Meeting Date: January 17, 2017
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AGENDA ITEM: Resolution Approving Site Plan and Design Review 2016-02 to construct a Panda Express Chinese restaurant at 412 Winton Parkway, Livingston, CA
MEETING DATE: January 17, 2017
PREPARED BY: Randy Hatch, Contract City Planner
REVIEWED BY: Odi Ortiz, Interim City Manager
Adopt a Resolution approving Site Plan and Design Review 2016-02 to construct a Panda Express Chinese restaurant at 412 Winton Parkway, Livingston, CA.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:
The applicant, Gary Wang & Associates, Inc., on behalf of Livingston Commons Investors, LLC, owner, is requesting a Site Plan and Design Review approval to construct and operate a Panda Express Chinese restaurant with drive-thru and associated outdoor seating, new trash enclosure, walkways, 26 new parking spaces and landscaping at 412 Winton Parkway.
The property is vacant, approximately 29,280 square feet in size, and is located at the east side of Winton Parkway between Joseph Gallo Drive and "B" Street. The whole area is General Planned Highway Commercial and zoned C-3, Highway Service Commercial. The C-3 zone allows a wide variety of commercial uses serving the needs of City residents and those traveling along Highway 99, such as restaurants.
While such businesses are allowed, City Code requires new development to be reviewed in terms of its Site Plan and Design characteristics. The purpose of a Site Plan and Design Review is to assure compatibility, harmony in appearance, and reduction of negative impacts of non-aesthetic development and orderly development of the community. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the Site Plan and Design Review at their meeting on December 13, 2016. The City Council is to consider final approval.
The new restaurant will be 2600 square feet in size (1096 square feet of dining area). The rectangular shaped building is oriented parallel to Winton Parkway with the kitchen along the axis of the building closest to the street with the dining area toward the parking. The floor plans identify 66 seats and two rest rooms. An outdoor dining area is adjacent to the building toward the southeast corner with 16 seats defined by a patio railing. The patio is approximately 14 feet by 13 feet.
The site plan shows a drive-thru window near the south west corner of the building with the drive-thru lane starting at the north side of the building and wrapping around to the drive-thru window and exiting to the parking area at the south side of the building. Waiting space for eight cars is provided.
Twenty-six parking spaces are provided with access aisles. The parking aisles at the east connect to the parking area of the Rancho San Miguel grocery store. The trash enclosure area is located in the north side of the parking area just east of the entrance to the drive-thru. Planters are provided throughout the site. Planters buffer the parking areas and buffer the drive-thru lane and window from Winton Parkway. Trees and shrubs are proposed for the landscaped area along with irrigation. The conceptual location for a pole sign is shown at the northwestern corner of the property.
The new building is single story, 23.5 ft. high at the highest part of the parapet. The exterior elevation starts with a dark tan wainscot approximately 2.2 to 3 feet high on all four sides. The basic finish of the building is a stucco-like wall system in a field color of shortbread (lighter cream tone) with contrasting sections of hickory (medium brown). Accent canopies of a composite decking material in shades of medium brown are provided along the east elevation (main entrance) and the south elevation (driveway entrance) above glass windows and doors.
The walls are finished with a parapet in a slightly darker color of bison beige. Above one of the main entrances, the drive-thru window, and along the building by the drive-thru lane, trellises are provided in a dark midnight brown. The roofing is a terracotta mission barrel tile. Areas are identified on the north, east, and west elevation for a Panda Express wall sign I logo. A utility service door is on the north side of the building leading to the storage I prep area of the kitchen.
The construction of a restaurant is a project subject to review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The construction of the Panda Express restaurant is exempt from CEQA under CEQA Guidelines Section 15332, class 32. To qualify for this exemption which applies to in-fill development, a project must be: consistent with the General Plan and Zoning, within city limits, be no more than 5 acres in size substantially surrounded by urban uses, be on a site with no habitat value, is a site provided by all utilities and public services, and whose development would not result in any significant effects to traffic, noise, air quality or water quality.
The subject parcel meets all of these conditions, (the site has been graded, provided with adjacent utility hook-ups, and altered from its natural condition), and, therefore, qualifies for this exemption. No further environmental review is necessary.
The property is vacant and is properly General Planned and Zoned for such a use. The proposal meets the Zoning standards with respect to setbacks, height, parking, and lot coverage.
The parking required for restaurants is 1 space for every 50 square feet of dining area, indoor or patio, resulting in a requirement of 26 spaces. Twenty-six (26) parking spaces are provided. The parking spaces meet the size and design requirements and 2 handicapped spaces are provided. Landscaping is provided to buffer the parking area and to buffer the drive-thru lane from Winton Parkway. The landscape plan identifies 20 trees to be planted, 11 London Plane (Yarwood) and 9 Crape Myrtle (Natchez).
These two tree types are listed in the City’s approved tree list and Crape Myrtle trees are planted within the adjoining Rancho San Miguel parking lot. Six varieties of shrubs are proposed to be planted. Two varieties are specifically listed on the approved list while four are not listed. The four shrubs not on the City’s list are: White Iceberg Rose; Suwannee River Privet; Daylily; and Star Jasmine. Staff researched these shrubs and determined that they require modest amounts of water and are particularly suitable for use in the proposed parking lot areas.
Staff is of the opinion the proposed building’s design, materials and colors are of high quality. The new building has a variety of textures and visual interest provided by the wainscoting, stucco-like wall system in two complementary colors, finished parapets, accent canopies and trellises. The outdoor dining area is a nice feature and the landscaping complements the developed portions of the site. Signage is conceptually identified, but will require final staff approval.
Exterior lighting is not addressed leading staff to recommend a condition of approval to require lighting to be shielded and focused on the building and parking areas. The City has a Design Guide applicable to all new development. Staff has compared the proposed new building’s design and colors with the Design Guide. The overall design of the new building appears to be consistent with the Design Guide in terms of being compatible in scale with the surrounding area and providing visual interest.
PLANNING COMMISSION ACTIONS AND RECOMMENDATION:
The Planning Commission held a Public Hearing on this request for a Site Plan and Design Review on December 13, 2016. The applicant appeared at the Hearing and presented his request and answered questions from the Commission. There was minimal presence from the public and no comments pro or con were offered. The Commission felt that the proposed new restaurant would be an asset and beneficial to the community. The Commission determined that the site layout and building and landscaping as proposed, and as conditioned, complies with all the requirements and standards applicable to this proposal.
A positive impact from additional taxable sales and property taxes.
Staff is of the opinion that the proposed use and new building would be an asset to the area and beneficial in the City. Developing this vacant lot and adding an additional restaurant helps to provide variety and additional development in the City. Staff feels the site layout and building, as proposed and as conditioned, complies with all the requirements and standards applicable. The question of the proposed landscape shrubs not being on the City’s approved list is more subjective, but staff is of the opinion that the shrubs are consistent with and compatible to the approved shrub list. Staff recommends the City Council approve the Site Plan and Design Review 2016-02 based on the Findings and Conditions of Approval contained in the attached resolution.
1. Council Resolution 2017-
2. Planning Commission Resolution 2016-06, Recommending Approval of SPDR 2016-02
3. Project Location and Zoning Map
4. Project Plans (Site Plan, Floor Plan, Elevations, Landscaping Plan, Irrigation Plan)
RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL
OF THE CITY OF LIVINGSTON APPROVING SITE PLAN AND DESIGN REVIEW 2016-02 FOR A PANDA EXPRESS RESTAURANT AT 412 WINTON PARKWAY
WHEREAS, pursuant to Livingston Municipal Code ("LMC") section 5-6-7, Gary Wang & Associates, Inc., applicant, on behalf of Livingston Commons Investors, LLC, owner, has applied for a Site Plan and Design Review approval to develop a Panda Express restaurant and associated improvements at 412 Winton Parkway, in the City of Livingston; and
WHEREAS, the site is zoned C-3 (Highway Service Commercial), and has a General Plan designation of Highway Commercial according to the official zoning map of the City of Livingston and the 1999 Livingston General Plan; and
WHEREAS, LMC Section 5-6-7 requires the approval of a Site Plan and Design Review for new structures within the C-3 district to assure compatibility, harmony in appearance in neighborhoods, reduction of negative impacts of nonaesthetic development, and orderly development of the community; and
WHEREAS, a public hearing for the proposed project has been properly noticed by posting, a newspaper ad and a mailing to adjacent properties within 300 feet of the site; and
WHEREAS, the proposed project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") under Section 15332 In-Fill Development Projects and a Notice of Exemption will be filed with the Merced County Clerk within five (5) days of project approval; and
WHEREAS, Staff has reviewed the project with reference to the 1999 General Plan, the Zoning Ordinance (specifically Sections 5-6-7 "C" thru "E") and the adopted Livingston Design Guidelines; and finds that, based on the evidence documented within the associated staff report and proceedings of the public hearing, the proposed use, its site plan and design, is consistent with the General Plan, complies with the Zoning Ordinance in that the site plan and design meets the zoning standard and requirements (including those specifically referenced above), and meets the intent and guidance of the Livingston Design Guidelines; and
WHEREAS, the City Council has evaluated the four landscaping shrubs referenced in the associated staff report proposed in the parking areas and while not on the City’s approved shrub list are similar to and compatible with those on the list and are specifically found to be acceptable.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Livingston City Council hereby adopts Resolution 2017-_, approving the Site Plan and Design of the subject new development.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conditions of Approval within City Council Resolution 2017-_, Exhibit A, are hereby approved.
Passed and adopted this 17th day of January, 2017, by the following vote:
Jim Soria, Mayor of the City of Livingston
I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was regularly introduced, passed and adopted at a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Livingston this 17th day of January, 2017.
Antonio Silva, City Clerk of the City of Livingston