Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Short, Successful Planning Commission Meeting

 Yep, we're back.  In nearly eleven years of publishing this blog I've never gone 20 days without posting an entry - until this year.  My sweet and very patient wife and I took a VERY much needed vacation (more on that in another entry) and I avoided spoiling it for her by not posting new entries - even though there was plenty going on here in our absence.  Now, to the point at hand...
The Costa Mesa Planning Commission held a short meeting Monday night - it finished at just after 8 p.m. - although it could have been shorter since there were only two items on the agenda, HERE.  There had been an expectation that a Sober Living issue would be heard at this meeting, but that did not happen.  According to a clarification by Commissioner Stephan Andranian during his comments, the applicant in question is in control of when the item is heard, and he has chosen to delay it - perhaps to access the impact of the two Sober Living ordinances.  We don't know.

During Public Comments several people addressed the Sober Living issue.  Hillary Larson, Ron Moss and others spoke on the subject, citing safety concerns for such facilities being in near proximity to schools, and the general decline in the community as a result of sober living facilities.

Also mentioned was the great number of errors in the General Plan and Environmental Impact Report documents.  Development Services Director Gary Armstrong explained that it's not unusual for there to be errors on such a large document, particularly with so many contributing authors, and that an errata document will soon be available for review listing those mistakes in the documents.
During Commissioner Comments Colin McCarthy told us that there will be a community meeting held by a developer who plans to build a single-family development at 929 Baker Street - the site of a current RV Storage Lot.  The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 at 929 Baker Street and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.
Tim Sesler attempted to provide a primer on our Sober Living Ordinances - bolstered by Deputy City Attorney Tarquin Prezisoi - for those in the audience concerned about the issue.  He emphasized the need for our laws to be enforceable.
During his segment Stephan Andranian also spoke to the Sober Living issue, and confirmed with Preziosi that there is a one-year grace period for the attainment of a permit before any enforcement action takes place..
Vice Chair Jeff Mathews continued on that subject and confirmed with Preziosi that civil action is possible if no permit is obtained.
Chairman Rob Dickson affirmed that the permit process provides for the first one in the door to get the permit and any others that apply, but fall within the 650 foot radius, will be left out.  He also confirmed that the previously mentioned errata document will be coming forward at the 6/14 council meeting.
The first item, Public Hearing #1, is a request for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a new restaurant - Public Trade, at 2145 Placentia Avenue - for extended hours of operation and sale of alcoholic beverages on-site after 11 p.m.  The staff recommended approval of this use - replacing an old gasoline station.  Representative Brett Engstrom, speaking for owner, affirmed that this restaurant - a gastropub - will enhance the neighborhood.  It meets the parking requirements, including sacrificing one space for a bike rack to encourage bicycling to the site.  Tracy and Becky Jones, operators of an adjacent business, expressed concern about overflow parking onto their parking lot.  Beth Refakes was concerned about possible noise overflow from the planned outdoor patio.  Those concerns were addressed by Engrstrom, indicating that signage will be installed reminding their patrons that no parking on adjacent lots is permitted and subject to towing, and that patio music would be kept low to avoid disturbing neighbors.  The issue passed, 5-0.
 Public Hearing #2, the 13-unit 2-story residential development in the recently-annexed section of the Eastside at the corner of Santa Ana Avenue and 22 Steet, was up next.  The developer, Melia Homes, presented a project that had NO deviations requested.  Some will recall that homeowners of the annexed property expressed great concern about the size of the lots for any future development on this empty T-shaped chunk of land. The county minimum was 7,200 square feet and the City Council imposed a limit of 6,000 square feet.  However, this developer - in the person of Chad Brown - did significant community outreach and has actually presented a project that appears to satisfy the anxious owners.  Liz Parker, one of the most outspoken residents during the annexation process, spoke and expressed gratitude for the quality of the project, which exceeds open space, set back and parking requirements significantly.  Eleven (11) of the 13 homes planned will be reached by a private street off of Santa Ana Avenue.  The remaining two will be a accessed from 22 Street.  The images below show the site plans.  The anticipated price point for these homes will range from $1.2 million to $1.5 million, according to Brown.  The issue was passed, 5-0 just after 8 p.m. and we all got to go home early.

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Anonymous Xyn Bohemia said...

stirrer, so glad you're back and that you had a nice vacation. we missed you!

5/24/2016 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...


5/24/2016 07:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

A pleasure to have my morning read back after 20 days. Looking forward to reading about your vacation and other stuff as long as you keep it going.
Andranian seems to be a man who is not afraid to be an individual, rather than a trifecta seedling. We exchanged some FB instant messages back a ways, and he seemed like a real decent sort.
The new homes remind me of the better quality homes that went up on the back bay off of Galaxy and Santiago back in the 60's. Very nice, although out of my price range for sure.
Welcome back Mr. and Mrs. West

5/24/2016 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Good to have you back, Geoff. We missed you; I've gone to your site every day to see if you'd come back. The world's a darker place without the Cauldron.

5/24/2016 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

It's good to have you back, Geoff.

5/24/2016 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So glad to have you back, I almost felt like my arm had been cut off without your perspective of all the happenings in the city.

5/24/2016 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Missed you, but you deserved a vacation. Interesting that a general plan rife with basic geographical errors passed through the planning commission with nary a comment.

5/25/2016 07:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Casual Viewer, yes, it is almost as if they didn't even read it? How can Sandy pick out several quite serious and stupid errors, yet our planning commission can't find them?

5/25/2016 04:35:00 PM  

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