Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Rest Of The Story...

In addition to the Group Home Ordinance, discussed at length in my previous post, the Costa Mesa Planning Commission discussed several other items at the meeting Monday night.  The video of the meeting can be viewed HERE.  Use the "jump to" feature - just click on the subject listed below the image window and you'll "jump" right to the beginning.

Public Hearing #2, HERE, is the revocation of the the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the recycle center operated by RePlanet, LLC at the Stater Bros. market parking lot at 2180 Newport Boulevard.  This hearing required some of the participants to be sworn-in and the proceeding was conducted by attorney Greg Palmer, a litigator for The City.

Senior Planner Mel Lee and neighbors adjacent to the site, Deanne Hemmens, Christy Turley and Tyler Turley were all sworn-in.  The item took around 90 minutes to hear, during which Palmer outlined the many violations of the CUP and the neighbors each took their turns being interviewed for the record.  Stories of transients leaving all manner of human waste near the yards, loud noise, violation of hours of operation and many other items were discussed.

The commission, mainly Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick and Colin McCarthy, were especially heavy-handed with the operators and with the management of the adjacent Stater Bros. Store.  Fitzpatrick, in particular, went overboard with his criticism of the folks presenting before him, including representative from RePlanet and Stater Bros.  The result was the CUP was revoked on a 4-0 vote.

Then, for some inexplicable reason, Fitzpatrick moved the brief discussion of E-cigarettes up on the agenda ahead of Public Hearing #3.  Stacey Reynolds from the State Department of Education gave a very brief presentation on the issue and described the astronomical growth of the e-cigarette business in the past year.  At the end, despite the observation by Assistant Development Services Director Claire Flynn that such an action might require city council authorization to spend the staff time, Fitzpatrick said he and McCarthy would brainstorm with staffer Mel Lee to discuss a possible ordinance.  The item was just received and filed.

Just before 10:30 Public Hearing #3,  HERE, the 18-unit development on Hamilton Street was launched.  The short version is - this is an excellent project, fully parked with more open space than is required.  The property could support 24 units - the builder is proposing 18.  This looked like it was a slam-dunk - the only modification was on the setbacks, and those variations were small.  However, Fitzpatrick chose this time to launch into one of his tirades about the Costa Mesa Sanitary District - that organization that tossed him out because he held his seat on the board illegally.  He suggested that he would propose to future developers, including this one, that they consider alternative trash haulers instead of having CR&R - the contract hauler - pick up the trash.  He is a small, vindictive little man.  The item moved forward on a 4-0 vote.

Public Hearing #4, HERE, looked like an easy one.  Ha!  One just never knows.  Just before 11:00 p.m. the discussion of the move of a satellite church - part of the Saddleback Church organization - from Huntington Beach to facilities at 1901 Newport Boulevard.  This is adjacent to the busiest intersection in the City - the terminus of the 55 Freeway into Newport Boulevard at 19th Street near Harbor Boulevard.  The architect for the project and the pastor for the church spoke to the issue.  The commissioners had problems with a few factors - parking, traffic management, "ministries"  and event scheduling.  Plus, Fitzpatrick kept mentioning a problem he had with a "church over by the airport", as though it was somehow relevant to this issue - it wasn't.  One peculiar statement he made was that "nobody had reached out to me" on this subject.  I guess he feels slighted if an applicant processes his paperwork through the staff and appears to meet all the requirements but doesn't call him to have his ring kissed before the item is heard.  The message was loud and clear - HE is the Chairman and HE expects some deference from applicants - or else!  The upshot of all this, at just before 11:30, Fitzpatrick recommended that the item be "continued", for re-consideration at their meeting near the end of October.  It was strange, indeed.

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Blogger Joe said...

Just what is Fitzpatrick looking for when applicants are supposed to "reach out" to him? Sounds like we need an investigation to find out.

9/24/2014 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

My church i(Rock Harbor) is over by the airport. So is The River, and Vine. Mariners Christian school is there. Also the Center for Islamic Studies , although , that is not a church. If he's got "a problem" it probably means someone has a lease and he's got a buddy who wants to put in more high density apartments there.

9/24/2014 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

On the recycling....they've screwed the pooch again on this one. The recycling center at OCC is outside the "zone" . Now Stater Bros.. And every other store that sells crv beverage containers will now have to take those containers and refund them at their stores. It's going to create a huge problem. Especially compounded with the closing of the one on 19th. They've opened up these small business owners to lawsuits and put them in legal jeopardy. Read more here. http://www.cawrecycles.org/issues/bottle_bill/how

9/24/2014 06:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Isn't there a church adjacent to the property in question? What would they rather have there - a mini storage, fast food, or tarot card reader - to borrow words from the esteemed mayor? (Daily Pilot, Sept. 23rd, 2014)

9/24/2014 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

They consider Ramos the first Hispanic to run for council because women are invisible to them. Women do not belong in politics and should be home baking cookies.

9/24/2014 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Joe, I wonder if Fitz expects them to reach out to him with a check in their hand like Rig expects? Why do you think he's pushing Athens Disposal so hard?

Casual: Yup. Too true. I am getting a little tired of Ramos playing the race card. He won't get many votes out of that one, for sure.

I hope we can vote these guys out in November. Issues such as Gericault pointed out will come back to haunt us for a long time. Half our businesses are empty, and they're trying to run off the rest. Unacceptable. Its easier to run them off and keep the businesses. Let's do it.

9/25/2014 08:02:00 AM  

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