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Planning Commission



MAY 2, 2006


The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:38 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.

Present: Commissioners John Gamboa and R. Paul Scott, Vice Chairman Randall Hamerly and Chairman Richard Haller

Absent: Commissioner Gina Birnbaum

Staff Present:Ernie Wong, City Engineer

Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner

Bruce Meikle, Associate Planner

Sean Kelleher, Assistant Planner

Linda McKeough, Community Development Administrative Secretary

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vice Chairman Hamerly.


There was none.


3.1 Minutes of March 21, 2006, Regular Meeting.

Approved, as submitted.

3.2 Minutes of April 4, 2006, Regular Meeting.

A Motion was made by Commissioner Scott and seconded by Vice Chairman Hamerly to approve the Minutes of March 21, and April 4, 2006, as submitted. Motion carried on a 4 - 0 vote with Commissioner Birnbaum absent.


4.1 An Application by Cingular Wireless for the construction of an eighty foot (80') high, Unmanned Collocatable Wireless Telecommunication Facility (Monopine), and associated equipment (CUP 05-004). The proposed Project is located in the Highland Village Plaza, on the northeast corner of Base Line and Boulder Avenue (Assessor Parcel Number: 1200-491-09). Representative: Michael Blackwell, Strategic Real Estate.

Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.

Assistant Planner Kelleher gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained the location, Collocatable design / layout, the Monopine design and proposed height, Propagation Studies to the Commission. He further explained the City received one (1) comment from the public regarding carrier signals and was enclosed in the Commission's Agenda Packet. Assistant Planner Kelleher stated the Applicant's Representative is in the audience and concluded his presentation and Staff recommending approval of the proposed Project.

Vice Chairman Hamerly asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding how a Commissioner had contacted Staff explaining the Commissioner's concerns and having the Applicant address them at the meeting. The concerns were why the Applicant is requesting a new Wireless Telecommunication Facility while there is still a slot available on the existing facility, and a concern with having too many facilities constructed on one site; the marketability; or companies merging, how each company may want its own facility, etc.

Chairman Haller asked if there were any other questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then asked if the Applicant would like to make a presentation.

Mr. Michael Blackwell, 550 North Park Center, Suite 100, Santa Ana, California, who is the Strategic Real Estate Services Representative of Cingular Wireless, addressed the Commission. He thanked Assistant Planner Kelleher for the presentation and then elaborated on the proposed Project's Conditions of Approval (COA). He explained how Planning COA No. 7 regarding landscaping was previously done with DRB 05-027 with installing three (3) new pine trees and indicated there is already an abundance of trees located on-site. Mr. Blackwell offered / stated Cingular will replace the existing dead tree, and install additional landscaping, if the Commission desires. He further stated the low ground cover is not visible to the public and that is where Albertsons loads / unloads their trucks for their store.

Mr. Blackwell had concerns with Planning COA No. 9 regarding deed restrictions and stated he wants to forward to the Applicant's legal counsel for review. He suggested as an alternative to go forward and reflect that landscaping will be maintained in a living, healthy condition. With regards to Planning COA No. 16, had a typographical error and he stated he had no other major concerns and reiterated Assistant Planner Kelleher did a great job on the proposed Application.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Mr. Blackwell.

Discussion ensued regarding the Commission, Mr. Blackwell and Staff regarding the need for the Applicant to have a separate Facility, instead of utilizing the existing Collocatable facility, the marketability of the one additional spot on the existing Collocatable facility. The proposed Facility is proposed to be eighty feet (80') in height and the top of the antennae is seventy-three feet (73') and the Applicant's need to meet objective coverage and Mr. Blackwell added that he looks for collocation availability. He stated the Propagation Studies shown at fifty-five feet (55') located on the existing tower does provide coverage, but at peak hours the coverage is not reached and the need for the Applicant to provide optimal coverage. He said how T-Mobil now owns the majority of Cingular older sites and how Cingular is now rebuilding their network. With regards to other carriers, Mr. Blackwell indicated there are two (2) carriers with FCC licenses and how new names / carriers will be coming in this summer and there will be additional new carriers within the region and referenced this statement is Verizon's statement.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Blackwell and Staff regarding the T-Mobil and Verizon carriers are two (2) different entities, but are utilizing the same technology. The Commissioners stated how they were "unhappy" /displeased with the existing Monopine design in that it has a pipe cleaner look with a four foot (4') dish sticking out of it. Mr. Blackwell responded how the proposed Dish will be attached to the trunk portion and will be painted green. The existing Monopine tree is conditioned to be a tapering, conical shape and if the Facility was not built to the Commission's satisfaction, that can be a (manufacturing) price / broader issue. He further stated how he wants to stay close to what was approved, and how Staff can condition the Applicant to exactly what is proposed and then go through the design review process. Mr. Blackwell added he is willing to work with Staff to provide two or three separate manufacturer products and go through the DRB process with those two or three products and stated the Monopine is a communication facility first, then a design. He further stated how he has been in this business for over ten (10) years and how the designs have improved in that time. Mr. Blackwell said with the existing trees onsite he may have to come with some alternatives and can do that with choices.

Further discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Blackwell and Staff regarding the Commission's intent for the Facility to look like a tree and how the Site was built and not to the Commission's satisfaction. Mr. Blackwell responded he is a Land Use Planner and not an Engineer and does not know about structural calculations. Had to do something with the structure of the Monopine and to be Collocatable. If the Facility has to be designed "from scratch" for Collocatable features, allow for the engineering to take place, as well as the design for the Facility's footings for those features, then the Facility will support the proposed antennae. Mr. Blackwell stated with regards if the Commission is opposed to the Site - there appears to be a silent majority supportive of the proposed Project since there was only one comment received opposing the Facility and there were over fifty (50) Hearing Notices sent out.

There being no further discussion or questions of the Applicant or Staff, Chairman Haller then opened the Public Hearing and asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak on the item. Hearing none, Chairman Haller closed the Public Hearing and opened the floor for discussion amongst the Commissioners.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Blackwell and Staff regarding the feasibility of what ramifications does the City have if the Facility is not built to design. If the COAs are not met, Code Enforcement can be initiated and revocation of CUP and removal proceedings will start, treating the Facility as any other property, there is a due process appealable up to City Council. Staff continued stating there are three (3) options available for further review during the DRB process: 1) create a color brochure; 2) have the Applicant submit sites it completed recently and locally, and; 3) then include place those sites in the Public Meeting Notices for review. Staff indicated there are three (3) top stealth companies and one that is the "Rolls Royce" of the stealth facility towers.

Further discussion ensued regarding the proposed Landscape Plan A-1 showing four (4) proposed (new) pine trees and Staff explained they are the existing pine trees onsite from Verizon project on the easterly and northerly boundary and there are three (3) pine trees for the Applicant to install.

The Planning Commission requested a Condition be placed on the Tower requiring it to structurally support at the three (3) proposed antenna's Facilities. Assistant Planner Kelleher responded there is no requirement if any of the Conditions to reflect that Condition, but suggested the modification of Planning COA No. 12. City Planner Mainez responded to expand Building and Safety COA No. 1 and gave the following verbiage, "Provide Engineering Plans and calculations for the installation of the eighty foot (80') Monopine design shall accommodate three (3) antenna arrays."

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding how the height of the Facility is measured, concerns raised with the previous historical background of previous cell towers and the Commission's recommendation with Collocatable facilities, how the facility profile changes and the facility serving the public with better service to the area. A comment was made by a Commission Member who is supportive and to add COA to deal with aesthetics "Final installation shall faithfully represent the suggested improvements." Another comment was made regarding how the Photo montage is great and makes the Project more realistic and wants assurances what was proposed, is what is built. Staff responded how Planning COA No. 21 can be modified and approve the Exhibits, at tonight's Meeting. Vice Chairman Hamerly then stated to have the DRB review the Landscape Plan.

Further discussion ensued regarding Planning COA No. 9 regarding the deed restriction portion of the COA. Staff advised keeping in the COA and forwarding to legal counsel for review, if contested by the Applicant and need to check with previous approvals. Mr. Blackwell asked about if the same COA applies to other carriers and Staff responded in the affirmative and the DRB process is done under after the CUP Application process and separate Conditions are issued.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Blackwell and Staff regarding the testing of the Facility, the Certificate of Occupancy, how Code Enforcement Division does not attend the Commission Meetings and would want something in the COAs for enforcing the compliance of the proposed Project. The appeal process and time frame were also discussed.

Chairman Haller asked if anyone else would like to speak on the item.

There being no further comments or testimony, Chairman Haller called for the question.

A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Scott to approve Resolution Number 006-010 adopting Conditional Use Permit (CUP 05-004), and associated Findings of Fact to permit the construction of a Collocatable, Unmanned Wireless Telecommunication Facility and associated equipment shelters, subject to the Conditions of Approval, and as amended with the following Conditions of Approval:

Planning COAs

No. 16 All accessary equipment associated with the operation of the Wireless Telecommunication Facility shall be located within the 875 square foot Project area behind the Albertsons Grocery Store and required security fence.

No. 21 The Applicant shall incorporate the use of "stealth technology" similar to DRB 053-027, to transform the Tower and Antenna into a "Monopine". The Monopine stealth design shall be reviewed and approved through a Design Review process prior to the submittal of any application for grading and building permits. The constructed Monopine shall be representative of the Proposed Exhibit attached herein by reference.

Building and Safety COAs

No. 1 Provide Engineering Plans and calculations for the installation of the eighty foot (80') Monopine design shall accommodate three (3) antenna arrays.

Motion carried on a 3 - 1 vote with Commissioner Gamboa dissenting and Commissioner Birnbaum absent.

Staff explained the Commission's action on the proposed Project can be appealable within ten (10) calendar days.


5.1 Request for Development Code Interpretation of a proposed Tattoo Shop use within the Mixed Use District located in the Town Center Policy Area (DCI 006-003). The property is located at 27195 Base Line (new retail center across from City Hall) Representative: Mr. Gavin Hernandez

Chairman Haller introduced the item and called for Staff's presentation.

City Planner Mainez gave the presentation from the Staff Report. He explained if the use is similar to other uses in the Mixed Use District and what approval process would be used. He concluded his presentation by stating the Applicant is not present in the audience and then opened the floor for discussion.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had questions of Staff.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding how Staff would have a Resolution prepared for the Commission's consideration by it next Regular Meeting, if there were any duplication of Mixed Use District(s) within the City and how there is no difference in types of uses, no graphic art (tattoo parlor), Right-of- Zone issues. Staff explained by Right-of-Zone some cities list tattoo parlors as body art and currently, there are no tattoo parlors in Highland and reiterated the Applicant is not here tonight.

Comments were made by the Commissioners stating how a tattoo parlor is not a permitted use in the Mixed Use District, unless under a commercial use as art and if only the Applicant was present to answer questions the Commissioners may have. Staff responded the Applicant indicated the use should be similar to barber shops / beauty salons. Other questions raised by the Commission were regarding State licensing and / or County licensing of some type or Department of Public Health. Staff responded the Applicant does something from the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and how the County oversees / inspects facilities.

Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding how medical / dental establishments need certification and the Commission requested Staff to find out if Certificates are issued for tattoo shops / practicioners similar to a restaurant "A", "B", "C" listing / rating cards. A comment was made by a Commissioner there is no listing card when a person walks into a dentist office and no one in the office was able to say if the establishment is certified - just word of mouth from the patients.

Further comments made by Commissioners regarding the question of State certification, from a State perspective, but the County does conduct health inspections. A person can argue with the comment of being art, but in this case, no. By Right-of-Zone issues were questioned and if the use is similar to an adult book store and if the tattoo parlor use fits, and it does not. Staff responded how Staff will prepare a Resolution for the Commission's consideration and what should go in the Town Center Mixed Use District

Discussion ensued regarding Town Center / Mixed Use District location and other Mixed Use District locations, Planned Districts and Listings, and spot zoning issues. A question was asked if a tattoo shop would be permitted in a different Zoning District. Staff stated the subject use is not a listed use in other Districts, and advised the Commission the Applicant is only requesting an interpretation for the Town Center / Mixed Use District only.

Discussion ensued regarding the possiblity of setting aside a District(s) where tattoo parlor could be permitted in limited Districts with distance criteria from religious institutions, public / private schools, etc.

There being no further comments or questions of Staff, Chairman Haller called for the question.

A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa upholding Staff's determination that a Tattoo Shop use is not a permitted use in the Mixed Use District and to prepare a Resolution for the Commission's consideration.

Motion carried on a 4 - 0 vote.


Staff explained the items scheduled for the May 16, 2006, DRB / PC Study Session and Regular Commission Meeting.

Commissioner Gamboa stated he would be on vacation May 15 through 19, 2006.

Staff reminded the Commission of the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Environmental Learning Center will be held tomorrow (May 3, 2006) at 2:00 p.m.


There being no further business, Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

Submitted by: Approved by:

Linda McKeough, Rich Haller, Chairman

Administrative Secretary Planning Commission


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