PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
MARCH 21, 2006
1.0 CALL TO ORDER
The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:06 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.
Present: Commissioners John Gamboa and R. Paul Scott, Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller
Absent: Commissioner Gina Birnbaum
Staff Present:Rick C. Hartmann, Community Development Director
Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner
Bruce Meikle, Associate Planner
Dennis Barton, City Engineering Manager
Linda McKeough, Administrative Secretary
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman Haller.
2.0 COMMUNITY INPUT
There was none.
3.0 CONSENT CALENDAR
There were no items.
4.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS
4.1 CEQA clearance (Mitigated Negative Declaration) for the City's Fifth Street Widening Project. The Project's location is on Fifth Street, extending between State Route 30 on the west and Boulder Avenue on the east. (ENV 006-001) Representative: Dennis Barton, City Engineering Manager.
Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.
Associate Planner Meikle gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He gave the historical background and then concluded Staff's presentation.
Engineering Manager Barton added how the Project description was before the detail design and explained how many lanes are proposed to be added to Fifth Street (Greenspot Road) in the east / west direction from Boulder Avenue to the Freeway, along with left turn lanes onto the Freeway in order to reduce the congestion at the Freeway Interchange. He further explained how there will be additional lanes in each direction under the Freeway located east of the San Bernardino County Flood Control District property. Engineering Manager Barton stated how the asphalt will be thick enough to accommodate trucks and explained the material details. Staff added how street lights and sidewalk will be constructed when development occurs, NEPA process is included, as well as the CEQA process because the endangered species of the San Bernardino Kangaroo Rat and will restore the Boulder Avenue / Orange Street intersection. Staff further explained regarding the relocation of utilities and how bike lanes will be installed from Palm Avenue to Boulder Avenue.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the feasibility of placing the bike lanes off of Fifth Street / Greenspot Road and onto the levee in order to get them off the path of travel. Staff responded how the City is looking at that concept in the General Plan, and as an alternative mode of travel and is a more direct route. Staff added there will be a multi-use trail as part of the proposed Mission Development Project which will have a landscape paseo through the center of the Project.
Concerns were raised about public safety because of the proposed five lanes of travel and the traffic will be going quickly and a question was raised regarding traffic obstruction during construction. Staff responded there will be one (1) travel lane open at all times and the Contractor will have to be accommodating. Staff envisions the outside lanes will be constructed first, followed by the inside lanes to be constructed last. Staff also stated curb and gutter will be installed on the south side.
A question was asked regarding notifying the businesses located on Fifth Street and the traffic impact similar to when the Fifth Street Bridge was constructed (a couple of years ago). Staff responded the businesses will be notified, but not as intense (when the Bridge was constructed) because Fifth Street will remain open during construction.
Comments and concerns were raised regarding future curb cuts, the utilities on the north side and south side street improvements and if the City could make arrangements with the one development project to minimize road and curb cuts. Staff responded how the Water District has already installed their water lines, how there are three (3) proposed crossings and the possible locations for future median landscape to allow for utilities.
A question was asked about the feasibility of stubbing out in the street for utilities to avoid future street excavation. Staff added how they will meet with the Developers and review cuts needed to access services. Staff further stated how the main lines on Fifth Street includes sewer and will parallel on Fifth Street and the need for looping the water lines for the Fire Department. Staff added how the street improvements need to be done this summer. Staff said on the north side of Fifth Street, Mission Development will be eighteen months to two years out and it's too early to be sure about the exact locations of those improvements.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the feasibility of splitting the system. Staff responded how the power lines are located on the south side of Fifth Street and the transmission lines are on the east and go up Boulder Avenue. The other services can go underground and with regards to water, sewer, gas off of Boulder Avenue / Webster it is too premature. Staff added there are funding constraints this year for the street improvements.
The Commission encouraged Staff to review the utility connections and major street cuts and the possibility of the East Valley Water District installing some "T's" to avoid cuts.
Further discussion ensued regarding size of the connections, the proposed median area(s), how the City would like two (2) connections, and Mission Development wants three (3) and how much the street improvement project is going to cost. The semi-trucks in the Flood Control property exporting the silt / dirt will there for approximately another month.
Comments were made by the Commission how the semi-trucks are making their own "dirt road" and they are still moving on the right side of the street while the rest of the traffic is stopped. Staff responded how the Operators are working under a Haul Permit and how Staff will look into the matter.
There being no further discussion or questions of the Applicant or Staff, Chairman Haller opened the Public Hearing and asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on the item. Hearing none, Chairman Haller then closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the Orange Street mitigation property, Mitigation Measures, pavement removal and restoration. Staff said after the Orange Street project, will restore some habitat and is a separate project. Mitigation Measure No. 6 was also discussed.
The Commission reiterated to Staff they want no cuts in the new asphalt and Staff to hold off as much / long as it can in cutting the new street. Staff responded how Staff understands and that Staff doesn't like it either. Staff further added how it will be meeting with Mission Development tomorrow and will pertaining to Fifth Street. The Commission stated to Staff to stress the Commission's remarks to Mission Development.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff how a few years ago near the Seven Oaks Dam, the Greenspot Road had been just paved and then had to cut for the installation of a four inch (4") gas line. A question was asked about the Storage Facility on Fifth Street if it is not to City Standards. Staff responded probably not and had to conduct a separate analysis for this particular roadway (TI 10) section and explained. Staff further explained about the Plan "B" located within the Santa Ana Wash Area. Staff further explained how this Project does not go up to Boulder Avenue on the south side of Fifth Street (Greenspot Road) and Orange to include curb and gutter. The Mitigation Measure regarding the Entry Monument Sign to be located by Webster Street for Highland was also discussed.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff. Hearing none, and since there was no public audience, further comments or testimony, he then called for the question.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gamboa and seconded by Commissioner Scott to:
1. Approve Resolution No. 06 - 007 adopting a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the City's Fifth Street Widening Project (ENV 006-001), and;
2. Direct the City Clerk to file the Notice of Determination with Clerk of the Board.
Motion carried on a 4 - 0 vote with Commissioner Birnbaum absent.
There were no items.
Base Line Median
Staff explained the above proposal from Cole Avenue to Boulder Avenue on Base Line and how there will be a Joint Study Session with the City Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Board, Chamber of Commerce and that the property owners and businesses are invited to attend. The Joint Study Session will be held on April 11, 2006, at 4:00 p.m.
Staff explained there will be a Joint Study Session with the Planning Commission and Design Review Board on April 4, 2006, at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Regular Meeting a 6:00 p.m.
Staff explained the Planners Institute Conference Packets containing revisions were distributed to the attendees.
Staff further explained how the City Council considered the General Plan on March 14, 2006, and what transpired and action taken at that Meeting.
There being no further business, Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 6:48 p.m.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Linda McKeough, Richard Haller, Chairman
Administrative Secretary Planning Commission
City of Highland