MAY 15, 2007



1.0       CALL TO ORDER


The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:20 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.


Present:          Commissioners John Gamboa, Bob Moore and Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller


Absent:           Commissioner R. Paul Scott


Staff Present:John Jaquess, Community Development Director

Ernie Wong, City Engineer

Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner

Bruce Meikle, Associate Planner

Linda McKeough, Administrative Secretary


The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman Haller.





There was none. 





3.1       Minutes of April 3, 2007, Regular Meeting.


It was noted Commissioner Scott was absent when the Meeting was called to order, but was then present when he arrived at 6:18 p.m.


On Page Seven, Fourth Paragraph, Last Sentence was amended to read as follows:  ACommissioner Gamboa was concerned with the over saturation, but the Applicant is saved by grace with the hours of operation.@ 



A Motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to approve the Minutes of April 3, 2007, as amended. 


Motion carried on a 4 - 0 vote, with Commissioner Scott absent.




4.0       PUBLIC HEARINGS          


4.1       Applications submitted by Mr. David Chong, which include:


1.         General Plan Amendment Application (GPA 006-002), to Pre-Zone the subject property as Low Density Residential (LD);


2.         Zoning Map Amendment Application (ZC 006-002), to Pre-Zone the subject property as Single-Family Residential with 20,000 square foot minimum lot sizes (R-1, 20,000);


3.         Tentative Tract Map Application (TTM16636) for the Subdivision of the subject property into five (5) single family residential lots (minimum 20,000 square foot per lot); and


4.         Annexation Request (LAFCO 006-003), to Annex the subject property into the City=s jurisdiction.


The Site consists of one approximate 3.62 acre property located at the northerly terminus of Applewood Street (APN: 1199-341-15).  Representative: David Chong, Applicant;  Carlton Lockwood, Lockwood Engineering Company


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


Associate Planner Meikle distributed a letter to the Commission which Staff received on May 14, 2007, from Mark Uffer.  He then gave the presentation from the Staff Report.  He explained the location, the Applications and the LAFCO process, the Project description and design layout, Project boundaries and that it is in Fire Zone 1, and how the Fire Department has concerns regarding grading and perimeter wall system(s).  Associate Planner Meikle then introduced the City=s Consultant Staff from The Planning Center; Ms. Nicole Krause, Mr. Stan Hoffman and Mr. Mark Tomich.   Associate Planner Meikle explained what the Applicant has proposed, the General Plan and Zoning Designations, the letter that was just distributed to the Commission from Mr. Uffer and he then concluded his presentation.  


Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any questions of Staff.  


Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the trail location on Standard Pacific property east of the proposed Project and how ultimately, it will be part of the City=s Trail System.  Restriction on the types of homes to be constructed on the pad.  Staff explained about the viewscape, and there is a large grade separation between Standard Pacific and the proposed Project and how Standard Pacific raised the grade of their pads above the proposed Project.  There is a mix through the neighborhood with both one- and two- story homes. 


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. Carlton Lockwood, of Lockwood Engineering Company, 380 West Foothill Boulevard, Rialto, California, who is the Applicant=s Representative, addressed the Commission.  He stated he has talked with Staff and the Conditions of Approval (COAs) are acceptable, as written, and the Property Owner and other Representatives are present in the audience.


Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of the Applicant.


There were none.


Chairman Haller asked if anyone else would like to speak on the item.  Hearing none, Chairman Haller kept the Public Hearing open and then opened the floor for discussion amongst the Planning Commissioners.


Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the term, Asplash pad@ and keep the retaining wall in use and is part of the C C & Rs; Lots 4 and 5 will drain to the rear of the property then dissipate and how the Map does not show this detail and may not be sufficient as a COA.  Staff explained the retaining wall along Lots 3 and 4 located on the north side and top of Lot 5, in that the wall is old and there is no engineering way to calculate the old wall, but we need to preserve it by Project design and COAs.  Lot 4 has a new retaining wall five feet (5') in height from the existing wall and the contractor needs to be careful. 


A question was asked regarding the Asplash pad@ issue with cross lot drainage on Lots 4 and 5.  Staff explained the Lot itself will have a concentrated point and a managed flow for open area.  It is acceptable to allow some drainage flow into the existing drainage pattern and will then conform to that flow of drainage.  Staff added there is no COA for cross lot drainage.


A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the fact there is no COA for a Letter of Acceptance for cross lot drainage and keeping the drainage pattern.  Staff responded with a typical COA for cross lot drainage for Lot 3 which will be reviewed through the plan check process for the proposed Project.  The drainage may not be for Lots 1 and 2, and the drainage ditch can be refined during plan check to conform to City Standards. 


The feasibility of lowering the pad elevations for Lots 1, 2 and 3 to reduce the eighteen percent (18%) grade of the driveways was discussed.  Grade function was also discussed, hammerhead driveways and how Staff called the Fire Department regarding the grade requirement could be at a maximum of twelve percent (12%). 

A comment was made by a Commissioner if there is potential for cross lot drainage, an opposite set of requirements could be required downstream i.e. existing east / west flow going to Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 and having a block wall installed, the Commissioner then asked if there would be potential damage.  Staff responded that is not how the Project is proposed.  The Applicant proposes to install a drainage ditch on Lots 1 and 2 and a drainage ditch on the north side of Lot 3. 


A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the grade on the existing homes on Applewood.  Staff responded the existing Tract was mass graded with cut / fill slopes and there may be some at fourteen percent (14%) grade.  With the proposed Project, the Applicant is going to customize the pads.  A comment was made by a Commissioner that he has never seen more than a twelve percent (12%) grade and then asked what effect Senate Bill 18 had on the General Plan Amendment.


Ms. Nicole Krause, of The Planning Center, who is the City=s Consultant, addressed the Commission.  She stated the Bill applies to Specific Plans or General Plans and the Cities will consultant with Native American tribes.  Staff added the Environmental Document(s) were sent to the Native American Consultants in Sacramento and the local designated Tribal Members, and the City received no comments from them. 


Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Ms. Krause and Staff regarding grade reduction.  Staff explained if the COAs would be through a minor design review process, which would be one home at a time, then Staff would review administratively.  If the COAs would be for all five (5) homes at one time, then it would go to the DRB for consideration.  Planning COA Nos. 13 and 14 were further discussed, if there was a problem with the slope / fencing and the sixteen foot (16') high block wall going to Cook Creek.  Staff responded whatever the wall would need to have it function, the Plans would have to go through the plan check process.  In addition, with regards to the weed abatement at the top of slope, the Applicant has to submit a Fuel Modification Plan and Staff is not certain what the Fuel Modification Plan would entail.  Ms. Krause added comments were received from San Bernardino County Flood Control and indicated no moving / removal of vegetation and not redirect draining anything into Cook Creek. 


Discussion ensued regarding phasing and the Fire Department=s Fuel Modification Plan and the requirement the wall would need to be in place; the feasibility of stubbing the utilities to the curb, or run to the pads, and if so, the development of the driveway if built individually.  Staff responded and explained Engineering COA No. 35 to the Commission if the utilities are run up to the pad, there is no COA to go up that far to the pad. 


A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the extent of redesigning the Fire COA which can involve a lot of dirt removal.  Staff responded if the pad elevations are reduced, there may be some tiered retaining walls. 






Mr. Lockwood added with the Fire Department=s COA (on twelve percent [12%]) grade, he suggested place split level homes and grading would not change much, just level out, have drainage runoff, and explained the intent of the pads and their shape.  A comment was made by a Commissioner that split level homes mean split level pads and hammerhead driveways would mean resubmittal of Tract Plans.  Mr. Lockwood responded in that the design grade, pad, layout were discussed on a lot-by-lot basis.


Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding grade elevations / functions. 


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 comments or testimony,  Chairman Haller closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.


Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the maximum height (of a residential structure) is thirty-five feet (35'); the design of split level homes and the methodology the City has to cross section on an average and sixty feet to one hundred feet (60' - 100') away by starting at the lowest level.  Staff responded that allows flexibility and the COAs provides the Development Code and Hillside Standards with a three (3) story effect.


Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding house story provisions, split level homes, garage floor height versus rooftop height i.e. Sycamore Heights project.  Planning COA No. 8 was also discussed regarding Hillside Standards.  Staff responded that Staff will work closely with the Builder and through Staff=s experience, is to allow flexibility and added the neighbors at Sycamore Heights also have tiered room additions.  The Commission requested Staff to research this and recommend to City Council.  Staff responded and understood the issue regarding grading, and percentage of access pads, the proposed COAs are standard COAs for Tract, GPA and ZC, or if the Commission desired, to continue this item to a date specific.


The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) requested Staff be explicit is hillside development does not comply with regular Development Standards; 2) can have the Applicant be more creative with the slope site.  Staff added there are design options with custom homes.   Staff recommended to delete Planning COA No. 8 with rules that are in effect, at this time and not put the Zoning Designation of R-1 20,000 on. 


Discussion ensued regarding Planning COA No. 14 regarding Natural Slope versus the Engineered Slope and the Fuel Modification Plan needs to be provided.





Chairman Hamerly recapped the revised Conditions of Approval to the Commission. There being no further questions of the Applicant or Staff, or discussion amongst the Commissioners, he then called for the question.



A Motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to recommend to the City Council:


1)         Adopt the Mitigated Negative Declaration, Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program and instruct the City Clerk to file a Notice of Determination; 


2)         Approve Resolution No. 07-004 recommending the City Council approve General Plan Amendment Application (GPA 006-002), to designate the subject property as Low Density Residential (LD); Introduce an Ordinance to Pre-zone (ZC 006-002) the property as Single-Family Residential with 20,000 square foot minimum lot sizes (R-1, 20,000); approve Tentative Tract 16636, a five (5) lot Subdivision of the approximate 3.62 acre Site, subject to the Conditions of Approval, as amended with the following:


Planning COAs


8.         Pursuant to the property=s R-1 20,000 Zoning Designation, Lots within this Subdivision shall comply with Residential Site Development Standards, as shown on Table 16.16.040.B of Title 16 of the Highland Municipal Code. 


Maximum Density                             6.0 dwelling units per gross acre

Minimum Lot Area                            20,000 square feet

Minimum Lot Width                           60 feet

Minimum Lot Depth                          100 feet

Minimum Setbacks:             

Front Yard                              25 feet  

Rear Yard                               20 feet  (g.)

Interior Side Yard                  5 feet & 10 feet (f.)

Street Side Yard                   15 feet

Maximum Lot Coverage                   40 percent (40%)

Maximum Building Height                35 feet or 22 stories, whichever is less

Minimum Building Separation         10 feet




f.          A minimum ten foot (10') side yard setback shall be maintained for all two-story or greater structural elements. Side yards must have a minimum flat area of five feet (5') in width.


g.         A minimum of fifteen feet (15') of flat, usable area shall be provided in each rear yard.  Rear yards in excess of the minimum requirement may be sloping and shall comply with the provisions of the Uniform Building Code.



14.a.   Engineered slope planting is required for the surface of all slopes more than three feet (3') in vertical height.  Said slopes shall be protected against damage by erosion by jute netting (or similar material barrier) and planted with rooted cuttings for ground cover.  Slopes exceeding fifteen feet (15') in vertical height shall also be planted with shrubs, spaced at not to exceed ten feet (10') on-centers, and trees, spaced at not to exceed twenty feet (20') on-centers.  The plant material selected and planting methods used shall be suitable for the soil and climatic conditions of the Site.  Slopes required to be planted shall be provided with an approved system of irrigation, designed to cover all portions of the slope.


Trees: 100% 15 gal.

Shrubs: 20% 5 gal.; 80% 1 gal.

Rooted Groundcover: 100% coverage


and Findings of Fact, and; directing Staff to file the appropriate Applications with the Local Agency Formation Commission for the Municipal reorganization of the City of San Bernardino and the City of Highland for the Annexation of the 3.62 acre Site into the City of Highland, as set forth in said Resolution.



Motion carried on a 4 - 0 vote with Commissioner Scott absent.






There were no items.






Ž         Special Presentation  -         Due to the absence of former Commissioner Scott, this item was rolled over to the next Regular Meeting.




Staff congratulated both Commissioner Gamboa and Chairman Haller for their reappointment to the Commission.


Staff explained the items tentatively scheduled for the June 5, 2007, Regular Commission Meeting.




7.0       ADJOURN



There being no further business Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 7:28 p.m.




Submitted by:                                                            Approved by:








Linda McKeough,                                                      Richard Haller, Chairman

Administrative Assistant III                                       Planning Commission