04/22/2003 Planning Commission Minutes 04/22/2003, 2003, April, Planning, Commission, Minutes, Meeting, Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He explained the scope of the proposed project and noted that during the notification process there had been a comment from a neighbor, resulting in a modification to the plan to move the addition one foot back from the front property line, resulting in a 25-foot front yard setback for the first floor. He noted that the modification is incorporated into the plans before the Planning Commission, and the analysis is based on that modification. He explained that staff could make the 9 findings required to grant a height variation application. Therefore, staff is recommending the Planning Commission conditionally approve the application The 04/22/2003 RPV Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

PLANNING COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

APRIL 22, 2003

 

CALL TO ORDER

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

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Duran Reed led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Cartwright, Duran Reed, Lyon, Vice Chairman Mueller, Chairman Long

Absent: Commissioners Cote and Tomblin were excused

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Commissioner Cartwright moved to approve the agenda as presented, seconded by Vice Chairman Mueller. Approved, (5-0).

COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas noted that at the April 15 meeting, the City Council had formally adopted the resolution overturning the Planning Commission’s decision on the CPH lot change. He also distributed two items of correspondence regarding Agenda Item No. 3.

Vice Chairman Mueller thanked the City for the opportunity to go to the Planning Conference in San Diego.

Chairman Long reported that he had received a phone call from Mr. Katherman regarding the continuance of Agenda Item 1. He also reported on his attendance at the Mayor’s Breakfast.

 

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (REGARDING NON-AGENDA ITEMS)

None.

CONTINUED BUSINESS

1 Variance, Height Variation and Grading Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00388): 6512 Nancy Road

Associate Planner Schonborn explained that the owner had submitted a request for a continuance until the next scheduled Planning Commission meeting.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to continue the item to the meeting of May 13, 2003, seconded by Commissioner Lyon. Approved, (5-0).

PUBLIC HEARINGS

2. Height Variation Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00623): 4105 Stalwart Drive

Commissioner Duran Reed stated that she had not had the opportunity to visit the property and therefore recused herself from the hearing for this matter.

Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report. He explained the scope of the proposed project and noted that during the notification process there had been a comment from a neighbor, resulting in a modification to the plan to move the addition one foot back from the front property line, resulting in a 25-foot front yard setback for the first floor. He noted that the modification is incorporated into the plans before the Planning Commission, and the analysis is based on that modification. He explained that staff could make the 9 findings required to grant a height variation application. Therefore, staff is recommending the Planning Commission conditionally approve the application.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked staff if there were any photographs available to show the proposed addition, as he was having trouble with the finding regarding the blocking of a view.

Associate Planner Schonborn displayed photos through a power point presentation, and pointed out the area of the Vice Chairman’s concern. He noted that it was staff’s determination that the proposed addition would only very slightly rise into the neighbor’s view. He noted that the photo displayed was taken from a standing position from 4104 Dauntless Drive. He noted that the neighbors were concerned that the ocean view would be partially blocked when they were sitting down. He stated that when looking at the proposed addition and the location with respect to their overall view, staff determined that the view blockage was very minimal.

Chairman Long opened the public hearing.

Jure Sestich 479 W. 6th Street, San Pedro, stated that he had worked closely with the Planning Department and the immediate neighbors when designing the proposed addition, as he wanted to make it as unobtrusive as possible, and felt that this design accomplished just that.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked if there was any way that the portion of the addition that he felt may be blocking a portion of the neighbor’s view could be reduced to recover the area that would be blocked.

Mr. Sestich answered that reducing the roof pitch in that area would mean that the addition would not blend as nicely with the existing home, and he was not sure it was worth the redesign for such a small portion.

Commissioner Cartwright commented that the picture submitted along with the drawings made it much easier for him to see that this proposed addition fit nicely into the neighborhood and the design does minimize the size and the scale of the project.

Don Jortner 4049 Stalwart Drive stated that he is a neighbor and is satisfied with the setbacks discussed in the revised plans.

Chairman Long closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that he visited the home at 4114 Dauntless Drive and agreed with staff that the view impairment was very minimal. He also asked the owner at 4114 Dauntless Drive to make certain, if he had a real concern about the proposed addition, to be present at the meeting. He noted that the property owner was not at the meeting. He felt that he could make all of the findings necessary for a height variation and supported the staff recommendation.

Commissioner Lyon felt the project was well planned and well coordinated with the neighbors and did not have any problem making the findings. He stated that he too had gone to the property at 4114 Dauntless to see the potential view impairment and found it to be insignificant. He therefore agreed with the staff recommendation.

Vice Chairman Mueller felt the project was a good one and was only exploring the possibility of lowering the ridge height on the east end of the structure to relieve any view impairment to the neighboring property. He was pleased that the setback had changed, and felt that the home was designed in such a way as to fit well into the neighborhood. He therefore supported the staff’s recommendation.

Chairman Long agreed that there was only a very minimal view impairment, and felt that this proposed addition was designed in such a way as to minimize the impairment. He stated that he could make all of the necessary findings and supported the staff’s recommendation.

Commissioner Lyon moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2003-15 thereby approving Case No. ZON2002-00623 as amended to reflect the setback change, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. Approved, (4-0-1) with Commissioner Duran Reed abstaining.

3. General Plan Amendment, Zone Change, Coastal Specific Plan Amendment, and Environmental Assessment Permit (Case No. ZON2003-00035 and ZON2003-000113): 6100 Palos Verdes Drive South

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report. He gave a brief history of the property and noted that the land use had originally been designated residential but was changed to commercial in 1997. He stated that in October, 2002 the current property owner requested a General Plan Amendment Initiation Request which allows the applicant the opportunity to receive feedback from the City Council on the proposed General Plan amendment. He noted that the City Council did not provide any pertinent feedback related to the proposed change in land use and did not deny the request from going forward. He explained that there are two cases before the Planning Commission: one being the applicant’s request for a General Plan and Coastal Specific Plan land use amendment to change the property from commercial to residential and to rezone the property, and the other is a city initiated zone text amendment to the non-conforming section of the Development Code. He explained that the proposed text amendment would require developments on parcels where the zoning changes be brought into conformance with the parking standards of the new zoning designation. He stated that the proposed zone change would bring the property into consistency with the other residential land uses along Sea Cove Drive and staff was of the opinion that the proposed General Plan amendment is consistent with the General Plan and the residential land use would not be contrary to any of the goals or policies in the General Plan. Regarding the Coastal Specific Plan, staff felt that since residential uses tend to cause less impact to the surrounding area than commercial uses and that since Sub Region 4 is primarily single family uses, the proposed amendment would not be contrary to the Coastal Specific Plan or to the General Plan. Therefore, staff was recommending approval of the General Plan amendment, zone change, Coastal Specific Plan amendment, and zone text amendment.

In reviewing the staff report, Commissioner Duran Reed asked why there was such a difference in the depths of the different borings on the property.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that the borings were done to determine soil contamination, and that the borings were different lengths because they were going down until no contamination was found in the soil.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that there was private property adjacent to this property along Palos Verdes Drive South, and asked if the land use designation for that property was residential.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that the property immediately to the west is Wayfarer’s Chapel office building, and that property is zoned commercial. To the west of that would be the fire station, which is zoned institutional.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if there was access to the property from Palos Verdes Drive South when it was a gas station.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that when there was a gas station at the site there were driveways on Palos Verdes Drive South.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked if the fire department had discussed with staff any interest in obtaining the property to expand the existing fire station.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that when projects such as this are reviewed, the fire department is made aware of the projects through the environmental review, at which time they are given time to comment. To his knowledge, the fire department has not expressed any type of interest or that they needed additional stations or that they needed to expand the existing station.

Vice Chairman Mueller was concerned that there were an increasing number of new homes and projects along Palos Verdes Drive South, and questioned whether the Fire Department would eventually need to expand their station.

Chairman Long opened the public hearing.

Dana Ireland 30 Narcissa Drive explained that he is in the process of purchasing the property and that the current owner has, over the years, leased the property out over the years. He stated that in purchasing the property he looked at the viability of the property, and felt that the need for someone to have a remote office in this area is diminishing greatly over time, especially with the advances in technology. He felt that if the property were to remain commercial it would be vacant a large percentage of the time. He stated that he would like to remodel the existing structure and move his family in. He stated that he was open to building garages, as he wanted the garages to store his cars. He explained that he met most of the residents in the 500-foot radius of the property, and all but one was very supportive of the project. He stated that he was taking this piece of property and reverting it back to a residential use, which was the master plan use for the property. He explained that the modifications that he will make to the site will be minimal and everything he will build will go towards the back of the site.

Chairman Long closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Duran Reed stated that one of her concerns about the property was the potential contamination and the liability to subsequent owners for a property that has had a gas station on it, and felt that it was something that should be taken into consideration when making a decision about the property.

Commissioner Lyon stated that he agreed with the staff recommendations. Regarding liability, he felt that the only one that had any potential liability was Mr. Ireland, and he has said he is very comfortable with the situation and is trying to err on the side of conservatism. He stated that he could support the project.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if the Planning Commission were to approve the zone change to residential, could a commercial use continue on the property.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that the commercial use could continue until such time as the occupancy of the building changes.

Director/Secretary Rojas added that the use would be considered non-conforming and the Code does say that if the non-conforming use is discontinued for 180 days then the non-conforming status is lost.

Commissioner Cartwright supported the project and did not have a concern with the issue of liability. He noted that the topography of the property was such that you really don’t notice the property as it is sunken down from Palos Verdes Drive South.

Vice Chairman Mueller felt that the Planning Commission should also consider the needs and interests of the public when considering this project. He felt that the property might be better served with an institutional zoning which would allow some type of service to be established there, such as the Fire Department, which would help better serve the residents of the area. He felt this property would be a perfect place for the Fire Department to expand and he was a little reluctant to turn the property into a residential use. He suggested that staff conduct a study to try to see what type of infrastructure might be needed along Palos Verdes Drive South in the future.

Chairman Long stated that there was a letter in the staff report from the Regional Water Quality Control Board stating that there was no further action required on the property. He felt that was the best thing the Planning Commission could go on in terms of liability and contamination, and did not think the Planning Commission could or should second guess the Board. He did not think there was any liability to the City and that any liability discussions should be between the seller and the buyer. In discussing whether or not the property should be rezoned, he felt that getting rid of spot zoning is good and in the public interest. He noted that the Fire Department has not made known any intention of the need to expand their station, and felt that there was always the possibility of rather than expanding the station the Fire Department may want to move elsewhere. He noted that whatever the Fire Department decides they want to do, they have the power of eminent domain and any residential property they may want they have the ability to acquire. He therefore felt that he could support the staff recommendations in the staff report.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that when it comes to infrastructure planning, the City leaves the issue to the Fire Department. He stated that to date, he was not aware of any notification from the Fire Department on the need to expand or upgrade their facility. He stated that the Fire Department has received notices of previous EIRs at Long Point and Ocean Trails, and they have received this Negative Declaration. Having received no comments from the Fire Department, he did not feel there was any reason to believe that there was any need on their part to expand.

Chairman Long agreed with the comment made by Mr. Ireland about how the changes in technology are rendering the remote offices, which he felt was the only logical commercial use for the property other than a service type of use. Therefore, he felt that what was left was this leftover piece of property, which was a piece of spot zoning left over from decisions made by the County, which he felt would not work left as is.

Commissioner Lyon felt that the City should let the Fire Department do it’s own planning and noted that if they wanted property to expand this would not be the logical piece. He felt the Fire Department would want the property immediately adjacent to the applicant’s property. He therefore felt that this was a non-issue. He also felt that the City would rather have more residential property of this type rather than commercial property, and fully agreed with the Chairman’s comments on spot zoning.

Commissioner Lyon moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2003-16; thereby recommending the City Council adopt a Negative Declaration and approve the Zone Text Amendment, General Plan Amendment, Coastal Specific Plan Amendment, and Zone Change (Case Nos. ZON2003-00036 and ZON2003-00113) as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Duran Reed. Approved, (4-0-1) with Vice Chairman Mueller abstaining.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

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

PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT)

4. Fences, Walls, and Hedges Permit (Case ZON2002-00560):

Assistant Planner Luckert presented the staff report explaining that the Director had approved the Fence, Wall, and Hedges Permit application, with conditions, in February. He explained the scope of the project, which is a 3-foot high wall running parallel to the rear property line of , and noted that the property owner at 5531 Shoreview Drive appealed the Director’s decision to the Planning Commission. He stated that the Director was able to make the three required findings to grant the permit, and showed pictures of the proposed location of the wall. Therefore, staff was recommending the Planning Commission deny the appeal and uphold the Director’s Decision to grant the Fence, Wall, and Hedge Permit.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if the proposed fence would be placed on the property line or inside the applicant’s property line.

Assistant Planner Luckert answered that the fence was planned to be placed just inside the applicant’s property line.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if the location of the property line was determined by a survey.

Assistant Planner Luckert responded that staff has a survey which does not point out where the fence will be, however staff and the applicant were able to locate on the survey where the fence will be located.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked if placing the fence can be done entirely by accessing the applicant’s property and not having to use the neighbor’s property.

Assistant Planner Luckert answered that to his knowledge construction can be done by accessing only the applicant’s property.

Director/Secretary Rojas added that when there is proposed construction right on the property line staff will suggest to the applicant that the fence should be moved away from the property line so that they will not need to use the neighbor’s property. He stated that if there is still a concern from the Planning Commission, staff can ask the applicant to move the fence back another foot or so.

Commissioner Cartwright noted that in the appellant’s letter she stated that there were several fences in the neighborhood made of glass or similar material. He stated that he had looked in the neighborhood and did not see any glass walls that delineated property lines, and asked staff if they were aware of any in that neighborhood.

Assistant Planner Luckert answered that he had seen a few, but felt that those walls had been placed by the upslope neighbor rather than the down slope neighbor.

Commissioner Cartwright asked if the foliage in the photos belongs to the appellant.

Assistant Planner Luckert answered that the shrubs in the photo do belong to the appellant.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked if this proposal would be defined as a wall or a fence according to the Code.

Assistant Planner Luckert answered that it is considered a wall because it does not meet the Development Code definition of a fence, which requires 80 percent light and air.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked how much higher this wall could go before, in staff’s opinion, it would begin to impair views.

Assistant Planner Luckert felt the wall could go up to five or six feet before it would begin to impair views from the neighboring property.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked staff if they knew of any other walls such as this constructed at the top of a slope.

Director/Secretary Rojas responded that through the years there have been requests for walls at the top of slopes.

Chairman Long added that there were a number of walls similar to this one in his neighborhood, however it was more typical for the wall to be built by the owner at the top of the slope rather than the owner at the bottom of the slope.

Chairman Long opened the public hearing.

Clyde LaGue explained that after purchasing his property he wanted to determine where his property lines were, and noted that there seemed to be some difference of opinion as to the property line on the south side of his property. Therefore he decided to have the property surveyed, after which he invited all the neighbors over to discuss the results. He further notified all neighbors that he planned to erect a property boundary fence along the official property line, and worked with all of the neighbors to design a fence that was acceptable in height and design. He stated that he was very sensitive to view issues and tried to present plans that would not impact the neighbor’s view yet still achieve his purpose of obviously and unmistakably marking the property boundary, thus eliminating any future property line and property ownership discrepancies in the future. He explained that the design of the fence was a white, ranch style fence similar to those seen throughout the City near the bridal and walking paths.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that there was a fence approximately six feet down the slope and asked Mr. LaGue if that was his fence.

Mr. LaGue answered that it was his fence, and it was there when he bought the property, however it was covered with overgrown foliage at the time and couldn’t really be seen. He stated that it was his intention to remove the fence.

Commissioner Cartwright asked Mr. LaGue if he knew who has been maintaining the area of the slope above that existing fence.

Mr. LaGue felt the resident to the southeast most likely maintained the property, however there was considerable overgrowth in that specific area.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Mr. LaGue if he has had any problems with people trespassing onto his property.

Mr. LaGue answered that he has not, and that the purpose for the fence was to delineate his property from the neighbors.

Commissioner Duran Reed asked Mr. LaGue if he would have any objections to lowering the height of the fence.

Mr. LaGue answered that if it were necessary he would be open to suggestions. He noted that in the photograph where the string line is located is actually at a height of 36 inches, and the upper runner of the fence will be 4 inches lower than the height of the posts. Therefore, the most obstructive portion of the fence will only be at a height of 32 inches, 4 inches below the marked string line.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked if there were markers left on the property after the survey was done.

Mr. LaGue explained that there were monuments at each position of the survey.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked if these monuments were sufficient to delineate the property boundaries without erecting a wall.

Mr. LaGue answered that at the present time these markers were visible, however in the future these markers will rot and deteriorate and will not be visible.

Vice Chairman Mueller understood the desire to have a wall on the property line, however he felt that Mr. LaGue was requesting a wall at the top of a slope that would obstruct portions of the neighbors view. He stated that he would rather see the wall relocated so that it is completely out of the appellant’s view. He asked Mr. LaGue if he wanted to control the foliage on that particular area and if that foliage would be visible from his residence.

Mr. LaGue answered that he did want to control the foliage on his property and he could see all of the foliage on the slope, as the slope is like a wall on his property.

Vice Chairman Mueller asked Mr. LaGue if he would be willing to change the color of the wall from bright white to a more natural wood appearance.

Mr. LaGue answered that he was open to any solution to the issue.

Chairman Long closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that he had a difficult time determining what the view impairment was in this situation. He did not see the view impairment when he was at the property, and he does not see the view impairment after viewing the photographs and listening to the discussions at the meeting. He felt that the option of a glass wall would be much more of a view impairment than what the applicant is proposing. He noted that looking down where the fence would be placed one has a view of rooftops. He agreed with the staff and did not think there was a view impairment worthy of the Planning Commission’s protection. He stated that if it were his property he too would want to put something along the top to delineate the properties and he did not think that a three-foot fence was unreasonable.

Commissioner Duran Reed agreed that the applicant had a right to fencing to show property boundaries, however she noted a willingness on the applicant’s part to work with neighbors and possibly lower the fence and change the color from bright white to something more natural. She felt that if the applicant were asked to lower the fence it would still serve his purposes as well as satisfy his neighbor’s concerns.

Commissioner Lyon agreed that the property owner had a right to build a legal, conforming fence on his property. He felt that the type of fence the applicant was proposing was common in this City, as well as other cities on the Peninsula. He did not feel there was any view impairment caused by the fence from either a standing or a sitting position from inside the house and that the proposed fence improves the uphill property, as the fence obscures some unsightly roof tops. He felt the appeal was frivolous and the letter from the appellant unrealistic, and therefore supported the Director’s decision.

Vice Chairman Mueller stated that the staff report was very clear in that this proposal was for a wall and not a fence. He felt that this type of fence was more typical along horse trails and was not the type that he would enjoy looking at in his backyard. He noted that the applicant has offered to lower the wall, and felt that the Planning Commission should take advantage of that offer. Regarding the color of the wall, he felt that a bright white wall would reflect the sun and cause even more of a view obstruction, and felt that the Planning Commission should consider asking the wall to be painted a natural color. He did not think the appellant’s request for a glass wall was a reasonable request.

Chairman Long stated that he was very troubled by the appellant’s letter, and that when something is presented to the Planning Commission that is so unreasonable, even though it may contain within it some things that are reasonable, the issue becomes clouded and difficult to make a decision. He quoted portions of the letter to illustrate his point: "I request that the owners of be instructed to paint the wall annually and maintain it from dry rot and termite damage, and that this responsibility run with the land in perpetuity and if the maintenance is not done by the owners of then the buyers of my property should be empowered to have the work done and billed to the owners of ." He found the requests from the appellant to be overreaching, unreasonable, and the expressed concerns to be unsupported by evidence. He felt that the Planning Commission should only consider the application based on the findings that must be made. He discussed the required three findings, and felt that all three findings could be made. He noted that he would prefer to see the color of the fence something other than white, but did not think there was anything in the findings or Code that would require the applicant to change the color. Therefore, he supported the Director’s determination to approve the permit, but felt that sometime in the future the Planning Commission might want to explore whether there should be some sort of standards of compatibility in the Fence, Wall, and Hedge Permit process.

Commissioner Lyon moved to adopt P.C. Resolution No. 2003-17, thereby denying the appeal and upholding the Director’s decision to approve the Fence, Wall and Hedge Permit (Case No. ZON2002-00560), as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright.

Vice Chairman Mueller suggested amending the motion to encourage the applicant to work with staff to try to minimize the view impairment to the upslope neighbor by lowering the wall, changing the color, or opening up the wall to become a fence which meets the 80 percent light and air requirement of the Code.

Commissioner Lyon did not accept the amendment to his motion, as he felt these were concerns he felt were up to the applicant to discuss with his neighbor at his discretion, and did not think it was proper to ask the applicant to work with the staff to reach a resolution of that type.

Chairman Long seconded the proposed amendment for the purpose of discussion.

Commissioner Cartwright felt that the applicant could work with the neighbor if that was something he chose to do, and reiterated that he could not see any view impairment caused by this proposed wall. He felt this was no more than a picket fence and that the only reason it was called a wall was because the City had technical language in the Code requiring anything that does not meet specific criteria be called a wall. He was very uncomfortable with the Planning Commission discouraging the applicant from delineating his property by a simple fence, and therefore could not support the proposed amendment.

Vice Chairman Mueller stated that he would not like to encourage, but rather discourage, future applicants from placing walls at the rear of their property when the neighbor’s property is upslope such as this one.

Chairman Long stated that he was disinclined to start heading down the path of encouraging things that he has knowledge the Planning Commission can’t require. Therefore, he was withdrawing his second to the amendment. He would like to see the wall be a color other than white, but did not think the Planning Commission had any ability under the Code to require it.

Commissioner Duran Reed seconded the amendment, explaining that the amendment was only encouraging the applicant to work with staff and not requiring it. She stated that the General Plan policy to preserve a semi-rural character in the City should be considered, and that this proposed wall did not comply with the policy of the General Plan

The proposed amendment to the motion failed, (2-3) with Commissioners Cartwright, Lyon, and Chairman Long dissenting.

Chairman Long noted the comments made by Commissioner Duran Reed regarding the General Plan, however he noted that the Ordinance must implement the General Plan. He noted that finding no. 3 requires that the wall comply with the appropriate standards and requirements of the City’s Municipal Code and General Plan. He did not think the Planning Commission could consider something as vague as what is semi-rural and what is not. Therefore, without an Ordinance telling him what is semi-rural and what is not, if the wall complies with the Ordinance the Planning Commission should recommend approval of the permit. He felt that the Planning Commission might, at some future date, address the standards for fences and walls, as the City seems to have been more careful to address the standards in the front yard than in the back yard.

Commissioner Duran Reed agreed with Chairman Long that there are not actual standards and requirements in the General Plan, just policies, which sometimes makes decisions very difficult. However, since the applicant has indicated his willingness to lower the fence and change the color, she would support the Director’s decision.

Vice Chairman Mueller agreed with Commissioner Duran Reed’s statements. He strongly encouraged the applicant to work with his neighbor to work out a solution to the wall that worked for both parties.

The motion to deny the appeal and uphold the Director’s decision passed (5-0).

5. Proposed recreational vehicle residential storage and street parking regulations (Case No. ZON2002-00580: Citywide

Director/Secretary Rojas presented the staff report explaining that at the previous hearing on the RV issue there were follow-up questions regarding the street parking issues. At this time, staff is recommending that the Planning Commission review the information in the staff report, and recommend to the City Council that they take no action on imposing additional street parking restrictions until the results from implementing the proposed private parking restrictions can be evaluated.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that he was surprised to see this on the agenda and asked if this was on the agenda in response to the Planning Commission’s request for more information on the Costa Mesa parking ordinance.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that this item was on the agenda in response to that request.

Commissioner Cartwright thought that the Planning Commission had decided not to take any action on this item until after the six-month review so that they could have the benefit of an analysis of what impact the new regulations have on the street parking.

Chairman Long discussed his original request that the on street parking issue be addressed by the Planning Commission, however after reading the staff report and given the preference of the Planning Commission as a whole at the last meeting to wait and see how the off-street changes would affect the on-street, he felt it was a good idea to wait six months to discuss on-street parking. He also felt that waiting six months might also allow the Traffic Committee to address any safety issues there may be.

Vice Chairman Mueller agreed with Chairman Long, and added that a definition of over-sized vehicle should also be discussed. He agreed that input from the Traffic Committee was very important in regards to the safety aspects of parking RVs on the street.

Commissioner Duran Reed also agreed that it was important to receive input from the Traffic Committee as well as input from the two Planning Commissioners who were not present at this meeting.

Chairman Long opened the public hearing.

Ernie Giannioses 534 Manitowac Drive stated that he was also representing the Good Sam Club, Family Motor Coach Association, and the Parking Rights Coalition. He stated that he had a hand in writing some of the proposed ordinances and would be very disappointed in himself if the ordinance forced a major amount of vehicles to park on the street. He felt that if, at the six month review, it was found that a large number of RVs are forced to park in the street it may be necessary to not only discuss on street parking, but the ordinances should be reviewed as well to find out why so many people were forced to park on the street. He explained that he had contacted the Sheriff’s Department to find out what kind of on-street parking problems exist now, and was told that there were not many, but that those they had were difficult to enforce. He asked that the Planning Commission keep in mind that an RV is licensed by the State as a private vehicle, just like a car, therefore whatever street laws are implemented must be the same for any private vehicle as they would be for an RV.

Tom Redfield 31273 Ganado Drive stated that everyone he is working with on the Homeowners Council and other groups was very impressed with the progress made of the RV issue. He understood that the Sheriff’s Department and staff could give a count on the number of street parking complaints received in any given period, however the system is not really indicative of the number of concerns and problems regarding street parking. He felt that there were many people who had valid concerns but did not go through the formal system of putting in a complaint. He felt that there was a need for some type of system that would allow people to make their complaints, and asked that the Planning Commission and staff not assume that because there are only three or four complaints a year that was all there was. He reminded the Planning Commission that RVs were not the only issue, there were also boats, inoperable cars, etc.

Commissioner Cartwright felt that the speakers raised an interesting point in that the Planning Commission tends to gravitate towards RVs in their discussions on parking issues, and acknowledged that there were problems with unhitched trailers, boats, and inoperative cars. He felt it was important for staff to gather all complaints regarding not only RVs, but also watercraft and any other type of applicable vehicles, and suggested there be some type of system in place where all of these complaints can be gathered.

Commissioner Duran Reed stated that if a street parking ordinance were in affect limiting the parking to 72 hours, signs would have to be posted throughout the City. She felt that establishing a system where complaints could be accurately tallied was an excellent idea.

Director/Secretary Rojas clarified that the purpose of bringing this to the Planning Commission at this time was to get clarification on how to proceed with the on-street parking issue, and if it was to be discussed six months after the Ordinance was adopted or if the Planning Commission recommends that the City Council or Traffic Committee discuss the issue concurrently with the Ordinance being implemented.

Chairman Long stated that he was persuaded that waiting six months after the Ordinance is adopted is a good idea and would like to recommend that to the City Council. However, he would also like to recommend to the City Council that the Traffic Committee give input on some of the issues discussed regarding street parking.

Vice Chairman Mueller added that the Planning Commission recommend to the City Council there be something established on the website where residents can easily report on-site and street parking problems. He felt this would encourage residents to contact the staff with the problems and would give staff a more accurate assessment of the parking problems in the City.

Commissioner Duran Reed added that something could be included in the newsletter that is circulated to the residents.

Commissioner Cartwright moved that the Planning Commission recommend to the City Council that no action be taken on imposing additional street parking restrictions until the results from implementing the proposed private parking restrictions can be evaluated. In addition, the Planning Commission would like staff to look at ways that the public can be better informed about the parking issue, and make sure there is a systems in place that will capture the information needed to evaluate the parking. Further, that the City Council direct the Traffic Committee to begin a study of on-street safety issues as a result of parking RVs, boats, trailers, and large vehicles that can possibly obstruct traffic, seconded by Commissioner Lyon.

Vice Chairman Mueller stated that he would like to see the City Council direct the Traffic Committee to study the problem of on-street parking and come up with some sort of policy or guidelines that can be incorporated into the discussions.

Commissioner Cartwright suggested asking the City Council for a report from the Traffic Committee at the six-month review discussing the results and recommendations of their study of the situation. He felt this report should be included in the staff report at the six-month review.

The motion passed, (5-0).

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

6. Minutes of March 25, 2003

Commissioner Lyon noted a typo on page 3 of the minutes.

Commissioner Duran Reed noted an omission on page 4 of the minutes.

Commissioner Duran Reed moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Commissioner Cartwright. Approved, (4-0-1) with Vice Chairman Mueller abstaining since he was absent from that meeting.

7. Minutes of April 8, 2003

Commissioner Lyon noted a typo on page 8 of the minutes.

Commissioner Cartwright moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Commissioner Duran Reed. Approved, (4-0-1) with Vice Chairman Mueller abstaining since he was absent from that meeting.

Director/Secretary Rojas discussed with the Planning Commission ways to facilitate corrections to the minutes. He suggested it might help the Commissioners to receive the draft minutes via electronic format as well as in their agenda packets. He noted that the draft minutes were available on the website but the draft minutes could also be e-mailed to the Planning Commissioners.

After a discussion the Planning Commission asked staff to, in addition to the minutes included in the agenda packet, send the draft minutes to pc@rpv.com. Any Commissioner who wished could make their suggested changes to the minutes and e-mail that back to staff. These suggested changes in hard copy form would then be distributed to the Commissioners at the meeting.

ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

Commissioner Duran Reed stated that she would be absent from the May 13, 2003 meeting.

Commissioner Cartwright stated that he may possibly be absent from the May 13 meeting.

Chairman Long stated that he will most likely be absent from both of the June Planning Commission meetings.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 10:27 p.m.