On the Planning Commission Agenda – October 8, 2013

Hidden Agenda ClipartAlthough the agenda holds only 5 items, Tuiesday evening should be full for the Tustin Planning Commission.

The first item is a General Plan Conformity Determination for property offered by the Irvine Company in the Marketplace. According to the staff report, the parcel was originally offered to extend Myford Road south of El Camino Real behind the Tustin Auto Center. So far, it has been used as access and excess storage for the Center. Irvine Company proposes to deed the property to the city.

The first of two public hearings for Conditional Use Permits will be postponed at the applicant’s request. The property, located at 155 S. Myrtle Avenu in Old Town, was purchased earlier this year. It looks like the new owner may ask for some new construction. The staff report gives no indication of the type of construction requested. However, since it is in the vicinity of the Wilcox Manor where a 3 ring circus has recently been approved, it wouldn’t surprise us if the enterprising owner were to build a flop house for guests too inebriated to drive home. We won’t know for sure until December when the owner will ask to have the application heard.

The second CUP is for a change to the Master Sign Plan in the Tustin Marketplace. Say, didn’t they just recently change this to just, “The Marketplace”?  The request will keep the flavor of the signage in place while enhancing patrons’ ability to more easily find the store of their choice. The modification would allow tenants to place their tower signs with fonts specific to their branding.  Other changes include temporary event signage and string bulb lighting. The Irvine Company is also asking to place a larger-than-life directory sign near The Home Depot. According to the staff report, the new signage is designed to enhance, not change, the flavor of the shopping center.

Item 5, Summary of Projects, will probably take the lions share of time on Tuesday. That’s because there are 13 retail projects, along with a slew of infrastructure construction, to discuss. In reading the staff report on the projects, the city staff should be justifiably proud of the  work they have accomplished. New businesses include two new hotels and a dozen restaurants and shops. Which Which, a new sandwich shop in the “Tustin” Marketplace was recently visited by the editor and his family. Everyone agreed that, while the sandwiches might be a bit pricey, they were delicious – especially when washed down with one of the best chocolate malts in town. The shop is not just a diner, it’s an adventure.

We have been excited to see the progress made on the Vintage Lady in Old Town. After burning down two years ago, the owner was able to save the facade of the building. A new building, jabberwocky 1designed by local architect, Nathan Menard, is being erected behind the facade. It will be interesting to see how a modern building interfaces with its historic past. Knowing Nathan, no one will know.

Of cousre, we did notice a few items missing from the summary. Most notably, nothing was said of the Wilcox Manor CUP. Perhaps staff thought the evening may drag on a bit long. At some point, you just have to say no.

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