ON THE AGENDA: Planning Commission December 5, 2023
Development code updates, sidewalk vendors and food trucks, underground utilities for a future car wash, and the iconic 29! sculpture
In its next-to-the-last meeting of the year, the Planning Commission has a fairly light agenda. The City is gearing up for the holidays, and commissioners and City staff may want to attend the annual lighting of the City Christmas Tree during the Holiday Festival scheduled for 6-9pm at Freedom Plaza.
The entire agenda packet can be found on the City’s website, which will also have a link on the day of the meeting to livestream the meeting. The recording will be available for viewing later on YouTube.
Attend this meeting if:
you have general comments you want to make about planning and development matters
you have an interest in sidewalk vending and food trucks
you wish to comment on underground utilities for the planned Oasis Car Wash
you have an interest in the location and repair of the iconic 29! sculpture
The only item on the Consent Calendar is approval of the minutes from the November 7 Planning Committee meeting. We recap the discussion of commercialized campgrounds here in far more detail than the minutes provide.
We also go into greater depth on the Homeless Committee study session, which took place at this meeting.
After Planning Commission announcements, you can comment on items not on the agenda. Public comments on agenda items will be requested when the item is discussed. Fill out a green comment sheet for public comments or agenda item comments and hand it to the staff usually sitting at the desk at the front of room on the right side. You have 3 minutes to make your comments.
2 DCA - Specific Plan, Historic Preservation and Hillside Grading. This Development Code Amendment makes minor changes to three chapters of the development code. We have looked at the redlines on the submitted documents, and they are indeed minor.
Changes to the requirement for a General Plan Amendment
Changes to the Historical Preservation submittal requirements
Correction of the name of the Building Code in the Hillside Grading, and Plant Removal Code.
3 DCA - Sidewalk Vending, Peddling and Hawking and Mobile Food Trucks. The City is again making minor changes to the Development Code, this time on vending food and other items on the sidewalk, or by peddling, or from food trucks.
The redlining of the code in the agenda made it appear that vendors would not be required to show proof of having obtain County health permits. In a response to a questions, City Development Director Keith Gardner clarifed:
The redlined section pertains to application materials, which we are removing from the Development Code for all types of permit activity. Application forms are easily changed due to changes in procedures and/or laws—Development Codes are not.
If a sidewalk vendor is going to sell food, they will still be required to obtain a food handlers permit from the County Environmental Health Department. Requirements for sidewalk vending are on the application form and are not needed to be repeated in the Development Code.
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
4 Oasis Car Wash Deferral of Utilities Undergrounding
In November 2022, the Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the Oasis Car Wash, to be located between Pine and Oasis avenues south of Highway 62.
One condition of the permit states that all utilities adjacent to and on the site of the car wash must be underground, although the City’s municipal code allows applicants to request that this condition be deferred as long as an agreement with the City is in place.
This deferral must be supported by
cost estimates approved by the City Engineer;
the cost of putting utilities underground and the impact on adjacent properties exceeds a reasonable cost based on the scale of the project;
the property commits to a fair share of the cost of underground utilities at a later date; and
placing utilities underground is consistent with improvements of surrounding properties.
The City has established that cost estimates to put utilities underground are reasonable. There are no properties to the south with underground utilities, and properties to the east and west have utilities above ground, but El Rancho Dolores Hotel across Highway 62 has underground utilities.
If the Planning Commission determines that all conditions have been met, the car wash can go forward with the placement of utilities underground to take place at a later date.
5 PAAC discussion of the 29! sculpture. The agenda for the Planning Commission meeting has no background on this item. The Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) has been obtaining estimates for repairing the 29! sculpture as well as costs for making the current location more accessible to the public, including landscaping and providing parking. The question of moving the sculpture to Freedom Plaza has come up in PAAC meetings and Tourism Board Improvement District meetings, and this will probably come up in the presentation to Planning.
Desert Trumpet writer Kat Talley-Jones is a member of the Public Arts Advisory Committee, which is a part of the City of Twentynine Palms.
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