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  Agenda Item   19.    
City Council Meeting
Meeting Date: 11/02/2021  
FROM: Bill Gallardo

Subject:
ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT NO. 2021-01 (ZOTA NO. 2021-01) TO AMEND TITLE 20, CHAPTER 20.08 OF THE BREA CITY CODE REGULATING EXCEPTIONS AND MODIFICATIONS TO THE MINIMUM OFF-STREET PARKING REQUIREMENT FOR MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE CITY OF BREA.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
The City has initiated an amendment to Title 20 of the Brea City Code (BCC) to allow exceptions and modifications to the minimum off-street parking requirements for multi-family development. This Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment (ZOTA) aims to implement components of the 6th Cycle Housing Element as well as satisfy the purpose of the Senate Bill 2 Planning Grants Program (SB 2 PGP). The SB 2 PGP is geared to help cities and counties prepare, adopt, and implement plans and process improvements that accelerate housing production amidst the State’s housing crisis. This ZOTA was funded by the SB 2 PGP, with the purpose of updating parking standards to meet the contemporary needs of multi-family development and remove the public hearing review requirements for multi-family residential projects seeking an off-street parking modification.

On September 28, 2021 the Planning Commission, with a 5-0 vote, recommended the City Council adopt the Ordinance approving ZOTA No. 2021-01. The Planning Commission, as part of their recommendation, suggested establishing a 150-foot noticing radius following the Community Development Director’s (Director) decision. The purpose of this notice is to give nearby property owners sufficient time to file an appeal of the Director’s decision to the Planning Commission.
The ZOTA herein may be referred to as the “project.”
 
RECOMMENDATION
Staff recommends that the City Council take the following actions:
  1. Find the project exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3) and;
  2. Second Reading to Adopt Ordinance No. 1222 of the City Council of the City of Brea approving Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment No. 2021-01, to amend Title 20, Chapter 20.08 of the BCC regulating exceptions and modifications to he minimum off-street parking requirements for multi-family residential development within the city of Brea (Attachment A). Waive Second Reading of the Title.
BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION
BACKGROUND
On October 1, 2019 the City Council authorized the submittal of application and receipt of Senate Bill 2 (SB 2) Planning Grants Program (PGP) funds and execution of the agreements with consultants to carry out the programs approved in the grant (Attachment B).
On December 30, 2019 the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) awarded the City $160,000 to fulfill the four projects outlined in the application to update planning and zoning processes. This ZOTA was granted $45,000 from the SB 2 funds to update parking standards, also known as Project IV (previously named Project I) in the application.
On December 9, 2020, the City entered into a Professional Services Agreement with Linscott, Law & Greenspan, Engineers (LLG) to provide technical assistance on the project.
On September 28, 2021 City staff presented ZOTA No. 2021 to the Planning Commission (Attachment C).
The deadline for all projects outlined in the SB 2 PGP application must be completed by February 2022. Incomplete projects would require the City to forfeit the grant and reimburse HCD the full amount of money granted by the SB 2 PGP.

DISCUSSION
The ZOTA is supported by a parking analysis that was prepared by LLG to provide flexibility in allowing the application of alternative methods in estimating the modern needs of multi-family development. The flexibility recommended in the parking analysis would change the review and approval process seeking modifications to the minimum off-street parking in the following: 
 
TABLE 1 – CURRENT AND PROPOSED PROCESS
Current Process Proposed Process*
Multi-family developments requesting reductions or modifications to the required off-street parking minimum are subject to a CUP reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission. The CUP requires the support of a Parking Demand Study. Multi-family developments requesting reductions or modification to the required off-street parking minimum would be subject to the Director’s review and approval with the support of a Parking Demand Study prepared by a licensed professional.
*Non-residential projects requesting modifications to the off-street parking requirements would fall under the “Current Process” and would still be subject to a CUP.

The removal of the CUP requirement is intended to avoid any prolonged entitlement approval. This would apply only when the project would be otherwise “permitted-by-right” except for the CUP request for parking modifications that would elevate the project to the Planning Commission. Projects with any other additional entitlement’s requests would still be subject to the Planning Commission review.

Scenarios 1-4 below provide examples of typical projects that could be submitted to the Community Development Department for processing. These scenarios provide examples of when a project would be subject to the review of the Director, and when projects would be subject to Planning Commission review, if this ZOTA were to be approved. It is important to note that given the scale, scope and level of associated CEQA review, the Director may defer their decision authority to the Planning Commission.
  • Scenario 1 – A proposal for a three-story 32-unit apartment building with 15 one-bedrooms, 8 two-bedroom, 9 three-bedrooms units, and 55 covered parking spaces. The two-acre project site is within the Mixed-Use I Zone and General Plan land use designation which has a maximum density of 32 dwelling units per acre (du/ac) The project is requesting a reduction of 10 parking spaces from the required 65 parking spaces to maintain provide a two-way driveway access instead of one based off limited land space on the property. Given the fact that the project is not requesting additional entitlements, is exempt from CEQA, meets all applicable BCC development standards and is compatible to the General Plan land use, this reduction request could be reviewed and approved by the Director.
  • Scenario 2 – A proposed two-story, 10-unit apartment building consisting of 5 one-bedroom units, 5 two-bedroom and 15 parking spaces. The project site is approximately 1.6 acres with a R-3 (Multi-Family Residential) zoning and a General Plan land use designation of Medium Density which has a maximum density of 12 du/ac. This project is requesting a reduction of four parking spaces from the required 19 parking spaces since the request included a parking management plan that would assign all one-bedroom apartment one parking space and each two-bedroom apartment two parking spaces. The parking management plan also includes a shared parking agreement for Guest parking at an adjacent office building, which has a parking surplus. Given the fact that the project is not requesting additional entitlements, is exempt from CEQA, meets all applicable BCC development standards and is compatible to the General Plan land use, this reduction request may be reviewed and approved by the Director.
  • Scenario 3 – A proposed 3-story, 40-unit apartment complex consisting of 18 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom, 6 three-bedroom and 60 parking spaces. The required off-street parking for this proposal is 76 spaces. This project approximate 2-acre project site is zoned MU-III (Mixed Use III) and has a General Plan land use designation of of Mixed Use III which has a maximum density of 18 du/ac. Since the proposed project exceeds the maximum density allowed, the project proponent is requesting a General Plan Amendment and Zone Change to MU II. Given the scale, scope, and entitlement requested for this project the entire project would be reviewed by the Planning Commission and City Council.
  • Scenario 4 – A proposed five-story mixed-use building featuring 180 units of residential and 21,000 square foot of office space within an existing commercial center. The scenario would feature a new 3-level parking garage with 300 parking spaces and 800 surface parking spaces. The project is zoned C-G (General Commercial) with a General Plan land use of General Commercial. Since residential is not an allowed use in the C-G zone and General Plan Land Use Designation, a change to Mixed Use has been requested. In addition, the project is requesting a 100-space parking reduction from the required 1200. Given the scale, scope, and entitlement requested for this project the entire project would be reviewed by the Planning Commission and City Council.
Housing Element
The ZOTA would fulfill two new policies and programs from the 6th Cycle (2022-2029) Housing Element. The ZOTA would streamline the development review and permitting process for housing production (Policy 4.3) and update parking standards to address the contemporary needs of multi-family residential product types (Program 14). The policies and programs the project is consistent with are outlined below: 
  • Policy 4.3 (Objective Development Standards): Establish objective development standards to create greater certainty for developers and streamline the development review and permitting process.
  • Program 14 (Update Parking Standards): Implement parking standards that address the contemporary needs of mixed-use, multi-family, and other residential product types.
COMMISSION/COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION
Planning Commission Recommendation
On September 28, 2021, the Planning Commission unanimously approved (5-0) a resolution (Attachment D) recommending the City Council approval of an Ordinance to amend Title 20 (Zoning Code) of the BCC regulating exceptions and modifications to the minimum off-street parking requirement for multi-family residential developments within the City of Brea provided that the Ordinance is revised to establish a 150-foot noticing radius the property owner to provide sufficient notice to file an appeal of the Director decision to approve any such modification to the minimum off-street parking requirements. The Planning Commission minutes for September 28, 2021 are attached for reference (Attachment E).
Staff supports the Planning Commission recommendation to include a 150-foot radius notification of the Director’s decision to nearby property owners.
 
PUBLIC NOTICE
This Ordinance was noticed in accordance with the City’s public noticing requirements. The public hearing notice for this Ordinance was published in the Orange County Register on October 9, 2021 for the October 19, 2021 City Council Meeting (Attachment F). At the publication of this report, one correspondence in opposition of the project has been received (Attachment G).

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
The proposed project is exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Section 15061 (b)(3). This exemption only applies to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. This project would only modify certain zoning procedures and does not approve any developments. It can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the proposed ZOTA would have a significant effect on the environment, therefore, the activity is not subject to CEQA. Any future multi-family development would be subject to CEQA review.
FISCAL IMPACT/SUMMARY
There would be no negative impact to the General Fund. On October 1, 2020, the City Council authorized the receipt of SB 2 PGP funds and the execution of the agreements with consultants to carry out the program’s approval. The grant received $160,000 of which $45,000 were reserved to execute this Project.
 
CONCLUSION
The proposed Ordinance provides support of the SB 2 grant objective to streamline the production of multi-family housing development. In addition, the Ordinance would promote the City’s proposed 6th Cycle (2022-2029) Housing Element by streamlining development review and permitting process and implementing new parking standards to address contemporary needs of residential product types. Staff recommend the City Council introduce the proposed Ordinance No. 1222, and schedule a second reading on November 2, 2021.


 
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:
William Gallardo, City Manager
Prepared by: Cecilia Madrigal-Gonzalez, Assistant Planner 
Concurrence: Jason Killebrew, City Planner 
 
Attachments
Updated Draft Ordinance
B. SB 2 PLANNING GRANTS PROGRAM APPLICATION
C. SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT PACKET
D. PLANNING COMMISSION RESOLUTION NO. 2021-12
E. DRAFT SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
F. ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER PROOF OF PUBLICATION
G. LETTER IN OPPOSITION

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