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November 16, 2010

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission, City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair Sachs at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in the Council Chambers 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.


Present:     Comms. Benedetti, Viers, Wallis, Vice Chair Kerger, Chair Sachs

Absent:      None         

Staff:   Phil Wong, Planning Director; Cindy Yee, Associate Planner; Ryan Driscoll, Assistant Planner; Alicia Poon, Deputy City Attorney; Luisa Amerigo, Recording Secretary

Audience:     25

1.CALL TO ORDER                    





6.1 Minutes from the October 5, 2010 meeting. Approved with modifications.      

6.2 Minutes from the July 6, 2010 meeting. Approved as written


8. CONTINUED ITEMS – OPEN PUBLIC HEARING -None-                         


9. 1 Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church (LUP 10-500-003 and VAR 10-320-004) Staff Report by: Ryan Driscoll, Assistant Planner.

Assistant Planner Ryan Driscoll gave a PowerPoint Presentation and stated that tonight’s application is the Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church. The applicant is requesting a Land Use Permit to allow a “Religious Assembly” use within an existing 23,023 sq. ft. building located at 2460 Old Crow Canyon Road and approval of shared parking agreement with the adjacent Crow Canyon Office Park. Mr. Driscoll stated that the first floor would include a 3,110 sq. ft. main sanctuary and a 1,200 sq. ft toddler room. The second floor includes a 1,070 sq. ft. youth assembly room, twelve classrooms and offices. Mr. Driscoll further stated that the Zoning Ordinance has parking requirements for religious assembly uses. It requires one space for each 40 sq. ft. of seating area plus one parking space for each classroom and office. A total 147 parking spaces are required on-site. Mr. Driscoll stated that the proposal would provide 31 parking spaces on-site and through a parking agreement, 71 parking spaces within lot “A” and 103 parking spaces within lot “B” at the adjacent Crow Canyon Office Park. Mr. Driscoll further stated that the applicant has agreed not to park in any of the 27 parking spaces directly adjacent to the offices as a condition from the Crow Canyon Office Park Association. The shared parking agreement and variance would allow 79% of parking off-site where the Zoning Ordinance allows up to 25 percent.

Comm. Viers asked for clarification on the parking restrictions. Mr. Driscoll replied that Crow Canyon Office Park Association had an agreement with the previous use, Patrick David’s Event Center, prohibiting parking in the 27 parking spaces. The Crow Canyon Office Park Association has continued their agreement with the church.

Comm. Viers further asked for clarification if the second floor ceiling would remain opened. Mr. Driscoll replied yes. Comm. Viers also asked if the South parking lot had a sidewalk between the parking lot and the facility.  Mr. Driscoll replied yes.

Comm. Wallis expressed his concerns about where the church patrons would cross Old Crow Canyon Road from lot “B” at Crow Canyon Office Park to the church facility. Ms. Deborah Fehr with Engineering Services Division Traffic Group stated that after reviewing the shared parking proposal, Old Crow Canyon Road has light residential traffic and adequate sight distance. 

Vice Chair Kerger stated that Old Crow Canyon Road is not well illuminated and, expressed her concerns about the patrons crossing Old Crow Canyon Road.

Chair Sachs inquired who determines the need to install a crosswalk and what is the process for doing so.

Planning Director Phil Wong added that in order to install a pedestrian crosswalk a Warrant Analysis would have to be conducted. This would involve examining land uses, speed limit, traffic patterns and how people travel in both vehicular and pedestrian manner.

Comm. Benedetti asked Mr. Driscoll if the applicant complies with ADA parking (Americans with Disabilities Act).  Mr. Driscoll replied yes.

Chair Sachs opened public comment.

Tony Park representing Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church stated that the church would be a benefit for the community.    

Comm. Viers asked Mr. Park for clarification on how the church administration plans to avoid parking issues. Mr. Park replied that currently the congregation holds three services and does not foresee any parking issues.

Comm. Benedetti asked Mr. Park for clarification on what  kind of activities are held Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Mr. Park replied that on Mondays the congregation holds no activities, Tuesday through Saturday morning services are held and the evening hours are bible study. Comm. Benedetti further asked Mr. Park if the congregation has memorial services. Mr. Park replied no.

Comm. Kerger asked Mr. Park if religious services are held on Friday evenings.  Mr. Park replied yes along with activities for younger children. Comm. Kerger further asked Mr. Park if he had read the letter submitted from Mr. Dennis Wanken of Montessori School. Mr. Park replied yes.

Comm. Wallis asked Mr. Park how the church administration plans to address the concerns of church patrons crossing Old Crow Canyon Road. Mr. Park replied that at the request of the Planning Commission the church administration could provide signage and crossing guards.

Dennis Wanken San Ramon Program Director for Montessori School stated that he is not in favor of the proposed project.  Mr. Wanken added that the previous tenant did not comply with the parking agreement and that parking became a problem.

Comm. Benedetti asked Mr. Wanken what time were the events held by the former tenant. Mr. Wanken replied during the evening hours.

Paul Justi representing John Schireck of the Outpost Casino stated that he is not in favor of the project. Mr. Justi stated that the proposed project is inconsistent with the Crow Canyon Specific Plan. Mr. Justi added that he has concern with overflow parking.

Steve Cortese San Ramon stated that he is not in favor of the proposed project.  Mr. Cortese added he is concerned about the parking and that the proposed project does not conform to the Crow Canyon Specific Plan.  

John Salamida presenting Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church stated that he is in favor of the project. Mr. Salamida added as part of the parking agreement the church has agreed to have “parking plaques” placed on church patrons vehicles so all vehicles can be properly identified.

Mr. Parks added the church would be used as a worship center and not an event center.

Comm. Viers asked for clarification on the “parking plaques”. Mr. Salamida replied that the Crow Canyon Office Park wants to assure that the church patrons are parking in the designated parking areas.

Chair Sachs closed the public comment.

Comm. Wallis asked for clarification of the size of the building. Mr. Wong replied 23, 000 sq.ft.  Comm. Wallis further asked if the building were to be changed to a retail establishment what would be the parking requirement for that type of use.  Mr. Wong replied four per thousand and any kind of use would require a parking variance.

Comm. Kerger asked if “Warning Light System Crosswalks” are being installed throughout the City. Mr. Wong replied yes. Comm. Kerger further asked if Patrick David Event Center was in violation, why it was was not addressed. Mr. Wong replied that the City was discussing the parking issues with Patrick David’s however, they closed before resolution on the issues could be reached.

Chair Sachs read Condition of Approval 18D and questioned if the condition needed be strengthen.

Comm. Viers stated that he wanted to ensure that the church monitors their parking situation and should the condition be modified to address his concern.   

Comm. Wallis stated that if the application is approved and if there are any problems regarding use of third party property does the City have any recourse. Comm. Wallis further stated that adding the “parking monitoring” language into the conditions of approval was not necessary.

It was moved by Commissioner Vice Chair Kerger and seconded by Commissioner Benedetti that the Planning Commission approves Land Use permit 10-500-003 and Variance 10-320-004 to allow Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church located at 2460 Old Crow Canyon Road and adopt Resolution No. 13-10 with Conditions of Approval as amended.

AYES:      Vice Chair Kerger, Comms. Benedetti, Viers, Walls, Chair Sachs

NOES:      None

ABSTAIN:   None  

ABSENT:    None

10. NON-PUBLIC HEARING ACTION ITEMS – None                                          

11.1 2010 Zoning Ordinance Update  By: Cindy Yee, Associate Planner

Associate Planner Cindy Yee gave a PowerPoint presentation on the 2010 Zoning Ordinance Update. Ms. Yee stated that the 1989 San Ramon Zoning Ordinance was comprehensively updated in 2006. The last general Zoning Ordinance update was in December 2008 for minor text changes. Ms. Yee further stated that the City’s Housing Element (HE) was certified in April 2010. The Adopted Housing Element initiated the need for Zoning Ordinance amendments. The City committed to amending the Zoning Ordinance within one year of certification. Ms. Yee continued with the presentation and provided an overview of the changes made.

Comm. Viers asked if medical marijuana facilities are addressed in the new Zoning Ordinance. Ms. Yee replied that the new Zoning Ordinance does not address medical marijuana facilities.  Mr. Wong added that the City has chosen to remain silent on the issue and to follow the regulation of the Federal Government.

Chair Sachs asked if adult gambling falls under Adult-Oriented Businesses. Ms. Yee replied yes.

Comm. Benedetti asked if internet sales could be conducted out of a residence. Ms. Yee replied yes. Comm. Benedetti further asked if Pet Sitting is a permitted use. Ms. Yee replied that pet walkers or sitters can go to their client’s home but we do not allow the clients to come to the home of the applicant.

Comm. Benedetti also asked compared to other cities is the City more restrictive or less restrictive in regards to people trying to conduct home business. Ms. Yee replied less restrictive.

Ms. Yee continued with the PowerPoint presentation on Accessory Structures, which included large water fountains. Ms. Yee added that the Zoning Administrator’s interpretation of a large water fountain is when it exceeds 6’ in height. Ms. Yee further added that structures exceeding 6’ height could have visual and noise impacts to surrounding properties.

Mr. Wong clarified the discussion item pertaining to Accessory Structures.  Mr. Wong added that Mr. Robert Ragusano had recently installed a water fountain, which exceeds 6’ in height and does not meet the minimum setback requirements. Mr. Wong also added that staff is working with Mr. Ragusano to reach a decision. Mr. Wong further added that Mr. Ragusano proposal is to change the definition of Accessory Structures or modify the setback requirements. Mr. Wong stated that staff is looking for direction on this issue.

Chair Sachs asked for clarification on residential fence height requirements.  Mr. Wong replied that the fence requirements could be up to 7’ in height with a foot lattice.

Robert Ragusano San Ramon stated that height and setback requirements need to be regulated. Mr. Ragusano further stated that the Zoning Ordinance states an accessory structure 6 feet or higher needs to have a 36-inch setback. Mr. Ragusano added that the water fountain sits on a steel reinforced concrete base, which is about 70-80 inches tall. Mr. Ragusano added in order to meet the Zoning Ordinance requirements he would have to make substantial modifications.

Vice Chair Kerger asked if this was it a noise or visual compliant. Mr. Ragusano replied he did not know.

Ms. Yee stated that the compliant was taken through Code Enforcement and that the concern was related to visual and noise. Ms. Yee added that with any type of accessory structure there is potential noise generated from that type of use. The setbacks are not intended to mitigate all of the noise but to provide the ability to mitigate some of the noise from the surrounding properties. Ms. Yee further added that the intent of the setback is not only the visibility from the neighbors but also the reduction in noise.

Chair Sachs asked Mr. Ragusano if the fountain was 3’ ft. away from its widest   point.  Mr. Ragusano replied yes.

Chair Sachs suggested to keep the 3’ft setback and the fountain should not exceed the height of the fence.

Comm. Viers added he would like to see restrictions placed on accessory structures instead of fence heights.

Ms. Yee added that in addition to accessory structures planning staff is looking for language on play equipment such as a portable and dual use basketball hoops, and tree houses.

Ms. Yee added that staff will incorporate comments into the Zoning Ordinance text, Planning Commission and City Council public hearing will begin in Spring 2011.

Overview of Building and Safety Division Code Enforcement Programs By: Brian Lindblom, Code Enforcement Officer

Code Enforcement Officer Brian Lindblom gave a PowerPoint presentation on Code Enforcement Programs. Mr. Lindblom highlighted the Municipal Zoning Code, State Uniform Housing Code, California Building Codes, Health and Safety, and Vehicle Abatement.

Comm. Viers asked Mr. Lindblom how the City handles situations with barking dogs.  Mr. Lindblom replied that the City is contracted with Animal Control Service in Martinez.

Vice Chair Kerger asked how does Code Enforcement deal with overgrown landscaping. Mr. Lindblom replied that they would need a compliant in order to proceed.             

There being no further discussion, Chair Sachs adjourned the meeting at 11:00 p.m.       

Respectively Submitted, Luisa Amerigo


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