Planning Commission Wrap
The short Public Comments segment was led off by Eastside resident Jeff McConville, who cautioned the commission about approving projects with too little parking, and used as an example the Greenleaf Chop House on Westminster near 17th Street. Because of the great success of the restaurant, according to McConville, patrons park blocks away in residential neighborhoods, which negatively impacts the quality of life in those neighborhoods.
Lisa Morlan bemoaned the proliferation of rehab homes on the Eastside and requested a list of non-licensed facilities in the city. Fitzpatrick responded by telling her of the Task Force Mayor Jim Righeimer is theoretically putting together and said he'd do what he could to get Morlan and her husband included.
WIMBLEDON WAY EXPANSION APPROVED
An hour and forty minutes was spent on Public Hearing #1, an appeal of a staff decision regarding a home on Wimbledon Way. It was the strangest hearing I've seen lately. As shown here by the exasperation of the attorney for the appellant, things were just a little confusing. Normally when someone appeals a decision they make their pitch for the reason. Then the opposing party presents his side, then the appellant has a chance to respond. This one was just the reverse. The party who was the beneficiary of the staff decision went first - and last. Very peculiar. In the end the commission upheld the staff decision on a 3-0 vote - Vice Chair Rob Dickson was absent and Tim Sesler had to recuse himself. Since the appellants had a lawyer, I suspect this is not the last we've heard of this issue.
WILD GOOSE EXPANSION MOVED TO MARCH
Just before 8:00 the commission began a discussion of Public Hearing #2, the request by the Wild Goose restaurant on 17th Street to do a massive expansion - nearly quadrupling its size. This item was not supposed to be "heard" Monday night - the agenda report said it was going to be continued until the next meeting, on February 24th. However, a half-dozen residents, including Katie Arthur, showed up to speak to the issue - all expressing negative reactions to this request due mainly to parking, traffic and noise issues. This proposal is severely under-parked by any standard - one speaker said it was requesting only 36% of the parking spots required by our codes. After a half-hour of conversation it was decided to move the issue to the meeting on 3/10/14 to give staff time to re-notice it to impacted residents and business owners.
PLACENTIA LIVE/WORK UNITS MOVES FORWARD
Next up, Public Hearing #3, was the proposal for 36 live/work units on Placentia Avenue. During the discussion much was made of the so-called "work" portion of the units - a room of only 119 square feet. Speakers and commissioners expressed concern that these will end up being another bedroom, not a live/work space. In the end the project was approved on a 4-0 vote with conditions added to change the landscaping and remove a wall in the "work" sections. Nothing like micromanaging...
MORE ALCOHOL AT SOCO
Public Hearings #4 and #5 were alcohol licenses for two new businesses at th SoCo center on Hyland. There was little discussion of either and both were approved on 4-0 votes.
KEEPING AN EYE ON G&W TOWING
The final item on the agenda was the report regarding complaints about noise by G&W Towing from residents and management of the adjacent mobile home park. The report indicated that the firm has made some appropriate changes to mollify the neighbors so no further action will be taken.
That was it! It took until 10:10 Monday night to accomplish that bit of business.
MID-YEAR BUDGET REVIEW TUESDAY
Next up on Tuesday is the Mid Year Budget Review in City Council Chambers starting at 4:30 Tuesday. This should be VERY interesting.