Monday, March 10, 2014

Planning Commission Votes to Oust Recycler

At an unusually short Planning Commission meeting, the five members voted unanimously to have the staff prepare a resolution revoking the conditional use permit for RePlanet Recycling, which operates a facility in the parking lot of the Stater Bros. market at 2180 Newport Boulevard.

In an ironic twist, the business will be forced to leave the site because it's too successful!  Yep, all five commissioners agreed that the operation there is too successful for its own good, so will be asked to try to find another, more suitable, venue in Costa Mesa.  This leaves only the recycling facility at Orange Coast College - which a couple speakers described as not very satisfactory at all - for folks who are dedicated to recycling.

Commissioner Colin McCarthy led the way on the decision to shutter the business, citing decades of complaints by neighbors despite many unsuccessful attempts to mitigate the impact on the contiguous neighborhood.  He suggested that the staff, when preparing the resolution revoking the conditional use permit, consider portions of the brand new Nuisance Abatement Ordinance.  It's unclear just when the resolution revoking the permit will take place.

Earlier in the meeting Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick did a quick shuffling of the deck and moved Public Hearing #3 - the proposed expansion of the Wild Goose Tavern on 17th Street - up front so it could be quickly "continued" to the meeting on March 24, 2014, and did so without soliciting any public comments.  After less than a minute the commission voted to continue it on a 5-0 vote.

Public Hearing #2, the development on Miner Street, evoked responses from some commissioners that were practically orgasmic.  They slobbered all over themselves praising the developer for "cleaning up" that neighborhood.  During the discussion it was pointed out that if the recently approved Small Lot Ordinance had been in place this request would have had only one small variance instead of the handful that was approved.  It took barely 30 minutes for them to pass it on a 5-0 vote.

The final item on the agenda, New Business #1, was the nomination of Code Enforcement Officer Mike Brumbaugh for a Planning Commission Design Award - a strange suggestion, for sure.  Fitzpatrick explained why he nominated Brumbaugh - a great guy, who is doing a bang-up job according to reports - for this award by indicating that his efforts have cleaned up a large segment of the Mission/Mendoza area.  Apparently Brumbaugh, a long-time resident and former Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission before taking a job with the City, wants it to be a group award - also honoring all the participants who contributed.  It was referred to as "Team Brumbaugh".

A couple sidebars from the evening.  Both Fitzpatrick and McCarthy complained about the recent appeal of one of their decisions that went to the City Council for final resolution.  That one resulted in the commission's decision being upheld.  However, McCarthy griped about the amount of staff time it takes and asked the staff to come back with ideas on how such appeals could be eliminated!  This is just another example of the rights of residents being trampled by these guys because it's inconvenient for them!

McCarthy also addressed the various Westside Plans, citing that they were a decade old and may not be responsive to the world as it exists today.  He asked the staff to investigate that, as if that was something they could do in a couple hours.  Amazing how he complains on one hand that the staff is overworked, then he piles on a mountain of analysis for them to complete.  Clueless!

Back up there during the Miner Street development discussion the topic turned to parking.  One resident worried about the impact of six homes with four parking slots each - two in garages and two in driveways - providing no extra parking for guests.  During the discussion the conversation was directed to Raja Sethuramin, Manager of Transportation Services, who suggested studies could be done to determine whether a need exists for some type of "resident-only" parking restrictions.  At that point Chairman Fitzpatrick told us he "is not fond of studies" because they "took up too much staff time".  Nope, he wanted immediate solutions without studying them!  Good grief!

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

McCarthy really should not be on that commission. He is clueless. Westside plans are only 10 years old? Not much has changed over there in 10 years, what can they mess with? Oh yes, I'm so worried about over burdening our staff, let's make them do unnecessary studies just for the hell of it, so its responsive to the world today. As Fitz says, "Really?"

Eliminating the appeals process with this group is only logical, as they are in step with the council and would never vote against one another anyway. This all needs to change in November. The residents need to have a say in their homes and neighborhoods. McCarthy is as useless as tits on a boar. We need to completely revamp that planning commission also.

3/11/2014 03:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I am also a little concerned about the recycling issue. It was kind of a mess over there, but at least it had a parking lot that one could use. The OCC recycling center is quite dangerous to traffic on Adams. Too many ins and outs on that busy street, and no parking really on the inside.

I think our planning commission has lost their minds.

Join me in taking the recycling over to Huntington Beach. Much easier.

3/11/2014 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I thought it was tits on a bull...but I agree, McCarthy is a bore.

3/11/2014 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

The planning commission is the farm team for Napoleon's legions, except that it currently has unelectables like Fitzy, Dickson, and McCarthy. Sesler and Mathews are good Rig-Bots and should be watched carefully.

3/11/2014 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Bennett said...

Orange Coast College is in the process of expanding and redesigning the Recycling Center to grow from the existing eight parking spaces to approximately 32 spaces and improve the ingress and egress on Adams. Our planning has included consultation with the City of Costa Mesa in terms of traffic management. Initial plans are almost complete and will be going to the California Department of State Architects in the next couple of months.

If you would like more information on the project please contact me at (714) 432-5126.

Doug Bennett
Executive Director, College Advancement
Orange Coast College

3/11/2014 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous seedling said...

Down to just the OCC branch for recycling!??!

I totally agree with Coffee-- its a hazard to adams! Ive seen it on busy afternoons be the equivalent of trying to enter an in-n-out at lunch time. Cars backed up into the street (very limited space)! You get in, have to wait to park, then need to wait for containers. I cant imagine what itll be like now! I stopped using it for the zoo like conditions. Now, it looks like more of my errands are going to be ran in HB (probably along with my shopping as ill be in the area)

THeyve lost their minds!

3/11/2014 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission is now tossing out Planet Recycling because they are too successful?
There is ample room between the residences and the recycler who has standard business hours and is closed both Sunday and Monday.
Why the war on recyclers? Aren't they small businesses too?

Hopefully we will elect another CM City Council majority this coming November.
Next in line to change are the current planning commissioners.
Like the councilmen they take orders from, they do not serve our city well.

3/11/2014 03:36:00 PM  

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