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 February 4, 2014

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission for the City of San Ramon was called to order by Chair Wallis at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 in the Council Chambers, 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon CA.


Present: Commissioners; Kerger, Marks, Vice Chair Benedetti, Chair Wallis

Absent:  Planning Commissioner Viers         

Staff:  Phil Wong, Planning Director; Cindy Yee, Associate Planner; Alicia Poon,  Deputy City Attorney; Brian Bornstein, City Engineer; Karen McNamara, Public Services Director and Interim Parks and Community Services  Director; Luisa Amerigo, Recording Secretary

Audience:    19

1.CALL TO ORDER                    



4. PUBLIC COMMENTS OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: At this time those in the audience are encouraged to address the Planning Commission on any item not already included in tonight’s agenda.  If possible, comments should not exceed five (5) minutes.           

Harvey Riggs San Ramon resident spoke on the Express Toll Lane and his concerns.


6.1 Minutes from January 21, 2014 meeting. Approved as written.       


8. CONTINUED ITEMS – OPEN PUBLIC HEARING   8.1 Revised Faria Preserve Project (VTM 9242) DPA 12-310-003, MJ 12-900-002, AR 200-046 and IS 12-250-004.

Cindy Yee, Associate Planner gave a brief summary and stated that on January 21, 2014 the Planning Commission held its fourth public hearing where seven speakers provided comments.  At the meeting, the applicant indicated that based on comments received through the public hearing process, they will be modifying the project to relocate the proposed project entryway from Deerwood Road to Purdue Road. The Planning Commission continued the public hearing to February 4, 2014 to allow time for the public to view the scaled project model and to provide comments.

Commissioner Kerger asked Ms. Yee if the public hearings have been duly noticed. Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager stated that public notices were mailed out for the first public hearing  in December 2013, when the Planning Commission takes an action, they continue to date certain and no further notice is required.

Pat Toohey for Lafferty Communities provided a PowerPoint Presentation and stated that they are reducing the affordable housing component to 28.8% and reducing the number of affordable apartments from 112 to 99.

Commissioner Marks asked Mr. Toohey if they had received any feedback from the Regional Agencies. Mr. Toohey replied yes they received a letter of compliance from California Department of Fish and Wildlife there has been a lot of input and they are heading in the right direction.

Commissioner Marks added that the City is creating a Community Facility District and was there any objection from Lafferty Communities to being included.  Ms. Toohey replied no.

Lee Rosenblatt Civil Engineer for Carlson, Barbee and Gibson provided a PowerPoint Presentation and summarized the projects hydrologic analysis.

Commissioner Kerger asked if it was possible to work with water agencies on utilizing recycled water. Mr. Rosenblatt replied that it would be difficult and that most water agencies would want to see if it is feasible. 

Chair Wallis asked if the the house of worship site was 3.5 acres. Mr. Rosenblatt replied yes.

Jim Blickenstaff San Ramon resident stated that visual impacts were still an issue. Mr. Blickenstaff added he would like permits granted by the Resource Agencies prior to city approval. Mr. Blickenstaff further added that he would like to see the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) recirculated.

Robert Klinger San Ramon resident stated that there would be traffic impacts and visual impacts from the project. Mr. Klinger added that minimal changes were made to neighborhoods 4 and 5.

Nikky Brar San Ramon resident did not wish to speak. Chair Wallis read her comment into the record.  Ms. Brar is the owner of Lot B and would like verification of Lot B will it  be graded how the change in the project will affect her.  

Michael Jones San Ramon resident stated that we should not allow ridgelines to be altered for high-density housing.

Chair Wallis asked for a motion to continue the public hearing to March 4, 2014.  The motion was made by Vice Chair Benedetti and seconded by Commissioner Kerger.

Commissioner Marks indicated that after speaking with Ms. Yee it was his understanding that staff was looking for comments regarding the proposed conditions of approval and in Chair Wallis’s motion was he expecting that as well.  Chair Wallis replied yes.

The Planning Commission requested that staff prepare draft conditions of approval for their consideration at the next meeting.   

Commissioner Marks asked Planning Director Phil Wong, if the Planning Commission had concerns about the park and was it within the authority of the Planning Commission to offer recommendation for changes. 

Mr. Wong replied that the Parks and Community Services Commission manages park programs, developments, design and planning. Mr. Wong added there is a lot of interface to ensure that the  guiding polices of the General Plan or Specific Plan are implemented so the Parks and Community Services Commission can  develop a park plan and forward to City Council.

Commissioner Marks added that he has read the Zoning Ordinance, General Plan, and Specific Plan and is unclear how 75 foot lights can be permitted.

Karen McNamara Public Services and Interim Parks and Community Services Director stated that all community parks range from 16 to 45 acres and services neighborhood needs. The design of this park meets both community and neighborhood needs.

Vice Chair Benedetti asked Ms. McNamara how the decision to install lights was made and how is it going to impact the surrounding neighborhoods.

Ms. McNamara replied that the park design was meant to accomplish and to extend the community’s use during the winter months. Ms. McNamara added that the field lights are turned on only during authorized times.

Vice Chair Benedetti asked if there is a policy in place which allows the use of parks in the evening. Ms. McNamara replied it is on a first come, first serve basis.

Commissioner Marks asked Mr. Wong is it possible that when the resolution is placed before the Planning Commission that it not include the park and the park be a separate resolution. Mr. Wong replied yes.

Chair Wallis asked Commissioner Marks for clarification. Commissioner Marks replied that the project can be one resolution for adoption and the design of the park could be voted on as a  separate resolution.

Chair Wallis asked in the condition of approval are we specifying a particular design for the park.  Mr. Wong replied no.

Dominique Yancey Parks and Community Services Commissioner stated that neighbors were concerned about the glare from the park lights coming into their homes. Ms. Yancey added that based on the data and photos presented there was still a concern from the neighbors. Since this was still an issue the Parks and Community Services Commission will hold a public hearing once the park has been built and have the neighbors come out when the park lights are turned on to see if there would be an impact to the neighborhood.

Commissioner Marks stated he has a concern with trying to determine the impact of the lighting of the park to the adjacent residents and feels that the park design needs to handled by two conditions of approval.

Mr. Wong added that the park is designed to a level of detail  and  the Planning Commission was not here this evening to  approve the park design  and conditions can be added  for consideration by the Parks and Community Services Commission  and ultimately the City Council.

Debbie Chamberlain, Division Manager added that every City department develops conditions of approval for consideration by Planning Commission.  Ms. Chamberlain further added that the park design still needs to go back to the Parks and Community Services Commission for final approval.

Ms. Yee added that the vesting tentative map identifies the park design as a conceptual plan. The Parks and Community Services Commission reviewed the design through their public hearing.

Ms. Yancey added if the lights are installed and there is an impact they would have to be turned off or have the hours of operation modified.

Chair Wallis added that at the March 4, 2014 that staff provide draft conditions of approval.

Vice Chair Benedetti motioned to continue the meeting to March 4, 2014 the motion was seconded by Commissioner Marks.

AYES:    Commissioners: Benedetti, Mark, Kerger, and Chair Wallis

ANOES:   None

ABSENT: Commissioner Viers





11.1 Liaison Assignments were assigned.

12.  ADJOURNMENT There being no further discussion Chair Wallis adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.   

Submitted by:
Luisa Amerigo

Recording Secretary   

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