CALL TO ORDER:
Vice-Chair Calerdine called the meeting to order at 1:30 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 6:00 pm on Thursday, July 21, 2016.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGENDA:
Commissioner Hudson noted his abstention on voting on the minutes since he was not on the Commission at this time. Commissioner Lowe noted his abstention on the minutes due to his absence.
Vice-Chair Calerdine opened public comments:
JACK VANDERWOUDE, applicant for Item 2B, appreciated the city's patience in moving forward to see the fruition of this project.
There being no further speakers public comments was closed.
1. CONSENT CALENDAR:
1A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MINUTES OF JULY 13, 2016
Motion to approve Approve. Moved by Commissioner Weremiuk, seconded by Commissioner Hirschbein.
Vote to approve Approve. (Approved)
2. NEW BUSINESS:
2A. DENLAR, LLC, FOR AN AMENDMENT TO AN APPROVED MAJOR ARCHITECTURAL APPLICATION TO REDUCE THE SIDE YARD SETBACK FROM 16'-9" TO 10'-0" FOR A NEW HILLSIDE SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE LOCATED AT 2110 LEONARD ROAD, ZONE R-1-B (CASE 3.3817 MAJ). (FF)
Planning Director Fagg provided background information on the sequence of approvals and proposed amendment as outlined in the staff report. Mr. Fagg indicated that the house as sits on the lot it does conform with setback requirements; however, there is a section of the house that exceeds past the 12' height limit.
Commissioner Middleton disclosed that she received ex-parte communication and once she confirmed this project would be going before the Commission she informed the neighbor that she could not engage in conversation on this matter.
The Commission had the following technical questions:
-How did the rotation error occur?
-Has the rotation been approved?
-Are you aware if the developer reached out to the neighbors?
-How would the developer meet the height restriction?
-Does the city have the ability to impose a penalty to the developer for violating the zoning code.
-Do the neighbors have a civil action against the neighbor?
-If a fee/penalty is imposed who determines the amount?
-Location of the mechanical equipment that is not shielded.
-Did the developer contacted the City about changing the plan?
-When the city became aware of the problem.
-Details about the "Stop Order".
-How did this occur with the building inspectors without this being noticed?
-Verified that a signed certification was completed for the grading plan.
-Verified the options available for the Commission.
-Verified that penalties could be imposed if amendment is not granted.
-How would penalties be initiated?
-The hillside approval process.
-Clarification on the sequence of events.
-Verification of the house rotation.
DENNIS FREEMAN, Denlar LLC, developer, explained that the certification is for pad elevations and not location. He indicated that they realized they were not utilizing the full backyard. He said they were not aware hillside did not realize they broke the code and thought the hillside ordinance was more in tune to make sure views are not blocked, elevations are not too high and staying within the building envelope. He said the house has not changed height and they were shocked to find a two foot corner is exceeding the height limitations. He said if they cut the 7" section it will be very difficult to seal the roof properly. He requested allowing this small sections and understands what they did. He said this has wasted 6 weeks of construction time but rotating the house improves the backyard and allows a guest house. He requested leniency for rotation of the house. They did not think rotating the hose affected hillside development. He was available for questions.
ROBERT DORAN, property owner to the north, he questioned how the development team misread the plans and requested the building codes be enforced with the original approval.
Commissioner Middleton said after visiting the site it was pretty obvious that to her that by rotating the house additional space was gained and asked the applicant if this was a deliberate decision.
Mr. Freeman responded yes it was.
She asked if he reached out to the city and the neighbors. He responded no.
Commissioner Weremiuk made a motion to deny the application stating that it was an intentional disregard of the approvals and thinks it is not appropriate to modify the approval when the applicant did this intentionally. She's glad in the future that the inspectors will be staking and measuring so that this doesnt happen again.
Commissioner Lowe concurred and thinks they rotated the house to add the casita to it and is concerned that this was done without any consultation to the city or planning Commission.
Commissioner Hirschbein agrees with the motion and does not know where this leaves the applicant. Without any modification to the building is not comfortable moving forward. He believes it it is was done intentional.
Commissioner Middleton spoke in support of the motion of denial. There was a mistake and consequences for that mistake and should be proportional. Is looking forward to have the developer with something that will allow this project to move forward with the neighborhood.
Vice-Chair Calerdine said he's uncomfortable saying this was delirabate.
Commissioner Hudson concurred with the motion and felt that a clear example needs to be set with this project for the additional staff time spent and expenses involved with some sort of fee or penalty. He said looking at the photographs and being at the site with minor modifications would fit into the zoning & building requirements. He thinks there are ways of dealing with this project and need to be very consistent and certainly mistakes were made. Part of the Commission's job is and try to come up with solutions and send a strong message about future projects.
Motion to approve Deny. Moved by Commissioner Weremiuk, seconded by Commissioner Lowe.
Vote to approve Deny. (Approved)
Commissioner Hirschbein asked if a staff from engineering or building could talk to them about why this is happening and would like to see what the resolution is.
2B. PALM SPRINGS FREEWAY DEVELOPMENT, LLC, REQUESTING AN EXTENSION OF TIME FOR A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT (CUP) TO CONSTRUCT A 65-ROOM HOTEL, TWO DRIVE-THRU RESTAURANTS, ASSOCIATED PARKING AND SIGNAGE AT 610 WEST GARNET AVENUE, ZONE M-1-P, SECTION 15 (CASE NO. 5.0856-CUP). (ER)
Principal Planner Robertson provided an overview of the proposed extension of time request as outlined in the staff report. He indicated that the main reason this project has come back for time extensions is to allow onsite wastewater treatment at this site.
Commissioner Donenfeld requested clarification and/or commented on:
-How long and how much money is involved will it take the applicant to build a wastewater treatment facility on-site?
-Is the two-year time extension adequate time?
-Is this a valid permit from the Regional Water Quality Board?
-Is this a temporary facility until a permanent structure is built?
-Why hasn't the applicant pursued other permits while waiting for the waste water approval?
-How much time will be needed for the applicant?
-Was the applicant aware of all the requirements when this project was permitted?
-Verified that this project will come back to review for the AAC since this was approved back in 2001.
JACK VANDERWOUDE (responded to questions from the Commission) provided a chronology of project. He indicated this project was originally approved in 2004 and the project was designed with septic systems. He spoke about the moratorium in 2007 on septic systems in this area because of high nitrate levels. He indicated about 18 months ago the State allowed advanced treatment systems and and until recently received approval. He said two years would be greatly appreciated to give them a chance to deal with the logistical work in moving ahead.
Commissioner Middleton said she's had serious concerns about the number of extensions they are granting to many projects and confirmed with the applicant if any action could have been taken during this time. The applicant responded no, not without any water or sewer systems. She thinks it's responsible for the Commission to take the given the moratorium into consideration. She will vote in favor of the two year extension and questioned if there are any other restrictions that are before him in terms of proceeding? The applicant answered no.
Commissioner Weremiuk said she supports the two-year time extension because if will save staff time because it will take two years. And not only because the moratorium preventing him from building this is a good use the city would like to see.
Motion to approve Approve the two-year time extension subject to conditions. Moved by Commissioner Donenfeld, seconded by Commissioner Weremiuk.
Vote to approve Approve the two-year time extension subject to conditions. (Approved)
2C. ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
A. ELECTION OF CHAIR
Commissioner Weremiuk nominated Lyn Calerdine as Chair. Commissioner Lowe seconded the nomination.
Motion to approve Appoint Lyn Calerdine to serve as Chair. Moved by Commissioner Weremiuk, seconded by Commissioner Lowe.
Vote to approve Appoint Lyn Calerdine to serve as Chair. (Approved)
B. ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIR
Commissioner Lowe nominated Kathy Weremiuk as Vice-Chair. Commissioner Middleton seconded the nomination.
Motion to approve Appoint Kathy Weremiuk as Vice-Chair. Moved by Commissioner Lowe, seconded by Commissioner Lowe.
Vote to approve Appoint Kathy Weremiuk as Vice-Chair. (Approved)
3. PLANNING COMMISSION DISCUSSION:
3A. TOPICS FOR THE JOINT CITY COUNCIL / PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING IN SEPTEMBER 2016.
Planning Director Fagg indicated the City Council is planning to schedule a meeting with the Planning Commission and would like to get input on topics for joint meeting.
The Commission brought up the following topics:
-Small Lot Ordinance (discuss prior at a Planning Commission meeting) includes gates and adjacency to the neighborhood.
-A long term-planner is needed.
-Planning and Zoning software to provide up-to-date information.
-Establish subcommittees to discuss: ordinance to deal with golf courses when they go out of business; environmental areas of the city (they have changed since last reviewed), specific plans are very outdated and struggle with PDD and what can be imposed as public benefits.
-Affordable housing requirements.
-General Plan is due for an update next year.
-Urban design and safety issues (specifically with speed limits and pedestrian safety)
-A requirement of solar on new construction.
-PDD use and incorporating into the General Plan.
-Impose a requirement on new construction projects that a local citizens that are hired at a minimum
-The AAC's role in reviewing projects.
-What type of activity should be expected for request on time extensions.
-Sustainability - water, solar power etc.
-Improve the line of communication with Council to be more effective with respect to more complicated projects. (One suggestion is for one of the Commissioners to attend the City Council - it's very difficult to convey it in the staff report or a delegate of the City Council to attend the Planning Commission meeting.)
Commissioner Donenfeld noted that these are great topics however, the Commission needs to focus on the critical ones.
PLANNING COMMISSION COMMENTS:
The Commission discuss protocal for allowing public comment on non-public hearing items.
PLANNING DIRECTOR'S REPORT:
Planning Director Fagg spoke about the AAC schedule and confirmed availability from the Commission.
The Planning Commission adjourned at 3:24 pm to Wednesday, August 10, 2016, at 1:30 pm, City Hall, Council Chamber, 3200 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs.
Jul 27, 2016 Planning Commission