M I N U T E S
REGULAR MEETING OF THE
OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA
|WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2000||
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
ROOM 213, CITY HALL
1. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 7:11 p.m.
2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
3. ROLL CALL:
Matt Kanny, Acting Chairperson
Eric Charles Parlee
John S. Zinner
|Absent:||Kenneth Breisch, Chairperson|
|Also Present:||Kyle Ferstead, Commission Secretary|
Suzanne Frick, Director of Planning/PCD
Jonathan Lait, Associate Planner
Bruce Leach, Associate Planner
Kevin McKeown, City Council Liaison
Barry Rosenbaum, Senior Land Use Attorney
Joan Rosario, Vice, Police Department
Amanda Schachter, Principal Planner
Jay M. Trevino, AICP, Planning Manager
Ms. Frick gave the Director's Report. She reported that the next Commission meetings are scheduled for June 14 and June 21, 2000. She also reported that the City Council will be hearing the Montana Avenue Interim Ordinance and the Yankee Doodles appeal on May 23, 2000. She mentioned that the summer meetings for the Commission will be very busy and include such large projects as Target and RAND.
5. STATEMENT OF OFFICIAL ACTION: Consent Calendar
5-A. Conditional Use Permit 99-025 and Vesting Tentative Parcel Map 25508, 931 Tenth Street Action: Continued to June 14, 2000.
6. PUBLIC HEARINGS: Continued Items
6-A. Appeal 00-001 of Architectural Review Board Disapproval (ARB 99-371), 2600 Wilshire Boulevard. Appeal of the Architectural Review Board's disapproval of building design, colors and materials, landscape and irrigation plans and sign plans for a commercial building located at 2600 Wilshire Boulevard. (Planner: Roger Kiesel) Appellant/Applicant: Michele Saee. Property Owner: Metropolitan Live Insurance Company. Continued from April 26, 2000.
Action: Withdrawn by Applicant prior to Hearing Date.
6-B. Development Review Permit 98-010, Conditional Use Permit 98-022, Vesting Tentative Tract Map 52361, Certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Adoption of a Statement of Overriding Considerations; 1513 & 1517 Berkeley Street, R2, Application for Development Review Permit 98-010, Conditional Use Permit 98-022, Vesting Tentative Tract Map 52361, and Final Environmental Impact Report to permit the construction of a 2 story, plus mezzanine level, 10-unit 17,310 square foot condominium. The proposed condominium project will have 22 parking spaces in a semi-subterranean parking garage with access from Berkeley Court Alley. The proposal meets all applicable development standards. However, the EIR determined the project's unavoidable cumulative traffic impact on Colorado Avenue is significant and a Statement of Overriding Considerations is proposed. The project site is located on the east side of Berkeley Street, 100 feet south of Broadway, in the R2 (Low Density Multiple Residential) District. (Planner: Bruce Leach) Applicant: Architen, Inc.
Continued from May 3, 2000.
Following the staff report, the applicant's representative, Christopher Harding, 1250 Sixth Street, Santa Monica, made a presentation to the Commission.
Commissioner Olsen commented on the dilemma he has faced with this project as regards traffic standards and the need for a Statement of Overriding Considerations. Mr. Harding stated that the issue is the threshold of significance versus the adverse impact of the project. He then commented on the need for housing in Santa Monica and the jobs/housing imbalance.
Commissioner Olsen asked staff about the baseline for the traffic study and the occupancy of the building currently on the site. Mr. Leach stated that when the Notice of Preparation was circulated only one of the four units were occupied.
Commissioner Clarke commented that this was his first experience with an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a residential project. He asked the rest of the Commission and staff for their guidance. Ms. Frick explained that the issue of the definition of significance was the subject of much public discussion and City Council action in 1991. Since that time, the need for Initial Studies, Negative Declarations and EIRs has been triggered by the locations of projects, not the size, in relation to current traffic conditions. In 1993, the definition of streets, signalized versus arterial, etc. was introduced via neighborhood traffic plans.
Commissioner Clarke asked for an example of a large project that required these kinds of environmental documents. Ms. Frick stated that the last project that required a Statement of Overriding Consideration was a small hotel located at Arizona Avenue and Twentieth Street. She commented that the traffic impacts were unmitigatible for that project, as is the case for most larger projects, such as Saint John's Hospital.
Commissioner Clarke asked if there are any mitigation measures planned to divert transit. Ms. Frick stated that there are Transportation Demand M--, required for certain commercial developments.
Acting Chair Kanny asked if there were EIRs for housing project. Ms. Frick stated that there was an EIR done for the mixed use project on Fourth Street and Wilshire Boulevard (senior housing project).
Commissioner Olsen asked about the sideyards for the project. Mr. Leach pointed out on the plan drawings the proposed stepbacks and rear stepback for the driveway. Commissioner Olsen asked additional questions regarding the setbacks for certain units and the frontyard setback. Mr. Leach explained the various setbacks and the staggered parapet heights.
Acting Chair Kanny closed the public hearing. He stated that three motions are required.
Commissioner Parlee made a motion to approve the resolution to certify the Environmental Impact Report. Commissioner Zinner seconded the motion.
The motion to certify the EIR was approved by the following vote:
AYES: Brown, Clarke, Kanny, Olsen, Parlee, Zinner: Absent: Breisch.
Commissioner Parlee made a motion to approve the Statement of Overriding Considerations. Commissioner Zinner seconded the motion.
Commissioner Clarke expressed his support for the Statement of Overriding Considerations and thanked staff for the history of these documents.
Commissioner Olsen commented that Statements of Overriding Consideration can be problematic, however this situation is different as artificial numbers were used. He stated the Mr. Harding's arguments were persuasive and that he would support the motion.
The motion to approve the Statement of Overriding Consideration was approved by the following vote:
AYES: Brown, Clarke, Kanny, Olsen, Parlee, Zinner: Absent: Breisch.
Commissioner Zinner made a motion for approval of the project. Commissioner Parlee seconded the motion.
Commissioners Clarke and Olsen expressed their support for the project.
The motion to approved the project was approved by the following vote:
AYES: Brown, Clarke, Kanny, Olsen, Parlee, Zinner: Absent: Breisch.
Action: EIR Certified, Statement of Overriding Considerations adopted and project approved.
7. PUBLIC HEARINGS:
7-A. Appeal 00-020 of Architectural Review Board Denial of ARB 00-038, 1547 Seventh Street, Planner: Tony Kim. Appeal of the Architectural Review Board's denial of a sign adjustment to retain an existing non-conforming freestanding sign that was required to be removed by April 11, 2000 per Section 9.52.210(d) SMMC. APPLICANT/APPELLANT: Four Oaks Garage.
Following a request by staff, Commissioner Parlee made a motion to continue this item to June 14, 2000. Commissioner Zinner seconded the motion, which was approved by voice vote.
Action: Continued to June 14, 2000.
7-B. Conditional Use Permit 99-045, 814 Broadway, Club Sugar. Conditional Use Permit application to allow the issuance of a Type 48 (On-Sale General Public Places) alcohol license for an existing legal non-conforming establishment that is currently operating as a nightclub with a Type 42 (On-Sale Beer and Wine Public Premises) alcohol license. No operational changes or physical improvements are proposed with this application. APPLICANT: Suite Events, LLC PROPERTY OWNER: Kayvan Naimi.
Following the staff report, the Commission asked questions of staff regarding the hours of operation, security, valet parking and whether there was a cover charge.
The applicant's representative, Jonathan Horne, was present to discuss the application.
Commissioner Olsen asked Mr. Horne how long Club Sugar has been in operation. Mr. Horne stated that he opened Club Sugar in January 1999.
Commissioner Zinner asked Mr. Horne about his concern regarding queuing for the valet service as most patrons leave the club at the same time. Mr. Horne stated that this is quite a concern.
Commissioner Brown asked Mr. Horne what hours of operation he would prefer from those cited in the staff report. Mr. Horne stated that he would like to stay open until 2:00 a.m. nightly, however staff has recommended a 2:00 a.m. closing on Friday and Saturday nights, and midnight on other nights. He stated that he has a very small window to operate as most patrons do not arrive until after 10:00 p.m. He also stated that he would be willing to provide extra security.
Commissioner Brown asked Mr. Horne what days of week his club is currently permitted to be open. Mr. Horne stated that his establishment is currently unregulated and the hours has been generally Wednesday through Sunday, though currently the days of operation are Thursday through Saturday. He stated that the business in the process of expanding, which includes the application for a full liquor license.
Commissioner Brown asked Mr. Horne if he wants the club open seven days a week. Mr. Horne answered in the affirmative.
Commissioner Zinner asked Mr. Horne when the club is currently closing. Mr. Horne stated that he closes at 2:00 a.m.
Commissioner Olsen asked Mr. Horne if he heard correctly that the club has been open since January 1999 approximately three to four days a week on average. Mr. Horne answered in the affirmative.
Commissioner Parlee asked Mr. Horne if the club was switching from a Type 42 (beer and wine) to a full liquor license (Type 48). Mr. Horne answered in the affirmative.
Commissioner Parlee asked if this change in the liquor license will increase his business. Mr. Horne answered in the affirmative.
Acting Chair Kanny asked if the term "free valet" means it will function at no cost. Mr. Horne answered in the affirmative. He added that the valet service will also be used for the adjacent business (Swingers Diner). He stated that he wants to be pro-active with security and appropriate signs.
Acting Chair Kanny asked about Mr. Horne's proposal for sound-proofing as opposed to staff's recommendation. Mr. Horne explained that the City's experts gave a recommendation without consulting with his people. He stated that his sound engineers recommend completely replacing the roof with a sandwich type material which absorbs sound (especially bass level sounds). He also stated that the club building has very low interior ceilings.
Commissioner Clarke asked Mr. Horne what acoustic measures have already been undertaken. Mr. Horne stated that sound blankets have been installed along the interior walls, the vestibule has been padded, the rear doors "click shut" and the speaker system has been redone.
Commissioner Clarke asked Mr. Horne if he had any contingency plan should the aforementioned remedies not satisfy the neighbors. Mr. Horne stated that the next step would be turning down the volume and more toward a more mature clientele.
The following members of the public addressed the Commission: Lisa Friedman, Martine Brousse, Paul Kilpatrick, Paul Messick, Tom Padden, Ron Shotola, Steve Kraves, Chuck Allord, Michelle Prensky, Andrew Goldstein, and Kari Ohri.
One member of the public, Jeff Morrow, was not present when his name was called.
Acting Chair Kanny asked the Commission if they had questions.
Ms. Frick stated for the record that the Zoning Ordinance states that the extension of hours of operation requires a CUP. The application before the Commission did not request a change of hours of operation and may not be discussed as part of the current application and hearing.
Commissioner Zinner asked Ms. Frick how staff defines the current operation. Ms. Frick stated that staff understands that the operation is currently open three to four evenings a week, however the applicant indicated this evening that the operation is open Wednesday through Saturday.
Commissioner Parlee asked if this location had any set hours of operation prior to the current use. Ms. Frick read a section of the Zoning Ordinance regarding intensification of use.
Commissioner Parlee asked if there were established hours for the prior establishment, Kingston 12. Ms. Frick stated that there is prior no CUP for this location.
Mr. Horne spoke in rebuttal to the public comment.
Commissioner Zinner asked Mr. Horne why complaints from neighbors have not been fully addressed in the year and half the establishment has been open. Mr. Horne stated that he has had sound tests run for audible noise outside the building which had negative results. He also stated that the Zoning Inspectors had the same conclusion.
Commissioner Zinner asked if the most recent action of turning down the volume has been noticed by the neighbors. Mr. Horne indicated that the neighbors seem to be pleased with the new remedies and it appears that an appropriate sound level has been achieved.
Commissioner Zinner asked about complaints from the neighbors that they have received no response to their calls. Mr. Horne stated that, to the best of his knowledge, there has been only one call from a neighbor in the last six months. He added that he is proposing a mitigation measure to add a dedicated telephone line for neighbors complaints. The line will go directly to the general manager of the establishment.
Commissioner Parlee commented on the City's sound consultant's recommendations for sound curtains inside the facility as sound seems to leak out through the old brick walls. Mr. Horne stated that the walls have been resealed and that another sound test can be run.
Commissioner Parlee asked Mr. Horne if he is amenable to doing more sound tests, if necessary, or other measures to reduce sound projecting into the neighborhood. Mr. Horne answered in the affirmative and stated that he does not want to disturb the neighborhood with the dance music.
Commissioner Olsen stated that there were 107 calls to the Police Department between January 1999 and January 2000, which is a very high percentage considering the establishment is only open three to four days a week and only four to five hours per night. He stated that this indicates that more than one person is upset by the noise generated from this establishment. Mr. Horne responded that when the Police arrive at his establishment, management walks with them around the neighborhood to investigate the complaint. He stated that he is not unmindful of the neighborhood situation and wants to solve the problem.
Commissioner Olsen commented the Mr. Horne's request to expand his days of operation from three to four days a week to six or seven days a week with full alcohol service and no food service. Mr. Horne stated that he will solve the noise problems to the City's satisfaction prior to expanding the days of operation and also the parking problem.
Commissioner Clarke asked where the proposed valet service will park vehicles. Mr. Horne stated that there is no self-parking allowed at the Mittel's lot, only the valet service. He also stated that no congregating is allowed in the adjacent lots.
Commissioner Clarke asked about the low frequency sound transmission heard through the brick walls of the building. Mr. Horne stated that he is not a sound technician. He also stated that sound comes out of the building through the roof, not the brick walls. Commissioner Clarke stated he was addressing the low frequency "thumpa-thumpa" sound. Mr. Horne stated that this is "broadband."
[The Commission elected to take a break at 9:28 p.m. The Commission reconvened at 9:44 p.m.]
Acting Chair Kanny asked the Commission if were additional questions for staff.
Commissioner Zinner asked the Senior Land Use Attorney to comment on the legal non-conforming nature of the establishment. Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum explained that under the City's Zoning Ordinance, a legal non-conforming use is defined as one that existed on the effective date of the Zoning Ordinance (adopted 1988) and has had not changed in mode or operation since that time. Change would include changing the hours of operation. He further explained that it is difficult to prove whether such changes have occurred especially as there is no prior Conditional Use Permit (CUP).
Acting Chair Kanny asked Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum for additional information. Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum stated that under a CUP, conditions would be provided for hours and days of operation. He stated that the request to expand the current hours could be interpreted as an expansion or intensification of use.
In response to a comment by Commissioner Zinner, Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum stated that the subject establishment currently conforms to the non-conforming use hours. Acting Chair Kanny surmised that if the use is intensified (by increased hours or days of operation), then the non-conforming use may not continue according to the Zoning Ordinance.
Commissioner Brown stated that her understanding was that only a change in the liquor license was requested and that the issue of hours of operation only came about because a condition imposed in the staff report. Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum stated that a standard condition of an alcohol CUP is to set hours of operation.
Acting Chair Kanny commented that asking for daily operation until 2:00 a.m. would be an intensification of use.
Commissioner Clarke asked if approval of the alcohol CUP would bring the establishment in conformance. Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum stated that approval of the alcohol CUP would grant conformance for the alcohol use only, not the late night hours and other issues raised.
Commissioner Olsen commented that someone had suggested that the applicant could walk away without obtaining the CUP and keep operating the non-conforming operation any hours they desire. Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum stated that he is not familiar with the historic hours of operation for this location.
Commissioner Zinner called for a point of order and asked everyone to stick to the application request.
Commissioner Olsen asked if a restaurant or night club use was functioning at this location when the Zoning Ordinance was adopted. Ms. Frick stated that she believes the Kingston 12 was in operation when the Zoning Ordinance was adopted.
Acting Chair Kanny asked for direction from staff on how to proceed.
Commissioner Parlee recommended making a motion to approve the CUP with a condition amending the hours of operation. Ms. Frick advised against such a condition and expressed her concern regarding this operation.
Acting Chair Kanny asked Ms. Frick if she had additional facts regarding the site. Ms. Frick stated that a staff report for the expansion of the Kingston 12 in 1993 described the hours of operation as 11:00 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The application was not approved.
Commissioner Olsen raised the issue of whether the property had ever been abandoned. Senior Land Use Attorney Rosenbaum stated that the issue of hours does not constitute abandonment. Ms. Frick added that Mr. Horne took possession of the property from Kingston 12 and changed the name to Club Sugar.
Commissioner Parlee commented on the hours of operation recommended in the staff and his inclination not to amend them.
Commissioner Olsen asked the Police Department's representative to address the Commission. Vice Investigator Joan Rosario introduced herself to the Commission. Commissioner Olsen asked Investigator Rosario to detail her experience with this establishment including her opinion on intensification of the alcohol use and the impact of adding more nights of operation. Vice Investigator Rosario briefed the Commission on her experience with calls for service at this establishment, including problems with noise. She stated that the ambient noise level in the area is rather high until about 12:30 a.m., at which time noise from the establishment becomes noticeable.
Acting Chair Kanny asked Vice Investigator Rosario if there have been any noise citations given to this establishment. Vice Inspector Rosario stated that the volume is not that loud, however warnings have been issued.
Acting Chair Kanny asked Vice Investigator Rosario when noise citations can be issued. Vice Investigator Rosario stated that there is no CUP or conditions for citing the establishment at this time.Commissioner Parlee commented on the letter from Police Chief Butts. He asked Vice Investigator Rosario what the numbers 415 and 415M mean on the calls for service list. Vice Investigator Rosario stated that 415M means a loud music complaint and a 415 is regarding the noise of fighting or loud cursing.
Commissioner Clarke asked staff if there are any other ordinances that regulate hours of operation. Ms. Frick answered in the negative.
Acting Chair Kanny asked the Commission how they wished to proceed. Commissioner Zinner stated that there are two issues: the issue of sound extending beyond the building and the issue of noise associated with parking and people leaving the establishment. He suggested that performance standard criteria could be used for the sound issue, specifically a condition stating that noise may not be audible beyond the building. He also suggested that a condition be crafted controlling and limiting hours for people leaving the establishment and loitering adjacent to parking areas. He stated that this is a difficult location being adjacent to residential.
Commissioner Parlee made a motion for approval with staff report conditions and including the conditions in the supplemental staff report. He commented that this site has a bad history, therefore it would not be advisable to extend the hours of operation at this time. He also commented that the change to full alcohol service will effect the business and should be monitored prior to the applicant applying to modify the CUP approved hours. He asked staff about adding a sound requirement. Ms. Frick stated that the proposed mitigation measures should greatly reduce the noise emanating from the building. She also stated that a fall-back condition could be added that no noise be audible beyond the perimeter property line.
Commissioner Brown seconded the motion.
Commissioner Parlee expressed the opinion that the valet parking should have a cost associated with it and not be free. Commissioner Zinner expressed his opinion that the valet service will not be used if other free parking is available in the area.
Commissioner Parlee and Brown agreed to the friendly amendment regarding the valet parking fee.
Commissioner Parlee suggested a "friendly departure amendment" condition be added which would require management make an announcement near closing time reminding patrons to be considerate of the residential neighborhood as they leave.
Commissioner Olsen asked staff if this would be a reasonable condition. Ms. Frick replied in the negative.
Commissioner Parlee suggested a notice on the door instead of the "friendly departure amendment." Ms. Frick indicated that this would be a more reasonable alternative. Commissioner Brown commented that while this is a good idea, it might not be practical. Acting Chair Kanny asked staff if any particular size of sign should be specified. Ms. Frick stated that the sign should be to the size and manner to satisfy the Director of Planning.
Commissioner Olsen argued the case that the current operating hours, which are less than the prior owner's hours, constitutes abandonment under the Code and therefore disqualifies them from being granted the request for additional hours and days of operation. He suggested that a condition be added citing the hours and days of operation the establishment is currently open.
Acting Chair Kanny asked Commissioner Olsen if his assertion is that the additional days of operation would constitute an intensification of use. Commissioner Olsen agreed and asked for a current baseline for the stated hours of operation.
Commissioner Parlee asked if the proposal is meant as a friendly amendment. If so, he stated that he does not accept the amendment.
Commissioner Clarke commented on the following: the legal non-conforming use which cannot increase the hours of operation over the baseline; his belief that no sound should be audible beyond the property perimeter; and that parking should not be allowed in the Mittel's parking lot as it creates lots of noise audible to neighbors.
Acting Chair Kanny asked staff if the last issue cited by Commissioner Clarke can be dealt with by the Commission. Ms. Frick indicated that this can be regulated.
Commissioner Clarke commented that if the establishment opens at 10:00 p.m., the street must be fairly parked up with residents.
Commissioner Zinner stated that he can testify that there is ample street parking late at night as most of the area is commercial. He noted that the apartments in question are very close to both Broadway and Lincoln Boulevard. He stated that the location of the neighborhood is in a high noise area. He suggested that a trade-off should be devised to accommodate both the neighbors and the business.
Commissioner Clarke proposed an amendment to the motion to completely restrict all parking at Mittel's lot.
Commissioner Olsen seconded the motion.
Commissioner Zinner stated that the City can not order Mittel's to gate their parking lot. Ms. Frick stated that the Commission can order the establishment not to allow the public to use Mittel's parking lot.
Commissioner Clarke asked about using the Mittel's lot for valet parking and whether the valet could be restricted to using that lot. Ms. Frick stated that the City can not tell Mittel's how to use their parking lot; however, the Commission can direct the establishment regarding where they can and cannot valet park vehicles.
Commissioner Clarke floated a motion to prohibit the use of the Mittel's lot for valet parking. Following some discussion, Commissioner Clarke withdrew his motion.
Acting Chair Kanny suggested the addition of a condition to require a telephone complaint line as was done for the Casa Del Mar Hotel project. Commissioner Brown agreed to the condition.
There was a discussion regarding expanding the hours of operation.
Prior to taking the vote, Ms. Frick asked for clarification on the motion. She stated her understanding of the motion as follows: for approval with staff conditions and findings (both staff report and supplemental staff report) and with the following additional conditions: (1) that a flexible mitigation of noise plan be devised; (2) that there be a policy regarding last calls and courtesy to the neighborhood in for the form of a sign; (3) eliminate the condition for "free" valet parking; (4) that no audible sound (music) not be heard at the property line when the doors are closed; (5) that a dedicated complaint line be installed for neighbors complaints; and (6) that there be a written policy on that requires club management to verbally remind club patrons to exit the club quietly, courteously and to be respectful to the nearby residential uses.
The motion was approved by the following vote:
AYES: Brown, Clarke, Kanny, Parlee, Zinner; NOES: Olsen; ABSENT: Breisch.
8. FUTURE COMMISSION AGENDA ITEMS
Reschedule Hearing Date for ARB Appeal for 1513 Ninth Street.
Action: Rescheduled for June 21, 2000.
9. PUBLIC INPUT: None.
10. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 p.m.
APPROVED: JUNE 21, 2000