Councilmember Hutcheson requested staff address if the building was occupied, if any person would be affected by the conversion.
Associate Planner Lyon deferred to the Applicant who indicated the property was vacant.
Mayor Pro Tem Foat requested staff address Condition Nos. 11, 13, 16, and 67; and stated Conditions 11, 13, and 16 do not seem appropriate for this type of project, further stated the last sentence of Condition No. 16 prohibits the lighting of the hillside, which did not appear applicable, and requested staff address the condition referring to under grounding utilities as to whether they would be under- ground or a covenant would be required.
Director Ewing stated Condition Nos. 12 and 13 are conditions placed on all projects at the request of the Tribe, Condition No. 11 does not apply and can be eliminated for this project.
City Engineer Barakian stated the utilities on the one-side of the property would be required to be underground, not a covenant.
Councilmember Weigel requested staff address Condition No. 9 and recommended that the Condition be amended that the City shall have the right but not the obligation to enforce the CC&R’s, and requested staff address the easement on the sidewalk, but not requiring the installation on San Lorenzo.
City Engineer Barakian stated the sidewalks are already installed and the condition and the easement are required for the drive approach.
Mayor Pougnet opened the public hearing, and the following speaker addressed the City Council.
SCOTT HINES, Representing Applicant, provided background information on the project, stated the property is currently abandoned and blighted, commented on the City Council discussions on a moratorium of conversions, but stated no moratorium is in place, and requested the City Council support the project.
No further speakers coming forward, the public hearing was closed.
Councilmember Mills requested staff address if this was a Planned Development not a Preliminary PD.
Director Ewing stated the application before the City Council is a Preliminary Planned Development, and the Applicant had submitted both the Preliminary and the Final PD, and the Planning Commission considered both Preliminary and Final, and approved both Preliminary and Final as a single act, subject to the City Council approval.
Councilmember Mills stated he was concerned about several items that do not meeting the zoning ordinance, stated the bay parking on San Lorenzo was required to be 20 feet deep with decorative paving and many of the proposed spaces are 15 to 17 feet deep, which may meet the requirement as a compact space.
Councilmember Mills stated the project includes adding a wall proposed to be 6 feet high in proposed set-back zone which is a violation of the ordinance, which requires a height of 4 1/2 feet in the set-back. Councilmember Mills added, that the AAC requested the wall be at 3 ½ feet, and he did not find any materials in the record to indicate if the Planning Commission agreed with AAC.
Councilmember Mills stated he did not see anything that indicated the area of the trash enclosures, but the record does indicate a “service gate,” and he assumed that is where the trash would go.
Councilmember Mills stated he appreciated the upgrade to the structure itself, stated he is looking at the property as a whole, and when looking at the Random Road side of the property the landscaping is 25 feet from the set-back of the property line, but the bay parking is in front of the building at the entry and is identified as guest parking, stated he would prefer to see parking in the set-back area on Random Road, and the front of the building be landscaped as it should be, and not have five parking spaces in the front of it.
Councilmember Mills stated the parking lot has parking for 21 or 22 cars, has two points of entrance and exit, and only needs one, which would allow for additional parking. Councilmember Mills added the handicapped parking is required by the Conditions of Approval, with the plan as presented, stated there would not be enough room for the handicapped spaces including the handicapped loading area.
Councilmember Mills questioned the aesthetics and the layout as presented, and stated that if the City is going to allow the conversion, we should be improving this property in the best way possible, and indicated that such was not being done in the proposed plan.
Councilmember Mills stated there are several contradictions with the Zoning Ordinance with this property from a set-back standpoint, and he indicated he did not wish to set the precedence by allowing sub-standard properties to convert. He further stated the City Council has been concerned with the reduction of affordable housing, and if we allow the properties to convert, the City will lose its apartment stock, especially with the approval of sub-standard properties with the PD process. He also stated the covered parking requirement for condominiums would help control the conversion, and many apartments, that do not require covered parking and hence would not be able to convert to condominiums.
Councilmember Mills requested the City Council review the prepared materials that indicated the set-backs for this project as proposed and the set-backs as required by code, stated the side set-back requirement was permitted at 20 feet, as proposed 3 feet, interior yard set-back is a little over, rear set-back is about 2 1/2 feet short, and the distance between buildings is about 3 feet short.
Councilmember Mills stated these are the issues that the City Council must address, and if the City Council wishes to proceed, for the neighborhood and the City, the Council should proceed with the best possible plan that we can get.
Councilmember Mills stated that five sub-standard bay parking spaces at the front of the building is not the best, when there is ample room on the west end of the project, which would create a much better streetscape.
Councilmember Mills questioned why we would approve a 5 or 6 foot high walkway, nearly 50 to 60 feet long to go from the parking to the front gate.
Councilmember Mills stated the project also has some problems architecturally and stated he would prefer that the project be looked at again, considering the issues he has brought up, and he would like to see a list of all the violations that the City Council is approving.
Councilmember Mills questioned why Condition No. 84 for automatic fire sprinkler systems, along with Fire Dept. access roads are included in the Conditions of Approval, stated that staff needs to review all of the conditions for their applicability and include only those Conditions needed and required for the project.
Councilmember Mills stated this is a simple project, and the effort has not been put forth, and commented on the lack of evaluation and review of this project. Councilmember Mills stated that he would request a re-study on the plan, and to bring back a better site plan, and reiterated his previous comments on differences between the proposed project and the requirements in the zoning code.
Mayor Pro Tem Foat stated she agreed that including conditions that are not applicable to the project is confusing for the City Council.
Mayor Pougnet outlined and requested staff respond to specific questions as brought forth by the City Council.
Director Ewing stated that bay-parking is allowed by code to be 18 feet deep and stated perhaps 3 spaces are short.
Associate Planner Lyon stated that in the Planning Commission staff report the parking finishes are to be required per City standards, the proposed development includes covered parking for 12 spaces, and stated he would need to confirm with the City’s ADA Specialist, whether current apartments converting may be except from the handicapped parking requirement.
Director Ewing indicated that Condition No. 50 requires the bay-parking be moved 4 feet onto the site to conform, and Condition No. 51 requires that the bay-parking be paved with decorative paving as required by the code.
Director Ewing stated the 6 foot wall was included in the staff report which calls out the wall height as part of the Planned Development.
Councilmember Mills stated the City Council is reviewing a document that shows landscaping, and when the parking and wall are moved there will not be space for landscaping, stated the Condition may be in the approval but it does not work.
Councilmember Mills stated as part of the request, let’s see what we are approving.
Associate Planner Lyon stated the trash would be included behind the service gate.
Ruben Walters, Designer representing Applicant, explained the processing for the landscape strip, and stated the AAC was adamant about having a landscape buffer between the next property and the proposed parking lot, and stated they did not consider putting additional parking in that zone, and stated the trash will be enclosed behind the service gate.
Councilmember Mills requested the Applicant address the two drives into the parking area.
Ruben Walters explained the first proposal included only one driveway, and at the AAC meeting they were informed that two gates would allow for fire truck access without turning around.
Councilmember Mills questioned if that was a requirement of the Fire Department, and Ruben Walters stated it was the AAC.
Councilmember Mills questioned if the Applicant would have a problem moving the 5 spaces, perhaps as tandem parking on Random Road, and the Applicant stated they could move the compact spaces, but for guest parking it would be advantageous to have parking at the front of the building.
Councilmember Weigel stated the current parking lot is large, and requested the current number of spaces; Ruben Walters indicated the parking as proposed is the parking that currently exists, with the exception of the landscaped strip, which removes potential parking due to the AAC requirement for a landscape buffer.
Councilmember Weigel questioned if parking could be placed in the landscape area. Councilmember Mills stated the requirements of internal parking area, along with the requirement of a landscape buffer, and if the parking was moved to Random they would not have a landscape requirement.
Councilmember Weigel questioned if there was a condition that the City Council could require, to deal with the parking issue, or if the only solution was to come back.
Director Ewing stated the Planning Commission’s approval of the Final PD, was subject to the City Council’s action and if the City Council wished to move forward with the conversion, with regard to the site plan, the City Council could approve the Preliminary, but subject to revisions. Director Ewing stated he believed the parking could be significantly altered if there was not a requirement for a second driveway, which could be done at the final PD stage.
Councilmember Mills stated the covered parking requirements is 12 spaces due to the 12 units, and the handicapped issue will be worked out; however, the plan only has 11 spaces. and Ruben Walters stated there was a change to the plan to add the additional space.