On the Planning Commission Agenda, March 27, 2012

It should be a pretty quick meeting of the Planning Commission tonight. The only item on the Regular Business Calendar is the approval of a Design Review of a new building located at 195 El Camino Real, in Old Town Tustin. If this sounds vaguely familiar, the new construction will be where the old Dry Cleaners were located across from Old Town Tustin Eyecare and just down the street from the Acorn Naturalists.

The new building will be a two story, 3,500 square foot building that will house a jewelry store and a coffee shop. I got a sneak preview of the plans, recently, and I think the building’s architect did a great job of fitting new into old. And, while there may be some changes here or there, mostly staff suggestions to make the building more amenable to Old Town, I suspect they will be minor in nature and the overall design will be virtually as I have seen. Now, the only issue is, do we need another coffee shop in Old Town Tustin?

Heck yes!

I am a coffee fanatic and believe you can never have enough variety. I enjoy Kean’s and my daughter swears by Free Soul Cafe, although she complains they changed their hours so she has no place to stop in the morning. Having another locale to quaff coffee (yeah, yeah, I know….Starbucks) is always high on my list. Of course, what we really need is a full blown old time cafe. I can hope, but I doubt that the square footage will allow for much more than a counter and brewing area. Maybe we can talk Mr. Del Rio into forgetting about the jewelry store and opening an old town cafe instead.

One of the largest hurdles for the project, however, has been that of parking. According to the staff report, the building would require 13 parking spaces. However, the plans provide for only 3. The other 10 parking spaces could be had by paying an in-lieu fee of about $18,000 per space. Fortunately, the City Council had a first reading of an ordinance last week that would allow for a yearly maintenance fee for using public parking spaces instead. This is a win-win situation for both businesses in Old Town as well as the city as they would have a cost recovery vehicle for maintenance of parking in that section of town where public parking is definitely underutilized. Hopefully, the ordinance will be put through without a hitch.

If you want to see what they are up to in Old Town Tustin, check out the agenda report submitted by staff on the project. It sounds like a great investment in this area for Mr. Del Rio and we applaud him for bringing together a great building that will fit in quite nicely with the historic section of Our Town Tustin.

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 7pm to discuss this project. The project manager asks anyone in support of this project to join them at the City Council Chambers, 300 Centennial Way.

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 25 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 March 27, 2012, in Local Government, Politics, Tustin City Commissions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on On the Planning Commission Agenda, March 27, 2012.

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