3/21/19 Planning Commission Meeting Highlights

Commissioners Present:
Michael Carroll (Kuo)
Steven Huang (Khan)
Dustin Nirschl (Fox)
Jeff Pierson (Wagner)
Greg Smith (Shea)

2019 Circulation Phasing Task Force

Commissioner Smith (Shea) was voted in (5-0) to serve as the planning commission representative to the 2019 Circulation Phasing Task Force. The 2019 task force includes Finance commissioner Jim Shute (Shea), Transportation commissioner Steve Greenberg (Shea), Transportation commission chair Carrie O’Malley (Wagner), FivePoint, the Irvine Company and City staff from the departments of Transportation, Public Works, and Community Development. The task force will oversee a citywide circulation report that will become the basis for circulation improvements and future Capital Improvement projects.

Irvine Business Complex (IBC) Vision Plan Update

City staff (B. Jacobs, J. Belding, M. Dugan) gave an update on the IBC vision plan. The Council was asked to provide feedback and input related to the plan. The IBC is a residential and mixed-use environment. The IBC Vision Plan established a 15,000-residential unit cap; nearly all 15,000 units under the cap have been entitled and almost one-half of all units have been constructed to date. The majority of new non-residential development remains office related and not industrial/warehouse use. The IBC Vision Plan is part of the General Plan.

  • RETAIL ANALYSIS. Staff presented two policy recommendations under review to overcome barriers to retail development in the IBC 1) Expanding the zoning ordinance definition of “accessory retail” and 2) reevaluating the process of retail trip generation rates and developer right transfers. Both are being studied with the goal of attracting more retail development in the IBC to serve the growing residential population and the daytime work population. Public Comment: A consultant to many property owners in the IBC said we need a viable plan to attract more retail in the IBC and support expanding the definition of accessory retail.
  • PARKS & TRAILS.  The search for a park site (underway since 2015) is still active but in addition, the City is looking to develop trails and park amenities along the OC Flood Control and railroad right-of-ways. The vision is a network of interconnected trails to connect properties and people. A consultant will be selected later this month. Commissioner Carroll asked if the IRWD (Irvine Ranch Water District) wildlife sanctuary site was an option for more open space usage. The staff responded it has had discussions, but there is nothing firm to report on.
  • NEIGHBORHOOD INFRASTRUCTURE.  Two neighborhood infrastructure improvement projects are in process. Both are funded by developer fees from residential projects.

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AT THE INTERSECTION OF JAMBOREE RD AND MICHELSON.
SIDEWALK INSTALLATIONS ALONG ARMSTRONG, DuBRIDGE, GATES, MILLIKAN, NOYES, AND HALE.

TRANSPORTATION. The 2019 IBC Traffic Study Update will be completed and presented in mid-2019. The traffic mitigation intersection improvement for Jamboree Road and Michelson (first identified in 2010) has shifted focus and is now studying alternative lane reconfigurations and improvements. Culver Dr./Alton Pkwy and Harvard Ave/Michelson Dr. received OCTA (Orange County Transit Authority) grant money for design and engineering work for intersection improvements.

Notable:

Commissioner Carroll: “(Peope) can’t move on Jamboree Road now after 3 pm other than a crawl. Do we have an opportunity to make traffic better?” City Staff: “We are making a lot of really small incremental changes and that will make a really big difference.”

Commissioner Nirschl asked how are we doing financially in the IBC because he doesn’t want to be in the position of underfunding the improvements.

Commissioner Huang asked if we are looking at parking needs for future retail development.

Commissioner Smith thanked the staff for their excellent work but was concerned that the IBC Vision Update is more reactive to today versus proactive to what the future will look like.

The Spectrum Terrace Office Campus | Quail Hill

The Spectrum Terrace office campus consists of nine four-story buildings set on 74 acres and was first approved in 1988. The Planning Commission approved (5-0) the Spectrum Terrace sign program for business and center identification purposes. The Commissioners called it a good looking sign package and said it fits in with the area.  The developer (The Irvine Company) was asked to please strongly consider incorporating the City name/logo on some of the signs. The commissioners felt it was a nice opportunity.

Wireless Ordinance Update

A staff report was provided (by S. Higa, H. Duran, S. Tran). To address a FCC (Federal Communications Commission) ruling on small wireless facilities, the commission was tasked to recommend approval of zone changes to amend the city’s zoning ordinance. The Commissioners spent the bulk of the meeting (very thorough discussions) on this agenda item. All five worked closely with city staff and each other to draft the new citywide regulations for small utility facilities that will go before the City Council for approval. Only one resident spoke during the public comment period who asked that the commissioners consider the health effects of wireless when drafting the regulations. Some of the proposed new ordinance criteria include establishing aesthetic controls, expanding site analysis to also include adjacent properties and not allowing ground level utility boxes. Please read the official 3/21/19 Planning Commission minutes that will be available on the City website for the complete list of recommended regulations and in the proposed ordinance.

Irvine Bussines Complex | Installation of Four (Class Six) Small Wireless Installations Located Within The Public Right-of-Way

The project is considered a Class 6 installation since it is a streetlight facility in the public right-of-way. City Staff (S. Tran, K. Berg-Curtis) presented the item and it was approved (5-0). The applicant is Verizon. The four installments are all located in the Irvine Business Complex. The project’s intent is to enhance wireless coverage and network capacity in the surrounding areas, resulting in increased data speed for mobile customers.

NEXT MEETING:

April 18, 2019.  The April 4th meeting is canceled.