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Planning Commission



OCTOBER 3, 2006


The Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Highland was called to order at 6:13 p.m. by Chairman Haller at the Donahue Council Chambers, 27215 Base Line, Highland, California.

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

Absent: None

Staff Present:Roger Derda, Interim Community Development Director

Lawrence A. Mainez, City Planner

Sean Kelleher, Assistant Planner

Ernie Wong, City Engineer

Linda McKeough, Administrative Secretary

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman Haller.


There was none.


There were no items.


4.1 (CUP 006-004) Conditional Use Permit adopting: (1) A Planned Development Document for the subject Project establishing development standards. (2) A Tentative Tract Map 18013 (TTM-006-002); for a proposed seventeen (17) lot residential subdivision for the subject parcel of land. The one (1) 3.33 gross acre parcel of land generally located three hundred feet (300') east of the intersection of Pacific Street and Victoria Avenue.. APN: 1191-351-04-0-000. Representative: Henry Poquiz of HP Engineering, Inc.

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

Assistant Planner Kelleher gave the presentation from the Staff Report, which included, but not limited to: the location and description of the proposed Project; lot sizes; Zoning Designations and setbacks; Conditions of Approval (COA) for connection of Alice and Mansfield Streets; how at the Design Review Board Meeting it was determined Goodman Court is a public street and the City will be unable to obtain any further Right-of-Way; both the Applicant and the Applicant's Representative are in the audience; concluded his presentation and indicated Staff is recommending approval of the proposed Project.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any questions of Staff. Hearing none, he then opened the Public Hearing and asked if the Applicant would like to make a presentation.

Mr. Henry Poquiz, of HP Engineering, 1465 Crestview Street, Redlands, California, who is the Applicant's Principal Engineer Representative, addressed the Commission. He stated he is in agreement with the Staff Report and is happy to answer any questions the Commission may have.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Poquiz and Staff regarding the Applicant's progress with the adjacent property owners for street continuation; there has been excessive costs incurred by the Applicant for the property which can be followed up later and is a COA by the Engineering Department and how the Applicant has provided a good faith effort. The COAs Staff has proposed is sufficient to the Right-of-Way for street connection and if not, Staff stated how COAs have been placed on the Project, then the feasibility of the City Council purchasing the property for them, or remove the COA for street connection; in acquiring the property, would be half of the Applicant's and the Applicant would make a deposit and the City Attorney will try to negotiate and proceed through the street vacation process.

Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the street layout extension of Alice / Mansfield at mid-block creates a problem to develop a project to the north; create lots so deep that it will make an opposite effect on Mansfield and the feasibility to "dog leg" in order to mandate to Mansfield; take Alice to Pacific would create an identical length and width of lots. Staff stated how the existing Alice / Mansfield street pattern is a short extension; the Applicant has come in with a couple of designs and indicated the one that is currently proposed is the best one. Staff added how Staff has spoken with the Applicant about future development to Mansfield and ends in a cul-de-sac; traffic is difficult on Pacific and Victoria and Staff wants to avoid adding street connections, as well as on Lot Nos. 12 and 13; design driveways similar to either a half-moon or hammerhead design.

A suggestion was made by a Commissioner that no individual driveways are to be located on Victoria and Pacific because it is a major thoroughfare - run traffic through Mansfield or Alice and the Fire Department wants two (2) access points and does not want to see anyone boxed in. Staff responded how the Project is single family detached homes and are rectangular lots; and future development in the area will have to go through the same process as this proposed Project and Staff does not know how the final design will be. The design might be on Pacific, and the Developer is using what he has and is also sensitive to the connection. Staff added the Project might be condominiums, townhomes, the Findings of Consistencies, residential housing, and is not a High Density, but will be a Low Density Designation.

Comments were made by the Commissioners how the situation has not been made any better; the adjacent property owners wanted to preserve their property for horses and how the proposed Project would remove approximately twenty-five percent (25%) of their corral area; the need to provide access to the vacant area is critical, and the Commission wants assurance (regarding said access) both in the interim and long term. Staff responded cul-de-sac Mansfield will not interfere with future connections and the options would be Lots 9, 1, 11 and 14 would be cul-de-sac and the neighbor's circulation options are to Alice so they could go shopping across on Pacific or Base Line and punching the street through makes some sense, but needs to work on the design more.

Further comments were made by a Commissioner stating Staff's option would help alleviate some of the problem issues by taking out of the Project Lots 12 and 13's driveways on the feeder street and reproduce pattern of the neighborhood; by taking out Lot 12 and 13 would take more of the vacant lot area. The Commission and Staff spoke on the feasibility of terminating Mansfield and the COA when the Developer develops Lots 11 through 14, they could be plotted with that pattern and Lot 12 and 13's driveways be located on feeder street(s).

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the Map's options / alternatives to the Commission and go through Alice / Mansfield / San Francisco and is flexible with sufficient use of property; with Lots 12 and 13 front Pacific and the feasibility of cul-de-sac more lots and ensuring the property owners do not back out into the street.

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

Mr. Bill Jacobs, 26555 Pacific Street, Highland, California, who is a resident, addressed the Commission. He stated he is the property owner in question who has the horses; still no offer from the Applicant; is willing to move but wants a home similar to his existing home if leaving the area; he is 61 years old and would be difficult for him to find another job out of the area; reiterated have the Applicant make him an offer, but the Applicant would not give him a cost figure; Mr. Jacobs is not opposed to selling, but does not want to give up the area for his daughter being able to ride the horses; he is willing to listen to the options and reiterated he is not opposed to leaving, just wants comparable size in home / area.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Jacobs and Staff regarding the COAs being explained to Mr. Jacobs and that Mr. Jacobs understands the connection between Mansfield / Alice streets. Staff clarified how the Applicant does not need to build a full width street - build only to a street width of twenty-eight feet (28').

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

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding how comments were made by the Commissioners would like to see "through streets" for the proposed Project and the concept for "through streets" is a good one; the Commission wants to ensure of the through street concept being a good one; future development needs to be considered; the alternative providing the minimalization of the vacant lot and Lots 12 and 13 fronting Pacific is less desirable; the Applicant needs to try and minimize with the northerly neighborhood and want to preserve the quality of life in the northerly neighborhood. Staff took a radius of one thousand feet (1,000'), the lot size and Goodman Court have the same dept lots, but wider and a question was asked by a Commissioner regarding the lot sizes immediately adjacent to the proposed Tract are smaller than the ones being proposed by the Applicant. Staff responded measurements were taken both at five hundred feet (500'), as well as one thousand feet (1,000') the lots are larger in the immediate

area and how Staff was looking at lot widths area being fifty-five feet to sixty feet (55' - 60'). Staff added Page 39 listed in the Staff Report is a duplicate and for the Commission to delete it and on Page 37, Planning COA No. 14 should be Planning COA No. 24.

Further discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding the Commission looking at larger lots; how the property owner Mr. Jacobs and the Applicant are unable to settle on a price; the future development would have to go through the same process similar to the proposed Project; a mechanism in place for dedication of street easements; there are difficult issues with infill projects and costs associated with small tracts; lot sizes are a benefit to the City for affordable housikng; lot corner widths treating as side yards and is tight and compounding it because Lots 3, 9, 13, 14, and 15 of the street configuration have two-sided yards with one-story homes; there is five feet (5') or less which makes the homes closer to the street and is significant.

Mr. Richard Ortiz, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, who is the Applicant, addressed the Commission. He stated Lots 3 and 15 were with garages to side on Alice Street and is not accessible on Goodman Court; the adjacent lots are affordable housing; Lots 12 and 13 have access to the rear garage and can design as a hammerhead driveway to Pacific, and would be independent hammerhead driveways (note: the driveway design was discussed with City Planner Mainez).

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Ortiz and Staff regarding the feasibility of a common driveway, can placed between the two (2) Lots facing Pacific Street. The Applicant is willing to work with Staff; there are issues with the side yard fence also; if there are other issues / comments from the Commission and if the Applicant is meeting minimum Development Standards. Staff responded how minimum Development Standards for Planned Development are established by the Planning Commission and the Commission needs to make Findings. The single family residential Project is up to the Commission with the Finding of Consistency and the feasibility of master planning on the corner.

(Note: Commissioner Gamboa left the Chamber at 7:00 p.m.)

A question was asked by a Commissioner if the Fire Marshall was okay with the proposed street. Staff responded affirmatively and possibly extend out to Victoria and Pacific, but many other factors are involved, but Staff is comfortable with the Low Density.

Discussion ensued between the Commission and Staff regarding clarification of the Engineering COAs. Comments were made by Commissioners regarding the streets layout / design, but not optimal; but the COA to the Applicant and to the property owners to the north in that the context and appropriateness lots are undersized, affordable housing, reiterated lot sizes are too small for children playing.

Note: Commissioner Gamboa returned at 7:02 p.m.)

Further comments from the Commission included: street connection between Mansfield / Alice to lots provide reasonable livable community; is an infill project and is acceptable; one comment from a Commissioner said he was okay with the lot size; the existing surrounding houses are small and is a compromise what is from what a normal standard and had concerns with traffic, lot sizes and reiterated infill projects are difficult to design.

Other comments from the Commission included how the setback will be reviewed at the DRB level and does not have a problem with that, but had concerns with Lots 11, 12, 13 and 14 and have the Developer not construct until when the street connection with Alice is decided and does not use a "jog" in the Project; the feasibility of doing (the DRB design) before the Map is recorded; the feasibility of the street just connecting to Mansfield, and appears not want to sell to the property owner / Applicant. Staff reiterated Alice is minimal street width. One Commissioner indicated he had a problem with that and how the public wants larger homes; the homes are on the corner do not line up correctly and reiterated does not want a jog in Alice.

Discussion ensued regarding the feasibility of Pacific be widened in the future and the ultimate Right-of-Way is forty-four feet (44') and is shown as drawn on the proposed Map; the slope between Lots 11 and 14 is one foot (1'); Staff went up to the Dias and stated instead of jogging, how about this on the Map. A comment was made by a Commissioner if close the street off and add one lot and make it a public greenbelt area, trail, Landscape Maintenance District creations, the feasibility of constructing a bio swale;

(Note: Commissioner Scott left the Chamber at 7:12 p.m.)

Comments continued when the property owner (Mr. Jacobs) develops his property, it would provide a straight shot with paving, street frontage, creating narrow lots and would have the same issues similar to the proposed Project and setbacks.

Chairman Haller indicated the Commission has three (3) choices: 1) approve the Application as is; 2) deny the Application as is, or; 3) have Staff provide more investigation.

(Note: Commissioner Scott returned at 7:14 p.m.)

A suggestion was made by a Commissioner regarding the feasibility of deferring construction of Lots 10, 11, 13 and 14 until such time when street improvements are in and located on Alice Street in order to avoid the street jog for the proposed Project. Another comment was made by a Commissioner and responded for the Applicant to clean up the Tract and not make the Project a "piece meal".

Chairman Haller asked if the Applicant would like to respond and stating the proposed layout is not the best layout / not achievable; going through (the process) Lots 1 through 9 and defer Lots 10 through 14 until such time Alice is extended and ties into the property on Victoria and Pacific or try further investigations with layouts, lot sizes, etc.

Mr. Poquiz responded six (6) lots would be lost and eliminate the Mansfield connection; there would be no access with Lot 9; the north would be a remainder parcel. Staff suggested one lot could be sold off and place one home on it . Mr. Poquiz responded if the Applicant loses four (4) lots, there will be no Project, either economically and would not be able to recoup the costs.

Discussion ensued between the Commission, Mr. Poquiz and Staff attempting to address the issues raised and recapped the issues to extend Alice Street to the north and how Lots 11 through 14 front Alice. Mr. Poquiz stated there has been a lot of money spent and is a lot of money involved for constructing a Tract and infrastructure.

Chairman Haller asked if the Commission had any further questions of the Applicant.

There was none.

Further discussion ensued regarding if the Commission was comfortable with the Density and with the detached units; the feasibility of starting a different configuration recoup the cost with smaller units; punching out the street connection; and the Commission indicating the lots are too small. Staff explained the plotting of the Lyon Homes project, and the Commission will be considering the Gardner Tract in two (2) weeks; there is a design issue with the proposed lot size and have the Applicant replot the garage, etc. and place in a Planned Development document. A suggestion was made by a Commissioner to either deny or continue this item. Other comments were made by Commissioners stating the number of lots and size are not a problem; another indicated how the lots are too small; another said he was a neighbor to the Tact, he would be happy with this Project.

Mr. Poquiz addressed the Commission about the feasibility of eliminating Lots 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14, if this happens, he would be at the mercy of the western property owner and is undesirable. If the western property does not develop, the Applicant is unable to develop. Staff responded and recapped the options: 1) to deny the Application with the Findings and then can be appealed to City Council; 2) the spirit of the Commission to continue for a couple of meetings; 3) a suggestion tonight to COAs and not enough negotiations with the COAs. Staff added and suggested to the Commission to continue to the next Meeting in order for a better design.

Chairman Haller asked the Applicant and explained the options to him; Staff is willing to work with the Applicant and allow Staff time to work out the issues.

Mr. Poquiz responded how much time and energy has been spent on this Project and requested the Commission to vote tonight.

Chairman Haller responded where the Commission may not have to vote in that the Applicant may be unwilling to work with Staff, and Vice Chairman Hamerly stated how the Applicant can appeal to the City Council and possibly resubmit his Application.

The Commission then asked Staff about recommending denial and revising the Resolution and give direct Findings regarding street layout, lack of street connection, lot size, etc. Staff stated the Applicant could also appeal after the revised Resolution and would still be out by approximately one (1) month if the Commission denies the Project tonight; it would be a two-part Motion and reiterated Staff is willing to work with the Applicant and either the Applicant revise the Map or the Commission deny the Application.

Chairman Haller recapped if the Commission wants to deny the Project, unless the Applicant revises the proposed Tract Map to significantly address the issues.

There being no further discussion amongst the Commissioners, or questions of the Property Owner or Staff, Chairman Haller then called for the question.

A motion was made by Vice Chairman Hamerly and seconded by Commissioner Gamboa to deny CUP 006-004 and direct Staff to prepare a Resolution denying the Project based on street circulation, connectivity, lot size and context of the surrounding neighborhood.

Motion carried on a 4 - 1 vote with Chairman Haller dissenting.

Chairman Haller explained the Commission's action and how the Project will be brought back with another Resolution in two (2) weeks.


There were no items.


Staff explained the items scheduled for the October 17, Regular Meeting including the proposed revocation of Dr. Pam Miller's senior housing project to be located on Base Line / Lillian Lane and that there is a "For Sale" sign currently on the property.


There being no further business Chairman Haller declared the meeting adjourned at 7:34 p.m.

Submitted by: Approved by:

Linda McKeough, Rich Haller, Chairman

Administrative Secretary Planning Commission


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