(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.
Two 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.
Photo (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:
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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. ...