CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Hudson called the meeting to order at 1:31 pm.
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 pm on Thursday, October 2, 2014.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGENDA:
Vice-Chair Klatchko noted his abstention on the minutes of September 24, 2014 due to his absence.
The agenda was accepted, as presented.
Chair Hudson opened public comments and with no appearances coming forward public comments was closed.
1. CONSENT CALENDAR:
1A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
Motion to approved Approved, as submitted (noting Vice-Chair Klatchko's abstention). Moved by Commissioner Roberts, seconded by Commissioner Calerdine.
Vote to approved Approved, as submitted (noting Vice-Chair Klatchko's abstention). (Approved)
2. PUBLIC HEARING:
2A. WEST COAST HOUSING PARTNERS ON BEHALF OF THE PROPERTY OWNER, THE ERIC BRANDENBERG SEPARATE PROPERTY TRUST, FOR APPROVAL OF A PRELIMINARY AND FINAL PLANNED DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT IN LIEU OF A CHANGE OF ZONE, A MAJOR ARCHITECTURAL APPLICATION, AND A TENTATIVE TRACT MAP PROPOSING A DEVELOPMENT OF 46 SINGLE FAMILY DETACHED UNITS ON INDIVIDUAL LOTS, COMMON PRIVATE STREETS AND OPEN SPACE ON A ROUGHLY 5.23 ACRE SITE LOCATED AT THE SOUTHEAST CORNER OF NORTH PALM CANYON DRIVE AND ALVARADO (CASE 5.1340 PDD 370, 3.3742 MAJ, TTM 36725). (KL)
Associate Planner Lyon presented the proposed project as outlined in the staff report. Mr. Lyon pointed out that the applicant is seeking approval of both the preliminary and final PDD with this submittal. He noted that the applicant has reviewed this project with the neighborhood association.
Vice-Chair Klathcko asked staff clarify the applicant's responses/comments to the staff report. Associate Planner Lyon summarized staff's responses the aforementioned document.
Commission Middleton asked the existing and future planned bike lanes in this area. Assistant Director of Public Works Khamphou responded that bike lanes are planned for Racquet Club and North Palm Canyon (Tramway Road into downtown) that will tie-in to the Coachella Valley Link. He further described Class 2 and 3 bike paths.
Commissioner Roberts requested clarification on the approval process.
Chair Hudson opened the public hearing:
WHITT HOLLIS, West Coast Housing Partners, LLC, commented that staff's response was submitted at the meeting and they have not had time to review it. Mr. Hollis spoke about working hard on the analysis of the market, great design team and communication with staff.
KRYSTAL NAVAR, Modative, (project architects), spoke about history of architecure in the city and applyed the principles of mid-century to the project. They looked at the physical factor of the site: solar orientation, access to views, air and light for all of the homes, noise, privacy concerns, vehicular and pedestrian access, spacing between the homes, breaking up the massing in the side-yard, wall articulation, driveways and desert landscaping.
ROB PARKER, RGA Landscape Architects, provided details on the bike oasis (would prefer to provide large scale trees - not a shade structure, space available for dog park, open space, and the Palm Canyon Drive frontage.
MARVIN ROOS, MSA Consulting, Inc., did not agree with the staff report and stated that a Planned Development is necessary to conform to the General Plan. He noted that this site is an intense Palm Canyon frontage and not an interior multi-family project. He provided explanation to their responses/comments to the staff report.
GARY LEE SMITH, resides at 43 @ Racquet Club, commented that he and his neighbors are excited about this project. It will eliminate the blight in this area does not find the building space is problematic (this project is very similar to 43 @ Racquet Club) and prefers a gated community.
RANDY SMITH , spoke in opposition to the 2-story height and the entrance driveway directly in front of his house.
MARVIN ROOS, commented that both zones and the multi-use allows 2 stories buildings and addressed the driveway entrance.
There being no further appearances the public hearing was closed.
Vice-Chair Klatchko made the following comments:
*spoke in favor of many aspects of the project such as the angular placement of the buildings and the entrance on Alvarado.
*epressed concern with the lack of sidewalks - the wide paseos alloww pedestrian friendly pathways.
*concerned with the lack of guest parking;
He does not have no problem with lot line development.
Commissioner Middleton concurred with Vice-Chair Klatchko and appreciated the neighborhood outreach. She expressed concern with the density of the project; units are too close together. She likes the colors, a few more windows particularly above the garage area and additional space on may be needed for the bike lanes on Palm Canyon ,
concerned with guest parking and would like to see more shade trees.
Commissioner Weremiuk made the following comments:
*Lack of guest parking;
*Project is to dense;
*The building separation is not sufficient and should be a minimum of 10 feet sideyards.
*Lack of response from applicant to install smart water controllers.
Commissioner Roberts commented that he sees some good in this project and the accesory structures Palm Canyon elevation works asthetically.
*They never had a project requesting so much deviation with this little benefit. Staff's list of conditions speaks volumnes. Most of the recommendations are good ones.
His biggest concern is density that adds to the lack of guest parking spaces and building separation.
*A minimum of 10 ft. between the buildings;
*Under parking for service trucks etc.
*Gated development - should be more open and accessible.
He would like to see most of staff's recommendations added into the project before he can feel comfortable moving forward.
Commissioner Calerdine commented that he is not opposed to the density of this project. There are several developments that are similar to this project and would like to see a comparison. He noted that this is not the typical multi-family development and variety on Palm Canyon is acceptable. He suggested adding direct access from Street D to the pedestrian plaza; possible compromise to allow for vehicular gates; will leave architecture to the architects.
Commissioner Roberts commented that the repetition of the garage doors feels like a back alley. The 2nd floor is reptitive too. All the internal elevations lack what the external elevations have. Staff has an on-going list of benefit choices for the community and applicant should take a look at this.
Vice-Chair Klathcko concurred with Commissioner Roberts regarding the row of garage doors. He asked if De Anza is possible to have ungated. Savat said yes.
Chair Hudson made the following comments:
*The site has two different zones;
*Concerned with the 14 houses along Palm Canyon; 14- 2 car garage doors with 6 ft. separations is not acceptable.
*A larger gap between the houses off of Palm Canyon.
*A larger gap on the Palm Canyon row houses;
*The need for flexibility for the accessorary units along Palm Canyon;
*The landscape design is the better amenity; the plaza area becomes more developed - good canopy shade trees.
*Encourage the applicant to provide a few more boulders;
*Spacing between buildings; six feet is too close;
*Concerned with gatied communities;
*A controlled vehicular access makes sense;
*A lot more use of speed bumps and articulation of the street to slow down traffic;
*Increase permeable surfacing for paving;
*Increase more shared parking;
*The architecture does not respond to the site;
Commissioner Weremiuk said she does not think they have enough to move forward; especially the tentative tract map. She suggested sending this back more work - so many issues.
Commissioner Calerdine staff provide a checklist of the applicant's and staff's responses.
Motion to approved Table with specific direction to the applicant to revise the project and re-submit the project. Moved by Commissioner Weremiuk, seconded by Commissioner Roberts.
Vote to approved Table with specific direction to the applicant to revise the project and re-submit the project. (Approved)
The Commission provided the following direction for the applicant make revisions to the project:
Item 1: Provide at least 10 feet between units for more usable open space and less density. (This was noted as both an open space issue and a density issue).
Item 2: Revise the site concept to provide better accommodation for pedestrian circulation within the project to provide sidewalks along 1 side of the streets or by other creative means, taking into consideration workmen and guests as well as residents. (Staff Note: Reference PSZC 94.04 Architectural Review guideline D.1 which notes, “
…Definition of pedestrian and vehicular areas; i.e. sidewalks as distinct from parking lot areas;”
(e.g. vehicular travelways) and note additional PC comment #14 below on paving differentiation)
Item 3. If sidewalks are not provided along streets, then revise widths of private streets to conform to General Plan, (“
especially in lieu of sidewalks, must have one or the other
”). Item 4. Provide live/work as proposed by the applicant on the site plan, allow for variety in the architectural composition of these units, without kitchens. (do not want them to become rental units).
Item 5. Provide 48 inch minimum box size for shade trees as shown on the landscape plan at the corner oasis. Select species suitable for the windy conditions at the site in lieu of structures for shade at that corner and provide more individual seating.
Item 6 Reduce the monotony of the wall of garage doors by either turning the corner unit garage doors to the sides or revise the site plan in some other way to eliminate the repetitive monotonous nature of the row of garage doors along the interior streets.
Item 7. Provide perimeter pedestrian gates at all units backing onto the public streets. (Note from earlier meeting with Planning Director to also provide doorbell systems to allow visitors to access units from these gates).
Item 8. Provide optional back yard shade structures for prospective buyers that complement the architecture of the homes.
Item 9. Utilize angling or other design solutions to relieve the long planar walls of garage doors along the interior streets.
Item 10. Create a better solution to reduce noise dramatically from the pool and HVAC units or move these mechanical units away from the back yards to eliminate noise impacts on those yards. (staff will confirm the minimum required open space clearance at side yards with Fire Department).
Item 11. Provide more guest parking within the project. (no specific quantity was stated). Also, regarding guest access, provide means at the main entry gates and along the perimeter public streets for open pedestrian access (I.e. vehicular gates may be retained, but allow open pedestrian access from the perimeter of the project for guest/neighborhood connectivity that does not require keys or controlled access intercom, etc).
Item 12 Provide active gathering amenities in the common open space (example SOL development has central open space for gathering, community interaction etc).
Other specific requests/direction for design revision made as a part of the Planning Commission motion:
A.) Orient roof slopes to make future installation of solar feasible (ie. slope of roofs should face south);
B.) Provide prewire for photovoltaic solar panels.
C.) Enhanced pavement – no asphalt, integrate pavers at private streets to perhaps aid in demarcating separation of pedestrian way from vehicular travelway.
D.) Pedestrian open access if there is to be vehicular gates. Research new technology entry gate systems with second arms, camera systems, no-back up systems,
etc. that allows controlled vehicular access but free pedestrian access.
E.) Propose additional public benefits (review suggestions from staff or other; see comment below).
F.) Provide at least the hand tire pump and water bottle filling as a minimum set of amenities at the corner oasis.
G.) Will not require daily wash down of the amenities at the corner, “as needed” as proposed by the applicant is ok.
In addition to the specific comments above that were incorporated in their motion, a summary of other comments that were not required by motion, but were offered by individual PC members that may be helpful in your further refinement of the project were as follows:
Like the angular building placement on lots 14 through 18
Concern about lack of guest parking (need more and better distributed)
“Much to like about the project”.
Density – too much, too close.
Like the colors.
Would like more windows.
Like the landscape.
6’ side yards are too narrow.
Like the NPCD frontage
Gates not needed, JUL project was a special exception.
Density ok (Callerdine only).
Add more to the corner plaza.
Pedestrian connection from within the development to the corner oasis.
Walls of garage doors feels like a back alley; “its all asphalt and garage doors”.
Open vehicular gates on both De Anza and Alvarado – ok with both Planning & Engineering staff.
Would like to see larger gap to break up the row of homes along NPCD
Perhaps allow closer units along NPCD and more open between the units further within the complex.
Width of streets a concern. Consider use of special pavement speed bumps, etc.
Architecture doesn’t respond to climate.
“Not overwhelmed by the architecture”
PLANNING COMMISSION REPORTS, REQUESTS AND COMMENTS:
Commissioner Roberts requested that the City Council is clear on their recommendations beyond the action minutes on the Lawrence Rael project which is on appeal and other large projects.
Director Fagg responded that the City Attorney's attorney's response was that the action by the Planning Commission is the record on the item. Mr. Fagg indicated that the summary and findings provided to the City Council give a basis for the way the Planning Commission voted on the item.
Commissioner Roberts requested a study session for the above item and to discuss with staff to desimminate better information to the applicants when looking for relief from the Zoning and General Plan for Variances and PDD's.
Commissioner Weremiuk noted that a subcommittee (Calerdine, Roberts and Weremiuk) worked to establish PDD guidelines. Director Flinn responded that this subcommittee could start up again to continue their work. The subcommittee members agreed.
PLANNING DIRECTOR'S REPORT:
Director Flinn commented that a study session will be held in the next month to discuss the items requested by the Commisison.
The Planning Commission adjourned at 3:24 pm to Wednesday, October 22, 2014, at 1:30 pm, City Hall, Council Chamber, 3200 East Tahquitz Canyon Way.
Oct 08, 2014 Planning Commission