Action Meeting Minutes from the June 10, 2014, Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Note from TheGardeningSnail, this page was produced by running a PDF File through software that converts Image to text. My apologies if any Textual Gremlins have crept in.




JUNE 10, 2014

The regular meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission was held in the City Council Chambers on June 10, 2014. The meeting was called to order by Chair Luis Enrique Flores at 7:00 p.m.


Commissioners Present: Chair Luis Enrique Flores, Commissioner Francisco Castellanos, Commissioner Warren Umberg, and Alternate Commissioner Ranjeet Jhutti.

Commissioners Absent: Vice-Chair Mario Mendoza (excused)

Staff Present: Associate Planner Holly Owen and Sr. Administrative Analyst Filomena Arredondo.

Others Present: Renee Moreno, Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, and others in the audience.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Chair Flores asked for a moment of silence in memory of the late Planning Commissioner Michael Silva who passed away May 23, 2014 in a tragic motorcycle accident. He served on the Planning Commission for almost two years.

Chair Flores said his thoughts go out to Commissioner Silva’s family. He was glad to see so many people in attendance at the funeral. Commissioner Silva was a good person, full of energy, and well like by the Livingston community. He will be missed.

Alternate Commissioner Jhutti stated from the moment he met Commissioner Silva, he got the impression he was a very thoughtful and considerate person. His death was a tragic loss. He remembers the poem in his service program titled Miss Me, But Let Me Go. This poem reminds us that death is a natural part of life that everyone has to endure. His heart goes out to his family.

Commissioner Umberg shared the same sentiments as his colleagues. Commissioner Silva was his neighbor and he knows his parents very well. He will be greatly missed. It’s a shame this happened. He was very young.

Commissioner Castellanos said he was in shock when he heard about the accident. It is very sad! We must keep in mind that death is unpredictable and always be the best that we can be with those around us. His prayers go out to his family.

Sr. Administrative Analyst Arredondo said her thoughts and prayers go out to Commissioner Silva’s family. He will be greatly missed!



Motion by Commissioner Castellanos, seconded by Commissioner Umberg, to approve the minutes from the Regular Meeting of May 13, 2014. Motion carried 4-0, by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Chair Flores and Commissioners Castellanos, Umberg and Jhutti

NOES: None

ABSENT: Vice-Chair Mendoza


Chair Flores opened and closed the public comment period at 7:08 p.m. as there were no public comments.



Applicant, Renee Moreno, applied for a Site Plan and Design Review to construct a 2,340 square foot duplex (3-bedroom, 2-bath per unit) on an existing 5,850 square foot lot located at 836 Sixth Street, Livingston, generally located on the west side of Sixth Street, between ‘E’ and ‘F’ Streets, on property zoned R-2 (Medium Density Residential), APN 024-181-013.

Associate Planner Holly Owen presented the staff report, project plans and elevations, and conditions of approval. She stated this is a project that has been in the works for quite a long time.

A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment was done in 2013 to accommodate this and similar projects in the R-2 zoning district. A pre-application meeting was held May 6, 2014. Planning staff discussed with the applicant several points which were incorporated in the conditions of approval. The project plans were routed for comments on May 15, 2014. Very few comments were received by staff.

This Site Plan proposes two driveway entrances, one facing Sixth Street and the other facing the alley which runs behind the property. A pedestrian path is proposed to the north with an ungated access from Sixth Street to the rear unit to ensure that guest parking is directed towards Sixth Street so the alley is clear of vehicles at all times.

Staff recommended a low decorative fence or wall to discourage parking on unpaved areas. Staff also recommends that trash receptacles be located along the southern side of the parking area and be screened with decorative fencing for visibility reasons (Condition #18). Per Council Resolution 2007-20, all HVAC units for new residential construction must be ground-mounted (Condition #19).

Associate Planner Owen added the Conditions of Approval, Exhibit A, are very extensive, but most of them are general conditions that would be expected from every project.

Applicant Rene Moreno was present to answer any questions. Commissioners’ Questions/Comments

Alternate Commissioner Jhutti

• Asked which side was going to have the pedestrian access from Sixth Street to the alley, the side 7-ft. wide or the side 11-ft. wide with the concrete patio area?

Associate Planner Owen said it could be one side or the other. Her main concern is that there be access from Sixth Street to the residence off of the alley. Perhaps the side with the concrete patio area would be more appropriate for private space. The occupants may want to put patio furniture there and make that their personal outdoor space so that side could have solid fencing or a gate between the two units.

• Asked if this is a one- or two-way alley.

Associate Planner Owen replied it is a two-way alley.

Commissioner Urnberg mentioned there are two other houses there already across the alley that also face the alley.

Chair Flores opened and closed the Public Hearing at 7:23 p.m. as there were no public comments.

Commissioners’ Comments/Questions:

Chair Flores

• He noticed that property is very receptive to solar light, so he would like to encourage the applicant to be more eco-friendly.

Associate Planner Owen said Condition # 17 requires that the applicant submit a landscaping and irrigation plan. That is standard and customary for most entitlements.

• Asked if Fire Department had any concerns.

Associate Planner Owen replied she received no comments from the Fire Department.

Applicant, Rene Moreno, 745 Elmwood Court, express concern with Condition #12 which requires that he install asphalt concrete pavement on half of the alley width adjacent to the development. He said that won’t do any good; all the water will run to the adjacent parcel. Also, there is dirt on both sides of the alley, so every time someone drives into the driveway, they are going to bring in dirt from the alley. He proposed to install asphalt chippings on the whole alley for that block rather than asphalt concrete pavement on only half of the alley width adjacent to the development.

Associate Planner Owen said the applicant brought up this concern to the City Engineer already, but he said this requirement is standard and customary for all projects.

Mr. Moreno said there are two existing houses there already that face the alley and every time it rains, they get potholes in the alley and it gets very muddy and then vehicles bring in all the mud from the alley into the driveway.

• Asked if the alley is lighted.

Mr. Moreno replied the two houses across the alley have motion sensor lights.

Commissioner Castellanos

• Thinks there should be a light pole installed in the alley to light the houses facing the alley.

Commissioner Urnberg thinks motion sensor lights would be sufficient.

Commissioner Urnberg

• Expressed concern with the walkway from Sixth Street to the alley on the 7-ft. side because the bedrooms will be facing that side. Ifpeople can walk back and forth through there, there won’t be any privacy.

Mr. Moreno said he plans to have the pedestrian access on the patio side, not on the 7-ft. side.

Associate Planner Owen said that her requirement is only that one side or the other be accessible from Sixth Street to the unit in the alley.

• Thinks it works best if garbage for the unit facing Sixth Street gets picked up on Sixth Street and the garbage for the unit facing the alley gets picked up in the alley.

Motion by Commissioner Castellanos, seconded by Commissioner Jhutti, to adopt Resolution 2014-06, Recommending to the City Council the Approval of a Residential Duplex at 836 Sixth Street. Motion carried 4-0, by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Chair Flores and Commissioners Castellanos, Urnberg and Jhutti

NOES:  None

ABSENT: Vice-Chair Mendoza


Planning Commission Commissioner Urnberg

Expressed concern with car lots parking in the street to advertise their vehicles. Also the house that sits across the street from the car lot next to the B Street Plaza has several cars stored in the back yard. Nobody is enforcing that. That is a fire hazard. He added that car lots are not allowed to change oil or do mechanical work onsite, but they still do it.

Associate Planner Owen said she will bring it up to the Code Enforcement Officer and the Police Department.

Commissioner Castellanos

• Asked what is happening in the City that they are closing off some streets. Residents were not notified.

Chair Flores said he remembers something being mentioned at a City Council meeting regarding PG&E doing some trenching work.

Chair Flores

• There is a webinar coming up June 17, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. called, "Technology in Schools and Techniques to Improve Public Engagement." It is free. He will e-mail the information to Sr. Administrative Analyst Arredondo to forward to the Planning Commissioners.

City Staff

Associate Planner Owen

• Lately there has been a lot of interest for office space, particularly business offices. Per current zoning ordinance, office use is only permitted in the zoning districts of Neighborhood Commercial (C-1), Downtown Commercial (DTC), and Community Commercial (C-2) and conditionally permitted in Limited Industrial (M-1) as part of a mixed-use operation. Office use is not currently permitted in the Highway Service Commercial (C-3) zoning district.

Staff is looking into the possibility of doing a General Plan Amendment or adding Conditional Use to the list of permitted uses in the Highway Commercial (C-3) zoning district to allow offices. In staff’s view, the mix of office and commercial is a natural fit in many ways. It brings a whole variety of people into the same area with a variety of uses. That is part of a flexible and multi-use scenario the City would like to see. She asked that the Planning Commission give it some thought and share any ideas with Planning staff.

Discussion followed.

Alternate Commissioner Jhutti thinks it’s a good idea to be flexible. This is a significant market that we are getting, so we want to respond positively.

Chair Flores also thinks it is a good idea to coordinate office use with other uses in the Highway Service Commercial (C-3) zoning district.

• Planning staff recently updated the City’s Zoning Map and General Plan map, but there are still some corrections needed. Staff will provide a copy of the latest draft to the Livingston Planning Commission for their reference.

Sr. Administrative Analyst Arredondo

• City staff will advertise to fill the regular Planning Commission vacancy. Per City Council, if the alternate member has an interest in filling the regular Commissioner vacancy, he needs to submit a letter of interest to the City Manager. The letter of interest will be forward to the City Council for their consideration. It will ultimately be the City Council who appoints a commissioner. If Council appoints the alternate commissioner, then City staff will advertise for the alternate vacancy.

Alternate Commissioner Jhutti expressed interest in serving as a regular commissioner and said he will submit his letter of interest to the City Manager’s office.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:05 p.m. APPROVED: August 12, 2014


Secretary of the Planning Commission, HOLLY R. OWEN

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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