12/11/2001 Planning Commission Minutes 12/11/2001, 2001, December, Planning, Commission, Minutes, Meeting, Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She explained that staff could not make three of the required findings for the height variation to allow the second story addition. She stated that staff felt the proposed second story addition would significantly impair the ocean view from 4343 Dauntless, the proposed design was not compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, and the bulk and mass of the proposed structure was also not compatible with the neighborhood. She stated that the proposed first story addition complies with the development code and could therefore be approved. She concluded by stating that staff recommends the Planning Commission deny, without prejudice, Height Variation 938 and approve Site Plan Review 9209 with conditions The 12/11/2001 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
City of Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission Meeting Minutes December 11, 2001


CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

PLANNING COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

DECEMBER 11, 2001

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lyon at 7:03 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Paulson led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL

Present: Commissioners Cartwright, Long, Mueller, Paulson, Vannorsdall, Chairman Lyon.

Absent: None

Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Fox, Assistant Planner Yu, Assistant Planner Luckert, and Recording Secretary Peterson.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Without objection, the agenda was approved as presented.

COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed one letter regarding a past project to the Planning Commission. He also reported that the Planning Commission e-mail site was now operation and all e-mail sent to pc@rpv.com would go directly to the Commissioner’s private e-mail sites.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that at their last meeting the City Council had heard the tentative tract map request from JCC Homes and continued the item to January 31, 2002. He also reported on the process the City Council would be using to recruit and appoint new Commission Committee members.

Director/Secretary Rojas congratulated Commissioner Paulson on his recent appointment to the Library Board and thanked him for his input and support.

Commissioner Paulson read his letter of resignation from the Planning Commission, which would take affect on December 12, 2001 at 5:00 p.m.

CONSENT CALENDAR

1. Minutes of November 13, 2001

Commissioner Vannorsdall added a word to a sentence on page 11 of the minutes.

Commissioner Cartwright noted a typo on page 9 of the minutes and also felt the last two statements he made on the page might be redundant.

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

2. Minutes of November 15, 2001

Commissioner Long noted a typo on page 4 of the minutes. He also felt that on page 5 there was a comment made by Commissioner Paulson that was not included.

Commissioner Paulson suggested adding a sentence to Commissioner Long’s statement on page 5 that would indicate he had made a previous comment.

There being no objection the minutes were approved as amended, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Cartwright abstaining since he was absent from the meeting.

3. Minutes of November 27, 2001

Commissioner Mueller noted a typo on page 2 of the minutes.

Commissioner Cartwright felt there were comments that he had made regarding item no. 3 that were not included in the minutes, and perhaps should be added. Specifically, he felt on page 3 of the minutes there was a comment that should be added, as well as on pages 4 and 21.

Commissioner Long noted a typo on page 14 of the minutes.

There being no objection, the minutes were approved as amended, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Vannorsdall abstaining since he was absent from the meeting.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

4. Height Variation Permit No. 938: Mr. and Mrs. Jefffrey Younggren 4362 Exultant Drive

Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She explained that staff could not make three of the required findings for the height variation to allow the second story addition. She stated that staff felt the proposed second story addition would significantly impair the ocean view from 4343 Dauntless, the proposed design was not compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, and the bulk and mass of the proposed structure was also not compatible with the neighborhood. She stated that the proposed first story addition complies with the development code and could therefore be approved. She concluded by stating that staff recommends the Planning Commission deny, without prejudice, Height Variation 938 and approve Site Plan Review 9209 with conditions.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Jeff Younggren 4362 Exultant Drive (applicant) asked the Planning Commission to consider his position on the height variation. He distributed photographs and explained that he understood the issues raised by the planning staff and stated that he had letters from all of the surrounding neighbors in support of the project. He stated that this project had the support of the neighborhood and the opposition was from the staff. He pointed out that there was a house up the street on Dauntless, only six houses away, with a configuration almost identical to the one he was proposing on a lot that is substantially smaller. He also pointed out a house four houses down the hill that was 3,400 square feet. He therefore felt that proposed home met the neighborhood compatibility guidelines. He also noted several residences that had either submitted plans or would soon submit plans to the City for additions to their own properties. He felt this was an indication that the neighborhood was in transition. He stated that most of his property was developable property where many of his neighbors had property on hillsides that was not developable. He felt that the proposed home fit very nicely onto his large lot and was compatible with the neighborhood.

Chairman Lyon explained that it was staff’s job to interpret the code as written and make the judgment as to whether the proposed project meets the criteria for approval.

Mr. Younggren understood staff’s job, however he felt that the staff report incorrectly stated the size of many existing homes in the neighborhood.

Commissioner Cartwright agreed that there may be some room for argument in terms of size and scale in regards to neighborhood compatibility. He asked if Mr. Younggren had gone to the home at 4343 Dauntless to see what the view impairment would be to that home.

Mr. Younggren stated that he had gone to the property and looked at the proposed view impairment. He felt that there was a 15 to 20 percent impairment on the view but there were views from other areas of the property.

Commissioner Cartwright asked Mr. Younggren if he would consider any other option in the design of his project that would minimize the view impairment from 43434 Dauntless Drive.

Mr. Younggren answered that the designer tried to be as careful as he could in regards to the neighbor’s views as well as keeping the design compatible with the neighborhood.

Chairman Lyon asked if the structure sizes in Table 2 of the staff report included the garage area.

Assistant Planner Yu answered that the original building permits did not include the garage size in the square footage therefore she added 360 square feet, the area of a code required garage space, to the size of the homes.

Commissioner Long asked if the neighbor at 4343 Dauntless Drive had plans before the City for a second story addition.

Assistant Planner Yu stated that the owner at 4343 Dauntless Drive has submitted plans to the City for a second story addition.

Chairman Lyon asked if the compatibility analysis was limited to the ten closest homes.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the code states the proposal must be compatible with the immediate neighborhood and the guidelines mention the ten closest homes, but it could be more or less. Staff has tried to be consistent over the years by limiting the analysis to the 10 closest homes, unless special circumstances warrant something different.

Gary Lane 500 S. Sepulveda Blvd Manhattan Beach stated he was the designer of the project. He explained that in designing the addition he took into account the views from the neighbors home. He stated that by keeping the garage on the low side and putting the second story addition on that low side, the existing ridgeline was 4 feet lower than the existing second story. He stated that one of his goals was to keep the architectural appearance so that it blends into the neighborhood. He did think he could lower the proposed roofline one to two feet if that would help make the project more compatible with the neighborhood.

--------- explained that he also owns the house at---------. He stated that he just recently met the Younnggrens and has no prior relationship with them and he has no objections to the proposed project. He stated that the view impact on his property on was really just a sliver of his view. He discussed the houses in his neighborhood that had recently had a second story addition to their property and acknowledged that he too would like to add a second story onto his home. He felt that the Younggren’s addition would add to the beauty of the neighborhood and add to property values.

Commissioner Long asked Mr. ------------ if he felt the proposed addition created a significant view impact of the ocean.

Mr. -------------- stated that he would have a panoramic view of the ocean except in areas where there was overgrown foliage. He felt this proposed addition created an impact on only a sliver of his ocean view.

Commissioner Long explained that if this second story addition were approved, it would not mean that the second story addition at---------- would also be approved.

Mr. --------------- understood that.

Commissioner Cartwright disagreed that the view impairment from 4343 Dauntless Drive would be only a sliver of the view.

Mr. ------------- explained that most of the impact would be of the view from the front porch area, an area he rarely stands in to look at the view.

Commissioner Paulson agreed with Commissioner Cartwright, that much more than a sliver of a view would be lost.

Commissioner Cartwright felt it was quite admirable that there was no opposition to this proposal from the neighbors. However, he explained that the Planning Commission was bound by the Development Code and the fact that there is no opposition does not change the fact that there is a view impairment.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Chairman Lyon stated that he had visited the properties and agreed that the view impact could not be considered a sliver. He felt that the obstruction may be about 10 percent of the view, however he felt that whether or not that view impact was significant was in the eyes of the beholder.

Commissioner Paulson stated that he would like to see the issue continued to a date certain, the house flagging redone with the ridgeline reduced by two feet, and the owner and architect consider design options to further minimize the view impacts.

Commissioner Long explained that the Development Code is not just to protect the neighbors but represents the judgment of the City as a whole and is designed to protect the City as a whole. He felt Commissioner Paulson’s idea for a continuance was a good one.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that there are many neighborhoods in transition in the City that present a difficulty to the Planning Commission. He stated that he drove around the neighborhood several times and it was clear that the neighborhood was in transition. He gave several addresses to the staff and asked staff to research the size of those homes.

Commissioner Cartwright also felt the view impact was significant since more than 50 percent of the view would be taken away from the home on Dauntless Drive. He stated he could not make findings 4 and 5, yet he would like to see a neighborhood’s desire to improve itself. He hoped the applicant would be responsive to the proposal to try to lower the ridgeline and look for ways to minimize the view impact from 4343 Dauntless Drive.

Commissioner Mueller expressed concern regarding the homes to the west and below the property. He stated there were a significant number of homes close to the development that he felt should be included when discussing impacts to the surrounding neighborhood.

Chairman Lyon asked staff if they had met with the applicant to discuss different ways to improve the view situation.

Assistant Planner Yu stated that staff had no done that because the applicant did not want to revise the proposed project.

Chairman Lyon asked staff if there was a reasonable probability that an accommodation could be made to the design that would satisfy the concerns discussed.

Assistant Planner Yu felt there could be ways to alleviate some of the view concerns.

Commissioner Long asked if there were any time constraints associated with the Permit Streamlining Act.

Assistant Planner Yu answered that a decision had to be made prior to January 1 or an extension granted by the applicant.

Chairman Lyon re-opened the public hearing.

Mr. Younggren stated that he would be willing to grant an extension. He also stated he would look at some type of redesign that would lower the ridgeline and minimize the view impact from 4343 Dauntless Drive. Regarding the homes to the west and below, he stated he could produce letters of support from those neighbors.

Commissioner Long commended Mr. Younggren for the support he has received from his neighbors, however noted that the Planning Commission still had to make the required findings for the project.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Paulson moved to continue the public hearing to the meeting of January 22, 2002, and direct the applicant to look at a redesign of the project based on lowering the ridgeline, neighborhood compatibility issues, bulk and mass, and privacy and density issues as they relate to the homes on the downslope side, seconded by Commissioner Long. Approved, (6-0).

RECESS AND RECONVENE

At 8:40 p.m. the Commission took a short recess to 8:50 p.m. at which time they reconvened.

PUBLIC HEARINGS (cont.)

5. Variance (Case No. Zon2001-00088): Mr. and Mrs. Chris Tsai (applicant) 10 La Vista Verde.

Assistant Planer Yu presented the staff report. She stated that staff felt that approval of the Variance would be detrimental to the surrounding properties as a solid wall at the street would have a negative impact to the neighborhood. Therefore, staff was recommending denial of the Variance.

Commissioner Vannorsdall asked if the wall was currently under construction.

Assistant Planner Yu answered that Code Enforcement has put a stop work order on the property for work on the wall, which was commenced without approval.

Commissioner Cartwright noted that there were currently several walls on La Vista Verde built in the front yard and asked if these walls had permits.

Assistant Planner Yu stated that she had looked in the address files for the properties and none of the files indicated approvals for the existing walls.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if the side walls were included in this application, as they were six feet high or more.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that any walls over 42 inches in the front yard setback were included in the Variance.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Chris Tsai 10 La Vista Verde stated the house is located on a pad that is approximately 4 to 5 feet lower than the street and when there is a heavy rain the water often floods his driveway and garage. He discussed how narrow the street was and how often there were cars parked on both sides of the street so that he could not drive and park at his own house. He felt that if he took his wrought iron fence down and put a block wall up that would help alleviate some of the problems. When making their decision, he did not think staff took into consideration the fact that his house is a two-story Mediterranean style home and that a six-foot wall would not be out of place on the property. He also wanted to put a gate across his driveway, which he could not do with a 42-inch high wall.

Chairman Lyon asked staff from which side of the wall the height of the wall was measured, the street side of the wall or the property side of the wall.

Assistant Planner Yu answered that the wall could be a maximum 42 inches in height measured from the side with the lower grade.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if wrought iron could be added to the top of the 42-inch wall and how high that wrought iron could be.

Director/Secretary Rojas replied that with the approval of a Minor Exception Permit the applicant may be able to add wrought iron to the top of the wall up to six feet in total height.

Mr. Tsai stated that he was not aware that he could do that.

Commissioner Cartwright asked staff if the Planning Commission denied the request for a Variance, would that restrict the applicant from coming back with a request for a Minor Exception Permit.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that the applicant could request a Minor Exception Permit at any time. He stated that the applicant could build the 42-inch solid wall, by right, and staff would then consider whether a wall with an additional 2-½ feet of wrought iron would meet the 80 percent light and air requirement.

Commissioner Cartwright asked staff if they had made it clear to the owner that they could apply for the Minor Exception Permit rather than the Variance.

Assistant Planner Yu stated that she has been working with the contractor and told him that staff would not be able to support a solid block wall and made him aware of the option of the Minor Exception Permit.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Mueller felt the suggestion to apply for a Minor Exception Permit was a good one and would be a more acceptable solution to the problems at the site.

Commissioner Cartwright agreed that there were no exceptional circumstances relating to the property that would make a finding for a Variance. He stated that granting the Variance would override a 1988 Planning Commission decision to deny a 6-foot tall solid wall in the front yard at 27 La Vista Verde. Therefore, he would support denial of the Variance and encourage the property owner to apply for a Minor Exception Permit.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to support the staff recommendation and deny the Variance request, seconded by Commissioner Mueller. Approved, (6-0).

6.Height Variation No. 930, Grading Permit No. 2279 and Minor Exception Permit No. 596: Ron & Blanca Letvin (applicant) 6528 Nancy Road

Commissioner Long moved to waive the reading of the staff report, seconded by Commissioner Mueller, approved (6-0).

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Alan Klainbaum 6529 Nancy Road felt there was an inaccuracy in the silhouette at the site and requested that the silhouette be reconstructed to match the plans.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Long moved to support staff recommendation to continue and re-notice the item, seconded by Commissioner Mueller. Approved, (6-0).

7. Appeal of use determination (Case No. Zon2001-00120): Alan Boeker, Standard Pacific (applicant/appellant) 5601 Crestridge Road

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report, explaining that Standard Pacific has asked for a use determination for 9.76-acre property on Crestridge Road in order to pursue a possible project for a senior condominium development. He listed the uses pursuant to Section 17.26.030(b) of the Development Code that the property was currently zoned for, and stated that senior condominiums were not listed as permitted or conditionally permitted uses in the zoning district. However, pursuant to subsection n of the code, other uses that the Director deems to be similar to and no more intensive may be permitted with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit. Based on this code section, Standard Pacific asked for a determination on the appropriateness of this use. He stated that the Director issued a determination that senior condominiums are not consistent with institutional zoning district. He explained that the proposal was for an age restricted condominium project that would provide additional special residential services on an as needed or as requested basis. Residents could choose to avail themselves of all, some, or none of the additional special services offered by the developer. As such, it was the Director’s determination that these special services were provided to the residents more for a matter of convenience that as essential life services, which makes this proposal dissimilar from the Canterbury, Palos Verdes Villa, Belmont Village, and the Ridgecrest Gardens. He explained that the condominium development may be less intense in terms density, however could be more intense in terms of traffic and other impacts on surrounding properties than other institutional uses that could be permitted on the site. In making the determination, the Director also considered the opinion of the City Attorney regarding the consistency of senior condominiums within the institutional zoning district as expressed to the developer of the Indian Ridgecrest Gardens project. In conclusion, Mr. Fox explained that staff does not refute Standard Pacific’s position that the proposal might be an attractive, well designed residential project that fulfill the community needs. Staff does not agree, however, with Standard Pacific’s position that this proposal is an institutional use that would be consistent with the current zoning of the property. Staff therefore believes that the Director correctly found Standard Pacific’s proposal is not consistent with the intents and purposes of the Institutional Zoning District and staff recommends the Planning Commission deny the appeal and uphold the Director’s determination.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if the essential difference between a home for the aged and this project was that with condominiums the City was not sure it could guarantee the long term provision of services for the aged.

Senior Planner Fox agreed and added that there were certain inherent differences in what Standard Pacific was proposing to do and what is being provided by the Canterbury or Palos Verdes Villa.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Steve Kaplan 1983 W 190th Street, Torrance stated he was legal counsel for Standard Pacific. He explained that Standard Pacific asked for a use determination because Crestridge Road was a street with institutional usage with a piece of property at the corner that is flux. He felt that it the usage of the project was more institutional than residential, and it would be simpler to get this type of determination from the City rather than having no control of their own fate with respect to the corner piece of property and being subject to the classic and academic criticism that they were trying to spot zone a piece of property. He stated there were five reasons in the staff report for the determination that the project was not consistent with institutional zoning. He felt that their services were completely similar to the uses of homes for the aged. Additionally, he disagreed that traffic would create a more intense use and questioned how staff could determine the use of the property was no more intensive but the traffic would be more intensive. He disagreed with the City Attorney’s opinion on the differences between a for sale product and a rental product. He stated there were no differences in enforcement of conditions in a Conditional Use Permit and the City could hold accountable the owner of the property, whether it be a single owner of an apartment project as there would be a Board of Directors of a condominium association. Mr. Kaplan stated that Standard Pacific has submitted a letter to the City Manager showing its interest in being considered for a proposal to incorporate the corner property into the subject proposed project.

Commissioner Long explained that because the project proposes to provide fewer services, it’s use of the property will therefore be more intensive because people living in it won’t be getting services on site and will have to leave the site to get those services.

Commissioner Cartwright asked why the applicant asked for a use determination rather than addressing the letter from the City Attorney which states the developer is entitled to submit the application, but make sure certain things are addressed.

Mr. Kaplan responded that staff raised an issue more about enforceability of any conditions of approval that might be imposed on the project, and staff interpreted that it would be more difficult for the City to enforce the conditions on a condominium project rather than an apartment type complex, which he completely disagreed with.

Ralph Spargo 15326 Alton Pkwy, Irvine stated he was the general manager of Standard Pacific Communities. He stated that the age of a person has become less and less important as the population becomes more active. He stated that this group is in a transitional stage where they want and need the benefits of home ownership but no longer want the burden of maintenance. He explained that this group was concerned with prolonging the quality of life and are enrolled in programs to enhance their well being. To this end, Standard Pacific would be incorporating some universal design techniques into the design of the project. He explained that the universal design concept was one that creates opportunities for people to age in place such raised outlets, lower switches, and adjustable counter tops. He stated this project was dedicated to provide this lifestyle in an institutional framework in a non-institutional way. He stated the facility will contain extensive health and fitness facilities, a recreation component, food services, and on-going management spaces. He stated there will be provisions for contract facilities for the establishment of a network consisting of medical practitioners, wellness groups, physical therapists, awareness programs, and various other community services groups that provide various essential lifestyle assisted services to the residents. He stated that this will, in conjunction with the existence of a relationship with the adjacent assistant living facilities, assure the residents that their future needs will be met as they transition to their changing life stages. He discussed traffic and pointed out that the residents of this type of facility do not typically travel during the peak hours of traffic.

Commissioner Paulson asked about the food facilities that will be provided.

Mr. Spargo explained that there is typically a kitchen and cooking facilities that can be done on a group basis.

Commissioner Paulson asked what type of health facilities would be provided.

Mr. Spargo answered that facilities would be provided on site for periodic visitation by wellness groups, doctors, etc.

Alan Boeker 1983 W 190th Street, Torrance explained that the services discussed tonight are not part of the typical condominium development and would be mandated in the CC&R’s. He stated that the association board would be in breech of their duties to their membership if they did not maintain the provision and the ability of the residents to enjoy the services through the association. He proposed inserting language in the CC&R’s that say that these paragraphs of the CC&R’s that are mandated essential services to stay in conformance with the zoning not be allowed to be changed without the consent of the City. He stated that there are other senior living facilities that currently have similar CC&R’s that have paragraphs that are untouchable without the consent of the City.

Dan Withee 1983 W 190th Street, Torrance explained that one of the greatest challenges in designing a project for the site is the slope. He displayed a site plan on the site and explained that the ways he tried to resolve the issues of accessibility and active senior living was to design smaller individual buildings. He explained that each individual building has a subterranean garage. He also noted that every building in the project is handicapped assessable and adaptable. He explained that this design eliminated the need for large building pads, which was one of his biggest concerns with the property.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Paulson felt this type of facility was one that was much needed on the peninsula, however he felt the developer was trying to shoe horn the project into an area zoned for institutional use. He did not think this project was an institutional use and the developer was really selling condominiums.

Commissioner Cartwright agreed with Commissioner Paulson’s comments and stated he could not fit this type of project into an institutional zone. He felt this project resembled residential condos with some special services offered as a benefit. He felt the developer should proceed with a zone change application.

Chairman Lyon felt there were two issues before the Planning Commission: whether or not they agreed with the Director’s determination and if the community needed such a facility in the community and would the neighbors support such a development. He felt the Planning Commission needed to be proactive and get some input from the community. He proposed the Planning Commission sponsor a workshop where they invite the residents of the Mesa Palos Verdes, the Ridgecrest community, and other local residents to tell the Commission what they felt about the multitude of possibilities that exist for development of this property. He felt the Planning Commission could provide a great service to the applicant and the City Council if they could rather quickly get some public input on what the residents would support.

Commissioner Vannorsdall agreed with the comments of Commissioners Paulson and Cartwright and supported Chairman Lyon’s suggestion.

Commissioner Long agreed there was a great need for this type of facility. He liked the Chairman’s idea for a workshop and suggested the concept of the workshop should be broadened to find out what are the needs for senior housing on the peninsula, what are the possible uses for this site, and if this site is not a good site to help meet the needs for senior housing what sites or potential sites are good locations. He was not sure he agreed with the director’s decision on the use determination. He felt that what was considered institutional and what was considered residential was on a type of sliding scale and he was not sure he could determine where this project falls on that sliding scale. He felt it was important for residents who object to this type of project to not only object and site provisions of the code, but to also suggest alternatives.

Commissioner Mueller did not think this proposal could be placed in an institutional zone. He felt there were other potential uses for the property and agreed with Commissioner Long’s suggested topics for the workshop. He felt that the property should be used for its intended use until there was a proposal for institutional use or there was a zone change. He stated that he had no problem letting the property sit there. He agreed with staff’s recommendations and felt the developer should submit a request for a zone change for the project.

Commissioner Cartwright felt this was the type of issue the City Council should address and pursue through town hall type meetings. He did not think the Planning Commission was the right body to sponsor this type of workshop and that they were in a position to hold a workshop on something that was not even before them. He felt that after a workshop if it was then determined by the City Council that a zone change was the proper thing to do, the application could then come before the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Long agreed that the City Council might be the proper body to conduct this type of workshop.

Director/Secretary Rojas felt there were two options regarding how to facilitate this type of workshop. He felt the Planning Commission could take action on the use determination before them and along with the action recommend that the City Council conduct a workshop to discuss what uses should be allowed on this piece of property and volunteer to take the lead to host such a workshop. The other option was, if the Planning Commission wanted to have some type of public feedback on what should go on the property before issuing a decision on the use determination, the item could be continued to January 8, 2002, public notices sent out, and a public input received at that meeting.

Chairman Lyon felt the workshop was an appropriate action for the Planning Commission because the Commission should be doing things for the City Council. By the Planning Commission sponsoring a workshop to get public input, the Commission would be doing the City Council a service. The Planning Commission could get the public input needed to be responsive to what the community thinks is in their best interest. He proposed the Planning Commission uphold the Director’s determination on this particular issue, and inform the City Council that the Planning Commission would like to hold a workshop on January 8, 2002. If the City Council would then like to direct the Planning Commission to not hold the workshop or delay the workshop that would then be their decision.

Commissioner Cartwright did not think this was the type of thing the Planning Commission should be sponsoring, but rather the City Council.

Commissioner Long agreed with Commissioner Cartwright that the Planning Commission should recommend that the City Council sponsor a workshop for this purpose. He also felt it would be appropriate to suggest a joint workshop between the City Council and Planning Commission to discuss not only the use of this site but the needs for senior housing in general.

Chairman Lyon suggested the Planning Commission propose a workshop be held between the City Council and Planning Commission.

Commissioner Long suggested the workshop be held not only for this site, but also for the City owned site on the corner, as well as needs for senior housing in the City.

Chairman Lyon re-opened the public hearing.

Steve Kaplan asked if the Planning Commission would consider continuing their request for a use determination until after the workshop process was complete as he preferred not to have a negative vote on what he believed was an excellent project.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted that that at its next meeting, the City Council was scheduled to discuss alternative uses for the City owned property. Given the Commission’s direction this evening, staff could forward the Commission’s suggestions through the staff report.

In support of Chairman Lyon’s proposal, Commissioner Long moved to table the existing application for a use determination and recommend to the City Council to conduct a joint workshop that would address the property on which the use determination has been made at the same time the City Council is addressing the adjoining City property. Further, the Planning Commission would request the workshop address the adjoining corner property and the issue of the needs for and appropriate location of senior housing throughout the peninsula, seconded by Chairman Lyon.

Chairman Lyon re-opened the public hearing.

Steve Kaplan asked, after discussion with his client, that the applicant be allowed to withdraw the use determination request.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Long moved to accept the request to withdraw the use determination request, seconded by Commissioner Mueller.

Commissioner Long asked that the motion reflect that the request was withdrawn rather than tabled.

The motion was approved, (6-0).

8. Variance and Coastal Permit (Case No. Zon2001-00107): Eugene Summers 4174 Maritime Drive

Commissioner Mueller reported that he had received a communication from a member of the homeowners association in that area that they had taken a look at the application, approved it at twelve feet, the height would be compatible with the existing structures, and the drainage would be cleared.

Assistant Planner Luckert presented the staff report. He briefly described the existing condition on the property and the proposed addition. He noted that staff had received a letter from the Portuguese Bend Club architectural review committee approving of and supporting approval of the project. He stated that all required findings could be made for the Variance and the project was consistent with the City’s Coastal Specific Plan and Coastal Act and staff therefore recommended approval of the application subject to conditions.

Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.

Dale Ulman 307 W. 5th Street, San Pedro, stated he was the architect for the project. He noted that the lot size was very small and the current garage did not have the depth of 16 feet and was located below street level. He felt the proposal was consistent with adjacent properties.

Chairman Lyon closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Paulson moved to accept staff recommendations as presented, seconded by Commissioner Mueller. Approved, (6-0).

NEW BUSINESS

9. Selection of members for the Neighborhood Compatibility Committee

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the City Council has been looking at neighborhood compatibility issues and felt it would be beneficial to form a committee made up of two City Council members and two Planning Commissioners to study the issues. The committee will report back to the City Council in approximately three months as to whether there is any need for any major amendments to the Neighborhood Compatibility Ordinance.

Chairman Lyon suggested appointing Commissioner Cartwright and himself to serve as the Planning Commission representatives. He felt he and Commissioner Cartwright had the depth of experience and knowledge of the past that was important to bring to the committee.

Chairman Lyon moved to appoint Commissioner Cartwright and Chairman Lyon to serve on the Neighborhood Compatibility Committee, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright.

Commissioner Long felt it was important for both members of long tenure and members of a shorter tenure to be represented in workshop and joint committee situations, and that should be considered with respect to the nomination.

Commissioner Cartwright agreed with the comments made by Commissioner Long and stated that he did not feel he and Chairman Lyon were the only ones who could represent the Planning Commission on this committee. He felt, however, that he and Chairman Lyon were a good start.

The motion was approved, 4-1-1, with Commissioner Mueller dissenting and Commissioner Long abstaining.

Commissioner Mueller explained that he had voted no only to give a chance for another member of the Planning Commission to volunteer for the position.

Commissioner Long stated that he had abstained because he did not have an opinion one way or the other on the subject.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 11:48 p.m.