Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Things We Learned From The Planning Commission Meeting

Last night the Costa Mesa Planning Commission met to do the city's business for their only scheduled meeting this month.  Watching the meeting I learned a few things I didn't know before.

For example, apparently it is possible to present award - the Mesa Green Design Award, specifically - intended to recognize a PROJECT for its green impact on our city, to a person.  Tonight Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick presented the award to employee Khanh Nguyen, the city Building Official.  (photo show him receiving another award five years ago) As I've said before, this seems like a corruption of the award - certainly the intent of the award.  Yes, the contribution Nguyen and his team has made in facilitating plan checking and inspection is quite significant and, yes, recognition is certainly appropriate - just not this particular award.

We also learned that Chairman Fitzpatrick is taking on the mantle of "activist".  He said, "I have always believed that commissioners should be active and not just read the staff report and vote yes or no, but they should have projects and things that are important to them in the community and things that are important to residents and businesses."  He went on to say, "My intention is to roll up my sleeves and work on motels within our community.  I think there are a lot of opportunities to improve the quality of life here by focusing on motels."  He went on to encourage his fellow commissioners to find issues and roll up their sleeves, too.

As anticipated, the commission pulled the item from the Consent Calendar dealing with the parking issue at The Camp and approved without comment the balance.  The discussion focused on the on-going parking difficulties at that retail center, the extensive use of valet parking and off-site employee parking.  Commissioner Colin McCarthy emphasized the broader issue of under-parked retail centers throughout the city during the discussion.

The commission went round and round discussing the request for extended hours and valet parking for this facility.  The request was to permit the restaurant to remain open until 2:00 a.m. and would including valet parking.  When the item was passed, 5-0,  it included a proviso that the staff bring back an analysis of the operations as approved at the September meeting.

The next item was the Beach Hut Deli, located just down the street at the corner of17th Street and Irvine Avenue.  Once again, the applicant wants to serve alcohol on the patio fronting on 17th Street and extend the hours.  This center, which has many food establishments, has an on-going parking issue during peak hours despite a recent renovation of the parking lot that added approximately 8 spaces.  McCarthy expressed concern about "intensity of use" due to the alcohol sales, but it was satisfied by an explanation by the applicant who told them that another business in the center no longer sells alcohol.
The commission resolved any concerns about parking and outdoor service of alcohol and approved the request, 5-0.

The final item on the agenda, the conversion of new construction condos on Pacific Avenue to ownership units.  It breezed through the process and was approved, 5-0.  McCarthy was euphoric about this opportunity for more ownership units in Costa Mesa, which - according to McCarthy - has the worst ratio of rentals vs. ownership units in the entire county.

Vice Chair Rob Dickson closed the meeting in honor of recently-deceased Costa Mesa Detective Mike Delgadillo for his service and dedication to the community... a nice touch.  The City recently advised us that donations may be made to Mike's family - his four children, ages 14 to 20.  Those donations may be made out to the Costa Mesa Police Officers Association Survivors Fund on behalf of Mike Degaldillo and either forwarded to the Costa Mesa Police Department or mailed to the CMPOA at P.O. Box 1742, Costa Mesa, CA 92628.  We are reminded that they have no one actively soliciting donations from the public.  Donations should only be made through the CMPOA Survivors Fund.

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Anonymous Roll em up P.C. said...

Mr. Fitzpatrick should roll up his sleeves on the tough issue of parents not using seatbelts for their kids in golf carts when out driving around the Eastside.

This is a serious problem and since he seems to be wanting to take a stand on something, this seems like a great place to start.

3/12/2013 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous truth-tell said...

dosappointed that cm press didn't thank fitzy for making sure westside sign up. it's good that he was in favor but he shouldn't take all the credit for what someone else made it happen.

3/12/2013 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous barb otch said...

yep, lots of the mesa del mar folks ride around in golf carts with their kids not in seatbelts. this area is ground zero for golfcarts. let's take their fun away "rolle em up...". let's put seatbelts on school buses too. wow foley is on schoolboard and lives in mesa del mar. get on it katrina!

3/12/2013 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Really? said...

School buses already have seatbelts - but hey if you want to take credit for it go ahead

3/12/2013 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Golf Carts R 4 Golf said...

Hey barb, pretty sure Mesa Del Mar area is located within a mile of a golf course, which makes it a golf cart, a golf cart out on the Eastside streets is not a golf cart and therefore need seatbelts for kids.

3/12/2013 06:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Unsafe at Any Speed said...

So are posts being written by a city planning commissioner saying no seatbelts for kids in a golfcart when it's being operated on a city street? If so, is this a violation of municipal ordinances and therefore actionable? Should Council or Hatch be investigating?

3/13/2013 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Of course, we don't KNOW who is writing since everyone on this thread so far doesn't have the courage to attach their identity. Assume what you will...

3/13/2013 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Just sayin' said...

Geoff, what service does it provide to continually allow anonymous posters to pose as someone else, or imply that someone is posting under anonymously? You claimed long ago that you would try to make your blog, and the comments you allowed, more civil, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Anonymous posting is a hallmark of blogging, and serves a purpose. You moderate the posts, and allowing senseless, baseless and idiotic posts makes you part of the problem.

Just sayin'...

3/13/2013 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Of course, you made your own point.

I post far fewer nasty comments than previously. Sometimes, though, they demonstrate the gutless stupidity - on both sides of an issue - so I let them go.

Thanks for playing.

3/13/2013 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

Two things seem very apparent - the PC seems to like alcohol (then again, so do I), even at the expense of nearby residents or where there's a lack of parking.

Then again, it's the same old, same old, no matter who sits on the commission. Have a restaurant that serves alcohol, seats more than 100, but only has six parking spaces? Sure, we'll approve that,and we'll even throw in a playground too - it's only gonna tick off a couple neighbors, so screw them. Of course, in a case like that, it doesn't hurt when one of the commissioners at the time is an investor but fails to disclose. That's not the case here, as far as I know, but again, it all seems like business as usual.

3/13/2013 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous costa mesa bail bonds said...


3/13/2013 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris McEvoy said...

The project on Pacific Ave is terrible. There is no parking and this project will create overflow problems. I wonder if and how the city will enforce the empty garage contingency. mccarthy's comment about how this is a great project that will help with our renter to owner ratio is misguided and short sighted. First of all that monsterous project replaces a single family home, which people buy and live in and secondly increasing density creates new problems. planning commissioners step up and stand against cut through traffic via banning ranch.

3/13/2013 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Chris- unfortunately, high density seems to be the name of the game. More revenue from multi units on property that contained one or two houses originally takes precedence over privacy,noise and parking problems.
Quality of life is less important than revenue, unfortunately.

3/13/2013 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul B said...

Chris McEvoy,

OMG! There you are.

We have missed you since several months ago when you came back into focus here in Costa Mesa with your recall petition. How’s it going?

Are you getting close to getting the required signatures to get your recall on the ballot? I am sure you have the 15-20, or so, subscribers to Geoff’s blog that share his disdain for our current local government and often come here to protest our elected officials. But on your petition, but how many others have currently attached their signatures? 2000? 1000? 500? We would all be interested in an update on your progress.

Be well. I happen to agree with you that density and the associated parking considerations are still a big problem in all parts of our city and the planning commission needs to take a realistic view of these issues.

The nightmare we live with in many areas of our city due to density and the impact on parking and other negatives that affect our lives must be addressed.

3/14/2013 02:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Shaw said...

Mike and others are on track about two quality of life issues: parking and alcohol. there is too little of the former and too much of the latter. i have said so publically. if one the commissioner's wants to pick up an issue, or two, to tackle, these are it!

3/14/2013 12:32:00 PM  

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