JUNE 11, 2013 Draft Minutes

LIVINGSTON CA / July 08, 2013 —

{Note from TheGardeningSnail: The following text was prepared by running a PDF file through a program that converts Image to Text. Sorry about any textual gremlins that may have crept in.}




JUNE 11, 2013

The regular meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission was held in the City Council Chambers on June 11, 2013. The meeting was called to order by Chair Luis Enrique Flores at 7:04 p.m .


Commissioners Present: Chair Luis Enrique Flores, Commissioner Francisco Castellanos, Commissioner Warren Urnberg, and Commissioner Mario Mendoza.

Commissioners Absent: Commissioner Michael Silva (Excused)

Staff Present: Contract Associate Planner Miguel Galvez and Administrative

Analyst Filomena Arredondo.

Others Present: Jose Perez, Jack Smith, Jim Sipe, Arturo Sicairos, Rodrigo Espinoza, and others in the audience.


The pledge of a1legiance to the flag was recited.



Motion by Commissioner Urnberg and seconded by Commissioner Castellanos, to approve the minutes from the May 14, 2013, Regular Meeting. Motion carried 4-0.


Contract Planner Galvez announced the resignation of Planning Commissioner Alicia Estrada from the Livingston Planning Commission effective June 1, 2013.

He also announced that at the regular Council meeting of June 4, 2013, the City Council appointed Alternate Commissioner Michael Silva to fill the regular Commissioner vacancy and directed staff to commence the process for the selection of a new alternate commissioner. City staff will advertise the position for two months and bring back to City Council at their second meeting in August for final selection.

Chair Flores asked if the applicants that applied the last time would be contacted to see if they are still interested.

Contract Planner Galvez replied City staff is going to advertise the vacancy. All members that applied in the past are welcome to reapply, but it will ultimately be up to the City Council to choose the alternate.

Chair Flores wished Alicia Estrada the best in the next chapter of her life.



Commissioner Mendoza nominated Chair Flores for Planning Commission Chair for 2013. Chair Flores said he is interested in continuing serving as Chair, but he is very much open to giving someone else the opportunity.

Motion by Commissioner Mendoza, seconded by Commissioner Urnberg, to re-appoint Chair Flores Planning Commission Chair for 2013. Motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Chair Flores and Commissioners Castellanos, Mendoza, and Urnberg

NOES: None

ABSENT: Commissioner Silva


Commissioner Mendoza nominated Commissioner Urnberg for Planning Commission Vice-Chair for 2013. Commissioner Urnberg declined the nomination.

Chair Flores asked if Commissioner Silva had expressed interest in serving as Vice-Chair.

Contract Planner Galvez replied he did not. Short discussion followed.

Motion by Commissioner Urnberg, seconded by Commissioner Castellanos, to postpone the election of Vice-Chair to the next regular meeting to give all Commissioners the opportunity to state their interest in serving in that capacity. Motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Chair Flores and Commissioners Castellanos, Mendoza, and Urnberg

NOES:  None

ABSENT: Commissioner Silva


Chair Flores opened the public comment period at 7:11 p.m.

Rodrigo Espinoza, 1462 First Street, congratulated Chair Flores on his re-appointment as Chair and thanked all the Commissioners for serving on the Livingston Planning Commission.

Chair Flores closed the public comment period at 7:14 p.m.



Applicant, Roberto Ramirez has applied for a Conditional Use Permit to renovate, relocate and expand an existing non-conforming house within the Highway Service Commercial Zoning District (C-3) at 428 Simpson Avenue.

Contract Planner Galvez presented the staff report.

On January 8, 2013, the Planning Commission approved Resolution 2013-01, approving Conditional Use Permit 2012-06 to renovate and expand the rear portion of the house. During the renovation effort in April 2013, the house collapsed and had to be completely demolished. Subsequently, the applicant met with Planning staff to discuss the possibility of relocating the building away from the rear and side property lines to meet the 5-foot setback fire code requirement.

Staff thinks this is an excellent opportunity to revitalize this area and, therefore, recommends approval of the project.

Jose Perez, Project Architect, was present to answer questions.

Commissioners Questions/Comments

Chair Flores

• This project was first brought up in January 2013. He wonders how long it is going to take to get it completed.

Contract Planner Galvez said the applicant has a 6-month period from when the building collapsed to get a building permit and reconstruct it to its original version.

Chair Flores opened and closed the Public Hearing at 7:20 p.m. as there was no public comment.

Commissioner Urnberg

• Asked if the applicant would be required to install curb, gutter, and sidewalk on the property.

Project Architect, Jose Perez, said that has not been discussed with the applicant.

Commissioner Mendoza

• Asked if that means the whole street would be required to install curb, gutter, and sidewalk.

Contract Planner Galvez explained that is normally only required of the applicant making the improvements.

Discussion followed regarding the City’s Safe Routes to School sidewalk installation project currently in existence and the possibility of this area benefiting from it.

Contract Planner Galvez will discuss with City Engineer Nanda Gottiparthy and will follow up with Mr. Perez and the applicant.

Motion by Commissioner Castellanos, seconded by Commissioner Umberg to adopt Resolution 2013-10 approving Conditional Use Permit 2013-04 for the relocation, expansion and renovation of a nonconforming house at 428 Simpson Avenue. Motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Chair Flores and Commissioners Castellanos, Mendoza, and Urnberg

NOES:  None

ABSENT: Commissioner Silva


Applicant 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 Avenue, west of Winton Parkway on property zoned R-1, Low Density Residential (APN: 022-050-009).

Contract Planner Galvez presented the staff report.

He said 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.

Staff received one letter of support from a property owner on Spruce Court.

Staff feels this application is for the benefit of the community and, therefore, recommends approval of the project subject to the findings and conditions of approval listed on the staff report.

Chair Flores asked who owns the property.

Contract Planner said the property is owned by HHAD Partnership/J. Michael Hennigan. Representatives of Quail H. Farms were present to answer questions.

Chair Flores opened the Public Hearing at 7:29 p.m.

Rodrigo Espinoza, 1462 First Street, said that parcel is part of a development approved by the City Council a few years ago. Winton Parkway is eventually supposed to go through there. The development was supposed to put in a park in the north side and donate one acre to the City for parking and for basketball courts, but development didn’t happen. That land has been vacant for five to seven years or longer. He thinks it would be good to plant something there.

Chair Flores closed the Public Hearing at 7:30 p.m.

Chair Flores asked the applicant if they would install security fencing to keep the kids out and prevent vandalism. Joseph Gallo Park is right next to this parcel and the Park sign is being constantly vandalized.

Jack Smith, co-owner of Quail H. Farms, said there has not been any discussion on how they would address potential vandalism. He has not been given any budgetary considerations as far as putting up any fencing. He presumes if it becomes a problem, they can address it at that time.

Chair Flores reopened the Public Hearing at 7:32 p.m.

Resident Jim Sipe, 1587 Bay Meadow, said he lives right across the street from this parcel. He grew up with his father being a farmer and he knows farming brings a lot of bugs, flies, rodents, and mosquitoes from standing water. They are proposing to farm an area which is surrounded by residential units. He is concerned about his children. There is a park less than a block away. A lot of people walk in that park every night.

He is also concerned with vandalism. About two years ago, they planted pumpkins out there and residents were going in the field, grabbing the pumpkins and then dropping them in the street and making a mess. He is not against farming, but there must be some regulations.

Jack Smith responded to the complaints made by Mr. Sipe. He stated they will use micro­ irrigation or drip irrigation which alleviates a lot of standing water. He doesn’t think there is going to be a problem with dust. They have a squash field right now in Atwater and it covers the entire ground, so there is no dust. He is not sure how irrigation affects the mosquito population, but there are ways they can try to alleviate the problem. Maybe they can leave a setback untouched away from the park.

Chair Flores closed the Public Hearing at 7:39 p.m.

Commissioner Urnberg

• Thinks this is a good project. He likes to see the land being used. As for mosquitoes, they have the canal there already and it has been there for years. He lives on gth Street and there is no water around there, but they do have mosquitoes. As for fencing it in, it’s a big expense for the applicant and the Planning Commission did not require fencing on the last farming project they approved, so he doesn’t feel they should require it on this one. He is okay with it as long as they keep the dust down.

Commissioner Castellanos

• He thinks it’s a good idea to use that land which has been vacant for a while. Mosquitoes are everywhere. Maybe there is more of a problem with canals because the water sits there, but he doesn’t think there is going to be too much of an issue.

Commissioner Mendoza

• He thinks the applicant should get a couple pit bulls to prevent vandalism.

Chair Flores asked if they can add a condition that there would be a 25-50 foot setback, or whatever is deemed appropriate, between the park and the parcel.

Mr. Smith said a 50-foot setback is fine with them and that gives a distinct differentiation.

Contract Planner Galvez said the language for condition #10 could be as follows:

10. That a minimum farming or cultivation setback of 25 feet be maintained and not be farmed adjacent to the City park site.

Discussion followed.

Motion by Commissioner Mendoza, seconded by Chair Flores, to adopt Resolution 2013-11, approving Conditional Use Permit 2013-05 for commercial production of annual crops that may include squash, pumpkins, kale, sweet potatoes and rye grass on a 16.6-acre property, commonly known as APN# 022-050-009, Quail H. Farms, LLC, with the addition of condition #10, that a minimum farming or cultivation setback of25 feet be maintained and not be farmed adjacent to the City park site.

Motion carried 4-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Chair Flores and Commissioners Castellanos, Mendoza, and Umberg

NOES:  None

ABSENT: Commissioner Silva


Planning Commission Commissioner Urnberg

• It has been brought to his attention that there is a towing company at Campbell Boulevard and Industrial Way where vehicles are being stored. The yard is not fenced in and there is no driveway on Industrial Drive. Additionally, they have two big piles of potatoes in there and with this heat, it is going to start smelling and bringing in rodents. He thinks it is Federal and State law that all yards are fenced in and covered so no one can see what is stored inside.

Contract Planner Galvez said he will check the Code requirements for towing yards and report back to the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Castellanos Nothing to report. Commissioner Mendoza

•Invited everyone to the June 181

City Council meeting at which Council Member David Mendoza and Planning Commissioner Mario Mendoza will present a recognition award to the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics for donating a bus to the Livingston High School Band Boosters.

All the money collected from the sale of the bus will go to Band and Color Guard.

Chair Flores Nothing to report.

City Staff

Administrative Analyst Arredondo

Nothing to report.

Contract Associate Planner Galvez

•Handed out a flyer outlining the schedule of events for the Livingston downtown revitalization charrette the City is hosting from Thursday, June 201 through Tuesday, June 25th. The main focus is to look at what can be done to revitalize Main Street and the downtown blocks on both sides of Highway 99. Everybody is invited to participate.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 7:51 p.m.

APPROVED: July 9, 2013


Secretary of the Planning Commission, MIGUEL A. GALVEZ

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the Planning Commission. They do not necessarily reflect all of the comments or dialogue leading up to the action. All meetings are digitally recorded and are an official record of the meeting’s proceedings. Digitally recorded verbatim minutes are available, upon request, and may be obtained at Livingston City Hall.


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