05/22/2001 Planning Commission Minutes 05/22/2001, 2001, May, Planning, Commission, Minutes, Meeting, Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He explained the three components of the amendment and stated that staff had assessed each amendment and had concluded that these amendments can be made to the conditions of approval. He stated that staff believed that allowing short walls in the front yard would add flexibility and accentuation to the properties. He explained that the developer had built these houses at close to maximum lot coverage, which does not allow the residents the ability to construct accessory structures such as covered patios, trellises and gazebos. Therefore, staff suggested making an allowance for these types of structures that could personalize many of the homes. Lastly, Mr. Schonborn explained the issue of fountains. He explained that the Development Code does not allow for any fountains in the front yard. However since Seabreeze Community is a residential planned development, the RPD designation does allow for deviations from the Development Code The 05/22/2001 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, PLANNING COMMISSION,, REGULAR MEETING MAY 22, 2001

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MAY 22, 2001

CALL TO ORDER

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

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Vannorsdall led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL

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

Absent: Chairman Lyon was absent (excused).

Also present were Deputy Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Snow, Director of Public Works Dean Allison, Acting Principal Planner Pfost, Associate Planner

Schonborn, City Geologist James Lancaster, and Recording Secretary Peterson.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Commissioner Vannorsdall moved to hear items in the order of 1, 3, 4, 5, 2. Approved without objection.

COMMUNICATIONS

Deputy Director Snow reported that at the City Council meeting of April 21 the City Council had discussed a need for an update to the General Plan, Coastal Specific Plan and Trails Plan. He stated that this may be discussed at the budget meeting of May 23, 2001.

Deputy Director Snow distributed 3 items of late correspondence regarding Agenda Item No. 2, one item of late correspondence regarding Agenda tem No. 4 and one item of late correspondence regarding Agenda Item No. 5. He also reported that there was one item of late correspondence regarding Agenda Item No. 2 that was received after the noon Monday deadline

Director Allison presented a report on the storm drains in the City. He discussed the existing storm drains and the need to replace many of the aging storm drains throughout the city and the costs associated with these projects.

CONSENT CALENDAR

  1. Minutes of May 8, 2001

Commissioner Paulson referred to page 15 of the minutes and asked staff to listen to the tape and elaborate on the discussion that took place between the commissioners and staff regarding the number of low cost housing units required by the City Council.

Commissioner Cartwright noted a typo on page 5 of the minutes.

There being no objection, the minutes were approved as amended, (6-0).

PUBLIC HEARINGS

  1. Conditional Use Permit No. 151 – Revision ‘H’: Mr. Dave Wang and Seabreeze Palos Verdes Maintenance Corporation (applicant), Tract 46651 (Seabreeze) – Sailview and Seabreeze Avenues.
  2. Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He explained the three components of the amendment and stated that staff had assessed each amendment and had concluded that these amendments can be made to the conditions of approval. He stated that staff believed that allowing short walls in the front yard would add flexibility and accentuation to the properties. He explained that the developer had built these houses at close to maximum lot coverage, which does not allow the residents the ability to construct accessory structures such as covered patios, trellises and gazebos. Therefore, staff suggested making an allowance for these types of structures that could personalize many of the homes. Lastly, Mr. Schonborn explained the issue of fountains. He explained that the Development Code does not allow for any fountains in the front yard. However since Seabreeze Community is a residential planned development, the RPD designation does allow for deviations from the Development Code and stated that fountains are no more intensive than walls or fencing within the front yard setback. He stated that staff has identified three properties in the development that currently have fountains in the front yard that are greater than 42 inches in height. Therefore, staff was recommending approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 151, Revision ‘H’.

    Commissioner Cartwright asked if the modification proposed for short walls in the front yard area was consistent with the Development Code.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that the Development Code allows for walls up to 42 inches in height. In working with the community association, it was determined that 42 inches was too high and that 30 inches was adequate.

    Commissioner Mueller asked what the front setback area was for this community.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that it is consistent with Development Code, which is 20 feet.

    Commissioner Mueller asked why there were 3 properties that currently had fountains in the front yard if that was not allowed by the Development Code.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that landscaping plans submitted to the City and approved by the Staff for these three properties included fountains.

    Commissioner Mueller asked why staff felt fountains were needed in the front yards in this community.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that because the Seabreeze Community is within a Residential Planned Development, the Code does allow for RPD’s to deviate from the strict compliance of the code by virtue of incorporation of conditions of approval. Staff identified a fountain to be another mechanism to allow personalization of the tract houses that would be no more obtrusive than walls or fences.

    Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if pilasters would have restrictions regarding lighting.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that per the Development Code the lighting is not allowed to directly illuminate the street or other properties.

    Commissioner Cartwright asked if the modifications to lot coverage would still be more restrictive than the Development Code.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that the modifications would be somewhat more flexible than the Development Code. He stated that it depended on which lot was being discussed, as there are different lot coverage requirements depending on whether the lot is constructed with a two-story house, a split-level home or a one-story house.

    Vice Chairman Clark asked if there had been similar circumstances, after-the-fact, on planned residential comminutes, where the City has been too restrictive in conditions and the association has come back to the City to ask for modifications.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that there have been similar circumstances at other tracts.

    Vice Chairman Clark opened the public hearing.

    Jo-Anne Waller 21 Sailview Avenue stated she was president of the Seabreeze Palos Verdes Maintenance Corporation. She discussed the existing fountains and stated they were appropriate for the front yards and not too large. She discussed lights on pilasters and stated that most lights are installed in block glass and are not too bright. She discussed lot coverage and stated that the lot coverage does not take into account the useable flat area of the lot, but rather the entire lot area which included unusable slopes. She felt that for homeowners to protect their privacy and add shade to their yards it would be desirable to add patio covers. She stated that the architectural committee would reserve their right to use their judgement.

    Commissioner Cartwright asked if there was a Homeowners Association in the community.

    Ms. Waller responded that the Seabreeze PV Maintenance Corporation was the Homeowners Association.

    Shu Kumata 7 Sailview Avenue stated he desired a patio cover in his backyard and the request had been denied by the City because of lot coverage. He stated all he wanted to do was cover an existing, approved patio with a trellis. He stated that a neighbor was allowed to add a room to his home because he could add the large slope on his property into the calculation for lot size. He did not feel this was an equitable situation.

    Tom Alley 6304 Sattes Drive distributed pictures to the Planning Commission. He stated the area needs less structures and more landscaping. He described one picture which showed a small building in the front yard and hoped that approval of the request would not allow more buildings such as this to be constructed. Mr. Alley felt that additional lot coverage should be allowed, provided it is restricted to patio covers.

    Vice Chairman Clark asked staff if the types of structures described in the staff report that were to be allowed with additional lot coverage were the typical structures described for ancillary structures that the City looks at in this type of context.

    Associate Planner Schonborn stated that was correct.

    Commissioner Long asked if Mr. Alley’s primary concerns were related to what was being built in the front yards.

    Mr. Alley responded that it was primarily the front yard, however the back yard next to him was very visible. He stated that any structure built would take away from possible landscaping and softening of the structures.

    Commissioner Long noted that a few houses had some type of structure built in the front yard and asked what that was.

    Ms. Waller answered that the two structures were built by the developer and consisted of a room with a bathroom and a closet.

    Deputy Director Snow clarified that there were two lots approved with the odd accessory structure design. To build that design on any additional lot would require a tract amendment.

    Vice Chairman Clark closed the public hearing.

    Commissioner Vannorsdall moved to approve Conditional Use Permit No. 151 – Revision "H" as presented by staff, thereby adopting P.C. Resolution No. 2001-11, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright.

    Commissioner Mueller was concerned about the fountains and requested the motion be amended. He did not feel a blanket approval of fountains was necessary for the tract, especially with the shortage of electricity and possibly water. He proposed amending the motion to exclude fountains.

    Vice Chairman Clark stated that the proposed changes to the Conditional Use Permit would provide the potential for accessory structures, however the Homeowners Association would evaluate the changes on a case by case basis based upon the plans presented, and approve such changes accordingly.

    Commissioner Paulson stated that the Development Code does not allow fountains in the front yard setback.

    Vice Chairman Clark stated that planned residential developments are somewhat a unique case within the city and have specified conditions that are tailored to meet their needs under a Conditional Use Permit. He noted that these conditions can be variant from the Development Code. He felt that this request could be viewed by the Planning Commission on it’s own merits.

    Commissioner Paulson asked staff if the applicant asked for fountains to be included in the request.

    Associate Planner Schonborn stated that the original request did not include fountains specifically. He stated that fountains were brought up by staff in conjunction with the HOA.

    Commissioner Cartwright stated it was not uncommon to see fountains in front yards. He asked if this request was specifically for fountains in the front yard setbacks, and what size front yards were common in this area.

    Associate Planner Schonborn answered that the request was for fountains in the front yard setback. He stated that the front yards in this tract were typically 20 feet.

    Commissioner Vannorsdall supported and accepted the amendment to exclude fountains from the ancillary structures permissible in the front yard setback.

    Commissioner Cartwright felt fountains were a reasonable request and withdrew his second.

    Commissioner Long seconded the motion.

    Commissioner Paulson asked if the three fountains currently existing in the front yard setback would be grandfathered in and allowed to stay if the Planning Commission approved the motion to not allow fountains in the front yard setback.

    Associate Planner Schonborn stated that was correct, the existing fountains would be allowed to remain.

    Vice Chairman Clark felt fountains in the appropriate place may be acceptable and felt the Homeowners Association could adequately deal with the requests.

    Commissioner Vanorsdall repeated his motion to approve Conditional Use Permit No. 151 Revision ‘H’ as amended to exclude the approval of fountains in the front yard setback, seconded by Commissioner Long. Approved, (4-2) with Commissioner Cartwright and Vice Chairman Clark dissenting.

    RECESS AND RECONVENE

    At 8:30 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess to 8:40 p.m. at which time they reconvened.

    PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT.)

  3. Conditional Use Permit No. 222: Kathleen Hill representing Sprint PCS (applicant), Mr. James Ishibashi (owner) 5521 Palos Verdes Drive South
  4. Commissioner Long stated that his law firm does work on antenna locations for a number of companies, and though he was not personally involved in the work he could not confirm that this particular company was or was not a current client and therefore he felt he should recuse himself from hearing this application.

    Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He described the location of the property and gave a brief description of the proposal. He stated that staff was able to make all necessary findings for the Conditional Use Permit and the proposal was consistent with the purpose and intent of the commercial antenna section as well as the Wireless Communications Antenna Guidelines. Therefore, staff was recommending approval of the project.

    Commissioner Cartwright asked if the applicant had submitted an updated master plan showing not only this request, but other requests that may be before the City in the near future.

    Associate Planner Schonborn stated that was correct.

    Vice Chairman Clark opened the public hearing.

    Kathleen Hill (representing Spring PCS) 311 17th Street Seal Beach stated she agreed with the staff report and was available for questions.

    Commissioner Paulson asked Ms. Hill if she was aware of the letter submitted relative to the use of Portuguese Bend property.

    Ms. Hill stated that she was aware of the letter and was working with the Portuguese Bend Association to answer their concerns. She stated that this site was not within their community, however future sites will be. She stated that this project was completely outside of the community and access would be gained from Palos Verdes Drive South.

    Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if this site was going to be developed even if the other applications were not approved.

    Ms. Hill answered that this site was independent from the other applications and would be developed if the Planning Commission approved it.

    Commissioner Mueller referenced the master plan and asked if the previously approved Sprint site off of Hawthorne Blvd had been completed.

    Ms. Hill stated it was currently under construction and would be completed in the near future.

    Vice Chairman Clark closed the public hearing.

    Commissioner Vannorsdall moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-12 thereby conditionally approving Conditional Use Permit No. 222 as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Paulson. Approved, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Long abstaining.

  5. Conditional Use Permit No. 219: Kathleen Hill representing Spring PCS (applicant), Mr. Thomas Ewald (applicant) 32315 Forrestal Drive.

Commissioner Long recused himself from this item for the reason stated in Agenda Item No. 4.

Commissioner Mueller stated his home was located within 2500 feet of the application, but did not see a conflict and felt he could participate in the hearing.

Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He explained the facility was located on an existing utility power pole and described the proposed project. He stated that a view assessment was conducted and the proposed panels would not result in any significant view impairment from the properties within the area. Staff found all applicable findings for the proposed Conditional Use Permit could be made and recommended approval of the application.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if staff had reviewed the letter written by the Changs. He asked for staff’s response to their allegation that this project would be a significant view impairment.

Associate Planner Schonborn stated that staff had determined that the upper-most portion of the existing lines do traverse across the view corridor, however the proposed antenna will be located just above the halfway mark on the existing power pole. Staff felt the line of site did not encroach into any view.

Commissioner Cartwright asked about the choice of poles, and the Chang's comment that a power pole further up on Forrestal Drive could have been used.

Associate Planner Schonborn stated that the applicant would have to answer that question.

Vice Chairman Clark opened the public hearing.

Kathleen Hill (representing Sprint PCS) addressed Commissioner Cartwright’s question regarding the use of the proposed power pole. She referred to the pictures in the staff report and noted the large number of trees surrounding the power pole which provide mitigation to the proposed antenna. In regards to using a power pole further up the street, she explained that this site was chosen for optimum coverage.

Vice Chairman Clark closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-13, thereby conditionally approving Conditional Use Permit No. 219 as presented by staff. Approved, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Long abstaining.

CONTINUED BUSINESS

  1. General Plan Amendment NO. 27, Zone Change No. 30, Conditional Use Permit No. 210, Grading Permit No. 2163 for the proposed Indian Ridgecrest Gardens Senior Housing Project: Northwest Corner of Crestridge Road and Crenshaw Boulevard.

Acting Principal Planner Pfost presented the staff report. He reviewed the recommendations made by the Commission at the last meeting. He reviewed the geologic attachments to the staff report and stated that staff has invited the City Geologist, Jim Lancaster, and the developer’s geologist to this meeting. Staff asked the developer’s geologist to give a presentation to the Commission, focusing on five specific points noted in the staff report. He stated that an updated traffic count had been performed on Crestridge Road and Crenshaw Blvd., as requested by the Traffic Committee. He noted that a summary of the traffic counts would be presented to the Traffic Committee at their next meeting on May 31.

Commissioner Vannorsdall noted he distributed a memo that he had sent to the Traffic Committee asking questions that he would like the Traffic Committee to review at their next meeting.

Vice Chairman Clark asked the Commission if they felt a need to discuss or sanction the questions from Commissioner Vannorsdall that were being forwarded to the Traffic Committee.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if the questions were being submitted as a private citizen or as a member of the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Vannorsdall felt that as a member of the Planning Commission he had the right to ask specific questions of the Traffic Committee.

Vice Chairman Clark asked the Commission if they had any objections to these questions being forwarded to the Traffic Committee.

Commissioner Long felt that any questions a fellow Commissioner has that he wants to address should be forwarded to the Traffic Committee.

Commissioner Cartwright felt that questions going to the Traffic Committee that were forwarded by the Planning Commission should be reviewed and voted on by the Commission.

Commissioner Vannorsdall noted that the memorandum stated it was from himself.

Vice Chairman Clark opened the public hearing.

Ben Lingo (representing the applicant) 100 W. Broadway, Suite 1250 stated he was available to answer any questions from the Commission or the public.

Ted Wolfe 1065 Progress Way, Cypress, stated he was a certified engineering geologist as well as a Certified Engineering Geologist representing Pacific Soils Engineering. He discussed the site and the geologic setting of the site. He noted that the site in general has approximately 10 feet of artificial fill placed on it and the entire site is underlain by bedrock. He discussed geologic structure of the site, which is considered the general slope stability of the site. He discussed the geotechnical issues and the stability of the site as a whole. Mr. Wolfe showed a plan of the site and noted that he had plotted all of the subsurface investigation work done over the years. He stated that the northerly-facing slope was the least stable area on the property. He noted that there was evidence of a past landslide and instability on this slope. He discussed the factor of safety and explained that the standard was a 1.5 factor of safety. He explained that geotechnical cross sections had been formed on the parcel and used to develop a two-dimensional view of the site. Stability analyses were then run on these cross sections to determine the factor of safety in order to define the setback line. He showed this setback line on the map and pointed out that areas to the north of the line would have a factor of safety of less than 1.5. He noted that anything to the south of the line would have a factor of safety of greater than 1.5, and could be classified as a developable area from a geotechnical stability standpoint.

Mr. Wolfe discussed the Open Space Hazard Zone established by the city. He defined the zone on the map. He explained the Open Space Hazard Zone and noted that it encompasses the entire unstable slope discussed earlier, which he felt made sense. He noted that the Open Space Hazard Zone also encompasses an area on the site which is fairly flat and goes past what his firm had determined as the geologic setback line. He explained the criteria for the Open Space Hazard Zone was based on fairly large-scale topographic maps. He stated that classifying areas that way would produce broad areas that could later be defined during specific site studies. He explained that when specific site investigations are done, these Open Space Hazard Zones can then be refined with more specific data. He stated that the reason the Open Space Hazard Zone differs from the proposed setback line was a matter of definition. He noted that Pacific Soils has done studies and received much more information than the original agency and he submitted that his setback line meets the standard of practice for stability of sites for projects that are to be developed.

Mr. Wolfe discussed the off-site landslide to the north of the property which occurred in 1997. He stated that after much research he felt the cause of that landslide could be attributed more to construction practices than to the geologic setting. He did not think the causes of that failure would be present on the subject site. He also stated that the site had an underlying graben as opposed to bedrock which is at the proposed construction site.

Mr. Wolfe displayed a grading plan for the site. He discussed the proposed retaining walls, which he referred to as gravity walls. He explained they were not block retaining walls or crib walls, but rather a type of wall that allows one to maintain stability of the slope by using the weight of the soils and the fabric that is connected to the face of the wall that goes back into the soil. He stated it was a very stable system and allows for a fairly aesthetic look, as the walls could be planted.

Mr. Wolfe stated that Pacific Soils had done a feasibility study and in that study had given general geotechnical recommendations for the development of the site with the grading. He stated that in his estimation, the site development was feasible and will be stable as graded. However, in order to grade the site certain geotechnical recommendations must be followed. He explained that the next step for him was to do a grading plan review and specifically present mitigation measures and recommendations on how the site should be graded. He would also give recommendations on retaining wall design as well as foundation design for the building.

Commissioner Paulson asked about the crib walls proposed.

James Lancaster (City geologist) answered that the developer was proposing MSE walls and described the difference between a crib wall and an MSE wall. He stated that he would likely not approve a crib wall at this location. He noted that an MSE wall was what was referred to as a gravity wall by Mr. Wolfe. He also noted that MSE walls do occasionally fail, usually due to poor construction techniques. He estimated that 1 in approximately 400 MSE walls might fail versus 1 in approximately 2,000 retaining walls that might fail, again usually due to poor construction.

Commissioner Cartwright asked about the open space hazard area. He asked what caused this area to be designated as an open space hazard area.

Mr. Wolfe answered that it was most likely the extreme slope that triggered the open space hazard designation.

Commissioner Cartwright asked Mr. Wolfe to explain why the Commission should feel comfortable in moving this Open Space Hazard line.

Mr. Wolfe explained that the line was set up on very gross measures using large-scale topographic features. He explained that Pacific Soils had done a fairly extensive subsurface investigation to quantify the stability of the steeper slope on the north side of the project. He stated that in quantifying that they had done a stability analysis to identify the factors of safety.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked why the northern portion of the slope area was more unstable than the southern portion.

Mr. Wolfe answered that it was a factor of the height and steepness of the slope. He stated that the southern portion was approximately 30 to 40 feet in height while the northern portion was 100 or more feet in height.

Commissioner Paulson discussed the area directly above the existing day care facility. He stated that the Fire Department was requiring a walkway in the area. He asked how that walkway would affect the slope.

Mr. Wolfe did not think it was an issue. He stated that the slopes designed were 2:1, which is a standard slope ratio. He stated the walkway would be a terrace, or flat bench within that slope. He stated it was a matter of grading design.

Commissioner Long asked Mr. Wolfe asked about the gross stability of the lot.

Vice Chairman Clark asked why there was a turn in the setback line from the 1.5 stability.

Mr. Wolfe displayed a map and showed that at the point of the turn the slope was not as steep or high.

Vice Chairman Clark asked if Pacific Soils provided any guarantees that the site was stable based on their research and data.

Mr. Wolfe answered that his firm acted as consultants and gives recommendations as to geotechnical conditions. He stated they do not provide guarantees.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if all of the revisions and changes done to the project have in any way affected the overall stability analysis.

Mr. Wolfe answered that the existing grade at the site was not changing too much. He noted that the shifting of the buildings does not change the overall site stability. He stated that once the design is determined Pacific Soils will do a final analysis for the City’s consultant to review.

Commissioner Long asked Mr. Wolf if there was any work that he or his firm recommended that the client did not authorize them to do.

Mr. Wolfe answered that there was not.

Mark Spykrerman 43218 Business Park Drive Suite 201, Temecula stated he was a Registered Geologist, Engineering Geologist, and Hydro Geologist. He stated he was retained to provide a third party review of select documents to see if there were any fatal flaws. He stated that it was his opinion that the consultant and the city geologist have done a good job to date for this level of study, which was the feasibility study. He did not see any pressing fatal flaws that say that the area cannot be developed. However, as recommended by the city geologist, there needed to be a detailed plan review that would include additional site-specific exploration at the cut and fill areas. He stated that the applicant was proposing buttress fills and mechanical stabilized earth slopes which require fairly intense geotechnical engineering analysis to determine their size. He stated other issues could include mounting ground water, seepage issues, a recorded bentonite layer and what that has to do with the proposed slope, where does it daylight, and does it impact potential basement areas. He felt there were many constraints, which he felt could be engineered for.

Vice Chairman Clark asked Mr. Spykerman if there were any obvious reasons that this project could not be built from a geologic standpoint.

Mr. Spykerman answered that he did not see anything from a geologic standpoint that would prohibit building on the site.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if there was anything the Commission should worry about from a geotechnical standpoint.

Mr. Spykerman stated that the Commission should rely on the staff, as he felt they were doing a thorough job.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if the bentonite layer was a genuine concern.

Mr. Spykerman stated that he felt that the bentonite layer needed to address in more detail.

Vice Chairman Clark asked if it would be appropriate to invite Mr. Spykerman to the grading plan review.

Deputy Director Snow stated that was not the normal course for grading plan reviews, however any public document can be reviewed by the public.

Vice Chairman Clark asked Mr. Snow to ask the Director and the City Manager if they felt it was appropriate for Mr. Spykerman to attend the grading plan review if he requested.

Glenn Arbuthnot 28856 Crestridge Road wondered where the water on the property was. He felt there had to be a good deal of water on the property somewhere. Mr. Arbuthnot proposed an alternate plan for the site. He discussed the Peninsula Senior’s proposal which was a single story plan with proposed parking that would be shared with the Art Center. He also noted that a park for the public would be included in the proposal. He felt this proposal would not impact traffic in any way.

Bill Brandlin 5201 Middlecrest Road discussed the size of the proposed project. He did not think reducing the size of the project was acceptable. He preferred to see the property used as a senior center.

Ross Anderson 28870 Crestridge Road discussed risk management. He stated that a good manager will look at all aspects of a project, draw on the best technical advice available, and look at the cumulative risks of the total project. He felt there were many unnecessary risks associated with this project. It was his view that when one looks at the many risks as well as the many other aspects of the project that require the bending of rules, zoning, traffic issues, and geology make this project a very undesirable issue.

Chuck Taylor 5441 Middlecrest Road stated that the development of this project was proposed on a location with a beautiful view. He noted that the EIR indicated that the nearest family dwelling was 500 feet south of the project. He stated his home was less than 200 feet from the project. He felt the project was incompatible with the area and should not be approved.

Robin Rahn 28846 Crestridge Road referred to statements made by Mr. Wolfe that should create a little doubt in terms of the project. He felt statements such as "probably not going to be a problem" and "I don’t think that will be a factor" should be questioned. He stated that retaining walls were discussed but there was no mention of how high they would be. He discussed the MSE walls and noted that the City Geologist stated that these type of walls do occasionally fail. He noted that, as Mr. Wolfe had said, there is no guarantee with this project. He felt that all of these things must be considered by the Planning Commission when considering a project of such magnitude.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked Mr. Wolfe if any expansive soils had been found on the site.

Mr. Wolfe answered that the altimira shale was expansive, but expansive soil is accounted for when building on a site.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if the building would have to be built on caissons or conventional footings.

Mr. Wolfe responded that the underlying material and the final grading conditions would determine what type of foundation would be used.

Vice Chairman Clark closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Long was concerned with the possibility that midway through the project it may be found that the cost may dramatically increase and asked if there was a mechanism that could guarantee that the City won’t be left with an approved project where part of the project has been started but the construction not finished.

Vice Chairman Clark felt that was an appropriate topic to bring up at the next meeting.

Vice Chairman Clark asked Mr. Lancaster what the timing was for the grading plan review.

Mr. Lancaster explained that Mr. Wolfe will analyze the plans and provide a full and complete plan to the City for his review. He could not answer how long it would take Mr. Wolfe to do his review and report. Mr. Lancaster stated that once he received the report his review would take approximately two weeks. He added that once documents are submitted to him they are not considered public documents until he has completed his review.

With that information, Vice Chairman Clark informed staff that his previous question regarding the inclusion of Mr. Spykerman in the meeting process was withdrawn.

Mr. Anderson asked when the Final EIR would be available to the public.

Acting Principal Planner Pfost answered that the Environmental Consultant was in the process of responding to the comments from the public and Commission. He felt the document would be ready some time in June.

ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

None

 

ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Lyon adjourned the meeting at 10:50 p.m.