07/24/2001 Planning Commission Agenda July, 2001, 07/24/2001, Planning, Commission, Meeting, Agenda, recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review the Traffic Committee’s recommendation and the summary of City wide parks and recreational amenities; 2) Make a determination as to the feasibility of using the Upper Point Vicente Area (UPVA) or any portion thereof, as part of the proposed project; 3) Discuss the preliminary findings for the project applications and provide Staff and the applicant with direction regarding any project modifications; 4) If deemed appropriate, direct Staff to prepare draft conditions of approval for review at the next meeting; and 5) Continue the public hearing to August 14, 2001 The 07/24/2001 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Agenda
Staff Reports for July 24, 2001 Planning Commission Meeting
July 24, 2001

DISCLAIMER

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

...end of disclaimer...

** CLICK HERE FOR PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA

** CLICK HERE FOR PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORTS


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

Staff Reports

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

Organization of the Agenda

The Planning Commission agenda is divided into the following sections:

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

Presentation of Agenda Items

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

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

 

How to Speak on an Item

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

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

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

 Submittal of Written Correspondence

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

Conduct at the Meeting

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

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

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


BEGINNING PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA

AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, July 24, 2001

FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK, 29301 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD

REGULAR MEETING

7:00 P.M.


SCHEDULING NOTES

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

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

NEXT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-17


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

COMMUNICATIONS:

Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • Excerpts from the City Council Minutes of June 5, 2001

Staff:

Commission:

CONSENT CALENDAR:


1. MINUTES OF JULY 10, 2001
RECESS/COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-agenda items) at APPROXIMATELY 8:30 P.M.:


CONTINUED BUSINESS:

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

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

Recommendation:Staff recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review the Traffic Committee’s recommendation and the summary of City wide parks and recreational amenities; 2) Make a determination as to the feasibility of using the Upper Point Vicente Area (UPVA) or any portion thereof, as part of the proposed project; 3) Discuss the preliminary findings for the project applications and provide Staff and the applicant with direction regarding any project modifications; 4) If deemed appropriate, direct Staff to prepare draft conditions of approval for review at the next meeting; and 5) Continue the public hearing to August 14, 2001.


3.APPEAL OF THE APPROVAL OF HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 915 and SITE PLAN REVIEW PERMIT NO. 8948: Podesta Designs, representing John & Genoveva Robinson, (applicant); Michael & Elizabeth Zuanich; Brian, Bill & Sandra Ruddock; Charles & Suzanne Henning; Albert & Pauline Brockmann; Tom & Helen Matulich; and Ronal & Donna Reynolds, (appellants): (ES)

Requested Action: An appeal of the Director’s approval for the construction of a 340 square foot one story enclosed patio at the rear of the structure; a 204 square foot one-story addition on the eastern side of the structure; and a 1,208 square foot second story addition along the rear and northeast portion of the existing structure, resulting in an overall height of 25-feet.

Recommendation: Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, denying the appeal and upholding the Director’s conditional approval of Height Variation No. 915 and Site Plan Review No. 8948.


PUBLIC HEARINGS:

4.GRADING PERMIT NO. 2243 and SITE PLAN REVIEW PERMIT NO. 8987: Larry Peha, (applicant), 4105 Palos Verdes Drive East. (ES)

Requested Action: Allow the construction of a new one-story, single-family residential structure with detached garage on a vacant lot, at a height of 13.4-feet as measured from the highest pre-construction pad elevation to ridge, and an overall height of 17-feet as measured from the lowest finish grade elevation to ridge. Further, a total of 1,480 cubic yards of grading is proposed to accommodate the new 1,850 square foot single-family residential structure and the 556 square foot detached garage.

Recommendation: Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, conditionally approving Grading Permit No. 2243 and Site Plan Review No. 8987.


5.HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 918 and SITE PLAN REVIEW PERMIT NO. 9165: Mr. & Mrs. Michael Christensen (applicant), 28924 Morro Bay Drive. (AM)

Requested Action: Allow the construction of a 1,967 square foot addition to an existing split level single-family residence, at a height of 24’-9", as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure. The proposed addition consists of a 564 square foot expansion to the existing lower level (of which 240 square feet will be added to the existing garage), 693 square feet to the middle (entrance) level, and a 710 square foot expansion to the second story, over the existing garage.

Recommendation:Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, approving, with conditions, Height Variation No. 918 and Site Plan Review No. 9165.


6.VESTING TENTATIVE PARCEL MAP NO. 26047: Mr. Robert Patterson (applicant), 27965 Palos Verdes Drive East. (BY)

Requested Action: Allow the land division of a 60,768 square foot lot into two lots. As proposed, Lot 1 will be 35,788 square feet and Lot 2 will be 24,980 square feet in an area designated by the City’s Zoning Map as RS-2 district.

Recommendation: Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-___; approving with conditions, Tentative Parcel Map No. 26047.


7.HEIGHT VARIATION 920, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2274, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 320, and FENCE/WALL & HEDGE PERMIT NO. 36: Mr. & Mrs. Kiger (applicant), 30357 Diamonte Lane. (GP)

Requested Action: Allow the construction of a new 26’ high 8,006 square foot two-story single-family residence, and various other site amenities on an existing 83,639 square foot lot. Proposed grading on the site includes 2,228 cubic yards of cut and 939 cubic yards of fill. A Minor Exception Permit is request for a proposed 6’ high fence within the front and street side yard setbacks. A Fence, Wall and Hedge Permit is requested for a proposed 6’ high fence along the rear property line.

Recommendation: Continue the public hearing to August 28, 2001.


NEW BUSINESS:

Requested Action: Discuss the alternative for allowing the public to contact the Planning Commissioners through e-mail.

Recommendation: Provide Staff with direction.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff


9.PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF AUGUST 14, 2001.

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,

August 14, 2001, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.


AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, July 24, 2001

FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK, 29301 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD

REGULAR MEETING

7:00 P.M.


SCHEDULING NOTES

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

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

NEXT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-17


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

COMMUNICATIONS:

Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • Excerpts from the City Council Minutes of June 5, 2001

Staff:

Commission:


CONSENT CALENDAR:

1. MINUTES OF JULY 10, 2001

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


CONTINUED BUSINESS:

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


MEMORANDUM


TO:HONORABLE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM:DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE:JULY 24, 2001

SUBJECT:LONG POINT RESORT PROJECT – CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING

Staff Coordinators: Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Acting Senior Planner

David Snow, AICP, Deputy Planning Director

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review the Traffic Committee’s recommendation and the summary of City wide parks and recreational amenities; 2) Make a determination as to the feasibility of using the Upper Point Vicente Area (UPVA) or any portion thereof, as part of the proposed project; 3) Discuss the preliminary findings for the project applications and provide Staff and the applicant with direction regarding any project modifications; 4) If deemed appropriate, direct Staff to prepare draft conditions of approval for review at the next meeting; and 5) Continue the public hearing to August 14, 2001.

PROJECT BACKGROUND:

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

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

The public hearing on the Long Point project was initially opened at the Planning Commission’s April 10, 2001 regularly scheduled meeting and was continued to a site visit held on Saturday, April 14, 2001. The hearing was continued from the April 14th meeting to the Planning Commission’s April 24th, May 17th, June 12th, and July 10th meetings, and most recently to July 24, 2001. At the July 10th meeting, Staff presented the Commission with an analysis of the preliminary findings for Grading Permit No. 2229 and Tentative Parcel Map No. 26073 for the Long point Property (RHA) and Grading Permit No. 2230 for the Upper Point Vicente Area (UPVA). Furthermore, Staff presented the Planning Commission with information to assist the Commission in it’s determination of the feasibility of using City property for the proposed project. As such, the Commission discussed the feasibility of using City property for the proposed project and determined that the Commission should further review the City’s Master Parks Plan, Program of Utilization and deed restrictions for the Upper Point Vicente Area prior to considering the proposed project or exploring possible alternatives. The public hearing was continued to July 24th with the understanding that the Commission would review the aforementioned documents provided in the April 10th Staff Report.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

No changes have been made to the preliminary findings that were previously transmitted to the Planning Commission in the June 12th, June 26th, and July 10th Staff Reports.

DISCUSSION

The following discussion encompasses information and Staff’s analysis pertaining to the project’s traffic related impacts and parks and recreational information requested by the Commission at the July 10th meeting.

Traffic

As part of the analysis conducted for the proposed project, a Traffic Study was prepared by the applicant’s Traffic Engineer, LSA Associates, Inc., and the City’s sub-consultant Urban Crossroads. The purpose of the traffic impact analysis is to evaluate the proposed development of the Long Point Resort Project from an off-site traffic circulation standpoint. The evaluation considers impacts to local roadways, intersections, regional facilities and ingress/egress locations on-site. The traffic study was used as the basis for the Environmental Impact Report traffic analysis, Section 5.12, which analyzed existing traffic conditions, ambient growth traffic, other local projects and the proposed project in relation to the guidelines set forth by the 1997 Congestion Management Program (CMP), prepared by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

According to the traffic studies conducted for the project, the following streets were evaluated because of their proximity to the project site:

  • Palos Verdes Drive West, North, South and East
  • Hawthorne Blvd.
  • Crenshaw Blvd.
  • Western Ave.
  • Gaffey Street
  • Sepulveda Blvd.
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Silver Spur Road
  • Indian Peak Road
  • Highridge Road / Grayslake Road
  • Granvia Altamira / Ridgegate Drive
  • Crest Road
  • Miraleste Drive / 9th Street
  • Palos Verdes Drive South / 25th Street

The majority of these streets are located in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, but some streets are located outside the City limits, in the Cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Los Angeles, Rolling Hills Estates, and Torrance. The streets requiring analysis were identified by the Congestion Management Plan as major arterial intersections that may be accessed to get to the project site. The traffic counts prepared for the project’s EIR were monitored during the A.M. (7-9) and P.M. (4-6) peak hours during the months of May, July and August of 1999 and are summarized on Table 5.12-1 of Section 5.12 of the Draft EIR.

The technique used to assess the operation of a signalized intersection is referred to as Intersection Capacity Utilization (ICU). To calculate an ICU, the volume of traffic using an intersection is compared with the capacity of the intersection. The ICU is routinely expressed in a percentage that represents that portion of the hour required to provide sufficient capacity to accommodate all intersection traffic. According to the City’s standards, the acceptable performance criteria for an intersection is a Level of Service (LOS) D or better (out of a Scale of A – F, with A being the least impacted).

According to the project’s traffic studies prepared by the City’s sub-consultant for the EIR, the project is estimated to generate 313 trips per hour during the A.M. peak hour and 499 trips per hour during the P.M. peak hour. Furthermore, according to the EIR, the proposed project will generate a daily average of 6,263 trips, which is based on a mixed use and an assumed percentage of internal and external use of the resort hotel and its ancillary uses, such as the golf facilities, spa and fitness facilities and conference center. Nevertheless, considering the ambient growth factor of 0.5 percent which assesses future growth to the year 2010, other local projects that will influence traffic volume such as Ocean Trails, Subregion 1, Golden Cove Shopping Center’s renovations, and the relocation of the Peninsula Montessori School to the Golden Cove Center to name a few, the EIR concluded that with the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, potential traffic impacts may be mitigated to a level of insignificance. Briefly, the recommended mitigation measures, as stated on page 5.12-45 of the EIR, are as follows:

  • Widen Palos Verdes Drive South to a 100 foot right-of-way immediately adjacent to the project site.
  • Provide a 150 foot minimum left turn pocket for vehicles traveling west of Palos Verdes Drive South and desiring to turn left into the hotel’s main entrance.
  • A traffic signal shall be installed by the applicant at the project entrance.
  • Roadway improvements at the following intersections:

  • Silver Spur at Hawthorne Boulevard – re-stripe south leg with two left turn lanes, one through lane and one right turn lane; and provide north leg with one left turn lane, two through lanes and one right turn lane.
  • Hawthorne Blvd. at Palos Verdes Drive North – provide west leg with one left turn lane, one shared left/through lane, one through lane and one right turn lane.
  • Western Avenue at 25th Street – provide east leg with one left turn lane, two through lanes and one right turn lane.

It should be noted that the City’s Traffic Engineer and the City’s Traffic Consultant for the project’s EIR, verbally stated that the trips generated by the project will be less than the trips generated by the former Marineland Aquatic Park. However, no formal study was completed that analyzed trips generated by Marineland in comparison to the current proposal.

In regards to on-site circulation, the main entrance driveway to the Resort Hotel is served by Palos Verdes Drive South. According to the plans, the entrance driveway will be the primary roadway serving the hotel and its ancillary uses, such as the golf clubhouse, the public parking lot, and the spa and fitness center. The design of the main entrance spine has been reviewed by the Director of Public Works and found to be sufficient in width as two 20 foot lanes separated by a 10 foot landscaped median. According to the EIR, a signal at the main hotel entrance is warranted due to the A.M. and P.M. peak hour traffic forecasts. As for the proposed golf cart tunnel that will be located under Palos Verdes Drive South serving the Upper Point Vicente Area, concerns have been raised in regards to its impacts to Palos Verdes Drive South during the construction phase. The applicant has indicated that their engineers have developed a plan that will maintain one lane operation in both directions on Palos Verdes Drive South during construction. Furthermore, prior to issuance of permits, the City will review the appropriate engineered plans to ensure that there are no impacts to public safety and welfare. As for security concerns raised with the proposed tunnel, it is recommended that a roll-up gate be installed at the points of entry so that the tunnel will be inaccessible when the golf course and public trails are closed. This will prevent potential vandalism and undesired loitering. The applicant also proposes to improve the existing driveway curb cut and dirt road along Palos Verdes Drive South for vehicular access to the proposed Maintenance facility along the Salvation Army boundary line. If permitted by the City to construct a maintenance facility on City property, the improvements to the driveway curb cut must be reviewed and approved by the Director of Public Works prior to issuance of building permits.

In regards to emergency access, the applicant is currently speaking with representatives from Los Angeles County Fire Department on this issue. According to the RHA plans, emergency egress from the hotel area will be maintained through the public park and trails located near the Fishing Access area of the site. Furthermore, various portions of the trails have been designed to accommodate fire or ambulance access to ensure adequate ability for emergency response.

As noted in the July 10th Staff Report, the Traffic Committee concluded their discussion on the traffic related issues for the proposed project at their July 9th meeting. Based on the information provided to the Traffic Committee, which includes the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), Preliminary Response to Comments, Response’s to the Traffic Committee’s Comments and relevant Staff Reports, the Traffic Committee was able to analyze the project’s traffic related impacts and resolve the following:

  1. That the proposed Long Point Resort Project will not result in significant traffic impacts that cannot be reduced to a level of less than significance with the imposition of the appropriate mitigation measures;
  2. That the Planning Commission consider the Recommended Conditions of Approval contained in the Mitigation Measures section of the EIR and the attached conditions of approval (see attachment);
  3. That, as a recommended Condition of Approval, the project be designed so that no golf course element will allow probable flight of a golf ball into, onto or over an automotive roadway; and,
  4. That Staff shall negotiate with those agencies within whose jurisdiction enforcement of the mitigation measures will lie, to get an affirmative commitment from those jurisdictions to implement the mitigation measured imposed by the City, or such other mitigation measures as those agencies deem appropriate to mitigate the traffic impacts identified in the EIR.

As such, the Traffic Committee approved the amended Staff recommendation with a 5-1 vote. In response to the Planning Commission’s request, the Traffic Committee Chairman, Jim Jones, has informed Staff that he plans on attending the July 24th Commission meeting to provide further clarification on the Traffic Committee’s actions if needed. Furthermore, the City’s Traffic Sub-consultant will also be in attendance at the July 24th meeting to answer any questions the Commission may have pertaining to the traffic studies conducted for the proposed project and information contained in the Traffic Section (5.12) of the Environmental Impact Report.

Parks and Recreation Amenities

At the July 10th meeting, the Commission directed Staff to provide information regarding the existing public parks within the City. As such, with the cooperation of the City’s Recreation and Parks Department as well as information obtained in the City’s Website, Staff has prepared two tables that distinguish developed and undeveloped parks operated by the City, their acreage and land use designation based on the General Plan’s Land Use Map and the City’s Zoning Map.

TABLE 1

DEVELOPED PUBLIC PARK

ACREAGE

GENERAL PLAN DESIGNATION

ZONING MAP DESIGNATION

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

79.16 acres

RP

OR

Calle de Suenos Trail

.12 acres

Residential

RS-1

Civic Center/Point Vicente Park

72.90 acres

RP

OR / I

Clovercliff Park

.18 acres

Residential

RS-4

Del Cerro Park

3.94 acres

RP

OR

Eastview Park

9.9 acres

RP

OR

Hesse Park

28.68 acres

RA

OR

Ladera Linda Park

11.21 acres

Institutional

Institutional

Martingale Park

.98 acres

RP

OH

Point Vicente Interpretive Center

17 acres

RP

OR

Ryan Park

11.61 acres

RA

OR

Vanderlip Park

4.77 acres

RP

RS-1

Wallace Ranch Park

.69 acres

Residential

RS-4

TOTAL ACREAGE

241.14 acres

TABLE 2

UNDEVELOPED CITY OPEN SPACE

ACREAGE

GENERAL PLAN DESIGNATION

ZONING MAP DESIGNATION

Forrestal Property

157.77 acres

RP

OH/RS-1

Grandview Park

17.54 acres

RP

OR

McKay Property

2.05 acres

Commercial

CN

Shoreline Park

52.76 acres

RP

OR / OH

Switchbacks

94.5 acres

RP

OH

Cherry Hill Lots (6)

2.56 acres

RP

OH

Portuguese Bend Archery Range

45.15 acres

RP

OH

TOTAL ACRES

372.33 acres

In addition to the parks and open space identified in the above tables, there are several other parks within the City limits that are not operated by the City, but rather operated by the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department. Such parks include, Point Vicente Fishing Access (11 acres) and Friendship Park (a 123 acre park of which 97 acres are within the City). Additionally, the County operates the Los Verdes Golf Course (165 acres) which is designated by the City’s Land Use Map as a "Recreational- Active" land use. According to Staff’s analysis, the County operated public lands equate to approximately 273 acres.

According to the City’s General Plan and Development Code, the land use designations identified in the above tables vary between commercial, residential, institutional and recreational uses. To better understand the permitted uses in regards to recreational activities, the permitted passive and recreational uses, as stated in the General Plan, are as follows:

The Recreational Passive (RP) designation allows the following uses:

  • Nature studies
  • Hiking trails
  • Picnicking areas

The Recreational Active (RA) designation allows for the following uses in addition to uses permitted in under the passive designation:

  • Recreation buildings
  • Tennis courts
  • Baseball fields
  • Playgrounds
  • Volleyball courts

According to the City’s website, the above parks are improved with various amenities that serve the general public (see attachment). The extent and nature of the amenities vary depending on whether a City park has been designated for active or passive recreational uses. In general, both types of City parks include amenities such as designated children’s play area, drinking fountains, community buildings, picnic tables, public restrooms, public pathways and/or trails, and public parking areas. In addition, some of the City parks classified for active recreational uses include basketball courts, soccer fields, softball fields, tennis courts and volleyball courts. It should be noted that the availability of these amenities vary between parks.

In order to help the Planning Commission determine whether the City maintains adequate public land for recreational opportunities, Staff referred to the Development Code for standards pertaining to park and recreation requirements. Pursuant to Section 16.20.100(C) of the Development Code, as a general standard, it has been found and determined that for the public interest, convenience, health, welfare and safety, four (4) acres of property for each one thousand (1,000) persons residing within the City should be devoted to local park and recreational purposes. This is the basis for determining how much parkland should be dedicated when new tract or parcel maps are approved. According to information obtained from the 2000 Census, 41,145 people reside in the City. As such, the City should maintain at least 164.58 acres of property for park and recreational purposes.

According to information previously mentioned, the City maintains approximately 613.47 acres of open public space in the form of either developed parks or undeveloped open space. Additionally, with the three County operated park facilities, the City contains approximately 886.47 acres of recreational property. Therefore, based on park criteria set forth in the Development Code, the City currently exceeds the minimum park acreage standards by 448.89 acres for City operated parks and 721.89 acres for combined City and County parks.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Project Use of the Upper Point Vicente Area

In the July 10th Staff Report, Staff provided the Commission with a list of issues that the Commission may wish to discuss when considering the applicant’s request to use the Upper Point Vicente Area for the proposed project. In response to Staff’s list and the discussion amongst the Commissioners at the July 10th meeting, Chairman Lyon requested that Staff prepare a table outlining criteria to be used in evaluating the use of City property along with the perceived advantages and disadvantages of the project as originally proposed versus no project, as they relate to the criteria. The table prepared by Staff uses previous information presented to the Commission and has been attached as an exhibit to this Staff Report. Chairman Lyon would like each Commissioner to review and augment this table as they see fit, in preparation for the discussion of the use of City property for the proposed project, at the meeting.

Environmental Impact Report:

As previously indicated, additional studies have been conducted in regards to the biology section of the EIR. Because of the breadth and scope of the availability of new biological information, Staff, in conjunction with the applicant and the City Attorney, have determined that it is in the best interest of the public and the process that the biological section of the EIR be recirculated for public review. The recirculation will provide the public an additional opportunity to review and comment on this specific section of the EIR along with the additional studies that have been completed since circulation of the Draft EIR. Although it is likely that the recirculation will not be completed by the Commission’s target date for forwarding a recommendation to the City Council, the Planning Commission may still forward a recommendation to the City Council as the Commission will be provided with all the recirculated information prior to August 14, 2001. Nevertheless, the Final EIR, including the Response to Comments and Technical Appendix was distributed to the Commission at the July 10th meeting and made available for public review at Hesse Park, City Hall, the Peninsula Library and the Miraleste Library on July 11. The Final EIR will be made available on the City’s website by July 23 and the Response to Comments will be made available on the website by August 1. Pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a copy of the response to comments will be mailed to those agencies who submitted comments on the Draft EIR. Additionally, Staff will be sending a notice to all commentators on the Draft EIR informing them of the availability of the Final EIR, Response to Comments and Technical Appendix.

Finance Advisory Committee Status

The Finance Advisory Committee (FAC) continues to meet and discuss the financial aspects of the proposed project. The most recent FAC meeting was held on June 27, 2001. It appears that recommendations from the FAC to the City Council will be forwarded sometime in early September.

Future Discussion

The following topics will be discussed in detail in the future Staff Reports:

  • Feasibility of agricultural use on Long Point property
  • Draft Conditions of Approval, if requested by the Planning Commission.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • UPVA Criteria Table
  • Parks Amenities Matrix
  • Traffic Committee Staff Report and Conditions of Approval
  • Public Comments


3.APPEAL OF THE APPROVAL OF HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 915 and SITE PLAN REVIEW PERMIT NO. 8948: Podesta Designs, representing John & Genoveva Robinson, (applicant); Michael & Elizabeth Zuanich; Brian, Bill & Sandra Ruddock; Charles & Suzanne Henning; Albert & Pauline Brockmann; Tom & Helen Matulich; and Ronal & Donna Reynolds, (appellants): (ES)

TO:

CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM:

DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE:

JULY 24, 2001

SUBJECT:

APPEAL OF HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 915 & SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8948 (Land Owner: John & Genoveva Robinson, represented by Podesta Design; Appellants: Michael & Elizabeth Zuanich; Brian, Bill & Sandra Ruddock; Charles & Suzanne Henning; Albert & Pauline Brockmann; Tom & Helen Matulich; and Ronal & Donna Reynolds; Subject Property: 28633 Mt. Lassen Lane [Thomas Guide Page 823, J-2]).

Staff Coordinator: Eduardo Schonborn, aicp, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, denying the appeal and upholding the Director’s conditional approval of Height Variation No. 915 and Site Plan Review No. 8948.

BACKGROUND

On June 12, 2001, the Planning Commission considered the appeal of the Director’s approval of Height Variation No. 915 and Site Plan Review No. 8948. The Director’s approval allowed the construction of 544 square feet of one-story additions and a 1,208 square foot second story addition to an existing one-story residence.

Staff’s recommendation at that time was to deny the appeal and uphold the Director’s approval since all of the applicable Height Variation findings could be made in a positive manner to warrant approval of the applications. Staff’s analysis had concluded that the proposed two-story addition would not significantly impair views from the viewing areas of other residences; the addition would not result in an unreasonable infringement of privacy; and the addition would be compatible with the neighborhood character.

At the June 12th meeting, however, the Commission heard testimony and concerns from the appellants, whom indicated that the addition would impair views, would create privacy infringement, and would not be compatible with the immediate neighborhood due to the design of the addition. There was also concern among the appellants as to how the applicant conducted the "Early Neighbor Consultation" process. As such, some Commissioners felt that the "Early Neighbor Consultation" process may not have been properly conducted by the applicant. Subsequently, the Commission continued the item and directed that the applicant, along with interested neighbors, meet with Staff to clearly communicate concerns and discuss the project, to hopefully come up with a compromise solution. Thus, the Planning Commission continued the item to tonight’s meeting.

DISCUSSION

As directed by the Planning Commission, Staff gave the appellants three dates and times to choose from in order to conduct the meeting. The meeting occurred on Thursday June 28, 2001 at City Hall. The attached roster illustrates those in attendance, which were predominantly those that attended the June 12th Planning Commission meeting.

Those in attendance expressed generally the same concerns as expressed at the Planning Commission meeting, such as the location of the proposed second story, view impairment, privacy infringement, and loss of openness. Predominantly, there was some discussion regarding the overall height of the second story, and suggestions to relocate the second story further towards the south side of the structure, such that the second story façade is articulated on the north side of the structure. There was also ample discussion regarding the outdoor lighting that was directly illuminating the residence to the south.

After hearing the specific concerns of the neighbors, the applicant and owner discussed possible methods to address the concerns. The applicant informed the residents that they could not relocate the second story, as it would result in a second story that is closer to the adjacent residence to the south and would require additional structural upgrades that would be cost prohibitive. However, the applicant indicated that a lower second story addition could be accommodated, and latticework could be placed on the side of the balconies. Further, to address the lighting issue, the owner indicated that the outdoor light would be removed. The meeting concluded with the applicant agreeing to submit a modified plan.

On July 10, 2001, the applicant submitted a modified plan that incorporates a lower second story ridgeline and latticework on the side of the balconies. The modified ridgeline has been lowered by one foot. Thus, the height of the second story addition has been reduced from 24’6" to 23’6", while the overall height, as measured from lowest finished grade, has been reduced from 25-feet to 24-feet. Further, latticework has been incorporated on the sides of the balconies to further reduce visibility onto some of the neighbors. No other design changes have been proposed. All of the design and façade improvements proposed as part of the plan presented to the Planning Commission on June 12, 2001 continue to be proposed, such as window placement, balcony size (which continue to project a maximum of 18-inches), location of the additions and size of the addition. Staff believes that the proposed ridge height reduction is consistent with past methods used to reduce bulk and mass of a structure.

Given the concerns expressed by the Planning Commission at the June 12th meeting regarding the applicant’s neighborhood consultation efforts, Staff reviewed the information submitted by the applicant that is required by the City to comply with the Early Neighbor Consultation process. Of the 179 property owners within a 500-foot radius of the subject property, the applicant obtained 47 signatures, or 26.2%; while of the 15 property owners within a 100-foot radius of the subject property, the applicant obtained 13 signatures, or 86.6%. The Development Code requires a minimum of 25% and 75% of signatures of property owners within a 500-foot and 100-foot radius, respectively. Therefore, as indicated in the Memorandum dated March 28, 2001, Staff believes that the applicant was successful in obtaining the required number of signatures to satisfy this criterion. Furthermore, the meeting held on June 28th, between the applicant and the interested parties served as a forum for the neighbors to directly communicate their concerns to the applicant and further satisfy the goal of the Early Neighbor Consultation requirement.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the direction of the Planning Commission, a meeting was conducted with the applicant, landowner, neighbors and Staff. Staff believes that the meeting was successful in that dialogue and communication occurred between the neighbors and the landowner regarding the design of the proposed project. However, based on the modified design, Staff does not believe that all of the neighbors’ concerns were directly addressed by the additional modifications proposed by the applicant. Nonetheless, Staff incorporated conditions that reflect the lower height and the latticework on the balconies. Notwithstanding, Staff still believes that the findings can be made in a positive manner to approve Height Variation No. 915 and Site Plan Review No. 8948 for the reasons discussed in the attached Memorandums. Staff believes that the second story addition will not result in significant view impairment, will be compatible with the immediate neighborhood, and will not result in privacy infringement. Therefore, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, thereby upholding the Director’s approval of Height Variation No. 915 and Site Plan Review No. 8948, subject to the conditions contained in Exhibit "A".

ALTERNATIVES

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

  1. Uphold the appeal, thereby overturning the Director’s decision to conditionally approve Height Variation No. 915 and Site Plan Review No. 8948, rendering the permit null and void, and direct Staff to prepare and return to the next Planning Commission meeting with an appropriate P.C. Resolution; or
  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 P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__
  • Exhibit "B" – Sign-in Sheet for June 28, 2001 meeting between Staff, neighbors and landowner
  • Exhibit "C" – Planning Commission Minutes of June 12, 2001
  • Exhibit "D" – Memorandum to Planning Commission of June 12, 2001
  • Exhibit "E" – Memorandum approving Height Variation No. 915 & Site Plan Review No. 8948

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

4.GRADING PERMIT NO. 2243 and SITE PLAN REVIEW PERMIT NO. 8987: Larry Peha, (applicant), 4105 Palos Verdes Drive East. (ES)

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT:

PROJECT

ADDRESS:

APPLICANT:

 

 

PHONE:

LANDOWNER:

 

 

PHONE:

CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

JULY 24, 2001

GRADING PERMIT NO. 2243 & SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8987

 

4105 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST

(THOMAS GUIDE PAGE 823, G-4)

LARRY PEHA

67 14TH STREET

HERMOSA BEACH, CA 90254

(310) 372-3755

ANDRE RUGGERI

633 SANFORD AVENUE

WILMINGTON, CA 90744

NONE PROVIDED

STAFF COORDINATOR:EDUARDO SCHONBORN, aicp, ASSOCIATE PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION:ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A new one-story, single-family residential structure with detached garage on a vacant lot, at a height of 13.4-feet as measured from the highest pre-construction pad elevation to ridge, and an overall height of 17-feet as measured from the lowest finish grade elevation to ridge. Further, a total of 1,480 cubic yards of grading is proposed to accommodate the new 1,850 square foot single-family residential structure and the 556 square foot detached garage.

RECOMMENDATION:ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-__, CONDITIONALLY APPROVING GRADING PERMIT NO. 2243 AND SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 8987.

REFERENCES:

ZONING:RS-2

LAND USE:SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE

CODE SECTIONS:17.02 & 17.48.060

GENERAL PLAN:RESIDENTIAL 2-4 DU/ACRE

TRAILS PLAN:N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN:N/A

CEQA STATUS:EXEMPT (CLASS 3)

ACTION DEADLINE:JULY 31, 2001

BACKGROUND

On September 19, 2000, Grading Permit No. 2243 and Site Plan Review No. 8987 were submitted to the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department for processing. The applications proposed 773 cubic yards of grading to facilitate the construction of a one-story single-family residence and detached garage on a vacant parcel. Staff deemed the applications incomplete pending the submittal of additional information. During the course of obtaining the additional information, the applicant’s engineer recalculated the amount of grading to include the caisson foundation system and the previously unaccounted balance of cut and fill, which resulted in a total grading of 1,480 cubic yards. As such, upon submittal of the additional information and approval of the geotechnical report, Staff deemed Grading Permit No. 2243 and Site Plan Review No. 8987 complete on June 1, 2001.

On July 6, 2001, Staff mailed notices of public hearing to 90 property owners within a 500-foot radius from the subject property. Further, a notice of public hearing was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on July 7, 2001. Staff received one comment as a result of this notification.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

In accordance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Staff has determined this project to be categorically exempt under Class 3 – New Construction; therefore, no further environmental review is required.

Class 3 exempts projects that consist of the construction of limited numbers of new structures, and specifies application of this exemption to the construction of single family residences not in conjunction with the building of two or more such units. The proposed project involves construction of a single-family residential unit on a vacant parcel. Therefore, Staff has made this determination because the proposed project consists of construction of a single-family residential unit, which is consistent with this exemption.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject property was a lot of record existing prior to the City’s incorporation. The subject parcel is a vacant RS-2 lot measuring 3.5-acres in area, predominantly sloped but contains a small flat pad area measuring approximately 1,200 square feet in area. The property is accessed via Palos Verdes Drive East, and contains an improved private driveway easement that also provides access to the adjacent property to the north. The adjacent properties to the north, south and west are improved with single family residential structures; while Palos Verdes Drive East bounds the subject property on the east side.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The proposal consists of 1,480 cubic yards of overall earth movement. Specifically, 1,309 cubic yards of grading will be conducted to expand the 1,200 square foot flat building pad area to accommodate the proposed residence, garage and driveway, pool and spa, and a yard area; while the remaining 171 cubic yards will be done to accommodate a garden area.

The proposed grading activity will facilitate the construction of a new one-story residence on the vacant lot with a detached two-car garage. The proposed residence will consist of a 1,850 square foot residential structure and a 556 square foot detached two-car garage, resulting in a total structure size of 2,406 square feet. The proposed one-story structure will measure 13.4-feet high, as measured from the preconstruction (existing) grade at the highest elevation of the existing building pad area covered by the structure to the ridgeline of the structure. The overall height of the residence will measure 17 feet, as measured from the point where the lowest foundation meets finished grade to the ridgeline of the structure. The new detached garage will maintain a 12-foot overall height, as measured from finished grade to top of ridgeline.

The highest preconstruction grade elevation to be covered by the structure is 778.00 feet, while the ridge height of the proposed structure will be at a maximum elevation of 791.40 feet; thereby resulting in a 13.4-foot high structure. The lowest finished grade to be covered by the structure is 774.40 feet, resulting in an overall height of 17 feet when measured from highest ridge elevation (791.40 feet) to the lowest grade elevation where foundation meets finished grade (774.40 feet). The height of the proposed structure will be within the maximum allowable building height envelope established by the City’s Development Code for lots with a building pad (16’0" high as measured from preconstruction pad elevation to ridge, and 20’0" high as measured from the lowest finish pad elevation covered by the structure).

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

Pursuant to Section 17.76.040 of the Development Code, the City requires a major grading permit for grading activity that will involve the following:

    • excavation, fill, or both, in excess of 50 cubic yards in a two year period; or
    • cut or fill more than 5' in depth or height; or
    • excavation or fill encroaching in or altering a natural drainage course*; or
    • excavation or fill on an extreme slope (35% or more)*.

*notwithstanding exemptions in Section 17.76.040.C

Since the applicant is proposing overall earth movement of 1,480 cubic yards, a major grading permit is required, which requires review and approval by the Planning Commission. Section 17.76.040.E of the Development Code establishes criteria that the Planning Commission uses to evaluate, review and act on major grading permit applications. The following Development Code criteria are discussed below (Development Code criteria are indicated in bold type, followed by Staff's analysis in normal type).

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

The applicant is applying for the appropriate planning permit to develop the vacant lot for a new, one-story single-family residence. The lot is zoned residential, RS-2, allowing for the development of single family homes, which is the permitted primary use of the subject lot as established by the City’s Development Code. Of the 1,480 cubic yards of proposed total grading, 1,309 cubic yards will be conducted under the building footprint and the adjacent areas to expand the existing small building pad area. The building pad expansion will accommodate the new 1,850 square foot residence and a 556 square foot detached garage. Further, the expansion will facilitate construction of a pool and flat yard area that is normally associated with residential developments. The total amount of earthwork will not exceed what is necessary for the permitted primary use of the lot since the majority of the grading activity will be conducted for the new residence, garage and driveway areas. Generally, the grading will be concentrated to a 12,000 square foot area of the 3.5-acre lot, which is the area that will accommodate the residential improvements. Thus, Staff believes that the grading will not be excessive because the grading is concentrated only to a 12,000 square foot (0.3 acre) area of the lot, which will expand the building pad and create an area on the lot that can sufficiently support the residential uses on the lot. Thus, the remaining 3.1 acres of the lot will not be cleared or improved. Therefore, Staff has determined that the grading activity is reasonable in scope (cubic yards and depth), and is not excessive to accommodate the residential use of the lot. Thus, this finding can be made and adopted.

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

The proposed grading activity and construction of a single-family residence will develop one of the few remaining lots in the general area. The new structure will largely be situated in the middle of the large 3.5-acre subject site, at the location of an existing small 1,200 square foot pad area. This small pad area will be expanded to ensure the construction of a residential structure on the site. The majority of the subject site is sloped, where the adjacent property to the west is located approximately 46 feet higher than the finish pad elevation on the subject site. Thus, a one-story structure with a maximum ridgeline elevation of 791.40’ will not project into a view from the adjacent residence to the west. Further, the proposed grading will not raise the building pad site to create a higher structure than allowed by the City’s Development Code, while the grading and the structure will be concentrated on a small portion of the lot. Therefore, since the proposed grading will not alter the topography of the site to create a higher lot, nor raise the pad elevation at the location of the proposed residential structure, Staff has determined that the proposed grading and residential structure will not impact the visual relationship, or views from the viewing area of another parcel, and this finding can be made and adopted.

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

As indicated above, the grading will be concentrated on a 12,000 square foot portion of the lot; thus, the remaining 3.1 acres will not be altered. The grading will be conducted to enlarge the building pad area to prepare the site for construction of the residential structure. As indicated above, the building pad currently measures approximately 1,200 square feet, and the grading will enlarge this flat area to 12,000 square feet to accommodate the improvements on the subject property. Thus, the grading will be concentrated to a small portion of the subject property, with no disturbance to 3.1 acres of the 3.5-acre site.

The project will also result in three, 42-inch high retaining walls downslope of the new residence and a 6-foot-high retaining wall upslope from the new residence. The downslope retaining walls will be mitigated and softened by adequate landscaping, while the upslope retaining wall will be located behind the new residence and not be visible from the street. Further, since the location of the project will be in the middle of the lot, which is 85 feet higher than the Palos Verdes Drive East roadway, the project and the grading will not be readily visible from the public right-of-way.

Therefore, since the proposed grading is to accommodate the residential structure, the proposal minimizes disturbance to the existing contours of the parcel by concentrating the grading to a relatively small portion of the site, which contains the pad area. As such, Staff believes this finding can be made and adopted.

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

The proposed grading will enlarge the building pad to facilitate the construction of a new 1,850 square foot one-story single-family residential structure. Thus, the grading and the residence will be concentrated on a portion of the lot that measures 12,000 square feet, which is relatively small in comparison to the 3.5-acre subject property. As indicated above, 3.1 acres of the subject property will not be disturbed through grading or land sculpturing. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed grading takes into account the preservation of natural topographic features. As such, this finding can be made and adopted.

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

Pursuant to Section 17.02.040.A.6 of the Municipal Code, "Neighborhood Character" is defined to consider the existing physical characteristics of an area. The below mentioned properties have been identified as comprising the immediate neighborhood. The Code language is boldface, and Staff's analysis is in normal type:

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

Compatibility with neighborhood character is based on a comparison to the other structures in the immediate area, which is comprised of the ten closest properties. The subject property is not located in a "typical" neighborhood, since it is a large sloped parcel that is accessed via Palos Verdes Drive East and is physically separated from the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Further, it is not part of a larger tract development that defines the character of the adjacent parcels that are accessed via Knoll View Drive and Via Frascati. Nonetheless, Table No. 1 below illustrates the ten properties and structures determined to be in the immediate neighborhood as defined by the Code.

Table No. 1

ADDRESS

LOT SIZE

STRUCTURE SIZE*

NO. OF STORIES

4345 Via Frascati

49,300 sq.ft.

4,061 sq.ft.

One

4341 Via Frascati

23,210 sq.ft.

3,120 sq.ft.

Two

4333 Via Frascati

16,750 sq.ft.

2,994 sq.ft.

Two

4329 Via Frascati

12,640 sq.ft.

2,900 sq.ft.

Two

4325 Via Frascati

19,760 sq.ft.

2,178 sq.ft.

Two

4321 Via Frascati

21,720 sq.ft.

3,200 sq.ft.

Two

4317 Via Frascati

14,730 sq.ft.

3,000 sq.ft.

Two

4201 PV Drive East

76,670 sq.ft.

2,532 sq.ft.

One

29700 Knoll View

36,590 sq.ft.

3,127 sq.ft.

One

29740 Knoll View

15,450 sq.ft.

3,120 sq.ft.

One

Average

28,682 sq.ft.

3,023 sq.ft.

N/A

4105 PV Drive East

(Project Site)

152,460 sq.ft.

(3.5 acres)

1,850 sq.ft.

One

* Please note that the above calculations for structure size are based on building permits on file with the City and do not include the garage area.

The adjacent neighborhood is comprised of one-story and two-story structures. Table No. 1 above provides details of the structure sizes of the residences in the neighborhood, which range in size from 2,178 square feet to 4,061 square feet, averaging 3,023 square feet. The proposed one-story residence will measure 1,850 square feet, which is smaller than the range of structure sizes in the neighborhood and smaller than the average structure size. Thus, the new residence will be the smallest residence in the neighborhood. However, due to the topography of the area, the appearance of the new residence will be separate from the neighborhood. Due to the topography of the site and concentration of the new residence on a small area of the lot, there will be a physical separation from the neighborhood. Furthermore, since the new structure will be 85-feet above the Palos Verdes Drive East roadway elevation, the structure will not be visible from the street. Thus, Staff believes that the structure size will not be out of character with the neighborhood.

The proposed residence will result in 10-percent lot coverage, which includes the existing paved driveway area that provides access to the adjacent property to the west. Thus, the resulting lot coverage conforms with the 40-percent maximum allowed in the RS-2 Zoning District. As such this finding can be made and adopted.

(2)Architectural styles, including facade treatments, structure height, open space between structures, roof design, the apparent bulk or mass of the structure, number of stories, and building materials.

The existing homes in the surrounding area are ranch-style homes built as part of a tract development. The homes in the neighborhood contain a varying mix of exterior finishes and gable and hip-pitch roof designs. Although the proposed residence will be a custom built home, the residence will incorporate a gable roof design with mission tile roof, smooth plaster finish and wood accents. These materials are consistent with the varying designs and styles in the adjacent neighborhood. However, as indicated above, the structure will not be readily visible from the street since it is at a higher elevation and is separated from the adjacent neighborhoods. Thus, the apparent bulk and mass and the architectural design will be mitigated by the one-story design, and by the location of the residence at a substantially higher pad elevation, which will not allow direct observation of the subject property. Therefore, since the new residence will not be visible from the street, this finding can be made and adopted.

(3)Front yard setbacks.

The proposed residence will be located over 170 feet from, and 85 feet higher than, the Palos Verdes Drive East roadway. The proposed residence complies with the front yard setback requirement, and exceeds the 20-foot setback that is common among the residences in the neighborhood. As such, this finding can be made and adopted.

Note: Findings E6 through E8 are not applicable to the subject parcel due to the proposed development. The project does not involve the construction of a new tract (E6); and the proposed grading does not involve street construction, although any work in the public right-if-way to construct the driveway approach requires Public Works Department approval (E7). Lastly, no wildlife habitats have been identified on the subject property (E8).

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

The project conforms to all of the standards of criteria E.9, except one. The Development Code allows one downslope retaining wall up to 42-inches in height. The proposal is not consistent with this criterion as there will be three, 42-inch high downslope retaining walls to accommodate the pool and decking area, which will be lower than the residence.

However, according to the Development Code, a proposal may deviate from the standards contained in criteria E.9 when the Planning Commission determines that unusual topography, soil conditions, previous grading or other circumstances make such grading reasonable and necessary. To do this, the Planning Commission must make the following findings contained in E.10.

E.10.The Director may grant a grading permit for development in excess of that permissible under Subsection E.9 of this section upon the finding that:

    1. That the criteria of subsections E.1 through E.8 are satisfied.

Staff reviewed the project in accordance with the established grading criteria in the Development Code, and determined that all criteria of E.1 through E.8 were satisfied. Specifically, Staff found that the proposed grading is not excessive for that which is permitted for the primary use of the lot; the grading minimizes disturbance to the natural contours of the site; and the new residence is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character. Therefore, this finding can be made.

B.That approval for the grading application is consistent with Section 17.76.040.A, the purpose and intent to allow for grading activity.

Development Code Section 17.76.040.A. "[provides for] ensuring that the development of each parcel of land…occurs in a manner harmonious with adjacent lands so as to…maintain the visual continuity of hill and valley without unsightly continuous benching of buildable sites". The proposed grading is for the expansion of the existing pad area to enlarge the builable and usable portion of the lot to a 12,000 square foot area, which will accommodate the construction of the new residence and related ancillary uses. The new retaining walls will allow for the pool and decking area at a lower elevation than the new residence; thereby, stepping down with the topography of the site. Thus, providing multiple small walls creates a visual effect where the improvements keep with the topography of the site. Further, landscaping will be provided at the base of the retaining walls to soften the appearance of the walls, and thereby obstructing the visibility of the walls. Thus, the walls will allow for the expansion of the pad area to accommodate the construction of a 1,850 square foot, one-story residence on the 3.5-acre site without adversely affecting the natural contours of the site. Therefore, Staff has determined that this project is consistent with the purpose and intent for grading activity and will maintain the visual continuity of the transitional slope.

C.That approval of the grading application will not constitute a granting of special privilege inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity.

The applicant is proposing to expand the existing 1,200 square foot pad area to accommodate a new residence, which is the permitted primary use of the site. The existing building pad is constrained by the sloping topography of the site, and it is currently too small to accommodate a residential structure and the associated ancillary uses. Thus, grading into the extreme slopes and allowing for multiple downslope retaining walls will facilitate the construction of the residence and associated uses. This constraint is not evident in other lots in the adjacent neighborhood, since those lots contain large flat buildable areas. Therefore, allowing the applicant to expand the buildable area to a size that is similar to the lot sizes of other properties in the adjacent neighborhoods would not constitute a special privilege since other properties are not constrained by topography and are developed with residential structures.

D.That approval of the grading application will not be detrimental to the public safety nor to other property.

The proposed grading activity will not be detrimental to the public safety or to the surrounding properties since the retaining walls will be reviewed, inspected and approved by the Building and Safety Division. The project would be required to comply with all safety standards of the Uniform Building Code, and with the recommendations contained in the approved geotechnical report.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The applicant was required to submit a geotechnical report for review by the City’s Geologist, which has been reviewed and approved. Lastly, Site Plan Review No. 8987 was submitted for the development of the new residence. Staff has determined that the proposed project complies with the minimum development standards established by the City’s Development Code. The project complies with all setback standards, including compliance with the minimum setback requirements, compliance with the 16’/20’ building envelope for lots with a building pad; and contains substantially less coverage than allowed by Code. As such, Staff has found that the proposed residential structure is in compliance with the development standards of the City’s Development Code.

As indicated above, Staff received one correspondence as a result of the notification from Jordan Libit, property owner of 4341 Via Frascati. Although Mr. Libit indicates support of the project, he identified concerns with a future driveway gate, implementation of landscaping in a timely manner, the grading plan and geology, and view impairment. With regards to the driveway gate, the Development Code does not prohibit the gating of driveways and allows the construction of fences and walls up to 42-inches in height without the need for discretionary approvals from the City. However, if the applicant were to construct a wall or fence that exceeds the 42-inch height limit, Planning Department approval would be necessary.

With regards to landscaping, the Development Code does not require the submittal of a landscape plan, nor imposes time limits for the planting of landscaping. However, any foliage that is planted will be limited to the ridgeline height of the residence, if it is determined to be significantly impairing a view. Lastly, with regards to the grading plan, geology, and view impairment, Staff believes that these concerns have been addressed throughout the body of this report.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the analysis above, Staff has determined that all the findings for Grading Permit No. 2243 and Site Plan Review No. 8987 can be made in a positive manner. Staff believes that the proposed 1,480 cubic yards of grading is not excessive to accommodate the proposed single-family residential structure; that disturbance of the existing contours has been minimized; and the proposed grading complies with all grading standards. Lastly, Staff has determined that the proposed residential structure complies with the development standards established by the Development Code, including open space, structure height and setbacks, and is compatible with the immediate neighborhood. Therefore, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission approve Grading Permit No. 2243 and Site Plan Review No. 8987, based upon the evidence and findings contained within the Staff Report, and subject to the conditions contained in Exhibit "A".

ALTERNATIVES

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

  1. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, and provide the applicant with direction in modifying the project; or
  2. Deny Grading Permit No. 2243 and Site Plan Review No. 8987 and direct Staff to prepare the appropriate Resolution for consideration at the next scheduled Planning Commission meeting.

Please note that in the event that this item is continued beyond the July 31, 2001 action deadline, the applicant must agree to a one time 90-day extension of the processing deadline imposed by the State’s Permit Streamlining Act.

Attachments:

  • P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__
  • Letter from Jordan Libit
  • Project Plans

 


5.HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 918 and SITE PLAN REVIEW PERMIT NO. 9165: Mr. & Mrs. Michael Christensen (applicant), 28924 Morro Bay Drive. (AM)

 

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT:

PROJECT

 

ADDRESS:

APPLICANT:

 

 

 

 

PHONE:

LANDOWNER:

 

 

PHONE:

STAFF COORDINATOR:

PREPARED BY:

CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

JULY 24, 2001

HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 918

AND SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 9165

 

28924 MORO BAY DRIVE

LOYD W. MARTIN

CONSULTING ENGINEERS

512 YARMOUTH ROAD

PALOS VERDES ESTATES, CA 90274

(310) 541-8163

MR. & MRS. MICHAEL CHRISTENSEN

28924 MORO BAY DRIVE

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA 90275

(310) 541-6653

ARA MICHAEL MIHRANIAN, ACTING SENIOR PLANNER

GUS ROMO, CONTRACT PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION:A REQUEST TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 1,967 SQUARE-FOOT (SF) ADDITION TO AN EXISTING 2,526 SF TWO-STORY, SPLIT-LEVEL SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE AT A HEIGHT OF 24’-9" AS MEASURED FROM THE LOWEST FINISHED GRADE COVERED BY STRUCTURE. THE PROPOSED ADDITION CONSISTS OF A 564 SF EXPANSION TO THE EXISTING LOWER LEVEL (OF WHICH 240 SF WILL BE ADDED TO THE EXISTING GARAGE), 693 SF TO THE MIDDLE (ENTRANCE) LEVEL, AND A 710 SF EXPANSION TO THE SECOND STORY ABOVE THE EXISTING GARAGE.

RECOMMENDATION:ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-___; APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 918 AND SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 9165.

REFERENCES:

ZONING: RS-4

LAND USE:SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.02, 17.48, AND 17.70

GENERAL PLAN:RESIDENTIAL 2-4 DWELLING UNITS PER ACRE

TRAILS PLAN:N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN:N/A

CEQA:CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 1)

ACTION DEADLINE:AUGUST 7, 2001

BACKGROUND

The subject applications, Height Variation No. 918 and Site Plan Review No. 9165, were submitted to the Planning Department on August 28, 2000. Upon reviewing the application submittals, Staff determined that additional information was needed to adequately review and analyze the request and deemed the applications incomplete on November 9, 2000 and January 2, 2001. Staff worked with the applicant until the necessary items were submitted on May 8, 2001. The applications were then deemed complete on June 7, 2001. On June 20, 2001, public notices were mailed to property owners within a 500-foot radius of the subject property and a notice was published in the Peninsula News on June 23, 2001.

As a result of the public notice, two property owners commented. One couple on Oceanridge Drive sent the attached e-mail to the Planning Department informing Staff of their concern over the maintenance of their view. At one time, the trees on the subject site had grown to obstruct their view. The couple’s property is located above the subject site. Although the trees have since been trimmed, they would like to ensure that any approval is conditioned to maintain foliage at an non-obstructive level in order to prevent future view obstructions to their property. A foliage analysis was conducted and is discussed towards the end of this report under the subheading "Additional Information". Another couple on Moro Bay Drive, adjacent to the subject site on the north, indicated a privacy concern over the second-story windows proposed to be facing their property. This is analyzed within the findings of the report under "unreasonable infringement of privacy".

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

In accordance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Staff has determined this project to be categorically exempt under Class 1 – Additions to Existing Structures.

Class 1 exempts projects that consist of an addition to an existing structure that is either less than 50% of the floor area prior to the development or 2,500, whichever is less, or 10,000 square feet if no new public utilities or services are needed. As proposed, the project consists of a 1,967 square-foot (SF) addition to an existing 2,526 SF single-family residence (2-car garage included). The proposed addition is less than 50% of the pre-construction floor area, and the subject residence is located in an area that is currently served by public utilities. Therefore, it has been determined that the proposed project, under the provisions set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act, qualifies as a Class 1 Categorical Exemption.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The project site is located at 28924 Moro Bay Drive at the end of a cul-de-sac. This area is designated by the City’s Zoning Map as an RS-4 (single-family residential) zoning district. Moro Bay Drive is a relatively short cul-de-sac street with a total of seven (7) single-family homes, including the subject site. The immediate vicinity consists of one and two-story single-family residences. Homes located on the north sides of Oceanridge Drive and Mistridge Drive (the two streets north, south and perpendicular to Moro Bay Drive) have a view of city lights and the harbor area. The subject site is considered a non-view property and has an upslope along its north property line (side yard) which rises approximately 35’ before reaching the view parcels above. All of the homes on Moro Bay Drive are non-view lots.

The home on the site was constructed in 1966 as a 1,718 SF split-level, two-story residence (excluding the two-car garage). Building permit records, however, document a 2,526 SF residence due to the lack of garage area documentation. To maintain consistency, it is standard practice for Staff to use 180 SF per garage space when the garage square-footage is not documented within building permit records. Therefore, the documented area, in this case, resulted in 122 SF less than what is shown on the applicants’ plans. This difference is considered insignificant to the overall proposal.

The site slopes upward from north to south (sideyard - to - sideyard). The existing home was constructed as a two-story, split-level home. The new construction will not alter this design. From the exterior, the site appears to be relatively flat with the exception of approximately 30’ of the south (side) yard area which slopes upward about 15’ to the south property line and another 20’ to the top of the slope.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The proposed project consists of a 1,967 SF addition to an existing single-family residence. The addition consists of a third garage space, an office room, a fourth bathroom, a game room, a great room, a formal dining room, a remodeled kitchen with dining area, and the enlargement of two existing bedrooms.

The Development Code limits additions within the subject RS-4 zone to no more than 16 feet in height unless a Height Variation permit is granted. Pursuant to Section 17.02.040(C)(1)(a)(iii) of the Development Code, a height variation permit must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission if certain scenarios apply, including a proposed addition located above an existing garage that covers more than 60% of the garage footprint. This scenario applies to the proposed project.

The existing home is 22’ in height from the point where the lowest foundation meets finished grade. The proposed addition will increase this height by 2’-9" to 24’-9". In addition to the Height Variation application, the applicants are requesting a Site Plan Review application to allow the additional floor area to the existing lower level that would otherwise not require a Height Variation.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

The following discussion covers the Height Variation and Site Plan Review applications as they relate to the standards set forth in the City’s Development Code for an RS-4 zoning district. Each subsection presents the findings of fact required under that application and provides Staff’s analysis in order to qualify a decision from the approving body. The required findings appear in boldface type, followed by Staff’s analysis in standard type. Additionally, if applicable and under the appropriate finding, Staff’s analysis includes public comments and concerns expressed in correspondence received during the public notification period.

A.HEIGHT VARIATION

Pursuant to Section 17.02.040.C.1.e of the City’s Development Code, in order for the Planning Commission to approve such a project, the following nine (9) findings must be positively made as they relate to the proposed project:

  1. The applicant has complied with the Early Neighborhood Consultation Process established by the City.
  2. The applicant has completed the Early Neighborhood Consultation process by canvassing property owners within 500’ of the subject property, thus, informing them of the proposed project. Under the Early Neighborhood Consultation process, the applicants are required to obtain signatures from 60% of the property owners within the 500’ radius or obtain signatures from 25% of the property owners within 500’ and 70% within the 100’ radius of the subject property. The applicants chose to obtain signatures from 60% of the property owners within the 500’ radius. Based on documentation provided to the City, Staff has determined that 58 of the 90 properties (64%), excluding the applicant, within the 500’ radius of the subject property signed the required form. Furthermore, in accordance with the Height Variation Guidelines, on September 2, 2000, the applicants submitted a letter to the Mesa Palos Verdes Homeowners Association informing them of the proposed project.

    For the record, it should be noted that the proposed plans have changed slightly from the original submittal shown to surrounding property owners. The applicants modified their plans on a few occasions to comply with the City’s Development Code standards. These changes amount to added articulation, an increase of 207 SF in floor area from the original submittal, and additional front and sideyard setbacks. Staff considers the modifications to be minor and, therefore, believes that the Early Neighborhood Consultation process was adequately completed, and this finding can be made.

  3. The structure does not significantly impair a view from the public property that has been identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Specific Plan as City-designated viewing areas.
  4. According to the City’s General Plan and Coastal Specific Plan, the subject property, which is located in a residential tract just south of the Peninsula Shopping Center and north of Crest Road, is not in the view of a City-designated viewing area. Therefore, the proposed project will not significantly impair a view from public property, and this finding can be made.

  5. The proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory.
  6. According to the Development Code, a ridge is defined as an elongated crest or linear series of crests of hills, bluffs, or highlands. A promontory is defined as a prominent mass of land large enough to support development that overlooks or projects onto a lowland or body of water on at least two sides. The subject lot was created when the original tract was developed. It is a non-view lot with an uphill slope along its south (side) property line. No portion of the lot is located on a ridge or promontory. As such, this finding can be made.

  7. The structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view.
  8. Staff has analyzed the proposed project and has determined that it has been designed to minimize the impairment of "protected views" from surrounding properties. Staff reviewed the design concept of the proposed second-story addition as it pertains to mass and bulk and direct impacts to views from surrounding properties. As proposed, the applicants’ request to add a second story over 60% the existing garage, increase the overall height of the home by 2’-9", and expand to the north side of the lot does not impair any views. Properties with views are located approximately 35’ above the subject site along Oceanridge Drive. A silhouette of the second-story addition constructed per City requirements revealed no additional view obstruction. As such, the structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view. Therefore, this finding can be made.

  9. There is no significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application.
  10. Staff has analyzed the existing neighborhood and determined that the homes located on the same street as the subject site, Moro Bay Drive, are all "non-view" lots. Moro Bay Drive is located between and perpendicular to Oceanridge Drive on the southwest and Mistridge Drive on the northeast. These two streets were created in a tier with an approximate elevation difference of 35’ to allow for view lots. The view lots are located on the north side of both streets, facing inland city lights and the harbor area. Due to the substantial difference in elevation, the view lots on Oceanridge Drive will not be affected by the subject 24’-9" high addition. The view lots on Mistridge Drive have views that face directly opposite from the subject site and, therefore, are unaffected as well. As such, the granting of this application will cause no significant cumulative view impairment, and this finding can be made.

  11. The proposed structure, when considered exclusive of foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel.
  12. The construction of the required silhouette allowed Staff to analyze the proposed project as it pertains to view impacts on neighboring properties. Pursuant to the Development Code and the Height Variation Guidelines, a "viewing area," which is protected, is established from the primary living spaces, such as the living room, dining room, kitchen or family room, located on the level nearest grade. The only exception that would allow "protected views" on a second story is when a residence is designed so that the primary living spaces are contained within the upper level of the structure. Furthermore, a master bedroom is considered "viewing area" only when it is the only view from a residence and is located on the same level as the primary living spaces. The following discussion encompasses Staff’s analysis as it pertains to surrounding properties and potential view impacts:

    NORTH – The properties located to the immediate north of the subject property are non-view lots. As previously mentioned in this report, the view lots north of the site are located on the north side of Mistridge Drive, the street parallel to Moro Bay Drive, and have views that face directly opposite from the subject site. Furthermore, Staff did not receive any public comments from residents located to the north of the subject property. Therefore, Staff does not believe the view of properties to the north will be impacted.

    SOUTH – The properties to the south are located on Oceanridge Drive approximately 35’ higher in elevation than the subject site. As indicated previously, the view lots on Oceanridge Drive will not be affected by the subject 24’-9" high addition due to the substantial difference in elevation.

    EAST – The properties directly to the east are located at a similar elevation to that of the subject property and are non-view lots. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project will not impair any views from these parcels.

    WEST – The properties directly to the west are also at a similar elevation to that of the subject property and are non-view lots as well. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project will not impair any views from these parcels.

    Based on the above analysis, Staff believes the proposed project will not significantly impair views from the defined "viewing areas" of properties to the north, south, east or west of the subject site, and, thus, this finding can be made.

  13. The proposed structure complies with all other code requirements.
  14. According to Staff’s analysis, the existing residence, although constructed under the guidelines of Los Angeles County, currently complies with the Residential Development criteria for an RS-4 zoning district, as it pertains to setbacks, lot coverage, and structure height. Furthermore, Staff has also determined that the proposed 1,967 SF addition complies with the current Development Code requirements, as discussed in detail under the Site Plan Review Section of this report.

    In addition to obtaining planning approvals, the applicant will be required to obtain approvals from the City’s Building and Safety Division and the City’s geotechnical consultant prior to issuance of building permits. Therefore, Staff believes this finding can be made in that the proposed addition will be constructed in compliance with the City’s General Plan, Development Code, Uniform Building Code, and all applicable State and Federal laws. As such, this finding can be made.

  15. The proposed structure is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character.

Staff has assessed the surrounding neighborhood to determine the compatibility of the proposed addition. In accordance with the Development Code’s definition of "neighborhood character," Staff’s analysis was based on the following criteria:

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

The following table outlines the lot sizes, structure sizes, and number of stories along with the average lot and structure sizes for the ten- (10) closest lots located on Moro Bay Drive and Oceanridge Drive.

TABLE 1

ADDRESS

LOT SIZE*

STRUCTURE SIZE**

NO. OF STORIES

28918 Moro Bay Drive

10,030 sq. ft.

3,199 sq. ft.

2

28925 Moro Bay Drive

14,100 sq. ft.

2,049 sq. ft.

2

28919 Moro Bay Drive

9,630 sq. ft.

2,236 sq. ft.

2

28911 Moro Bay Drive

9,680sq. ft.

2,656 sq. ft.

2

28920 Newstar Drive

22,160 sq. ft.

2,809 sq. ft.

2

28911 Newstar Drive

13,650 sq. ft.

2,122 sq. ft.

2

29138 Oceanridge Drive

9,080 sq. ft.

3,316 sq. ft.

2

29146 Oceanridge Drive

9,420 sq. ft.

3,540 sq. ft.

2

29152 Oceanridge Drive

9,380 sq. ft.

3,435 sq. ft.

2

29158 Oceanridge Drive

10,380 sq. ft.

3,465 sq. ft.

2

AVERAGE

11,751 sq. ft.

2,883 sq. ft.

2

Subject Site:

28924 Moro Bay Dr.

 

14,350 sq. ft.

 

2,638 sq. ft.

Existing Residence

2

4,605 sq. ft.

Proposed Residence

2

* The above lot calculations were obtained from the Los Angeles County Tax Assessors information.

** Please note that the above calculations for structure size are based on building permits on file with the City and include the garage area, which, if not documented on the building permit, was calculated based on the Development Code’s minimum dimensions for an individual parking stall of 9’x20’ (180 sq. ft.).

According to the table on the previous page, the ten (10) closest residences located on Moro Bay Drive and Oceanridge Drive range between 2,049 SF and 3,540 SF (garage included) and are all two story homes. The subject lot is currently improved with a 2,638 SF two-story, single-family residence (garage included) which is similar in size to the average of 2,883 SF shown in the table above. With the proposed 1,967 SF addition, the subject property will surpass the average by 1,722 SF and be 1,065 SF larger than the largest home shown on the table.

Although the proposed addition will make the home 1,722 SF larger than the average home in the vicinity, a large part of the addition is located on the south portion of the lot. This area faces the upslope, which hides it from the street and surrounding properties. In addition, the home was built with its front plane parallel to the length of the street. This configuration, as well as the location of the home at the end of the cul-de-sac, hide the bulk of the structure and make the proposed additions even less noticeable.

The part of the proposed addition on the north portion of the lot includes a second-story expansion. Originally, the applicants were requesting this addition five (5) feet from the north (side) property line and flush with the front elevation. To provide additional articulation and diminish the bulky appearance, the applicants reduced the size of the addition to provide a 13-foot sideyard setback and stepped back the proposed third garage space six (6) feet from the existing two-car garage.

b.Architectural styles, including facade treatment, structure height, open space between structures, roof design, the apparent bulk or mass of the structure, number of stories and building materials.

The subject property is located within a residential tract that was developed in the early 1960’s with structures that vary in architectural styles. Some of the styles found are California Ranch, Mediterranean, and California Contemporary. The subject residence was built in 1966 with a contemporary design incorporating architectural elements such as a low pitch roof, smooth stucco exterior, and large non-grid windows. The applicants are proposing to maintain the contemporary style but modernize it with wood siding and rectangular aluminum sliding windows with a grid pattern on the side elevations and smooth stucco with arched aluminum sliders along the front elevation.

The improvements also include two new chimneys, two bay windows, and new roof with 3-dimensional composition shingle. The new roof will have the same pitch and design as the existing house.

In terms of mass, bulk, and height, Staff believes substantial articulation has been provided to make the addition more compatible with the surrounding homes. The proposed height is within the standard height of a two-story home with an overall height of 24’-9", as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure to the top of the highest roof ridgeline. Pursuant to the RS-4 Residential Development Standards, the maximum lot coverage for the subject property is 50%. According to the plans, the proposed building footprint is 4,764 SF (garage and driveway areas included). Based on the lot size of 14,350 SF, the proposed lot coverage is 33%, well below the maximum permitted by code. And by providing three different structure setbacks along the front elevation, the mass and bulk of the building appear more compatible with the surrounding homes.

Based on the above analysis, Staff believes that after completion of the proposed project, the subject residence will be compatible with the immediate neighborhood.

c.Front yard setbacks.

The existing structure currently complies with the required twenty (20)-foot front yard setback in that it is setback approximately twenty-one (21) feet from the front property line. The proposed addition has a 22-foot setback at its closest point. According to Staff’s analysis, the majority of the homes in the area are developed with a minimum twenty (20)-foot front yard setback, as required by the Development Code. Therefore, as proposed, the structure will be compatible with the required front yard setbacks set forth in the Development Code and established by the surrounding neighborhood.

Based on the above discussion, Staff believes that the proposed addition is compatible with the immediate neighborhood, and can, therefore, make this finding.

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

According to the layout of the proposed addition, in relation to the surrounding neighborhood, Staff has determined that the proposed project will not result in an unreasonable infringement of privacy if certain conditions are met. The second-story expansion is currently proposed with windows facing the neighbors adjacent to the north. The rear bedroom and bathroom windows have a view into the neighbors’ backyard. These neighbors have voiced their concern over the second-story windows. Since they are downslope from the subject site, Staff believes these two windows could infringe on the neighbors’ privacy. Based on a survey of the street, Staff found that the majority of homes with second stories facing a neighbor on a downslope only have bathroom windows on that particular elevation. In order to mitigate a potential privacy infringement, Staff recommends that the Commission impose a condition that restricts the second-story rear bedroom and master bathroom to clerestory and/or translucent windows (minimum 5’ high from finished floor) on the sides that face the neighbor to the north. No other comments were received during the public noticing period with regards to infringement of privacy. Therefore, Staff believes the proposed project will not create an infringement of privacy with the added condition of approval and can make this finding.

Based on the above discussion regarding the required nine (9) findings for a Height Variation application, Staff believes that the findings for the proposed project can be made and is, thus, recommending approval of Height Variation No. 918.

  1. SITE PLAN REVIEW
  2. According to the Development Code, the purpose of a Site Plan Review application is to enable the Planning Director or the Planning Commission to review development proposals for conformity with the provisions of the Municipal Code that have not already been reviewed under a separate application, such as setbacks and lot coverage. The following table compares the proposed development with the residential development criteria set forth in the Development Code for the RS-4 zoning district:

    TABLE 2

    DEVELOPMENT STANDARD

    REQUIREMENT

    PROPOSED

    FRONT YARD SETBACK

    20’

    21’

    REAR YARD SETBACK

    15’

    22-6"

    SIDE YARD SETBACK

    5’

    13’

    HILLSIDE SIDE YARD SETBACK

    15’ (½ OF VERTICAL HEIGHT OF SLOPE BUT NO MORE THAN 15’)

    13’

    LOT COVERAGE

    50% (maximum)

    33%

    BUILDING HEIGHT

    16’/20’

    24’-9"

     

    According to the above table, the proposed project complies with the Residential Development Standards for an RS-4 zoning district, except for the proposed building height and hillside sideyard setback. The subject site is considered a flat pad by definition. As such, it is restricted to a "by right" height limit of 16’, as measured from the highest grade covered by structure, and 20’, as measured from the lowest grade covered by structure, unless a Height Variation is approved. A Height Variation allows development up to a maximum height of 26’. As discussed in this report, Staff has analyzed the applicants’ request to construct up to a height of 24’-9" with a Height Variation application and has made the appropriate findings for approval.

    With regards to the hillside sideyard setback, the applicant is proposing a reduction to 13’ from the required 15’. The difference in elevation from the toe to the top of the slope is 35’. Pursuant to Section 17.48.030(C)(2) of the City’s Development Code, the required building setback from the toe of the slope must be half of the vertical height of the slope but no more than 15 feet. In this case, a 15’ setback applies due to the 35’ slope height. As such, the applicants must either revise the plans to meet the 15’ setback or submit and obtain approval for a Minor Exception Permit to reduce the required setback by less than 20% to 13’.

    In terms of parking, Section 17.02.030.E.2 of the Development Code states that a minimum of two enclosed parking spaces shall be provided and maintained in a garage on the property of each single-family dwelling unit containing 5,000 square feet or less of habitable floor area. Furthermore, each enclosed parking space shall have an unobstructed ground space of no less than nine (9) feet in width by twenty (20) feet in depth. The project meets this requirement.

    Based on the above table and discussion, Staff believes that the proposed project, with the recommended conditions of approval, complies with the RS-4 residential standards and, thus, warrants a recommendation for approval of Site Plan Review No. 9165.

  3. CODE ENFORCEMENT VIOLATION

On July 11, 2001, the City received a property maintenance complaint against the applicants’ property. The complaint consisted of an unkempt dog kennel and debris, outdoor storage, and trashcans within the front yard of the site in an area visible from the street. The Department’s Code Enforcement Officer confirmed the violation.

Pursuant to Development Code Section 17.86.050, the City may not grant an application for development on any lot the Director has verified that a violation of the Municipal Code exists. Notwithstanding an existing violation, however, the Planning Commission may authorize a permit if it finds that the permit must be granted by virtue of applicable Law, in which case the permit shall be conditioned upon elimination of the existing code violation. Staff believes that the submitted applications may be approved since all of the applicable findings prescribed by the Municipal Code can be made in a positive manner. Furthermore, a condition of approval has been added requiring the property maintenance violation to be corrected to the satisfaction of the City’s Code Enforcement Officer within 30 days of final action on this application by the Planning Commission and before plan check submittal to the Building and Safety Department.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The City mailed out 90 notices to property owners and homeowners associations within 500’ feet of the subject property to inform them of the proposed project. During the noticing period, the Planning Department received one e-mail correspondence and one letter from two separate property owners (see attachments). No other correspondence was submitted to City Staff.

One couple on Oceanridge Drive sent an e-mail to the Planning Department informing Staff of their concern over the maintenance of their view. As stated earlier, they are located above the subject site and, thus, would like to ensure that any approval be conditioned to maintain foliage at an unobtrusive level to prevent future view obstructions to their property. A foliage analysis was conducted. Staff determined that no mature foliage currently exists on the subject property that exceeds a height of sixteen (16) feet or impairs views from surrounding properties. However, due to previous issues with foliage obstruction on this lot and concern for future growth, a condition of approval has been included to insure the maintenance of trimmed foliage on the site. At this point, the removal or trimming of foliage is not required.

Another couple on Moro Bay Drive, adjacent to the subject site on the north, submitted written correspondence to Staff describing three concerns with the proposed project. First, they believe the proposed design is inconsistent with the current design of the homes in the neighborhood and could have a negative impact on their home valuation. Staff analyzed this concern as part of the Neighborhood Compatibility Analysis found in this report and was able to make positive findings to show that compatibility was adequately addressed. Second, they are concerned about privacy due to the proposed second-story windows that will face their property. This was analyzed within the findings of the report under "unreasonable infringement of privacy". Staff determined that two of the proposed second-story windows could infringe on the privacy of these neighbors. As such, a condition of approval has been included to restrict the second-story rear bedroom and master bathroom to clerestory and/or translucent windows (minimum 5’ high from finished floor) on the sides that face the neighbor to the north. Third, the couple indicated the property owner would likely not comply with City ordinances pertaining to construction mitigation due to a past history of maintenance issues on his lot. However, once construction is begun, non-compliance with City ordinances pertaining to issues such as construction noise, hours of operation, etcetera is dealt with through complaints to the City’s Code Enforcement Officer as well as Building Inspector calls for inspection. The property owner cannot be penalized for alleged future violations.

It should be noted that the public notice published in the Peninsula News and mailed to property owners within a 500’ radius indicates that the proposed project consists of a 24’-0" high addition instead of the 24’-9" height proposed. Since the height is still within the 26’ maximum permitted height and does not affect the proposed design, re-noticing of the proposal was not required.

According to the Permit Streamlining Act, the Planning Commission within sixty (60) days of the date the project was deemed complete must render a decision. Since the proposed applications were deemed complete on June 7, 2001, an action must be taken by August 7, 2001.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above discussion and analysis of this report, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission conditionally approve Height Variation No. 918 and Site Plan Review No. 9165 to allow the construction of a 1,967 SF addition to an existing single-family residence at a proposed height of 24’-9" as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure to the highest roof ridgeline.

ALTERNATIVES

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

  1. Conditionally approve Height Variation No. 918 and Site Plan Review No. 9165; or
  2. Deny Height Variation No. 918 and Site Plan Review No. 9165; or
  3. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, and provide applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

ATTACHMENTS:

· Draft P.C. Resolution and Conditions of Approval

· Public Comment

· Site Plan and Architectural Plans


6.VESTING TENTATIVE PARCEL MAP NO. 26047: Mr. Robert Patterson (applicant), 27965 Palos Verdes Drive East. (BY)

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT:

PROJECT

ADDRESS:

APPLICANT:

 

 

PHONE:

LANDOWNER:

PHONE:

STAFF COORDINATOR:

CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

JULY 24, 2001

TENTATIVE PARCEL MAP NO. 26047

 

27965 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST

DR. ROBERT PATTERSON

27965 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA 90275

310-833-4344

SAME

SAME

BEILIN YU, ASSISTANT PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION:A REQUEST BY THE APPLICANT TO ALLOW THE LAND DIVISION OF A 60,768 SQUARE FOOT LOT INTO TWO LOTS. AS PROPOSED, LOT 1 WILL BE 35,788 SQUARE FEET AND LOT 2 WILL BE 24,980 SQUARE FEET IN AN AREA DESIGNATED BY THE CITY’S ZONING MAP AS A RS-2 DISTRICT (MINIMUM LOT AREA 20,000 SQUARE FEET).

RECOMMENDATION:ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-___; APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, TENTATIVE PARCEL MAP NO. 26047.

REFERENCES:

ZONING:RS-2

LAND USE:SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS:16.04, 16.12.020, 17.02, 17.48 AND THE SUBDIVISION MAP ACT

GENERAL PLAN:RESIDENTIAL 1-2 DWELLING UNITS PER ACRE

TRAILS PLAN:N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN:N/A

CEQA:CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 15)

 

BACKGROUND

On December 19, 2000, an application for a lot split, under Tentative Parcel Map No. 26047, was submitted to the Planning Department by Dr. Robert Patterson, the property owner of 27965 Palos Verdes Drive East. On January 18, 2001 Staff conducted an initial review of the application and the parcel map submitted to the Planning Department and deemed them incomplete for processing due to insufficient information. Revised plans were submitted to the Planning Department on March 19, 2001, on May 3, 2001, and on May 21, 2001, and Staff deemed the application complete for processing on June 11, 2001. Pursuant to Section 16.12.020.D of the Development Code, a decision must be made by July 30, 2001, which is fifty days from the date of completeness.

On July 3, 2001 a letter was sent to local agencies, as identified on the City’s Distribution List (see attachment), requesting comments or recommendations pertaining to the proposed project by July 16, 2001. On the same date, the required public notices for tonight’s Planning Commission meeting were mailed to property owners within a 500 foot radius of the subject property and a notice was published in the Peninsula News on July 7, 2001. Thus far, City Staff received one written comment pertaining to the project. If more comments are submitted to the City after distribution of this report, they will be provided to the Commissioners at the public hearing.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

In accordance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Staff has determined this project to be categorically exempt under Class 15 – Minor Land Divisions consisting of four or fewer parcels; therefore, no further environmental review is required.

Class 15 exempts projects that consist of a division of property in urbanized areas zoned for residential, commercial, or industrial use into four or fewer parcels, when the subdivision is in conformance with the City’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, and that no variance or exceptions are required. Furthermore, all services and access to the proposed lots must be available and the average slope of the lot shall not exceed twenty (20) percent. As proposed, the subject lot is located in an urbanized area within a residential zoning district. According to the applicant’s slope analysis map, the average slope of the subject lot is nineteen (19) percent. Therefore, it has been determined that the proposed project complies with the provisions set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act, as a Class 15 Categorical Exemption.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject property is located at 27965 Palos Verdes Drive East, which is in the north east end of the City adjacent to the boundary line with the City of Rolling Hills Estates. The subject lot is a 60,768 square foot interior lot, located in an area designated by the City’s Zoning Map as a RS-2 zoning district. According to the applicants’ slope analysis map, the subject site is comprised of an average slope of 19% and is surrounded by lots to the east, west, north, and south that are also developed with single-family residences. Additionally, two properties to the south of the subject property were subdivided into two parcels, resulting in one front lot and one flag lot to the rear, similar to the configuration the applicant is proposing.

The subject property is currently developed with a 2,830 square foot single-family residence (including garage), a driveway, and hardscape improvements. The subject residence is served by a 240’ long driveway that connects to Palos Verdes Drive East and is situated approximately 160’ in from the front property line, that abuts Palos Verdes Drive East. According to the site plan submitted to the Planning Department, the subject property contains a driveway easement along the northern portion of the lot, however the easement is mainly located on the property to the north. The adjacent property owners, who have access through the driveway easement, have been notified of the proposed project by the City.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

According to the plans submitted to the Planning Department, the applicant proposes to split an existing 60,768 square foot lot into two lots. Lot 1 will have a gross lot area of 35,788 square feet, while Lot 2 will have a gross lot area of 24,980 square feet. Pursuant to Section 16.04.040.D of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance, each lot created by a map shall include a minimum contiguous lot area of three thousand (3,000) square feet or thirty-three (33) percent of the minimum lot area required by the appropriate residential base zoning district standards, whichever is greater. The contiguous lot area shall not include the required setback areas and slopes equal to or greater than 35%. Since the subject property is located within a RS-2 zoning district and thirty-three (33) percent of the minimum lot area (20,000 square feet) is 6,600 square feet which is greater than 3,000 square feet, Staff has determined that the applicant must maintain a minimum contiguous lot area of 6,600 square feet. As proposed, the contiguous lot area (shown as the "net contiguous area" on the Tentative Parcel Map) for Lot 1 is 18,820 square feet and Lot 2 is 11,970 square feet. These calculations exclude the required setbacks and all slopes greater than thirty-five (35) percent.

As shown on the Tentative Parcel Map, Lot 1 will contain the existing single-family residence and will maintain access through an existing easement connected to Palos Verdes Drive East, with its front property line abutting the rear property line of Lot 2. Staff has verified that the existing residence will remain in full compliance with the RS-2 residential development standards with the new property lines. According to the parcel map, Similar to Lot 1, Lot 2 will have an indirect driveway access through an existing easement off Palos Verdes Drive East, which runs along the proposed north side property line.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

Pursuant to Section 16.04.040.E of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance, no map shall be approved by the Planning Commission unless it complies with the requirements set forth in the State’s Subdivision Map Act, the Development Code and other applicable sections of the City’s Municipal Code. In accordance with the Subdivision Map Act, the Planning Commission must consider the following required findings (shown in bold) prior to rendering a decision, along with Staff’s analysis (shown in normal type):

  1. That the proposed map is consistent with the General Plan.
  2. According to the General Plan’s Land Use Map, the subject property is located in an area designated as Residential; 1-2 Dwelling Units / Acre. All new residential lots within this density range must maintain a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet. As noted earlier in this report, Lot 1 will be 35,788 square feet and Lot 2 will be 24,980 square feet, which is consistent with the City’s General Plan. Therefore, this finding can be made.

  3. That the design or improvement of the proposed subdivision is consistent with the General Plan.
  4. According to the General Plan, the subject property is located in an area designated as a residential use. In order to subdivide within a Residential Land Use designation, the General Plan states that the new lot must comply with the development standards listed in the Development Code under the appropriate zoning district. According to the City’s Zoning Map, the subject property is designated as a RS-2 zoning district. The table below identifies the minimum requirements, such as lot area and dimensions, to create a new lot in the RS-2 zoning district:

    Table 1

    RS-2 ZONING DISTRCT

    CODE REQUIREMENT

    PROPOSAL

    Minimum Lot Size

    (Gross Lot Area)

    20,000 square feet

    Lot 1: 35,788 sq. ft.

    Lot 2: 24,980 sq. ft.

    Minimum Contiguous Area (Net Lot Area)

    6,600 square feet

    Lot 1: 18,820 sq. ft.

    Lot 2: 11,970 sq. ft.

    Minimum Lot Depth

    120 feet

    Lot 1: 152’

    Lot 2: 132’

    Minimum Lot Width

    90 feet

    Lot 1: 190’

    Lot 2: 260’

     

    According to the table above, the proposed lot split complies with the requirements set forth in the Development Code in that the proposed lot sizes and dimensions exceed the minimum requirements for the RS-2 zoning district. Furthermore, since Lot 1 will contain the existing single-family residence, Staff reviewed the proposed lot calculations and boundary lines with the RS-2 Residential Development Standards, and determined that the existing site improvements comply with the setback and lot coverage requirements for the new lot, as described in the following table:

    Table 2

    DEVELOPMENT STANDARD

    REQUIREMENT

    PROPOSED

    FRONT YARD SETBACK

    20’

    24’

    REAR YARD SETBACK

    20’

    59’

    SIDE YARD SETBACK

    10’

    30’

    LOT COVERAGE*

    40% (maximum)

    16.8%

    * The lot coverage calculation includes the existing building footprint and driveway and parking areas.

    Therefore, the proposed subdivision will not create non-conformities with respect to the existing residence. In regards to the design of the lots, Lot 1 and Lot 2 have been designed to provide access to Palos Verdes Drive East through the existing easement and provide adequate access to any services that run along the road, such as utilities, needed to develop the lots. Therefore, Staff believes that the design and improvement of the proposed subdivision will result in two residential lots that comply with the development standards for an RS-2 zoning district. Furthermore, the proposed lot split is consistent with the City’s General Plan requirement for compliance with the zoning criteria.

  5. That the site is physically suitable for the proposed type and density of the development.
  6. The subject property is physically suitable for the proposed type and density of development because the proposed lot split will result in two lots that will each have a gross lot area that exceeds the 20,000 square foot minimum area required by the Development Code for the RS-2 Zoning District. Furthermore, the proposed lots will each have a contiguous lot area that exceeds 6,600 square feet, which is the minimum required for an RS-2 Zoning District. Pursuant to Section 16.04.040.D of the Development Code, the contiguous lot area is shown on the attached plan as the "net contiguous area", which is the gross lot area less slopes steeper than thirty-five (35) percent and the required setback areas. The contiguous lot area is considered that portion of the property that will be used as the building pad. Based on Staff’s calculations, the size of the contiguous lot area for Lot 2 is large enough to accommodate a residence that complies with the standards set forth in the Development Code for an RS-2 zoning district, as it pertains to structure size, lot coverage and setbacks. As indicated in the previous finding, Lot 1, which will contain the existing residence, has also been found to be in full compliance with the RS-2 residential development standards. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made in that the size of the proposed lots will be physically suitable for residential development.

  7. That the design of the subdivision or the proposed improvements will not cause substantial environmental damage or substantially and avoidably injure fish or wildlife or their habitat.

The proposed subdivision will create one additional lot in an area that is developed with single-family residences. In regards to significant impacts to the environment, the proposed project, as stated earlier in this report, has been classified as a Categorical Exemption, Class 15, based on the provision of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Staff has reviewed the proposed project and determined that it will not significantly impact the natural environment as it relates to air quality, noise, biological resources, population, housing, and other environmental factors addressed in the CEQA guidelines.

According to the City’s General Plan, the urban development of the Peninsula has degraded and/or eliminated most areas that once contained significant vegetation or wildlife. According to the General Plan’s Natural Environment Element the subject property is not located within a resource management district, which are districts requiring preservation, management and retention of open space. This represents that the subject lot is not located in an area that contains wildlife habitat. Furthermore, according to the City’s most recent "Vegetation and Sensitive Species Map" prepared for the City’s Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP), no Coastal Sage Scrub habitat or sensitive species have been identified on the subject property. Therefore, Staff believes that this finding can be made in that the proposed project will not cause a significant damage to the environment or injure any fish or wildlife.

5.That the design of the subdivision or type of improvements will not cause serious public health problems.

The proposed project consists of a minor subdivision of an existing developed residential lot that will not cause serious public health problems. Any future residential development on Lot 2 will have to be constructed in conformance with the City’s Development Code and will have to obtain approvals from the Division of Building and Safety for compliance with the Uniform Building Code. Additionally, the City’s Geotechnical Consultant has reviewed the proposed lot split in the planning stage, identified no significant concerns at this time, and conditionally approved the geotechnical report. However, further review and geotechnical reports will be required at the time Lot 2 is developed.

In addition to the required approvals stated in the above paragraph, the applicants will also be required to improve the lot to sustain residential development that will not be detrimental to the public’s health and safety. In regards to utilities, Section 16.20.040 of the Development Code states that any public or private utility easements required by various utilities or the City shall be shown on the final parcel map and shall be dedicated to the appropriate agency by document prior to recording the final map. The applicants will have to show all the underground utilities and the connections on the final map. As for drainage, Section 16.20.050 of the Development Code requires that the subdivider mitigate any potential impacts caused by drainage flow from the subject property to any adjacent properties. The applicant must address all drainage flow concerns prior to the submittal of the final parcel map. It should be noted that any improvements, including but not limited to driveways, walkways and utilities, within the street right-of-way, referenced here as Palos Verdes Drive East, shall be reviewed and approved by the Public Works Department of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

In regards to wastewater, as previously noted, the subject property is currently developed with a single-family residence that is on a private septic system. Since there is not an existing sewer line under Palos Verdes Drive East, and the closest sewer line is more than 200’ away, Lot 2 will also be developed on a private septic tank system.

Based on the above discussion, Staff believes that this finding can be made in that the proposed lot split consists of improvements that will result in a lot that can sustain future residential development that will not cause any serious public health problems.

6.That the design of the subdivision or the type of improvements will not be in conflict with the easements, acquired by the public at large, for access through or use of, property within the proposed subdivision.

The proposed project consists of a minor subdivision of an existing residential lot that currently maintains access off a private driveway easement off Palos Verdes Drive East. The existing driveway currently serves the subject property and two other adjacent properties. The proposed lots are designed to maintain vehicular access via the existing extended driveway located mainly on the adjacent parcel to the north of the subject property. Portion of the driveway is currently located on the subject property. After the lot split, this portion of the easement will be located on Lot 2, therefore, to ensure that the approval of this subdivision will not conflict with the access to the existing driveway, a condition that all the easements shall remain in full force and effect. And as such, Staff believes that this finding can be made because the proposed subdivision will maintain ingress and egress that is not in conflict with any access easements for the public at large.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Pursuant to Section 16.20.100 of the Subdivision Ordinance and the Subdivision Map Act, as a condition of approval of a parcel map, the subdivider shall dedicate land, pay in lieu fees, or a combination of both, at the option of the City, for park and recreational purposes. As a general standard for the City, it is found and determined that the public’s interest, convenience, health, welfare, and safety require four (4) acres of land for each one thousand (1,000) persons residing within the City be devoted to local parks and recreation purposes. The formulas for dedication of land or in lieu fees are stated in the Development Code under Section 16.20.100 and are based on the number of lots being created, the parkland acreage requirement per dwelling unit and the appraised value of the property. At the time the final parcel map is filed, the subdivider shall dedicate the land or pay the parkland fees as determined by the City Council.

According to the noticing procedure stated in the Development Code, a public notice was sent out to property owners within 500’ of the subject property indicating the scope of the proposed project along with the date, time and location of the public hearing at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing. The City mailed out 51 notices to property owners (including the applicant) and homeowners associations within 500’ feet of the subject property informing them of the proposed project. During the fifteen (15) day noticing period, the Planning Department received one public comment pertaining to the proposed project.

The correspondence from Dr. and Mrs. Herbert Burack, 27995 Palos Verdes Drive East indicated concerns in regards to the increase in density and loss of open space, view obstruction and privacy impacts, soil stability, construction impacts on Palos Verdes Drive East and on 27995 Palos Verdes Drive East. The letter is attached for your reference.

As stated in the staff report, the subject property is located in an area designated as Residential, 1-2 Dwelling Units / Acres, in the General Plan’s Land Use Map, and the proposed lot split will result in two lots that will each have a lot area that exceeds the 20,000 square foot minimum area required by the Development Code for the RS-2 Zoning District. Staff believes that the proposed project complies with the General Plan and does not create an increase in density that would impact the existing uses. And as such, Staff is of the opinion that Dr. and Mrs. Burack’s concern is addressed.

Section 17.02.040(B)(1) allows structures to be constructed on a lot with a building pad, at a maximum height of sixteen feet (16’) as measured from the highest point to be covered by structure. Therefore, if the proposed parcel map is approved, Lot 2 will be allowed to be developed with a single family residence with a maximum height of sixteen feet (16’) as measured from the highest point to be covered by structure.

According to composite maps in file with the City, it appears that the residence at 27995 Palos Verdes Drive East is at the same elevation as the residence on the subject lot, which is 82.0 as indicated on Tentative Parcel Map No. 26047. From the Tentative Parcel Map submitted to the City, it appears that the northern portion of the buildable area on Lot 2 is flatter and at a lower elevation. According to the Tentative Parcel Map, the approximate elevation at that location is 60.0. And as such, the residence at 27995 Palos Verdes Drive East is approximately more than 20’ above the flatter portion of the buildable area of Lot 2.

The applicant, Dr. Patterson, has also expressed concerns regarding the height of the structure that will be proposed on Lot 2. He has indicated to Staff that he will record a deed restriction running with the lot allowing the maximum height for the structure to be at elevation 82.0, which is the pad elevation for the existing residence, as indicated on the Tentative Parcel Map 26047. Staff is of the opinion that with a condition restricting the maximum height of the structure on Lot 2 to be lower than the pad elevation of Lot 1, and given the existing pad elevation of 27995 Palos Verdes Drive East, any potential view impacts that may be caused by construction of future structures on Lot 2 will be mitigated.

Furthermore, if the parcel map is not approved, the subject property is still allowed to be developed with accessory structures up to a maximum height of 12’ or a second dwelling unit up to a maximum height of 16’. And as such, Staff is of the opinion that the view impacts from 27995 Palos Verdes Drive East are not intensified by the proposed lot split.

As stated in the staff report the City’s Geotechnical Consultant has reviewed the proposed lot split in the planning stage, identified no significant concerns at this time, and conditionally approved the geotechnical report. Further, more detailed review and geotechnical reports will be required at the time Lot 2 is developed. And as such, Staff is of the opinion that the proposed lot split will not impact the soil stability of the subject lot as well as the neighboring properties.

In regards to the character of the neighborhood, the proposed lot split will result in an additional residential lot that will be developed according to the City’s design standards for a RS-2 zoning district. At this time, the proposal does not include any conceptual plans for a single-family residence in that a development package has not been submitted to the City. However, when Lot 2 is developed, according to the Development Code, the new structure is subject to the "Neighborhood Compatibility" analysis, which will address concerns with size, mass, bulk, style and setbacks, as it pertains to the surrounding developed properties.

CONCLUSION

Based on the discussion and analysis of this report, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission conditionally approve Tentative Parcel Map No. 26047 to allow the subdivision of an existing 60,768 square foot residential lot into two residential lots (Lot 1 will be 35,788 square feet and Lot 2 will be 24,980 square feet).

ALTERNATIVES

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

  1. Deny Tentative Parcel Map No. 26047 and direct Staff to prepare the appropriate P.C. Resolution for consideration at the next scheduled Planning Commission meeting; or,
  2. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, and provide the applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

ATTACHMENTS

  • Draft P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__
  • Conditions of Approval
  • Tentative Parcel Map No. 26047
  • Geology Letter From the City’s Geotechnical Consultant
  • Memorandum from the City Engineer
  • Agency Distribution List
  • Letter from Dr. and Mrs. Burack, 27995 Palos Verdes Drive East.


7.HEIGHT VARIATION 920, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2274, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 320, and FENCE/WALL & HEDGE PERMIT NO. 36: Mr. & Mrs. Kiger (applicant), 30357 Diamonte Lane. (GP)

    TO:Chairman and Members of the Planning Commission

    FROM:Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

    DATE:July 24, 2001

    SUBJECT:Height Variation No. 920/Grading Permit No. 2247/Minor Exception Permit No. 320 and Fence/Wall and Hedge Permit No. 36 - 30357 Diamonte, Kiger Residence.

     

    Staff Coordinator: Gregory Pfost, AICP, Acting Principal Planner

    RECOMMENDATION:

    Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the public hearing to August 28, 2001.

    DISCUSSION:

    As noted in the attached letter, the Applicant is proposing to revise the proposed project, and thereby requests continuance to the August 28, 2001 Planning Commission meeting.

     

ATTACHMENT:

Letter from Applicant


NEW BUSINESS:


8. PLANNING COMMISSION E-MAIL ADDRESSES

TO:CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM:DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE:JULY 24, 2001

SUBJECT:PLANNING COMMISSION E-MAIL ADDRESSES

 

RECOMMENDATION

Provide Staff with direction regarding the Commission’s preferred method for providing e-mail information to the public.

BACKGROUND

Recently, Staff has received inquiries from residents regarding the availability of Planning Commissioner e-mail addresses. As a result, Staff contacted Chairman Lyon regarding the issue and it was agreed to agendize the item for full Commission discussion.

DISCUSSION

At present, there is no City Council policy or directive regarding the use and/or availability of e-mail addresses for the various City Commissions or Committees. Nonetheless, the City Council has tried to improve communications between the City and the residents by making more information available on the City’s website. To further facilitate communications, the e-mail address for each City Council member is available on the City’s website and there is a central e-mail address (citycouncil@rpv.com) that allows residents to send e-mail messages to all City Council members at the same time (see attached website page).

Currently, Planning Commissioner e-mail addresses can be found on the City Roster that is kept on file with the City Clerk. Unless a Planning Commissioner requests that certain information not be made public, all of the information on the roster, including e-mail addresses, is public information and may be provided to the public upon request.

At this time, Planning Commissioner e-mail addresses are not on the City’s website. In order to facilitate the public’s accessibility to the Commission, the Planning Commission may wish to direct Staff to set up a similar information page that will contain the same information as the current City Roster, including e-mail addresses.

Currently, e-mail messages received on the City Council’s City e-mail address are forwarded to each individual Council member. If the Commission is in favor of setting up a similar central e-mail address on the City’s website, the Commission may elect to have the messages forwarded to their individual e-mail addresses or have the e-mail messages forwarded to the Director. The latter would enable Staff to deliver all the e-mail messages sent to the Commission together with all other correspondence, either with the agenda or at the meeting, in accordance with the Commission’s policy on receiving public correspondence.

Attachments:

Excerpted City Council Web Page

ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff


9.PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF AUGUST 14, 2001.

Commission

ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,

August 14, 2001, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.