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P.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2006-__
A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES CONDITIONALLY APPROVING A VARIANCE, MINOR EXCEPTION PERMIT AND SITE PLAN REVIEW (PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00078) FOR AFTER-THE-FACT LEGALIZATION OF AN EXISTING 627-SQUARE-FOOT DETACHED GARAGE/ WORKSHOP, AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW, 285-SQUARE-FOOT 1-STORY ADDITIONS TO AN EXISTING 1-STORY SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE, LOCATED AT 1958 HOMEWORTH DRIVE
WHEREAS, on February 7, 2006, the applicants, Michael and Mary Kucura, submitted an application for Planning Case No. ZON2006-00078 for a minor exception permit and site plan review for 285-square-foot additions to their existing 1-story single-family residence on an pad lot on Homeworth Drive; and,
WHEREAS, the City subsequently determined that the existing, non-conforming detached garage/workshop was not permitted, thereby necessitating the approval of an after-the-fact variance; and,
WHEREAS, on May 9, 2006, the Kucuras submitted an after-the-fact application for a variance and requested a waiver of the variance penalty fee; and,
WHEREAS, on June 6, 2006, the City Council considered and granted the Kucuras’ request for a waiver of the variance penalty fee; and,
WHEREAS, on July 27, 2006, the application for Planning Case No. ZON2006-00078 was deemed complete by Staff; and,
WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that the approval of the requested variance, minor exception permit and site plan review would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Section 15301(e)(1)); and,
WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly-noticed public hearing on August 22, 2006, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE PLANNING COMMISSION DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1: The Planning Commission makes the following findings of fact with respect to the application for a variance to legalize an existing, non-conforming 627-square-foot garage/workshop on the subject property:
A. There are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved, or to the intended use of the property, which do not apply generally to other property in the same zoning district. Eleven (11) other homes in the immediate area have replaced their original attached 1-car garages with detached 2-car garages that encroach upon the City’s current rear- and/or side-yard setback areas. Of these eleven (11) homes, all but one were constructed under the County’s jurisdiction, at a time when such detached accessory structures were permitted to encroach upon the required rear- and side-yard setbacks. Based upon the City’s permit history, the garage on the applicants’ property was clearly constructed during this same time period, but for unknown reasons there is no permit record of the structure. This constitutes an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance that does not apply to the other similarly-situated homes in the area.
B. Such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right of the applicant, which right is possessed by other property owners under like conditions in the same zoning district. The existing garage was constructed at least thirty-three (33) years prior to the applicants’ purchase of the property in 1998. The complete removal and reconstruction of the garage in compliance with the City’s current setback requirements would constitute a significant financial hardship, and would probably also conflict with the continued use and enjoyment of the existing house, which is fully permitted according to the City’s records. In addition, at least eleven (11) other homes in the immediate vicinity enjoy the right to have a detached garage located within the rear-yard setback area without the approval of a variance. As such, the denial of the requested variance would deprive the applicants of a right enjoyed by many other similarly-situated properties in the immediate vicinity.
C. Granting the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property and improvements in the area in which the property is located. The approval of the requested variance will allow the applicants to maintain the two (2) enclosed off-street parking spaces that they are currently required to maintain under City code. Eleven (11) other properties in the immediate vicinity have had similar garages for many years with no apparent adverse impact upon other properties. In addition, since the applicant will be modifying the existing garage as a part of the project so as to reduce the overall lot coverage, review by the City’s Building and Safety Division will be required.
D. Granting the variance will not be contrary to the objectives of the General Plan or the policies and requirements of the Coastal Specific Plan. The General Plan land use designation for the subject property is Residential, 4-6 DU/acre. The development and improvement of single-family residences and related accessory structures—such as the garage/workshop—are among the primary permitted uses within this land use designation. This is also reflected in Housing Activity Policy No. 3 of the General Plan (p. 78), which calls upon the City to “[encourage] and assist in the maintenance and improvement of all existing residential neighborhoods so as to maintain optimum local standards of housing quality and design.” The proposed project implements this policy. The property is not located within the City’s coastal zone, so its consistency with the policies and requirements of the Coastal Specific Plan are not relevant.
Section 2: The Planning Commission makes the following finding of fact with respect to the application for a minor exception permit to allow modification to the existing garage/workshop and driveway and additions to the existing residence that result in 57.6-percent lot coverage in an area zoned for maximum lot coverage of fifty percent (50%):
A. The requested minor exception is warranted by an unnecessary hardship. Similar to the discussion of the variance findings above, the removal and/or major reconstruction of the garage/workshop to comply with the City’s current lot coverage requirement would constitute a significant financial hardship for the applicants, and would probably also conflict with the continued use and enjoyment of the existing house, which is fully permitted according to the City’s records. In addition, the applicants purchased the property in 1998 with no knowledge that the garage was not permitted, and the City’s records indicate that the garage has been in place on the property for at least forty-one (41) years. As such, it is evident that the denial of a minor exception permit would present an unnecessary hardship to the applicants. Furthermore, the applicants have shown good faith by agreeing to modify the garage/workshop and driveway so that the existing, non-conforming lot coverage condition is not exacerbated by the proposed project.
Section 3: The Planning Commission makes the following findings of fact with respect to the application for site plan review for 285-square-foot 1-story additions to the existing 1-story single-family residence:
A. The proposed 285-square-foot additions comply with the development standards of the RS-4 zoning district and slightly reduce the existing non-conforming lot coverage.
B. The proposed project is compatible with the character of the immediate neighborhood in terms of the scale of surrounding residences, including total square footage and lot coverage of the residence and all ancillary structures; architectural styles, including facade treatments, structure height, open space between structures, roof design, the apparent bulk or mass of the structure, number of stories, and building materials; and front-, side-, and rear-yard setbacks.
Section 4: Any interested person aggrieved by this decision or by any portion of this decision may appeal to the City Council. Pursuant to Sections 17.64.060, 17.66.060 and 17.80.070(A) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, any such appeal must be filed with the City, in writing, setting forth the grounds of the appeal and any specific actions requested by the appellant, and accompanied by the appropriate appeal fee, no later than fifteen (15) days following August 22, 2006, the date of the Planning Commission’s final action.
Section 5: For the foregoing reasons and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes and other records of proceedings, the Planning Commission of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby conditionally approves a variance, minor exception permit and site plan review (Planning Case No. ZON2006-00078) for after-the-fact legalization of an existing 627-square-foot detached garage/workshop, and the construction of new, 285-square-foot 1-story additions to an existing 1-story single-family residence, located at 1958 Homeworth Drive, subject to the conditions of approval in the attached Exhibit ’A’.
PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this __nd day of August 2006, by the following vote:
1. Prior to the submittal of plans into Building and Safety plan check, the applicant and the property owner shall submit to the City a statement, in writing, that they have read, understand, and agree to all conditions of approval contained in this Resolution. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days following date of this approval shall render this approval null and void.
2. Approval of this permit shall not be construed as a waiver of applicable and appropriate zoning regulations, or any Federal, State, County and/or City laws and regulations. Unless otherwise expressly specified, all other requirements of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code shall apply.
3. This approval is for after-the-fact legalization of an existing 627-square-foot detached garage/workshop, and the construction of new, 285-square-foot 1-story additions to an existing 1-story single-family residence. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved plans and any of the conditions of approval if such modifications will achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with the approved plans and conditions. Otherwise, any substantive change to the project shall require approval of a revision to the variance, minor exception permit and/or site plan review by the Planning Commission and shall require new and separate environmental review.
4. All project development on the site shall conform to the specific standards contained in these conditions of approval or, if not addressed herein, in the RS-4 district development standards of the City's Municipal Code.
8. Unless otherwise designated in these conditions, all construction shall be completed in substantial conformance with the plans stamped APPROVED by the City with the effective date of this Resolution.
10. Permitted hours and days for construction activity are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Saturday, with no construction activity permitted on Sundays or on the legal holidays specified in Section 17.96.920 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code. Trucks and other construction vehicles shall not park, queue and/or idle at the project site or in the adjoining public rights-of-way before 7:00 AM, Monday through Saturday, in accordance with the permitted hours of construction stated above.
11. The applicant shall obtain a building permit for the garage/workshop, including the approved modifications to reduce its building footprint.
12. A minimum 2-car garage shall be maintained, with each required parking space being individually accessible and maintaining minimum unobstructed dimensions of 9' in width and 20' in depth, with minimum 7' vertical clearance.
13. The garage/workshop shall maintain the current setbacks of thirteen inches (13”) from the rear property line, two feet (2’-0”) from the easterly side property line and twenty-three feet ten inches (23’-10”) from the westerly side property line.
Minor Exception Permit Conditions:
14. The approved project shall maintain a maximum of 57.6% lot coverage with the approved modifications to the existing driveway and garage/workshop, and the approved additions to the main house. LOT COVERAGE CERTIFICATION REQUIRED, to be provided by a licensed land surveyor or civil engineer prior to building permit final.
15. Maximum hardscape coverage within the 20-foot front-yard setback area shall not exceed 50%.
Site Plan Review Conditions:
16. This approval is for 285-square-foot, 1-story additions to an existing 1-story single-family residence.
17. The maximum ridgeline of the approved project is 15.81’.
18. The approved residence shall maintain setbacks of 21’-0” front, 39’-3” rear, 10’-0” east side and 5’-0” west side.