MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

FEBRUARY 19, 2008





1.0 CALL TO ORDER

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



Present: 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

Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner

Jim Godfredsen, Contract Project Manager

Bruce Meikle, Senior Planner

Sean Kelleher, Assistant 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 February 5, 2008, Regular Meeting.

A Motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to approve the Minutes of February 5, 2008, as submitted.



Motion unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.





4.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS

4.1 An Application submitted by Regency Centers requesting Amendment No. 1 to Conditional Use Permit 007-009 to add a Freeway-oriented Community Business Sign to the previously approved Entitlement and Planned Sign Program. The Project is located on an approximate 8.5 acre site currently consisting of two (2) adjoining parcels located on the south side of Greenspot Road approximately 1,300 feet east of the State Route 30 / 210 Freeway (APNs: 1201-341-12 and 1201-341-13). Representative: James Dillavou, Senior Manager (This item was continued from the Planning Commission's January 29, 2008, Special Meeting.)

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

Senior Planner Meikle gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He provided the historical background of the Project, and the Commission's direction to return with a Resolution for denial. He then concluded his presentation and opened the floor for discussion.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then opened the continued Public Hearing and asked if anyone would like to speak on the item. Hearing none, he then closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners. One Commissioner indicated he had no comments on the proposed Resolution. 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 adopt Resolution 08-003 which:



1. Denies Amendment No. 1 to Conditional Use Permit 007-009 and the Regency Centers' Sign Program, to add a Freeway-oriented Community Business Sign to the Project, and;



2. Adopt the Findings of Fact.



Motion unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.





4.2 City of Highland Land Use and Development Code Amendment to Amend Title 16, Land Use and Development Code, Section 16.56.170 Freeway-oriented Community Business Signs (MCA 008-001).

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



Assistant Planner Kelleher gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He provided a brief historical background of the Project to the Commission. He further explained how the Shell's and McDonald's Freeway signage were approved under Variance Applications to allow for additional copy area and how the San Manuel Project (located on Highland Avenue / Boulder Avenue and TREH Partner's Project (located on Greenspot Road) have been approved by a Sign Program Application to allow for additional copy area. Staff is proposing the Ordinance to ensure the language in the Highland Municipal Code is consistent with current actions made by the Commission. Assistant Planner Kelleher further explained the proposed revisions to Title 16, Section 16.56.170 "B." and "C." language to the Commission and a Flag Test would be conducted for the height of the proposed Denny's Freeway Signage Project, as well as the overall copy of massing of the Freeway Sign. He then concluded his presentation and Staff recommending approval of the proposed Project.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding proposed Section "C." and whether or not the Sign Program is reviewed separately or goes through the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process. Staff responded the Commission reviews the Freeway-oriented Community Business Sign and the Design Review Board (DRB) is vested in the Sign Program.

Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding Section "H." if it would impact the Master Plan for the Mission Development Project and asked about wordsmithing and businesses located on the properties. Staff responded how Staff had reviewed the language and it will allow flexibility both in the Denny's and Mission Development's Projects. Staff added property along Greenspot Road is designated as Planned Development and is more flexible. A question was asked by a Commissioner if other provisions are allowed and Staff responded affirmatively and the mechanism is a Specific Plan.

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

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the four (4) locations which could possibly have a Freeway-oriented Community Business Sign and Staff responded Denny's, Mission Development, and two (2) on Victoria Avenue and the Interstate 210 / State Route 30.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any further questions of Staff. Hearing none, and 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. 08-004 recommending the City Council approve the following:



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

2. Amend Title 16, Land Use and Development Code, Section 16.56.170 Freeway-oriented Community Business Signs, (MCA 008-001).



4.3 CUP 007-010 / VAR 007-001 - The subject Conditional Use Permit Application is for the construction of three (3) Commercial Buildings, comprised of an approximate 3,680 square foot for a Restaurant Pad (Denny's), an approximate12,500 square foot of In-line Shops, an approximate 4,000 square foot Retail Pad, and an approximate sixty foot (60') tall Freeway-oriented Community Business Sign. The subject Variance Application is to allow a reduction of the Front and Street Sideyard Setbacks and Street Frontage Landscape Setback. The Project will be located on an approximate 2.05 acre Site at the northwest corner of Base Line and Interstate 210 / State Route 30. Representative: Camille Acton, STK Architecture.

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

Assistant Planner Kelleher gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained the Applicant is in the audience for the Commission if the Commission may have any questions. He then explained the Site location, modifications to the building square footage, and noted the parking count has not changed. Assistant Planner Kelleher proceeded to explain the four (4) major issues Staff had concerns about within the Analysis Section of the Staff Report, which included, but limited to the following:

1 ) The removal of the emergency access on Base Line and the modification of the Site Plan to Place a Second entrance onto Buckeye Street. In addition, it was noted that there was a need for a twenty foot (20') wide drive aisle located behind the In-line Retail Shop Building. Staff noted the existing width of the drive aisle behind the in-line retail shop to be twelve (12 ) feet in width and noted the modifications that could be made to achieve twenty (20) feet which include: relocate the retaining wall closer to the northern Property Line, reducing the size of the in-line retail shop building, and potentially moving the in-line retail shop building to the south. Staff has noted a path of travel outside the twenty foot (20') drive aisle is needed if the Applicant wishes to maintain the rear access doors on the in-line retail shop building.

2) Staff noted the Variance is for the reduction of the Front Building setback and the Street Side Building Setback for the Denny's Pad, Staff also noted the proposed dimensions of the revised setbacks and findings for the reduction. Staff also described the Variance to reduce the front building landscape area requirement and the associated findings.

3) Staff then described the proposed retaining walls that surround the perimeter of the Site

4) Staff then spoke to the proposed Freeway-oriented community business sign and how a Flag Test was conducted with two alternative locations for the sign. Staff noted one location has visual impacts on the residents. Staff then noted the copy area for the Freeway-oriented community business sign to be 376 square feet. Staff noted MCA-008-001 and its associated amendment to the Sign code for freeway oriented signs and how this project is consistent with the amendment if adopted by the Highland City Council.

Assistant Planner Kelleher then concluded his presentation.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding with the overall Town Center design with the buildings being located in the front with parking located in the rear. Staff responded the Applicant's proposal could reflect that design, however, the design as proposed does meet the Municipal Code requirements. The Town Center Policy is flexible and the property can be used as a mixed use or single use project . Can consolidate the structure(s) and depends on what is trying to be captured. This time, the Project is strictly commercial, and property to the west is more of a mixed use and Staff reiterated this Project is a basic commercial development.

A question was asked by a Commissioner requesting Staff to summarize the street improvements on Buckeye Street and Base Line. Staff responded Base Line has curb, gutter, sidewalk forty feet (40') from the center line and the southerly traffic signal will be relocated more northerly. With regards to the corner of Base Line and Buckeye Street, there is a larger radius installed. On Buckeye Street, there is a six foot (6') wide curb, sidewalk and two (2) (driveway) approaches. The landscape median will restrict the left turn movements on Buckeye Street to Base Line. Another question was asked by a Commissioner if Staff is going to widen Buckeye Street and Staff responded not at this time. Staff added the east side of the center line is currently at full width.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the twenty-four foot (24') minimum width paving, the Public Right-of-Way, there are no turn lanes onto Base Line from Buckeye Street, there will be a right in / right out access onto Base Line and there is no parking on Base Line. A comment was made by a Commissioner indicating it would be difficult for trucks to turn there. Staff added the feasibility of widening the street to the west. A Commissioner stated he was concerned with the interim condition and already utility trucks park there and is difficult for the residents to go onto Buckeye Street. Another comment was made by a Commissioner indicating there will be additional discussion with Staff (regarding the street width).

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. Partha Ajgaonkar, 2575 South San Jacinto Avenue, San Jacinto, California, who is the Applicant's Representative, from STK Architecture, addressed the Commission. He stated how he had discussed the proposed Project with Staff and how the Site Plan has changed significantly. He described the Fire Lane is located at the back and the Code states if the Lane is less than 300 feet long, he does not need a Fire Lane and has proposed two (2) fire hydrants. There is no access onto Base Line and will accommodate at the back and will make the change. A question was asked by a Commissioner how the Applicant would make the change. Mr. Ajgaonkar responded to add to the back plus an additional four feet (4') and still retain the access exits, as well as the emergency access at the back. Mr. Ajgaonkar further described how he would move the In-Line Building two feet (2') and relocate the garden wall to the retaining wall in order to gain an another two feet (2') plus eliminate the landscaping which would gain an additional footage of eight feet (8') and there is also a twelve foot (12') access. A question was asked by a Commissioner then the Applicant would eliminate the landscaping strip and Mr. Ajgaonkar responded affirmatively. Another question was asked by a Commissioner what is the percentage of the landscaping. Mr. Ajgaonkar responded there is six feet (6') to add to the twelve foot (12') Edison Easement and the Applicant will not build on the Edison Easement. The question of the landscape percentage was then asked of Staff. Staff responded there is 15,747 square feet including at the rear of the Building which would be 0.36 acres and was unsure about the landscape percentage amount. A question was asked by a Commissioner if the Applicant would need the required ten percent (10%) of landscaping and if the Applicant is above the minimum requirement and Staff responded that is correct and relocating the Retaining Wall back, you will only see a six foot (6') wall. Mr. Ajgaonkar then explained the various wall heights to the Commission, as well as at the northeast corner of the Project. A comment was made by a Commissioner if the wall is fourteen feet (14') high, that is a lot of area for graffiti and also noise will be a issue and is a concern. Staff responded a Noise Study was conducted and completed at twelve feet (12') and noise would not be increased to the residents because of the Freeway, and added both Base Line and Buckeye Street were included in the Noise Study. The decibels were 0.1 and lower by City requirements at 24 hours / day. A comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the Stater Brothers Project (located on Greenspot Road and Church Street) had four to five (4 - 5) Conditions of Approval (COA) addressing noise issue and restricting deliveries at certain times and does not want to set a precedent similar to the Stater Brothers Project. Staff added it is the Applicant's option to keep the delivery door or not.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding whether or not the Applicant installing the delivery doors, the feasibility of limiting the delivery hours for retail uses to 11:00 p.m. with no doors in the rear, the Property Owner is to install a high wall, if the Applicant does install doors, there is a separate Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements for a forty-eight inch (48") walkway, and the need for the Applicant and Staff to revisit this (delivery door) issue.

A comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the pattern of entrances in front of the Building will have to be separated of the front facades and access in order to eliminate the area in the rear. The Commissioner further indicated this would then change the pattern of the front facade(s) and would be fairly a destructive influence(s) in the middle and indicated the Applicant's options are limited. Staff responded how Staff had worked with the Applicant to limit the (delivery) doors, but now, the Applicant wants them and Staff could restrict the delivery hours. A comment was made by a Commissioner this would be similar to having deliveries at a home which would restrict deliveries to normal business hours and suggested language for Planning Condition of Approval (COA) No. 19.

Another comment was made by a Commissioner regarding the need for screening and parapet requirements for HVAC equipment. Staff responded there had been an Acoustical Engineer review the Plans and two (2) Commissioners stated this is an aesthetic issue and indicated Planning COA No. 29. Staff responded Planning COA No. 29, is a Standard Condition.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Ajgaonkar and Staff regarding the feasibility of shortening the Building two feet (2') and moving the Building by two feet (2') plus eliminating the landscaping from the rear of the Building. Concerns were raised again regarding the doors located in the rear of the Building and asked what the Fire Department thought about that. Staff responded it would be just the width and not wanting to go to the back of the Building. The door access in the rear deliveries and reiterated the need for an ADA separate walkway. Staff added the need to explore at a twenty foot (20') access being a red curb and not allow deliveries and Staff indicated how Contract Deputy Fire Prevention Marshall Les Howitt was unable to attend tonight's meeting to answer the Commission's questions. Mr. Ajgaonkar stated if the Applicant does not install the (rear) doors, that will add an additional four feet (4') and does not mind if they are not installed and will accept the COA.

The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) details still need to be worked out - areas of the Building(s), parking, accessibility; 2) the need for new Revised Building Elevations and Site Plan for the Design Review Board; 3) would be more comfortable with a Revised Site Plan in order to be more precise than with the proposed COAs as written, and; 4) the Variance Application for the proposed Freeway Signage is acceptable with the Alternative Location. Staff responded centering the doors would be a modification of the Site Plan. Mr. Ajgaonkar stated he could step the proposed landscaping and would accept the Alternate Location for the Freeway Signage.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Ajgaonkar and Staff regarding the Conceptual Sign Plan in general, the proposed Denny's Monument Signage for Denny's, as well as the Freeway Signage and review by the Design Review Board.

The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) the Site Plan was a disappointment and the density is very high; 2) is discouraged about losing more landscaping due to the location of the trash enclosures 3) is having a hard time visualizing the revisions to the Project; 4) the Site is small; 5) there is concern with traffic routed to Buckeye Street; 6) is there a need for improvements on the west side of Buckeye Street; 7) it would be like Murphy's Law that an eighteen (18) wheeler would pull up at 5:00 p.m. for a delivery; 8) there are significant changes on the Site Plan; 9) need to see COA(s) for deliveries and equipment on the roof; 10) the red in the Colored Renderings / Elevations; 11) the parapets need to be addressed.

Chairman Haller said this is a Public Hearing and asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on this item. He then asked if the Commission had any further questions of the Applicant. He left the Public Hearing open and then opened the floor for further discussion amongst the Commissioners.

The following are further comments made by the Commissioners: 1) there is inadequate space to make a left turn onto Base Line from Buckeye Street; 2) the feasibility of changing right or left turn lanes onto Buckeye Street - there is inadequate stacking for vehicles at the southern most driveway; 3) there is a requirement for a twenty-six foot (26') right into the Project; 4) imagine there is a party at Denny's of fifty (50) people and they are trying to leave onto Base Line and a person needs to wait for the signal to turn red; 5) Staff responded how the signals are timed on Base Line and will be able to "flush out" the fifty (50) people and indicated yes, the Site is a tight Site, but the Applicant has met the minimum (Municipal Code) requirements and that Buckeye Street is wide enough and is not an issue according to City Engineer Wong. A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding a turf box system be installed on Base Line. Staff responded that gives a false sense of security. Staff added how City Staff has explored that and conducted a wheel path analysis with three (3) fire trucks and resulted that the middle size truck was unable to maneuver the Site, let alone the largest one. Another question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the use of a hammerhead design. Staff responded that design can be used on the north side with the largest fire truck.

A question was asked by a Commissioner if STK Architecture had done the renderings for Denny's facade. Staff responded no. The Commissioner indicated Denny's will have to be "stepped up" for the Design Review Board's consideration.

Mr. Hamid Navran, 414 Tennessee Street, Suite XO, Redlands, California, who is the Applicant, addressed the Commission. He explained that he has been working on this Project for the past fourteen (14) months, and with access on Base Line and exit on Buckeye Street will eliminate the issue. Base Line has setbacks and the entrance could accommodate thirty to forty (30 - 40) vehicles and the City, would not go for that proposal. With regards to the twenty foot (20') access of property in the rear, he has already cut 2,000 to 3,000 feet from his Project for the City. Mr. Navran further explained this Project is duplicated from Orange County and exclaimed the (Denny's) look is to be awesome and the Representatives from Denny's is meeting regarding other Project colors.



A comment was made by a Commissioner the Sign Elevation looks good on Buildings "A" and "B", but the Denny's Building will need to be "stepped up".

A question was made by a Commissioner regarding the driveway closure on Base Line and asked about pedestrian walkway access. Mr. Ajgaonkar responded he could do that. Staff added how Engineering COAs places the entrance parallel, rather than diagonal and will be having then a longer sidewalk.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any further questions of the Applicant. Hearing none, he then asked if there was anyone else in the audience who would like to speak on the item.

Ms. Diana Saucedo, 27591 Foster, Highland, California, who is a resident, addressed the Commission. She stated that she is thrilled that the Commission is "sticking up" for the residents and how the Commission needs to fight for them - she wants the residents to be counted and a part of it. Right now, you are unable to get out from Buckeye Street to Base Line if you are turning left and if you are turning right, you also still have to wait. Ms. Saucedo reiterated traffic is already a mess on Buckeye Street. At the Meeting on January 23, 2008, the Applicant had no doors and no deliveries. Now, the Applicant wants doors and deliveries. Her back yard backs up to the Project. Ms. Saucedo said how she appreciates the Commission and she then thanked the Commission.

Chairman Haller asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on this item. Hearing none, he kept the Public Hearing open and then opened the floor for further discussion amongst the Commissioners.

The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) there were concerns regarding the noise level and trucks; 2) there are a few proposed businesses located there and hopefully, will not have that much truck traffic in the proposed Project; 3) there may be a mixed commercial use located there; 4) the deliveries could possibly be made by using a hand truck; 5) a very large delivery van would have no place to park; 6) deliveries could be made before the stores open, and; 7) both traffic conditions and delivery trucks can show up at any time. Mr. Navran responded Denny's would be having one delivery weekly and has stipulated there are no deliveries made between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and usually, the deliveries are made between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. A question was asked by a Commissioner to Mr. Navran if it was acceptable to him if the Commission would restrict delivery(ies) and Mr. Navran responded affirmatively.

A question was asked by a Commissioner if the Applicant proposes doors or no doors now. Staff responded the Applicant is leaning to no doors.

The following are comments made by the Commissioners: 1) the paved width of the Fire access is twenty feet (20'); 2) the option is to create a landscaping pocket; 3) graffiti will be an issue if walls are to be installed; 4) if the Building facade is thirty feet (30') high, maybe have trees installed there from a landscaping perspective; 5) so far, to move for the parking lot and maybe have "Mini-plazas" at the store front in order to soften the facade, and; 6) pedestrians are unable to walk to Denny's without going the through the parking lot. Staff responded there will be some outside "social" areas. A question was asked by a Commissioner regarding if there would be video surveillance located at the back of the Building and indicated that would be a big deterrent if there would be video surveillance at the back of the Building. Staff responded the Applicant would have to submit a Plan for the Sheriff's Department to review and approve.

Staff then asked the Commission for clarification regarding the Freeway Sign issue if the Freeway Sign Tenant going on the Town Center signage and Staff reiterated they wanted direction from the Commission on this issue. One of the Commissioners responded the Town Center will have major tenants and publicity for the Freeway Sign would be further down on Base Line. There may be a way to expand the size of the Sign. Another Commissioner agreed, as long as there is no fighting going on between the developers. Another Commissioner requested the Commission to see a Revised Site Plan and Staff refine the COAs. Staff responded and recommended to the Commission to continue the Public Hearing and Staff is willing to work with the Applicant.

The following are further comments made by the Commissioners: 1) option of no doors in the back of the Building and double the doors in front; 2) the rear of the Building's functions is an issue; 3) the Applicant needs to work on design aesthetics; 4) Staff needs to refine the COAs; 5) step the walls; 6) delivery restrictions; 7) planters, and; 8) the Traffic Study queuing on Buckeye Street by the hour. A question was asked by a Commissioner if the Applicant had an approved Traffic Study and Mr. Ajgaonkar responded affirmatively. Staff mentioned how Staff would have to check with City Engineer Wong.

Discussion ensued between the Applicant and Staff Members regarding to schedule to a date specific for the continued Public Hearing.

Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding left turn lanes, and parking on Buckeye Street ,and the relocating of the access points in to the Site. Both the Commission and Staff reviewed the displayed Aerial Map in the Chamber looking at different access for residents on Buckeye Street. The residents to the north added means of getting out of their neighborhood from Buckeye Street and able to go to a signalized traffic signal without going to Base Line.

There being no further comments or questions to the Applicant or Staff, Chairman Haller called for the question.

Chairman Haller stated the Commission to reconvene on March 18, 2008, in order to allow time for issues to be addressed and the COAs refined.







A Motion was made by Chairman Haller and seconded by Vice Chairman Hamerly to continue the Public Hearing to March 18, 2008.



Motion unanimously passed on a 5 - 0 vote.



Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the Project's element with the Variance Application for the setbacks for Denny's Restaurant.



5.0 LEGISLATIVE

There are no items.





6.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS

Staff explained the anticipated items scheduled for the march 3, 2008, and March 18, 2008, Meetings.





7.0 ADJOURN

There being no further business Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.





Submitted by:





Linda McKeough,

Administrative Assistant III





Approved by:







Richard Haller, Chairman

Planning Commission