b. Conditional Use Permit 2013-06. Riggs Ambulance Service Post 33 has applied for a Conditional Use Permit application to locate an ambulance station staff 24/7 at an existing residence located at 2919 Franquette Street, Livingston, generally located on the north side of Franquette Street, east of Aldrich Avenue, on property zoned R-1 (Low Density Residential), APN 143-296-003
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Agenda Item #: 3b.
Meeting Date: August 13 , 2013
Report Date: August 7, 2013
CITY OF LIVINGSTON PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT
CITY FILE NUMBER: Conditional Use Permit 2013-06 – Public Hearing
Harjnder Singh Tumber 2933 Franquette St. Livingston, CA 95334
Riggs Ambulance Service Steve Melander, G.M. 100 Riggs Avenue Merced, CA 95341
PROJECT LOCATION: 2919 Franquette
Street, Livingston, CA
PROPOSED ACTION: Consideration of Conditional Use Permit (CUP) 2013-06 to locate an ambulance station staff 24/7 at an existing single family residence located at 2919 Franquette Street, generally located on the north side of Franquette Street, east of Aldrich Avenue on property zoned R-1 (Low Density Residential), APN 143-296-003.
PREPARED BY: Holly R Owen, Contract Associate Planner
Property Size: 6500 sq. ft
Existing Land Use: Single Family Residential
1999 General Plan Land Use Designation: Zoning: Estate/Low Density Residential Low Density Residential (R-1)
Street Access: Walnut Avenue and Aldrich Avenue
Adjacent General Plan Land Use Designation & Zoning District:
North: Low Density Residential (R-1)
South: Low Density Residential (R-1)
East: Low Density Residential (R-1)
West: Low Density Residential (R-1)
The applicant, Riggs Ambulance Service, proposes to use this property for the stationing of an ambulance staff 24/7 at an existing 1,750 sq. ft. single family residence located at 2919 Franquette Street, Livingston on a 6,500 square foot parcel zoned R-1, Low Density Residential. This property is located south of Walnut and east of Aldrich Avenue on the north side of Franquette Street. There will be approximately 2-3 employees using the residence for office work, sleeping and eating. An ambulance will also be on site 24/7 and will be used to respond to calls in a predetermined territory.
Riggs Ambulance is a private ambulance company with the exclusive contract for serving all of Merced County. They respond to all 911 ambulance calls (of which there were 1,221 in Livingston last year) and are dispatched according to the priority of the call. They are required to follow national guidelines in terms of response time and whether lights or siren are used to communicate urgency to other existing traffic. They respond to approximately 24,000 calls annually countywide. Vehicles and crews are stationed throughout the County, and the territory coverage adjusts with demand for service. They have indicated that their request to establish a site in Livingston will provide better response times for the community.
Concerning the proposed project area, the R-1 Low Density Residential District is described in the Livingston Municipal Code as…"intended to provide areas within the City …where regulations are designed to promote and encourage a suitable environment for living, provide space for community facilities needed to compliment urban residential areas and to provide for the safety, health and general welfare of its inhabitants" …[LMC 5-3-2 (b)].
The Planning Department is charged with the responsibility of determining approved uses in various districts throughout the City. Although this application is for a business that serves the public, it is not publicly funded, it is a private business. The business does not meet the Home Occupation regulations in several categories, nor is it considered Transitional Housing, a Residential Day Care, Boarding Housing, nor any other of the typical residential uses that are described in the Land Use Table in the Zoning Ordinance. Of the land uses described in the Livingston Municipal Code, "Commercial Services" is the description that comes the closest to matching the intended use.
Currently the business accommodates their crews in other cities in the County in a mix of office complexes and single-family residences.
There are a number of areas in Livingston that could accommodate a Commercial Services use, such as the C-1, DTC, C-2, C-3, M-1 and M-2 districts. A Conditional Use Permit and appropriate structural changes with a building permit would be required to allow for crews to be stationed there.
Input on this proposal was requested from the Fire Department, the Livingston Police Department, and the City Building and Engineering departments.
Comments from the Building Department included concerns about the space required for ambulance parking, and that on-street parking might be required to accommodate the vehicle length. It is unclear at this time how many employee vehicles may be present, but an assumption might be that it would be up to three vehicles used by the crew housed on the property. Comments from the Fire Department are as follows:
• The Fire Department will require a fire inspection upon occupancy. Such inspection would include fire extinguishers, smoke alarms verification, no smoking signs and or if there is any hazardous materials on site that would be applicable to the 2010 California Fire Code.
In conclusion, Staff s understanding of the purpose and intent of the R-1 zone district, together with Staff s concern about traffic, noise and the long-term consequences of setting a precedent of allowing clearly commercial uses in a residential area leads to a recommendation of denial of this conditional use permit.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT:
The Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) is silent on this particular use. As this is a new use, this is not in Section 5-3-15 (Table 2 Land Use: Residential Zoning Matrix). The LMC does state that "Uses not specifically covered by any use category, but which appear to be similar in nature to permitted or conditional uses, shall be reviewed by the Planning Director, who shall determine the use classification based upon activity characteristics of the proposed use [LMC 5-3- 15(b)]". This is shown below:
LMC 5-6-9: (E) Criteria: In considering an application for conditional use permits, the following criteria shall be as follows:
1. A conditional use permit shall not be granted for the use unreasonably incompatible with permitted uses in the area considering damage and nuisance from light sources, noise, smoke, odor, dust or vibration, hazard resulting from unusual volume or character of traffic or congestion of a large number of persons or vehicles.
2. A conditional use permit must be considered in relationship to its effect on the General Plan for the area in which it is to be located. The conditional use applied for must be in conformance with the General Plan Use map and policies.
3. Findings required for approval shall include:
a. The site for the proposed use is adequate in size and shape to accommodate said use and all yards, spaces, walls and fences, parking, loading, landscaping, and other features required by the applicable zoning district. The property is adequate in size and shape to accommodate said use. Off street parking will not be adequate unless private employee vehicles are kept in the garage.
b. The site for the proposed use is served by streets and highways adequate to carry the quantity and kind of traffic generated by the proposed use. The site is fronted by a residential street, Franquette Street. Vehicular traffic will consist of employees who will access the property at various times during the day and night, and an ambulance which will be estimated to respond to an unknown number of emergency calls at anytime during the day or night.
c. Public facilities are currently adequate to serve the proposed use or improvements are included in an approved Capital Improvement Plan or otherwise will be completed prior to the issuance of building permits. Public facilities are adequate to serve the site as they have been in the past.
d. The proposed development is consistent with the General Plan. If granted, it should be made subject to those conditions necessary to preserve the general welfare, not the individual welfare, of any particular applicant. The proposal is inconsistent with the 1999 General Plan Policy 3.1-A (1) No development shall be approved unless it is found to be consistent with the adopted land use map and policies of the General Plan.
The project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines, as it is an existing structure involving negligible or no expansion of use at that location [Section 15301 (a)].
Under the Land Use Regulations of the Zoning Ordinance, Section 5-3-15 (b) states that the Planning Director "may also consult with the Planning Commission in determining if a proposed use is a permitted activity." Staff seeks the guidance of and recommendation from the Planning Commission on this request for this conditional use permit.
A resolution denying this conditional use permit has been prepared by Planning Staff for the Commission’s consideration. Should the Planning Commission approve this conditional use permit, Staff recommends that the Planning Commission discuss and add conditions of approval and review this determination at the end of three months’ time and again at the one-year mark.
I . Project Location and Zoning Map
2. Aerial map of project site
3. Resolution 2013-_, Denying Conditional Use Permit 2013-06
RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LIVINGSTON DENYING CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT 2013-06, RIGGS AMBULANCE SERVICE
WHEREAS, pursuant to Livingston Municipal Code ("LMC") section 5-4-3, Steve Melander, General Manager of Riggs Ambulance Service, has applied for a Conditional Use Permit to locate an ambulance station staff 24/7 at an existing single family residence located at 2919 Franquette Street, ("Project"); and
WHEREAS, the site is zoned R-1 (Low Density Residential) according to the official zoning map of the City of Livingston; and
WHEREAS, LMC Section 5-6-9 requires a Conditional Use Permit for "certain land uses that generally have a distinct impact on the area in which they are located, and/or are capable of creating special problems for bordering properties unless given special attention"; 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, Staff has reviewed the project with reference to the 1999 General Plan, the 2025 General Plan, the Zoning Code and the adopted Livingston Design Guidelines; and
WHEREAS, the project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines, as it is an existing structure involving negligible or no expansion of use at the location (Section 15301(a). Further, the California Environmental Quality Act does not apply to projects which are denied.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission adopts Resolution 2013- , a Resolution denying Conditional Use Permit 2013-06 based on the following findings:
1. Pursuant to Livingston Municipal Code Section 5-6-9, Use Permits are used primarily to review the location, site development or conduct of certain land uses that generally have a distinct impact on the area in which they are located, and/or are capable of creating special problems for bordering properties unless given special attention. A conditional use permit shall not be granted for a use unreasonably incompatible with the permitted uses in the area considering damage and nuisance from light sources, noise, smoke, odor, dust or vibration, hazard resulting from unusual volume or character of traffic or congestion of a large number of persons or vehicles.
2. The Project differs significantly from neighboring properties and is not a use permitted under the R-1 zone district.
3. The Project is inconsistent with the 1999 General Plan Policy 3.1-A (1), No development shall be approved unless it is found to be consistent with the adopted land use map and policies of the General Plan.
4. The project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines, as it is an existing structure involving negligible or no expansion of use at the location (Section 1530l(a). Further, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not apply to projects which are denied.
5. A notice of public hearing has been properly prepared, posted, published, and mailed in accordance with State law. Besides being posted, the public hearing notice was published in the Livingston Chronicle and mailed to property owners within 300 feet of the subject site.
6. A public hearing has been held and testimony considered by the Planning Commission prior to any decision. The Planning Commission heard this item in public hearing on August 13, 2013.
The foregoing resolution was introduced and moved for adoption on August 13, 2013, by Commissioner and being duly seconded by Commissioner , was passed by the following vote:
Chair, LUIS ENRIQUE FLORES
Secretary of the Planning Commission, HOLLY R. OWEN