Planning Commission Minutes
MINUTES OF THE
March 2, 2010
A regular meeting of the Planning Commission, City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair O’Loane at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 2, 2010 in the Council Chambers 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.
Present: Comms. Kerger, Wallis, Viers, Sachs, and Chair O’Loane
Staff: Phil Wong, Planning Director; Debbie Chamberlain, Planning Services Manager; Lauren Barr, Senior Planner; Adam Foster; Planning Technician; Peter Choi, Interim City Attorney; Lieutenant Gresham; Luisa Willnecker, Recording Secretary
1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
4. PUBLIC COMMENTS OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
5. ADDITIONS AND REVISIONS
6. CONSENT CALENDAR
7. CONTINUED ITEMS AFTER CLOSING OF PUBLIC HEARING
Chair O’Loane stated that the Planning Commission has completed the public hearing portion of the project. Chair O’Loane further stated that the Planning Commission would be discussing the conditions of approval.
Chair O’Loane stated that a late correspondence was received from the Office of the Sheriff Warren E. Rupf. Chair O’Loane further stated that Mr. Glen Denny and Mr. Tib Csabai residents of Vista San Ramon had also submitted late correspondence. Ms. Grijalva stated that she had also submitted a letter expressing her concerns. Lauren Barr Senior Planner replied that Ms. Grijalva letter was included in the staff report.
Comm. Viers stated that he was unable to attend the February 16, 2010 Planning Commission meeting but was prepared for the meeting. Comm. Viers further stated that he has read the Mitigated Negative Declaration associated with the project and all the late communications and emails received. Comm. Viers also stated that on February 8, 2010 he had conducted a site visit with Mr. Lauren Barr. Comm. Viers added that on Thursday, February 25, 2010 and Friday, February 26, 2010 he reviewed the taped testimony of the February 16, 2010 meeting. Comm. Viers further added that he met with Mr. Lauren Barr on Friday February 26, 2010 to review and clarify some items of concern based on the notes taken from the taped testimony. Comm. Viers added that he has reviewed the PowerPoint Presentation provided by both applicants and in preparation for this meeting, he had read the staff reports and the late communications received.
Lauren Barr Senior Planner stated that on February 16, 2010, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and directed staff to prepare draft conditions of approval for the project. The conditions are organized by individual project components for the church and the medical office building and organized based on the development sequence. Mr. Barr added that both applicants have agreed to the conditions of approval.
Vice Chair Sachs stated that the conditions of approval for Phase 2 do not reference the 20-foot setback. Mr. Barr replied that the project complies with the required setback
Vice Chair Sachs stated he would like to see the hours of operation for landscaping maintenance be changed to 4:00 p.m. instead of 6:00 p.m. Mr. Barr replied that if the applicants are agreeable the condition can be modified.
Vice Chair Sachs added that by planting more trees to screen the building this could potentially cause a parking issue. Vice Chair Sachs further added that the roofline should be modified to reflect a more residential character as referenced in Mr. Denny’s letter.
Comm. Viers stated that he feels the landscaping of trees and shrubs will help screen the medical office building. Comm. Viers further stated that he agrees with Mr. Denny about softening the roofline and that he would like to see the applicant take this into consideration.
Comm. Wallis stated that the medical office building is consistent with the Zoning Ordinance and the General Plan. Comm. Wallis added that comments were raised about the possible negative impact it could have on San Ramon Regional Medical Center. Comm. Wallis added that he has not seen any evidence in any documents indicating a concern. Comm. Wallis also added that at the last meeting he had asked the applicant where the medical professionals would be coming from. A significant number of medical professionals who would use the facility are from outside the City and is a benefit for the City. Comm. Wallis added that the medical office building would generate additional property tax for the City.
Vice Chair Sachs acknowledged the Vista San Ramon residents and stated that they have been professional in working with Trumark Commercial. Vice Chair Sachs added that Trumark Commercial was asked to make changes to their project and has done so. Vice Chair Sachs further added that he encourages Trumark Commercial to continue to work with the property owners.
Comm. Viers stated that he is against the Phase 2 portion of the church project. Comm. Viers further stated that he does not care for the current church structure. Comm. Viers added that the existing church should be raised to minimize the wall effect of Phase 2.
Comm. Kerger stated that she agrees with Comm. Viers and does not support Phase 2. Comm. Kerger added that she would strongly recommend being a good neighbor by continuing communication and minimize potential conflicts. Comm. Kerger added that she was concerned about the lights on the stairway shining into the Grijalva’s home.
Vice Chair Sachs stated that Phase 2 of the church is unnecessary and does not care for the architecture of the building and feels it needs to be changed and will have an impact on the residents of Vista San Ramon.
Vice Chairs Sachs asked staff if the Planning Commission could approve the project without Phase 2 of the church. Phil Wong Planning Director replied that it would be the discretion of the Planning Commission.
Vice Chair Sachs motioned that a condition of approval be added to eliminate Phase 2 of the church project.
Comm. Viers replied that this could be a legal issue.
Mr. Barr replied that he was not sure if there was a legal issue on the motion but more of a procedural question.
Vice Chair Sachs asked if a condition of approval could be added to eliminate Phase 2, and would it be a legal condition.
Peter Choi Interim City Attorney replied he would have to do additional research.
Vice Chair Sachs asked if the medical office building could be approved tonight and return in two weeks to discuss the church expansion.
Mr. Barr replied if the Planning Commission chooses to move in that direction it would be at their discretion. Mr. Barr added that the environmental document applies to both projects and the Planning Commission would need to approve the environmental document should they wish to move forward with the medical office building tonight. The continuance would give staff an opportunity to look at the church approval and the conditions recommended by the Planning Commission and take a separate action at a future meeting.
Vice Chair Sachs expressed his concerns about the size, height and the impact the church building would have on the residents. Vice Chair Sachs further added that he would like to add a condition of approval to eliminate of Phase 2, but still approve the medical office building.
Debbie Chamberlain Planning Manager stated that it appears the concern among the Planning Commissioners is the location of Phase 2 and there appears to be support for Phase 2 being constructed in the location of the existing sanctuary.
Ms. Chamberlain recommended to the Planning Commissioners that rather than denying Phase 2 of the project, add a condition of approval or expand the current conditions. Phase 2 of the project is to be constructed in the location of the fellowship building where the church will be granted the entitlement of up to 5,700 square feet. Phase 2 of the project will be required to return with a Development Plan Amendment and the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the design, setbacks, and the location.
Chair O’Loane asked for clarification if the 5700 square foot entitlement would be limited to the existing church building footprint. Ms. Chamberlain replied that it would be up to 5700 square feet if that were the desire of the Planning Commission to grant the full entitlement, which they have requested in that location.
Comm. Wallis expressed his concerns about the square footage of Phase 2 and further added that there was no discussion to construct a multi-purpose building where the existing church is currently. Comm. Wallis added that moving Phase 2 to the existing sanctuary location has not been considered. Comm. Wallis further added that there are consequences with moving Phase 2 of the project. Environmental review will need to be done, to determine if it is feasible to construct Phase 2 where the existing fellowship hall is located.
Comm. Wallis further expressed his concerns that there has not been enough discussion about the consequences of what is being proposed tonight, and that he felt reaching a decision within two weeks was not possible. Comm. Wallis stated that it is his understanding that the Planning Commission is giving the applicant an entitlement to build a 5,700 square foot building and the site is to be decided at a later date. Ms. Chamberlain replied yes.
Comm. Kerger asked if a condition could be added to relocate Phase 2 that is not binding to future Planning Commissioners.
Mr. Barr added that the Planning Commission could condition approval on the project for the proposed square footage, subject to a Development Plan review in the future and allow the future Planning Comm
Vice Chair Sachs asked for clarification if a condition could be added stating the location of Phase 2 is subject to a Development Plan Amendment. Mr. Barr replied that it would read subject to a future Development Plan Amendment.
Comm. Wallis asked for clarification on what approval the church was receiving for Phase 2. Mr. Barr replied a vested entitlement to the square footage. Comm. Wallis added that the church is receiving an entitlement to build “someplace” and asked who decides where the location will be. Mr. Barr replied the future Planning Commission.
Chair O’Loane asked if the Planning Commission had any comments of the medical office building roofline softening.
Comm. Viers stated that that he felt that the softening of the roofline would be more pleasing and added that he agreed with Mr. Denny’s correspondence suggesting giving the project less of a commercial look.
Comm. Wallis stated that the applicant could return with a proposal and change the roofline.
Comm. Wallis asked for clarification if staff would provide the language for the conditions of approval. Ms. Chamberlain replied yes.
Chair O’Loane stated that softening of the roofline would make the roof seem larger and potentially more visible.
Comm. Wallis commented that based on what he has read he does not have enough information to make a value judgment whether adding a roofline would be helpful.
Comm. Wallis added that once the Planning Commission has voted on the Resolution drafted that a motion be made that the applicant meet with staff to consider the roofline change.
It was moved by Commissioner Viers and seconded by Commissioner Kerger that the Planning Commission, having considered the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration and findings accordingly, approves Resolution No.03-10 adopting Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS 08-250-008) and the recommended mitigation measures for the proposed project.
It was moved by Commissioner Viers and seconded by Commissioner Kerger that the Planning Commission, having considered the Initial Study/Negative Declaration and the proposed land use permit applications and project findings accordingly, adopts Resolution No. 04-10 approving Minor Subdivision 08-910-001, Development Plan 08-300-018, Architectural Review 08-200-040, Land Use Permit 08-500-049, Land Use Permit 08-500-018 (shared parking) and Variance 09-320-001 (shared parking reduction cap) for the proposed medical office building subject to the recommended conditions of approval.
Ms. Chamberlain asked for clarification on condition number 9 to limit the maintenance operation to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday instead of 6:00 p.m. and asked if it was included into the motion. Vice Chair Sachs replied yes.
AYES: Comms. Vice Chair Sachs, Walls, Viers, Kerger, Chair O’Loane
8. CONTINUED ITEMS – OPEN PUBLIC HEARING
9. PUBLIC HEARING – NEW ITEMS
Adam Foster project planner stated that tonight’s hearing is an appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s decision approving the Sharma Large Family Day Care. Mr. Foster continued with a PowerPoint Presentation and stated that the applicant is requesting a permit to operate a large family day care up to 14 children. Mr. Foster added that the Zoning Administrator approved the application on January 14, 2010. The Zoning Administrator decision was appealed on January 25, 2010 by the concerned homeowners of Bridle Court. The stated grounds for the appeal were that the day care would result in hazardous traffic and parking conditions, economic impact, and negatively impact property values within the neighborhood; that the primary use of the property by the applicant is a day care not a residence and that the day care would create noise levels in excess of the City’s standards for residential properties. Mr. Foster further added that no large family day care is located within 300 feet and that the traffic does not result in hazardous traffic condition. The applicant will make the garage available for their car as well as employees. The driveway will be used for pick up and drop off. Mr. Foster also added that the day care has received State, Fire and Building approval.
Chair O’Loane stated that the appellant and the applicant have come to a resolution.
Rajesh Sharma – Applicant stated that they have come to a mutual agreement with the appellant.
Jim Koshak – Appellant stated that several neighbors have met with the applicant and have conveyed their concerns. Mr. Koshak added that they have come to an agreement with the applicant on how they intend to operate their day care and that he feels confident they can move forward.
Comm. Kerger asked for clarification if the agreement between the appellant and the applicant be part of the record. Planning Manager Debbie Chamberlain replied that the State does not allow the City to condition the operation of the facility. Ms. Chamberlain added that the conditions between the appellant and the applicant are operational issues and as long as the neighbors agree, it will not be a concern. Ms. Chamberlain further added that the applicants would have to reside where they are operating the day care. Comm. Kerger stated that she would like to make certain that the agreement is upheld and that it will not return to the Planning Commission.
Comm. Wallis stated that it could not be prevented if the item returns to the Planning Commission.
Ms. Chamberlain added that if the City determines that the day care operation results in conflicts pertaining to parking, noise, traffic, or other factors this matter can be submitted to the Zoning Administrator for subsequent review.
Chair O’Loane asked for clarification if the Planning Commission is being asked to turn down the appeal and asked Mr. Koshak if he was withdrawing his appeal. Mr. Koshak replied yes.
Ms. Chamberlain stated that before the Planning Commission takes action they would have to continue with the public hearing and, close the public hearing before rendering a decision.
Chair O’Loane closed the public hearing.
t was moved by Comm. Wallis and seconded by Comm. Kerger that the Planning Commission accept the withdrawal of the appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s decision.
AYES: Comms. Wallis, Kerger, Viers, Vice Chair Sachs, Chair O’Loane
10. NON-PUBLIC HEARING ACTION ITEMS
Marc Fontes Economic Development Director gave a brief PowerPoint Presentation. Mr. Fontes stated on March 9, 2010, the City of San Ramon will consider approval of a Purchase Agreement to acquire 2401 Crow Canyon Road for a Police Station, and the Redevelopment Agency will consider findings for the acquisition and renovation of the building for use as a Police Station. Mr. Fontes added that the building will be purchased with Redevelopment funding and the building will become an asset of the city.
Ms. Chamberlain added that in addition to the findings in the General Plan, the property is designated as office of the General Plan. The acquisition of the property by the City will continue to be used as an office and is consistent with the General Plan. Ms. Chamberlain further added that the additional findings are needed in regards to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and that the acquisition 2401 Crow Canyon Road by the City of San Ramon is covered by the general rule that CEQA only applies to a project which has a potential to cause an significant effect on the environment. The acquisition of this property will result only in transfer of title and no physical changes to the property will occur. In addition the building was originally constructed for use as an office and will continue to operate as an office and only minor interior alterations are being purposed to accommodate the Police Department. Ms. Chamberlain also added that interior alternations involve interior partitions, plumbing, electrical conveyances are exempt under Section 15301 of CEQA.
Comm. Kerger asked Mr. Fontes that the building seems to have two sections and how will the rest of the building be used. Mr. Fontes replied that the buildings are connected. Comm. Kerger asked if there was adequate parking. Mr. Fontes replied yes.
Comm. Viers asked if the police vehicles parked at City Hall would be relocated to 2401 Crow Canyon Road. Mr. Fontes replied yes. Comm. Viers asked if the new building would have a holding facility. Lt. Gresham replied yes.
Chair O’Loane asked the amount of square feet the police department occupied. Herb Moniz City Manager replied that the police department currently occupies 4,500 square feet at City Hall and, 4,000 square feet of rental space, in addition to the Dougherty Valley substation.
Chair O’Loane asked what would happen to the Dougherty Valley substation. Mr. Moniz replied that the substation would remain. Chair O’Loane stated that the police station currently has 9,000 square feet and would be expanding to 70,000 square feet. Mr. Moniz added that the total building purchase is 60,000 square feet and the plan is to hire a space planner who is familiar with designing space for police departments.
Comm. Wallis stated that 60,000 square feet is the total area of the building and it seems there will be a lot of space left over. Mr. Moniz replied that 25,000 square feet was dedicated to the Police Department in the new City Center. Comm. Wallis asked what was the plan for the unused space. Mr. Moniz replied possibly lease space back from the Police Department for other City functions.
Vice Chair Sachs stated that the vision of the City Center was to dedicate 25,000 square feet to the Police Department and would that 25,000 square feet that the City had envisioned be redesigned for a different use. Mr. Moniz replied that this building would be an interim use. Mr. Moniz further added that the Police Department and the City will continue to grow and the building is needed to adequately serve our current and growing population. Vice Chair Sachs asked if the California Environmental Quality Act pertains to this project. Mr. Wong replied the purchase of the building is not a project under CEQA.
Comm. Kerger asked if the City envisions a Court facility or a Municipal Court at this location. Mr. Moniz replied that the building is located in a redevelopment area and we can look into different uses.
Chair O’Loane commented that the commercial real estate market is depressed and would purchasing the building be an advantage. Mr. Moniz replied it is an asset to the City.
It was moved by Commissioner Viers and seconded by Commissioner Kerger that the Planning Commission adopts Resolution No. 06-10 finding that the acquisition of 2401 Crow Canyon Road and its use as a Police Station is in conformance with the City’s General Plan.
AYES: Comms. Viers, Kerger, Wallis, Vice Chair Sachs, Chair O’Loane
11. STUDY SESSION/COMMISSIONER LIAISON REPORT AND INTEREST ITEMS/STAFF REPORTS.
Respectively Submitted, Luisa Willnecker