Category Archives: Tustin City Commissions
The Planning Commission will have a busy evening starting with a workshop on second residential units. The workshop is to discuss proposed changes to city ordinances pertaining to second residential units and accessory guest rooms. Staff believe there is a call for second residential units in the Old Town area in particular. That is a view that is not shared by all of my neighbors and readers. One person complained the city should be more worried about filling vacant commercial space rather than increase the population density in Old Town.
To a certain degree, we agree with that. However, we are strong proponents of allowing folks to do as they please with their property as long as it conforms to the law and does not interfere with another person’s enjoyment of their own property (sorry, Wilcox boys).
In any case, the city will propose some conceptual amendments to the ordinances that would do away with accessory guest rooms but then allow second units on any residential lot, regardless of size. This, of course, would do away with deed restrictions and, possibly, the current requirement for a Conditional Use Permit. Sounds pretty good, huh?
Well, never let it be said the city would let a buck get away if it can capture it in fees or taxes. Also in the conceptual amendments is allowance for the charging of “impact fees” presumably for the added impact to parks, schools and other assorted needs provided by the city and others.
The February workshop had 40 people in attendance who voice their opinion on the various proposals and added some helpful comments (we like the idea of carports rather than garage parking for some cases). Concern was also voiced for the number of units allowed on one property and whether permit parking should be implemented. We particularly liked the opinion that small guest houses are compatible with Old Town. We agree, they add a bit of charm to the neighborhood. Our only concern with guest houses has been the requirement, which we question the legality of, for deed restrictions. Alas, until an owner is willing to challenge the requirement (or this conceptual amendment goes through) owners will continue to suffer the effects of the restrictions on their property values.
Hopefully, concerned citizens will show up again and voice their opinion on another one of Binsack’s follies. The workshop begins at 6:00 pm, an hour before the regular Planning Commission meeting. If you want to see the proposals, you can find them here.
Ooops. I take that back. The regular meeting of the Planning Commission only has one item on it. A Public Hearing on Code Amendment 13-001. As we stated in a prior article, the proposal has more than just minor text amendments and the city intends to incorporate the current practice of requiring deed restrictions into the ordinance. As the current Planning Commission appears to be fully populated by “yes men” who are not willing to confront Binsack and her wrecking crew on issues important to the residents of the city, don’t expect anything other than the big rubber stamp to come out.
My apologies for the lapse in reporting this past few days. It seems that I was the victim of the classic left-turn-in-front-of-the-motorcycle type accident as I was traveling Main Street in Old Town last Wednesday. A few cuts and scrapes later, I am not much worse for the wear but the doctor demanded I not do much for a few days. I made it as far as Sunday evening and then couldn’t stand it anymore. So, here I am.
Not a whole lot to discuss at this coming Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting. Assuming no member of the public will be speaking, one has to wonder why they are meeting at all, other than to collect their $250 and give some of the staff a bit of overtime.
The first item is the General Plan Annual Report. According to the staff report, staff are proposing text amendments to the Zoning and City Code that will maintain consistency with the General Plan and State Law. The plan has been updated several times since its inception in 1966. I’m not willing to bore myself with reading the 87 pages of documentation but you can if you like. Let me know if you see anything interesting.
The only other item on the agenda is the Transmittal of Code Amendment 13-001, Zoning Code Update. The staff report summary assures these are mostly minor text changes and changes that will “modernize” the code. It also consolidates some sections for easier navigation. One thing that puzzles me, however, is the section that “incorporate policy practice into the Zoning Code”. The example cited is that guest quarters will be subject to a recorded deed restriction. What happened to our town hall meetings on the subject, Elizabeth? Or is this just another example of smoke and mirrors by the Community Development Department in holding meetings to distract the homeowners while Binsack and her wrecking crew stamp their own brand on Old Town? Other “minor text changes include establishing open space requirements for residential districts establishing what amounts to new uses that were not defined before. It would seem these are not just minor text changes but, I guess that depends on your interpretation.
This is a draft of the amendments that staff are providing, as they say, in a timely manner. The public hearing will be held at a March meeting of the Planning Commission. We may be asking the city to provide more information on the “minor text amendments”.
That’s it for this week’s meeting. I am doing my best between pain pills to get back in the saddle. I’ll have to ask you to bear with me.
The city recently posted the following press release that officially opens the application process for open city commission seats:
January 17, 2013
For Immediate Release
CITY OF TUSTIN COMMISSION OPENINGS
Three vacancies each on the Planning and Community Services Commissions
TUSTIN, Calif. – The City of Tustin has three Planning Commission positions and three Community Services Commission positions open. The City Council will conduct interviews and vote to fill the positions on Tuesday, March 5th at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers located at 300 Centennial Way.
The Planning Commission meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month to evaluate development proposals and submit recommendations to the City Council regarding land use matters in Tustin. The commissioners selected will serve until March 1, 2015 or until the respective successor is appointed and qualified. Compensation is $150.00 per regular meeting attended. The term of office is two years. Applicants must reside in and be registered to vote within the Tustin City limits.
The Community Services Commission meets at 6:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month and serves as an advisory body to the City Council on recreation, parks, park design, facilities and programs in Tustin. The commissioners selected will serve until March 1, 2015 or until the respective successor is appointed and qualified. Compensation is $100.00 per regular meeting attended. The term of office is two years. Applicants are required to be residents of the City of Tustin and registered to vote.
How to Apply
Commission applications are available from the City of Tustin, City Clerk’s Office, 300 Centennial Way, Tustin, CA 92780, by calling (714) 573-3026, or visiting the City’s website at www.tustinca.org/commissions/vacancies.html.
Completed applications must be returned to the City Clerk’s office no later than 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, 2013. For more information please contact Erica Rabe, City Clerk Services Supervisor, at (714) 573-3026 or email at email@example.com.
We know who we would like to see apply for the Planning Commission. They continue to resist (your eyes are getting sleepy…) and, although this is a new city council, it still is not hard to see why folks aren’t beating down the door to apply for these positions. A call to the City Clerk’s office revealed that, so far, only three applicants have filed for the Planning Commision and only one application for the Community Services Commission has been received.
Applications close at the close of business on February 28, 2013. Either of these commissions is a must for anyone planning to run for city council in the future. So, if you have political aspirations, this is a good starting point.
It’s been a slow week around our town Tustin. Only one item occupies the Planning Commission Agenda for Tuesday, February 12, 2013. And, unless you are a church going kinda person, it may not interest you.
The Los Angeles Diocese of the Coptic Orthodox Church has applied for a Conditional Use Permit to modify an existing building and use it for a church with classrooms and a bookstore. The building is located at 3002 Dow Avenue, an industrial/commercial area of Tustin off Walnut and Jamboree. The building is a 4800 square foot suite that is part of a small complex of buildings owned by LBA Realty. Staff is recommending approval of the project.
This is a small church by anyone’s standards with a maximum attendance projected at 58 people (the floor plan shows 60 max in the sanctuary). The rest of the facility would house a bookstore and rooms for Sunday School. City Staff have dictated the use is exempt from CEQA.
Church attendance is expect to be primarily on weekends and evenings. Even without the low numbers, it’s doubtful the number of attendees would drastically impact the 640 parking spaces available to all tenants. They expect only about ten folks for weekday services.
According to the staff report, the proposed church meets all of the requirements and should be approved. The only glitch is the parking which the 19 spaces allotted for the building would give them a maximum attendance of 57 members. I guess they’ll have to draw straws to see who stays home that day (actually, the plans say they only expect 50 folks on Sunday). I expect if there is any concern, it would be from the other tenants, all of whom are industrial or commercial in nature.
Unless anyone plans on speaking during public comments, this should be a fairly quick meeting for our commissioners. Hardly worth the $2500 for coming out to city hall.