Approval of Action Meeting Minutes from the September 13, 2016, Planning Commission Regular Meeting.

Meeting Date: December 13, 2016

Note from TheGardeningSnail. This post was 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.



A regular meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission was held in the City Council Chambers on September 13, 2016. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Vice-Chair Mario Mendoza.


Commissioners Present: Vice-Chair Mario Mendoza, Commissioner Adanan Bath, Commissioner Warren Umberg, and Alternate Commissioner Bob Wallis

Commissioners Absent: Chair Ranjeet Jhutti and Commissioner Francisco Mendoza-Gonzalez

Staff Present: Contract City Planner Randy Hatch and Sr. Administrative Analyst Filomena Arredondo

Others Present: Fire Captain David Scheurich, Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, and Luis Enrique Flores


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.



Motion by Commissioner Wallis, seconded by Commissioner Urnberg, to approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of August 9, 2016. Motion carried 4-0, by the following roll call vote:

AYES:  Vice-Chair Mendoza and Commissioners Bath, Urnberg and Wallis

NOES: None

ABSENT: Chair Jhutti and Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez


Vice-Chair Mendoza opened for public comment at 7:03 p.m.

Luis Enrique Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive, Livingston, commented that the Livingston Union School District is holding public meetings to solicit input on the update of its Facilities Master Plan. The public meetings are scheduled for September 13th at Campus Park School; September 14th at Livingston Yamato Colony School, and September 15th at Livingston Middle School. Child care and refreshments will be provided.

Vice-Chair Mendoza closed the public comment period at 7:05 p.m. as there were no additional public comments.

Vice-Chair Mendoza recused himself from participating in the public hearing for Site Plan and Design Review 2016-01 and Conditional Use Permit 2016-02, due to a conflict of interest.

Commissioner Urnberg was nominated Acting Chair during the public hearing.



Applicant, Juan Mendoza, Jr., applied for a Site Plan and Design Review and a Conditional Use Permit to construct a single-family residential unit, 1,730 sq. ft. in size, in an existing R-2, Medium Density Residential, lot located at 1441 Swan Street, Livingston, CA; APN#: 024-031-004.

City Planner Hatch presented the staff report and indicated the parcel location and zoning. He provided details of the site plan, floor plan and elevations. The home’s exterior is a stucco finish. Two color choices are being considered by the applicant -Adobe (tan color) or Southern Moss (muted green color). The roof will be asphalt shingles with two color choices -Charcoal (medium gray color) or Pewter Bronze (muted gray and gold blended color).

This parcel is zoned R-2 and, as such, the Livingston Zoning Code requires all new construction in R-2 zoning to go through Site Plan and Design Review before the Planning Commission for a recommendation and before the City Council for final approval or denial. The reason a Site Plan and Design Review is needed is to make sure the design, colors, elevations and other features fit into the neighborhood and create a positive addition to the neighborhood. Staff believes this residence clearly fits into the neighborhood and is an enhancement to the neighborhood.

Further, a single family home in the R-2 zone requires a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Commission. Use Permits are required is when there is a particular issue that requires extra attention. In this case, an R-2 is a medium density home designation, so this lot may well be used for a duplex or possibly a triplex. The Planning Commission must determine if a single family home is an appropriate use of relatively scarce medium density zoning in the City.

This proposal was routed to other departments and agencies for their comments and staff received two important comments, one from the Fire Department which says that the project must include residential sprinklers, and the other from Merced Irrigation District (MID) noting that their Watson Lateral runs through the north of the property and they ask for a block wall to prevent access to the canal, so staff included that in the conditions of approval.

Commissioners’ Questions/Comments:

Alternate CommissionerWallis

• Asked if there is a height requirement on the block wall requested by MID.

City Planner Hatch said the MID letter only says a block wall per the requirements of MID. Staff believes it won’t be higher than 5 or 6 feet, but the exact elevations would have to be verified by MID.

• Asked if the block wall on this property will match up with the other fences to the left and right of the property.

City Planner Hatch responded the block wall will be on the easement line separating the MID easement from the bounds of the property. The fencing of the existing properties will be as close as possible to the block wall with not gaps or openings.

Acting Chair Umberg opened the public hearing at 7:23 p.m.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston

• Given that the State recently certified the City’s Housing Element and that the housing growth expected was calculated and that Livingston met the requirements based on the land as it was zoned, what happens with that calculation if you put a single family home in an R-2 lot? Isn’t that basically making it two less lots that would count towards the implementation of the Housing Element? Will such a project affect the City in the future when it comes to compliance?

• City Planner Hatch explained that because this is an isolated single lot relatively modest in size, it was not identified in the vacant sites inventory in the recently adopted Housing Element Update.

Acting Chair Urnberg

• Asked what roofing material are being used.

City Planner Hatch said applicant is proposing fire rated asphalt tiles.

• Thinks it is a nice home and fits in that location.

• He does not see the need for a block wall since the neighbor only have a chain link or wood fence.

City Planner Hatch said it is part of MID’s policy to ask for a block wall for all new development. Since, the City has to consider the comments of MID, staff listed it as a possible Condition of Approval. However, it is up to the Planning Commission’s discretion and judgement whether to impose this condition or not.

Commissioner Wallis asked what the owner’s opinion of the wall is.

Mario Mendoza, representing the applicant, Juan Mendoza, said he would prefer installing a nice wood fence.

Commissioner Wallis agrees with Commissioner Umberg that a wooden fence is sufficient.

City Planner Hatch offered a suggestion to modify Condition of Approval No. 5, for both the Conditional Use Permit resolution and the Site Plan and Design Review resolution, to read as follows:

5. The Developer shall construct and maintain a solid fence per the height requirements of the Merced Irrigation District to separate the single family use of the property from the Watson Lateral running generally within the northern 30 feet of the property.

Motion by Alternate Commissioner Wallis, seconded by Commissioner Bath, to adopt Planning Commission Resolution 2016-04 approving Conditional Use Permit 2016-02 for the construction of a single family home on a R-2 zoned lot at 1441 Swan Street. Motion carried 3-0-1 (2 absent), by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Commissioners Bath, Urnberg and Wallis

NOES: None

ABSENT:  Chair Jhutti and Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez

ABSTAIN: Vice-Chair Mendoza

Motion by Alternate Commissioner Wallis, seconded by Commissioner Bath, to adopt Planning Commission Resolution 2016-05 recommending to the City Council approval of the Site Plan and Design Review 2016-01 for the construction of a single family home on a R-2 zoned lot at 1441 Swan Street.

Motion carried 3-0-1 (2 absent), by the following roll call vote:

AYES:  Commissioners Bath, Urnberg and Wallis

NOES:   None

ABSENT: Chair Jhutti and Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez

ABSTAIN: Vice-Chair Mendoza

Vice-Chair Mendoza returned to the dais at 7:37 p.m.


Planning Commission Alternate Commissioner Wallis

• Asked if staff had followed up on Commissioner Urnberg’ s complaint regarding vehicles parked on the front lawn.

City Planner Hatch said he would have to get direction from the City Council or the City Manager to act on this complaint.

• Asked if staff has heard back from the City Attorney regarding his question on compliance with AB1234, Ethics Training.

City Planner Hatch responded he was notified that all Planning Commissioners have complied with this training.

• Asked staff to check on the house at 1245 Peach Avenue. It looks deteriorated and is a bad image for the City.

• At the last Planning Commission meeting, there was a discussion regarding the tables, chairs, and umbrellas placed in front of the food truck on D and Main Streets and that their Use Permit does not allow for that. He asked how staff is resolving that issue.

City Planner Hatch said he reported the situation to Interim City Manager Ortiz for his consideration as the City is currently negotiating a new lease agreement with the food truck.

• Asked what is happening behind Taco Bell; it looks like there is digging going on.

City Planner Hatch said that is the location for Motel 6. Their grading permit has been issued and they are starting to do site preparation. City staff has been working diligently with Motel 6 and will soon be issuing their building permit.

• Asked for the status on the Livingston Community Health project.

City Planner Hatch explained their project consists of a Parcel Map and a Site Plan and Design Review. Their project engineer and environmental staff are currently preparing their site plan details and environmental documents for submittal.

Commissioner Urnberg

• The car lot at 2235 F Street, put up a big sign on the comer of F and Hammatt. He asked if that sign is on their property or on City property.

City Planner Hatch said he would check it out.

• Asked for an update on the Downtown beautification project.

City Planner Hatch said that is a question for Public Works and Engineering as they are in charge of that project.

Discussion followed.

Commissioner Bath

• Thinks the rerouting of traffic for the downtown project was poorly organized.

Vice-Chair Mendoza

• Asked if any new restaurants are coming in with the Motel 6 project.

City Planner Hatch said not yet. There is a restaurant pad proposed, but that will come at a later time.

City Staff

City Planner Randy Hatch

• Panda Express is currently going through the private Gallo Design Review process and will be submitting their application to the City for Site Plan and Design Review in 4-5 weeks. They will be located on Winton Parkway, in front of Rancho San Miguel.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 7:50 p.m. APPROVED: December 13, 2016

Vice-Chair, MARIO MENDOZA Secretary of the Planning Commission,


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.