10/23/2001 Planning Commission Agenda October, 2001, 10/23/2001, Planning, Commission, Meeting, Agenda, Commissioner Long discussed condition 19 and suggested the City require adequate insurance for the operation of the golf course with the City being named as additional insured. He felt there should be adequate insurance to cover the resort operation in general and did not feel that $5 million in limits was adequate. He felt that the limits should apply separately to the site. He suggested the city staff and city attorney review and approve the form of the policy, and not merely the certificate of insurance The 10/23/2001 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Agenda
Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission Agenda October 23, 2001
October 23, 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 Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Department.

...end of disclaimer...

** CLICK HERE FOR PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA
**CLICK HERE FOR PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA STAFF REPORTS



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

Staff Reports

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

Organization of the Agenda

The Planning Commission agenda is divided into the following sections:

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

Presentation of Agenda Items

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

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


How to Speak on an Item

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

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

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

 Submittal of Written Correspondence

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

Conduct at the Meeting

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

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

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


BEGINNING OF PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA


RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 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. 2001-41



CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

COMMUNICATIONS:

Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • Excerpts from the City Council Minutes of September 4, 2001

Staff:

Commission:


CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF OCTOBER 9, 2001

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


CONTINUED BUSINESS:



2. COASTAL PERMIT NO. 170 and GRADING PERMIT NO. 2260 and COASTAL PERMIT NO. 172 and GRADING PERMIT NO. 2281: Eric Johnson, 2 Yacht Harbor Drive. (KF)

Requested Action: Allow the construction a new, 12-foot-tall single-family residence and subterranean garage, guest house, studio and swimming pool, totaling 22,715 square feet of habitable and non-habitable space, on an 18.88-acre bluff-top site in the Portuguese Bend Club community; and the realignment of a portion of the private street right-of-way of Yacht Harbor Drive across the site.

Recommendation: Receive the Staff report and additional public testimony, and continue this matter to the Planning Commission meeting of November 13, 2001 to allow time for the completion of the ridgeline silhouette by the applicant.


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

Requested Action: Allow the subdivision of a 4.99-acre California Water Service Company (CWSC) site into ten (10) lots for a single-family residential planned development (RPD). The proposed project includes seven (7) residential lots, one lot for a private street, one lot for the existing CWSC office and one lot for the existing underground CWSC reservoir. The CWSC office and reservoir will remain on the site. The revised homes proposed by the applicant include a mix of 16-foot-tall one-story and split-level homes, ranging from approximately 4,000 to 4,600 square feet of living area. The revised residential lots would range from approximately 10,400 to 14,000 square feet. The revised project would also require approximately 16,000 cubic yards of earth movement.

Recommendation: Receive the Staff report and additional public testimony regarding the revised project, provide additional direction to the applicant (if appropriate), and continue this matter to the Planning Commission meeting of November 27, 2001 to allow time for Staff’s completion of 1) view analyses based upon the recently-revised silhouettes and 2) revisions to and re-noticing of the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration to reflect the revised project description.


PUBLIC HEARINGS:



4. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 230 and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 744: Bruce Bartram, Trutanich & Michael and Stephanie Dreckmann, Schmitz & Associates (for James A. Kay, Jr.), 26708 Indian Peak Road. (KF)

Requested Action: Allow an after-the-fact approval to establish existing antennae and related support structures and equipment on the site of a single-family residence for commercial use. The existing antennae, support structures and equipment are currently located both inside and outside of the residence. The existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array are currently permitted for non-commercial use only, while the commercial antennae purported to exist inside of the residence are non-permitted. The applicant currently proposes no additional antennae or any change in the height, location or appearance of the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array.

Recommendation: Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, conditionally approving Conditional Use Permit No. 230.


5. GRADING PERMIT NO. 2277: Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Blessum, (applicant), 20 Martingale Drive (BY)

Requested Action: Allow 1,440 cubic yards of grading, for the construction of a new single-family residence, including 2,304 square feet on the main entrance floor (upper level), 1,897 square feet on the floor below the main entrance level (middle level), 1,761 square feet on the lowest floor level (lower level), a 950 square foot attached garage, and a 582 square foot storage area, for a total structure size of 7,494 square feet. The new single-family residence is proposed at a height of 12.4’, as measured from the average elevation at the setback line (999.00’) to the top of the ridge (1011.40’), and at a height of 29.98’, as measured from the point where the lowest foundation meets finish grade (981.42’).

Recommendation: Continue item to the November 13, 2001 Planning Commission meeting.


NEW BUSINESS:



6. NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT: City. (JR)

Recommendation: Receive a status update from the Neighborhood Compatibility sub-committee.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:


Staff



7. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF NOVEMBER 13, 2001.

Commission



ADJOURNMENT:


The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
November 13, 2001, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.


AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 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. 2001-41



CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:


COMMUNICATIONS:


Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • Excerpts from the City Council Minutes of September 4, 2001

Staff:

Commission:


CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF OCTOBER 9, 2001

DRAFT

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
OCTOBER 9, 2001

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lyon at 7:06 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Mueller led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ATTENDANCE

Present:Commissioners Cartwright, Long, Mueller, Paulson, Vannorsdall, Vice Chairman Clark and Chairman Lyon

Absent: None

Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Fox, Senior Planner Mihranian, Associate Planner Schonborn, Assistant Planner Yu, Assistant City Attorney Pittman, and Recording Secretary Peterson.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

After a brief discussion the agenda was approved as presented. However, the Commission reserved the right to switch the order of items 7 and 8, if needed, later in the meeting.

COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas reported that the City Council had approved the General Plan Implementation Report that had been forwarded to them by the Planning Commission. He also reported that the City Council would begin their hearings for the Long Point project on November 7 at Miraleste Middle School. Finally, regarding neighborhood compatibility, he stated that the City Council had directed staff to research the possibility of a code amendment.

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed one item of correspondence relating to Agenda Item No. 5, one item of correspondence for Agenda Item No. 6 and 15 items of correspondence for Agenda Item No. 7.


CONSENT CALENDAR


1. Minutes of September 25, 2001


Commissioner Long asked that the reason for his recusal as noted on page 2 of the minutes be clarified.

Commissioner Cartwright noted typos on page 4 of the minutes.

Vice Chairman Clark noted on page 18 of the minutes that there may be a comment made by Mr. Tippets that was not included in the minutes. He asked that the tape be checked and the comment added. He also noted a typo on page 15 of the minutes.

Chairman Lyon noted two words left out of the motion on page 24 of the minutes.

Vice Chairman Clark asked the first paragraph on page 23 be modified to add "as envisioned by the Vice Chairman in his previous motion".

The minutes were approved as amended, without objection, (7-0).


2. Conditional Use Permit No. 136, Grading Permit No. 1246, and Lot Line Adjustment No. 38: York Long Point Associates, 6610 Palos Verdes Drive South

Commissioner Long began by asking staff what the authority was in the Municipal Code that would allow the Planning Commission to grant an extension for entitlements that have already expired.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman responded that the request for the extension was filed prior to the date of expiration. However, because of the scheduling of the agendas the item was not placed on the agenda before it expired. He stated that as long as the application was received prior to the expiration of the permits then the Planning Commission had the authority to consider the extension request.

Commissioner Mueller asked how many times these permits have been extended.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that these permits have been extended nine times.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Ann Shaw 30036 Via Borica stated that Destination Resorts does not want the Long Point entitlements, but rather their own plans for the site. She felt the Planning Commission should be accommodating and the Long Point entitlements should not be extended.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Vice Chairman Clark questioned why the landowner would want the extension, particularly in light of a very thorough presentation by Mike Mohler (representing the developer) as to why the current entitlements would not be feasible for the proposed project.

Commissioner Cartwright felt the landowner would be foolish not to request an extension, as the City has not finalized the current request, and may not for some time. He stated that all the request does is keep in place what has already been approved.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded to Commissioner Long’s question regarding the authority in the Municipal Code to grant the extension. He stated that the Conditions of Approval of the Conditional Use Permit established the regulations for the permit expiration. He noted that the Conditions stated that extensions of up to one year may be granted by the Planning Commission if requested prior to expiration.

Commissioner Long was satisfied that there were no limitations on the number of extensions allowed.

Commissioner Long stated that he had hoped the landowner would be present to explain to the Planning Commission the viability of a project that is limited to the Long Point property. He felt that implicit in the application of extension was an acknowledgement that such a project is viable, and he was inclined to agree. He felt that by granting this request the Planning Commission might be saying that they agree that a project restricted to the Long Point property, and not making use of City property, is a viable project, as the owner seems to acknowledge in applying for an extension.

Commissioner Cartwright did not agree with that interpretation.

Chairman Lyon moved to approve the requested one-year extension, thereby setting the expiration date as September 11, 2002, with all conditions of approval remaining in full force and effect, seconded by Commissioner Paulson. Approved, 7-0.


PUBLIC HEARINGS


3. Height Variation No. 936: Mr. and Mrs. Samer Mistry, 758 Birchman Dr.

Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She explained the reason for the height variation application and stated that staff had determined that no views would be impacted by the addition, there was no privacy impaction, and it was compatible with the immediate neighborhood.

Commissioner Paulson moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-33 thereby approving Height Variation Permit No. 936 as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (7-0).


4. Conditional Use Permit No. 229, Grading Permit No. 2283, and Environmental Assessment No. 740: Verizon Wireless Services.

Commissioner Long stated that the next two items on the agenda were from Verizon Wireless. He stated that his law firm has either in the past or is currently affiliated with Verizon Wireless, and while he personally is not currently doing work for Verizon Wireless he will, as he has done in the past, recuse himself from the next two items to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He explained that the request was to replace the existing flagpole with a new similarly designed flagpole at the same location. He stated the height of the proposed flag pole was 10 feet higher than what was now existing, thereby maintaining an overall height of 45 feet. He stated that all findings could be made for the three applications and there would be no significant adverse affects on adjacent properties. He explained that staff found the proposal is consistent with the Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines, and therefore staff recommends the Planning Commission certify the Mitigated Negative Declaration and approve the Conditional Use Permit and Grading Permit, subject to conditions.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Lorena Martinez representing Verizon Wireless stated she was available to answer any questions.

Commissioner Mueller asked if there were any alternatives looked at as far as the location of the proposed pole.

Ms. Martinez responded that other sites were considered, however the proposed location offered optimum coverage.

Commissioner Mueller asked about the proposed height and if the pole actually had to be that high.

Ms. Martinez answered that the radio frequency engineers had stated that 45 feet was the height that offered coverage in the area.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Mueller clarified his concerns. He stated in a community such as this that is concerned with preserving views, large poles such as the one proposed should be avoided and hoped that other options had been considered. He wondered if other options might not have been considered because they were not as good at providing reception as this option.

Chairman Lyon felt this was replacing an existing flag pole with a new flag pole that happens to have some antenna panels mounted inside of it that are not visible.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-34 thereby certifying the Mitigated Negative Declaration and adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-35 thereby approving Conditional Use Permit No. 229 and Grading Permit No. 2283 as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (5-1) with Commissioner Mueller dissenting and Commissioner Long recused.



5. Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742: Verizon Wireless Service

Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He explained the proposal. He noted that staff had determined through the initial study process that there are potentially significant impacts to the aesthetic environment that cannot be mitigated with the project. He explained that this was due, in part, to the location at the top of the slope, the close proximity to adjacent homes, and the open space nature of the Forrestal property. Regarding the Conditional Use Permit, he explained that based upon visual and aesthetic impacts, staff determined the site is not adequate in size and configuration to accommodate the proposed use. Staff believes that in approving the subject use there will be significant adverse affects on adjacent properties with regards to affecting a scenic vista from the Stalwart Trail along Forrestal Drive. He also explained that staff believed the proposed use was contrary to the General Plan, the facility will not blend with the surrounding environment, that the visual impacts will be significant due to the fact that this is a new pole at a site that currently does not have any poles. Further, staff does not believe the project is consistent with the Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines, specifically it does not preserve view corridors and there is an imbalance of public and private costs and benefits where there will be a greater cost to the public and a greater benefit to the applicant. Therefore, staff recommends denial of the project.

Vice Chairman Clark noted in the staff report that staff believes there may be other alternative methods. He asked if staff discussed any alternative methods with the applicant to accomplish their purpose.

Associate Planner Schonborn stated that there were discussions in regards to alternative sites and types of uses, however this proposal was the most preferable to the applicant.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

John Koos 357 Van Ness Way, Torrance (representing Verizon) gave a brief history of the proposal. He felt this design blended nicely with the site, especially since the antennas would be located inside the pole. He stated that the engineers had felt that the objectives of the antennas could be reached at a height of 30 feet, but not at a lower height. He explained that Verizon had looked into locating on existing telephone poles, but determined that these poles were too low. He stated he was available for any questions or suggestions.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if any other locations in the area had been considered or if Verizon had considered co-location in the area with other services.

Mr. Koos answered that other locations had been considered on the property, however they were not as desirable. As far as co-location, he was not sure where the other companies were located in the area.

Vice Chairman Clark was concerned that Mr. Koos did not know where the other providers had their locations in the area, which implies that he had not analyzed whether or not co-locations meet Verizon objectives.

Don Richardson 32206 Helm Place stated that he did not think the proposed pole blended in with the area at all. He noted that the staff report clearly indicates there is an aesthetic impact that cannot be mitigated, and he agreed. He stated that he lives in an area that spent quite a bit of money to underground their utilities and did not think this type of pole belonged in the area.

Commissioner Cartwright understood Mr. Richardson’s objection to a pole of this height overlooking his backyard. He asked if he would object to a pine tree or something else that would completely disguise the antenna.

Mr. Richardson answered that a "stealth" installation would be somewhat less objectionable. However he felt that thirty feet high was very tall and he would have to look at what was proposed.

Charles Agnew 32261 Phantom Drive stated he looked down on the school site and proposed antenna. He objected to the proposed antenna and noted that it was right on a ridgeline. He stated that he may not be opposed to hiding the antenna if it were in the right location, however the proposed power pole was not compatible with the neighborhood. He stated that he understood what Verizon was aiming for and he understood their need, but felt there had to be a better way to accomplish their goals.

Diane Weinberger 4206 Exultant Drive stated she was the president of the Seaview Residents Association. She began by stating she was not notified of the hearings for this project and stated that it was her understanding that as president of an HOA she should be notified of the project. She stated she had a list of eight residents who were opposed to the project. She requested the tower, as planned, be rejected by the Planning Commission. She stated that the residents have worked very hard to beautify their subdivision and this proposal was an eyesore.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Paulson felt that, after hearing from the applicant and the residents, there was a potential for a project that would meet everyone’s needs. He stated he would be hesitant to support any motion that would deny the project, but he also could not support a motion to approve it. He felt the applicant, staff, and residents should get together and discuss some of the alternatives based on design, location, and other items of concern.

Commissioner Cartwright agreed and suggested the item be continued to a date after the parties involved have had a chance to discuss the project.

Commissioner Vannorsdall felt the proposed location of the project was very important and encouraged the applicant to find some way to better camouflage the tower.

Commissioner Mueller stated it was important to remember that the City was most likely the beneficiary of this particular antenna location. He felt that because the neighborhood had spent their money to underground the utilities the City should make every effort to find a better location for the project. He suggested going with staff’s alternative one or denying the application without prejudice to allow the applicant to continue to work and come back with a modified plan.

Vice Chairman Clark agreed that the project needed to be re-worked and felt the applicant should work with the staff and the neighbors to see what potential win-win solution could be found. He felt that co-location opportunities with other wireless users should be explored.

Chairman Lyon agreed with the Commission and felt there was a lot of room for discussion and negotiation between the applicant, staff, and neighbors.

Commissioner Paulson moved to continue the application to the November 13, 2001 meeting, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. Approved, (6-0) with Commissioner Long recused.


RECESS AND RECONVENE


At 8:40 p.m. the Commission took a short recess to 8:55 p.m. at which time they reconvened.


COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (REGARDING NON-AGENDA ITEMS)


Lois Larue
3136 Barkentine Road stated that the Chairman of the Planning Commission had told her that he thought public speakers were important, however he did not allow public speakers during an earlier agenda item. She also did not think that the Chairman should make motions. She also questioned the cones in the parking lot and asked what they were for.

Commissioner Long explained that the orange cones in the parking lot were to reserve parking spaces for Commissioners who, if they arrive late, don’t have to carry boxes of information for a long distance. He also stated that as far as the Chairman following established rules, he assured Ms. Larue that if he ever felt the Chairman wasn’t following established rules he would let everyone know.

Commissioner Paulson discussed public comments and stated that during the earlier agenda item the Chairman asked if there were any speakers for the item. There being no speaker slips submitted, the Chairman did not call for public speakers.


PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT)


6. Grading Permit NO. 2191: Mr. and Mrs. Henru Wiredja, 3815 Palos Verdes Drive South

Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report. He explained the project and stated that the proposed height of the project was within the development code requirements for an upslope lot. He stated that in reviewing the proposed residence staff identified concerns with respect to view impacts with neighboring properties on Sea Raven Drive as well as aesthetic impacts on Palos Verdes Drives South. However, staff felt these impacts, with appropriate conditions, may be reduced to a level of insignificance. He explained that the city geologist has given the project conceptual approval, however, requiring further review at the Building and Safety stage.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked why the project did not have a silhouette.

Senior Planner Mihranian replied that the flagging was only required for a height variation application. He stated that this is a sloping lot and by right the height limit is 16 feet from the highest point and 30 feet from the lowest point covered by the structure and therefore a height variation application was not required.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked about the driveway and what street that driveway would be on.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that currently the driveway is located off Palos Verdes Drive South, however the City plans to extend Aqua Vista Drive. The driveway will then be located off Aqua Vista Drive.

Larry Peha 67 14th Street, Hermosa Beach, stated he was the architect for the project. He stated that he has been working on the project for quite some time with staff and has made quite a few adjustments. He noted that he has moved the residence approximately 30 feet lower on the lot, adjusted the elevations, and substantially reduced the size of the structure. He stated that the ridge of the proposed structure is 25 feet below the top of the property on Searaven Drive. He felt this resulted in no view impacts from the neighbors above. He stated he agreed with all of the conditions in the staff report except for the flat roof in the living room entry area. He did not think the architectural feature had any impact that would not change with a sloped roof.

Vice Chairman Clark asked why Mr. Peha felt the entry area should have a flat roof.

Mr. Peha answered that there is a commanding view at that point and they would like to have a little higher ceiling in that area.

Commissioner Paulson asked Mr. Peha if he had any discussions with the neighbors during the development of the project.

Mr. Peha responded that he had not.

Elaine Motz 32413 Searaven Drive stated that the unstable portion of the subject lot was of great concern to her. She stated that the applicant has relocated the house to avoid the unstable portion of the lot. She did not feel it was wise to relocate the house behind the unstable portion. She was concerned that heavy equipment would further destabilize the lot. Until stability is established, she felt all other matters should be held in abeyance.

Commissioner Cartwright asked staff if the instability was due to fill.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the staff report incorrectly used the word "unstable" to describe the lower portion of the lot that contained uncompacted fill. Furthermore, staff stated that the geology reports indicated that because there is uncompacted fill on a section of the property in order to build a structure on that section of the lot, it would require an extensive caisson foundation system.

Commissioner Cartwright clarified that there was not instability on the lot, but rather quite a bit of fill of the one section. Therefore, the applicant proposed to move the structure further back where it would be more cost effective to build.

George Fink 32353 Searaven Drive was concerned about the driveway of the new home. He felt there could be a dangerous situation at the site. He stated that according to the staff report his pad was at 395 feet, per the applicant. He noted that conditions in the staff report are based on the 395-foot elevation. He asked what the true elevation of his pad was and if it was not 395 feet, he requested the conditions be changed to reflect the actual elevation of his pad. He noted that the staff report states that vegetation foliage may not exceed 395 feet. He requested the language be changed to say the foliage and vegetation may not exceed 16 feet in height or an elevation height of 390 feet, whichever is the lowest. He stated this would provide the protection that was intended. He asked if irrigation of the landscaping of the new residence would likely cause instability of the slope.

Commissioner Paulson asked for clarification regarding the foliage on the proposed project.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the condition reads the applicant is required to submit a landscape plan and the foliage shall not exceed 16 feet in height or a maximum elevation height of 395 feet, whichever is more restrictive. He stated that Mr. Fink was asking that the condition be changed to whichever is lower, which staff could change.

Commissioner Paulson asked about the fencing along the rear property line.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that when staff was analyzing the height of the structure and looking at the building pad elevations along Searaven Drive, Mr. Fink’s property is the lowest, at an approximately elevation of 398 feet. He stated that is a safe condition since it is actually lower than the contour elevation on the applicant’s property.

Chairman Lyon asked how the pad elevation of Mr. Fink’s property was determined to be 395 feet in elevation.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that a land surveyor determined the elevation, as indicated on the surveyed site plan.

David Campana 32405 Searaven Drive stated he has a magnificent view from his property. He was concerned that he maintains that view and was very happy to hear that the fence line of the proposed property was below his pad. He was concerned that the foliage requirements be included in the conditions of approval. He noted that there are no fences in the neighborhood and a fence would destroy the views of the ocean. He stated that he was supportive of the proposed project and hoped things would go well.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Chairman Lyon asked if the geology report clearly indicated that the proposed house will and can be built on bedrock.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that the city geologist has reviewed numerous reports for the property and conceptually approved the project in August. He explained that this was a conceptual approval and further reports will be submitted for approval prior to the issuance of building and grading permits.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-36 with the modifications noted to the elevation, fencing, and vegetation as suggested by the speaker, seconded by Commissioner Paulson. Approved, (7-0).

At this point, Commissioner Long felt it was a good time to re-examine the Agenda. He felt that if agenda item no. 7 were heard before the Long Point item, he was concerned that Long Point would not be heard until very late. He did not think this was in the best interest of the Commission or the City to begin the discussion of Long Point at such a late hour. He recommended either putting item no. 8 in advance of item no. 7 or continue Long Point to another date, sufficiently in advance of the anticipated time the City Council has set for hearing Long Point.

Chairman Lyon polled the audience to see how many speakers there were for agenda item no. 7. He felt there was a significant number, and wanted to be sure that the Planning Commission listened carefully to all of their concerns.

Commissioner Paulson stated that he could not vote one way or the other on this project tonight. He felt that he needed to see the parcel flagged and asked if there were a way to continue the item and request the parcel be flagged.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that could be done. He also felt that the flagging issue and another matter that staff wished to discuss could be addressed without having to open the public hearing and the item could be continued to a future date.

Commissioner Vannorsdall agreed that he could not possibly make a decision until the flagging was in place and that the item should be continued until the flagging was done

Vice Chairman Clark agreed that the item should be continued, however he felt that the residents who have come to the meeting and waited to speak should be given the chance to speak at this meeting.

Chairman Lyon agreed that the flagging was necessary. He felt there were other issues that needed to be addressed and suggested the applicant work with the concerned neighbors to understand and identify and alleviate any of these concerns.

Commissioner Cartwright noted that the entire project did not need to be silhouetted. He felt the Commission and the neighbors were mostly concerned about the ridgeline.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that staff would like to address a flurry of late letter writing regarding condition no. 8, which required that a portion of the property be dedicated for public access. He stated that it was staff’s intention to delete this condition, and hoped this would address many of the comments that would have been directed to the Planning Commission.

Vice Chairman Clark recommended polling the audience to see how many people wished to speak tonight, or hearing the discussion of the Planning Commission, would be willing to wait and have the item continued.

Chairman Lyon stated that it was clear the Planning Commission could not and would not make a decision at this meeting regarding this issue. He stated that the Commission needed to see an outline of the ridgeline of the house. He explained that once the Commission has seen this ridgeline they could more rationally address whether or not there was a view issue from each of the residences. He polled the audience and noted a number of people wishing to speak at this meeting on agenda item no. 7.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that he had spent a lot of time reading and studying the material for the Long Point project and he did not want to continue that item to another meeting. He felt that Long Point should be heard and resolved at this meeting.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to suspend the Planning Commission rules to continue beyond 11:00 p.m. in order to hear agenda item no. 8, Long Point, seconded by Commissioner Paulson.

Commissioner Long was concerned that every time the Planning Commission reached an important discussion regarding Long Point it has been very late in the evening. He urged the Planning Commission to consider why they would vote for this motion now. He felt that the most important part of the Long Point decision was before the Planning Commission and they needed to get these conditions right, and he was concerned that this could not happen if the decisions were made very late in the evening.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman stated that item no. 7 was a publicly noticed item the Planning Commission was legally obligated to open the public hearing. He stated that the Commission could offer those speakers who are here and could not come back to the next meeting and wished to speak to do so, and request that those who are able to come to the next meeting hold their comments to that time.

On a roll call vote of 4-3 the motion passed, with Commissioners Long, Mueller, and Vice Chairman Clark dissenting.


7. Coastal Permit No. 170, Grading Permit No. 2260, Coastal Permit No. 172, and Grading Permit No. 2281: Eric Johnson, 2 Yacht Harbor Drive

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report. He stated that all residential development on the site would occur outside the landslide moratorium area. He stated that there were two findings necessary for a Coastal Permit, and staff found that these findings could be found. He explained that staff has assessed the likely impacts of the project upon public views, and believe the impairment will not be significant. He also stated that the Coastal Plan is that the project is consistent with applicable public access and recreation policies of the Coastal Act. However, since the Portuguese Bend Community is a private community and does not provide public access to coastal resources, the approval of the project has no affect on existing coastal access. Further, there is adequate existing coastal access nearby at Ocean Trails and Abalone Cove Park. He discussed the grading applications and noted there are nine findings required to be made. He stated that staff has found that all nine findings could be made for the project. He discussed the scale of the proposed residence, and while clearly much larger than the 10 nearest homes in the Portuguese Bend Club and Seaview Community, however considering the significantly larger lot size of the proposed project, the scale of the proposed house is in proportion to its lot as he homes in the surrounding neighborhood. He stated that there had been a number of letters received regarding the project and the issues of concerns raised in the letters was the size of the house relative to the surrounding homes, the height of the structure, impairment of private views and the economic impact of impairment views on property values, damage to nearby homes during construction, impacts upon land movement in the adjacent landslide moratorium area, and the affects of headlights from vehicles on the realigned portion of the street.

Commissioner Long asked how many other neighborhood compatibility analysis have been done that include the structure-to-lot ratio analysis.

Senior Planner Fox stated that he has done two or three others. He stated that this was done to show a meaningful comparison of developed lots.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing for the purpose of hearing those individuals who cannot appear at the October 23 meeting.

Commissioner Paulson and Vice Chairman Clark both felt that anyone who wanted to speak should speak, and the Commission agreed.

Eric Johnson (applicant) 92 Yacht Harbor Drive acknowledged that there were those who were concerned with the impact of the proposed project. He felt that once they view the project on an impact standpoint, they will find the project has much less of an impact than the previously approved Transamerica subdivision. He stated that he has worked very hard to situate the structures on the property to minimize the impacts to surrounding properties. He addressed the height of the structures, which are proposed at a maximum elevation of 230 feet, which is lower than the previous development proposal approved for the site. He also noted that his proposal was 11,000 square feet of structure above grade as opposed to the previously approved 70,000 square feet of structure above grade. He stated that the grading quantities for the project were significantly less than those of the previously approved project and only 2,000 cubic yards would be exported as opposed to 21,000 in the prior approved plan. He stated he was a professional scientist and geologist and it was very important to him to understand the stability of the area he was building on. He was very confident that the area was safe to build on. He stated that he has worked very hard to design a project that was well within his rights to build. He noted that there were no variances or height variations required. He stated that he would continue to work with the community to make sure that everyone appreciates how good of an outcome for this site the proposed project will be. He stated that he would begin flagging the ridgeline immediately.

Commissioner Paulson asked Mr. Johnson if his definition of "community" included not only Portuguese Bend but the houses across the street along Palos Verdes Drive South.

Mr. Johnson agreed.

Jill Carlton 4265 Palos Verdes Drive South felt the look of the house was very lovely, but was concerned with the affect of the road realignment. She stated that the applicant has stated he does not require a Variance and is building what he can by right. She questioned this statement. She stated that if the project were being permitted without the road realignment, the ridgeline height would be at 230 elevation, which is in excess of the code and therefore subject to a height variation. She felt the project should be treated as a height variation with all of the proper procedures or the height of the project should be lowered to comply with the height variation guidelines. She felt that a road relocation that effectively gives the applicant additional height leeway at the detriment of her possible view should not be allowed without proper consideration. She felt that approving the road realignment prior to silhouetting and approving the project itself would be allowing the project to be approved under less stringent rules and public scrutiny. She stated that if the project were approved at 226 elevation she would have no further objection to the project, as it would be equal to the ridge height approved for the Transamerica project and less of an impact on the view on the view corridor.

Commissioner Long asked staff to respond to the comments of the last speaker at the next meeting. He felt these comments could be important as to whether or not the Commission can go forward on the project on the assumption it does not need a height variation. He was very interested on the City Attorney’s views on how the road realignment and the height variation interrelated.

Jack Jones 4225 Palos Verdes Drive South stated that he learned from the Transamerica hearings that however is going to develop the property must work with the community, which is more than the Portuguese Bend Beach Club. He explained that the applicant had invited the neighborhood to his home to explain the project, however all he could determine at the time was that this was a huge and beautiful development. He was not able to come to any conclusion as to what the impact would be on his views. He felt sure, however, that it would have a severe impact on his view. He was pleased the Planning Commission requested some flagging on the property and encouraged the Commission to consider the realignment of the road together with development of the home. He acknowledged that Mr. Johnson should be able to develop his property to his liking, and he should be able to do so within reason.

Deborah Huff 4245 Palos Verdes Drive South also had concerns about the views and felt it was important to work through any legal issues regarding the height variation and the road realignment. She stated she was very pleased to have the Johnsons in the neighborhood but felt she had to express her concerns as a homeowner, which was the possible loss of her view.

Diane Weinberger 4206 Exultant Drive stated she was not notified about this project and felt she should have been as she was the president of the Seaview HOA. She stated that she had just read the staff report and disagreed with some things and found some discrepancies and inconsistencies. She stated she would put her concerns in a letter to the Planning Commission which she would do before the next meeting. She felt it was important to have the applicant flag the ridgeline but added that the City should still have the capability to flag the house of necessary.

William McLaughlin 4157 Maritime Road stated he was very happy with the proposal and felt the applicant had listened to and accepted a lot of community input. He noted that Transamerica had planned 15 houses for the area, where Mr. Johnson was proposing only one. He was concerned that if the proposal was rejected there was nothing stopping Mr. Johnson from selling the property to a developer.

Steve Stewart 4164 Maritime Road stated he too was happy to have a single family dwelling on the property rather than multiple homes that would impact the open space, wildlife, and natural habitat. He felt the project was pleasing to the eye and was happy that the applicant had worked so closely with the neighbors.

Linde Bilski 4255 Palos Verdes Drive South felt the road was proposed to be relocated rather than realigned. She stated that this would change the measurements in the plan as the structural height was based on the new road location. She felt that the two-degree viewing arc was measured from her property. She felt that either the two-degree arc should be measured from 220-foot elevation of Palos Verdes Drive South or the height variation should be applied to the project.

William Silverthorn 93 Yacht Harbor Drive noted that the applicant could build a house up to 16 feet in height by right however the proposal was 12 feet in height. Furthermore, by moving the road the applicant was moving the house farther away from Palos Verdes Drive South, giving another 4 feet of view. He didn’t think there was a more welcome design that could be put on the property which has all of the neighbors’ views in mind.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Paulson moved to continue the hearing to the meeting of October 26, 2001 with the direction that the applicant flag the ridgeline of the proposed project, the proposal of the road realignment and the new home be considered jointly at the next meeting, and the staff address the points raised by the public, seconded by Chairman Lyon. Approved, (7-0).


RECESS AND RECONVENE


At 11:00 p.m. the Commission took a short recess to 11:10 p.m. at which time they reconvened.


CONTINUED BUSINESS


8. Long Point Resort: Consisting of Coastal Permit No. 166, General Plan Amendment No. 28, Conditional Use Permit No. 215, Conditional Use Permit No. 216, Parcel Map No. 26073, Grading Permit No. 2229, Grading Permit No. 2230 and the associated Final Environmental Impact Report: Destination Resorts (applicant) 6610 Palos Verdes Drive South and 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard.

Chairman Lyon suggested addressing the three issues for Long Point in turn: first the EIR Resolution, followed by the Conditions of Approval for the resort hotel area, finally the Conditions of Approval for the Upper Point Vicente area.

Senior Planner Mihranian presented a brief staff report. He reviewed the Resolutions with the attached Exhibits. Regarding the Resolution for the Upper Point Vicente area, he noted that the Resolution will be amended to eliminate the trail segment between hole 2 and the Coast Guard property. He stated that, while not specifically mentioned in the motion, it was staff’s understanding that the lookout pavilion along the trail will also be eliminated. Mr. Mihranian addressed the traffic section of the Conditions of Approval and noted a correction pertaining to page 11, condition no. 75 for the resort hotel area as well as page 9, condition no. 63 for the Upper Point Vicente area. He stated it should read: "the west leg with one left turn lane, one shared left and through lane, and one right turn lane." He concluded by stating that the contents of the Resolutions were based entirely on the project findings that were previously reviewed by the Commission and an action on each Resolution must be made in order to forward the proposed project to the City Council.

Commissioner Long referred to the draft resolution for the EIR on page 4 of 7, section 4, and asked staff for an explanation for where the reference is to guideline section 15084 (e) and what the general provisions of that section are.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman quoted the section to the Commission.

Chairman Lyon suggested each Commissioner express, in turn, any concerns they had with the EIR.

Commissioner Paulson asked for clarification regarding the fencing. He stated that the EIR discussed no fencing being allowed but also discussed fencing being provided around certain areas to provide mitigating measures.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that low fencing (6 to 8 feet in height) would be allowed along the golf course to ensure public safety.

Commissioner Paulson asked if those fences would block the movement of the wild animals in the area from moving from one location to another.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman stated that there was a specific requirement that the fencing along the habitat areas be of a split rail nature, or something similar, to provide pass-through for the wildlife.

Commissioner Cartwright, Chairman Lyon, Vice Chairman Clark, and Commissioner Vannorsdall had no comments regarding the EIR.

Commissioner Long referred to page 5 of the draft resolution. He did not believe the Commission could or should make the findings set forth in sections 6 or 7. Regarding section 10 of the resolution, he felt the finding suggested an implicit endorsement of the use of public land for the project. Therefore, he could not agree with finding no. 10.

Regarding Exhibit A, Commissioner Long noted on page 9, wildlife movement. He felt the project would result in fragmented habitat that was less useful. On page 28, F3, he disagreed with the statement that the recreational uses proposed by the project were generally consistent with the Program of Utilization. He disagreed with the statement that proposed recreational facilities would be designated for public use. He also disagreed with the statement that this will be consistent with the deed requirements that Upper Point Vicente be used and maintained for public purposes. He felt the project was equally making use of public land for primarily private purposes. He referred to page 28, item 1, which stated that an amendment to the program of utilization shall be prepared. He felt that should come before the approval of the project.

Commissioner Long next referred to page 46 which discussed the various alternatives analyzed by the Final Environmental Impact Report. He stated that those alternatives did not include any serious analysis of the alternative the Vice Chairman suggested, which was that the project proceed in a manner that would have some relationship with Ocean Trails and not make use of a subsidy of public land. He stated that the alternate use of other property owned by the current owner of Long Point was also seriously not considered, as well as the possibility of reduced hotel passes as an alternate public subsidy was not considered.

Commissioner Long discussed page 47, the reasons for rejecting the no project alternative. He referred to the last sentence and stated he disagreed with it. On page 52 he noted a statement which he stated that the existing entitlements on the Long Point property infeasible. He stated that in the very evening the Planning Commission approved the extension of the existing entitlements, the Commission was also finding the existing entitlements were infeasible.

Commissioner Long stated that these were his concerns certifying the EIR strictly from the draft resolution and findings, however he had questions concerning the actual EIR, which he understood the Chairman was not inviting the Commission to submit those questions to staff at this time.

Commissioner Mueller agreed with the questions raised by Commissioner Long and added that on pages 36 and 37 there was a lot of discussion on public service and utilities. He stated there was no mention of water consumption, which he felt should be included. On page 40 he asked why the EIR did not address the glare issue when discussing the parking. He discussed page 45 and objected to the statement in the project alternatives which stated the Planning Commission finds that specific economic, social, and other considerations make infeasible each of the project alternatives identified. He did not think economic considerations should be included, particularly since the Commission had never reviewed any report from the Finance Committee. He noted on page 50, the word "infeasible" which he felt could be softened to say "less desirable". He did not think some of the options were completely infeasible. He also did not think the wording in the first sentence on page 52 was appropriate and should state the property was undeveloped and natural rather than under developed and dilapidated.

Commissioner Vannorsdall moved to forward a recommendation to the City Council to certify the Environmental Impact Report, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright.

Commissioner Long stated that he had comments on Exhibit B which he had not made previously. On page 2, he objected to the statement that additional revenue to the City would come from concessions for the use of Upper Point Vicente. He stated there was no evidence to support that statement and it was purely speculative. On page 4 he read the sentence at the top of the page, stating that any one and each of the forgoing benefits constitutes a significant consideration sufficient to approve the project. He asked the Commission if, in reviewing the bullet points on pages 3 and 4 of the findings, if any one of those alone was enough.

Chairman Lyon suggested wording to replace the "any one and each" that states the Planning Commission specifically finds that the forgoing benefits constitute significant consideration sufficient to approve.

Commissioner Paulson suggested striking the "quality" in the statement "quality golf".

The motion passed, (4-3) with Commissioners Long, Mueller and Vice Chairman Clark dissenting.

Chairman Lyon then addressed the conditions of approval for the resort hotel area, which includes Exhibit A through a resolution. He noted that the resolution merely states all of the findings that the Planning Commission has already approved, therefore the Planning Commission should focus on the conditions of approval.

Commissioner Long agreed, and added that while some Commissioners may not be able to make the necessary findings they may have comments on the conditions of approval that the rest of the Commission may find useful.

Commissioner Paulson noted on page 14, regarding the resort villas. He was concerned that the height restriction that the villas cannot exceed the height of Palos Verdes Drive South was not included in the conditions. He noted a typo on page 22, condition no.158.

Chairman Lyon commented that on page 2 it would be better to put item no. H before item no. C. He stated that item H addresses the development of the area formerly known as hole no. 5 and item no. C addresses the maintenance and financial responsibility for those improvements. He also suggested adding a phrase to the end of no. H to say "to the satisfaction of the City Council." He also suggested adding another item to no. F that addresses the equitable allocation of tee times available for the public and hotel guests.

Vice Chairman Clark stated that there was a component missing in the assumption that this project was using City land, which was the ability to form a Rancho Palos Verdes men’s and women’s golf club open to residents of Rancho Palos Verdes who will have priority.

Chairman Lyon referred to page 16 item no. 105. He suggested inserting "or practice facility" in the phrase "no safety netting for the golf course shall be permitted." He noted a typo in item no. 104.

Vice Chairman Clark referred to condition no. 35 which discusses specific structure sizes on the Long Point property. He asked why the condition stated that the structures substantially comply.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that buildings typically deviate slightly and is rare that the size would come in at exactly 20,000 square feet. He suggested clarifying the condition to state that the building shall not exceed 20,000 square feet.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman stated that the reason the condition is worded this was because when actual construction plans are drawn up, the dimensions and square footages change slightly. He stated that staff was working off plans that are predominately elevations and floor plans. He explained that sometimes when construction plans are finalized the square footages will shrink.

Vice Chairman Clark asked what "substantially complies with" means.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman answered that "substantially complies with" means within a reasonable amount. He stated that if the conditions state 20,000 square feet and the plans show 30,000 square feet that would be an issue for the Planning Commission or City Council to discuss.

Commissioner Vannorsdall noted that "substantially complies with" was less restrictive than cannot exceed.

The Commission agreed.

Commissioner Long referred to page 2, 8b. He suggested it be re-written as follows: "A guarantee of minimum revenue generation as projected by the applicant, and a guarantee of all of the applicant’s financial obligations under the development agreement in a form and amount acceptable to the City Council, preferably an irrevocable letter of credit which will be provided to the City prior to the issuance of building permits."

Commissioner Paulson agreed with this change.

Commissioner Long did not think an insurance provision should substitute for indemnity provisions. He felt very strongly that adequate indemnity provisions be included. He stated that the indemnity should provide that the City enter into an indemnity agreement with an entity that has net worth.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman suggested adding to condition 8 another paragraph that includes specific language that an indemnity agreement shall be part of the development and/or concession agreement.

Commissioner Long discussed condition 19 and suggested the City require adequate insurance for the operation of the golf course with the City being named as additional insured. He felt there should be adequate insurance to cover the resort operation in general and did not feel that $5 million in limits was adequate. He felt that the limits should apply separately to the site. He suggested the city staff and city attorney review and approve the form of the policy, and not merely the certificate of insurance.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman stated that most of Commissioner Long’s concerns are addressed in the City’s standard requirements for insurance and asked if it would suffice if a provision were inserted stating any insurance policy shall comply with all standard requirements of insurance as determined by the risk manager.

Commissioner Long felt that may satisfy his concerns. He then discussed combined pedestrian/bike paths and reiterated that he felt these types of paths were a really bad idea and did not think the City should approve them. He felt they were a recipe for disaster and a bad idea.

Commissioner Mueller discussed page 16 and the conditions regarding fences. He asked that a condition be added addressing fencing along Palos Verdes Drive South. He suggested any fencing along Palos Verdes Drive South be modeled after the fencing that was installed in front of Oceanfront Estates on Palos Verdes Drive West.

Commissioner Cartwright felt that the requirement should only be on the ocean side of the street, as that would tie the properties together.

Assistant City Attorney asked for clarification in the matter of the joint trails. He asked if there were any changes proposed regarding that issue.

Chairman Lyon answered that there were no changes regarding joint trails.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman asked about the insurance issues. He suggested increasing the limits of the grading insurance and also suggested dealing with the insurance and indemnity issues together as part of the development agreement for the overall project, and the concession agreement, with respect to use of public property.

Commissioner Long stated what his point was that somewhere the City had to express the concept that if the developer is going to operate a public golf course with public easements and partially on public land, the City had some potential liability and the developer should provide insurance that meets the City standard requirements, have adequate limits, have limits that apply separately to the site, name the city as an additional insured, insurance is primary as the City’s insurance, insurance has low deductible and other terms and provisions adequate to the City’s risk manager, City Council, and the city attorney with the form of the policy and additional insured endorsement being reviewed by all concerned.

Commissioner Paulson suggested Commissioner Long review the wording for the insurance requirements prior to formalizing the resolution to the City Council.

Commissioner Long agreed to review the language to ensure the spirit of what the Planning Commission said was included with respect to the insurance requirements.

Chairman Lyon moved to approve the resolution and conditions of approval for the Long Point site as amended by everything said, other than the combined pedestrian/bike trail, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. Approved, (5-2) with Commissioners Long and Mueller dissenting.

Chairman Long clarified that his no vote was made solely because he did not feel he could make the finding the resolution requires him to make on page 4 of 18, where the resolution incorporates findings regarding the Environmental Impact Report. In all other respects he was satisfied that the resolution was suitable.

Chairman Lyon noted that the next item to discuss was the resolution for the General Plan amendment, which was fairly straightforward.

Chairman Lyon moved to adopt the Resolution regarding General Plan Amendment No. 28 and forward the recommendation to the City Council, seconded by Commissioner Paulson. Approved, (4-3) with Commissioners Long, Mueller, and Vice Chairman Clark dissenting.

Chairman Lyon next discussed the conditions of approval for the Upper Point Vicente area and again noted that the resolution contained language that was discussed at the previous meeting. He began the discussion by referring to page 14, item 106. He suggested adding grading to the requirements, so the statement would read "The developer shall grade, landscape, and irrigate the area formerly known as hole no. 5."

Commissioner Long felt it was ambiguous to refer to the area as "the area formerly known as hole no. 5." He suggested attaching a map that defines the area referred to as former hole no. 5.

Assistant City Attorney Pittman suggested taking the plan from September 6 and incorporating it as an attachment that identifies the areas on the plan that were being discussed.

Commissioner Long had a comment on item no. 41 on page 6. He suggested adding a statement that to the extent there are any drainage grates in the bikeways, the drainage grates shall be placed in a manner that is perpendicular rather than parallel to the direction of traffic.

Vice Chairman Clark noted that condition no. 42, regarding the cart and pedestrian paths, should state specifically that golf cart paths shall be curbed so that golf carts do not drive onto the pedestrian paths. He also referred to condition no. 25 and asked why July 4th was specifically singled out for requiring that the entire golf course be closed down.

Commissioner Paulson asked if condition 25 was necessary because of condition no. 26. He felt condition no. 26 accomplishes what is needed for both conditions.

The Commissioners agreed that condition no. 25 should be eliminated.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to adopt P.C. Resolution 2001-40 thereby approving the conditions of approval for the Upper Point Vicente area, as modified, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (4-3) with Commissioners Long, Mueller, and Vice Chairman Clark dissenting.

Chairman Lyon noted that the Planning Commission has now forwarded a recommendation to the City Council on the Long Point project for their consideration at their November 7 meeting.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS


Vice Chairman Clark asked that an item to allow for an update on the neighborhood compatibility guidelines be included on the next agenda.


ADJOURNMENT


The meeting was adjourned at 12:36 a.m.


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


CONTINUED BUSINESS:







2. COASTAL PERMIT NO. 170 and GRADING PERMIT NO. 2260 and COASTAL PERMIT NO. 172 and GRADING PERMIT NO. 2281: Eric Johnson, 2 Yacht Harbor Drive. (KF)

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: OCTOBER 23, 2001

SUBJECT: COASTAL PERMIT NO. 170/GRADING PERMIT NO. 2260 AND COASTAL PERMIT NO. 172/GRADING PERMIT NO. 2281 (JOHNSON, 2 YACHT HARBOR DRIVE)

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, aicp, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Receive the Staff report and additional public testimony, and continue this matter to the Planning Commission meeting of November 13, 2001 to allow time for the completion of the ridgeline silhouette by the applicant.

BACKGROUND

On October 9, 2001, the Planning Commission opened the public hearing on these applications and heard testimony from the applicant and several interested parties. The direction from the Planning Commission was 1) to require the applicant to silhouette the ridgeline of the proposed house; 2) to consider the applications for the house and the road realignment jointly (rather than separately, as requested by the applicant); and 3) for Staff to research and respond to several issues raised by the public. As of the date this report was completed, the ridgeline silhouette had not yet been constructed. However, Staff is prepared to address several of the issues discussed at the last Planning Commission meeting.

DISCUSSION

As noted in the previous Staff report, concerned residents in the Seaview community have raised a number of concerns about the project. These include:

  • The height of the structures and impairment of private views, and the economic impact of this impairment upon property values

  • Damage to nearby homes due to vibration and earth movement during construction

  • Impacts upon land movement in the adjacent landslide moratorium area

  • Headlights from vehicles on the realigned portion of Yacht Harbor Drive

  • Agreements between Seaview residents and the previous developer (Transamerica) regarding structure heights

At the October 9, 2001 hearing, the majority of speakers in opposition to the project expressed concern about the uncertainty of the degree of view impairment that would result from the project. For this reason, the Planning Commission directed the applicant to erect a ridgeline silhouette, but this has not yet been completed. As such, Staff is not prepared to address the issue of private view impairment at tonight’s meeting.

Another related issue raised at the October 9, 2001 hearing was how the realignment of Yacht Harbor Drive affects the way that the height of the structure is measured. Based upon the current proposal, the subject property is a downslope lot and the maximum 16-foot building height is measured from the average elevation of the 20-foot setback line from realigned Yacht Harbor Drive, which is 218.0’ above mean sea level (MSL). This could result in a house with a maximum ridgeline up to 234.0’ above MSL without the requirement for a height variation. By comparison, the applicant’s proposal is twelve feet (12’0") tall with a maximum ridgeline of 230.0’ above MSL. If Yacht Harbor Drive were to remain in its current alignment, the subject property would be an upslope lot and the maximum 16-foot building height would be measured from the highest point of existing grade covered by the structure. Without the road realignment, the proposed project would need to be moved inland (i.e., towards Palos Verdes Drive South) approximately ninety feet (90’0") and/or totally redesigned. Assuming that the house was moved back toward Palos Verdes Drive South, the highest existing grade at the 15-foot rear-yard setback line is approximately 220.0’ above MSL. This could result in a house with a maximum ridgeline up to 236.0’ above MSL without the requirement for a height variation. This is two feet (2’0") higher than the maximum ridgeline permissible with the realignment of Yacht Harbor Drive, and six feet (6’0") higher than the project currently proposed.

With respect to geologic and landslide issues, the proposed project received conceptual approval by the City’s geotechnical consultant. No residential development is proposed within the 5.51-acre portion of the site that is located within the City’s landslide moratorium area. If approved, all construction activities associated with the project will be carried out in compliance with the City’s building codes. As such, based upon the information currently available, Staff believes that the proposed project does not pose a threat to the stability of surrounding residences.

At the October 9, 2001 hearing, the applicant distributed an analysis of the impact of vehicle headlights on the steepest ascending portion of realigned Yacht Harbor Drive. This analysis demonstrates that the difference in elevation between the realigned road and homes in the Seaview community—as well as the existing foliage in the medians of Palos Verdes Drive South—will substantially screen vehicle headlights. Given that Yacht Harbor Drive is a private street that serves a relatively small residential neighborhood (fifty-one homes), the amount of nighttime traffic on the road is not expected to be significant. However, it should also be noted that without the realignment of Yacht Harbor Drive, there would be virtually no potential for vehicle headlights to shine on to properties in the Seaview community.

The applicant also distributed a comparison of the building footprints and ridgeline elevations of the former Transamerica project with the current proposal. The Planning Commission also asked for a brief summary of the Transamerica project for comparison purposes (see table below).

 

Proposed Altamira project
(Eric Johnson)

VTTM 49067, et al.
(Transamerica)

Total Site Area

18.88 acres

18.33 acres

Grading Quantities

 

Cut

26,650 CY

39,000 CY

Fill

23,915 CY

18,000 CY

Total

50,565 CY

57,000 CY

Net

<2,735 CY>

<21,000 CY>

No. of DU’s

1

10

Total Area of DU’s

22,715 SF

58,000 SF

Maximum Ridgelines

230’

227’ to 231’

Min. Distance from PVDS

110’

50’

No. of New Lots

0

13

Road Realignment Req’d?

Yes

No


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Several items of late correspondence were not distributed to the Planning Commission at the last hearing because they were received after the Monday noon deadline. These letters are attached to tonight’s Staff report.

As mentioned at the October 9, 2001 hearing, the applicant and several residents of the Portuguese Bend Club community expressed concern about a proposed condition requiring the dedication of a lateral public access easement. On the advice of the City Attorney, this condition is no longer recommended.

The 60-day decision deadline for this application is currently October 26, 2001. The applicant and Staff have mutually agreed to a 90-day extension of this deadline. Also, to clarify a point raised at the last hearing, the public notice for these applications incorrectly listed the height of the building as sixteen feet (16’0"), when in fact it is actually proposed to be twelve feet (12’0"). Staff apologizes for any confusion in this matter.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission accept additional public testimony on the project, and continue this matter to the Planning Commission meeting of November 13, 2001 so that the ridgeline silhouettes can be completed.

Attachments:

Additional public correspondence
Headlight impact analysis
Comparative site plan with Transamerica project overlay



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

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: OCTOBER 23, 2001

SUBJECT: TENTATIVE TRACT MAP NO. 53305, CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 228, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2242 AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 738 (JCC HOMES, INC./CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE COMPANY, 5837 CREST ROAD)

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, aicp, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Receive the Staff report and additional public testimony regarding the revised project, provide additional direction to the applicant (if appropriate), and continue this matter to the Planning Commission meeting of November 27, 2001 to allow time for Staff’s completion of 1) view analyses based upon the recently-revised silhouettes and 2) revisions to and re-noticing of the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration to reflect the revised project description.

BACKGROUND

On September 25, 2001, the Planning Commission opened the public hearing on these applications and heard testimony from the applicant and several interested parties. The Planning Commission’s discussions focused on a number of issues. These included:

  • The need for discussions between the applicant and the neighbors in the Mesa Palos Verdes and Seaview Villas communities to address their concerns about views, structure size and neighborhood compatibility

  • The status of the existing reservoir and California Water Service Company’s (CWSC’s) future plans for the site

  • The design of the subdivision, particularly with respect to proposed Lot 9

  • The appropriateness of using the remaining reservoir site to meet the open space requirement of the residential planned development (RPD)

  • The relationship of the project to foliage in the City’s right-of-way and any related view impacts

  • Alternate, non-residential uses for the surplus portions of the CWSC site

DISCUSSION

Neighborhood Coordination

On October 9, 2001, a neighborhood meeting was held at Hesse Park. The meeting was attended by Planning Staff, representatives of JCC Homes and CWSC, and sixteen interested parties from the surrounding Mesa Palos Verdes and Seaview Villas communities (see attached sign-in sheet). At that meeting, JCC Homes indicated that many alternatives were being considered, and outlined a number of possible project modifications to address neighborhood concerns. These included:

  • Reducing the total living area of all seven homes from 5,500 t0 6,500 square feet to no more than 4,400 square feet

  • Placing one-story 18-foot-tall homes on Lots 4 through 6, rather than the two-story, 26-foot-tall homes originally proposed

  • Increasing the side-yard setbacks on Lots 3 and 4 (abutting the rear yards of the existing homes on Stonecrest Road) from eleven feet (11’0") to thirty feet (30’0") in order to preserve existing foliage

  • Replacing existing foliage to be removed along the rear property lines of Lots 1 through 3 (abutting the rear yards of the existing homes on Sunmist Drive) with specimen trees and/or a wall to enhance privacy

  • Placing a split-level 18-foot-tall home on Lot 9, rather than the two story, 26-foot-tall home originally proposed

Many of the neighborhood residents seemed pleased with the possible modifications proposed by the applicant. The applicant also agreed to modify the existing silhouettes to depict the revised building heights on Lots 4, 5, 6 and 9. However, a number of residents also remained concerned about the overall design and density of the subdivision, and the appropriateness of changing the existing land use those neighbors had come to expect for nearly forty years. A resident also stated that she believed there to be an emergency access and/or roadway easement around the perimeter of the proposed Lots 1 through 4 (i.e., abutting the homes on Sunmist Drive and Stonecrest Road). Staff has reviewed the preliminary title report provided by the applicant and has not found an easement that corresponds to the resident’s description.

Future Plans for Remaining CWSC Facilities

At the neighborhood meeting, a representative of CWSC addressed questions about the remaining CWSC facilities. CWSC indicated that the reservoir area would remain in its current condition and no vehicles or equipment would be parked there. The site would function as a satellite maintenance facility, with administrative functions relocated to the new CWSC offices in Torrance. CWSC estimates that existing traffic to the facility will be reduced by about one-third, and much of the large heavy equipment would also be removed. In addition, portions of the existing carport structure along the westerly property line would also be removed. With respect to the reservoir itself, CWSC indicates that the tank is regularly inspected for leaks and that this would continue.

Changes to the Design of the Project

On October 16, 2001, the applicant submitted revised plans for the proposed subdivision and homes. The revised plans incorporated the following modifications:

  • The total living area of the homes now ranges from 4,000 to 4,600 square feet, rather than 5,500 to 6,500 square feet as originally proposed.

  • The two-story, 26-foot-tall homes originally proposed on Lots 4 through 6 have been replaced with one-story, 16-foot-tall homes.

  • The side-yard setbacks on Lots 3 and 4 (abutting the homes on Stonecrest Road) have been increased from eleven feet (11’0") to twenty-five feet (25’0") on Lot 3 and twenty-eight feet (28’0") on Lot 4.

  • The applicant is preparing a landscape plan to identify existing foliage to be retained, and the replacement of existing foliage that cannot be retained, on Lots 1 through 4 (this plan was not finalized by the time this report was completed).

  • The two-story, 26-foot-tall home originally proposed on Lot 9 has been replaced with a split-level, 16-foot-tall home.

  • The pad elevations of Lots 2 through 5 and 9 have been lowered approximately one to two feet.

  • The silhouettes depicting the revised building heights on Lots 4 through 6 and 9 have been erected. However, since the silhouettes were erected very recently, Staff has not yet had the opportunity to determine the effect of the revised ridgelines on private views.

In order to accommodate the revised building footprints, the lots and private street have been modified as well. As a result, the project no longer fully complies with the RS-4 development standards. Specifically, most of the lots would no longer provide minimum 10-foot side-yard setbacks on both sides of the house (see table below). Since the applicant is applying for a residential planned development (RPD), the Planning Commission has the ability to grant exceptions to development standards. However, the Planning Commission could direct the applicant to further revise the proposed houses to comply with the RS-4 setback requirements. It should also be noted that members of the Planning Commission expressed serious reservations about the overall design of the subdivision, particularly with respect to proposed Lot 9. In the revised plans submitted on October 16, 2001, the applicant has retained the same general project configuration as originally proposed. At the neighborhood meeting, residents of the abutting Seaview Villas community requested an increased side-yard setback on Lot 9, but this has not been provided. However, Staff has reviewed the architectural elevation of the home proposed for Lot 9 and would recommend that the upper-level windows on the westerly façade (in the master bedroom and bath) be reduced in size and/or glazed with translucent material.

Lot

Area

Width

Depth

Side Setbacks

Standard

RS-4 lot

Minimum

10,000 SF

Minimum

75’

Minimum

100’

Minimum

10’

Aggregate

20’

Proposed Residential Lots

1

13,257 SF

75.0’

140.0’

10.0’

42.0’

2

10,472 SF

75.0’

140.0’

7.0’

17.0’

3

13,147 SF

100.0’

135.3’

7.0’

32.0’

4

14,027 SF

99.0’

133.0’

5.0’

33.0’

5

11,287 SF

85.0’

131.5’

5.5’

15.5’

6

11,124 SF

83.7’

131.5’

7.0’

21.5’

9

11,848 SF

76.3’

135.0’

10.0’

20.0’


Use of the Reservoir Site as Open Space

As discussed in the previous Staff report, the establishment of an RPD requires that the developer agree to provide at least thirty percent (30%) of the project site as permanent open space area. In this case, Lot 7—which encompasses thirty-four percent (34%) of the total site and contains the existing CWSC underground reservoir and pump station—would be preserved as open area. Members of the Planning Commission have questioned allowing this existing underground utility structure to meet the open space requirements of the proposed subdivision.

The Development Code does not contain a definition of "open space." However, it does include Open Space Hazard (OH) and Open Space Recreation (OR) zoning districts. Pursuant to RPVDC Section 17.34.010, the stated purpose of the OR district is to:

[provide] open space for outdoor recreation, including, but not limited to, areas particularly suited for park and recreational purposes, including access to beaches, natural drainage channels and areas which serve as links between major recreation and open space reservations, including utility easements, banks of natural drainage channels, trails and scenic corridors. [emphasis added]

Based upon this stated purpose, Staff believes that the Development Code clearly envisions that utility easements would be appropriate locations for open space uses and activities. In addition, the RPD development standards in RPVDC Section 17.42.040(C)(1) state that:

Common open and recreational space shall make up at least thirty percent of the subject property and shall include any permanent open area and any recreational structures and facilities to be held in a single or common ownership or dedicated for public use. Undevelopable areas or areas of extreme slope (thirty-five percent or steeper) may be included as common open space area. [emphasis added]

Even though the existing reservoir site is not currently zoned for open space use, its surface is "improved" with foliage and turf that gives the appearance of a park. This appearance would not change as a result of the proposed project. Since the reservoir will remain, it would not be appropriate for this property to be used for development or for active recreational use. However, it is ideal for passive recreational use (such as walking or picnicking) and to function as a buffer for the surrounding homes to the north and northeast of the project site.

City Tree Issues

The proposed project only fronts upon a short segment of public street. This is the location of the proposed Lot 9. The property owners at 29541 Oceanport Drive have a pending application for City Tree Review Permit No. 110 on file with the City. This application seeks the trimming and/or removal of several trees and shrubs in the public right-of-way of Scotwood Drive, including the existing bottlebrush trees abutting the CWSC site. It should be noted that if the proposed project were approved, these trees would need to be removed to accommodate the construction of the private street and the house on Lot 9. Also, Staff would not recommend allowing the replacement of these street trees as a part of the proposed project. The City’s view restoration coordinators indicate that a final decision on City Tree Review Permit No. 110 is due shortly.

Alternate Uses of the Site

The applicant and property owner have not explored other uses of the site as an alternative to the proposed subdivision. Presumably, the relocation of some of CWSC’s activities to the new Torrance facility could still occur, even if this project is not approved. The current RS-4 zoning of the property would allow for a variety of uses (see attached RPVDC excerpt). As examples, these could include active recreational facilities, expansion of the existing CWSC facility or other public utility use, or private educational uses.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The comment period for the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the project expired on October 4, 2001. However, with the applicant’s changes to the design and scope of the project, the project description and the draft MND will need to be revised accordingly and re-noticed. Also, as discussed at the September 25, 2001 Planning Commission hearing, the City Attorney believes that a general plan amendment (GPA) is also required in order to correct an apparent inconsistency between the subject property’s current land use and zoning designations. This will be included in the revised MND. Staff anticipates that the revised MND can be prepared and re-circulated in time for the Planning Commission meeting of November 27, 2001.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission accept additional public testimony regarding the revised project, provide additional direction to the applicant (if appropriate), and continue this matter to the Planning Commission meeting of November 27, 2001 to allow time for Staff’s completion of 1) view analyses based upon the recently-revised silhouettes and 2) revisions to and re-noticing of the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration to reflect the revised project description.

Attachments:

Neighborhood meeting sign-in sheet
Description of project revisions
RPVDC Chapters 17.02 "Residential Districts" & 17.42 "Residential Planned Development"
Additional correspondence
Revised plans


PUBLIC HEARINGS:



4. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 230 and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 744: Bruce Bartram, Trutanich & Michael and Stephanie Dreckmann, Schmitz & Associates (for James A. Kay, Jr.), 26708 Indian Peak Road. (KF)

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: OCTOBER 23, 2001

SUBJECT: CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 230 AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 744

PROJECT

ADDRESS: 26708 INDIAN PEAK ROAD

APPLICANTS:
TRUTANICH & MICHEL llp
407 N. HARBOR BLVD.
SAN PEDRO, CA 90731
(310) 548-0410

SCHMITZ & ASSOCIATES
29350 W. PCH #12
MALIBU, CA 90265
(310) 589-0773

LANDOWNER: JAMES A. KAY, JR.

STAFF COORDINATOR: KIT FOX, aicp, SENIOR PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION: ALLOW THE EXISTING ROOF-MOUNTED AND INTERIOR ANTENNAE, SUPPORT STRUCTURES AND RELATED EQUIPMENT ON THE SITE OF A SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE TO BE USED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-__, CONDITIONALLY APPROVING CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 230

REFERENCES:

ZONING: RS-5

LAND USE: SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE WITH EXISTING ROOF-MOUNTED ANTENNA ARRAY

CODE SECTIONS: 17.02.025(F), 17.60.050(A), 17.76.020(A)

GENERAL PLAN: RESIDENTIAL, 4-6 DU/ACRE

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: N/A

CEQA STATUS: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 1)

ACTION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 18, 2001

BACKGROUND

On August 5, 1998, the applicant, James A. Kay, Jr., submitted an application for Site Plan Review No. 8334 to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. The request was for after-the-fact approval of the existing antenna array on the roof of the house for non-commercial purposes. The application for Site Plan Review No. 8334 was approved by Staff on October 22, 1998 and a notice of decision was issued. Prior to the issuance of the approval, Mr. Kay had expressed concern about conditions of approval limiting the use of the antennae for non-commercial purposes. However, on November 4, 1998 and prior to the expiration of the 15-day appeal period for the City’s approval, the City Council adopted Urgency Ordinance No. 341U, thereby enacting a moratorium on the processing of all applications for non-commercial and commercial antennae. The moratorium applied to any application upon which the City had acted but the appeal period had not yet expired. Therefore, the approval of Site Plan Review No. 8334 was held in abeyance.

On April 16, 1999 the antenna moratorium was lifted and new antenna regulations went into effect. The approval of Site Plan Review No. 8334 was voided by these new antenna regulations. Based upon subsequent discussions with Mr. Kay, Staff agreed that the existing antenna array qualified for an exemption from the City’s new non-commercial antenna regulations under Section 17.76.020(C)(3)(c)(ii) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code (RPVDC) because the support structure does not extend more than twelve feet (12’) above the roof of the house and the radiating elements are not more than six feet (6’) in length.

On October 15, 1999, Mr. Kay submitted an application for Site Plan Review No. 8736 to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. The request was for a 198-square-foot single-story storage room addition to the rear side of the house. Staff was suspicious that the addition was intended to house commercial radio transmitters due to the large number of electrical outlets proposed, the installation of two dedicated air conditioning condensers for the room and the lack of interior access to the rest of the house. The City could not withhold approval of Site Plan Review No. 8736 based upon these suspicions, so the storage room addition was approved. However, Staff subsequently reviewed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing records and found that several active and pending commercial radio frequencies were licensed to Mr. Kay’s property on Indian Peak Road.

Staff turned this FCC licensing information over to the City Attorney’s office, and the City obtained a warrant to monitor Mr. Kay’s property for evidence of commercial transmissions. Monitoring was conducted in November 1999 and commercial transmissions from the property were detected. The City subsequently filed a complaint on April 13, 2000 for preliminary and permanent injunctions against Mr. Kay to prevent the non-permitted use of commercial antennae on the site. Mr. Kay subsequently filed a cross complaint against the City, and these cases are currently pending. However, the City Attorney and Mr. Kay’s attorneys have also had on-going discussions about how to resolve this matter for some time, and have agreed that if Mr. Kay legalizes the use of commercial antennae on the site through the approval of a conditional use permit application, the pending litigation between the City and Mr. Kay would become moot.

On June 21, 2001, Mr. Kay submitted an application for Conditional Use Permit No. 230 and Environmental Assessment No. 744 to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. The request was for after-the-fact approval to establish the existing antennae and related support structures and equipment on the site for commercial use. The project was deemed incomplete on July 18, 2001, pending the submittal of additional information and payment of penalty and environmental assessment fees. Additional information and all of the requested fees were submitted to the City on August 15, 2001, along with a request for consideration of a waiver and refund of the penalty fee by the City Council. On September 18, 2001, the City Council considered and denied Mr. Kay’s request for a waiver and refund of the penalty fee. The application was subsequently deemed complete on September 19, 2001.

SITE AND PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The project site consists of an existing 2-story, single-family residence on a 7,580-square-foot pad lot in the Grandview neighborhood*. As described above, there is an existing antenna support structure and array on the roof of the house, which is permitted for non-commercial use only. There are also non-permitted commercial antennae purportedly located inside of the house, although this has not been independently verified. Staff has requested permission to inspect the interior of the house to verify the presence of the interior antennae, but the applicant had been unable to accommodate Staff’s request as of the date of this report. Existing single-family residences surround the subject property on all sides. The land use and zoning designations for the site are Residential, 4-6 DU/acre and RS-5, respectively.

* The second story of the house was added through a height variation approved in 1981.

The applicant’s proposal involves the establishment of the existing roof-mounted antennae support structure and array for commercial use, and the legalization of commercial antennae purported to be located inside the house. No physical modification to the existing antenna support structure and array is proposed by the applicant as a part of this application. Pursuant to RPVDC Section 17.96.090, the definition of "commercial antenna" includes "all antennas, parabolic dishes, relay towers and antenna support structures used for the transmission or reception of radio, television and communication signals for commercial purposes. For the purpose of this definition, ‘commercial purposes’ shall mean communications for hire or material compensation, or the use of commercial frequencies, as these terms are defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)." The applicant proposes to use the existing antennae on the property for transmission on commercial frequencies.

Mr. Kay asserts that the City only has jurisdiction to consider the proposed commercial use of the existing roof-mounted antennae, but not the use of the commercial antenna that he claims are located inside the house. It is Staff’s position that the Development Code requires the approval of a conditional use permit for all commercial antennae, regardless of where they are located on the site. Therefore, this application includes all existing antennae on the subject property that are currently proposed or used for commercial purposes. In addition, in his lawsuit Mr. Kay’s radio expert testified that the interior commercial antennae were installed in April 1998, but the City has confirmed—through FCC licensing records—that commercial transmissions began at the site as early as October 1995.

Pursuant to RPVDC Section 17.02.025(F), the establishment of a commercial antenna in a single-family residential zoning district requires the approval of a conditional use permit. The stated purpose of the City’s single-family residential districts is to provide for the development of individual homes on separate lots, and for the development of "other uses that are associated and compatible with residential uses" (RPVDC Section 17.02.010). Uses of land that require the approval of a conditional use permit include those that 1) are "[necessary] or desirable for the development of the community or region but cannot readily be classified as permitted uses in individual zoning districts by reason of uniqueness of size, scope or possible effect on public facilities or surrounding uses"; 2) are "[appropriate] as accessories to the development of neighborhoods of the City" or 3) are "[appropriate] uses in the zoning districts in which they are listed as permitted subject to a conditional use permit, but [which require] specific consideration of the proposed use or development" (RPVDC Section 17.60.010). The requirement for a conditional use permit can be triggered by either the establishment of a new use on a particular site, or by the intensification or other change of an existing use of property. In the case of the application for Conditional Use Permit No. 207, the establishment of commercial use of the existing antennae constitutes both a new use of property and an intensification of the permitted use of the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array, which is currently only permitted to be use for non-commercial purposes.

CODE CONSIDERATIONS AND ANALYSIS

Conditional Use Permit No. 230

In considering a conditional use permit application for a commercial antenna, RPVDC Section 17.60.050(A) requires the Planning Commission to make all of six findings in reference to the property and project under consideration (RPVDC language is boldface, followed by Staff's analysis in normal type):*

* In cases were a new antenna tower or modifications to the use of an existing antenna tower are proposed, RPVDC Section 17.76.020(A)(12) requires the Planning Commission to make at least one of two additional findings regarding the availability of alternate sites for the antenna tower. However, since this application does not involve an antenna tower, these additional findings are not applicable to this application.

  1. The site is adequate in size and shape to accommodate the proposed use and for all of the yards, setbacks, walls, fences, landscaping and other features required by the Development Code or by conditions imposed to integrate said use with those on adjacent land and within the neighborhood.
  2. RPVDC Sections 17.76.020(A)(2) through (A)(10) establish a variety of development standards that commercial antenna installations must meet. The proposed project complies with these standards. For example, the site provides for two (2) off-street parking spaces for maintenance and service vehicles and the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array does not require special markings or lighting to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. RPVDC Section 17.76.020(A)(5) requires that the project "have the least visual impact on the environment", and RPVDC Section 17.76.020(A)(8) calls for landscape and screening to "screen and buffer towers, accessory uses and stored equipment." There is existing foliage on the subject property and adjacent properties that screens the roof-mounted antennae from many surrounding residences in the neighborhood. The support equipment and the purported commercial antenna inside the house are not visible from adjacent properties or rights-of-way. Therefore, Staff believes that the subject property is adequate to accommodate the proposed use.

  3. The site for the proposed use relates to streets and highways sufficient to carry the type and quantity of traffic generated by the subject use.
  4. The subject property is served by Indian Peak Road, which is a public residential street. Aside from normal residential traffic associated with the existing house, the only additional traffic expected to result from the proposed project (if approved) is an occasional service vehicle for the user(s) of the commercial antennae on the site. These visits would be infrequent and would rarely involve large trucks or other equipment that would adversely affect local traffic for any extended period of time. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project would relate to streets and highways sufficient to carry the type and quantity of traffic generated by the proposed use.

  5. In approving the subject use at the specific location, there will be no significant adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof.
  6. The proposed project involves no physical modifications to the existing antenna support structure and array. The site would be visited only periodically by service personnel. As such, any impacts related to the maintenance and operation of the existing antennae for commercial purposes would be expected to be very minor and to have no significant adverse effects on surrounding properties. However, interested parties have expressed concerns about the appearance of the roof-mounted antennae and the effects of commercial radio transmissions upon nearby properties.

    The existing antennae are visible from homes across Indian Peak Road and from Fond du Lac Drive below. The existing antenna array complies with City standards for non-commercial use and no modifications to its height, location or configuration are proposed. The conversion of the antennae from amateur use to commercial use constitutes an intensification of the use of the existing antennae. This intensification of use benefits the applicant financially but currently does nothing to offset the visual impacts of the antenna array, as expressed by the surrounding neighborhood. To help to reduce those impacts, Staff recommends prohibiting any future change to the height, location or configuration of the existing array, and requiring the applicant to paint the antenna array so as to blend better into the background sky. With respect to any future applications to expand the use of commercial antennae on the site, Staff recommends requiring the applicant to install additional antennae inside the house and employ other appropriate screening to prevent any visual intrusion upon the surrounding neighborhood.

    The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)) prohibits the City from "[regulating] the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission's regulations concerning such emissions." This includes interference impacts upon electronic and other types of equipment, and actual or perceived effects upon human health. These issues are strictly within the purview of the FCC and may not be used as a basis for the Planning Commission’s decision in this matter. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project—as conditioned—will not have a significant adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof.

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

The Urban Environment Element of the City’s General Plan (pp. 56, 100 and 138) contains the following goals and policies:

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

The City shall discourage industrial and major commercial activities due to the terrain and environmental characteristics of the City. Commercial development shall be carefully and strictly controlled, and limited to consideration of convenience or neighborhood service facilities.

It shall be a goal of the City to ensure adequate public utilities and communications services to all residents, while maintaining the quality of the environment.

Infrastructure Policy No. 8: Require adequate landscaping or buffering techniques for all new and existing facilities and networks, in order to reduce the visual impacts of many infrastructure facilities and networks.

Although these goals and policies acknowledge the need for commercial development and the provision of communications services for the City’s residents, they also call upon the City to balance these community needs with the preservation of the quality of the City’s residential neighborhoods. As reflected in the City’s Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines (discussed below), the City has attempted to balance these sometimes-conflicting objectives by encouraging 1) the installation of antennae in non-single-family areas and 2) the utilization of screening techniques to camouflage the appearance of commercial antennae to the maximum extent practicable. As a result, most previous applications for commercial antennae have been proposed for properties that are not zoned or used for single-family residential purposes, and have employed screening techniques to fully (or at least partially) mask the appearance of the antennae (see attached summary table of existing and proposed commercial antenna sites).

The subject property and the Grandview neighborhood are designated Residential, 4-6 DU/acre in the City’s General Plan. This land use designation is intended to accommodate medium-density neighborhoods of detached, single-family homes and related accessory uses and structures. The existing home on the property is consistent with this designation, and the use of the existing antenna support structure and array for amateur purposes is permitted "by right" as an accessory to the primary use of the property as a single-family residence. Staff believes that, although the proposed conversion of the existing roof-mounted antennae to commercial use constitutes an intensification of the use of the antennae, the primary permitted use of the subject property remains as a single-family residence. However, because this application involves an approval of the commercial use of existing antennae, which previously had been conducted without the required conditional use permit in violation of the Municipal Code, it cannot be determined with certainty how many of the existing antennae were originally placed on the site for the unlawful commercial use and how many are used solely for amateur purposes in accordance with City Code.

As discussed above, Staff recommends the inclusion of conditions of approval that will reduce the visual impacts of the existing antenna array and prevent further visual intrusion as a result of any future applications to expand commercial use on the site. These conditions will allow for the provision of wireless telecommunications services while minimizing or eliminating the visual impacts of the wireless telecommunications facilities. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project—as conditioned—is consistent with the City’s General Plan.

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

The subject property is not located within any of the overlay control districts established by RPVDC Chapter 17.40. Therefore, this finding is not applicable to the proposed project.

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

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

As discussed above, Staff is recommending the adoption of a number of conditions of approval to address the visual impacts of the existing antenna array, and to limit the potential for visual impacts from any future expansion on the site. Staff believes that these conditions will protect the health, safety and general welfare of the community.

Environmental Assessment No. 744

The proposed project involves the conversion of existing roof-mounted antennae from amateur use to commercial use, and the legalization of existing non-permitted commercial antennae purported to exist inside the house. No physical modifications to the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array are proposed by the applicant. The existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array are in compliance with City standards for non-commercial use and the proposed project will result in negligible expansion of the existing use. Therefore, in compliance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Staff determined that the proposed project is categorically exemption from the provisions of CEQA under Section 15301 (Existing Facilities).

Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines

In 1997, the Planning Commission adopted the Guidelines to assist in the review of applications for commercial wireless communications facilities (see attached copy). The Guidelines are intended to supplement the standards of RPVDC Section 17.76.020(A) and provide guidance to applicants for commercial antennae to assist in developing wireless communications facilities that will be sensitive to the unique visual and aesthetic conditions in the City. The Guidelines do not apply to non-commercial antennae and support structures. Staff has prepared a brief analysis of the consistency of the proposed project with the Guidelines for the Commission's reference:

Guideline No. 1: Expeditious Processing of Applications - This application is being heard by the Planning Commission within the time lines established by the State’s Permit Streamlining Act and CEQA. The Planning Commission’s decision deadline for this application is November 18, 2001.

Guideline No. 2: Preference for Existing, Non-Single-Family Structures as Antenna Sites - The subject property is a single-family residence, which is not consistent with the Commission's preference for the use of non-single-family structures and properties as antenna sites. However, the Commission has previously approved commercial antennae on the site of single-family residences when it found that the use of commercial antennae did not alter the residential character of the site. Staff believes that the proposed change from non-commercial to commercial use of the antennae does not significantly alter the existing character of the residence.

Guideline No. 3: Encourage Co-Location - This project involves the use of multiple antennae on a single site. As such, it is technically consistent with the City’s preference for co-location of antenna facilities. However, given the location of the site within an existing, single-family neighborhood, the future co-location of additional commercial antennae on the site may not be consistent with the intent of the Guidelines. Therefore, Staff is recommending conditions of approval to regulate the placement of additional visible antennae on the site.

Guideline No. 4: Preservation of View Corridors - The existing tower does not impair protected views, as defined in the City’s Development Code.

Guideline No. 5: Balance of Public and Private Costs and Benefits – The approval of the project as currently proposed would benefit the applicant’s commercial interests, but the recommended conditions of approval would help protect the aesthetics of the surrounding residential neighborhood.

Guideline No. 6: Submittal of Network Master Plan Required - Since the applicant is not a wireless service provider and is only proposing to provide antenna space to such service providers, Staff did not require the submittal of a network master plan for the existing antennae. However, based upon the FCC’s records, the three active commercial licenses at the site also have transmitters located at the following locations:

Callsign

Licensee

Additional Transmitter Sites

KFU695

Greene’s Ready-Mixed Concrete Company

None

KQG497

J. Paul Getty Trust

The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr., LA

Mt. Lukens (near La Crescenta)

WPLY921

Edwin M. Storlie

3452 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
Mt. Lukens
2710 Santa Anita Ave., El Monte


Guideline No. 7: Photographic Simulations and Full-Scale Mock-Ups Required
- The existing antenna support structure and array has been in place for many years. Therefore, no photographic simulations or full-scale mock-ups were required.

Guideline No. 8: Periodic Updates on Wireless Communications Technology Required - Since the applicant is not a wireless service provider and is only proposing to provide antenna space to such service providers, Staff did not require a technology update for the existing antennae.

Guideline No. 9: Screening of Support Equipment and Structures Required – The existing and proposed support equipment will be located within the house so that it is not visible from adjacent properties or rights-of-way. The recommended conditions will ensure that the visual impacts of the existing antennae area are minimized.

Based upon the summary presented above, Staff believes that the proposed project is generally consistent with the Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines.

Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7))

The provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 establish limitations upon the City’s authority to regulate certain aspects of commercial antenna applications (see attached copy of 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)):

  • Subsections 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B)(i)(I) and (II) state that the City’s regulation of commercial antennae "shall not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services; and…shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services." There are no "competing" applications for the applicant’s proposed services at this site, so the approval of the proposed project cannot be said to discriminate between the applicant’s project and that of any other service providers. In addition, the types of conditions of approval recommended for this project are substantially similar to conditions applied to other commercial antenna applications that have been approved by the City.

  • Subsection 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B)(ii) requires the City to "act on any request for authorization to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities within a reasonable period of time after the request is duly filed with such government or instrumentality, taking into account the nature and scope of such request." This application has been processed in a timely fashion and in accordance with the time lines established by the State Permit Streamlining Act and CEQA.

  • Subsection 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) states that "[any] decision…to deny a request to place, construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record." Staff does not recommend denial of the proposed project. However, the attached draft resolution—along with this Staff report and the Minutes of these proceedings—sets forth the substantial evidence upon which Staff’s recommendation is based and provides a written record of the basis for the Planning Commission’s decision in this matter.

  • Subsection 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B)(iv) prohibits the City from "[regulating] the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission's regulations concerning such emissions." As discussed previously in this report, the City acknowledges that radio frequency emissions are not within the City’s purview to consider or regulate. Therefore, Staff’s recommendation is not based in any way upon any actual or perceived environmental effects attributable to radio frequency emissions.

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff believes that the conditional approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 230 is consistent with the local zoning authority reserved to the City under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On October 3, 2001, public notices were mailed to the applicants, the property owner and one hundred one other property owners within a 500-foot radius of the project site. On October 6, 2001, public notice of the October 23, 2001 public hearing for this application was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News. As of the date this report was completed, Staff had received letters in opposition to the proposed project. The issues raised in these letters included:

  • Health and interference impacts

  • Aesthetic concerns regarding the existing antenna array

  • General opposition to commercial activities in residential neighborhoods

  • Incomplete application materials

  • Inadequate public notification

Many of these issues have been addressed in the Staff report. However, the Planning Commission may ask for additional research on these and other issues, and continue this matter to a date certain, as requested by one of the neighboring property owners.

CONCLUSION

Based on the discussion presented above, Staff believes that all of the required findings for the approval of the proposed project can be made. In addition, Staff believes that the conditional approval of the proposed project is consistent with the City’s Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Therefore, Staff recommends adoption of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__, conditionally approving Conditional Use Permit No. 230.

ALTERNATIVES

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

1. Conditionally approve Conditional Use Permit No. 230 with further modifications to the project and/or conditions of approval, and direct Staff to prepare an appropriate P.C. Resolution for Planning Commission consideration at the next meeting.

2. Deny Conditional Use Permit No. 230, and direct Staff to prepare an appropriate P.C. Resolution for Planning Commission consideration at the next meeting.

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

Please note that it will be necessary to obtain an extension of the action deadline from the project applicant if this project is continued beyond the November 18, 2001 action deadline. However, given the upcoming November 2001 trial date for the pending litigation between the applicant and the City, it is unlikely that the applicant would agree to such as extension.

Attachments:

Draft P.C. Resolution No. 2001-__
Project application and supplemental information
Summary of existing and proposed commercial antenna sites
47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)
City Council Staff reports and Minutes (fee waiver request)
Public correspondence
Project plans


P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2001-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 230, THEREBY APPROVING THE USE OF EXISTING ROOF-MOUNTED AND INTERIOR ANTENNAE AND RELATED SUPPORT STRUCTURES AND EQUIPMENT ON THE SITE OF A SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE IN THE GRANDVIEW COMMUNITY FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, LOCATED AT 26708 INDIAN PEAK ROAD

WHEREAS, on October 22, 1998, the applicant, James A. Kay, Jr., received approval of an application for Site Plan Review No. 8334 for after-the fact approval of an existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array, which could be used only for non-commercial radio communications and was conditioned expressly to exclude commercial operations; and,

WHEREAS, on November 4, 1998, prior to the expiration of the 15-day appeal period for Site Plan Review No. 8334, the City Council adopted Urgency Ordinance No. 341U, which established a moratorium on the processing of all antenna applications, including those applications upon which the City had acted but the appeal period had not yet expired; and

WHEREAS, on April 16, 1999, the antenna moratorium was lifted, the City’s approval of Site Plan Review No. 8334 was voided, and the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array were found to be exempt from City permits for non-commercial use pursuant to Section 17.76.020(C)(3)(c)(ii) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code; and,

WHEREAS, on October 15, 1999, Mr. Kay submitted an application for Site Plan Review No. 8736 to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement for a 198-square-foot single-story storage room addition to the rear side of the house, which proposed a large number of electrical outlets, the installation of two dedicated air conditioning condensers for the room and no interior access to the rest of the house; and although Staff suspected that the addition was intended to house commercial radio transmitters, the City could not withhold approval of Site Plan Review No. 8736 based upon these suspicions; and,

WHEREAS, Staff subsequently reviewed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing records and found that several active and pending commercial radio frequencies were licensed to Mr. Kay’s property on Indian Peak Road, and turned this FCC licensing information over to the City Attorney’s office; and,

WHEREAS, the City obtained warrants from the court and retained an expert in the field of radio transmissions, Dr. Henry Richter, to monitor transmissions from the site in connection with an investigation of the alleged commercial use of the existing antennae and found that commercial frequencies were in use at the site. Subsequently, on April 13, 2000, the City filed a complaint for preliminary and permanent injunction against Mr. Kay to prevent the non-permitted use of commercial antennae on the site, Mr. Kay subsequently filed a cross complaint against the City, and these cases are currently pending; and,

WHEREAS, Section 17.76.020(A) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code requires an individual to obtain a conditional use permit to install or operate a commercial antenna within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Section 17.96.090 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code further defines the term "commercial antenna" as follows:

"’Commercial Antenna’ means all antennas, parabolic dishes, relay towers and antenna support structures used for the transmission or reception of radio, television and communication signals for commercial purposes. For the purpose of this definition, ‘commercial purposes’ shall mean communications for hire or material compensation, or the use of commercial frequencies, as these terms are defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). ‘Commercial antennas’ shall not include antennas owned or operated by governmental agencies; and microcell cellular antennas, owned and operated by state licensed cellular telephone utility companies, located on existing utility poles within the public right-of-way."

Under these provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the applicant, Mr. Kay, was required to obtain a conditional use permit from the City to use his existing antennae and antenna support structure to broadcast on commercial frequencies, as determined by the FCC; and,

WHEREAS, on June 21, 2001, Mr. Kay submitted applications for Conditional Use Permit No. 230 and Environmental Assessment No. 744 for after-the-fact approval to establish the existing antennae and related support structures and equipment on the site for commercial use, although Mr. Kay contested that the application was after-the-fact and requested a waiver of the penalty fee; and,

WHEREAS, on September 4, 2001 and September 18, 2001, the City Council considered Mr. Kay’s request for a waiver of the penalty fee for Conditional Use Permit No. 230, and denied the request; and,

WHEREAS, on September 19, 2001, the applications for Conditional Use Permit No. 230 and Environmental Assessment No. 744 were deemed complete by Staff; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that Conditional Use Permit No. 230 and Environmental Assessment No. 744 would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Class 1, Section 15301); and,

WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on October 23, 2001, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

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

Section 1: The Planning Commission hereby makes the following findings of fact with respect to the application for Conditional Use Permit No. 230 to legalize the use of existing roof-mounted and interior antennae and related support structures and equipment on the site for commercial purposes:

A. The site is adequate in size and shape to accommodate the proposed use and for all of the yards, setbacks, walls, fences, landscaping and other features required by the Development Code or by conditions imposed to integrate said use with those on adjacent land and within the neighborhood because the proposed project complies with the development standards for commercial antennae, as specified in RPVDC Sections 17.76.020(A)(2) through (A)(10). The site provides for two (2) off-street parking spaces for maintenance and service vehicles, the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array does not require special markings or lighting to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, there is existing foliage which screens the roof-mounted antennae from many surrounding residences in the neighborhood, and many elements of the proposed project—including the support equipment and some of the existing antennae—are located inside the house.

B. The site for the proposed use relates to streets and highways sufficient to carry the type and quantity of traffic generated by the subject use because the subject property is served by Indian Peak Road, which is a public residential street. Aside from normal residential traffic associated with the existing house, the only additional traffic expected to result from the proposed project is an occasional and infrequent service vehicle, would rarely involve large trucks or other equipment that would adversely affect local traffic for any extended period of time.

C. In approving the subject use at the specific location, there will be no significant adverse effect on adjacent property or the permitted use thereof because the proposed project involves no physical modifications to the existing antenna support structure and array. Although the site would be visited periodically by service personnel, any impacts related to the maintenance and operation of the existing antennae for commercial purposes would be very minor and have no significant adverse effects on surrounding properties. The existing antennae are visible from homes across Indian Peak Road and from Fond du Lac Drive below. Since the conversion of the existing antennae to commercial use constitutes an intensification of the use that benefits the applicant financially but currently does not offset the visual impacts of the antenna array upon surrounding neighborhood, the approval of this proposal will be conditioned to require the antenna array to be painted so as to blend better into the background sky. In addition, no future changes to the height, location or configuration of the existing array will be permitted, and any future applications to expand the use of commercial antennae on the site will require the placement of new antennae inside of the house and other appropriate screening to prevent further visual intrusion upon the surrounding neighborhood. Finally, any issues related to interference impacts upon electronic and other types of equipment, and actual or perceived effects upon human health, are strictly within the purview of the FCC since Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits the City from "[regulating] the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the [FCC’s] regulations concerning such emissions."

D. The proposed use is not contrary to the General Plan because the goals and policies of the General Plan acknowledge the need for commercial development and the provision of communications services for the City’s residents, while also calling upon the City to balance these community needs with the preservation of the quality of the City’s residential neighborhoods. The subject property and the Grandview neighborhood are designated Residential, 4-6 DU/acre, which is a land use designation intended to accommodate medium-density neighborhoods of detached, single-family homes and related accessory uses and structures. The existing home is consistent with this designation, and the use of the existing antenna support structure and array for non-commercial purposes is permitted "by right" as an accessory use. Although the conversion of the existing roof-mounted antennae to commercial use constitutes an intensification of the use of the antennae, the primary permitted use of the subject property will remain as a single-family residence. In addition, the approval of the proposed project will include conditions of approval to reduce the visual impacts of the existing antenna array and prevent further visual intrusion as a result of any future applications to expand commercial use on the site. These conditions will allow for the provision of wireless telecommunications services while minimizing or eliminating the visual impacts of the wireless telecommunications facilities.

E. The required finding that, if the site of the proposed use is within any of the overlay control districts established by RPVDC Chapter 17.40 (Overlay Control Districts), the proposed use complies with all applicable requirements of that chapter is not applicable because the subject property is not located within any of the overlay control districts established by RPVDC Chapter 17.40.

F. Conditions of approval, which the Planning Commission finds to be necessary to protect the health, safety and general welfare, have been imposed and include painting the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array, prohibiting any further modifications to the roof-mounted array, and requiring any future applications to expand commercial use of the site to employ "stealth" antenna technology and other screening methods, and limiting regular maintenance hours to 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

G. The required findings that no existing or planned tower can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna or proposed service area, or that the proposed tower cannot be located on the site of an existing or planned tower is not applicable because the proposed project does not involve the construction or placement of a new antenna tower.

Section 2: The Planning Commission finds that the approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 230 is consistent with the City’s Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines.

Section 3: The Planning Commission finds that the approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 230 is consistent with the zoning and land use authority reserved to the City pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Section 4: Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or by any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Sections 17.60.060 and 17.76.040(H) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, any such appeal must be filed with the City, in writing, and with the appropriate appeal fee, no later than fifteen (15) days following October 23, 2001, the date of the Planning Commission’s final action.

Section 5: For the foregoing reasons and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes and other records of proceedings, the Planning Commission of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby approves Conditional Use Permit No. 230, thereby approving the use of existing roof-mounted and interior antennae and related support structures and equipment on the site of a single-family residence in the Grandview community for commercial purposes, located at 26708 Indian Peak Road, subject to the conditions contained in Exhibit 'A', attached hereto and made a part hereof, which are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the area.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 23rd day of October 2001, by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTIONS:

ABSENT:

 

_______________________
Frank Lyon
Chairman

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


EXHIBIT 'A'
CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL
FOR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 230
(26708 Indian Peak Road)

General:

1. Within ninety (90) days following adoption of this Resolution, the applicant and the property owner shall submit to the City a statement, in writing, that they have read, understand, and agree to all conditions of approval contained in this Resolution. Failure to provide said written statement shall render this approval null and void.

2. This approval is for the use of existing roof-mounted and interior antennae and related support structures and equipment on the site of a single-family residence in the Grandview community for commercial purposes. No modifications to the height, location or configuration of the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array are proposed or approved by this action. Any future requests for additional commercial antennae will be limited to the inside of the house. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make only minor modifications to the approved plans and any of the conditions of approval, and only if such modifications will achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with the approved plans and conditions. Otherwise, any substantive change shall require approval of a revision to Conditional Use Permit No. 230 by the Planning Commission and shall require a new and separate environmental review.

3. All project development on the site shall conform to the specific standards contained in these conditions of approval or, if not addressed herein, in the RS-5 district development standards of the City's Municipal Code.

4. Failure to comply with and adhere to all of these conditions of approval may be cause to revoke the approval of the project by the Planning Commission after conducting a public hearing on the matter.

5. If the necessary modifications to the existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array have not been made within ninety (90) days of the date of the City’s final action on this application, approval of the project shall expire and be of no further effect unless, prior to expiration, a written request for extension is filed with the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and approved by the Planning Commission. Otherwise, a conditional use permit revision must be approved prior to completion of the modifications and/or further development.

6. In the event that any of these conditions conflict with the recommendations and/or requirements of another permitting agency or City department, the stricter standard shall apply.

7. Unless otherwise designated in these conditions, all commercial antennae and related support equipment and structures shall be maintained in conformance with the plans stamped approved as of the effective date of the Planning Commission’s action.

8. Unless otherwise modified by these conditions, all conditions of approval for Site Plan Review No. 8736—for the 198-square-foot storage room addition—and Minor Exception Permit No. 555—for a front-yard fence in excess of the 42-inch height limit—remain in full force and effect.

Conditional Use Permit No. 230:

9. Pursuant to Section 17.76.020(A)(4)(c) of the City's Municipal Code, the applicant/landowner shall agree, in writing, to cooperate in possible future co-location of additional wireless communications facilities on this site. Under the terms of this agreement, the applicant/landowner shall be obligated to:

a. Respond in a timely, comprehensive manner to a request for information from a potential shared-use applicant; and

b. Negotiate in good faith for shared use by third parties.

10. The existing roof-mounted antennae support structure and array shall be painted a color that helps to camouflage them against the background sky. The color shall be approved by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement before the antenna support structure and array are painted. Painting shall be completed and inspected by the Director within ninety (90) days of the date of the City’s final action on this application.

11. The existing roof-mounted antenna support structure and array shall not be modified from its current height, location or configuration—as depicted on the approved plans—without the advance approval of the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. No additional masts or radiating elements may be added. Existing masts and radiating elements may be removed and replaced for maintenance and/or repair as long as the replacement masts are the same height and in the same location as the existing masts, and the total number of radiating elements does not increase.

12. Except in case of emergency, regular maintenance of the commercial antennae and related support equipment and structures shall only occur between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

13. All service vehicles related to the maintenance of the commercial antennae shall be parked off-street in the driveway or garage of the house.

14. Any future expansion of commercial transmissions from this site (i.e., the addition of new commercial licenses and/or services) shall require the approval of a revision to this conditional use permit. Any new antennae and related support equipment and structures shall be located inside of the house and employ other appropriate screening methods in order to minimize the visual impacts upon the surrounding neighborhood. No new exterior building-mounted antennae or support structures will be allowed.

15. The support equipment for the commercial antennae on the site shall not generate noise levels in excess of 65 dBA, as measured at the property line of the subject property. Any additional sound attenuation measures to achieve this standard shall be the responsibility of the applicant, and shall be subject to the review and approval of the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement.

16. The operation of commercial antennae on the site shall at all times comply with the requirements, standards and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).



5. GRADING PERMIT NO. 2277: Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Blessum, (applicant), 20 Martingale Drive (BY)

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: OCTOBER 23, 2001

SUBJECT: GRADING PERMIT NO. 2277 (BLESSUM, 20 MARTINGALE DRIVE)

Staff Coordinator: Beilin Yu, Assistant Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Continue the item to the November 13, 2001 Planning Commission meeting.

BACKGROUND

On April 25, 2001, an application for Grading Permit No. 2277 was submitted to the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department for processing. The proposed project includes 1,440 cubic yards of grading for the construction of a new 7,494 square foot single-family residence. The subject grading permit requires review by the Planning Commission since the proposed grading application proposes earth movement involving 1,000 or more cubic yards of earth.

The application package was deemed complete on August 22, 2001. However, on September 28, 2001, to address concerns of Staff, the applicant submitted new plans with revised rear yard grading. Pursuant to the Permit Streamlining Act, the new deadline for a decision is November 26, 2001.

The required 15-day notice was sent to 43 property owners within the 500 foot radius on October 4, 2001 and published in the Peninsula News on October 6, 2001, 2001. During the fifteen (15) day noticing period the City received no correspondence pertaining to the proposed project.

DISCUSSION

After the applicant resubmitted revised plans on September 28, 2001, Staff still had a concern regarding the proposed rear yard grading and retaining wall. To address this concern the applicant has agreed to redesign the proposed retaining wall and continue this item to allow additional time to submit revised plans.

As such, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the subject application to the November 13, 2001 Planning Commission meeting.


NEW BUSINESS:





6. NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT: City. (JR)

Recommendation: Receive a status update from the Neighborhood Compatibility sub-committee.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:


Staff



7. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF NOVEMBER 13, 2001.

PLANNING COMMISSION
PRE-AGENDA
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2001


CONSENT CALENDAR:


1. MINUTES OF OCTOBER 23, 2001

2. PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2001-00105: Arik Abdalian (applicant), 30025 Cachan Place. (KF)

A request to amend Grading Permit No. 1928-Revision ‘C’ to allow an approved 3-foot-tall retaining wall in the northerly side-yard to be increased to five feet nine inches (5’9") in height.


CONTINUED BUSINESS:


3. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296 and ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742: Verizon Wireless Services, represented by John Koos at TetraTech Wireless. (ES)


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


PUBLIC HEARINGS:


4. HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 885 – REVISION ‘A’ and VARIANNCE PERMIT NO. 451 REVISION ‘A’: Mr. Mohamad Chahine, (applicant), 5088 Mossbank Drive. (BY)

A request to allow the enclosure of existing 667 square foot covered patio, at a maximum height of 19.5’, as measured from the finished grade adjacent to the lowest foundation (83.0’) to the top of the ridge (102.5’). The proposed addition is proposed to be setback 11’-0" from the rear property line.
5. GRADING PERMIT NO. 2277: Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Blessum, (applicant), 20 Martingale Drive (BY)


A request to allow 1,440 cubic yards of grading, for the construction of a new single-family residence, including 2,304 square feet on the main entrance floor (upper level), 1,897 square feet on the floor below the main entrance level (middle level), 1,761 square feet on the lowest floor level (lower level), a 950 square foot attached garage, and a 582 square foot storage area, for a total structure size of 7,494 square feet. The new single-family residence is proposed at a height of 12.4’, as measured from the average elevation at the setback line (999.00’) to the top of the ridge (1011.40’), and at a height of 29.98’, as measured from the point where the lowest foundation meets finish grade (981.42’).


6. PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2001-00073: Mr. and Mrs. Gene Price, (applicant), 3434 Newridge Drive. (KF)

A request by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement to rescind Condition No. 11 of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-03 for Grading Permit No. 1950-Revision ‘A’, thereby relieving the property owners at 3434 Newridge Drive of the requirement to repair the drainage swale and chain-link fence between their property and the adjacent property at 3417 Starline Drive.


NEW BUSINESS: (NO ITEMS)


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

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:


The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
November 13, 2001, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.