PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
SEPTEMBER 5, 2006
1.0 CALL TO ORDER
The Special Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:16 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.
Present: Commissioners John Gamboa, Bob Moore and R. Paul Scott, Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller
Staff Present:Roger Derda, Interim Community Development Director
Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner
Sean Kelleher, Assistant Planner
Jim Godfredsen, Contract Project Manager
Linda McKeough, Administrative Secretary
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman Haller.
2.0 COMMUNITY INPUT
Ms. Bonnie Kilpatrick, who is a Fifth Grade Teacher and is a Member of the Christian Counseling Board, addressed the Commission. She stated the Highland First United Methodist Church is adding a new Program and would be adjacent to the Church located at 27555 Base Line in a sixty foot by eight foot (60' X 80') modular unit and was advised that she needed to talk to the Commission. She then distributed a reduced colored Site Plan to the Commission.
Chairman Haller and City Planner Mainez responded to Ms. Kilpatrick stating she needs to contact Planning and set up an appointment with Staff for her proposal.
3.0 CONSENT CALENDAR
There were no items.
4.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS
4.1 CUP-006-002: A commercial project consisting of a Coin Laundry Facility, General Retail, and Sit-down Restaurants. The Site will be improved with two (2), Freestanding Commercial Buildings (20,279 square feet total), parking, hardscape and landscape on an approximate 67,550 square foot parcel. The proposed Project is located on the south side of Base Line, two hundred feet (200') west of Victoria Avenue. APN: 1192-101-01-0-000. Representative: Yong-Ju Kwon.
Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.
Assistant Planner Kelleher gave the presentation from the Staff Report, which included, but not limited, to the location of the proposed Project; its Zoning is a Planned Commercial Zoning District; demolition of the existing structures; design layout; the Applicant has attempted to work with the adjacent property owners located to the east and west of the proposed Project and said those property owners do not want to move forward; Buildings "A" and "B" have ninety (90) proposed parking stalls; the Applicant is requesting a single loading zone space and Staff is recommending two; Staff imparted the hours of operations; the design of the Building Elevations and Preliminary Landscape Plans. He then stated the Applicant is in the audience, concluded his presentation and indicated Staff is recommending approval of the proposed Project.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any questions of Staff.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the amount of percentage of proposed landscaping coverage; the City's Landscape Architect reviews the Landscaping Plans during DRB; there is an unavailable reciprocal access to the rear and east side of the property, and the Project proposes Zero Lot Lines along the west, east and south property lines.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any further questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then opened the Public Hearing and asked if the Applicant would like to make a presentation.
Mr. Yong-Ju Kwon, of Yong-Ju Kwon Architect and Associates, who is the Applicant's Representative as the Architect, addressed the Commission. He stated he had spent a lot of time working on this proposed Project and asked the Commission to please consider approval of it.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of the Applicant.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Kwon and Staff regarding the layout of the proposed Project and if the Applicant had any tenants lined up; Mr Kwon responded that the Building(s) is just a shell; the proposed Restaurant(s) is in conceptual design; the seating capacity for the Restaurant(s) and restrooms would need to be incorporated into the Tenant Improvement Plans. Mr. Kwon responded his proposal is for two (2) Restaurants, but will have only one (1) owner.
There being no further discussion or questions of the Applicant or Staff, Chairman Haller then asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on the item. Hearing none, and 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 restroom requirements, public space(s) and Americans with Disabilities Act ()ADA) requirements and will be reviewed during the plan check process; potential loitering at the Coin Laundry Facility relative to the COAs regarding security / public safety and monitoring with video cameras which will be reviewed by the Highland Police Department. The Applicant's Representative responded restrooms would be included in the Coin Laundry Facility, and expressed concern with the time of the Project through the CUP process and requested a determination from the Board tonight. He further indicated the restroom(s) is acceptable, the need for additional space for the landscaping and stated he will make it happen.
Comments were made by the Commission regarding there are no storage rooms / back rooms in the leased portion of the Facility i.e. to try on shoes, etc., the hours of operation; how the proposed Building is "build to suit" and is a shell Building; the restroom(s) will be included as part of a tenant improvement; the location of the sprinkler system(s) and how the City's Fire Marshall will review as part of plan check process. In addition, Staff recommended to modify COA No. 20 regarding the trash enclosure gates being steel material due to the fact how the DRB which met previously tonight modified a COA on a project that was considered. Ground water facilities will be explored through the design review process and the feasibility the drain facility may affect the landscaping, the potential location and line-of-sight for the facility. Staff reassured the Commission the proposed Project will be going to the Design Review Board for consideration and through the plan check process.
There being no further questions of the Applicant or Staff, or discussion amongst the Board Members, Chairman Haller then called for the question.
A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Scott to adopt a Resolution which::
1. Adopts the Notice of Exemption and direct the Secretary to file the subject document with the San Bernardino County Clerk of the Board;
2. Approve the Conditional Use Permit (CUP-006-002), subject to the recommended Conditions of Approval, as amended with the following:
Planning Conditions of Approval
20. Trash Enclosures and Recycling Enclosures are required onsite. The receptacles and enclosures shall be of sufficient size to accommodate the trash generated by the use served. All outdoor storage of trash, garbage, refuse, and other items or materials intended for discarding or recycling collection shall be screened from public view on at least three (3) sides by a solid decorative wall not less than five feet (5') in height, or alternatively, such material or design approved by the Design Review Board. The fourth side shall contain an opaque gate maintained in working order and remaining closed except when in use.
3. Adopts the Findings of Fact.
Motion unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.
4.2 CUP 006-005: The establishment of Massage Booths, as part of Surreal Salon and Day Spa. The proposed project is located at 7920 Webster Street on the southwest corner of Webster and Boulder Avenue. APN: 1201-361-27. Representative: JoAnna Weck.
Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.
Assistant Planner Kelleher gave the presentation from the Staff Report, which included, but not limited to the location of the proposed use and expansion of the CUP, parking stalls in the parking lot and light standards, landscaping and trash enclosures; how the Site is contiguous to the Mission Development project and Staff is requiring the Site be brought up to Code. He then stated the Applicant is in the audience, concluded his presentation and indicated Staff is recommending approval of the proposed Project.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then opened the Public Hearing and asked if the Applicant would like to make a presentation.
Ms. JoAnna Weck, 7920 Webster Street, Highland, California, who is the Applicant, addressed the Commission. She explained that she has been a beautician for fourteen (14) years and wanted to open a beauty salon and day spa to offer / provide everyone with hair, manicures, facials, massage services all in one (1) location, and proposed the two (2) Massage Rooms / Booths for massage. Ms. Weck then explained when she first started this Project, she had paid $6,200 for the CUP Application and then thought the Plans would be signed off; has to pay rent to the Landlord (Property Owner); reiterated she has two (2) Rooms for the Massage use; regarding the COAs that are now proposed, the Landlord now has only sixty (60) days to have the Plans done. Ms. Weck further explained how in new development, the time frame of four (4) months is infeasible and is unable to do, and that her permits would be pulled / expired. She invited the Commission to the Site; believes the Project is a nice addition to the community; feels the time frame limit is "holding her hostage" and reiterated her bills need to be paid. Ms. Weck further stated once the Application was signed off, that it was approved. If the massage use met with Building and Safety and Planning Division's approval, and questioned why does landscaping have to be installed in that it has nothing to do with the massage use; if the Landlord installs landscaping, it will not match until the Mission Development Project is constructed.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Ms. Weck and Staff regarding the time frame of sixty (60) days; Permits pulled prior to occupancy; how the rent is based on the amount of space the Massage Booths take; the process of masseuses have to go through in order to be hired, including when to hire and start work, fingerprinting, etc, and who will pay the $175.00/week per Massage Room if they are unable to fill (with clientele); unsure what the Landlord will do because of Mission Development and mixing their parking lot with Mission Development. Ms. Weck reiterated she does not do / control the exterior landscaping. A question was asked when the Applicant received her packet containing the Staff Report, COAs, etc. and the Applicant responded last week. Ms. Weck further requested the Commission approve the Massage use and understands the Commission wants the exterior landscaping installed and that is what the Landlord takes care of and not her. Ms. Weck further explained how she is unable to run her business at full capacity and how the City would be able to yank her Permit in four (4) months; and she does not have a comfort level.
Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Ms. Weck and Staff regarding the CUP process. Ms. Weck went on to explain she understands how she needs the CUP in order to operate the Massage portion of the Salon and will abide by the rules / regulations; the Salon is a business and not a tenant improvement and how the Landlord needs to abide to the rules. She has spent a lot of funds plus half of her rent; the Landlord is willing to work with the Commission; requested additional time and explained it usually takes approximately one (1) month with the Architect on the construction plans; Ms. Weck invited the Commission to talk with the Landlord, and; she reiterated her request the Commission approve the proposed CUP Application for the Massage Booths.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of the Applicant.
There were none.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Ms. Weck and Staff regarding how unfortunate it was for this to happen to the Applicant; Ms. Weck reiterated how she was not informed at that time through the process things could change.
Chairman Haller asked if anyone else would like to speak on the item.
Mr. Frank Zizzo, 7920 Webster Street, Highland, California, who is the Property Owner, addressed the Commission. He explained how the Applicant found out at the last minute about the changes and is unhappy with the COAs; Mission Development has met with them and has talked with the Architect and look what the City wants. Mr. Zizzo further explained his intentions to remove the existing planters, with regards to the lighting, he believes Mission Development will do the installation; it will take $40,000 to install, then the possibility of removing the lighting after nine months to one year and indicated he would not do it. He felt as if the rug had been pulled out from him. Mission would also want the wall to be torn down, and wants the Applicant to succeed. There would be mutual parking, lighting and landscaping between Mission Development and the Salon, and the Plan is in Mission Development's last development phase on that project's easterly portion; he reiterated that he should have the information from Mission Development in approximately nine months to one year and understands the Development Code and the entitlement process.
Chairman Haller asked if anyone else in the audience would like to speak on the item.
There were none.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the proposed time frame of sixty (60) days in order for the Applicant to submit plans; Staff has been in communication with the Applicant and the Property Owner and has conveyed the message to them in getting the required Plans in for review, even though there are no guarantees in the CUP entitlement process; the Applicant not hire the Masseuses until the CUP Application is approved; how Staff spent two (2) years in design development of the General Plan; the Applicant is requesting additional time in that two (2) months is not long enough; the permanency of the curbs, trees, gutters can be done / installed, but Staff has not seen any plans. The COAs provide the time line and Staff will not tell the Property Owner how to do it; Staff is willing to work with the Applicant and Property Owner with the landscaping, parking lot, etc.; the COA has a time honor policy of three years and was brought down to one year - the CUP is good for twelve months and the Property Owner needs to expedite the Parking Lot and Landscape Plans, as Conditioned.
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the Mission Development project placed the Building (Property) Owner in a subservient position with affects the public Right-of-Way and Webster Street; the COAs have a realistic time frame. Staff responded Mission Development is speculative and the Property Owner is encouraged to further meet with Mission Development representatives since the Building is not a part of Mission Development's Specific Plan, but is aware of its impact. The public Right-of-Way is not an issue and the Building will have access; there will be reciprocal parking on three (3) sides; reiterated how Mission Development is aware if the Site, is not a part of the Specific Plan, but will be part of the integration.
A comment was made by a Commission indicating the unsureness of extending the CUP Application and allow the use to go in. Staff responded the CUP Application can be revoked by the Commission for non-compliance.
Comments were made by the Commission regarding the feasibility of adding a COA stating a sunset clause; the Site / Applicant / Property Owner being subservient to Mission Development reciprocal egress, trash enclosure, lighting, parking, should be considered; the feasibility of the Commission being able to review the Project in one (1) year and the participation of the Property Owner with Mission Development. Staff responded there is no easy answer and is speculative; the Commission needs to review the CUP Application independently and is a non-conforming Site; Staff does have a Master Plan from Mission Development, but is still speculative, at this time.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the stand alone Project; the sensitivity of Plan submittal.
Chairman Haller asked Mr. Zizzo if he had any comments. Mr. Zizzo responded not everyone is comfortable with the position; feels trapped with City rules / regulations; he wants what the Applicant wants or Mission Development wants; he is willing to tear down the wall and is amenable to that; if he is planting the landscaping and lighting standards, that is still expensive and reiterated everyone feels trapped and does not want to spend $40,000 on improvements and then have it all torn out and reiterated he did not find out about the COAs until Tuesday.
A comment was made by a Commissioner this is a sticky situation. Regarding the COAs for the Project, the solution is maybe bonding for improvements, but if the Massage use is not successful, is a "Catch 22" situation. The City requires compliance with all COAs prior to operation, yet there is Mission Development and reiterated possibly bonding with the improvements if Mission Development does not more forward, and the CUP has the potential to return to extend the time frame. What it would cost for the bonding is unknown and if it is palatable for the Commission's consideration. This is a unique situation and agreed with other Staff members that Mission Development may / may not happen.
A comment was made by a Commissioner if the Mission Development project moves forward, it may or may not take five (5) years to develop depending on the nature of business marketability.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the number of parking spaces of the entire Building is based on the number of Salon chairs, the feasibility to what extent would the Site be impacted - front landscape area is based on linear frontage and would consist of turf plus three (3) street trees; if the Property Owner paved and slurried; security be full light standards and have sunset clause and provide adequate security lighting to the Building.
Staff asked the Commission if it had any suggestions.
The Commissioners made the following suggestions: 1) 28 parking spaces - the Spa gets business and requires 41 spaces; 2) forgive the parking lot lighting, landscaping pending final plan from Mission Development; 3) front landscaping is a stand alone item and minimum requirement, install mondo grass and street trees; 4) that would be minimum disruption, yet meet Standards.
Staff asked about the paving / striping of the parking lot. Other Staff member indicated there are thirty (30) spaces and the drive aisle is inconsistent with current Standards and along the front of the Building, there is perpendicular parking. Mr. Zizzo added there are two (2) parallel spaces near the Race Track area and there would be sufficient area for a person to back-up in, and there are already three (3) handicap spaces. The parking lot would have to be impervious paving and not compacted gravel and Staff reminded the Commission how Staff needs to go by the Development Code, and not paving / striping the lot would be setting a precedent.
Further comments were made by Commissioners regarding the permanency of the parking lot and light standards are not a problem; landscaping one hundred percent (100%) of Site, when all would be removed with Mission Development's reciprocal access; install the front of the Site's landscaping (fronting Webster Street); the Applicant and Property Owner will still have a time line to comply with for their Building if the Mission Development project does not proceed; the Commission is unable to figure out tonight and asked Staff if it would be possible to bring back to the Commission in two (2) weeks in order to work out the details with the Applicant since the Commission is unable to approve the CUP entitlement right now; and either way, the proposed Project could be appealed to the City Council.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the time line relative to the appeal process, the proposed Findings of Fact, and a Resolution for the Commission denying the CUP would have to be prepared and submitted to the Commission for consideration. Staff added the Commission could approve the CUP as presented; and the appeal process. The Water Quality Management Plan minimum standards were also discussed and the feasibility of Staff conferring with the City Attorney. The Commission did not want to waive requirements, just do something with the timing of the installation of the improvements in that the Commission wants to place an end date on it due to the fact it could be five (5) years out (because of Mission Development).
Staff gave the historical background of the third and final Time Extension for CUP 01-001 (Mr. Aysar Helo's project located on the southeast corner of Base Line Street and Seine Avenue) and what transpired with the six (6) year project's time line to the Commission. Staff further explained how realistic the one year time frame is for the Applicant; and referred to the time table in the Report. The Applicant / Business Owner is "out in the wings" and the requirements for the Property Owner to comply is in his court. Staff needs the Parking Lot and Landscape Plans in sixty (60) days; in order for the installation of paving / striping, the Applicant needs to submit plans, per plan check criteria, that's acceptable. Staff hears the frustration level of the Applicant, but Staff needs to uphold the General Plan Policies and Development Code and a mixed message is being sent; Highland is a business friendly community and bonding is in the Development Code as a surety is acceptable. Staff added that it would hate to call on bonds if the Property Owner is unable to install the improvements, as there is also a time frame for bonding.
A question was asked by a Commissioner if the Applicant is willing to come back with plans and with bonding. Another comment was made by a Commissioner that the Applicant or Business Owner still wants to get her Massage business started.
Chairman Haller asked Mr. Zizzo if he had any further comments. Mr. Zizzo responded how he has heard a lot of different things; landscaping on the east side (front of the Site) and is acceptable to him; he can do the 41 parking spaces and is more than happy to do that; though he still has concerns with the time frame and reiterated he does not know what Mission Development will do.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the sixty (60) day time frame to submit plans; the proposed COAs; the feasibility of a phasing plan for the Applicant; and how the improvements can be bonded.
Discussion ensued regard modifying the following Planning COAs: No. 9 - trash enclosure; No. 11 a. and b. 41 parking spaces and time frame; No. 13 - time frame; No. 16 b. and e. landscape now and the time frame of sixty (60) days for the phased Master Plan; the Commission reiterated for the installation of the front landscaping, lighting; the proposed Resolution needs to be modified in the Findings of Fact; if the Commission grants the CUP as is, and granting the time extension for substandard conditions, is confusing to the Property Owner, as well as setting a precedent. Staff responded to seek the City Attorney's legal counsel on these issues and added to modify Planning COA No. 1 A and to add language to that COA, and it might be an unreasonable time frame for Staff to review and submit back to the Commission in two weeks for further consideration.
Ms. Weck reiterated to the Commission how she has been doing this business for fourteen (14) years and others for fifteen (15) and seventeen (17) years, respectively; she has an established clientele and has placed $200,000 into the Building, the business is successful and feels the City is being unreasonable. Wants the Site to match with Mission Development and is willing to work with the City; however, she needs to get return on her money. Ms. Weck further stated if she would have known differently, she could have rescheduled different and it now has been one (1) month at $350/week, is costly. Ms. Weck continued with the parking issues, invited the Commission again to her business and how the COAs were not brought to her attention and now have to change the whole thing for the Massage Booths in order to make the deadlines. She, too, does not know what Mission Development will do and how she has done everything right while trying to run her business successfully. She said how the City wants the improvements installed now, but yet the Building is surrounded with dirt. The Applicant stated her Salon is not an everyday salon in that it is an elegant Salon; it is furnished with custom furniture, waterfall and is a full service Salon and not a "Supercut" facility. Ms. Weck reiterated how she has nothing to do with the exterior of the Building and dealing with the dirt and to stop placing requirements on her business.
Staff clarified the Code sections which requires a CUP and the number of uses within the Zoning District; Massage Booth goes forward or not, it still needs a CUP entitlement process and the need to deal with the issues now or later. With regards to the Building Permit, it is good for six (6) months (180 days), and the opportunity for sixty (60) days to submit for review the Parking Lot and Landscaping Plans and reiterated the time frame for six (6) months, or one (1) year to make the improvements, as long as plans are submitted to the City for plan check, Planning would allow the Certificate of Occupancy. Engineering Staff added even if Staff is unsure if the Applicant would be able to obtain a permit because they need to see the submitted plans.
Chairman Haller recapped the Commission's options: 1) phasing plan and defer to date specific; 2) go with recommendation and allow time extension to allow for implementation. Staff asked when the Applicant could take occupancy for the Massage Booths; the Commission should focus on the timing and how the other Conditions could drag on for months.
A question was asked about the landscaping. Staff responded how Tenant Improvement Plans were approved, but needs Plans for the Parking Lot, curb/gutter, ADA accessibility, landscaping, lighting standards, signage, etc. The option is to extend the time frame, keep at sixty (60) days, or extend out longer.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the feasibility of "wordsmithing" while being appealed to the City Council; the Applicant needs the Massage Booths to operate everything else. City Planner Mainez stated he will take on the Project and return with the Revised Resolution and modified COAs at the next Regular PC Meeting.
Chairman Haller asked if anyone else in the audience would like to speak on the item.
Mr. Zizzo stated in the interim, would he go before the City Council and Commission both at the same time. Staff responded and asked Mr. Zizzo if he is willing to submit plans within sixty (60) days and make improvements within six (6) months. Mr. Zizzo stated regarding the front landscaping, he receive / install appropriate landscaping; he is shy eleven (11) parking spaces, the dirt will be improved and striped and path (walkway) and is acceptable to that, but beyond those issues, he is confused.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Zizzo and Staff regarding the need for the extended time frame; the need for Staff to review the Plans, if the Plans are for the whole Site, the Applicant / Property Owner are concerned and does not want the improvements ripped out and the feasibility of the time frame be extended to six (6) months. Mr. Zizzo stated that is acceptable and agrees with the modifications and stated he wants no more surprises.
The Commission provided the following comments: 1) provide a plan for the improvements to Staff and install the improvements six (6) months from approval, and the feasibility if there would be a need for an additional extension.; 2) if need be, return to the Commission in six (6) months for an extension; 3) reiterated the Applicant / Property Owner needs to work with the City; 4) Mission Development's Specific Plan and what might possibly happen and if completed within the next twelve (12) months; 5) possibly "wordsmith" and separate the COAs into phase plans in order to extend the time frame.
The following items were recapped once more: revise Resolution Recital 1A, Planning COA No. 9, need to relocate the Trash Enclosure to the Building and size is inadequate and would need a permit.
Chairman Haller stated he is uncomfortable with going through and rewriting every COA tonight and the Applicant needs to sit down with Staff and work out the details and not "wordsmith" now. He said to continue the Public Hearing for two (2) weeks, and if Staff is unable to deliver, then continue for another two (2) weeks. Staff agreed and will seek legal counsel advice.
A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Chairman Haller to continue the Public Hearing until September 19, 2006.
Motion unanimously approved on a 5 - 0 vote.
The Commission commended Staff and the Applicant for unprecedented work and hope for something good and then thanked Staff. The Commission also thanked Ms. Weck and Mr. Zizzo for being patient and how the Commission is not trying to stifle her.
There were no items.
Staff explained there will be an Ethics Training (regarding AB 1234) for the City's Boards, Committees, Commission and City Council on Thursday, November 16, 2006, from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Yucaipa Community Center. A flyer will be forthcoming. Lecture only. As an alternative, a person could go Online, pay $50.00 for the two  tests.
Staff explained the items scheduled for September 19, and October 3, Regular Meetings.
There being no further business, Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Linda McKeough, Rich Haller, Chairman
Administrative Secretary Planning Commission
City of Highland