STATEMENT OF OFFICIAL ACTION
CASE NUMBER: Conditional Use Permit 03-011
LOCATION: 2331 Fourth Street
APPLICANT: Alice Berkowitz
Property Owner: Alice Berkowitz et al
CASE PLANNER: Bruce Leach, Associate Planner
REQUEST: Amendment of the existing CUP restrictions on the store’s operating hours to allow the neighborhood grocery market to operate from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily. The market’s current hours are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
CEQA STATUS: The project is categorically exempt from the provisions of CEQA pursuant to Section 15301, Class 1 of the State Guidelines for Implementing the California Environmental Quality Act in that the project would allow expanded operating hours for a commercial neighborhood grocery store.
PLANNING COMMISSION ACTION
December 3, 2003
Approved based on the following findings and subject to the
EFFECTIVE DATES OF ACTIONS IF NOT APPEALED: December 18, 2003
EXPIRATION DATE OF ANY PERMITS GRANTED: December 18, 2004
LENGTH OF ANY POSSIBLE EXTENSION OF EXPIRATION DATES: 6 months
Any request for an extension of the expiration date must be received in the City Planning Division prior to expiration of this permit.
Each and all of the findings and determinations are based on the competent and substantial evidence, both oral and written, contained in the entire record relating to the Project. All summaries of information contained herein or in the findings are based on the substantial evidence in the record. The absence of any particular fact from any such summary is not an indication that a particular finding is not based in part on that fact.
1. That the use has been in continuous operation since the effective date of the Zoning Ordinance (September 8, 1988), in that the market has been in continuous operation since 1948.
2. That the strict application of the provisions of this Chapter [Article nine of the Santa Monica Municipal Code] would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships inconsistent with the general purpose and intent of this Chapter or that there are exceptional circumstances or conditions applicable to the proposed development that do not apply generally to other developments covered by this Chapter, in that the market building complied with development standards when it was constructed in 1925. In order to comply with current setback requirements, the existing building would need to be 6’-3” from the north side and 10’ from the south (Hollister Avenue) side property line. This would result in a reduction of 27% in the building’s floor area. Reducing the building’s floor area, which also reduces the amount of inventory available to customers by 27% represents an unreasonable hardship. The costs associated with demolishing and reconstructing both ends of the building would also be substantial. A trash / recycling enclosure is needed and should be located behind the building. However, a parking modification is needed to install a trash/recycling enclosure because there is insufficient lot area to comply with parking and provide a trash enclosure. The project can provide a trash enclosure and seven parking spaces. Code restrictions on operating hours were established to minimize the effects of commercial noise, traffic, parking and other impacts on surrounding residents. However, this market has previously remained open past the proposed hours without creating adverse impacts, or generating complaints from any neighbor. Given its well-established neighborhood-serving mode of operation, the standard operating hours are unnecessarily restrictive in this case. Moreover, the residents that will be directly affected support the proposed operating hours.
3. That the granting of a modification would not adversely affect surrounding properties or be detrimental to the district's residential-oriented environment, in that the commercial building’s Mediterranean features are consistent with the Ocean Park Neighborhood Design Guidelines and as conditioned, it is compatible to the neighborhood context. In addition, the neighborhood grocery store is a neighborhood serving use, has served the surrounding neighborhood for a long period of time and has significant support from residents of neighborhood. Based on substantial evidence presented during the public hearing, the proposed operating hours would not cause adverse noise or traffic impacts and would benefit neighbors by reducing their need to travel to commercial districts to purchase groceries.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FINDINGS
1. The proposed use is one conditionally permitted within the subject district and complies with all of the applicable provisions of the City of Santa Monica Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance, in that, the Zoning Ordinance allows existing neighborhood grocery stores in residential districts with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit. Pursuant to the Planning Commission’s modification of side and front yard setbacks, landscaping, off-street parking off-street loading requirements and extended operating hours as authorized by Ordinance 2090 (CCS) (TA 03-001), the project complies with the special standards for neighborhood grocery stores.
2. The proposed use would not impair the integrity and character of the district in which it is to be established or located, in that the neighborhood grocery store has been in operation for over 50 years and serves the surrounding area. Although the market does not currently comply with neighborhood market standards, the project can be upgraded to comply with standards and conditions necessary to insure that the commercial use is compatible with neighboring residential uses and to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare. The proposed operating hours would not cause adverse noise or traffic impacts and would benefit neighbors by reducing their need to travel to less convenient commercial districts to purchase groceries.
3. The subject parcel is physically suitable for the type of land use being proposed, in that the subject project can be upgraded to reasonably comply with pertinent standards and conditions necessary to insure that the commercial use is compatible with neighboring residential uses.
4. The proposed use is compatible with any of the land uses presently on the subject parcel, if the present land uses are to remain, in that the neighborhood grocery store is an existing commercial use, which has been located at the site for more than 50 years. No other uses are located on the site.
5. The proposed use would be compatible with existing and permissible land uses within the district and the general area in which the proposed use is to be located in that the neighborhood grocery store is an existing use which has been located at the site for more than 50 years. Although the market does not currently comply with neighborhood market special standards, the project can be upgraded to comply with standards and conditions necessary to insure that the commercial use is compatible with neighboring residential uses. Pursuant to the Planning Commission’s modification of side yard setback, landscaping and off-street parking requirements and extended operating hours as authorized by Ordinance 2090 (CCS) (TA 03-001), the project complies with the special standards for neighborhood grocery stores. The proposed operating hours would not cause adverse noise or traffic impacts.
6. There are adequate provisions for water, sanitation, and public utilities and services to ensure that the proposed use would not be detrimental to public health and safety, in that the site is located in an urbanized area adequately served by existing infrastructure.
7. Public access to the proposed use will be adequate, in that the site has street frontage on Fourth Street and Hollister Avenue. In addition, the neighborhood market is within walking distance for a large residential population.
8. Pursuant to the preceding modification findings, the physical location or placement of the use on the site is compatible with and relates harmoniously to the surrounding neighborhood, in that although the market does not currently comply with neighborhood standards, the project can be upgraded to comply with modified standards and conditions necessary to insure that the commercial use and its operating hours is compatible with the neighborhood.
9. The proposed use is consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the General Plan, in that the proposed use is neighborhood serving while preserving the existing scale and character of the surrounding area. Further, Circulation Objectives and Policies 4.1.2. encourages land use patterns which reduce vehicle miles traveled and the number of vehicle trips. The grocery store is in close proximity to many residential units reduces the number of vehicle trips needed by area residents needing routine grocery items. The proposed operating hours would not cause adverse noise or traffic impacts.
10. The proposed use would not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or general welfare, in that the project can be upgraded to comply with standards and conditions necessary to insure that the commercial use is compatible with neighboring residential uses and to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare.
11. Pursuant to Ordinance 2090 (CCS) (TA 03-001), the proposed use conforms precisely to the applicable performance standards contained in Subchapter 9.04.12 and special conditions outlined in Subchapter 9.04.14 of the City of Santa Monica Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance, in that all special standards for neighborhood markets have been met, with the exception of building setbacks, landscaping, off-street parking and off-street loading. The Planning Commission has modified these special standards for this neighborhood market since 1) the market has been in continuous operation since the Zoning Ordinance’s effective date; 2) the strict application of the provisions of this chapter would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships inconsistent with the general purpose and intent of this chapter in that the market occupies an existing structure where compliance with physical development would require building demolition and markets are currently allowed in the OP2 District subject to a Conditional Use Permit; and 3) the granting of this modification would not adversely affect surrounding properties or be detrimental to the district’s residential-oriented environment in that the one-story market building has been located on the site since 1925 without adversely impacting the residential character. TA 03-001 was adopted by Ordinance 2090 (CCS) on July 22, 2003 and provides the Planning Commission, or City Council on appeal, authority to modify the operating hours of existing legal-nonconforming neighborhood markets. The proposed operating hours would not cause adverse noise or traffic impacts.
12. The proposed use will not result in an overconcentration of such uses in the immediate vicinity, in that the neighborhood grocery store is 750 feet away from the nearest commercial area and 480 away from another neighborhood grocery store.
1. These Conditions replace and supersede the conditions from CUP 02-001.
2. This approval is for those plans dated June 15, 2000, a copy of which shall be maintained in the files of the City Planning Division. The plans shall be amended to provide a trash enclosure behind the building in-lieu of parking space #8. Project development shall be consistent with such plans, except as otherwise specified in these conditions of approval. Improvements to the property shown on the plans and specified in these conditions, including, but not limited to construction of property line walls, a trash enclosure, paving for the rear parking lot and building façade work shall be completed within 180 days from the effective date of CUP 02-001 (August 21, 2003).
3. The Plans shall comply with all other provisions of Chapter 1, Article IX of the Municipal Code, (Zoning Ordinance) and all other pertinent ordinances and General Plan policies of the City of Santa Monica.
4. Minor amendments to the plans shall be subject to approval by the Director of Planning. A significant change in the approved concept shall be subject to Planning Commission review. Construction shall be in conformance with the plans submitted or as modified by the Planning Commission, Architectural Review Board or Director of Planning.
5. The operation shall at all times be conducted in a manner not detrimental to surrounding properties or residents by reason of light, noise, activities, parking, or other actions.
6. The use shall continue to be limited to that of a neighborhood food market carrying a full line of grocery items.
7. Only 20% of the shelf area may be stocked with beer and wine and no liquor is permitted.
8. All signs other than the “Market” sign, identifying the primary business shall be removed or painted out, including those in the windows and in the parking lot. Only permanent signs that are specifically approved by the ARB may be allowed. Because of the residential context and OP2 District sign limitations, new signs should be limited to the markets name, such as Budget Market, building address and exempt regulatory signs, such as customer parking only.
9. The premises shall be maintained in an acceptable state of repair and maintenance, including the landscaping, trash enclosure, adjacent parkways and sidewalks and fencing.
10. No business license shall be renewed or issued to any owner until the above conditions have been met.
11. That the owner and operators and all their assigns, employees or agents shall obey all laws and ordinances, particularly those relating to the sale of alcoholic beverages and conviction for violation of such laws shall be cause for revocation of this permit and forfeiture of all rights included therein.
12. The neighborhood grocery store shall be operated completely within an enclosed building. The store may not be used for residential purposes.
13. One (1) on-street passenger loading zone space shall be located adjacent to the entrance to the store on Hollister Avenue for use by customers who arrive by automobile. The applicant shall reimburse the City for the costs of painting the curb, posting signs and installing a parking meter that may be necessary to designate and enforce the passenger loading zone between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. as determined by the City Transportation Management Division.
14. No exterior activities such as trash disposal or other maintenance activity generating noise audible from the exterior of the building shall be conducted between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, and between 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., Saturday and Sunday. Trash enclosure shall be secured with a lock between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. No after hours operation shall be permitted.
15. Lighting shall comply with SMMC Section 9.04.10.02.270, which states that all outdoor lighting associated with commercial uses shall be shielded and directed away from surrounding residential uses. Such lighting shall not exceed .5 footcandles of illumination beyond the property and shall not blink, flash, oscillate or be of unusually high intensity of brightness.
16. The store may be open for business only between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
17. Deliveries shall be permitted only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
18. Exterior mechanical equipment shall comply with current City screening and noise regulations SMMC Sections 4.12 and 9.04.10.02.130 - 9.04.10.02.150.
19. The trash enclosure shall be secured with a lock between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
20. Within 14 days of the effective date, the applicant shall post a notice at the building entry stating that the site is regulated by a Conditional Use Permit and the Statement of Official Action, which includes the establishment’s conditions of approval, is available upon request. This notice shall remain posted at all time the establishment is in operation.
21. The applicant is on notice that signage, exterior modifications, or exterior alterations require prior approval of the Architectural Review Board, see Conditions 2, 8, 25, 27, 26 and 27.
22. The store operator shall submit a plan for approval by the Director of Planning and Community Development regarding employee alcohol awareness training programs and policies. The plan shall outline a mandatory alcohol awareness training program for all employees having contact with the public and shall state management's policies addressing alcohol sales. The program shall require all employees having contact with the public to complete a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) sponsored alcohol awareness training program within 90 days of the effective date of this approval. All new employees shall attend the alcohol awareness training within 90 days of hiring. In the event the ABC no longer sponsors an alcohol awareness training program, all employees having contact with the public shall complete an alternative program approved by the Director of Planning and Community Development. The operator shall provide the City with an annual report regarding compliance with this condition. This project shall be subject to any future citywide alcohol awareness training program condition affecting similar establishments.
23. Electrical conduit, window bars and lighting fixtures that have been installed on the exterior of the building shall be removed. Electrical conduit, pipes and security bars may be installed inside the building with pertinent permits. Decorative lighting that is consistent with the building’s architectural theme shall be installed on the building to illuminate the parking lot, entrance and building facade.
24. The neighborhood grocery store shall provide and maintain seven (7) parking spaces, five spaces in the front of the store and two spaces in the rear of the building. One of the front spaces will also be used as an on-site delivery loading space.
25. Landscaping shall be installed and maintained along the front parking lot. The design of the landscape and irrigation system shall be approved by the Architectural Review Board.
26. A 5’ x 9’ trash and recycling room or enclosure shall be provided and maintained. Its walls shall be at least six feet high and constructed of decorative concrete block. A solid, view obscuring lockable gate shall be provided. The trash enclosure shall be secured with a lock between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
27. A six-foot high, decorative concrete block wall shall be provided along the north and east property lines. The walls shall step down to a maximum height of 24” within five feet of the sidewalk.
Validity of Permits
28. In the event permittee violates or fails to comply with any conditions of approval of this permit, no further permits, licenses, approvals or certificates of occupancy shall be issued until such violation has been fully remedied.
29. Within ten days of City Planning Division transmittal of the approved Statement of Official Action, project applicant shall sign and return a copy of the Statement of Official Action prepared by the City Planning Division, agreeing to the conditions of approval and acknowledging that failure to comply with such conditions shall constitute grounds for potential revocation of the permit approval. By signing same, applicant shall not thereby waive any legal rights applicant may possess regarding said conditions. The signed Statement shall be returned to the City Planning Division. Failure to comply with this condition may constitute grounds for potential permit revocation.
30. This determination shall not become effective for a period of fourteen days from the date of determination or, if appealed, until a final determination is made on the appeal. Any appeal must be made in the form required by the Zoning Administrator. The approval of this permit shall expire if the rights granted are not exercised within one year from the permit’s effective date. The effective date is also subject to the City Council approving Text Amendment 03-004 and its effective date. Exercise of rights shall mean actual commencement of the use granted by the permit. One six month extension may be permitted if approved by the Director of Planning and Community Development. Applicant is on notice that time extensions may not be granted if development standards relevant to the project have changed since project approval.
Ayes: Clarke, Hopkins, Johnson, O’Day
Absent: Brown, Dad
If this is a final decision not subject to further appeal under the City of Santa Monica Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance, the time within which judicial review of this decision must be sought is governed by Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6, which provision has been adopted by the City pursuant to Municipal Code Section 1.16.010.
I hereby certify that this Statement of Official Action accurately reflects the final determination of the Planning Commission of the City of Santa Monica.
Darrell Clarke, Chairperson Date
I hereby agree to the above conditions of approval and acknowledge that failure to comply with such conditions shall constitute grounds for potential revocation of the permit approval.
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