JULY 13, 2004


The meeting was called to order by Chairman Mueller at 7:00 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.


Commissioner Van Wagner led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Present: Commissioners Gerstner, Karp, Knight, Tetreault, Van Wagner, and Chairman Mueller.

Absent: Vice Chair Cote was excused.

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


Commissioner Gerstner moved to approve the agenda as presented, seconded by Commissioner Knight. Approved, (6-0).


Director/Secretary Rojas distributed one item of correspondence regarding agenda item no. 2. He also reported that the mayor and mayor pro-tem have selected September 25th to hold the commission/committee leadership training workshop.

Commissioner Gerstner reported that he attended the meeting of the development code steering committee and noted that the meetings are open to the public.




1. Minutes of June 8, 2004

Commissioner Knight moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Karp. Approved, (4-0-2) with Commissioner Van Wagner and Chairman Mueller abstaining since they were absent from that meeting.


2. Height Variation Permit (Case No. ZON2004-00087): 28129 Ella Road

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report, explaining the scope of the project and the need for the height variation. He explained that when staff was conducting the analysis there were some concerns with the view findings regarding significant and cumulative view impairment. He showed pictures of the view analysis taken from 28327 Lomo Drive, noting that staff did not feel the proposed project created a significant view impairment, as the impairment caused by the proposed structure is to the side of the view frame. However, when looking at cumulative view impairment, staff felt that there would be a significant cumulative view impairment from this property. In looking at view impairment from 28221 Lomo Drive, staff felt that the proposed project would create a significant view impairment, as the proposed project would be in the center of the view frame. Additionally, staff felt that proposed project would contribute to a significant cumulative view impairment from the property. He explained that at the third parcel staff visited, 28215 Lomo Drive, staff determined that the proposed project would create a significant view impairment but not contribute to a cumulative view impairment from the property. He explained that staff also analyzed the project regarding impacts to privacy and felt that the window on the north-facing wall of the project does create a privacy impact to the neighbor at 28123 Ella Road. Therefore, staff was recommending that if the Planning Commission does approve the project the window either be removed or be made a clear story window. He also noted that if the Planning Commission approves the proposed project staff is recommending a condition be added that the non-conforming 6-foot tall hedge along the front of the property be lowered to 42 inches or moved back so it is no closer to the street than the front façade of the residence. He concluded by stating that since staff could not make all of the findings in a positive manner, staff was recommending the Planning Commission deny the project without prejudice.

Commissioner Knight asked staff if it was their opinion that the existing, non-conforming garage was not part of the project.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that the house and garage are part of the project, however when referring to the project in terms of the findings, staff refers to what is proposed to be added and does not analyze a finding for what is already existing on the property.

Commissioner Knight asked staff to clarify what views were being impacted from the three residences discussed earlier.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that from 28327 Lomo Drive the proposed project would impact a view of the ocean and possibly a portion of Malibu. From 28221 and 28215 Lomo Drive the proposed project would block a view of the ocean.

Commissioner Knight asked staff if lowering the pitch of the roof and lowering of the interior ceilings would accomplish a reduction of the significant view impact.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that staff would not be able to determine that until a revised silhouette is constructed, however staff felt this should be enough to address the view issues.

Commissioner Tetreault asked staff if the foliage existing on the properties could be removed or be subject to view restoration.

Associate Planner Blumenthal noted that there is foliage on the properties that could be subject to view restoration.

Chairman Mueller asked staff if they had considered any alternatives or suggestions about reorienting the ridgeline so that it does not run parallel to the street.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that reorienting the ridgeline may address some view impacts, however staff would have to see a revised silhouette before making any determinations. He noted, however, that along with reorienting the ridgeline it would also have to be lowered to address the view impacts.

Chairman Mueller asked staff to clarify how they reached their conclusions regarding neighborhood compatibility and the size of the proposed structure.

Associate Planner Blumenthal noted that the proposed residence would be larger than the other homes in the area, however staff feels that the applicant has taken measures to reduce the bulk and mass of the home as well as setting the addition back quite a bit farther than the façade of the garage, making the house appear smaller than it would be.

Commissioner Knight asked staff if they had done an analysis to determine if there would be any privacy impact from the proposed balcony.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that staff did an analysis, however did not feel there would be a privacy impact. He noted that there are currently not fences between the rear yards of several properties, and the houses to the south of the subject property do not currently have privacy in their yards.

Commissioner Knight felt that if a person to the south decided they wanted more privacy and built a fence, the balcony would impact the privacy.

Associate Planner Blumenthal noted that staff feels this is not significant, as the Height Variation Guidelines say that privacy findings are based on the existing privacy and is not creating a vantage point that they do not currently possess.

Commissioner Knight did not entirely agree, as he felt it may create another vantage point.

Chairman Mueller opened the public hearing.

David Moss 613 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica (representing the applicants) felt the staff report was very thorough. He stated that the proposed home design, use of multiple roof planes, and the façade articulation makes the addition consistent with area homes. He stated that the applicant has gone door to door throughout the neighborhood and has many letters from the neighbors in support of the project. He stated that there have been a significant number of revisions to the plans to mitigate the concerns of the neighbors and staff. He explained that the window on the north elevation in the master bedroom has been raised, guaranteeing the privacy of the neighbor; the roof pop-up has been eliminated on the north elevation; there has been a reduction in the first floor plate from 10 feet to 8 feet; there has been a reduction in the second floor plate from 9 ˝ feet to 8 or 8 ˝ feet; an overall reduction of the mass of the house above ground level from 24’4" to 22 feet; and an agreement to remove or significantly trim the pine trees to the satisfaction of any and all neighbors who have a view affected by the trees.

San Anderson 219 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach (architect) distributed plans depicting the proposed changes discussed by Mr. Moss. He explained these changes.

David Moss stated that his goal was to demonstrate that the project conforms to the guidelines and help the Planning Commission make the findings to approve the project. He stated that in terms of finding no. 4, view impairment, he felt that the potential view impacts have been mitigated by the architectural changes recently made. In terms of finding no. 5, he felt that the proposed changes have also addressed these issues. He discussed the change of the roof pitch from 4:12 to 3:12 and felt that was out of keeping with the neighborhood and creates somewhat of a squat home. Regarding finding no. 6, he felt this was an extremely difficult finding to make and did not feel there was a potential cumulative view impact from the Naik or Brewster homes. In summary, he did not feel this was an aggressive or a project out of compatibility with the neighborhood. He stated this was not a speculative project but a proposal for a family home that is compatibile with the neighborhood. He felt that the proposed changes to the plans will address the concerns of staff and the neighbors.

Commissioner Karp noted that this is a very deep and large lot, and asked the architect if they had considered extending the home out without going up to two stories.

Mr. Anderson answered that he did not consider going out rather than up, noting that when looking at the soils report it was evident that there is unstable area in the back that would be difficult to build on.

Mr. Moss added that there is approximately 15 feet from the top of the slope, which is a 1:1 slope, that is not suitable to build on without adding extensive retaining walls.

Chairman Mueller asked the architect if he had considered reorienting the roof so that the ridgeline is not parallel with the street.

Mr. Anderson stated that the width of the roof allows the roof not to soar up into the sky and felt that changing the direction of the pitch of the hip roof there would be a wider span that would make the roof appear higher.

Tony Nafissi 5625 Certa Drive felt that anything that is done to the house will improve the neighborhood, as it is currently not a very attractive house. He therefore supports the proposed project.

Gene Pledger 6517 Certa Drive stated that his view is not impacted by the improvement of this property. He stated that he is very much in favor of this proposed project, as it will be an improvement to the neighborhood.

Ishver Naik 28327 Lomo Drive felt that because the photograph shown by staff is panoramic and composite photograph there is a significant optical distortion in terms of looking at the cumulative view. He felt that if other houses are to be built at the same height as the proposed construction, his ocean view sill be completely obstructed and eliminated. He stated he opposes the proposed construction of the second story addition as the proposed addition will reduce and impair his view of the ocean, Malibu, and the Santa Monica Mountains. He felt that this impairment of views will significantly reduce the enjoyment of his home as well as the future value of his home. Furthermore, he felt the proposed addition will set a precedent in approving similar additions to homes in the neighborhood, as there are several other single story homes on Ella Road that could apply to add a second story addition. He noted that this would be the first two-story home on Ella Road. He felt that the applicant should further explore adding on to the first floor. He stated that he strongly opposes the second story addition and asked the Planning Commission to deny the application.

Commissioner Gerstner asked Mr. Naik if the photograph displayed by staff was an accurate reflection of the subject house and the cumulative view impairment.

Mr. Naik did not think that the line on the photograph clearly depicts what can happen with future additions in the neighborhood. He also noted that because the photograph was not taken on a clear day you could not fully see the ocean and Santa Monica Mountains in the picture.

Commissioner Knight asked Mr. Naik to point out on the photograph where the Santa Monica Mountain view is relative to the proposed structure.

Mr. Naik pointed out an area above the red line on the photograph.

Commissioner Van Wagner asked Mr. Naik his opinion on the proposed changes discussed by the architect and Mr. Moss.

Mr. Naik answered that without a revised silhouette at the property he did not know if this would be a satisfactory solution.

Chairman Mueller asked Mr. Naik if he disagrees with the statement in the staff report that the proposed addition will not block his view of Malibu.

Mr. Naik stated that the addition will partially block his view of Malibu.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brewster 28221 Lomo Drive stated that the proposed addition will cut off their view from the downstairs area as well as from areas on the second floor. Mr. Brewster noted on staff’s photograph that where the red line is shown is the only place their have a view of the water and the proposed addition will take away that view. Mrs. Brewster was also concerned that this addition will set precedence and others will propose second story additions which will obliterate any view they may have.

Commissioner Tetreault asked the Brewsters if the proposed changes to the addition will help their view in any way.

Mr. Brewster did not think the proposed changes would help, but he would have to see a revised silhouette.

Young Oh 28215 Lomo Drive stated that the picture taken from her home was taken on an overcast day and does not clearly depict her view of the ocean and Malibu. She stated that she was opposed to the addition as it would be in the middle of the view from her home. She did not know if lowering the height of the addition would be enough to stay out of her view.

Chairman Mueller asked Ms. Oh if the photographs were taken from her main viewing area.

Ms. Oh answered that the photographs were not taken from the main viewing area, as they usually go into their backyard to see the ocean view and Malibu. She stated that the pictures were taken from the living room area.

Chairman Mueller asked staff if they considered the living room the main viewing area.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that, utilizing the Height Variation Guidelines, staff considers the area from the living room to be the best and most important view.

Mr. Moss (in rebuttal) felt that if nothing else is clear, this is a very difficult decision if for no other reason than there seems to be disagreement as to who has views and where these views are taken from. In response to the Naik’s comments, staff has said there are no individual view impacts and he does not see a cumulative impact based on the alleged loss of the entire ocean view, and noted that loss of property value is not before the Planning Commission for discussion. He did not feel that any precedence would be set with this project, as each application submitted is looked at individually. In terms of the Brewster’s comments, they are also concerned with the implication that the Planning Commission does not have a case-by-case review, which is not the case. He felt that it was impossible for the proposed project to block the upper story view from the Brewster residence. He stated that the area of the silhouette is approximately 6 percent of the entire view corridor, and the problem is with the existing foliage blocking the view, which has nothing to do with his client’s project. In terms of the Oh property, he did not feel that if the flags are hardly visible from the backyard area they could become more visible as you move through the viewing areas of the upper story of the house. He stated that he was prepared to work out conditions of approval that will give a comfort level to the Planning Commission and that the changes proposed to the plans will render the ability of staff and the Planning Commission the ability to make all of the findings in a positive manner.

Commissioner Gerstner asked Mr. Moss how long it would take to re-silhouette the property to represent the changes proposed.

Mr. Moss answered that plans could be done within 7 business days or less and the silhouette could be put up in with a few days, depending on the schedule of the carpenter.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that with a 90-day extension granted by the applicant and if plans are given to staff and a new silhouette erected by July 23rd, staff can have this ready for the August 10th Planning Commission meeting.

Mr. Moss stated that he had the permission of the owners to grant the 90-day extension, however he was concerned that without accurate photographs taken from each property it would be very difficult to make a decision as to whose views might be potentially blocked by the proposed addition and whose views would not be impacted.

Chairman Mueller closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Knight asked staff if it was possible to add into the staff report that the garage is existing, non-conforming. He felt that the way the staff report is currently written in the conclusion that the entire project meets code, and he wanted to make it clear that the existing garage does not currently meet code.

Chairman Mueller asked if language could be added to the Resolution.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the "project" in the staff report was referring to the proposed project. However, if there is a subsequent staff report the language can be added.

Commissioner Van Wagner asked, if the item is continued to August 10th, would there be a new view analysis done and new photographs taken.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that was correct, adding that staff does not make their decision based on the photographs, but rather on what was seen at the site, and the photos are available only to help remind staff and the Planning Commission what they saw when they were at the site.

Commissioner Tetreault asked staff, when looking at cumulative view impairment from 28227 Lomo Drive, if the analysis included the property to the left of the second story home in the center portion of the photograph.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that the Height Variation Guidelines state that when looking at cumulative view the impact should be measured from the closest three to four homes. He noted that this home is seven homes away and was excluded by staff.

Commissioner Karp did not know why the Planning Commission would consider allowing a second story addition on this home and questioned why this house could not be expanded on the first floor only. He felt that by allowing this home to increase its square footage significantly, the City was creating a set of moving averages. Allowing the average size of a home to increase was giving more justification to two-story houses in the neighborhood. He felt that there was enough land to allow the applicant to build a single story addition and was not prepared to vote in favor of allowing a second story addition to be added to this property.

Commissioner Van Wagner did not have any problems with the second-story issue, however he was in agreement with the staff report regarding findings 4, 5, and 6. He felt he may be able to make those findings based on the new plans and the new analysis, but he could not do so at this time.

Commissioner Tetreault agreed with Commissioner Van Wagner, noting that there has been a great deal of effort to make the home compatible with the neighborhood. He stated that the amount of the obstruction of the view does not seem to be as significant as others that have come before the Planning Commission that completely obliterate a view, however he understood that what little ocean view someone might have is precious to them. He was not sure that the proposed reduction of a few feet would solve the problem of view impairment.

Commissioner Knight appreciated the efforts of the architect in trying to meet some of the staff concerns of the project, however he felt the project does need to have a new silhouette to fully appreciate the impacts of the proposal. He stated that he would like to see the silhouette reflect the 3:12 roof pitch. He was concerned about the balcony on the side and the privacy issues. He was therefore in favor of following the staff recommendation to deny the project without prejudice to allow the applicant the time to redesign the project.

Commissioner Gerstner moved to continue the public hearing to August 10 to allow the applicant to submit the revised drawings and re-silhouette the property, seconded by Commissioner Van Wagner

Chairman Mueller stated that his problem with the project centers on the significant view impairment from one particular property and the possibility of a cumulative view impairment. He felt that the revised plans begin to address the concerns raised by staff. He felt that the 2’- 4" reduction in height was probably not enough to make a difference in the view impairment. He felt that if the Planning Commission were to continue the public hearing, specific direction should be given as to what types of reduction in height they would like to see. He felt that the way the home was designed was very attractive, however his concerns were on making the findings in terms of view impairment, and he felt the height of the project is still too high. He felt that any revision done be lowered to at least the height staff was recommending.

Commissioner Gerstner felt that the applicant is the one who is deciding how low they are willing to go with this project and he would like to see the project silhouetted at the level the applicant is willing to go to. Regarding the pitch of the roof, he felt that the Planning Commission might adjust roof pitch and other items and have no idea what that adjustment would do to some of the other elements of the house. He felt that what the applicant has said is valid, that reducing the pitch of the roof will make the mass of the wall look greater.

Commissioner Karp requested the Planning Commission ask the applicant if they would be willing to grant the 90-day time extension required to continue the item.

Commissioner Knight felt that if the Planning Commission is going to continue the item they should specify what they are looking for in terms of the project, and the motion should reflect specific suggestions or ideas that the Planning Commission is looking for. Regarding the 3:12 pitch, he agreed that sometimes architecturally that can affect the mass and bulk of the home, however he felt that the Planning Commission should be able to look at some drawings to make that determination.

Commissioner Tetreault felt it was important to offer input to the applicant. He felt that in terms of neighborhood compatibility, the proposed project is compatible with the neighborhood. He felt that with staff’s recommendation and the applicant’s agreement to change the north window to a clearstory window mitigates the privacy issues of the neighbor. He stated that his concern was the view impact and that it is important to maintain the views that the neighbors have over the structure.

Chairman Mueller re-opened the public hearing.

Chairman Mueller asked Mr. Moss if he was willing to grant a 90-day extension to allow the project to be continued to August 10th thereby allowing the architect to consider redesigning the project to address the concerns of staff, the Planning Commission, and the neighbors.

Mr. Moss agreed to the 90-day time extension.

Chairman Mueller closed the public hearing.

Director/Secretary Rojas summarized the motion to identify concerns with the project, provide staff and/or the applicant with direction, and continue the public hearing to August 10. He noted that staff needs the plans and the project re-silhouetted by July 23rd to be able to provide the Planning Commission with a report for the August 10th meeting.

The motion was approved, (5-1) with Commissioner Karp dissenting.


At 9:15 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess until 9:30 p.m. at which time they reconvened.


3. Neighborhood Compatibility Code Amendment (Case No. ZON2004-00031)

Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report, explaining the scope of the proposed code amendment and that the language before the Planning Commission is to establish exemptions to the neighborhood compatibility requirements as well as some minor editorial changes to the existing triggers. He summarized the exemptions, explaining that staff was recommending the Planning Commission give staff direction and input so that it can be forwarded to the City Attorney for comments and come back to the Planning Commission with a final resolution.

Commissioner Van Wagner asked staff to clarify how they came up with the figure of less than 120 square feet and 12 feet in height.

Senior Planner Mihranian explained that it was based on the Uniform Building Code’s exemption of detached unhabitable accessory structures less than 120 square feet not needing a building permit. He explained that 12 feet is the maximum height allowed for accessory structures.

Commissioner Knight asked if there was anything written that would prevent a homeowner from changing the roof and window styles of their home which might then change the home from a ranch style home to a Mediterranean style home.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that the steering committee discussed how the City could regulate modifications made to the exterior of a structure where planning department approval is not necessary and neighborhood compatibility is not triggered. He stated that ultimately the steering committee determined that the only way to regulate such changes as roof material, house color, etc., was through an architectural review board, which the steering committee did not want to recommend.

Chairman Mueller stated that he was comfortable with allowing residents a little freedom of choice and he did not have an issue with a little variety in a neighborhood. He asked staff to describe what would be covered under the language on page 4, condition H, specifically what sort of structures would be considered a mezzanine under the city code.

Senior Planner Mihranian explained that a good example would be a living room with a vaulted ceiling where one would want to add a loft, and in doing so there would be some sort of dormer added or a change to the exterior façade of the roof to allow the clearance for a person to stand in the loft, then neighborhood compatibility would be required because of the change made to the exterior of the structure.

Commissioner Tetreault asked staff to clarify, on page 6, what the vantage point was of someone on the street when determining if something is visible from the street right-of-way.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that it is based on the height of the average person standing on the sidewalk area.

Commissioner Tetreault asked if there were some other areas discussed in the steering committee that did not become part of the recommendations that might be of interest to the Planning Commission.

Senior Planner Mihranian felt that the four areas presented in the staff report were the significant areas of discussion in the steering committee. He explained that staff worked together to come up with a list of projects they felt could be exempt without having any adverse affects on the neighborhood.

Commissioner Tetreault asked if these four were to be implemented, did staff have any sense of how much time savings there would be to the department and what percentage of applications come through that would fall into one of these four categories.

Senior Planner Mihranian explained that staff has not actually calculated the percentage of applications this would affect, however he did not think it would be a great number of projects.

Commissioner Knight asked how staff would look at a patio enclosure put on a corner lot, which from the side of the property could be seen from the street.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that corner lots are difficult, and most likely it would not be exempt.

Commissioner Gerstner referred to exemption 2(a) and felt it was restating some of what appears in 1(d), noting that it was for an addition but doesn’t say it includes construction of any new detached structures. He felt that this was saying that if it meets this criteria one can expand to the back of the house but can’t build a detached structure without going through neighborhood compatibility, even though the detached structure might fall under the same criteria. He asked why staff did not exempt the detached structure that meets all of the same criteria as the addition to the interior side of the lot.

Senior Planner Mihranian explained that the Planning Commission could certainly consider revising the language to add this exemption.

Commissioner Gerstner asked staff to explain what square footage would be considered acceptable for an exempt project. He noted that the proposed language in the staff report does not identify a square footage calculation.

Director/Secretary Rojas indicated that square footage was not defined, but the City Council’s intent was to exempt small projects that would not adversely impact a neighborhood and would not overly burden a property owner. He suggested establishing a square footage limit similar to the exemption of detached non-habitable accessory structures.

Commissioner Gerstner stated that when you can’t see the proposed detached structure from the road, it is under 16 feet in height, and it complies with the other standards, then why would neighborhood compatibility be required.

Chairman Mueller stated that the difficulty he was having was how to handle cumulative additions to a house. He stated that the question was how much of an addition would change the look of a house, giving the example of an addition which had to go through neighborhood compatibility and was approved and then later down the line a smaller addition is added that is not subject to neighborhood compatibility but might fill in areas and make the home not compatibility with the neighborhood. He asked staff if they had any recommendations on the square footage allowable.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that there is a cap on cumulative square footage and then neighborhood compatibility is triggered. He felt that the Planning Commission had some concern and that staff will need to review this, discuss it with the City Attorney, and report back to the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Gerstner moved to direct staff to review the proposed revised language suggested by the Planning Commission and continue the item to the July 27, 2004 Planning Commission meeting, seconded by Commissioner Tetreault. Approved, (6-0).


4. Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines (Case No. ZON2004-00345)

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report explaining that the Planning Commission had directed staff to agendize an item to review and discuss the Wireless Communications Antenna Development Guidelines, more specifically the requirement of the submittal of a master plan by cellular service providers. He stated that staff is recommending the Planning Commission review the Guidelines and make any modifications that they deem necessary.

Commissioner Karp stated that he had read about cases where courts have upheld that CC&Rs are private contracts and can be used to prevent cellular antennas on certain property. He recommended to staff they discuss this with the City Attorney to see what court decisions could be supportive of that position and if there are CC&Rs prohibiting these antennas and if the City can rely on this.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that this would apply only to private property and not to antennas placed in the public right-of-way. He also noted that the wireless company can still apply to the City for approval of the permit, as the CC&Rs are a private issue.

Commissioner Knight asked staff if an application is before the City to put an antenna on a condo or apartment complex, does the City notify the HOA of the application.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that all property owners within 500 feet are notified, which would include any HOA.

Commissioner Knight referred to the master plan displayed by staff and stated that he could not identify which facilities are being planned to retire based upon any kind of new technology or new facilities.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that he had spoken to a representative from Verizon on this subject and it was explained to him that the master plans do not specifically identify which sites are getting ready to retire. He stated that the determination to retire a facility because of obsolete technology is based on the competitive market at the time and therefore do not show up on the master plan.

Commissioner Knight asked if the companies indicate on their master plan that when a site becomes obsolete they will remove it, rather than let it remain and have an accumulation of obsolete antennas.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that there is nothing in place that requires a carrier to remove an antenna that is obsolete and not being used.

Commissioner Knight asked if this was something the City can put in place or is that out of the purview of the Planning Commission.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that on a Conditional Use Permit application before the City, a condition can be added that says if the antenna becomes obsolete it shall be removed and the CUP shall become null and void. He stated that staff will discuss this issue with the City Attorney.

Commissioner Van Wagner asked if there was anything in the Guidelines stating what should be shown on the master plan.

Associate Planner Blumenthal stated that the Guidelines state that a master plan shall be submitted but do not specify what shall be included in the master plan.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that the Planning Commission can amend the Guidelines to state what is to be put in the master plan.

Commissioner Knight moved that the modifications discussed be made and brought back to the Planning Commission for review at a future meeting, seconded by Commissioner Van Wagner. Approved, (6-0).


5. Minutes of June 22, 2004

Commissioner Knight noted changes to pages 2 and 17 of the minutes.

Commissioner Knight moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Commissioner Van Wagner. Approved, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Tetreault abstaining, since he was absent from that meeting.


6. Pre-agenda for the meeting of July 27, 2004

Chairman Mueller noted that the July 27th meeting is very crowded and the Planning Commission may have trouble getting through the agenda in a reasonable amount of time.

7. Requests from Commissioner Karp

Chairman Mueller began my stating that it was important the Planning Commission discuss the merits of putting the item on the agenda as opposed to discussing the merits of the item.

Commissioner Karp explained that he requested the first item regarding view restoration be put on a future agenda, as view restoration is very time consuming and the Planning Commission should decide if they want to spend the excessive amount of time on view restoration.

Chairman Mueller asked staff what kind of backlog currently exists on view restoration applications.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that there are five cases waiting to be heard by the Planning Commission and four cases that are pending pre-application meetings. He noted that staff may begin using the services of a professional mediator to try to reduce the number of cases that have to come before the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Tetreault moved to agendize the discussion at a future Planning Commission meeting, seconded by Commissioner Karp. Approved, (5-1) with Chairman Mueller dissenting.

Vice Chairman Mueller explained his no vote by stating that he felt there was no urgency in placing the item on the Planning Commission agenda.

Regarding Commissioner Karp’s second suggestion that there be a discussion on agreements and dispositions agreed during view restoration and preservations hearings becoming recorded covenants that run with the land, and noted that staff has made a recommendation that be included in the discussion at the next meeting having to do with the view restoration guidelines.

Commissioner Karp agreed with staff that the discussion would be appropriate during the discussion of the view restoration guidelines. The Planning Commission agreed.

Regarding suggestion no. 3, Commissioner Karp explained that his intent was to make the public aware of their CC&Rs and what their CC&Rs do and do not allow the residents to do.

Chairman Mueller noted these items are really best handled outside this body since, as has been pointed out by staff, these private agreements are not in the purview of the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Van Wagner stated that he didn’t fully understand what Commissioner Karp was requesting, and therefore he would like to put the topic on a future agenda.

Commissioner Knight stated that he agreed with staff’s analysis that this topic is outside of the Planning Commission’s purview.

Chairman Mueller pointed out that by voting to place this item on the agenda, the Commission would also be asking for input from the City Attorney. He explained that it was important to him as the Chairman that some consensus or a majority of the Commission be obtained before requesting that staff expend taxpayer money to have the City Attorney answer questions.

Commissioner Tetreault felt there was a big difference as to whether something should be on the Agenda versus the merits of the matter, and he felt that if a fellow Planning Commission wants to bring an item to the agenda for discussion the Commission should listen, regardless of the merits.

Commissioner Karp moved that suggestion no. 3 be placed on a future agenda, seconded by Commissioner Van Wagner. Approved, (5-1) with Chairman Mueller dissenting.

In discussing suggestion no. 4, Chairman Mueller noted that the topic suggested by Commissioner Karp will most likely be discussed at the upcoming workshop with the City Council. The Planning Commission agreed.

Regarding item no.5, Chairman Mueller asked staff for clarification.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted that this would require a code amendment and the way it would work is that the Planning Commission could agendize the item for discussion and at that time determine the merits of the suggestion. The Planning Commission can at that time decide to table the discussion or direct staff to initiate a code amendment to the City Council.

Commissioner Karp explained that his intent was that before people spend time and money on a project, there should be some foundation or basis that the project is viable, therefore requiring some sort of survey to determine that there is a viable piece of property.

Commissioner Gerstner noted that this would have to be an amendment to the Development Code and there is currently a committee that is reviewing the Development Code. He stated that he would be happy to present this item to the committee and ask them to discuss the merits.

Commissioner Karp felt this was an appropriate action, and the Planning Commission agreed.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:22 p.m.