CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Donenfeld called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.
Roll Call: 7 members present, 0 members absent, 0 members excused.
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 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2012.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGENDA:
The agenda was accepted, as presented.
Chair Donenfeld opened public comments:
-Gary Cherlyn, representing Desert Organic Solutions, (spoke in reference to Item 2A) commented on the lack of visibility from the freeway because the temporary banner was removed and requested approval for the additional signage.
-Jeff Cross, representing Best Signs, (spoke in reference to Item 2A) commented on the difficulty in finding the dispensary because the front of the building faces away from the public view.
There being no further appearances public comments was closed.
1. CONSENT CALENDAR:
1A. Minutes of March 28, 2012
Motion to To approve, minutes of March 28, 2012. Moved by J.R. Roberts, seconded by Lyn Calerdine.
Vote to To approve, minutes of March 28, 2012. (Approved)
2. OTHER BUSINESS:
2A. Case SP 06-042 Sign Program APPEAL - An appeal of the Director’s decision to deny a proposal by Desert Organic Solutions to amend a previously approved sign program for the Paul Taylor Commercial Building located at 19486 Newhall Street, Zone M-2, Section 24. (Project Planner: Glenn Mlaker, AICP, Assistant Planner)
Glenn Mlaker, Assistant Planner, provided background information as outlined in the staff reported dated April 11, 2012.
Commissioner Roberts spoke in opposition of the additional signage; noting that the tenant is looking for a billboard to the back of the building to attract freeway attention; he does not want to set a precedence.
Commissioner Calerdine noted that the intent of marijuana dispensaries are to be unobstrusive and located in industrial zones not in commercial areas for drive-by business.
Commissioner Conrad concurred that the original intent of the medical marijuana ordinance was not to provide for drive-by freeway traffic but to service a need in the community and those patients should be aware of the location of the dispensary.
Motion to To deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Director’s action. Moved by Tracy Conrad, seconded by Leslie Munger.
Vote to To deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Director’s action. (Approved)
3. PUBLIC HEARING:
3A. Case 5.1255 CUP - A review of an existing Conditional Use Permit that authorizes "The Center" to operate a food bank and distribution facility within an office building located at 610 South Belardo Road, Zone PD-77, Section 22. (Project Planner: David A. Newell, Associate Planner)
David Newell, Associate Planner, provided background information as outlined in the staff report dated April 11, 2012.
Chair Donenfeld opened the public hearing:
-John O’Connor, Executive Director, The Center food bank, provided an overview on the changes made to the operation and expressed their openness to receiving comments from the Commission.
-Sheryl Hamlin, commented that she attended the Center’s organizational meeting and was impressed with the services provided, however, she suggested a new location be found for the center.
-Kathleen Adams, The Canyons HOA, expressed concern with the large number of people arriving at the same time and the center outgrowing the building. She requested revocation of the conditional use permit until a new location is found.
-Frank Tysen, noted that the food bank is a good service to the community, however, he expressed concern with the location.
There being no further appearances public comments was closed.
Commissioner Conrad asked the applicant when the building lease would expire and what the strategic plans are for the organization. Mr. O’Connor responded that the lease will end on November 20, 2013 and explained the organization’s long-term goals are to secure more capital and purchase their own property.
Commissioner Roberts asked the applicant if growth is anticipated for the food bank. Mr. O’Connor responded that the facility is at full capacity and does not anticipate future growth.
Commissioner Klatchko asked police staff to address traffic issues and/or illegal parking. Police Lieutenant, Bryan Reyes, responded that the police officer responsible for this area was recently contacted by an HOA representative on April 5th and expressed a great improvement with the changes made to the day and hour of operation and the implementation of security. He stated that there is an issue with double parking and one incident related to the business in the past three months.
Commissioner Klatchko noted that the testimony has shown that there has been an improvement in the facility and spoke in favor of continuing the operation.
Commissioner Munger asked the applicant what the capacity is for the building. Mr. O’Connor responded that it is 250 occupants and explained the overall distribution process.
Commissioner Roberts commended the service that is provided by the center, however; expressed concern with the location. He asked staff if there is any assistance the City could provide with relocating of the facility. Director Ewing provided an overview on the City’s experience with similar requests.
Chair Donenfeld summarized that the organization is providing a great service to the community and encouraged the organization to look at accelerating the termination date of the building lease.
Commissioner Roberts stated a status report could be done; and if there are issues to bring them back to the Commission.
Chair Donenfeld recapped the Commission’s direction to the applicant to explore all the options available for relocation and report back in 6 months.
PLANNING COMMISSION COMMENTS:
No comments were reported.
PLANNING DIRECTOR’S REPORT:
Director Ewing reported that the City Council is meeting tonight and will discuss the change of zone for the Wessman parcel on Sunrise Way and Tahquitz Canyon Way. He also reported that the Council will review at their next week, the appeal by the Ralph’s/CVS center sign program (denied by the Planning Commission) and a sign district for the auto dealer complex on East Palm Canyon Road.
Commissioner Roberts requested an update on the Planning Commission review process for the redevelopment of the Desert Fashion Plaza. Director Ewing suggested the Commission could begin reviewing the implementation section of the Museum Market Plaza Specific Plan. He noted that staff will look into scheduling a joint session with the AAC to discuss this matter.
There being no further comments the Planning Commission adjourned at 2:29 p.m. to Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 1:30 p.m., at City Hall, Council Chamber, 3200 East Tahquitz Canyon Way.
Apr 11, 2012 Planning Commission