Friday, December 11, 2015

Development, Marijuana Prohibition and The Halal Guys

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission meets for the only time this month on Monday, December 14, 2015 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall.  You can read the agenda for that meeting HERE.  It looks like this meeting could run long due to the nature of a couple of the items on the agenda.  We'll see.
Public Hearing #1, HERE, is of particular interest to me since it involves a large lot in my Eastside neighborhood.  On our frequent walks over the decades we've lived here we've watched this lot, identified in this agenda item as 410 Walnut Place, and have fantasized about what the future of that large chunk of land might be.  A few years ago two lots fronting Tustin Avenue were carved out and developed.  Since that time we've been waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Monday it drops.  This item is for a Tentative Tract Map to prepare the site for development into five (5) individual home sites.  While no development is currently in the works, this is the first step.  As part of this process the existing structures on this huge lot will be demolished.  There are NO variations or deviations asked for since each lot meets or exceeds development standards for R-1 lots.  While a few of the nearby neighbors may attend to comment/protest the increase in traffic/congestion the development will mean to this neighborhood, it really has been inevitable.  This is a slam-dunk.
Public Hearing #2, HERE,  is another small lot development at 217 Cabrillo Street.  It requests no variances or administrative adjustment.  One peculiarity is the use of the alley as the "front" of one of the units.  This is discussed in the staff report.  It's unlikely the commission will not pass this one.
Public Hearing #3 , HERE, should be VERY interesting!  This item is in response to the passage of three recent bills, signed into law by Governor Brown, AB 243, AB 266 and SB 643, which, combined, are known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, are discussed in detail as part of the staff report.  This item will create a new ordinance to specifically prohibit the cultivation of Marijuana in the City.  It will amend the Municipal code as follows:

• Chapter 1, adding new definitions related to marijuana and/or medical marijuana cultivation and related enforcement.
• Chapter IV, adding cultivation of marijuana and/or medical marijuana as a prohibited use in all zoning districts
• Chapter IX, adding Article 20 with specific regulations related to medical marijuana and/ or marijuana cultivation. 

As I said, this should be a VERY interesting discussion and I won't be surprised if we have more than a few speakers - you know, farmers and the like - addressing this issue.

Public Hearing #4, HERE, is the appeal of the Zoning Administrators denial of extended hours for The Halal Guys restaurant at 3033 Bristol Street.  This item was continued from the October 26th meeting and the result is a modified proposal, shown in the chart.  This restaurant has been wildly successful since opening and, as is usually the case with such success stories, there are unanticipated issues to deal with.  The primary concern expressed previously was the impact on nearby residential neighbors.

Public Hearing #5, HERE, is related to the previous item because it is a request for a Conditional Use Permit by the property owner at 3033 Bristol for on-site valet parking services to accommodate peak hour demands of the restaurant uses.
The next Planning Commission meeting will be held on January 11, 2016.

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