PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
SEPTEMBER 4, 2007
1.0 CALL TO ORDER
The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:10 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.
Present: Commissioners John Gamboa, Bob Moore and Michael Willhite, Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller
Staff Present:John Jaquess, Community Development Director
Ernie Wong, City Engineer
Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner
Bruce Meikle, Senior Planner
Linda McKeough, Administrative Assistant III
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 An Application submitted by JLM-TREH VII HWY 30, LLC, requesting approval of Conditional Use Permit 007-003 for a multi-tenant commercial project with a home improvement center as the major anchor tenant. The 15.38 gross acre Site is located on the southeast corner of Greenspot Road and State Route 30 / 210 Freeway. Assessor Parcel Numbers: 1201-331-03 & 1201-341-16 & 17. Representative: Ed Horowitz, Vice President.
Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.
Senior Planner Meikle gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He gave the historical background and design layout of the proposed Project. The Applicant and San Bernardino County Flood Control (SBCFC) are in conversation regarding the SBCFC property within the Golden Triangle area and the Project Site. His presentation / explanation included, but was not limited to the following: 1) he explained the Master Plan for Greenspot Road which will be going to City Council on September 11, 2007, for consideration; 2) the proposed increased lanes and the City's improvement bonds for Greenspot Road; 3) proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration; 4) Lowe's is the Major Tenant, as well as a proposed Gas Station, Retail Building(s), Restaurant(s), and other Tenants are proposed for the commercial Site; 5) the proposed access onto the Site and how Access "A" is the primary access for Lowe's and the Regency Centers Project located adjacent to the Lowe's proposed Project; 6) there is a landscape median to separate the traffic; 7) there was a flag test conducted by the Planning Commission for the Freeway-oriented Pylon Sign; 8) the Freeway-oriented Pylon Sign is to be located below the Gas Station Building (P1 Building); 9) the San Bernardino International Airport Analysis is needed regarding the height of the Pylon Sign per FAA Regulations; 10) the City desires one  (Pylon) Sign on the south side of Greenspot Road and another on the north side of Greenspot Road; 11) with the Applicant's Site Plan, the curved line has been eliminated and the proposed Gas Station / Canopies will be relocated more to the south and the Applicant is agreeable to that modification; 12) with Greenspot Road Master Plan, the Right-of-Way is fifteen feet (15') from curb face and the City is looking for an extra ten feet (10') for landscaping from the Developers in order to provide a total of approximately eighteen feet (18') of landscaping and a six foot (6') wide sidewalk; 13) Access "A" at the curb line between Lowe's and Regency Centers projects is 37' 6" from the property line and the Applicant has not been in agreement with the City for this proposed width; 14) softening the back side of the Building; 15) parking and site design is adequate for said accommodating uses; 16) the Applicant is required to maintain the Right-of-Way and Landscape Easement frontage and will be responsible for onsite landscaping; 17) with regards to water quality management plan (WQMP) filtration (landscape) swales can be added / located within the parking lots and used for storm water runoff; 18) the (landscape) diamond design, within the parking lot, may be eliminated; 19) after Planning Commission approval, the Project will then go to the Design Review Board for consideration; 20) it was noted the square footage listed in the Staff Report is correct and Staff used the 1 C Site Plan and not what is on the Landscape Plans. Senior Planner Meikle then concluded his presentation and indicated the Applicant is in the audience.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding widening at Greenspot Road at the Freeway. Staff responded the Greenspot Master Plan calls for three (3) lanes in each direction and beyond the Freeway and will be constructed in phases. To improve Greenspot Road, the City is providing approximately $11 million. West of the Freeway will be another / separate project. Staff further explained how Caltrans will be involved and the City will fund the off ramp on Greenspot Road and will align with the existing lane. The curb return will be a Condition of Approval (COA) and the ultimate width constructed by the Developer.
Another Commissioner asked Staff to explain the setback(s) along the Access "A" entrance road in which Staff responded it is the distance between the curb line and the back of the Building Elevation. Staff reiterated there is a Planning COA in which the setback is approximately thirteen feet (13') from the curb line and proposed Building Elevation with eight feet (8') of landscaping.
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. Ed Horovitz, 4482 Barranca Parkway, Suite 234, Irvine, California, who is the Vice President of JLM-TREH VII HWY 30, LLC, who is the Applicant's Representative, addressed the Commission. He stated the Applicant's Architect is present and can explain the Elevations, color pallet to the Commission, and then would like to go through the Planning COA and then Engineering COA.
The Commission requested Mr. Horovitz provide an overview of the Site Plan and then the Commission would ask him any questions the Commission may have.
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the six foot to eight foot (6' - 8') height of the retaining wall located on the east / west sides of the Property relating to the need for an off-site grading easement. Mr. Horovitz responded there is a sixteen foot (16') grade difference in the easterly / westerly direction and in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Site needs to be raised. Mr. Horovitz further explained to try to obtain a permit from Caltrans to grade a slope onto Caltrans' property and raise the north off-ramp would be hard and Mr. Dan Kopusky (of Caltrans) had told Mr. Horovitz it may be two to four (2 - 4) years before obtaining permission.
A question was asked about the south side and if the Applicant had / had not approached San Bernardino County Flood Control (SBCFC). Mr. Horovitz responded the wall would be two feet to four and one-half feet (2' - 4' 6") high and in order to purchase the Flood Control property, they would have to go through the appraisal process for the property, and had to go to Hazardous Waste Control for the levee. The levee is not up to FEMA standards, but he still wants to obtain the property south of them, but Flood Control (SBCFC) may take months and had checked with the Title of the property and is deed restricted with County Hazardous Waste Control.
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding why they chose the particular layout, as shown. Mr. Horovitz responded in two (2) parts. One is the design, construction and engineering issues and the other is retail demand issues. The proposed east / west Building is Lowe's Building and had gone through fifty (50) or so revisions for different configurations. Still need to address the ADA and retail issues, the Building heights and how the retailers want to be up close on the street and the setback(s) is an issue and indicated the setbacks and landscaping is not for retail use.
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding if the proposed Project conforms with the General Plan and with the Golden Triangle Area Policies. Mr. Horovitz responded internal pedestrian movement is critical to the Project. The sidewalk width is adequate enough. He has reviewed the minimum requirements plus outdoor display areas, dining areas, enhanced pavement etc. from Building to Building and the path of travel.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any further questions of the Applicant. Hearing none, he then said Mr. Horovitz could proceed. Mr. Horovitz started with the overview of Fire and Building & Safety COAs which are acceptable and then asked Mr. Tom Robinson to the podium.
Mr. Tom Robinson, 4590 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 500, Newport Beach, California, who is Mr. Horovitz's partner, addressed the Commission. He explained the landscaping relative to the fifteen foot (15') Right-of-Way and the added ten foot (10') easement and how the Developer wants to maintain the "mow strip" and the "mow strip" also be in the Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) area and the City has control over it (the LMD).
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding there is a single landscape area that is twenty-five feet (25') wide and have two (2) "different people" maintain the same area. How does that work and the area is linear. Mr. Robinson responded there are two (2) separate entities; the Developer will maintain the area south of the mow strip and the City will maintain the area north of the mow strip and is not an issue. Mr. Robinson stated there will be only one (1) property that will be developed for quite a while, there is a lot of landscaping to maintain and that is why he suggested a hedge. A comment was made by a Commissioner that is a lot of hedge to maintain. Mr. Horovitz added for the Commission to see the second pallet that was distributed to the Commission earlier tonight and explained there is 1,100 feet of landscaping and the undulation of trees, shrubs, and is not a 1,000' hedge and will "have some movement in the sidewalk" (meandering sidewalk) within the landscape area. Mr. Robinson added that is where the mow strip came in. Staff explained this is a Standard COA for the entire frontage of the Project and the LMD will be maintained by the Property Owner. The City only takes over when the LMD is not maintained by the Property Owner. If the Commission approves the COA, as the Applicant proposes, the frontage will then be divided and maintained by both the Developer and the City. If the Commission desires, Staff could go back and research / revise (the COA) regarding the Landscape Easement maintenance by either the City or the Property Owner. Mr. Robinson said for a larger project, the Developer does not want to maintain the landscaping and sidewalk and requests for separation at the mow strip. Mr. Horovitz added they are tentatively okay with Planning COA No. 31, as long as it does not interfere / impedes with the operation of the Lowe's.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding the possibility of revising Planning COA No. 31. Staff responded and stated the following verbiage be added at the end of the COA, " as approved by the Design Review Board".
Mr. Robinson stated with Planning COA No. 38, would mean the Developer install one (1) "diamond" planter every four (4) parking spaces. With regards to No. 39, it is not needed, the wide step out is acceptable and with the five foot by sixteen foot (5' X 16') landscape islands, a few do not meet the dimensions with three (3) or four (4) planters.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding the landscaping, the Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP), rain guards / rain catchers and filtration devices. Staff reiterated the landscaping be referred to the Design Review Board (DRB). A comment was made by a Commissioner that this may be the biggest parking lot in Highland with the lowest amount of trees in the area. Mr. Robinson stated this is "not normal" type of a Project (for them) and does not have this type of WQMP at the Lowe's located in Redlands and he is in "uncharted territory" for them (the Applicant and his Representatives). He further indicated the water quality will be addressed, but also has a financial impact (for the Applicant).
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz and Staff regarding Planning COA No. 38 how that there are a number of parking stalls that do not have any trees. Mr. Horovitz stated he understands there is one (1) "diamond" planter per three (3) stalls and the Applicant is proposing for construct one (1) "diamond" planter per four (4) stalls.
Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz and Staff regarding Planning COA No. 38 regarding the possibility of a compromise, if the tree ratio is for all parking stalls (i.e. one  tree for every twenty-seven (27) linear feet), if made up with additional trees on the other part of the Site, the size / height / canopy of the trees when mature (i.e. fifteen feet (15') or twenty feet (20'). Mr. Horovitz stated the trees will be fifteen feet (15') at maturity, but was unable to state what the trees' size will be at three (3), four (4) or six (6) years.
A comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the performance / percentage versus the number of trees and the Commissioner said that he wants a larger canopy for the trees for the parking lots. Mr. Horovitz responded to increase the tree size, he suggested installing a fifteen (15) gallon or up to twenty-four inch (24") box or increase may go up to 1: 4 ratio. The Commissioner stated he was more interested in the tree species for aesthetic purposes.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding Planning COA Nos. 44 and 45 for the proposed Freeway Pylon Sign and its height which is contingent upon Federal Aviation Administration Regulations. A comment was made by a Commissioner with the seventy-nine and one-half foot (79'6") Sign and with the grade elevation, the bottom panel will be taken off of the Sign. The Mean Elevation of the Freeway and off-ramp to determine the Sign height is a change point of reference and Planning No. COA 2 B were also discussed. The following is the revised verbiage for COA No. 2 B: "Attached herein as Exhibit "B" is the Freeway-oriented Pylon Sign (location and height only) up to the existing natural grade." Mr. Robinson stated he anticipates the Sign height and the number of panels are to be considered / approved tonight.
Mr. Robinson further stated with the COA indicating to screen the air conditioning units on the Lowe's Building and is acceptable with that, but stated it is impossible to screen on the Freeway side of Lowe's. Staff responded that is Planning COA No. 59, and Staff understands screening from the Freeway would be difficult and do from the Greenspot Road side is acceptable. Staff further explained COA No. 47 is a standard COA for transformer boxes, back flow devices, etc. and COA No. 59 is for rooftop equipment i.e. air conditioning units and that all equipment has to be appropriately screened.
A comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the proposed parking and taking up two (2) spaces when he has his trailer hitched to his vehicle and at the Lowe's in Redlands, he takes up four (4) spaces. Mr. Robinson responded saying the Commissioner could pull through.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding the vegetated swales to deal with a full parking lot, delineated areas, and curbs around the "diamond" planters. Staff stated there can be some modification made in order for allowance to the filtration area, there is four feet (4') of area from the asphalt to the landscaping and can be engineered to be landscaped using gravel or impervious concrete which can be used as a low travel area. Staff added that Staff can look at the landscaping strip between the concrete stalls and is a common feature. The DRB can review this raised curb planter with an opening for filtration swales, or other alternatives, as long as the concept is there. Staff further explained to the Commission how the City approves the WQMP and how the proposed Project has to use the Best Management Practices. How much is to be done is a matter of judgement and Staff has proposed these Practices be done with every aisle.
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding why not have any schematics of these Practices.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Horovitz and Staff regarding the Best Management Practices and schematics of the proposed Project. Mr. Robinson stated based on current Codes, design grassy swales and asked how much does the Developer have to do and further stated he has worked on over one hundred (100) shopping centers and reiterated that all of the requirements will be met. Mr. Horovitz added he has met with the Water Management Board. He then explained how the Developer will address the Best Management Practices and will be easily handled through the Site design. The difficulty will be with the landscape area. Mr. Horovitz explained the proposed Project has in an entire storm drain system and filtration process and the detention system with its mechanical and electrical systems and is similar to a "whirlpool" design, and a company comes out and cleans the detention system. The Applicant's Civil Engineer talked about increasing the landscaping and along with the twenty-five foot (25') setbacks, but the BMPs in WQMP is not just a single item, but needs to be reviewed and approved.
The following are comments made by the Commission: 1) may have to be "wordsmithed" something like "including, but not limited to" verbiage; 2) who maintains the area then; 3) the possibility of using grey water and place in a "holding tank" and use for irrigation purposes, and; 4) Staff's concept has several methods for treatment, as well as the Site Design. Staff added that Staff needs some direction from the Commission.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz and Staff regarding reducing the water runoff. Staff responded with Engineering COA No. 6 allows the language with ultimate Site design. Mr. Horovitz responded with Engineering COA No. 6 how the roof drains are tied into the storm drains (and the runoff) goes through the cleaning system process. Mr. Horovitz then stated there are four (4) items / COAs that are issues and if the COAs stand as is, the Applicant could not go forward with the Project and indicated with the following Engineering COAs:
No. 14 (is financial / cost issue); No. 15 (provide portion of); No. 16 wants sixty-six feet (66') and not seventy-five feet (75'); No. 26 (LMD) and with COAs 32, 33 and 34, placing those in an agreement between the Applicant and the Project / property owner to the east. COA No. 19 is not an issue, but has an issue regarding the City's acceptance of the street lights for ownership twelve (12) months after they are completed. With regards to COA No. 57, Mr. Horovitz asked about adding COA No. 29 language to COA No. 57.
There being no discussion or questions of the Applicant's Representatives or Staff, Chairman Haller then asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on the item.
Mr. Dave Webber, of Regency Centers, 915 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2200, Los Angeles, California, who is a Senior Manager, addressed the Commission. He stated that he is supportive of the proposed Project and has shared drawings and on-site grading with the Applicant since their project is adjacent to the proposed Project. The COAs are working with Access "A" and drainage issues and reiterated he is willing to work with the Applicant.
Discussion ensued regarding the rationale of Engineering COA No. 6.
Mr. Horovitz stated with Engineering COA Nos. 14, 15, and 16 are tied to the widening of the Freeway ramp which is approximately eight to ten (8 - 10) years off and the City will work with Caltrans to rebuild the overpass and Caltrans needs to approve and it is unreasonable for the Applicant to do any widening of the ramp, since widening Freeway ramps are County-wide projects and is done with State and Federal funding. Staff responded the scope of the COA is a requirement to construct the curb on Greenspot Road at the ultimate width. The Project is not required to construct the right turn pocket on the north bound Freeway exit ramp located at the Greenspot Road street frontage at the corner (of the off-ramp). The Developer may be concerned with Caltrans if they are required to do the work. Mr. Horovitz responded timing is an issue and is important plus funding for the curb return at the Freeway ramp. In addition, the Applicant will have to rebuild the traffic signal and relocate thirteen (13) facilities. Staff responded and explained the City Council has determined the priorities to fund the ten (10) different infrastructures with the street improvement work which is included in the Engineering COAs for the street improvements as the top priority. Although there is not a formal agreement between the Developer and the City, at this time, it is the clear intent of the City Council to fund the street improvements of Greenspot Road. With regards to Mr. Horovitz's question about Engineering COA No. 57, the language, as written, is the City Council's intent, but if the agreement did not materialize, the Developer will be responsible for the improvements and this is no different from other development projects.
A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the timing of Engineering "C - Required prior to Occupancy". Staff responded and explained the timing regarding the City Council's Subcommittee(s) and City Council policy. The Commission approves the COAs through normal process and procedures, but the City Council Subcommittee(s) may supercede some of this specified timing.
Mr. Horovitz stated the ramp is not on all on their frontage and is not our property. Why have the Applicant do when the City can do and he then reiterated the Applicant will not go forward with the Project. With regards to Engineering COA No. 15, the scope of work for signal interconnect from Boulder Avenue to the Freeway is Caltrans' responsibility for the interconnection and that "installing a fiberoptic interconnect between the new signal and the existing signals at the Freeway off-ramp and at Boulder Avenue including any necessary hardware and sofeware" is not at the Project level. Staff responded that is timing "D - On-going" and explained Lowe's will be constructing a new traffic signal 1,000 feet from the Freeway and will necessitate a signal interconnect system to coordinate the several signals on Greenspot Road.
A comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the Developer provide an interconnect (with the existing signal) and the new signal. Staff responded that when a new signal is built for Lowe's, it should function as a system with other signals on Greenspot Road. Staff further explained the future plan for interconnect include locations on Greenspot Road / Fifth Street between Palm Avenue, Boulder Avenue, and Orange Street. Staff described there will be an agreement for the traffic signal with the City / Developer and how the City will pay for the street improvement work and explained how much will be funded. Mr. Horovitz responded he does not know what the cost will be and if the $11 million is "up for grabs". Mr. Horovitz asked about excavation and has the City prepared environment (documents) for the excavation and with Caltrans and reiterated this is unreasonable.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz and Staff regarding Engineering COA No. 16 on Access "A" curb-to-curb distance from the required seventy-five feet (75') to the Applicant's request of sixty-six feet (66'). Mr. Horovitz stated Access "A" is a private road and the Traffic Engineer designed the signal and road and has calculated at sixty-six feet (66') and now the Site / curb has moved and the City is not funding it.
A question was asked by a Commissioner if there is a copy / sketch. Mr. Horovitz responded affirmatively and is a 11" x 17" Site Plan provided in the distributed document. He explained the fourteen foot (14') turn lane and requested Engineering COA Nos. 32, 33 and 34 be removed and the City address each developer (the accessibility issue) and how the Applicant has moved forward in good faith and does not see the rationale for these COAs. Both the Commission and Staff responded these have been placed on every project in Highland and are typical COAs. Mr. Horovitz stated regarding as a temporary road condition in the northerly / southerly direction and how the Site would operate and explained how Access "A" is used. Mr. Robinson added that he is acceptable with that, but if the property / project to the east is delayed, he does not want it to delay their (Lowe's) Project and the Applicant also has a right to use temporary access.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding the possibility of temporary access for Engineering COA Nos. 32, 33, and 34 and the need for workable COAs for roadways. Mr. Robinson asked regarding COA Nos. 32 and 33 what if Regency does not move forward with their project. Mr. Horovitz added if the project to the east is delayed, they have egress / ingress. Staff explained the COA is written per the design of the Greenspot Road Master Plan and Regency Centers will be considered by the Commission in the near future and not to build Access "A" per the Greenspot Master Plan as a common driveway and to allow a temporary access will not be in the City's best interest. Access "A" should be shared by two (2) Developers. Engineering COA No. 34, states the City will acquire an easement to construct Access "A", if requested, by the Applicant and temporary work is not acceptable and why modify the design. Mr. Robinson said he does not want to sit here and be static in order to obtain Caltrans' approval in two (2) years. The "Fresh and Easy" Project is dead / static. If Lowe's does not go, the Golden Triangle Area won't be built for years.
A question was asked by a Commissioner if temporary access is possible for the ultimate access. Staff responded the Site will require a traffic signal and does not see relocating Access "A" or the Building placement and that there needs to be an easement by / with the neighbor (adjacent property owner) and reiterated does not see how a temporary access would work. A comment was made by a Commissioner if there is a snag, maybe a temporary solution is a stop sign and asked about what language for temporary issues to be worked out on Engineering COA No. 34. Staff responded if the two (2) Developers are not working together on an easement, maybe there is a need to review again, but need to ensure access is built properly at the right location. Staff then asked the Commission if it wants Staff to do something unusual other than following proper procedures and standard practices. A question was asked by a Commissioner if the Engineering COA remains as is, can the City move forward with condemnation and Staff responded affirmatively. Mr. Robinson stated then it is down to timing again and is afraid the Project will be delayed by four to five (4 - 5) months. If the Applicant receives DRB approval, the Applicant wants the Project to be constructed in four to five (4 - 5) months and reiterated his request about a temporary COA. Mr. Horovitz stated the street / access widths and utilizing a different signal and reiterated about the temporary COA and the Developer to the east and not for the north (side of Greenspot Road) and facilitate one lane north / south direction and requested the Commission to address the COA. Mr. Robinson said the Applicant can work with Regency Centers and not want to risk it with other developers and the agreement can return to the Commission for its consideration and further stated that he doesn't want the City to cut deals on the Developer's behalf. A question was asked by a Commissioner if this is based on an appraised cost. Mr. Robinson responded and said if this is an issue, do not want to request it. Staff added the COA is a Standard Condition for off-site design layouts. A comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the second part of the first sentence in Engineering COA No. 34 of entering into an agreement to complete the improvements pursuant to Government Code at such time as the City acquires the property interest required for said improvements if the Development is coming to the City. Mr. Horovitz responded that is the Developer's intention and in the event the Developer does not construct the Project.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz and Staff regarding verbiage "at the Developer's option", word smithing and clarify the Applicant's option in Engineering COA No. 34. In addition, could one ingress / one egress be built (COA Nos. 32 and 33) if the Developer does not come to the City, and it would be less than optimum position because of truck deliveries, etc.
Discussion ensued regarding Engineering COA No. 19 relative to Edison's ownership of street lights. Staff reiterated this, too, is also a Standard COA. Mr. Horovitz asked about when the ownership is approved and passed, and the Commission stated appears Staff is looking for assurance if the improvements are damaged, they can be repaired at the Developer's expense. Staff responded affirmatively and that it is for protection of the City, but can also see the Developer's point of view. Mr. Horovitz added the inspector would say (for the Developer) to repair, or (the Developer) would not obtain his Certificate of Occupancy.
The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) the possibility of deferring for two (2) weeks for issues to be resolved; 2) there appears to be wide discretion; 3) direct Staff to prepare revised COAs and return in two (2) weeks; 4) the Commission needs to provide direction to Staff; 5) the Commission may request additional data. The Commission then asked the Mr. Horovotiz regarding alternative suggestions. Mr. Horovitz responded if the Commission does not agree with the Applicant, move forward to City Council. Chairman Haller responded stating it is City Council policy decision with regards to Engineering COA Nos. 14, 15, and 16 and may have to confer with the Public Works Subcommittee and need to investigate alternatives. It is not totally clear why with the Caltrans issues and thus far, this Item has been considered for two and one-half (2½) hours and the Commission needs to provide general information to Staff. Mr. Robinson responded stating we, too, are also frustrated with many unresolved issues, reiterated he has done many projects and said he believed City Council would not want the Applicant to do this for the next two to three (2 - 3) years in order to get the Project done.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the Commission providing direction to Staff, the street improvements and the need to pay (for them) and need Public Works Subcommittee's purview. Staff explained the Project has been Conditioned as a standard project. The City Council / Developer will work out who pays how much and what and is one step at a time. Staff imposts the COAs as Staff normally does and is a standard process to Condition a project. The Applicant wants one hundred percent (100%) assurance the (street improvement) work will be paid by the City and specified in the COA. Staff is unable to say how much reimbursement to the Project will be paid by the City. Staff further explained the City Council's options and the required improvements with the C of O with / without occupancy. Staff added if not resolved by the Commission, it would need to be addressed by the full City Council and not the Public Works Subcommittee. The timing of complying with the Condition and not the COA itself and that the Public Works Subcommittee can only adjust the timing.
The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) limit the scope of work and ask what the Developer wants to do; 2) there are different "players" and different properties involved; 3) fair share contribution; 4) the City agrees to pay (for the improvements) and Condition the Project.
(Note: Commissioner Gamboa leaves the Chamber at 8:31 p.m.)
Further comments are made by the Commissioners: 5) timing of the improvements and is a City Municipal Project relative to the fair share issue; 6) Greenspot Road will be nice for traffic flow, and; 7) the City coordinate the infrastructure i.e. in lieu fee. Staff responded if the City is not funding the work, look at a new City project, or if the other developers can do i.e. off-ramp area and curb return plus timing.
(Note: Commissioner Gamboa returns to the Chamber at 8:33 p.m.)
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the possibility of deleting Engineering COA No. 14 or modify the responsibilities, and with the in lieu fee concept, the City Council had sold bonds and is obligated to spend the money on Greenspot Road. The City Council has not formally adopted an agreement with the Developer and it will be approximately two (2) years out to do an environmental review of rebuilding the ramp. A comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the environmental review for Lowe's has been engineered, studied and analyzed. Staff responded the COA is based on the environmental review. A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding how to expedite with the City project and specific project(s).
Mr. Horovitz asked about if Caltrans is willing to work with the Conditions and environmental review and if a private consultant has / has not been hired for the City's specific project.
Discussion ensued regarding the traffic signal(s), CEQA clearance, fair share contributions and infrastructure. Mr. Horovitz stated that is out of their Project area and reiterated his concern about not obtaining the permit from Caltrans. Staff responded and reiterated the Project is Conditioned to do the work and the (Applicant's) funding is the issue. The traffic signal should be functioning when the Project is open for business and if it cannot be done with the Developer's contract, there needs to be an alternate mechanism in place. Mr. Robinson stated the direction given by the City Council to Staff was for Staff to hire a third party construction manager and not individual project / developer and further explained what Regency Centers and Mission Development projects were going to do. Mr. Horovitz stated it makes sense for signal synchronization. Staff responded the possibility of modifying the COA. Mr. Horovitz stated then that opens up Caltrans with signal improvement plans and Caltrans won't review, unless there is a full scope of work. A comment was made by a Commissioner if there is interconnection, Caltrans will want to see what the City is doing.
The Commission recessed at 8:45 p.m. and reconvened at 8:53 p.m. with all Commissioners present.
Mr. Bob Conner, 3991 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 310, Newport Beach, California, of the RK Engineering Group, who is the Applicant's Traffic Engineer who is working with the Lowe's Project and the Regency Centers' Project, addressed the Commission. He stated that he has been involved with many Lowe's projects in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties. With regards to the Caltrans ramp, in that Caltrans is an issue for opening up a "Pandora's Box" and not one (1) interconnect issue, and (Caltrans) will not stop at just a curb return. This is adding a simple traffic signal project and is not a cost issue to the Developer as it is with the delays. Greenspot Road should be interconnected. The total Project with widening Greenspot Road, the ultimate width of Access "A" and disagrees with the particular access design proposed by Staff. The lane widths are common to other regional facilities. Mr. Conner then explained the various lane widths to the Commission and that the third outbound lane would be a combination through lane and right-turn lane. He then asked if the Commission had any questions.
Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of the Applicant's Traffic Engineer. Hearing none, he then asked if the Commission had any questions for the Applicant's Architect.
A comment was made by a Commissioner how the Building Elevations did not show any connection to Highland and provided examples using riverstone, Fifth Street Bridge with riverstone and street lights (located west of the Freeway), and there needs to have a similar feeling within the Golden Triangle Area. This is a Highland project and reiterated the need for riverstone materials and the existing street lights design to be used on the proposed Project. Mr. Horovitz stated he is open to that.
Another comment was made by a Commissioner that the DRB will handle it similar to the Packing House (located in the Historic District) and advised the Applicant to not use corrugated steel, not use dark colors and suggested lighter colors similar to Citrus Plaza.
The following are further comments made by the Commissioners: 1) there needs to be architectural features on all four (4) sides of the P1 and P3 Buildings since they have a high profile; 2) the overall Elevations on Retail side is on the M2 Building - the south side of M2 is visible to Access "A" and there is a need to screen (the Building) with landscaping; 3) the screened Elevation shown on Page 3 of the distributed packet is bland, and; 4) the feasibility of the Applicant needing a Lead Certification and energy efficiency. Mr. Robinson responded the P1 Building will have architectural features on all four (4) sides.
Mr. Al Montes, 1530 Faraday Avenue, Suite 140, Carlsbad, California, who is the Senior Site Development Manager with Lowe's, addressed the Commission. He stated how Lowe's is an energy efficient Building and does have standard design criteria of Level One. There is a forty-eight (48) point system for energy efficiency and Lowe's has approximately twenty-four to thirty (24 - 30). A Commissioner responded saying the energy cost savings will skyrocket and with Lowe's showing energy conservation, this will help Highland out. Mr. Montes responded and said he will be present at the DRB meeting.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding Engineering COA No. 31 about the drainage flow consistent with the east / west drainage and cross lot drainage. Mr. Robinson responded will facilitate any post development flows on Lowe's Site with Regency Centers and is a private agreement and is working on it. A question was asked by a Commissioner about the post development flow what is the plan and the Applicant's need to figure out a disposal plan. Mr. Horovitz responded whatever pipe size Caltrans and the Master Plan for Greenspot Road requires. Mr. Robinson added that Master Plan Phase II calls for drainage and is willing to work with Regency Centers and have the drainage from Regency Centers flow to Lowe's. With regards to the Walmart project, they did not plan to include Walmart since they are not projected to open until at 2011. Chairman Haller said how the Commission needs to see what their (the Applicant's Drainage) Plan is for the Greenspot Road Master Plan and can table that issue. Mr. Robinson responded timing is critical and if the Commission leaves the COAs, as is, will then appeal to the City Council. Chairman Haller responded the drainage information is not here. Mr. Robinson said the Applicant does not want to take other drainage flows other than Regency Centers. A Commissioner said the approach is to provide direction to Staff and return in two (2) weeks and added unsure what M3 is and now there are drainage issues. Mr. Robinson said Regency Centers has no drainage now and is working with Lowe's to build a culvert up to Boulder Avenue. Mr. Montes added the culvert is a requirement of San Bernardino County and the flow is no greater than what is going through there now.
The following are comments made / directions provided by the Commission regarding Planning COA Nos. 27 and 29: 1) the Commission still needs to provide direction to Staff and to have one (1) entity to maintain the landscaping; 2) the mow strip provided appears to delineate the responsibility; 3) tears apart the (landscape) feature and is not in favor of splitting up the irrigation system; 4) instead of a mow strip, have landscaping and then have a Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) for the twenty-five foot (25') easement; 5) from the parking lot, there is twenty-five feet (25') to the curb be one entity and a LMD and is appropriately crafted i.e. size and make the LMD responsible; 6) eliminate the mow curb; 7) between the curb and parking lot, have one (1) entity responsible.
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Planning COA No. 31: 1) does not impede and add, "as approved by the Design Review Board".
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Planning COA No. 38: 1) provide one (1) diamond every fourth stall / space; 2) Staff to word smith the Commission's intent. A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the coverage versus percentage issue, Staff could study, what is the intent of the trees for shade, aesthetics, etc. Staff responded the maturity of the tree. A Commissioner responded if it is the maturity of the tree, then it is the tree type / species and then the Commission would want an active shade with a large tree canopy. Mr. Horovitz responded he would have the Applicant's Landscape Architect review.
The following are comments made / direction given by the Commission regarding Planning COA No. 39: 1) add, "unless approved by the Design Review Board".
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Planning COA Nos. 44 and 45: 1) need to add, "contingent of the FAA Regulations, and; 2) need to also add the modification as shown on Exhibit "B".
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding the number of sixteen (16) panels proposed to be on the Freeway-oriented Pylon Sign. Design Review Board reviews the aesthetics and Staff stated the height of the Sign will be contingent upon FAA regulations. Mr. Horovtiz stated the Elevation reflects the number of panels they proposed on the Freeway Sign.
Mr. Robinson spoke of the Shell and McDonald's Freeway Signs design and heights. A question was asked by a Commissioner if the FAA requires the Applicant to lower / delete the Sign (or panels) if that is acceptable with the Applicant. Mr. Robinson responded affirmatively but did not have to have signage for the other tenants and explained as Attachment 4 in the Staff Report.
Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding Planning COA No. 52 of security lighting and the intensity / brilliance of the lighting and suggested maybe using not to exceed a certain intensity of footcandles. Staff responded that Staff has guidelines with that and that Planning COA No. 49, is out of the City Guidelines.
The following are comments made / direction given by the Commission regarding Planning COA No. 59 to add, "or from City streets and adjacent properties".
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Engineering COA No. 6: 1) issues are difficult to resolve at Staff level; 2) have DRB review; 3) allow flexibility and still is submitted to the City Engineer; 4) the COA stays as is, and; 5) the Commission still wants to see swales.
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Engineering COA No. 14: 1 ) modification of off-ramp and curb and Caltrans Right-of-Way; 2) have Staff investigate in lieu of fee issue.
The Commission made further comments / direction provided on Engineering COA No. 14: 3) wants the proposed Project to be consistent with previous projects. Staff responded that money is to be spent on Greenspot Road and if the COA is out, the City will still build the delete work with City funds committed to Greenspot Road. The Commission directed to delete COA No. 14.
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Engineering COA No. 15: 1) have Staff research in lieu fee; 2) split the COA; 3) no construction with the interconnect fee and have the Applicant pay in lieu fee, but make accommodations for future work. Mr. Horovitz asked about an in lieu fee for the street frontage (portion). Staff responded the traffic signal conduit in front of the proposed Project is still one hundred percent (100%) responsibility of the proposed Project. Discussion ensued regarding how far / distance relative to in lieu fee. Lay the conduit in front of the Property before the street is paved and take down to the edge of the Property and in lieu fee from Freeway to Boulder Avenue and Caltrans signal, plus the pending agreement.
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Engineering COA No. 16: 1) seventy-five feet (75') versus sixty-nine feet (69'); 2) leave as an open item; 3) unsure of technical dispute; 4) the efficiency of the item. Mr. Conner said how the Applicant has gone back and forth with Planning and Engineering Staff and asked about the process to facilitate this or if need to schedule additional meetings. The Commission responded that the Commission will provide date and will evaluate it.
The Commission made further comments / direction provided on Engineering COA No. 16: 5) the downside of the 75' is loss of Gross Leasible Area (GLA); 6) the 13'6" lane width will be reduced; 7) the P3 Building will be narrower; 8) Planning Staff has worked with the Applicant regarding the setbacks.
Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Horovitz and Staff regarding various traffic lane widths / configurations, demand for the lanes, locations, turn pocket(s) design and possible reduction, queuing, traffic count(s), and the traffic signal itself. Staff talked about the turning lanes for the Golden Triangle Area and the ultimate two (2) left turn lanes at buildout. There needs to provide a turning pattern that will be more liked by the customers.
Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Conner and Staff about the curb, the size and width of the lanes and turning pockets and public safety. A comment was made by a Commissioner to go back and talk to Staff and appears the Commission would like to eliminate the de facto right turn lane. Mr. Horovitz responded if give up 1'6", will make the lane width sixty-nine feet (69').
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Engineering COA No. 19: 1) appears everyone wants assurances; 2) make part of the development agreement assurances and corrective measures. Staff responded this is a Standard COA and will work with the Developer. If the street light is damaged, who will be responsible for it if the damage is done by / during construction or by individual party and provided examples to the Commission. A question was asked if the Applicant is proposing a Phasing Plan. Mr. Horovitz responded the Applicant's intention is to grade the Site all at once and construct Lowe's first. A comment was made by a Commissioner to direct Staff to review in order and want to have the City Engineer satisfied. Staff responded COA No. 19 is also listed in COA No. 58 regarding responsibility / damage and Staff review the agreement.
The following are comments made / direction provided by the Commission regarding Engineering COA No. 26: 1) Proposition No. 218 was established in order to form a LMD. Mr. Horovitz responded he has no issue with that. Staff stated to delete the following portion of the last sentence of the COA "...within the Landscape Easement and Right-of-Way...".
A question was asked by a Commissioner to the Applicant regarding Engineering COA No. 27 and the ten foot (10') Landscape Easement. Mr. Horovitz responded that, too, is not an issue.
Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Horovitz, Mr. Robinson and Staff regarding Engineering COA Nos. 32, 33 and 34. Mr. Robinson said if a temporary condition, that is acceptable with him and have one (1) lane north and one (1) lane south. Mr. Horovitz added then could return with modification(s). Both the Commission and Staff responded to leave the COA as is and if have to return to the Commission to modify the COA, the Applicant would then have to modify the CUP.
Staff talked about revising / adding language to Engineering COA No. 34. A comment was made by a Commissioner stating Engineering COA 57 will cover the City's interest. Mr. Horovitz stated he withdraws his request of COA No. 29.
Chairman Haller asked if anyone else in the audience would like to speak on the item. There was none.
Staff asked about revising Engineering COA No. 15. Staff reiterated the signal will be required and the conduit at the street frontage of the property is one hundred percent (100%) cost of the Developer and the Freeway to Boulder Avenue would be in lieu fee / fair share contribution.
A comment was made by a Commissioner that the Minutes will be extensive. Staff added that Staff will revise the COAs and submit to the Applicant for review. Mr. Horovitz asked about needing the sixty-nine foot (69') lane width drawing as an Exhibit.
There being no further questions or comments of the Applicant or Staff, or discussion amongst the Commissioners, Chairman Haller then called for the question.
A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to continue this Item until September 18, 2007.
Motion unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.
Chairman Haller thanked everyone for their patience.
Staff complimented the Commission on all their work.
There were no items.
Staff distributed a memo to the Board and explained the anticipated items scheduled for September 18, 2007.
There being no further business Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 10:28 p.m.
Administrative Assistant III
Richard Haller, Chairman