Coalinga Planning Commission …

NOTE: Chair of Coalinga Planning Commission rightly pointed out that the headline of this article was misleading. It should have been clearer that the…

STAFF REPORT from the CITY OF COALINGA as PREPARED BY SEAN BREWER Said…

So, that being said,

From the agenda for tonight’s meeting:

Staff Report- Chairman and Planning Commission

Subject: Planning Commission Consideration and Recommendation to the City Council, Approval of a Combined Development Application No. CDA 19-01 For A Zoning Text Amendment, Site Plan Review and Notice of Exemption For a Proposed Medical Clinic at the Southeast Corner of E. Polk Street and Forest Ave
Meeting Date August 13, 2019
Project Location: North Side of W. Polk Street between W. Forest Ave and Elm Ave (APN 072-123–16s)
Applicant: Kelly Architecture and Planning, 6528 Lonetree Blvd. Rocklin, CA 95765
Owner: Joe & Donna Knight, 2823 SE Spyglass Drive, Vancouver, WA 98683
Prepared By: Sean Brewer, Community Development Director

I. RECOMMENDATION:

Adopt Resolution 019P-008 recommending to the City Council approval of a combined Development Application (CDA 19-01) inclusive of a Zoning Text Amendment, Site Plan Review and Notice of Exemption for a proposed medical clinic at the southeast corner of E. Polk Street and Forest Ave.

II. BACKGROUND:

On June 11, 2019 the City of Coalinga Community Development Department accepted a combined development application from, Kelly Architecture and Planning (further referred to as the “applicant”) for a proposed single story OSHPD 3 medical office building for a future Adventist Health Medical Facility.

Combined Development Applications

Certain development proposals may require multiple discretionary approvals. The simultaneous review of several permits as part of the entitlement process is intended to expedite workflow, reduce the time and cost of processing applications, and assure comprehensive consideration of such projects.

Any application for development, which under the terms of the municipal code, requires more than one discretionary approval, or for which an applicant seeks more than one discretionary approval, shall be processed as a single combined application. If any one application requires City Council approval, the Planning Commission shall be the recommending body to the City Council for all approvals within the combined application and shall make its recommendation following a public hearing. The City Council shall be the approving body for all approvals within the combined application and shall not act without the prior review and recommendation of the Planning Commission.

The following discretionary actions are required by the Planning Commission as part of this application:

Council recommendation to approve a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to allow for the construction of Hospitals or Clinics with a gross floor area in excess of 5,000 square feet; and

Council recommendation to approve a Site Plan Review for the construction of a new 11,735 square foot Medical Clinic.

Council recommendation to approve a Notice of Exemption for the environmental determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Site Plan Review

According to Section 9-6.402 of the City of Coalinga Municipal Code requires that all applicable new structures permanent or temporary erected in the City require a site plan review and approval by the Planning Commission for consistency with all applicable zoning regulations.

The purpose of the site plan review is to enable the Community Development Director or the Planning Commission to make findings that a proposed development is in conformity with the intent and provisions of the Coalinga Municipal Code, and to guide the Building Official in the issuance of permits. The proposed project does not fall under the exempt projects and projects qualifying for Administrative Site Plan Review; therefore, the proposed project requires site plan recommendation from the Coalinga Planning Commission.

Zoning Text Amendment

The Zoning Map and the Zoning Ordinance text may be substantially amended in two (2) ways, in accord with the procedure prescribed in this article: (1) Reclassification of the zoning applicable to a specific property, designating a change from one district to another district, commonly called “rezoning”, (2) Changes in the permitted uses or regulations on property within particular zones or citywide, commonly called “text amendments”.

California Environmental Quality Act

This application constitutes a project in accordance with the California Quality Act, therefore staff has prepared an environmental analysis as part of this land use application.

Department Comments

Once the application was deemed complete staff requested comments from the necessary City Departments. This proposal including conditions of approval reflect feedback from the necessary City Departments.

III. PROPOSAL AND ANALYSIS:

General Plan/Zoning Consistency: The location where the proposed clinic will be located has a General Plan designation of (CG) General Commercial with a corresponding zoning designation of (CG) General Commercial. The project proposal is consistent with the land uses permitted in the (CG) zoning designation, however, the development requires the approval of a zoning text amendment to allow for hospitals and clinics to have a gross floor area greater than 5,000 square feet.

Site Plan Analysis

Development Proposal: The proposed project is to construct a new medical clinic approximately 11,735 square feet for general practice medicine including dental services. The proposed project site is located on the north side of W. Polk Street between W. Forest Ave and Elm Ave in the City of Coalinga (APN 072-123-16S). The project site is located on 1.07 acres of vacant land. The clinics hours of operation would be Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00PM with approximately 16 employees inclusive of doctors, nurses, and administrative staff. The applicant anticipates to see a total of 90-100 patients/visitors per day. The project includes 15 exam rooms, 1 procedure room, and 3 dental chairs with additional office space. The clinic would be supported by 50 parking spaces including 5 ADA stalls, bike racks and bike lockers.

Surrounding Land Uses:

Surrounding Land Use Setting
South: Commercial Property (Old K-Mart)
West: Chevron Gas Station
East: Walgreens
North: Various Commercial Uses

Access: The project would use the existing driveway at the westerly boundary of the parcel on W. Polk Street with shared access to its adjacent neighbor (Chevron).

Utilities:
Storm Runoff: Existing storm drain facilities are in W. Polk Street and are available to serve this development. Existing Storm water runoff from the project shall continue to be directed to W. Polk Street for collection by the existing storm drain facilities.

Gas: Public Natural Gas Facilities exist in W. Polk Street and are available to serve this development.

Water: Public Water Facilities exist in Polk Street and are available to serve this development.

Sewer: Public Sewer Facilities exist in Forest Avenue and are available to serve this development.

Meters: Meters for water, and gas service shall be requested by the Public Works Department and shall be designed and installed to City Standards. Landscaping shall have its own separate meter.

Building Design: The building is located at the southeast corner of the lot with its entrance adjacent to W. Polk Street accessible from both the street and the parking lot. The building has architectural features to produce an orientation that faces the street and generally parallel to W. Polk Street. The proposed building has been reviewed and determined to be generally consistent with the intent of the development regulations for developments within the downtown overlay district as it relates to orientation, limits of blank walls, windows, wall plane and building articulation, and building entrances.

Parking: In accordance with section 9-4.302 Table 4.4 of the zoning code, the parking requirement for the medical clinic is one stall (1) per 250 sq. ft. of area used for office, clinics, testing, research, administration, and similar activities associated with the principal use. The applicant is providing 50 parking stalls on-site for patients as well as its employees which exceeds the requirement per the planning and zoning code of 47 stalls.

For properties within the Downtown Overlay District, on-street parking directly adjacent to the property may be counted towards required on-site parking as outlined in Chapter 4, Article 3, Off Street Parking and Loading. Therefore, on-street parking would be permitted for this development. Where walkways must be at grade (such as to accommodate ADA path of travel) the walkway must be differentiated from the paving of the parking lot by contrasting pavement such as pavers or stamped, colored concrete, or by painted stripes.

Refuse Containers: The proposed development provides a location for the trash enclosure. The required refuse containers locations, size, and shape shall be provided on the final site plan and approved by the City of Coalinga’s contracted solid waste hauler.

Landscaping: The proposed landscaping exceeds the city’s minimum requirement for landscaped areas as it relates to site frontage, parking, highway setbacks and equipment screening. A separate landscape plan will be submitted to the Community Development Department for review and approval prior to building permit issuance.

Parking lot screening. Parking lots shall be screened from adjacent streets by a ten-foot landscape easement containing landscaping, primarily trees and shrubs, a combination of shrubs and berms, not to exceed a three-to-one (3:1) slope or a low, decorative wall not to exceed thirty (30) inches in height, or twenty-four (24) inches high when combined with landscaping, for the purposes of reducing glare from vehicle headlights. Screening shall not block views between thirty (30) inches in height above sidewalk grade and six (6) feet above the sidewalk for security purposes. Planting areas shall be protected by six (6) inches curbs.

Fencing: The project has an existing block wall surrounding the proposed development on the western and norther property lines. In addition to the perimeter block wall there will be security wrought iron security fencing at the northern and eastern locations of the building located near the walkway for emergency exiting.

Lighting: The project will include onsite parking lot lighting, pack lighting for the building and pedestrian lighting in the form of bollards to comply with lighting standards. Lighting shall be provided on the final site plan.

Signage: Signage was not included in this application and will be deferred until final site plan submission prior to building permit issuance. All signage will be approved in accordance with the planning and zoning code related to signage.

Zoning Text Amendment
The Zoning Map and the Zoning Ordinance text may be substantially amended in two (2) ways, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this article: (1) Reclassification of the zoning applicable to a specific property, designating a change from one district to another district, commonly called “rezoning”, (2) Changes in the permitted uses or regulations on property within particular zones or citywide, commonly called “text amendments”.

The General Plan currently designates the site as General Commercial (CG) and the City’s zoning designation for the site is General Commercial (CG). The zoning text amendment will remove the restriction related to limiting the gross floor area for hospitals and clinics to 5,000 square feet in the (CG) and (MX) zoning designations.

Staff reviewed the findings for a zoning text amendment and found that there were no indications that the amendment would be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the City.

The zoning text amendment requires four (4) findings to be made in order to approve such an action. As it relates to the general plan, zoning regulations, site location, and environmental considerations such as biological and traffic, this text amendment will not create impacts beyond what is anticipated from other uses within the (CG) zoning designation that are permitted by right and without restrictions on gross floor area (GFA).

For example, staff analyzed the traffic volume differences (Average Daily Volume Peak/Non-Peak) between a retail facility that is permitted by-right with no limit on GFA and that of a medical clinic with a comparable GFA. The retail facility would have twice the average daily traffic volume as the medical office would at the same GFA. Therefore, limiting the size of the facility does not in fact reduce traffic volumes at this location, it will in fact have less traffic volume than an 11,735 square foot retail facility that would not require a text amendment. If the clinic were to be restricted at 5,000 s/f it would still generate less traffic than other permitted uses of a similar size.

Public Notification: On August 1, 2019 public hearing notices were sent to all property owners within 300 feet of the site as required by Local and State law, posted at multiple public locations and emailed to local paper.

Environmental Review: The proposed Combined Development Application has been processed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act and determined to be a Class 32 exemption under Section 15332 (Infill Development Projects). Class 32 consists of projects characterized as in-fill development meeting the conditions described:

(a) The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable general plan policies as well as with applicable zoning designation and regulations.

(b) The proposed development occurs within city limits on a project site of no more than five acres substantially surrounded by urban uses.

(c) The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species.

(d) Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality.

(e) The site can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services.

Staff has prepared a Notice of Exemption under Section 15332 for infill developments and will file the notice with the Fresno County Clerk’s office once the project has been approved by the City Council.

IV. FISCAL IMPACT:

None determined at this time.

V. REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION:

Site Plan Findings for Approval

According to Section 9-6.404 of the Coalinga Municipal Code, the Planning Commission shall consider the following findings to approve a site plan:

The proposed construction/alterations are in substantial conformance with the General Plan, zoning ordinance, and any applicable plans adopted by the city.

The proposed construction/alterations conform to the requirements of the applicable Zoning Districts.

The proposed construction/alteration conforms to all applicable design standards and guidelines, as adopted by the City Council.

The construction/alteration will not have significant adverse effects on the public health, safety and welfare.

Zoning Text Amendment Findings

The following standard findings must be made for each Zoning Ordinance amendment:

The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment would not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the City.

The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment is consistent and compatible with the goals, policies, and actions of the General Plan, and the other applicable provisions of the

Zoning Ordinance.
If applicable, the site is physically suitable (including, but not limited to access, provision of utilities, compatibility with adjoining land uses, and absence of physical constraints) for the requested zoning designations and anticipated land uses/developments.
The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment has been processed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the California Government Code and the California Environmental Quality Act.

After the public hearing, the Planning Commission shall render its decision in the form of a written recommendation to the City Council. The recommendation shall include: (1) The reasons for the recommendation; (2) The relationship of the proposed amendment; (3) The findings and determinations of the Planning Commission with respect to the proposed amendment.

ATTACHMENTS:
Description
CDA 19-01 Application
CDA 19-01 Site Plan Set with Elevations
Draft Ordinance Text Amendment
Resolution 019P-008 with Conditions

More information is available on the city website under agendas on the city government tab.

Editorial Note:

I realize that I am far from an expert on this situation. There are some things, however, which are patently true. 

Coalinga residents overwhelmingly supported the agreement with Advanced American Management Group to take over the defunct hospital. 

In the 21 page agreement with AAMG, there is a clear clause which offers to dissolve the existing agreement if a group such as Adventist builds a clinic or any other entity which AAMG deems to be a conflict for the success of CRMC. They were very specific. 

I am not an expert on the law, but no one from council or planning commission has explained how they are forced to make the exemption(s) requested by Adventist in order to accommodate that group’s plans for a new clinic.

ASK QUESTIONS.

A nice new clinic is not a hospital. So when your family member or friend needs emergency care, labs, radiological work, after hours stitches, asthma treatments, heart care, etc., you will still be driving to Hanford, Fresno or Visalia. There will STILL be no skilled nursing facility open, and your loved ones may even end up in Arizona for the nearest facility. 

I may no know all the answers, but this does not seem like a good plan to promote health and welfare in our community. 

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