Short, Successful Planning Commission Meeting
The Costa Mesa Planning Commission held a short meeting Monday night - it finished at just after 8 p.m. - although it could have been shorter since there were only two items on the agenda, HERE. There had been an expectation that a Sober Living issue would be heard at this meeting, but that did not happen. According to a clarification by Commissioner Stephan Andranian during his comments, the applicant in question is in control of when the item is heard, and he has chosen to delay it - perhaps to access the impact of the two Sober Living ordinances. We don't know.
RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT SOBER LIVING HOMES
During Public Comments several people addressed the Sober Living issue. Hillary Larson, Ron Moss and others spoke on the subject, citing safety concerns for such facilities being in near proximity to schools, and the general decline in the community as a result of sober living facilities.
MISTAKES IN THE GENERAL PLAN AND EIR DOCUMENTS
Also mentioned was the great number of errors in the General Plan and Environmental Impact Report documents. Development Services Director Gary Armstrong explained that it's not unusual for there to be errors on such a large document, particularly with so many contributing authors, and that an errata document will soon be available for review listing those mistakes in the documents.
ANOTHER NEW DEVELOPMENT ON BAKER STREET
During Commissioner Comments Colin McCarthy told us that there will be a community meeting held by a developer who plans to build a single-family development at 929 Baker Street - the site of a current RV Storage Lot. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 at 929 Baker Street and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.
Tim Sesler attempted to provide a primer on our Sober Living Ordinances - bolstered by Deputy City Attorney Tarquin Prezisoi - for those in the audience concerned about the issue. He emphasized the need for our laws to be enforceable.
ANOTHER WESTSIDE RESTAURANT/BAR
The first item, Public Hearing #1, is a request for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a new restaurant - Public Trade, at 2145 Placentia Avenue - for extended hours of operation and sale of alcoholic beverages on-site after 11 p.m. The staff recommended approval of this use - replacing an old gasoline station. Representative Brett Engstrom, speaking for owner, affirmed that this restaurant - a gastropub - will enhance the neighborhood. It meets the parking requirements, including sacrificing one space for a bike rack to encourage bicycling to the site. Tracy and Becky Jones, operators of an adjacent business, expressed concern about overflow parking onto their parking lot. Beth Refakes was concerned about possible noise overflow from the planned outdoor patio. Those concerns were addressed by Engrstrom, indicating that signage will be installed reminding their patrons that no parking on adjacent lots is permitted and subject to towing, and that patio music would be kept low to avoid disturbing neighbors. The issue passed, 5-0.
A SURPRISINGLY GOOD PROJECT ON THE EASTSIDE
Public Hearing #2, the 13-unit 2-story residential development in the recently-annexed section of the Eastside at the corner of Santa Ana Avenue and 22 Steet, was up next. The developer, Melia Homes, presented a project that had NO deviations requested. Some will recall that homeowners of the annexed property expressed great concern about the size of the lots for any future development on this empty T-shaped chunk of land. The county minimum was 7,200 square feet and the City Council imposed a limit of 6,000 square feet. However, this developer - in the person of Chad Brown - did significant community outreach and has actually presented a project that appears to satisfy the anxious owners. Liz Parker, one of the most outspoken residents during the annexation process, spoke and expressed gratitude for the quality of the project, which exceeds open space, set back and parking requirements significantly. Eleven (11) of the 13 homes planned will be reached by a private street off of Santa Ana Avenue. The remaining two will be a accessed from 22 Street. The images below show the site plans. The anticipated price point for these homes will range from $1.2 million to $1.5 million, according to Brown. The issue was passed, 5-0 just after 8 p.m. and we all got to go home early.