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Planning Commission

MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

APRIL 18, 2006







1.0 CALL TO ORDER



The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:04 p.m. by Vice Chairman Hamerly at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.



Present: Commissioners Gina Birnbaum, John Gamboa and R. Paul Scott and Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly



Absent: Chairman Richard Haller



Staff Present:Rick C. Hartmann, Community Development Director

Ernie Wong, City Engineer

Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner

Bruce Meikle, Associate Planner

Sean Kelleher, Assistant Planner

Linda McKeough, Community Development Administrative Secretary



The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vice Chairman Hamerly.







2.0 COMMUNITY INPUT



There was none.





3.0 CONSENT CALENDAR



3.1 Minutes of April 4, 2006, Regular Meeting.





A motion was made by Commissioner Scott and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to approve the Minutes of April 4, 2006, as submitted. Motion carried on a 4 - 0 vote with Chairman Haller absent.









4.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS



4.1 A Conditional Use Permit Application (CUP 006-001) for the Establishment of a Learning Center/ Tutoring Facility (Apple Tree Learning Center)on a previously developed site, including an established building, associated parking, and landscaping. The property is located on the southeast corner of Base Line and Church Street (28909 Base Line). APN: 1210-011-38. Representative: Erin Emery. (Continued from the April 4, 2006, Planning Commission Regular Meeting)



Vice Chairman Hamerly introduced the item and explained to the audience there are conflicts of interest and requested Staff to explain the process.



Community Development Director Hartmann explained there is no quorum because of conflicts of interest for Commissioners Gamboa, Scott and Vice Chairman Hamerly residing within the EHR PUD and the EHR HOA and the exception is Commissioner Birnbaum.



There were no questions of the Commission to Staff regarding the process. Staff proceeded with the process of participating by a blind draw with playing cards and the Commissioners drawing the Ace would participate. The results were Vice Chairman Hamerly and Commissioners Birnbaum and Gamboa would participate in order to have a quorum. Commissioner Scott stepped down from the Dias and was escorted by Staff from the Chamber at 6:08 p.m.



Assistant Planner Kelleher gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He said the proposed uses would be in an existing building and explained the various activity classes to the Commission, along with the proposed number of participants and staff members. He then stated the Applicant is in the audience and concluded his presentation and Staff recommending approval of the proposed Project.



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



Ms. Erin Emery, 28968 River Oaks Lane, Highland, California, who is the Applicant, addressed the Commission.



Discussion ensued between the Commission, Ms. Emery and Staff regarding State licensing, how the Summer Camp will run between two to two and one-half hours (2 - 2) hours, five (5) times a week, there will be no off-site / outdoor activities due to the activity class is approximately one hour in duration and transportation is not provided for a field trip. Ms. Emery explained the difference between the "Homework Club" and "Tutoring Class" in that staff members are able to assist the students in the "Homework Club" and that in the "Tutoring Class" is for more remedial / intense teaching for student in that particular Class and how the "Homework Club" and "Tutoring Class" will be running simultaneously and in separate rooms.



There being no further discussion or questions of the Applicant or Staff, Vice Chairman Hamerly then opened the Public Hearing and asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on the item. Hearing none, Vice Chairman Hamerly closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.





A motion was made by Commissioner Birnbaum and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to approve Resolution Number 006-008 adopting Conditional Use Permit (CUP 006-001) and associated Findings of Fact to permit a Learning Center / Tutoring use located at 28909 Base Line within the East Highland Ranch Planned Unit Development (Planning Area 16).





Motion carried on a 3 - 0 vote with the abstention of Commissioner Scott and Chairman Haller absent.





Staff escorted Commissioner Scott back to the Chamber and he returned to the Dias at 6:15 p.m.





4.2 Ross B. Jones, the Applicant, is proposing to develop a cul-de-sac as a private street versus a public street as part of creating a four (4) parcel subdivision (Tentative Parcel Map 17746). The property is a single 2.74 acre undeveloped parcel located on the south side of Base Line approximately one-hundred and ten (110) feet east of Greenbrier Place. Representative: Ross B. Jones, Property Owner/Applicant.



Vice Chairman Hamerly asked Staff if there would be any conflicts of interest with this item. Community Development Director Hartmann responded there are no conflicts to the best of his knowledge.



Vice Chairman Hamerly introduced the Item and called for Staff's presentation.



Associate Planner Meikle gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained the location of the proposed Project, the four lot design layout, private street issues as part of the proposed Parcel Map, creating a new cul-de-sac, retaining wall design, existing "V"-ditch design issue(s), existing storm drain / easement issues, and how the City received a letter of comment from a property owner on Greenbrier, landscape / buffering, as well as a proposed Homeowners Association. Associate Planner Meikle stated the Applicant is in the audience, concluded his presentation and opened the floor to the Commission.



Vice Chairman Hamerly asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.



Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the feasibility of inverting the Elevation of the drainage easement to provide room for the trees. Staff explained no trees will be installed on the drainage easement, just possibly some type of shrubs. Staff explained the City's Landscape Architect indicated the landscaping needs to have a shallow root system. The feasibility of installing landscape berms in order to reduce the proposed wall height, install shrubs to obscure and soften the block wall and also to move more dirt ontop of the storm drain, as well as grade separation were discussed. Staff stated if dirt is added to the east side, that would also drive up the height of the wall on the west side and is a design issue.



Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the proposed combination retaining/privacy wall design on the west boundary of the Applicant's property and there will be a gap between the wall. Staff stated that it has added a Condition of Approval (COA) to address that gap issue and how the "V"-ditch will not be needed with the proposed Project being developed. The proposed fencing design was also discussed.



Mr. Ross Jones, 7325 Weaver Street, Highland, California, who is the Applicant, addressed the Commission. He stated how he is splitting the property into four (4) lots in order for him to build one home on one lot and the other lots are for his children to build their individual home(s), if they so desire and that is why he is requesting the street be a private street. He plans to construct a concrete home with ICSF forms and concrete / steel with no wood materials. Mr. Jones further stated he had concerns with Planning COA No. 8 and Engineering COA No. 13. He explained in order to screen the homes, the proposed wall needs to be an additional five feet (5'). Mr. Jones also explained about building the wall along the "V"-ditch and has advised the adjacent property owners if they want to demolish their wooden fence, the property owners would also need to construct an additional five feet (5') on each side of their yards to connect. He further explained how the block wall would be over five feet (5') in height and the proposed cul-de-sac would look into back yards of the residents, even though the homes set back a little bit.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Jones and Staff regarding the feasibility of screening the proposed wall and not the existing back yards for privacy issues and illumination from the street lights. A comment was made by a Commissioner how this Project appears to be a custom mini-subdivision.



Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Jones and Staff regarding the privacy street issue in lieu of street lights and a suggestion was made regarding the installation of lower bollard style lighting. Staff responded the need is to provide long term maintenance for the street. If there is a HOA, future property owners may not want to maintain the street as a private street, and could request be able to turn over to the City as a public street. Staff further stated the street issue could be







done if the future property owners do not want the street to be a private street, the City then would have to bring the private street up to City standards. The feasibility of providing custom design light standards (similar to the light standards located on the Fifth Street Bridge), glare / illumination reduction, the location of the light standards would be approximately forty feet (40') away from the proposed westerly block wall and restrictions were also discussed at length. Staff stated how the Edison company would own the lights and they do not want custom style lights. The property owner's HOA would be responsible in perpetuity for the landscaping and light standards. A comment was made by a Commissioner with the proposed Project being an "upper end" Subdivision, the (custom) light standards are more for the sake of the residents, rather than maintaining the street standards and Base Line was used as an example. Staff stated these are more aesthetic issues and would take the Commission's comments forward to City Council and the Design Review Board indicating to deflect spillover to the houses and additional aesthetics. Staff added there are no shields on City street light standards and flat lens are utilized. It was suggested that the conversion of the street to public, and any required improvements necessary at that time, could be recorded against each parcel and the Commission concurred, in order to allow flexibility.



Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Jones and Staff regarding how the Applicant's property and the adjacent property to the east has been irrigated by stand pipes "hundreds of years", if the "V"-ditch is removed, a drainage channel would have to be installed and does the same thing as the "V"-ditch and if there is runoff, the "V"-ditch cannot collect the runoff and where the irrigation pipe ends, the "V"-ditch sends the runoff to the property. The Applicant stated he would have to extend the pipe to the existing drainage flume, but there would be nothing to catch the runoff and there is no reason to install the pipe. Staff explained there is an existing open flume and showed the location of the flume to the Commission. Staff further explained the City prefers to not to have an open channel located on private property, still the City will maintain the storm drain facility. The Applicant responded stating how the property presently drains to the channel and if the runoff is not drained to the channel, he would have to find another way to irrigate the properties. Mr. Jones reiterated he would have to create an open channel and indicated that would be redundant. He further stated the channel drains toward Via Deldene and the "V"-ditch to his (the Applicant's) property. The flume line with the North Fork Company which was installed over a hundred years ago, the proposed median access, and who would install street signs were also discussed.



The following City maintenance issues were reiterated by the Commission, Mr. Jones and Staff: 1) open channel; 2) easier to control access to facility, and; 3) Lot No. 4 will still drain to the corner. Gradient differences for runoff were also reiterated. The Applicant stated that it is his intent to not have his lot graded, and will drop the grade by ten feet (10') in order to construct a walk out basement.



Streetscape maintenance, curb / sidewalk, median and parkway designs and the feasibility of extending the parkway on Base Line were also discussed. Mr. Jones stated how the Base Line median strip provides an opening on the west side of his property, the landscaping / sidewalk makes a transition from the parkway to the curb adjacent at the boundary with the East Highlands Ranch and continues to Base Line / Weaver.



A question was asked by a Commissioner if there are any proposed plans submitted for the north side of Base Line as a condominium project, church, etc. for future consideration. Staff responded not at this time. Staff talks with people, but nothing has been submitted.



A comment was made by a Commissioner in wanting to see more uniformity on the streetscape. Mr. Jones responded with the properties to the east, there is no way to landscape because the existing garage and house are very close to Base Line. The Commission stated the end game is for the streetscape and at sometime, the horse ranch will be sold and will have a new property owner. Mr. Jones responded then set the standard and make them (the future horse ranch property owner) do it. The Commission stated there is a need to enhance the existing streetscape and recommends at the Design Review Board level to install mature trees with equivalent quality and scale with the existing streetscaping.



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



Mr. Ed Schofield, 7325 Greenbrier Place, Highland, California, who is a resident, addressed the Commission. He stated he had three (3) questions: 1) the proposed block wall design - is it on the property line and will extend back some distance; 2) how tall will the buildings (homes) be, and; 3) street light standard design. Mr. Schofield is opposed to the standard street lights and lower lights are acceptable to him and stated he does not want a "prison light" effect at the back of his house and yard.



Both the Commission and Staff responded to Mr. Schofield's questions in that the Applicant is encouraged to extend the block wall, currently, the Commission is considering the proposed Parcel Map and will proceed through City Staff and when the design of the homes are submitted, Staff will notify adjacent property owners.

Mr. Don Troy, 7407 Via Deldene, Highland, California, who is a resident, addressed the Commission. He stated he lives south of Mr. Jones and asked about the location of the Equestrian Trail. Staff responded how the Trail is located over the storm drain easement. Currently, a person would use the alignment on the east side of the property on Via Deldene on the west side of Ms. Margaret Wright's property. Mr. Troy asked about a quit claim deed and Staff responded possibly in the future.



Vice Chairman Hamerly asked if anyone else would like to speak on the item. Seeing none, Vice Chairman Hamerly asked Mr. Jones if he had any final comments.



Mr. Jones stated he appreciated Mr. Schofield's comments and is appeasable for both of "us" (Mr. Schofield and Mr. Jones) and with a height of a regular light standard is thirty feet (30') and he would be able to install a light standard at a lower height. Mr. Jones added it is not his intent to extend the wooden fence(s) - if the property owners want to extend it, they may. He reiterated the gradient, block wall design, slope issues and moving the fence further out and how a westerly neighbor had just recently installed a slump stone fence / wall on her property. Mr. Jones again explained the proposed retaining wall will be to take the grade of the road and if the grade is lowered, and slope the lots, that would address the wall height issue. A comment was made by a Commissioner indicating the "end game" would be to have more dirt over the storm drain. Staff responded the Landscaping Plan will define the location, the feasibility of berming and allow more landscaping creativity.



There being no further testimony, or comments, Vice Chairman Hamerly closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.



Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding Engineering COA No. 15 regarding the street light fixtures and the feasibility of exploring additional ornamental design similar to a Park style lighting standard and place a future deed restriction at the time of conversion of private versus public street. THIS IS WHERE ERNIE IS TO REVISE THE COA.... Cross lot views also were discussed.



Both the Commission and Staff recapped the following issues and revised / added Conditions of Approval of the proposed Project:



Engineering



No. 13. Leave as is.



No. 15. Install and pay Southern California Edison to energize two street lights on the westerly side of the interior street. Use cut-off type luminaries on marblelite poles at locations as specified by the City Engineer



PLUS ADD PRIVATE STREET ITEMS..... ERNIE



No. 20. Extend the existing storm drain along the westerly project boundary from the current terminus to the southerly project boundary. Construct a channel headwall and junction structure as approved by the City Engineer.







Planning



No. 5.e. Leave as is.



No. 8. Leave as is.

No. 12. Leave as is.





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





A motion was made by Commission Gamboa and seconded by Commissioner Birnbaum to:



1. Deem the street as a private street is appropriate and adopt Resolution 06-009 recommending the City Council approve Tentative Parcel Map 17746, all subject to the Conditions of Approval, as amended with the following:



Engineering



No. 15. Install and pay Southern California Edison to energize two street lights on the westerly side of the interior street. Use cut-off type luminaries on marblelite poles at locations as specified by the City Engineer



PLUS ADD PRIVATE STREET ITEMS..... ERNIE



No. 20. Extend the existing storm drain along the westerly project boundary from the current terminus to the southerly project boundary. Construct a channel headwall and junction structure as approved by the City Engineer.





2. Adopt the Findings of Fact;



and;



3. Provide policy direction regarding the development of a private street, as part of Tentative Parcel Map 17746.



Motion carried on a 4 - 0 vote with Chairman Haller absent.









5.0 LEGISLATIVE



There were no items.





6.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS



Staff explained the items scheduled for the May 2, and May 16, Commission Meetings scheduled at 6:00 p.m.



(Note: Commissioner Gamboa left the Chambers at 7:31 p.m.)



Staff added there will also be a Development Code Interpretation (DCI) for defining a Tatoo Parlor for the Commission's consideration on May 2.



Discussion ensued regarding Mr. Aysar Helo's Project (CUP 05-004), the Extension of Time process, how the Project is supposed to be a master planned project.



(Note: Commissioner Gamboa returned at 7:34 p.m.)



Staff further explained to the Commission that Mr. Helo is supposed to be amending the CUP Application and will be submitting revised plans to the City in approximately two (2) months for review which will include additional parcels.





7.0 ADJOURN



There being no further business, Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 7:36 p.m.







Submitted by: Approved by:









Linda McKeough, Randall Hamerly, Vice Chairman

Administrative Secretary Planning Commission

 



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