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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 16




Meeting Date: August 13, 2002

Subject/Title: Public Hearing: An appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP 02-10) to allow a health club within Building 'A' of the Guthrie Commercial Complex, located on the east side of Guthrie Lane, approximately 250 feet south of Balfour Road (APN 010-150-034).

Submitted by: Mitch Oshinsky, Community Development Director/Erik Nolthenius, Associate Planner

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION
That the City Council pass a Resolution, upholding the Planning Commission approval and deny the appeal of Conditional Use Permit No. 02-10.

PREVIOUS ACTION
The City Council previously approved an amendment to the PD-24 Zone by establishing development standards for the project site on May 14, 2002.

BACKGROUND
On May 7, 2002, the Planning Commission approved the design review for the site. The site plan and buildings are not under consideration at this time. On July 2, 2002, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider the application submitted by New Point Development, LLC, to allow a health club within Building 'A' of the Guthrie Commercial Complex. The Commission voted 4-0 (one member absent) to approve Conditional Use Permit No. 02-10 with conditions. This action was appealed by Bernita Stanley within the 14-day appeal period.

The attached appeal letter, received July 15, 2002, states the reasons Ms. Stanley deems the Planning Commission was in error by approving Conditional Use Permit No. 02-10. Following is a list of the appeal points and Staff's response to each point:

1. Appeal Point:

Noise generated during regular sleeping hours. The non-open hours afford only a 6 hour sleeping window for nearby residents - barely enough for an adult but surely not enough for a child. Our concern is that the noise will start even earlier than 5 am with workers arriving early and past the 11 pm closing time with workers leaving late. The developer has not adequately addressed noise abatement.

Staff's response:

The Planning Commission has required that two signs and a barricade be installed in the northeast corner of the site prohibiting parking in that area between the hours of 9 pm - 7 am. This will ensure that any noise from vehicles and health club members during early morning and late night hours will be concentrated around the club itself and away from the existing residences to the north and east. The Planning Commission and Staff believe that the restricted parking area will help to reduce noise that may occur. In addition, there are no outdoor activities proposed as part of the health club. The Planning Commission found as part of the approval for the health club that no substantial noise impacts would be created on surrounding properties.

2. Appeal Point:

The complete lack of independence between the developer and the Planning Commission. As you may recall, one of the developers used to be a member of the Planning Commission. His resignation took place only recently - and his unusual access to the Planning Commission was definitely a conflict of interest.

Staff's response:

The former Planning Commissioner Mosser is the applicant's representative for this project. Mr. Mosser resigned his seat from the Planning Commission prior to submittal of the CUP application for this project and prior to the public hearing for this project. Mr. Mosser's role in this project was the same as any other developer. He worked to understand the issues and find solutions for them.

3. Appeal Point:

The total disregard for the parking space numbers which were required for the Universal Fitness organization. The standard drawn in 1994 was for 1 parking space for each 100 square feet. But, the Planning Commission totally disregarded this standard and is allowing Club One to have 1 space for each 200 square feet. This is specialized treatment applied just to this newer club.

Staff's response:

The Zoning Ordinance does not specify a parking requirement for health clubs or similar kinds of uses. The only other health club operating in the City is the Universal Family Fitness Center. That project was originally approved in 1994 (CUP 94-06) and, in conjunction with that approval, one space for each 100 square feet of gross floor area was used. The City has not established that as the standard requirement. Prior to the Planning Commission meeting of July 2, 2002, Staff conducted a survey of other cities in California and the applicant submitted a parking study that was prepared by TJKM, a transportation consultant.

The results of the survey indicate that no one standard is used by all cities. The results also seem to indicate that 1/100 is somewhat restrictive, as several cities use standards of 1/200, while some are even less restrictive than that. The parking study analyzed two existing Club One facilities (San Jose and Santa Clara) and the Universal Family Fitness Center to better estimate the parking demand for the proposed health club. According to the study, even if the expected peak parking demand occurred simultaneously for the health club and the two future office buildings proposed on the project site, there would be a surplus of almost 70 spaces. In addition, Staff has had direct experience of 5 years in another city that had several health clubs and used a 1/200 standard. There were no parking problems at those facilities.

According to the International Health and Racquet Sports Association (IHRSA), recognized as one of the leading authorities on health clubs in the country, a ratio of one space for each 200 square feet of gross floor area is recommended. In addition, the two uses on the project site (health club and office) have different peak demand periods that will allow for ample parking in the complex throughout the day.

Staff believes that the issue of off-street parking was not only thoroughly researched and presented to the Planning Commission, but that it was also thoroughly discussed and considered by the Commission as part of the public hearing process. The Zoning Ordinance is clear that parking standards for uses that are not identified (i.e. health clubs) may be established through the Conditional Use Permit process.

4. Appeal Point:

Another disregarded previous action was the decision to allow a health club to abut residences. When Universal Fitness applied for a nearby site, they were turned down because the facility would have been too close to residences. Since that decision was made in 1994 many more homes have been or will be built.

Staff's response:

A formal application was never filed in the past to allow a health club or similar use on the project site or in the vicinity. There is no documentation as to why it may have been turned down. The City Council should consider the use and parking based on the facts and issues before it at this time. The project site was only recently designated for mixed-use business park development as part of the General Plan Update, adopted by the City Council on November 27, 2001.

ANALYSIS
If the City Council upholds the Planning Commission's decision and denies the appeal, the health club use can proceed as conditioned by the 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 a resolution and appropriate findings to deny the health club use.

FISCAL IMPACT
None

ATTACHMENTS
1. Resolution No. ____, upholding the Planning Commission's decision
2. Appeal letter from Bernita Stanley and signed by 7 other nearby residents, date stamp received July 15, 2002
3. Planning Commission Resolution No. 02-40, with conditions of approval
4. Reduced copy of site plan

RESOLUTION NO. ___

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION'S APPROVAL AND DENYING AN APPEAL, BY BERNITA STANLEY, OF CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 02-10 (CUP 02-10) TO ALLOW A HEALTH CLUB WITHIN BUILDING 'A' OF THE GUTHRIE COMMERCIAL COMPLEX, AN APPROXIMATE 4-ACRE SITE LOCATED ON THE EAST SIDE OF GUTHRIE LANE, APPROXIMATELY 250 FEET SOUTH OF BALFOUR ROAD (APN 010-150-034).

WHEREAS, on July 2, 2002, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing and approved via Resolution No. 02-40 a Conditional Use Permit to allow a health club with a parking requirement of 1 space per each 100 square feet of building area, within Building 'A' of the Guthrie Commercial Complex, an approximate 4-acre site located on the east side of Guthrie Lane, approximately 250 feet south of Balfour Road, and to establish an off-street parking requirement for health clubs; and

WHEREAS, on July 15, 2002, Bernita Stanley filed an appeal of the Planning Commission's decision to approve Conditional Use Permit No. 02-10; and

WHEREAS, a Notice of Exemption under Sections 15180 and 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines was prepared and adopted for this request; therefore, no additional environmental review documentation is necessary; and

WHEREAS, a Notice of Public Hearing was distributed to all property owners of record within 300 feet of the project site and published in the Ledger-Dispatch on August X, 2002, in accordance with City policies and Government Code Section 65090; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has held a noticed public hearing and considered Bernita Stanley's appeal, and all oral and written testimony presented at the August 13, 2002, City Council meeting; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood does hereby uphold the Planning Commission's approval of Conditional Use Permit No. 02-10, and denies Bernita Stanley's appeal, by making the following findings:

1. The proposed project, as conditioned, is consistent with the City General Plan and City Zoning Ordinance in that the site was examined for commercial use in the 2001 General Plan Update; and

2. The location, size, design, and operating characteristics of the proposed use, as conditioned, will be compatible with and will not adversely affect abutting properties and the surrounding neighborhoods in that there will be a masonry wall, landscaping, and setbacks adjacent to abutting homes, and parking will be prohibited near such homes during evening and early morning hours; and

3. The architectural design, colors, building materials, screening, landscaping, and related improvements, as approved through Design Review No. 01-04, are compatible with the surrounding neighborhood in that the buildings are limited to one story in height, and designed with a residential character; and

4. The project site, as conditioned, will have adequate public facilities and utilities and pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular circulation and parking when the project is completed and will not have adverse environmental effects on adjacent developments in that parking has been thoroughly analyzed, and adequate parking will be available; and

5. The siting and internal arrangement of all structures and other facilities on the site, including the uses, internal circulation, off-street parking, lighting, and access to and from public rights-of-way, as approved through Design Review No. 01-04, will be conducive to an orderly, attractive, efficient, and harmonious development and described in findings 2, 3, and 4 above; and

6. The proposed project, as conditioned, will not create substantial noise impacts on surrounding properties as described in finding 2 above; and

7. Based upon substantial analysis of health club uses, their operating characteristics, and parking standards in other cities, a parking standard of one space for each 200 square feet of gross floor area is appropriate for health club uses.

PASSED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at its regular meting on the 13th day of August, 2002, by the following vote:

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