Monday, November 09, 2015

Planning Commission Does The Right Thing - Twice

THEY TOOK LONGER, BUT GOT IT RIGHT
The Costa Mesa Planning Commission met Monday night with a short agenda, but they managed to stretch it out for two and half hours anyhow.  However, they made up for it by getting it right on both public hearings they considered.

MARINE CHILDREN HOLIDAY GIFT DRIVE
During the Public Comments segment, Beth Refakes
- fresh from the successful candy drive for the children of our adopted Marine battalion at Camp Pendleton - advised us of a holiday toy drive for those children.  The Military Affairs Team will be collecting unwrapped toys for children, most of whom are age seven or under, for the next month and will deliver them down to the Marine base in December.  There will be information posted on the city web site soon.
CONCERN ABOUT DENSITY AND APARTMENTS
Westside businessman John Hawley expressed concern about how the development of the Westside
is unfolding, indicating that the original plans were for more owner-occupied units but more than
2,000 rentals have been built so far.  He expressed concern for the high density being approved.

GROUP HOMES
Jay Humphrey expressed concern for the lack of enforcement of the Group Home Ordinances.

CONCERN ABOUT GROUP HOMES IMPACT ON HOAG
An unidentified resident opined that "planning" means thinking ahead, then expressed concern about the Boathouse Collective - an agenda item - being located across the street from planned 176 homes.   She then expressed concern about the Group Home situation in our city, and the impact it was having on Hoag Hospital.

MCCARTHY
During Commissioner Comments Colin McCarthy praised the City Council for their decision on the Costa Mesa Motor Inn and praised the new restaurant, Raising Cane's.

SESLER
Tim Sesler announced that the meeting of the Pension Oversight Committee, of which he is a member, has been cancelled.  He then responded to the question about the Sober Living homes, citing that, as much as some might like it, they just cannot be prohibited.

MATHEWS AND ANDRANIAN
Vice Chair Jeff Mathews and member Stephan Andranian had no comments.

DICKSON
Chairman Rob Dickson addressed the Sober Living issue and asked Assistant Development Services Director Claire Flynn when the Frequently Asked Question sheet will be available.  The answer was "soon".

THE INTERESTING MATRIX
Before they got to the meat of the meeting they pulled the "Comparison Matrix For Orange County Cities" Matrix for discussion, albeit a short one.  If you go to the agenda item, HERE, and click on through to the very interesting exhibits I suspect you'll end up much more knowledgeable about development-related issues.  For example, you'll find that - as developers have been telling us for the past few years - Costa Mesa has very tough parking standards.  And yet, we still have underparked projects all over town.  Go figure.

NO UNDERGROUNDING FOR MESA DRIVE PROJECT
Public Hearing #1, the five-unit small lot development at 261 Mesa Drive didn't take long.  The project has no variances or any kind of deviations.  The ONLY issue was the staff requirement for undergrounding the utilities.  After a lengthy discussion of this issue in general, the commissioners agreed with the applicant, Kerry Smith of Harbinger Homes, that in this case undergrounding the utilities would be ill-advised.  It would actually INCREASE the visual blight of the location!  So, the commission approved the project with the deletion of the requirement for undergrounding utilities on a 5-0 vote.

BOATHOUSE COLLECTIVE
At 6:40 the commission began hearing the request from the Boathouse Collective for an extension of its Conditional Use Permit involving parking.  Recently they lost their parking venue across the street and have been putting together an effective plan to manage the issue.

VALET PARKING
The concerns revolved around the utilization of pay Valet Parking, which the owner, Clayton Petrerson, had been experimenting with for nearly two months, since they lost their other parking.

SEVERAL SPEAKERS
Nine people spoke on the issue, including several nearby property owners, who universally expressed concern for the parking issue.  In addition, more than 20 letters were included in the packet, most of which supported the CUP.  Peterson stressed how effectively their current operations are running now, and the very significant impact UBER has had on their parking situation.  He said that 40% of his customers use UBER!

AFTER LONG DISCUSSIONS, IT PASSES, 5-0
After nearly an hour of comments and discussion - I'm really giving you the shorthand version here - on a 5-0 vote, the commissioners agreed to allow Peterson to continue with his current plan utilizing pay Valet Parking during normal operations during the week and have the hosts pay for it during special events, of which they apparently have many.  The staff will bring this back after a review in three months to measure the effectiveness of the plan.  One of the options at that time MIGHT be to require the valet parking be free instead of the nominal $5.00 per car.

NEXT MEETING JUST BEFORE THANKSGIVING
The meeting ended at 8:35 p.m. with Chair Dickson closing it until the next meeting on Monday, November 23rd.






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2 Comments:

Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Well Boathouse is now off my list. I will not valet. Ain't going to happen again. Nope.

11/10/2015 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

----checks calendar------not April first----rereads headline, "Planning commission does the right thing------rechecks calendar------confused.

One thing that should be noted is WHY Boathouse lost all their parking. They used to have a huge expanse of land just to the east of their establishment where dozens of cars could park. That is the area that will be developed into 177 more homes in the very near future. Supported by a planning commission that did not do the right thing.

11/10/2015 05:01:00 PM  

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