Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Economic Development Report And Park Fees

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission heard some interesting stuff last night at a very sparsely-attended meeting.  Only nine (9) people attended the meeting, with only four (4) of us remaining through the end at 8:45 p.m.

During Public Comments only four individuals spoke.  One grumpy old fella who hasn't been to many meetings lately - Costa Mesa's racist laureate - complained about the appearance of Baker Street in his neighborhood.  He wanted the City to fix it up.  We learned later that the wall about which he was complaining is private property and the City has no authority over it.

Beth Refakes reminded us that the Military Affairs Team, of which she is a member, is collecting plastic eggs and candy to be placed inside for distribution to the children of the 1/5 Marines at Camp Pendleton for Easter.  A collection foot locker is in the City Hall lobby for that purpose.

Barrie Fisher observed that many Westside sidewalks are in desperate need of renovation.

Ann Parker asked about a possible appeal of an earlier decision on a property on Abbie Way, expressing that the short Eastside street was about to become a sober living home ghetto.  In response we were told that the deadline for appealing that situation passed a week earlier, and that the City is reviewing it's appeal process in light of a recent court decision on a Newport Beach issue involving Woody's Wharf, HERE.

During Commissioner Comments newbie Stephan Andranian spoke about attending the recent Sober Living/Police community meeting at College Park Elementary School and complimented the organizers for their efforts.  Tim Sesler mentioned the new Crime Mapping tool - which apparently still doesn't work.  Colin McCarthy mentioned the Woody's Wharf case and Little League opening day two weeks ago.  Jeff Mathews said he would spearhead any effort to improve the Westside sidewalks.

Chairman Rob Dickson told us that there will be a second Bikeway/Walkability Workshop on March 18 from 6-8 p.m. in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) adjacent to the Police Headquarters.

During the Consent Calendar segment Assistant Development Services Director Claire Flynn gave an excellent economic overview report - part 1 of 2.  The second will be at their next meeting.  During this presentation she mentioned the age demographic of Costa Mesa - that 35.7% of the populace fall in the 19-35 year old "young worker" category.  The following slides are pretty self-explanatory.  She did mention that the activity level in her organization is back to pre-downturn levels.  That's good news for the city.
She spoke about major road enhancement projects - Placentia Avenue near Fairview Park; Bristol near Baker; Redhill near the Airport and the more than $8 million invested in Fairview Park.  She spoke about the many current and recent developments, and showed one graphic that showed the clustering of many of them on the Westside.  That part of town is benefited or burdened by them, depending on who you ask.  Her staff report included an exhibit showing many of those developments and the 2,000 units included in them.
Westside developments
 Costa Mesa ranked highest
 South Coast Plaza Leads The Pack
She also spoke about the Vivante and Azulon senior living facilities, Vanguard University's major expansion that is currently underway to add 10 classrooms, anticipating a doubling of the student population in the next 5-10 years.

She also mentioned the many high and mid-rise developments planned north of the I-405 Freeway

Public Hearing #1, the development at the site of the former Church of Christ Scientist on Mesa Verde Drive East was pulled from the agenda and will be re-submitted and re-noticed at a date in the future.

Public Hearing #2, the appeal of the Zoning Administrator's decision regarding outside vending machines at the Circle K store on Del Mar Avenue, was denied by a unanimous vote of the Commission.  One of the deciding factors was the late inclusion in the staff report of a list of police calls for service over the past 18 months at that location.
New Business #1 was the presentation of the proposed new Parkland Impact Fees.  Consultant David Taussig made the complicated process of how this decision was reached, and the methodology used to arrive at the new fee structure, fairly easy to grasp.  In a nutshell, fees for new homes and condominiums will go down and fees for new apartment units will be assessed.  They have not been assessed in the past.  Even the Building Industry Association, which represents builders, was pleased with the results of this report.  Here are a few slides that show some of the reasoning behind the calculations.  The staff will massage some of the information and present it to the City Council for consideration in the near future.

 Owner vs. Renter Ratios
 The justification
 The process
 The rationale
 Cost Assumptions
 Preliminary Recommended Fees
 Fee Comparison
Implementation Options

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Anonymous Eileen Truxton said...

I'm not sure why this demographic of "young workers' really gets to me. Maybe, because I have three, and almost four, in that category. Not to mention all their friends, classmates and teammates. I question the statistics being presented by the City where Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Irvine top this demographic. Those cities also have the largest college populations. Are they including college kids, who don't necessarily live in the cities where they attend school?

3/10/2015 12:14:00 PM  

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