CALL TO ORDER:
The meeting was called to order at 1:33 p.m.
Roll Call: 7 members present, 0 members absent, 0 members excused.
*Commissioner Caffery arrived at 1:41 p.m.
REPORT OF POSTING OF AGENDA:
The agenda was available for public access at the City Hall exterior bulletin board (west side of Council Chamber) and the Planning Services counter by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 19, 2008.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGENDA:
Commissioner Scott noted his abstention on Item 1A (the minutes of August 27, 2008) due to his absence.
Staff requested a continuance for Item 2B to the meeting of October 8, 2008, due to changes made to the project.
Chair Hochanadel opened Public Comments; there being no appearances, Public Comments was closed.
1. CONSENT CALENDAR:
Motion to Approve To approve, Item 1A, 1B and 1C, as part of the Consent Calendar. (Noting Commissioner Scott’s abstention on Item 1A.) Moved by Ringlein, seconded by Vice Chair Cohen.
Vote to Approve To approve, Item 1A, 1B and 1C, as part of the Consent Calendar. (Noting Commissioner Scott’s abstention on Item 1A.) (Approved)
1A. Minutes of August 27, 2008.
Approved, as part of the Consent Calendar. (Noting Commissioner Scott’s abstention.)
1B. Case 3.2886 MAJ Time Extension - A request by Shook Building Systems Inc., for a two year time extension for a previously approved 13,680 square feet commercial storage facility located at the north side of Garnet Avenue to the south-west of Interstate 10 / Indian Avenue interchange, Zone M-1-P, Section 15, APN 666-330-064. (Project Planner: Glenn Mlaker, Assistant Planner)
Approved, as part of the Consent Calendar.
1C. Case TPM 35980 / 7.1305 AMM - An application by Jim Dodson for a Parcel Map Waiver and Administrative Minor Modification to subdivide one parcel into three lots for future commercial/industrial development located on the east side of Ruppert Way between 20th Avenue and Orr Way, Zone M-2, Section 15, APN: 666-423-006. (Project Planner: David A. Newell, Associate Planner).
Approved, as part of the Consent Calendar.
2. PUBLIC HEARINGS:
2A. Case 3.3274 MAJ / TTM 35998 (Olympian Villas Senior Housing) - An application by John Skordoulis of Legacy Development International to construct a 38-unit senior housing complex with two guest casitas, underground parking and recreation areas, on a 2.66 acre lot parcel, located at 1550 Amado Road, Zone MR, Section 14, APN: 508-060-036. (Project Planner: Ken Lyon, Associate Planner)
Ken Lyon, Associate Planner, provided background information as outlined in the staff report dated September 24, 2008. Mr. Lyon pointed out that this project is scheduled for review by the Tribal Planning Commission on October 6, 2008, and by the Tribal Council on October 14, 2008.
Chair Hochanadel opened the Public Hearing:
-John Skordulis, applicant, stated that in January 2006, he purchased the lot from Verizon with the vision to develop something "different and unique". Mr. Skordulis explained that the project is Greek island architecture.
-Chris Sahlin, architect, provided further details and thanked staff for their work. Mr. Sahlin spoke of his visit to the Greek islands and noted their use of brighter colors in the architecture. Mr. Sahlin stated their intent is to maintain the traditional elements and detailing. Mr. Sahlin (responding to questions from the Commission) provided further details pertaining to the adjacent parking lot, guest parking and the material specifications for the stone ionic capitals/columns, the pediment, plaster and the two piece tile roof.
Commissioner Conrad stated that the units are very generous and the site plan is nice, however, expressed concern with the materials for the architectural elements and requested a condition be imposed to bring back material selection to the Planning Commission for approval prior to issuance of permit.
Motion to Approve To approve Case 3.3274 MAJ and Tentative Tract Map 35998 and recommend approval of TTM 35998 to the City Council, subject to the Conditions of Approval, as amended: (
MOTION FAILED, DUE TO A LACK OF A SECOND.)
-Final material specifications and color selections shall be submitted for review and approval by the Planning Commission prior to issuance of Building Permit. Moved by Ringlein. The motion did not receive a second and was lost.
Commissioner Scott said that his reluctance to support this proposal is because Palm Springs is not a Greek town and the aesthetic is an odd addition to the community.
Commissioner Ringlein said that she believes Palm Springs embraces diversity, including architecture, and felt this "new look" would be refreshing. Commissioner Donenfeld concurred with Commissioner Ringlein.
Commissioner Conrad felt that it is there job is to ensure that whatever is build is sensitive and of the highest quality and not to legislate a particular aesthectic and warn developers what is appropriate
Commissioner Scott requested the applicant address the sustainability and energy efficiency aspects of the project. Ann Berrington provided details on an insulation product called "Radient Barrier" that reflects heat in the summertime and cold in the winertime.
Commissioner Caffery noted that he arrived late and did not hear staff’s presentation, nonetheless, he has read the staff report and heard the public testimony and would be participating in the discussion. Commissioner Caffery clarified that there are several Greek style projects in the City and indicated tht he has no concerns with the architecture, as long as it is done right.
Motion to To approve Case 3.3274 MAJ and Tentative Tract Map 35998 and recommend approval of TTM 35998 to the City Council, subject to the Conditions of Approval, as amended:
-Final material specifications and color selections shall be submitted for review and approval by the Planning Commission prior to issuance of Building Permit. Moved by Donenfeld, seconded by Ringlein.
Vote to To approve Case 3.3274 MAJ and Tentative Tract Map 35998 and recommend approval of TTM 35998 to the City Council, subject to the Conditions of Approval, as amended:
-Final material specifications and color selections shall be submitted for review and approval by the Planning Commission prior to issuance of Building Permit. (Approved)
2B. Case 3.3265 MAJ / 6.508 VAR - An application by Robert Howard for the construction of a 2,500 square foot mixed-use commercial building with associated parking area and landscaping located at 2555 North Palm Canyon Drive, Zone C-1, Section 3, APN: 504-073-002. (Project Planner: Scott Taschner, Assistant Planner)
This Item has been continued to the meeting of October 8, 2008.
3. OTHER BUSINESS:
3A. General Plan Amendment - Preliminary review of draft 2008 Housing Element.
Ms. Nicole Criste reported that the Housing Element was adopted as a part of the General Plan in October 2007, with the previous Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). The intent is to include the latest RHNA and other updates to bring the Housing Element into conformance with State law.
Staff clarified that the obligation of the City under State law is to ensure that zoning and the City's other regulatory policies are in alignment to allow the housing to be built. The two main ones are to ensure that a sufficient inventory of land is available and that the zoning code will accommodate the density to support affordable housing. The City also has a direct role in providing affordable housing throught the redevelopment agency. The redevelopment agency receives tax increment financing and 20% is required to be set aside for the production of affordable housing.
The Commission discussed tribal land, entitled projects, determination of housing needs and the drop in value for medium priced homes.
Commissioner Scott asked if the redevelopment agency has identified existing sites that may be purchase for affordable housing. Ms. Criste responded that discussion has been included identifying existing projects that have suffered difficulties and may be appropriate for incorporation of affordable housing.
Ms. Criste reported that the standards for low and moderate income are set by the federal government and fluctuate every year.
Commissioner Conrad expressed concern with a neighborhood that may be opposed to the State's requirement on a particular issue. Staff responded that the State will not dictate to the City where to place density; this is a local zoning matter. Ms. Criste noted that the inconsistency of the zoning code and State law is a greater risk to the City.
Commissioner Caffery questioned at what point does the City start looking to provide low income housing versus high dollar projects. Mr. Ewing responded that the City will continue to face a shortage of affordable housing into the future. The City will need to get very creative in identifying ways of creating affordable housing. Commissioner Caffery said that he is in favor of a more proactive for affordable housing and suggested the City start to look for land near places of employment, not near the freeway. Staff noted this is a statewide problem and provided further details.
Mr. Ewing said the goal is to create new units that are now contracted to remain affordable housing into the future. This a tough business to put together because so much is dependent on federal and state tax credits.
Discussion occurred on initiation of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian's workforce summit.
Mr. Ewing stated stated that this draft has been sent for initial review in advance of formal certification by the State Housing and Community Development. The draft element will then be taken to a public hearing before the Planning Commission. Once, the Council adopts the Housing Element, it will then be submitted back to the State for the formal Certification process. Mr. Ewing invited the Commission to forward any comments so that they could be incorporated.
PUBLIC COMMISSION COMMENTS:
Commissioner Donenfeld requested Public Benefits for Planned Developments as a study session item.
PLANNING DIRECTOR’S REPORT:
Mr. Ewing reported the October 1st study session would include discussion on Public Benefits, several zoning code amendments and the PSEDC report suggested by Commissioner Caffery.
The Director of Planning reported that the City Council will meet for a joint meeting with the Tribal Council this evening.
Staff (responding to a previous Commission request) reported that the Spanish Inn is in active construction and a memorandum would follow on the timelines. Also, staff reported (status of the art project on the corner of Ramon Road and Sunrise Way) that the art project is near the shrub and has been completed.
There being no further comments, the meeting adjourned at 2:57 p.m.
Sep 24, 2008 Planning Commission