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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

 

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 20

Meeting Date: January 24, 2006

Subject/Title: An appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP 05-22) to operate a Residential Care Facility with a maximum of six minor girls and six or less infants/toddlers at 190 Fahmy Street.

Prepared by: John Strandberg, Community Development Technician
Heidi Kline, Planning Manager

Submitted by: Howard Sword, Community Development Director

OPTIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL

Staff has identified at least two options available to the Council:

1) Deny the appeal (upholding the Planning Commission’s decision), thereby denying the establishment of a residential care facility by Living Water Ministries Residential Home Corporation at 190 Fahmy Court. This is staff’s recommended option. Should the Council opt to deny the project, a resolution has been prepared with findings to deny the project.

2) Approve the appeal (reverse the Planning Commission’s decision), thereby approving Living Water Ministries Residential Home Corporation’s request to allow the operation of the residential care facility at 190 Fahmy Court. If the Council opts to approve the appeal and project, staff will return with a resolution to memorialize the Council’s findings at the next City Council meeting.

BACKGROUND

Planning Commission Hearing – December 6, 2005

The project was reviewed at the Planning Commission hearing on December 6, 2005. The Commission raised concerns regarding adequate parking, the impact of vehicular traffic in this small court, and noise from the number of residents and employees that would result from the proposed establishment of this use. A number of residents from the Fahmy Court neighborhood presented testimony about their concerns with the proposed use, including noise, parking, and traffic. Many residents felt that given the small size and limited vehicular access to their neighborhood that this use would have negative impacts on their neighborhood.

The Commission discussed the oversight, licensing, and funding of such facilities. One of the applicants, Mrs. Bridges, explained that the funding for the residents who are wards of the state comes from the State of California. She also explained that she has received their state licensing for the facility and while she has been in the field for 15 years, this is Living Water Ministries Residential Group Home Corporation’s first facility of this kind. Also, it was explained that the residents would be primarily home-schooled through the Antioch School District and that all other outings for the teens would be supervised or group outings. The Commission concurred with the residents’ concerns that the proposed facility would have a negative impact on the parking, traffic, and noise of this small neighborhood and voted to deny the proposed conditional use permit by a 4 to 1 vote (Padgett- no).

An excerpt of the minutes of the December 6, 2005 Planning Commission hearing is attached.
The applicant filed for an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision on December 16, 2005.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Living Water Ministries Residential Home Corporation proposes to operate their facility for up to a maximum of six pregnant or parenting teenage girls (13-17 years of age) with 6 or less infants/ toddlers (0-5 years of age), for a total of 12 residents. The proposed facility would be located in the single-family residential Paradise Cove neighborhood (Fahmy Court) off Guthrie Lane in an existing two-story, 3106 sq. ft. single-family residence. The home has a total of 6 bedrooms and would allow a maximum of one mother and up to two, (in the case of multiple children), children per room, and totaling 12. Each resident, (both mother and child are each counted as single residents), would be anticipated to stay in this facility not more than 18 months. During this stay, residents would receive training, including parenting skills, occupational skills, etc. New residents would either be referred to the facility through the Social Services Department of California, primarily Contra Costa County, or from individual families. The purpose of the program is to provide a stable, caring, structured and safe environment while the girls are pursuing education and training to obtain a livable wage. As mentioned above, residents still enrolled in high school would be primarily home-schooled through the Antioch School system.
There would be a minimum of two employees at the facility at all times, although none of the employees, nor operator, would live at the facility. There would be a total of three employee shifts, day, swing, and graveyard, and visitation would include representatives from Community Care Licensing, Contra Costa County Placement Services, assigned social workers and parents of the mothers (limited visitation hours).
For more details on the proposed operation, please see the attached Planning Commission staff report.

ANALYSIS

Related to conditional use permit criteria, the City of Brentwood Municipal Code, section 17.830.005 (A), states that “the proposed development must be compatible with and must not adversely affect the livability or appropriate development of abutting properties and the surrounding neighborhood.” This includes neighborhood character and generation of traffic and street capacity.

Parking/Circulation
As discussed at the Planning Commission hearing, the proposed use would be located within a small residential neighborhood with limited access via a short court with hammerhead turnaround. The neighborhood consists of 13 homes that all take access from the court with no other points of vehicular access. The proposed facility would have a minimum of three vehicles, one each for a minimum of two employees at all times and a van for use to transport the residents, and a potential for five vehicles during change in shifts (three shifts per day). During daily visitation times, 6:00pm to 7:00pm Monday-Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:30pm, there would be a potential for an additional six vehicles (one visitor per resident) and several more for both instructors and potential resident interviews during business hours during the week. Staff estimates that a maximum of 10 to 12 vehicles could be expected at the facility during the visitation hours. The existing residence has a total of three parking spaces in the garage and three spaces on the driveway. Therefore, insufficient on-site parking would be available for the Project. Additionally, any off-site, or curbside parking, would likely necessitate the use of the hammerhead at the end of the court for vehicles to turn around due to limited maneuvering on the Project site, creating additional traffic through the residential neighborhood.

The late night employee shift changes and noise associated with this would also occur at a time that the ambient noise and activity levels in the neighborhood would be at their lowest, resulting in a nuisance to the existing residents. Given the more intense daytime use of the facility by visitors and other staff personnel, impacts from increased traffic and parking, are anticipated to negatively impact the surrounding neighbors. Therefore, staff finds that given the location and circulation pattern of the neighborhood and operating characteristics, the Project would negatively affect abutting properties and the surrounding neighborhood as this facility would be located within a small existing residential neighborhood with inadequate access, circulation, and parking for this use.

Noise
As fourteen or more people are anticipated to be either inside or outside the residence at any given time, there is a potential for noise above the allowable 60 dB level allowed by the City’s Municipal Code for residential areas, or at the minimum, noise greater than the existing ambient level in the neighborhood. Given the absence of a sound-rated wall between the rear yard areas of this property and the adjoining residences, mitigation of noise levels which exceed the City’s allowable level would be difficult. Additionally, noise generated in the front of the residence by employees, particularly during the late night shift changes, could not be mitigated by any future sound-rated wall as the City does not allow fences in the front yard to exceed 42” in height. Noise generated during the evening and late night shift changes would occur at a time when ambient noise levels are their lowest, resulting in a greater negative impact on surrounding residents. In addition to the maximum of 12 residents, including staff, in the home, daytime visitation would allow a potential for another 6 to 12 people at the residence. In addition to voices, both during the daytime or at night, vehicle noise, including both engine and car door noise, would be generated by the proposed use at a cumulative total likely greater than a single-family residence given the intensity of the proposed use. Therefore, the Planning Commission found that the Project would generate noise levels that would not be mitigated to those compatible with the existing residential neighborhood.

CONCLUSION

Based on the potential adverse parking, traffic, and noise impacts of the proposed use, staff recommends denial of the appeal, thereby denying the request for the conditional use permit to operate the residential group home at 190 Fahmy Court.

FISCAL IMPACT

None. The proposed project will have no fiscal impacts to the City of Brentwood.

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt the attached Resolution denying the appeal, thereby denying CUP 05-22.

Attachments:
1. Resolution
2. Appeal Letter
3. Excerpt of the Minutes of the December 6, 2005 Planning Commission Hearing
4. December 6, 2005 Planning Commission staff report
5. Project Narrative and Exhibits for CUP 05-22

RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD DENYING AN APPEAL, FILED BY LIVING WATER MINISTERIES RESIDENTIAL HOME CORPORATION, OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION DECISION DENYING CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT (CUP 05-22) TO ESTABLISH A GROUP HOME LOCATED AT 190 FAHMY STREET.

WHEREAS, Living Water Ministries Residential Home Corporation has requested approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP 05-22) on a 7100 square foot lot at 190 Fahmy Street in order to operate a residential care facility for pregnant or parenting underage girls; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission considered the Living Water Ministries Residential Home project at a public hearing on December 6, 2005, and denied the project on a 4-1 vote by Resolution No. 05-85; and

WHEREAS, in denying the Conditional Use Permit, the Planning Commission made the following findings:

A) The proposed use would be located within a small residential neighborhood with limited access via a short court with hammerhead turnaround. The neighborhood consists of 13 homes that all take access from the court with no other points of vehicular access. The proposed facility would have a minimum of three vehicles, one each for a minimum of two employees at all times and a van for use to transport the residents, and a potential for five vehicles during change in shifts (three shifts per day). During the daytime, there would be a potential for an additional six vehicles (one visitor per resident) and several more for both instructors and potential resident interviews. A maximum of 10 to 12 vehicles could be expected during the daytime visitor hours. The existing residence has a total of three parking spaces in the garage and three spaces on the driveway.

Based on these circumstances insufficient on-site parking would be available for the Project.

1. Any off-site, or curbside parking, would likely necessitate the use of the hammerhead at the end of the court for vehicles to turn around due to limited maneuvering on the Project site, whereas visitors to other residences in the neighborhood would likely have use of the residence’s on-site driveway to maneuver out of the residence and enter onto Fahmy Court to exit the neighborhood.

2. The late night employee shift changes and noise associated with this would also occur at a time that the ambient noise and activity levels in the neighborhood would be at their lowest, resulting in a nuisance to the existing residents.

3. Given the more intense daytime use of the facility by visitors and other staff personnel, impacts from increased traffic and parking are anticipated to negatively impact the surrounding neighbors.

4. Given the location and circulation pattern of the neighborhood and operating characteristics, the proposed use would negatively affect abutting properties and the surrounding neighborhood as this facility would be located within a small existing residential zone with inadequate access, circulation, and parking for this use.

B) The Project would generate noise levels that would not be mitigated to those compatible with the existing residential neighborhood.

Based on these circumstances there is a potential for noise above the allowable 60 dB level allowed by the City’s Municipal Code for residential areas, or at the minimum, noise greater than the existing ambient level in the neighborhood.

1. Given the absence of a sound-rated wall between the rear yard areas of this property and the adjoining residences, mitigation of noise levels which exceed the City’s allowable level would be difficult.

2. Noise generated in the front of the residence by employees, particularly during the late night shift changes, could not be mitigated by any future sound-rated wall as the City does not allow fences in the front yard to exceed 42” in height.

3. Noise generated during the evening and late night shift changes would occur at a time when ambient noise levels are their lowest, resulting in a greater negative impact on surrounding residents.

4. In addition to the maximum of 14 residents and staff in the home, daytime visitation would allow a potential for another 6 to 12 people at the residence. In addition to voices, either during the daytime or at night, vehicle noise, including both engine and car door noise, would be generated by the proposed use at a cumulative total likely greater than a single-family residence given the intensity of the proposed use.

C) Given the limited hammerhead circulation pattern and access for the neighborhood and the small size of this residential neighborhood, the Project would generate traffic, parking, and noise levels -above and beyond what is typical in conjunction with a single family residence thereby creating adverse impacts to the surrounding neighborhood and residential properties. Consequently, the proposed use would be inharmonious with the existing residential neighborhood.

WHEREAS, on December 16, 2005, Living Water Ministries Residential Home Corporation filed an appeal of the Planning Commission decision to deny Conditional Use Permit No. 05-22; and

WHEREAS, on January 10, 2005 the City Council set January 24, 2006, as the date of the public hearing for the Appeal; and

WHEREAS, a Notice of Public Hearing for the Appeal was distributed to all property owners of record within 300 feet of the project site and published in the Brentwood Press on December 30, 2005, in accordance with City policies and Government Code Section 65090; and

WHEREAS, on January 24, 2006, the City Council held a noticed public hearing and considered the Appeal, including all supporting information and testimony presented at the January 24, 2006, City Council meeting; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood does hereby find that after reviewing the information provided in the record since December 6, 2005 including all staff reports and public testimony:

A. Concurs with each of the findings made by the Planning Commission on December 6, 2005, in accordance with Resolution No. 05-85; and

B. Independently makes each of the findings related to this project and referenced in the above recitals; and

C. Thereby upholds the Planning Commission's decision to deny Conditional Use Permit No. 05-22 and denies the appeal filed by Living Water Ministries Residential Home Corporation.

PASSED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at its regular meeting on the 24th day of January, 2006, by the following vote:
 

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