Monday, September 12, 2016

No Surprises At Planning Commission Meeting

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission - with all members present for the first time in awhile - met again Monday night and it took them almost three hours to wade through two agenda items.  It wasn't a long night - it just seemed that way.

During Public Comments, Beth Refakes reminded us that there's still time to donate ball gowns and cocktail dresses to the women of the 1/5 Marines for the Marine Ball.  The cutoff date is September 15th.  She also reminded us that next week the Military Affairs Team will begin collecting individually-wrapped candy for the children of the 1/5 Marines for the "Trunk or Treat" event.
Mary Spadoni told us that there's going to be a town hall on September 22nd covering Public Safety and Sober Living Homes.
An unidentified person complimented Cindy Black for her photo in the Daily Pilot when the Banning Ranch decision was made last week, stating that it was a victory for the people.  She also told the commissioners that eight of the 15 sober living homes theoretically closed as part of the Solid Landings settlement have reopened.

None of the commissioners had comments.

Public Hearing #1, the request for a UFC Gym replacing a Mitusbishi auto dealership on Harbor Blvd. began just after 6:10 and the vote was taken just over an hour later.  During the discussions the only real sticking points seemed to be the potential for noise for the closest neighbors - more than 250 feet away - as a result of the loud music being played 24 hours a day - and the curious 900 square feet the applicant planned to abandon so they could make the parking spaces work.  Applicant Bill Fancher didn't really have a good answer about the space.  Even during lengthy discussions I don't think we ever had an adequate explanation of what was going to happen to that space.  I guess it's presumed that if the applicant says he won't be using it, then it will just sit empty.  Uh, huh...
Six people spoke on this issue, most of whom were concerned about the noise spillage.  Chairman Rob Dickson seemed concerned about the "bass" (as in sea bass) sound in the music.  Seems he was referring to bass - as in second base - the deepest tones in the music.  He later corrected himself after another speaker used the word properly.  Made me smile.  In any event, after 65 minutes Dickson managed to fumble and stumble through a motion and they voted to approve the project, 5-0.
Then came Public Hearing #2, the request for the new Holiday night club - which sits in place of the old Lion's Den/Maison that generated so much flack last year.  I suspected this one might take awhile, and also suspected it might generate some significant community input.  It did, and it did.

Senior Planner Mel Lee provided us with the staff report and the background of this property.
Consultant Karen Martin then presented the applicants side of the story, complete with a fancy set of slides, most of which are shown below and are fairly self-explanatory.  I must note that she couldn't distance their project from the now-infamous Roland Barrera quickly enough, as you can see in the third slide below. (click on the images if you have a hard time reading them)
Another of their speakers was Landon Brown, the acoustic expert hired to help them with the noise issues.  I'll not attempt to cover everything he said, but at the end he acknowledged that it was probably not possible to contain ALL the musical noise coming from the night club, despite significant improvements to the place.  He observed that they needed a number against which to measure performance toward meeting the goals in the application.
Ten people spoke on this issue, several of whom were not from Costa Mesa, but were in favor of the venue.  The pros and cons were evenly mixed.  Steve Chen, a resident immediately behind this site, had the proxy to speak for four other people, so Chairman Rob Dickson allowed him fifteen minutes to speak.  He addressed what he said was the overarching authority of the State agency to control this noise issue, and went on at length discussing specific sections of the state regulations - which were obliquely referred to in the conditions of approval - that he said acknowledged this fact.
Lawyer Michael Cho, retained by the applicant as their ABC expert to address this issue, disputed Chen's position strongly.
Property Owner Larry Smith spoke in favor of the venue, stating that this ownership group was his best tenant in 44 years.
Managing Partner Marty Kish spoke about the outreach engaged in with the local neighbors, indicating only one had replied so far.  They offered to place sound measuring devices at each propery.
During the discussion Colin McCarthy criticized Chen's presentation and said he was willing to support the applicant.
Much discussion ensued as Chairman Dickson consulted with Deputy City Attorney Yolanda Summerhill on some of the language in the resolution.  The motion that was made included a requirement for sound measuring to begin immediately and be reported back within a month instead of the 6 months in the staff report.  The commissioners voted, 5-0, to approve this project.  However, history of this site makes me think this is certainly not the end of this issue.  Without a firm sound measurement line there's too much fuzziness.  It's going to be interesting to watch this play out.
The meeting ended just a couple minutes before 9 p.m., having spend an hour and three quarters on this issue.

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Blogger Ocpublicsquare said...

Once again, residents and their concerns are are ignored. Wake up Costa Mesa! We're under siege and it's time for everyone to defend our city!

9/13/2016 08:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Xyn Bohemia said...

i think it's ridiculous to allow a nightclub that will have music til 2am right next to homes. there are other places for venues like that. if i lived next door i would definitely be angry.

9/13/2016 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

If the leaders of our city are serious about wanting to improve the Westside, they will have to stop approving bars, night clubs and other drinking establishments on and around West 19th Street. It's thoroughly soaked in alcohol now, and just wait until legal marijuana is added to the mix. Who thinks it's good for a neighborhood to cater to drinkers who drive in from Newport Beach and homeless winos?

9/13/2016 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

I'm confused. I thought you stated, "The proposed hours of operation are from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., seven days a week; proposed hours for live entertainment are 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., seven days a week." Was that addressed? Is this place a nightclub or a diner? Or both?

9/13/2016 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

It's strange the the council men don't see a connection between bars and night clubs (thumbs up)and prostitution at motels(thumbs down). Don't people sometimes "hook up" at bars and then go to motels?

9/13/2016 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Why is "Colon" attacking citizens like Chen?
Is it because they don't lick Newport Boss boots like Colon does?

9/14/2016 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous WaterRat said...

Allan Mansoor is disingenuous. What really bothers me is that up until a couple months ago, Mansoor was still telling people he lived in Newport Beach. Is he here temporarily? Mr. Mansoor says in his commentary that he has worked diligently for the Costa Mesa residents over the last decade. However, as our Assemblyman he did absolutely nothing. Sure, he voted for a couple of things, but got no results for our community.

In fact, he broke his promise to appoint Paul Bunney to the Planning Commission, and instead appointed Jim Righeimer (who even turned in his application late). Shenanigans were at play even then.

Mr. Mansoor, your friends, Messrs Righeimer and Mensinger have decimated Costa Mesa’s police force, causing our crime rate to rise 40%. After 6 years of Righeimer and Mensinger, our streets are unsafe, drugs are rampant (Costa Mesa is now the “go to” for black tar heroin), homeless issues are overwhelming and in large part due to the sober living homes brought to us by their lobbyist Scott Baugh, the office mate of Jim Righeimer. I find your comments of providing “clean, safe, peaceful, quiet places to live” merely campaign rhetoric. How many city council meetings have you even attended since you left council? Even after announcing your intent to run, you have showed up about 3 times, and stayed 10 minutes.

Your comment of “hiring more police does not equate to reduction in crime” is patently false. Police presence and the ability to patrol DOES equate to less crime. The proof is in the pudding with our out-of-control crime rate. We can thank your pals Righeimer and Menninger for that. Removing the motels you indicate the criminals live in will merely scatter crime throughout the city. Your comment about “repurposing” the motels simply means more high-density development for your buddy, Mr. Mensinger. Blaming Prop 47 for our problems on the police force is a complete “cop out”. The city and the police department knew this proposition was coming far in advance. We could have planned for it because we knew about it. What was done? Further decimation of the police force. This shows the type of support we can expect from you.

I, for one, am ready for a regime change. We’ve seen what you (since you’ve worked so hard for us the last decade) and your pals have done to this city. Now is time for people who have actually lived their lives here, and truly care, to take the reins and put public safety first, make and keep our streets safe, and provide some peace of mind for our residents - - something we don’t have now.

I’m proudly voting for Sandy Genis, Jay Humphrey and John Stephens.

9/16/2016 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Holy SHIT. Dickson pronounced bass like the fish? How does one not know how to pronounce the bass in music after the age of 16? Wtf?! Blows my mind. Just BLOWS it.

9/29/2016 06:48:00 PM  

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