04/09/2002 Planning Commission Minutes 04/09/2002, 2002, April, Planning, Commission, Minutes, Meeting, Director/Secretary Rojas noted that the Code restricts the height of fencing to a maximum of 42 inches in the area between the property line and façade of the residence and stated that anything higher would require a Variance. He also noted that any additional paving would have to be considered in the lot coverage calculation. He suggested the Planning Commission direct the applicant to ensure the RV and/or boat is parked on a paved surface and direct the applicant to revise the plans to incorporate a paved surface, provided it does not exceed the lot coverage limits. He added that there was an item on the next City Council Agenda to discuss the RV parking requirements and whether or not to amend these requirements The 04/09/2002 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
City of Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission Minutes April 9, 2002


CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

PLANNING COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

APRIL 9, 2002

CALL TO ORDER

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

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Lyon led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL

Present:Commissioners Cote, Long, Lyon, Tomblin, and Chairman Cartwright
Absent:Commissioners Duran Reed and Mueller were excused

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Without objection, the agenda was approved as presented.

COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed two items of communication relating to agenda item no. 5. He reported that he had received a message shortly before the meeting from Commissioner Mueller that he had e-mailed comments to him regarding the minutes of March 26.

Director/Secretary Rojas reported that at the City Council meeting of April 2, the City Council approved the Conditional Use Permit, with conditions, at 44 Oceanaire Drive. The City Council also discussed the General Plan update and decided to create a steering committee which will be made up of 15 individuals and will include two planning commissioners. The City Council also approved the agenda for the joint workshop of May 7.

Commissioner Tomblin asked if the City or County would, in the event that lots at Oceanfront Estates were sold to another developer, have to disclose any possibilities of future development on the lot adjoining Oceanfront.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted that there is currently no application submitted or pending for the adjoining lot. He stated that the City relies on the buying and selling parties to do the required due diligence and take the state mandated disclosure responsibilities seriously.

Chairman Cartwright agreed that it was the responsibility of the seller to disclose any possible development on the adjoining property.

1. Selection of a Vice-Chairman of the Planning Commission

Chairman Cartwright explained that the Planning Commission needed to select a Vice Chairman that had a good understanding of procedures, the Development Code, and the General Plan. With that, he nominated Commissioner Long as Vice Chairman, seconded by Commissioner Lyon.

The Planning Commissioners unanimously selected Commissioner Long as Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission.

CONSENT CALENDAR

2. Minutes of March 26, 2002

Chairman Cartwright began by stating he was uncomfortable approving the minutes without Commissioner Mueller present to review his suggested changes. He therefore suggested the Planning Commission make any changes they see necessary and continue the approval of the minutes to the next meeting.

Vice Chairman Long suggested staff incorporate Commissioner Mueller’s proposed changes into the minutes as well and that the minutes be brought back to the next meeting for review to address the Chairman’s concern. The Commission agreed.

Commissioner Lyon noted a modification on page 12 of the minutes, as well as a typo on the same page. He also noted slight modifications to page 13 of the minutes.

Vice Chairman Long noted a clarification of the Director’s statements on pages 3 and 4 of the minutes. He also noted clarification to his statements on page 4. He noted a clarification on page 8 of the minutes as well as pages 9 and 11.

Commissioner Cote asked for a minor change to her statement on page 5 of the minutes.

Chairman Cartwright noted a clarification on page 9 of the minutes.

Chairman Cartwright stated that the minutes would be continued to the meeting of April 23.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Chairman Cartwright noted that in the past roll call had been done alphabetically by Commissioners last name. He suggested that beginning tonight it rotate from meeting to meeting so that the same commissioner did not always have to be the first to vote. He felt this would particularly benefit the new commissioners and did not think there was anything in the Planning Commission rules and procedures prohibiting this. The Planning Commission agreed with the suggestion.

3. Height Variation NO. 941 and Grading Permit No. 228: 3261 Crownview Dr.

Vice Chairman Long moved to continue the item to the Planning Commission meeting of May 14, 2002, seconded by Commissioner Lyon. Approved, (5-0)

4. Height Variation (Case No. ZON2001-00015): 4155 Palos Verdes Drive South

Assistant Planner Luckert presented the staff report. He explained there were no significant view impairments cause by granting the application due to the varying pad elevations in the Seaview tract and the varying view corridors located directly above the proposed second story addition. He reported that staff believes the proposed structure is compatible with the immediate character and will not result in a structure that is out of scale with the neighborhood. He stated that all findings could be made and staff recommended approval of the height variation.

Vice Chairman Long stated that the only objection he had heard from the neighbors was that the new addition had a lot of windows facing one of the neighbors. He asked if staff knew what that privacy concern was and if it was appropriate for the windows to be opaque.

Assistant Planner Luckert answered that opaque windows was an option, however staff felt that since the proposed addition would be approximately 85 feet away from 4207 Palos Verdes Drive South the privacy issue was not significant.

Commissioner Tomblin asked about the boat and motor home parked on the lot and asked if it there was some kind of side yard fencing proposed next to the new garage.

Assistant Planner Luckert answered that there was no proposed fencing next to the driveway.

Chairman Cartwright asked if there was something in the Code regarding the parking of RV’s.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that the Code allows the parking of RV’s on private property provided that it was on a legally paved surface, however there was no restrictions on location or height.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Joe Young 1617 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach stated he was the architect for the project and distributed a rendering of the proposed project to the Planning Commission. He clarified that the windows in question are existing windows that will stay in place. He stated that there would be new windows on the second floor but did not think they created an issue with privacy.

Rod Lenders 4155 Palos Verdes Drive South stated that, concerning the boat and RV, there would be a concrete area created to park them and fencing around them. He added that the boat may or may not continue to stay on the property.

Commissioner Tomblin asked Mr. Lenders if he would be opposed to some sort of covered fencing that would block off the RV storage area.

Mr. Lenders stated that he would not be opposed to that, however he would have to see the design first. He added that he was currently planning to fence straight across along the same line as the garage, which would cover where the RV is usually parked.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted that the Code restricts the height of fencing to a maximum of 42 inches in the area between the property line and façade of the residence and stated that anything higher would require a Variance. He also noted that any additional paving would have to be considered in the lot coverage calculation. He suggested the Planning Commission direct the applicant to ensure the RV and/or boat is parked on a paved surface and direct the applicant to revise the plans to incorporate a paved surface, provided it does not exceed the lot coverage limits. He added that there was an item on the next City Council Agenda to discuss the RV parking requirements and whether or not to amend these requirements.

Vice Chairman Long felt it might be appropriate to require the applicant to comply with whatever the code would happen to be regarding the RV parking.

Commissioner Cote asked if the large windows shown on the Schooner Drive side of the house were proposed new windows.

Mr. Lenders stated that they were proposed windows.

Mr. Lenders distributed photographs from where the second story proposed windows would be, looking downward.

Brad Barez 4206 Admirable Drive stated he was across and up the street from the applicant’s home. He stated that the neighborhood was such that it was possible to look into different neighbor’s yards and homes if one chose to. He felt that this proposal was a benefit to the neighborhood.

Derek Classen 4120 Admirable Drive stated that if the proposed addition is built to the same height as the flags on the property, he had no objection. He noted that if it does go any higher then he would have an issue with view impairment.

Vice Chairman moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Commissioner Tomblin. There being no objection, the public hearing was closed.

Commissioner Tomblin did not think there was a privacy issue at the site, but did have a concern with the RV and boat and hoped that would be addressed.

Commissioner Lyon felt the application was reasonable, well done, and would represent an improvement in the neighborhood. He did not feel there was a privacy issue at the site and felt the Planning Commission should require the applicant to adhere to City Codes regarding the parking of RV’s and/or boats.

Commissioner Cote felt the applicant had done a good job in working with the neighbors to ensure that their views would not be impaired. She supported the proposed project.

Vice Chairman Long stated he always looks at height variation applications very cautiously and considers them to be one of the most important applications the Planning Commission considers. He stated that rules restricting height variations are one of, if not the most important, vehicle by which the existing views are preserved and density controlled in the City. In this application he felt all of the necessary findings could be made and felt that the proposed project would be a significant improvement for the house and the neighborhood at nobody else’s expense. He therefore recommended approval of the staff report.

Chairman Cartwright agreed with the comments made by the other Commissioners. He noted that this was clearly a neighborhood in transition and was pleased that the applicant could present an application that would have little or no adverse impact on the neighborhood. He noted the concerns raised regarding the boat and RV and agreed with Commissioner Lyon that a condition should be included that the parking of the RV and boat adhere to the requirements in Development Code.

Director/Secretary Rojas suggested a condition that trailers, campers, boats, and any other mobile vehicles shall be stored in accordance with the applicable City codes. Secondly, to address the hardscape restriction, a condition could be added that driveways and parking areas shall not cover more than 50 percent of the required front or street side setback areas.

Vice Chairman Long suggested amending the first condition to say that trailers, campers, boats, and any other mobile vehicles shall be stored in accordance with applicable City codes as they now exist or may be amended from time to time. He felt this would make it clear that the Planning Commission was not grandfathering in the current condition.

Director/Secretary Rojas concurred with the amendment.

Commissioner Tomblin referred to condition no. 11 regarding the construction site being kept clean. He asked if that includes keeping the street clean and free of nails and debris.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the contractors are required to keep the construction site clean and the building inspectors do write correction notices when they feel a site is not kept clean and free of debris.

Vice Chairman Long suggested modifying condition no. 11, as well as the general condition, that the construction site and adjoining public property shall be kept clean.

Commissioner Lyon moved to accept the staff recommendations to approve the height variation, with the conditions outlined by the Director regarding storage of the vehicles and the hardscape and the modification of the condition regarding clean construction sites, thereby adopting P.C. Resolution No. 2002-04, seconded by Commissioner Tomblin. Approved, (5-0).

RECESS AND RECONVENE

At 8:20 p.m. the Commission to a short recess until 8:30 p.m. at which time they reconvened.

PUBLIC HEARINGS (cont)

5. Height Variation NO. 928, Variance No. 487, Minor Exception Permit No. 586, Grading Permit No. 2276, Site Plan Review No. 9127: 4206 Admirable Drive

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report. He explained that during staff’s analysis of the project it was determined that 6 of the 9 required findings for the height variation could not be supported. The issues included view impacts from both 4140 and 4137 Admirable Drive with the proposal having a significant view impacts to 4137 Admirable Drive. Additionally, staff determined that the proposed two-story addition would impact privacy on the property at 4207 Palos Verdes Drive South. With respect to neighborhood compatibility, staff found that the proposed home is not compatible with the neighborhood regarding size, bulk, and mass. He stated that staff analysis of the Variance resulted in one of the required four findings being supported and noted that the other three findings could not be made. These three findings included how the variance is not needed to preserve a substantial property right, the variance could detrimentally impact other properties in the area, and granting the variance would be contrary to the objectives of the General Plan. With respect to grading, staff analysis found that the proposed grading is not necessary for the permitted primary use of the property, the grading would impact the view of adjoining properties, and would not conform to standards for grading on slopes height of cut and fill and height of retaining walls. He explained that the required findings for the Minor Exception Permit could be supported to allow the covered porch within the front yard setback and to allow the 6-foot high fence in the street side setback. However, in staff’s opinion there are no practical difficulties, unnecessary hardships, or inconsistencies with the Development Code that would support the granting of the Minor Exception Permit for the room addition to be setback only 18 ½-feet from the front and to allow the increase in lot coverage. Finally, staff’s analysis of the one-story addition found that it does conform to the development code and the site plan review could be granted. Therefore, staff was recommended the Planning Commission deny the height variation, grading permit, variance, and portions of the minor exception permit, and recommend approval of the site plan review and portions of the minor exception permit, subject to the conditions of approval.

Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.

Russ Barto 3 Malaga Cove Plaza, PVE, stated he was the architect for the project. He stated that the crux of the project was the family room and garage addition. He gave a brief history of the project, noting that the property owner’s goals were to increase the size of their home and to construct a garage that they could park cars in. In doing so, they wanted to be respectful of other homes in the neighborhood, particularly in regards to views and privacy. He felt the view impact of the current project was isolated to one home. He disagreed with the staff report’s analysis that 40 percent of the view was taken from this home as the current view was already partially blocked by street trees. He also noted that the project will include removal of two trees from the applicant’s yard which will improve views for many neighbors. Regarding privacy, Mr. Barto stated that his client could currently look into the neighbor’s home from his backyard. He stated that there was vegetation in the backyard that cuts off sight lines in the backyard. He stated that the current plan would utilize the same type of vegetation screen.

Brad Barez 4206 Admirable Drive (applicant) explained that his current garage was completely unusable and, because of the slope, even a small car could not fit into the garage. He stated that his family was growing and he needed a larger home to accommodate the family. He noted a slope issue on the property where, when it rains, the slope area erodes into the garage and down the street. He stated that the proposed project would control that erosion and make sure that the slope does not erode into the street. He noted that he has one of the largest lots in the neighborhood, however can utilize less that 50 percent of the lot. The proposed plan will allow them to use 90 to 95 percent of the land on the property. He discussed privacy, and stated he would do whatever he could to make sure everyone’s privacy was respected. Finally, regarding view impairment, he explained that he has five large trees in his backyard and two would be removed which will open up a significant view for many of his neighbors.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Barez if he had discussed his plans with the neighbors and if there was anything more he could do to mitigate their concerns.

Mr. Barez answered that he had discussed and reviewed his plans with three immediate neighbors, and there was one neighbor that he was not able to talk to. He stated that the plans before the Commission were the result of modifications and alternatives discussed with the neighbors.

Derek Classen 4120 Admirable Drive felt the proposed structure would make a nice entrance house into the community and didn’t feel the size of the home was too large for the area and supported the project.

John Martin 4207 Admirable Drive stated that a number of years ago he had added a second story to his home to gain a view of the ocean and shoreline. Therefore, he was very sensitive to anything that would obstruct his view. He stated he had worked with the applicant and was very pleased that two of the trees would be removed, which would open up a tremendous amount of his view.

Ira Schey 4137 Admirable Drive stated that the view from his living room, which is his principal viewing area, would be obscured 40 percent by the proposed addition and would impact him tremendously.

Commissioner Lyon pointed out that the Development Code requires that, in making the findings, to consider a view exclusive of foliage. He stated that in looking at the view of the ocean it is not obstructed by houses. He stated that the view corridor is obstructed by the proposed addition by roughly 40 percent if the existence of trees is excluded.

Commissioner Tomblin asked Mr. Schey what type of modifications he would like to see to the proposed addition.

Mr. Schey answered that he would like to see the second story eliminated.

Joe Lindorfer 4207 Palos Verdes Drive South stated he had three major concerns regarding the project. The first concern was privacy as the plan showed a very large window on the second story facing his property. He distributed pictures to the Planning Commission showing the approximate location of the window and the various views from his bathrooms, bedroom, and spa in the backyard. His second concern was that, in contrast to what the City determined, he has a view up the hill and not out towards the ocean. The City claimed his view was from the living room, however he felt that his protected view should be from the kitchen and patio adjacent to the kitchen. He distributed pictures showing the views from his living room and kitchen. His third concern was that the structure was incompatible with the neighborhood as it appears to be twice as large as any other home in the neighborhood.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Lindorfer if he was the neighbor the applicant had stated he was not able to speak to regarding the proposed addition.

Mr. Lindorfer stated he was that neighbor.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Lindorfer if he had spoken to his neighbor, would he have had any suggestions for him on how he might be able to expand his home and still consider some of his concerns.

Mr. Lindorfer answered that he did not know of any modifications that would protect and address his concerns, other than remove the second story addition.

Chairman Cartwright asked staff to clarify where the primary view was from Mr. Lindorfer’s home.

Associate Planner Blumenthal responded that in processing the application, staff determined the primary view would be toward the ocean.

Vice Chairman Long asked if hillsides were defined as views in the Ordinance.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that developable land was not a protected view, so if the hillside was developable the view was not protected. However, if the land were considered a natural setting, the view was protected.

Vice Chairman Long asked if the hillside that would be blocked was developable land.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that staff determined that the hillside that would be blocked consisted primarily of property in the City of Rolling Hills that had been developed.

Commissioner Lyon felt that the view was of houses at the top of the hill in Rolling Hills and the hillside that comes down towards Seaview which is either in or very close to the Portuguese Bend slide area. He therefore felt that part of the view was of property that was not developable because it is an unstable hillside. Secondly, he stated that a primary view was one which the applicant and the staff agree is the best view from the property.

Director/Secretary Rojas agreed with the comment about the primary view, however noted that according to the Code, when there is disagreement the City view prevails.

Vice Chairman Long asked if a chunk of the hillside view is part of the slide area or land that is not developable.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that it appears that a majority of the view is of developable land in Rolling Hills, however there appears to be portions of visible land below the homes which is the City’s Forrestal property which he would consider a natural setting and not developable.

Milton Rosen 4140 Admirable Drive stated he lived directly across the street from the applicant. He disagreed with staff’s comment that the view impairment from his house was not significant and stated that any impairment of his view was significant. He stated that he agrees with the staff report that the height variation be denied. He was willing to meet with Mr. Barez to discuss a compromise and felt the rear of the house may not have to be lowered very much to satisfy his objections.

Mr. Barto (in rebuttal) stated that he had not discussed any alternatives in terms of view impairments and approached the design by trying to keep the ridgelines at or about where they currently area that would minimize the view impact. He felt that mitigating some of the view problems may create other view problem because the center section of the home would have to be made larger and would raise the ridgeline, perhaps causing problems with other neighbors.

Commissioner Lyon asked if there was a way, architecturally, to lower the new garage and family room above it. He felt lowering it would help the view situation and help the slope drainage.

Mr. Barto responded that it was something that could be considered.

Commissioner Lyon felt the extreme slope might be eliminated by leveling the dirt off and diminishing the slope against the garage.

Mr. Barto felt that might also be a possibility.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Barto if he and the applicant would be willing to meet with the neighbors to better understand their concerns and collectively look at ways to lower the ridgeline and mitigate any privacy issues.

Mr. Barto resounded that he would be willing to meet with the neighbors, but did not think there was any point in looking at lowering the ridgeline if there was no chance of the Variance being approved in order to construct the garage where they want to build it.

Vice Chairman Long stated that the Planning Commissioners could not presume to tell the applicant that the Variance might be approved given the submission of a different design. He could say that right now it would be very difficult to approve as it was at the margin in a number of areas, and that the prospects of approval may be greatly enhanced by taking some more time to refine the existing application. He therefore asked the applicant if he would be willing to permit the Commission to have more time to make a decision on these permit applications by continuing the hearing and during the time of the continuance consider revisions to the application based upon the Commission’s comments.

Mr. Barez responded that he did not want to be denied on the basis of a single meeting and appreciated the suggestion. He stated he was willing to meet with the neighbors but felt it would be very difficult to meet with Mr. Schey at 4137 Admirable Drive and actually deciding what he would want for the house.

Vice Chairman Long clarified that, regarding the meetings with the neighbors, the Planning Commission was not saying that he would succeed and further he did not think the Planning Commission or the applicant should hypothesize now what the success or failure in the future may be. He explained that Mr. Barez has a staff report that outlines some difficulties and the viewpoint of the staff is not what the neighbors want Mr. Barez’s house to look like, but rather can the findings necessary to issue the permits be made. He stated that was the same issue that each of the Planning Commissioners have. Further, he would be hearing the concerns of each of the Planning Commissioners and the questions was whether the applicant wanted to take those concerns and address them. Regardless of what his neighbors do or do not do, the applicant can still address the facts.

Chairman Cartwright agreed with the Vice Chairman’s comments and added that if the applicant were willing to look at a continuance, the Planning Commissioners would identify some of the things they would like to see addressed, which he realized the applicant may not be able to accommodate.

Mr. Barez agreed to a continuance.

Commissioner Tomblin moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Vice Chairman Long. There being no objection, the public hearing was closed.

Commissioner Cote was sensitive to the fact that the garage was not useable and the need to improve it. She was supportive of the continuance and to see what type of alternatives the applicant would present. She felt one item that should specifically be addressed was the privacy issues with respect to height and the proposed windows, as well as how far the addition could be brought back on the property. She also thought appropriate foliage could be addressed to help with the privacy issue. She felt the other issue that was fairly significant was the view impairment from the neighbor at 4137 Admirable Drive. Finally, she felt the overall neighborhood compatibility should continue to be considered.

Commissioner Tomblin felt the overall plan was too big for the lot. He was concerned with the privacy issue and felt there may be a way to keep the addition from going too far over the garage and lowering the ridgeline. He felt the window in the back was looking directly into the neighbors yard and felt there may be ways to address that issue.

Commissioner Lyon felt the staff report was a very good basis to begin dialogue with the neighbors and the staff may be able to facilitate the dialogue if necessary. He felt the staff report identified all of the significant issues, and would support a motion to continue the item to a date certain so that the project can be modified to alleviate the significant concerns of the neighbors.

Vice Chairman Long stated that all his issues had been covered in the remarks made by the Planning Commission, and he too supported a continuance of the project. He asked staff if an extension was needed from the applicant in accordance with the Permit Streamlining Act.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that a 90-day extension would be needed from the applicant.

Chairman Cartwright echoed the comments of the Planning Commissioners and added that he would like to see the applicant spend a little time with the situation at 4137 Admirable Drive as well as 4207 Palos Verdes Drive South, in regards to privacy and view impairment.

Chairman Cartwright re-opened the public hearing.

Chairman Cartwright asked Mr. Barez if he would be willing to give the City a 90-day extension on his application in order to allow the continuance of the project.

Mr. Barez stated that he would grant the 90-day extension. He was concerned, however that the project not take an additional 90 days and asked when it could again be heard by the Planning Commission.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that it was usually up to the applicant as to how long they needed to complete their work, however he suggested continuing the item to the meeting of May 28.

After consulting with his architect, Mr. Barez suggested the first meeting in June, which staff agreed was open and available.

Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Lyon moved to continue the item to the meeting of June 11, 2002 so that the applicant can attempt to meet with the neighbors to try to alleviate as many concerns as possible and reasonable, seconded by Commissioner Tomblin. The motion carried, (5-0).

NEW BUSINESS

6. Discussion of Development Code definitions of "building" and "story"

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the discussion is how to clarify the definitions of "building" and "story". He stated that staff had identified two options for the Planning Commission’s review: 1) A code amendment to change the language of either of the definitions, or 2) An interpretation process to clarify the intent of the Code without having to go through the formal code amendment process that goes before the City Council.

Chairman Cartwright did not think it was necessary to go back to establish whether or not there was a concern, but rather how to go about dealing with the issue.

Commissioner Lyon felt that the simplest thing to do would be to implement an interpretation procedure that adds three words to the definition of "building" and say that mobile homes, trailers, and carports are excluded.

Commissioner Cote was concerned with the issue of the second story above the carport and felt there was a parallel between an addition over a garage and an addition over a carport. She looked up the definitions of carport and garage and noted that the term "building" is used when talking about a private garage and when discussing carport it was only referred to as a structure. Therefore, she would prefer that they be treated similarly and that the term "building" could be added to the definition of carport.

Commissioner Lyon indicated that he misstated his earlier remark saying that carports should be excluded from the definition of a building. He meant to say they should be included, not excluded.

Vice Chairman Long felt the definition, by implication, of building already includes carport. Therefore, he reaches the same conclusion as Commissioner Cote does since he concludes a carport is a building, he can conclude it can be treated the same way as a garage.

Commissioner Tomblin asked staff what they felt was the easiest way to solve the problem.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that the easiest way to solve this would be to make an interpretation that the carport shall be considered a building. He explained that once the interpretation is made it goes before the City Council and is published and if no one objects it becomes the official interpretation.

Chairman Cartwright asked what the interpretation would be if he had a raised deck that he wanted to build a structure over the top of.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that the addition above the raised deck would not be considered a second story, but if it were over 16 feet in height it would require a height variation.

Chairman Cartwright asked what needed to be done to include decks, which fit the parameters of carports, in the interpretation.

Director/Secretary Rojas felt that the definition of "story" would have to be better defined.

Chairman Cartwright stated that this may not be the time to try to define decks, but it would have to be addressed when discussing neighborhood compatibility and noted to staff that they would have to define deck at a future date.

Commissioner Cote moved to have staff return at the next meeting with an interpretation which clarifies that a carport is a building, seconded by Vice Chairman Long. Approved, (5-0).

ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

Chairman Cartwright suggested that if in reviewing a staff report a Commissioner sees omissions or has questions, or is looking for specific information, it would be advisable to call staff and ask questions. Secondly, explicit direction to the staff should come through the chairman or as a result of a consensus of the Planning Commission.

As a follow up to that, Vice Chairman Long felt it was important that if a fellow Commissioner seeks or wants information that is important to their decision, unless it will create an extraordinary burden on staff, the Planning Commission should support that request, regardless of their own personal assessment of the relevance of the request.

Commissioner Cote stated that she would not be at the next Planning Commission meeting and noted there was an item to select two Commissioners for the General Plan Steering Committee. She volunteered to be one of the members of the Steering Committee.

Director/Secretary Rojas suggested an item be added to the Agenda to discuss amendments to the Planning Commission Rules and Procedures. He noted that the City Attorney had clarified a change in the law regarding when Planning Commissioners have to recuse themselves from an application and the rules and policies have to be amended to reflect that law. The Commission agreed that it should be added to the next agenda.

Vice Chairman Long asked that at a future meeting staff present the institutional memory table to the Planning Commission that was discussed at past meetings.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that he had been working on a format and would like to bring it to the Planning Commission on the May 14 Agenda.

Vice Chairman Long asked that at some time items be agendized to discuss the standards by which the City addresses infill developments and the Development Code’s method of controlling the density of development. He felt this should be discussed after hearing the report from the neighborhood compatibility sub-committee.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.