CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Calerdine called the meeting to order at 1:35 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, March 9, 2017.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGENDA:
The agenda was accepted, as presented.
Chair Caleredine opened public comments and with no speakers coming forward public comments was closed.
1. CONSENT CALENDAR:
1A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: FEBRUARY 8, 2017 STUDY SESSION MINUTES AND FEBRUARY 22, 2017 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Commissiner Middleton requested a minor correction to the minutes of February 22, 2017.
Motion to approve Approval, as amended (Feb. 22, 2017). Moved by Vice-Chair Weremiuk, seconded by Commissioner Hudson.
Vote to approve Approval, as amended (Feb. 22, 2017). (Approved)
2. PUBLIC HEARING:
2A. A REQUEST BY THE CITY OF PALM SPRINGS TO AMEND THE PALM SPRINGS ZONING CODE (PSZC) RELATING SPECIAL STANDARDS
FOR VACATION RENTALS OF ESTATE HOMES (CASE 5.1411 ZTA). (FF)
Commissioner Middleton disclosed that she verified (previous chair of OnePS task force) with the City Attorney that she could participate in the discussion and vote on this matter.
The meeting recessed at 1:40 pm and resumed at 1:47 pm.
Planning Director Fagg provided an overview on the vacation rental ordinance and the proposed amendment relating to Estate Homes.
Commissioner Middleton requested clarification and/or requested information on:
-Did City Council provide any guidance on why estate homes were singled out for additional requirement?
-The Commission's purview.
-Notification requirement and citation process.
-The revocation process.
-Clarification of the overlapping jurisdiction of the two bodies.
-General itemized list for the Commission to consider if the applicant has not complied with the requirements.
-Why would vacation estate homes be singled-out?
-Details on the use of a Land Use Permit for estate homes.
-Land Use Permit process.
-Logic behind the entitlement - not transferable.
-Land Use Permit regulations.
-The Commission's role in serving an an "appeal board".
-The definition of bedrooms in larger homes.
-Verification to define a bedroom. (initial inspection)
-Initial Land Use Permit fees. - ($800)
-Additional fees for the revocation process and administrative fees.
-Appropriate recommendations to the City Council.
-Minimum number of hotel rooms? (6)
-What type of LUP's are currently uses in residential zones?
-Owner notification based on a title report.
-Revocation process and administrative appeals.
-Definition to identify the number of bedrooms and maximum number of occupants.
-Guest Ranch (GR) minimum acres - (5 acres).
-Minimization of impacts from Vacation Rentals.
-This imposes additional requirements and reduce the impacts.
-Are there annual permit fees?
-Will fees will cover staffing costs?
-LUP process would only apply to the Estate Homes.
-Are LUP's typically noticed.
-Concurs with defining the number of rooms.
-Initial review of LUP.
-is there a prohibition of notifying neighbors?
Chair Calerdine opened the public hearing:
-MARLA MALASPINA, speaking on behalf of the board of Protect Our Neighborhoods, commented on that estate homes would be less than 4% of the short term rentals; and noted concern with the timing of the Commission's review of this item just hours after the City Council's second reading and final vote.
STEVE ROSE, Protect Our Neighborhoods, noted concern about legitimizing what is not allowed in the zoning code; number or density of allowed estate homes is specified.
TIM ERKIN, said the city needs to do research on the number of 5 bedrooms; problems with homes next to each other - and questioned if existing homes will be grandfathered in.
FRANK TYSEN, expressed concern about the use of small hotels decreasing by 20% due to the increase of vacation rentals.
DAVID FELTMAN, concerned about the brevity of consideration of this ordinance before the Commission; more time is needed to deliberate and consider the complexity and issues involved.
There being no further speakers the public hearing was closed.
Commission Middleton that she will not vote if she if not fully ready at 3:30 pm.
Commissioner Hirschbein believes Planning staff is currently overburdened with the amount of work they have (assemble facts, site-visits, prepare staff reports and present for Commission review etc.) and does not want to give more work. He believes with certain changes to Chapter 525 they could have the vacation rental staff handle this work. He will vote against soley on procedural concerns and does not want this body to become the watchdog over judicial over violations of the vacation rental ordinance.
Commissioner Middleton concurred with Commissioner Hirschbein regarding the increased workload that this will create for staff and the Commission and would like to consider if an LUP should be required for every vacation rental. Commissioner Middleton thinks having the opportunity with a limited number of homes of approximately 80 to address the questions working in this body, Planning department in conjunction with vacation rental staff is a good way to begin. She noted concerns with City Council's decision not to require an initial approval by the Commission - she thinks the Commission should be involved from the onset and should play a role in determining if the permit should be issued in the first place, indentifying the conditions to have a record and trigger and public notification for adjacent neighbors. She thinks appeal process should be consecutive and this body should have the final review. She thinks properties zoned R-1-B (15,000 sq. ft) are an inadequate size to be indentified as estate and limited to homes that are 20,000 sq. ft. or large in the R-1-A / R-1-B zones.
Commissioner Lowe expressed concern this process will create a judicial process and this body will be an appeal board to overrule decisions made by the vacation rental group. This needs to be made very clear to the City Council. And noted concern with the volume of applications that will be submitted.
Vice-Chair Weremiuk concurred with Commissioner Hirschbein about Planning Department's work overload. She agreed that the R-1-B zone would be inappropriate size. She thinks it should be clear that it should be clearly defined the number of bedrooms listed with the County and on title to not allow people tearing up houses and using as auxillary use. She thinks the appeal process will create too many processes (with 3 strikes coming to the Commission and the appeal process with the City Council) and "community saturation" should be considered.
Commissioner Donenfeld thinks it will be very confusing to add further regulatory obligations restrictions to the estate homes. He believes having said having two competing regularity processes for the same home where Planning staff could deal with bigger issues. He believes having a comprehensive vacation rental staff to regulate theses permits is better and does not see how the Planning Commission would play a role in this and single out estate homes.
Chair Calerdie prefers to see any home that has 5 bedrooms or more be considered for estate homes regardless of the zoning.
Vice-Chair Weremiuk recapped the concerns of the Commission:
-Placing this regulatory process on the Commission and staff may not be the appropriate process.
-Having two separate regularity bodies (Planning Commission as an appeal body).
-Over-load and burden staff.
-The homes in the R-1-B zone should not be included.
-Definition of bedrooms should be considered as the recorded number of bedrooms; up to 4 bedrooms.
-Planning Commission review all initial permits and allow review of neighborhood concentration.
-Notification to occupants and not just owners.
Commissioner Hudson preferred to simplify this process and get away from bedroom counts and come down to the number of rental occupants. He does not want to see each came come before them and could provide input to the Council regarding density or proximity issues. He agrees that the vacation rental staff should be able to handle these things.
Commissioner Middleton said she shares the concern about workload this will create for staff and the commission; however, more public input is necessary and starting with estate homes is a good place.
Vice-Chair Weremiuk said she would be voting with the majority and her main concern is a Land Use Permit in the R-1 Zone.
Chair Calerdine stated that this is a very difficult subject matter to handle in the absence of not looking at the entire ordinance.
Motion to Denied Recommend to the City Council to not set-up a Land Use Permit process for estate homes.
Moved by Chair Calerdine, seconded by Commissioner Donenfeld.
Vote to Denied Recommend to the City Council to not set-up a Land Use Permit process for estate homes.
PLANNING COMMISSION REPORTS, REQUESTS AND COMMENTS: None.
PLANNING DIRECTOR'S REPORT:
-Status of the downtown landscape and hardscape plan.
The Planning Commission adjourned at 3:37 pm to 1:30 pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, City Hall, Council Chamber, preceded by a Study Session, at 11:30 am, Large Conference Room, City Hall, 3200 East Tahquitz Canyon Way.
Mar 15, 2017 Planning Commission