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Minutes
Planning Commission -
2/15/05

 

MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

FEBRUARY 15, 2005


1.0 CALL TO ORDER

The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:02 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.

Present: Commissioner Gina Birnbaum, Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller

Absent: Commissioners Randy Becker and R. Paul Scott,

Staff Present:Rick C. Hartmann, Community Development Director

Larry Mainez, City Planner

Ernie Wong, City Engineer

Bruce Meikle, Associate Planner

Linda McKeough, Administrative Secretary


The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman Haller.


2.0 COMMUNITY INPUT

There was none.


3.0 CONSENT CALENDAR

3.1 Minutes of November 16, 2004, Regular Meeting.

Approved, as submitted.


3.2 Minutes of January 4, 2005, Regular Meeting.

Approved, as submitted.


3.3 Minutes of January 18, 2005, Joint Special Meeting with the Planning Commission and Design Review Board.


Approved, as amended.


On Page 2, Last Paragraph, First Sentence was amended to read as,"A question was asked if the Auto Body Paint business would have sufficient space on Lot No. 10."

On Page 3, Sixth Paragraph, First Sentence was amended to read as, "The Commission, Board and Staff explained to Mr. Castro how the consideration of the potential Zone Change and the commercial uses would impact the use of the property as it relates to the neighborhood in question."


A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Birnbaum to approve both the Minutes of November 16, 2004, and January 4, 2005, as submitted, and the Minutes of January 18, 2005, as amended. Motion carried on a 3 - 0 vote with Commissioners Becker and Scott absent.


4.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS

4.1 An Application to Amend Site Approval 90-001 for Shop "D" of the Highland Village Plaza. The Application proposes the development and operation of a Bank with a drive-thru Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) Facility with additional Retail Space at the Highland Village Plaza. The Project is located on a partially developed building pad located at the northerly end of the Highland Village Plaza, northeast corner of Base Line and Boulder Avenue (APN: 1200-491-09). Representative: Lewis R. Maler, Greenspot Ranch Investors II and Dennis Lee, Dennis Lee Architects, Inc.

Commission Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.

Associate Planner Meikle gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained the historical background, the location and design of the proposed Project. He indicated Mr. Lew Maler, who is the Applicant and Mr. Dennis Lee, who is the Applicant's Representative are both in the audience. Associate Planner Meikle explained what brought this Project back to the Commission was the proposed Drive-thru for the Bank and further explained Shop "C", Tutor Time Daycare Facility and the proposed Conditions of Approval including, but not limited to maintaining the same design as the existing structures in the Shopping Center, the installation of security cameras and lighting, and the decorative trap fencing at the ATM location which would be considered by the Design Review Board through the design review process. Associate Planner Meikle explained Tutor Time's parking design and includes additional proposed signage, speed bumps and speed dots in order to control the vehicular speed, and the design of the proposed trash receptacles. He added that Chairman Haller had called him earlier in the day regarding the Condition of Approval for the Easement of Record and have the language available for tonight's meeting. He then concluded his presentation and opened to the Commission for questions / comments.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the proposed Resolution containing verbiage about Easements of Record. Staff responded that Staff is unaware of any Easements of Record and the Commission then requested the omission of said verbiage within the proposed Resolution (on Page 3 the last sentence in the "h" Section). Staff responded the proposed Resolution will be revised accordingly.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then asked if the Applicant would like to make a presentation.

Mr. Lew Maler, Greenspot Ranch Investors II, 30495 Canwood Street, No. 101, Agoura Hills, California, who is the Property Owner and Applicant, addressed the Commission. He stated he was here before the City was incorporated, and is happy to get the Shopping Center's construction completed. He explained how had met with the Director of the Tutor Time Daycare Facility regarding the proposed plans and signage and she was "okay" with them, and was excited about the Project and additional lighting. Mr. Maler then questioned the Condition of Approval about the trap fencing design and requested the Design Review Board to consider it (rather than the Commission). He then indicated he is excited about the Project and is happy to answer any questions the Commission may have.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of the Applicant.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Maler and Staff regarding if alternative configurations for the Bank's ATM Drive-through were explored. Mr. Maler responded that he would defer to the Architect and added other alternatives were reviewed and the Pan is the best design.

Comments were made by a Commissioner regarding the extreme north end of the property location not to have traffic crossing with Tutor Time and the Bank, add additional landscaping in front and the landscaping in back will not benefit the public and asked the feasibility of redesign.

Mr. Maler responded he would have the Architect respond, a rose garden is to be installed and commented there already is a coffee shop nearby that is being utilized.

Chairman Haller asked if there were any other questions of the Applicant.

Mr. Dennis Lee, of Dennis Lee Architects, 221 East Walnut Street, Suite 268, Pasadena, California, who is the Applicant's Representative, addressed the Commission. He stated he did not understand the Commission's discussion.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Maler, Mr. Lee and Staff regarding the location of the proposed dedicated Drive-through and Bank cue and not intersecting with public traffic flow like how the traffic is currently bisected. Mr. Lee asked if the Commission is asking the Applicant to design a "U" turn design and the Commission responded affirmatively. Mr. Lee stated then you would be going by Tutor Time twice. Mr. Maler added it is not a good idea for making a "loop" in that you would be having traffic coming in twice by the School and a larger radius would be needed.

Further discussion ensued regarding traffic passing in front where the children are directly dropped off, the amount of traffic would be doubled in front of Tutor Time, traffic coming in and making a left or right turn, there is more traffic located down in the middle of the Shopping Center, a looping design would be difficult, the feasibility of omitting / deleting a few parking spaces for pedestrian / vehicular traffic, the Applicant's concern with pedestrians by Shop "D".

A comment was made by a Commissioner there is a need to create a strong design for traffic flow going through the Shopping Center, Tutor Time and the Bank needs to be addressed.

Staff responded that pedestrian traffic from Shop "D" to the Bank has been evaluated with no impacts occurring and the design avoids in/out traffic from Tutor Time. Staff indicated the Commission's point is taken, i.e. Starbucks, and doubling up on in/out trips and the visibility issue with exiting safely. The landscaping in front the stores needs to be similar with the existing buildings, and planters have been added.

A comment was made by a Commissioner there is a lot of hardscape currently at the Shopping Center.

Staff explained the reason for the outdoor dining space(s) is because of the coffee shop, employees can eat lunch there and is a large surface at the proposed Bank's Drive-thru to the east.

Discussion ensued regarding the rationale for the outdoor dining area. Staff does not want to wait until a restaurant is proposed, the feasibility of Tutor Time planting a garden for the children to experience behind Shop "D", how employees enjoy lunch breaks there. Staff wants to present to the Design Review Board, the landscaping, lighting and design textures. Staff reiterated how Staff did look at alternatives for the proposed Drive-through, avoid double stacking and indicated the proposed Drive-through design appears to be the best design, so far. Staff stated how one design was reviewed being located closer to Shop "D", the placement of windows and not creating an "alley". Staff further explained the "by right of Zone" policy, and the Design Review Board can consider future/potential outdoor dining and should not be a problem.

Mr. Maler stated it is a "positive thing" to have a restaurant and outside dining there and likes the concept and indicated the Landscaping Plan will be designed with said concept for the Design Review Board to consider. He added now he needs to find the right tenant and then thanked the Commission for its consideration.

There being no further discussion or questions of the Applicant or Staff, Chairman Haller then opened the Public Hearing and asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on the item.

Mr. Ed Crespin, 28242 Kane Court, Highland, California, who is a resident, addressed the Commission. He stated he would like to see more tenants in the Shopping Center, he is legally blind and is wife is totally blind and that he and his wife walk all the time. Mr. Crespin was concerned with the pedestrian traffic and not wanting to cross with vehicular traffic and that the traffic is increased on the weekends and even more so at a holiday season.

Mr. Lee assured Mr. Crespin that great care that the walkway to the shops and Bank are accessible and are also handicap accessible.

Mr. Crespin asked if an audible signal could be installed.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Crespin and Staff regarding the access into the Shopping Center located at Boulder Avenue and at Base Line and if anything was listed in the existing Conditions of Approval. Staff responded new path of travel, if needed, audible signal across the driveways at Boulder and at the Base Line entry points into the Shopping Center, Building and Safety looks closely at this and then can bring it forward to the Public Safety Subcommittee for consideration. A comment was made the Shopping Center had been recently restriped. Staff stated the restriping has helped some, but there is a raised walkway at Albertsons due to the remodeling and ADA access. Staff further stated that Staff will continue to look at the Site for improvements.

There being no further testimony, Chairman Haller closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding Planning Condition of Approval No. 14 and amending the Commission's Resolution with listing the landscape easements. Staff explained the rationale for the separation between the landscaping and the proposed drive-thru lanes, as well as blocking easy access between the drive-thru and landscaping. The location and type of fencing were also discussed i.e. the feasibility of installing decorative wrought iron fencing and along the entire walkway as a means of prevention / safety issues.

Commissioner Birnbaum raised a concern regarding children running into the landscape area versus running into traffic.

Comments were made by Vice Chairman Hamerly regarding the design for the pedestrian / vehicular traffic, there is a need for traffic avoidance and traffic conflicts would be less obtrusive if a raised planter was installed. There is a need to soften the landscaping and eliminating the fencing. He also agreed with Commissioner Birnbaum's concern regarding children running into the traffic flow versus in the landscape area.

Staff responded by deferring to the Applicant and have the Design Review Board review the proposed Project.

Commissioner Birnbaum added she was acceptable to the planter box(es) idea versus the children darting out into traffic.

Vice Chairman Hamerly stated he still wants the openness / security and does not want solid block fencing used - some type of decorative barrier.

Staff stated more options could be explored.

Community Development Director Hartmann amended Planning Condition of Approval No. 14 to read as, "A barrier, subject to Design Review Board approval, shall be installed along the pedestrian pathway proposed between the bank drive-thru lanes and Shop "D". The fencing shall start near the southwest corner of Shop "D" and continue northerly along the drive-thru lane." He further stated Staff will work with the Applicant with regards to the walkway, the depth and landscaping that was previously discussed tonight.

Chairman Haller stated he echos the Commissioners' previous comments and keeping small landscaped areas. With regards to tall commercial buildings, massing landscaping and allow the Design Review Board (DRB) to review the details. He indicated that he is supportive of the proposed Project and is confident DRB will review the proposed Project thoroughly when it is submitted for the Board's consideration.

Further discussion ensued regarding traffic patterns within the Shopping Center, pedestrian safety, the tenant improvements, landscaping and architectural elements being similar with the rest of the Shopping Center. The Commission asked about the revision(s) to the proposed Resolution and Planning Conditions of Approval Nos. 23 and 25 (mechanical rooftop equipment) about being redundant.

Staff read the revised portion of the proposed Resolution to the Commission, as follows:

h. That the design of the subdivision or the type of improvements will not conflict with easements, acquired by the public at large, for access through property within the proposed subdivision. In this connection, the governing body may approve a map if it finds that alternative easements, for access or for use, will be provided, and that these will be substantially equivalent to ones previously acquired by the public. This Subsection shall apply only to easements of record or to easements established by judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction and no authority is hereby granted to a legislative body to determine that the public at large has acquired easements for access through or use of the property within the proposed subdivision.

The proposed Project has been reviewed by the City's Planning and Engineering Divisions and it was determined that it will not conflict with any known Easements of Record.

Staff then responded the Conditions of Approval Nos. 23 and 25 are not redundant and are for added assurance and recommended the Commission to keep them both.

There being no further comments or testimony, Chairman Haller called for the question.


A motion by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Birnbaum to:

1. Adopt Resolution 05-002 approving the Amendment Site Approval 90-001 for Shop "D" in Highland Village Plaza, as amended with the following in the Resolution:

h. That the design of the subdivision or the type of improvements will not conflict with easements, acquired by the public at large, for access through property within the proposed subdivision. In this connection, the governing body may approve a map if it finds that alternative easements, for access or for use, will be provided, and that these will be substantially equivalent to ones previously acquired by the public. This Subsection shall apply only to easements of record or to easements established by judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction and no authority is hereby granted to a legislative body to determine that the public at large has acquired easements for access through or use of the property within the proposed subdivision.

The proposed Project has been reviewed by the City's Planning and Engineering Divisions and it was determined that it will not conflict with any known Easements of Record.

  • As amended with the following


Revised Planning Condition of Approval No. 14

14. A barrier, subject to Design Review Board approval, shall be installed along the pedestrian pathway proposed between the bank drive-thru lanes and Shop "D". The fencing shall start near the southwest corner of Shop "D" and continue northerly along the drive-thru lane.

And,

3. Approve the Findings of Fact.

Motion carried on a 3 - 0 vote with Commissioners Becker and Scott absent.

The Commission stated it is looking forward to the DRB Plans to be submitted.


5.0 LEGISLATIVE

5.1 East Highlands Ranch (EHR) Agreement - Annual Review.

Commission Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.

City Planner Mainez gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained the various Public Works projects and other various projects. He further explained how the General Plan may be planned in the Agreement in the future by zone changes and noted next year will be looking at the EHR's Mitigation Monitoring Program will be included. City Planner Mainez then concluded his presentation and indicated Mr. Camille Bahri, of Spring Pacific Properties, is in the audience for any questions the Commission may have.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then asked if the Applicant would like to make a presentation. Mr. Bahri, of respectfully declined the offer. The Commission had some questions of Mr. Bahri and asked him to come up to the podium.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Bahri and Staff regarding Line "C" and the open storm drain and is an item of concern with the Commission and how some of the area has become a "paint ball park". Mr. Bahri responded that has been taken care of. The Commission thanked him. City Engineer Wong added a grate cover will be installed.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any other questions of Mr. Bahri or Staff.

There being no further comments, questions or testimony, Chairman Haller called for the question.


A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Birnbaum to Receive and File the East Highlands Ranch Agreement Annual Review Report and direct Staff to issue a "Certificate of Compliance" to the East Highlands Ranch Owner.

Motion carried on a 3 - 0 vote with Commissioners Becker and Scott absent.


6.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mr. George Einfeldt, 7136 Clubview Drive, Highland, California, who is the General Manager of the East Highlands Ranch Master Home Owners Association, addressed the Commission. He invited the Commission to the EHR's 25th anniversary and will held at the new EHR Club Housing grand opening.

Staff explained about the Planners Institute to be held in Pasadena in April, 2005.

Staff explained there will not be a Planning Commission Meeting, but will have a Design Review Board Meeting on March 1, 2005.

Staff gave a brief summary on the General Plan Update - on February 23, there will be a Scoping Meeting for the EIR at 7p.m.; a Joint Study Session Meeting for the Draft EIR , General Plan and Zoning on May 3, 2005. Staff reminded the Commission that Staff needs the Commission's comments / provide information and submit to Staff.

Staff further explained regarding the projects including the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Project will be resubmitted soon Dr. Pam Miller's senior housing project to be located on Base Line and Mission Development regarding the golden triangle area.

Chairman Haller stated that next week has been warranted as "Engineer's Week".


7.0 ADJOURN

There being no further business, Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 7:05p.m.


Submitted by: Approved by:




Linda McKeough, Richard Haller, Chairman

Administrative Secretary Planning Commission