CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lyon at 7:04 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Fox, Assistant Planner Yu, City Attorney Lynch, and Recording Secretary Peterson.
Chairman Lyon recognized and congratulated Commissioner Paulson on his election to the Library Board and Vice Chairman Clark on his election to the City Council.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Lyon suggested approving the agenda as presented, however to be flexible with the order as the Commission would be going into a closed session with the City Attorney and the room would not be available until 7:30. The Commission unanimously agreed.
Director/Secretary Rojas reported that the City Council had, at their November 7 meeting, agreed to put the Long Point project on hold until May 7, 2002 as requested by the applicant.
Director/Secretary Rojas distributed one item of correspondence relating to Agenda Item No. 3.
Commissioner Paulson stated that his last meeting with the Planning Commission would be on December 11, 2001.
Commissioner Mueller reported that he had forwarded e-mail he had received to city staff.
Chairman Lyon stated he had received e-mail from Mr. Clarkson that he had forwarded to city staff.
1. Minutes of October 9, 2001.
Commissioner Long noted a clarification on page 16 of the minutes. He also noted typos and clarifications on page 17 and 21 of the minutes.
The Planning Commission approved the minutes as amended, (6-0).
2. Minutes of October 23, 2001.
The minutes were approved as presented, (6-0).
4. Conditional Use Permit No. 226, Grading Permit No. 2296 and Environmental Assessment No. 742: Verizon Wireless Services
Commissioner Long stated that Verizon Wireless was either a current or former client of the law firm he worked for and, as he had done in the past, he would recuse himself from hearing this item.
Director/Secretary Rojas presented a brief staff report. He stated that the applicant has, as directed by the Planning Commission, been speaking with the residents and has investigated a different location that is more acceptable to the residents. The applicant needs to conduct additional studies to make sure they can get the needed coverage. Therefore, staff requests the item be tabled until the applicant is ready and a new notice will be circulated to the interested parties.
Commissioner Vannorsdall moved to table the item until the application is ready to move forward, at which time a new noticed public hearing date will be established, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. Approved, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Long abstaining.
6. Grading Permit No. 2277 Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Blessum, 20 Martingale Dr.
Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She explained that the application had been revised to consist of less than 1,000 cubic yards of grading, which no longer requires Planning Commission approval. Therefore, staff was recommending the Planning Commission remand the application to the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement for review.
Commissioner Vannorsdall moved to approve staff recommendations and remand the application to the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement, seconded by Commissioner Paulson. Approved, (6-0).
5. Height Variation No. 885 – Revision ‘A’ and Variance No. 451 Revision ‘A’: Mr. Mohamad Chahine 5888 Mossbank Drive
Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She stated that he applicant was requesting a revision to the previously approved covered patio by enclosing the covered patio to create habitable space. She stated that the Height Variation application and Variance application were consistent with the findings of the previously approved applications. Therefore, staff was recommending approval of the proposed revisions.
Commissioner Mueller moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-42 thereby approving Height Variation No. 885 Revision ‘A’ and Variance No. 451 Revision ‘A’ as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (6-0).
7. Planning Case No. ZON2001-00073: Mr. and Mrs. Price 3434 Newridge Drive
Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report. He explained that the previous approval contained a condition requiring the applicants to repair damaged portions of the swale and chain link fence between their property and the property at 3417 Starline Drive (Accetta). He stated this condition was added at the request of the Accettas. He explained that since then the Accettas and Prices have obtained restraining orders against one another to prevent access to one another’s property. Further, the Accettas have filed a lawsuit against the Prices to establish rights to a portion of the property that contains the fence and swale. The Prices have since come to the City saying they were unable to fulfill the obligation imposed on them in Condition No. 11. Staff has received a letter from the Accetta’s attorney confirming the Prices could not pass on the property to repair the swale and fence. Therefore, staff determined the Prices could not fulfill the Condition of Approval due to circumstances beyond their control at this time and staff was requesting the Planning Commission consider rescinding the condition. He noted that staff was concerned that rescinding this approval might jeopardize the safety of the Price’s property as well as other properties along the swale. Therefore, staff had required the Prices to have their engineer of record provide a statement to attest to the adequacy of the existing site drainage. He also noted that the city’s geotechnical consultant and building official had inspected the cut of the swale area on numerous occasions and have noted no adverse impacts to the subject or adjacent properties.
Commissioner Long stated he had visited the site and spoken with Mr. Price. He stated that he had asked Mr. Price if and when the litigation is resolved and if the swale is determined to be on his property, would he be willing to repair the swale. He noted that Mr. Price stated that he would then be willing to repair the swale. Therefore, he suggested the condition be amended or modified to state that the Prices need not comply with condition 11 unless or until such time as legal impediments preventing the compliance are removed.
Commissioner Paulson asked staff if they felt there was any heath, safety, or welfare issues or concerns regarding this request.
Senior Planner Fox confirmed that staff had no health, safety, or welfare issues with the request.
Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.
Francine Accetta 3417 Starline Drive stated that the Prices had damaged and undermined her property while constructing their wall. She stated that the Prices had also moved her permanent fencing on her property and relocated it inside the swale. She felt the Prices should be required to post a bond to repair the damage done.
Commissioner Paulson asked if the legal issue was where the property line was and right of ownership.
Mrs. Accetta stated the issue was where the fence would be placed after the slope is repaired. She felt the fence should be replaced in the original position, which was on the eastern side of the swale.
Chairman Lyon asked Mrs. Accetta if she and the Prices agreed on where the property line was located.
Mrs. Accetta stated that she had a survey done and the Prices had a survey done, but she did not know the results of the Price’s survey.
Commissioner Long stated that the Planning Commission could not solve where the property line was located or where the fence should be located. He read condition 11 to Mrs. Accetta and asked her if she was willing to agree to the removal of any impediments, such as restraining orders preventing the Prices from entering her property, for the sole purpose of permitting Mr. Price to enter onto the property to repair the swale.
Mrs. Accetta did not think she could do that since there was a pending lawsuit. She stated that she would want to make certain that anyone who came on her property was licensed and properly insured and she would want to know exactly how the fence and swale were going to be repaired.
Commissioner Cartwright asked Mrs. Accetta where she would like the fence replaced.
Mrs. Accetta responded that if she had her choice the fence would be placed back where it was, which was on the eastern side of the concrete swale. In doing so, the fence would be both on her property and a portion of Mr. Price’s property. She did not feel the fence should be put on the property line, as that would mean the chain link fence would be placed in the middle of a concrete swale.
Commissioner Long explained that the Planning Commission could only amend or remove the existing condition 11, which was written for the Accetta’s benefit. The lawsuit now prevents the Prices from carrying out that condition. He felt that if Mrs. Accetta wanted the swale repaired, she might be well behooved to sit down with the Prices and the attorneys to try to work out a solution to allow the repair to take place. He stated that the Planning Commission could not order the Prices, as a condition, to repair the swale as it would violate the restraining order placed against them.
Mrs. Accetta responded that the Planning Commission could require the Prices to post a bond so that at a later date the Prices can repair the swale.
Andrea Wakita stated she was the architect and contractor for the Prices. She stated that the Prices have had three independent surveys of the property done and all three surveys came out identical. She explained that the surveys showed the original fence to be located almost two feet within the Price’s property. She stated that the swale had damage before construction began and it was further damaged during construction. She noted that Mr. Price has never been opposed to repairing or replacing the damaged swale.
Chairman Lyon felt it was logical for the Prices to install the fence on their side of the swale, placing it entirely on their property. He asked if that course of action would be acceptable to the Prices.
Ms. Wakita explained that the swale crosses over the property line in various sections, making it very difficult to place the wall entirely on the Price’s property. She stated that there would also then be the issue of access to the swale.
Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Paulson moved to adopt Commissioner Long’s suggestion to modify Condition No. 11 to read that the Prices need not repair the swale until such time as the legal impediments preventing them from doing so are removed.
Commissioner Long asked to amend the motion to add an additional sentence to say "Compliance with this condition shall not be required until such time, if any, that all legal impediments are removed and the Accettas grant reasonable access to their property for the purpose of carrying out this condition."
City Attorney Lynch suggested an alternative to Commissioner Long’s suggestion, which would read "This condition shall be satisfied as to any portion of the swale that is located on the applicant’s property and the elimination of any legal impediments to perform the work on the upslope neighbor’s property."
Commissioner Long agreed with City Attorney Lynch’s suggestion but felt that additional wording be added to require that the Accettas grant reasonable access to their property as determined by staff for the purpose of allowing the repair remain.
City Attorney Lynch agreed.
Commissioner Paulson amended his motion to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2001-43 to amend Condition No. 11 by adding the wording "This condition shall be satisfied as to any portion of the swale that is located on the applicant’s property and the elimination of any legal impediment to perform the work on the upslope neighbor’s property and that the Accetta’s grant reasonable access to their property as determined by staff for the purpose of allowing the repair." Seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. Approved, (6-0).
At 8:00 p.m. the Planning Commission adjourned into a closed session until 8:45 p.m.
City Attorney Lynch stated that in the closed session she had reported to the Planning Commission the status of litigation of the two items and no action was taken.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT)
Chairman Lyon felt that item 8 would most likely be a short item and felt it should be heard before item no. 3. The Planning Commission agreed.8. Planning Case No. ZON2001-00105: Arik Abdalian 30025 Cachan Place
Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report. He briefly summarized the past approvals granted for the project and the current request. He stated that the request to increase the height of the retaining wall was necessary to meet building code requirements but does not allow any further expansion of the use of the site. He stated that staff felt it was an appropriate amendment with the inclusion of the revised conditions of approval as suggested by staff. Mr. Fox stated that the City Council had imposed several conditions on the project regarding the use of the lower level, crawl space, and restoration of the rear slope. He explained that staff had advised the applicant on several occasions that he must comply with these conditions and as of this meeting the only condition that staff had verified complete was the second access to the crawl space had been eliminated and the remaining door reduced in height. He stated a required covenant had been submitted that day and the applicant was working on an inspection with Building and Safety to verify the headroom clearance in the crawl space. Mr. Fox stated that staff had added a condition of approval requiring all modifications be complete before final inspection be made. In conclusion, he stated that staff felt the current request was consistent with the Planning Commission’s previous actions and recommended the current amendment be approved with conditions.
Commissioner Mueller asked if there was anything preventing the applicant from coming back to the Planning Commission at a later date and request additional amendments to the project.
Senior Planner Fox stated there was nothing preventing the applicant from doing that.
Commissioner Mueller asked if there was a way to add a condition that would prevent the applicant from requesting further modifications until all previous conditions of approval had been complied with.
Senior Planner Fox stated it was possible, however if a situation occurred during the course of construction where there was an imminent safety issue that needed to be addressed and the project needed to be revised accordingly, the applicant would be in a difficult situation if he could not request a revision.
Commissioner Mueller asked if the requested change to the retaining wall was to accommodate the planter or was it to accommodate the four-foot wide walkway.
Senior Planner Fox stated that it was staff’s understanding that the proposed change was being requested because there was a building code issue that could not be addressed with a three-foot tall wall.
Commissioner Paulson asked if there were a way to approve the request, however condition it so that permits will not be issued until the outstanding conditions on the rest of the project have been complied with.
Director/Secretary Rojas stated that a condition could be added that allows for approval, however a building permit will not be issued until the specific outstanding issues have been completed.
City Attorney Lynch added that another alternative would be to deny the request without prejudice so that the applicant can re-file the request after the items have been completed.
Commissioner Cartwright noted that the applicant was requesting this revision because it was a requirement of the building code.
Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.
Arik Abdalian (applicant) 30825 Marne Drive explained what he had done on the property and that he was in the process of completing the survey of the backyard. He stated he was doing all he could to meet the previous conditions of approval.
Commissioner Paulson asked Mr. Abdalian when he anticipated filing with the City the remedial slope repair plans for the property.
Mr. Abdalian explained that the survey was done but because of the recent rain the slope was muddy and work could not commence.
Commissioner Paulson asked staff if the applicant had submitted any type of repair plan to the City.
Senior Planner Fox stated that staff had asked Mr. Abdalian to provide a survey to show the grade has been restored to the elevation that was on the original plans. The condition requires that the slope be graded in compliance with any requirements that were imposed by the building official. He stated that the building official did not see any need for a formal plan to be submitted.
There being no further speakers, Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Paulson moved to approve Grading Permit No. 1928 Revision ‘C’ as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall.
Commissioner Mueller asked to amend the motion to include a condition that the applicant meets all previous conditions prior to issuance of a permit for the retaining wall. He felt this would allow for the required slope repair before the applicant would be allowed to build the retaining wall.
Commissioner Cartwright stated that this request was to satisfy a requirement from the Building and Safety Department and not something the applicant may have wanted or chosen to do.
Commissioner Paulson did not feel the proposed amendment would really accomplish anything and did not accept the amendment.
The motion passed on a vote of 4-2, with Commissioners Long and Mueller dissenting.
Commissioner Mueller explained the he voted no because he felt that all of the conditions of approval should be met before getting a building permit. Further, he did not think this would be the last time the applicant would be making a request for a revision to his project.
CONTINUED BUSINESS (CONT)
3. Conditional Use Permit No. 230 and Environmental Assessment NO. 744: 26708 Indian Peak Road.
Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report and briefly summarized the history of the project. He stated that the plan submitted to the City depicted only five vertical antenna masts on the roof. However, as of today there were sixteen such support structures on the roof. He stated that staff was able to verify there were unpermitted commercial antenna inside the house. He stated that the Development Code requires the approval of a Conditional Use Permit for all antennas regardless of where they are located on a property. Therefore, the application includes all existing antennas on the property as well as those proposed. He stated there were six required findings to be made with a Conditional Use Permit and staff believes the findings can be made with the imposition of appropriate conditions. He stated that staff has reviewed the application for consistency with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and believes that conditional approval of the application will be consistent with the Act. He noted that staff has received several letters of concern and opposition to the project.
Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.
Larry Miner 29350 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu stated he was representing Don Schmitz & Associates. He explained that the new antenna on the roof were previously existing inside the residence. He stated that the application before the City was to convert the existing amateur antennas to a commercial antenna facility. Therefore, he did not feel the project has changed since it was originally proposed. He stated there was no intent to house antenna inside the building. He asked that the Commission consider modifying pages of the conditions of approval relating to the restriction on the number of antennas on the roof. He felt that limiting the applicant to five antennas on the roof created a hardship and infringes upon his client’s legal right to develop the antenna facility under the Amateur Radio Antenna Ordinance. He felt the proposal before the Commission was permitted by right if used for non-commercial amateur purposes and the request for the Conditional Use Permit would simply allow the applicant to transmit a commercial frequency through the antennas. He stated that because of the nature of the antennas and the need to find a suitable location any prohibition upon modification of the antennas would present another burden upon the applicant and he asked that the condition restricting any further improvements be eliminated. He stated the applicant would be more than willing to paint the antennas to further screen or reduce any visual impacts that are perceived as a result of this project.
Commissioner Long asked if the applicant had any interest in any approval of the application that would require any portion of the antennas to be located inside the home.
Mr. Miner stated the goal of the applicant was to conduct commercial transmission frequencies from the home. He stated that the applicant did not want to have antennas inside the house.
Commissioner Cartwright asked Mr. Miner if he was requesting 20 antennas because they qualify for approval under the Amateur Radio Antenna Guidelines in the Development Code and then he would like those 20 antennas approved for commercial purposes.
Mr. Miner stated that the property owner, under his exemption rights, could have the antenna array at his home as it exists today. He stated that the only thing that had changed since the last Planning Commission hearing was that the elevations had been modified to accurately reflect the property, as it exists today.
Commissioner Cartwright asked if the additional antennas were there to allow the applicant additional amateur broadcasting or were they there as a part of the request for approval of commercial use.
Mr. Miner stated they were they for both reasons. He explained that the applicant was an avid amateur radio buff and his intent was to pursue his hobby. He stated the intent of the applicant was to exercise his right to develop an antenna facility to conform to the requirements of the City’s code, knowing that the facility was permitted by right if used for non-commercial purposes. He stated he was before the Planning Commission so that some, if not all, of the antennas could have the opportunity to convert to commercial frequencies. He stated it was never the applicant’s intent to mislead the Planning Commission and that the original application specified 20 antennas as part of the project.
Commissioner Cartwright asked why the antennas were moved from inside the residence to the roof and why Mr. Kay was already using the antennas for commercial use before receiving approval from the City.
Mr. Miner answered that Mr. Kay had conducted commercial transmission from the property without a Conditional Use Permit, however was no longer doing so. He stated that the antenna that was generating commercial frequencies was inside the residence and in order to keep the primary use as a single-family residence it made sense to put the antenna on the roof.
Chairman Lyon asked if Mr. Kay was presently living at the residence.
Mr. Miner responded that at the present time the residence was undergoing renovation.
Chairman Lyon asked when the last time Mr. Kay occupied the dwelling.
Mr. Miner stated he would have to check with Mr. Kay, but felt it was approximately 1995.
Chairman Lyon asked Mr. Miner if he was suggesting Mr. Kay was exercising his right to conduct his hobby in a house he doesn’t live in.
Mr. Miner stated Mr. Kay intends to re-occupy the property once the renovations are completed.
Commissioner Long asked Mr. Miner if he knew what address appeared on Mr. Kay’s drivers license and where he received his mail and if he knew when the renovations would be completed.
Mr. Miner responded that he did not know what address appeared on Mr. Kay’s drivers license and he received his mail at his office in Van Nuys. He did not know when the renovations would be completed.
Commissioner Long asked if the structure had utilities, other than electricity, hooked up to it.
Mr. Miner did not know.
Commissioner Long asked Mr. Miner if he had ever seen a doorknob on the door of the residence.
Mr. Miner stated that he had not seen a doorknob but knew there was a dead bolt.
Bruce Bartram 407 W Harbor, San Pedro stated he was the attorney representing Mr. Kay. He stated that he had spoken to the contractor at Mr. Kay’s residence and had been informed that the renovations would be complete in approximately 1-½ months. He explained that Mr. Kay could not abide by the condition that every new commercial antenna be placed inside the residence, as he was planning to live in the house.
Commissioner Long asked Mr. Barton if he knew if anyone had ever lived at the residence.
Mr. Bartram answered that Mr. Kay lived at the house, but did not know the length of time. He stated that the current status was that the residence was undergoing renovation with an ancillary use of having an antenna array on top of the roof.
Mr. Miner explained that the antennas on the roof were similar to television antennas on the roof.
Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if there was going to be air conditioning units installed for the antenna support equipment.
Mr. Miner stated that the room constructed does have extra cooling equipment installed.
Commissioner Paulson asked if it was correct that the intent of Mr. Kay was to place 20 antennas on the roof, of which all have the capability to be used for commercial purposes and all interior antennas will be eliminated.
Mr. Miner stated that was correct.
Chairman Lyon referred to a letter from Bruce Barton dated November 8, 2001 stating that a total of 20 radiating elements are proposed to be mounted to an existing roof mounted antenna structure for use as an amateur, non-commercial radio facility. He asked if the antennas were going to be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
Mr. Miner answered that the intent of the letter was to establish a project that would be permitted by right, which is to conduct amateur non-commercial radio transmissions. However, if the Conditional Use Permit were to be granted, the applicant would then use the antennas for commercial purposes.
Don Schmitz 29350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, explained that the 20 radiating elements on the roof as they are today are for strictly amateur ham radio operation. They will not be converted to commercial use without proper entitlement from the City. He stated that the dimensions, heights, location, and length of the 20 radiating elements are exempt under the City code if used for private purposes.
City Attorney Lynch felt it was necessary to define some terms used, as part of the confusion was that on the plans there were a number of large masts. She asked if these were the masts or the radiating elements.
Mr. Schmitz answered that those were the radiating elements, which were the items projecting off of the roof by approximately 8 ½ feet.
City Attorney Lynch asked if the antennas were the four or five projections that were fixed to each of the 20 masts projecting from the roof, and if they were removed from the masts the facility would not function properly.
Mr. Miner answered that the projections in question were the transmit and receive components of the antenna.
City Attorney Lynch asked if these could be mounted on any number of things.
Mr. Miner stated that was correct, but what he had tried to do in designing the project was to conform to the code requirements relating to amateur facilities.
City Attorney Lynch asked how many bedrooms were located at the residence and if any of the bedrooms were located on the first floor of the residence.
Mr. Miner answered that he thought there were four bedrooms and he did not know if there were any bedrooms downstairs.
City Attorney Lynch stated that assuming there were bedrooms downstairs one could continue to locate antennas in the bedroom upstairs, since the antennas need height in order to transmit and receive.
Mr. Miner stated that there would be a loss of signal and degradation of the optimal operation of the facility if the antennas were located inside the structure.
City Attorney Lynch stated that since 1998 Mr. Kay has been broadcasting commercially from the antennas located on the second story of the house behind the glass.
Mr. Miner said that was his understanding.
City Attorney Lynch asked that if Mr. Kay has been able to broadcast commercially from the interior of the property, does Mr. Kay now wish to take the interior antennas outside because he actually wants to move into the property himself.
Mr. Miner answered that Mr. Kay wanted to get the property in a state that will allow residency.
City Attorney Lynch asked if Mr. Kay would be prepared to submit an affidavit that he was going to move into the house, and by when.
Mr. Miner stated he would have to ask Mr. Kay.
Mr. Bartram asked why it made a difference as to when the house would be ready for occupancy and when Mr. Kay would be moving in.
City Attorney Lynch answered that a residential site has been commercialized and now the applicant wanted to put more antennas on the roof in order to make it habitable for occupancy when in fact, nobody has occupied the site since at least 1998. Therefore, she was a little incredulous about Mr. Kay’s true intent.
Commissioner Long agreed that he was looking at an antenna facility, which he felt was a stucco box that contains electronic equipment. He asked if there was any evidence of residential use of the property.
Mr. Schmitz felt the question was not what has occurred in the past, but what will be occurring in the future. He stated that Mr. Kay has articulated to him what he intends to do with the property and if there are conditions that can be crafted that will ease the concerns of staff and the Planning Commission. He stated that he would landscape the property and make it nice for the neighborhood, he would paint the house, and have someone living in the house full time.
Laura Ellison 26827 Fond du Lac Road stated there has been changes to the property since she last addressed the Planning Commission, but what was apparent was that this was a commercial business in a single family neighborhood. She noted that staff had indicated the application was generally consistent with the Wireless Communications Antenna Guidelines. She felt the application was absolutely inconsistent with the guidelines. She stated that the guidelines specify that installations on single-family residences are to be discouraged. She asked the Planning Commission deny the application and not allow it to continue. She was very concerned with a comment from a previous speaker indicating that whatever the Planning Commission may decide, the twenty antennas are to remain on the residence.
Commissioner Mueller asked Ms. Ellison if anyone has ever lived at the applicant’s house since she has lived in the neighborhood or if she had ever seen Mr. Kay at the residence.
Ms. Ellison said there had never been anyone living at the property since she had lived in her home and she did not know what Mr. Kay looked like.
Jeff Jordan 26703 Indian Peak Road stated that since 1998 every two to three days there was equipment being added or changed. He stated that he knows one of the contractors at the applicant’s home and he has been taken on a tour of the inside of the house. He explained that he has observed an addition on the side of the house. He stated that there was 12-inch conduit throughout the addition. He felt this addition was for business purposes. He stated the house was not used as a single-family residence and was a blight to the neighborhood.
Jennifer Jordan 26703 Indian Peak Road stated that they lived in a very nice family community and it was frightening to have a house across the street that nobody lives in. She stated that the house has been vacant for the 3-½ years she has lived in her home.
Larry Helfman 26716 Indian Peak Road stated that there were no neighbors he had spoken to who could remember anyone ever living at the applicant’s property. He stated that the Planning Commission must make a finding as to whether the application would create a significant impact on the neighborhood. He felt there was a significant impact to the neighborhood, as there were workers coming and going constantly and he felt that the property values in the neighborhood would drop drastically. He also stated that the General Plan discouraged industrial and major commercial activities and it was very clear that this application was a major commercial activity.
Don Schmitz felt that granting a Conditional Use Permit to the applicant would provide some measure of control to the City in regards to how the antenna array on top of the house would be managed. He stated that the City could put in conditions of approval limiting the hours and days that maintenance workers can come to the property. He stated again that the array of antennas existing on the top of the house is an array that is exempt if it is for private use. He asked the conditions of approval be modified pursuant to the scope of the application in that any future tweaking of the antennas on the exempt array, as long as it is in the parameters of what is exempt as established by the City, continues to be exempted. He stated that he was very much in opposition to any future commercial antennas inside the house which he felt was consistent with the concerns of the neighbors that this be a residential structure. Finally, the condition which calls for removal of antennas on top of the antenna array beyond the five that staff recommends approval of is completely unacceptable. He stated those remaining antennas are exempt if not used for commercial purposes. He stated that if the City should deny the request to have 20 commercial antennas, it would be the applicant’s right to keep the 20 antennas for private purposes.
Commissioner Long stated that the exempt array was exempt only if the Planning Commission made a finding that the array of antennas was actually used for non-commercial purposes. He asked Mr. Schmitz if he had any personal knowledge of what any of the antennas were used for.
Mr. Schmitz answered the only knowledge was what had been communicated to him from his client. He stated that none of the antennas were being used for commercial purposes today.
Commissioner Long asked if the antennas were currently being used for non-commercial purposes.
Mr. Schmitz answered that Mr. Kay had asserted to him that they are being used for non-commercial purposes.
Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
At 10:35 p.m. the Commission took a short recess to 10:50 p.m. at which time they reconvened.
CONTINUED BUSINESS (CONT)
Chairman Lyon began by stating this application was very difficult for the Planning Commission. He explained that the Planning Commission has an obligation to the residents of the City to uphold the General Plan and to retain the environment that the residents came here for. He felt this application appeared to be a commercial endeavor embedded in a residential neighborhood. He questioned the credibility of many of the statements made during the public hearing. He also questioned whether the antenna as currently described is exempt from the Development Code. He felt there was confusion over the definitions of antenna support structures, masts, and radiating elements.
Commissioner Paulson noted that when the application was originally submitted depicting five antenna masts with four radiating elements on each mast staff determined that it was exempt from CEQA. He asked staff if the current plan was still exempt from CEQA.
City Attorney Lynch felt that the issue of CEQA should be looked at again, as the visual impact that was being created by at least 15 more masts has changed the entire appearance of the project.
Commissioner Cartwright asked staff if the application is for 20 antennas on the roof.
Senior Planner Fox stated that the original plan submitted was for 20 antennas and the plans depicted 5 antenna masts with 4 antenna radiating elements per mast.
Commissioner Cartwright asked if the Development Code allowed for unlimited antennas on a roof to be used for amateur purposes, as long as they don’t exceed 12 feet high and 6 feet in length.
Chairman Lyon stated that one could not put an unlimited number of antennas on a roof. He stated that under the definition of exempt antennas there was a provision that two antennas not exceeding 12 feet in height and 6 feet in length could be placed on a roof. He felt that these two antennas corresponded to two of the masts on the current plan.
City Attorney Lynch stated there was the additional exemption for the television type of antenna. Therefore, one could presumably have the two exempt assemblies plus the two television antennas for a total of four.
Commissioner Cartwright asked if the 16 additional antennas were then considered part of the application.
Senior Planner Fox answered that from staff’s perspective the additional 16 antennas were not part of the application.
Commissioner Cartwright stated that the Code allowed for the approval of commercial antennas in a single-family residence if it does not alter the character of the neighborhood. He felt the Planning Commission would have to determine if this was a single-family residence.
Commissioner Long referred to the draft resolution page 3, section 1. He felt that there should be a section A added that states the Planning Commission finds that this application applies only to five antennas that actually existed and were depicted in photographs in the application and that the other antennas do not fall within an exemption and are not the subject of this application. He also felt the Commission should modify post finding A where it says there is existing foliage which screens the roof mounted antenna. He felt it should say the existing foliage does not adequately screen the roof-mounted antennas from the surrounding residences. However conditioning approval upon removal of all antenna facilities to the interior of the house eliminates any adverse visual impacts.
City Attorney Lynch suggested allowing the two antennas that look like television antennas to remain, as there was an exemption for two of that type of antenna.
Commissioner Long suggested stating that other than those two, the others are not exempt and should be moved inside the structure.
Commissioner Paulson asked if the applicant would have to come to the Planning Commission to request any additional exterior antennas, if the antennas were to be used for amateur purposes.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the condition of approval would say that no additional exterior antennas would be allowed. Therefore, if any additional non-commercial antennas were to be added they would have to added to the interior of the property or make the request for a modification before the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Long suggested changing Section D of the Fact Findings to state that the existent home is not consistent with this designation and use of the existing antenna, support structure and array for non-commercial purposes is not permitted by right as an accessory use.
City Attorney Lynch felt it was important to redefine what exists, as what exists has changed substantially between today and when staff first drafted the Resolution.
Commissioner Long stated that what is existing should be defined and then add the language he suggested. He added a sentence saying that compliance with the conditions set forth herein will render the existing home consistent with this designation. He felt a statement should be added that the property is not currently used as a residence and has not been used as a residence for at least five years. He added that the property in its current condition has altered the residential character of the neighborhood, however compliance with the conditions of approval set forth herein will mitigate these otherwise adverse findings of fact.
Commissioner Long then referred to page 4 of the draft resolution, finding D and suggested deleting the language between "although the conversion" through the end of the sentence.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that to make sure all the changes are incorporated, the Planning Commission should adjourn the meeting to possibly Thursday, November 15, for a short meeting to adopt the final resolution. The Planning Commission decided that Thursday, November 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall would be the best time.
In reviewing Exhibit A, City Attorney Lynch stated that Condition No. 2 should be changed to state some roof mounted and some interior antennas. Also, no additional modifications to the exterior antennas without approval of the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement.
Commissioner Long suggested a condition requiring a 6-month review. The Commission agreed.
City Attorney Lynch noted that Condition No. 18 would have the additional language that the applicant must paint the house within 60 days of the day of the approval, maintain the landscaping at all times, and maintain window coverings on windows facing the street.
Commissioner Long noted that everywhere the Resolution referred to "existing antenna" would have to be modified.
Commissioner Long moved to approve the project as conditioned, subject to the final review of the Draft Resolution and Conditions of Approval to be prepared by the staff and City Attorney and submitted to the Planning Commission at the adjourned meeting, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. The motion was unanimously approved, (6-0).
City Attorney Lynch stated that the adjourned meeting would be held in the Community Room at City Hall on Thursday, November 15 at 6:30 p.m. She stated that the purpose of the meeting was to approve the resolution and any member of the public who had comments regarding the verbiage of the resolution could make their comments at that time.
ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS
Chairman Lyon stated that Vice Chairman Clark had indicated he would like to present a report to the Planning Commission on the status of the neighborhood compatibility sub-committee.
The meeting was
adjourned at 11:46 p.m.