Case Number: UP 00-013
Location/Zone: 2632 Lincoln Boulevard /C4 (Highway Commercial District)
Legal Description: Lot 66; Copeland Square Tract
Applicant: Sprint PCS
CEQA Status: The project is categorically exempt from the provisions of CEQA pursuant Section 15303, Class 3 of the State CEQA Guidelines, which exempts the installation of small new equipment and facilities.
DESCRIPTION: Use Permit to allow the placement of twelve (12) directional antennas and one (1) Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna on the roof of an existing 2-story (25’) building. The radio equipment (e.g. the base transceiver station or BTS units) necessary to operate the proposed facility would be placed underground, below the surface parking to the rear of the commercial building. A second wireless communications provider (Nextel) has also applied for antennas at this location. The site is located west of Lincoln Boulevard and south of Hill Place North.
Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 9.04.10.06.110(b) allows the Zoning Administrator to approve a Use Permit to modify the regulations and design standards of nonparabolic commercial antennas, such as the proposed antennas.
An application for the above was filed on August 14, 2000, and public hearings were held on December 12, 2000, per the requirements of Chapter 1, Article IX of the Santa Monica Municipal Code. Having followed appropriate due process, the Zoning Administrator of the City of Santa Monica hereby denies the use permit to allow twelve directional antennas and one GPS antenna to be located upon the roof of an existing 2-story commercial building, based upon the following findings:
1. At the public hearing held by the Zoning Administrator on December 12, 2000 six persons voiced opposition and expressed their concerns regarding safety and visual impacts from the proposed antennas and screens. In addition staff received one letter of support and one letter of opposition prior to the public hearing.
2. The existing building is a 2-story structure located within a predominantly 1 and 2 story commercial corridor. The proposed antenna screen would increase the height of the building by 10 feet, creating a 3-story appearance. Given the scale of the surrounding area, this height increase would be visually incompatible with neighboring structures. No substantial evidence was provided at the hearing, or in the submitted application materials, to justify the need for the proposed equipment. Additionally the applicant has not provided site alternatives or substantial evidence to justify the proposed number, height, capacity and location of these antennas. The Zoning Administrator has reviewed the application, and evaluated the visual impacts of the proposed antennas and screening. Based upon this review the Zoning Administrator has determined that the proposed application does not warrant modification from the applicable antenna standards. Therefore Section 9.04.10.06.110(a)(3) is not modified for the subject application.
3. The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed height of the equipment and subsequent screen are necessary and are designed such that they would minimize the potential visual impacts to surrounding properties as well as to the public rights-of-way. Where the Antenna Ordinance (SMMC 9.04.10.06) recognizes the special need for antenna placement, other equipment, including, but not limited to the BTS units, can comply with Zoning Ordinance requirements for setbacks, height, Floor Area Ratio, etc. Since the proposed antenna screen increases the height of the building for equipment that is not directly related to the function of the subject building, the applicant has not demonstrated a conclusive need for the screen nor the antennas themselves.
Determination Prepared by: Gina Szilak, Assistant Planner
Determination Approved by: _________________________
Jay M. Trevino, AICP
Determination Date: February 15, 2001
Effective Date of Action if not appealed:
March 1, 2001
All decisions of the Zoning Administrator are appealable to the Planning Commission during a 14-calendar day appeal period following the decision date. Such an appeal may be made by filing an appeal letter with the City Planning Division, 1685 Main Street, Room 111, Santa Monica, CA 90401, accompanied by a filing fee of $108.89.