LIVINGSTON CA / June 09, 2013 —
Meeting Date: June 11, 2013
Note from TheGardeningSnail: The following contains excerpts from the Staff Report and Attachments. Copy from the Agenda Packet follows the text.
Conditional Use Permit 2013-05. Quail H. Farms has applied for a Conditional Use Permit to cultivate annual crops that include: squash, pumpkins, kale, sweet potatoes and rye crops on a 16.6-acre parcel located on the north side of Peach Street, west of Winton Parkway on property zoned R-1, Low Density Residential (APN: 022-050-009).
The applicant, Quail H. Farms, proposes to use this property for the commercial production of annual crops that may include any or all of the following: squash, pumpkins, kale, sweet potatoes and rye crops on a 16.6-acre property located on the north side of Peach Avenue, West of Winton Parkway on property zoned R-1, Low Density Residential.
The property contains a Merced Irrigation District irrigation canal, separating the farming areas into two parts. The west part of the parcel would be utilized to grow annual crops. The east part of the parcel would be utilized to grow pumpkins, some of which are proposed to be donated to the City for the Halloween Festival.
The application documentation reports that farming practices will include standard measures, no fresh manure and no aerial applications. Watering applications would be through a drip tape system to avoid waste and overuse.
Depending on the crop, there can be up to twelve employees involved in the cultivation activities.
The property is presently seeded with rye grass to maintain soil and weed control. The property to the north is developed with a City neighborhood park (Joseph Gallo Park) and storm drain basin. The properties to the west and east are developed with single family homes. The properties to the south are developed with ranchettes and properties south of Peach Avenue (and located outside of the City Limits) are also developed with ranchettes and designated as Urban Reserve in the 1999 General Plan.
The property has frontage on both Peach Avenue and Winton Parkway. Vehicular access to and from the property has not be identified; the applicant will need submit access locations for farming operations for review and approval by the City Engineer and Public Works Director.
All workplaces in the United States are required to provide suitable and sanitary bathroom facilities according to standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These standards apply to permanent rooms in buildings as well as portable facilities provided on temporary job sites, such as those involved with construction projects and agricultural work.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT:
Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-3-15 – Table 2 Land Use-Residential Zoning Matrix allows the cultivation of crops subject to the approval of Use Permit from the Planning Commission. LMC Section 5-5-12 Cultivation of Seasonal or Annual Crops provides for the cultivation of seasonal or annual crops on parcels larger than five acres subject to approval of a Conditional Use Permit.
LMC 5-5-12 C. Development Standards: All cultivation of seasonal or annual crops must comply with the following standards:
1. Cultivation is only permitted on lots larger than five acres. The subject property in this application consists of a 16.6-acre parcel –development standard met.
2. Only annual or seasonal crops may be planted. Perennial crops are prohibited.
Squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, kale are proposed to be farmed as annual crops.
3. The property has adequate water supply to support the proposed activity. The property is adjacent to a Merced Irrigation District canal (Hammatt –Livingston) and the property is served by it.
4. Aerial spraying of pesticides or herbicides is prohibited. Additional limitation on the use of chemicals may be imposed in the Conditional Use Permit. The applicant does not propose any aerial applications of herbicides or pesticides.
LMC 5-6-9: E. Criteria: In considering an application for conditional use permits, the following criteria shall be as follows:
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 consists of a 16.6-acre parcel and can safely and effectively accommodate the cultivation and harvesting of annual crops on the property.
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 Peach Avenue and Winton Parkway along its southern and eastern property lines allowing vehicular access to the property. Vehicular traffic will consist of employees that will access the property to conduct cultivation and harvesting activities. Vehicular access to and from the property shall be as approved by the City of Livingston.
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. Adequate facilities needed to serve the proposed use include irrigation canal(s) and street access, which both are adequate to serve the site as they had 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 consistent with the 1999 General Plan Policy 5.1.A: Preserving prime farmland, farmland of statewide importance and important agricultural operations within the Livingston City Limits and Sphere of influence until logical and orderly urban growth is appropriate.
The Project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines pursuant to Section 15304 Minor Alterations to Land- Class 4 consists of minor public or private alterations to the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve the removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees, except for forestry and agricultural purposes.
Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt the Resolution approving Conditional Use Permit 2013-05 for the commercial production of annual crops that may include any or all of the following: squash, pumpkins, kale, sweet potatoes and rye crops on a 16.6-acre property commonly known as APN 022-050-009 subject to the findings listed above and the conditions of approval as listed on the attached Planning Commission Resolution.