APRIL 23, 2002
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Cartwright at 7:00 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Commissioner Tomblin led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioners Duran Reed, Lyon, Mueller, Tomblin, Vice Chairman Long,
and Chairman Cartwright
Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Mihranian, Assistant Planner Yu, and Recording Secretary Peterson.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Cartwright suggested moving Audience Comments to the Communications section of the Agenda. The Planning Commissioners agreed.
Director/Secretary Rojas distributed three items of correspondence: 1) A letter from the City Attorney in response to a request for information that is not public; 2) A flyer for a League of Cities seminar that the Mayor was inviting all Commissioners to attend; and 3) An attachment to the staff report for Agenda Item No. 7.
Director/Secretary Rojas also noted that at the last City Council meeting the City Council upheld the Planning commission decision in the appeal of Mr. Kay’s antenna.
Commissioner Mueller appreciated being able to e-mail in his comments to the minutes when he was not able to attend the Planning Commission meeting. He also stated that he had watched the tape and reviewed the minutes and felt that he was able to participate in the future meetings regarding the continued items.
Commissioner Tomblin reported that, in reference with his involvement with the Peninsula Youth Sports Council, he had met with Dick Simmons of Supervisor Knabe’s office and several others in reference to youth sports on the peninsula.
There were no audience comments.
1. Minutes of March 26, 2002
Commissioner Mueller noted typos on pages 3 and 4 of the minutes.
Commissioner Duran Reed made a clarification to page 6 of the minutes
Commissioner Mueller moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Commissioner Duran Reed. Approved, (6-0).
2. Minutes of April 9, 2002
Vice Chairman Long noted a clarification on pages 2 and 3 of the minutes.
Commissioner Lyon noted clarifications on pages 12 and 13 of the minutes.
Chairman Cartwright asked for a clarification on pages 10 and 11 of the minutes.
Commissioner Tomblin moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Commissioner Lyon. Approved, (4-0-2) with Commissioners Duran Reed and Mueller abstaining since they were not at that meeting.
3. Interpretation determination to clarify the definition of a "story"
Director/Secretary Rojas presented a brief staff report and read the interpretation to the Planning Commission.
Vice Chairman Long asked why the phrase "gathering place" was used in the definition and felt that there was room for misinterpretation in the way it was written.
Commissioner Lyon felt that adding a comma after "covered patio" would eliminate the problem.
Commissioner Mueller agreed with the suggestion but stated he would go a little further and suggested deleting the words "carport" and "covered patio" as well as "that may be used as a gathering area" and insert "any unclosed structure." He felt this would prevent someone from elevating their living area above the ground, and the Planning Commission does not really care what is below the living area but the position of the area being added on.
After a brief discussion, Chairman Cartwright felt the original suggestion to add a comma after "covered patio" would be the best solution.
Vice Chairman Long agreed, and noted that by trying to be more precise it only added confusion to the issue.
Commissioner Lyon moved to accept staff’s interpretation, as amended, to add a comma after the word "patio", seconded by Commission Tomblin.
Commissioner Mueller suggested an amendment to the motion to remove the phrase "that may be used as a gathering area". He felt this made the interpretation a little broader and did not conflict with the definition of carport.
Commissioner Lyon did not accept the motion as he felt the amendment would allow the inclusion of a crawl space under a house.
Vice Chairman Long felt that the interpretation was designed to address the particular difficulty the Planning Commission had when hearing the application at 120 Spindrift. Rather than trying to hypothesize future problems the Planning Commission should focus the interpretation on the existing problem, and he felt the pending motion does that.
The motion passed, (5-1) with Commissioner Mueller dissenting.
4. Six month review of Conditional Use Permit NO. 206 – Revision "A": Peninsula Montessori School 31100 Palos Verdes Drive West
Senior Planner Mihranian presented a brief staff report. He explained that the six-month review allows the Planning Commission a mechanism to add, delete, or modify any conditions on the project based on its current operation. As such, staff has reviewed the operation of the school since it opened, and based on staff’s analysis and site visits feels the school is operating in compliance with the Conditions of Approval. He noted that staff has received only one letter regarding the school since it opened, and that was in support of the project. As such, staff was recommending the Planning Commission determine the school is operating in compliance with the original Conditions of Approval, via minute order.
Vice Chairman Long noted that the comment letter suggested that it would be a good idea to place a warning sign on Hawthorne Blvd. approaching the building. He asked if staff had an opinion on the suggestion.
Senior Planner Mihranian explained that the item was originally raised at the time the Planning Commission was considering the application, however there was not a decision made as to whether the sign was necessary. At this point, staff did not feel there was enough traffic or any situations that would warrant the placement of the sign. However, if the Planning Commission desires the placing of a sign, staff could contact the Public Works Department.
Commissioner Lyon felt the suggestion was a good one, however was not one that has anything to do with the conditions of approval of the school, and suggested it be referred to the Director of Public Works for his consideration and not be something that would encumber the current permit.
Commissioner Mueller discussed the enrollment of the school and noted that the number of staff members had stayed fairly constant, however the number of students had grown quite a bit. He asked if there were plans for a larger staff and how this would affect the parking at Golden Cove.
Senior Planner Mihranian responded that the parking study considered 40 faculty and staff members, therefore the school was operating under the maximum cap and the parking was not affected.
Chairman Cartwright opened the public hearing.
Commissioner Mueller asked the applicant about the enrollment of the school and asked if the enrollment and/or faculty was expected to grow.
Claudia Krikorian 1821 Paseo del Sol, PVE, explained that no new staff would be added and the current faculty included teachers and all of the part time staff. She explained that in applying for the Conditional Use Permit she put the enrollment at 400, which was the maximum enrollment that the school could ever possibly be.
Chairman Cartwright asked Ms. Krikorian if she had any comments regarding the placement of a warning sign.
Ms. Krikorian did not feel the sign was necessary, as she had never seen a back up going into the center. However she had no objection to the sign.
Chairman Cartwright closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Mueller moved to approve the staff report and determine the Peninsula Montessori School at Golden Cove Shopping Center is operating in compliance with the conditions of approval of P.C. Resolution No. 2001-08, seconded by Commissioner Lyon. Approved, (6-0).
RECESS AND RECONVENE
At 8:00 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess to 8:10 p.m. at which time they reconvened.
5. Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2002-00054): 5618 Sunmist Drive
Assistant Planner Yu presented the staff report. She gave a brief description of the proposed project and noted that staff had determined the proposed roof design will not impact views from adjacent properties and the proposed addition meets the Development Code standards. As such, staff recommends the Planning Commission approve the proposed project.
Chairman Cartwright noted that the proposed gable roof was much more compatible with the neighborhood than the existing flat roof, and supported the project.
Commissioner Tomblin questioned condition of approval no. 15 regarding keeping the construction site and the adjacent street clean and wondered if that was the language the Planning Commission had agreed upon.
Chairman Cartwright recalled the Planning Commission had suggested the language be modified to say the construction site and the adjacent properties shall be kept free of all loose materials.
Vice Chairman Long agreed with the Chairman.
Commissioner Tomblin moved to approve the project, with the amendment to Condition of Approval No. 15, seconded by Commissioner Mueller. Approved, (6-0).
6. Selection of two Planning Commissioners for the General Plan Steering Committee
Director/Secretary Rojas briefly explained what the intention of the General Plan Steering Committee was and how it would be made up.
Commissioner Lyon added that this Committee presented a good opportunity to take a look at the General Plan and make any modifications that the majority of the residents feel would be in their best interest. He nominated Commissioner Cote and Vice Chairman Long to be the Planning Commission members of the committee. He explained that Vice Chairman Long had extensive leadership experience on the View Restoration Commission and had active participation in the Planning Commission activities over the years. Further, Commissioner Cote had volunteered to serve on the Committee and has an academic background in planning. He added that if Commissioner Cote was unable to sit on the Committee because of business conflicts, he suggested Commissioner Tomblin as an alternate.
Vice Chairman Long agreed that the City should make use of Commissioner Cote’s expertise. He stated that he would be willing to serve on the Committee, but suggested Commissioner Mueller serve on the Committee. He felt that the Planning Commission needed to cultivate responsibilities for the Commission’s duties across the board among a number of people.
Commissioner Mueller stated that he did have an interest in serving on this Committee, however he would defer if someone else on the Commission had an interest as he is involved community activities and has an unpredictable travel schedule.
Commissioner Duran Reed agreed with the idea of having an experienced Commissioner as well as a newer Commissioner serve on the Committee and supported Commissioner Cote as well as Commissioner Mueller or Vice Chairman Long.
Commissioner Tomblin expressed interest in serving on the Committee, and stated if Commissioner Cote had difficulties serving because of her work schedule he would be willing to take her place.
Chairman Cartwright supported the nomination of Commissioner Cote and Vice Chairman Long, and appreciated the desire of all of the Commissioners to serve on a committee. He noted that there would most likely be several opportunities in the future for Commissioners to serve on different committees, and felt every Commissioner would have a chance to serve on a committee during their time on the Planning Commission.
The Commission unanimously selected Commissioner Cote and Vice Chairman Long to represent the Planning Commission on the General Plan Steering Committee.
7. Amendment of Planning Commission rules and procedures
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that what had prompted this item to be placed on the Agenda was that a new state law had gone into effect that governs the eligibility of voting members regarding applications. He referred to P.C. Resolution 2000-18, page 2 and noted the City Attorney suggested changing "300" to "500", and deleting the second paragraph.
Chairman Cartwright stated that the Planning Commission had discussed at the last meeting the inclusion of language that the Planning Commissioners should contact staff directly if they had questions regarding the staff reports.
Director/Secretary Rojas responded that language would be added to reflect that.
Commissioner Duran Reed questioned how the meetings were being recorded and asked if the language should be modified so that it was not restricted to "tape recording".
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the audio tape recording was still the official recording of the meeting until the minutes were approved.
The Planning Commissioners discussed what documents were necessary to review when a Planning Commissioner was absent from a meeting. Chairman Cartwright suggested adding language to the rules and procedures reflecting that a Commissioner could review the minutes or listen to the tape recording of the meeting or view the video. The Commission agreed.
The Planning Commission discussed the minutes and what they wanted to get out of the minutes. Chairman Cartwright explained that the minutes were the official record of the meeting and should have enough information in them that an interested party could read them and understand the action taken and why it was taken.
Director/Secretary Rojas asked the Commission if they wanted to add language to the rules and procedures to reflect the procedure currently used in accepting late correspondence. He noted that the rules and procedures state that correspondence received after the Monday deadline it will not be considered at the meeting, however the practice has been that the Chairman has allowed the late correspondence to be distributed to the Commission.
Vice Chairman Long did not think the change needed to be made, as there is currently a rule that a two-thirds majority of the Commission can suspend the rules. He felt the rule should stay as written to help communicate to the public how important it is to get the correspondence in on time.
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that a new Resolution was necessary to reflect the changes discussed by the Planning Commission and it would have to be brought back to the Planning Commission for their formal adoption.
Commissioner Duran Reed moved to conceptually approve the changes made to the rules and procedures, seconded by Chairman Cartwright. Approved, (6-0).
ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS
Chairman Cartwright asked that on future agendas the audience comments be placed after communications.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.