Meeting Time: May 15, 2018 at 7:00pm PDT
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Agenda Item

7. REPORT 18-0317 Conditional Use Permit Amendment 17-4,Precise Development Plan 17-11, and Parking Plan Amendment 17-3 to allow a cumulative approximately 26,000 gross sq. ft. addition in conjunction with a religious institution (Hope Chapel) to include a worship and congregation hall, meeting spaces, fellowship space and youth center at an existing approximately 35,000 sq. ft. building for a total of approximately 61,000 gross sq. ft. located at 2420 Pacific Coast Highway and use of an alternative property corner point elevation for purposes of determining building height, with less than required parking based on shared parking with parking lots at 950 Artesia Boulevard and 2306, 2420 and 2510 Pacific Coast Highway; and determination that the project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

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    Stephen Vollucci about 6 years ago

    Dear Chairperson Saemann and Commission Members,
    We live immediately adjacent to Hope Chapel on Borden Avenue, and we, along with our many neighbors on Borden and Prospect Avenues, and 21st, 24th, and Rhodes Streets, vehemently oppose Hope Chapel’s expansion of their business activities, and their request for a Conditional Use Permit Amendment, Precise Development Plan 17-11, Parking Plan Amendment CUP, and a determination that the project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (collectively, the “Proposal”) for several reasons:
    1. NOISE. Hope Chapel has repeatedly violated and continues to violate its current CUP with regard to hours of operation. Cars and people enter and exit their loud, clunking Borden Ave parking garage gate and metal exit doors from the parking structure and adjacent administrative office space as early as 5:00 am, and as late as midnight. Any expansion of their use would only exacerbate these problems further and result in permanent, significant, and unavoidable impacts.
    2. TRAFFIC & PARKING. Hope Chapel’s many activities regularly take up the very limited street parking spaces available on Borden Avenue, 21st Street, and Prospect Avenue, both during the day and well into the evenings. Friday evenings and Saturdays are particularly bad for all the surrounding neighbors when their services are held. The resulting expanded operations and additional customers would make the parking situation untenable for the surrounding neighborhoods, and result in permanent, significant, and unavoidable impacts.
    3. ZONING & GENERAL PLAN. A categorical exemption requires that a “project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable general plan policies as well as with applicable zoning designation and regulation.” The existing main structure does not comply with current setback requirements, nor would the proposed project – especially along the southerly line of the main structure which is presently, and as would remain as proposed, a 35-foot high hollow block wall on zero lot line adjacent to single-family residential property. HBMC requirements state that “… a commercial building adjacent to a residential zone must provide a minimum eight-foot setback with an additional two feet for each story over the first on the rear and side yard areas…” and be landscaped per the HBMC requirements. Hope Chapel’s Proposal seeks to avoid having to meet this standard on the south side by falsely claiming that, technically, no work is occurring on the south side of the building so the existing non-conforming building setback is somehow ok. The south side 35 foot high wall is hollow, with no sound attenuation, likely unreinforced, and in a serious seismic event, would likely crush our home, all of us, and our adjacent neighbors and their homes. Again, the project as proposed would result in permanent, significant, and unavoidable impacts.
    4. ECONOMIC. Perhaps most importantly, the Hope Chapel facility sits on an almost five acre prime commercial property which is designated as a ‘Commercial Gateway’ site in PLAN Hermosa. We support and applaud the PLAN, and efforts by the City leadership to generate revenue from all available sources - notably the highest and best use development of the commercial gateways into our small City. Such development would bring considerable and badly needed sales and property tax revenue to support our fine but grossly underfunded schools, and our aging infrastructure and City facilities (e.g. library, community center, city hall, fire and police, roads, sewers, etc.). Hope Chapel brings little of either revenue stream into the city presently, and any expansion would cement that non-revenue scenario indefinitely – depriving our fine schools and city services of a significant source of regular and critically needed revenue for many, many, many decades to come, and would truly result in permanent, significant, and unavoidable negative economic impacts to the city.

    We and our approximately 200 neighbors living near the Hope Chapel site are very concerned with this Proposal, and would ask that you consider not only our needs, but the greater needs of almost 20,000 Hermosans, and the long-term business and economic goals of the City, by rejecting the Proposal; and require a more thorough CEQA evaluation of the short and long-term unavoidable, permanent, and significant impacts it would cause.
    We thank you for your valuable service to our community, and look forward to your further careful consideration of this very important matter at the May 15th Planning Commission meeting . Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Stephen and Mary Frances Vollucci

    cc: Mayor Jeff Duclos and City Council Members