 28, 2002, at which all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

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

Section 1: That the sign program is necessary for the tenant’s enjoyment of substantial trade and property rights, since the primary purpose of the sign program is to allow tenants to advertise their establishments.

Section 2: That the sign program will not constitute needless repetition, redundancy or proliferation of signage since the sign program only allows a tenant to have a maximum of two identification wall signs, but in most cases only one identification wall sign.

Section 3: That the sign program is consistent with the intent and purposes of the Sign Permit Section of the Development Code, since the signs will be consistent in size and as such will not subject the citizens of the City to excessive competition for their visual attention.

Section 4: That the sign program will ensure that the signs are harmonious to the architecture of the buildings, in that the signs will be required to be placed within storefront architectural features, and the allowable colors are compatible with the colors approved for the architectural style of the shopping center.

Section 5: That the sign program will prevent needless distraction and clutter of signs, in that the signs are limited in size as compared to the length of the storefront and the space between architectural features.

Section 6: That the sign program will not be detrimental to the public’s health, safety and welfare, in that certain types of signs that are found to be a nuisance to the surrounding properties are prohibited.

Section 7: A Notice of Decision shall be given to the applicant and to all interested parties informing them of the Planning Commission’s decision.

Section 8: Any interested party may appeal this decision or any portion of this decision to the City Council. Pursuant to Section 17.02.040.C.1.j 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 the date of the Planning Commission’s adoption of this resolution.

Section 9: 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 Sign Permit (Case No. 2001-00090), for a Master Sign Program for the Golden Cove Shopping Center.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 28th day of May, 2002, by the following vote:

AYES:
NOES:
ABSTENTIONS:
ABSENT:

_____________________
Jon S. Cartwright
Chairman

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


EXHIBIT "A"
CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL
SIGN PERMIT (ZON2001-00090)

  1. Prior to the submittal of sign plans into Building and Safety "plan check", the applicant shall submit to the City a statement, that they have read, understand and agree to all the conditions of approval contained in this resolution. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days of this approval shall render this approval null and void.
  2. Prior to the submittal of sign plans into Building and Safety "plan check" or sixty (60) days of this approval, whichever occurs first, the applicant shall submit to the Planning Department a revised Sign Program, which includes all the recommendation and modifications as approved under this Sign Permit.
  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 and adjoining public and private properties 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 Sign Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00090) is for the approval of a master sign program for the Golden Cove Shopping Center.
  8. General Guidelines

  9. All sign criteria is subject to the regulations of the Development Code of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. In the event that signage is not addressed by this sign program, the Development Code shall prevail.
  10. All signs and their installation shall comply with all local building and electrical codes.
  11. Prior to the installation of any sign, individual tenants shall obtain approval of a sign permit for individual signs by the Planning Director, to ensure that the sign complies with the sign program, and obtain building and electrical permits from the Building and Safety Department.
  12. Each tenant will be responsible for the design, installation, and maintenance of their signs. All signs, supports, braces, guys and anchors, shall be kept in good repair, including replacement of defective parts, repainting, cleaning and otherwise maintained in a presentable condition.
  13. The approval of any illuminated sign shall not be final until thirty days after installation, during which period the Director of Planning may order the dimming of any illumination found to be excessively brilliant and shall be valid when such order has been carried out to a time extention satisfactory to the Director of Planning.
  14. Sale signs, special announcements, posters, sandwich boards, or any non-permanent signs are not permitted.
  15. No signs shall be constructed and maintained to flash, rotate, or in any way simulate motion or create sound. Searchlights, blinkers, lasers, flashing, unusual lighting or any other means of animation signs are prohibited.
  16. Suspended or airborne signs, such as tethered advertising balloons, inflated signs, and kites are prohibited.
  17. No vehicle displaying shop tenant logos, names and other advertising shall be permitted to be parked in areas of the shopping center lot.
  18. No exposed neon or exposed raceways shall be permitted.
  19. No exposed electrical tubing or "cross-over" will be permitted.
  20. At such time that any of the exterior facade of a building is modified, all wall signs on said building shall be brought into conformance with the master sign program prior to Department of Building and Safety’s final inspection. If no exterior façade modifications are proposed, signs shall be brought into conformance with the master sign program at such time that the sign is modified. Sign modifications shall not include face changes of the sign.
  21. Freestanding Signs

  22. The freestanding sign located along Palos Verdes Drive West shall not exceed 42’-0" in height and 16’-10" in width.
  23. The freestanding sign located along Palos Verdes Drive West shall contain an announcement board, designed in such a way so it is compatible with the design of the proposed pole sign. The sign shall be used for messages announcing community events for at least one third of the year.
  24. The freestanding sign located along Hawthorne Boulevard shall not exceed 20’-0" in height and shall not exceed 12’-0’ in width.
  25. The individual tenant sign panels shall be aluminum face covered with texcote, with routed out letters backed with white Plexiglas.
  26. The design and color of the freestanding signs shall be compatible with the architectural style and color approved for the shopping center.
  27. The freestanding sign for Golden Lotus Restaurant located along Hawthorne Boulevard may remain as a non-conforming sign, which does not comply with the sign program. In the event that the tenant proposes to make any future modifications to the freestanding sign, the freestanding sign shall be removed at that time, since it does not comply with the sign program. Sign modification shall not include face changes of the sign.
  28. Identification Wall Signs

  29. Each tenant shall be allowed one identification sign limited to the trade name and logo in a single line format, along the building frontage in which a public entry is located. A tenant will also be allowed an additional identification sign upon a street side of the building frontage. But in no case shall a tenant be allowed more than two identification signs.
  30. The identification sign, including logo, shall not exceed an area of one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage. Frontage shall be computed on an individual basis in multi-tenant buildings, and the building frontage shall be measured along the side of the building for which the sign is proposed to be located. In no case shall the length of the sign exceed 80% of the area between the columns or the architectural features in which the sign is located between.
  31. Calculation of sign area of individually applied letters and logo symbols shall be calculated by a rectangle around the outside of the letters and logo.
  32. All tenant identification wall signs shall be reverse channel letters.
  33. The letters of the tenant identification wall signs shall not exceed 18" in height and the logo shall not exceed 24" in height.
  34. The color of the tenant identification wall signs shall be limited to teal, terra cotta, or the tenant’s nationally recognized trademark colors.
  35. The trim caps and returns shall be painted to match the color of the building.
  36. Buildings B, C, and G are proposing to maintain the current existing signage on the buildings. In the event that any modification is proposed to the signs on these buildings, the proposed signs shall comply with the criteria of proposed master sign program. Sign modification shall not include face changes of the sign.



7. HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00035): 112 Spindrift Drive / Wynn (DB)

Request: A request to construct a 575 square foot addition to an existing 1,652 square foot home. The Height Variation is to allow an addition that has a maximum height of 29.7-feet, as measured from the lowest elevation (105.3’) where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof (135’); and has a height of 19.4-feet, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure (115.6’) to the highest point on the roof (135’). The Coastal Permit is to allow the addition to an existing residence located within an appealable area of the coastal zone. The Minor Exception Permit is to allow the proposed addition to encroach three feet into the required 20-foot front setback and to allow 46% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone. The variance is a request to allow the addition to encroach two-feet into the required five-foot side yard setback, thus providing a three foot side yard setback; and to allow an addition greater than 250 square feet to an existing residence located within the coastal setback zone.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-___; approving, with conditions, the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance, and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00035)

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MAY 28, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00035)

PROJECT ADDRESS: 112 SPINDRIFT DRIVE

APPLICANT:
GARY WYNN
WYNN ENGINEERING
27525 VALLEY CENTER ROAD
VALLEY CENTER, CA 92082

PHONE: 310-306-9728

LANDOWNER:
MR. & MRS. ELY
112 SPINDRIFT DRIVE
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA 90275

PHONE: 310-377-8131

STAFF COORDINATOR: DAVE BLUMENTHAL, ASSOCIATE PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION: A request to construct a 575 square foot addition to an existing 1,652 square foot home. The Height Variation is to allow an addition that has a maximum height of 29.7-feet, as measured from the lowest elevation (105.3’) where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof (135’); and has a height of 19.4-feet, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure (115.6’) to the highest point on the roof (135’). The coastal permit is to allow the addition to an existing residence located within an appealable area of the coastal zone. The Minor Exception Permit is to allow the proposed addition to encroach three feet into the required 20-foot front setback and to allow 46% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone. The Variance is a request to allow the addition to encroach two-feet into the required five-foot side yard setback, thus providing a three foot side yard setback; and to allow an addition greater than 250 square feet to an existing residence located within the coastal setback zone.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-___; APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, THE HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00035)

REFERENCES:

ZONING: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL – RS-2

LAND USE: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.02, 17.48, 17.64, 17.66, 17.72, 17.84 &17.96

GENERAL PLAN: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: N/A

CEQA: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 3)

ACTION DEADLINE: JUNE 16, 2002

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

BACKGROUND

On August 2, 2001, the applicant applied for a Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit (LME). Since the proposed addition and adjoining roof deck exceeded 600 square feet, the City Council was required to take action on the request. On October 2, 2001, the City Council approved the LME, thereby allowing the applicant to submit the planning application for the proposed addition. This approval does not constitute a guarantee for approval of the proposed addition; instead, it authorizes the applicant to submit the planning applications.

On January 18, 2002, the applicant submitted an application for the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, and Variance, requesting to construct the 575 square foot addition.

On February 1, 2001, staff completed the preliminary review of the application and deemed that the application was incomplete for processing. This determination was made due to incomplete and/or inconsistent information on the plans; and a Minor Exception Permit application was required to process the request. The requested information was submitted to the City on April 16, 2002.

On April 17, 2002, staff completed the review of the re-submittal and determined that the application was complete. Legal notices were sent out to all 54 properties owners within the 500’ notification area and the homeowners association for the area, on April 17, 2002. Additionally, the notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on April 20, 2002. Moreover, pursuant to the requirements of the Coastal Permit, a notice was sent to the California Coastal Commission and to the Department of Fish and Game.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject site is a 3,207 square foot lot located in the RS-2 zone. The site is located within the Portuguese Bend Club, which is on the seaward side of Palos Verdes Drive South, thus locating the lot within the Coastal Specific Plan. Additionally, the subject site is located within the Landslide Moratorium Area.

The parcel slopes up from Spindrift Drive to a vacant parcel located on the northeast side of the subject parcel. The neighboring vacant parcel is common open space and is owned by the Homeowner’s Association. There are single-family residences on the east and west sides of the lot.

The site is currently improved with a 1,652 square foot two-story single-family residence. The first floor of the residence consists solely of a 484 square foot garage, with no habitable area located on this floor. It should be noted that the only access to the garage is from the vehicle door on the west side of the garage.

The second floor of the dwelling unit consists of 1,168 square feet of habitable area, which includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, and living/dining area. Additionally, a second floor balcony is located along the entire width of the west side of the house.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant is proposing to add 49 square feet to one of the bedrooms, which is located on the north corner of the second floor. Additionally, a bay window will be constructed on the northeast side of the bedroom. This addition will allow this bedroom to be reconfigured to accommodate the stairs to the new third floor.

The new third floor is a 526 square foot room addition, which will accommodate a new master bedroom and bathroom. The addition is located on top of the north corner of the existing house. A 183 square foot roof deck is located along the south corner of this portion of the addition.

The existing site is non-conforming regarding garage size, driveway size, front and side setbacks, and lot coverage. Municipal Code Section 17.84.060, however, allows the structure to remain non-conforming, provided that no more than 50% of the existing structure is added on. The proposed addition is 49% of the existing structure size.

Project Statistics:

CRITERIA

REQUIRED

EXISTING

PROPOSED

       

Lot Size

20,000 s.f.

3,207 s.f.

3,207 s.f.

       

Building Size

N/A

1,652 s.f.

2,227 s.f.

Setbacks

     

Front

20’

10’

10’

Side (northwest)

5’

3’

3’

Side (southeast)

5’

3’

3’

Rear

15’

20’

16’

       

Lot Coverage

40%

45%

46%

       

Enclosed Parking

2 spaces

2 spaces

2 spaces

Building Height

     

Highest elevation covered by structure to highest ridge of building.

16’

10’

19.4’

Lowest elevation of building pad covered by structure to highest ridge of building.

30’

20’

29.7’

Table 1

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Staff has reviewed the proposed application for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Upon completion of this review, it has been determined that this request is categorically exempt from CEQA, pursuant to Guideline Section No. 15303 (New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures).

Categorical Exemptions are projects, which have determined not to have a significant effect on the environment and have been exempted from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. "Class 3 consists of construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures." This section is meant to include the construction of one single-family residence.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

HEIGHT VARIATION

The subject lot is considered an upslope lot, which slopes uphill from the street of access. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code Section 17.02.040(B)(1)(a) allows the construction of a single-family residence on upslope lots within the RS-2 zone that do not to exceed the height of 16-feet as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure to the highest point of the house, or 30-feet as measured from the lowest elevation adjacent to the building foundation/slab to the highest point of the house. Municipal Code Section No. 17.02.040(B)(1) allows the 16-foot height to be increased to 26-feet with the approval of a Height Variation. The applicant’s proposal includes heights of 19.4’, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure to highest ridge of building, and 29.7’, as measured from the lowest elevation adjacent to the building foundation/slab highest ridge of building.

Typically, the height limitations of the Municipal Code cannot accommodate the construction of three story homes. However, the existing flat roof of the house, in conjunction with the new proposed flat roof, accommodates a design in which three stories can be built. It should be noted the first floor entirely consists of a subterranean garage.

Pursuant to Municipal Code Section No. 17.02.040(C)(1)(a), the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement is required to refer a Height Variation application to the Planning Commission when any portion of the building that exceeds 16-feet in height covers more than 60% of the garage, when any portion of the building that exceeds 16-feet in height is closer than 25 feet to the front property line, and/or when any portion of the building that exceeds 16-feet in height (second story footprint) exceeds 75% of the first floor footprint. As such, this project requires Planning Commission review for all three of the aforementioned reasons. Additionally, Municipal Code Section No. 17.02.040(C)(1)(e) sets forth the findings required in order for the Planning Commission to approve a Height Variation. A discussion of these findings (in bold type) follows:

  1. The applicant has complied with the early neighborhood consultation process established by the city.
  2. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code requires the applicant to take all necessary steps to consult with the property owners within 500 feet of the project site. The City has established the following guidelines to conform with this requirement, "if the signatures of at least 60% of the landowners within 500 feet; or 70% of the landowners within 100 feet and 25% of the total number of landowners within 500 feet (including those within 100 feet) is obtained."

    With exception to the project site, there are 12 properties within the 100 feet and 54 parcels within the 500 feet of the site. The applicant has obtained 10 signatures from properties within 100 feet (83%) and 21 signatures of landowners within 500 feet (39%) of the project site. In as much as the applicant meets the requirement to notify 70% of landowners within 100 feet and 25% of the landowners within 500 feet, they have complied with the early notification consultation process, and this finding can be adopted.

  3. The structure does not significantly impair a view from public property (parks, major thoroughfares, bike ways, walkways, or equestrian trails), which has been identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Plan, as a city-designated viewing area.
  4. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan, adopted June 26, 1975, identifies views and vistas from public property within the city. A view is defined as a scene observed from a given vantage point (i.e. Catalina Island); whereas, a vista is defined as a confined view, which is usually, directed toward a terminal or dominate element or feature (i.e. lighthouse).

    The General Plan identifies views and vistas in the vicinity of the project site. However, the lower elevation of the project area and curvature of the coastline, in compared to these viewing areas, situates the project site such that it will not impair the views from designated viewing areas from public property. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  5. The proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory.
  6. A ridge is defined as, "an elongated crest or a linear series of crests of hills, bluffs, or highlands." A promontory is defined as, "a prominent mass of land, large enough to support development, which overlooks or projects onto a lowland or body of water on at least two sides." The subject property is located within a fully developed single-family residential tract. The tract is not located on a ridge or a promontory, as defined in the Municipal Code, and therefore this finding can be adopted.

  7. The structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view.
  8. In general, views from properties in the area are to the south and west, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. The applicant has limited the size and location of the addition to allow the adjacent homes along Spindrift Drive (specifically the house at 111 Spindrift) to continue to look over the subject house without diminishing the view. With respects to the property on the northeastern side of the subject property, this is a vacant parcel under ownership of the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Due to the moratorium on new structures this lot will not be developed; therefore, there is no view impact to this property. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  9. There is no significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application.
  10. As noted in the previous finding, all parcels in the vicinity of the project site are at the same level in which views are directed away from the project site, or can view over the residence, or are vacant and will not be developed. These conditions allow the proposed addition to be constructed without impairing the views of other properties. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  11. The proposed structure, when considered exclusively of existing foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel.
  12. As noted in the previous two findings, there will be no view impairment to other properties caused by the proposed structure. Therefore, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  13. The proposed structure complies with all other code requirements.
  14. As noted in the project description, the existing house is non-conforming to the Development Code with respects to garage size, driveway size, front and side setbacks, and lot coverage. However, since the applicant is not proposing to add more than 50% of the existing floor area, the Municipal Code does not require that these items be brought into conformance.

    In contrast, the code does require that all new structures and additions comply with development standards set forth in the Municipal Code. The applicant has requested a Variance and Minor Exception Permit to deviate from these standards. As noted below in the Variance and Minor Exception Permit findings, these deviations can be approved, thus making the proposed structure compliant with the Development Code. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  15. The proposed structure is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character.
  16. The Municipal Code defines neighborhood character as the scale of surrounding residences, architectural styles and materials, and front yard setbacks. The Height Variation Guidelines state the ten closest homes shall be reviewed to determine if a proposal is compatible with the neighborhood. It should be noted that 110, 115, 114-A, and 117 Spindrift were omitted from this analysis because the City does not have building permits for these addresses.

    Architectural Style and Materials:

    The neighborhood consists of a combination of one and two story homes. In comparing the architectural style of the ten nearest homes, staff has found that there are a variety of architectural styles used in the area. Housing color and roofing material varied on all ten homes compared. The existing house has board and batten wood siding and a flat roof. The proposed addition will match this architectural style. Since there is a variety of architectural styles and materials in the homes compared and the applicant is proposing to match the existing home, it is staff’s opinion that the proposal is compatible with the character of the neighborhood regarding architectural style and materials

    Scale of Surrounding Residences:

    The homes compared, along with the structure size and number of stories, are listed in the following table (Table 2). It should be noted that structure size was obtained by researching building permits on file with the city. Lot sizes were omitted from this analysis due to inconsistent and/or incomplete information in City and County records.

    Address

    Structure Size

    Number of Stories

    108 Spindrift

    1,057 s.f.

    Two

    109 Spindrift

    1,198 s.f.

    Two

    111 Spindrift

    864 s.f.

    Two

    113 Spindrift

    1,248 s.f.

    Two

    114 Spindrift

    3,155 s.f.

    Two

    116 Spindrift

    2,092 s.f.

    Two

    118 Spindrift

    1,358 s.f.

    Two

    85 Yacht Harbor

    1,452 s.f.

    One

    86 Yacht Harbor

    2,281 s.f.

    One

    87 Yacht Harbor

    1,241 s.f.

    Two

    Average

    1,595 s.f.

     
         

    112 Spindrift

    Existing

    1,652 s.f.

    Two

    Proposed

    2,227 s.f.

    Three

    Table 2

    As noted above in Table 2, the average residence size is 1,595 square feet, while the largest house is 3,155 square feet. The proposed home exceeds the average home size by 632 square feet, but is 928 square feet smaller than the largest home. It is staff’s opinion that the proposed residence is consistent with the size of other homes in the neighborhood.

    The analysis of the neighborhood found no other three-story homes in the area. In fact, three story homes are rare within the City. But, as noted above, the proposed design of the house allows the three stories to be constructed within the height limitations permitted with a Height Variation permit. Additionally, the slope of the property in conjunction with the stepped design of the house reduces the overall bulk and mass of the home. Specifically, the design of the existing house has a partially stepped back second floor and the proposed new third floor is stepped back even further. Furthermore, the majority of the first floor (garage) is subterranean due to the slope of the lot. As such, it is staff opinion that the proposal has been designed to reduce the overall bulk and mass of the structure and that the size, bulk and mass of the home is compatible with the character of the neighborhood.

    Front Yard Setback:

    Of the ten homes surveyed, it appears that all homes are non-conforming regarding front yard setbacks. Setbacks appear to range from five to fifteen feet. In as much as there is no typical setback, and the applicant is not proposing to decrease the front setback, staff feels that this proposal is consistent with the neighborhood.

    Based on the analysis above, it can be found that the proposed residence complies with the neighborhood character with respects to architectural style and materials, scale of the surrounding residences, and front yard setback. Therefore, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  17. The proposed structure does not result in an unreasonable infringement of the privacy of the occupants of abutting residences.

Chapter 17.02 of the Municipal Code defines privacy as the reasonable protection from visual intrusion. The applicant has designed the house, particularly the third floor, such that all windows are either small windows, or over look the street or the roof of the house. Staff believes that this design minimizes privacy impact as best as can be accomplished and therefore staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

VARIANCE

The applicant is requesting a Variance from two Development Code requirements. The first is to allow the addition to encroach two-feet into the required five-foot side yard setback on the northwest side of the dwelling unit, thus providing a three foot side yard setback. The second is to deviate from the maximum allowed addition to a residence located within the Coastal Setback Zone, which is 250 square feet, by constructing a 575 square foot addition.

Municipal Code Section No. 17.64 sets forth four required findings that must be made in order for the Planning Commission to approve the Variance. A discussion of each of these findings (in bold type) follows.

  1. 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.
  2. The subject lot is 3,207 square feet in size, whereas other properties in the RS-2 zone measure approximately 20,000 square feet. The property, which is entirely located within the coastal setback zone, is surrounded with other single-family residences lots on the sides and a common open-space lot to the rear. These surrounding lots limit the ability of expanding the subject lot to be in conformance with the 20,000 square foot standard for lots in the RS-2 zone. It should be further noted that the existing house is setback three feet from the property line. Furthermore, since the property is located entirely within the coastal setback zone, it is not possible to add to the house outside this setback zone. Therefore, staff feels that due to the substandard lot size, existing setback, and the property location entirely within the coastal setback zone, there is an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance on the property and this finding can be adopted for both components of the Variance.

  3. 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.
  4. The subject parcel is located in the Portuguese Bend Club (PBC). These lots and homes do not conform to the all of the development standards of the RS-2 zone, including minimum lot size. As noted in the previous finding, the subject lot is substantially smaller than other lots in the RS-2 zone and has limited ability to be brought into compliance with the development standards of the RS-2 zone. Approval of the Variance will allow the property owner to expand the residence, thereby enjoying a home closer in size to other homes in the RS-2 zone. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  5. That granting the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property and improvements in the area in which the property is located.
  6. Prior to submittal of the requested application, the property owner submitted a geology report, which has been reviewed and given preliminary approval by the City’s geotechnical staff. Said report indicates that there are no geological hazards caused by the proposed addition. Additionally, all construction is required to adhere to the provisions of the California Uniform Building Code, as amended by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Furthermore, as noted in the Height Variation findings, the proposed addition has been designed such that it will not impair any views from other properties, will not cause an impact to privacy of other properties, and is compatible with the neighborhood character. Based on the aforementioned reasons, staff feels that this finding can be adopted for both components of the Variance.

  7. 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 subject property is within the General Plan designation of 1-2 dwelling units/acre. The underlying zone of RS-2 complies with this General Plan designation. It is the goal of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan to preserve and enhance the community's quality living environment; to enhance the visual character and physical quality of existing neighborhoods; and to encourage the development of housing in a manner, which adequately serves the needs of all present and future residents of the community. In staff’s opinion, the proposed addition is consistent with this goal, thus making the request consistent with the General Plan.

The subject site is located in Subregion 6 of the Coastal Specific Plan. Subregion 6 consists entirely of the Portuguese Bend Club, which is a gated private community. The intent of the Coastal Specific Plan is to protect natural resources, as well as public access to the coast. Inasmuch as the project is currently developed as a single-family residence and the site is not located in an area for public access, it is staff’s opinion that the requested Variance is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT

The minimum required front setback in the RS-2 zone is 20-feet. The existing house, however, provides a ten-foot setback from the front property line. While the applicant is not decreasing this setback, the proposed addition will be setback from the front property line 17-feet. The Development Code requires that the new addition meet the 20-foot setback requirement, or obtain approval of a Minor Exception Permit. The Minor Exception Permit allows for a 20% reduction of the required setback, thus allowing a 16-foot front setback.

In addition to the deviation from the front setback, the applicant is also requesting a Minor Exception Permit to deviate from the maximum allowable lot coverage. The maximum allowable lot coverage in the RS-2 zone is 40%. The subject site currently provides 45% lot coverage. The applicant is proposing to increase the lot coverage by 49 square feet, thereby increasing coverage to 46%. Since the applicant is proposing to increase the non-conformity, a Minor Exception Permit is required. The 20% increase in lot coverage, permissible under a Minor Exception Permit, allows the lot coverage not to exceed 48%. In order to approve the Minor Exception Permit, the Planning Commission is required to make one of three findings. The findings (in bold type) are as follows:

  1. The Minor Exception Permit is warranted by practical difficulties.
  2. The Minor Exception Permit is warranted by an unnecessary hardship.
  3. The Minor Exception Permit is necessary to avoid inconsistencies with the general intent of the zoning code

Staff feels that the second finding can be made. The subject property is located in the RS-2 zone, in which the minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet. The subject property is 3,207 square foot lot within the RS-2 zone. An unnecessary hardship that exists is that the lot is substantially smaller than other properties in the same zone. Furthermore, surrounding lots are improved with single-family residences or are commonly held open space, which then limits the ability to increase the lot size. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

COASTAL PERMIT

The subject property is located on the seaward side of Palos Verdes Drive South and therefore is located within the Coastal Specific Plan. Accordingly, a Coastal Permit is required for approval of any addition to the subject property. The Coastal Permit is appealable to the California Coastal Commission. Municipal Code Section No. 17.72.090 sets forth two findings for approval of a Coastal Permit. A discussion of the required findings (in bold type) follows:

  1. The proposed development is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan.
  2. The subject site is located in Subregion 6 of the Coastal Specific Plan. Subregion 6 consists entirely of the Portuguese Bend Club, which is gated private community. The intent of the Coastal Specific Plan is to protect natural resources, as well as public access to the coast. Inasmuch as the project is currently developed as a single-family residence and the site is not located in an area for public access, it is staff’s opinion that the requested addition is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

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

The subject parcel is located between the sea and the first public road (Palos Verdes Drive South). However, the site is located within the Portuguese Bend Club, which is a private gated community. Since there is no public access to the sea from this area, the proposed addition will not impact public access and/or recreation policies. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On May 20, 2002, the property owner sent the attached email to the Planning Commission via the pc@rpv.com address. No other correspondence was received.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above analysis of the required findings, staff concludes that all nine of the required findings can be adopted for the Height Variation, all four Variance findings can be adopted, the Minor Exception Permit finding can be adopted, and the two findings for the Coastal Permit can be adopted. Accordingly, staff is recommending approval of all four land use applications.

ALTERNATIVES

The following alternatives are available for the Planning Commission:

  1. Deny without prejudice the Height Variation, Variance, Coastal Permit, and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00035) and continue this item to the next meeting, where staff would present a Resolution of Denial.
  2. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, provide Staff and/or the applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

ATTACHMENTS

  • Draft Planning Commission Resolution No. 2002-__
  • Conditions of Approval
  • Correspondence received

P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING A HEIGHT VARIATION, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND COASTAL PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00035), THEREBY PERMITTING A 575 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION, WHICH DEVIATES FROM THE FRONT AND SIDE SETBACKS, MAXIMUM LOT COVERAGE, AND MAXIMUM SIZE OF AN ADDITION, WITHIN THE APPEALABLE AREA OF THE COASTAL ZONE, FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 112 SPINDRIFT DRIVE.

WHEREAS, on August 2, 2001, the applicant applied for a Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit (LME) requesting for permission to apply for a Height Variation, Coastal Permit, and Variance to construct a 575 square foot room addition to an existing single family residence; and,

WHEREAS, on October 2, 2001, the City Council approved the LME, thereby allowing the applicant to submit the land use entitlement applications for the proposed addition; and,

WHEREAS, on January 18, 2002, the applicant submitted an application for a Height Variation, Coastal Permit, and Variance, requesting to construct the 575 square foot addition. The proposed addition deviates from the front and side setback requirements, the maximum lot coverage, and the maximum addition in the Coastal Setback Zone; and,

WHEREAS, on April 17, 2002, the applications for a Height Variation, Minor Exception Permit, Variance, and Coastal Permit were deemed complete by Staff; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that the Height Variation, Minor Exception Permit, Variance, and Coastal Permit would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt under Class 3 (Section 15303); and,

WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Ranchos Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on May 28, 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: That the approved project includes the construction of a 575 square foot addition to an existing 1,652 square foot single-family residential dwelling unit. The proposed addition is for a 49 square foot addition to the second floor, and a 526 square foot third floor. The proposed addition deviates from the front and side setback requirements, the maximum lot coverage, and the maximum addition in the Coastal Setback Zone.

Section 2: The Height Variation is warranted since the applicant has complied with the early neighborhood consultation process established by the city by obtaining 83% of the property owners’ signatures within 100 feet and 39% of the property owners’ signatures within 500 feet of the subject site.

Section 3: The Height Variation is warranted since the structure does not significantly impair a view from public property (parks, major thoroughfares, bike ways, walkways, or equestrian trails), which has been identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Plan, as a city-designated viewing area.

Section 4: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory. The subject property is located within a fully developed single-family residential tract. The tract is not located on a ridge or a promontory, as defined in the Municipal Code.

Section 5: The Height Variation is warranted since the structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view. The applicant has limited the size and location of the addition to allow the adjacent homes along Spindrift Drive to continue to look over the subject house without diminishing the view

Section 6: The Height Variation is warranted since there is no significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application. As noted in the previous section the proposed addition does not impact any views from other properties.

Section 7: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure, when considered exclusively of existing foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel. As noted in the previous two sections no view impairment to other properties is caused by the structure.

Section 8: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure complies with all other code requirements, in as much as the proposal meets all requirements of Title 17 of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, with exception to setbacks and lot coverage. However, as noted below, the Variance and Minor Exception Permit are warranted to allow these deviations.

Section 9: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character. The proposed structure complies with the neighborhood character with respects to architectural style and materials, scale of the surrounding residences, and front yard setback.

Section 10: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure does not result in an unreasonable infringement of the privacy of the occupants of abutting residences. The design of the house is such that it minimizes infringement onto privacy of neighboring homes.

Section 11: The Minor Exception Permit to allow the proposed addition to encroach three feet into the required 20-foot front setback and to allow 46% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone is warranted by an unnecessary hardship. The subject lot is 3,207 square feet, which is substantially smaller than other lots in the RS-2 zone, which is 20,000 square feet.

Section 12: The Variance is warranted since there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, which do not apply generally to other property in the same zoning district. The subject lot is 3,207 square feet in size, whereas the RS-2 zone has a minimum lot size requirement of 20,000 square feet.

Section 13: The Variance is warranted since 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. As noted in the previous section, the subject lot homes are substantially smaller than other lots in the RS-2 zone. Granting the Variance will allow the property owner to construct a home closer in size to other homes in the RS-2 zone. Additionally, other houses in the immediate area also have reduced setbacks and exceed lot coverage requirements.

Section 14: The Variance is warranted since granting the Variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property and improvements in the area in which the property is located. The property owner submitted a geology report, which has been reviewed and given preliminary approval by the City’s geotechnical staff. Said report indicates that there are no geological hazards caused by the proposed addition. Additionally, all construction is required to adhere to the provisions of the California Uniform Building Code, as amended by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Furthermore, as noted in the Height Variation findings, the proposed addition has been designed such that it will not impair any views from other properties, nor causes an impact to privacy of other properties, and is compatible with the neighborhood character.

Section 15: The Variance is warranted since granting the Variance will not be contrary to the objectives of the general plan or the policies and requirements of the coastal specific plan. It is the goal of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan to preserve and enhance the community's quality living environment; to enhance the visual character and physical quality of existing neighborhoods; and to encourage the development of housing in a manner, which adequately serves the needs of all present and future residents of the community. Furthermore, the proposed project will not impact natural resources, as well as public access to the coast.

Section 16: The Coastal Permit is warranted since the proposed development is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan. The proposed development does not impact natural resources or public access to the coast.

Section 17: The Coastal Permit is warranted since the proposed development, when located between the sea and the first public road, is consistent with applicable public access and recreation policies of the Coastal Act. The subject parcel is located between the sea and the first public road (Palos Verdes Drive South). However, the site is located within the Portuguese Bend Club, which is a private gated community. Since there is no public access to the sea from this area, the proposed addition will not impact public access and/or recreation policies.

Section 18: Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Sections 17.02.040, 17.74.060, 17.66.060, 17.70.030, 17.76.040(H) and 17.80.070 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 June 12, 2002.

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 the Height Variation, Minor Exception Permit, Coastal Permit, and Variance to allow for the construction of a 575 square foot room addition (Case NO. ZON2002-00035); subject to the conditions contained in Exhibit 'A', attached hereto and made a part hereof, which are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the area.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 28th day of May 2002, by the following vote:

AYES
NOES:
ABSTENTIONS:
ABSENT:

________________________
Jon S. Cartwright,
Chairman

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


Exhibit "A"
Conditions of Approval
(Planning Commission Resolution No. 2002-__)

Height Variation, Variance, Minor Exception Permit, Coastal Permit
(Case No. ZON2002-00035)

General

  1. The applicant/property owner shall submit to the City a statement, in writing that they have read, understand and agree to all conditions of approval listed below. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days of the effective date of approval shall render this approval null and void.
  2. The approval shall become null and void after 180 days from the date of approval unless the approved plans are submitted to the Building and Safety Division to initiate the "plan check" review process, pursuant to Section 17.86.070 of the City’s Development Code. This approval shall become null and void if, after initiating the "plan check" review process, or receiving a building permit to begin construction, said "plan check" or permit is allowed to expire or is withdrawn by the applicant.
  3. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved preliminary plans or any of the conditions if such modifications shall achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with said plans and conditions.
  4. Permitted hours of construction are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No work is permitted on Sundays or legal holidays.
  5. The project shall substantially conform to the plans stamped, and dated the effective date of this approval, approved by the Planning Commission.
  6. The construction site, and adjacent public and private properties shall be kept free of all loose materials resembling trash and debris in excess of that material used for immediate construction purposes. Such excess material may include, but not be limited to: the accumulation of debris, garbage, lumber, scrap metal, concrete asphalt, piles of earth, salvage materials, abandoned or discarded furniture, appliances or other household fixtures.
  7. In the event that a Planning requirement and a Building & Safety requirement are in conflict with one another, the stricter standard shall apply.
  8. All applicable permits required by the Building and Safety Division shall be obtained by the applicant prior to the commencement of construction.
  9. There shall be no grading permitted with this application.
  10. The proposed addition shall maintain the following minimum setbacks:
  11. 15’-0" rear (proposed: 16’-0")
    3’-0" northwest side (proposed: 3’-0")
    5’-0" southeast side (proposed: 25’-0")
    17’-0" front (proposed: 17’-0")

    Height Variation

  12. The Height Variation allows for the construction of a 49 square foot addition to the northeast side of the second floor and a 526 square foot third floor addition, located on top of the north corner of the existing house.
  13. The proposed additions shall not exceed a height of 29.7’, as measured from the lowest elevation where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof; and 19.4’, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure to the highest point on the roof. BUILDING HEIGHT CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. A LICENSED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL PREPARE THE CERTIFICATION. CERTIFICATION SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITY’S BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE BUILDING PERMIT FINAL.
  14. Variance

  15. The Variance allows for the construction of a 575 square foot addition in the Coastal Setback Zone, where the maximum allowed is 250 square feet; and for a three-foot setback along the northwest side of the residence, where five-foot is the minimum.
  16. The propose addition shall not exceed 575 square feet (49 square feet on the second floor, and 526 square feet on the third floor).
  17. The northwest side setback shall not be less than three feet. SETBACK CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. A LICENSED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL PREPARE THE CERTIFICATION. CERTIFICATION SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITY’S BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE BUILDING PERMIT FINAL.
  18. Minor Exception Permit

  19. The Minor Exception Permit allows for 46% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone, and allows for a 17-foot front setback for the third floor addition.
  20. Lot coverage for the parcel shall not exceed 46%.
  21. The front setback for the third floor shall not be less than 17-feet. SETBACK CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. A LICENSED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL PREPARE THE CERTIFICATION. CERTIFICATION SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITY’S BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE BUILDING PERMIT FINAL.
  22. Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit

  23. The following conditions of approval of Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit Case No. ZON2001-00004 are incorporated herein by reference and shall be adhered to.

    1. The approval of this landslide moratorium exception permit shall be valid for one hundred eighty (180) days from date of issuance by the City Council. The Planning applications necessary for the proposed project must be submitted to the Director during this period. The Director may grant extensions beyond this period for good cause.
    2. The approval of this landslide moratorium exception permit authorizes the applicant to submit the following Planning applications for the proposed 575-square-foot two-story addition and 166-square-foot second-floor deck: a Variance, a Height Variation and a Coastal Permit. Additional permits may be submitted if they are identified as necessary during the review of the application by the Planning Division.
    3. If lot drainage deficiencies are identified by the Director of Public Works, all such deficiencies shall be corrected by the applicant.
    4. If the project involves additional plumbing fixtures, or additions of habitable space which exceed two hundred square feet (200 SF), or could be used as a new bedroom, bathroom, laundry room or kitchen, and if the lot or parcel is not served by a sanitary sewer system, septic systems shall be replaced with approved holding tank systems in which to dispose of on-site waste water. The capacity of the required holding tank system shall be subject to the review and approval of the City’s Building Official. For the purposes of this subsection, the addition of a sink to an existing bathroom, kitchen or laundry room shall not be construed to be an additional plumbing fixture. For those projects which involve additions of less than two hundred square feet (200 SF) in total area and which are not to be used as a new bedroom, bathroom, laundry room or kitchen, the applicant shall submit for recordation a covenant specifically agreeing that the addition of the habitable space will not be used for those purposes. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director for recordation prior to the issuance of a building permit. For lots or parcels which are to be served by a sanitary sewer system on or after July 6, 2000, additional plumbing fixtures may be permitted and the requirement for a holding tank may be waived, provided that the lot or parcel is to be connected to the sanitary sewer system. If a sanitary sewer system is approved and/or under construction but is not yet operational at the time that a project requiring a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved, the requirement for a holding tank may be waived, provided that the lot or parcel is required to be connected to the sanitary sewer system pursuant to Section 15.20.110 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, or by an agreement or condition of project approval.
    5. Roof runoff from all buildings and structures on the site shall be contained and directed to the streets or an approved drainage course.
    6. 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.
    7. If the lot or parcel is not served by a sanitary sewer system, the applicant shall submit for recordation a covenant agreeing to support and participate in existing or future sewer and/or storm drain assessment districts and any other geological and geotechnical hazard abatement measures required by the City. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director prior to the issuance of a building permit.
    8. If the lot or parcel is not served by a sanitary sewer system, the applicant shall submit for recordation a covenant agreeing to an irrevocable offer to dedicate to the City a sewer and storm drain easement on the subject property, as well as any other easement required by the City to mitigate landslide conditions. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director prior to the issuance of a building permit.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. If the project involves pools and/or spas, a leak detection system approved by the City Building Official shall be installed.
    13. All other necessary permits and approvals required pursuant to the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code or any other applicable statute, law or ordinance shall be obtained.



8. HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00036): 113 Spindrift Drive / Wynn (DB)

Request: A request to construct a 1,045 square foot addition to an existing 1,248 square foot home. The Height Variation is to allow an addition that has a maximum height of 28.9-feet, as measured from the lowest elevation (111.3’) where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof (140.2’); and has a height of 21.5-feet, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure (118.7’) to the highest point on the roof (140.2’). The Coastal Permit is to allow the addition to an existing residence located within an appealable area of the coastal zone. The Minor Exception Permit is to allow the top floor of the proposed addition to encroach 1’-9" into the required 20-foot front setback. The Variance is a request to allow the middle floor addition to encroach ten-feet into the required front yard setback, to allow an addition greater than 275 square feet to an existing residence located within the coastal setback zone, to allow 49% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone, and to allow a one car garage for a single family residence.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-___; approving, with conditions, the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance, and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00036).

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: MAY 28, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00036)

PROJECT ADDRESS: 112 SPINDRIFT DRIVE

APPLICANT:
GARY WYNN
WYNN ENGINEERING
27525 VALLEY CENTER ROAD
VALLEY CENTER, CA 92082

PHONE: 310-306-9728

LANDOWNER:
MR. & MRS. CUSHMAN
113 SPINDRIFT DRIVE
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA 90275

PHONE: 310-377-7374

STAFF COORDINATOR: DAVE BLUMENTHAL, ASSOCIATE PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION:A request to construct a 1,045 square foot addition to an existing 1,248 square foot home. The Height Variation is to allow an addition that has a maximum height of 28.9-feet, as measured from the lowest elevation (111.3’) where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof (140.2’); and has a height of 21.5-feet, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure (118.7’) to the highest point on the roof (140.2’). The coastal permit is to allow the addition to an existing residence located within an appealable area of the coastal zone. The Minor Exception Permit is to allow the top floor of the proposed addition to encroach 1’-9" into the required 20-foot front setback. The Variance is a request to allow the middle floor addition to encroach ten-feet into the required front yard setback, to allow an addition greater than 275 square feet to an existing residence located within the coastal setback zone, to allow 49% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone, and to allow a one car garage for a single family residence.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-___; APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, THE HEIGHT VARIATION, COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00036)

REFERENCES:

ZONING: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL – RS-2

LAND USE: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.02, 17.48, 17.64, 17.66, 17.72, 17.84 &17.96

GENERAL PLAN: SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN:N/A

CEQA: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 3)

ACTION DEADLINE: JUNE 16, 2002

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

BACKGROUND

On August 2, 2001, the applicant applied for a Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit (LME). Since the proposed addition exceeded 600 square feet, the City Council was required to take action on the request. On October 2, 2001, the City Council approved the LME, thereby allowing the applicant to submit the planning application for the proposed addition. This approval does not constitute a guarantee for approval of the proposed addition; instead, it authorizes the applicant to submit the planning applications.

On January 18, 2002, the applicant submitted an application for the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, and Variance, requesting to construct the 1,045 square foot addition.

On February 1, 2001, staff completed the preliminary review of the application and deemed that the application was incomplete for processing. This determination was made due to incomplete and/or inconsistent information on the plans; and a Minor Exception Permit application was required to process the request. The requested information was submitted to the City on April 16, 2002.

On April 17, 2002, staff completed the review of the re-submittal and determined that the application was complete. Legal notices were sent out to all 57 properties owners within the 500’ notification area and the homeowners association for the area, on April 17, 2002. Additionally, the notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on April 20, 2002. Moreover, pursuant to the requirements of the Coastal Permit, a notice was sent to the California Coastal Commission and to the Department of Fish and Game.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject site is a 2,984 square foot lot located in the RS-2 zone. The site is located within the Portuguese Bend Club, which is on the seaward side of Palos Verdes Drive South, thus locating the lot within the Coastal Specific Plan. Additionally, the subject site is located within the Landslide Moratorium Area.

The parcel slopes up from Spindrift Drive to a vacant parcel located on the northeast side of the subject parcel. The vacant parcel is common open space, which is owned by the Homeowner’s Association. There are single-family residences on the east and west sides of the lot.

The site is currently improved with a 1,248 square foot two-story single-family residence. The first floor of the residence consists solely of a 285 square foot garage, with no habitable area located on this floor. It should be noted that the only access to the garage is from the vehicle door on the west side of the garage.

The second floor of the dwelling unit consists of 963 square feet of habitable area, which includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining room and living room. Additionally, a second floor balcony is located along the entire width of the southwest side of the house.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant is proposing to add 226 square feet to the southwest side of the second floor. This addition will increase the living room area of the house. Additionally, the access stairs to the deck will be relocated.

The new third floor is an 819 square foot room addition, which will accommodate a new master bedroom and bathroom. A 121.5 square foot roof deck is located along the southwest side of the proposed third floor.

The existing site is non-conforming regarding enclosed parking spaces, driveway size, front setbacks, and lot coverage. Pursuant to Municipal Code Section 17.84.060, the property owner is required to bring the residence into conformance regarding all development standards, except setbacks, since they are adding more than 50% of the existing structure.

Project Statistics:

CRITERIA

REQUIRED

EXISTING

PROPOSED

       

Lot Size

20,000 s.f.

2,984 s.f.

2,984 s.f.

       

Building Size

N/A

1,248 s.f.

2,293 s.f.

Setbacks

     

Front

20’

0’

0’

Side (northwest)

5’

8’

8’

Side (southeast)

5’

7’

7’

Rear

15’

20’

15’

       

Lot Coverage

40%

44%

41%

       

Enclosed Parking

2 spaces

1 spaces

1 spaces

Building Height

     

Highest elevation covered by structure to highest ridge of building.

16’

11.5’

21.5’

Lowest elevation of building pad covered by structure to highest ridge of building.

30’

19’

28.9’

Table 1

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Staff has reviewed the proposed application for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Upon completion of this review, it has been determined that this request is categorically exempt from CEQA, pursuant to Guideline Section No. 15303 (New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures).

Categorical Exemptions are projects, which have determined not to have a significant effect on the environment and have been exempted from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. "Class 3 consists of construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures." This section is meant to include the construction of one single-family residence.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

HEIGHT VARIATION

The subject lot is considered an upslope lot, which slopes uphill from the street of access. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code Section 17.02.040(B)(1)(a) allows the construction of a single-family residence on upslope lots within the RS-2 zone that do not to exceed the height of 16-feet as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure to the highest point of the house, or 30-feet as measured from the lowest elevation adjacent to the building foundation/slab to the highest point of the house. Municipal Code Section No. 17.02.040(B)(1) allows the 16-foot height to be increased to 26-feet with the approval of a Height Variation. The applicant’s proposal includes heights of 21.5’, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure to highest ridge of building, and 28.9’, as measured from the lowest elevation adjacent to the building foundation/slab highest ridge of building.

Typically, the height limitations of the Municipal Code cannot accommodate the construction of three story homes. However, the existing flat roof of the house, in conjunction with the new proposed flat roof, accommodates a design in which three stories can be built. It should be noted the first floor entirely consists of a subterranean garage.

Pursuant to Municipal Code Section No. 17.02.040(C)(1)(a), the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement is required to refer a Height Variation application to the Planning Commission when any portion of the building that exceeds 16-feet in height covers more than 60% of the garage, when any portion of the building that exceeds 16-feet in height is closer than 25 feet to the front property line, and/or when any portion of the building that exceeds 16-feet in height (second story footprint) exceeds 75% of the first floor footprint. As such, this project requires Planning Commission review for all three of the aforementioned reasons. Additionally, Municipal Code Section No. 17.02.040(C)(1)(e) sets forth the findings required in order for the Planning Commission to approve a Height Variation. A discussion of these findings (in bold type) follows:

    1. The applicant has complied with the early neighborhood consultation process established by the city.

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code requires the applicant to take all necessary steps to consult with the property owners within 500 feet of the project site. The City has established the following guidelines to conform with this requirement, "if the signatures of at least 60% of the landowners within 500 feet; or 70% of the landowners within 100 feet and 25% of the total number of landowners within 500 feet (including those within 100 feet) is obtained."

With exception to the project site, there are 10 properties within the 100 feet and 57 parcels within the 500 feet of the site. The applicant has obtained seven signatures from properties within 100 feet (70%) and 18 signatures of landowners within 500 feet (32%) of the project site. In as much as the applicant meets the requirement to notify 70% of landowners within 100 feet and 25% of the landowners within 500 feet, they have complied with the early notification consultation process, and this finding can be adopted.

  1. The structure does not significantly impair a view from public property (parks, major thoroughfares, bike ways, walkways, or equestrian trails), which has been identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Plan, as a city-designated viewing area.

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan, adopted June 26, 1975, identifies views and vistas from public property within the city. A view is defined as a scene observed from a given vantage point (i.e. Catalina Island); whereas, a vista is defined as a confined view, which is usually, directed toward a terminal or dominate element or feature (i.e. lighthouse).

The General Plan identifies views and vistas in the vicinity of the project site. However, the lower elevation of the project area and curvature of the coastline, in compared to these viewing areas, situates the project site such that it will not impair the views from designated viewing areas from public property. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  1. The proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory.
  2. A ridge is defined as, "an elongated crest or a linear series of crests of hills, bluffs, or highlands." A promontory is defined as, "a prominent mass of land, large enough to support development, which overlooks or projects onto a lowland or body of water on at least two sides." The subject property is located within a fully developed single-family residential tract. The tract is not located on a ridge or a promontory, as defined in the Municipal Code, and therefore this finding can be adopted.

  3. The structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view.
  4. In general, views from properties in the area are to the south and west, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Adjacent properties are at the same elevation as the subject property and the views are looking in other directions than the subject property, thus there are no view impacts to other homes in the area. With respect to the property on the northeastern side of the subject property, this is a vacant parcel under ownership of the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Due to the moratorium on new structures this lot will not be developed; therefore, there is no view impact to this property. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  5. There is no significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application.
  6. As noted in the previous finding, all parcels in the vicinity of the project site are at the same level in which views are directed away from the project site, or are vacant and will not be developed. These conditions allow the proposed addition to be constructed without impairing the views of other properties. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  7. The proposed structure, when considered exclusively of existing foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel.
  8. As noted in the previous two findings, there will be no view impairment to other properties caused by the proposed structure. Therefore, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  9. The proposed structure complies with all other code requirements.
  10. As noted in the project description, the existing house is non-conforming to the Development Code with respect to enclosed parking spaces, driveway size, front and side setbacks, and lot coverage. However, the applicant is increasing the residence size by more than 50% and therefore is required to bring the property into conformance with all development standards, except setbacks. Additionally, the code does require that all new structures and additions comply with development standards set forth in the Municipal Code. The applicant has requested a Variance and Minor Exception Permit to deviate from these standards. As noted below in the Variance and Minor Exception Permit findings, these deviations can be approved, thus making the proposed structure compliant with the Development Code. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  11. The proposed structure is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character.
  12. The Municipal Code defines neighborhood character as the scale of surrounding residences, architectural styles and materials, and front yard setbacks. The Height Variation Guidelines state the ten closest homes shall be reviewed to determine if a proposal is compatible with the neighborhood. It should be noted that 110, 115, 114-A, and 117 Spindrift were omitted from this analysis because the City does not have building permits for these addresses.

    Architectural Style and Materials:

    The neighborhood consists of a combination of one and two story homes. In comparing the architectural style of the ten nearest homes, staff has found that there are a variety of architectural styles used in the area. Housing color and roofing material varied on all ten homes compared. The existing house has board and batten wood siding and a flat roof. The proposed addition will match this architectural style. Since there is a variety of architectural styles and materials in the homes compared and the applicant is proposing to match the existing home, it is staff’s opinion that the proposal is compatible with the character of the neighborhood regarding architectural style and materials

    Scale of Surrounding Residences:

    The homes compared, along with the structure size and number of stories, are listed in the following table (Table 2). It should be noted that structure size was obtained by researching building permits on file with the city. Lot sizes were omitted from this analysis due to inconsistent and/or incomplete information in City and County records

    Address

    Structure Size

    Number of Stories

    108 Spindrift

    1,057 s.f.

    Two

    109 Spindrift

    1,198 s.f.

    Two

    111 Spindrift

    864 s.f.

    Two

    112 Spindrift

    1,652 s.f.

    Two

    114 Spindrift

    3,155 s.f.

    Two

    116 Spindrift

    2,092 s.f.

    Two

    118 Spindrift

    1,358 s.f.

    Two

    85 Yacht Harbor

    1,452 s.f.

    One

    86 Yacht Harbor

    2,281 s.f.

    One

    87 Yacht Harbor

    1,241 s.f.

    Two

    Average

    1,635 s.f.

     
         

    113 Spindrift

    Existing

    1,248 s.f.

    Two

    Proposed

    2,293 s.f.

    Three

    Table 2

    As noted above in Table 2, the average residence size is 1,635 square feet, while the largest house is 3,155 square feet. The proposed home exceeds the average home size by 658 square feet, but is 862 square feet smaller than the largest home. It is staff’s opinion that the proposed residence is consistent with the size of homes in the neighborhood.

    The analysis of the neighborhood found no other three-story homes in the area. In fact, three story homes are rare within the City. But, as noted above, the proposed design of the house allows the three stories to be constructed within the height limitations permitted with a Height Variation permit. Additionally, the slope of the property in conjunction with the stepped design of the house reduces the overall bulk and mass of the home. Specifically, the design of the existing house has a partially stepped back second floor and the proposed new third floor is stepped back even further. Furthermore, the majority of the first floor (garage) is subterranean due to the slope of the lot. As such, it is staff opinion that the proposal has been designed to reduce the overall bulk and mass of the structure and that the size, bulk and mass of the home is compatible with the character of the neighborhood.

    Front Yard Setback:

    Of the ten homes surveyed, it appears that all homes are non-conforming regarding front yard setbacks. Setbacks appear to range from five to fifteen feet. Although the applicant is proposing to encroach into the required front yard setback, as noted below in the Variance and Minor Exception Permit sections, the applicant is not proposing to decrease the existing front setback. Since the applicant is not proposing to decrease the existing setback and the proposed encroachments into the front setback are within the range of other homes in the neighborhood, staff feels that this proposal is consistent with the neighborhood.

    Based on the analysis above, it can be found that the proposed residence complies with the neighborhood character with respects to architectural style and materials, scale of the surrounding residences, and front yard setback. Therefore, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  13. The proposed structure does not result in an unreasonable infringement of the privacy of the occupants of abutting residences.

Chapter 17.02 of the Municipal Code defines privacy as the reasonable protection from visual intrusion. The applicant has designed the house, particularly the third floor, such that all windows are either small windows, or located in a spot so that they do not infringe upon the privacy of the neighbors. Staff believes that this design minimizes privacy impact as best as can be accomplished and therefore staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

VARIANCE

The applicant is requesting a Variance to deviate from several Development Code requirements. These include to allow a deviation from the front setback of 20 feet for the second floor addition, thus allowing a ten foot setback; to allow a 1,045 square foot addition in the coastal setback zone, maximum allowed is 250 square feet; to allow 49% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone, maximum allowed is 40%; and to allow a one car garage for a single family residence, minimum required is two car garage.

Pursuant to Municipal Code Section No. 17.84.060, the applicant is required to bring all portions of the property into conformance with the development standards of the RS-2 zone, except setbacks. Components of the Variance, resulting from the proposed project, will bring the property in to compliance, except the minimum required enclosed parking. The minimum required parking is not a result of the proposed addition, and therefore is required to meet the development standards. However, the applicant has chosen to include a deviation from the parking in the Variance application.

Municipal Code Section No. 17.64 sets forth four required findings that must be made in order for the Planning Commission to approve the Variance. A discussion of each of these findings (in bold type) follows.

  1. 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.
  2. The subject lot is 2,984 square feet in size, whereas other properties in the RS-2 zone measure approximately 20,000 square feet. The property, which is entirely located within the coastal setback zone, is surrounded with other single-family residences lots on the sides and a common open-space lot to the rear. These surrounding lots limit the ability of expanding the subject lot to be in conformance with the 20,000 square foot standard for lots in the RS-2 zone. It should be further noted that the existing house is setback zero feet from the front property line and provides a one car subterranean garage. Furthermore, since the property is located entirely within coastal setback zone, it is not possible to add to the house outside this setback zone. Therefore, staff feels that due to the substandard lot size, existing setback, and the property location entirely within the coastal setback zone, there is an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance on the property and this finding can be adopted for all components of the Variance.

  3. 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.
  4. The subject parcel is located in the Portuguese Bend Club (PBC). These lots and homes do not conform to the all of the development standards of the RS-2 zone, including minimum lot size. As noted in the previous finding, the subject lot is substantially smaller than other lots in the RS-2 zone and limited ability to be brought into compliance with the development standards of the RS-2 zone. Approval of the Variance will allow the property owner to expand the residence, thereby enjoying a home closer in size to other homes in the RS-2 zone. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

  5. That granting the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property and improvements in the area in which the property is located.
  6. Prior to submittal of the requested application, the property owner submitted a geology report, which has been reviewed and given preliminary approval by the City’s geotechnical staff. Said report indicates that there are no geological hazards caused by the proposed addition. Additionally, all construction is required to adhere to the provisions of the California Uniform Building Code, as amended by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Furthermore, as noted in the Height Variation findings, the proposed addition has been designed such that it will not impair any views from other properties, causes an impact to privacy of other properties, and is compatible with the neighborhood character. Based on the aforementioned reasons, staff feels that this finding can be adopted for all components of the Variance.

  7. 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 subject property is within the General Plan designation of 1-2 dwelling units/acre. The underlying zone of RS-2 complies with this General Plan designation. It is the goal of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan to preserve and enhance the community's quality living environment; to enhance the visual character and physical quality of existing neighborhoods; and to encourage the development of housing in a manner, which adequately serves the needs of all present and future residents of the community. In staff’s opinion, the proposed addition is consistent with this goal, thus making the request consistent with the General Plan.

The subject site is located in Subregion 6 of the Coastal Specific Plan. Subregion 6 consists entirely of the Portuguese Bend Club, which is gated private community. The intent of the Coastal Specific Plan is to protect natural resources, as well as public access to the coast. Inasmuch as the project is currently developed as a single-family residence and the site is not located in an area for public access, it is staff’s opinion that all components of the requested Variance are consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT

The proposed third floor addition will provide a 19-foot front setback, instead of the 20-foot setback. The Development Code allows a 20% reduction of the front setback, upon approval of a Minor Exception Permit. Accordingly, the applicant has applied for a Minor Exception Permit. In order to approve the Minor Exception Permit, the Planning Commission is required to make one of three findings. The findings (in bold type) are as follows:

  1. The Minor Exception Permit is warranted by practical difficulties.


  2. The Minor Exception Permit is warranted by an unnecessary hardship.


  3. The Minor Exception Permit is necessary to avoid inconsistencies with the general intent of the zoning code

    Staff feels that the second finding can be made. The subject property is located in the RS-2 zone, in which the minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet. The subject property is 2,984 square foot lot within the RS-2 zone. An unnecessary hardship that exists is that the lot is substantially smaller than other properties in the same zone. Furthermore, surrounding lots are improved with single-family residences or are commonly held open space, which then limits the ability to increase the lot size. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

COASTAL PERMIT

The subject property is located on the seaward side of Palos Verdes Drive South and therefore is located within the Coastal Specific Plan. Accordingly, a Coastal Permit is required for approval of any addition to the subject property. The Coastal Permit is appealable to the California Coastal Commission. Municipal Code Section No. 17.72.090 sets forth two findings for approval of a Coastal Permit. A discussion of the required findings (in bold type) follows:

  1. The proposed development is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan.
  2. The subject site is located in Subregion 6 of the Coastal Specific Plan. Subregion 6 consists entirely of the Portuguese Bend Club, which is a gated private community. The intent of the Coastal Specific Plan is to protect natural resources, as well as public access to the coast. Inasmuch as the project is currently developed as a single-family residence and the site is not located in an area for public access, it is staff’s opinion that the requested addition is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

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

The subject parcel is located between the sea and the first public road (Palos Verdes Drive South). However, the site is located within the Portuguese Bend Club, which is a private gated community. Since there is no public access to the sea from this area, the proposed addition will not impact public access and/or recreation policies. As such, staff feels that this finding can be adopted.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above analysis of the required findings, staff concludes that all nine of the required findings can be adopted for the Height Variation, all four Variance findings can be adopted, the Minor Exception Permit finding can be adopted, and the two findings for the Coastal Permit can be adopted. Accordingly, staff is recommending approval of all four land use applications.

ALTERNATIVES

The following alternatives are available for the Planning Commission:

    1. Deny without prejudice the Height Variation, Variance, Coastal Permit, and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00036) and continue this item to the next meeting, where staff would present a Resolution of Denial.
    2. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, provide Staff and/or the applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

ATTACHMENTS

  • Draft Planning Commission Resolution No. 2002-__
  • Conditions of Approval
  • Correspondence received

P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING A HEIGHT VARIATION, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT, VARIANCE, AND COASTAL PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00036), THEREBY PERMITTING A 1,045 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION, WHICH DEVIATES FROM THE FRONT SETBACK, MAXIMUM LOT COVERAGE, MINIMUM ENCLOSED PARKING AND MAXIMUM SIZE OF AN ADDITION, WITHIN THE APPEALABLE AREA OF THE COASTAL ZONE, FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 113 SPINDRIFT DRIVE.

WHEREAS, on August 2, 2001, the applicant applied for a Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit (LME) requesting for permission to apply for a Height Variation, Coastal Permit, and Variance to construct a 1,045 square foot room addition to an existing single family residence; and,

WHEREAS, on October 2, 2001, the City Council approved the LME, thereby allowing the applicant to submit the land use entitlement applications for the proposed addition; and,

WHEREAS, on January 18, 2002, the applicant submitted an application for a Height Variation, Coastal Permit, and Variance, requesting to construct the 1,045 square foot addition. The proposed addition deviates from the front setback requirements, the maximum lot coverage, the minimum enclosed parking spaces, and the maximum addition in the Coastal Setback Zone; and,

WHEREAS, on April 17, 2002, the applications for the Height Variation, Minor Exception Permit, Variance, and Coastal Permit were deemed complete by Staff; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that the Height Variation, Minor Exception Permit, Variance, and Coastal Permit would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt under Class 3 (Section 15303); and,

WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Ranchos Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on May 28, 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: That the approved project includes the construction of a 1,045 square foot addition to an existing 1,248 square foot single-family residential dwelling unit. The proposed addition is for a 226 square foot addition to the second floor, and an 819 square foot third floor. The proposed addition deviates from the front setback requirements, the maximum lot coverage, the minimum required enclosed parking, and the maximum addition in the Coastal Setback Zone.

Section 2: The Height Variation is warranted since the applicant has complied with the early neighborhood consultation process established by the city by obtaining 70% of the property owners’ signatures within 100 feet and 32% of the property owners’ signatures within 500 feet of the subject site.

Section 3: The Height Variation is warranted since the structure does not significantly impair a view from public property (parks, major thoroughfares, bike ways, walkways, or equestrian trails), which has been identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Plan, as a city-designated viewing area.

Section 4: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory. The subject property is located within a fully developed single-family residential tract. The tract is not located on a ridge or a promontory, as defined in the Municipal Code.

Section 5: The Height Variation is warranted since the structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view. The applicant has limited the size and location of the addition to allow the adjacent homes along Spindrift Drive to continue to look over the subject house without diminishing the view

Section 6: The Height Variation is warranted since there is no significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application. As noted in the previous section the proposed addition does not impact any views from other properties.

Section 7: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure, when considered exclusively of existing foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel. As noted in the previous two sections no view impairment to other properties is caused by the structure.

Section 8: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure complies with all other code requirements, in as much as the proposal meets all requirements of Title 17 of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, with exception to the front setback, enclosed parking, and lot coverage. However, as noted below, the Variance and Minor Exception Permit are warranted to allow these deviations.

Section 9: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character. The proposed structure complies with the neighborhood character with respects to architectural style and materials, scale of the surrounding residences, and front yard setback.

Section 10: The Height Variation is warranted since the proposed structure does not result in an unreasonable infringement of the privacy of the occupants of abutting residences. The design of the house is such that it minimizes infringement onto privacy of neighboring homes.

Section 11: The Minor Exception Permit for a one-foot encroachment into the front setback for the third story is warranted by an unnecessary hardship. The subject lot is 2,984 square feet, which is substantially smaller than the minimum lot size in the RS-2 zone, which is 20,000 square feet.

Section 12: The Variance is warranted since there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, which do not apply generally to other property in the same zoning district. The subject lot is 2,984 square feet in size, whereas the RS-2 zone has a minimum lot size requirement of 20,000 square feet.

Section 13: The Variance is warranted since 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. As noted in the previous section, the subject lot homes are substantially smaller than other lots in the RS-2 zone. Granting the Variance will allow the property owner to construct a home closer in size to other homes in the RS-2 zone. Additionally, other homes in the immediate area also have reduced setbacks and exceed lot coverage.

Section 14: The Variance is warranted since granting the Variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property and improvements in the area in which the property is located. The property owner submitted a geology report, which has been reviewed and given preliminary approval by the City’s geotechnical staff. Said report indicates that there are no geological hazards caused by the proposed addition. Additionally, all construction is required to adhere to the provisions of the California Uniform Building Code, as amended by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Furthermore, as noted in the Height Variation findings, the proposed addition has been designed such that it will not impair any views from other properties, nor causes an impact to privacy of other properties, and is compatible with the neighborhood character.

Section 15: The Variance is warranted since granting the Variance will not be contrary to the objectives of the general plan or the policies and requirements of the coastal specific plan. It is the goal of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan to preserve and enhance the community's quality living environment; to enhance the visual character and physical quality of existing neighborhoods; and to encourage the development of housing in a manner, which adequately serves the needs of all present and future residents of the community. Furthermore, the proposed project will not impact natural resources, as well as public access to the coast.

Section 16: The Coastal Permit is warranted since the proposed development is consistent with the Coastal Specific Plan. The proposed development does not impact natural resources or public access to the coast.

Section 17: The Coastal Permit is warranted since the proposed development, when located between the sea and the first public road, is consistent with applicable public access and recreation policies of the Coastal Act. The subject parcel is located between the sea and the first public road (Palos Verdes Drive South). However, the site is located within the Portuguese Bend Club, which is a private gated community. Since there is no public access to the sea from this area, the proposed addition will not impact public access and/or recreation policies.

Section 18: Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Sections 17.02.040, 17.74.060, 17.66.060, 17.70.030, 17.76.040(H) and 17.80.070 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 June 12, 2002.

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 the Height Variation, Minor Exception Permit, Coastal Permit, and Variance to allow for the construction of a 1,045 square foot room addition (Case NO. ZON2002-00036); subject to the conditions contained in Exhibit 'A', attached hereto and made a part hereof, which are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the area.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 28th day of May 2002, by the following vote:

AYES
NOES:
ABSTENTIONS:
ABSENT:

________________________
Jon S. Cartwright,
Chairman

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


Exhibit "A"
Conditions of Approval
(Planning Commission Resolution No. 2002-__)

Height Variation, Variance, Minor Exception Permit, Coastal Permit
(Case No. ZON2002-00036)

General

  1. The applicant/property owner shall submit to the City a statement, in writing that they have read, understand and agree to all conditions of approval listed below. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days of the effective date of approval shall render this approval null and void.
  2. The approval shall become null and void after 180 days from the date of approval unless the approved plans are submitted to the Building and Safety Division to initiate the "plan check" review process, pursuant to Section 17.86.070 of the City’s Development Code. This approval shall become null and void if, after initiating the "plan check" review process, or receiving a building permit to begin construction, said "plan check" or permit is allowed to expire or is withdrawn by the applicant.
  3. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved preliminary plans or any of the conditions if such modifications shall achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with said plans and conditions.
  4. Permitted hours of construction are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No work is permitted on Sundays or legal holidays.
  5. The project shall substantially conform to the plans stamped, and dated the effective date of this approval, approved by the Planning Commission.
  6. The construction site, and adjacent public and private properties shall be kept free of all loose materials resembling trash and debris in excess of that material used for immediate construction purposes. Such excess material may include, but not be limited to: the accumulation of debris, garbage, lumber, scrap metal, concrete asphalt, piles of earth, salvage materials, abandoned or discarded furniture, appliances or other household fixtures.
  7. In the event that a Planning requirement and a Building & Safety requirement are in conflict with one another, the stricter standard shall apply.
  8. All applicable permits required by the Building and Safety Division shall be obtained by the applicant prior to the commencement of construction.
  9. There shall be no grading permitted with this application.
  10. The proposed addition shall maintain the following minimum setbacks:
  11. 15’-0" rear (proposed: 15’-0")
    5’-0" northwest side (proposed: 8’-0")
    5’-0" southeast side (proposed: 7’-0")
    10’-0" front (proposed: 10’-0")

    Height Variation

  12. The Height Variation allows for the construction of a 226 square foot addition to the southwest side of the second floor and an 819 square foot third floor addition.
  13. The proposed additions shall not exceed a height of 28.9’, as measured from the lowest elevation where the building foundation/slab is adjacent to the finished grade, to the highest point on the roof; and 21.5’, as measured from the highest elevation covered by structure to the highest point on the roof. BUILDING HEIGHT CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. A LICENSED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL PREPARE THE CERTIFICATION. CERTIFICATION SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITY’S BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE BUILDING PERMIT FINAL.
  14. Variance

  15. The Variance allows for the construction of a 1,045 square foot addition in the Coastal Setback Zone, where the maximum allowed is 250 square feet; for a ten-foot front setback, where 20-feet is the minimum; allow 49% lot coverage in the RS-2 zone; and allow for a one car enclosed garage, where two enclosed parking spaces is the minimum.
  16. The propose addition shall not exceed 1,045 square feet (226 square feet on the second floor, and 819 square feet on the third floor).
  17. Lot coverage for the parcel shall not exceed 49%.
  18. The front setback for the second floor shall not be less than ten feet. SETBACK CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. A LICENSED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL PREPARE THE CERTIFICATION. CERTIFICATION SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITY’S BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE BUILDING PERMIT FINAL.
  19. Minor Exception Permit

  20. The Minor Exception Permit allows for a 19-foot front setback for the third floor addition.
  21. The front setback for the third floor shall not be less than 19-feet. SETBACK CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. A LICENSED CIVIL ENGINEER OR SURVEYOR SHALL PREPARE THE CERTIFICATION. CERTIFICATION SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CITY’S BUILDING OFFICIAL FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE BUILDING PERMIT FINAL.
  22. Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit

  23. The following conditions of approval of Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit Case No. ZON2001-00005 are incorporated herein by reference and shall be adhered to.

    1. The approval of this landslide moratorium exception permit shall be valid for one hundred eighty (180) days from date of issuance by the City Council. The Planning applications necessary for the proposed project must be submitted to the Director during this period. The Director may grant extensions beyond this period for good cause.
    2. The approval of this landslide moratorium exception permit authorizes the applicant to submit the following Planning applications for the proposed 1,045-square-foot two-story addition: a Variance, a Height Variation and a Coastal Permit. Additional permits may be submitted if they are identified as necessary during the review of the application by the Planning Division.
    3. If lot drainage deficiencies are identified by the Director of Public Works, all such deficiencies shall be corrected by the applicant.
    4. If the project involves additional plumbing fixtures, or additions of habitable space which exceed two hundred square feet (200 SF), or could be used as a new bedroom, bathroom, laundry room or kitchen, and if the lot or parcel is not served by a sanitary sewer system, septic systems shall be replaced with approved holding tank systems in which to dispose of on-site waste water. The capacity of the required holding tank system shall be subject to the review and approval of the City’s Building Official. For the purposes of this subsection, the addition of a sink to an existing bathroom, kitchen or laundry room shall not be construed to be an additional plumbing fixture. For those projects which involve additions of less than two hundred square feet (200 SF) in total area and which are not to be used as a new bedroom, bathroom, laundry room or kitchen, the applicant shall submit for recordation a covenant specifically agreeing that the addition of the habitable space will not be used for those purposes. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director for recordation prior to the issuance of a building permit. For lots or parcels which are to be served by a sanitary sewer system on or after July 6, 2000, additional plumbing fixtures may be permitted and the requirement for a holding tank may be waived, provided that the lot or parcel is to be connected to the sanitary sewer system. If a sanitary sewer system is approved and/or under construction but is not yet operational at the time that a project requiring a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved, the requirement for a holding tank may be waived, provided that the lot or parcel is required to be connected to the sanitary sewer system pursuant to Section 15.20.110 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, or by an agreement or condition of project approval.
    5. Roof runoff from all buildings and structures on the site shall be contained and directed to the streets or an approved drainage course.
    6. 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.
    7. If the lot or parcel is not served by a sanitary sewer system, the applicant shall submit for recordation a covenant agreeing to support and participate in existing or future sewer and/or storm drain assessment districts and any other geological and geotechnical hazard abatement measures required by the City. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director prior to the issuance of a building permit.
    8. If the lot or parcel is not served by a sanitary sewer system, the applicant shall submit for recordation a covenant agreeing to an irrevocable offer to dedicate to the City a sewer and storm drain easement on the subject property, as well as any other easement required by the City to mitigate landslide conditions. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director prior to the issuance of a building permit.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. If the project involves pools and/or spas, a leak detection system approved by the City Building Official shall be installed.
    13. All other necessary permits and approvals required pursuant to the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code or any other applicable statute, law or ordinance shall be obtained.

NEW BUSINESS: (NO ITEMS)



ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff



9. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF JUNE 11, 2002.

PLANNING COMMISSION
PRE-AGENDA
TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2002


CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF MAY 28, 2002


CONTINUED BUSINESS:



2. 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.


3. HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 899, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2151: 3787 Coolheights Drive / Nassiri (AM)

A request to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot (garage included), two-story, single-family residence on an unimproved lot. The proposed residence will be constructed off the existing building pad at a height of 26’, as measured from the highest pre-construction grade elevation (752.00’) of the building pad, to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (778.00’) of the proposed structure. Additionally the applicants propose to conduct 819 cubic yards of associated grading (combined cut and fill calculations) and construct a new 6’ high combination fence/wall along the front property line with a Minor Exception Permit.


4. APPEAL OF FENCE, WALL AND HEDGE PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00032): 32451 Searaven Drive / Foster (BY)

An appeal of the Director's decision to allow an existing hedge located along the east property line to remain, with the condition that a portion of the hedge be lowered to 2’-6" in height.


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

A request to allow the construction of a 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.


PUBLIC HEARINGS:



6. HEIGHT VARIATION (CASE NO. ZON2002-00038): 27725 Longhill Drive / Lee (GR)

A request to allow the construction of a first and second story addition with a total area of 1,051 square feet to an existing 2,328 square foot two-story, single-family residence at a proposed height of 23’-2", as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure to the highest roof ridgeline.


7. WIND ENERGY ORDINANCE (CASE NO. ZON2002-00228): Citywide (KF)

A proposed code amendment to add Section 17.76.150 (Small Wind Energy Systems) and to amend miscellaneous provisions of Title 17 (Zoning) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code to adopt standards for the installation and operation of small wind energy systems, as mandated by Assembly Bill 1207.


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, May 23, 2002

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
June 11, 2002, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.