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    News

    On ELB's Doorstep:

  • Developer Proposes 88 Condo Units (27 Residential Bldgs. + 1 Rec. Bldg.) At 3780-3800 Woodruff @ Harco In Unincorporated L.A. County Area
  • LB City Hall Urged Less Dense Development; We Post Letter to County from LB Planning & Building Dept. Chief Eugene Zeller
  • County Staff Reports Receiving 47 Letters From Surrounding Residents In Opposition, Two Adjacent Residences In Support
  • County Regional Planning Comm'n Tentatively OKs Project As Proposed By Developer With Minor Changes; Final Vote Pending, Could Be Appealed to County Bd. of Supervisors


    Condo site(December 27, 2002) -- A developer is proposing to build 88 townhouse style condominium units (27 residential bldgs. plus 1 recreation bldg.) on an L-shaped parcel at 3780-3800 Woodruff Ave. (at Harco St.) in the unincorporated area of L.A. County adjacent to ELB.

    Condo siteTwo rows of two story residential buildings are proposed to line the L-shaped parcel, running eastward from Woodruff Avenue south of an existing medical building (3816 Woodruff Ave., which will remain) and extending northward behind (to the east of) the existing building.

    Photo (left) shows part of the portion extending from Woodruff Ave. eastward.
    ,

    Condo sitePhoto (right) includes part of the parcel extending northward behind (eastward of) the existing medical building.

    The proposed development is in a small, unincorporated island of L.A. County, not the City of LB...meaning County government has jurisdiction over the project, not LB City Hall.

    On December 11, L.A. County's Regional Planning Commission gave the developer's proposed project tentative approval with what County staff called minor changes. County staff reported receiving support for the proposed development from two adjacent residences...and 47 letters in opposition as well as a written request from head of LB City Hall's Dept. of Planning and Building urging a less dense project.

    In a December 5 letter to the County Regional Planning Commission, LB's Dir. of Planning and Building, Eugene Zeller, said that while the density proposed by the developer is 22 [residential] units per acre, "[t]he average density in the adjacent area of Long Beach is 7-12 dwelling units per acre. In addition, the design standards of the [LB] Zoning Ordinance permit only detached single-family dwelling of one and two stories (with a maximum of 28 feet in height.)"

    Mr. Zeller's letter stated:

    "We request that the project be redesigned to be more compatible with the Long Beach environmental [sic] and that the project conform to the Long Beach standards as follows:

    Use: one detached dwelling per 6,000-square foot lot

    Height: maximum two stories (28 feet)

    Parking: two garage spaces per dwelling

    Building style: detached dwellings."

    County staff's written analysis prepared prior to the Regional Planning Commission's Dec. 11 hearing, indicated receiving a letter from "two adjacent residences expressing support of the proposed development...[and]...47 letters from surrounding residences opposing the proposed project...The opposition's main concerns are post-development impacts generated by the project such as traffic, noise, crime and reduced property value. The opposition also stated that the proposed development would have significant impacts on services such as school, police, parks and library. In addition, many of the residences are also concern [sic] with projectís compatibility with the surrounding land uses in terms of scale and density."

    County staff's analysis noted that to approve the project, "the Regional Planning Commission must find that the site is appropriate for the proposed density and scale. In this case, to develop the 3.79-acre subject site with 88 units is considerably higher in density than the surrounding residential development. The proposal to develop the site for an 88-unit attached condominium complex with 28 separate buildings is not compatible with the adjacent low-density residential developments but the proposed project density of 22 units per acres is within the range of the Medium Density Residential land use category."

    The County Regional Planning Commission tentatively approved the project basically as proposed by the developer with some changes County staff described to LBReport.com as minor. Staff indicated that after the developer submits the changes to the County, the Commission (without further public input) could approve the project. Its decision could then be appealed to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

    Anastasi Development Co., LLC, describes itself on its web site ("about us") as follows:

    Founded in 1962, Anastasi Development Company is one of the largest homebuilders in Los Angeles County. Anastasi has established a reputation among home buyers and industry professionals alike for building quality-crafted homes of exceptional value. Specializing in infill projects in communities throughout California, Anastasi has a proven history of creating exciting land plans in challenging locations. Working closely with neighbors and city staff, Anastasi is able to recycle old properties and create attractive new neighborhoods that are positive additions to the community. Every home built by Anastasi offers top quality construction as well as the company's trademark standard amenities, which set them apart from other builders. The company has built more than 3,000 units throughout California with total sales volume exceeding $700 million. Anastasi. Building Trust. Home by Home.

    LBReport.com posts below salient portions of the County staff analysis of the proposed development prepared prior to County Regional Planning Commission's Dec. 11 hearing:

    Anastasi Development, the applicant, proposes to construct a residential condominium complex on a 3.79-acre site. The development consists of twenty-eight (28) buildings for 88 attached condominium units and a recreation structure. The subject property is located on the east side of Woodruff Avenue (3780 & 3800 Woodruff Avenue), between Harco Street and Parkcrest Street in the Lakewood Zoned District. A conditional use permit is required to allow residential development within a commercial zone.

    [T]he irregular shaped subject property is approximately 3.79 (gross-4) acres in size, with level topography. There are two vacant commercial buildings with appurtenant parking on the project site that were used as a hospital. The applicant is proposing to remove all the existing buildings.

    Access: the applicantís site plan depicts access to the proposed development being provided from the west via Woodruff Avenue. A 26-foot private driveway extending into Woodruff Place will serve the proposed development. Currently, Woodruff Avenue is a Major Highway with a right-of-way width of approximately 100 feet.

    ENTITLEMENTS REQUESTED

    Tentative Tract Map: The applicant has requested the approval of Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 53706. The subdivision request is to create one (1) multi-family lot for 88 attached condominium units on 3.79 acres.

    Conditional Use Permit: The applicant requests approval of a conditional use permit to allow residential development within a commercial zone. The applicant is proposing to construct a residential condominium complex on the 3.79-acre site. The development consists of twenty-eigh (28) buildings for 88 attached condominium units and a recreation building.

    EXISTING ZONING

    The project site is zoned C-1 (Restricted Business Area). Surrounding zoning is R-1-5,000 (Single-Family Residence-5,000 sq. ft. minimum lot area) to the south and east. The City of Long Beach is north and west of the project site.

    EXISTING LAND USES

    The project site is currently improved with two vacant commercial structures that were used as a hospital and medical offices. The subject site is surrounded by churches and commercial developments to the north. To the south, east and west of the project site are single-family residences.
    ...
    GENERAL PLAN CONSISTENCY

    COUNTYWIDE GENERAL PLAN The property is depicted within the Major Commercial land use category of the Los Angeles Countywide General Plan Land Use Policy Map.

    AREAWIDE OR COMMUNITY PLAN The subject property is not included within the boundaries of a Community or Areawide plan. The General Plan defines Major Commercial land use designation to include "areas depicted on the Land Use Map (which) reflects the Countyís status as both a major regional employment center and a national and international center of business, trade and finance. Typical use patterns include central business districts, regional office complexes, major shopping malls and centers, major commercial recreation facilities and a range of mixed commercial retail and service activities. Community and neighborhood-serving commercial uses generally are not shown, and can be appropriately established at locations which conveniently serve local market areas (III-23)." Although the Countywide General Plan is silent regarding residential developments within areas classified as Major Commercial, long-term County policy has been allowing residential uses where appropriate.

    The Major Commercial designation of the project site may have been established to recognize its significance as a regional medical facility in a generally residential community. Also, the Zoning Ordinance allows residential developments within a commercial zone with the approval of a conditional use permit. As no density is established for residential use in a commercial zone, it has been standard County procedure to suggest the acceptable density be based on the density of the surrounding community. The applicant is proposing to develop the 3.79-acre (4-gross acres) project site zoned for commercial with 88 d welling units. Pursuant to Section 22.28.110 of the Zoning Ordinance, the C-1 zoning requires a conditional use permit for the proposed residential development. A 88 unit condominium development on the subject property may be found consistent if the Regional Planning Commission determines the proposed land use is compatible with surrounding developments.

    Since the subject property is zoned for commercial and the General Plan did not establish a residential density range for the Major Commercial land use category, the Commission can consider up to the maximum allowable density authorized by the Zoning Ordinance. The maximum residential density permitted by the Zoning Ordinanceís R-4 zone (Sections 22.20.060 and 340) is 50 dwelling units per gross acre. The applicant can request the Regional Planning Commission consider the maximum allowable density authorized by the Zoning Ordinance.

    The subject property is surrounded by properties within the Low Density Residential land use category to the south and east. Properties to the north and west of the subject site are commercial and low-density residential developments respectively, within the City of Long Beach, respectively. The General Plan defines Low Density Residential as "areas particularly suitable for single-family detached housing units, including large lot estates and typical suburban tract developments. Densities typically range from one to six units per gross acre (1-6 du/ac). The intent of this classification is to maintain the character of existing low density residential neighborhoods and also to provide additional areas to accommodate future market demand (III-22)."

    The proposed project density of 22 dwelling units per gross acre is significantly higher than the surrounding residential developments within the Low Density Residential Land Use category. The projectís proposed density is comparable to the Medium Density Residential Land Use category of the General Plan. The Plan defines Medium Density Residential as "areas suitable for multiple unit development including garden apartments and multi-plex development in addition to high density townhouse developments. Such areas are typically located along major transportation corridors, in or near urban community centers. Developments generally does not exceed two stories in height, and ranges in density from 12 to 22 units per gross acre (III-22 & 23)."

    The Regional Planning Commission has considerable discretion in determining the appropriate density for the proposed development. The Commission may determine the proposal to be consistent with the goals and policies of the Plan if the project site is physically suitable for the type of development and the density being proposed. If the Regional Planning Commission determines that the project density of 22 dwelling units per gross acres is too dense for the project site, staff recommends that the Regional Planning Commission consider a lower project density. In determining General Plan consistency, the Regional Planning Commission needs to consider the ability to make the following findings:

    ?? The proposed project will not overburden existing public services and faculties.

    ?? The proposed use will not disrupt or adversely impact local traffic conditions.

    ?? The proposed project is compatible with surrounding uses in terms of scale, intensity and design.
    ...
    PROJECT DESCRIPTION

    Tentative Tract Map and Conditional Use Permit Exhibit "A" depict a residential subdivision for 88 attached condominium units on the 3.79 (4 gross) acres. The development is comprised of 28 condominium buildings for 88 dwelling units and 1 recreation structure. All the residential buildings will have 3 dwelling units each except for Building Numbers 18 through 28. These buildings will have 4 dwelling units each. The proposed residential buildings will be two-story structures over a two-car garage for each dwelling unit. An 880 square feet recreational structure with a meeting room is also proposed. The Exhibit "A" tentative map indicated 176 residential parking spaces (2 space per unit) and 27 guest parking spaces. A minimum of 22 guest parking spaces is required. The size of each residential unit ranges from 1,585 square feet to 1,629 square feet in size. All the proposed units will each have 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths.

    The applicant is proposing a building coverage of approximately 37.39 percent and providing 30.71 percent landscape coverage of the lot area. The applicant is requesting the private access driveway be gated.

    The tentative map depicts access to the proposed development being provided from the west by Woodruff Avenue via a private driveway. Currently, Woodruff is a designated County Highway with 100 feet of right-of-way. The Department of Public Works is requiring the applicant to improve Woodruff Avenue and provide traffic mitigation measures.

    Grading that is necessary to accommodate the proposed development would consist of 3,300 cubic yards of cut and 4,400 cubic yards of fill. Approximately, 1,100 cubic yards of grading will be imported.
    ...
    BURDEN OF PROOF

    Burden of Proof per Code for Conditional Use Permit Pursuant to Los Angeles County Code Section 22.56.040, the applicant must meet the burden of proof requirements for a conditional use permit.

    A. That the requested use at the location will not:

    1. Adversely affect the health, peace, comfort or welfare of persons residing or working in the surrounding area, or
    2. Be materially detrimental to the use, enjoyment or valuation of property of other persons located in the vicinity of the site, or
    3. Jeopardize, endanger or otherwise constitute a menace to the public health, safety or general welfare; and

    B. That the proposed site is adequate in size and shape to accommodate the yards, walls, fences, parking and loading facilities, landscaping and other development features prescribed in this Title 22, or as is otherwise required in order to integrate said use with the uses in the surrounding area; and

    C. That the proposed site is adequately served:

    1. By highways or streets of sufficient width, and improved as necessary to carry the kind and quantity of traffic such use would generate, and
    2. By other public or private service facilities as are required.

    Applicantís Burden of Proof Responses

    See Exhibit No. 1

    ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTATION

    On October 8, 2002, the staff of the Department of Regional Planning completed its review of the Environmental Questionnaire and other data regarding the proposed development and concluded that the Initial Study was prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines and the environmental procedures of the County of Los Angeles. Staff has determined that the appropriate environmental document for the proposed project is a Mitigated Negative Declaration.

    Potential impacts relating to the following items have been identified:

    TRAFFIC. A traffic analysis prepared for the project found that potential and cumulative impacts would be reduced to less than significant level with implementation of identified mitigation measures.

    WATER QUALITY. The possibility of the projectís post-development activities to potentially degrade the quality of storm water runoff and non-storm water discharges has been considered. The applicant shall comply with all National Pollution Discharge Emission System requirements of the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

    CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED

    A community meeting was held by the applicant on June 3, 2002 to address any concerns the surrounding residents might have regarding the proposed development. The applicant submitted a summary of the meetings and a copy of the notice of the scheduled the community meetings to staff (See Attached Exhibit No. 2). There is also a letter dated November 19, 2002 from two adjacent residences expressing support of the proposed development (See Attached Exhibit No. 3).

    To date, staff received 47 letters from surrounding residences opposing the proposed project (See Attached Exhibit No. 4). The oppositionís main concerns are post-development impacts generated by the project such as traffic, noise, crime and reduced property value. The opposition also stated that the proposed development would have significant impacts on services such as school, police, parks and library. In addition, many of the residences are also concern [sic] with projectís compatibility with the surrounding land uses in terms of scale and density.

    STAFF EVALUATION

    To approve the project as currently proposed, the Regional Planning Commission must find that the site is appropriate for the proposed density and scale. In this case, to develop the 3.79-acre subject site with 88 units is considerably higher in density than the surrounding residential development. The proposal to develop the site for an 88-unit attached condominium complex with 28 separate buildings is not compatible with the adjacent low-density residential developments but the proposed project density of 22 units per acres is within the range of the Medium Density Residential land use category. ...


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