Sunday, May 11, 2014

Annexation, Smoking Lounges And More...

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission meets again on Monday, May 12, 2014 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall.  You can read the agenda HERE.  This meeting will also be televised live on CMTV - Channel 3 on Time Warner Cable and Channel 99 on ATT U-Verse and streamed live at the City Website.  It will be available for later viewing via streamed video at the city web site and also on television replay.  That schedule will be available via the City Website after the meeting.

This one promises to be VERY interesting, so let me just run down the agenda items for you to review.  If any pique your interest and you wish to communicate with the Planning Commission and/or City Staff there are contact addresses available on the City Website.

The Consent Calendar contains items that typically are not individually reviewed by the commissioners, but are voted on in one vote.  However, anyone may ask to have any of those items pulled for discussion and a separate vote.  There are four (4) items on the agenda Monday.  The first is the minutes of the April 28th, 2014 meeting.

CC#2 is the Code Enforcement Update, HERE.  You may find this information useful to see which of your neighbors have been cited and/or fined for transgressions.

CC#3 is VERY interesting.  This is the Development Phasing and Performance Monitoring Program Report (DPPMP), HERE,  required by County Measure M funding eligibility requirements and the Growth Management Element of the City of Costa Mesa 2000 General Plan.  You may find some of the charts tracking growth and traffic useful.

CC#4, HERE, is the proposed vacation of a sliver of Public Right-of-Way at 1677 Superior Avenue

Public Hearing #1 is a request to build an over-sized garage with second story game room at 2175 Placentia Avenue, HERE.  I think most of us would love to have this kind of garage/fun room at our homes, but this one looks very much like that "game room" could end up being rental living quarters - something not permitted by our code.

Public Hearing #2 is a request amend the existing Conditional Use Permit to add a towing company to an existing auto repair business at 1343 Logan Avenue, HERE.  The applicant has requested a continuance but it's not clear that will be granted based on the staff report.

Public Hearing #3 is a request for a 37-unit condominium development at 573-591 Victoria Street - basically at Victoria Street at Maple, HERE.  There are significant deviations being requested involving rear yard second story setback, building separation, open space and building bulk/massing.  It will be interesting to see if the Planning Commission does as it has been doing and permits a project with significant deviations.

Public Hearing #4 is a proposed ordinance for so-called "smoking lounges" - those businesses that provide smoking lounges for hookah, cigars and electronic cigarettes - vapor or vaping lounges, HERE.  If the Planning Commission approves it - as the staff recommends - it will go to the City Council soon for the first reading.  I've read through this staff report and the ordinance.  It imposes some very significant restrictions on operators.

Public Hearing #5 deals with the annexation of a section of the Eastside referred to as the Colleen-Santa Ana Annexation Area, HERE, near Santa Ana Avenue and 22nd Street.  Some may know that it has been the goal of the County of Orange to get rid of little islands of county land - to get them annexed-off to contiguous cities.  This chunk abuts both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.  What makes this one so interesting is that large, irregular shaped plot of land shown in basically brown that represents some fascinating development potential.  It's going to be interesting to see who turns out for this item on the agenda Monday night.

The final item on the agenda is New Business #1, the Planning Commission Goals Setting For Fiscal Year 2014/2015, HERE.  First on the list is "Motel Regulation, Inspections and Enforcement", which includes "incentives and flexible development and land use standards to promote and encourage motel conversions and redevelopment."  That phrase, coupled with the other elements of that section, tell me that the City will continue to make life difficult for motel owners and try to force them out of business.

Among the other goals are:  
  • Updating Zoning Codes 
  • General Plan recommendations 
  • Revise/Update/Consolidate the Urban Master Plans 
  • Review Live-Work projects and regulations  
  • Revise or Revoke existing Specific Plans for Newport Blvd and 17th Street 
  • Revising the plans for the Airport Industrial Area 
  • Train Code Enforcement Officers to write parking tickets 
  • Major review of Conditional Use Permits and the processes involved, including considering so-called sunset provisions for some CUPs.
As I take a look at some of those "goals" it makes me more than a little nervous - they seem like very significant overreaches and pretty heavy-handed.

So, that will be it Monday night.  Attend or watch if you can...

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Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

As far as the Victoria project goes, we don't need no stinkin' setbacks! Build up to the lot line. In an emergency, residents can jump out second floor windows into the nieghbors' back yards. There dones'tn need to be open space because all the units will be populated by childless hipsters who spend their free time at coffee shops or using sociel media indoors.

5/11/2014 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Are you freaking kidding me? They found a little kids' playground and they want to turn it into condos? The space isn't even large enough for a good size home, much less 37 condos. If this goes through the PC, there is really something wrong with this bunch.

5/11/2014 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

The current planning commission is populated by hand-picked bootlickers. They all need to be replaced by people loyal to Costa Mesa and not the little dictator and his contributors.

5/11/2014 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Friendly Neighbor said...

More concerns about the project on Victoria and Maple are the logistics of moving vans navigating the tight turns and narrow passage between units. Also looked at the floor plans and wondered about physically moving all the heavy bedroom furniture up 3 flights of narrow stairs. The trash area in the garages seems very undersized. Do these units have AC? 2nd and 3rd floors heat up pretty fast in warm weather and units are too close together to catch a breeze. Seems problematic and way over built for that neighborhood.

5/12/2014 08:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

No coincidence that Taylor Woodrow, a large campaign contributor to Righeimer, is the developer set to develop the area across from Trader Joe's. What are they going to develope? You guessed it.

5/12/2014 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I'm sure Rig knows whats coming in November, hence the rush to get these pushed through.

Let's get them out of here next election and get people in here that care about this city.

5/12/2014 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have observed several of these developments that present several access concerns. Particularly for fire vehicles. At the very least,will residential fire sprinklers be required for this project? From a safety standpoint fire sprinklers should be required. Personally, I would never want to live in a development(s) such as this..... and I'm quite "hip."

5/12/2014 02:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Sorry for the typos in my comment. The thought of a giant box being squeezed onto that lot apparently affected my typing. I'm sure that many people would rather live in that project than in Newport Beach or Irvine - to borrow Jim's words.

5/12/2014 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

OMG! The PC voted down the Placentia remodel! Could it be that the applicant/contractor isn't a contributor to the RIGmeister's machine; or could it be that the RIGmeister is getting worried about rising outcry from more and more CM residents about the "we're open for business, come on in" attitude he and his puppet PC group have toward their out of town campaign contributing developer buddies. So they pick a small (one house remodel) to deny, while continuing to approve high density developments brought to us by their out of town campaign contributing developer buddies. Remember in November!!

5/12/2014 07:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Disgusted, the small one house remodel probably wasn't being done by a developer, contributing to Rig's campaign fund. Business as usual, screw the property owners and residents, kiss the ass of the developers.

5/12/2014 10:57:00 PM  

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