Santa Paula Planning Commission: From Code Enforcement to Conditional Use Permit

By Sheryl Hamlin

The agenda of the October 23, 2018 was unique in that both of the agenda items resulted from action taken by Code Enforcement, which then yielded the two Conditional Use Permits.

Item: 18-CUP-03 Fryman Outdoor Storage (518 E. Main Street)

Planner Doberneck explained that one half of the city consists of legal, non-conforming standards. Dante Doberneck explained that the city is “not actively investigating” but acts upon citizen requests. In the Fryman case, the non-conforming aspect of the property is behind a gate without advertising, so the additional vehicle storage and container storage were never known to the general public. Mr. Doberneck did not indicate who reported the business to Code Enforcement, a question asked by Commissioner Ikerd.

The area is zoned General Commercial (C-G) but mini-storage units are not allowed in C-G although the storage for RV’s and boats is allowed. The applicant will remove 6 of the 7 storage units and shut down the mini-warehouse business, leaving one storage unit for dry cleaning business storage which will yield a few more spaces for boat/RV storage. Additionally, there must be a business office not located in the Dry Cleaning business nor inside the rental home on the property. Renters have 24 hour access to their stored property via the gate, a question asked by Chair Bangs. The property has been in use since the 1940’s.

Director Mason indicated that Code Enforcement is “complaint driven”. They don’t climb fences and look into yards.

Other than some minor landscaping, neither new development nor signage is proposed, according to the staff report.

The CUP was approved 3-1 with Commissioner Ikerd opposing. Note the newly appointed Commissioner Jason Herber was not in attendance.

Item 18-CUP-04 Staples Construction Yard (850 Corporation Street)

Again, Planner Doberneck did not say who alerted Code Enforcement but in this case it was a situation where work had started prior to city involvement.

The applicant, Staples Construction, had hired an architect to make some changes to this building at 850 Corporation yard. The applicant is in the business of building large scale construction projects across the state. With multiple locations, the Santa Paula location will be for business storage only.

The property has two encroachments. Commission McPhail asked about the 25’ error in the map, causing a 25’ encroachment into the neighboring property. There is a separate agreement acknowledging this condition to be signed. Additionally, the building encroaches about one foot into the public right-of-way. The city will adjust landscaping to accommodate.

The applicant will be providing a washer/dryer and towels for staff to promote bicycling to work and cleanliness. All new roll-up doors and security camers will be installed and one restroom will be converted to ADA. The building is a pre-fab metal Butler in good shape, said Planner Doberneck.

Commission Ikerd asked about the code violation. Planner Doberneck said they simply started too soon before the staff was involved. Commission Ikerd stated that Staples was a large company and should have known the procedure.

Planner Doberneck said that now any applicant must resolve code violations before the CUP. This is a new rule in Santa Paula.

The CUP was approved with Commission Ikerd voting ‘no’, not wanting to reward non-compliance.

City Update

Director Mason provided updates on planning related activity.

First he said that the environmental aspect of the General Plan is close to complete with a goal of late winder or early spring. This will be followed by the Housing Element.

The city has hired a new Planning Director, Jeff Mitchem, previously from Portland Oregon.

Much activity on code violations with violations sitting around for “decades”, said Mason. Commisioner Ikerd said that people know, but there has never been enough enforcement.

Director Mason also mentioned the Historic Preservation Ordinance update which is underway. Read that article here. They will be planning a workshop for 2019 about the ordinance.

To email code enforcement, click here: [email protected]

To download the materials, click here.

For more information on author click sherylhamlin dot com

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