Two Projects Approved By Short-handed Planning Commission
DICKSON ABSENT, MATHEWS RAN THE MEETING
The Costa Mesa Planning Commission met again Monday night although Chairman Rob Dickson was absent so Vice Chair Jeff Mathews conducted the meeting.
DONATIONS OF DRESSES FOR THE WIVES OF THE 1/5 MARINES
During Public Comments Beth Refakes reminded everyone that the Military Affairs Team is accepting donations of cocktail dresses, ball gowns, and accessories for the wives of the 1/5 Marines. Donations may be dropped off in the City Hall lobby. She also expressed concern about the blocking of the right-most northbound lane on Harbor Blvd. between Newport Blvd. and 19th Street and asked for someone to investigate it.
SOBER LIVING/MONAHAN/EPISCOPAL CHURCH
An unidentified person drew the commission's attention to a Daily Pilot article by Laurene Keane. She also expressed concern about our "stack-a-shack" building. She also addressed her concern about the relationship between the operator of Yellowstone Recovery, the pastor at the Episcopal church at Bay Street and Orange and lame duck councilman Gary Monahan. She stated that the neighbors are concerned that there may be a scheme to put a sober living facility at that site.
GO TO THE FAIR
During Commissioner Comments Colin McCarthy expressed the view that folks should attend the Orange County Fair and also support local businesses.
GRATEFUL TO REFAKES
Stephan Andranian thanked Refakes for all the good work she does with the Military Affairs Team, and for her frequent updates.
ANOTHER SMALL LOT PROJECT ON 23RD STREET
Public Hearing #1 is the small lot subdivision for four units at 127 23rd Street. It's pretty straightforward, with no variances. Three members of the public spoke and expressed concern about overflow parking. This project will be conditioned to require parking in the garages. McCarthy affirmed that it meets all requirements. The commission approved it, 4-0, in very short order.
Public Hearing #2 is the removal of a 30-year-old public storage facility directly adjacent to the Newport Mesa Unified School District Headquarters. The property in question is at 929 Baker Street and was zoned for Medium Density Residential many years ago . The plan is to replace the storage facility with a common interest development with 56 detached homes. Although this project requested some deviations, it exceeds the parking requirements. It included a 1 acre private park.
One of the deviations requested is a reduction in the setback adjacent to the Paularino Channel, from the required 20 feet to 12 feet. They also requested a reduction of space between units in order to provide more common open space, and that space should be 40% but they are requesting 39.5% to accommodate the additional 13 parking spaces. The density of this project meets code. Former senior city staffer Peter Naghavi represented the developer.
Transportation Services Manager Raja Sethuraman addressed the trips into and out of the project. There will be an increase of more than 300 daily trips over the current use. He addressed the issue of traffic flow into and out of - no left turns would be permitted out of the project. He also addressed the resident-only permit parking petition submitted by the neighboring street - Milbro. That petition will be heard by the City Council in September. The project will NOT be a gated community.
Eight members of the public spoke on this issue and most of the concerns involved overflow parking and the possibility of the extension of Post Road into this project site. Several agreed that this use would improve the neighborhood. Rick Huffman reminded the commission that this project would NOT trigger a vote of the people under the Smart Growth Initiative. Others, including Milbro resident Brian Valles, expressed concern about traffic flows, the loss of privacy and shade as existing trees are removed. He wrote a lengthy letter to the commission outlining his concerns.
After a short discussion the commission approved this project as conditioned on a 4-0 vote.
TAXI/UBER PICK UP LANE ON HARBOR
Sethuraman addressed Refakes concerned about the loss of a lane at The Triangle on Harbor. He affirmed that it is currently permitted on certain nights of the week from 7 p.m. - 1a.m. for taxi/uber pickup. He will investigate.