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August 7, 2012

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission for the City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair Kerger at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 in the Council Chambers 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon.


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

Absent:  None            

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

Audience:    6

 1.        CALL TO ORDER                    

 2.        ROLL CALL


3.1 Swearing in of returning Planning Commission members.

The Oath of Office was administered to Donna Kerger, Eric Wallis, and Dennis Viers by Patricia Edwards, City Clerk

3.2 Nomination of Officers; Nomination of 2012-2013 Planning Commission Chair and Vice Chair.

It was moved by Chair Kerger and seconded by Commissioner Sachs to nominate Vice Chair Viers as Chair.

It was moved by Chair Viers and seconded by Commissioner Kerger to nominate Commissioner Wallis as Vice Chair. The motion passed unanimously.

3.3 Recognition of Outgoing Chair Donna Kerger. Presented by Chair Viers.            




6.1 Minutes from the June 19, 2012 Meeting. Approved (Planning Commissioner Benedetti Abstained)




9.1 2257 San Ramon Valley Boulevard Retail & Office Development Project(DP 11-300-002 IS 12-250-002, AR 12-200-001, VAR 11-320-002, and VAR 11-320-003).  Staff Report by: Ryan Driscoll, Assistant Planner.

Ryan Driscoll, Assistant Planner provided a PowerPoint presentation and stated that the applicant is proposing to redevelop two existing parcels totaling 18,513 sq. ft. located at 2257 San Ramon Valley Boulevard.  The project would construct a new, two-story, 4,960 sq. ft. building along San Ramon Valley Boulevard. The new building would accommodate approximately 2,750 sq. ft. for a restaurant use, 710 sq. ft. for a retail use on the ground floor, and 1,500 sq. ft. for an office space use on the second floor. The project would also integrate a shared driveway and parking lot easement with the adjacent property located at 2259 San Ramon Valley Boulevard (ABC Pet Clinic). The project includes two Variances applications. The first Variance application would allow a 5 ft. – 6 inches front yard setback at the southwest corner of the proposed building where the Crow Canyon Specific Plan requires a 10 ft. front yard setback.  The second Variance application would allow a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 0.27 where the Crow Canyon Specific Plan requires a minimum Floor Area Ratio of 0.40 in the Village Center Mixed Use (VCMU) zoning district. The project also incorporates improvements along the San Ramon Valley Boulevard public right-of-way, which consist of a new curb, gutter, sidewalk, utilities, and landscape along San Ramon Valley Boulevard.

Vice Chair Wallis asked if the landscape island located in the middle of the parking lot is designed for function or aesthetics.  Phil Wong, Planning Director replied that the planter box served both purposes and would guide the traffic pattern around the landscape island.

Vice Chair Wallis stated that the new building would accommodate approximately 710 sq. ft. for a retail space. Vice Chair Wallis asked what kind of use would be used for that space.

Mr. Driscoll replied that the applicant requested the space and currently they do not have a tenant.  However, the applicant can provide additional information on their plans for a future tenant.

Vice Chair Wallis asked if the 32 parking spaces included the parking spaces in use by ABC Pet Clinic. Mr. Driscoll replied yes.

Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager stated that the concept Master Plan required reciprocal access and cross parking easements for both parcels.

Commissioner Kerger asked if the project is in ADA compliance (Americans with Disabilities Act), specifically does the project require an elevator to access the second story. Mr. Driscoll replied that he had spoken with the Chief Building Official regarding the issue and that no, the project is not required to have an elevator.

Commissioner Kerger further stated that she was pleased that staff pointed out the additional open area at the front of the building. Commissioner Kerger stated she would like to see pedestrian and children friendly sidewalks and was concerned about minimizing the sidewalk in front of the building.

Commissioner Kerger expressed her concerns about the mechanical equipment on the rooftop. Commissioner Kerger also expressed her concerns about parking and that the applicant work on an agreement with Windmill Farms.

Commissioner Benedetti asked if the applicant’s public art proposal would be combined with ABC Pet Clinic’s public art proposal. Mr. Driscoll replied that there would be one public art feature for each building because each property was reviewed under a separate development application.

Commissioner Benedetti further asked if the public art location would be located on the north section of the building. Mr. Driscoll replied that the public art feature would be located in front of the building. 

Commissioner Benedetti asked for clarification if the project would allow future shared parking lot access with future development proposals located on the Windmill Farms property.

Ms. Chamberlain replied yes, and that the Crow Canyon Specific Plan requires one parking space for every 250 sq. ft. of building area.  The Specific Plan encourages a shared parking concept with mixed-use development to minimize the trips on Fostoria Way and San Ramon Valley Boulevard.

Commissioner Benedetti asked for clarification if there is enough parking spaces for the restaurant and office space.

Ms. Chamberlain replied that the Crow Canyon Specific Plan is a mixed-use transit oriented district with parking requirements that encourage shared parking and are unique to this area.

Chair Viers asked Mr. Driscoll to clarify the fencing matter from the Architecture Review Board meeting (ARB).  Mr. Driscoll stated that the applicant had discussed with the Hyatt House Hotel to provide a 6 ft. high wood fence along the property line adjacent to the Hyatt House.

Mr. Driscoll also added that the mechanical equipment would be screened from view, particularly on the south elevation, adjacent to the Hyatt House Hotel.

Mr. Simon Lin Architect for the project stated the rooftop equipment is not visible and is located on the south portion of the buildings.

Commissioner Kerger asked if the equipment has any rooftop screening.  Mr. Lin replied no.

Commissioner Sachs asked for clarification that the current owner has a restaurant   in San Ramon.  Mr. Lin replied yes. Commissioner Sachs asked what is the projected occupancy of the new restaurant. Mr. Lin replied 90 seat occupancy.

Commissioner Sachs stated that at the ARB meeting Mr. Lin had proposed two stairways and asked what was the need for two.  Mr. Lin replied the previous design was larger and necessitated a second stairway.

Commissioner Sachs added that the ARB had recommended the sidewalk space be decrease and was Mr. Lin satisfied with the recommendation based on the needs of future clients.

Mr. Lin replied that one of the two steps were removed which lead up to the storefront and was satisfied that the future needs of the 710 sq. ft. tenant space could be met. 

Vice Chair Wallis stated that the 710 sq. ft. retail space seemed small and isolated from other retail and what ideas did the applicant have for the use. Mr. Lin replied a Flower Shop or a Frozen Yogurt Shop.

Commissioner Sachs stated that the applicant has had a restaurant in San Ramon for 20 years and suggested that staff take an inventory on how the applicant felt about the application process.

Commissioner Benedetti stated that ABC Veterinary relocated to a Redevelopment area and would like their feedback.

Chair Viers opened the public comment. 

Chair Viers there being no speakers Chair Viers closed the public comment.

Commissioner Kerger stated that she feels having a mixed-use project in the Crow Canyon Specific Plan area is an asset to the community.

Commissioner Benedetti asked if food waste is included in the Conditions of Approval.  Mr. Driscoll replied yes and language can be added about separation of food waste.

Commissioner Benedetti asked for clarification on AB 2176 and how did the restaurant of a small size qualify.   Mr. Driscoll replied that this site will not be subject to AB 2176.  This is a standard condition and only applies if the project is applicable.

Commissioner Sachs asked how the City of San Ramon determines where public art should be placed. Mr. Driscoll replied that the General Plan 2030 has an implementing policy to require public art for private development projects.  Mr. Driscoll added that the City does not have an established in-lieu fee for public art at this time. Commissioner Sachs added that small business owners are paying high fees in public art and can the business owner afford these fees.

Ms. Chamberlain added that the public art requirements fall under the Parks and Community Services Commission and not Planning Commission. In the past, there was a discussion about establishing in-lieu fees for Public Art but the proposal details are still being discussed.  Ms. Chamberlain further stated that we can speak with the Parks and Community Services Commission Director about establishing an in-lieu fee.

Commissioner Kerger stated that she agreed with Commissioner Sachs and suggested organizing a workshop to further discuss with Parks and Community Services Commission about in-lieu fees for public art.

Vice Chair Wallis asked if there is a dollar amount when it came to public art. Ms. Chamberlain replied no.

Chair Viers stated the applicant and staff has done a good job and feels that the project fits into the Crow Canyon Specific Plan area.

It was moved by Commissioner Benedetti to approve Resolution Number 10-12 a Resolution of the Planning Commission of the City of San Ramon adopting an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS 12-250-002) and approving Development Plan 12-300-001; Architectural Review 12-200-001; Variance 12-320-001; and Variance 12-320-002 for the Property located at 2257 San Ramon Valley Boulevard and finding the 2257 San Ramon Valley Boulevard Retail and Office Development consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) filed by 1110 Architects & Associates (Simon Lin) and 3C Kingdom Development LLC (Property Owner)

AYES:    Commissioner Benedetti, Sachs, Kerger; Wallis, Chair Viers.

NOES:    None   


ABSENT:  None        



11.1 Interpretation of Section D3-41 E of the Zoning Ordinance Recreation Vehicle Storage Regulation.  Staff Report by: Shinei Tsukamoto, Associate Planner.

Associate Planner, Shinei Tsukamoto gave a power point presentation on Recreation Vehicle Storage Regulations.  Mr. Tsukamoto stated that on July 27, 2006, the City Council adopted Ordinance 381 which regulated the storage of recreational vehicles (RVs) on residential properties.  The ordinance included a regulation and a grandfathering provision that allowed residents to continue to park RVs at the same location if they had owned and stored their RVs on their driveway prior to the effective date of the new ordinance on August 25, 2006.  The new ordinance limited the location of the RV storage within the side yard setback, if the RVs were not registered with the City.  Mr. Tsukamoto further discussed the various City regulations that relate to RV Storage on residential properties.

The Planning Commissioners expressed their concerns that the handout developed 2006 was not clear about the other applicable regulations that would affect the RV storage locations. 

The Planning Commissioners stated that it seemed that there are residents who have altered the front yard to be able to store their RVs on the side yard based on the description in the handout.

The question asked by the Planning Commissioners was how we deal with the residents who put themselves in a situation that violate the other applicable regulations, which were not addressed in the 2006 handout.

The Planning Commissioners stated that one option is to draft a grandfathering provision that would allow the residents who followed the information in the 2006 handout to be able to keep the secondary driveway and drive over the sidewalk, but the original intent of the Ordinance was to get the RVs off the front yard and expanding the grandfathering provision would seem to interfere with the original intent.

The Planning Commission suggested to staff instead of drafting such a provision, to investigate each code enforcement case and make a decision based on the principle of the memorandum and the records of the registered RV’s and the owner’s information on file, on a case-by-case basis because each case is an unique circumstance.   

It was moved by Commissioner Sachs and Seconded by Commissioner Kerger to approve interpretation of Section D3-41 E of the Zoning Ordinance Recreational Vehicle Storage Regulation and approve the memorandum as drafted and directed staff to update the 2006 handout with graphics showing the legal, illegal, and grandfathered  locations to store RV’s. The information must be published on the City website and City Wide Newsletter and to report back to the Planning Commission within six months.

AYES:      Commissioner Sachs, Kerger, Benedetti, Wallis, Chair Viers.

NOES:       None   


ABSENT:    None 

There being no further discussion, Chair Kerger adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m.  

Submitted by, Luisa Amerigo  






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