Approval of Action Meeting Minutes from the January 10, 2017, Planning Commission Regular Meeting.

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JANUARY 10, 2017

A regular meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission was held in the City Council Chambers on January 10, 2017. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Vice-Chair Mario Mendoza.


Commissioners Present: Vice-Chair Mario Mendoza, Commissioner Francisco Mendoza­ Gonzalez, and Altemate Commissioner Robert Wallis.

Commissioners Absent: Chair Ranjeet Jhutti and Commissioners Adanan Bath and Warren Urnberg (excused).

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

Others Present: Katherine Schell-Rodriguez; Luis Flores; and Livingston Community Health Representatives: Leslie McGowan (CEO), Chris Vierra (VVH Consulting Engineers) and Charlie Simpson (BaseCamp Environmental).


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.



Motion by Alternate Commissioner Wallis, seconded by Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez, to approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of December 13, 2016. Motion carried 3-0, by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Vice-Chair Mendoza, Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez and Alternate Commissioner Wallis

NOES: None

ABSENT: Chair Jhutti and Commissioners Bath and Urnberg


Vice-Chair Mendoza opened and closed the public comment period at 7:04 p.m. as there was no public comment.



Livingston Community Health (LCH), owner and applicant, proposes a phased development of a 12.27-acre parcel. The first phase consists of a medical service campus with five structures and associated parking, landscaping and infrastructure improvements, including undergrounding of an adjacent canal.

The next phase is anticipated to be commercial development, but no specific development plan has been prepared. An Initial Study of environmental effects was prepared for this project. The IS/MND analyzed th potential environmental effects of the project and includes mitigations to address those effects.

City Planner Randy Hatch presented the staff report.

LCH proposes a Tentative Parcel Map to divide the property into four parcels. Parcel A, the largest parcel, will become a medical campus facility. Parcel B and C they don’t need at this time, so they propose to sell these parcels in the future for commercial uses.

Since this site is right in line with the Winton Parkway off ramp commercial area immediately to the north, restaurants and other commercial uses are appropriate here.

The development of these parcels is of high interest to the City as that would help finish the missing piece of the extension of the Winton Parkway. Parcel D is a strip of land where the MID Hammett lateral exists. As part of this project, that lateral will be undergrounded.

City Planner Hatch explained what’s included in Phase 1, which is basically the creation of the medical campus. Phase IA is the construction of the administration building and with that would be some associated parking and landscaping.

There is a sense of urgency to build the administration building first because LCH has to vacate the second floor at their existing location on Main Street which is housing their administration personnel. Phase IB would involve the clinic building, a dental building, development of additional parking, and a signature plaza area between the dental building and the clinic building. Phase 1C is the development of a future building whose medical use is not determined at this time.

Part of the project is all the parking spaces and a detention basin. The water for the entire site will convey to the basin where it would be detained and then lifted into the canal as needed. Associated with that is dedication of right of way for turning movements on B Street.

In Phase IA, there will be a right turn in and right turn out. With the parking for the administrative office workers, they will start development of the detention basin and the undergrounding of the canal.

He explained the construction of the clinic building. He then added that Livingston Community Health is a non-profit community owned health center that provides primary and preventive care to all patients regardless of need and ability to pay.

They provide services to about 14,000 patients on an annual basis. They are serving a regional need. People will be coming from the surrounding unincorporated communities to get health care services in Livingston. This has a positive economic effect on the City because even though normally medical facilities don’t function as an economic generator, in this case it would due to the large number of people from outside the City that would be frequenting the clinic and the business in the surrounding area.

He proceeded to explain the architecture site design for the administration building. This is the only actual architecture site design the applicant has available right now. The proposed Conditions of Approval indicate that this would serve as a model and type for the other buildings, so the review will be handled at staff level. It would not come back to the Planning Commission again.

He explained the elevations of the building and talked about the variety of textures and colors they will use to provide interest to the building. Staff compared colors and accent features with the City’s overall Design Guidelines and they fit right in.

BaseCamp Environmental consultants took care of the environmental analysis and prepared the Initial Study and proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration and submitted it to City staff for their review.

Following staff s review and edits, the Initial Study and proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration was sent out to other City departments and local agencies for a required 21 day review period. Staff solicited comments regarding any of the analysis or conclusions or suggestions for mitigations or treatments to possible effects.

A traffic study was included to analyze the effect on the surrounding traffic on B Street, on Winton Parkway, and downstream and upstream from this site to see if there were any traffic issues. The conclusion was there would be no significant effects. There were no comments received during the review period. Staff prepared the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration for Planning Commission’s consideration.

As part of that, a list of all the identified impacts and potential mitigations was attached. Those mitigations are incorporated as part of the project and so that is what the mitigation monitoring report is all about.

City Planner Hatch stated there are some very important conditions of approval in the Tentative Parcel Map Resolution. Those conditions talk about the pro-rata responsibility of this project for making transportation improvements, not only adjacent to the site on the south side of B Street, but this would also have a pro-rata share for improving the Highway 99 Winton Parkway interchange, the southbound onramp, and perhaps the installation of some kind of light there for regular traffic flow.

A proportion of improvements for the extension of Winton Parkway are the responsibility of this project as well, particularly the commercial lots that will be immediately adjacent. They are responsible for providing one-half of the roadway, which is typical standards in a Parcel Map, and if the other side doesn’t develop, then they are responsible to put in the whole roadway through a reimbursement agreement.

Additionally, this project will be responsible for some improvements at B Street and Main Street since that intersection will be affected by this project and traffic associated with it. All this has been documented by a traffic study that was conducted and there are proportionate shares in the Conditions of Approval for the Tentative Parcel Map.

Staff is calculating percentages of the cost. That is grounded in the traffic analysis which shows that is how much of the traffic going through that intersection has an origin or a destination in the health center or conversely in the future commercial parcels. Staff does not just come up with a number; we need to have a reasonable relationship to what we are asking as a condition and what the project actually does.

A real key point is that this project is pretty much a community serving project and it’s an advantage to the community and it’s paying its way. It is contributing to mitigate any and all impacts this development would have and so this is not in any way, shape or form a burden on the community.

Staff recommends the Planning Commission approve the environmental document and its associated mitigation monitoring program; approve the Parcel Map; and Recommend approval to the Council of the Site Plan and Design Review.

Applicant representatives were available in the audience to answer any questions. Commissioners’ Questions/Comments:

Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez

• Thinks this is a good project and an asset to this community.

• Asked if there was any consideration on ways to reduce impacts from this project such as a block wall on the southeast property line of Parcel A for reducing noise and parking lot lighting.

City Planner Hatch said that was looked at as part of the acoustical studies in the environmental document and it did not indicate that there was a problem with effects to the residential areas to the north. He added that as part of this project, there is quite a variety of perimeter landscaping which tries to address that issue and the undergrounding of the canal lateral provides some additional buffer.

Vice-Chair Mendoza

• Asked if residents were notified and if staff received any comments.

City Planner Hatch said staff sent out public notices to all residents within 300 feet of the site and also sent out a wide variety of information about the environmental document and invited people to come and look at it. Copies were made available on the City website and at the City Hall counter for people to look at and ask questions, but staff did not received any comments.

• Asked how traffic will be managed during construction, especially since traffic in that area is pretty intense in the mornings with kids going to school.

City Planner Hatch said the part that is going to affect traffic is the widening of the road and putting in the turning movements and that will be handled operationally by the Public Works Department. There will be some disruptions, but normally road blockages for construction do not occur during commute time and school drop offs and pick up times.

• Asked if there will be speed bumps installed on B Street to slow traffic down near the school.

City Planner Hatch said that road is classified as an arterial and it is the route for emergency vehicles, so speed bumps are not recommended there.

Vice-Chair Mendoza opened the Public Hearing at 7:35 p.m.

Chris Vierra, VVH Consultant Engineers, introduced himself as the representative for the applicant and the engineer on the project. He thanked the Commission for hearing their item and said they are excited about this project.

Mr. Vierra explained the reason there is a Phase IA and Phase lB is related to the timing that they have. The first building is not a medical building; it’s an administration building, so those other buildings have to go through the State Department of Architecture, and that process takes a little bit longer. Ideally, they want to compress that schedule and have all that built as closely as possible and there is some significant grant funding that Livingston Community Health has received that is tied to this project which will compress that schedule, but he thinks they will fall a few months behind for the first initial building and that is why they are proposing this phasing.

He said this is a very important project for the community. They are looking at over 170 professional jobs once this building is completed and the number of patients they’ll see annually is about 19,000.

Livingston Community Health is making an investment of millions of dollars on this project. They have shown a big commitment to mitigate the traffic impacts that have been identified and they will take care of their proportionate share.

The second story of the existing building will be housing Merced County Mental Health, and so that is facilitating them to be able to move to the administration building as soon as possible. He reiterated that they are excited about this project and they hope to get a positive recommendation and approval from the Planning Commission and City Council.

Alternate Commissioner Wallis

• He asked what the extra offices in their new administration building will be used for.

Leslie McGowan, Livingston Community Health CEO, said the offices will not be filled immediately. They have plans for a centralized call center there so they can get calls from all of their external sites. Organizational training and things of that nature will also be conducted there.

• He sees nine (9) handicap parking spaces at their new location. He asked how many handicap spaces they have at the current location.

Ms. McGowan said they currently have somewhat between 6-8 handicap parking spaces at their current location on Main Street which are almost all used by patients.

Francisco Mendoza-Gonzalez

• Asked that the environmental consultant explain the reason for not including a block wall along the eastern property line of Parcel A to reduce noise and parking lot lighting.

Charlie Simpson, Principal of BaseCamp Environmental, introduced himself and said his company prepared the initial study and mitigated negative declaration for this project. He explained that although it is a common practice in some cities to require a block wall when commercial sites are adjacent to residential development, in this case they have the MID canal undergrounding setback area and also they don’t have commercial uses that are significant.

Ordinarily, in his experience, when he sees block wall requirements insistent upon is when there is loading and unloading areas in the rear of a store, such as a supermarket, but here we are talking about fairly low intensity parking area for light vehicles. It does not bring the noise up to the level where a block wall would be required.

In terms of lighting, there will be parking lot security lighting, but to a moderate extent. This is not an auto dealership on a boulevard where they want everything to be visible from space, but rather just to provide site security and a sense of well-being for the people that are using the site at night, so they have included in the initial study a mitigation measure that requires those lighting systems to be focused so that there is no off-site spill light, so the homes to the southeast will not be impacted to any significant degree.

City Planner Hatch said there is a condition of approval on the proposed site plan and design review that speaks to lighting that when those lights come in, they get inspected by City Staff to make sure that they do, in fact, have those shields to prevent lights coming to adjacent residential properties. That is a condition of approval and it is enforceable not only at time of construction, but anytime it becomes a problem.

Discussion followed.

• Asks about their hours of operation.

Leslie McGowan said they intend to keep the same hours they have at their current location, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Fridays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Luis Flores, 707 Almondwood Drive, Livingston

• Thinks this is a great project.

• When the environmental document was prepared for the Rancho San Miguel project, one of the species that was identified at that location was a type of rodent and he doesn’t see that rodent listed in this document. He asked what the reason was for that.

Environmental Consultant Charles Simpson said there are a couple of endangered kangaroo rats and mice that were identified as sensitive or listed species within this area. He explained the process they followed in their analysis. Basically, they identified all species that could occur within this area and then eliminated those that had few or no potential effects based on habitat conditions of the project site. This site would be a tough site for rodent populations to become established on because the soils are very sandy. Have there been a burrow rodent species on the list, they probably would have eliminated it.

City Planner Hatch added that the City Engineer did mention that it is a real possibility that this detention basin wouldn’t have much water in it even in stormy conditions because of the high permeability of the sandy soil and, therefore, a condition of approval was added stating that based upon new soil infiltration and analysis, the proposed size of that basin could be adjusted.

Vice-Chair Mendoza closed the public hearing at 7:52 p.m.

Motion by Vice-Chair Mendoza, seconded by Alternate Commissioner Wallis, to adopt Resolution . 2017-01, Adopting the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Adopting a Mitigation Monitoring I Reporting Program for the Livingston Community Health Development, Phases 1 and 2. Motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Vice-Chair Mendoza, Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez and Alternate Commissioner Wallis

NOES: None

ABSENT: Chair Jhutti and Commissioners Bath and Urnberg

Motion by Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez, seconded by Vice-Chair Mendoza, to adopt Resolution 2017-02, Approving Tentative Parcel Map 2016-01 for the Livingston Community Health Development, Phases 1 and 2. Motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Vice-Chair Mendoza, Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez and Alternate Commissioner Wallis

NOES: None

ABSENT: Chair Jhutti and Commissioners Bath and Urnberg

Motion by Alternate Commissioner Wallis, seconded by Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez, to adopt Resolution 2017-03, Recommending to the City Council Approval of the Site Plan and Design Review 2016-03 for the Livingston Community Health Project. Motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Vice-Chair Mendoza, Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez and Alternate Commissioner Wallis

NOES: None

ABSENT: Chair Jhutti and Commissioners Bath and Urnberg


Planning Commission Alternate Commissioner Wallis

• Asked for the status on Motel 6.

City Planner Hatch explained that Motel 6 has not submitted their revised building plans addressing City comments and corrections made to their first set of building plans. They submitted foundation plans and City staff approved them and allowed them to build the foundation while they worked on their building plans; however, they started putting up walls without a building permit, so the City issued them a stop work order. It has been extremely frustrating for everyone involved.

City staff has been in contact with Motel 6 representatives who keep promising they will send in revised plans _next week, but next week never comes.

Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez asked if their plans expire after a certain amount of time.

City Planner Hatch said the clock starts again once they submit their revised plans. We do not want to penalize them; we only want Motel 6 to meet all the building code requirements.

• Asked for the status of the Panda Express project.

City Planner Hatch said they are scheduled to go to the City Council on January 17, 2017, for final approval on their Site Plan and Design Review. In the meantime, they submitted their building plans to the City to start the review process.

City Staff

City Planner Randy Hatch

Nothing to Report.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:00 p.m.

APPROVED: February 14, 2017

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

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.