Brea Imperial Center is a commercial center situated at the southwest corner of West Imperial Highway and State College Boulevard (Attachment E). The subject property is zoned C-G (PD) General Commercial (Precise Development) (Attachment D). The center consists of a drive-thru restaurant, neighborhood services (i.e. – dry cleaner), a dental office, and retail businesses. Currently, some tenant spaces are vacant and un-leased.
The Brea Imperial Center was approved with the following entitlements:
- Precise Development 1-79 (1979) – To allow the development of a commercial center
- Conditional Use Permit 1-79 (1979) – To allow a drive-thru restaurant
- Precise Development 17-03 (2018) – To allow the demolition of an existing drive-thru restaurant to be replaced with an In-N-Out drive-thru restaurant. PD 17-03 also allowed the 1,263 square foot building most recently occupied by a cleaning business to be demolished. (Attachments F1-F3)
- Conditional Use Permit 18-06 (2018) – To authorize a request for a parking modification in conjunction with a shared parking agreement. ((Attachments F1-F3)
- Proposed Project (2020) - The applicant proposes to demolish the vacant 4,400 square-foot building (formerly occupied by Bank of the West) and construct a new 7,561 square foot sit-down restaurant. The new restaurant is anticipated to be Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse. Restaurants are a permitted use within the C-G (PD) zone.
The proposed project, meets the applicable standards in the Brea Municipal Code (BMC) for a commercial shopping center, including setbacks, lot coverage, and building height. All land uses proposed are allowed by right or through the original entitlements granted in 1979. The Precise Development request is required as the property is situated in the PD overlay zone.
Amendment to Precise Development
The applicant is requesting to modify the Site Plan approved under PD 17-03 (Attachment F3). The amendment would 1) Allow demolition of a total of 5,815 square feet and approve a 7,561 square foot full service restaurant, and 2) allow for exterior remodeling and façade improvements of the existing retail buildings proposed restaurant. The overall improvements would be complementary and consistent through the site. The proposed project would increase the total building area on the site as summarized in Table 1 below:
||PD 17-03 Approval
|Total Building Area (sq. ft.)
The proposed façade would provide a contemporary and modern appearance. Façade enhancements would consist of a stucco finish with new gray/neutral paint scheme. Gold and wood toned highlights would be used to break up wall planes (Attachment I1-I2). The façade enhancements would provide a uniform look among the Shops 1 building, new restaurant and Pad 1 retail building. The In-N-Out building was approved in anticipation of these façade proposals and maintains the modern architectural theme and stucco finishes. However, the In-N-OUT would integrate it’s distinctive corporate color branding which consists of white, red, and greys. Since the In-N-Out building is isolated on its own pad in the northwest corner of the site, the difference in colors would not conflict with the overall center. Staff believes the proposed changes would enhance the appearance of the center by creating a more updated architectural treatment. Staff has recommended a Conditional of Approval. “a” stating that future, significant modifications to the approved architecture shall be subject to review and approval of the Planning Commission. Minor modifications or changes would be subject to review and approval of the City Planner (Attachment A, L).
PD 17-03 required the applicant to complete landscape improvements related to the proposed project. The proposed landscape plan provides for new parking lot, common areas, and plaza landscaping (Attachment I2). In addition, the BMC requires an eight-foot landscape setback for the project site frontage’s along West Imperial Highway and State College Boulevard. Currently, no landscape setback is provided for approximately 335 linear feet along Imperial Highway. The existing condition does not provide the minimum landscape standard given physical limitations with varying grades (street is at a higher grade than commercial center), and thus has been determined to be legal non-conforming. The applicant proposes to add landscaping to this area that would enhance the overall appearance of the center. Although no new landscaping is proposed at street level along West Imperial Highway, additional landscaping is proposed that would decrease the level of landscaping non-conformity.
The proposed landscaping installation would be phased as the site develops. Staff has recommended a Condition of Approval “b. ii” (Attachment A, L) requiring the applicant to submit a Phasing Plan related to Landscape improvements. Landscape improvements for each phase must be installed prior to issuance of Certificates of Occupancy for the new restaurants (Condition b.ii).
Conditional Use Permit - Parking
The applicant is requesting an amendment to the shared parking arrangement granted under CUP 18-06 to accommodate the new restaurant use. As a part of this application, a detailed parking study was provided by the applicant and reviewed by Staff and the City’s Traffic Engineer (Attachment G1, Parking Study). The analysis evaluated the proposed uses to determine the demand for off-street parking. The proposed site plan provides a total of 263 marked parking spaces. Consistent with CUP 18-06, a credit of 15 parking spaces for the drive-thru restaurant has been applied, creating a total of 278 parking spaces. A Shared Parking Analysis (Ganddini Group, 2020) was performed using Urban Land Institute (ULI) baseline parking rates and methodology. The analysis found that the peak parking demand would require 263 parking spaces. Based on the proposed on-site parking supply of 278 spaces, the proposed project is forecast to provide sufficient off-street parking.
The BMC permits up to 30 percent of total parking spaces to be compact stalls with a CUP. The applicant is proposing 72 compact stalls, which is 25.9 percent of the total parking provided. PD 17-03 and CUP 18-06 approved 62 compact stalls, or 23 percent of the total parking stalls. Compact stalls provide a means to maximize parking in confined or constrained properties, such as Brea Imperial Center. Additionally, the use of compact stalls would accommodate an increase in landscaped area, bringing the existing center closer to compliance with landscape requirements.
While the proposed parking appears sufficient for this mix of uses, success of businesses, concentration of intense uses and changes in tenancy may occur in the future that would impact parking demand. Condition L of Resolution No. 18-08 approving CUP 18-06 required the applicant to submit a Parking Management Plan for review and approval by the City Planner. That condition has been updated and included in the draft resolution approving this amendment (Attachment A). The Parking Management Plan would demonstrate how queueing of cars would be handled to prevent queuing from impacting access points to the surrounding streets and would also outline Valet parking hours and location. Time restricted parking, if desired for certain types of retail uses, could be approved as part of the Parking Management Plan.
Conditional Use Permit - Alcoholic Beverage Service
The applicant is requesting a CUP to allow service of alcoholic beverages at the new restaurant. The City of Brea allows businesses in the General Commercial zone to sell/serve alcoholic beverages with the approval of a CUP. The applicant must also obtain an on-sale alcoholic beverage license from the ABC. The review of the new CUP is to ensure the service of alcoholic beverages is consistent and compatible with adjacent uses.
The service of alcoholic beverages in conjunction with a restaurant is consistent with the BMC and is compatible with the goals and objectives of the General Plan. The proposed restaurant’s hours of operation are anticipated to differ with other businesses in the center, with the proposed restaurant focusing on dinner and evening service which is typically outside of the traditional retail hours. The service of alcoholic beverages in conjunction with the proposed restaurant would not have negative impacts on surrounding businesses or residents. Compliance with all requirements of the ABC would adequately to ensure compatibility with surrounding uses.