Site Plan and Design Review 2016-02, Panda Express. Applicant proposes to construct a Chinese restaurant with drive-thru and 26 new parking stalls, plus new trash enclosure, grading, walkways, outdoor seating and landscape, 26,000 sq. ft. in size, at 412 Winton Parkway, Livingston, CA, located in an existing C-3, Highway Service Commercial, pad within the Livingston Commons Commercial Shopping Center, APN#: 022-020-016.

Note from TheGardeningSnail. This post may have been created by running a PDF Image File through a program that converts Image to Text. My apologies for any Textual Gremlins that may have crept in during the process. I may have also broken up the larger paragraphs to make reading easier.

Meeting Date: December 13, 2016

Agenda Item #: 3a.

Meeting Date:  December 13, 2016

Report Date: December 6, 2016


CITY FILE NUMBER: Panda Express, Site Plan/Design Review 2016-02

OWNER/APPLICANT: Livingston Commons Investors, LLC, Owner, 550 Hartz Avenue, Ste 200, Danville, CA 94526

Ruben Rodela, Gary Wang & Associates, Inc., Applicant 1255 Corporate Center Drive, Ste PH8, Monterey Park, CA 91754

PROJECT LOCATION: 412 Winton Parkway, on the east side of Winton Parkway between, Joseph Gallo Drive and "B" Street, APN #: 022-020-016. The property is currently vacant.

PROPOSED ACTION: Adopt Resolution 2016-_, recommending approval by the City Council of the site plan, floor plans and elevations submitted for the Panda Express restaurant at 412 Winton Parkway.

PREPARED BY: Randy Hatch, Contract City Planner


Property Size:   0.67 Acre Vacant

Existing Land Use:  Vacant

1999 General Plan Designation:  Highway Commercial (HC)

Zoning: Highway Service Commercial (C-3)

Street Access: Winton Parkway


North:  C-3, Jack in the Box restaurant

South:  C-3, parking lot and CVS pharmacy

East:  Across Winton Parkway -C-3, TA truck facility

West: C-3, parking lot and Rancho San Miguel grocery store


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 is the recommending body for a Site Plan and Design Review with the City Council being the approving body. Therefore, this proposal must go before both bodies.

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 comer 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 comer 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 comer 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 (the site has been graded, provided with adjacent utility hook-ups, and altered from its natural condition), 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 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. 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.


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 Planning Commission recommend approval by the City Council of Site Plan and Design Review 2016-02 based on the Findings and Conditions of Approval contained in the attached resolution.


1. Site Plan/Design Review Resolution 2016-_ Exhibit A, Conditions of Approval

2. Project Location and Zoning Map

3. Site Plan, Floor Plans and Elevations




WHEREAS, pursuant to Livingston Municipal Code ("LMC") section 5-6-7, Ruben Rodela of 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 Planning Commission 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 Planning Commission hereby adopts Resolution 2016-_, recommending City Council approval of the Site Plan and Design of the subject new development.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conditions of Approval within Planning Commission Resolution 2016-_, Exhibit A, are hereby approved.

The foregoing resolution was introduced and moved for adoption on December 13, 2016, by Commissioner , and being duly seconded by Commissioner , was passed by the following vote:





Chair, RANJEET JHUTTI Secretary of the Planning Commission, RANDY HATCH

Exhibit A Conditions of Approval

1. The Developer shall comply with all federal, state and local laws, policies, standards and requirements applicable to this use and obtain a building permit and all other permits applicable to this use and shall pay all fees and exactions applicable to such a use; and

2. The Developer shall submit improvement plans showing all water, sewer, storm drain, and utility locations and their connection to the City system; and

3. The Developer shall comply with all requirements of the Merced County Fire Department; and

4. The Developer shall obtain grading and encroachment permits for the project paying the permit fees, plan check and inspection fees, and furnish improvement securities pursuant to the City’s improvement standards, municipal code, and ordinances; and

5. The Developer shall pay all applicable development impact fees for Municipal Facilities, Police, Fire Protection, Streets and Bridges, Water, Domestic Wastewater, Storm Drainage, and Parks; and

6. The Developer shall submit grading and improvement plans to conform to the latest edition of the City of Livingston Improvement Standards and all applicable state, federal, and local laws and regulations; and

7. The Developer shall prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) pursuant to the California Water Control Board Order No. 2009-0009-DWQ, NPDES No. CA 000002 or Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) pursuant to the City of Livingston’s MS4 Phase II Permit for construction activities. Prepare an Erosion Control Plan for storm water and construction BMPs; and

8. Unless exempt, the developer shall prepare a Dust Control Plan (DCP) and file the Plan with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for construction activities; and

9. The parcel shall be annexed to the City’s Landscape and Lighting Maintenance District, Benefit Assessment District, and Community Facilities District for all required and applicable assessments; and

10. The Developer shall provide public utility easements and provide all utility services as required by the City Engineer including meters, backflow preventers, post indicator valves, floor drains and provide grease interceptors for non-sanitary or floor drain discharges; and

11. The Developer shall provide low impact development (LID) measures for storm management pursuant to the City of Livingston’s Post-Construction Standards Plan; and

12. The Developer shall repair any damage to City facilities such as curb, gutter, sidewalk, streets and alleys caused by construction; and

13. The Developer shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless the City and its officials, officers, employees, agents, and consultants from any and all legal or administrative actions or other proceedings challenging this approval or any subsequent approval associated with this project; and

14. The development of the site shall be consistent with approved plans, elevations, and colors. Provisions shall be made to accommodate bicycle parking. Minor variations from approved plans, elevations, and colors may be allowed at the review and approval of City staff; and

15. The developer and/or operator shall submit all exterior signs and I or logos for City staff review and approval consistent with the City’s signage regulations for both wall signs and pole signs; and

16. The developer shall submit landscape plans for City staff review and approval specifying plant selection, size and irrigation prior to installation. Such plans shall be consistent with the approved plans and shall provide a screen 36" high adjacent to Winton Parkway; and

17. The developer shall submit the plans for the trash enclose for City staff review and approval after access to the enclosure has been approved by Gilton Solid Waste Management; and

18. All exterior lighting fixtures shall be noted on an exterior lighting plan that shall be submitted for City staff review and approval. Such lighting shall be directed to areas on the subject property itself and shall avoid shinning toward adjacent properties; and

19. The Developer and/or operator shall keep the site free from trash and debris and shall maintain the premises in a clean and orderly manner.