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June 7, 2011

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission for the City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair Sachs at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in the Council Chambers 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.


Present: Commissioners, Viers, Wallis, Vice Chair Kerger, Chair Sachs

Absent: Commissioner Benedetti              

Staff:   Phil Wong, Planning Director; Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager; Shinei Tsukamoto, Associate Planner; Alicia Poon, Deputy City Attorney; Luisa Amerigo, Recording Secretary

Audience:     5






6.1 Minutes from the May 17, 2011 meeting.  Approved as written.         


8.  CONTINUED ITEMS – OPEN PUBLIC HEARING -None-                                    

9.   PUBLIC HEARING – NEW ITEMS 9.1 AT&T Mobility at 125 Ryan Industrial Court (LUP 11-500-002)
Staff Report by Shinei Tsukamoto, Associate Planner

Shinei Tsukamoto, Assistant Planner gave a brief PowerPoint Presentation and stated that the applicant is requesting approval of a Land Use Permit to establish a new wireless telecommunication facility on the rooftop of an existing two-story office building. Mr. Tsukamoto stated that the proposed facility would consist of eight antennas, two sectors with four Remote Radio Units (RRUs), six Dual Tower Mounted Amplifiers (DTMAs), and one Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna on the rooftop. A total of six cabinets for the associated equipment would be housed inside a vacant office on the ground floor of the subject office building.

All antennas would be installed approximately 30 feet above grade at the south side of the building. The new wireless facility would improve the in-building service coverage in the area south of Crow Canyon Road and west of highway I-680. The facility would be self-operating and unmanned. Regular maintenance would generally be conducted during normal working hours, and would require 24-hour access for emergency situations.

Mr. Tsukamoto further stated that staff had suggested to the applicant two possible solutions that could minimize visual impacts to the proposed facility by building a solid panel parapet across the width of the rooftop in front of the antennas and paint it gray, or expose the antennas and paint the antennas a dark green to match the colors of the existing trees on the adjacent properties.

Commissioner Wallis asked if the color of the antennas were to remain green.  Mr. Tsukamoto replied that the antenna in the PowerPoint Presentation is painted gray and staff had not received the color renderings, and the two antennas were to be painted green, it would be less visible.

Vice Chair Kerger stated that the color black would be less visible. Vice Chair Kerger asked Mr. Tsukamoto if the location of the antennas was the old AT&T coin building. Mr. Tsukamoto replied no. Vice Chair Kerger further asked why were the antennas so high. Mr. Tsukamoto replied that staff had asked the applicant to consider placing the antennas towards the center of the roof however, the antenna would have been 70-feet above the roofline. Vice Chair Kerger asked if staff’s color recommendation for the antennas was gray.  Mr. Tsukamoto replied no, it was green.                        

Chair Sachs asked Mr. Tsukamoto if this application was required to contribute to the PG&E Master Landscaping Plan within the PG&E corridor.  Mr. Tsukamoto replied no.

Commissioner Viers asked where the Radio Units and Dual Towers were located.  Mr. Tsukamoto replied that the equipment would be installed adjacent to the antennas. All of the remote radio units and the dual tower mounted amplifiers will be part of the antennas installed on the rooftop.

Commissioner Wallis asked if the antennas were for cellular phones and if it is for 3G.  Mr. Tsukamoto replied it is for 4G.

Lisa Elliott representing AT&T stated she concurs with Mr. Tsukamoto on this project and agrees to any conditions.   

Chair Sachs asked Ms. Elliott what the difference was between in- building and in-transit service. Ms. Elliott replied that she would have to ask engineering.

Vice Chair Kerger stated that her concern is the color of the antenna and she would prefer to see it painted a dark color where it is not visible. Vice Chair Kerger also stated that the height of the antenna was also a concern but the building is well hidden.  

Commissioner Wallis asked if any public comments where received by adjoining landowners or surrounding tenants. Mr. Tsukamoto replied no.

Chair Sachs asked if notices were sent out to the surroundings property owners and residents. Mr. Tsukamoto replied yes.

It was moved by Vice Chair Kerger and seconded by Commissioner Wallis  that the Planning Commission approves LUP 11-500-002 authorizing AT&T to install a new wireless telecommunication facility and adopt Resolution No. 7-11 with Conditions of Approval as amended.

AYES:      Vice Chair Kerger, Wallis, Viers, Chair Sachs

NOES:       None


ABSENT:    Commissioner Benedetti



11.1 PG&E Corridor Landscaping Contribution by Wireless Carriers.

Shinei Tsukamoto, Assistant Planner gave a brief summary stating that $25,000 contributions by wireless telecommunication carriers began in 2001 for beautification of the PG&E corridor between Alcosta Boulevard and Tareyton Avenue in accordance with the Master Landscape Plan. The use of the contributions has always been for physical improvements or maintenance, but the use could be expanded to include the planning efforts in preparing a park master plan and construction documents so that the City may apply for grants for trail and park development in the corridor. Mr. Tsukamoto explained that the contributions alone are not enough for any physical improvements but are sufficient for planning efforts to apply for grants that are available for construction ready projects.

Mr. Tsukamoto further explained that the contributions have always been associated with Land Use Permit applications for installing new wireless telecommunication facilities and that the number of Land Use Permit application in the future would decrease due to the number of desirable towers in the corridor were limited. There are seven existing facilities that will be applying for Minor Use Permits to upgrade or modify the existing facilities in the future. Staff   suggests creating a two-tier contribution system, which would coincide with the type of wireless telecommunication facility application based on $10,000 for Minor Use Permits and $25,000 for Land Use Permits in the 2001 using the Consumers Price Index to adjust to the 2012 dollars, the contribution for a Minor Use Permit would be $12,600 and that for a Land Use Permit would be $31,500.

Chair Sachs suggested that the two tier contribution system should be adjusted every so often. Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager responded that the contribution could be adjusted annually which would be consistent with the annual adjustments made for various fees.         

11.2 Large Water Fountain Zoning Ordinance Interpretation.

Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager gave a brief summary stating that on November 16, 2010 the Planning Commission held a Zoning Ordinance Update Workshop. During the workshop, the Planning Commission heard and discussed a code enforcement case regarding the construction of a 7 feet 8 inch high water fountain located in the rear yard of a property.  Ms. Chamberlain added that the Accessory Structure definition includes large water fountains and the Zoning Ordinance does not provide a definition for large water fountains. The Zoning Administrator has made an interpretation that a large water fountains is any water feature which is greater than 6 feet in height. If the water feature is less than 6 feet in height, it is not classified as an Accessory Structure and not required to meet setbacks from the property lines. If the water feature is greater than 6 feet in height, it is required to meet the Accessory Structure setbacks. The Planning Commission discussed and concurred to support the Zoning Administrator’s interpretation.           

There being no further discussion, Chair Sachs adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m.            

Respectively Submitted, Luisa Amerigo  











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