Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Three Noteworthy 6 January 2009 City Council Agenda Items

ABSTRACT: Three noteworthy 6 January 2009 City Council Agenda items, namely a Resolution adopting revisions to the Land Use element of the General Plan, et cetera, related to affordable housing, a Resolution establishing the Trevvett Court Specific Plan and a report on the results of the General Plan Survey, are presented. A SYNOPSIS, consisting of selected excerpts from each Agenda Item Summary and/or Staff Report, is presented for each agenda item. Selected COMMENTS are made.

City Council AMMENDED Agenda
Regular Meeting
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

VII. Consent Calendar
These matters include routine financial and administrative actions, which are usually approved by a single majority vote. Individual items may be removed from Consent by a member of the Council or the public for discussion and action.

F. Consideration of a Resolution adopting revisions to the Land Use element of the General Plan and chapters 17.12.230, 17.14.14D and 17.64.220 of the zoning ordinance related to affordable housing. The proposed revisions are required by the California Coastal Commission.

Description: This Resolution involves the adoption of modifications to the City’s affordable housing ordinance and General Plan amendment as approved by the California Coastal Commission on 10 December 2008.

As modified, the amendments will allow a maximum density of up to 88 units per acre for projects consisting exclusively of low or very low-income housing. The amendments, however, will not allow the Planning Commission to grant exceptions to other zoning standards such as height, floor area, setbacks, etc. as was originally proposed.

Staff Recommendation: Adopt the Resolution.

Decision Record: The City Council adopted a Resolution amending the General Plan on 1 July 2008 and an Ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance on 5 August 2008. The Coastal Commission certified the amendments with modifications on 10 December 2008.

According to the Staff Report, the Coastal Commission determined that the City’s ordinance allowing for exceptions to numerous zoning standards had the potential of negatively impacting the character of the City. The Commission approved the density bonus, but eliminated the ability of the City to grant other zoning exceptions. The Commission indicated that the City could still make exceptions for individual projects through the specific plan process.

X. Resolutions
A. Consideration of a Resolution establishing the Trevvett Court Specific Plan for a site located on the east side of Dolores Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues.

Description: This project involves an 8,000-square-foot site that is currently developed with nine units of affordable senior housing. The proposed Specific Plan would allow for the redevelopment of the site to include 14 units of affordable senior housing and a subterranean garage.

Staff Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution establishing the Specific Plan.

Important Considerations: Specific Plans are a substitute for standard zoning districts and apply to selected areas within the City. Specific Plans may be used to address unique site characteristics and/or for projects that promote affordable housing.

This project originally was approved contingent upon approval of the affordable housing ordinance. Due to the required revisions to the ordinance from the Coastal Commission, however, the project cannot be approved without the creation of a Specific Plan, or significant project modifications.

Decision Record: The Planning Commission recommended approval of the Specific Plan on 16 December 2008.

XI. Orders of Council
A. Receive report on the results of the General Plan Survey.

Description: As part of the General Plan update process, a community survey was prepared and mailed to all property owners, business owners and voters. A representative from RBF Consulting will give a presentation summarizing the results of the survey.

Important Considerations: The City is in the process of updating several elements of the General Plan. The City held three public workshops in July 2007 to gather public input on the update. The City Council later requested that a community survey be prepared to allow for additional public input opportunities. The results from the workshops and the survey will assist in the development of the goals, policies and objectives of the General Plan update.

Originally the Community Survey was mailed to Carmelites in July 2008. However, due to mistakes by the City, Surveys had to be reprinted and mailed to Carmelites, hence the delay in receiving a report on the results of the General Plan Survey.

(Sources: Agenda January 6, 2009 and Agenda Packet January 6, 2009)

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