On the Planning Commission Agenda, June 12, 2012

Only a couple of items to note on the Tuesday Tustin Planning Commission agenda.

First up is the planned new construction we had heard about on Main St. This is where the old Tustin Auto Parts used to be until they suddenly closed shop. It has been vacant ever since. The existing building is a one story brick, painted white, built in 1946. The adjoining lot was used for parking and to store the previous owner’s historical military vehicles.

The new building, according to the Agenda Report, would combine the two lots and would be three stories. Ground level would be a restaurant and the second story would be business offices. The third story would be two residential lofts. Because the building is mixed use, it is required to go before the Planning Commission for a conditional use permit. The staff report is generally favorable to the construction.

It is interesting to note that there appears to be no requirement for ground cleanup of the property as there was with the Del Rio construction on El Camino Real. That property went through several iterations with Binsack’s department because of the cleanup issues from the old Riteway Dry Cleaners. Apparently, she doesn’t consider that oil, gas and other hazardous materials seeping into the ground from years of use as an automotive machine shop is sufficient reason to require testing of the soil. The only reason we bring it up is we believe everyone should be treated equally and feel that the Del Rio project was singled out due to personal reasons. Say it ain’t so, Elizabeth.

In any case the new building, to be built by Chris Miller of PMR Construction, is a welcome addition to the Old Town area. Orange County seems to be lacking in good, quality, non-chain restaurants and it is great that others see the potential in our town as a center for fine dining. The mixed use idea continues to be popular and we hope to see more of this in the future.

The other item on the Planning Commission agenda is an appeal of a business license application for OC Medical Spa. This business was the subject of a sting operation by the Tustin Police Department back in May which resulted in an arrest for prostitution. Of course, the manager denied she had any knowledge of illegal activity and stated that she had a “zero tolerance” policy in place.

Normally, we would say that an owner should be given an opportunity to make amends and correct problems with their business. In this case, the owner apparently continued to operate the business without a license and in violation of several Tustin ordinances. Thanks to the vigilance of the police department, we should have one less problem to deal with on this end of Tustin.

Short and sweet. That is how the agenda appears to be. It would be a lot shorter if the Planning Commission did not think so highly of itself that it has to recognize and award locals. It appears they will be doing just that at the beginning of the meeting when they present certificates to several citizens for obtaining their Masters Degree. This is something that should come under the purview of the City Council, not the Planning Commission.

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