HomeCommunity ServicesCurrent City ProjectsWeekly ReportAgendasPublic Notices
Housing ProgramsEconomic DevelopmentEmploymentCommunity LinksFrequently Asked QuestionsContact Us
Planning Commission

MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

MAY 16, 2006







1.0 CALL TO ORDER



The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:01 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.



Present: Commissioner R. Paul Scott, Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller



Absent: Commissioners Gina Birnbaum and John Gamboa



Staff Present:Rick C. Hartmann, Community Development Director

Ernie Wong, City Engineer

Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner

Linda McKeough, Community Development 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 A request for a third and final Extension of Time for Conditional Use Permit (CUP 01-001) to build and operate a food mart/quick service restaurant (fast food) including beer and wine sales, gasoline sales, a lube and tune facility, an automated carwash, associated parking and landscape, and a pad for a future fast food restaurant. The proposed Project is five (5) adjoining properties located at the southeast corner of Base Line Street and Seine Avenue. Assessor Parcel Numbers: 1201-091-01, -03, -04, -05, & -06. Applicant: Mr. Aysar Helo.



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



City Planner Mainez stated Assistant Planner Sean Kelleher was unavailable tonight and then gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained how the Applicant needs additional time for the proposed Project and how the Applicant is obtaining assurances for additional properties and indicated this is for the proposed Gas Station and Mini-mart only. City Planner Mainez also stated how the Applicant intends to submit another CUP in a few months to the City and indicated the Applicant is present in the audience.



Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.



Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding when the Applicant submits the revisions to the City, how the Applicant has a few options i.e. could be a minor amendment to the existing CUP (CUP 01-001) by moving the Car Wash use from Phase 2 into Phase 1, and Staff has directed the Applicant to submit a new CUP and Master Plan for the Project. Staff further explained where Blockbuster Video and Wendy's are located, if there is enough change not have to submit a CUP for one parcel map and Staff is requiring a Master Plan and reiterated how the Applicant has options with Phasing, and there are new concepts and the Applicant is currently working on the plans. There would be better / new designs with regards to the Revised Master Plans, as well as a proposed new Base Line Median. Staff further reiterated how this (Time Extension) is a paperwork formality while the Applicant is currently redesigning the Project. Staff added the new CUP has not been submitted, and is not approved, how the "old" (existing) CUP is before the Commission for consideration for the (Final) Time Extension by pursuing administrative remedies and the Applicant's intentions to move forward with DRB review on the proposed Gas Station and Mini-mart (Phase 1).



Chairman Haller asked if there were any other questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then asked if the Applicant would like to make a presentation.











Mr. Aysar Helo, 28809 Harwick Drive, Highland, California, who is the Applicant, addressed the Commission. He explained how the City wants to widen Seine Avenue, as well as the Base Line Median, how he has been working with the City Engineer and no DRB Plans have been submitted to date. Mr. Helo further explained regarding the proposed widening Seine Avenue would make the area "tighter" for the Gas Station and Mini-mart and would be more difficult for the design of Phase 1 and how Phase 2 would have to be amended with the remaining properties. He indicated corresponding with City Staff and what could work on the properties and is ready to move forward with the Gas Station (and Mini-mart) Phase and wants to be assured the remaining properties would work. Mr. Helo reiterated the proposed Project was only for four (4) properties and now wants to proceed with the rest and how it has been difficult to obtain a loan for the proposed Gas Station portion of the Project because of the hazardous materials with refueling and wants to proceed on with the Shopping Center.



Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Helo and Staff regarding how Engineering Conditions of Approval Nos. 14 and 15 have been revised reflecting the street widening both with Seine Avenue and Base Line and the proposed offsite improvements.



A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the revised COAs, would the Site Plan still work on the original CUP. Staff responded how the COAs will be applied for the DRB's consideration and how the Revised CUP Site Plan will also be reviewed at the DRB level. Staff further explained the future curb-to-curb of fifty-eight feet (58') on the original Site Plan and how there will be more room on the northern portion of the Site (east side of the Project) and the Applicant will be submitting a new Site Plan for review.



Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Helo and Staff regarding the potential redesign of the east / west portion of the proposed Project, the widening of Seine Avenue and Base Line to improve the traffic circulation. Staff reviewed the original Engineering COAs and informed the Commission that Base Line will be improved the entire frontage in Phase 1 (Gas Station portion of the Project).



A question was asked by a Commissioner if the Applicant has acquired additional property. Mr. Helo responded he has obtained four (4) additional properties. Staff advised the Commission to explore the merits of the existing CUP (CUP 01-001), rather than a potential new CUP with new Master Plan which has to be properly reviewed, noticed and considered.



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.







Ms. Margie Bubeck, 27798 Pluto Street, Highland, California, who is a resident, addressed the Commission. She stated how she has resided there for forty-six (46) years and asked why another Gas Station and Mini-mart should locate there. There is already too much traffic and how the traffic will double (if the Project is built) and said for the Applicant to build somewhere else and is opposed to the Project. Ms. Bubeck stated how more neighbors were to be here at tonight's Meeting, but were unable to attend.



Ms. Gilda Gularte, 27828 Pluto Street, Highland, California, who is a resident, addressed the Commission. She stated her property is located on Pluto Street between Pluto Street / Pluto Court and has resided there for eight (8) years. She has a eleven (11) year old son who walks on Pluto and then crosses the street to go to school and has almost been hit a couple of times. She asked how the neighbor children will walk to school and then home safely every day. She also asked about her property value and if walls would be constructed. Ms. Bubeck then stated she is in opposition of the proposed Project and will seek legal counsel, if need be.



The Commission explained the procedure and the current consideration of the Time Extension request to the audience.



Ms. Gularte asked the Commission what about the installation of speed bumps, how the children will be protected, and public safety enforced. She said how she plans to raise her child here, and the increased / excessive traffic between Wendy's and the Arco AM/PM (to get to Base Line) and indicated this is the first meeting she has attended.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Ms. Gularte and Staff regarding pedestrian issues, there will be no access on Base Line and Seine Avenue to the proposed Project, a Traffic Study was conducted and how the exsiting traffic signal will be able to handle the added traffic along with the proposed additional traffic lane. Staff explained how the City handles traffic congestion and public safety and added how the City is becoming more urbanized. Staff further stated for public safety, pedestrians not walk in the street and reiterated how the proposed Project will not cause traffic flow impacts. The Commission added the public should not use Pluto Street as a "cut through" and how the traffic signalization improvements are being made on Base Line.



Ms. Gularte again asked if the (existing) Traffic Studies are correct. Staff responded when the proposed Project is approved, there will still be traffic issues. When there is more traffic, the City may have to address as a City project. Ms. Gularte requested a copy of the Traffic Study Report and City Engineer Wong responded he would provide her with a copy of the Traffic Study Report.









Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Ms. Gularte and Staff regarding the feasibility of requiring the Applicant to provide a new Traffic Study if a new CUP is submitted and Condition the new Site Plan if the Project would increase traffic. Staff read Planning COA No. 3 into the record how the Commission shall conduct a review six months after the occupancy and annually thereafter to determine whether the Site is operational in compliance with the adopted COAs. Ms. Gularte reiterated how her eleven (11) year old son has to walk through the proposed Project site, as well as other neighborhood children in order to go to school and how children are more important than a Car Wash, and wanted her views pointed out. The Commission responded if the Applicant is to proceed, the Project would go through the DRB process and explained the notification process to Ms. Gularte and the audience. Mr. Gularte then thanked the Commission.



Mr. Roger Moheran, P O Box 2073, Rialto, California, 92377, addressed the Commission. He stated he is concerned for his son's safety and the traffic on Pluto Street and wants to reserve his ability about legal counsel on the accountability of the people who approved this Project. He is concerned about future deaths of children, how the Arco AM/PM Gas Station has taken six weeks to renovate its fuel tanks, damage to water tables. Wants time to retain evidence regarding crime that already has been committed in the past two - three (2 - 3) years at the Arco AM/PM Gas Station, submit photos of accidents that have occurred at the Shell Gas Station, and to retain an expert witness to clock the traffic, as well as the amount of traffic currently going down Pluto Street. It is not safe for his son to walk around there on Pluto Street / Pluto Court. There are condoms on the street, beer cans, parties there and the Police have been called. He has talked with neighbors and how he was told it would be useless to speak to the Commission. He reiterated how he wants to retain his right because of the increased traffic, the traffic speed and suggested the installation of concrete bollards. Mr. Moheran explained how the traffic travels on Pluto Street, how people who live on the east side (EHR area) are not protecting their (west side) families and indicated there is no need for three (3) gas stations in a such a close proximity.

Chairman Haller asked if anyone else would like to speak on the item.



Mr. Douglas Moheran, 27828 (Pluto Street), Highland, California, who is a resident addressed the Commission. He stated he was unsure of all of his address, but stated people drive faster than thirty miles an hour (30 MPH) down his street and more than ten (10) cars and which he has to go through that twice a day.



Chairman Haller asked if anyone else would like to speak on the item. Seeing none, he then asked Mr. Helo if he had any final comments. Mr. Helo responded the people's concerns, concern him and the City Engineer believes the traffic will not be influenced by his Project, and requested the Commission approve the Time Extension.









City Engineer Wong stated it was Staff's intent to change the last sentence in Engineering COA No. 15, but has not discussed that with the Applicant.



There being no further discussion or questions of the Applicant or Staff, Chairman Haller closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.



Discussion ensued between the Commission regarding how this is not a Public Hearing to determine if the proposed Project CUP should be extended an additional year to resolve Site issues. Those Site issues will be addressed in the DRB Application and potentially a new CUP, and is respectful of the public's testimonies and comments. Evaluation of the current COAs with the original COAs and how the City Engineer has done this, the General Plan has been update and the appropriateness of granting the one (1) year Time Extension request with the hope of having another public hearing with existing COAs and Engineering COA modifications with the notation there are no proposed Planning COA modifications, at this time.





A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Scott adopt Resolution 06-011 approving an additional one (1) year Final Extension of Time for Conditional Use Permit 01-001 originally approved on July 3, 2001.



Motion carried on a 3 - 0 vote with Commissioners Birnbaum and Gamboa absent.





5.0 LEGISLATIVE



5.1 Request for Development Code Interpretation of a proposed Tattoo Shop use within the Mixed Use District located in the Town Center Policy Area (DCI 006-003). The property is located at 27195 Base Line (new retail center across from City Hall) Representative: Mr. Gavin Hernandez (Continued from the May 2, 2006, Regular Commission Meeting.)



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



City Planner Mainez gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained what transpired at the May 2, 2006, Commission Meeting and the Commission's direction to submit a Resolution for consideration. He added he has amended the proposed Resolution on Page 1 A. (i) and Page 2 B.2.b as follows:













A.(i) The Planning Commission has received a Development Code Interpretation request from the Planning Division that a Tattoo Shop located in the Mixed Use District, Town Center Policy Area is not a permitted use and not similar to other uses listed in the Mixed Use District.



B.2.b. A Tattoo Shop is not a permitted use and not similar to other uses listed as permitted in the Mixed Use District in accordance with Chapter 16.22, Section 16.22.030A of the Highland Municipal Code.



City Planner Mainez then concluded Staff's presentation by recommending approval, as amended.



Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff. Hearing none,



There being no further discussion or questions of Staff, Chairman Haller then called for the question.





A motion was made by Vice Chairman Haller and seconded by Commissioner Scott to approve Resolution No. 06-012, determining a Tattoo Shop is not a permitted use and not similar to other uses listed in the City's Mixed Used District, Town Center Policy Area in accordance with Chapter 16.22, Section 16.22.030A of the Highland Municipal Code, as amended with the following:



A.(i) The Planning Commission has received a Development Code Interpretation request from the Planning Division that a Tattoo Shop located in the Mixed Use District, Town Center Policy Area is not a permitted use and not similar to other uses listed in the Mixed Use District.



B.2.b. A Tattoo Shop is not a permitted use and not similar to other uses listed as permitted in the Mixed Use District in accordance with Chapter 16.22, Section 16.22.030A of the Highland Municipal Code.





Motion carried on a 3 - 0 vote with Commissioners Birnbaum and Gamboa absent.





6.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS



Staff explained the items scheduled for the June 6, and 20, 2006, Design Review Board and Planning Commission Meetings.











Vice Chairman Hamerly indicated he would be unable to attend because of an AIA Conference. Both Chairman Haller and Commissioner Scott would be able to attend the June 6, PC Meeting.



Community Development Director Hartmann advised the Commission City Planner Mainez has just spoken with Commissioner Birnbaum and that she told Staff she is verbally resigning from the Planning Commission / Design Review Board due to scheduling conflicts. Community Development Director Hartmann indicated Staff will prepare a Staff Report to the City Council to declare her seat vacant and advertise for the position.



Community Development Director Hartmann advised the Commission he is leaving the City of Highland and his last day will be June 9, 2006. He stated it was a difficult decision for him, but he will be going to Moreno Valley to become Deputy City Manager and his first day there will be June 19, 2006. He thanked the Commission Members for their years of hard work and dedication to the City.



The Commission thanked Community Development Director Hartmann for all of his services and also years of hard work and dedication.





7.0 ADJOURN



There being no further business, Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 6:52 p.m.







Submitted by: Approved by:









Linda McKeough, Rich Haller, Chairman

Administrative Secretary Planning Commission

 



City of Highland
27215 Baseline St.
Highland, CA 92346
(909) 864-6861

Hours:
Open 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Monday - Thursday

CLOSED FRIDAYS