FEBRUARY 8, 2005 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES FEBRUARY 8, 2005 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING

FEBRUARY 8, 2005

 

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Tetreault at 7:08 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Karp led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL

Present: Commissioners Karp, Knight, Perestam, and Chairman Tetreault.

Absent: Commissioners Gerstner and Mueller were excused.

Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Fox, Associate Planner Schonborn, and Assistant Planner Yu.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

The Planning Commission unanimously approved hearing Agenda Item No. 5 after Agenda Item No. 2.

COMMUNICATIONS

Director/Secretary Rojas distributed a handout from Commissioner Karp regarding real estate law, one letter for Agenda Item No. 2, and a copy of comments from Commissioner Mueller regarding Agenda Item No. 3. He also reported that the City Council heard the appeal of the driveway on Vista Del Mar and remanded the case back to the Planning Commission, as the appellant had expressed a desire to submit a revised plan.

1. SELECTION OF THE VICE CHAIR

Chairman Tetreault noted that Commissioner Mueller had stated he would like to be present when the Vice Chair is selected and that he would be at the next meeting.

Commissioner Knight felt that out of respect to the other Commissioners, that the selection of the Vice Chair should be continued to the next meeting.

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-agenda items):

None

CONTINUED BUSINESS

2. Height Variation (Case No. ZON2004-00115): 6729 Kings Harbor Drive

Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report, explaining the scope of the project and how the applicant had re-designed the addition to mitigate the apparent bulk and mass of the project. He stated that staff was now able to make all of the necessary findings for the height variation and was recommending approval of the project, as conditioned.

Commissioner Knight asked if the ridgeline of the structure has been reduced as a result of the changes made to the original plans.

Associate Planner Schonborn answered that the ridgeline has been reduced by two feet.

Commissioner Knight asked about the viewing area discussed in the staff report and asked staff to clarify the viewing area.

Associate Planner Schonborn explained that the rear of the properties are all oriented in the same direction and the viewing area was taken from the first floor looking toward the north.

Chairman Tetreault noted that a neighbor had submitted a letter with a concern about the proposed addition blocking air and light. He asked if this was a concern the City took into consideration when reviewing neighborhood compatibility.

Associate Planner Schonborn answered that it is not a consideration when reviewing a proposed addition.

Chairman Tetreault opened the public hearing.

Mark DiBacco 578 W. 18th Street, San Pedro (applicant) stated that the time spent with staff has been very productive and he has made every effort to address all of the issues raised without sacrificing the original design criteria for the project.

Commissioner Knight stated that he wanted to make sure the applicant was aware that there is no solar ordinance in the City and therefore there is nothing to protect the sunlight access to the solar panels proposed for the project.

Mr. DiBacco felt that the orientation of the solar panels is ideal in terms of sun exposure and any future development to the properties surrounding the residence would not affect the sunlight for the panels.

Chairman Tetreault closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Knight referred to the letter received from the neighbor as late correspondence and asked staff if they had addressed any of the concerns mentioned in the letter.

Associate Planner Schonborn explained that one of the issues raised in the letter was that of sun and light, and he reiterated that sun and light issues did not fall under the purview of the height variation application or neighborhood compatibility. He stated that the other concern mentioned in the letter was with the size and bulk and mass of the structure, and believes that the issue has been mitigated and addressed.

Commissioner Tetreault stated that his only concern with the project was that the addition appears to add a new element to the neighborhood, that being the extension of the entire front of the house toward the sidewalk while the other homes in the neighborhood have the L shaped footprint. He noted, however, that there are quite a few architectural attempts to reduce the apparent bulk and mass so that the affect of that is softened and lessened somewhat. He noted that while this design offers a change to the neighborhood he did not think it is so excessive as to be not compatible, and he could make the necessary findings.

Commissioner Karp moved to approve P.C. Resolution 2005-07 thereby approving the Height Variation as recommended by staff, seconded by Commissioner Perestam. Approved, (4-0).

PUBLIC HEARINGS

5. Height Variation and Grading Permit (Case No. ZON2004-00387): 4300 Miraleste Drive

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report, explaining the scope of the project and the need for the Height Variation and Grading Permit. He stated that staff was able to make the necessary findings for both permits and that staff felt all of the necessary findings can be made, and therefore was recommending approval of the project subject to the conditions of approval.

Commissioner Knight stated that when he went into the applicant’s backyard he noted that the proposed balcony would be overlooking the neighbor’s outdoor gathering area, and asked staff if there was any infringement of privacy created by this structure.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that the new addition and balcony would not create any new infringement of privacy, as the property owners already possess the ability to view into the neighboring properties.

Chairman Tetreault noted this residence is in the Miraleste area and has to comply with requirements of the Art Jury, and asked in what order the approvals occur.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that typically homeowners in this area work simultaneously with the City and the Art Jury.

Chairman Tetreault opened the public hearing.

Joe Brajevich 4300 Miraleste Drive (applicant) stated that he is available for questions.

There being no questions, Chairman Tetreault closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Perestam noted that this home after the addition will still be less than the average size in square footage than those in the immediate neighborhood. He also stated that he agrees with the analysis done by staff regarding the impacts of the addition to the neighboring properties.

Chairman Tetreault stated that most of the proposed addition to this house is to the rear of the property and may not even be seen from the street. He felt the impact to the neighbors is minimal and was very compatible with the neighborhood.

Commissioner Knight moved to approve P.C. Resolution 2005-08, thereby approving the Height Variation and Grading Permit as recommended by staff, seconded by Commissioner Perestam. Approved, (4-0).

CONTINUED BUSINESS

3. Cargo Container Code Amendment (Case No. ZON2004-00265)

Associate Planner Blumenthal presented the staff report, explaining that based on the Commission’s request staff has conducted additional research on how other Cities are regulating cargo containers. He explained that staff found that most cities that are adopting ordinances to regulate these types of containers only allows them for temporary uses or use during active construction on the property. He stated that staff did note one city that allows cargo containers for permanent uses, noting that the Planning Commission in that City had made a use determination that the cargo containers would be regulated as any accessory structure would be regulated. He also explained that the Planning Commission had directed staff to research whether the City could define cargo containers as temporary structures used for permanent storage, and if this would have any impact on the use of the containers. He stated that staff consulted with the Building Official, and it was his opinion that regardless how the City labels the cargo containers, the Building Code will define them as a structure and will require the issuance of a building permit when used for permanent storage. He stated that the Planning Commission had requested information on whether cargo containers could be used for permanent storage when placed on a vacant lot that is contiguous to a developed parcel of the same ownership. He explained that staff discussed this with the City Attorney, who agreed this was possible and the permit could be conditioned so that it would become null and void if the ownership status of either of the two parcels changes so that the lots are no longer under the same ownership. He also stated that the Planning Commission had asked if there could be a separate standard for cargo containers in the moratorium area. He stated it was the City Attorney’s opinion that the City should not distinguish any part of the City for a separate regulation unless the City finds special characteristics of the area that make it distinct from the rest of the City. He stated that it was staff’s opinion that the Moratorium currently regulates building requirements in this area, that does not make it a special characteristic of the area and no regulations should be added. Instead, staff has recommended establishing a one-acre lot size for these cargo containers, which would include most of the moratorium area, the Portuguese Bend area, and many of the lots off of Palos Verdes Drive East. With that, staff is recommending the Planning Commission consider the proposed amendments and make a recommendation to the City Council to approve the proposed code amendment.

Commissioner Perestam asked staff if they had a count on the number of cargo containers throughout the City and the number of cargo containers specifically in the Portuguese Bend area.

Director/Secretary Rojas answered that the City has never done any type of inventory in an attempt to count the cargo containers in the City. He stated that he knows of four or five properties in the Portuguese Bend area that have cargo containers and has been told there are three or four other properties in the City that also have them.

Associate Planner Blumenthal added that staff is aware of one cargo container that has been permitted in the Portuguese Bend area through a Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit and two that are being used as foundations that do not have building permits, and the remainder are being used for storage.

Commissioner Perestam asked if these cargo containers will be grandfathered in under the proposed Ordinance.

Associate Planner Blumenthal stated that the ones that are currently permitted will be grandfathered, which is the one on the Pony Club site.

Commissioner Karp asked if the Building Official was asking for full foundations under the cargo containers.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that typically a permanent structure would require a full foundation, however in the active areas of the landslide staff is aware that is not possible. However, the Building Official does want some type of foundation system that would anchor the cargo containers to the ground to address public safety issues.

Commissioner Karp stated that these containers are stacked six high on ocean liners that roll and are constantly moving.

Associate Planner Blumenthal stated that the Building Official is aware of that, however he felt the difference was that the containers are designed for that type of use and not specifically designed to sit on the ground for a number of years and he does not know what type of impact that would have on the containers.

Commissioner Knight discussed lots in the moratorium area and the restriction of adding only 600 square feet to the residence. He asked staff if the resident has a permitted cargo container and later decides he wants to add square footage to the home, can the cargo container then be removed and that square footage then be deducted from the equation and added towards the square footage of the proposed addition.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that in the past staff has dealt with projects where the applicant has demolished a portion of the structure and then counted that area towards the new addition. He noted, however, that a new Moratorium Ordinance is now in affect and he would have to consult the City Attorney.

Commissioner Knight stated there are particular conditions set in Section 4 of the proposed Ordinance that he did not see applying to Section 3, specifically the one-acre minimum lot size and the screening requirement.

Associate Planner Blumenthal stated the staff could add those conditions to Section 3.

Commissioner Karp asked staff to clarify if a lot in the Q Zone must be a minimum of one acre to have a storage container placed on it.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that lots in the Q Zone are currently regulated by a Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit; therefore the lot does not have to be a minimum one-acre in size. He stated that the Conditional Large Domestic Animal permit would condition these containers that they be used solely for the storage of horse keeping equipment. However, a property owner in the Q Zone who wants a cargo container to use for storage, not related to the keeping of a large domestic animal, would have to have a minimum one acre lot.

Commissioner Knight felt it would be helpful to add this language to this Ordinance for consistency.

Commissioner Knight also noted that there is not a definition in the Code Amendment which defines cargo containers as a structure. He felt this was important to make the definition in the Code Amendment, as he felt without it people might apply and argue this container would not be a structure.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that a structure is defined in the Building Code. He also noted that when reading the definition of a structure in the Development Code it defines a structure as anything built upon or under the ground.

Director/Secretary Rojas added that the Building Official is currently working with the City Attorney to create a clearer and easier process to get a building permit for cargo containers.

Commissioner Knight felt it would be helpful to add language in the Ordinance that states that the cargo container requires a building permit.

Commissioner Knight asked if there were any restrictions in the Code as to whether plumbing or electricity can be in the cargo containers.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that as currently proposed, there will be no prohibition to the use of electricity in the cargo container, however once plumbing or gas is brought into the cargo container it becomes questionable as to whether it is truly a non-habitable structure.

Chairman Tetreault referred to Exhibit A, page 2 and asked staff to clarify the statement that says "for cargo containers that are approved on vacant lots that are contiguous", as he thought staff had said that under no circumstances would cargo containers be allowed on vacant lots.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that this ordinance is proposed for the Development Code which would apply citywide. He stated that what is more restrictive than that is the Moratorium Ordinance which applies strictly to the Portuguese Bend area. He stated that in that case it is the Moratorium Ordinance that would limit the cargo containers on vacant lots, however in the remainder of the City this Ordinance would allow a cargo container on a vacant lot that is contiguous to a developed lot owned by the same party, if that lot is over an acre in size.

Chairman Tetreault asked if there are two contiguous lots, one vacant and one developed, that together total one acre, will a cargo container then be allowed on that vacant lot.

Associate Planner Blumenthal referred to Exhibit A, page 2, which states that "the developed lot or the combination of the developed lot and a contiguous vacant lot is one acre".

Chairman Tetreault noted that an acre of land is a lot of land and asked if the City could dictate where on the property the cargo container could be placed so that it would not have an adverse impact on the neighbor.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that as currently written, the approval is subject to the Director, and if staff feels the cargo container should be moved to get better screening, it can make that a condition.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted, however, that if there is an issue aside from screening staff cannot make an applicant move the cargo container further from the setback, noting that is how the City treats any structure on the property.

Chairman Tetreault opened the public hearing.

Mike Chiles, 11 Fig Tree Lane, stated that to his knowledge there is one cargo container off of Palos Verdes Drive East and 33 cargo containers in the Portuguese Bend area, which have existed there for approximately 25 years. He stated that the residents did not know that cargo containers were considered a structure and required a building permit. He also stated that the cargo containers are well in the view from Palos Verdes Drive South, twelve to fifteen of the cargo containers can be seen from the street when driving through the community, and all of the cargo containers can be seen from different lots. He explained that the Portuguese Bend community is a very hilly area and he felt it would be virtually impossible to screen the cargo containers out of sight. He stated that most of the cargo containers in the area are in areas where the land is moving and there has never been a mishap in 25 years with the containers that are sitting on one course of railroad ties. He also stated that the Portuguese Bend Board would like to request that the architectural committee for the area take full lead on how these cargo containers should be shielded and keeping the neighbors happy.

Commissioner Knight noted that the regulations of the City are independent of the Homeowners Association regulations, and if the HOA wants to regulate the cargo containers they are free to do so irrespective of what the City law is.

Commissioner Karp asked if the HOA was not in favor of this proposed Ordinance.

Mr. Chiles answered that the Board wrote a letter to staff with five or six key points, which included be allowed to regulate the screening of the cargo containers, no more cargo containers allowed in the community, to not have the cargo containers strapped down to some type of foundation system, and to grandfather in the existing cargo containers.

Commissioner Perestam asked if a cargo container has ever been removed from the Portuguese Bend community.

Mr. Chiles answered that no containers have been removed, noting that residents feel these containers are temporary and will be removed once the Landslide Moratorium is lifted so they can build the storage and garages that they need.

Commissioner Perestam asked when a container was last added to the community.

Mr. Chiles answered that two containers were added within the year, as well as a resident who brought in eight containers to use as a foundation for the house. He noted that a stop work was issued by the City and the containers have been sitting on the property ever since.

Chairman Tetreault asked if the HOA was mandatory association of all the owners of the Portuguese Bend area.

Mr. Chiles answered that the HOA has the authority to regulate the building in the Portuguese Bend area.

Chairman Tetreault noted that regardless of how permissive the City Ordinance may be citywide in allowing shipping containers, the Association in the Portuguese Bend area could very well prohibit any additional storage containers being placed in that community.

Chairman Tetreault closed the public hearing.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

At 8:40 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess until 8:55 p.m. at which time they reconvened.

CONTINUED BUSIENSS (cont)

Commissioner Knight asked staff if there was anything written into the Ordinance that would prohibit someone from placing storage containers on their property with the intention of applying for permits to use them for their foundation.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that applications would have to be applied for and a review from the Planning Department and Building and Safety would have to take place before the storage containers would be allowed on site.

Commissioner Knight asked if it would be possible to grandfather the existing cargo containers in the future, or is this something that must be decided at this time.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that the grandfathering issue is addressed in this Ordinance. He noted that grandfathering is sometimes a very difficult issue and that, as with the Equestrian Code, each item would need to go before the City Council for verification and possible approval.

Chairman Tetreault asked staff if they had any idea how many lots in the Portuguese Bend area are at least an acre in size.

Associate Planner Blumenthal answered that staff does not know how many lots in the Portuguese Bend area are one acre in size, however in the City there are approximately 800 lots that are one acre in size or greater out of the approximate 15,000 parcels. He noted that some of those lots are also open space hazard, institutional or commercial.

Commissioner Knight felt that this type of Ordinance was appropriate and the subject of whether the cargo containers should be on a fixed foundation or not is a subject that should be reviewed by the City Council. He noted that the Building Official considers the cargo containers as structures and needs a foundation of some type and he was hoping the Building Official can come up with something that satisfies the need in the area.

Commissioner Perestam felt that there was a need to have some type of controls to deal with and manage cargo containers on private property. He was uncertain, however, if at this point the City was going to be successful on the permanent cargo container side of the issue. He was worried that residents may begin to consider cargo containers as a cheaper storage alternative on their property and the City may be faced with more cargo containers in the City. He thought that this Ordinance was a good step in getting to where the City wants to be in solving this problem.

Chairman Tetreault noted that staff had researched that there is only one other City in the United States that regulates the use of cargo containers. He felt that if it weren’t for the unique nature of the moratorium area in Portuguese Bend he would be in favor of banning the permanent use of storage containers on residential property throughout the City. He felt the moratorium area was unique, as one cannot realistically build a storage facility that will stay in place over time if the land is moving. He stated that he understands the City Attorney’s reluctance to carve out one little area of the City for regulations, however he noted that this is a moratorium area that is unique to the City, which already has unique building regulations that are not imposed anywhere else in the City. Because of this, he questioned why the City could not ban use of cargo containers for permanent storage use throughout the City, except amending the Code with respect to the moratorium district.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the City Attorney felt that if the Planning Commission wants to separate out the Portuguese Bend area from the rest of the City then it must be very clear in the findings and make sure the record shows why this area is distinct from the rest of the residential areas in the City. If the Planning Commission feels confident they can do that, then there are other ways to regulate only that area. He felt that certain streets or certain addresses could be named where this applies. He reiterated that the issue is trying to make the distinction as to why this area is unique to the City. He noted that in the staff’s and City Attorney’s review it was concluded that there is nothing distinct about the area in that the rules in place for adding on to their residence are the same as those for adding a cargo container onto the property.

Commissioner Karp referred to page 3 of the staff report, and felt that the moratorium area fits right into the definition given. He felt that the permanent use of storage containers in the City should be abolished and temporary uses limited, except in commercial and industrial areas. He felt that the moratorium area fits into the exception and the City should make the cargo containers permissible in that area. Further, since the HOA in that area has stricter regulations than the City, he felt the HOA should be allowed to regulate their own community.

Commissioner Knight asked staff if the other cities notified in their research had Ordinances prohibiting the use of cargo containers, or did they have no Ordinance at all.

Associate Planner Blumenthal explained that staff was finding cities that allowed cargo containers for a use of 7 days maximum or in conjunction with a building permit. He stated that staff found one city in Florida where the cargo containers could be used as an accessory structure. He stated that staff found no City regulations or findings where cargo containers could be used on a permanent basis.

Chairman Tetreault suggested a more straightforward approach and prohibit permanent use of storage containers throughout the City with the exception of the Q District, which is already provided for, and allowing them only in the Moratorium District in Portuguese Bend.

Commissioner Knight agreed with that approach. He stated that he was surprised to learn this type of Ordinance would put the City in the position of leading the nation in establishing this type of Ordinance, and he felt the City should be very careful.

Commissioner Karp moved to direct staff to work with the City Attorney to draft language that would prohibit cargo containers for permanent use except in the Portuguese Bend area and continue the public hearing to April 12, 2005, seconded by Commissioner Knight. Approved, (4-0).

4. Code Amendment for Geologic Disclosure Ordinance (Case No. ZON2004-00530)

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report explaining that at the meeting in December the Planning Commission made minor modifications to the language of the Ordinance and asked to review draft language for the covenant that would be recorded to properties that would be affected. He stated that staff has made the modifications to the language and has prepared a draft covenant in consultation with the City Attorney. He also noted that staff is recommending further revisions to the Ordinance based upon comments made at the December meeting by Commissioner Gerstner and Chairman Tetreault. He explained the revisions made to the Ordinance, and noted that there was a concern raised that there was possible inequitable treatment of similarly situated properties under the draft ordinance, and gave an example using a Power Point slide. He explained that staff felt it may be appropriate to broaden the scope of the Ordinance to include any project that involves significant remedial grading, not just projects involving subdivisions and moratorium exclusion requests. Senior Planner Fox briefly described the contents of the draft covenant and stated that staff would appreciate any additional comments regarding that language.

Commissioner Knight asked if this Ordinance applies only to properties with remedial grading or if it also includes grading for building pads and basements.

Senior Planner Fox answered the Ordinance is only for remedial grading.

Commissioner Knight asked if the Ordinance would apply to grading done on private roads.

Senior Planner Fox answered that grading for roads is exempt and is not grading by definition in the Development Code.

Commissioner Knight asked if the City keeps geologic reports on record for residents to review.

Senior Planner Fox stated that the City does maintain geology files organized by tract, which is available to the public. He added that these files are kept in perpetuity.

Commissioner Knight asked if the abutting property owners are notified of remedial grading.

Senior Planner Fox explained that there is not a specific notification requirement related to a condition that may need to be remediated, however there are notification requirements in the Grading chapter of the Development Code requiring notification of adjacent property owners informing them that a decision has been made regarding a major grading application.

Commissioner Knight referred to page 3 of the draft Ordinance and asked if there were any cases where remedial grading of more than 1,000 cubic yards might not have a geology report on file.

Senior Planner Fox felt that was highly unlikely.

Commissioner Knight felt that in reading the covenant it could be easily interpreted by a future property owner that remedial grading has occurred and that the land is stable. He suggested adding language that parallels what the intent of the Ordinance is, making it clear what the intent of the disclosure is. He suggested adding language such as "This disclosure does not constitute a geotechnical opinion concerning the affect of any grading past or future and the stability of the described land." He felt this would help achieve the purpose of what this is all about.

Senior Planner Fox stated it would be very easy to add that language.

Commissioner Karp stated that in his professional experience, full disclosures never come back to haunt you, while lack of disclosure always will. He felt this Ordinance was a good disclosure, however he wondered how many people would bother to read it.

Commissioner Knight agreed with the suggestions made at the December meeting by Commissioner Gerstner and Chairman Tetreault regarding the inclusion of properties beyond subdivisions and moratorium exclusion requests.

Chairman Tetreault agreed with Commissioner Knight’s suggested additional language for the covenant. He felt that, as currently written, the covenant does not suggest that any need for remediation has been certified by the City as being successful. Going a step further, he felt a statement should be included that states no such certification has been made.

Commissioner Perestam agreed that disclosures are a positive thing, however he was concerned that there may be an economic stigma associated with this covenant.

Commissioner Knight felt that may be possible, however he did not know how else to notify owners. He did not necessarily feel that this would become a stigma or reduce the value of the property as the covenant merely states that grading has occurred on the property and geology reports are available at the City.

Chairman Tetreault asked if there were any other conditions regarding the condition of a property whereby similar covenants are being recorded on properties in the City.

Senior Planner Fox explained that it was not unusual for parcel maps or tract maps to have an area identified as a flood hazard area, however there may not necessarily be a covenant or some type of recorded instrument that would show up on a Title Report. He stated that the City has in the past, with the granting of Moratorium Exception Permits, required the recordation of Hold Harmless Agreements based on issues related to stability and the addition of plumbing fixtures to homes. He also stated that the City has required the recordation of covenants for other types of things, such as second unit covenants.

Commissioner Knight moved to forward the Planning Commission recommendations to the City Council, with the addition of the language suggested by Commissioner Knight and Chairman Tetreault.

Commissioner Karp pointed out that by his rough estimate, 1,000 cubic yards of grading is equivalent to an area three times the size of the community room, which is a lot of grading.

Commissioner Perestam asked staff if they could express some of the Planning Commissioners thoughts and concerns to the City Council, in addition to the recommendation.

Senior Planner Fox answered that could be included in the staff report to the City Council as issues that were of concern to the Planning Commission, as well as copies of the minutes of this meeting.

Commissioner Perestam was specifically concerned about the threshold of 1,000 cubic yards of grading, noting that was a large amount of grading.

Commissioner Karp stated that he would prefer to require the covenant at 100 cubic yards of grading.

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to forward the item to the City Council.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

6. Minutes of January 11, 2005

The Planning Commission unanimously decided to continue the minutes to the February 22, 2004 meeting when more of the Commissioners will be present.

ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

7. Pre-agenda for the meeting of February 22, 2005

Commissioner Karp discussed the distribution of late correspondence at the Planning Commission meetings. He stated that this correspondence is given after the Commissioners have made their site visits, and given the short amount of time, if any, to review this correspondence, he felt this late correspondence should not be distributed.

Director/Secretary Rojas explained that applicants and interested parties are strongly encouraged to submit any correspondence to the Planning Commission early enough to distribute in the Planning Commission packets. However, per the Planning Commission policy, late correspondence can be received up until noon on the Monday before the Planning Commission meeting. He stated that if the Planning Commission wants to change this policy, then the Planning Commission Rules and Procedures can be agendized on a future meeting to discuss.

Commissioner Karp moved to agendize the Planning Commission Rules and Procedures to a future meeting for discussion, seconded by Commissioner Knight. Approved, (4-0)

Commissioner Karp stated that since he has been on the Planning Commission the Commission has made quite a few decisions, however they have never gone back to review some of these decision, and he wondered if it would be a good idea to look at some of these finished projects to see if the right decision was made. He also felt that looking at decisions from the past could help Commissioners make decisions in the future. He felt it would be beneficial to review past performances to improve future performances.

Chairman Tetreault asked staff if reviewing past projects to see how they turned out was something that needs to be done in a public manner, or could it be done through discussion amongst the Commissioners.

Director/Secretary Rojas noted that review of past projects would be only for educational purposes and that nothing could be changed. He stated that staff could do this informally by sending to the Commissioners information on which projects have been built and the Commissioners can visit the sites on their own time, or staff could do that same thing as an agendized item where the Planning Commissioners can visit the sites and discuss it at a meeting.

Commissioner Karp preferred to have before and after photos distributed to the Planning Commission and have that agendized so that it can be discussed at the meeting.

Commissioner Perestam was more interested in the first alternative, as he did not necessarily want to have this discussion in a public forum.

Chairman Tetreault stated that this discussion should be centered on whether or not to put this discussion on a future agenda, and at that meeting the Planning Commission can decide what form this would take.

Commissioner Karp felt that is was important for the Planning Commission to know what they did right as well as what they did wrong, and that staff should start identifying some projects that can be looked at.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that for the Planning Commission to give staff direction, it should be an agendized item. However, he understood the issue and staff can start looking at projects, noting that staff could not bring these issues to the Planning Commission until it is an agendized item.

Commissioner Knight stated that his concern was whether this information be brought to a televised meeting and all the mistakes pointed out at that time. He felt that the Planning Commission should discuss what format should be used.

Chairman Tetreault understood that staff would identify projects for the Planning Commission, and the Commission could then go to the sites on their own time.

Commissioner Karp moved to agendize the item to a future meeting so that staff can prepare a report with a list of addresses of properties that have been completed within the past year.

Director/Secretary Rojas stated that staff would present a list stating that since the current Planning Commission has been in place the following projects are ones that the Planning Commission has made a decision on and have been built.

The motion was seconded by Commissioner Knight, and was unanimously approved.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 10:28 p.m.