Planning Commission


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  2.       
Meeting Date: 01/11/2021  
Submitted By: Chris Schaefer, Senior Planner

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA):
This project was reviewed pursuant to the guidelines of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and determined to be Categorically Exempt pursuant to Section 15301(a), Class 1: “Existing Facilities” of the CEQA Guidelines.
RECOMMENDATION:
A RESOLUTION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LA HABRA APPROVING CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT 20-17 TO ESTABLISH AN ALLIED HEALTH SCHOOL THAT WILL PROVIDE A NURSING ASSISTANT TRAINING PROGRAM, A LICENSED VOCATIONAL NURSING PROGRAM AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS FOR CPR, BLS, ACLS, AND NCLEX PREPARATION COURSES AT 618 EAST WHITTIER BOULEVARD. AS PER THE APPROVED PLAN, MAKING THE APPROPRIATE FINDINGS AND SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS.
DISCUSSION:

The applicant, BPTOVASH, LLC, is requesting approval to operate a commercial school within a vacant commercial suite.  The property is located on the south side of Whittier Boulevard, east of Chestnut Street (see Vicinity Map, attachment 1).  The General Plan land use designation for the site is Mixed Use Center 1.  The property is zoned C-1 (Limited Commercial) which is consistent with the General Plan.

The 17,402 square foot subject parcel is developed with a 6,951 square foot commercial building with multiple suites. The various suites are currently occupied by a dentist, barber shop, hair salon, and nail salon. There are currently 20 standard sized parking stalls and five substandard sized parking stalls.  The applicant will modify the parking lot to provide 23 standard parking stalls and a 20-foot driveway throat.  A shared ingress/egress agreement is in place with the property to the east whereby both properties use the driveway along Whittier Boulevard.

The proposed commercial school will occupy the 960-square foot vacant suite located at the east end of the building, which is addressed as 618 East Whittier Boulevard.  The school's floor plan includes a reception area at the front of the unit, an instruction area within the center portion of the space, a storage area, and a unisex bathroom (see Project Plans, attachment 3).

The school specializes in medical instruction in a small-class setting that includes Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and preparation for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).  The hours of operation are between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., daily, and will be run by two employees.  Class size will be limited to 9 students per class session and students will be 18 years of age or older.

ANALYSIS

The proposed project is before the Planning Commission pursuant to La Habra Municipal Code (LHMC) Section 18.06.040.A which requires the approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for all commercial schools.  In order to grant the Conditional Use Permit for this request, the following findings must be made:
 
1. The granting of the Conditional Use Permit will not be detrimental to the public welfare and will not unreasonably interfere with the use, possession and enjoyment of surrounding and adjacent properties and will not impair the character of the zone in which it is to be located

The commercial school activities will take place within an enclosed suite operating with a limited number of individuals.  In addition, the main entrance to the suite is located in an area facing Whittier Boulevard that will not interfere or cause disturbances to any residential area.  The facility will be required to comply with all Municipal Codes and Ordinances.

The proposed hours of operation for the school are also consistent with the hours of operation of the other businesses found within the center. Therefore, the proposed commercial school will not unreasonably interfere with the use, possession and or enjoyment of surrounding and adjacent properties and will not impair the character of the zone in which it is to be located.

2. The subject site is physically suitable for the type of land use being proposed.

The proposed commercial school complies with all applicable standards of the La Habra Municipal Code. The parking requirements for a commercial school with nine individuals is 3.15 spaces. The remaining uses on site require 19.74 spaces, for a total parking requirement of 23 spaces.  The project includes parking lot improvements which will result in the provision of 23 parking spaces.  Therefore, the site is physically suitable for the proposed land use.

3. The use is conditionally permitted within the subject zone and complies with the intent of all applicable provisions.

Table 18.06.040.A of the La Habra Municipal Code allows for the establishment of a commercial school within the C-1 Limited Commercial zone with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit by the Planning Commission.

4. The granting of the Conditional Use Permit is consistent with the General Plan.

The project implements policies LU 11.1 (Diversity of Uses) and S 2.2 (Continuing Vocational and Adult Education) of the General Plan 2035.

Pursuant to Section 18.08.070.B, any property that is subject to discretionary review by the Planning Commission is required to be brought into compliance with all current development standards to the extent physically possible as determined by the Planning Commission.  The Applicant will be required to re-stripe and refurbish the parking lot as well as add some landscaping materials.



CODE COMPLIANCE
 

Code Standard Required Proposed
Building Height 35 feet (max.) 22 feet
Front Setback 15 feet (min.) 75 feet
Side Setback (east) 0 feet 0 feet
Side Setback (west) 10 feet (min.) 10 feet
Rear Setback 20 feet (min.) 0 feet*
Floor Area Ratio 30% (max.) 39%**
Parking 23 spaces (min.) 23 spaces
Landscaping (4%)*** 602 SF (min.) 908 SF
Landscaping (Front Setback) 15 feet (min.) 6 feet****
Landscaping (Side Setback (West)) 10 feet (min.) 10 feet

* Approved via Zone Variance 83-75.
** Pursuant to Section 18.08.070.B of the LHMC, sites non-conforming to current development standards may be maintained when no enlargement of floor area occurs.
*** Approved via Zone Variance 84-13.
**** Approved via Zone Variance 83-74.

 

FISCAL IMPACT/SOURCE OF FUNDING:
There is no impact to the City's General Fund as a result of this project.
NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES):
The proposal has been reviewed pursuant to the requirements of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Permit, the Local Implementation Plan (LIP), and the Model Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP), Section 7.2. Since the project disturbs less than 1,000 square feet of soil, it is exempted by the Water Quality Ordinance from preparation of a Non-Priority Plan. All work undertaken on site will be required to incorporate Best Management Practices (BMPs) as required by code.
GENERAL PLAN RELEVANCE:
The proposed school will provide continuing education opportunities for adults in La Habra and the local area.   The project will also result in improvements made to the subject site that will bring the property into closer compliance to development standards.  The project implements policies LU 11.1 (Diversity of Uses) and S 2.2 (Continuing Vocational and Adult Education) of the General Plan 2035.

RELATED CASES
  • On October 24, 1983, the Planning Commission approved Zone Variance 83-74 to reduce the required front landscaping setback from 10 feet to between 8 feet and 5 feet along Whittier Boulevard and Zone Variance 83-75 to waive the required 20-foot rear yard setback for the commercial building.
  • On March 26, 1984, the Planning Commission approved Zone Variance 84-13 to reduce the on-site landscaping from 7% to 4%.
  • On November 25, 1991, the Planning Commission denied Zone Variance 91-13 to exceed the maximum sign height of five feet to eight feet and Zone Variance 91-14 to exceed the maximum sign area from 182 square feet to 244 square feet for a free-standing sign at 600 East Whittier Boulevard. 
  • On December 23, 1991, the City Council overruled the Planning Commission and approved both actions.
REQUIRED FINDINGS

Findings of Fact are required to be made before a Conditional Use Permit can be granted.  Findings in support of Conditional Use Permit 20-17 can be made and are provided in the attached resolution along with all the conditions that staff has identified as being necessary to ensure that the proposed project will have no negative effects on the public welfare and to ensure that there is compliance with all appropriate City codes and ordinances (see Resolution, attachment 2).
Attachments
1. Vicinity Map
2. Resolution
3. Project Plans
4. Application
5. Presentation


    

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