01/22/2002 Planning Commission Agenda January, 2002, 01/22/2002, Planning, Commission, Meeting, Agenda, Requested Action: Consider amending Condition No. 19 of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-36 adopted by the Planning Commission at its October 9th meeting, Demolish an existing one-story residence, and construction of a new two-story residence measuring 3,921 square feet in area, and an overall height of 26-feet. The new residence will contain a balcony, where a portion of the balcony projects 1’-9" into the required 20-foot front yard setback; thereby maintaining an 18’-3" front yard setback. Lastly, a total of 310 cubic yards of grading is proposed to accommodate the new residence The 01/22/2002 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Agenda
Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission Agenda January 22, 2002
January 22, 2002

DISCLAIMER

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

...end of disclaimer...

** 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, JANUARY 22, 2002

FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK, 29301 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD

REGULAR MEETING

7:00 P.M.



SCHEDULING NOTES

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

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

NEXT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-01



CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:



COMMUNICATIONS:


Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • Excerpts from the City Council Adjourned Minutes of December 4, 2001

Staff:

Commission:


CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF JANUARY 8, 2002


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



CONTINUED BUSINESS:



2. GRADING PERMIT NO. 2191: Larry Peha (applicant) and Mr. and Mrs. Heru Wiredja (owner), 3815 Palos Verdes Drive South (AM).

Requested Action: Consider amending Condition No. 19 of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-36 adopted by the Planning Commission at its October 9th meeting.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission re-affirm that Condition No. 19 of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-36 for Grading Permit No. 2191 requires the applicant to re-design the proposed flat roof over the living room rotunda and entry foyer to a pitched roof.


PUBLIC HEARINGS:



3. HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 930, GRADING PERMI TNO. 2279 and MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 596: Ron & Blanca Letvin, (applicant), 6528 Nancy Road. (AM)

Requested Action: Demolish an existing one-story residence, and construction of a new two-story residence measuring 3,921 square feet in area, and an overall height of 26-feet. The new residence will contain a balcony, where a portion of the balcony projects 1’-9" into the required 20-foot front yard setback; thereby maintaining an 18’-3" front yard setback. Lastly, a total of 310 cubic yards of grading is proposed to accommodate the new residence.

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the public hearing to the February 26, 2002 meeting.


4. HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 938: Lane Building Designs (applicant) and Jeffrey and Laurie Younggren, (owner), 4362 Exultant Drive. (BY)

Requested Action: A request to allow the construction of a 1,071 square foot first-story addition and the construction of a new 1,251 square foot second-story addition to an existing single-family residence. The addition is proposed at a maximum height of 22.41’, as measured from the finish grade adjacent to the lowest foundation (94.02’) to the highest ridge (116.43’), and 19.28’, as measured form the highest elevation to be covered by structure (97.15’) to the highest ridge.

Recommendation: Continue this item to the February 12, 2002 meeting.


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

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

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


NEW BUSINESS:



6. NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY UPDATE: (AM)

Provide the Commission with a draft version of the Neighborhood Compatibility Brochure*, as directed by the Sub-committee, for review and discussion by the Commission on the content and format of the brochure.

*You will need Acrobat Reader to view this attachment. Download a free version HERE.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:


Staff



7. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF FEBRUARY 12, 2002.


Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
February 12, 2002, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.



AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2002

FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK, 29301 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD

REGULAR MEETING

7:00 P.M.


SCHEDULING NOTES

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

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

NEXT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-01



CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:



COMMUNICATIONS:


Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

  • Excerpts from the City Council Adjourned Minutes of December 4, 2001

Staff:

Commission:


CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF JANUARY 8, 2002


DRAFT

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
JANUARY 8, 2002

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lyon at 7:00 at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Vannorsdall led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL

Present: Commissioners Cartwright, Long, Mueller, Vannorsdall, and Chairman Lyon
Absent: None

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Without objection, the agenda was approved as presented.

COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas reported that at the last City Council meeting the City Council agreed to hold a joint meeting with the Planning Commission and the Finance Advisory Committee to discuss and receive public input on potential land uses for the City owned Crestridge property and the adjacent privately owned Crestridge property. He also reported that the next City Council meeting would be held on Saturday, January 12, and at that meeting the Council would be having a discussion on the possibility of updating the General Plan.

Director/Secretary Rojas introduced to the Planning Commission the new Associate Planner, Brent Hurwitz.


CONSENT CALENDAR



1. Minutes of December 11, 2001


Commissioner Cartwright asked that his statement on page 5 of the minutes be clarified to reflect that he felt the view impairment was greater than 50 percent.

The minutes were approved as amended, (5-0).


2. Conditional Use Permit No. 221, et. al – Time Extension


Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report. He discussed the applications that were originally approved by the Planning Commission on December 12, 2000. He explained the Planning Commission could grant a one time, one-year time extension upon showing a substantial hardship, delay beyond the control of the applicant, or other good cause. He stated that the applicant was requesting the one-year time extension to allow additional time to complete negotiations to finance the construction and operation of a school that will serve children with special academic needs. Additionally, the applicant has indicated that there are some outstanding issues regarding the existing sewer line that traverses the property which will need further analysis. He concluded by stating that staff felt an extension was warranted and therefore recommended the Planning Commission grant the time extension, thereby setting the date of expiration as December 12, 2002 with all conditions remaining in full force and effect.

Commissioner Mueller questioned whether this was the same project and if the use was the same.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that if the applicant were to proceed with the same building plan it would remain as a private educational facility, which the use that was originally considered by the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Mueller asked if the cap on student enrollment would remain the same.

Senior Planner Mihranian explained that this request was for a time extension and that, if approved, all conditions would remain in full force and effect. He explained that if the applicant were to request an amendment to one of the conditions, that would require a duly noticed public hearing to consider the request.

Commissioner Mueller asked what would constitute substantial hardship.

Senior Planner Mihranian replied that the need to conduct additional studies regarding the sewer line easement and how the structure could be constructed in relationship to that easement could be considered a hardship in that the applicant would have to receive approval from the LA County Sanitation District prior to issuance of building permits. He stated that the negotiations with the Sanitation District has begun and that the process to obtain entitlements is a lengthy one.

Commissioner Long felt good cause could be shown, in that the applicant was having to start from scratch to organize a new program to fit within the same set of entitlements the Planning Commission has already granted. He stated that at the time this project was approved there was the anticipation of looking at other uses in Golden Cove. He felt that when the school at Golden Cove was approved the applicant was very straight forward with the Planning Commission in that she wanted to keep the original entitlements and would most likely expand the school facilities from Golden Cove and operate another school. He felt that the Planning Commission specifically anticipated that there might be another school facility and there were conditions added to look at cumulative traffic impacts.

Commissioner Mueller was concerned about the cumulative affect the school would have on the traffic and questioned why a traffic study was not required until after the school was built.

Commissioner Long stated that when the Planning Commission approved the school at Golden Cove, they did so with the knowledge that there were existing current approvals at the neighboring site and had the applicant been able to start, she could have built the school right away and therefore would not have needed this requested extension. Therefore, the question on the extension was not the merit of the traffic situation, but does the applicant have good cause for the delay.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to approve the staff recommendation to grant a one year time extension from the date of expiration (December 12, 2001) thereby setting the expiration date as December 12, 2002 with all conditions of approval remaining in full force and effect, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (5-0).


PUBLIC HEARINGS



3. Grading Permit No. 2191: Larry Peha (applicant) and Mrs. And Mrs. Henru Wiredja (owner) 3815 Palos Verdes Drive South


Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the applicant had requested this item be continued as their architect could not attend tonight’s meeting. Since the item dealt with the architecture of the structure, the applicant would be more comfortable if the item were continued so the architect could be present to discuss the merits of the amendment.

There being no objection, pursuant to the applicant’s request, the item was continued to the meeting of January 22, 2002, (5-0).


ADJOURNMENT


The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m.


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


CONTINUED BUSINESS:






2. GRADING PERMIT NO. 2191: Larry Peha (applicant) and Mr. and Mrs. Heru Wiredja (owner), 3815 Palos Verdes Drive South (AM).

TO: HONORABLE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JANUARY 22, 2002

SUBJECT: GRADING PERMIT NO. 2191

Staff Coordinator: Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission re-affirm that Condition No. 19 of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-36 for Grading Permit No. 2191 requires the applicant to re-design the proposed flat roof over the living room rotunda and entry foyer to a pitched roof.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

At their October 9, 2001 meeting, the Planning Commission considered Grading Permit No. 2191 to allow the construction of a new 7,691 square foot, split level, single-family residence with 1,643 cubic yards of associated grading on property located at 3815 Palos Verdes Drive South. During the public hearing, the Commission heard public testimony from four (4) speakers, including the project architect. According to the project architect’s testimony, a concern was expressed regarding a condition recommended by Staff that would require the flat roof proposed for the entry foyer and living room to be redesigned to a pitched roof. The architect disagreed with Staff’s recommendation and requested that the Commission delete the condition so that the flat roof proposed for the entry foyer and living room remain as designed. As noted in the attached minutes, the Commission approved the project with no explicit direction to Staff to delete the proposed condition of approval.

Following the October 9th meeting, Staff was contacted by the project architect requesting clarification on the Commission’s action with respect to the condition on re-designing the flat roof to one with a pitched roof. According to the project architect, he was uncertain whether the Commission considered his request to delete the condition. Staff informed the applicant that it was Staff’s understanding that the condition of approval was included in the Commission’s approval of the project since there was no specific direction from the Commission to delete the condition. On November 7, 2001, Staff met with the property owner and his architect to discuss the applicant’s options. Staff informed the applicant that he had the option to attempt a re-design of the roof to meet the condition or seek an interpretation of the Commission’s action pursuant to the "Interpretation Procedure" contained in the City’s Development Code (attached). On November 13, 2001, the applicant submitted an interpretation request along with the appropriate filing fee for review by the Commission.

On November 27, 2001, the applicant’s interpretation request was presented to the Commission as a New Business Item. During the Commission’s discussion, it was determined that the minutes from the October 9th meeting reflect an oversight by the Commission since no direction on this matter was given to the project applicant with respect to Staff’s recommendation. As a result, the Commission passed a motion, with a 3-2 vote, requiring a new public hearing to re-consider the merits of Condition No. 19 on the basis that the Planning Commission did not intentionally include the condition in the Resolution.

Pursuant to the Commission’s motion, a public notice was mailed on December 18, 2001 to all interested parties and property owners within a 500 foot radius of the subject property. Furthermore, on December 22, 2001, the public notice was published in the Peninsula News. Said notice invited public comments on matters pertaining to Condition No. 19 and indicated the date, time and location of the public hearing. According to Commission’s direction, the public hearing was scheduled for the January 8, 2002 meeting, but was continued, at the request of the applicant to tonight’s meeting. To date, no public comments, either verbal or written, have been received by Staff.

DISCUSSION

During the review of the project application for the proposed residence, Staff expressed a concern to the project architect pertaining to the visual appearance of the structure as viewed from Palos Verdes Drive South. Staff informed the project architect that since the project site consists of ascending slopes from Palos Verdes Drive South and that the residence will be situated towards the middle portion of the lot, the proposed structure will have a prevalent presence from the street. Therefore, Staff suggested that the architect incorporate design features into the street facing facade that would soften the visible appearance of the structure from Palos Verdes Drive South. Such features included articulation between the lower and upper levels, the use of balconies, the use of varying roof planes and proportionally limiting the floor area of the upper level in relation to the lower level. These features were conveyed to the project architect early in the design process and were adequately incorporated into the design of the structure. However, Staff also suggested to the project architect that no flat roofs be included in the design of the proposed residence along the street facing facade because Staff believed that a flat roof would disrupt the structure’s cohesive appearance and deter from the intent of softening the overall appearance of the structure as viewed from Palos Verdes Drive South. As noted in the minutes from the October 9, 2001 meeting, the project architect disagreed with Staff’s suggestion.

At the October 9, 2001 meeting, the Planning Commission reviewed and approved Grading Permit No. 2191, adopting Condition No. 19 (see attachment) as part of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-36, which states that "the roof above the living room rotunda and the entry feature shall be redesigned with a pitched roof to the satisfaction of the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement." As stated in the October 9th Planning Commission Staff Report as well as in the previous paragraph, the intent of this condition was to attempt to soften the visual appearance of the proposed residence due to its very visible location. Therefore, consistent with Staff’s original recommendation, Staff recommends that the Commission re-affirm Condition No. 19 requiring the applicant redesign the flat roof to one with a pitched roof over the living room rotunda and entry foyer to enhance the visual appearance of the structure as well as minimize the structure’s linear appearance, as viewed from Palos Verdes Drive South.

The project architect remains in disagreement with Staff’s recommendation to redesign the flat roof to one with a pitched roof. The project architect believes that the use of a flat roof is critical to the design of the residence in that it provides a high ceiling in the living room that allows enhanced views of the ocean. Therefore, the project architect respectfully requests that the Commission not affirm Staff’s recommendation thereby deleting the condition from the Conditions of Approval.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In the event that the Commission affirms Condition No. 19 requiring the applicant to re-design the flat roof over the living room rotunda and entry foyer to a pitched roof, the Commission’s decision may be appealed to the City Council by an interested party within fifteen calendar days from the date of action. In order to appeal the Commission’s decision, a written request along with the appropriate filing fee must be submitted to the City within the appeal period.

ALTERNATIVES

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

1. Delete Condition No. 19 of P.C. Resolution No. 2000-36, via Minute Order, thereby amending the Conditions of Approval to allow a flat roof over the living room rotunda and entry foyer.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Conditions of Approval
  • P.C. Minutes from October 9, 2001
  • Development Code Section 17.78.050
  • Applicant’s Letter
  • P.C. Minutes from November 27, 2001
  • Street Facing Building Elevation

PUBLIC HEARINGS:





3. HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 930, GRADING PERMI TNO. 2279 and MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 596: Ron & Blanca Letvin, (applicant), 6528 Nancy Road. (AM)



TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JANUARY 22, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 930, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2279 AND MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 596 / 6528 NANCY ROAD (THOMAS GUIDE PAGE: 823 / F-2)

Staff Coordinator: Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the public hearing to the February 26, 2002 meeting.

DISCUSSION

On November 5, 2001, the subject applications were deemed complete for processing and the required public notice of the public hearing, was mailed to property owners within a 500’ radius of the subject property, all interested parties, and published in the Peninsula News informing the general public of the proposed project and inviting any comments for consideration. In response, the City received several letters from neighboring property owners expressing concern with the proposed project as it pertains to the accuracy of the silhouette, potential view impacts and the proposed residence’s incompatibility with the surrounding neighborhood. During the public comment period, Staff determined that the silhouette was incorrectly plotted because of an error in the survey of the front property line (along Nancy Rd.), which directly impacted the depicted height. Therefore, in order to allow the applicant ample time to obtain an updated survey as well as revise the silhouette, Staff recommended to the Planning Commission, at their December 11th meeting, that the public hearing be continued to the January 22, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

After the public hearing was continued, the applicant worked with the Staff in revising the silhouette in time for the January 22nd meeting. On January 7, 2002, the applicant informed Staff that the revised silhouette was completed. Soon thereafter, Staff conducted a site visit to verify the accuracy of the silhouette. Although Staff determined that the revised silhouette accurately depicts the proposed residence, the silhouette was not revised in time to allow surrounding residents ample time to ascertain the potential project impacts. As such, Staff was unable to analyze the proposed project for the January 22nd meeting. Therefore Staff recommends that the Commission continue the public hearing to the February 26, 2002 meeting. By continuing the public hearing, the surrounding neighbors will have ample time to provide new or additional comments pertaining to the revised silhouette, as well as provide Staff adequate time to analyze the proposed project.

In order to allow the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed project, based on the revised silhouette, Staff re-noticed the public hearing on January 12, 2002 to all property owners with a 500 foot radius of the subject property, to all interested parties, and published in the Peninsula News. The notice indicates that the public hearing continued from the December 11, 2002 meeting to the January 22, 2002 meeting will be once again continued to the February 26, 2002 meeting. Furthermore, the notice indicates that the silhouette has been revised and thereby invites new comments based on the revised silhouette, but the notice also indicates that the comments submitted during the original noticing period will be provided and considered by the Commission.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Since the public hearing has been extended, Staff advised the applicant to conduct a meeting with the surrounding neighbors to hear their concerns expressed during the original public noticing period. As such, the applicant informed Staff that a letter was sent to residents who commented on the project during the original noticing period that a neighborhood meeting is tentatively scheduled for January 26, 2002 at the project site (see attachment).

Pursuant to the Permit Streamlining Act, a decision on a development project must be made with sixty days from the date of completeness, unless extended by the applicant by no more than ninety (90) days. The project applications were deemed complete by Staff on November 5, 2001, which established an action deadline of January 4, 2002. However, since the public hearing was originally continued from the December 11, 2001 meeting to the January 22, 2002 meeting, which is beyond the action deadline date, a one time, ninety day, time extension was submitted by the applicant to allow adequate time to evaluate the proposed project. Therefore, the action deadline is now April 4, 2002. The time extension letter was provided to the Commission with the December 11th Staff Memorandum.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above discussion, Staff recommends that the public hearing for this item be continued to the February 26, 2002 meeting.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Applicant’s Neighborhood Meeting Letter



4. HEIGHT VARIATION PERMIT NO. 938: Lane Building Designs (applicant) and Jeffrey and Laurie Younggren, (owner), 4362 Exultant Drive. (BY)




TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JANUARY 22, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 938 (YOUNGGREN, 4362 EXULTANT DRIVE)

Staff Coordinator: Beilin Yu, Assistant Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Continue the item to the February 12, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

BACKGROUND

On July 26, 2001, Height Variation Permit No. 938 was submitted to the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department for processing. The request is for the construction of a 1,071 square foot first-story addition, which includes a 474 square foot garage, and the construction of a new 1,251 square foot second story addition.

The application was deemed incomplete on August 23, 2001 due to insufficient information on the submitted plans. Upon the submittal of needed information on October 30, 2001, the application package was deemed complete on November 1, 2001. The required public hearing notice was sent to 58 property owners within the 500 foot radius on November 1, 2001 and published in the Peninsula News on November 3, 2001, informing the time and date of the public hearing.

During the December 11, 2001 Planning Commission meeting, the Planning Commission expressed concerns regarding the ocean view impacts the proposed additions will have on a neighboring property and directed the applicants to work with Staff to redesign the addition to mitigate the view impacts. As such the Planning Commission continued this item to tonight’s meeting.

The applicant submitted an extension to the Permit Streamlining Act, therefore the new deadline for a decision is March 18, 2002.

DISCUSSION

The applicants met with Staff on January 15, 2002 and as stated in the attached letter, are requesting that this item be continued to the February 12, 2002 meeting to allow more time to work with Staff to address the Planning Commission’s concerns.

As such, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the subject application to the February 12, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.



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

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JANUARY 22, 2002

SUBJECT: CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296, & ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742

PROJECT ADDRESS: 32201 FORRESTAL DRIVE – LADERA LINDA COMMUNITY CENTER
(THOMAS GUIDE PAGE 823, D-5)

APPLICANT:
VERIZON WIRELESS
C/O TETRATECH, JOHN KOOS)
357 VAN NESS, #150
TORRANCE, CA 90501

PHONE: (310) 783-6444

LANDOWNER: CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

STAFF COORDINATOR:GUS ROMO, CONTRACT PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION: ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 30-FOOT HIGH MONOPOLE ANTENNA, CAMOUFLAGED AS A PINE TREE, IN A FIELD WEST OF THE EXISTING LADERA LINDA COMMUNITY CENTER, EAST OF THE SOCCER FIELDS, SOUTHWEST OF THE EXISTING TENNIS COURTS, AND NORTH (AT TOP OF SLOPE) OF EXISTING RESIDENCES ON HELM PLACE; IN ADDITION, ALLOW 15 CUBIC YARDS OF GRADING TO PROVIDE FOR A 14-FOOT DEEP CAISSON FOUNDATION FOR THE POLE AND A 240 SQUARE FOOT FENCED AREA WITH EQUIPMENT CABINETS ADJACENT TO THE MONOPOLE.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__, DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 226, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2296 & ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 742.

REFERENCES

ZONING: I (INSTITUTIONAL)

LAND USE: ACTIVE/COMMUNITY PARK

CODE SECTIONS: 17.60, 17.76.020, 17.76.040, & WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES

GENERAL PLAN: EDUCATIONAL

TRAILS PLAN: STALWART SECTION (SECTION 3-A14)

SPECIFIC PLAN: N/A

CEQA STATUS: N/A

ACTION DEADLINE: JANUARY 23, 2002

BACKGROUND

On October 9, 2001, the Planning Commission considered Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742. The project consisted of a 30-foot high monopole antenna simulated as a utility pole with the antenna panels designed to be flush with the pole. The proposal also included a 240 square-foot, 12-foot high, pre-fabricated equipment structure enclosed by a protective 8-foot tall chain-link fence. The pole and equipment structure were proposed to be located along the top of the slope and southeast corner of a field just upslope from the Ladera Linda Community Center buildings and southeast of the existing tennis courts in an area that overlooks single-family residences located downslope of the site to the south.

Staff was not in support of the project and believed it would be detrimental to the ocean views from the trails to the north as well as obtrusive to the natural landscape rearing onto the residential properties to the south. The Planning Commission felt the applicant, staff, and residents should get together and discuss more alternatives based on design, location, and other items of concern, including a better way to camouflage the tower and/or co-locate with other providers. The applicant was directed to work with Staff and concerned residents on revising the project and continued the hearing to November 13, 2001.

On November 13, 2001, the Planning Director presented a brief staff report to the Commission stating that the applicant was not yet ready to submit a revised project. The applicant needed more time to continue investigating a new location that would be more acceptable to the residents, and more time was needed to conduct additional studies to make sure the necessary coverage could be obtained. Therefore, staff requested the item be tabled until the applicant was ready, at which time a new public notice would be circulated to all interested parties. The project was, therefore, tabled.

The applicant has since submitted revised plans and photo simulations and has contacted the concerned residents. The new project design and location are still unsatisfactory to some of the residents as well as Staff. No calls or letters have been received by Staff to indicate support of the new project by residents. Rather, one letter and two e-mails have been received from residents indicating continued objection to the project.

PUBLIC NOTIFICATION

On January 4, 2002, notices of the public hearing were mailed to 136 property owners within a 500-foot radius of the subject parcel. Subsequently, on January 5, 2002, the public notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News. During the comment period, the Planning Department received three written correspondences from residents that had commented on the original application. This correspondence is discussed at the end of this report under "Additional Information".

SITE AND PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The subject site is the Ladera Linda Community Center located at 32201 Forrestal Drive. The City has owned the property since 1985 when it was purchased from the school district and converted from an elementary school to a community center. The site is bounded on the north and west by natural open space, which includes pedestrian trails, and on the east and south by single-family residential properties. Of the 11 acres composing the site, the applicant is proposing to lease a 500 square-foot space within an open area located upslope of the community center buildings, which is currently designated and utilized as an active community park and consists of tennis courts and soccer fields.

As noted in the Background Section, Staff could not support the original utility pole design, and the Planning Commission had also recommended that the applicant consider other designs. The revised project consists of the same 30-foot high monopole antenna and fence enclosure. However, the antenna is now proposed as a "monopine" (simulated pine tree monopole antenna) and to be located on the opposite corner of the field, further west of the Ladera Linda Community Center buildings and southwest of the tennis courts. Rather than a 12-foot high equipment structure, the applicant is now proposing small individual equipment cabinets adjacent to the monopole. Although the project has been revised, the proposal continues to create adverse impacts to single-family residences located downslope of the site to the south as well as the scenic trails located to the north. Evidence of this is provided in the body of this report.

CODE CONSIDERATIONS AND ANALYSIS

Environmental Assessment No. 742

Staff completed an Initial Study Environmental Checklist Form for the project before the application was presented to the Planning Commission on October 9, 2001. Staff's conclusion was that any 30-foot high structure located along the top of slope of the subject field, whether a simulated utility pole or pine tree, would impair the views from the trails located north of the site and be obtrusive to the residents located south of the site. Staff believes locating the antenna in the rear of the site, away from the top of slope and at the same height, might have relieved some concerns. However, the applicant indicated that for each two feet of setback from the top of the slope, one additional foot of height would be required to maintain the necessary antenna reception. As such, the proposed antenna remains at the same distance from the top of the slope as originally proposed and Staff's original conclusions indicating significant impacts remain unchanged.

Conditional Use Permit

As stated in the Staff Report to the Planning Commission of October 9, 2001, the establishment of a commercial antenna in an Institutional district is permitted subject to the approval of a conditional use permit. In considering a conditional use permit application, Development Code Section 17.60.050 requires the Planning Commission to make eight findings in reference to the property and use under consideration. In addition, Development Code Section 17.76.020(12)(a) requires one of two special findings for new commercial antennae (Development Code language is boldface, followed by Staff’s analysis in normal type):

  1. The site is adequate in size and shape to accommodate said use and for all of the yards, setbacks, walls or fences, landscaping and other features required by this title [Title 17 "Zoning"] or by conditions imposed under this section [Section 17.60.050] to adjust said use to those on abutting land and within the neighborhood.

The proposed monopine antennae and related support equipment will occupy a 500 square foot lease area on the Ladera Linda’s 11-acre site. The new pole will measure 30-feet in height and 20-inches in diameter. Although the new pole will be located ± 10 feet from the top of the transitional slope, the pole will be located 100 feet from the nearest property line, which is the rear property line of the adjacent residence. The 100-foot setback complies with the Development Code’s 25-foot minimum setback for monopoles under 100-feet in height. The associated equipment cabinets will be located adjacent and to the north of the new pole, approximately 37 feet from the top of the transitional slope. The facility (pole and equipment structure) will be surrounded by an 8-foot high fence and hedge to screen the facility and provide an apparent boundary of the facility. Although the proposal complies with setback standards, Staff believes that it would need additional significant setback from the top of the transitional slope to adequately address the visual and aesthetic impacts discussed above. However, the applicant has indicated that the farther from the slope the pole is located, the taller the pole must be to adequately provide for wireless coverage. As such, based upon the visual and aesthetic impacts and the inability of the applicant to locate the pole on the property without causing said impacts, Staff believes that the site is not adequate in size and configuration to accommodate the proposed use (antenna and associated equipment) and, therefore, this finding cannot be made.

  1. 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.

Forrestal Drive serves access to the Ladera Linda Community Center property. Forrestal Drive is a public residential street that is accessed via Palos Verdes Drive South. Aside from normal traffic to the subject site, which is predominantly student drop-off and pick-up for the Montessori School that serves 112 students, and use on weekends due to youth sporting events or other special events, the only additional traffic that is related to the proposed project is an occasional service vehicle for monthly or bimonthly maintenance of the commercial antenna on the site. These visits will be infrequent and will rarely involve large trucks or other equipment that would adversely affect onsite circulation. Thus, Staff believes that the project will not result in any significant change to the existing level of service to the adjacent streets and highways, which are sufficient to carry the type and quantity of traffic generated by the proposed use, and this finding can be made.

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

Staff determined that there are potentially significant impacts to the aesthetic environment that cannot be mitigated, even with the revised project currently proposed. Approval of the subject use at the specific location will have significant adverse effects upon adjacent property.

Specifically, Staff believes that the project will have a significant adverse impact with regards to affecting a scenic vista of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island in a westerly direction from the Stalwart Trail along Forrestal Drive. Although the trail is at a higher elevation than the antenna facility, the new antenna pole will be in the foreground of the view and project into the ocean view (Refer to attached Photo Simulations). Although camouflaged as a pine tree, trees within the community of Rancho Palos Verdes are often problematic due to view impairments. For this reason, the City has a View Preservation and Restoration Ordinance that deals with overgrown foliage. Thus, Staff believes that the proposed project degrades the existing view and the natural visual quality of the site and its surroundings.

Further, Staff believes the monopine structure will have a significant visual impact from the residences and the rights-of-way of Helm Place, Valor Place and Dauntless Drive. The applicant has presented the revised project to concerned residents living in this area and has not received support but, rather, additional comments against the project. Therefore, Staff believes that approving the proposed project at the specific location will have significant adverse effects upon adjacent property and trails. As such, this finding cannot be made.

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

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

  1. If the site of the proposed use is within any of the overlay control districts established by Chapter 17.40 (Overlay Control Districts) of this title [Title 17 "Zoning"], the proposed use complies with all applicable requirements of that chapter.

The subject property is not within an overlay control district. Therefore, this finding is not applicable to the 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 [including but not limited to]: setbacks and buffers; fences or walls; lighting; vehicular ingress and egress; noise, vibration, odors and similar emissions; landscaping; maintenance of structures, grounds or signs; service roads or alleys; and 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 this title [Title 17 "Zoning’].

Since Staff is not recommending approval of the requested application, this finding is not applicable to the project.

Pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Commercial Antennas) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, one of two additional findings must be made by the Planning Commission when reviewing a conditional use permit for a commercial antenna facility. (Development Code language is boldface, followed by Staff’s analysis in normal type):

  1. That no existing or planned tower approved after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter (Chapter 17.76 "Commercial Antennas") can accommodate the applicant’s proposed antenna and/or proposed service area, or that the tower cannot be located on the site of an existing or planned tower.

There are existing towers throughout the City that may be able to physically support the proposed antenna, but according to the applicant, due to technical constraints on the spacing and separation of carriers for wireless communications systems, the subject site best serves Verizon’s coverage area in this part of the City and on the Peninsula. There are no existing towers in the Forrestal area, nor is there a planned tower recently approved in the area. According to the applicant, a new tower is the most feasible method to provide the necessary coverage in the area and along Palos Verdes Drive South. Since there is no existing or planned tower that can accommodate the proposed antenna or service area, Staff believes this finding can be made.

Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines

On June 24, 1997, the Planning Commission adopted guidelines for wireless communications antenna development (Refer to attached guidelines handout) as a supplement to the City's existing regulations for commercial antennae. Staff has reviewed the nine (9) adopted Guidelines and has provided the following analysis of how each Guideline has been addressed with regards to the subject application.

Guideline 1: Expeditious Processing of Applications – Official submittal of the application was on February 15, 2001, but the project was deemed incomplete. It remained incomplete for several months while the applicant prepared to respond to Staff’s comments. Upon submittal of additional information, the project was deemed complete within 30 days on August 23, 2001 and heard by the Planning Commission within 50 days. Rather than denying the project at Staff's recommendation, the Planning Commission continued the project at the October 9th, 2001 public hearing to November 13, 2001 to give the applicant time to come up with an alternative design. On November 13th, the project was tabled to give the applicant additional time, at his request, to complete necessary studies and submit a revised project. The applicant submitted revisions on January 2, 2002, and the revised application is now being presented to the Planning Commission on January 22, 2002, twenty (20) days following submittal of the requested revisions, consistent with the Expeditious Processing guideline.

Guideline 2: Preference for Existing, Non-Single-Family Structures as Antenna Sites – The Ladera Linda Community Center property is a non-single-family use and is zoned "Institutional".

Guideline 3: Encourage Co-Location – This application is for a new tower in an area that does not contain any existing towers that serve the needs of the applicant; thus, according to the applicant, there are no opportunities to co-locate the proposed antennae on an existing tower.

Guideline 4: Preservation of View Corridors – As concluded in the above conditional use permit analysis, the new pole will project into the views of the ocean from the Stalwart Trail along Forrestal Drive. The trail is, at a minimum, 25 feet higher in elevation and ± 350 feet from the specific location of the proposed facility. However, the proposed monopine will still project into the view of the ocean and create a new obstruction along the view corridor, whether it is proposed as a tree or a utility pole. As such, Staff believes that the proposal is not consistent with this guideline.

Guideline 5: Balance of Public and Private Costs and Benefits – There is no evidence that this project will disproportionately benefit the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and/or the wireless providers at a significant adverse financial expense to the general public. However, Staff believes that the project may have an aesthetic expense (impact) upon the adjacent residences that are downslope of the proposed facility, since the facility will dominate the landscape and will create a visual impact as concluded in the conditional use permit analysis above. Further, the Ladera Linda site and the Forrestal property have not been improved with additional structures and have been kept in a natural state to the greatest extent feasible. The vistas, scenery and natural setting of these areas are evident, especially from along the trails in the area. Staff believes that this amenity is a benefit to the community and the general public, and installation of the new facility will detract from the natural environment and create an adverse visual impact. Thus, Staff believes that the proposed antenna facility will provide disproportionate cost to the general public by affecting the natural visual amenities of the area. As such, Staff believes that the proposal is not consistent with this guideline.

Guideline 6: Submittal of Network Master Plan – The applicant has submitted a Network Master Plan for Verizon.

Guideline 7: Photographic Simulations and Full-Scale Mock-ups Required – Revised photographic simulations have been prepared and submitted for the proposed monopine. The applicant has also re-located the mock-up of the proposed monopole to depict the height of the monopine at the revised location.

Guideline 8: Periodic Updates on Wireless Communications Technology Required – If the Planning Commission approves this application, Staff will add a condition of approval that will require the applicant to submit periodic updates on a 3 – 5 year basis as noted per this guideline.

Guideline 9: Screening of Support Equipment and Structures Required – The revised project proposes the equipment in the form of cabinets instead of a 12-foot high structure and at a distance of + 37 feet from the top of the transitional slope, compared to + 15 feet for the original application. This additional setback along with the protective fence and hedge proposed around the facility will serve to screen the support equipment, and, thus, the support equipment is not considered to be detrimental to surrounding properties or view corridor.

Based upon the summary above, Staff believes that the proposed project is not consistent with all of the City's Guidelines.

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

The following provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 established limitations upon the City’s authority to regulate certain aspects of commercial antenna applications:

  • Subsections 4747 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."

Staff Response: The City would be basing its decision on the project on the adequacy of the site to accommodate the proposed antenna use in terms of size and shape. As indicated in the CUP findings, Staff believes additional significant setback from the top of the transitional slope would be needed to adequately address the visual and aesthetic impacts of the project. Since the applicant has indicated that the farther from the slope the pole is located, the taller the pole must be to adequately provide for wireless coverage, Staff believes the site is not adequate in size and configuration to accommodate the proposed use. As such, the City's action would not discriminate against any particular service provider.

  • Subsection 4747 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."

Staff Response: This application has been processed in a timely fashion and in accordance with the time lines established by the State Permit Streamlining Act.

  • Subsection 4747 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 Response: Staff is recommending denial of the proposed project. If the Planning Commission denies these applications, such action will be supported by a written record, consisting of this Staff report, the Minutes of these proceedings, the project plans and applications, public correspondence and testimony, and the final Planning Commission Resolution.

  • Subsection 4747 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."

Staff Response: Although radio frequency emissions are identified as an environmental effect, and are grounds for opposing the project by some of the residents in the area, they are not within the City’s purview to consider or regulate.

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff believes that the City’s review of Conditional Use Permit No. 226 is consistent with the local zoning authority reserved for the City under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Grading Permit

Development Code Section 17.76.040 requires approval of a minor grading application for caisson foundations for a foundation ten (10) feet or more below existing grade. Grading Permit No. 2296 is for a proposed 14-foot-deep caisson foundation for the new monopole. Staff believes that the grading is minimal and is necessary for the proper and safe construction of the new pole. However, since the grading permit is associated with the overall project, Staff is recommending denial of Grading Permit No. 2296.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To address original concerns about the monopole antenna, TetraTech first presented the alternative design of a "monopine" on September 27, 2001. At the two previous Planning Commission meetings of October 9th and November 13th, 2001, the Commission recommended to the applicant that a revised design and location be discussed with Staff and concerned residents prior to returning to the Planning Commission for a decision.

Staff discussed with the applicant the possibility of locating the monopole further back on the property to a point where it would not be seen from the adjacent single-family homes to the south as well as over the horizon from the pedestrian trails to the north. The applicant indicated this would not be feasible due to the additional height that would be needed for the antenna of one foot for each two feet of additional setback. The applicant, thus, proceeded with submittal of the revised project that is being presented with this report.

During the first week of January, the applicant indicated that five (5) of the eight (8) residents that had submitted written correspondence to Staff had been contacted by the applicant and informed of the revised project. The applicant stated that the other three residents were mailed a letter informing them of the revised project on January 16, 2001. Staff received one letter and two e-mails from three of the residents. All three residents are opposed to the revised project, and their correspondence has been attached for your review. Neither Staff nor the applicant received calls or correspondence from any resident in support of the project.

Staff believes that the revised monopine design and location would continue to have visual impacts from the trails along Forrestal Drive as well as the homes adjacent to the south. The monopine would project up into the ocean views, and would be substantially wider than the pole design due to the projecting arrays and elements that simulate branches of a tree. Therefore, Staff believes that the revised project will create impacts similar to the original utility pole design.

As indicated in previous reports, the City Council authorized the City Manager to sign the conditional use permit application on behalf of the City for the proposed wireless telecommunications facility at Ladera Linda Community Center on January 19, 2001. The authorization allowed the applications to proceed through the required permit review process, which includes Planning Commission review. If the Planning Commission approves the conditional use permit, a lease agreement must be negotiated between the City and Verizon Wireless, and the City Manager must prepare the lease agreement. Thus, the lease agreement must be executed prior to commencement of construction.

CONCLUSION

Based on the evidence presented in the body of this report as well as previous reports, Staff believes that not all of the mandatory findings of fact can be made to justify approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 226. Specifically, Staff believes that the proposed monopine antenna will create significant adverse visual impacts and is not consistent with the goals of the City’s General Plan or the City's Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines. Furthermore, Staff believes that the proposed facility affects a view corridor from public trails and will, thus, create a disproportionate cost to the general public by impacting the natural scenery of the Forrestal and Ladera Linda areas. Therefore, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission deny Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit no. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742.

ALTERNATIVES

The following alternative is available for consideration by the Planning Commission:

●Approve Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742, and direct Staff to prepare a resolution of approval to be brought back at a future Planning Commission meeting.

ATTACHMENTS

  • P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__
  • Letter from Applicant to Concerned Residents
  • Letters of Objection (3)
  • Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines
  • Revised Photographic Simulations
  • Revised Project Plans

NEW BUSINESS:





6. NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY UPDATE: (AM)

**View Attached Draft Neighborhood Compatibility Handbook*

*You will need Acrobat Reader to view this attachment. Download a free version HERE.

TO: HONORABLE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JANUARY 22, 2002

SUBJECT: NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY HANDBOOK

Staff Coordinator: Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends that the Commission review the content and format of the draft version of the Neighborhood Compatibility Brochure, as revised by the Sub-Committee, and provide Staff with further direction.

BACKGROUND

On March 28, 2000, the Commission requested that an item be added to a future agenda to discuss the process used by the Department to disseminate the City’s "neighborhood compatibility" standards and review process to the public. At the April 11, 2000 meeting, Staff presented to the Commission for review a copy of the Department’s current public handout that explains the "neighborhood compatibility" process (see attachment). At the meeting, former Commissioner Clark informed the Commission that he had obtained handout information on architectural review guidelines for the City of Pacific Grove (Northern California) at the Planners Institute Conference and requested that Staff provide the Commission with copies of the handout. Commissioner Clark indicated that Pacific Grove’s handout would benefit the Commission’s discussion of the City’s "neighborhood compatibility" public handout.

At the May 23, 2000 meeting, Staff provided the Commission with copies of the Architectural Review Guidelines for the City of Pacific Grove. After discussing Pacific Groves’ guidelines, the Commission began to review the City’s current "neighborhood compatibility" handout and decided that a Sub-Committee, consisting of two Commissioners and Staff, be created to evaluate the City’s public handout materials. As such, former Commissioners Paulson and Clark were appointed to the Sub-Committee with the task of working with Staff in improving the existing public handout on "neighborhood compatibility." At the May 23rd meeting, Staff informed the Commission that a consultant would be hired to assist the Sub-Committee and Staff.

The "neighborhood compatibility" Sub-Committee first convened on August 24, 2000 to discuss concerns in providing the public with "user-friendly" information pertaining to the City’s "neighborhood compatibility" requirements and process. At that meeting, Staff was directed to work with the City’s consultant, Smothers and Associates, to prepare a public handbook that would contain readable illustrated information. The Sub-Committee reconvened on September 25, October 23, and November 13, 2000 to discuss the preliminary format and content of the handbook. On March 23, 2001, Staff received a preliminary draft of the "neighborhood compatibility" handbook, and after reviewing the document provided the consultant with general comments for future consideration by the Sub-Committee. On June 21, 2001 Staff received a draft version of the "neighborhood compatibility" handbook and forwarded a copy to the Sub-Committee for their review.

On November 27, 2001, the Sub-Committee met to discuss the format and content of the draft public handbook. At this meeting, the Sub-Committee reviewed the draft handbook and agreed that additional revisions were needed before presenting it to the Planning Commission. At the November 27, 2001 Planning Commission meeting, the Sub-Committee updated the Commission on their task of preparing a "neighborhood compatibility" public handbook (see attached minutes). The Sub-Committee reported to the Commission that a draft version of the handbook had been prepared but that it required further modifications. It was also noted that the two Sub-Committee members, Commissioners Clark and Paulson, would not be able to complete their task of over-seeing the additional modifications since they will no longer serve on the Commission. As such, the Commission agreed to let Staff complete the Sub-Committee’s revisions to the "neighborhood compatibility" handbook and forward a draft copy to the Commission for further review.

DISCUSSION

As directed by the Commission, Staff has completed the Sub-Committee’s revisions to the "neighborhood compatibility" handbook and has attached the document to this report for review by the Commission. As indicated by the Sub-Committee at the November 27, 2001 Planning Commission meeting, the format and content of the handbook requires further examination prior to making it available to the public. It is Staff’s belief that additional editing may still be required to help streamline the content of the handbook to a format that is simple for the public to use when considering a residential development project in the City. Therefore, Staff recommends that the Commission review the following elements of the handbook and provide Staff with further direction:

  • Table of Contents
  • Guidelines
  • Design Tips
  • Use of illustrations
  • Glossary

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

As the Commission may recall, the City Council recently decided to create a Neighborhood Compatibility Steering Committee, comprised of two City Council members, Councilmen Clark and Gardiner; two Planning Commissioners, Chairman Lyon and Commissioner Cartwright; five community members from the Council of Homeowners Association; and Planning Staff, to evaluate the current criteria and procedure of the "neighborhood compatibility" requirement. To date, the steering has not formally convened, but plans are underway to conduct the first meeting sometime in early February.

ATTACHMENTS:

*You will need Acrobat Reader to view this attachment. Download a free version HERE.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:


Staff



7. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF FEBRUARY 12, 2002.


PLANNING COMMISSION
PRE-AGENDA
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2002


CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF JANUARY 22, 2002


CONTINUED BUSINESS:(NO ITEMS)



PUBLIC HEARINGS:(NO ITEMS)



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,
February 12, 2002, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.