MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

JULY 3, 2007

 

 

1.0       CALL TO ORDER

 

The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:02 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

 

Absent:           None

 

Staff Present:John Jaquess, Community Development Director

Ernie Wong, City Engineer

Lawrence A. Mainez, City 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

 

3.1       Minutes of June 5, 2007, Regular Meeting.

 

It was noted Commissioner Hamerly and not Commissioner Gamboa who nominated Commissioner Haller for Chairman.

 

 

A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to approve the Minutes of June 5, 2007, as amended. 

 

Motion unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.0       PUBLIC HEARINGS          

 

4.1       City of Highland Land Use and Development Code Amendment - an Update to the Underground Utility Ordinance (MCA-007-001).

 

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

 

City Planner Mainez gave the presentation from the Staff Report and explained the proposed Amendments of the Underground Utility Ordinance to the Commission. 

City Engineer Wong explained to the Commission there are three (3) different in-lieu fees and how the proposed Ordinance changes those three (3) categories.  The categories are as follows for the developers: 1) fee exemption; 2) require to pay fee in-lieu fee of construction, and; 3) required to remove the overhead lines.  He went into detail of the categories, the impacts the Ordinance would effect between the existing verbiage versus the proposed changes and provided examples.  City Engineer Wong added he had met with Ms. Beverly Powers, the Edison Representative, and that Edison had concerns and requested Staff to voice in the public forum.  He stated for the record, Edison wants assurance the proposed Ordinance does not dictate how Edison dictates their business relative for maintenance and development work.  Ms. Powers understands the City revising the Ordinance, but wanted to make sure the Ordinance does not interfere with Edison=s business for its development work and maintenance. 

 

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.

 

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the underground utility in-lieu fees would be paid based on street frontage within the project boundaries; the following fees are calculated on per lineal foot and subject to separate City Council Resolution: 1) electric - $300.00 / lineal foot; 2) gas - $180.00 / lineal foot, and; 3) cable - $60.00 / lineal foot.  Concerns were raised by the Commission if the fee would not be enough to do the work for the open market and the Commission did not want to have the City crews do the work.  Staff responded  for the larger projects, the lineal foot is less this way and that the medium-sized projects will be able to get some relief. 

 

Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding about not receiving enough relief in collecting fees and the developers using a higher voltage distribution system and the proposed Ordinance has over-simplified it.  A suggestion was made about possibly refining the Ordinance with major streets and local streets and the need for a rule of thumb - major lines going down a major street, medium lines for a medium street, etc.  Staff responded the high voltage lines cost more and can break down and the 12 KV is one price.    A comment was made by a Commissioner it appears Ms. Powers does not want to underground with grid upgrades.  Staff responded the City does not have the Edison franchise authority to underground and the City cannot tell Edison, but can tell the developers.  

 

 

The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) scenarios were provided regarding Fifth Street / Greenspot Road and Edison on the edge of a grid and Edison installs all overhead lines, then the developer has to underground and is anticipating a grid (upgrade); 2) the infrastructure to extend enough power and not wanting high voltage lines; 3) same with Edison wanting overhead lines, then the developer needs to underground the lines.  Staff responded that Staff does not see Edison extending the line and that the developer will pay for it.  A Commissioner responded see how it turns out ((HALLER SAID Apans out@) on the east end of Highland, but wants assurance (the utilities) are installed in a smart way and how Staff would be able to comment on that in the CEQA portion of when the developer would submit a project application to the City.  Staff responded how City Council is very sensitive and explained the Golden Triangle Area with the Mission Development Project possibly having 66 KV move from Greenspot Road to Boulder Avenue.  A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding if the Commission has the authority for fees.  Staff responded no, but City Council does and further explained the street frontage lineal fee structure to the Commission. 

 

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any further questions of Staff.  Hearing none, he then opened the Public Hearing and asked if the anyone would like to speak on the item.  Seeing none, he then closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.

 

The following are comments made by the Commission: 1) this is a painful process and no poles in-lieu fee is more logical; 2) the configuration, electrical boxes, collect fees, transformers, wants assurance with escalating costs have enough funds for installation; 3) the bigger developer will be doing that, the smaller developer will be Aicing on the cake@ and not what is charged, just what overruns the utility lines; 4) the east end of Highland is a Ablank slate@ and the west end is infill projects and there would not be enough in-lieu fee to underground for the (infill) neighborhood.  Staff responded there are very few infill projects on the west end of Highland and that small projects are exempt.  Staff added will get them (infill projects) into the process and provide some relief and explained how a subdivision developer versus a single family residence (SFR) may not be on a lot-by-lot basis and is advantageous to the SFR developer to pay their share.  A comment was made by a Commissioner that the proposed Ordinance is a good start and how the City Council can amend their cost.

 

There being no further questions of 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 approve  Resolution No. 07-008 recommending the City Council approve the following:

 

1.         Adopt the Negative Declaration and instruct the City Clerk to file a Notice of Determination with the County Clerk of the Board; and

 

2.         Amend the City=s Land Use and Development Code, Title 16, Chapter 16.40, Section 16.40.380, Underground Utilities (MCA-007-001).

 

 

Motion was unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.

 

 

 

5.0       LEGISLATIVE

 

5.1       Planning Commission and Design Review Board FY 2006-2007 Annual Report.

 

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

 

City Planner Mainez gave the presentation from the Staff Report and summarized the historical background with Entitlements, He explained the numerous  various projects that had gone before the DRB / PC, as well as the ACome Home to Highland@ Program, how activity has gradually increased and appears the trend will continue.   He explained Staff=s accomplishments, goals and objectives including, but not limited to the following: the GIS Mapping Plan; the Golden Triangle Policy Area; the East Highlands Ranch Open Space and the 900 +/- acres land transfer and advanced planning projects.  He added how the GIS Maps are useful at the Chamber of Commerce Breakfast / Luncheons.   City Planner then thanked Staff and then concluded his presentation.

 

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding how the Staff count has been consistent even though the Application submittals have greatly increased, Staff explained there is now a full time Planning Technician for working with the public at the Planning Counter and telephone inquiries and how customer

service is better.  The A comment was made by a Commissioner stating his appreciates all of Staff=s hard work and with a shorter review period under a ninety (90) schedule. Staff responded for a large project, a Contract Planner will be brought on to handle a specific project for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process.  The Commissioner stated he recognizes there is a lot of work and the service is good, but has a Apet peeve@ with the General Plans Goals / Objectives and the Parks Master Plan.  The East Highlands Ranch=s build out is occurring and there is a need to identify the parks= basis for open space.    He reiterated the need to identify the parks and get a fair share with Grants and complete in the City=s General Plan with the Park Master Plan.  Another Commissioner added in case if the Schools close, that is end of some of the Park open space and how the Commission wanted to remind Staff of the Park Master Plan and Park identification.  The Commission also then thanked Administrative Assistant McKeough for all of her hard work for the Commission.  Another comment was made by a Commissioner stating he thought this Report would be a lot longer and similar to one of the County=s Budget meetings.   

 

 

 

6.0       ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

 

Staff distributed a memo to the Board and explained the anticipated items scheduled for July 17, 2007.  Staff added there will be another additional item scheduled for said Meeting. 

 

 

 

7.0       ADJOURN

 

 

There being no further business Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 6:43 p.m.

 

 

 

Submitted by:                                                            Approved by:

 

 

 

 

                                                                        __________________________________

Linda McKeough,                                                      Richard Haller, Chairman

Administrative Secretary                                          Planning Commission