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Minutes of the
April 7, 2009 Meeting

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission, City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair Patrino at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 7, 2009 in the Council Chambers 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.

Roll Call : Present: Comms. Kerger, Viers, Sachs, O’Loane, Chair Patrino

Absent: None  

Staff: Phil Wong, Planning Director; Debbie Chamberlain, Planning Services Manager; Alicia Poon, Staff Attorney; Cindy Yee, Associate Planner; Luisa Willnecker; Recording Secretary

Audience:     53

 1.     CALL TO ORDER   
     
  2.     ROLL CALL

  3.    PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE           

4.     PUBLIC COMMENTS OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION

5.     ADDITIONS AND REVISIONS
-None-

6.    CONSENT CALENDAR
6.1 Minutes from the March 3, 2009 meeting approved with no modifications.

 7. CONTINUED ITEMS AFTER CLOSING OF PUBLIC HEARING
-None-

  8. CONTINUED ITEMS – OPEN PUBLIC HEARING
8.1 Trumark Medical Office: Development Plan (DP 08-300-018); Land Use Permit (LUP 08-500-049); Initial Study (IS 08-250-008); Minor Subdivision (MS 08-910-001); Land Use Permit (LUP 08-500-018).  Project Planner: Lauren Barr, Senior Planner.

8.2 Church of the Nazarene Expansion: Development Plan Application (DPA 08-310-004; Architectural Review (AR 08-200-039); Land Use Permit (LUP 08-500-044). Project Planner: Lauren Barr, Senior Planner.

Senior Planner Lauren Barr gave a summary that the applicant is requesting approval to construct an approximately 46,000 square foot, 35 feet in height medical office building as well as a 37,000 square church expansion. Both projects include parking lots and site improvements. Mr. Barr stated that on February 17, 2009, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on both the Trumark Medical Office Building and the Church expansion. Mr. Barr also stated there was general concern on the part of the Planning Commission and speakers that the potential views from the neighborhood, landscape screening, walls and other designs feature were not adequately shown. Residents and representatives from the Vista San Ramon Homeowners Association (HOA) expressed their concerns about the potential for the project and proposed tree plantings to negatively impact the v-ditch that runs adjacent to the residential neighborhood. Additional comments related to the scale of the building being too large and more mature landscaping should be used; lighting be reduced to minimize impacts on the neighbors, security lighting behind the church; noise concerns associated with deliveries and maintenance activities; parking for the project spilling into the residential neighborhood and the potential loss of property value were also expressed.

Jessica Roseman – Project Manager for Trumark Commercial gave a brief PowerPoint presentation. Ms. Roseman stated that there were concerns from the Vista San Ramon homeowners that the v-ditch would be impacted by the landscaping screening. Ms. Roseman further stated that Trumark Commercial has modified their drainage plan to connect to the existing system on Hospital Road. Ms. Roseman added that additional trees have been added to minimize the impact of the building and that they have increased the size of the box trees from 24-inch to 36-inch. Ms. Roseman further added that traffic and parking studies were prepared and there are no significant impacts. Ms. Roseman also added that security and privacy was a concern with the homeowners of Vista San Ramon, and that a 6-8 foot pre-cast wall along the residential property line would be installed. Ms. Roseman further added that another concern was also the parking lot lighting and that Trumark Commercial has designed the parking lot lighting plan to minimize the impacts to Vista San Ramon.

Comm. Sachs stated if the overflow parking could be accommodated at the hospital. Ms. Roseman replied that Trumark Commercial does not see this as a concern.  Comm. Sachs asked if this would necessitate a shared parking agreement with the hospital for Trumark Commercial to build a walkway adjacent to the parking lot.

Ms. Roseman replied that she anticipates the lower lot being used by the church. Comm. Sachs further asked how many parking spaces are designated for the underground parking facilities. Ms. Roseman replied thirty. Comm. Sachs also asked Ms. Roseman if she felt that the lower parking lot would be utilized by medical office employees.  Ms. Roseman replied that the parking garage would be used for employees.       

Chair Patrino clarified that the parking lot is not an underground parking lot but a first floor parking lot. Ms. Roseman replied yes.

David Smith – Architect for Church of the Nazarene – Mr. Smith gave a PowerPoint presentation and added that the church will seat about 350 people. The church building will be a 2-story building at 37,000 square feet for a total of approximately 41,000 square feet at total project build-out. Mr. Smith added that phase one of the project is the sanctuary and lower classrooms and is approximately 23,000 square feet. Phase two of the project will result in the construction of an additional two-story, approximately 14,000 square foot multi-purpose room above additional classroom on the southwest corner of the phase one building.

Comm. Sachs asked Mr. Smith if the church had any planned uses for a daycare or daytime activities during the weekdays. Mr. Hull project manager for the Church of the Nazarene replied that some daytime activities would occur and that there would be no daycare.

Comm. Kerger asked about other denominations using the facility as a daycare center. Mr. Hull replied that there are four denominations and they would not be using their facility as a daycare center. 

Chair Patrino opened the public hearing.

Daryl Grijalva – San Ramon stated that he is not in favor of the project.  Mr. Grijalva added that having a project of this size would have an impact on the community.

Tib Csabai – San Ramon stated that he feels that the project is out of character with the neighborhood and that the overall size of the building would block the ridgeline and decline property values.

David Bluestein – San Ramon stated that he is against the project. Mr. Bluestein added that he feels the project is too large for the community and would have significant impact. Mr. Bluestein further added that he is also concerned about the aesthetics, air quality, geology and soil. Mr. Bluestein also added that the project would increase the traffic on Alcosta Blvd.

Comm. Kerger asked Mr. Bluestein if he was a member of the Homeowners Association Board.  Mr. Bluestein replied no.

Glen Denny – San Ramon stated that he is against the project and feels it is overdeveloped project and not consistent with the surrounding neighborhood.

Lisa Gradney – San Ramon stated that she is against the project and feels the project will significantly affect the home values.  Ms. Gradney added that the project is too large and obtrusive.

Joe Cambra – San Ramon stated he is not in favor of the project. Mr. Cambra added that he feels that the hospital would be impacted by construction of the medical building. Mr. Cambra further added that the building is too large for the surrounding neighborhood.

Marya Cambra – San Ramon stated she is not in favor of the project.

Cathy Grijalva – San Ramon stated her concerns that their property value would decline. Ms. Grijalva added with the church expansion it would increase church activities, which will increase the noise level.

Randy Mull – San Ramon stated that he is against the project and feels it will decline the value of their property. Mr. Mull added that the project would definitely have a visual impact and feels that the project is out of character. 

Comm. Kerger asked Mr. Mull if he had received a notice in the mail noticing the Planning Commission meeting.  Mr. Mull replied yes, that he had received two notices.  Comm. Kerger further asked if Mr. Mull was a member of the Homeowners Association Board. Mr. Mull replied yes.

Irene Gullapalli- San Ramon stated that she is a member of the church and is in favor of the project. 

David Steinhart - San Ramon stated that he has been the pastor at Christ Community Church for twelve years and is favor of the project.

Fred and Angela Mooney – San Ramon did not wish to speak. Chair Patrino read the speaker card into the record stating that they are members of the church and they are in favor of the proposed development.

Robert Wheeler – San Ramon did not wish to speak.  Chair Patrino read his speaker card into the record stating that he is in favor of the project and believes it will be asset to the community.

Lynn Wheeler – San Ramon stated that she in favor of the project and feels it would be an assist to the community.

Jiwon Ha – San Ramon stated that he is in favor of the project and would be an assist to the community.

Gary Wallace – San Ramon stated that he is against the project.  Mr. Wallace added that the project is too large for the community.

Gregg Brown – San Ramon stated that he is against the project and feels it is too large for the community.

Don Kowalski – San Ramon stated that he is against the project and feels that does not fit the community. Mr. Kowalski added his concerns about the traffic impact on Alcosta Blvd. Mr. Kowalski further asked if the medical building would be used strictly for medical office or would it include a surgical center. Mr. Kowalski also added that having a medical building would impact the hospital.

Comm. Sachs asked Mr. Kowalski if he felt that the medical office building could attract new practices and clinics and potentially with an agreement use the surgical center at the hospital. Mr. Kowalski replied that currently there are 15 surgical center within the city, which have satellite operations if we continue to allow surgery centers, and other diagnostics services the hospital will lose revenue.

Comm. Sachs asked if the applicant would need a use permit to perform surgical services. Mr. Barr replied that the applicant could potentially move forward with any of the services identified under the medical office/clinic designation, which would include out patient surgery, urgent care as well as dental and chiropractic care. Mr. Kowalski further added that the medical building would be competing with the hospital.

Jessica Roseman stated that Trumark Commercial would not have a surgical center. Ms. Roseman added that Trumark Commercial will not be competing with the hospital and that they have spoken to Mr. Gary Sloan CEO of San Ramon Regional Medical Center and that Trumark Commercial would bring in additional doctors.

Vice Chair O’Loane asked Ms. Roseman if Trumark Commercial had built other medical centers. Ms. Roseman replied that one was approved in Pleasanton, Santa Rita Medical Center but Trumark Commercial did not build it. Vice Chair O’Loane added that he feels having a medical office building in the community does not mean it will compete with the surrounding hospitals.

Gary Sloan – CEO San Ramon Regional Medical Center stated that he feels that having medical office building which provides surgical services in communities does have a negative impact on hospitals. Mr. Sloan added that he has had meetings with Trumark Commercial and they will not have surgical center. Vice Chair O’Loane asked Mr. Sloan for clarification that the proposed medical building would not have a negative impact against the hospital. Mr. Sloan replied correct.

Chair Patrino closed the public hearing.

Planning Manager Debbie Chamberlain suggested to the Planning Commission that they continue the meeting to date certain or to a date to be noticed later to further discuss the project. Ms. Chamberlain added that the concerns voiced by the public were aesthetics issues, views from building from the neighborhood, phase two views of church from Lynbrook Court, CEQA concerns, property values, traffic concerns, and noise concerns, geotechnical concerns and, lost open space.

Chair Patrino stated that tonight’s meeting a number of new concerns were raised and that the Planning Commission will not be making a decision. The public hearing would be closed but continued.

Comm. Kerger stated that she has concerns about the potential geotechnical hazards. Comm. Kerger added that the project could be seen from Memorial Park and was concerned about the loss of open space. Comm. Kerger added that she would like to see a simulation of the Presbyterian Church in Dougherty Valley on the property compared to the Church of the Nazarene. Comm. Kerger further added that she has concerns about the project, CEQA, and geotechnical issues.

Comm. Sachs stated that he feels that the homes will be impacted by the height of the medical building and that it needs to be lowered. Comm. Sachs asked for the height of the parking garage. Mr. Barr replied ten feet. Comm. Sachs further stated that phase two of the church could be consolidated into the phase one of the project.

Comm. Viers stated that the whole project is too ambitious. Comm. Viers further stated that he does not support the underground parking and feels that the building needs to be lowered by nine feet and reconfigure the parking lot. Comm. Viers also stated that he does not support phase two of the church design and feels that the old section of the church could be renovated and not build phase two.

Vice Chair O’Loane stated that he agrees with Comm. Kerger on the geotechnical issues. Vice Chair O’Loane further stated that he would like to see a comparison with Church on the Hill.

Chair Patrino stated that the height of the medical building needs to be lowered and to eliminate the parking garage. Chair Patrino added that views from the neighborhood are impacted and that he feels the project does not fit in the community. Chair Patrino further added that the landscaping plan shows the maturing of trees in 10-15 years which will not screen views from neighbors until that time. Chair Patrino further added that he would like to see phase two return as a separate application and the massing of the church be reduced.

Chair Patrino added that the applicant needs to review the Planning Commission concerns with the planning staff and the public hearing will be continued to a date uncertain.

9.     PUBLIC HEARING – NEW ITEMS
  9.1 Medical Office/Clinic Use and Shared Parking 2300 Camino Ramon (LUP 08-500-040, LUP 08-500-041 and IS 08-250-006). Staff Report by: Lauren Barr; Senior Planner.

Senior Planner Lauren Barr gave a brief summary of the proposal to convert the building at 2300 Camino Ramon to a medical office/clinic use and the related approval of a shared parking agreement with the remaining Norris Tech Center properties to address the potential additional parking demand. Mr. Barr added that on March 10, 2009 the City Council approved a General Plan Amendment and Rezone of the property from Manufacturing and Warehousing to Administrative Office.

 The approval of the use permit for medical office/clinic use will provide the applicant additional flexibility to pursue medical office tenants through the leasing process. A parking analysis was completed and the impacts related did not change any level of service surrounding the property.

Comm. Viers asked Mr. Barr who would be responsible to improve the median island. Mr. Barr replied that either the applicant or the City would do the work with the applicant paying for the cost.

Comm. Sachs asked about the number of peak trips and would that effect the level of service. Mr. Barr replied that no level of service has been changed.

Chair Patrino opened the public hearing. Having no speaker cards Chair Patrino closed the public hearing.

Jonathan Winslow – Applicant stated that is very eager to move forward with the project and feels it would be an asset to the community.

It was moved by Commissioner Viers and seconded by Commissioner O’Loane that the Planning Commission, having considered Initial Study/Negative Declaration and the proposed land use permit applications and project findings accordingly, adopts Resolution 03-09 readopting Initial Study/Negative Declaration IS 08-250-006 and approving LUP 08-500-041 for medical office use and shared parking for 2300 Camino Ramon, subject to the recommended conditions of approval.

AYES:   Comms; Viers, O’Loane, Kerger, Sachs, Chair Patrino

NOES:   None

ABSTAIN: None  

ABSENT:  None               

10. NON-PUBLIC HEARING ACTION ITEMS
-None-

11. STUDY SESSION/COMMISSIONER LIAISON REPORT AND INTEREST ITEMS/STAFF REPORTS.

 12. ADJOURNMENT
There being no further discussion, Chair Patrino adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m.  

Respectively Submitted, Luisa Willnecker

 

 

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