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Meeting Date:  April 11, 2000                      

Subject/Title:     Aaron Wolter’s appeal of the approval of DR No. 99-30 for Centex Homes 

Submitted by:    Mitch Oshinsky/Jeff Zilm, Community Development Department        

Approved by:     Jon Elam, City Manager


Adopt Resolution No.____ to uphold the Planning Commission approval and deny the appeal of Design Review No. 99-30.   




On February 15, 2000 the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider the application of Centex Homes for a Tentative Subdivision Map and Design Review application to allow for the subdivision of 4.46 acres into 9 lots and for the construction of 5 homes to be constructed on these 9 lots (see attached site plan).  The Commission voted 5 – 0 to approve the Tentative Subdivision Map application and 4 – 0 – 1 (Abstain) to approve the Design Review application.

In the appeal letter, dated February 24, 2000, from Mr. Aaron Wolter (attached), he states the reasons he deemed that the Planning Commission was in error approving the Design Review. Following is a list of the appeal points and staff’s response to each point:

1.      Appeal Point:

Would like to see some consistency with the Hawthorn Landing neighborhood.

Staff Response:  The homes that the Planning Commission approved range in size from 2,681 square feet to 3,946 square feet which are larger than the homes built in Hawthorn Landing.  The lot sizes range in size from 8,250 square feet up to 13,230 square feet.  The Planned Development standards required that the lots had to be larger than 8,000 square feet.  Centex Homes has done this.  All of the material that will be used to construct these homes will be consistent with the material used on the Hawthorn Landing homes.  Taking all of this into consideration Staff feels that these homes will be consistent with the Hawthorn Landing homes.

2.      Appeal Point: Reserve as much privacy as possible by sharing the same fence.

Staff Response: The shared fence between Hawthorn Landing and Centex’s development will be a 6 foot high redwood fence which was constructed by Morrison Homes when the Hawthorn Landing subdivision was first constructed.  Centex Homes will use this fence as their rear property line of the new lots.  This is a standard practice when two different subdivisions abut one another.  This will be the same type of fence separating Mr. Wolter from his Hawthorn Landing neighbors.  Staff feels that since the Planning Commission approved this type of fencing and because it is the type of fencing used throughout the City that the type of fencing should not be an issue. 

3.      Appeal Point: The product layout needs to be changed in order to have single story homes behind Mr. Wolters home.  This is to be done by either moving homes around or changing the number of homes to be used.

Staff Response: The Planning Commission has always used standard development guidelines when reviewing design reviews for subdivisions.  These guidelines are that at least 50% of the corner lots have a single story house constructed on it and that no one model, with the exception of a single story, can be constructed on more than 25% of the total subdivision.  The single story is to be constructed on at least 25% of the total subdivision.  The night of the design review meeting Centex did relay Mr. Wolter’s concerns about wanting single story homes on the lots that abutted his property.  The Planning Commission felt that Lot 5 was the only lot that would impact his view and conditioned Centex to change that home to a single story home.  As far as changing the home on Lot 3 with the home on Lot 6 the Planning Commission that this switch would put a 2-story home on the only corner lot and thereby not meet the minimum guideline for corner lots having single stories.  If the Planning Commission had conditioned Centex to change the home on Lot 6 to a single story this would have created a duplication of one of the single stories because there is just one single story floor plan with three different front elevations and with this subdivision being as small as it is they did not want to see any duplications. 

4.      Appeal Point: Remove Lot 6 altogether to create more open space.

Staff Response: The proposed Tentative Subdivision Map (TSM 8371) was approved for the subdivision of 4.46 acres into 9 single family   residential lots and a remaining 1.51 acre existing residential site.  The General Plan allows developers to develop their    property up to the midrange and if development occurs above the midrange then certain amenities must be provided.  This proposed project is zoned Low Density (1 to 5 du/ac; mid-range of 3du/ac) and under this designation it is possible to have anywhere from 4 units up to 20 units with a mid-range of 12 units on the 4.46 acres.  With this project being proposed for 9 new units and an existing unit on the remaining 1.51 acre site, or a total of 10 units on 4.46 acres it would create a density of 2.24 du/ac, which is under the midrange density of 3 du/ac for Low Density residential areas.  The Planning Commission and staff agreed that since this project is under the mid-range density that eliminating Lot 6 was not an issue.

The rest of Mr. Wolter’s letter makes reference to conversations that took place between Centex and Mr. Wolter and Staff was not aware of what was said.

If the City Council upholds the Planning Commission’s decision and denies the appeal the project will be constructed as conditioned by the Planning Commission.

If the City Council overrules the Planning Commission’s decision and approves the appeal Staff will return at the next City Council meeting with the resolution and appropriate findings.


Letter from Mr. Wolter, dated February 24, 2000.

Site Plan

City Council Resolution No.___ upholding the Planning Commission’ decision.

Planning Commission Resolution No. 00-10.




            WHEREAS, on February 15, 2000 the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing to consider Tentative Subdivision Map No. 8371 and Design Review No 99-30 to allow for the subdivision of 4.46 acres into 9 lots and the construction of nine homes on the 9 lots, considered public comments, made findings, and passed Resolution No. 00-09 and 00-10 which approved TSM 8371 and Design Review No 99-30;and

WHEREAS, on February 24, 2000 Mr. Aaron Wolter appealed the Planning Commission decision to approve Design Review No. 99-30; and

WHEREAS, the City of Brentwood has reviewed this project in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines and has determined that the project and its impacts were considered as a part of a previous Environmental Impact Report (EIR No. 90-4), and no additional environmental analysis is necessary; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has held a public hearing and considered  Mr. Aaron Wolter’s appeal, and all oral and written testimony presented at the April 11, 2000 Council meeting; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood does hereby adopt Resolution No. ____ upholding the Planning Commission’s approval of Design Review No. 99-30, and denying Mr. Wolter’s appeal, by making the following findings:

1.     The proposed development will create a well-composed urban design, harmoniously related to other facilities in the immediate area and to the total setting as seen from key advantage points in the community because it is in conformance with the City’s General Plan and  Planned Development No. 14 (BMC. 17.464) guidelines as it relates to lot size and density.  

2.     Elements of design which have significant relationship to the exterior appearance of structures and facilities will be given special consideration; these elements may include height, arrangement on the site, texture, lighting, material, color, signs, landscaping and appearances because these proposed homes will be constructed out of the same material as the homes in Hawthorn Landing.          

3.     The proposed development will be of a quality and character appropriate to, and serving to protect the value of, private and public investments in the immediate area because these homes will be larger than and on similar size lots as the homes in Hawthorn Landing.

4.     Where the proposed development is located in an area for which a neighborhood plan or precise plan has been adopted by the City Council, the design of the development will conform in all significant respects with such plans as does this proposed plan with the development guidelines for Planned Development No. 14 (BMC 17.464).

5.     The proposed development will conform with all requirements for landscaping, screening, parking, usable open space and off-street loading as set forth in the City of Brentwood’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinance.

PASSED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at its regular meeting on the 11th day of April, 2000, by the following vote:

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