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ON THE AGENDA: PLANNING COMMISSION JUNE 20
Garcia and Cure are sworn in, changes to off-street parking considered, and the Homeless Committee meets
The public has multiple opportunities to comment at every Planning Commission meeting. Please use the opportunity to question your Planning Commission members on the issues affecting our City. Because this meeting’s agenda is brief, it’s a great opportunity to use public comment to address concerns not on the list.
Public comments for all items are limited to three minutes per agenda item, but the public is entitled to fill out requests to speak on multiple items and may also speak during general public comments. To comment, pick up a green form at the desk, fill it out, and hand it to the Clerk who is usually sitting on at the desk at the front of room on the right side. The public can also send comments via email to Planning Commission members and the Community Development Director and request that comments be read at the meeting.
The entire agenda can be found on the city website. The link to the livestream of the meeting is available the day of the meeting.
INSTALLATION OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
#1. Swearing in of new Commissioners
Swearing in of new appointees community organizer and homeless advocate Alexander Garcia and Cure Designs principal, Jessica Cure. At the June 13 Council meeting, both spoke briefly, with Cure addressing the controversy over interviewing candidates, “The concern is the interview. Mine was really based on my background in planning, community development and zoning. I'm actually new to the City in the last year. I feel very confident that I can be a great part of this Planning Commission.”
Garcia stated, “I do my best to be a part of the community. All I can promise anybody is I'll do the very best that I can. I serve you guys. It's as simple as that to me.”
#2. Approval of the Planning Commission Meeting Minutes of May 16, 2023
Opportunity to comment on non-agenda items.
#3. Development Code Amendment - Off-Street Parking and Loading
The purpose of this hearing is, in part, to resolve an apparent conflict between the City’s 2012 General Plan, which requires “that single family residential development construct a two-car garage,” and the ordinance that specifies “2 spaces/dwelling.”
A comprehensive redline revision to Chapter 19.82, which covers Off Street Parking and Loading, is attached to the staff report for this item. The purpose of this section is to “ensure that all uses shall have the minimum required off-street motor vehicle parking spaces installed and maintained in a manner which will ensure adequate and safe parking (temporary storage), ingress and egress, and parking facility design which will provide for safe and convenient use of such facilities.”
A study session was conducted on February 21, at which several questions were posed by staff:
1. Does the definition of a garage need to be revisited?
2. Do all new residential units need to have a garage, or can parking spaces be uncovered?
3. Do structures converted to residential use need to construct a garage?
4. Do multi-family residential parking spaces need to be contiguous? Or can the uncovered space be in a driveway?
Ordinance changes are suggested based on that discussion. Again, quoting from the staff report, the follow changes are suggested:
Code definitions revised as follows:
Carport - A permanent roofed structure, enclosed on not more than two (2) sides, used or intended to be used for vehicle storage for the occupants of the residence.
Garage, private - A building, fully enclosed, and used primarily for the parking of automobiles belonging to the occupants of the property.
Garage, public - A building other than a private garage, used for the maintenance or temporary storage of motor vehicles.
New single family residences can have uncovered parking but multi-family residences (such apartment buildings) “shall have” a combination of covered and uncovered parking.
In alignment with point 2, structures converted to single family residential can have uncovered parking - so no need to add a garage.
Uncovered parking spaces for multi-family structures “can be accommodated on the driveway.”
This meeting will be the final chance for the public to weigh in prior to adoption of the ordinance.
#4. Homeless Committee Organization
Although this is listed as an item on the Planning Commission agenda, and all five Planning Commissioners participate on the Committee, cameras were cut off at this point in the May 16 Planning Commission meeting (the last meeting held due to a lack of quorum until this meeting.)
Additionally, in violation of the Brown Act, no agenda is posted for this committee and there isn’t a pdf attached to the Planning Commission agenda. Minutes are also missing.
In addition to the five Commissioners, there are two community members: architect Andrea Keller and hotelier Veno Nathraj. Keller was one of 15 applicants for the Planning Commission.
Desert Trumpet has sent an inquiry to City Manager Frank Luckino regarding the lack of a live stream, agenda or minutes and will update once a response is received. If residents want the opportunity to view live streams and / or videos of committee meetings, we recommend writing the City Manager and City Council.
Disclosure: Desert Trumpet co-founder and editor Cindy Bernard is a member of the Public Arts Advisory Committee, which is a part of the City of Twentynine Palms.
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