7/19/18 Irvine Planning Commission Meeting Notes

Commission members present: Patty Bartlett (Schott appointee), Anthony Kuo (Wagner appointee), Greg Smith (Shea appointee), absent: John Duong (Lalloway appointee) and Dustin Nirschl(Fox appointee).

Agenda Item 1: Approval of minutes of prior meeting: Approved.

Agenda Item 2: Gillette Apartment Project in Irvine Business Complex: Continued  60 days to 9/6/18 at applicants request.

Agenda Item 3: 3rd Amendment to the Great Park eighborhoods Master Affordable Housing Plan: As Patty Bartlett had to recuse herself due to conflict of interest; there was no quorum for the decision.  The matter was continued to Aug 2nd meeting.

Agenda Item 4: Zoning Ordinance Update regarding zoning change relating to park procedures: Community Services had second thoughts about the zoning change and will revise language wording.  They asked to have the measure continued to 9/6/18. The continuation was approved.

Agenda Item 5: Conditional use permit for a private school at congregation Shir Ha-MA’A LOT, located in Rancho San Joaquin.

Staff report stated that the building was approved and constructed.  Notice was reportedly given to Rancho San Joaquin HOA and residents residing within 500 feet of the project location. Now the applicant is wanting to use the building for a school.  The school is located on Michelson behind the Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course and between Culver and Harvard. The school would have 225 students from all over Orange County and beyond, and 25 faculty members.  The school will be K-12, and the school start and end times will be staggered with K being from 8 am-2 pm, elementary 1-6 from 7:45-2:45k, and Jr and Sr. High from 7:30-3:00 to accommodate traffic flow. Staff will be required to leave the premises by 30 minutes after classes end.  There will be no athletic or after school activities. Due to parking and traffic issues, no student will be able to drive to school. There inflow traffic for parent dropping and picking up students will have 2 traffic lanes each direction, and stripping for left hand turn off of Michelson will be changed to allow cars to line up for left hand turn. A traffic monitor will guide the traffic on the premises.  Many of the parking places are leased from Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course. The Golf course has power to terminate the lease. If the lease is terminated, the applicant will have to find the additional parking. No recommendations as to where they could find it was clearly presented, however paring near the bowling area was stated as a possibility.

The traffic report stated that the school would have no impact on traffic however, periodic traffic studies will be made and if there is an impact, the applicant school will have to provide necessary remediation.

Public Comment: A number of people gave public comments.  Most complained about the traffic on Michelson between Culver and Jamboree, especially since all the high rise apartments were built around Michelson and Jamboree.  People were concerned about freeway traffic and the traffic on the Jamboree on and off ramps. Some people claimed that the school is not consistent with the Rancho San Joaquin Village.  One Public Comment speaker reported that no notice was given to Rancho San Joaquin HOA. Public Commenters also stated that they were concerned that overflow parking would impact nearby neighborhoods.

Patty Bartlett (Schott appointee): Patty reported that school traffic near homes is horrible.  She said that she lives near University Park School and at school start time and end time, she cannot get off or onto her street due to traffic congestion.  She also stated concerns that if 2 lanes entered and exited the school, the children getting out of the cars on the far lane would be at risk when crossing the first lane to get to class.  Staff report: owners have the ability to terminate lease at will.  Staff also reported that the building in which the school was to be housed was built for congregation expansion, not for school classrooms.  Patty also said that she was concerned that parking would be a problem due to the potential for the parking lot land lease agreement being terminated.  Patty did say that the conditional use was appropriate and she would approve the conditional use.

Anthony Kuo (Wagner appointee): Anthony also complained about the terrible traffic.  He also voiced concern about the leased land for the parking area and the possible result of people parking in other areas.  He stated that re-striping Michelson won’t help nearby traffic congestion. Anthony Kuo reported that Code enforcement will enforce the conditions of the conditional use permit. So the school cannot have more than 225 students or 25 faculty members. Kuo said that he would approve the conditional use.

Greg Smith (Shea appointee): Greg also stated that he was concerned about the traffic and about the parking on leased ground.  According to Greg, the Synagogue approached the San Joaquin Golf Course for a lease agreement because the golf course was not using the land.  Greg Smith agreed that the golf course was for sale. Staff report: staff said that no more than about 50 units can be built on the golf course land. Greg said that the staggered school schedules will help traffic. He reported that Irvine Public Schools do not stagger school schedules so the traffic is worse.  Greg further reported that if the conditions of the conditional land use are not met, they will get a citation, and if the conditions continue to not be met, the conditional use permit would be pulled. Smith said that he would approve the conditional use permit.

Conditional use permit was approved 3-0.