Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dickson To Lead Planning Commission

At the final Costa Mesa Planning Commission of the month, that appointed body finally elected new leadership for the next couple years.  Former Vice Chairman Rob Dickson was elected Chairman and Commissioner Jeff R. Mathews was elected Vice Chair.  They will guide the discussions by the other commissioners, Colin McCarthy, Tim Sesler and Stephan Andranian.

The first Public Hearing on the agenda, the proposed development of 13 homes on the site of the First Church of Christ Scientist on Mesa Verde Drive East was continued until the next meeting so the developer can have time to sort out the comments as a result of two public meetings held last week.  That item will be heard on March 9th.
Public Hearing #2, the relocation of the Ganahl Lumber Company facility next door to it's current site on Bristol Street near the 55 and 73 Freeways took just over two hours of presentations and discussions.  Following staffer Mel Lee's presentation of the facts of the proposal, CEO of Ganahl Lumber, Peter Ganahl - the fourth generation of the family to lead the company, which has been been in business since 1884 and in Orange County since 1904 - gave us some history of the company and why they want to build a new facility next door to the current site, where they have been located since the 1970s.

Then architect Bob Carpenter took the helm of the presentation and told us of the nature of the project, showed us a list of the consultants on board so far, parameters of the project, the goals
Former Director of Development Services, Peter Naghavi, is now a consultant hired to represent Ganahl in this process.  He took over and explained several nuts and bolts specifics of the project: trips per day will only increase by 65 based on the traffic analysis; All traffic will continue to operated at traffic level A - the best - following the project; businesses across Bristol Street will feel no impact of this project once completed; the developer will spent more than $150,000 on traffic signal improvements and will generate more than $400,000 in trip fees; the project requires 239 parking spaces and will provide 286.
Mike Shoemaker, the General Manager of the current site explained that the new facility will provide the opportunity to serve existing customers with a broader array of products, not necessarily increase business.  Traffic flow will be better in the new site.
One neighbor, Joe Miller, representing 1072 Bristol Street - across the street from the project - stepped up to emphasize the 7 page letter sent to the commission opposing the project.  He was supported by lawyer Erin Naderi.  Most of their points were refuted by either the commissioners or staff members.
At 8:30 the commission voted, 5-0, to move this project forward.

Public Hearing #3 was the expansion of a home on Abbie Way on a flag-shaped lot that backs up to Harper School.  The only bone of contention was the 5 foot set back on the fence line adjoining the school property.  The commissioners went back and forth.  Dickson
didn't like granny units - this project involves a granny unit that will become part of the main residence and will be used as a rental.  Eventually, the commission voted, 3-2, to move the project forward.  Colin McCarthy and Stephan Andranian voted NO.

The final item on the agenda was the discussion and staff direction on a possible ordinance managing smoking, vaping and hookah lounges.  Apparently we only have one remaining hookah lounge in the city at this point, but so-called vaping stores are "popping up like mushrooms around town" according to speaker Ann Parker.  The discussion included mention of the health issues involving vaping and the possibility of folding vaping into "smoking" because heat is used to operate the devices.  In any event, the staff will take the information provided to them by the commission and craft a draft ordinance, which will likely be presented to them in April. 

One interesting sidebar... during the discussion new planner Stephanie Roxas, in response to a question about police calls for service, told the commission she had inquired, but because they were currently short of staff there was a delay in getting information.  Uh, huh....

The commission next meets on March 9th.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Excited about the new Ganahl Lumber facility. This is the type of business that should be encouraged. Good.

I'm a bit concerned because I thought "granny flat rentals" behind single family units were illegal, no? Are they against a city ordinance or not? Curious because...well...Hmmmm..

Glad to see some new and hopefully better guidance at PC.

2/24/2015 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Ganahl's been good for CM. I hope they can make this work.

2/24/2015 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

I don't understand why Ganahl should have to install a traffic signal and pay lots of money in traffic impact fees if the project is only adding 65 daily vehicle trips and the adjacent intersection continues to operate at LOS A. Something doesn't add up.

2/24/2015 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

Good catch, Eleanor.

Perhaps the new light will help traffic flow in the vicinityt of Peter's other project: 125 Baker.

He knows his bread is buttered by the larger developer, not a one time family business expansion.

2/24/2015 11:05:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home