10/2/18 – Transportation Commission Meeting Notes

Highlights:

  1. Irvine’s senior population is rapidly growing and there is a shortage of senior care facilities in Irvine to provide for the care needs of Irvine seniors.
  2. West Bay Senior Living addresses the shortage of senior care facilities in Irvine by presenting a plan to construct a large congregate care facility for independent living, assisted living, and convalescent care residents on Millikan Avenue and Barranca Parkway across from the District shopping center.
  3. West Bay Senior Living Millikan care facility is intended to address the needs, interests and safety of its residents through facility design and activity programing.
  4. *** Note: The traffic analysis reports for the Veterans’ Cemetery sites will be on the 11/20/18 Transportation Commission Meeting Agenda.***
  5. (West Bay Senior Living CEO, Jim Biggs, and Transportation Commissioner, Carrie O’Malley, answer questions addressing my concerns after the adjournment of the Transportation Commission meeting.)

Meeting Notes:

Present were: Rose Casey (Lalloway), Ken Montgomery (Fox), Sandy Moody (Schott), Carrie O’Malley (Wagner) and Steve Grenberg (Shea).

Agenda item : Traffic impact analysis for the Millikan Congregate Care project located in the Irbine Business Complex.

Staff report: The Millikan Congregate Care facility is located on Millikan Avenue and Barranca (across from the District shopping center). It will be an 8 story building with 370 living quarters and will have underground parking. The traffic analysis report states that 920 daily trips are expected, but the additional traffic will have no significant intersection or roadway link impacts. Staff reported that there are 2 conditions of approval which are restriping the left lane of Millikan Avenue to provide 2 left hand turn lanes onto Barranca Parkway, and the applicant entering into a shared use agreement with neighboring property owner for a driveway exiting the facility onto Barranca.

Public Comments: I commented stating that I, an Irvine resident, am opposed to the proposed project because of the location being on a street with heavy traffic and traffic congestion and thus would pose a health and safety risk to the senior residents who may be walking to the District Shopping Center using walkers and canes, or riding to the center in wheelchairs or scooters. I stated that the timing for the green crossing signal would have to re-set to a much longer period. I also stated that the striping plan appears to be based on the assumption that traffic would be using Barranca to access the 55 freeway when, in reality, people use Jamboree to access both the 5 and 405 freeways.

A representative of the applicant reported in a public comment that the staff report needs to be amended as the applicant has had delays in reaching a shared use agreement with the owner of the neighboring property and thus askes that the shared use agreement be waived by the city if the shared use agreement could not be accomplished.

Ken: Ken voiced concern that Barranca Parkway would be too congested for bicycle riders to use and asked if the sidewalk could be enlarged. The applicant stated that the sidewalk would have equipment boxes on the sidewalk which would hamper bicycle traffic. Ken also confirmed with applicant that without the shared use agreement there would be an exit driveway.

Carrie: Carrie asked staff to confirm that the project was consistent with Irvine’s General Plan. Staff reported that the project was consistent with the general plan. Carrie asked applicant to describe the amenities of the facility. The applicant representative stated that there will be 60,000 square feet of common space, a movie theater, restaurants, an indoor garden and some outdoor space within the facility footprint for walkways. It was further reported that there will be a number of small courtyards, patios, and open spaces for landscaping.

Rose: Rose asked if the signal timing on the Barranca Parkway and Millikan Avenue intersection can be made to accommodate the need for a longer crossing period and staff stated that accommodation would be made.

Steve: Steve asked the applicant if the applicant would be willing to work with the city to make appropriate arrangements for the exit driveway if the shared use agreement was not accomplished. The applicant confirmed willingness to work with the city. Steve proposed a motion approving the Transportation Impact analysis with the amendment allowing for waiving the shared use agreement if necessary. Motion passed: 5-0

Items for future agendas: On 11/20/18 agenda there will be a number of important agenda items including the traffic analysis for the Veterans’ Cemetery Sites.

Meeting was adjourned.

( After meeting conversation with applicant representative, Jim Biggs, CEO West Bay Senior Living, and commissioner, Carrie O’Malley: Mr. Biggs stated that there is a growing need for senior care facilities. He admitted that the location for the Millikan facility is on a busy street and busy intersection, however, there is little property available that would meet the project needs. Mr. Biggs reported that he will have lots of amenities and activities that will accommodate residents’ need for physical and mental stimulation with the intent that the activities will be sufficient to meet their needs on site. According to Mr. Biggs, the facility will offer music, art, speakers, yoga, Tai Chi, special attention to dietary needs, including guest chefs, restaurants, swimming pools and a movie theater. Mr. Biggs also stated that the facility will provide transportation to appointments and events. Carrie stated that if the street striping and other traffic accommodations were found to be deficient, remediation would be made.)