Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Little Development, Car Sales And Lots Of Smoke

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission - those five guys who have given you some of the most onerous developments in this city over the past few years - meet again on Monday night beginning at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall to discuss a few things on a fairly light agenda.  You can read the entire agenda HERE. Chairman Rob Dickson will guide the discussions on four (4) public hearings tomorrow evening.

The first one, HERE, is a two-unit small lot subdivision being proposed under the Small Lot Ordinance at 189 Merrill Place and seems to be a pretty straightforward project.  I don't see anything particularly controversial, so it will likely just breeze through this hearing.

Public Hearing #2, HERE, may be a different story.  This is a code amendment - CO-15-02 - that amends Title 8 and Title 13 of the Municipal Code related to smoking in public facilities and the regulation of smoking lounges.  The staff report summarizes the recent history on the issue of Hookah Lounges, the moratoriums that had been imposed on them and the subsequent evolution of so-called "e-vaping lounges" and why they were folded into this process.

The new code amendments do the following: (See the staff report for details)
1 - Add a definition and create zoning regulations specifically pertaining to smoking lounges.
2 - Add a definition for "tobacco retailers' to preclude the establishment of lounge uses as part of a retail store.
3 - Prohibit vaping in specified public places by modifying the current prohibition of smoking in public facilities.
4 - Consider the existing two, legally-established smoking lounges as legal nonconforming uses, which may be subject to discontinuation or closure in the future under specific circumstances.
5 - Create standards to allow several zoning districts where new smoking lounges may be permitted by right or conditionally permitted.
6 - Create operational and development standards to address various potential issues.

Charts and tables are available in the staff report and attachments that explain these issues.  This one could be very interesting since we've been here before - many times.

Public Hearing #3, HERE, is the conversion of a fourth unit at an existing triplex at 141 Melody Lane.  This proposal was approved fifteen (15) years ago, but the entitlement was not activated and had expired.  This item will likely NOT be heard tomorrow night since the applicant has requested a continuance until the August 10, 2015 meeting to allow time to consider and obtain cost estimates to comply with the recommended conditions of approval.

The final Public Hearing, #4, HERE, involves the establishment of a luxury automobile sales facility at 3060 Bristol Street, adjacent to the Hilton Hotel.  I mention the hotel because one of the conditions of approval involves a reciprocal parking agreement between the applicant and the hotel.  I imagine Chairman Dickson will step away on this one because his employer, a law firm, is involved... we'll see.

Short agenda should equal early departure... we could be out of there before 9 p.m... we'll see.

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Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

It is time for each member of the Planning Commission to tell us:

1)Whether or not they discuss Planning Commission agenda matters with any Council member prior to a hearing on same;

2) If they do, how often is this done and who do they converse with.

7/27/2015 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

I agree with Arthur on this. When it happens over and over and over, and sounds like almost every commissioner is reading the same memo it's a stretch to think there wasn't some kind of plan. also, city hall leaks a bit. Now and then I hear about a conversation that shouldn't have happened.

7/27/2015 09:32:00 PM  

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