RED BLUFF PLANNING COMMISSION
Date of Meeting: October 25, 2005
Time of Meeting: 5:15 p.m.
Place of Meeting: City Council Chambers
555 Washington St.
Commissioners Present: Doug Dale
Commissioners Absent: None
Staff Present: Charlie Mullen, Planning Director
Gary Antone, Director of Public Works/City Engineer
Mark Barthel, Assistant Engineer
Scot Timboe, Planner
J. D. Ellison, Building Director/Official
Cheryl Smith, Deputy City Clerk
Chairperson Dale called the meeting to order at 5:17 p.m.
A. CITIZENS COMMENTS
John Elko, resident, requested a brief explanation of what the Planning Commission does and what its purpose is.
Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, stated that in general the Planning Commission reviews all development applications, use permits, subdivisions that are required to be reviewed, public hearing items, consider appeals of staff decisions, set policies under the direction the General Plan and that Mr. Elko could refer to the City Code for a more detailed explanation.
B. CONSENT CALENDAR
M/S/C Brink, Winter to approve the Consent Calendar.
AYES: Commissioners: Brink, Dale, Christ and Winter
ABSENT OR NOT VOTING: Commissioners: Herring (abstained absent last meeting)
1. MINUTES SEPTEMBER 27, 2005
C. CURRENT BUSINESS
1. CONTINUED ITEM - UPDATE AND REVISION OF THE CITY OF RED BLUFF LAND DIVISION AND ENGINEERING DESIGN STANDARDS; RESOLUTION NO. 2005-012
Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, reviewed the staff report and gave staff’s recommendation that the Planning Commission:
1. Continue the Public Hearing.
2. Consider all public testimony and all other information relating to this item submitted to the Commission.
3. Direct staff to make any other revisions deemed necessary by the Planning Commission.
4. Adopt Resolution No. 05-012, recommending that the City Council adopt and implement the revised Land Division and Engineering Design Standards, dated July 2005 based on findings contained in the resolution.
Mr. Mullen stated that a letter from Chuck Hayden had been received requesting that provisions for Class 1 bikeways be added to the Land Division and Engineering Design Standards.
Chairperson Dale opened the Public Hearing at 5:23 p.m.
Dan Backstrom, President of Red Bluff Trails United, spoke regarding setting standards high for the City so that recreation opportunities are supported. Red Bluff Trails United supports the standards proposed by Chuck Hayden.
Chuck Hayden, Red Bluff Trails United, stated that this was the first time in 30 years that the Land Division Standards had been updated and he thanked the staff and City for what had been done to update the standards to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists to a greater extent. He hoped that his comments would convince the Planning Commission to take actions that will increase the probability that a system of Class I bikeways will eventually be constructed in and around the city connecting housing with schools and parks and increase safety for pedestrian and bicyclist that must travel on the asphalt and concrete surfaces, the streets, used by cars and trucks. He asked that the Planning Commission consider:
1. Prohibit poles and other obstructions in sidewalks and other pedestrian ways.
2. Require that a planter is placed between the sidewalk and the back of the curb.
3. Prohibit driveway aprons, with a slope greater than 2%, across sidewalks.
4. Adopt a standard requiring permanent barriers or obstacle at least two feet high between the bike lanes and the traffic lanes.
5. Adopt a standard requiring Class I Bikeways within new subdivisions with extensions to other adjacent Class I Bikeways and to the edge of boundaries of adjacent undeveloped land where bikeways or structures may be developed in the future.
6. Adopt a standard requiring landscaping, with automatic irrigation, in areas between walls and fences and sidewalks.
Mr. Hayden commented that one role of the Planning Commission is to improve the quality of life within the City of Red Bluff and he requested that the Planning Commission consider his request to revise the proposed Land Division and Engineering Design Standards.
There being no other public comments Chairperson Dale closed the Public Hearing at 5:40 p.m.
Mr. Mullen stated that he and Gary Antone, Director of Public Works/City Engineer, had reviewed the list presented by Mr. Hayden and agreed with Mr. Hayden that pedestrian and bicycles access is important to provide, but did not believe that a Class I Bikeway should be put in to all subdivisions. The undergrounding policy is in the current Land Division Standards and was inadvertently left out of the new standards and will be added back in.
Gary Antone, Director of Public works/City Engineer, stated that staff had tried to address the issue of poles and/or signage in sidewalks and the standards as presented do address those issues.
Mr. Mullen stated that where feasible staff is trying to get utility poles underground. He continued with addressing item #2 which is covered under Section 3.16 and is being applied to all new subdivision. Item #3 regarding driveway aprons is in place in the details. Item #4 permanent landscape barriers; it’s not typical to do a two foot high wall to separate bike paths and that a wall may create its own safety issues.
Mr. Antone stated that the standards that are being applied as reference are the Highway Design Manual Bikeway Standards which are approved by the State. He also pointed out that not everywhere needs a Class I bike path which is totally separated from traffic, a Class 2 is separated by white lines and Class 3 are not signed or marked. There are specific standards shown in the State Standards depending upon where you fall.
Mr. Mullen stated that it’s more of a policy issue and that not every subdivision would warrant a Class I bike trail. The Red Bluff Trails United Trails Feasibility Study does not say that every bike trail needs to be a Class I, but also shows Class 2 and 3 trails and has specifics as to where the trails are going to be located.
Chairperson Dale questioned what was the opinion of the General Plan Committee on this matter.
Mr. Mullen stated it hadn’t been discussed yet, but that if the General Plan Update Advisory Committee, Planning Commission and City Council felt that the General Plan should be strengthened, that it should be discussed as part of the General Plan process.
Commissioner Herring stated that he believed that subdivisions required 40 foot street and if you start putting Class 1 bikeways in both directions that it would cause a problem.
Mr. Antone stated that the City was looking at connectivity with bikeway trails and is trying to reach Class I where possible but, there is a mix that has to be maintained, its not all one.
Mr. Mullen stated that staff will add Class I bike trails where it can be done, so there may be situations that aren’t covered in the plan where they get installed.
Mr. Hayden stated that what is being requested is that a sentence be added to the Land Division and Engineering Design Standards that says “thou shall not put poles in the sidewalk”. They also request that staff adopt standards that require Class I trails in all new subdivisions.
Commissioner Herring questioned where the subdivisions that have creeks and how the City stands on unlawful taking of lands.
Mr. Mullen stated that it’s not a taking as long as it’s involved with a direct nexus to the project, but would have to look at each project as it comes in to be sure that the City is not doing that.
Mr. Antone stated that you have to be careful not to combine sidewalk and bike trails. An 8 foot sidewalk may be fine for commercial but not for residential area. Highway Design Manual Standards which are referred to in the trails document for the designs of these trails. If the City can pursue trails then it will do so, but there are some areas that just are not feasible and may be come more of a hazard.
Mr. Antone stated that staff believed that they had addressed the bulk of comments with the exception of the barriers and the request for Class I trails in all new subdivisions.
Commissioner Brink questioned why it was not put in the standards that the developer must install Class I bikeways.
Mr. Antone stated that the City is not in a situation where this one item fits into all subdivisions. There are properties around town that developed on all sides and there are opportunities to put in Class 2 or 3, to accommodate or connect to Class I locations. In keeping with the City and County Bikeway Plan and also the recommendations that were adopted in the Red Bluff Trails United Bikeway Plan the City has been very progressive on developing bikeways.
Mr. Hayden stated that it’s all about separating the traffic from pedestrians and bicyclists. The bottom line is will the Planning Commission ask staff to work with Red Bluff Trails United to get Class I bikeways installed, don’t make them get on the same pavement as cars. Mr. Hayden requested a continuance of the hearing, in order to meet with staff on his items.
Chairperson Dale asked if staff had any comments on item #6 which was asking for landscaping between fencing and sidewalks.
Mr. Antone stated that it was already being implemented and that they are covered in the standards that a landscape strip is provided is there are poles that can not be moved.
Commissioner Christ stated that it looked like an excellent opportunity to address the concerns of Mr. Hayden and would like to give staff time to meet with Mr. Hayden.
Commissioner Brink stated that he also would like to see staff and Red Bluff Trails work out some of these issues pertaining to bikeways with the idea of future development getting away from Class 2 trails or maybe Class I bikeways that tied into the trails.
Commissioner Winter stated that Class I bikeways should not be mandatory in all areas as it would not fit.
Commissioner Herring stated that by his observation most subdivisions that are projected to be going in have already been surveyed and lot line set, and that if the City requires that accommodations for Class I bikeways would present a problem with having to resurvey and reset lot lines. He questioned if there was any room for negotiations as it looked like all the technical aspects had already been worked out.
Chairperson Dale questioned if the members of the Planning Commission would prefer to direct the General Plan Update Advisory Committee to look into upgrading the idea of bikeways in the City and for the time being continue the Public Hearing to allow staff time to meet with Red Bluff Trails United.
Mr. Antone stated that he wanted to remind the Commission that the Bikeway Plan the City has, as well as the Red Bluff Trails United Plan is part of development when someone comes to the counter. It may be a good place to go back and address the master plans and make some changes to those documents and bring them up to a higher level of standard than there currently is.
Mr. Hayden stated that the bikeway plans don’t extend out into vacant area or if they do it might only allow a Class 2 bikeway. His request is that Red Bluff Trails United be given the opportunity to work with staff and bring back to the next meeting.
Mr. Mullen stated that he and Mr. Antone attended the Red Bluff Trails United meeting two weeks ago and nothing was said at that time and this is the first time that he had heard that they wanted to sit down and discuss this in more detail.
Commissioner Winter stated that as long as it’s not mandatory for every subdivision that goes in, it’s a good thing that Mr. Hayden was trying to do.
Mr. Mullen agreed and stated that he felt the more appropriate document to address this would be to update the Bikeways Master Plan as he felt is would be appropriate to do in another forum rather than a technical document. To say that Class I bikeways will be everywhere is not appropriate.
Commissioner Brink stated that he would like to see staff and Red Bluff Trails United have one more meeting to address their concerns.
Mr. Antone agreed with Mr. Mullen that these concerns should be addressed in the Bikeway and Trails Master Plan. That document needs to be updated and adopted then it will be addressed in the Land Division and Engineering Design Standards.
M/S/C Brink, Dale to continue the Public Hearing until November 8, 2005.
AYES: Commissioners: Brink, Christ and Winter
NOES: Commissioners: Dale and Herring
ABSENT OR NOT VOTING: Commissioner: None
D. CURRENT BUSINESS
1. PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER; TENTATIVE PARCEL MAP 05-57; RESOLUTION NO. 05-013; 1755 SOUTHRIDGE DR.; PACIFIC COMMUNITIES
Scot Timboe, Planner, reviewed the staff report and gave staff’s recommendation that the Planning Commission:
1. Conduct the Public Hearing.
2. Consider all public testimony and all other information relating to this item submitted to the Commission.
3. Adopt Resolution No. 05-013, recommending that the City Council approve the Tentative Parcel Map 05-57 with the Findings and Conditions of approval shown in Planning Commission Resolution No. 05-013.
Chairperson Dale opened and closed the Public Hearing at 6:41 p.m. after receiving no comments.
Chairperson Dale requested clarification if Southridge Drive and Vista Way be barricades or improved.
Mr. Timboe stated that an all weather surface would be applied that would meet Fire Department Standards until Parcel 2 is developed.
M/S/C Brink, Winter to adopt Resolution No. 05-013, recommending that the City Council approve the Tentative Parcel Map 05-57 with the Findings and Conditions of approval shown in Planning Commission Resolution No. 05-013.
AYES: Commissioners: Brink, Dale, Christ, Herring and Winter
ABSENT OR NOT VOTING: None
E. STAFF ITEMS/REPORTS:
Charlie Mullen, Planning Director, gave a brief update on the General Plan update and the draft Sphere of Influence. He stated that with the holidays the Sphere of Influence meeting would be delayed until the December 13, 2005 Planning Commission meeting, and that it would be held at the Community Center.
Mr. Mullen stated that the November 8, 2005 Planning Commission meeting would consist of the continuation of the Land Division and Engineering Design Standards, a small residential lot split on Oriole Court and the current development status sheet and population updates.
Chairperson Dale questioned if the Planning Commission would have an update on the substandard housing complaints against the Crystal Motel
Mr. Mullen stated that he would check with the Building Official and see if he has an update.
Mr. Mullen reported that staff was working to complete the Wal-Mart EIR and that Wal-Mart agrees that it needs to be done properly. Staff hopes to have it completed in the next couple of week and if so there would be a special Planning Commission Meeting and staff was looking at either December 5th or December 14th. It is staff’s hope that everything is completed so that the meeting could be held on December 5th and that it will be held at the Community Center. He continued by saying that both the Sphere of Influence and Wal-Mart hearings should not be held at 5:15 p.m. but at a later time to allow for more public input and requested input from the Planning Commissioners as to a time preference.
The consensus of the Planning Commission was to start these meetings at 6 p.m.
Mr. Mullen stated that the November and December Planning Commission meetings fall on holiday weeks and asked if the Planning Commission want to conduct a November 22nd week meeting.
The consensus of the Planning Commission was to hold the meeting if there are items for the agenda.
Commissioner Herring questioned what decisions had been made administratively, as there was a stretch of no meetings.
Mr. Mullen stated that many projects are acted on administratively, but that his question may be answered when the project list was presented to the Planning Commission. He continued by saying that many projects take a lot of time and meeting with the developers and take time to work out all the details prior to bring the item to the Planning Commission for approval.
There being no further business Chairperson Dale adjourned the meeting at 6:58 p.m. to November 8, 2005 at 5:15 p.m.