CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Knight at 7:05 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Commissioner Ruttenberg led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Present: Commissioners Karp, Lewis, Perestam, Ruttenberg, Tetreault, Vice Chairman Gerstner, and Chairman Knight
Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas and Associate Planner Fox.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Commissioner Tetreault suggested moving Agenda Item No. 3 to be heard after Agenda Item No. 5. The Commission unanimously agreed.
Director/Secretary Rojas distributed two items of correspondence for Agenda Item No. 3 and the draft minutes of the May 23, 2006 meeting. He also noted that at the June 6th meeting, the City Council denied the appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision on View Preservation No. 78.
COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-Agenda items)
1. Height Variation Permit and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2003-00556): 28217 Trailriders Drive
Associate Planner Fox presented a brief staff report, explaining the applicant’s reason for the extension.
The Planning Commission unanimously continued the public hearing to the Planning Commission meeting of June 27, 2006.
2. Height Variation Permit, Grading Permit, and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2005-00514): 6733 Abbottswood Drive
Associate Planner Fox explained that the applicant has redesigned the project to a single story addition, and therefore there is no need for the Height Variation or the Planning Commission to review the application. Therefore, the applicant has requested the Height Variation application be withdrawn.
The Planning Commission unanimously accepted the withdrawal of the Height Variation application.
4. View Restoration Permit No. 203
Director/Secretary Rojas presented a brief staff report, explaining that the foliage owner is requesting a site visit from the Planning Commission. He stated that he has the staff report to distribute this evening and that Staff is requesting a continuance to the June 27, 2006 Planning Commission meeting.
The Planning Commission unanimously continued the public hearing to the Planning Commission meeting of June 27, 2006.
5. Variance and Coastal Permit (Case No. ZON2006-00218): 30 Pacifica del Mar
Associate Planner Fox presented the staff report explaining the scope of the project and the need for the Variance and Coastal Permit. He explained that staff determined that five of the six necessary findings to approve the Variance and Coastal Permit could be made, with the exception being the first Variance finding. He explained that this finding requires the Planning Commission determine there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved or the use of the property, which do not apply to generally to other properties in the same zoning district. He displayed photographs of the subject property and the wall and explained that the property was purchased with the knowledge that the property is a corner lot, that it is a public street, and there was an existing fence along the street and therefore a reasonable expectation that motorists and pedestrians would be passing by on a regular basis. Furthermore, he explained that other corner properties in the City are treated the same with respect to the enforcement of the Development Code section regarding the 42 inch height limit, and staff believes there is nothing physically exceptional or extraordinary about this corner property that warrants treating it differently than any other corner property. Therefore, staff is recommending denial of the requested Variance and Coastal Permit, which will have the affect of requiring the owner to either replace the fence panels that were removed or reduce the height of the wall to 42 inches.
Commissioner Karp asked what would prevent the homeowner from planting thick foliage along the original fence, therefore accomplishing the same result as the existing fence.
Associate Planner Fox explained there is a condition of approval on the Minor Exception Permit that approved the fence on this property that specifies there is not to be foliage or other materials placed on the fence.
Commissioner Karp asked if that foliage could be moved back 6 to 8 feet to accomplish the same goal.
Associate Planner Fox answered there is nothing specific in the conditions of approval that talks about a certain minimum distance.
Commissioner Ruttenberg asked if the misunderstanding between the owner and the HOA was relevant to the Planning Commission’s consideration of the Variance.
Associate Planner Fox answered that it was not relevant.
Commissioner Tetreault if the applicant would be able to put up a tubular steel fence on top of a 42-inch block wall.
Associate Planner Fox answered that the wall would not be in compliance with the Minor Exception Permit.
Chairman Knight asked if the applicant came back to the City with a new Minor Exception Permit application for a 42 inch was with tubular fencing on top of that, would that be something the City may consider.
Associate Planner Fox explained that the difficulty would be what the Code defines as a fence and what is defined as a wall. He stated that the definition of a fence is that it has to allow for 80 percent passage of light, air, and vision. He explained that less than 80 percent light and air would then not be considered a fence, which then could not be approved through a Minor Exception Permit. He stated that the Planning Commission could conceivably approve the Variance before them this evening with the direction to the homeowner to modify the existing wall so that the solid portion is 42 inches high and use tubular steel for the remaining portion.
Chairman Knight opened the public hearing.
Bob Critelli 30 Pacifica del Mar (applicant) felt his wall infringes on no one, in any way. He stated that he respectfully disagrees with the staff report with respect to the required findings. He explained that privacy is of the greatest concern to his family, noting that people walking by have taken pictures of his home, tour busses drive by, and many skateboarders go up and down the hill next to his home daily. He also felt that the safety of his family was very important, noting that cars race up and down the street by his home at a very high rate of speed, which can be confirmed by reports made to the Sheriff’s Department. He stated that he would feel much safer and more secure if there were some type of City barrier in addition to the wall. He stated that there are other walls of this size on corner lots throughout the City.
Commissioner Lewis asked Mr. Critelli if he had met with the Traffic Committee to request speed bumps or other traffic calming measures.
Mr. Critelli answered that he had not done that.
Commissioner Lewis strongly encouraged Mr. Critelli to meet with the Traffic Committee regarding traffic calming measures, regardless of how this application is decided.
Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Karp asked staff, if the wall were broken up with indentations with landscaping to break up the monolithic appearance of the wall, would influence staff’s and the Planning Commission’s decision on the existing wall.
Associate Planner Fox did not think this would change staff’s recommendation with respect to there being an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance, however if the Planning Commission is inclined to grant the Variance and allow the wall to remain then requiring some sort of landscape screening between the fence and sidewalk would be a way to break up the massive appearance of the wall.
Commissioner Perestam stated he was unable to make the finding regarding exceptional or extraordinary circumstances and was in support of staff’s recommendations.
Commissioner Tetreault also could not make the finding regarding exceptional and extraordinary circumstances, adding that if the finding could be made it would have a cascading affect throughout the development and every corner lot would be requesting such a Variance.
Vice Chairman Gerstner agreed, noting that this is a corner lot and corner lots usually tend to have the least amount of privacy. He stated that 42-inch walls are what are allowed on corner lots, this lot having an exception to build the fence. He stated that his is what was allowed, what was built, and what is expected to remain unless there is an application for something specifically different.
Commissioner Karp agreed with the staff recommendation, noting that if exceptions are made they will be made all of the time.
Commissioner Lewis agreed with the comments of all of the Commissioners. He felt that this may be a traffic issue rather than a Planning issue, and urged the applicant to discuss the issues with the Traffic Commission.
Commissioner Ruttenberg also agreed with the comments from the Planning Commissioners, adding that he is not able to make the necessary finding for exceptional or extraordinary circumstances.
Chairman Knight agreed, adding that he too was unable to make the necessary finding regarding exceptional or extraordinary circumstances.
Commissioner Lewis noted that it appeared the applicant had something he wanted to say, and since this decision will very much affect his yard, he felt it was only fair to hear what he had to say.
Chairman Knight re-opened the public hearing.
Mr. Critelli explained that he will be landscaping the area outside of the wall and over time the impact of the wall be lessened immensely with the vegetation. He felt that his lot was not like any others in the tract and the only one in the tract with this layout. He noted that what is called the backyard is actually the side yard. He felt, therefore, that the exception for exceptional or extraordinary circumstances can be made and the Planning Commission should reconsider.
Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Karp moved to amend the motion to deny the application without prejudice, seconded by Commissioner Tetreault.
Commissioner Karp explained that he felt there are some solutions that haven’t been explored that could possibly make the wall compatible with the applicant’s desire for privacy and safety, and he did not think it was necessary to force the applicant to wait a year to come back with a second attempt to legalize the wall.
Chairman Knight asked staff to explain their reasoning for suggesting denial with prejudice.
Associate Planner Fox explained that denial with prejudice was recommended so that the same wall could not be resubmitted immediately for reconsideration. However, he noted that if the applicant were to propose modifying the wall in some way that still requires a Variance, but was not the same exact project, it could be submitted to the City.
Chairman Knight did not think that redesigning the wall in such a way that a Variance was still needed would change any decisions made by the Planning Commission, as it will still be necessary to find that the lot itself has exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. Therefore, he felt that any Variance for the wall would have to be denied, as the Planning Commission has already stated that the finding cannot be made and the finding is regarding the property and not the particular wall.
Commissioner Ruttenberg agreed, and therefore did not think that the removal of “with prejudice” would be appropriate.
Commissioner Tetreault felt that giving the most options possible to the applicant is to his benefit, and felt that denying with prejudice takes away some of the options. He therefore felt that denying without prejudice could possible allow more options to the applicant.
The amendment to the motion to change from “with prejudice” to “without prejudice” was passed by a vote of (6-1) with Commissioner Ruttenberg dissenting.
The motion to adopt P.C. Resolution 2006 thereby denying the application without prejudice was adopted, (7-0).
CONTINUED BUSINESS (cont)
3. Cargo Container Code Amendment (Case No. ZON2004-00265)
Chairman Knight recused himself from hearing this application and left the room, with Vice Chairman Gerstner acting as Chairman.
Associate Planner Fox presented the staff report explaining this hearing was continued from the April 25th meeting, where the Planning Commission suggested revisions and asked for clarification of certain issues. He stated that based on the Commission’s comments at the last meeting, revisions to the Code language have been made and are described in detail in the staff report and draft Resolution, and briefly described those revisions. He also explained that previously staff had indicated they were not aware of the approved use of cargo containers as an alternate building foundation, but were recently corrected by Mr. McJones who was able to show staff that he had obtained approval of a Variance in 1980 to permit the reconstruction of his fire damaged home using cargo containers as a foundation. He also obtained a building permit from Los Angeles County for such use, which was finaled in 1982. He discussed nonconformities and how the City currently handles non-permitted cargo containers. He also discussed amortization schedules, noting the Code in the satellite dish regulations. He explained that the Planning Commission could consider including similar provisions in this Code amendment, but cautioned that the time period selected for compliance should be carefully considered to allow adequate and reasonable time for property owners to obtain permits or remove the cargo container. He added that having an amortization schedule for cargo containers would put the City in the position of needing to act proactively on identifying and pursuing any amortization of the containers which contrasts with the City’s historic practice of reactive code enforcement. He discussed the amortization option used for the City horse keeping standards. He noted the problems with this option and stated that staff had no reason to believe that a similar non-conformity process for cargo containers would be any more effective than with the horse keeping process.
Director/Secretary Rojas added that staff struck out the long term storage of cargo containers in the Portuguese Bend areas, as directed by the Planning Commission, and left in the language listing all of the street names in that area. He stated that staff realized that the reason the street names were included was directly related to the long-term storage issue, and therefore staff was recommending striking the language that mentions all of the street names. He also noted that staff was requesting clarification on the term “equestrian facility”, asking if the Planning Commission was referring only to the Portuguese Bend equestrian facility, as there are four equestrian districts in the City.
Commissioner Karp noted that the language states that a building permit be obtained for a cargo container in commercial and institutional uses, and stated that to him that implies the need for a foundation. He asked what type of foundation would be needed and further questioned why a foundation would be necessary for a cargo container.
Director/Secretary Rojas answered that he has had several discussions regarding this with the Building Official, and the reasoning is that while cargo containers are sturdy structures and there is no concern they will collapse, the Building Official and the Code are trying to address the worst-case scenarios. He explained that if there is a strong enough earthquake or land movement and the cargo container is near a slope or house, it is unknown how the cargo container will react. He stated that the Building Official is looking for some kind of foundation that anchors the cargo container to the ground that will deal with the lateral loads.
Vice Chairman Gerstner added that there are foundations used with temporary trailers which are designed for lateral loads.
Commissioner Ruttenberg recalled asking that the City Building Official be present at this meeting to answer questions and to help clarify his position on the need for a foundation.
Associate Planner Fox’s recollection was the same, and noted the oversight by staff.
Commissioner Tetreault stated that he had observed two houses in the Portuguese Bend area that were using cargo containers for foundations, as well as living space, and asked if only one of these was permitted, or if both were permitted.
Associate Planner Fox explained that in looking through City records since incorporation, he could find only one Variance request for such a use of cargo containers, which is at 3 Tangerine Lane.
Commissioner Perestam asked if the permitted use at 3 Tangerine Lane includes the use of the cargo containers for habitation, as there is nothing in City regulations that says they cannot be used as habitable space.
Associate Planner Fox answered that the Variance that approved the cargo containers at 3 Tangerine Lane specifically states that the containers be used as structural members only and not as inhabitable space.
Vice Chairman Gerstner opened the public hearing.
Peter DeMaria 941 Manhattan Beach Blvd, stated that he has received many email requests to speak on behalf of the use of cargo containers as an alternate foundation. He stated that he leaves the structural integrity and design of such use up to the engineers. He stated that he is the architect for a home in Redondo Beach that is using cargo containers throughout the house, and the shipping container should be considered as a new structural system. He felt that if the containers are being used as a storage facility, if it’s not on a foundation then some of the issues staff raised are very true, and when it becomes fastened to a foundation it is safe and could be used as a habitable structure. He stated that it is impossible to predict how storage containers will react in an earthquake, and in his situation he was required to prove how the steel and storage containers will react in earthquakes. He displayed photographs of the house he designed from storage containers to show that not all storage containers have to look like the rusty containers associated with those seen at the harbor.
Jim Knight, speaking as a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, questioned what would happen to schools that use cargo containers for long-term storage of emergency supplies and sports equipment. He also explained that he has received feedback from many of the residents in the Portuguese Bend area, and generally they do not want to see cargo containers in their neighborhoods. He stated that, for the most part, there are only a few streets on the east side of the Portuguese Bend area that are on actively moving land. He noted that the City currently has an overlay zoning that distinguishes those particular streets as open space hazard, and the Building Department will not issue a permit for a foundation in that overlay area. He suggested the Planning Commission may want to explore just addressing those particular streets because the other streets in the area don’t have any kind of an issue with having any type of structure built with a foundation. He felt that would alleviate some of the concerns within the community. He felt this could also apply to the equestrian situation, noting that the pony club is in the open space hazard area.
Vice Chairman Gerstner closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Ruttenberg asked staff if there was a difference between the active landslide reference in the alternate building foundation section of the Ordinance and what Mr. Knight referred to as the open space hazard.
Associate Planner Fox explained that the open space hazard zone covers a larger area than the designated active landslide area.
Commissioner Ruttenberg asked if all of the active landslide area falls within the open space hazard zone.
Associate Planner Fox answered that the Portuguese Bend Landslide area is all within the Open Space Hazard zone.
Commissioner Ruttenberg asked if there was any reason why the language suggested is active landslide rather than open space hazard.
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the idea of using an alternate foundation in the landslide area has been around for quite awhile, noting that the City Council added language to the Building Code to address. He referred to the previous City Council Ordinance that was adopted, showing an attachment to that Ordinance that outlines the Portuguese Bend Landslide and the Abalone Cove Landslide, which are the two areas alternate foundations are allowed.
Commissioner Ruttenberg asked staff if there has been anything heard on this issue that would lead them to believe that the definition in the active landslide section should be broadened in any way, meaning there are homes outside the designated area for which this kind of exception might be appropriate.
Director/Secretary Rojas answered that this is as broad as he felt the definition needed to go, adding that the City Council sets the policies for the alternate foundation ideas and defines the geographic area they are to apply. He stated that Title 15, where the City’s building codes are contained, is not under the Planning Commission’s purview.
Commissioner Tetreault stated that a year ago he was in favor of this Code Amendment, however after viewing the area and speaking to people in the community, he has changed his opinion. He explained that he did not think there was any compelling reason to treat any area within the Portuguese Bend area any differently than any other residential area in the City. He could not understand the Building Official’s opinion that the cargo containers should be on some type of foundation, however he noted that he does not have the proper knowledge or training to override the Building Official’s opinion and strong recommendation. He did not like the aesthetics of the cargo containers in neighborhoods, noting that the areas in Portuguese Bend that currently have the containers look like an industrial reclamation area. He stated that it would have to be a really compelling reason to subject the other people in the neighborhood who don’t use the cargo containers to living in a community that has them, and he did not see the compelling reason. He did not think that because one lives in an area that has land movement, that they are entitled to have a very large cargo container to store their stuff. He also did not see the need for the use for equestrian purposes, noting that there are 10 x 12 prefab storage units that can be bought that look nice and should be of an adequate size for a tack room. He felt that the use of cargo containers as a temporary use for construction, for emergencies, in commercial and industrial areas, and for City uses is acceptable.
Commissioner Karp agreed, adding that people who buy in Portuguese Bend know what the problems are in that area. He felt that cargo containers on school sites are ideal for emergency storage of supplies and in commercial zones they are ideal as long as they don’t interfere with parking. He strongly disagreed with the Building Official’s opinion that these containers need a foundation, and are commonly used in other areas without foundations.
Commissioner Lewis also agreed with Commissioner Tetreault’s comments, adding that he has not heard anything that would cause him to want to depart from the Building Official’s concerns, which are very persuasive to him.
Vice Chairman Gerstner stated he also has some reservations about equestrian and City uses of cargo containers. He also agreed that long-term uses are not necessary in the Landslide Moratorium area.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
At 9:05 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess until 9:15 p.m. at which time they reconvened.
CONTINUED BUSINESS (cont)
In going over the language, Commissioner Karp felt that the sentence that states cargo containers shall be considered a structure for purposes of the Uniform Building Code should be struck from the language, as he has heard no evidence to support the statement.
Commissioner Tetreault asked staff how striking that sentence would affect the definition of a cargo container.
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that, even with that sentence removed, the Building Official would still be the one who interprets the Building Code and it is his interpretation that the cargo container is a structure, which he would explain to the City Council. He noted that the Planning Commission does not have purview over the Building Code, which is adopted by the City Council and enforced by the Building Official.
Commissioner Ruttenberg felt that the sentence should be struck, as adding that definition might exceed the scope of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission agreed to strike the second sentence.
The Commissioners began looking at the language sentence by sentence, and agreed that the first sentence should read “This shall be a container that was originally designed and fabricated as a shipping container for use as portable storage, but shall exclude storage sheds that are assembled at the site.”
The Commission discussed whether or not to leave in language regarding the need for a building permit for the long-term use of cargo containers. Commissioner Karp felt it should be removed, as he was not convinced that a foundation is required for such use.
Commissioner Tetreault felt that the language should remain, as it adds clarity to the Code.
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that this language was added for informational purposes, and that removing the language will not change the need for a building permit for long-term use of cargo containers, as so determined by the building official.
The Planning Commission decided to leave the language in place.
Vice Chairman Gerstner noted on page 4, staff was recommending No. 2 be eliminated and the Planning Commission agreed.
Discussing the use of cargo containers as an alternate foundation design, Commissioner Perestam questioned whether the word “alternate” was necessary.
Commissioner Tetreault did not think cargo containers were necessary for use as an alternate building foundation, as there are other valid solutions that can be used, and suggested language stating that nothing in the Code will be construed to preclude the use of cargo containers as may be permitted pursuant to Section 15.04.060. He felt that the current language is almost encouraging one to use cargo containers as an alternate foundation.
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the Building Code section being referred to does not mention cargo containers and the Planning Commission can make a policy issue recommendation that one can still have an alternative foundation without using cargo containers. He explained that the Planning Commission could forward its policy recommendation to the City Council, saying that the Planning Commission does not believe cargo containers should be as an alternative foundation.
Commissioner Ruttenberg suggested changing the language from alternate building foundation to specialized building foundation to match the language in the building code.
A lengthy discussion followed as to whether or not the language should be taken out completely.
Commissioner Tetreault noted that the Planning Commission cannot decide that cargo containers cannot be a specialized foundation, only recommend that the City Council amend the building code to do that. Therefore, the language needs to be left open for the Building Official to make that decision with very strong language that the preference of the Planning Commission is to exclude cargo containers for use as a specialized foundation.
Vice Chairman Gerstner suggested taking out the language and note to the City Council that the Planning Commission is recommending something that is not consistent with the Building Code, and to make it consistent the City Council would have to change the Building Code as well.
Commissioner Lewis agreed with the idea that the language be omitted and in a cover letter or some other form inform the City Council that there is now a conflict that the City Council should look at.
Commissioner Ruttenberg felt that instead of deleting something and creating a conflict, and then telling the City Council a conflict has been created, he suggested the language remain with an explanation that what is presented does not necessarily represent any uniform agreement amongst the Planning Commissioners, and is for the City Council review.
Vice Chairman Gerstner polled the Planning Commissioners as to who wanted the language to stay in, allowing the use of cargo containers to be used as alternate foundations.
Commissioners Perestam, Tetreault, Lewis and Vice Chairman Gerstner felt the language should be excluded. However Commissioners Karp and Ruttenberg felt the language should remain, stressing that cargo containers should be allowed to be considered as an alternate foundation only in extraordinary or exceptional circumstances when nothing else will work.
Vice Chairman Gerstner suggested a format of having the section regarding long term uses of cargo containers, short term uses of cargo containers, and prohibited uses of cargo containers which would include the use of cargo containers as a specialized foundation systems
Vice Chairman Gerstner discussed the section regarding equestrian use and how that section should be modified.
Commissioner Ruttenberg felt that it should be clarified that the discussion regarding equestrian use of cargo containers would be limited to the Portuguese Bend area.
Director/Secretary Rojas agreed, suggesting the section be titled “Equestrian Facilities in the Portuguese Bend Equestrian Overlay District”.
Commissioner Perestam questioned allowing equestrian use of cargo containers for storage.
Commissioner Tetreault did not think it was an appropriate use of cargo containers, noting that the use is not allowed in other parts of the City. He also felt this was creating a loophole unless the City did periodic checks to make sure there was a horse and that the cargo containers were truly being used for equestrian purposes. He felt that there will be people who use the cargo container appropriately and there will definitely be people who abuse it.
Vice Chairman Gerstner stated that those who would use a cargo container as a tack room are allowed to build anything that anyone else in the area can build, and therefore this would be providing a special benefit to a group of people because they own a horse.
Commissioner Tetreault understood that this is a sensitive topic, and suggested more input from the Equestrian Committee.
Vice Chairman Gerstner agreed, adding the Equestrian Committee should show the Planning Commission why special treatment is necessary and why that group should be singled out for something that nobody else has.
Commissioner Perestam suggested eliminating the language for the use of cargo containers for equestrian use in the Portuguese Bend area. He felt that would show the Planning Commission’s recommendation to the City Council, and the City Council can take input from the Equestrian Committee if they felt it was necessary.
Commissioner Lewis suggested removing the language, however adding the topic to the agenda of the joint workshop with the Equestrian Committee.
Commissioner Ruttenberg felt the language should be left in, noting there have been eleven meetings on cargo containers and the Planning Commission is very close to sending this to the City Council. He stated that the Planning Commission is not the last word on the subject and the equestrians can speak before the City Council on the subject.
Commissioner Tetreault agreed with the other Commissioners that the language should be removed, and the issue can be discussed at the joint meeting.
In discussing the use of cargo containers in commercial and institutional zones, Commissioner Karp felt the use was necessary, but strongly objected to the need for a building permit or a foundation. Other than that, he felt the standards listed were reasonable.
Commissioner Tetreault questioned the language which states that not more than one cargo container be allowed for use in commercial or industrial zones, and questioned how that would affect the use of cargo containers on school property, which many currently use more than one container.
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that the City is preempted from enforcing this Ordinance on school district property if the school district makes a claim they are exempt per state law that the cargo containers are related to the educational mission of the school district.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
At 10:45 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess until 10:50 p.m. at which time they reconvened.
CONTINUED BUSINESS (cont)
Director/Secretary Rojas explained that currently the Zoning Code is silent regarding the issue of cargo containers. Therefore, if this Ordinance is adopted, anyone with a cargo container currently on their property that is being used for storage will have a non-conforming cargo container that must be addressed. He asked what language the Planning Commission wanted to add to deal with non-conforming cargo containers. He explained that the Planning Commission may want to opt for language which states that existing cargo containers may remain provided, if they are intended for long term, they obtain City approval for the container within one year.
Commissioner Ruttenberg noted that there are at least two homes in Portuguese Bend that use cargo containers for a foundation, only one of which has a permit. He felt that a grandfather clause of one year may make it difficult for some to legalize or remove their cargo containers, and suggested a period of 18 months or 2 years.
Commissioner Perestam suggested that the Planning Commission direct staff to come up with the process for legalization, with input from the Planning Commission. He noted that there may be some precedence from previous changes to the Ordinance, and some things may be more successful than others.
Vice Chairman Gerstner agreed, adding that he felt the time frame should be based on initiation rather than completion, and it would be better to have a shorter time frame rather than longer, as the Planning Commission or City Council may have the option to extend the time frame on a case by case basis.
Commissioner Karp moved to have staff make the changes directed by the Planning Commission and continue the public hearing to July 25th, seconded by Commissioner Lewis. Approved, (6-1) with Commissioner Ruttenberg dissenting.
Vice Chairman Gerstner asked staff to relay to the Equestrian Committee that the decisions made regarding equestrian uses were not made lightly, and their comments and input are encouraged.
Commissioner Karp moved to request the Building Official attend the July 25th meeting to explain and justify his recommendations regarding cargo containers, seconded by Commissioner Tetreault. Approved, (7-0).
Chairman Knight returned to the dais.
Director/Secretary Rojas noted the time and stated, that pursuant to Planning Commission rules, no new business items are heard after 11:00 p.m.
Commissioner Ruttenberg moved to suspend the Planning Commission rules and hear Agenda Items 6 and 7 only, seconded by Vice Chairman Gerstner. Approved, (7-0).
6. Interpretation procedures regarding permitted grading within and outside the building/grading restriction (BGR) line for lots in Tract No. 31617
Director/Secretary Rojas stated that staff’s recommendation was to open the public hearing and continue the public hearing to the meeting of August 8, 2006.
Chairman Knight opened the public hearing, and there being no speakers, continued the public hearing to August 8, 2006.
7. Joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Equestrian Committee
Associate Planner Fox explained that the Equestrian Committee adopted a Resolution at their May 11th meeting recommending the adoption of the code amendment to go to the Planning Commission, and in that adoption there was a request for that to be heard jointly by the Planning Commission and Equestrian Committee.
The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to the joint meeting with the Equestrian Committee on July 25th, as recommended by staff.
8. Review past decisions on project approved by the Planning Commission
Continued to the June 27th Planning Commission meeting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
9. Minutes of May 23, 2007
Continued to the June 27th Planning Commission meeting.
ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS
10. Pre-agenda for the meeting of June 27, 2006
Director/Secretary Rojas reminded the Commission that there is a mandatory site visit for the View Restoration Permit on this agenda.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 p.m.