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Planning Commission Minutes October 7, 2008

ACTION MINUTES

DALY CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Council Chambers, Daly City

 

 

Chair Satorre called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

ROLL CALL:         Present:             Smith, Kelly, Satorre and Tallerico

                              Absent:               Salamy

 

      Staff Present:     Berger, Schott, Pirnejad, Mothershead, Naughton, Engfer and DeFries

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to approve the minutes of September 2, 2008.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING:

 

10.       Use Permit UP08-6, Design Review DR08-6 and Environmental Assessment for new construction of two duplexes – 363 San Diego Avenue

 

Staff report presented by:       Jeanne Naughton, Associate Planner

 

Ms. Naughton presented the request by Bill Guan for approval of the construction of a pair of duplexes on two adjacent, existing lots.  The property is in the R-1/A Single Family/Duplex Residential District and has a General Plan designation of Medium-Low Density  The site is located on the east side of San Diego Avenue, between Knowles and Vista Grande Avenues

 

The subject site consists of two existing, 3,677.5 square foot lots that have been utilized as one site since the single family residence was built in 1914. They are two legal lots that are in compliance with the Subdivision Map Act, which means that each lot may be developed with a duplex structure, but requires a Use Permit.

 

The adjacent neighborhood is characterized primarily by one- and two-story homes. There is a diverse mix of architectural styles along the block face; both sides contain homes with flat and gabled roofs. The older homes, including the existing single family residence on the subject site, contain steeply sloped gable roofs, with interesting articulation along the front façade walls  This type of design is interspersed with newer, flat roofed homes that contain very little or no articulation. The applicant has chosen to propose a flat roof style design that he has described as a simple, clean, Italian style.

 

            The proposed duplexes are three-story buildings on two 25-foot wide lots in an existing neighborhood of one- and two-story dwellings built on 25-foot to 50-foot-wide lots. The City’s Small Residential Design Guidelines require that the building design and its placement on the site respect the neighborhood context. Staff required several modifications to the originally proposed plan, including:  stepping the 3rd floor back 5 feet, recessing the garage doors by 2 feet, which then means the rear wall of the garages got pushed back by 2 feet.  Also building and fire codes required the enclosure of the front entry stairs and side corridors which then put the buildings over maximum allowable lot coverage limits because those enclosed were then counted toward lot coverage. The building footprint has been reduced to meet the maximum allowable lot coverage of 55%.

There was no provision for adequate space for trash and recycling facilities, now a trash and recycling area has been added to each duplex structure.  The wet bar area has been removed on the lower level, in conjunction with conversion of the area to private storage for each duplex unit.

 

            Staff also recommended several changes that would contribute toward reducing the overall mass and scale of the structures and add aesthetic appeal to the development, such as revised roof designs to better reflect the character of surrounding development, stepping the rear half of each third floor of the duplex structures 3’ from the side property lines and conversion of a third floor bedroom to an uncovered deck.  All required and recommended revisions have been incorporated into the revised proposal.

 

Commissioner Smith recused herself from the discussion as she lives within 500 feet of the project.

 

Commissioner Tallerico stated that he had visited the site and was concerned about parking, traffic and congestion and feels that this project will cause more problems.  He also felt that a three story building was too much for this neighborhood.  Commissioner Kelly asked about the parking provided and Ms. Mothershead replied that the parking provided meets code requirements. 

 

Speakers:        Bill Guan, applicant

                        Sharon Hilgert, property owner

 

Mr. Guan stated that he understands that parking is an issue in this area, but the parking provided complies with City requirements.  He pointed out the neighborhood is close to a BART station and other transit systems. 

 

Ms. Hilgert stated that she grew up in the house and neighborhood and was very familiar with the parking problems.  People were always blocking her driveway and some people that were using BART parked in the area.  She feels that the City needs to take action. 

 

            COMMISSION ACTION

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico to close the public hearing. Motion carried 3-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to adopt the findings as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Tallerico, seconded by Commissioner Kelly, to affirm the Environmental Assessment.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to approve Use Permit UP08-6 and Design Review DR08-6 subject to the Findings and Conditions as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008.  Motion carried by a 2-1 roll call vote with Commissioner Tallerico against.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

 

20.       Zone Text Amendment ZTA08-1 and Environmental Assessment to amend certain sections of the Zoning Ordinance pertaining to the requirements for conceptual approval and design review approval - Citywide

 

Staff report presented by:       Jeanne Naughton, Associate Planner

 

Ms. Naughton presented the request by the City to approve a zone text amendment to repeal Sections within Chapters 17.45 and 17.40 of the Municipal Code to create consistency between the Code and the newly adopted City fees, charges, and fines.  

 

On August 25, 2008, the City Council adopted the revision of City fees, charges, and fines. The increases will bring the City closer to full costs recovery and more appropriately reflect the true cost of service in many areas where demand for service is driven by those who directly benefit.  A majority of the Planning application fees were increased as part of the revised fee schedule. The revised fee schedule also established new categories of applications with corresponding fees, which requires either the creation of new processes in the Code or modification of the existing processes outlined in the Code

 

The Zone Text Amendment will revise the sections dealing with Conceptual Approval and Design Review The overall purpose of Conceptual Approval is to establish that the work is in conformance with the Agency’s legal plan. The current valuation threshold was adopted into Code approximately 13 years ago and did not contain provisions for adjustment due to inflation; simple tenant improvements, ADA upgrades, and similar projects that otherwise only require a building permit, often surpass a valuation of $10,000. The fee collected for the Conceptual Approval application, did not represent a justifiable cost recovery level based on staff time required to process the application.

 

            The revised valuation threshold will no longer be listed in Code, but established per Resolution, as adopted by the City Council, to account for inflation and eliminate the need for future Zone Text Amendments when the valuation threshold increases.

 

            The Code currently requires Design Review of very minor exterior changes such as repainting a majority of a multifamily residential, commercial, or industrial building in a new color scheme, and installing new awnings, or sunshades. The Administrative Design Review process will apply to projects such as these. The applications will be reviewed and approved by the Director of Economic and Community Development and will be appealable to the Design Review Committee.

 

            Major Design Review projects are those that require design review but are not processing concurrent entitlements (either because they are already in place or because none are required). Minor Design Review applications consist of applications that are processing concurrent entitlements and that may have a lesser aesthetic impact. This distinction streamlines the process by folding Design Review into the entitlement review and approval by the City Council.

 

            The City Council will retain the authority to, at its discretion, require an additional and separate review by the Design Review Committee, should they feel there will be a significant aesthetic impact, thus necessitating a more detailed design review. 

 

            Commissioner Smith expressed some serious concerns regarding the language change and felt that the “substantive changes to the process” were not explained in the presentation.  She interpreted it to mean that the City was proposing shifting a large portion of the review process and the power of the Planning Commission to the ECD Director, the Design Review Committee and the City Council.  She stated that the Planning Commissioners represent different viewpoints from the community and the community brings their concerns to the Commission. The main purpose of the Planning Commission is to protect the interests of neighborhoods and promote the health, safety and welfare of the city She felt it was an extreme shift of the Planning Commission’s role to one person.  She questioned what effect this would have on public hearings and the review process. 

 

            Planning Manager, Tatum Mothershead, explained the current design review process and how that under the new process, the Planning Commission would actually be given more to review as design review would now be part of the whole project before them, rather than a separate committee review after Planning Commission review.  She also gave examples of projects that don’t come before Planning Commission, but do go to the Design Review Committee.

 

            Assistant City Attorney, Kelly Schott, assured the Commissioners that all projects that currently come before the Planning Commission would still do so and they would still have the authority to impose conditions. 

 

            Commissioner Smith pointed out that the whole code sections were not quoted and therefore the staff report was confusing and unclear.  She was concerned with the Section 17.45.090 which repealed the Conditions section and said that it did not state that it was just minor items and still felt that the Planning Commission was losing authority.

 

            Commissioner Tallerico confirmed his interpretation, which was that there was no usurping of Planning Commission powers since this all applied to Design Review, which the Commission never dealt with anyway.  Ms. Mothershead agreed and said any authority of the ECD Director is related to Administrative Design Review and said staff will clarify this in the Council report.

 

            Ms. Naughton then went into detail and explained that the City is establishing three separate categories for design review, where there was only category before.  She described how the new design review process will work and how it will streamline the process.  She reiterated that these changes take away no authority from the Planning Commission to continue reviewing and attaching conditions and recommendations to the City Council. 

 

Speakers:        Rich Brugger, Cypress Point Homeowners Association

                       

Mr. Brugger stated that the dialogue had cleared up a lot of things for him.  He was concerned that these changes would not allow larger projects to come before the Commission.  He said if it was worded clearly enough for the Commissioners and they felt comfortable that no large project would sneak through, then he was comfortable with it.

 

COMMISSION ACTION

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to close the public hearing. Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to adopt the findings as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Smith, seconded by Commissioner Kelly, to affirm the Environmental Assessment.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to approve Zone Text Amendment ZTA08-1 subject to the Findings as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008. Motion carried by a unanimous roll call vote.

 

21.       Use Permit UP08-13, Design Review DR08-9 and Environmental Assessment for amendments to the Master Sign Program for Serramonte Shopping Center

 

Staff report presented by:       Jeanne Naughton, Associate Planner

 

Ms. Naughton presented the request by Daly City Serramonte Center, LLC to amend the Master Sign Program at the Serramonte Shopping Center.  The request is to replace the existing pylon sign, replace street-side directional signage and add new on-site directional signage.  The site consists of a 73 acre regional shopping center.  In 1997, the existing Serramonte Center Master Sign Program was created and included the installation of the existing pylon sign with full color electronic message display and new monument signs at the intersection of Gellert and Serramonte Boulevard. 

 

In 2003, the Design Review Committee approved changes to the Center that included new mall entryways, new exterior paint, signage, landscaping and interior improvements made throughout the mall.  A seasonal theme was created for the signage throughout the interior and exterior of the Center.  Entryways to the Center, along with the interior wings, were given either an autumn, winter, spring or summer theme, with corresponding signage colors and design.

 

Daly City Serramonte, LLC has developed a long range development plan for the shopping center. Included is the development of approximately 72,000 square feet of new tenant space at the southwest corner of the site. While the existing street-side directional signage that was recently installed is compatible with the seasonal theme for the Center, there is no tenant identification on any of the signs. The purpose of the street-side directional signage is to establish tenant identity, and direct traffic that would typically enter the site at Serramonte and Gellert Boulevard, to the entrance located to the west of Gellert Boulevard. Utilization of the respective entrance would more evenly distribute incoming and outgoing traffic to the site and provide a more direct route to the new development.

 

The existing pylon sign facing Interstate 280 in the northeast quadrant of the Center’s parking lot, is 60 feet in height, 23.5 feet in width, and incorporates an electronic message center component, which operates from 6 AM to Midnight. The goal of this sign was to generate stronger sales as well as renewed interest by quality tenants seeking to locate in the Center. Costs of operating the sign however, have not justified the installation of this type of sign.

 

            The applicants are proposing to replace the existing pylon with a smaller, internally illuminated pylon sign that incorporates the new seasonally themed center logo, creating consistency between it and the newly installed design scheme for the center. The proposed double-sided sign would be 53 feet in height, 20 feet in width, and 4.5 feet thick. The seasonally themed Serramonte logo will be internally illuminated, and the nine, interchangeable tenant sign panels will contain face-lit or halo effect illumination. Each tenant panel will be 60 square feet, while the Serramonte logo will be 37 square feet, for a total of 577 square feet for each side of the pylon sign.

 

            The street-side directional signage will replace the existing signage located at the northwest corner of Serramonte and Gellert Boulevard, on the west side of the entrance located along Serramonte, west of Gellert and on the south side of the entrance located along Callan Blvd. These double sided signs will be 10 feet in height, 4.25 feet wide and contain five interchangeable, sign panels with white internally illuminated logos. The seasonally themed Serramonte logo will be internally illuminated. Each tenant panel will be a total of 3 square feet on each side, while the Serramonte logo will be 4 square feet, for a total of 19.75 square feet on each side of the street-side directional monuments. The total square footage for the three new street-side directional signs will be 118.5 square feet.

 

            The on-site directional signage will be located on the northeastern end of the Gellert Boulevard entrance, on the north side of Macy’s and at the southwest corner of Target. These double sided, on-site directional signs will be 7 feet in height, 3.75 feet in width and contain five interchangeable sign panels with white internally illuminated logos. Each tenant panel will be 2.3 square feet, with a 2 square foot Serramonte logo, with a total of 28 square feet for each side of the on-site directional monuments.  These signs, just as the street-side directional signs, will contain the seasonally themed Serramonte logo, consistent with the rest of the Center signage. The total square footage for the three new on-site directional signs will be 84 square feet.

 

            Commissioner Satorre commented on the good job the shopping center has done and how it has improved over the years.  He also inquired about future development.

 

            Speakers:        Fergal McHugh, for property owners

 

            Mr. McHugh stated that they had bought the shopping center in 2002 and this application is the next phase of their upgrade to the center.  He said the existing pylon sign is outdated and no one likes the flashing sign.  The new sign will be more contemporary.  They hope this will encourage new tenants and customers.  They hope the directional signs will encourage more people to use the secondary entrance on Serramonte Boulevard.  They are considering various sites for future development, including the recycling center, the Good Guys parcel, and Wachovia site.

 

COMMISSION ACTION

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to close the public hearing. Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Tallerico, seconded by Commissioner Smith, to adopt the findings as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Tallerico, seconded by Commissioner Smith, to affirm the Environmental Assessment.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to approve Use Permit UP08-13 and Design Review DR08-9 subject to the Findings and Conditions as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008.  Motion carried by a unanimous roll call vote.

 

22.       Use Permit UP08-12 and Environmental Assessment for overnight pet boarding/kennel at Serramonte Plaza PetSmart – 315 Gellert Boulevard

 

Staff report presented by:       Steve Engfer, Assistant Planner

 

Mr. Engfer presented the request by PetSmart to obtain use permit approval to conduct an overnight pet boarding use.  The site is located at the Serramonte Plaza on the east side of Gellert Boulevard in the retail and service commercial center known as Serramonte Plaza.  It is zoned C-1/Light Commercial and a kennel use requires a use permit.

 

The proposal is to convert approximately 5,530 square feet at the rear of the existing PetSmart store to a PetsHotel.  There are 123 dog spaces proposed, including 114 rooms.  Of those, 46 would be 4’ x 6’ and 68 would be 4’ x 4’.  There are also 9 dog “suites” and 16 cat rooms.  Also included in the improvements are grooming rooms, counter area and a new exterior sign.  The sign would be in compliance with the Serramonte Plaza Master Sign Program.

 

Animal waste will be disposed of in the sanitary sewer system.  Standard Department of Water & Wastewater Resources conditions apply.  The proposed normal hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 9am-9pm and Sunday 9am-7pm.  They are also proposing by appointment only drop off and pick up between 7am-9am, as is currently the case for dog grooming. 

 

The existing parking for Serramonte Plaza will be used for the PetsHotel use.  No additional parking is required as the proposal does not increase the floor area.  The San Mateo County Department of Environmental Health will inspect the project and the SPCA may inspect from time to time.

 

Commissioner Smith wondered why there was only space for 16 cats.

 

Commissioner Kelly had some concerns about animal waste in the parking lot/median area as she had seen people letting dogs use that area. 

 

Speakers:        Robia Chang, of Miller Starr Regalia, applicant representative

                        Brian Deaton, PetSmart District Services Manager

                        Rich Brugger, Cypress Point Homeowners Association

 

Ms. Chang addressed some of the concerns raised.  She said there were fewer cat rooms because people tend to board their dogs more than cats.  They make an effort to make sure there are no sound issues.  Regarding pet waste, the entire operation is in the store.  They do not take the animals outside.  PetSmart has a lot of stores throughout the country that have successfully operated Pet Hotels. 

 

Commissioner Smith asked if the rooms were stacked.  Mr. Deaton replied that there are different sections, which include the suites which are enclosed kennels and sections that are single kennels and another section in the back for stacked kennels, which are about 4’ off the ground.  The smaller pets that can be picked up are put in the top kennel.  He also said the reason there were so few cat rooms was that they really have a much higher percentage of dogs that board and for longer periods.  Cats tend to be more skittish and don’t do as well outside of the home.  He also assured the Commission that they would make sure that their customers cleaned up after their pets.

 

Mr. Brugger was concerned about parking and people dropping off their pets using the handicap spaces in front.  He also was concerned about staffing and if there was any big area for dogs who were boarded for more than a couple of days.  Mr. Deaton replied that they have 24 hour staffing and there is a large play area for exercise and activity for the dogs.  It is very structured and only a certain number of dogs are allowed in the play area at one time.  Ms. Mothershead stated that twenty four hour trained staffing is required as a condition of approval. 

 

COMMISSION ACTION

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to close the public hearing. Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Tallerico, seconded by Commissioner Kelly, to adopt the findings as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Tallerico, seconded by Commissioner Smith, to affirm the Environmental Assessment.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

            Moved by Commissioner Smith, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to approve Use Permit UP08-12 subject to the Findings and Conditions as outlined in the staff report of October 7, 2008. Motion carried by a unanimous roll call vote.

 

COMMUNICATIONS:

 

            Ms. Mothershead introduced the new Assistant Director of Economic & Community Director, Peter Pirnejad.   

 

Commissioner Satorre announced the General Plan Steering Committee meeting at 6:00 on October 29, 2008.

 

Ms. Mothershead announced that the City of Daly City and the San Mateo County Chapter of the American Institute of Architects will be holding the Mission Street Design Charette on November 8, 2008, from 8:00am to 8:00pm at the War Memorial Community Center.  The public is invited.  Staff would prefer that people coming RSVP (650 991-8033) so that they will have enough snacks.  People who are interested in coming do not have to commit to the whole day, but they can come and go at their convenience.  The community will have an opportunity to provide input throughout the day and then at the end, there will be a presentation of the design concepts that came through the process. 

 

Commissioner Satorre wished Carol Klatt and Maggie Gomez a Happy Birthday.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

            Moved by Commissioner Kelly, seconded by Commissioner Tallerico, to adjourn at 8:25 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        Richard Berger

                                                                        Director of Economic and Community Development