8/21/18 Irvine Planning Commission Notes


  1. The back story : read the hidden truths behind parking issues in Irvine Village Neighborhoods.
  2. The persuasive power of public comments at Commission Meetings: Commissioners listen AND respond to the public! See how public comment on both major agenda items influenced commission discussions and decisions.
  3. Will there be an Irvine Municipal bus system in the future?…Maybe so.
  4. Commissioners reach out to the public: During after meeting discussion commissioners request proposals and information from the public.

Meeting notes:

Present were: Rose Casey (Lalloway),Ken Montgomery (Fox), Sandy Moody (Schott), Carrie O’Malley (Wagner), Steve Greenberg (Shae)

Agenda Item 1: Minutes from past meeting: Minutes were amended and then approved as amended: 5-0

Agenda Item 2: Paseo Westpark Planning regulations regarding signing an striping modifications to increase on street parking. (This area appears to be Westpark 2 near Warner, Harvard and Paseo Westpark).

Staff report: The staff report stated that night time parking restrictions were requested to allow more parking for residents as there is a lack of night time parking. Staff reported that an apartment complex had less than the required number of parking places, and the apartment will add a couple of more parking spaces. It was reported that residents complained of night time noise from people talking on cell phones, and problems with discarded trash and drug paraphernalia. Staff further reported that the area was monitored by video camera and it was determined that according to DMV records 1/3 of the cars parked on the streets belonged to residents and 2/3 belonged to people who were not residents. According to staff, the lack of parking availability results in overflow parking in adjacent neighborhoods. Staff reported that apartments require permit parking for residents and guests. Staff reported that the city cannot require parking permits on the city streets in this area and the city can only enforce the “parking count”.

Staff recommended action: Place 22 parking places along designated streets behind walls and away from front doors of residences. Staff reported having received numerous letters complaining about the staff recommendations.

Public Comment (from many residents): Residents complained that there is too much traffic in the area and too few parking places because of overflow traffic from other neighborhoods. Residents requested neighborhood permit parking as a means of eliminating overflow parking. Residents complained that they are not notified of street project changes. Many residents complained of strangers loitering in the area, lots of trash and even discarded drug paraphernalia. Residents complained that the village streets are being used as a storage facility for stretch limos, commercial trucks, dusty and dirty cars, and U Haul trucks at night and on weekends and even long term. Residents stated that adding 22 additional parking places would not solve the vehicle storage issue. One resident followed someone who traded a limo for his car and drove to his home and the person did not even live in Irvine. Residents reported that they have observed people shuffling cars around to avoid violating the 72 hour parking rule for city streets. Other residents complained that the 72 hour street parking rule is not being enforced. A resident stated that there is a Southern California Edison right of way property strip right behind the neighborhoods and maybe the city can rent space for parking places from SCE. Another resident said that the streets are so “parked up” that the streets are not getting swept and trash is piling up. Other residents complained that there is no crosswalk striping and children are crossing streets from between cars when walking to school which is a safety hazard.

Rose and Sandy: Rose and Sandy asked about getting permit parking for the area. Staff reported that Irvine’s municipal code allows permit parking south of the 405 only, not north of the 405. According to staff, permit parking south of the 405 was the solution to parking issues related to students from Concordia and UCI parking on neighborhood streets. Staff said that apartment complexes and private roads can have parking permits but city streets cannot unless the municipal code is amended to allow permit parking.

Ken: Ken suggested not allowing night time parking in order to eliminate vehicle storages issues but allow day time parking. Staff reported that day time parking is an issue due to street sweeping between 11 AM and 4 PM. Staff said that not allowing day time parking is safer for children walking to school.

Carrie: Carrie stated that she was concerned about commercial vehicle storage on streets and about the fact that there was no contact with residents. Staff said that they contacted HOAs and Next Door. Carrie also asked if crosswalks can be stripped at intersections. Staff reported that the vehicle code does not require striped crosswalks in neighborhoods.

Steve: Steve said that adding 22 more parking places on the streets is not sufficient for resolving the parking issues.

Carrie: Carrie moved to have staff review the process for amending the municipal code to allow permit parking north of the 405, research the options for parking restraints and limits and analyze the benefits of marking crosswalks at neighborhood cross streets that are most highly utilized by children and residents. She asked that the report be submitted in 90 days. Staff reported that changing the municipal code requires city council approval.

Motion passed 5-0

Agenda item 3: Greenbert’s request for discussion of the Veteran’s Cemetery.

Greenberg: He said that the Veteran’s Cemetery would be costly at the ARDA site and it would require considerable demolition when the golf course site would not.

Mark Linsenmayre, Director of Transportation: Mark said that the traffic study is to be presented at the October 16, 2018 commission meeting.

Public Comment: A resident reported that the proposed alternative use of the ARDA site is a large business and commercial center and the proposed alternative use of the golf course site is the Veterans’ Cemetery and a 9 hole golf course. The resident requested that the traffic studies for both sites compare current traffic at both sites with future traffic at the ARDA and Golf Course sites with both usage alternatives. The speaker stated that there would likely be much less future traffic with the ARDA site having the Veterans’ Cemetery and the Golf Course keeping its golf course designation. A resident reported that the Veterans’ Cemetery location issue is complicated by the fact that the residents purchased homes in the area without disclosure of the intent to establish a Veterans’ Cemetery.

Staff response: Staff reported that, as there is no confirmed planed future use for the sites, the traffic study comparisons with future use cannot be done.

Mark Linsenmayre: Mark said that traffic studies can be done with proposed land use options.

Motion: Comprehensive traffic studies will be completed that will compare both sites. (***Note: The motion did not include a reference to comparing current use with the proposed options for future use****)

Motion passed 5-0

Ken: Ken requested that a future agenda item for the transportation commission should be discussion of developing a municipal bus system with an Irvine only circulation with concentration on the Great Park. He requested research in state funding for the project.

Commissioners cancelled the 9/4/18 commission meeting on a vote of 5-0 because of the proximity to the Labor Day Weekend.

Meeting was adjourned.

(After meeting discussion with Ken: I told him that I liked his municipal bus idea. I told him that think that the bus routes should circulate through Irvine with routes that focus on popular destinations such as the Great Park, movie theaters and major shopping centers. Ken asked me to propose suggested routes and submit the suggestions to him.)

(After meeting discussion with Carrie: Since Carrie is running for City Council, I told her one of my biggest issues of concern is that Irvine development standards have gone from above standard to minimum allowable standards. She agreed. I told her that Mr. Strader told me that he does not use Universal Design standards because he is not required to. I told her that traffic study recommendations appear to be based on minimum required standards and I did not see why Irvine could not establish higher standards for traffic circulation. Carrie agreed with me. I told her I was researching the issue of how to go about getting Irvine to reinstate higher standards. She asked me to let her know what I find out.)