Note From The Gardening Snail. This page was produced by running a PDF Image File through software which converts Image to Text. My apologies for any Textual Gremlins which may have crept in. I may also have broken up larger paragraphs.
CITY OF LIVINGSTON PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT
CITY FILE NUMBER: Gallo Commercial Center, Phase 2, Tentative Subdivision Map 2017-01.
OWNER/APPLICANT: JEG Livingston Ranches LLC PO Box 775, Atwater, CA 95301
PROJECT LOCATION: 15.9 acres located northeast of the intersection of Robin Ave and B Street, APN #: 022-010-015. The property is currently vacant save for the existing drainage basin located at the south end of the property secured with a six-foot chain link fence with wood slats.
PROPOSED ACTION: Adopt Resolution 2018-_, adopting the Initial Study/ Mitigated Negative Declaration and a Mitigation Monitoring I Reporting Program; adopt Resolution 2018-_, approving the Tentative Subdivision Map; and adopt Resolution 2018- , recommending approval by the City Council of the Third Amendment to Development Agreement between the City of Livingstone and JEG Livingston Ranches LLC.
PREPARED BY:Randy Hatch, Contract City Planner
Property Size: 15.9 Acres
Existing Land Use: Vacant with a drainage basin to the south near B St. that serves the subject site and the commercial area (Livingston Commons) located to the west.
1999 General Plan Designation: Highway Commercial (HC)
Zoning: Highway Service Commercial (C-3)
Street Access: Future extension of Joseph Gallo Drive connecting to Winton Parkway and Robin Ave.
ADJACENT ZONING AND LAND USE:
North: Across a Merced Irrigation District (MID) irrigation pipe, vacant land zoned M-2, General Industrial.
South: Across B St., a single family home and vacant land zoned C-2, Community Commercial.
East: The TA (Travel Center of America) truck fueling and service business with eating places, retail, and repair services zoned C-3, Highway Service Commercial.
West: Across Robin Ave, agricultural land outside the City within the jurisdiction of Merced County.
The applicant, Joseph Gallo Farms, is proposing to divide the 15.9 acre property into 9 parcels varying from .96 to 2.0 acres in size and 1 remainder parcel currently and proposed to continue to be used as a drainage basin for the project and the commercial area to the east.
The existing Joseph Gallo Drive is to continue west providing access to the property linking it to Winton Parkway on the east and Robin Ave on the west. Two new streets are to provide access to the proposed parcels with Del Rio Ave to the north and Bella Vista Court to the south. Full improvements of streets, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, sewer lines, and drainage are provided to all parcels.
The nine parcels vary in size from 2 lots at 0.96 acre in size with one at 2.0 acre being the largest. The balances of the 6 remaining parcels are roughly 1 acre in size. As noted, the reminder parcel is used as a drainage basin and is 2.01 acres in size. The varying sizes allow for varying users which could include a wide variety of commercial activities and uses appropriate to highway locations as envisioned by the zoning designation.
No specific uses are proposed at this time. This subdivision creates an inventory of finished lots available for future development.
It is desirable for the City to contain a selection of finished lots available for development to be able to take advantage of economic development opportunities.
The City Municipal Code requires the future uses obtain a Site Plan and Design Review approval first from the Planning Commission and then the City Council.
This project also includes the Third Amendment to the Development Agreement between the City of Livingston and JEG Livingston Ranches, LLC. The Third Amendment extends the term of the original Development Agreement 10 years from the approval date of the Third Amendment.
It establishes the list of development fees the Project is subject to and in what manner those fees may increase over time. It establishes the reimbursement credit amount due the developer and clarifies when the deed for well 15 will be executed.
It establishes the standards and conditions applicable to the Project and further defines that the Project is incorporating conditions of Project approval and proposed environmental mitigations as part of the Project. This last feature allows the City to adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Project in compliance with State CEQA provisions.
The Planning Commission is the approval body for a Tentative Subdivision Map and makes recommendation on the Third Amendment to the Development Agreement with the City Council being the approving body. The City Council is also the approving body for the Final Map prepared after Planning Commission approval. Therefore, this Project goes before both bodies.
The division of property for the Project and eventual development of commercial uses it allows and the Third Amendment to the Development Agreement is a “project” subject to review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The applicant retained the services of an environmental consultant to meet CEQA requirements which are administered by the City. Gallo representatives prepared an Initial Study which reviews the “project” per the standards and criteria of CEQA and determines whether the “project” would result in any significant environmental effects, as defined by CEQA.
If significant effects are determined to result from the “project”, then the applicant identifies and describes feasible mitigation measures which could be undertaken that would avoid the identified significant effects or reduce them to a level that would be less than significant. This is all identified in the Initial Study and a proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration.
The applicant prepared these documents and they were reviewed in detail by City staff and, after City editing, represent the independent analysis and judgment of the City. These documents were circulated to various City departments, other agencies and organizations , and the State Clearinghouse, and made available for public review and comment for 39 days (more than the 30 days listed in the State CEQA Guidelines) starting July 19, 2017, through August 25, 2017.
Several comments were received addressing the environmental analysis of the project and other comments were received commenting on the proposed Tentative Subdivision Map or the Third Amendment to the Development Agreement.
The environmental comments were from CalTrans (District 10), State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Comments directed to proposed conditions of approval for the Tentative Subdivision Map were received from the City Engineer and the Fire Department.
The proposed Resolution Approving the Tentative Subdivision Map includes conditions that addresses these engineering and fire concerns. The environmentally related comments from the three State agencies will be addressed separately below.
The CalTrans comment letter requests a Traffic Impact Study (TIS) to determine impacts to State facilities at the State Route 99 interchange with Winton Parkway. A functional equivalent TIS had been prepared by the applicant’s environmental traffic engineering consultants and after City review and revision was included in the environmental document prepared and circulated for review. The author of the CalTrans letter was contacted and apprised of this situation and an additional copy of the traffic analysis was provided. No further comments from CalTrans have been received.
City staff did determine that some typographical errors and oversights had been included in the environmental document circulated (though these were not identified or referenced in any comments received). The attached resolution adopting the document and approving a Mitigated Negative Declaration includes corrected pages and mitigations which, in staff’s opinion, fully address any significant traffic impacts of the project.
The City recognizes that this interchange does experience congestion and, at times, delay. The City is ensuring that this project, via the mitigation measures incorporated into the project, is addressing its proportionate share of impacts. Further, the City has required other projects impacting this intersection to contribute proportionately to the solution, as well.
The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife comment letter identifies Swainson’s hawk as a species potentially impacted by the project and suggests a number of mitigation measures. The mitigation measures incorporated into the project address these concerns as well as potential impacts to three additional species (San Joaquin Kit Fox, American Badger, and Western Burrowing Owl).
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) letter notes that various potential end users on the lots created may be subject to various rules and regulations of the SN APCD. Mitigations are included in the project such that subsequent development on the lots will be required to contact SJVAPCD to determine what rules and regulations apply.
Further, it is important to note that all subsequent development on these lots require discretionary approval from the City which will be ensure that development be subject to its own CEQA review and mitigations, as needed.
Staff has prepared a Resolution which adopts the Mitigated Negative Declaration, as amended, and incorporates all the proposed Mitigation Measures into the project. The City has also prepared a Mitigation Monitoring I Reporting Plan which summarizes all potential impact of the project and the associated mitigation measures. The Mitigation Monitoring I Reporting Plan also identify who is responsible for implementing the mitigation measure and who does the follow up with monitoring/ reporting.
The property is vacant except for the 2 acre drainage basin on the remainder parcel which serves future commercial development in this Phase 2 project and also serves existing development in the adjacent Phase 1 commercial development.
The property is properly General Planned and Zoned for continued commercial development. The proposal complies with both the Land Use Element Objective 3.lA providing for a well-balanced mix of commercial uses which create and maintain a high quality environment and a fiscally sound community, and with Commercial Land Use Objective 3.3A ensuring for the provision of adequate commercial shopping opportunities and office space locations to meet anticipated needs.
The proposal is consistent with Commercial Land Use Policy ld as it pertains to Highway Commercial uses which, due to space requirements, the proximity to the highway, or the distinctive nature of their operation, are not compatible with or not usually located in other commercial designations. The anticipated uses that will locate in the Gallo Project area are expected to require larger lot sizes that are not readily available elsewhere in the commercial areas of the City and may need closer access to Highway 99.
Further, the zoning of the area of Highway Service Commercial requires new development to obtain a Site Plan / Design Review approval from both the Planning Commission and the City Council to implement Land Use Element 3.1 policies 6 and 12 which require detailed review of new uses to identify and ensure compliance with a variety of issues and standards. The environmental review of this proposal, as discussed above, documents that all potential impacts from this division of property and the eventual commercial development of the lots will have no significant impacts that have not been eliminated or mitigated.
The development of these new commercial lots will provide benefits to the City and its residents in terms of addition commercial services available, increased employment opportunities available from the new businesses, and increased tax revenue to the City to maintain and enhance City services.
It should again be noted that the eventual development on these new lots will be subject to review and approval by the City via a Site Plan and Design Review Permit or, if needed, by a Use Permit. The tentative subdivision map provides for all required easements for utilities to serve development on the parcels. The changes to the Project and Mitigations referenced above provides for needed Right-Of-Way and turning restrictions to insure safe turning movements and as efficient traffic flow as possible.
Staff is of the opinion that the proposed subdivision map and resulting developable lots would be an asset to the area and beneficial in the City. Developing this vacant land and adding expanded commercial uses provide services to the community, those traveling on State Route 99, and promotes additional jobs in the City. Staff feels the subdivision, as proposed and as conditioned, complies with all the requirements and standards applicable. The two new courts and extension of Joseph Gallo Drive will result in needed circulation improvements.
Staff recommends the Planning Commission adopt three separate resolutions: Resolution 2018-_, adopting the Mitigated Negative Declaration, as amended, with its Mitigation Monitoring I Reporting Program; Resolution 2018-_, granting approval of the tentative subdivision map with its conditions; and Resolution 2018-_, recommending approval by the City Council of the Third Amendment to the Development Agreement between the City of Livingston and JEG Livingston Ranches LLC, based on the Findings and Conditions of Approval contained in the attached resolution.
Exhibit “A”, Initial Study /Mitigated Negative Declaration, Corrected Pages 3-61 through 3-64 of the Initial Study 4.0 Mitigation Measures (summary)
Exhibit “B”, Mitigation Monitoring/ Reporting Program
Memo from City Engineer Letter from Fire Department
Third Amendment to Development Agreement, including Exhibits “A” – “E”