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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 22

Meeting Date: May 27, 2003

Subject/Title: Public Hearing for the appeal of Conditional Use Permit No. 03-05 – Sand Creek Business Park Master Sign Program

Submitted by: Community Development (Oshinsky/Hill)

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION
The Planning Commission recommends that the City Council uphold the Planning Commission's approval and related conditions of Conditional Use Permit 03-05 by adopting Resolution 03-__ sustaining the action of the Planning Commission and denying the appeal. Staff has recommended the deletion of Condition of Approval No. 3 of Planning Commission Resolution No. 03-23 requiring the screening of the rooftop equipment on advice of the City Attorney.

PREVIOUS ACTION
On August 22, 2000, the Planning Commission and subsequently the City Council approved the rezone of this site from a mix of C-2 and COB to Planned Development 40. On June 6, 2000, the Planning Commission approved Design Review 99-16 for the Sand Creek Business Center. This site was subsequently subdivided on March 6, 2001, with the processing of Tentative Parcel Map 356-00. The Planning Commission approved Conditional Use Permit 03-05 on April 15, 2003, for the Master Sign Program for Sand Creek Business Park.

BACKGROUND
On April 15, 2003, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider a conditional use permit application for a master sign program for the Sand Creek Business Park which is generally located north of Sand Creek Road and west of Highway 4/Brentwood Boulevard. After the close of the public hearing, the Commission discussed various aspects of the master sign program, including items related to the height and overall size of both the storefront and directional signs for this project, and their concerns regarding the screening of the rooftop equipment not being completed, which was a condition of approval for the design review for the Sand Creek Business Park and for Tentative Parcel Map MS-356-00. It was decided by the Commission to approve this Conditional Use Permit application as recommended by Staff with the inclusion of an additional condition requiring the applicant to complete the screening of the rooftop equipment. The Commission voted 3-2 to approve this Conditional Use Permit application with this additional condition.

This decision is now being appealed by Arthur Lorenzini, the president of Sand Creek Business Center. The appeal statement filed by Mr. Lorenzini (attached) states that he does not believe a nexus exists between the approval of the master sign program and the Commission’s condition of approval in regard to the rooftop equipment screening. In addition, he is requesting that the Council grant some relief in regard to the height of the directional signs and the percentage of sign area allowed on the face of the buildings, as well as the individual letter height.

It is staff’s role to carry forward the action of the Planning Commission on appeals.

ANALYSIS

Screening of Rooftop Equipment
The design review for the Sand Creek Business Center was approved by the Planning Commission on June 6, 2000, via Resolution 00-16. Condition No. 25 of our Standard Conditions of Approval (which are incorporated into this resolution) states,

“All roof mounted mechanical equipment on commercial and industrial buildings shall be recessed and/or screened from view to the approval of the Planning Commission.”

At the suggestion of staff, the rooftop equipment has been painted to blend into and match the building. However, it is the above condition that the Planning Commission is requiring the applicant to adhere to in order to move forward with their master sign program for this project. At the Planning Commission public hearing, the Planning Commission was advised by the City Attorney that there did not appear to be a nexus in requiring the rooftop screening on the master sign program. The Planning Commission voted to approve the master sign program with the condition to screen the rooftop equipment.

Staff is aware of only three other items of concern voiced by Mr. Lorenzini in regard to the master sign program, as follows:

Freestanding Directional Signage
The first issue is the size of the freestanding directional signage located within the development which is intended to provide directional assistance for pedestrians and vehicular traffic by showing numerical addresses and arrows. The applicant requested that these signs be an overall height of 5’6” and an overall width of 4’8”. The City of Brentwood sign ordinance limits the size of directional signs to 4’ high by 3’ wide. In addition, the sign ordinance limits master sign programs by dictating that no regulation shall be exceeded by more than ten percent (10%) of the stated limitation. By this direction, the total allowable sign area per code for these directional signs would be the standard of 12 square feet or 14-1/2 square feet with the 10% increase limitation, or the equivalent of a 4’4” high by 3’3” wide sign. The original proposal by the applicant for these signs was 26 square feet, which is well over the 10% limitation for increased size allowed for within the sign ordinance. The project was conditioned and approved to abide by the 4’ x 3’ size for these directional signs. Any directional signage in excess of 10% over this size would require the processing of a variance application by the Planning Commission, and one was not applied for.

60% of Leased Frontage Limitation
The second issue raised by Mr. Lorenzini regarding the signage is the limitation on the length of the storefront signage. The master sign program approved by the Commission stated that the maximum sign length shall not exceed sixty percent (60%) of the leased storefront. Past experience with master sign programs within the City has shown that exceeding this limitation can allow for some rather out-of-proportion signage. An example of this is the Round Table Pizza sign located within the Raley’s shopping center on Sand Creek Road. The master sign program for the Raley’s center limits the signage area to 75% of the leased storefront, which has contributed to the excess size of this sign. The sign ordinance addresses the length of storefront signage by allowing 1 square foot of signage per each lineal foot of leased frontage. Meaning, if the lineal leased frontage of a particular user was 50 feet, the total allowable signage would be 50 square feet for all signage for the tenant. (A maximum of 3 signs are allowed per code.) If we were to use this same calculation for this master sign program, a tenant leasing a storefront of 50 linear feet, would be allowed a total sign area of 50 square feet. Dividing this by the maximum 1’6” letter height for this sign program, would allow a total signage limitation of 33 square feet. If all of their signage were to be located on the storefront, this would equate to 66% of the leased frontage.

Letter Height
Mr. Lorenzini has also voiced his concern that he would prefer to have a 24” maximum letter height. The maximum letter height issue is not addressed within the City’s sign ordinance. However, master sign programs for 50 Sand Creek, Brentwood Town Centre, and Brentwood Center (Technology Center) limit individual letter height to 18” or less. The Albertson’s center limits letter height to 18 inches for minor tenants and 30” for tenants occupying spaces of 4,000 square feet or more. The Raley’s center limits letter height by percentage of storefront. The maximum letter height was reduced by the applicant at the request of staff and presented and approved by the Planning Commission at 18” with very little discussion at the meeting. Staff has recommended the letter height remain at 18” with a logo height of 24”.

Attachments:
· City Council Resolution 03-__
· Planning Commission Resolution 03-23
· Letter from Arthur Lorenzini dated April 24, 2003
· Planning Commission minutes April 15, 2003
· Project plans

CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION ACTION BY DENYING THE APPEAL OF ARTHUR LORENZINI OF SAND CREEK BUSINESS CENTER OF CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT 03-05 TO ESTABLISH A MASTER SIGN PROGRAM FOR THE SAND CREEK BUSINESS PARK LOCATED NORTH OF SAND CREEK ROAD AND WEST OF HIGHWAY 4/BRENTWOOD BOULEVARD (APN 016-110-023).

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2003, Superior Electrical Advertising submitted an application requesting a Conditional Use Permit (CUP 03-05) to establish a Master Sign Program for the Sand Creek Business Park development located north of Sand Creek Road and west of Highway 4/Brentwood Boulevard; and

WHEREAS, on April 15, 2003, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to review the request for compatibility with adjacent land uses, zoning and the General Plan; and

WHEREAS, following the close of the public hearing on the proposed project, and after considering all testimony presented to it, the Planning Commission approved Conditional Use Permit 03-05 with conditions; and

WHEREAS, on April 18, 2003, Arthur Lorenzini of Sand Creek Business Center appealed the Planning Commission's approval of CUP 03-05; and

WHEREAS, a duly noticed public hearing for said appeal was advertised in the Ledger-Dispatch on May 16, 2003, and mailed to property owners of record within 300 feet of the exterior boundaries of the site as required by City ordinance and Government Code Sec. 65090; and

WHEREAS, the City Council held a public hearing on May 27, 2003, to consider the appeal request, review the Planning Commission's action, and accept all public comment; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has considered the information provided to it by those testifying, the Planning Commission's action, as well as the information provided in the staff report and supporting documentation; and

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Brentwood has considered this request for consistency with the General Plan and Conditional Use Permit criteria established in Section 17.830.005 of the Brentwood Municipal Code, and finds that:

1. The master sign program is of integrated and harmonious design and designed to be a part of or blend with the development as approved by the Planning Commission.
2. The master sign program has been prepared and endorsed by a licensed sign designer.
3. The total sign area proposed for the site does not exceed the total aggregate sign area for each of its occupants.
4. The conditions of approval for design review of the Sand Creek Business Park (DR 99-16) do not provide a nexus between the screening of the rooftop equipment and the approval of the master sign program. Therefore, the City Council is eliminating Condition of Approval No. 3 of Planning Commission Resolution 03-23.
5. The size of the freestanding directional signs at 4’ high by 3’ wide is sufficient to direct pedestrian and vehicular traffic throughout the development.
6. The limitation for the storefront signage of 60% of the leased building frontage is sufficient for tenant identification and is in keeping with other limitations imposed by the City sign ordinance for storefront signage.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood hereby upholds the action of the Planning Commission and denies the appeal of Conditional Use Permit 03-05 with the modification of the elimination of Condition No. 3 of Planning Commission Resolution 03-23 for the Sand Creek Business Park development located north of Sand Creek Road and west of Highway 4/Brentwood Boulevard.

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