On the Agenda, January 24, 2012

One thing I like about our Planning Commission is the speed with which they respond to issues and concerns brought to them by local citizens. You may not like the answer you get, but you will get an answer.

Express Car Wash The first item of business on the Tustin Planning Commission agenda is to address concerns raised at the last meeting by Kal Patel. Patel was concerned that changes had been made after approval of permits for a car wash located near his business. Patel was concerned that substantial changes were being made to the self-service car wash and that it was actually going to have employees who would work on the cars. His concerns extended to the parking lot as well. The proposed car wash is, in fact, part of a larger gas and mini-mart operation already located at the business and changes allowed were for unforeseen circumstances. The business has reassured the city that it will be a self-serve car wash as planned. Oh, and Mr. Patel’s business? That would be the car wash located nearby which, by the way, does have employees and quite a bit more than just car washing. They also get a two and a half stars on Yelp.

2011 Fire Hazard Severity Zone Maps Since last year (and probably before), Cal Fire, OCFA and the city of Tustin have been struggling back and forth over Fire maps that would delineate the areas the fire department feels are at high risk for fire. The requirements under the maps would create unfunded mandates and the maps are, according to the city, inaccurate as they include portions of East Tustin that are obviously not in danger. At the Council’s and Planning Commission’s behest, staff have conveyed to Cal Fire the city’s disinterest in adopting the maps.

Of course, we agree. This is, first and foremost, a private property issue. Further, anything that can be required by adoption of the maps is already required by law. And, anyone who can’t look around their property and determine whether they are in a fire hazard area can call the fire department. They’ll be happy to assist.

Residential Design Guidelines for the Cultural Resources District This item hits close to home for us, for obvious reasons. We live in Old Town and have seen, firsthand, the way certain “leaders” in our community are determined to wreck this great asset. The Cultural Design Review Guidelines are, according to one source, “intended to help property owners carry out maintenance, rehabilitation, and remodeling projects that are compatible with the architectural style of their house and the character of the surrounding neighborhood.” They are also there to provide guidance in building new structures in a manner that will compliment the historical district. Our Town Tustin has been vocal about the trampling of property rights by the city. Bret Fairbanks in Old Town continues to be harassed by the city staff who, apparently, did not like the latest determination by the hearing officer and appealed, once again, his order stopping the red tagging of Bret’s buildings. So, forgive us if we observe with a jaded eye, the following from the staff agenda report:

The illustrations, how-to methods, and design ideas shown in the “Residential Design Guidelines” are to be used as a “yardstick” against which to measure proposed projects; they are not intended to be development standards as are found in the Zoning Ordinance. Therefore, they may be interpreted with flexibility. Applicable projects are encouraged to follow the spirit of the guidelines to the greatest degree possible.

They left off the words, “or Jerry Amante and his talking head, Elizabeth Binsack will hunt you down and ruin you both financially and spiritually.” But, that’s OK. We know what they meant.

In any case, anyone who has an interest in the Design Review Guideline should take a look and, if necessary, attend the next Planning Commission meeting to voice their opinion.

By the way, I just saw the latest addition to the city’s website. On the right hand side, you will find the “Old Town Guide“. A great resource if you want to check out Old Town.

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About Jeff Gallagher

I am a retired peace officer from the 2nd largest law enforcement agency in Orange County. I live in and love Tustin where my family and I have resided for the past 22 years. I am a highly moderate libertarian that despises hardcore Republicans, Democrats and anyone else who is not willing to compromise for the good of the people.

Posted on January 23, 2012, in Local Government, Tustin City Commissions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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