First things first. Congratulations to Jeff Thompson and Chuck Puckett for their re-appointment to the Planning Commission. We like them both and feel that, overall, they have done a pretty good job for our town Tustin. Apparently Jeff’s minor faux pas last year was forgotten by Boss Tweed Amante.
Heading up the Planning Commission Agenda for this Tuesday is a Public Hearing on one of our favorite subjects, cellular towers. This time it is pretty inconsequential as it is a modification to an existing cell tower and an increase in the number of transmitters at the site. It will also increase the height of the tower by 4 feet. No one driving by the site, a couple of business buildings on the North side of Edinger Avenue West of Redhill, is likely to notice the change as it blends in nicely with the buildings. All of the equipment and the tower are on private property as well. This should be a no-brainer unless one of our anti-RF folks laments about the increased energy being radiated across Currie Middle School.
The only other item on the agenda is an update on the projects and plans coming in front of the Community Development Department since January. Some items of interest
- Changes to the Tustin Auto Center, including Tustin Toyota taking over the old Joe’s Garage and Hyundai taking over the old Tustin Chevrolet dealership.
- The office building on the corner of Yorba and Irvine Blvd. This building that burned down last year has had the demolition completed and permits have been issued for new construction. Hopefully, the new will complement the old that was left untouched by the fire.
- A new 7-11 Market on Newport Avenue. Plans are under review.
- New Car Wash on Edinger Avenue. This was an issue of contention, mostly by a neighboring car wash that seemed to view it as a threat to his business.
- The Meyers Building on El Camino Real, a beautiful addition to the Old Town business district. The building is partially occupied.
- The proposed Del Rio Building, across the street on the old Riteway Cleaners property in Old Town. Design issues have held up progress on this building. Again, this will be a nice addition to Old Town if the CDD will get it together and approve submitted plans.
- Mixed-use Hotel Project – We recently wrote about this project. It is located near the Micro Center on Edinger and is a needed addition to Tustin. We currently do not have any mid or upscale hotels with adequate facilities for business and pleasure.
- Parking Requirement Exception for Old Town Business District. This change to the in-lieu parking fees will make it easier for Old Town businesses to build or remodel.
Among other items reported are changes to the MCAS Specific Plan that will, hopefully, jumpstart development for the old base property. Both the City Council and the Planning Commission have spent a huge amount of time on the MCAS property, including the development of the District Shopping Center, which has had its’ share of problems in attracting and holding on to retail stores. This aggressive stance is what is needed to market the area and entice developers into building.
Of course, one of the best things the city did this year was to waive construction and business license fees through July, 2012 on most new construction. So far, over $248,000 in license fees have been waived. This includes 4,670 existing business license renewals and 469 new business licenses. I would say the economy in Tustin is recovering nicely.
That’s it for the meeting. Hopefully, it will be short and sweet so we can let those hard working Commissioners get back to their families.