10/4/18 – Irvine Planning Commission Notes

Highlights

  1. Both for Public and private parks, major changes must be approved by the Community Services Department and the use of synthetic turf is considered to be a major change that requires Community Services Commission approval.
  2. More information about the development approval process and lack of flexibility with regards to making changes in agreements for long term development projects: Entitlements, vesting Tract Maps, Park Plan, and Conditional Use permits for developments expire at different times. Extension requests for Entitlements, Vesting Tract Map, Park Plans are covered by State Law which does not allow changes to be made to the provisions of these agreements when agreement expiration date is extended. However the extension requests for Conditional Use Permits are not covered by state law, but are covered by local law. The denial of the extension of Conditional Use Permits serves to “kill” the project and the other related agreements.
  3. Planning commission did not want to amend the zoning ordinance to bifurcate Density Bonus approval process by requiring referral of the Density Bonus fee waiver approval element to the City Council, and retaining authority for final approval for park fees and other elements of the Density Bonus approval process.
  4. Great Park Ice facility to have three rinks with one being designated for a practice rink for the Anaheim Ducks. Lots of large signage with Five Points and Five Points logo and a sign with the Anaheim Ducks Logo over their practice Rink.
  5. After meeting discussion with Commissioner Greg Smith: Commissioner Smith stated that in order to allow for more flexibility in responding to changes in Irvine’s General Plan and development priorities, the practice of the planning commission is to grant only 1 extension to the various approved project agreements unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Present were: Greg Smith (Shea), Dustin Nirschl (Fox), John Doung (Lalloway), Anthony Kuo (Wagner) and Patty Bartlett (Schott).

Agenda Item 1: Minutes approved 5-0

Agenda Item 2: Resolution to amend zoning ordinance regarding park procedures filed by Irvine Community Development Department.

Staff report: Staff recommends that major changes to public and private parks require Community Service Commission approval. Staff stated that the use of artificial turf is considered a major change. Staff stated that if an applicant wished, they could appeal the decision of the commission. Small changes would not require commission approval.

Agenda item 3: Extension of Vesting Tract Map for the Trillogy Residential Development in IBC:

Staff report: This project will have 876 dwelling units in three 6 story buildings with roof top parks, accessary retail units and a publically accessible park. The original Vesting Tract Map was applied for in 2016. The applicant requested a 3 year extension but the staff is recommending a 2 year extension.

Public Comment: I asked a process question asking how Irvine can respond to changes in the general plan or to changes in city needs when the Entitlements, Vesting Tract Map, Park Plans and Conditional Use Permits all expire at different times and each keeps getting extended without being able to change the provisions of the agreements.

Kuo: Kuo stated that he wanted to make sure applicant has enough time to complete the project and thus wants to extend the Vesting Tract Map for the requested 3 years. Kuo stated that too much development is going on at this time and he wants to slow down the process.

Duong: Duong said that he had no problem with the 3 year extension.

Smith: Smith stated that the Vested Tract Maps, Entitlements, and Park Plans are covered by State Law and city law and neither allow for changes to the agreements at time of extension.

Kuo moved for a 3 year extension: Approved 5-0

Agenda Item 4: Zoning Ordinance amendment to have Density Bonus Fee Waiver Requests.

Staff report: At this time the planning commission has power to approve density bonus projects. Staff is recommending that the zoning ordinance should be amended to have the fee waiver portion of the density bonus projects be approved by the City Council.

Smith: Smith voiced concern that requiring city council approval will add cost and time to the project and thus would not be business friendly. Smith said that appeals of the planning commission decision can be appealed to the city council.

Kuo: Kuo voiced concern that this policy would slow down the construction of affordable housing.

Nirschel: Nirschel said that this should be a decision made by City Council and thus the planning commission should vote “no” and refer the item to City Council for them to make the decision regarding the zoning change and for city council to give instruction to the planning commission.

Staff: Bifurcating the Density Bonus problem can cause confusion and problems.

Kuo: Kuo moved to keep the item open and not vote on it and ask for staff to get clarification from City Council members as to their recommendation then put reinstate the agenda item at a later meeting. Motion passed 5-0

Agenda item 5: Sign program for Great Park Ice and Sports Complex in the Great Park.

Staff report: The project consists of 3 ice rinks with 1 being a championship rink and another designated as an Anaheim Ducks practice rink. The sign designs are huge and a number of them state “Five Point” with the Five Point logo, some state Great Park Ice.

Public Comment: A property owner complained about the large signage across the street from his home which he considers will be an eyesore.

Kuo: Kuo asked that signs state Great Park Ice Irvine, and thus have the “Irvine” name included in the signage. Applicant stated that the “Irvine” name will not be included in the signage.

Duong: Doung said that the signs are too wide and too high, and locations of signage need some changes.

Applicant agreed to work with city staff on location and size of primary signs.

Motion to approve signage with understanding that applicant will work with city staff to ascertain exact size and location of signs: Passed 5-0

(Meeting with Smith after adjournment: Smith stated that State Law does not address conditional use permits. According to Smith, conditional use permits are subject to local laws. Smith stated that it is city policy to deny the 2nd extension of development agreements unless there are extenuating circumstances like the property being sold to a new owner. Smith also stated that if the conditional use permits are denied, then it kills the other project agreements and thus the entire project.}