JANUARY 8, 2002
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lyon at 7:00 at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Commissioner Vannorsdall led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Mihranian, and Recording Secretary Peterson.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Without objection, the agenda was approved as presented.
Director/Secretary Rojas reported that at the last City Council meeting the City Council agreed to hold a joint meeting with the Planning Commission and the Finance Advisory Committee to discuss and receive public input on potential land uses for the City owned Crestridge property and the adjacent privately owned Crestridge property. He also reported that the next City Council meeting would be held on Saturday, January 12, and at that meeting the Council would be having a discussion on the possibility of updating the General Plan.
Director/Secretary Rojas introduced to the Planning Commission the new Associate Planner, Brent Hurwitz.
1. Minutes of December 11, 2001
Commissioner Cartwright asked that his statement on page 5 of the minutes be clarified to reflect that he felt the view impairment was greater than 50 percent.
The minutes were approved as amended, (5-0).
2. Conditional Use Permit No. 221, et. al – Time Extension
Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report. He discussed the applications that were originally approved by the Planning Commission on December 12, 2000. He explained the Planning Commission could grant a one time, one-year time extension upon showing a substantial hardship, delay beyond the control of the applicant, or other good cause. He stated that the applicant was requesting the one-year time extension to allow additional time to complete negotiations to finance the construction and operation of a school that will serve children with special academic needs. Additionally, the applicant has indicated that there are some outstanding issues regarding the existing sewer line that traverses the property which will need further analysis. He concluded by stating that staff felt an extension was warranted and therefore recommended the Planning Commission grant the time extension, thereby setting the date of expiration as December 12, 2002 with all conditions remaining in full force and effect.
Commissioner Mueller questioned whether this was the same project and if the use was the same.
Senior Planner Mihranian stated that if the applicant were to proceed with the same building plan it would remain as a private educational facility, which the use that was originally considered by the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Mueller asked if the cap on student enrollment would remain the same.
Senior Planner Mihranian explained that this request was for a time extension and that, if approved, all conditions would remain in full force and effect. He explained that if the applicant were to request an amendment to one of the conditions, that would require a duly noticed public hearing to consider the request.
Commissioner Mueller asked what would constitute substantial hardship.
Senior Planner Mihranian replied that the need to conduct additional studies regarding the sewer line easement and how the structure could be constructed in relationship to that easement could be considered a hardship in that the applicant would have to receive approval from the LA County Sanitation District prior to issuance of building permits. He stated that the negotiations with the Sanitation District has begun and that the process to obtain entitlements is a lengthy one.
Commissioner Cartwright pointed out that, according to the staff report, the applicant also needed additional time to complete negotiations to finance the construction and operations of the school. He noted that the entitlements stated that the applicant must start construction within one year and asked staff what constituted starting the project.
Director/Secretary Rojas answered that a permit must be issued to begin construction and some type of construction had to have started.
Commissioner Long felt good cause could be shown, in that the applicant was having to start from scratch to organize a new program to fit within the same set of entitlements the Planning Commission has already granted. He stated that at the time this project was approved there was the anticipation of looking at other uses in Golden Cove. He felt that when the school at Golden Cove was approved the applicant was very straight forward with the Planning Commission in that she wanted to keep the original entitlements and would most likely expand the school facilities from Golden Cove and operate another school. He felt that the Planning Commission specifically anticipated that there might be another school facility and there were conditions added to look at cumulative traffic impacts.
Commissioner Mueller was concerned about the cumulative affect the school would have on the traffic and questioned why a traffic study was not required until after the school was built.
Commissioner Long stated that when the Planning Commission approved the school at Golden Cove, they did so with the knowledge that there were existing current approvals at the neighboring site and had the applicant been able to start, she could have built the school right away and therefore would not have needed this requested extension. Therefore, the question on the extension was not the merit of the traffic situation, but does the applicant have good cause for the delay.
Commissioner Cartwright moved to approve the staff recommendation to grant a one year time extension from the date of expiration (December 12, 2001) thereby setting the expiration date as December 12, 2002 with all conditions of approval remaining in full force and effect, seconded by Commissioner Vannorsdall. Approved, (5-0).
3. Grading Permit No. 2191: Larry Peha (applicant) and Mrs. And Mrs. Henru Wiredja (owner) 3815 Palos Verdes Drive South
Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the applicant had requested this item be continued as their architect could not attend tonight’s meeting. Since the item dealt with the architecture of the structure, the applicant would be more comfortable if the item were continued so the architect could be present to discuss the merits of the amendment.
There being no objection, pursuant to the applicant’s request, the item was continued to the meeting of January 22, 2002, (5-0).
The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m.