06/11/2002 Planning Commission Agenda June, 2002, 06/11/2002, Planning, Commission, Meeting, Agenda, request to allow the construction of a 2,083 square foot addition to an existing single story residence, which is proposed to measure 15.83’ from the highest point of finished grade covered by structure and 25.93’ from the lowest point of finished grade covered by structure; to allow a 16-foot front yard setback, 52% lot coverage, and a six-foot tall block wall in the street side setback (along Schooner Drive); to allow 188 cubic yards of cut and 219 cubic yards of fill, for a total of 407 cubic yards of earth moved; and to deviate from the Municipal Code prohibition on grading and construction over extreme slopes The 06/11/2002 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Agenda
Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission Agenda June 11, 2002
June 11 , 2002

DISCLAIMER

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

...end of disclaimer...

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

Staff Reports

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

Organization of the Agenda

The Planning Commission agenda is divided into the following sections:

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

Presentation of Agenda Items

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

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


How to Speak on an Item

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

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

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

 Submittal of Written Correspondence

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

Conduct at the Meeting

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

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

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


BEGINNING OF PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 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. 2002-12


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:



COMMUNICATIONS:


1. Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

None

2. Staff:

3. Commission:


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



CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF MAY 28, 2002


2. PAGE 23 OF MINUTES OF MAY 14, 2002


CONTINUED BUSINESS:



3. APPEAL OF FENCE, WALL AND HEDGE PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00122): 32451 Searaven Drive / Foster (BY)

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue this item to the June 25, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.


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



PUBLIC HEARINGS:



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission receive and file the request to withdraw the application.



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission review the draft Wind Energy Ordinance, and forward a recommendation of approval to the City Council.


CONTINUED BUSINESS: (Continued)



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review the "turn-around" design alternatives and make a determination as to which "turn-around" alternative should be improved at the terminus of Coolheights Drive; 2) Discuss the draft findings and draft conditions of approval for the project applications; and 3) If deemed appropriate, adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__, adopting the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Mitigation Monitoring Program; and adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-___; approving, with conditions, Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 573 and Environmental Assessment No. 475.



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__ conditionally approving Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286.


PUBLIC HEARINGS: (Continued)



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__, approving Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038).


NEW BUSINESS: (NO ITEMS)



ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff



9. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF JUNE 25, 2002.

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
June 25, 2002, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.


AGENDA

RANCHO PALOS VERDES PLANNING COMMISSION

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 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. 2002-12


CALL TO ORDER:

FLAG SALUTE:

ROLL CALL:


APPROVAL OF AGENDA:



COMMUNICATIONS:

1. Council Policy Items (Excerpt Minutes):

None

2. Staff:

3. Commission:


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



CONSENT CALENDAR:



1. MINUTES OF MAY 28, 2002


CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MAY 28, 2002
CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Cartwright at 7:02 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.


FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Duran Reed led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.


ROLL CALL

Present: Commissioners Cote, Duran Reed, Mueller, Tomblin, Vice Chairman Long, and Chairman Cartwright. Commissioner Lyon arrived at 8:20 p.m.

Absent: None

Also present were Associate Planner Blumenthal, Assistant Planner Yu, Director of Planning Building and Code Enforcement Rojas, and Recording Secretary Peterson


APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Commissioner Mueller asked that item 2 be taken off of the consent calendar and put at the end of the agenda.

Chairman Cartwright also asked that items 1 and 4 be added to the end of the agenda.

The Planning Commission agreed to the changes.


COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed a copy of a letter from Mr. Freeman regarding public information requests and a copy of an e-mail received at pc@rpv.com.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the City Council had heard an item on RV parking and requested that the item be agendized to the Planning Commission at a future date.


CONTINUED BUSINESS



3. Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit NO. 573, and Environmental Assessment NO. 745: 3787 Coolheights Dr

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that at the last meeting there had been discussions about looking at alternatives, therefore the Director of Public Works has retained the services of a consultant to look at different cul-de-sac designs, therefore more time was needed and the continuance was requested.

Commissioner Duran Reed moved to continue the item to June 11, 2002, seconded by Commissioner Mueller. Approved, (6-0).


PUBLIC HEARINGS



5. Appeal of Fence, Wall and Hedge Permit (Case No. ZON2001-00032): 32451 Searaven Drive

Director/Secretary Rojas reported that the appellant had requested an extension to the meeting of June 11, therefore staff was recommending the continuance.

Commissioner Tomblin moved to continue the item to June 11, 2002, seconded by Commissioner Duran Reed. Approved, (6-0).


6. Golden Cove Sign Program (Case ZON2001-00090): 31212-31244 Hawthorne Boulevard
Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She stated that staff reviewed the proposed sign program and found that it was generally consistent with the intent and purposes of the sign permit section of the Development Code, however staff had a few recommendations. She stated that staff felt the reader board should remain and not be replaced with individual tenant panels as proposed by the applicant and noted that the City Council had, in 1985, approved the non-conforming signs so that the reader board could be made available for community announcements. Additionally, for the freestanding signs, the applicant was proposing the face panels to be plexiglass with a vinyl background, however staff was proposing the face panels be aluminum covered with texcote with routed out letters. She showed examples of the two types of signs on a power point display and explained that the texcote would give a stucco appearance to the sign itself and the routed out letters would allow the light to shine through the letters only and not through the entire panel. She discussed the wall signs and stated that staff was recommending the signs to be reversed channel letters as opposed to the proposal of individual channel and flat aluminum letters and showed examples of the two. She discussed the colors of the signs and stated that staff felt the proposed colors were not compatible with the approved architectural style of the shopping center which allows for earth tone colors. Therefore, staff was recommending the sign colors be limited to teal, terra cota, and the trademark colors. She showed examples of the colors the applicant was proposing. She also stated that staff was suggesting that exposed neon not be allowed on the signs. She concluded by stating that overall staff felt the proposed sign program would be an enhancement to the shopping center and as such was recommending the Planning Commission approve the sign program subject to the staff recommendations as outlined in the conditions of approval.

Vice Chairman Long asked staff to clarify what they meant by the trademark colors.

Assistant Planner Yu explained that trademark colors were those colors used by businesses that were recognized nationally. She stated that the colors being recommended by staff were for businesses that do not have trademark colors.

Vice Chairman Long asked if the trademark being discussed would be a federally registered trademark or a state registered trademark, as a state registered trademark was simply a matter of sending in a fee.

Director/Secretary Rojas clarified that staff’s proposal was intended to apply to nationally recognized businesses with federally registered trademarks but that it was up to the Planning Commission as to how that would be structured.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked why the Admiral Risty was not included in the sign program.

Assistant Planner Yu explained that when the shopping center remodel was approved in 1999 the Admiral Risty was not included in the remodel and as such the sign program does not apply to the Admiral Risty at this time. However, when they decide to remodel the building they will be subject to the sign program.

Commissioner Duran Reed compared the two new signs on pages 3 and 5 of 19 in the staff report and noted they were slightly different in design and proportion, and asked why that was and why they could not be built to be proportional.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that if the Planning Commission wants the two signs to be proportional, they can require that.

Commissioner Tomblin asked if there was any applicable code that regulated the square footage and height of the freestanding signs, as he felt the signs could be lowered.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that staff had looked at past approvals and found that in 1985 the City Council had acknowledged that the monument sign does not meet the code, as such signs are limited to a height of 16 feet in height for centers of this type and let the sign remain as is, and therefore staff did not take issue with the height of the signs. However, he explained that it was at the discretion of the Planning Commission if they wished to modify the signs.

Vice Chairman Long asked what the Ordinance was that allowed the Planning Commission to regulate the signs and what discretion was given to the Planning Commission. He asked what findings had to be made to approve the signs.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that the discretion was in the sign code and read the subsection regarding sign programs and sign criteria as well as the required findings.

Vice Chairman Long noted that there was not a finding to determine the size of a sign nor was there a finding regarding the grandfathering of signs in existence before City incorporation.

Chairman Cartwright asked if the monument signs existed before the City incorporated.

Assistant Planner Yu answered that the signs were existing before incorporation.

Commissioner Cote asked staff to clarify how they envisioned the reader board would look so that it would be compatible with the shopping center.

Assistant Planner Yu answered that it was mainly the color of the reader board that staff was concerned with. She explained that it was currently a white board with black letters, and she suggested the board could be a teal color with white letters.

Commissioner Cote asked if staff had considered an electronic reader board.

Assistant Planner Yu explained that staff did not have specific recommendations for the reader board as long as the board was compatible with the freestanding sign.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Gus Navarro 701 N. Lakme Avenue, Wilmington discussed the reader board and did not feel a teal background with white letters would be readable at night. He discussed the Golden Cove sign which staff recommended an aluminum covered panel background with texcoated finish which he felt was fine, however he pointed out that being so close to the ocean would cause a high maintenance problem. He stated that staff was recommending cable illuminated letters which he also felt would cause a high maintenance problem being so close to the ocean and the moisture along the coast.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked what some of the typical problems were on the type of signs the staff was recommending and who typically takes care of the maintenance of the signs.

Mr. Navarro answered that in individual lit signs, each letters has its own individual neon system and each one can blow at any time. He stated that typically tenants are responsible for the maintenance of their signs.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Mr. Navarro about the signs depicted on pages 3 and 5 of 19 of the sign program. She did not feel the sign logos were consistent and asked if there was a reason for that.

Mr. Navarro responded that the sign on page 3 was in a 12 foot by 12 foot established sign cabinet and the sign on page 5 was not quite as large. He explained that in order to integrate the logo into the smaller sign it had to be designed slightly differently.

Commissioner Duran Reed felt it was important to have consistency in the two signs and suggested raising the piling a little higher on the sign on page 3 of 19 and lowering the piling on the sign on page 5 of 19.

Mr. Navarro felt that could be done without a problem.

Commissioner Tomblin asked Mr. Navarro if he weren’t trying to maintain the 20-foot sign, what would have been a more effective sign design if he had to start over with a new sign.

Mr. Navarro answered that, without knowing the wishes of the tenants, he would design a monument sign that said "Golden Cove Center" without the tenants on it. He felt the existing tenant sign lettering was very small and ineffective.

Commissioner Cote asked Mr. Navarro about the reader board and any suggestions he may have for it.

Mr. Navarro responded that almost all reader boards are white with colored letters so that it is easily read at night. He was concerned that a teal reader board with white lettering would be very blurry and ineffective at night.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if it were possible to have a teal reader board with white lettering, but have a light shine up on the board rather than from behind the board.

Mr. Navarro stated that was called eyebrow lighting, and that it was a possibility.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Navarro if he was representing the management company or the architect, or was he at the meeting to give his technical insight on the signage.

Mr. Navarro responded that he was the sign contractor and at the meeting to offer his technical knowledge on the signs.

Hannibal Petrossi stated he was the architect for the Golden Cove project and explained that the sign program was designed to blend in with the architecture of the redesigned shopping center. He explained that the way the building was designed on the first floor there was no room to have a box or channel letters lit from the back of the fascia of the building. That was why they had designed the signs to be accessible from outside. On the second floor, he had no problem with the suggestions made by staff. He reminded the Planning Commission that the Admiral Risty was not part of this program and the Golden Lotus would be remodeling soon after the sign program was in effect.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Petrossi how he would feel to a continuance of the sign program issue while the Planning Commission worked out incorporating changes into the proposed program or would he rather the Planning Commission work with the proposal in front of the Commission this evening.

Mr. Petrossi answered that he preferred the Planning Commission work with the current proposal and approve a sign program at this meeting. He explained that he and the tenants were anxious to begin work on the renovation of the Golden Cove Center, which could not be done until the sign program was approved.

Director/Secretary Rojas clarified that when the Planning Commission approved the Golden Cove renovation plan there was a condition stating that a building permit could not be issued for the renovation of the two-story building until a sign program was approved for the entire center.

Commissioner Mueller asked Mr. Petrossi what the maximum height of the buildings in the shopping center was.

Mr. Petrossi responded that the maximum height was 35 feet.

Vice Chairman Long asked where in the code was the size of the monument signs discussed.

Director/Secretary Rojas read the section of the code stating that the Director may approve a sign up to 16-feet in height if it is the only feasible method of identification for a shopping center containing 4 or more individual establishments.

Chairman Cartwright asked if it was staff’s contention that the changes being proposed were significant or that the changes are not sufficient to require that the signs be brought into compliance with the code.

Assistant Planner Yu responded that it was staff’s opinion that the applicant was proposing to refurbish the existing signs and noted that the poles and faces on the existing signs are going to remain, and the changes were the color of the face of the signs and stucco the poles. She stated that staff felt the height and square footage of the signs would not change.

Vice Chairman Long asked staff if they felt the restrictions of the code did not apply as the Planning Commission was not approving a new sign but rather the refurbishment of existing approved signs.

Director/Secretary Rojas agreed with Commissioner Long’s statement and added that staff felt the sign was not intensifying or adding to the non-conformity.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Mueller agreed with staff’s interpretation that the existing sign was being refurbished. He felt that Golden Cove Center was fairly well known but agreed that two signs were needed for the shopping center, one on Hawthorne Blvd. and the other on Palos Verdes Drive West and also felt it was important to have the individual tenant signs. He felt the Planning Commission should consider what type of illumination to allow for the reader board. He agreed with staff’s suggestions for the lighting of the other signs. He felt it was important to define exactly what type of trademark signage would be allowed.

Commissioner Duran Reed also agreed with staff’s recommendations regarding the signs and the retention of the reader board, however she suggested the eyebrow lighting for the reader board to make it easier to read at night. She felt consistency in the logo was important as well as the pylons in the sign be proportional. She too felt the tenant signs should remain. She too felt it would be nice to have a lower sign, but agreed that the sign was existing and that the proposal was a refurbishment.

Commissioner Tomblin felt that the Planning Commission and City Council spend quite a bit of time trying to blend in some of the things that happened during the County time that were not necessarily the right things for the City. He did not think the current 40-foot sign was working since the owner has applied for three more restaurant signs where the reader board is currently located. He felt the 40-foot sign was a huge albatross that lights up the sky at night, which was not effective for the tenant, the City, or anyone else. He would rather see two smaller pylon signs in its place, which would allow more signs for the tenants, be less obtrusive, and blend in to a higher quality center. He felt that if the Planning Commission was going to consider a sign program, they should consider one that would be beneficial to the tenants, owners, and City and felt that the current signs should be taken down and all new signs be constructed. He would not be opposed to allowing the applicant to go forward with the construction while the Planning Commission was working out the sign situation to make sure the signs were appropriate.

Commissioner Cote agreed with Commissioner Tomblin’s concerns regarding the signs. She felt a lot had happened in the Golden Cove area since the City Council originally approved the large sign and reader board at Golden Cove such as Ocean Trails, the Oceanfront Estates development, and the proposed Long Point development. She wondered if the City Council would approve the same sort of sign today if it were before them and wondered if the reader board was still an important element to the City and wondered if it was still needed.

Vice Chairman Long stated that one of his primary concerns has been satisfied and the Planning Commission has more latitude than he originally thought they had. He was torn on the issue, however he felt he could suggest a precise condition for allowing trademark owners to use colors. He suggested allowing the trademark owners use the colors as reflected in the registered trademark with the Federal Patented Trademark Office and that the trademark whose colors are being used should be on the principal register and the manner in which the trademark should be used by the sign owner should be for one of the same classes of goods or services as is reflected on the registered mark. Further, the trademark colors could only be used for so long as the trademark is validly registered. He was very much undecided on the rest of the aspects of the sign program. He understood Commissioner Tomblin’s point of view and was inclined to agree that it might be better if all of the signs were redesigned, but was not sure that sort of a decision was in the scope of the Planning Commission’s discretion.

Chairman Cartwright also felt that it might be best to scrap the current signs and start all over, however the signs have existed for quite a while and were considered legal, non-conforming signs approved by the City. He felt that the applicant had designed the modifications to the signs based on an understanding that if they didn’t significantly change the signs that the height and square footage would be approved. He felt it was a little late in the game for the Planning Commission to require the applicant to redesign the signs. Therefore, he would support the existing height of the signs. He agreed with the Vice Chairman’s suggestions for the trademark colors. He also felt the eyebrow lighting for the reader board was a good suggestion.

Director/Secretary Rojas discussed the Planning Commission’s latitude to reduce the height of the signs. He explained that the signs were non-conforming structures and that there was no longer a section in the Code discussing non-conforming signs. He stated that staff was relying on was the general code section regarding non-conforming structures which says that no physical changes or enlargements can be done. Staff felt that these signs did not increase the non-conformity.

Vice Chairman Long stated that if a proposal were to be made for a house that had non-conforming construction and the proposal was made in such a way that the changes that were going to be made were not going to be sufficient so as to trigger a requirement to make the house conforming, then the Planning Commission could not say they required the applicant to bring the house into conformance. Similarly, if the same general standard were applied to this application and the Planning Commission could determine that what is being done to the signs is just a refurbishment that does not increase the degree by which they are non-conforming, then the same principal would apply.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if it was possible to allow the remodel of the two-story structure to begin while the Planning Commission works out the details of the sign permit.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that the sign program was a condition of the Conditional Use Permit for the Golden Cove Center, which was not before the Planning Commission at this time. To waive a condition of the Conditional Use Permit would require a public notice and it could not be done at this meeting.

Commissioner Cote felt that the Planning Commission had the latitude to ask the applicant to design signs that were conforming and more acceptable. She did not understand why the Planning Commission, in approving the redevelopment of the shopping center, did not allow for latitude in approval of the sign program.

Vice Chairman Long stated that if the applicant had proposed a sign program that had new and different signs as opposed to simply refurbishing the existing signs, then the Planning Commission would have the latitude to impose all of the requirements of the Ordinance.

Chairman Cartwright recalled the Planning Commission, at the time of approval of the Golden Cove refurbishment, was concerned with signage and therefore had conditioned the approval that signage be approved prior to the issuance of building permits. He felt that the Planning Commission did have some latitude as far as the signage in regards to the lighting, the colors, and the type of signs allowed.

Commissioner Tomblin asked if the applicant could place two 16-foot signs on Palos Verdes Drive West.

Director/Secretary Rojas felt it would be difficult as there are three building that have yet to be built in the shopping center along Palos Verdes Drive West.

Chairman Cartwright re-opened the public hearing.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Mr. Petrossi if he would voluntarily lower the height of the sign at the center.

Mr. Petrossi answered that a 16-foot high sign would only be visible to traffic traveling west on Palos Verdes Drive West, as there is an approximate 4-foot elevation difference between the west bound traffic and the east bound traffic. He did not think that would be satisfactory and did not think the owner of the shopping center would agree to lowering the height of the sign.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Mueller felt that the one big sign could be seen from a distance from both directions of travel on Palos Verdes Drive West and that a lower sign would get lost and possibly blocked by the new buildings. He also felt it was important to maintain an open view with the tall sign. He also did not feel the Planning Commission could ask the applicant to lower the sign as it was considered legal, non-conforming. He felt that the wording suggested by the Vice Chairman in regards to the trademark signs should be incorporated into the Resolution.

Commissioner Mueller moved to adopt staff’s recommendations regarding the reader board, lighting, and colors, as well as to incorporate the language suggested by Vice Chairman Long regarding the trademark signs and colors, seconded by Vice Chairman Long.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Commissioner Mueller if his motion included the use of eyebrow lighting for the reader board.

Commissioner Mueller responded that eyebrow lighting was sufficient but would like to allow flexibility to allow staff the discretion to determine the best lighting for the reader board.

Chairman Cartwright suggested an amendment to the condition indicating that the reader board have eyebrow lighting or other suitable lighting as approved by the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement.

Commissioner Mueller agreed to the amendment, as did the Vice Chairman.

Commissioner Duran Reed discussed the consistency and proportionality of the two signs and proposed an amendment that language be included that the design of the signs be consistent and the pylon edges of the two signs be proportional, making the two signs appear more similar.

Commissioner Mueller was leery to add a condition that would dictate that the pylons would have to go 2/3 of the way up the sign and felt the current sign proposal looked reasonably symmetric.

Commissioner Tomblin seconded the proposed amendment made by Commissioner Duran Reed. The proposed amendment to the motion failed by a vote of 3-3, with Commissioners Cote and Mueller, and Chairman Cartwright dissenting.

Director/Secretary Rojas repeated the motion for the Planning Commission, stating that the motion was for the approval of the sign program with the recommendations by staff and with the language regarding trademark colors as suggested by Vice Chairman Long. Also that the reader board have a teal background with eyebrow or other lighting at the Director’s discretion.

Vice Chairman Long stated that the wording should be that the trademark colors shall be only those that are a federal trademark that are registered in the principal register with the patent trademark office for the class of goods or services as used by the tenant and in effect at the time that the tenant is using said colors.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted that there was no condition included addressing the hours the signs could be on at night, and suggested language be added that the lighting be turned off at the time that the last tenant closes at night, as the closing of the businesses are staggered throughout the evening.

Vice Chairman Long suggested an amendment to the motion to add a condition that the lights are to be turned off no later than the time of the closing of the tenant and shall not be turned back on until the opening of the first tenant on the following day.

Commissioner Mueller accepted the amendment to the motion.

The motion passed on a roll call vote of 4-2 with Commissioners Cote and Tomblin dissenting.

Commissioner Cote explained that she had voted no because she felt the Commission had more discretion in the approval of the sign program, and that the height of the non-conforming sign should have been addressed. She did not agree with the thought process that the sign was non-conforming and therefore the Planning Commission had to leave the sign at the current height.


RECESS AND RECONVENE

At 8:55 p.m. the Commission to a short recess to 9:15 p.m. at which time they reconvened.


PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT)



7. Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance, Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00035): 112 Spindrift Drive

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report. He described the project and the need for the various applications. He explained that typically the height limitations of the Municipal Code cannot accommodate construction of three story homes. However the existing flat roof of the house, in conjunction with the proposed new flat roof, accommodates a design which a three-story house can built, and it should be noted that the first floor of the structure consists entirely of a subterranean garage. He stated that all findings for the Height Variation could be made as well as the findings for the Variance and the Minor Exception Permit. He explained that the subject property is located on the seaward side of Palos Verdes Drive South and therefore located within the Coastal Specific Plan. Accordingly, a Coastal Permit is required for approval of an addition to the subject property and staff has determined that the required findings could be supported for approval of the Coastal Permit. Therefore, staff was recommending the Planning Commission approve the project, subject to the conditions of approval.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Gary Wynn 27525 Valley Center Road, Valley Center, stated that he was the engineer for the proposed project as well as the property located next door to the project. He stated that the project was designed to maintain the privacy and views of the neighbors. He pointed out that there were open space areas behind both the projects which helped minimize any impacts from these projects. He stated that both projects have the approval of the Portuguese Bend Club HOA architectural review committee.

Andrew Ely 112 Spindrift Drive explained that he was proposing the addition to accommodate his growing family and was available to answer any questions.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioners Cote and Tomblin were both impressed with the way the privacy issues were dealt with and saw no view impairment issues at the site. Therefore, they were in favor of the project.

Commissioner Duran Reed felt the neighborhood was changing, but had no issues with the project.

Commissioner Mueller asked about the vacant parcel behind the subject property. He noted that it was owned by the Homeowners Association and wondered if the land was preserved as open space for as long as the HOA owned the property.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that the HOA ownership of the parcel, in conjunction with the moratorium on new buildings in that area, would preserve the area as open space.

Commissioner Mueller wondered if the moratorium were lifted and the HOA were to sell the property, if the land could then be built on. He asked if the Planning Commission had any obligation to preserve the views from the vacant parcel, which at this point in time is not developable only because no new structures can be built in the area.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that it would first have to be determined if they were legal conforming lots. He stated that the view ordinance does protect views from vacant property, however from staff’s perspective this was not developable property under the current code and therefore there was no view that needed to be protected.

Vice Chairman Long noted that the vacant properties were on a substantial slope and even if there were any building ever allowed on the lots they would most likely be at a significantly higher elevation. He stated that he had driven around the area and saw no issues with potential view impairment or potential privacy issues.

Given staff’s explanation, Commissioner Mueller agreed with their analysis regarding the vacant property behind the residence. He questioned why staff had not included the lot sizes when doing their analysis of the project.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that in that area of the Portuguese Bend Club the houses sometimes traverse the lot lines and there may be multiple houses on a single lot. He stated that the information staff has is the taken from the County Assessor maps and the County Assessor’s tax information which does not coincide with each other or with the information provided by the applicant. Therefore, the lot size information was omitted.

Chairman Cartwright re-opened the public hearing.

Gary Wynn explained that the boundaries in the Bend Club were determined subsequently by a Record of Survey, where the property lines were basically retrofitted where they felt the fence lines were located. He also clarified that the CC&R’s for the area specified that the open spaces would be held forever as open space.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Lyon stated that he had walked the property and had specifically noted a substantial grid separation between the house and the property behind it and therefore had no doubt there would be no view impact if there were ever anything developed on the vacant lot.

Chairman Cartwright also could see no view impairment or privacy issues and agreed with the staff’s analysis.

Commissioner Lyon moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-09 thereby approving the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance and Minor Exception Permit as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Duran Reed. Approved, (7-0).


8. Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance, Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00036): 113 Spindrift Drive

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report. He explained the project and the need for the various applications. He noted that the entire first floor was a subterranean garage, which does not have access to the interior of the house. He noted that all necessary findings could be made for the applications and staff was recommending approval, with conditions.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Gary Wynn 27525 Valley Center Drive, Valley Center, stated that one thing unique to this project was the Variance for the one-car garage. He stated that it was just short of a two-car garage and the reason they applied for the Variance was because where the foundations currently fall it would be a tremendous hardship to move one wall one foot and another wall three feet in order to comply with the code. Although the garage was being represented as a one-car garage he felt it could be considered a small two-car garage.

Commissioner Mueller asked about the large tree on the north side of the property.

Mr. Wynn stated that the tree would be removed, as it was too close to the foundation and impedes with the proposed upper level.

Kathy Cushman 113 Spindrift Drive stated that she too was requesting the addition to her residence to accommodate the size of her family. She felt she has worked hard with her engineer and neighbors to conserve everyone’s view, make the house more beautiful, and improve the neighborhood in general.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Chairman Cartwright asked if the removal of the tree on the property should have been included in the conditions of approval.

Associate Planner responded that staff had not noted any view impact caused by the tree and therefore did not include it in the conditions of approval.

Commissioner Mueller asked why staff had used the phrase enclosed parking used in the staff report. He asked if that was the same as a one-car garage.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that the proposed garage does not qualify in dimensions as a two-car garage. He stated that the proposed garage would have a single garage door. He stated that the term, enclosed parking space is used interchangeably with the term one-car garage.

Commissioner Lyon moved to adopt P.C. Resolution NO. 2002-10 thereby approving the Height Variation, Coastal Permit, Variance and Minor Exception Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00036) as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Mueller. Approved, (7-0).

Chairman Cartwright noted that during his 6 years on the Planning Commission there have been numerous applications for modifications in the Portuguese Bend area and in his memory there has never been one without some type of issue from someone in the neighborhood. He noted that the applications at 112 and 113 Spindrift had no outstanding concerns or issues from the neighbors or HOA, and he congratulated the applicants and Mr. Wynn on the work they had done.


CONSENT CALENDAR



1. Minutes of May 14, 2002

Chairman Cartwright noted an e-mail from Commissioner Duran Reed regarding her requested changes to the minutes.

The Commissioners discussed the procedure to be used on e-mailing suggested revisions to the minutes prior to the meeting. It was determined that the Planning Commissioners e-mail their proposed changes to pc@rpv.com so that the revisions could be viewed by all Commissioners and they could be addressed at the meeting.

Commissioner Lyon briefly discussed his concern that the Planning Commission continues to spend more time reviewing the minutes than necessary. He reminded the Commission that changes made to the minutes should only be to correct what was said at the meeting and not what one intended to say.

Chairman Cartwright stated that e-mailing suggested modifications to the minutes was merely an attempt to try and not use quality meeting time to debate the minutes.

Vice Chairman Long noted an omission on page 8 of the minutes.

Director/Secretary Rojas reviewed the e-mailed comments from Commissioner Cote regarding a typo on page 11 of the minutes and change the word "acceptable" to "reasonable" on page 21 of the minutes.

Chairman Cartwright referred to page 9 of the minutes and read a sentence from a statement by Commissioner Duran Reed. He then asked Commissioner Duran Reed if this is what she recalled saying.

Commissioner Duran Reed felt the minutes reflected what she had said.

Commissioner Mueller noted one clarification to page 1 of the minutes.

Vice Chairman Long discussed the e-mail from Commissioner Reed discussing the changes on page 23 of the minutes. He agreed with her proposed addition regarding view obstruction below sixteen feet in height.

Director/Secretary Rojas clarified that rather than no response, he had stated that Section 17.02 of the Height Variation Guidelines states that views apply only to portions over 16 feet in height.

Commissioner Lyon felt a statement should be added that this was an issue that had been discussed previously.

Commissioner Duran Reed and Vice Chairman Long agreed to the two changes.

Commissioner Lyon felt that the recording secretary should listen to the tape of the meeting and record what was said at this point in the hearing rather than taking what someone has drafted. He felt that the minutes should reflect the record of the meeting rather than what someone recalls.

Chairman Cartwright felt that in this case, since it was a quick exchange, it may make sense for the recording secretary to listen to the tape of the meeting for the accurate exchange of conversation.

Vice Chairman Long agreed.

Vice Chairman Long moved to adopt the minutes as amended, with the exception of the last item discussed, and instruct staff to listen to the tape of the meeting and bring the minutes back on the next Consent Calendar for the Planning Commission to look solely at that paragraph, seconded by Commissioner Duran Reed. Approved without objection.


2. Adoption of new Planning Commission Rules and Procedures Resolution

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that the material received in this packet was identical to the material received in the last packet. He noted that all changes had been conceptually approved by the Planning Commission at the last meeting and to be brought back at this meeting in written form so that the Commission could review and agree on the language.

Commissioner Mueller discussed page 4 regarding staff reports and direction to staff. He questioned the section that stated that any explicit direction should come through the Chairperson as a result of the consensus of the Planning Commission. He did not like the work "consensus", as in the past the Commission has been allowed to direct staff provided there was a majority of the Commissioners present that felt that was important to do. He felt the word "consensus" could allow one or two Commissioners to disagree with a direction and not allow the remaining part of the Commission to gather additional information to understand an issue. Therefore, he suggested deleting the word "consensus" and adding "or as a result of a majority of the Planning Commissioners present".

Chairman Cartwright explained that he had made the suggestion for the wording. He explained that the reason for the wording was so that staff would not be confused when one of the Commissioners requested something and the rest of the Commission did not say anything. He felt the Chairman needs the latitude to be able to give the staff direction and he had used the term consensus to mean most but not all, as there could not be a consensus with less than the majority of the members.

Vice Chairman Long suggested adding to the end of the statement "or by formal motion" so that the option is available. He noted that this does not address the specific comment made by Commissioner Mueller regarding "consensus". He felt that even if a minority of the Commissioners want information that other Commissioners feel they don’t need, they should be allowed that information.

Chairman Cartwright suggested adding the wording "or a majority " to the wording as he believed the Commission always has the latitude to put something to a formal vote.

Commissioner Lyon agreed with Commissioner Mueller’s thought, however he did not think the last sentence belonged in the paragraph it was currently in or even under the heading of Staff Reports and should be in a separate heading of its own. He felt it should be put in a new paragraph and suggested titling the paragraph "Direction to the Staff". He read consensus to mean a majority of the people present and didn’t see a problem with the word.

Commissioner Mueller felt that replacing the word "consensus" with the word "majority" would make the meaning much more clear.

Vice Chairman Long discussed the issue of the minority of the Commission requesting information, and stated that if called upon to vote as to whether the information should be obtained, he would judge his vote by two questions: 1) is the information relevant to him and, 2) even if he doesn’t think the information is relevant to him does he think that at least one of the other Commissioner’s think its relevant and is it unreasonable or unduly expensive for the staff to gather that information.

Commissioner Duran Reed added that having a formal vote on a motion will address the minority issue.

Vice Chairman Long moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-11 thereby approving minor amendments to the Planning Commission Rues and Procedures, with the amendment to move the second sentence of the second paragraph under Staff Reports be moved to its own section and titled "Direction to Staff" and restating "any explicit direction to staff should come through the Chairperson or as a result of a consensus of the Planning Commission or by formal motion." Seconded by Commissioner Duran. Approved, (7-0).

Commissioner Lyon discussed the problem of introducing a new concept or thought in a public hearing or in front of an applicant that is new to the Commission. He felt it was more appropriate to discuss the new concept separately and not in a context of whether the Planning Commission approves or disapproves a specific application.

Vice Chairman Long felt that including in the rules the concept that the Planning Commission could not discuss something new that has never been discussed before would so unduly limit the Commission when forming conditions that the Planning Commission would be hogtied beyond belief and be extremely damaging.

Commissioner Duran Reed agreed and felt that new ideas could not be looked at in a vacuum and new ideas come from applications before the Planning Commission and if the Planning Commission knew all of the answers they would have written them down. She felt it was very important to be able to discuss new ideas during a meeting.

Commissioner Lyon clarified that he was not proposing this as a Planning Commission rule, but rather as a point of discussion and procedural matter.

Commissioner Cote commented that if a Commissioner had a new approach or new way to deal with an issue or a questions, that could be discussed with staff prior to the meeting and staff could then give the rest of the Commissioners notice that the Commissioner would be bring the subject up at the meeting. This would give the Commissioners some forewarning about what new issues may be discussed during the hearing.

Commissioner Tomblin agreed that it would be good to know ahead of time if new issues were going to be brought up, but acknowledged that new issues and ideas will periodically come up during the meeting.

Commissioner Mueller did not want to be restricted on anything new during the meeting as the creativity and ideas that the Commissioners come up with during the meeting may be stifled. He felt that if this issue was going to be further discussed, it should be agendized at a future meeting so that it can be thoroughly discussed.

Chairman Cartwright stated he agreed with everything that had been said and that it was important for the Commissioners to inform staff if they know they are going to introduce something new during the meeting. He felt it was extremely important that the Planning Commission understand what their authority is and the discretion the Commission has. He did not feel there was a consensus to make any changes to the rules and procedures regarding this topic at this time.

Commissioner Lyon repeated that he was not suggesting the rules and procedures be changed, but merely that the Planning Commission discuss the issue. To that end, he felt that the Planning Commission had accomplished everything that he had in mind.

Vice Chairman Long stated that it was very difficult and not unusual that, after reading the staff report, all of his comments on a project may not be formulated until the day of the meeting. He agreed that, to the extent the Commissioner could do so, the more in advance of a meeting the comments were made available the better. He hoped that in the future the Planning Commissioners would give thought to how they could share with the other Commissioners the important issues before them, to the extent they could do so.


CONTINUED BUSINESS (CONT)



4. Institutional Memory Table

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that staff had been directed by the Planning Commission to create an institutional memory file and that staff should create some type of summary. He distributed a handout showing a sample of staff’s idea of what the summary should consist of. He stated that staff was seeking direction as to whether this should be incorporated into the follow-up agenda or if it should be a separate type of file.

Chairman Cartwright felt it should be made part of the follow-up agenda, as it would save time in duplication of generating two very similar things.

Vice Chairman Long agreed, and felt that the summary distributed was an excellent summary. He acknowledged that the follow-up agenda may be slightly longer, but it will have a very succinct synopsis that may help people understand what happened without having to read the more lengthy minutes. He felt staff should have a way to access the information off of the follow-up agendas for use in the future.

Director/Secretary Rojas felt some type of sort could be done using key words or key addresses.

Commissioner Duran Reed felt this would help others in the future to understand and look at what had been done.

Commissioner Cote felt staff had created a very good summary and wondered if there was a way to summarize a staff report and include the overall findings of the report in the summary.

Commissioner Mueller agreed that the summary was a good idea and felt that there should be a short discussion at the end of the end of the Planning Commission meetings to discuss the summary to add any pertinent information.

Director/Secretary Rojas felt that if more information was required other than what was in the summary, then one could go to the minutes of the meeting for that information.

Commissioner Duran Reed stated that the institutional memory would be used as a research tool and that the summary should be sufficient and if, after reviewing the institutional memory, one felt they needed more information they could then review the minutes.

Vice Chairman Long agreed that the institutional memory was not the official record of the meeting, and unless the Planning Commission felt that staff was not doing a good job in writing the summary, let the summary staff writes stand.

Chairman Cartwright felt this was a good beginning to the institutional memory process.


ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

Commissioner Tomblin questioned the upcoming wind energy ordinance and what it was.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that there was a recent Assembly Bill passed that says if a City fails to adopt the Wind Energy Ordinance by July 1, 2002 it must then approve applications for small wind energy systems by right if they comply with the criteria in the Assembly Bill. Therefore, the City Attorney has drafted something so that the City will not lose local control and can regulate the wind energy systems.

Commissioner Mueller asked if the Planning Commission could get a draft of the Wind Ordinance as soon as it was available.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated he would try to get it to the Planning Commissioners as soon as possible.

Commissioner Lyon reported that he would not be at the next Planning Commission meeting of June 11, 2002.


ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 p.m.



2. PAGE 23 OF MINUTES OF MAY 14, 2002

Page 23 of Minutes of May 14, 2002:

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

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

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that it was above 16 feet.

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

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

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

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if, in a height variation application, there were potential view impairments up to 16-feet would those view impairments be taken into consideration.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that a resident can build up to 16 feet in height by right and if there are view impacts they are in the by-right height limit.

Vice Chairman Long stated that when a height variation application is required one of the findings that must be made is there is no significant impairment of view, and asked where in the ordinance it was stated that view impairment was only considered from the portion that was over 16-feet in height.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that this requirement was in the height variation section of the code.

Commissioner Lyon recalled having this discussion at past meetings.

Vice Chairman Long stated that this was an area where there are alternative interpretations among the Planning Commissioners.

Nick Trutanich 3751 Coolheights Drive showed a slide of seven houses on Coolheights which represented 13 children under the age of 11 in the neighborhood. He then pointed out other homes in the neighborhood, including an in-school house that had 15 children under the age of 8. He discussed the trucks that come down the street that


CONTINUED BUSINESS:







3. APPEAL OF FENCE, WALL AND HEDGE PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00122): 32451 Searaven Drive / Foster (BY)

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue this item to the June 25, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 11, 2002

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

Staff Coordinator: Beilin Yu, Assistant Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Continue the item to the June 25, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

BACKGROUND

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

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

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

On May 28, 2002, pursuant to a request from the appellant, the Planning Commission continued this item to the June 11, 2002 meeting. On June 4, 2002, the appellant contacted Staff regarding the June 11, 2002 agenda. Staff informed Mr. and Mrs. Foster that the agenda is fairly full, and that this item would likely be heard after other continued items. As such, on June 4, 2002, Mr. and Mrs. Foster submitted a letter requesting that the item be continued to the June 25, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

DISCUSSION

Based upon the applicant’s request, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission continue the subject application to the June 25, 2002 Planning Commission meeting.

ATTACHMENTS

Letter from Mr. & Mrs. Foster dated June 4, 2002.


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



PUBLIC HEARINGS:



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission receive and file the request to withdraw the application.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 11, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 928, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2276, SITE PLAN REVIEW NO. 9127, AND VARIANCE NO. 487, FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 4206 ADMIRABLE DRIVE

Staff Coordinator: Dave Blumenthal, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Receive and file the request to withdraw the application.

BACKGROUND

On April 9, 2002, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing to consider a proposed addition at 4206 Admirable Drive. Due to staff and neighborhood concerns, the Planning Commission continued the matter until June 11, 2002; in which time, the applicant was directed by the Commission to address the concerns listed in the staff report and to meet with the neighbors to address their concerns.

DISCUSSION

On June 3, 2002, the applicant submitted a letter to staff requesting to withdraw the application. In the letter the applicant states that the property owner no longer expresses an interest in completing an addition to the residence.

ATTACHMENTS:

Letter of application withdrawal, dated May 31, 2002



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission review the draft Wind Energy Ordinance, and forward a recommendation of approval to the City Council.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 11, 2002

SUBJECT: CODE AMENDMENT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00228): DRAFT WIND ENERGY ORDINANCE

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, aicp, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Review the draft Wind Energy Ordinance, and forward a recommendation of approval to the City Council.

BACKGROUND

On May 6, 2002, the City Attorney’s office advised Planning Staff of the need for the City to adopt standards for small wind energy systems, as mandated by Assembly Bill 1207 (Longville). AB 1207 requires all California cities—including both general law and charter cities—to adopt ordinances to provide for the siting of small wind energy systems in non-urbanized areas by July 1, 2002. If a city fails to adopt a wind energy ordinance by July 1, 2002, it must then approve applications for small wind energy systems "by right," if they comply with the criteria set forth in Assembly Bill 1207, until such time (if any) that a wind energy ordinance is adopted. In order for the City to retain maximum control over land use decisions within its borders, Planning Staff and the City Attorney’s office have prepared a draft wind energy ordinance to govern the installation and operation of small wind energy systems.

DISCUSSION

This code amendment is comprised of miscellaneous additions and amendments to Title 17 (Zoning) Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code (RPVMC). The specific amendments are described briefly below, and in full detail in the attached draft Wind Energy Ordinance.

  • Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems) is added to the Municipal Code. This Section establishes the development standards and review procedures for small wind energy systems. The approval of a conditional use permit (CUP) will be required to establish a small wind energy system on properties of one acre or more in the CL (Commercial Limited), CN (Commercial Neighborhood), CP (Commercial Professional), CG (Commercial General), I (Institutional), C (Cemetery) and OR (Open Space Recreation) zoning districts. These facilities will not be permitted in residential zones, open space hazard areas or the City’s coastal zone. The development standards proposed are very similar to the City’s standards for commercial antenna towers. It should be noted that AB 1207 requires a 300-foot notification radius for CUP applications for small wind energy systems, rather than the City’s typical 500-foot notification radius for other types of CUP’s.

  • Sections 17.96.2105 (Definition of ‘Tower height, small wind energy system’) and 17.96.2355 (Definition of ‘Wind energy system, small’) are added to the Municipal Code. These definitions are taken directly from AB 1207.

  • Sections 17.14.030, 17.16.030, 17.18.030, 17.20.030, 17.26.030, 17.28.030 and 17.34.040 of the Municipal Code are amended to include small wind energy systems as conditionally permitted uses in the CL (Commercial Limited), CN (Commercial Neighborhood), CP (Commercial Professional), CG (Commercial General), I (Institutional), C (Cemetery) and OR (Open Space Recreation) zoning districts.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The subject of this code amendment is potentially applicable citywide and would require direct notification of more than one thousand property owners. Therefore, pursuant to Section 65091(a)(3) of the California Government Code, a one-eighth-page public notice for the June 11, 2002 public hearing on the draft Wind Energy Ordinance was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on May 25, 2002. Notice was also posted on the City’s website. As of the date this report was completed, Staff had received no comments in response to the public notification for this code amendment.

CONCLUSION

Planning Staff and the City Attorney’s office have prepared the draft Wind Energy Ordinance to enact the standards for small wind energy systems mandated by AB 1207. Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission forward a recommendation of approval for this code amendment (Case No. ZON2002-00228) to the City Council, via Minute Order. Please note that the City Attorney will be present at tonight’s meeting to address any legal questions the Planning Commission may have about AB 1207 and draft Wind Energy Ordinance.

ALTERNATIVES

The following alternatives are available for the Planning Commission's consideration:

  1. Forward the draft Wind Energy Ordinance to the City Council as proposed.
  2. Forward the draft Wind Energy Ordinance to the City Council with modifications read into the record of tonight’s meeting.
  3. Identify any issues of concern with the draft Wind Energy Ordinance, provide Staff with direction for modifications, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

Please note that if the City does not adopt a Wind Energy Ordinance by July 1, 2002, its ability to regulate the placement of small wind energy systems in the City will be severely limited. This matter has already been agendized for City Council review on June 18, 2002. As such, Staff strongly recommends that the Planning Commission not continue this matter beyond tonight’s meeting.

Attachments:

Draft Wind Energy Ordinance
Memo from the City Attorney
AB 1207 (Longville)


DRAFT WIND ENERGY ORDINANCE

ORDINANCE NO. ___

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING TITLE 17 (ZONING) OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE TO ESTABLISH REGULATIONS FOR THE INSTALLATION AND OPERATION OF SMALL WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS.

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: California has a shortage of reliable electricity supply. In 2001, the Legislature adopted Assembly Bill 1207 in response to this shortage. Assembly Bill 1207 encourages the use of wind energy by requiring local governments to adopt ordinances that provide for the installation and operation of small wind energy systems in locations outside of "urbanized areas" in the jurisdiction. Each local agency has until July 1, 2002, to adopt such an ordinance. If a local agency fails to adopt an ordinance which provides for the installation and operation of small wind energy systems in non-urbanized areas, the local agency must approve applications for small wind energy systems if they comply with the criteria set forth in Assembly Bill 1207. In order to retain maximum control over land use decisions within its borders, the City desires to enact appropriate regulations to govern the installation of small wind energy systems within its jurisdictional borders.

Section 2:Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding Section 17.76.150 to Chapter 17.76 to read as follows:

"17.76.150 Small Wind Energy Systems.

    1. Purpose. The purposes of this Section are as follows:
    2. (1) To provide for the installation and use of small wind energy systems in certain non-urbanized areas of the city to encourage the use of alternative energy sources;

      (2) To minimize visual impacts of wind energy towers through careful design, siting and vegetation screening;

      (3) To avoid damage to adjacent properties from tower failure through careful design and siting of tower structures; and,

      (4) To ensure that wind energy towers are compatible with adjacent uses.

    3. Conditional Use Permit Required. The installation and/or operation of a small wind energy system, as defined in Chapter 17.96 (Definitions) of this title, shall require a conditional use permit reviewed and approved by the planning commission pursuant to the procedures set forth in Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits). Except as modified by the provisions of this Section, all applications for a conditional use permit for a small wind energy system shall comply with the procedures set forth in Chapter 17.60.
    4. Permissible Zones. The development of small wind energy systems shall be permitted in the following zones on lots that are one (1) acre or greater in size: CL (Commercial Limited), CN (Commercial Neighborhood), CP (Commercial Professional), CG (Commercial General), I (Institutional), C (Cemetery) and OR (Open Space Recreation).
    5. Requirements. Each small wind energy system shall comply with the following requirements:

      1. Lot Size. A small wind energy system may be installed on a lot with a minimum size of one (1) acre.

      2. Tower Height. Tower height, as defined in Chapter 17.96 (Definitions) shall be measured from lowest finished grade immediately adjacent to the base of the tower. For parcels between one (1) acre and five (5) acres in size, tower height shall be no more than 65 feet. For parcels greater than five (5) acres, tower height shall be no more than 80 feet. Under no circumstances may the height of a tower exceed the height recommended by the manufacturer or distributor of the system. The application shall include evidence that the proposed height of the system does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended height for the system.

      3. Setbacks. All small wind energy systems shall comply with the following setback requirements:

        1. At a minimum, a wind energy system shall be set back from any property line a distance equal to the height of the system. No part of the system, including guy wire anchors, shall extend closer than 30 feet to any property line. In addition, all setbacks comply with applicable fire setback requirements pursuant to Section 4290 of the California Public Resources Code or its successor statute.
        2. Placement of more than one tower on a lot may be permitted, provided that all setbacks and all other standards set forth in this Section are met by each tower.
        3. The towers may be located as close to each other as is technically feasible.
        4. Any accessory structures used in association with the towers shall meet the setbacks required in the applicable zoning district.

    1. Turbine. Any wind energy system installed pursuant to this Section must have a turbine. The system’s turbine must be approved by the California Energy Commission as qualifying under the Emerging Renewables Fund of the Energy Commission’s Renewables Investment Plan, or certified by a national program recognized by the Energy Commission.
    2. Noise Level. Noise levels for the system shall be no greater than either 60 decibels measured at the closest neighboring inhabited dwelling or any existing maximum noise levels in the general plan, whichever is lower. The noise levels established by this subsection shall not apply during short-term events such as utility outages and severe windstorms.
    3. Safety Standards. A small wind energy system installed pursuant to this Section must be designed to meet the most stringent wind requirements (as established by the UBC), the requirements for the worst seismic class (Seismic 4), and the weakest soil class, with soil strength of not more than 1,000 pounds per square foot. The application shall include evidence sufficient to demonstrate the system complies with these standards.
    4. Roof Mounting Prohibited. A small wind energy system may not be mounted on the roof of any residential structure.
    5. Aviation Regulations. The system shall comply with all applicable requirements imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), including Subpart B (commencing with Section 77.11) of Part 77 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the California Aeronautics Act (Part 1, commencing with Section 21001, of Division 9 of the Public).
    6. Primary Use. A wind energy system installed pursuant to this Section shall be used primarily to reduce onsite consumption of utility power.
    7. Visual Impacts. A wind energy system may not significantly impair a protected view from an adjoining property or create other adverse aesthetic impacts on adjacent properties. The applicant shall demonstrate that the tower will comply with all applicable provisions of Section 17.02.040 (View Preservation and Restoration) of this title. The applicant shall further demonstrate that the tower can be expected to have the least visual impact on the environment, taking into consideration technical, engineering, economic, and other pertinent factors. Towers clustered on the same site shall be of similar height and design whenever possible.
    8. Maintenance Impacts. The applicant shall describe anticipated maintenance needs for each wind energy system requested, including the frequency of service, personnel needs, equipment needs, and traffic, noise or safety impacts of such maintenance.
    9. Parking. A minimum of two parking spaces shall be provided on each site. An additional parking space for each two employees shall be provided at facilities that require on-site personnel. Storage of vehicles or equipment on a site housing a small wind energy system requires approval of the director or planning commission. Vehicle and equipment storage must conform to landscape and screening requirements.
    10. Landscaping. The applicant shall provide a landscape plan to be approved by the director or planning commission. The plan shall note specifications for landscape and screening, including plantings, fences, walls and other features designed to screen and buffer towers, accessory uses and stored equipment. Native vegetation shall be preserved to the greatest extent practicable and incorporated into the landscape plan.
    11. Accessory Uses. Accessory uses shall include only such buildings and facilities permitted by the underlying zoning or necessary for the operation and maintenance of the wind energy system.
    12. Application of Underlying Zoning Standards. Except as otherwise provided by this Section, a small wind energy system shall comply with all applicable development standards for the underlying zone to the extent such standards do not conflict with paramount federal or state law.
    13. Coordination with Electric Utility Service Provider. Unless the applicant does not intend to connect the wind energy system to the electricity grid, the applicant shall demonstrate that the electric utility service provider that serves the proposed site has been informed of the applicant’s intent to install an interconnected, customer-owned electricity generator.

E. Prohibited Sites. A small wind energy system shall not be allowed on any of the following locations:

    1. A small wind energy system shall not be allowed on any site subject to the city’s coastal specific plan and/or the California Coastal Act (commencing with Section 30000 of the California Public Resources Code).
    2. A small wind energy system shall not be permitted on any site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the California Register of Historical Resources pursuant to Section 5024.1 of the Public Resources Code.
    3. A small wind energy system shall not be permitted on any parcel that is part of an open space easement entered into pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 815) of Division 2 of Part 2 of the Civil Code.
    4. A small wind energy system shall not be permitted on any parcel that is part of an open space easement entered into pursuant to the Open-Space Easement Act of 1974, Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 51070) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.
    5. A small wind energy system shall not be permitted on any site designated as an Alquist-Priolo Hazard Zone pursuant to the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act (commencing with Section 2621 of the California Public Resources Code).

F. Requirements for Application. Each application for a small wind energy system shall include the following information:

1. A completed conditional use permit application on a form prescribed by the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement;

2. Site plan(s) to scale, specifying the location of the tower(s), guy wires, equipment building and other accessory uses, access, parking, fences, landscaped areas and screening;

3. Scaled elevation plans of the proposed tower(s), equipment building, and other accessory uses and related landscaping and screening;

4. Standard drawings and an engineering analysis of the tower showing compliance with the Uniform Building Code (UBC) or the California Building Standards Code (BSC), and certification by a professional mechanical, structural or civil engineer licensed by the State of California;

5. A line drawing of the electrical components of the system in sufficient detail to show that the manner of installation conforms with the National Electric Code and evidence that the electric utility service provider that serves the proposed site has been informed of the applicant’s intent to install an interconnected, customer-owned electricity generator;

6. Evidence demonstrating that the proposed height of the wind energy system does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended height for the system;

7. Sufficient evidence of the structural integrity of the tower(s) demonstrating compliance with the safety standards set forth in subsection (D)(6) of this section;

8. An affidavit that the primary purpose of the wind energy system is to reduce onsite consumption of utility power;

9. A completed environmental assessment application;

10. A scaled landscape plan indicating size, spacing and type of plantings as required in subsection (D)(13) of this section;

11. Any additional information requested by the director and reasonably necessary to evaluate the application.

G. Notice. Notwithstanding the notice provisions of Section 17.60.040 (Public Hearing), notice of any application for a Conditional Use Permit for a wind energy system shall be provided to property owners within 300 feet of the property on which the system is to be located.

H. Findings. In addition to the findings required by Section 17.60.050 (Findings and Conditions) of this title, the planning commission may grant a conditional use permit for a small wind energy system only if it finds:

1. The wind energy system will not significantly impair a protected view from an adjoining property or create other adverse aesthetic impacts on adjacent properties; and,

2. The wind energy system complies with all applicable safety requirements and will not expose the public to any undue safety risk.

I. Appeal. The decision of the planning commission may be appealed to the city council in accordance with the procedure set forth in Section 17.80.070 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures) of this title."

Section 3: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding Section 17.96.2355 to Chapter 17.96 to read as follows:

"17.96.2355 Wind energy system, small.

For the purposes of this Section, ‘small wind energy system’ shall mean a wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine (approved by the California Energy Commission as qualifying under the Emerging Renewables Fund of the Commission's Renewable Investment Plan or certified by a national program recognized and approved by the California Energy Commission), a tower, and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity that does not exceed the allowable rated capacity, as defined under the Emerging Renewables Fund of the Renewables Investment Plan, and which is used primarily to reduce onsite consumption of utility power."

Section 4: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding Section 17.96.2105 to Chapter 17.96 to read as follows:

"17.96.2105 Tower height, small wind energy system.

Tower height means the height above grade of the fixed portion of the tower, excluding the wind turbine."

Section 5: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by revising Section 17.14.030 of Chapter 17.14 (Commercial Limited (CL) District) to read as follows:

"17.14.030 Uses and development permitted by conditional use permit.

The following uses and development may be permitted in the commercial limited (CL) zone, if it is found in each individual case by the planning commission that the criteria and limitations imposed on such uses by other provisions of this title are satisfied, and if specific conditions are imposed to carry out the intent and purpose set out in Section 17.14.010 of this chapter and Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits):

A. Automobile service stations, pursuant to Section 17.76.090 (Automobile service stations);

B. Flower and produce stands and similar commercial/agricultural retail uses;

C. Convenience stores, pursuant to Section 17.76.080 (Convenience stores);

D. Bed and breakfast inns;

E. Outdoor sale, storage or display of merchandise and/or provisions of services, only in conjunction with a permanent use in a building, except for temporary outdoor uses which may be permitted with a special use permit or temporary vendor permit, pursuant to Chapter 17.62 (Special Use Permits), by the director;

F. Cleaners/laundry uses which have cleaning operations on site;

G. Churches;

H. Commercial antennas, pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Antennas and satellite dishes);

I. Concurrent sales of alcohol and motor fuel;

J. Developments of natural resources, except in the coastal specific plan district;

K. Golf courses, driving ranges and related ancillary uses;

L. Governmental facilities;

M. Private educational uses, including nursery schools and day nurseries;

N. Public utility structures;

O. Outdoor active recreational uses and facilities;

P. Small wind energy systems, pursuant to Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems); and,

Q. Such uses as the planning commission deems to be similar and no more intensive. Such a determination may be appealed to the planning commission and the planning commission's decision may be appealed to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures). If a proposed use or development is located in the coastal specific plan district, the city's final decision regarding such other use may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission for a determination that the uses are similar and compatible with the local coastal program."

Section 6: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by revising Section 17.16.030 of Chapter 17.16 (Commercial Neighborhood (CN) District) to read as follows:

"17.16.030 Uses and development permitted by conditional use permit.

The following uses may be permitted in the commercial neighborhood (CN) zone if it is found in each individual case by the planning commission that the criteria and limitations imposed on such uses by other provisions of this title are satisfied, and if specific conditions are imposed to carry out the intent and purpose set out in Section 17.16.010 of this chapter and Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits):

A. Wholesale plant nurseries;

B. Outdoor sale, storage or display of merchandise and/or provisions of services, only in conjunction with a permanent use in a building, except for temporary outdoor uses which may be permitted with a special use permit or temporary vendor permit, pursuant to Chapter 17.62 (Special Use Permits), by the director;

C. Car washes;

D. Automobile service stations, pursuant to Section 17.76.090 (Automobile service stations);

E. Flower and produce stands and similar commercial/agricultural retail uses;

F. Convenience stores, pursuant to Section 17.76.080 (Convenience stores);

G. Bed and breakfast inns;

H. Cleaners/laundry uses which have cleaning operations on site;

I. Veterinary clinics involving the boarding of animals;

J. Churches;

K. Commercial antennas, pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Antennas and satellite dishes);

L. Concurrent sales of alcohol and motor fuel;

M. Developments of natural resources, except in the coastal specific plan district;

N. Golf courses, driving ranges and related ancillary uses;

O. Governmental facilities;

P. Private educational uses, including nursery schools and day nurseries;

Q. Public utility structures;

R. Outdoor active recreational uses and facilities;

S. Restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages and have dancing, live entertainment, or four or more billiard tables, dart boards, or other games which may be used for competition and/or recreation; restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages and change the type of retail license classification they hold under authority of the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; and restaurants that provide drive-through window service for vehicles;

T. Small wind energy systems, pursuant to Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems); and,

U. Such uses as the director deems to be similar and no more intensive. Such a determination may be appealed to the planning commission and the planning commission's decision may be appealed to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures). If a proposed use or development is located in the coastal specific plan district, the city's final decision regarding such other use may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission for a determination that the uses are similar and compatible with the local coastal program."

Section 7: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by revising Section 17.18.030 of Chapter 17.18 (Commercial Professional (CP) District) to read as follows:

"17.18.030 Uses and development permitted by conditional use permit.

The following uses may be permitted in the commercial professional (CP) zone, if it is found in each individual case by the planning commission that the criteria and limitations imposed on such uses by other provisions of this title are satisfied, and if specific conditions are imposed to carry out the intent and purpose set out in Section 17.18.010 of this chapter and Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits):

A. Bed and breakfast inns;

B. Churches;

C. Commercial antennas, pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Antennas and satellite dishes);

D. Developments of natural resources, except in the coastal specific plan district;

E. Governmental facilities;

F. Private educational uses, including nursery schools and day nurseries;

G. Public utility structures;

H. Outdoor active recreational uses and facilities;

I. Small wind energy systems, pursuant to Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems); and,

J. Such uses as the director deems to be similar and no more intensive. Such a determination may be appealed to the planning commission and the planning commission's decision may be appealed to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures). If a proposed use or development is located in the coastal specific plan district, the city's final decision regarding such other use may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission for a determination that the uses are similar and compatible with the local coastal program."

Section 8: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by revising Section 17.20.030 of Chapter 17.20 (Commercial General (CG) District) to read as follows:

"17.20.030 Uses and development permitted by conditional use permit.

The following uses may be permitted in the commercial general (CG) zone if it is found in each individual case by the planning commission, that the criteria and limitations imposed on such uses by other provisions of this title are satisfied, and if specific conditions are imposed to carry out the intent and purpose set out in Section 17.20.010 of this chapter and Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits):

A. Automobile service stations, pursuant to Section 17.76.090 (Automobile service stations);

B. Automobile service stations and car washes accompanying auto service stations, as per Section 17.76.090 (Automobile service stations);

C. Car washes;

D. Wholesale plant nurseries;

E. Flower and produce stands and similar commercial/agricultural retail uses;

F. Hotels;

G. Movie theaters, billiard halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks and other similar commercial-recreational uses;

H. Fitness studios, dance schools, computer schools and other similar educational activities or uses;

I. Convenience stores as per Section 17.76.080 (Convenience stores);

J. Recycling drop-off/collection facilities and community service recycling programs pursuant to Chapter 17.58 (Recycling);

K. Outdoor sale, storage or display of merchandise and/or provisions of services, only in conjunction with a permanent use in a building, except for temporary outdoor uses which may be permitted with a special use permit or temporary vendor permit, pursuant to Chapter 17.62 (Special Use Permits), by the director;

L. Bed and breakfast inns;

M. Cleaners/laundry uses which have cleaning operations on site;

N. Churches;

O. Commercial antennas, pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Antennas and satellite dishes);

P. Concurrent sales of alcohol and motor fuel;

Q. Developments of natural resources, except in the coastal specific plan district;

R. Golf courses, driving ranges and related ancillary uses;

S. Governmental facilities;

T. Public utility structures;

U. Outdoor active recreational uses and facilities;

V. Restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages and have dancing, live entertainment, or four or more billiard tables, dart boards, or other games which may be used for competition and/or recreation; restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages and change the type of retail license classification they hold under authority of the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; and restaurants that provide drive-through window service for vehicles;

W. Small wind energy systems, pursuant to Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems); and,

X. Such uses as the director deems to be similar and no more intensive. Such a determination may be appealed to the planning commission and the planning commission's decision may be appealed to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures). If a proposed use or development is located in the coastal specific plan district, the city's final decision regarding such other use may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission for a determination that the uses are similar and compatible with the local coastal program."

Section 9: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by revising Section 17.26.030 of Chapter 17.26 (Institutional (I) District) to read as follows:

"17.26.030 Uses and development permitted by conditional use permit.

The following uses may be permitted in the institutional district, pursuant to a conditional use permit, as per Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits):

A. Public facilities owned or used and operated for governmental purposes by the city, the county, the state and the government of the United States of America, and any special district or other local agency;

B. Educational facilities used and operated for educational purposes, including ancillary uses and developments which are operated by the educational institution and are part of, and necessary to, the educational program of the institution;

C. Churches, temples or other places used primarily for religious services, including parochial schools and convents;

D. Clinics and sanitariums, including animal hospitals;

E. Sanitariums, nursing homes, rest homes, homes for the aged, homes for children and homes for mental patients;

F. Recycling drop-off/collection facilities and community service recycling programs, pursuant to Chapter 17.58 (Recycling);

G. Bed and breakfast inns;

H. Cemeteries;

I. Commercial antennas, pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Antennas and satellite dishes);

J. Developments of natural resources, except in the coastal specific plan district;

K. Helistops, in conjunction with another use allowed by this chapter;

L. Public utility structures;

M. Outdoor active recreational uses and facilities;

N. Small wind energy systems, pursuant to Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems); and,

O. Such other uses as the director deems to be similar and no more intensive. Such a determination may be appealed to the planning commission and the planning commission's decision may be appealed to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures). If a proposed use or development is located in the coastal specific plan district, the city's final decision regarding such other use may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission for a determination that the uses are similar and compatible with the local coastal program."

Section 10: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by revising Section 17.28.030 of Chapter 17.28 (Cemetery (C) District) to read as follows:

"17.28.030 Uses and development permitted by conditional use permit.

The following uses may be permitted in the cemetery district, pursuant to a conditional use permit, as per Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits):

A. Burial park for earth interments, mausoleums for vault or crypt interments and/or columbarium for cinerary interments;

B. Mortuary;

C. Associated sales and office uses directly related to the operation of the cemetery, including flower sales;

D. Churches;

E. Developments of natural resources, except in the coastal specific plan district;

F. Public utility structures;

G. Small wind energy systems, pursuant to Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems); and,

H. Such other uses as the director deems to be similar and no more intensive. Such a determination may be appealed to the planning commission and the planning commission's decision may be appealed to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures). If a proposed use or development is located in the coastal specific plan district, the city's final decision regarding such other use may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission for a determination that the uses are similar and compatible with the local coastal program."

Section 11: Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by revising Section 17.34.040 of Chapter 17.34 (Open Space Recreation (OR) District) to read as follows:

"17.34.040 Uses and development permitted by conditional use permit.

The following uses may be permitted in the open space recreation district pursuant to a conditional use permit, as per Chapter 17.60 (Conditional Use Permits):

A. Privately-owned recreational areas of an open nature, stables, parks, playgrounds, wildlife preserves and such buildings and structures as are related thereto;

B. Residential structures for a caretaker and family;

C. Commercial antennas, pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Antennas and satellite dishes);

D. Developments of natural resources, except in the coastal specific plan district;

E. Golf courses, driving ranges and related ancillary uses;

F. Helistops, in conjunction with another use allowed by this chapter;

G. Public utility structures;

H. Small wind energy systems, pursuant to Section 17.76.150 (Small wind energy systems); and,

I. Such other uses as the director deems to be similar and no more intensive. Such a determination may be appealed to the planning commission and the planning commission's decision may be appealed to the city council pursuant to Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures). If a proposed use or development is located in the coastal specific plan district, the city's final decision regarding such other use may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission for a determination that the uses are similar and compatible with the local coastal program."

Section 12: Severability. If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or place, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this ordinance. The City Council hereby declares that it would have adopted this ordinance, and each and every section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions thereof be declared invalid or unconstitutional.

Section 13: The City Clerk shall cause this Ordinance to be posted in three (3) public places in the City within fifteen (15) days after its passage, in accordance with the provisions of Section 36933 of the Government Code. The City Clerk shall further certify to the adoption and posting of this Ordinance, and shall cause this Ordinance and its certification, together with proof of posting, to be entered in the Book of Ordinances of the Council of this City.

Section 14: This Ordinance shall go into effect and be in full force and effect at 12:01 AM on the thirty-first (31st) day after its passage.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this day of 2002.


__________________
Mayor

ATTEST:


____________________
City Clerk

STATE OF CALIFORNIA)
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES) ss
CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES)

I, JO PURCELL, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; that the foregoing Ordinance No. ___ passed first reading on _____, 2002, was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on _____, 2002, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:

AYES:
NOES:
ABSENT:
ABSTAIN:


_________________________
CITY CLERK


ASSEMBLY BILL 1207

BILL NUMBER: AB 1207CHAPTERED

BILL TEXT

CHAPTER 562
FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE OCTOBER 7, 2001
APPROVED BY GOVERNOR OCTOBER 5, 2001
PASSED THE SENATE SEPTEMBER 13, 2001
PASSED THE ASSEMBLY SEPTEMBER 13, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE SEPTEMBER 6, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 29, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 18, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 11, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 28, 2001
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 16, 2001

INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Longville

FEBRUARY 23, 2001

An act to add and repeal Section 65892.13 of the Government Code, relating to wind energy.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

AB 1207, Longville. Small wind energy systems.

(1)Existing law prohibits the legislative body of any city or county from enacting an ordinance that prohibits or unreasonably restricts the use of solar energy systems other than for the preservation or protection of the public health and safety. This bill would authorize until July 1, 2005, a local agency to provide, by ordinance, for the installation of small wind energy systems, as specified, and to issue a conditional use permit for this purpose. The bill would also authorize a local agency to impose conditions on the installation of these systems, as specified. This bill would also require a local agency to approve an application for a small wind energy system by right if specified conditions are met and would authorize the local agency to charge a specified fee. By increasing the duties of local agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(2)The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 65892.13 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65892.13.(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) California has a shortage of reliable electricity supply, which has led the Governor to proclaim a state of emergency and to issue numerous executive orders to lessen, and mitigate the effects of, the shortage. The executive orders, among other things, expedite and shorten the processing of applications for existing and new powerplants, establish an emergency siting process for peaking and renewable powerplants, and relax existing air pollutant emission requirements in order to allow power generation facilities to continue generating much needed electricity.

(2) Wind energy is an abundant, renewable, and nonpolluting energy resource. When converted to electricity, it reduces our dependence on nonrenewable energy resources and reduces air and water pollution that result from conventional sources. Distributed small wind energy systems also enhance the reliability and power quality of the power grid, reduce peak power demands, increase in-state electricity generation, diversify the state's energy supply portfolio, and make the electricity supply market more competitive by promoting consumer choice.

(3) In 2000, the Legislature and Governor recognized the need to promote all feasible adoption of clean, renewable, and distributed energy sources by enacting the Reliable Electric Service Investments Act (Article 15 (commencing with Section 399) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code). As set forth in Section 399.6 of the Public Utilities Code, the stated objectives of the act include to "increase, in the near term, the quantity of California's electricity generated by in-state renewable energy resources while protecting system reliability, fostering resource diversity, and obtaining the greatest environmental benefits for California residents."

(4) Small wind energy systems, designed for onsite home, farm, and small commercial use, are recognized by the Legislature and the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission as an excellent technology to help achieve the goals of increased in-state electricity generation, reduced demand on the state electric grid, increased consumer energy independence, and nonpolluting electricity generation. In June 2001, the commission adopted a Renewable Investment Plan that includes one hundred one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($101,250,000) over the next five years, in the form of a 50 percent buydown incentive for the purchasers of "emerging renewable technologies," including small wind energy systems.

(5) In light of the state's electricity supply shortage and its existing program to encourage the adoption of small wind energy systems, it is the intent of the Legislature that any ordinances regulating small wind energy systems adopted by local agencies have the effect of providing for the installation and use of small wind energy systems and that provisions in these ordinances relating to matters including, but not limited to, parcel size, tower height, noise, notice, and setback requirements do not unreasonably restrict the ability of homeowners, farms, and small businesses to install small wind energy systems in zones in which they are authorized by local ordinance. It is the policy of the state to promote and encourage the use of small wind energy systems and to limit obstacles to their use.

(b) The implementation of consistent statewide standards to achieve the timely and cost-effective installation of small wind energy systems is not a municipal affair, as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution, but is instead a matter of statewide concern. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section apply to all local agencies, including, but not limited to, charter cities, charter counties, and charter cities and counties.

(c) The following definitions govern this section:

(1) "Small wind energy system" means a wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, a tower, and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity that does not exceed the allowable rated capacity under the Emerging Renewables Fund of the Renewables Investment Plan administered by the California Energy Commission and which will be used primarily to reduce onsite consumption of utility power.

(2) "Tower height" means the height above grade of the fixed portion of the tower, excluding the wind turbine.

(d) Any local agency may, by ordinance, provide for the installation of small wind energy systems in the jurisdiction outside an "urbanized area," as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 21080.7 of the Public Resources Code pursuant to this section. The local agency may establish a process for the issuance of a conditional use permit for small wind energy systems.

(1) The ordinance may impose conditions on the installation of small wind energy systems that include, but are not limited to, notice, tower height, setback, view protection, aesthetics, aviation, and design safety requirements. However, the ordinance shall not require conditions on notice, tower height, setbacks, noise level, turbine approval, tower drawings, and engineering analysis, or line drawings that are more restrictive than the following:

(A) Notice of an application for installation of a small wind energy system shall be provided to property owners within 300 feet of the property on which the system is to be located.

(B) Tower heights of not more than 65 feet shall be allowed on parcels between one and five acres and tower heights of not more than 80 feet shall be allowed on parcels of five acres or more, provided that the application includes evidence that the proposed height does not exceed the height recommended by the manufacturer or distributor of the system.

(C) Setbacks for the system tower shall be no farther from the property line than the height of the system, provided that it also complies with any applicable fire setback requirements pursuant to Section 4290 of the Public Resources Code.

(D) Decibel levels for the system shall not exceed the lesser of 60 decibels (dBA), or any existing maximum noise levels applied pursuant to the noise element of a general plan for the applicable zoning classification in a jurisdiction, as measured at the closest neighboring inhabited dwelling, except during short-term events such as utility outages and severe wind storms.

(E) The system's turbine must have been approved by the California Energy Commission as qualifying under the Emerging Renewables Fund of the commission's Renewables Investment Plan or certified by a national program recognized and approved by the Energy Commission.

(F) The application shall include standard drawings and an engineering analysis of the system's tower, showing compliance with the Uniform Building Code or the California Building Standards Code and certification by a professional mechanical, structural, or civil engineer licensed by this state. However, a wet stamp shall not be required, provided that the application demonstrates that the system is designed to meet the most stringent wind requirements (Uniform Building Code wind exposure D), the requirements for the worst seismic class (Seismic 4), and the weakest soil class, with a soil strength of not more than 1,000 pounds per square foot, or other relevant conditions normally required by a local agency.

(G) The system shall comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements, including Subpart B (commencing with Section 77.11) of Part 77 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding installations close to airports, and the State Aeronautics Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 21001) of Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code).

(H) The application shall include a line drawing of the electrical components of the system in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the National Electric Code.

(2) The ordinance may require the applicant to provide information demonstrating that the system will be used primarily to reduce onsite consumption of electricity. The ordinance may also require the application to include evidence, unless the applicant does not plan to connect the system to the electricity grid, that the electric utility service provider that serves the proposed site has been informed of the applicant's intent to install an interconnected customer-owned electricity generator.

(3) A small wind energy system shall not be allowed where otherwise prohibited by any of the following:

(A) A local coastal program and any implementing regulations adopted pursuant to the California Coastal Act, Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code.

(B) The California Coastal Commission, pursuant to the California Coastal Act, Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code.

(C) The regional plan and any implementing regulations adopted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency pursuant to the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact, Title 7.4 (commencing with Section 66800) of the Government Code.

(D) The San Francisco Bay Plan and any implementing regulations adopted by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission pursuant to the McAteer-Petris Act, Title 7.2 (commencing with Section 66600) of the Government Code.

(E) A comprehensive land use plan and any implementing regulations adopted by an airport land use commission pursuant to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 21670) of Chapter 4 of Division 9 of Part 1 of the Public Utilities Code.

(F) The Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act, Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 2621) of Division 2 of the Public Resources Code.

(G) A local agency to protect the scenic appearance of the scenic highway corridor designated pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 260) of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of the Streets and Highways Code.

(H) The terms of a conservation easement entered into pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 815) of Division 2 of Part 2 of the Civil Code.

(I) The terms of an open-space easement entered into pursuant to the Open-space Easement Act of 1974, Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 51070) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(J) The terms of an agricultural conservation easement entered into pursuant to the California Farmland Conservancy Program Act, Division 10.2 (commencing with Section 10200) of the Public Resources Code.

(K) The terms of a contract entered into pursuant to the Williamson Act, Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 51200) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(L) The listing of the proposed site in the National Register of Historic Places or the California Register of Historical Resources pursuant to Section 5024.1 of the Public Resources Code.

(4) In the event a small wind energy system is proposed to be sited in an agricultural area that may have aircraft operating at low altitudes, the local agency shall take reasonable steps, concurrent with other notices issued pursuant to this subdivision, to notify pest control aircraft pilots registered to operate in the county pursuant to Section 11921 of the Food and Agriculture Code.

(5) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (1), a local agency may, if it deems it necessary due to circumstances specific to the proposed installation, provide notice by placing a display advertisement of at least one-eighth page in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the local agency in which the installation is proposed.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or affect existing law regarding the authority of local agencies to review an application.

(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (f), any local agency that has not adopted an ordinance in accordance with subdivision (d) by July 1,2002, may adopt such ordinance at a later date, but any applications that are submitted between July 1, 2002, and the adopted date of the ordinance must be approved pursuant to subdivision (f).

(f) Any local agency which has not adopted an ordinance pursuant to subdivision (d) on or before July 1, 2002, shall approve applications for a small wind energy systems by right if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The size of the parcel where the system is located is at least one acre and is outside an "urbanized area," as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 21080.7 of the Public Resources Code.

(2) The tower height on parcels that are less than five acres does not exceed 80 feet.

(3) No part of the system, including guy wire anchors, extends closer than 30 feet to the property boundary, provided that it also complies with any applicable fire setback requirements pursuant to Section 4290 of the Public Resources Code.

(4) The system does not exceed 60 decibels (dBA), as measured at the closest neighboring inhabited dwelling, except during short-term events such as utility outages and severe wind storms.

(5) The system's turbine has been approved by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission as qualifying under the Emerging Renewables Fund of the commission's Renewables Investment Plan or certified by a national program recognized and approved by the Energy Commission.

(6) The application includes standard drawings and an engineering analysis of the tower, showing compliance with the Uniform Building Code or the California Building Standards Code and certification by a licensed professional engineer. A wet stamp is not required if the application demonstrates that the system is designed to meet the most stringent wind requirements (Uniform Building Code wind exposure D), the requirements for the worst seismic class (Seismic 4), and the weakest soil class, with a soil strength of not more than 1,000 pounds per square foot, or other relevant conditions normally required by a local agency.

(7) The system complies with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements, including any necessary approvals for installations close to airports, and the requirements of the State Aeronautics Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 21001) of Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code).

(8) The application includes a line drawing of the electrical components of the system in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the National Electric Code.

(9) Unless the applicant does not plan to connect the system to the electricity grid, the application includes evidence, that the electric utility service provider that serves the proposed site has been informed of the applicant's intent to install an interconnected customer-owned electricity generator.

(10) A small wind energy system shall not be allowed where otherwise prohibited by any of the following:

(A) A local coastal program and any implementing regulations adopted pursuant to the California Coastal Act, Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code.

(B) The California Coastal Commission, pursuant to the California Coastal Act, Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code.

(C) The regional plan and any implementing regulations adopted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency pursuant to the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact, Title 7.4 (commencing with Section 66800) of the Government Code.

(D) The San Francisco Bay Plan and any implementing regulations adopted by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission pursuant to the McAteer-Petris Act, Title 7.2 (commencing with Section 66600) of the Government Code.

(E) A comprehensive land use plan and any implementing regulations adopted by an airport land use commission pursuant to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 21670) of Chapter 4 of Division 9 of Part 1 of the Public Utilities Code.

(F) The Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act, Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 2621) of Division 2 of the Public Resources Code.

(G) A local agency to protect the scenic appearance of the scenic highway corridor designated pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 260) of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of the Streets and Highways Code.

(H) The terms of a conservation easement entered into pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 815) of Division 2 of Part 2 of the Civil Code.

(I) The terms of an open-space easement entered into pursuant to the Open-space Easement Act of 1974, Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 51070) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(J) The terms of an agricultural conservation easement entered into pursuant to the California Farmland Conservancy Program Act, Division 10.2 (commencing with Section 10200) of the Public Resources Code.

(K) The terms of a contract entered into pursuant to the Williamson Act, Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 51200) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(L) On a site listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the California Register of Historical Resources pursuant to Section 5024.1 of the Public Resources Code.

(11) In the event that a proposed site for a small wind energy system is in an agricultural area that may have aircraft operating at low altitudes, the local agency shall take reasonable steps, concurrent with other notices issued pursuant to this subdivision, to notify pest control aircraft pilots registered to operate in the county pursuant to Section 11921 of the Food and Agriculture Code.

(12) No other local ordinance, policy, or regulation shall be the basis for a local agency to deny the siting and operation of a small wind energy system under this subdivision.

(13) No changes in the general plan shall be required to implement this subdivision. Any local agency, when amending its zoning ordinance or general plan to incorporate the policies, procedures, or other provisions applicable to the approval of small wind energy systems, must do so in a manner consistent with the requirements of this subdivision and the Permit Streamlining Act (commencing with Section 65920).

(g) This section does not limit the authority of local agencies to adopt less restrictive requirements for the siting and operation of small wind energy systems.

(h) A local agency shall review an application for a small wind energy system as expeditiously as possible pursuant to the timelines established in the Permit Streamlining Act (commencing with Section 65920).

(i) Fees charged by a local agency to review an application for a small wind energy system shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 66000).

(j) Any requirement of notice to property owners imposed pursuant to subdivision (d) shall ensure that responses to the notice are filed in a timely manner.

(k) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2005, and as of January 1, 2006, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes effective on or before January 1, 2006, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.


CONTINUED BUSINESS: (Continued)



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review the "turn-around" design alternatives and make a determination as to which "turn-around" alternative should be improved at the terminus of Coolheights Drive; 2) Discuss the draft findings and draft conditions of approval for the project applications; and 3) If deemed appropriate, adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__, adopting the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Mitigation Monitoring Program; and adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-___; approving, with conditions, Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 573 and Environmental Assessment No. 475.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 11, 2002

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

Staff Coordinator:Ara Michael Mihranian, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission: 1) Review the "turn-around" design alternatives and make a determination as to which "turn-around" alternative should be utilized at the terminus of Coolheights Drive; 2) Discuss the draft findings and draft conditions of approval for the project applications; and 3) If deemed appropriate, adopt P.C. Resolution 2002-__, adopting the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Mitigation Monitoring Program; and adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-___; approving, with conditions, Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 573, Variance No. 488 and Environmental Assessment No. 475.

BACKGROUND

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

In preparing the necessary plans, Staff realized that additional time would be necessary to complete the drawings, as well as conduct a meeting with the neighbors, and therefore respectfully requested that the Commission continue the public hearing to its June 11th meeting. On May 28, 2002, the Commission continued the public hearing to June 11th, thereby allowing Staff additional time to complete the necessary analysis. It should be noted that a courtesy notice was mailed to all interested parties informing them of the date change.

On June 5, 2002, Staff conducted a neighborhood meeting to discuss the turn-around design alternatives prepared by the City’s engineer for the terminus of Coolheights drive. The outcome of that meeting will be discussed later in this report.

DISCUSSION

The following discussion involves Staff’s analysis of the turn-around issue which the Commission directed Staff to research, as well as other concerns raised during the May 14th public hearing and subsequent comment letters.

Turn-around Alternatives

In response to resident and Commission concerns on the design of the hammerhead turn-around proposed as part of the applicants’ development application, the Commission directed Staff to analyze possible turn-around design alternatives, including a cul-de-sac design, at the terminus of Coolheights Drive. As such, the Public Works Director commissioned a civil engineer, who routinely works for the City, to prepare the alternative turn-around designs. The turn-around alternatives prepared by the engineer include seven (7) designs; two (2) hammerhead designs (including the applicants’ proposal) and five (5) cul-de-sac designs (including a design proposed by the neighbor at 3776 Coolheights Drive). The design of the alternatives was based on the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s minimum standards (see attachment). Furthermore, each of the seven (7) alternatives has been designed to provide an additional 2.5 feet of space between the curb face and the edge of the easement to accommodate the opening of vehicle doors.

In order to compare the seven (7) design alternatives, Staff has prepared a matrix that identifies decision criteria, such as construction cost, parking availability, impacts to the project site, impacts to adjacent properties, and pedestrian accessibility to name a few. The matrix has been attached to this report, and will be available at the meeting, in the form of a power point presentation, for Commission discussion.

In summary, all seven (7) of the turn-around alternatives provide adequate public access because they meet the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s standards and provide access for vehicles and pedestrians. The difference between the hammerhead and cul-de-sac design alternatives appears to be focused on construction costs, impacts to the location of the proposed structure, and impacts to the project site’s building pad and the neighbor’s property.

Hammerhead Designs:

The two (2) proposed hammerhead design alternatives result in the least amount of encroachment onto the building pad of the project site, do not encroach onto the neighbor’s property, would not require the proposed structure to be redesigned or relocated (provided that a Variance application is processed), and would cost the least to construct. In regards to costs, the City Attorney is of the opinion that since the Settlement Agreement requires a Hammerhead Turnaround to be constructed at the terminus of Coolheights Drive, that the applicants would be responsible for all construction costs. It should also be noted that the applicants have previously agreed to pay for the costs of constructing the hammerhead turn-around. It should also be noted that the hammerhead design alternatives are consistent with the Settlement Agreement and would not require an amendment to the Settlement Agreement by the City Council.

Cul-de-sac Designs:

As for the cul-de-sac design alternatives, there are three (3) designs with a 32-foot radius and two (2) designs with a 42-foot radius. The 32-foot radius represents a cul-de-sac design typically used by the Fire Department for single-family residential development, whereas the 42-foot radius represents a cul-de-sac design typically used by the Fire Department for streets that maintain a width of 28 feet or more. The width of Coolheights Drive is greater than 28 feet.

One of the 32-foot radius designs does not encroach onto the neighbor’s property, but occupies approximately 3,577 square feet of the 8,960 square foot building pad area, and would require modifications to the proposed residence. The remaining two (2) 32-foot radius cul-de-sac designs would encroach the least onto the building pad of the project site, but would encroach onto the neighbor’s property. All three of the 32-foot radius cul-de-sac design alternatives will cost significantly more to construct than the hammerhead designs because of the grading needed to accommodate the cul-de-sac on the site. Both of the two (2) 42-foot radius cul-de-sac designs would require modifications to the proposed residence. One 42-foot radius design does not encroach onto the neighbor’s property, but occupies approximately 7,863 square feet of the 8,960 square foot building pad area. The other 42-foot radius design encroaches onto the neighbor’s property and occupies 6,653 square feet of the 8,960 square foot building pad area of the project site. Both of these designs are the most expensive to construct because of the significant amount of grading required to prepare the site.

It should also be noted that in reviewing the five (5) cul-de-sac design alternatives, Staff has observed that a cul-de-sac would provide a very desirable vista point that may appeal to visitors during the day and evening hours. This, in turn, may create public and/or nuisance concerns for the neighbors. It should also be noted, that the construction costs associated with a cul-de-sac design would have to be paid for by the City unless a neighborhood assessment district is established.

Right-of-Way:

At the May 14th Planning Commission meeting, a concern was raised during public testimony that if the turn-around were to remain on private property and a public access easement were to be conveyed to the City to ensure public access to all, it may be difficult to properly maintain the turn-around and enforce any restrictions (e.g. no parking). In response, the City Attorney has determined that the applicants should be required to convey a public street easement, rather than a public access easement, to the City for the turn-around. Under this scenario, the turn-around would remain on private property and would not alter the configuration of the property lines. Nevertheless, pursuant to RPVMC Section 17.48.030, on lots abutting a private street (street easement), setbacks shall be measured from the edge of the street easement. Therefore, if the City Attorney’s recommendation is implemented, the location of the proposed structure would encroach into the required front yard setback.

Front Yard Setback:

In light of the City Attorney’s decision, Staff is of the opinion that relocating the proposed structure further back into the property to meet the required front yard setback from a publicly dedicated street easement would result in adverse impacts to the surrounding environment. Such impacts include additional grading on the abutting slopes, altering the location of the drainage swales, and increasing the impacts to habitat as a result of amendments to the required Fuel Modification Zones. As such, Staff is recommending that the structure remain in its current location and that a Variance application be processed to reduce the front yard setback requirement. Staff’s analysis on the required Variance findings can be found in the attached Resolution. It should be noted, that the actual setback distance depends on the turn-around design alternative selected by the Commission.

Neighborhood Meeting

On June 5, 2002, Staff conducted a meeting with the applicants and the neighboring property owners to discuss the proposed turn-around design alternatives. At the meeting, Staff presented the neighbors with six (6) design alternatives that were prepared by the City commissioned engineer. During the meeting, the neighbor at 3776 Coolheights Drive, Mr. Ralph Ortolano Sr., presented a symmetrical cul-de-sac design alternative that was not considered by the City’s engineer. According to Mr. Ortolano Sr., his alternative, designed as a symmetrical cul-de-sac with a 32-foot radius, is the superior design because of its minimal impacts to the building pad area of the project site and its ability to provide adequate maneuverability. Staff informed the neighbors that this design alternative was not considered because a power pole would have to be relocated. In response, the neighbors indicated that it was there understanding that the relocation of the power pole would be the utility company’s responsibility. Staff is currently researching this information and will report its findings to the Commission at the meeting. Nevertheless, the neighbors requested that Staff consider Mr. Ortolano’s cul-de-sac proposal as a 7th alternative. Based on the previous discussion for the turn-around alternatives, Staff has included the neighbor’s proposal in the comparative matrix (see attachment).

In summary, other than the decision to consider Mr. Ortolano’s design alternative, the neighbors and the applicants were unable to come to a general consensus on a turn-around design. The neighbors indicated a preference for a cul-de-sac with a radius of 32-feet. The neighbors felt that a cul-de-sac with a 42-foot radius was inappropriate because of its impacts to the project site’s building pad and the adjoining canyon. The applicants indicated their preference for the "S" shaped hammerhead turnaround, as proposed on their project. According to the applicants, the property was purchased with the understanding that a "hammerhead" turnaround would have to be improved at the terminus of Coolheights Drive. They stated that any design other than a hammerhead is not within the spirit of the Settlement Agreement. Therefore, the applicants indicated their disapproval of the neighbor’s preference of a cul-de-sac design alternative.

Views

At the May 14th Commission meeting, a concern was raised by the neighbors to the immediate east, at 3777 Coolheights Drive (Dr. and Mrs. Farooq), that the proposed residence impairs their ocean and coastline views. As indicated in the May 14th Staff Report, Staff is of the opinion that the proposed project will impair approximately five (5) percent of the view, as viewed from the dining room’s viewing frame. Furthermore, as Staff indicated at the May 14th meeting, the ocean and coastline views taken from the viewing frame in the dining room are impaired by the proposed project’s "by right" height limit, as depicted by the project silhouette.

Nonetheless, the property owners submitted an additional comment letter since the May 14th meeting (see attachment) reiterating their concern that the project impairs their coastline and ocean views. According to the comment letter, the property owners request that the proposed residence be reduced by the 2-3 feet, from the southern facade, in order to preserve their views. Staff is of the opinion, that since the view impairment occurs within the proposed residence’s "by right" 16 foot height limit, that a reduction in the building footprint is not warranted. Furthermore, the applicants originally intended on situating the proposed residence within the designated "building pad." However, since Staff expressed a concern that the placement of the proposed residence on the building pad may result in an impairment of views from the neighboring property, the applicants opted to relocate the proposed residence off the building pad, towards the northeastern portion of the property, in order to minimize any potential view impacts. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project has been designed in a manner that minimizes an impairment of views from neighboring properties.

Silhouette

In addition to the above view concerns, the comment letter (see attachment) submitted by the property owners at 3777 Coolheights Drive indicated that the project silhouette appears to have been increased in height by approximately three (3) feet since the original public notice was issued. Furthermore, the property owners request that portions of the proposed project that are within the "by right" 16 foot height limit be depicted by the silhouette.

In regards to the alleged height increase to the project silhouette, the applicants informed Staff that the height depicted by the project silhouette has not been modified since its height was verified by Staff. However, the applicants did indicate that on numerous occasions, the silhouette poles and flags have been vandalized. Therefore, as a part of the maintenance of the silhouette, the applicants have had to secure the poles and flags, which may have been misconstrued as an alteration to the original silhouette. Nonetheless, Staff will re-measure the depicted height and verify the placement of the project silhouette and verbally report its findings at the June 11th meeting.

Habitat

At the May 14th meeting, a concern was raised with regard to project related impacts to surrounding habitat. As the Commission may recall, the subject property is located in a High Fire Hazard Area. As such, the Fire Department is requiring the clearance and thinning of brush along the slopes off the building pad which contain protected habitat. Because of the impacts the project related brush removal or thinning will cause to habitat, the Fire Department has reduced its setback requirements in order to minimize such impacts, as depicted in the approved Fuel Modification Plan (see previous Staff Report).

Pursuant to a policy memo issued on February 2, 1995 (see attachment in the previous Staff Report) by the Resource Agencies, habitat losses that are a result of mandated health and safety orders (e.g. weed abatement) are exempt from the interim habitat loss process and do not require mitigation. Notwithstanding, the project’s Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) identifies losses to Coastal Sage Scrub (CSS) and concludes that mitigation would still be necessary as a result of this development project because impacts to habitat would not have occur if it were not for this project. Such mitigation would involve either the applicants restoring offsite habitat at a 3:1 ratio or by providing permanent protection for existing on-site habitat at a ratio of 1:1. On-site habitat preservation may be achieved by conveying an Open Space Conservation Easement on the project site to the City. Staff is of the opinion that the Conservation Easement would be the preferred choice because the lot contains extreme slopes and CSS habitat that should be preserved in perpetuity along with the abutting City owned Forrestal Property.

It should be noted that as a mitigation measure, the applicants are required to conduct a focused Spring Survey for Lyon’s pentachaeta by a qualified biologist. At the May 14th meeting, the applicants’ attorney requested that the Commission reconsider this mitigation measure because of the costs associated with such a study and the likelihood that such a plant exists within the Fuel Modification Zone. The applicants’ attorney has since withdrawn this request and has agreed to the mitigation (see attachment).

Trails

As reported to the Commission at the May 14th meeting, there are trail segments that are identified in the City’s Conceptual Trails Plan and the City’s Forrestal Management Plan that traverse the subject property. As such, public trail easements are proposed to be conveyed to the City for the following trail segments that traverse the subject property:

    1. The Flying Mane Trail Segment (No. L4)*;
    2. The Ganado Trail (A16) linkage between Coolheights Drive and the Pirate Trail Segment (No. A15), as identified in the Settlement Agreement; and,
    3. The Ganado Trail (A16) segment to the City of Rolling Hills.

*It should be noted that a small area of the easement for this segment may be labeled as the Pirate Trail (No. A15) in the Trails Plan.

It should be noted that the specific location of the Ganado Trail (A16) segment from the project site has not been determined as this point. This is because in order to reduce impacts to habitat, it is desired that the trails be located within the area that will be impacted by the Fire Department’s required brush clearance. Notwithstanding, attached to the Conditions of Approval (see Exhibit B) is a site plan that sets parameters for the location of said trails. The site plan excludes the "residential" area of the project site from consideration. This is to help the privacy of the applicants’ residence and yard area, as well as to provide a trail experience that is in a more natural setting.

As the Commission may recall from the May 14th meeting, the applicants’ architect requested that the Commission consider modifying the boundary line, as shown in Exhibit B, for the "no trail zone" so that less area is set aside for the alignment of the Ganado Trail Segment. Subsequent to the May 14th meeting, the applicants have agreed to the "no trail zone" identified in Exhibit B of the Conditions of Approval, provided that the applicants are involved in the City’s process of defining the trail alignment. The purpose of this request is to ensure that the trail does not infringe on their privacy.

Applicants’ Concerns

In addition to the previously discussed concerns raised by the applicants’ attorney at the May 14th meeting, the applicants are requesting that the Commission modify the conditions of approval for the proposed spa location and the height restriction of plantings along the proposed front property fence/wall. As originally recommended by Staff, the conditions of approval previously transmitted to the Commission indicate that the spa shall be setback at least ten (10) feet from the top of the slope. In looking at the applicants’ request, Staff is of the opinion that a five (5) foot setback from the top of the slope will still minimize impacts to the slope, which was the intent of the setback. Therefore, if the Commission is inclined to approve the applicants’ request, Staff recommends that the condition be modified to require that the proposed spa be setback at least five (5) feet from the top of the slope.

As for landscaping along the proposed front property wall/fence, Staff has a concern that vegetation exceeding 42 inches in height, the "by right" height of a front property wall, may result in potential view impacts to neighboring properties. Therefore, Staff originally recommended that the Commission impose a condition on the project that limits the height of all vegetation plantings along the fence to 42 inches. At the May 14th meeting, the applicants requested that the Commission modify this condition so that vegetation may be used to visually screen a storage shed located on the neighbor’s property (3778 Coolheights Drive). Staff is of the opinion that the condition limiting the height of all plantings along the front property wall/fence to 42 inches is appropriate and should remain. However, Staff is also of the opinion that the area located between the neighbor’s wall post (3778 Coolheights Drive) and the edge of the neighbor’s dining room window closest to Coolheights Drive (3776 Coolheights) can accommodate plantings that will exceed 42 inches in height, up to a maximum height of 6 feet, since no views will be impaired from this area. Therefore, if the Commission is inclined to do so, Staff believes that the Planning Commission may modify the condition accordingly (see attached Conditions of Approval).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

P.C. Resolution / Conditions of Approval

In light of the proposed modifications, the attached Resolution and Conditions of Approval for consideration by the Planning Commission at this evening’s meeting have been updated to reflect the changes discussed in this report. The modifications are shown in a strikeout/underlined format.

Time Limits

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

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing discussion, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission discuss and select a turn-around design alternative to be improved at the terminus of Coolheights Drive, and if deemed appropriate, conditionally approve Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 575 and Variance No. 488 to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot (garage included) single-family residence and 819 cubic yards of associated grading.

ATTACHMENTS

  • P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__ and Draft Conditions of Approval
  • Turn-around Design Matrix
  • Turn-Around Design Alternatives (7 sheets)
  • L.A. Fire Department’s Minimum Turn-around Standards
  • Applicants’ Letter
  • Applicants’ Attorney’s letter
  • Public Comment Letters
  • May 14, 2002 P.C. Minutes

RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION AND MAKING CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL FINDINGS IN ASSOCIATION WITH ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 745, HEIGHT VARIATION N0. 899, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2151, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 573, AND VARIANCE NO. 488 TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW 5,409 SQUARE FOOT, TWO-STORY, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 3787 COOLHEIGHTS DRIVE.

WHEREAS, on November 17, 1999 the subject applications, Height Variation No 899, Grading Permit No. 2151 and Minor Exception Permit No. 573 were submitted to the Planning Department by the property owners, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Nassiri of 3787 Coolheights Drive, to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot, two-story, single-family residence with 819 cubic yards of associated grading; and,

WHEREAS, on February 24, 2000 the City’s Geotechnical Engineer reviewed and conditionally approved the applicants’ geotechnical reports and studies; and,

WHEREAS, after several meetings attended by Staff and the property owners and their architect, revised plans were submitted and deemed complete for processing on September 26, 2000; and,

WHEREAS, during the public noticing period for the November 14, 2000 Planning Commission meeting, the City received several comment letters from surrounding property owners expressing concern regarding the proposed project and its impacts to neighboring views, public trail access, brush clearance, habitat, and turnaround improvements. In light of the public comments letters, Staff determined that additional information and studies needed to be completed in order for the Commission to consider the project’s merits; and

WHEREAS, at its November 14, 2000 meeting, the Planning Commission tabled the public hearing for the proposed project in order to allow Staff and the applicants ample time to complete the necessary information needed to process the project applications; and,

WHEREAS, as a result of the Fire Department’s requirement to clear brush on the slopes that extend beyond the building pad, it was determined that the project would result in potential impacts to protected habitat and could therefore not be processed as a Categorical Exemption pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to CEQA, the proposed project required the preparation of an Initial Study, thus requiring the applicants submit new information along with a revised application; and,

WHEREAS, on March 8, 2001, Environmental Assessment No. 745 along with revised plans were submitted to the Planning Department on behalf of the property owners for the preparation of the appropriate environmental documents; and,

WHEREAS on October 9, 2001 the project applications were deemed complete for processing; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provision of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Section 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(F) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), the City of Rancho Palos Verdes prepared an Initial Study and determined that, by incorporating mitigation measures into the Negative Declaration and project approval, there is no substantial evidence that the approval of Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 573, and Variance No. 488 would result in a significant adverse effect on the environment. Accordingly, a Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been prepared and notice of that fact was given in the manner required by law; and,

WHEREAS, the Initial Study was prepared on April 10, 2002 and distributed for circulation and review on April 11, 2002 through May 13, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, a Mitigation Monitoring Program has been prepared, and is attached to the Environmental Assessment No. 745 and Resolution as Exhibit "A"; and,

WHEREAS, after issuing notices pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code and the State CEQA Guidelines, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on May 14, 2002 at which all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and,

WHEREAS, at the May 14, 2002 meeting, the Commission unanimously moved to continue the public hearing to its May 28th meeting so that Staff may further research the concerns raised at the public hearing. Specifically, the Commission directed Staff to consider alternatives to the applicant’s hammerhead turnaround, including the design of a cul-de-sac, at the terminus of Coolheights Drive; and,

WHEREAS, at its May 28, 2002 meeting, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing to its June 11th meeting in order to allow Staff additional time to complete its analysis on the outstanding issues, including the turn-around design alternatives; and,

WHEREAS, on June 11, 2002, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing discussion at which time all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and,

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

Section 1: The subject applications would permit the construction of a 5,409 square foot, two-story, single-family residence with 819 cubic yard sof associated grading. The Planning Commission finds that the proposed project is a permitted use within the RS-1 zoning district, and would not result in significant adverse environmental impacts. In making this finding, the Planning Commission considered the project's mitigation measures that address the issues of Biological Resources, Geology, and Recreation.

Section 2: The subject property is currently zoned for single-family residential (RS-1) development in an area that abuts the City’s Natural and Urban Overlay Control Districts. The Planning Commission finds that the site will be improvement to accommodate the construction of a new single-family residence in an area of the 2.30 acre site that was previously disturbed when the neighboring tract was developed in the 1960’s. As such, the proposed residence will not significantly impact the City’s required land use designation.

Section 3: The proposed project will not alter the location, distribution, density, or growth rate of the human population in the area above what is forecast in adopted City plans and policies, nor will the project affect existing housing, or create a demand for additional housing. The project will not create a significant additional demand for fire or police protection, maintenance of public facilities (including roads), or other governmental services. The project will not result in the need for new systems, or substantial alterations to utilities, including power or natural gas, communication systems, water, sewer or septic tanks, storm water drainage, or solid waste disposal. Furthermore, the proposed project will not result in an increase in population, thereby warranting new recreational facilities. Notwithstanding, public trails identified in the City’s Conceptual Trails Plan and Forrestal Management Plan traverse the subject property that will be conveyed to the City in the form of a public access easement. Therefore, the proposed project results in no significant impacts to existing parkland.

Section 4: The proposed project will require approximately 819 cubic yards of earth movement to prepare the project for the construction of the proposed residence. As such, the Planning Commission finds that the proposed project will not result in significant adverse affects to topography; destruction, covering, or modification of unique geologic or physical features; impacts to archeological or paleontological resources; or expose persons to seismic ground failure, landslides, or other known hazards; or create a wasteful or inefficient use of the energy already being consumed on the site. Although on-site grading is proposed, a Geotechnical Report addressing the scope of the project grading has been reviewed and approved in the Planning Stage by the City’s Geotechnical Consultant. Nonetheless, additional reports may be required for final review and approval by the City’s Building Official and the City’s Geotechnical Consultant prior to issuance of building permits. Furthermore, the Geotechnical Report shall provide the developer with applicable conditions for which the project shall be constructed, along with other conditions that the City’s Building Official and City’s Geotechnical Consultant find necessary to ensure the project is constructed in a manner that does not jeopardize the public’s health, safety and welfare. As such, the mitigation measures will ensure that the proposed project will not cause any significant geological impacts.

Section 5: The project site is located within an area identified by the Los Angeles County Fired Department as a High Fire Hazard Area, thereby requiring the removal or thinning of brush on slopes that extend beyond the project site’s building pad. Pursuant to the Fire Department’s approved Fuel Modification Plan, the required brush clearance may impact sensitive Plant Life or Animal Life. As such, the Fire Department has reduced its setback requirements for the various zones requiring fuel modification. Additionally, the environmental analysis conducted for the proposed project revealed that such impacts to habitat may be reduced to a level of insignificance provided that the appropriate mitigation measures are adopted. Such mitigation includes the applicants responsibility to preserve offsite habitat at a 3:1 ratio, or by providing permanent protection for existing on-site habitat at a ratio of 1:1. it has been determined that on-site habitat preservation may be achieved by conveying an Open Space Conservation Easement on the project site to the City or a land management agency. As such, the Planning Commission finds that with the appropriate mitigation measures, potential impacts to habitat may be reduced to a level of insignificance.

Section 6: The proposed project will not change the current, the course or the direction of water movements in either marine or fresh waters, since the project site is not located in such a setting. Although there may be slight changes in the absorption rates, drainage patterns, and surface run-off on the subject site as a result of the proposed project. A proposed drainage plan shall be submitted to the City for review and approval pertaining to the implementation of mitigation measures that address potential impacts to water patterns. Furthermore, in compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act, an Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plan shall be submitted to City for review and approval prior to the issuance of building permits, as it pertains to implementation strategies that reduce stormwater runoff. As such, the Planning Commission finds that such conditions will ensure that water patterns will not significantly impact the surrounding environment.

Section 7: The proposed project is for the construction of a new single-family residence in an area developed with similar structures. As such, the planning Commission finds that the proposed project will not create substantial impacts to circulation patterns, parking capacity, or traffic congestion.

Section 8: Although the construction of the proposed project is anticipated to generate noise levels uncommon to the surrounding environment, such noise will be temporary in nature and that the City has imposed conditions, in accordance with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ Municipal Code, that limits construction between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, with no construction permitted on Sundays and legal holidays (as identified in the City’s Municipal Code). As such, the Planning Commission finds that the mitigation measures imposed will ensure that noise levels do not adversely impact surrounding properties.

Section 9: In regards to aesthetics, the City’s Development Code requires that improvements to the project site be designed in a manner that is compatible to the neighboring homes on Coolheights Drive. As proposed, the project is designed so that the structure aligns with the homes on the "non-view" side of the street, while integrating articulation between the lower and upper levels to visually soften the structure’s massive and bulky appearance. Furthermore, the proposed residence is located at the terminus of Coolheights Drive on a lot that was not created when the neighboring tract was developed. Notwithstanding, the project site’s location at the terminus of the street further minimizes its impacts to the character of the immediate neighborhood because it will not be highly visible. In regards to a scenic vista from surrounding properties, including the City owned Forrestal Property, the proposed residence has been designed and plotted in a manner that restricts its visibility from neighboring properties. furthermore, the proposed structure’s maximum roof ridgeline is significantly lower than the public trails that traverse the project site and the Forrestal property, with views oriented in the opposite direction than the proposed development. As such, the Planning Commission finds that the proposed project will be compatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood despite its distinctive difference in lot area and lot configuration, and will not result in a significant view impairment of protected views of the Pacific Ocean from surrounding properties and the City owned Forrestal Property.

Section 10: For reasons discussed in the Initial Study, which is incorporated herein by reference, the project will not have any potential to achieve short-term, to the disadvantage of long-term, environmental goals, nor would the project have impacts which are individually limited, but cumulatively considerable.

Section 11: The applicant has consulted the lists prepared pursuant to Section 65962.5 of the Government Code and has submitted a signed statement indicating whether the project and any alternatives are located on a site which is included on any such list, and has specified any such list. The Lead Agency has consulted the lists compiled pursuant to Section 65962.5 of the Government Code, and has certified that the development project and any alternatives proposed in this application are not included in these lists of known Hazardous Waste and Substances Sites as compiled by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Section 12: The mitigation measures set forth in the Mitigation Monitoring Program, Exhibit "A", attached hereto, are incorporated into the scope of the proposed project. These measures will reduce those potential significant impacts identified in the Initial Study to a less than significant level.

Section 13: Any interested person aggrieved of this decision or by any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Section 17.60.060 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, any such appeal must be filed with the City, in writing and with the appropriate appeal fee, no later than fifteen (15) days following the date of the Planning Commission's final action.

Section 14: For the foregoing reasons and based on its independent review and evaluation of the information and findings contained in the Initial Study, Staff Reports, minutes, and records of the proceedings, the Planning Commission has determined that the project as conditioned and mitigated will not result in a significant adverse impact on the environment. Therefore, the Planning Commission hereby adopts the Mitigated Negative Declaration making certain environmental findings in association with Environmental Assessment No. 745 to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot, two-story, single-family residence on property located at 3787 Coolheights Drive.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 11th day of June, 2002, by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTIONS:

ABSENT:

_____________________
Jon Cartwright
Chairman

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


RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, HEIGHT VARIATION N0. 899, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2151, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 573, AND VARIANCE NO. 488 TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW 5,409 SQUARE FOOT, TWO-STORY, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 3787 COOLHEIGHTS DRIVE.

WHEREAS, on November 17, 1999 the subject applications, Height Variation No 899, Grading Permit No. 2151 and Minor Exception Permit No. 573 were submitted to the Planning Department by the property owners, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Nassiri, to allow the construction of a new 5,409 square foot, two-story, single-family residence with 819 cubic yards of associated grading; and,

WHEREAS, on February 24, 2000 the City’s Geotechnical Engineer reviewed and conditionally approved the applicants’ geotechnical reports and studies; and,

WHEREAS, after several meetings attended by Staff and the property owners and their architect, revised plans were submitted and deemed complete for processing on September 26, 2000; and,

WHEREAS, during the public noticing period for the November 14, 2000 Planning Commission, the City received several comment letters from surrounding property owners expressing concern regarding the proposed project and its impacts to neighboring views, public trail access, brush clearance, habitat, and turnaround improvements. In light of the public comments letters, Staff determined that additional information and studies needed to be completed in order for the Commission to consider the project’s merits; and

WHEREAS, at its November 14, 2000 meeting, the Planning Commission tabled the public hearing for the proposed project in order to allow Staff and the applicants ample time to complete the necessary information needed to process the project applications; and,

WHEREAS, as a result of the Fire Department’s requirement to clear brush on the slopes that extend beyond the building pad, it was determined that the project would result in potential impacts to protected habitat and could therefore not be processed as a Categorical Exemption pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to CEQA, the proposed project required the preparation of an Initial Study, thus requiring that the applicants submit new information at which time the applicant also submitted revised plans that constituted revised applications; and,

WHEREAS, on March 8, 2001, Environmental Assessment No. 745 along with revised plans were submitted to the Planning Department on behalf of the property owners for the preparation of the appropriate environmental documents; and,

WHEREAS on October 9, 2001 the revised project applications were deemed complete for processing; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provision of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Section 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(F) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), the City of Rancho Palos Verdes prepared an Initial Study and determined that, by incorporating mitigation measures into the Negative Declaration and project approval, there is no substantial evidence that the approval of Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, and Minor Exception Permit No. 573 would result in a significant adverse effect on the environment. Accordingly, a Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been prepared and notice of that fact was given in the manner required by law; and,

WHEREAS, the Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration was completed on April 10, 2002 and distributed for circulation and review on April 11, 2002 through May 13, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, Notice of Intent to Adopt and Notice of Availability of the Mitigated Negative Declaration was sent to responsible agencies and interested parties on April 11, 2002, and notification of the intent to adopt the Mitigated Negative Declaration was provided by publication in the P.V. Peninsula News newspaper on April 11, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, after issuing notices pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code and the State CEQA Guidelines, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on May 14, 2002 at which all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and,

WHEREAS, at the May 14, 2002 meeting, the Commission unanimously moved to continue the public hearing to its May 28th meeting so that Staff may further research the concerns raised at the public hearing. Specifically, the Commission directed Staff to consider alternatives to the applicant’s hammerhead turnaround, including the design of a cul-de-sac, at the terminus of Coolheights Drive; and,

WHEREAS, at its May 28, 2002 meeting, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing to its June 11th meeting in order to allow Staff additional time to complete its analysis on the outstanding issues, including the turn-around design alternatives; and,

WHEREAS, on June 11, 2002, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing discussion at which time all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and,

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission adopted Resolution No. 2002-__, which in accordance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, adopted a Mitigated Negative Declaration and a Mitigation Monitoring Program for the proposed project.

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

Section 1: That in regards to Height Variation No. 899:

  1. The applicants have successfully complied with the Early Neighborhood Consultation process established by the City by obtaining 17 signatures (60%) out of the 28 properties within the 500’ radius, and 5 signatures (83%) out of 6 properties within the 100’ radius.
  2. The proposed structure has been designed in a manner that does not result in impacts from public views and vistas from the trails located within the City owned Forrestal Property because the residence is significantly lower in elevation than the trails, which maintain views in the opposite directions than the project site. Furthermore, the project does not significantly impair a view from public property, as identified in the City’s Coastal Specific Plan, since the subject property is not located within the City’s designated Coastal District.
  3. The proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory in that the project site is located on a graded lot that was created when the surrounding neighborhood was development.
  4. The proposed residence has been designed to minimize any view impacts that may occur from surrounding properties by sighting the proposed residence off the building pad, on the northern slope located between the building pad and the lower drainage swale. Furthermore, the quantity of grading has been limited to the area needed to prepare the site for the proposed residence, and restricted from altering the height of the building pad for yard improvements.
  5. The subject property is located in an area that consists of unique topography that has characterized the existing development within the neighborhood. As such, "protected views" as defined by the Development Code, vastly varies between lots since the majority of the existing homes within the immediate neighborhood are currently developed as two-story residences on lots that may be classified as "view" or "non-view" lots. Therefore, due to the character and topography of the immediate neighborhood coupled with the City’s height requirements for "building pad" lots, future development projects involving an new second story within the immediate neighborhood will be limited. Furthermore, although some second story additions may result in potential view impacts, the impacts may not be from "protected viewing areas" due to the "by right" height requirements for the varying lot classifications nor considered a "significant" view impact. Therefore, the Commission finds that in terms of cumulative view impacts, the granting of the proposed project will not cause a significant cumulative view impairment.
  6. The proposed structure, when considered exclusive of foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel because the structure is designed and plotted in a manner that does not result in a significant impairment of a view from neighboring properties. Furthermore, the portion of the proposed structure that complies with the Development Code’s permitted "by right" height limit already impairs views from the neighboring properties. Views that are impaired by the "by right" height limit are not considered by the Development Code as protected views. Therefore, the proposed second level does not create a significant view impairment beyond that which would result from a structure built to the maximum permitted "by right" height limit of 16’/20’. Therefore, the main impact is to "unprotected views," with only insignificant impacts to "protected views."
  7. The proposed structure complies with all other code requirements, as it pertains to the RS-1 zoning district’s residential development standards for lot coverage, setbacks, parking and other code requirements stated in the Development Code. As for those components of the proposed project that the Development Code does not permit "by right," the respective applications have been requested and reviewed according to the appropriate guidelines, as discussed in subsequent Sections of this Resolution. Additionally, further approvals must be obtained from the City’s Geotechnical Consultant in the building stage, and building and grading permits must also be obtained for compliance with the Uniform Building Code, the Development Code and the City’s Municipal Code. Additionally, the applicants are required to obtain approvals from Local, State, and Federal Agencies, as identified in Exhibit "A", project Conditions of Approval. Further, the proposed project complies with the standards of the applicable Overlay Control Districts.
  8. Although the proposed structure is 2,210 square feet larger than the largest home within the ten (10) closest homes on Coolheights Drive, the structure is designed in a manner that resembles the character of many of the recently remodeled or renovated homes within the immediate neighborhood. Such elements include integrating architectural features such as clay tile roof, smooth stucco finish, vinyl doors and windows, and wrought iron through the residence. Additionally, in order to balance the weight of the structure’s visual appearance, architectural features have been integrated into the design of the residence and its footprint, such as an entrance rotunda that offsets the structures geometric form, thereby softening the structures massive and bulky appearance. Furthermore, the proposed residence is located at the terminus of Coolheights Drive and is aligned with the neighboring residences on the "non-view" side of the street, thereby limiting its visibility from neighboring properties.
  9. The proposed structure does not result in an unreasonable infringement of privacy from the immediate neighboring properties because the residence is designed and plotted on the project site so that windows or balconies do not look onto a neighbors yard nor the interior of a neighbors home.

Section 2: That in regard to Grading Permit No. 2151:

  1. The grading does not exceed that which is necessary for the permitted primary use of the lot in that the proposed 819 cubic yards of associated grading is necessary to prepare the project site for the construction of a single-family residence, which is considered the permitted primary use of the property. As proposed, the grading is to accommodate the construction of a new single-family residence.

  2. The grading and/or related construction does not significantly adversely affect visual relationships nor the views from neighboring properties since the proposed grading will not raise the height of the existing building pad, but rather cut into portions of the slope to the north of the existing building pad to accommodate the proposed residence. The applicants have plotted the residence on the slope in order to minimize potential view impacts from neighboring properties.

  3. The nature of grading minimizes disturbance to the natural contours and finished contours are reasonably natural in that the proposed grading is to occur on a portion of the project site that was previously graded to accommodate the existing residence. The proposed grading improvements will occur on a slope that was created at the time the neighboring tract was developed and is less than 35%. Furthermore, the proposed grading will not require further disturbance to the site’s natural contours or finished contours, which are considered reasonably natural.

  4. The grading takes into account the preservation of natural topographic features and appearances so as to blend any man-made or manufactured slopes into the natural topography in that the majority of the grading requested will be conducted under the existing building footprint, by notching the structure into the slope located to the north of the existing building pad, to create a similar finished floor elevation to the existing pad. Furthermore, the proposed grading does not include any modification to the natural topographic features so that land sculpturing is required.

  5. The grading will not cause excessive and unnecessary disturbance of the natural landscape or wildlife habitat through removal of vegetation in that the proposed grading will be located on a portion of the 2.30 acre lot that was previously disturbed at the time the neighboring tract was developed, and is therefore devoid of native vegetation. Therefore, the project related grading activities will not significantly impact any natural vegetation or wildlife habitat.

  6. The grading conforms with the Development Code’s standards pertaining to grading on slopes, height of cut/fill and retaining walls in that the grading requested is necessary for the development of the subject property and complies with the Development Code’s criteria in that no earth movement will occur on slopes equal to or greater than 35% nor will the grading result in slopes exceeding a 50% gradient. Furthermore, the excavation required for the proposed structure will not exceed a height of five (5) feet.

Section 3: That in regard to Minor Exception Permit No. 573:

Pursuant to the Development Code, a Minor Exception Permit may be requested to allow the construction of a six (6) foot high fence within the required front yard area provided that one of the following findings can be made:

  1. The requested Minor Exception Permit is warranted by practical difficulties; or,
  2. The requested Minor Exception Permit is warranted by an unnecessary hardship; or,
  3. The requested Minor Exception Permit is necessary to avoid inconsistencies with the general intent of this Title.

In order to physically identify the property lines while maintaining a level of security from potential trespassers seeking use of the public trails located within the Forrestal Property, the construction of a five (5) foot high wrought iron fence with six (6) foot high columns in an area that the Development Code currently restricts the height of a wall or fence to forty-two (42) inches is warranted since prohibiting the proposed fence would be inconsistent with the general intent of the Code to provide general health and safety. Furthermore, the proposed fence will be constructed from wrought iron that will allow the fence to remain predominantly open, preventing a fortification feeling from the street. This is achieved since the design of the fence is approximately eighty (80) percent of it is open/permeable.

Section 4: That in regard to Variance No. 488:

  1. The project site has exceptional and extraordinary circumstances in that the property has a limited building pad area and that pursuant to a Settlement Agreement, the development of the project site requires that construction of a turnaround at the terminus of Coolheights Drive. As such, the construction of a turn-around occupies a significant portion of the building pad area thereby requiring the proposed residence to be built off the building pad. In order to minimize impacts to abutting slopes that contain protected Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, it is in the interest of the surrounding environment that the proposed residence be plotted as close to the private street easement. These factors result in a unique situation which does not generally apply to other properties within the RS-1 zoning district.
  2. The Variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a right that is possessed by other property owners under like conditions. The project site is currently an undeveloped lot that is zoned for the use of a single family residence. However, the applicants are required to improve the project site with a turn-around at the terminus of Coolheights Drive. Since the property has very a limited usable building pad area due to the unique terrain and the abutting slopes, the property owners are deprived of a privilege that is possessed by other property owners within the same zoning district and citywide. Therefore, in order to minimize impacts to the surrounding environment while permitting the construction of a new single-family residence, a reduction of the required front yard setback is warranted since it would not provide the landowner a special privilege that is not currently enjoyed by other property owners in the area.
  3. Granting such a Variance would not be materially detrimental to the public welfare since the reduction of the required front yard setback allows the proposed residence to be plotted in a location that can accommodate the required turn-around at the terminus of Coolheights Drive. Furthermore, the reduction of the front yard setback for the proposed residence will not be detrimental to the public since vehicles will be able to maneuver in a safe manner. Therefore, granting a Variance would not increase the impacts of the existing condition on the lot or be detrimental to the public welfare.
  4. The requested Variance to reduce the front yard setback requirement is consistent with the General Plan since the project will not change the existing residential condition of the lot.

Section 5: A Notice of Decision shall be given to the applicant, to all property owners adjacent to the subject property and any interested party informing them of the Planning Commission’s decision.

Section 6: Any interested party may appeal this decision or any portion of this decision to the City Council. Pursuant to Section 17.02.040(C)(1)(j) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, any such appeal must be filed with the city, in writing, and with the appropriate appeal fee, no later than fifteen (15) days following the date of the Planning Commission’s adoption of this resolution.

Section 7: 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 Height Variation No. 899, Grading Permit No. 2151, Minor Exception Permit No. 573, and Variance No. 488 thereby approving the construction of a new 5,409 square foot, two-story, single-family residence at a height not to exceed 26’, as measured from the highest pre-construction grade (752.00’) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (778.00’), subject to the conditions of approval in Exhibit "A".

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 11th day of June, 2002, by the following vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSTENTIONS:

ABSENT:


_____________________
Jon Cartwright
Chairman

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


EXHIBIT ‘A’

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL
HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 899, GRADING PERMIT NO. 2151,
MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT NO. 573, VARIANCE NO. 488,
AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 745

GENERAL

  1. Prior to the submittal of plans into Building and Safety plan check, the applicant and/or 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 approval. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days following the date of this approval shall render this approval null and void.
  2. The approval shall become null and void after one (1) year from the date of approval by the City, unless the approved plans are submitted to the Building and Safety Division to initiate the "plan check" review process.
  3. The proposed project shall be constructed in substantial compliance with the plans approved and stamped by the Planning Department with the effective date of this approval.
  4. All mitigation measures contained in the adopted Mitigated Negative Declaration shall be incorporated into the implementation of the proposed project and adhered to, and are incorporated herein by reference.
  5. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved plans or any of the conditions if such modifications achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with said plans and conditions.
  6. In the event that a Planning requirement and a Building & Safety requirement are in conflict with one another, the stricter standard shall apply.
  7. The hours of construction shall be limited to 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. No construction shall be permitted on Sundays or on legal holidays.
  8. The construction site and neighboring public and private properties shall be kept free of all loose materials resembling trash and debris in excess of that material used for immediate construction purposes. Such excess material may include, but is not limited to: the accumulation of debris, garbage, lumber, scrap metal, concrete, asphalt, piles of earth, salvage materials, abandoned or discarded furniture, appliances or other household fixtures.
  9. The project site shall be securely enclosed with a temporary construction fence, not to exceed six (6) feet in height, during the duration of construction.

  10. HEIGHT VARIATION

  11. The proposed structure, shall not exceed 26 feet in height as measured from the highest pre-construction grade (752’) to the top of the highest roof ridgeline (778’). A BUILDING HEIGHT CERTIFICATION, PREPARED BY A REGISTERED ENGINEER, SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE BUILDING AND SAFETY DIVISION, PRIOR TO THE FINAL FRAMING INSPECTION.
  12. The project silhouette shall be removed no later than seven (7) calendar days after the expiration of the appeal period, unless an appeal if filed with the City.

  13. GRADING PERMIT

  14. The project related grading shall not exceed 819 cubic yards of earth movement, consisting of 668 cubic yards of cut and 151 cubic yards of fill. All excess cut (517 cubic yards) shall be exported off-site.
  15. The maximum depth of cut/fill shall not exceed 5’ in height, except for the excavation required for the retaining walls integrated with the building footprint.
  16. The retaining wall located along the driveway shall not exceed five (5) feet in height, as measured from the lowest finished grade. When a retaining wall is combined with a fence on the top of the wall, the maximum height shall not exceed six (6) feet, as measured from finished adjacent grade. Furthermore, the retaining walls shall maintain a minimum separation of three (3) feet, as measured from the interior of the walls.
  17. The City’s Geotechnical Consultant shall review the project in the "plan check" stage to determine whether further reports and investigation shall be required prior to issuance of building permits.
  18. Prior to issuance of grading permits, the Director of Public Works shall review and approve a haul route for all exported earth.
  19. Prior to issuance of grading permits, the Director of Public Works shall review and approve any improvements within the public right-of-way.

  20. MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT

  21. The proposed fence/wall located along the front property line shall not exceed six (6) feet in height, as measured from the lowest finished grade adjacent to the wall and shall be eighty (80) percent open to light and air.
  22. No architectural elements shall be permitted on the fence/wall that exceeds the permitted height of six (6) feet, as defined in the above condition.
  23. No lighting may be permitted on the proposed fence/wall that is located outside the area designated as the hammerhead turnaround.
  24. The area located immediately adjacent to the combination fence/wall shall be landscaped with vegetation that does not exceed 42" in height, except for the area located between the neighbor’s front yard fence post (3778 Coolheights Drive) and the neighbor’s dining room window edge (3776 Coolheights Drive) closest to the public street, where the height of planting shall not exceed six (6) feet.

  25. MISCELLANEOUS

  26. The residence shall not exceed 5,409 square feet, of which 680 square feet will be in the form of a three car attached garage, 2,243 square feet will be situated on the lower level and 2,486 square feet on the upper level. A SQUARE FOOTAGE CERTIFICATION PREPARED BY A REGISTERED SURVEYOR INDICATING THAT THE NEW RESIDENCE DOES NOT EXCEED 5,409 SQUARE FEET, SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE BUILDING AND SAFETY DIVISION, PRIOR TO A FRAMING INSPECTION.
  27. The lot coverage requirement for the subject property located in the RS-1 zoning district shall not exceed 25%. The proposed Lot Coverage is 5%.
  28. The following minimum setbacks shall be maintained for the proposed residence:

    Front Yard: 20'-0" minimum (proposed: 20’)
    Rear Yard: 20’-0" minimum (proposed 220’)
    Side Yard: 10'-0" minimum (proposed: 78’)

  29. A SETBACK CERTIFICATION SHALL BE PREPARED BY A LICENSED SURVEYOR AND SUBMITTED TO THE BUILDING AND SAFETY DIVISION, INDICATING COMPLIANCE WITH THE APPROVED FRONT YARD SETBACK PRIOR TO A FOUNDATION INSPECTION.

  30. A minimum of a two car garage shall be maintained at all times with a minimum depth of twenty (20) feet, a minimum width of eighteen (18) feet and a minimum vertical clearance of seven (7) feet, as measured from the interior finished walls (proposed: three car).
  31. The proposed spa shall be maintained a minimum of five (5) ten (10) feet away from the top of the slope.
  32. The proposed spa area shall be enclosed with a minimum 5’ high fence, with a self-closing device and a self-latching device located no closer than 4’ above the ground.
  33. The proposed driveway shall not exceed a maximum gradient of 20%, as required by the City’s Development Code.
  34. Prior to issuance of grading or building permits, the applicants shall convey, to the satisfaction of the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and the City Attorney, a public trail easement for the Ganado (A16), Pirate (A15), and the Flying Mane (L4) trails. The required trail easements shall be recorded with the Los Angeles County Recorders Office prior to issuance of grading or building permits. The required trail easements shall be limited to the areas of the project site that are outside the "residential" portion of the lot, as identified in the attached Exhibit "B".
  35. Prior to issuance of grading or building permits, the applicants shall convey, to the satisfaction of the Director of Public Works and the City Attorney, a public street access easement for the hammerhead turnaround. Said easement shall permit public use of the hammerhead turnaround by motorists and pedestrians at all times.
  36. Prior to issuance of grading or building permits, the specifications for the required hammerhead turnaround shall be reviewed and approved by the Director of Public Works. The turnaround shall be constructed in full compliance with the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s October 19, 2000 approval.
  37. The required hammerhead turnaround shall match the surface of the adjacent public street. The use of decorative asphalt within the hammerhead turnaround shall be permitted, provided the Director of Public Works determines such material is acceptable.
  38. The area located within the hammerhead turnaround shall be red-curbed with a sign stating "no parking at all times," as required by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
  39. Prior to issuance of grading or building permits, the hammerhead turnaround, as described in the above condition, and the Ganado Trail link from Coolheights Drive, shall be posted with a sign, to the satisfaction of the Director of Public Works and the City Attorney, that ensures public access at all times.
  40. The proposed residence shall be finished in an earth tone color deemed acceptable by the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement prior to the Certificate of Occupancy by Building and Safety.
  41. The applicants shall visually screen the trash enclosure from neighboring properties and the public right-of-way prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy by Building and Safety.
  42. All mechanical equipment, including but not limited to the spa equipment and air conditioning condenser units, shall be no closer than three (3) feet from the interior side property line and shall not exceed 6’ in height. Said equipment shall be adequately screened from the neighboring properties and the right of way.
  43. No mechanical equipment shall be permitted on the roof.
  44. A Landscape Plan shall be submitted to the Planning Department for approval prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy by Building and Safety. The Landscape Plan shall indicate the location and type of vegetation proposed for the subject property. Additionally, the plans shall indicate the mature height of all foliage, which shall not exceed sixteen (16) feet in height or the top of the highest roof ridgeline, whichever is lower.
  45. Prior to issuance of grading permits, the property owner shall obtain approvals by the City of an Urban Stormwater Plan that is in conformance with the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
  46. If brush clearance for fire suppression purposes modifies drainage across the property, a drainage plan shall be submitted to the Department of Public Works for review and approval by the Director.
  47. No outdoor lighting shall be permitted that is directed towards a parcel of property other than that upon which such light source is physically located. Additionally, no lighting shall be permitted where the light source or fixture, if located on a building, above the line of the eaves, or if located on a standard or pole, more than ten (10) feet above grade. Individual, non-reflector, incandescent light bulbs shall not exceed 150 watts per bulb or an aggregate of 1,000 watts for a lot.



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__ conditionally approving Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286.

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 11, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 941 AND GRADING PERMIT NO. 2286 (ISKANDER, 3261 CROWNVIEW DRIVE)

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, aicp, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__ conditionally approving Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286.

BACKGROUND

On May 14, 2002, the Planning Commission reviewed and conceptually approved this application for a new single-family residence on Crownview Drive in the Miraleste Hills community*. However, the motion to approve the project included two additional stipulations: 1) that the conditions of approval recommended by the City’s geotechnical consultant be included in the conditions of approval for the project; and 2) that Staff research the availability and financial feasibility of requiring the applicant, Mr. Iskander, to obtain insurance, a bond or some other instrument to indemnify the immediate downslope property owners, the Wans.

*The vote on the motion was 6-1, with Chairman Cartwright dissenting.

DISCUSSION

City Geotechnical Consultants’ Conditions

In response to the Planning Commission’s direction, Condition No. 21 of the attached draft Resolution has been revised as follows (new text is underlined):

21. Prior to building permit issuance, the applicant shall obtain final approval of the project from the City’s geotechnical consultant. In so doing, the applicant shall also comply with the following conditions:

a. The applicant’s geotechnical consultants, Applied Earth Sciences, shall sign the final dated foundation/grading plan, thereby verifying the plans’ conformance with the consultants’ original report and associated addenda.

b. All footing excavation and boreholes shall be logged to verify that the appropriate geologic structural model was used to determine stability of the subject site. If conditions are found to differ, appropriate analysis and changes in recommendations shall be documented and provided to the City’ Building Official.

c. Expansion potential and sulfate content should be determined through testing, subsequent to site grading but prior to construction of the residence.

These three additional conditions are taken directly from the City geotechnical consultant’s conceptual approval of December 21, 2001 (see attachments).

Indemnification of Downslope Property Owner

In reviewing the City’s files, Staff has found no instances where the developer of an individual single-family residence was required provide proof of insurance to the City. There have been a couple of recent instances where such a condition was placed upon a commercial project or a larger tract of single-family homes. Below is a copy of a condition imposed upon the construction of a new commercial building for the Peninsula Montessori School at 31270 Palos Verdes Drive West (adjacent to the Villa Capri townhome community) in December 2000:

Prior to issuance of a grading permit by Building and Safety, the applicant shall submit to the City a Certificate of Insurance demonstrating that the applicant has obtained a general liability insurance policy in an amount not less than 5 million dollars per occurrence and in the aggregate to cover awards for any death, injury, loss or damage, arising out of the grading or construction of this project by the applicant. Said insurance policy must be issued by an insurer admitted to do business in the State of California with a minimum rating of A-VII by Best’s Insurance Guide. Said insurance shall not be canceled or reduced during the grading or construction work and without providing at least thirty (30) days prior written notice to the City.

Staff has researched the availability and cost of obtaining such general liability insurance. Such policies are readily commercially available, but the premiums can be quite high, depending upon the extent of coverage and the value of the project. Since the proposed project involves only one single-family residence, it might be appropriate to reduce the applicant’s liability to $1,000,000, but even this could cost at least $2,500 to $3,000*.

*These figures are based upon a telephone conversation with a representative of Driver Alliant (formerly Robert Driver & Co.), an insurance broker for the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (CJPIA).

As an alternative, the applicant has suggested including himself (and the City, if so desired) as an "additional insured" on the liability insurance policies carried by the geotechnical consultant, grading contractor and other contractors that would be involved in the construction of the house. A copy of such an insurance certificate for Applied Earth Sciences, Mr. Iskander’s geotechnical consultant, is attached to this report. This certificate lists both Mr. Iskander and the City as additional insureds, and the additional cost to Mr. Iskander of this coverage is negligible. If the Planning Commission wishes to require the applicant to show proof of insurance in this manner, the following condition of approval could be included in the attached draft Resolution:

23. Prior to issuance of a grading permit by Building and Safety, the applicant shall submit to the City a Certificate of Liability Insurance for the applicant’s geotechnical consultant and grading contractor, demonstrating that the applicant is listed as an additional insured on said general liability insurance policies in an amount not less than 1 million dollars per occurrence and in the aggregate to cover awards for any death, injury, loss or damage, arising out of the grading or construction of this project by the applicant and his consultant and contractors. Said insurance policy must be issued by an insurer admitted to do business in the State of California with a minimum rating of A-VII by Best’s Insurance Guide. Said insurance shall not be canceled or reduced during the grading or construction work and without providing at least thirty (30) days prior written notice to the City.

Staff believes that requiring the applicant to provide these insurance certificates would provide equivalent and less expensive coverage than requiring him to obtain his own general liability policy for the project. The Planning Commission may also decide that, based upon additional discussion at tonight’s meeting, it is not necessary for the applicant to provide proof of insurance to the City in any form.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On May 16, 2002—two days after the Planning Commission hearing—Staff received the attached letter from Dr. Lawrence Wan, the owner of the adjacent, downslope property at 3249 Crownview Drive. Both Dr. and Mrs. Wan addressed the Planning Commission at the May 16th hearing to express their concerns about the project. In his letter, Dr. Wan asked three additional questions about the project, which Staff would like to address briefly in this report:

  • Dr. Wan notes a comment made by the applicant’s geotechnical consultant regarding the accuracy of the boundary and topographic survey for the property. This apparent discrepancy was noted by the City’s geotechnical consultant and by Planning Staff, and was the result of the inclusion of a small portion of an adjacent property to the south* in the original grading and site plan submitted to the City. This error was corrected in subsequent plans and reports before the application was deemed complete.

*The Wan property lies to the north of the subject property and was unaffected by this former discrepancy in the survey data.

  • Dr. Wan states that he is not very reassured by the Statement of Limitations by the City’s geotechnical consultant on the attached clearance of December 21, 2001. This is standard language that appears on all geotechnical clearances issued by the City’s consultant, which simply states the scope of services provided by the consultant’s review.

  • Dr. Wan claims that he has difficulty visualizing the appearance of a 7-foot-tall retaining wall. Staff has identified other properties on Crownview Drive in the Miraleste Hills community to assist Dr. Wan in visualizing the potential appearance of the proposed wall, including the homes at 3311, 3313 and 3367 Crownview Drive. It should be noted, however, that the heavily vegetated slope along the Wans’ southerly property line would probably screen the proposed retaining wall from their view.

CONCLUSION

Based on the discussion at the May 14, 2002 public hearings, the Planning Commission has expressed its belief that all of the required findings for the approval of a height variation and grading permit can be made for the proposed project. Based upon the additional discussion in this Staff report, Staff believes that the conditions of approval for the project have been modified to comply with the Planning Commission’s direction, and that requiring the applicant to provide insurance certificates from his consultants and contractors would provide equivalent and less expensive coverage than requiring him to obtain his own general liability policy for the project, if the Planning Commission wishes to require proof of such coverage. Therefore, Staff recommends adoption of P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__, thereby conditionally approving Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286.

ALTERNATIVES

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

1. Approve Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286 with further modifications to the project or conditions, and direct Staff to prepare an appropriate P.C. Resolution and conditions of approval for Planning Commission consideration at the next meeting.

2. Deny Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286, and direct Staff to prepare an appropriate P.C. Resolution for Planning Commission consideration at the next meeting.

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

Please note that the action deadline for this project was already been extended for ninety (90) days by mutual agreement of the applicant and Staff, and cannot be extended beyond August 3, 2002.

Attachments:
P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__
Geotechnical clearance (dated December 21, 2001)
Insurance certificate for Applied Earth Sciences
Letter from Dr. Wan (received May 16, 2002)


P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE REQUEST FOR HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 941 AND GRADING PERMIT NO. 2286 FOR A NEW, 3-STORY, 4,257-SQUARE-FOOT SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE AND 2,131 CUBIC YARDS OF RELATED GRADING ON A VACANT LOT IN THE MIRALESTE HILLS COMMUNITY, LOCATED AT 3261 CROWNVIEW DRIVE

WHEREAS, on June 25, 2001, the applicant, Samuel Iskander, submitted an application for Grading Permit No. 2286 to allow the construction of a new, single-family residence on Crownview Drive in the Miraleste Hills community; and,

WHEREAS, on October 11, 2001, the applicant submitted an application for Height Variation No. 941 for the same project to allow the proposed house to exceed the City’s 16-foot height limit; and,

WHEREAS, on February 27, 2002, the applications for Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286 were deemed complete by Staff; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286 would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Class 3, Section 15303(a)); 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 April 9, 2002, May 14, 2002 and June 11, 2002, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE PLANNING COMMISSION DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The Planning Commission makes the following findings of fact with respect to the application for a height variation to allow a 4,257-square-foot, 3-story single-family residence in excess of the 16-foot height limit:

A. The applicant has complied with the Early Neighbor Consultation process established by the City.

B. The structure does not significantly impair a view from public property which has been identified in the City's General Plan or Coastal Specific Plan as a City-designated viewing area because there are no designated public viewing areas that overlook the subject property.

C. The proposed structure is located on a ridge. However, this ridge is the only portion of the site that is developable, once the setback areas and open space hazard (OH) areas of the lot are excluded. The subject property is a legally subdivided lot—created prior to the City’s incorporation—and all proposed development will occur within the portion of the lot zoned RS-2.

D. The proposed structure, when considered exclusive of existing foliage, does not significantly impair a view from the viewing area of another parcel. The two homes that directly overlook the subject property and have the greatest potential for view impairment are at a significantly higher elevation than the roof of the proposed residence at 3261 Crownview Drive. Both homes have northeasterly views of the inner harbor area and Los Angeles basin, and the proposed project has no impact whatsoever upon these views.

E. The structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view. The design of the project helps to accomplish this by grading down into the site, rather than building the structure up from the existing grade.

F. There is no significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application because there is no view impairment as a result of this project.

G. The proposed structure complies with all other RS-2 development standards from the Development Code.

H. The proposed structure is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character. In terms of the scale of surrounding residences, the size of the proposed home is about average for the surrounding neighborhood. Although there are no other 3-story homes in the immediate vicinity, the slope of the lot allows for the garage level to be tucked under the two floors of living area so that it is partially subterranean. In terms of architectural styles and materials, the applicant proposes a contemporary architectural style for the proposed home. The surrounding homes display a wide variety of architectural styles, including Mediterranean, traditional and contemporary, which is typical of the Miraleste Hills community. Finally, in terms of front-yard setbacks, the proposed project complies with the required 20-foot front-yard setback.

I. The proposed structure does not result in an unreasonable infringement of the privacy of the occupants of abutting residences. The nearest abutting residence is the Wan residence at 3249 Crownview Drive. The proposed project will be at a significantly higher elevation than the Wan residence, but there are no windows on the portions of the Wan residence closest to the side property line and facing the subject property.

Section 2: The Planning Commission makes the following findings of fact with respect to the application for a grading permit to allow 2,131 cubic yards for a single-family residence and access driveway:

A. The grading does not exceed that which is necessary for the permitted primary use of the lot, as defined in Chapter 17.96 of the Development Code. Approximately one-third of the proposed grading would occur within the building footprint. This grading allows the house to be set down into the slope, which in turn minimizes the potential for view impacts. The remaining two-thirds of the grading would occur outside of the building footprint, mostly for the grading of the access driveway and turnaround. The quantity of grading attributable to the driveway is comparatively large because a long "switchback" driveway is necessary in order to ensure that the driveway does not exceed 20-percent slope.

B. The grading and/or related construction does not significantly adversely affect the visual relationships with, nor the views from, neighboring properties, as discussed under Height Variation Findings D, E and F above.

C. The nature of the grading minimizes disturbance to the natural contours and finished contours are reasonably natural. The front portions of the existing site were modified as a part of the original mass grading of this area of Miraleste Hills community and the construction of Crownview Drive. Although the grading for the house and driveway will alter portions of the existing 1½:1 front slope, the final grade of these slopes will resemble the current existing conditions. The natural portion of the site—which is also the portion that is zoned OH—will not be altered by this project.

D. The grading takes into account the preservation of natural topographic features and appearances by means of land sculpturing so as to blend any man-made or manufactured slope into the natural topography. The natural portion of the property will not be altered by this project.

E. For new single-family residences, the grading and/or related construction is compatible with the immediate neighborhood character, as defined in Chapter 17.02 of the Development Code, as discussed in Height Variation Finding H above.

F. The required finding that, in new residential tracts, the grading includes provisions for the preservation and introduction of plant materials so as to protect slopes from soil erosion and slippage and minimize the visual effects of grading and construction on hillside areas, is not applicable to the proposed project because it does not involve the development of a new residential tract.

G. The required finding that the grading utilizes street designs and improvements which serve to minimize grading alternatives and harmonize with the natural contours and character of the hillside is not applicable to the proposed project because it does not involve the creation of new streets.

H. The required finding that the grading would not cause excessive and unnecessary disturbance of the natural landscape or wildlife habitat through removal of vegetation is not applicable to the proposed project because there is no natural landscape or wildlife habitat in the area of the lot proposed for development.

I. The grading conforms to the Development Code standards for creation of new slopes, depth of cut and fill and driveway slopes, as specified in Section 17.76.040(E)(9) of the Development Code.

J. The grading does not conform to the Development Code standards for downslope retaining wall height, as specified in Section 17.76.040(E)(9) of the Development Code. However, the increased wall height—from 3½ feet to 7 feet—is warranted because:

i. All of the grading criteria of subsections (E)(1) through (E)(8) of Section 17.76.040 are satisfied.

ii. The approval is consistent with the purposes set forth in subsection A of Section 17.76.040 because among the stated purposes of the City’s grading regulations are "[ensuring] that development of each parcel of land…occurs in a manner harmonious with adjacent lands…", and the increased retaining wall height is needed in order to provide an access driveway to the subject property, which is necessary for its development with a single-family residence.

iii. Departure from the standards in subsection (E)(9) of Section 17.76.040 will not constitute a grant of special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity because over-height retaining walls are not unusual in the Miraleste Hills community or in other similar hillside neighborhoods in the City, where they are frequently necessary due to steep topographic conditions, both natural and man-made.

iv. Departure from the standards of subsection (E)(9) of Section 17.76.040 will not be detrimental to the public safety nor to other property because, prior to building permit issuance, the proposed retaining walls will be reviewed by the City’s building official and geotechnical consultant to ensure that they are constructed in a manner that protects the safety of the subject property, as well as adjacent private properties and public right-of-way.

Section 3: Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or by any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Sections 17.02.040(C)(1)(j) and 17.76.040(D)(10)(e) 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 May 14, 2002, the date of the Planning Commission’s final action.

Section 4: 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 Height Variation No. 941 and Grading Permit No. 2286 for a new, 3-story, 4,257-square-foot single-family residence and 2,131 cubic yards of related grading on a vacant lot in the Miraleste Hills community, located at 3261 Crownview Drive, 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 11th day of June 2002, by the following vote:

AYES:
NOES:
ABSTENTIONS:
ABSENT:


_______________________
Jon S. Cartwright
Chairman


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


EXHIBIT 'A'

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL
FOR HEIGHT VARIATION NO. 941 AND GRADING PERMIT NO. 2286
(Iskander, 3261 Crownview Drive)

General Conditions:

  1. Prior to the submittal of plans into Building and Safety plan check, 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 within ninety (90) days following date of this approval shall render this approval null and void.
  2. This approval is for the construction of a 3-story, 4,257-square-foot single-family residence and 2,131 cubic yards of related grading on a vacant lot in the Miraleste Hills community, located at 3261 Crownview Drive. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved plans and any of the conditions of approval if such modifications will achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with the approved plans and conditions. Otherwise, any substantive change to the project shall require approval of a revision to the height variation and/or grading permit by the Planning Commission and shall require 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-2 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 project has not been established (i.e., building permits obtained) within one year of the final effective date of this Resolution, or if construction has not commenced within one hundred eighty (180) days of the issuance of building permits, 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 Director. Otherwise, a height variation and grading permit revision must be approved prior to 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 construction shall be completed in substantial conformance with the plans stamped approved by the City with the effective date of this Resolution.
  8. The construction site and adjacent public and private properties and streets shall be kept free of all loose materials resembling trash and debris in excess of that material used for immediate construction purposes. Such excess material may include, but not be limited to: the accumulation of debris, garbage, lumber, scrap metal, concrete asphalt, piles of earth, salvage materials, abandoned or discarded furniture, appliances or other household fixtures.
  9. Permitted hours and days for construction activity are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Saturday, with no construction activity permitted on Sundays or on the legal holidays specified in Section 17.96.920 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code.
  10. Exterior residential lighting shall be in compliance with the standards of Section 17.56.030 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, and shall not exceed 1,700 W incandescent (or equivalent). No single lighting fixture may exceed 150 W incandescent (or equivalent).

  11. Height Variation No. 941:

  12. The maximum height of the house shall not exceed an elevation of 3’ above the highest point of existing grade covered by the structure (157’) and 26’ above the lowest point of finished grade covered by the structure (134’). The maximum elevation of the finished roof surface shall be 160’. Ridge height certification required.
  13. This approval is for a total of 4,257 square feet of enclosed area, consisting of a 917-square-foot garage on the first floor, 1,187 square feet of living area and 244 square feet of decks on the second floor, and 2,153 square feet of living area and 377 square feet of decks on the third floor. The roof of the house may not be used as a deck or other outdoor living area.
  14. The garage shall maintain interior dimensions of at least twenty feet (20’0") in depth and eighteen feet (18’0") in width. At least two garage spaces must be maintained at all times for the parking of motor vehicles.
  15. During and after construction, the applicant shall take all reasonable steps to avoid adversely affecting the existing foliage along the northerly side property line (located at 3249 Crownview Drive) so as to maintain the privacy of the residents of the adjacent home.

  16. Grading Permit No. 2286:

  17. The approved grading quantities are as follows:
  18. Cut

    Fill

    Total

    Net

    1,793

    338

    2,131

    <1,455>

    Prior to building permit final, the applicant shall provide dump receipts for the export of 1,455 cubic yards of material form the site.

  19. The maximum height of the downslope retaining wall at the northerly side property line and along the front property line shall be 7’.
  20. The maximum driveway slope shall not exceed 20% (20% proposed).
  21. The project shall comply with the setbacks depicted on the approved plans. In no case shall the setbacks be less than:

    1. 20 feet from the public right-of-way of Crownview Drive;
    2. 5 feet from the southerly side property line;
    3. 52½ feet from the northerly side property line (except for the retaining wall and driveway); and,
    4. No construction is allowed to encroach upon the Open Space Hazard (OH) portion of the property.

Building setback certification required at foundation forms inspection.

  1. The approved project shall maintain a maximum of 25% lot coverage (23% proposed).
  2. During grading and construction, the applicant shall install and maintain temporary construction fencing around the project perimeter, and particularly along the northerly side property line so as to prevent construction debris from falling onto the adjacent, downslope property.
  3. Prior to building permit issuance, the applicant shall obtain final approval of the project from the City’s geotechnical consultant. In so doing, the applicant shall also comply with the following conditions:


    1. The applicant’s geotechnical consultants, Applied Earth Sciences, shall sign the final dated foundation/grading plan, thereby verifying the plans’ conformance with the consultants’ original report and associated addenda.
    2. All footing excavation and boreholes shall be logged to verify that the appropriate geologic structural model was used to determine stability of the subject site. If conditions are found to differ, appropriate analysis and changes in recommendations shall be documented and provided to the City’ Building Official.
    3. Expansion potential and sulfate content should be determined through testing, subsequent to site grading but prior to construction of the residence.


  4. The applicant shall obtain an encroachment permit from the Public Works Department prior to any work within the right-of-way of Crownview Drive.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: (Continued)



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

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

Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2002-__, approving Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038).

TO: CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 11, 2002

SUBJECT: HEIGHT VARIATION (CASE NO. ZON2002-00038)

PROJECT ADDRESS: 27725 LONGHILL DRIVE

APPLICANT:
JOHN HAMILTON
HAMILTON ARCHITECTS
1020 PICO BLVD. SUITE E
SANTA MONICA, CA 90405

PHONE: (310) 396-8258

LANDOWNER:
JOHN AND LAURIE LEE
27725 LONGHILL DRIVE
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA 90275

PHONE: (310) 541-6653

STAFF COORDINATOR: GUS ROMO, CONTRACT PLANNER

REQUESTED ACTION: A REQUEST TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF FIRST AND SECOND-STORY ADDITIONS WITH A TOTAL AREA OF 1,051 SQUARE FEET TO AN EXISTING 2,328 SQUARE-FOOT TWO-STORY, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE AT A PROPOSED HEIGHT OF 23’-2", AS MEASURED FROM THE LOWEST FINISHED GRADE COVERED BY STRUCTURE TO THE HIGHEST ROOF RIDGELINE. THE PROPOSED ADDITIONS CONSIST OF A LIVINGROOM EXPANSION AND NEW OFFICE ON THE FIRST FLOOR AND A NEW MASTER BEDROOM, CLOSET, AND RETREAT ROOM ON THE SECOND FLOOR.

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-___; APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, HEIGHT VARIATION (CASE NO. ZON2002-00038).

REFERENCES:

ZONING: RS-4

LAND USE: SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL

CODE SECTIONS: 17.02 AND 17.48

GENERAL PLAN: RESIDENTIAL 2-4 DWELLING UNITS PER ACRE

TRAILS PLAN: N/A

SPECIFIC PLAN: N/A

CEQA: CATEGORICALLY EXEMPT (CLASS 3)

ACTION DEADLINE: JULY 3, 2002

P.C. MEMBERS WITHIN 500’ RADIUS: NONE

BACKGROUND

The subject application was submitted to the Planning Department on January 18, 2002. Upon reviewing the application submittals, Staff determined that the application was incomplete based on the required construction of a temporary building silhouette. As such, the application was deemed incomplete on February 14, 2002. The silhouette was erected shortly after, and the application was deemed complete on May 3, 2002. Public notices were mailed to property owners within a 500-foot radius of the subject property on May 3, 2002 and a notice was published in the Peninsula News on May 4, 2002. No written comments or other correspondence have been received with respect to the project as of the date this report was prepared.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

In accordance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Staff has determined this project to be categorically exempt under Class 3 – New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures. Class 3 exempts construction of up to three single-family residences in urbanized areas. Since the proposal is for additions to an existing single-family residence, this exemption automatically applies.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The project site consists of a rectangular lot measuring 53 feet in width by 140 feet in depth with an approximate slope of 60% in the rear one-third of the property. A two-story residence on a level building pad occupies the site. The home was constructed in 1966 and is approximately, 2,328 SF in size, including an attached two-car garage. The home is set back approximately 30 feet from the top of the rear slope, which slopes down towards commercial property located along Silver Spur Road between Hawthorne and Crenshaw Boulevards. The property owner has a view of the shopping areas and hills along the rear of the site and of Torrance and inland areas along the front.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The proposed project entails expanding the living room further towards the front of the house by approximately 12 feet, adding a 220 SF room to be used as an office in the rear of the house, and expanding the existing second-story by adding a master bedroom with fireplace, walk-in closet, and retreat room. Overall, the additions will increase the floor area of the home by 1,051 SF, resulting in a 3,379 SF home, including the existing two-car garage.

The Development Code limits additions within the subject RS-4 zone to no more than 16 feet in height unless a Height Variation permit is granted. The existing home is 20’-6" in height from the point where the lowest foundation meets finished grade. The proposed second-story addition will increase this height to 23’-2". With a Height Variation Permit, a height allowance of up to 24’ may be granted. Pursuant to Section 17.02.040(C)(1)(a)(iii) of the Development Code, a height variation permit must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission if certain scenarios apply. In this case, the area of the proposed and existing structure that exceeds 16 feet in height (second-story footprint) exceeds 75% of the existing first-story footprint. When this occurs, the project is automatically referred to the Planning Commission for a decision.

CODE CONSIDERATION AND ANALYSIS

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

A. HEIGHT VARIATION

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

  1. The applicant has complied with the Early Neighborhood Consultation Process established by the City.
  2. The applicant has completed the Early Neighborhood Consultation process by canvassing property owners within 500’ of the subject property and informing them of the proposed project. Under the Early Neighborhood Consultation process, the applicant is required to obtain signatures from 60% of the property owners within the 500’ radius or obtain signatures from 25% of the property owners within 500’ and 70% within the 100’ radius of the subject property. The applicant chose to obtain signatures from 60% of the property owners within the 500’ radius. Based on documentation provided to the City, Staff has determined that 41 of the 65 properties (63%), excluding the applicant, within the 500’ radius of the subject property signed the required form.

  3. The structure does not significantly impair a view from the public property that has been identified in the City’s General Plan or Coastal Specific Plan as City-designated viewing areas.
  4. According to the City’s General Plan and Coastal Specific Plan, the subject property, which is located in a residential tract on the northeast side of Silver Spur Road between Hawthorne and Crenshaw Boulevards, is not located in an area that impairs views from a City-designated viewing area. Therefore, this finding can be made.

  5. The proposed structure is not located on a ridge or promontory.
  6. According to the Development Code, a ridge is defined as an elongated crest or linear series of crests of hills, bluffs, or highlands. A promontory is defined as a prominent mass of land large enough to support development that overlooks or projects onto a lowland or body of water on at least two sides. No portion of the lot is located on a ridge or promontory. As such, this finding can be made.

  7. The structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view.
  8. Staff has analyzed the proposed second-story addition as it pertains to mass and bulk and direct impacts to views from surrounding properties and has determined that the project has been designed to minimize the impairment of "protected views" from surrounding properties. As proposed, the applicants’ request to add a second story and increase the overall height of the home by 2’-8" towards the east side of the lot does not impair any views. A silhouette of the second-story addition constructed per City requirements revealed no view obstructions. Adjacent property owners were notified and have indicated no objection after viewing the silhouette for more than 30 days. As such, the structure is designed and situated in such a manner as to minimize impairment of a view, and this finding can, therefore, be made.

  9. There is no significant cumulative view impairment caused by granting the application.
  10. Properties in this neighborhood with views are located to the sides of the subject site. None have views behind or in front of the site. Commercial properties are located behind and well below the site, along Silver Spur Road and next to the Shops at Palos Verdes and the Peninsula Shopping Center. None of the properties in this commercial area have views that overlook the residences on Longhill Drive. The homes across the street from the subject site have views that face away from the site, towards Torrance and the inland area. Therefore, the granting of this application will cause no significant cumulative view impairment, and this finding can be made.

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

    NORTH – As previously mentioned in this report, the lots north of the site are located down slope from the site within the commercial corridor of Silver Spur Road. These properties have no views over the subject site and, therefore, will not be impacted.

    SOUTH – The properties to the south are located well below the site and have no views over the site. They face the shopping areas known as the Shops at Palos Verdes and the Peninsula Shopping Center.

    EAST – The properties directly to the east are located at a slightly lower elevation than the subject property and have no views in its direction. All of their views face away from the subject site. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project will not impair any views from these parcels.

    WEST – The properties directly to the west are at a slightly higher elevation but also have views that face away from the subject site. Therefore, Staff believes that the proposed project will not impair any views from these parcels.

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

  13. The proposed structure complies with all other code requirements.
  14. According to Staff’s analysis, the existing residence, although constructed under the guidelines of Los Angeles County, currently complies with the Residential Development criteria for an RS-4 zoning district, as it pertains to setbacks, lot coverage, and structure height. Furthermore, Staff has also determined that the proposed 1,051 SF additions comply with the current Development Code requirements.

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

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

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

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

The following table outlines the lot sizes, structure sizes, and number of stories along with the average lot and structure sizes for the ten- (10) closest lots to the subject site.

TABLE 1

ADDRESS

LOT SIZE*

STRUCTURE SIZE**

NO. OF STORIES

5082 Delacroix Road

8,638 sq. ft.

2,148 sq. ft.

1

27627 Longhill Drive

8,538 sq. ft.

2,022 sq. ft.

1

27709 Longhill Drive

8,538 sq. ft.

2,330 sq. ft.

1

27715 Longhill Drive

7,697 sq. ft.

2,256 sq. ft.

2

27721 Longhill Drive

7,418 sq. ft.

2,800 sq. ft.

2

27731 Longhill Drive

8,416 sq. ft.

2,800 sq. ft.

2

27737 Longhill Drive

8,098 sq. ft.

2,636 sq. ft.

1

27743 Longhill Drive

7,009 sq. ft.

2,980 sq. ft.

2

27673 Flaming Arrow

6,996 sq. ft.

2,377 sq. ft.

1

27677 Flaming Arrow

7,122 sq. ft.

2,160 sq. ft.

1

AVERAGE

7,847 sq. ft.

2,451 sq. ft.

1.4

Subject Site:
27725 Longhill Dr.

7,418 sq. ft.

 

2,328 sq. ft.
Existing Residence

2

3,379 sq. ft.
Proposed Residence

2

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

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

According to the table, the ten (10) closest residences to the site range between 2,022 SF and 2,980 SF in area (garage included) and consist of both one and two-story homes. The subject lot is currently improved with a 2,328 SF two-story, single-family residence (garage included), which is similar in size to the average of 2,451 SF shown in the table above. With the proposed 1,051 SF additions, the subject property will surpass the average by 928 SF and have 399 SF more than the largest home shown on the table.

Although the proposed addition will make the home larger than the average home in the vicinity, the scale will remain similar as viewed from the street and surrounding properties. The proposed addition is approximately 15 feet in width by 52 feet in depth and is proposed only on one side of the home. The gable roof design is such that the home will reach 23’-2" only along a six-foot wide ridgeline located in the center of the home. The roof will continue to slope down towards the side property lines to maintain the scale of the existing home as well as surrounding homes. Based on these characteristics, the new scale of the subject residence will not have an impact on the neighborhood and will blend into its surroundings.

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

The subject property is located within a residential tract that was developed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The predominant styles found are Mediterranean and California Contemporary. The subject residence was built with a contemporary design, which incorporates a low pitch roof, stucco exterior, and direct-access attached garage. The applicants are proposing to maintain the contemporary style by constructing the additions to match the existing home.

In addition, the location of the subject lot in this neighborhood further resolves any concerns with regards to apparent bulk or mass. The site shares property lines with other residences only along its side yards. No homes are located directly in front or to the rear of the site. The home faces a "T" intersection. An intermediate school is located below street grade on one corner of the intersection, and a home, which is situated perpendicular to the subject site, is located on the other corner. The rear yard of the site slopes down towards commercial property located below along Silver Spur Road. Furthermore, the proposed building footprint results in lot coverage of approximately 30%, well below the 50% maximum allowed by the RS-4 Residential Development Standards.

c. Front yard setbacks.

The existing structure currently complies with the required twenty (20)- foot front yard setback. The proposed addition is set back further than the existing home at 25’-7". According to Staff’s analysis, the majority of the homes in the area are developed with a minimum twenty (20)-foot front yard setback, as required by the Development Code. Therefore, as proposed, the structure will be compatible with the required front yard setbacks set forth in the Development Code and established by the immediate neighborhood.

Based on the above analysis, Staff believes the proposal will result in a home that is compatible with the neighborhood and, therefore, can make this finding.

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

According to the layout of the proposed addition, in relation to the surrounding neighborhood, Staff has determined that the proposed project will not result in an unreasonable infringement of privacy if certain conditions are met. The second-story expansion is currently proposed with two windows facing the neighbor adjacent to the east. The second-story master bedroom and retreat are each proposed with one window located along the corners of the addition. The retreat window is not of concern since it looks down into the neighbors’ front yard and garage below. However, the master bedroom has views into the neighbors’ backyard. Although the neighbors have indicated they have no concerns, Staff must analyze privacy issues based on any future owners of this adjacent property. Based on a survey of the street, Staff found that the majority of homes with second stories facing a neighbor do not have windows on that particular elevation. In order to mitigate a potential future privacy infringement, Staff recommends that the Commission impose a condition that restricts the second-story master bedroom window along the east elevation to a clerestory (minimum 5’ high from finished floor) or translucent window or that the window is deleted from the proposal. With this modification, Staff believes the proposed project will not create an infringement of privacy and this finding can be made.

Based on the above discussion regarding the required nine (9) findings for a Height Variation application, Staff believes that the findings for the proposed project can be made and is, thus, recommending approval of Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The City mailed 65 notices to property owners within 500’ feet of the subject property to inform them of the proposed project. During the noticing period, no written or verbal correspondence was received by the Planning Department. A foliage analysis was also conducted during Staff’s review. Staff determined that no mature foliage currently exists on the subject property that exceeds the ridgeline or a height of sixteen (16) feet and impairs views from surrounding properties.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above analysis, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission conditionally approve Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038) to allow the construction of 1,051 SF of first and second-story additions to an existing two-story, single-family residence at a proposed height of 23’-2" as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure to the highest roof ridgeline.

ALTERNATIVES

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

  1. Deny Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038); or
  2. Identify any issues of concern with the proposed project, and provide applicant with direction in modifying the project, and continue the public hearing to a date certain.

ATTACHMENTS:
Draft P.C. Resolution and Conditions of Approval
Site Plan, Floor Plan and Elevations


P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING, WITH CONDITIONS, HEIGHT VARIATION (CASE NO. ZON2002-00038) TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF FIRST AND SECOND-STORY ADDITIONS WITH A TOTAL AREA OF 1,051 SQUARE FEET TO AN EXISTING 2,328 SQUARE-FOOT TWO-STORY, SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE AT A PROPOSED HEIGHT OF 23’-2", AS MEASURED FROM THE LOWEST FINISHED GRADE COVERED BY STRUCTURE TO THE HIGHEST ROOF RIDGELINE.

WHEREAS, on January 18, 2002 an application for Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038) was submitted to the Planning Department to allow the construction of 1,051 square feet of first and second-story additions to an existing 2,328 square-foot two-story, single-family residence at a height of 23’-2" as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure; and

WHEREAS, on May 3, 2002 the subject application were deemed complete for processing by Staff; and,

WHEREAS, on May 3, 2002 the required public notices were mailed to property owners within a 500’ foot radius of the subject property informing them of the proposed project and the scheduled public hearing on June 11, 2002. Furthermore, a notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on May 4, 2002; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provision of the California Quality Act, Public Resources Code Section 21000 et.seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulation, Title 14, Section 15000 et.seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(F) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038) would have a significant effect on the environment, and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Class 3); and,

WHEREAS, after notices issued pursuant to the requirements of Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on June 11, 2002, at which all interested parties were given the opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

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

Section 1: The applicants successfully completed the Early Neighborhood Consultation process by obtaining a minimum of 60% of property owner signatures from properties within the 500’ radius (41 of 65 or 63%).

Section 2: The subject lot is not located in an area designated by the City’s General Plan and the City’s Coastal Specific Plan as a viewing area and therefore the proposed structure does not impair any public views.

Section 3: The subject lot is located on a manufactured slope that was created at the time the building pads for the subject tract were graded and is not located on a ridge or promontory, as defined by the City’s development Code.

Section 4: The proposed project has been designed to minimize the impairment of "protected views" from surrounding properties. As proposed, the applicants’ request to add a second story and increase the overall height of the home by 2’-8" towards the east side of the lot does not impair any views. A silhouette of the second-story addition constructed per City requirements revealed no view obstructions. Adjacent property owners were notified and have indicated no objection after viewing the silhouette for more than 30 days.

Section 5: Properties in this neighborhood with views are located to the sides of the subject site. None have views behind or in front of the site. Commercial properties are located behind and well below the site, along Silver Spur Road and next to the Shops at Palos Verdes and the Peninsula Shopping Center. None of the properties in this commercial area have views that overlook the residences on Longhill Drive. The homes across the street from the subject site have views that face away from the site, towards Torrance and the inland area. As such, the granting of this application will cause no significant cumulative view impairment.

Section 6: The proposed project will not create a view impairment from surrounding properties. The lots north of the site are located down slope from the site within the commercial corridor of Silver Spur Road. These properties have no views over the subject site. Properties to the south are located well below the site and have no views over the site. They face the shopping areas known as the Shops at Palos Verdes and the Peninsula Shopping Center. Properties directly to the east are located at a slightly lower elevation than the subject property and have no views in its direction. All of their views face away from the subject site. Properties directly to the west are at a slightly higher elevation but also have views that face away from the subject site.

Section 7: The proposed structure complies with the residential development standards for a RS-4 zoning district. The proposed additions will be constructed in compliance with the City’s General Plan, Development Code, Uniform Building Code, and all applicable State and Federal laws. In addition to having to obtain planning approvals, the applicant is required to obtain approvals from the City’s Building and Safety Division and the City’s geotechnical consultant prior to issuance of building permits.

Section 8: The proposed additions are compatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood for the following reasons. The additions are proposed only on one side of the home. The gable roof design is such that the home will reach 23’-2" only along a six-foot wide ridgeline located in the center of the home. The roof will continue to slope down towards the side property lines to maintain the scale of the existing home as well as surrounding homes. In addition, the predominant architectural styles found in the neighborhood are Mediterranean and California Contemporary. The subject residence was built with a contemporary design, which incorporates a low pitch roof, stucco exterior, and direct-access attached garage. The applicant is proposing to maintain the contemporary style by constructing the additions to match the existing home. Third, the site shares property lines with other residences only along its side yards. No homes are located directly in front or to the rear of the site. Furthermore, the proposed building footprint results in lot coverage of approximately 30%, well below the 50% maximum allowed by the RS-4 Residential Development Standards. Last, the existing structure currently complies with the required twenty (20)- foot front yard setback. The proposed addition is set back further than the existing home at 25’-7". According to Staff’s analysis, the majority of the homes in the area are developed with a minimum twenty (20)-foot front yard setback, as required by the Development Code. Therefore, as proposed, the structure will result in a home that is compatible with neighborhood.

Section 9: The proposed project will not result in an unreasonable infringement of privacy provided that the second-story master bedroom window along the east elevation is restricted to a clerestory (minimum 5’ high from finished floor) or translucent window or that the window is deleted from the proposal to mitigate potential privacy infringement.

Section 10: A Notice of Decision shall be given to the applicant and to all interested parties informing them of the Planning Commission’s decision.

Section 11: Any interested party may appeal this decision or any portion of this decision to the City Council. Pursuant to Section 17.02.040.C.1.j of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, any such appeal must be filed with the City, in writing, and with the appropriate appeal fee, no later than fifteen (15) days following the date of the Planning Commission’s adoption of this resolution.

Section 12: 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 Height Variation (Case No. ZON2002-00038), thereby approving the construction of 1,051 square feet of first and second-story additions to an existing 2,328 square-foot two-story, single-family residence at a proposed height of 23’-2", as measured from the lowest finished grade covered by structure to the top of the highest roof ridgeline, subject to the conditions of approval in Exhibit "A".

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 11th day of June, 2002, by the following vote:

AYES:
NOES:
ABSTENTIONS:
ABSENT:


_____________________
Jon S. Cartwright
Chairman


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


PC RESOLUTION NO. 2002-____

EXHIBIT "A"

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL
HEIGHT VARIATION (CASE NO. ZON2002-00038)

GENERAL

  1. Prior to the submittal of plans into Building and Safety plan check, the applicant and/or 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 approval. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety- (90) days following the date of this approval shall render this approval null and void.
  2. The approval shall become null and void after one (1) year from the date of approval by the Director, unless the approved plans are submitted to the Building and Safety Division to initiate the "building plan check" review process.
  3. The proposed project shall be constructed in substantial compliance with the plans approved and stamped by the Planning Department with the effective date of this approval.
  4. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved plans or any of the conditions if such modifications achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with said plans and conditions.
  5. In the event that a Planning requirement and a Building & Safety requirement are in conflict with one another, the stricter standard shall apply.
  6. The hours of construction shall be limited to 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. No construction shall be permitted on Sundays or on legal holidays.
  7. The construction site and neighboring public and private properties shall be kept free of all loose materials resembling trash and debris in excess of that material used for immediate construction purposes. Such excess material may include, but is not limited to: the accumulation of debris, garbage, lumber, scrap metal, concrete, asphalt, piles of earth, salvage materials, abandoned or discarded furniture, appliances or other household fixtures.
  8. The proposed residential additions shall not exceed 1,051 square feet, unless otherwise approved by the City, and shall be in substantial conformance with the approved plans as reviewed by the Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement.
  9. The second-story master bedroom window along the east elevation shall be limited to a clerestory (minimum 5’ high from finished floor) or translucent window or shall be deleted from the proposal to prevent infringement of privacy on the neighboring property.
  10. The project shall substantially conform to the plans stamped approved with the effective date of this approval.
  11. Any fencing, walls and hedges within the front yard shall not exceed 42" in height, as measured from adjacent grade.
  12. The applicant shall obtain all applicable permits required by the Building and Safety Division prior to commencing work.
  13. All applicable soils/geotechnical reports required by the Building and Safety Division shall be obtained by the applicant and approved by the City's geologist prior to building permit issuance.
  14. No grading is permitted under this approval.

  15. HEIGHT VARIATION

  16. The proposed addition shall continue the existing roof pitch and match the adjacent roof in design, color, and materials.
  17. The addition shall not exceed 23’-2" in height from lowest finished grade covered by structure as shown on the approved plans (HEIGHT CERTIFICATION SHALL BE REQUIRED PRIOR TO FRAMING INSPECTION SIGN-OFF).

  18. The maximum lot coverage permitted for the subject property based on its RS-4 zoning designation is 50% (proposed 30.7%).
  19. The following minimum setbacks shall be maintained for the proposed addition:

    Front Yard: --- 20' minimum (proposed: 25’-7")
    Side Yard: --- 5’ minimum (proposed: 5’)
    Rear Yard: --- 15' minimum (proposed: 62’-4")
    Hillside (top of slope): --- 5’ minimum (proposed: 13’-9")


NEW BUSINESS: (NO ITEMS)



ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS:

Staff



9. PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF JUNE 25, 2002.

PLANNING COMMISSION
PRE-AGENDA
TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2002


CONSENT CALENDAR:


1. MINUTES OF JUNE 11, 2002


CONTINUED BUSINESS: (NO ITEMS)


2. APPEAL OF FENCE, WALL AND HEDGE PERMIT (CASE NO. ZON2001-00122): 32451 Searaven Drive / Foster (BY)

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


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.

Date prepared: Thursday, June 6, 2002

Commission


ADJOURNMENT:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
June 25, 2002, 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park.