OCTOBER 10, 2006 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
OCTOBER 10,2006

CALL TO ORDER

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

FLAG SALUTE

Commissioner Lewis led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Karp, Lewis, Perestam, Ruttenberg, Tetreault, Vice Chairman Gerstner, and Chairman Knight.

Absent: None

Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Senior Planner Schonborn, Senior Planner Alvarez, Associate Planner Dudman, and Assistant Planner Mikhail.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to approve the Agenda as presented.

COMMUNICATIONS

Director Rojas distributed one letter of correspondence for Agenda Item No. 4 and two letters of correspondence for Agenda Item No. 6. He also reported that at the October 3rd meeting, the City Council heard the appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision on the non-commercial antenna at City Hall and remanded it back to the Planning Commission. He also reported that the Planning Commission’s denial of the height variation on Middlecrest Road was appealed to the City Council.

Commissioners Perestam and Tetreault reported they had met with the new president of Marymount College but did not discuss the College’s proposed project.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE (regarding non-agenda items)

None

CONSENT CALENDAR

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to remove the discussion from the Consent Calendar.

1. Discussion of possible re-zoning of Elkmont Canyon from RS-4 to OH

Director Rojas explained that the applicant did not appeal the Planning Commission’s decision to the City Council, and therefore the Director’s decision that there is one legal lot stands, and for that reason staff does not see any reason to consider a rezoning of the property.

The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to accept staff’s recommendation to take no action on this item.

CONTINUED BUSINESS

2. Height Variation Permit (Case No. Zon2006-00136): 4941 Blackhorse Road

Senior Planner Schonborn presented the staff report, giving a brief background of the project. He stated that before the meeting the applicant had conveyed to staff that they felt all of the items of concern had been sufficiently addressed with the redesign and were not willing to further modify the project or modify the silhouette. He explained that staff’s recommendation is to review the proposed project as presented at the September 12th meeting without the benefit of a modified silhouette and determine whether the concerns expressed at that meeting have been addressed, and subsequently adopt a resolution either approving the project or denying the project without prejudice. He noted that no further extensions can be granted to the Permit Streamlining Act and the Planning Commission will have to make a decision at this meeting.

Chairman Knight opened the public hearing.

Scott McGee 4941 Blackhorse Road (applicant) stated that his family has run out of room in the house that was built in the 1960s and is trying to modernize the house. He explained that the first time he was before the Planning Commission he knew that approval was a long-shot, as staff was recommending denial of the project. However, he had spent so much time working with the architect and the neighbors to create something that would be acceptable that he wanted to present the design to the Planning Commission. He noted that at that meeting the Planning Commission expressed concerns about the project, and the architect subsequently did a dramatic redesign of the project to address those concerns. He stated that those changes resulted in the Planning Department recommending an approval of the project. He explained that at the second Planning Commission he and his wife were shocked at the concerns expressed by the Commission, as they were directed more at the size of the addition, which was not an issue at the first meeting. He stated that he still does not understand the concerns regarding the size of the proposed house, as he meets the criteria in the Code for setbacks and lot coverage. He stated that after the last meeting he and his wife were shock and confused, as they felt the significant redesign met all of the concerns expressed by the Planning Commission at the previous meeting. He stated that he had already spent over $3,500 in flagging the property and did not want to spend an additional amount, especially not knowing what the Commission was looking for. He asked the Planning Commission to reconsider their decision and approve the project.

Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.

Vice Chairman Gerstner stated that he was not at the last hearing and had not had a chance to review the tape or minutes, and therefore recused himself from hearing this item.

Commissioner Lewis recalled from the last meeting that several Commissioners had stated they could not support the project without a re-flagging of the new design, and if it were re-flagged they might be able to reconsider their decision. He stated that nothing has changed from the last meeting, and therefore he still could not support the project.

Commissioner Ruttenberg stated that he had requested the project be reflagged in order to better see what the changes had been. As the applicant chose not to reflag the property, there isn’t the opportunity to better understand the changes. He explained that the issue for him is the size of the project. He felt that an issue on the peninsula is mansionization and the way he looks at what is or is not mansionization is to ask what is the largest one-story home that can be built on the lot. He explained that on this lot, which is 7,300 square feet and a 50 percent maximum lot coverage, the maximum size of a single-story home would be 3,650 square feet and any proposal over that number should be looked at very carefully in terms of mansionization. He stated that the applicant would have to show him other factors on the lot or with the addition that would convince him that the addition can be larger than 3,650 square feet in size, and in this situation he did not see other factors. He did not feel that suggesting to the applicant that this addition should be a little smaller is not saying they don’t have a right to expand the home considerably, from 2,200 square feet to 3,650 square feet. He did not feel the property could handle a 4,000 square foot home and therefore could not support the current proposed project.

Commissioner Karp agreed with Commissioner Ruttenberg’s remarks, noting that what disturbs him is that the Planning Commission gave the applicant an opportunity to prove their case, and reflaging was an opportunity that they refused to avail themselves of. He stated that there are no new facts for the Commission to consider since the last meeting, and it disturbed him to have to vote to deny the project.

Commissioner Tetreault stated that at the last meeting he voted for approval of the project, noting this is a subjective approval. He did not understand what the applicant wants of the Planning Commission, as they did not bring anything new to the Commission and he did not think the applicant should expect the Planning Commission to change its mind without any new information being presented. He explained that he was wrestling with whether to maintain his vote to approve the project or to change his vote to support the decision of the majority of the Commission.

Commissioner Perestam stated that he looked forward to a reflagging as well as landscape plans, and was disappointed that neither was done. He explained that he had an open mind with regards to the project and the reflagging and landscape plans could have convinced him to support the project.

Chairman Knight agreed that reflagging the project may have clarified many of his concerns with the project and was disappointed that it wasn’t done. He also agreed that since no new information was presented to the Planning Commission he would not be able to change his opinion and approve the project, as it still appeared too bulky and massive for the lot.

Commissioner Lewis moved to adopt P.C. Resolution 2006-50 thereby denying the proposed Height Variation without prejudice, seconded by Commissioner Perestam. Approved, (6-0-1) with Vice Chairman Gerstner recused.

3. Maintenance review for View Restoration Permit No. 161

Senior Planner Alvarez presented the staff report, giving a brief background of the case. He showed pictures of the property showing the trees and how they have been trimmed. He explained that staff has had the opportunity to monitor the tree level growth for over a year and staff recommends the Planning Commission amend the Conditions of Approval to make it clear that maintenance trimming levels are to be the baseline photographs of December 2004 and May 2005 and the trees trimmed at two specific times of the year as well. He also noted that staff was requesting the Planning Commission add some clean-up language regarding references to replacement trees, as no trees were replaced.

Commissioner Karp asked if there was any type of agreement between the foliage owner and the applicants.

Director Rojas explained that whether or not there is an agreement between the parties, this is a City decision that is captured in Conditions of Approval and staff is asking that these conditions be modified.

Commissioner Ruttenberg asked why the foliage owner could not at this time remove the trees if he chose to do so.

Senior Planner Alvarez explained that the removal option was given to the foliage owner when he was initially given the order to take action against the trees, however he opted to trim the trees rather than remove them. He stated that the foliage owner can still remove the trees, however he will not be eligible for replacement foliage.

Chairman Knight questioned the wording in the Resolution in reference to the photographs, and suggested staff clarify which photographs were being referenced so there would not be any confusion in the future.

Staff agreed to add language clarifying which photographs were being referenced, and add those photographs as an exhibit in the Resolution.

Chairman Knight asked if there is an option for the foliage owner to trim the foliage down lower than required and only have to trim once a year.

Senior Planner Alvarez answered that the foliage owner can always trim lower than required in order to avert more frequent trimming.

Chairman Knight noted the language in the Resolution states that the foliage shall be trimmed on a semi-annual basis, which shows no flexibility.

Chairman Knight opened the public hearing.

Alan Young 7256 Berry Hill Drive stated he supports staff recommendations. He was very appreciative of staff assigning a month that the trees must be trimmed in, as there could be a tendency to reset the clock every time the tree is trimmed, even if the tree is trimmed later than it should have been.

Mike O’Sullivan 30466 Via Cambron distributed photographs to the Planning Commission for clarification. He asked the Planning Commission to look at this issue on the basis of the trimming that is required and what is required to eliminate any significant infringement on the Young’s view, feeling that it is very pertinent to determine whether or not the foliage constitutes a significant impairment of the applicant’s view. He showed photographs of his trees, noting that the Eucalyptus tree could not be seen from the Young’s property 11 months after the initial trimming. He also showed photographs of the pine tree, stating that it does not block any views.

Commissioner Karp asked Mr. O’Sullivan what he thought, in light of the court hearing and all of the discussions and appeals, was fair for him to do in regards to trimming the trees.

Mr. O’Sullivan stated that he has accepted that his trees have been severely cut, but he would like to salvage something from all of this, adding that he thought that the hearings were, in some respects, flawed. He stated he would like to see a maintenance schedule that preserves views but does not unduly limit his ability to have some beautiful trees.

Chairman Knight asked if it was the trimming schedule he was concerned about or the level to which the trees have been ordered to be trimmed.

Mr. O’Sullivan answered it is both. He explained that the schedule of December trimming is acceptable, however trimming every six months is totally unnecessary. He also noted that the views that the Youngs have is spectacular.

Vice Chairman Gerstner asked Mr. O’Sullivan if trimming the trees annually in December would be adequate to preserve the views.

Mr. O’Sullivan answered that trimming once annually would be all that is necessary to preserve the views. He stated that he would like some relaxation on the height level of the trees.

Mr. Young (in rebuttal) stated that he is in complete agreement with staff recommendations. He stated that the Eucalyptus tree has a tremendous growing spurt in the spring and summer and if the Planning Commission decided on a yearly trimming schedule, he would like to have the 2-foot trigger put back into the conditions.

Mr. Sullivan stated that he has shown pictures of the Eucalyptus tree 6 months, 8 months, and 11 months after trimming and noted that the tree has not grown significantly in that time. He stated that requiring trimming every six months costs money and keeps the tree perpetually misshapen.

Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.

Chairman Knight asked staff if the Planning Commission can consider the established view lines and view impacts or if the only thing before the Planning Commission is the maintenance schedule.

Director Rojas explained that the City Council previously determined the level the trees are to be trimmed to and the Planning Commission tonight is only looking at the maintenance schedule.

Commissioner Perestam stated that after the initial cutting of a pine tree it may take a year or two before it begins to fill in and grow, and therefore an annual trim on the pine tree will work effectively. He felt that the Eucalyptus tree is more difficult, but felt it was probably more effective to require it be trimmed every six months to keep the trimming managed, even if it is only a very small amount that is trimmed.

Commissioner Tetreault stated he was inclined to follow the staff’s recommendation for both trees just to make sure things are done properly per the Resolution.

Vice Chairman Gerstner stated he could be convinced that an annual schedule might be adequate, however because of the difficultly of having the trees trimmed and the effort that has gone into this, he was inclined to agree with staff’s recommendations.

Commissioner Karp also agreed with staff’s recommendations, stating that a more ambiguous schedule would only cause problems that would come before the Planning Commission or City Council again.

Commissioners Lewis and Ruttenberg agreed with staff’s recommendations.

Chairman Knight stated the trimming schedule is a result of a long process of trying other processes that have not worked. He felt the proposed schedule was satisfactory and agreed with staff’s recommendations.

Commissioner Ruttenberg moved to adopt P.C. Resolution 2006-51 thereby approving staff recommendation to amend the Conditions of Approval contained in City council Resolution No. 2004-63 in order to clarify the maintenance schedule requirements for two trees located on the property at 30466 Via Cambron, as presented by staff. Seconded by Commissioner Tetreault. Approved, (7-0).

RECESS AND RECONVENE

At 8:30 p.m. the Planning Commission took a short recess until 8:40 p.m. at which time they reconvened.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

4. Height Variation Permit (Case No. ZON2004-00571): 1946 Upland Street

Associate Planner Dudman presented the staff report explaining the scope of the project and the need for the Height Variation. She explained that the only property in the neighborhood that has a view is at 29419 Bayend Drive, however staff determined that the proposed project would not significantly impair the view. She showed several photographs of homes in the immediate neighborhood, and noted that the proposed addition would result in a home that is more than 70 percent larger the largest size home that currently exists in the neighborhood. Therefore, staff could not find that the proposed addition would be compatible with the immediate neighborhood. She stated that although staff could not make the findings regarding neighborhood compatibility in terms of size and bulk and mass, staff believes the applicant did make an effort to revise the project to address staff’s concerns, however staff was still recommending denial of the proposed project.

Commissioner Lewis asked staff if there could be a less ambitious two-story addition in the neighborhood that staff would support.

Associate Planner Dudman explained that there are other two-story homes in the neighborhood, however they were approved before the City was incorporated.

Director Rojas added that staff may be able to support a scaled back two-story addition at this site, as the view impacts are minimal.

Chairman Knight asked staff if they had done a privacy analysis from the two balconies at the rear of the proposed addition.

Associate Planner Dudman explained that there is already a privacy infringement to the neighboring residence at 1938 Upland from the existing by-right 16-foot structure. She noted there is currently no foliage between the two properties.

Chairman Knight opened the public hearing.

Jerry Rodin 29000 Western Ave (architect) stated that staff has supported all issues of the project except the mass and bulk. He stated that this neighborhood has not changed in quite a long time, and he is aware of the concerns of the neighbors. He showed several 3-D renderings of the proposed house, noting that the height of the structure is as low as he can possibly legally make it. Regarding the balcony in the rear, he stated that he can add screening that will prevent the owners from being able to look down into the neighboring property, noting however that the terracing of the properties allows for views into the neighboring yards. He showed several pictures of house in the Eastview neighborhood that are two-story, noting however that they look like two-story boxes with little or no articulation.

Commissioner Lewis complimented Mr. Rodin on his renderings, however he asked Mr. Rodin if he felt that special attention has been given to the scale and mass of the proposed residence, as required by the Code.

Mr. Rodin felt that he had addressed the scale, bulk, and mass issues, however noted that if the Planning Commission felt it needed further attention he would further address the issues.

Commissioner Karp asked Mr. Rodin if the homeowners had considered and looked in to expanding their home on grade and not go up to a second story.

Mr. Rodin explained that the owners are planning on building a swimming pool in the backyard. Because of that, he tried to reduce the footprint of the property in respect to the slope in the back. He noted that the proposed second story is proposed over the footprint of the existing residence. He also explained that he has added a three-car garage to help mitigate the parking issues on the street, noting it takes away square footage that can be used for a bedroom or an office on the first level.

Commissioner Karp asked, if the pool were not built, if an addition can be added on grade.

Mr. Rodin answered that it was possible to design an addition on grade.

Chairman Knight asked Mr. Rodin to clarify if the retaining walls on the plans are existing or if they will be new walls.

Mr. Rodin answered that the retaining walls shown on the plans are existing and are actually on the neighboring properties.

Ali Mori (owner) stated that he and his family are not currently living in the house and are very anxious to have the house addition so they can move in.

Commissioner Karp asked Mr. Mori how important the swimming pool is to him, as the Planning Commission may be more willing to approve a project that is on grade rather than two-story.

Mr. Mori answered that it is as important to him as having a wife or not, as his wife will not move into the house without a swimming pool.

Declan Rushe 1947 Upland Street stated that his home is directly across the street from the applicant’s home. He stated that his main objection to the project is neighborhood compatibility, as the majority of the homes in the neighborhood are single story. He also objected to the proposed increase in size, as he felt it would result in a disproportionately larger house. He also objected to the proposed high frontage of the home that would have a privacy impact to his home.

Chairman Knight asked Mr. Rushe to clarify how this proposed addition would impact his privacy.

Mr. Rushe explained that the top windows of the addition would look straight across into his front den and kitchen areas.

Wayne Franklin 1966 Upland Street stated the houses in the neighborhood are all three bedrooms with a two-car garage and the proposed residence will be double that size and look out of place. He stated that the architect visited his home and commented that the proposed addition might block a portion of his view.

Claudia McCulloch 29441 Bayend Drive felt the home is a thoughtful and tasteful design and is consistent with the eclectic community. She felt there will always be smaller homes on smaller lots, however there is now a trend in the neighborhood of families with younger children, and the design reflects the recent dynamic revitalization of the community. She enthusiastically supported the proposed addition.

Doris Nagy 1954 Upland Street stated her home is next door to the proposed addition. She stated that the full height of the addition is next to her house and will obstruct the light and air into her house. She felt the windows on the upper floor will look directly into her kitchen and dining room, and objected to the construction. She did not think the project fit into the neighborhood.

Jerry Rodin (in rebuttal) stated that he was at 1966 Upland and displayed a picture taken from that residence which he felt clearly showed that there was no view impairment from the proposed addition. He also explained that because of the low pitch of the roof design, he did not feel there would be an issue of light and air to the neighbor at 1954 Upland Street. In reference to the neighbor across the street, he explained that he did not know how he could mitigate the windows to not infringe on the possible privacy issues of the neighbor across the street, but he would be willing to work with the neighbor.

Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.

Chairman Knight asked staff if the Code addresses privacy impacts to neighbors who live across the street from a proposed project.

Director Rojas explained that the language of the Code states that privacy impacts will considered from abutting properties.

Chairman Knight asked staff which windows on the project will be looking into the property next door at 1954 Upland.

Associate Planner Dudman answered that it will be the master bathroom windows that will look down on the neighbor’s property, however this could be mitigated with some type of frosted glass or window treatment.

Commissioner Karp asked if the slope behind the house was an extreme slope or was it a buildable slope.

Director Rojas answered that it is not considered an extreme slope and is buildable in the sense that the Code does not prohibit pools or structures on the slope, however a grading application would be required.

Commissioner Lewis stated that he agrees with the staff report with respect to views and privacy as well as the compatibility issues. He did not think this would be a monstrous home and was a good effort in terms of architectural style, but felt it could be scaled back to a less ambitious more compatible design.

Commissioner Ruttenberg stated that 4,000 square feet of the 11,000 square foot lot are in the canyon and the design of the home appears to be driven by the desire for a swimming pool. He felt more consideration should be made in regards to building this home on grade. He also noted that the existing two-story homes in the neighborhood mentioned by the architect are considerably smaller than this proposed home. He stated that his issue has to do with the bulk, mass and size of the home.

Commissioner Karp realized the community is changing and new and bigger houses are being built, and it is to the benefit of the City to have a newer structure to be built on the property. However, he was concerned that his physical inspection of the property did not coincide with the civil engineering drawing. He also felt the swimming pool was an issue, as he felt the existing house could be expanded on grade to meet the needs of the owners. He supported the three-car garage and felt that the design of the project is contemporary and refreshing. He stated he is concerned about the bulk and mass of the proposed house and would be more strongly in favor of a one-story house on the property.

Vice Chairman Gerstner felt this was a case of too much too fast, explaining that Eastview is an area that can support such a house however it can’t transition immediately to a house this size. He felt that this house is not compatible with the single story houses in the neighborhood at the present time. He felt that parts of the design tend to make the house look more bulky and massive and that there are things that can be done to make the house more compatible with the neighborhood. He felt that the house is quite large relative to the neighborhood and in this instances the size shows. He stated that he does not object to the house in terms of size, but rather compatibility, as the design of the house can be changed to hide the bulk and mass.

Commissioner Tetreault discussed neighborhood compatibility, noting that the Guidelines direct that the proposed structure be compared to the 20 closest homes in the neighborhood and not what has happened in other surrounding neighborhoods in the City. He therefore felt very constrained as to what the Planning Commission can permit in a given neighborhood. He agreed with the Vice Chairman that this project may be too much too fast for this neighborhood. He explained that allowing this size home to be built will be establishing a baseline that others in the neighborhood can then point to and say they want a similar house at a similar or slightly larger size. He stated that this is a beautiful design that would be compatible in many other communities in the City, however he did not feel it was compatible in this particular community. He felt the house would be disproportionate to others in the neighborhood in terms of size and scale.

Commissioner Perestam agreed that the proposed house would be too large for the neighborhood. He stated that he is not against a two-story home in the neighborhood. He felt that taking the vegetation away from the home will significantly add to the mass and bulk of the house, noting that some of the mass and bulk could possibly be hidden by well-placed vegetation.

Chairman Knight agreed that this project was too bulky and massive for the neighborhood, noting that the three-car garage and the second story over it appeared very massive from the street.

Commissioner Perestam moved to deny the proposed Height Variation without prejudice, seconded by Commissioner Lewis.

Commissioner Lewis suggested the Commission discuss the view and privacy impacts, if any, so that the architect can address those issues when considering the redesign of the project.

Commissioner Tetreault stated that his problem was with mass and bulk, and that he would rather see a redesign before he discusses any privacy or view issues.

Commissioners Perestam and Ruttenberg asked that the public hearing be reopened to allow the architect an opportunity to respond to what the Planning Commission has discussed.

Chairman Knight re-opened the public hearing.

Jerry Rodin (architect) stated that he could keep the front portion of the house at a single story, which would address the streetscape, and push the second story addition back away from the street. He stated that will take away about 900 square feet of mass from the front of the house. He noted that the area in the back of the residence is a canyon, and he was concerned with soil stability in that area.

Commissioner Tetreault asked Mr. Rodin if he would prefer the current motion of deny without prejudice or to continue the public hearing to allow him time to redesign the project to address the Planning Commission’s concerns.

Mr. Rodin answered that he would prefer a continuance.

Commissioner Karp asked Mr. Rodin if his client would consent to a 90-day extension per the Permit Streamlining Act.

Mr. Rodin answered that his client will absolutely agree to the extension, and will follow that request up with a letter.

Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Perestam withdrew his motion and Commissioner Lewis withdrew his second to the motion.

Commissioner Tetreault moved to continue the public hearing to the November 28, 2006 Planning Commission meeting to allow the architect to redesign the proposed project to address the concerns of the Planning Commission, seconded by Commissioner Lewis.

Director Rojas asked the Planning Commission if they would like the new design to be re-silhouetted.

The Planning Commission agreed that a new silhouette should be requested.

The motion to continue the public hearing to November 28, 2006 was approved, (7-0).

5. Height Variation Permit (Case No. ZON2006-00348: 1808 Velez Drive

Assistant Planner Mikhail presented the staff report, explaining the scope of the project and the need for the Height Variation. She explained that staff was able to make the necessary findings to support the height variation and was recommending approval of the project, as conditioned.

Commissioner Tetreault noted that there is currently a cargo container in the driveway at this residence, and asked if that cargo container was permitted.

Director Rojas answered that the Building Official allows cargo containers at a site during construction if there is an active permit. He stated that staff would research to see if there is an open building permit and if the cargo container is there legally.

Chairman Knight asked staff to clarify which windows staff was recommending be clearstory to mitigate privacy issues.

Assistant Planner Mikhail showed on a photograph the windows on the east side of the second story the windows that are being recommended to be clearstory.

Chairman Knight opened the public hearing.

Kristi Skelton 27041 Whitestone Drive (architect) stated that she worked with the neighbors prior to submitting the application to design an addition that would be pleasing to the owners and neighbors. She felt the two-story addition was situated in such a way as to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Chairman Knight asked Ms. Skelton if the style of the home was a California Craftsman type.

Ms. Skelton answered that it is a Craftsman style.

Kate Gregory 1808 Velez Drive (owner) stated that she has worked closely with her neighbors, as she has good relationships with the neighbors. She stated that she has had a good response to this addition from the neighbors and was available for any questions.

Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Perestam stated that this is an example of what can be done with a second story addition in a neighborhood of mostly single story homes to make it compatible with the neighborhood. He discussed the City tree at the property and suggested it be trimmed only to the extent needed to construct the addition, as it helps soften the addition from the street.

Commissioner Tetreault agreed with the staff’s recommendations and supported the project.

Vice Gerstner was pleased with the proposed addition and agreed with staff’s recommendations, as did Commissioners Karp, Ruttenberg, and Lewis.

Chairman Knight felt this was a good example of neighborhood compatibility and how to hide a second story addition in terms of bulk and mass. He was concerned with the tower in the front and would prefer it be pushed back slightly.

Commissioner Karp moved to adopt P.C. Resolution 2006-52 thereby approving the proposed Height Variation as presented by staff, seconded by Commissioner Tetreault. Approved, (7-0).

6. Conditional Use Permit & Grading Permit (Case No. ZON2005-00393: 27501 Western Avenue

Commissioner Tetreault moved to waive the reading of the staff report, seconded by Commissioner Karp, and unanimously agreed to by the Commission.

Chairman Knight asked if the mock-ups for all 12 antennas were at the site.

Senior Planner Schonborn answered that there are mock-ups for all 12 antennas at the site.

Chairman Knight asked if an updated master plan was submitted to the City with this application.

Senior Planner Schonborn answered that an updated master plan was submitted to the City and included in the Commissioner’s packets.

Chairman Knight opened the public hearing.

William Bennett 12900 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos (representing Cingular Wireless) felt that the design and staff report speak to the issues of hiding and camouflaging this facility and from the public’s perspective it almost becomes of an invisible nature. He felt this proposal was a win win situation for the residents of the City, noting that Cingular has been very careful in working with staff to design something that will be almost invisible to the people in the area.

Chairman Knight noted that the mock-ups are very well screened from the public street, however from the area around the mausoleum they are more visible, and asked Mr. Bennett if he would be open to additional screening so that the antennas that are less exposed.

Mr. Bennett answered that the general public will not see the antennas and felt that the people at the cemetery for services will be looking at the antennas. He explained that the antennas were not screened purposely because they did not think it would be necessary, but would be willing to screen them if requested by the Planning Commission.

Chairman Knight closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Ruttenberg did not feel the additional screening of the antennas was necessary, and were acceptable as currently proposed.

Commissioner Karp moved to adopt P.C. Resolution 2006-53 thereby approving the Conditional Use Permit revision as recommended by staff, seconded by Vice Chairman Gerstner. Approved, (7-0).

7. Variance Permit, Lot Line Adjustment, and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2005-00181 & SUB2005-00001): 30543 Santa Luna Drive

It being after 11:00, Commissioner Lewis moved to suspend the Planning Commission rules and hear the new business after 11:00, seconded by Commissioner Tetreault, and unanimously approved.

Commissioners Ruttenberg and Perestam recused themselves from this item, as they both live within 500 feet from the residence.

Senior Planner Schonborn presented the staff report, explaining the scope of the project and the need for the applications. He stated that staff felt that the Variance application is warranted, as a portion of the pool and equipment were installed on a neighboring property inadvertently, and that is an exceptional circumstance. He stated that the Lot Line Adjustment will not result in any new non-conformity and staff is recommending approval of the Variance and Lot Line Adjustment.

Commissioner Tetreault asked if this was before the Planning Commission because the Lot Line Adjustment will decrease the lot size on a non-conforming lot.

Senior Planner Schonborn answered that was correct.

Chairman Knight opened the public hearing.

Pat Mathison 30543 Santa Luna Drive (applicant) stated this is an issue that has been existence for quite a while and he would like to make it right and is available for questions.

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

Commissioner Lewis stated he fully supported the application.

Commissioner Karp also supported the application, cautioning the applicant and neighbor that there may be problems with their Deeds of Trust on the property and strongly encouraging them to talk to a real estate attorney or their lender.

Commissioner Tetreault and Vice Chairman Gerstner stated they were in favor of the application, as was Chairman Knight.

Commissioner Lewis moved to adopt P.C. Resolution 2006-54 thereby approving the Variance and Lot Line Adjustment as recommended by staff, seconded by Commissioner Tetreault. Approved, (5-0-2) with Commissioners Ruttenberg and Perestam recused.

NEW BUSINESS

8. Report on the Anderson Initiative (Proposition 90)

Commissioner Ruttenberg moved to suspend the Planning Commission Rules and hear Agenda Items 8, 9, 10, and 11 seconded by Commissioner Karp. Unanimously approved.

Director Rojas presented the staff report, briefly explaining that this is an informational item only and noted that the concerns raised by the League of California Cities and the City Attorney’s office are included in the Planning Commission packets.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

9. Minutes of August 22, 2006

Vice Chairman Gerstner noted a typo on page 5 of the minutes.

Chairman Knight noted a clarification on page 14 of the minutes.

Commissioner Ruttenberg moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Vice Chairman Gerstner. Approved, (6-0-1) with Commissioner Tetreault recused as he was absent from that meeting.

10. Minutes of September 12, 2006

Chairman Knight noted a clarification on page 14 of the minutes.

Commissioner Tetreault moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Commissioner Karp. Approved, (7-0).

ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON FUTURE AGENDAS

11. Pre-agenda for the meeting of October 24, 2006

Director Rojas noted he would not be at the October 24th meeting.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 11:28 p.m.