MARIN COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

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1 MARIN COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY BRIAN C. CRAWFORD DIRECTOR STAFF REPORT TO THE MARIN COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION SAFFOURI APPEAL OF THE MMB FIRST MORTGAGE DESIGN REVIEW Item No.: 4 Project No.: Applicant: MMB First Mortgage Owner: MMB First Mortgage Property Address: 7 Playa Verde, Tiburon Assessor's Parcel: Hearing Date: August 8, 2011 Planner: Jeremy Tejirian RECOMMENDATION: Deny appeal and approve project APPEAL PERIOD: 10 business days to the Board of Supervisors LAST DATE FOR ACTION: August 8, 2011 PROJECT SETTING: General Plan: SF3 (Residential, 1 unit per 1 to 5 acres) Zoning: BFC-RSP-1.0 (Bayfront Conservation, Single-family Residential Planned, 1 unit per acre) Lot size: 25,200 square feet Adjacent Land Uses: Single-Family Residential and the Bay The subject property is down slope of Paradise Drive and extends into the Bay. The residence is developed on a portion of the property that is characterized by moderate to steep slopes descending towards the Bay, located approximately 50 feet from the shoreline, which is armored with rock rip rap. Access is taken from a private roadway easement leading from Playa Verde to the subject property and the neighboring property at 6 Playa Verde. Playa Verde leads to Paradise Drive and provides access to several other properties as well as the subject property. Surrounding properties tend to be relatively large with residences that are mid- to large-size as well. The property and surrounding properties are well landscaped and existing vegetation and topography provides for privacy screening between residences. BACKGROUND: The proposed project was originally submitted in September 2010 in response to an enforcement action regarding illegal additions being made to the residence. During review of the completeness of the application, the applicant submitted project plans and a site survey as well as a title report for the property. Application materials were transmitted to the Department of Public Works, Sanitary District #5, the Marin Municipal Water District, the Tiburon Fire Protected District, and the Town of Tiburon. The responsible agencies indicated that it would be feasible for the project to be constructed in conformance with their standards, provided certain conditions are imposed. The application was deemed complete on April 25, 2011 and a preliminary determination was made that the project is categorically exempt from PC Staff Report August 8, 2011 Item No. 4, Page #1

2 CEQA. Public notice of the project was distributed to interested parties and property owners within 600 feet of the subject property. On June 9, 2011, an administrative approval was issued for the Design Review. On June 22, 2011, Hussein Saffouri submitted a timely appeal of the Design Review approval on behalf of the owners of the neighboring property located at 6 Playa Verde, Belvedere Nominee Trust and Lorraine G. Grace. The neighboring property shares an access easement with the subject property and ongoing disputes between the property owners have occurred for years regarding the use and development of the easement. The main component of the project being appealed involves the conversion of a carport to living area and a garage. The appellant represents the owner of 6 Playa Verde, who is seeking Design Review and Second Unit approval to legalize unauthorized construction and permit a second unit. The conversion results in the loss of one parking space within the carport. Pursuant to Marin County Code section , administered by the Department of Public Works, the minimum off-street parking that shall be provided for a single-family dwelling is two spaces per unit. The Department of Public Works has reviewed the project and has determined that adequate parking is available on-site, outside of the easement. One space is provided within the garage, and one space can be accommodated either perpendicular to the garage, or in the northeast portion of the property. A condition of approval has also been added that requires the applicant to apply for an exception to the minimum space requirements for a garage because the conversion did not provide for a minimum interior garage length of 20 feet. If the exception is not granted, it would result in a minor increase in the length of the garage. No other substantive modifications were made to the project by the conditions of approval. In response to the appeal, Department of Public Works staff has met and corresponded with the appellant s representatives, in an effort to clarify parking standards and reassure them that the parking requirements are being equitably imposed on both 6 and 7 Playa Verde. The appellant has requested that the hearing on the project be continued to allow for a mediated settlement between the owners of 6 and 7 Playa Verde. Staff was not able to continue the hearing because the applicant has not requested a continuance, and staff would be reluctant to recommend such a continuance due to the potentially costly and time consuming nature of civil disputes regarding real property. RECOMMENDATION: Based on the analysis above and the attached recommended resolution, staff recommends that the Planning Commission review the administrative record, conduct a public hearing, and adopt the recommended Resolution denying the Saffouri appeal and approving the MMB First Mortgage Design Review. Attachments: 1. Recommended Resolution denying the Saffouri appeal and approving the MMB First Design Review 2. Petition for appeal and attachments 3. Administrative Design Review approval 4. Location map 5. Project plans PC Staff Report August 8, 2011 Item No. 4, Page #2

3 MARIN COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION RESOLUTION NO. A RESOLUTION DENYING THE SAFFOURI APPEAL AND CONDITIONALLY APPROVING THE MMB FIRST MORTGAGE DESIGN REVIEW 7 PLAYA VERDE, TIBURON SECTION I: FINDINGS ASSESSOR'S PARCEL * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I. WHEREAS the applicant and owner, MMB First Mortgage, has applied for the legalization of additions that total approximately 775 square feet in size. The additions are for the conversion of a carport to living area and an upper level addition. The additions did not result in an increase in height of the residence, and the residence continues to maintain all pre-existing setbacks to adjacent property lines and the shoreline. The project results in a new building area of 3,757 square feet, and a floor area ratio of 15% on the 25,200 square foot lot. The subject property is located at 7 Playa Verde, Tiburon, and is further identified as Assessor s Parcel II. III. IV. WHEREAS on June 9, 2011, the Community Development Agency issued a conditional approval of the MMB First Mortgage Design Review based on the project s compliance with policies of the Marin Countywide Plan and the Marin County Development Code. WHEREAS a timely appeal of the Community Development Agency s approval of the MMB First Mortgage Design Review has been filed by Hussein Saffouri, on behalf of Belvedere Nominee Trust and Lorraine G. Grace, asserting that: 1) the findings relating to parking are contrary to the law and facts and violate the rights of other property owners in the subdivision; 2) the decision relating to parking reflects an unequal application of the law; and 3) the decision to permit final inspection approval of a retaining wall is incorrect. WHEREAS the Marin County Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on August 8, 2011, to consider the merits of the project and appeal, and hear testimony in favor of, and in opposition to, the project. V. WHEREAS the Marin County Planning Commission finds that the project, as modified by conditions of approval, is Categorically Exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Section 15301, Class 1 of the CEQA Guidelines because the proposed project does not result or involve grading or vegetation removal that might result in adverse impacts to the environment. VI. WHEREAS the Marin County Planning Commission finds that the basis for the Saffouri Appeal cannot be sustained and that the Community Development Agency acted appropriately in issuing the MMB First Mortgage Design Review due to the following factors: A. The appellants assert that the findings relating to parking are contrary to the law and the facts and violate the rights of other property owners in the subdivision and that the decision relating to parking reflects an unequal application of the law. Response: Page 1 PC Attachment 1

4 Marin County Code (MCC) section (a) requires two on-site parking spaces for single family dwellings. MCC (b) allows the Department of Public Works (DPW) to increase the number of required parking spaces through Design Review and therefore require two additional parking spaces for guests. However, this requirement is mainly imposed on new single family dwellings. When dealing with remodeling of existing residences, professional judgment and site constraints must be taken into account. In this case, two onsite spaces were deemed to be adequate and reasonable by DPW staff. The access easement affecting the property does not explicitly prohibit parking. In addition, the 8.5-foot by 18-foot dimensions required for an unobstructed parking area can be accommodated within property boundaries except for an approximately one foot encroachment into the access easement. It is DPW staff s interpretation that the proposed location of the required second parking space does not interfere with the original intent or applicability of the access easement. B. The decision to permit finaling of the retaining wall is incorrect. Response: Although the Planning Commission has de novo authority to rule on any component of the project, no retaining walls were proposed or approved for development under this Design Review. Further, the Planning Commission has no purview over the ministerial review of Building Permits once a discretionary decision has been issued. As a matter of procedure, the County will only finalize the permits after appropriate professional certifications have been submitted and inspections are performed to ensure walls were built per approved plans. VII. WHEREAS the Marin County Planning Commission finds that the project as conditionally approved is consistent with the Marin Countywide Plan (CWP) due to the following factors: A. The project proposes the legalization of construction within the footprint of an existing residence and therefore would not conflict with CWP natural systems policies requiring the protection of woodlands, forest, and tree resources (CWP Policies BIO-1.1 and BIO-1.3). B. The project proposes the legalization of construction within the footprint of an existing residence and therefore would not conflict with the natural systems policies supporting vegetation and wildlife disease management programs and promoting the use of native plant species (CWP Policies BIO-1.4, BIO-1.5, BIO-1.6 and BIO-1.7). C. The project proposes the legalization of construction within the footprint of an existing residence and therefore would not conflict with policies regarding special-status species (CWP Policies BIO-1.1, BIO-2.1, and BIO-2.2). D. The project proposes the legalization of construction within the footprint of an existing residence and therefore would not conflict with policies regarding protection of ecotones on the project site, or natural transitions between habitat types on the project site and those ecotones on private open space, or impact corridors for wildlife movement (CWP Policies BIO-2.3 and BIO-2.4). E. The project would comply with all policies for the protection of lands within the Baylands Corridor since the project is within the footprint of an existing residence and would not encroach further towards the bay (CWP Policies BIO ). Page 2 PC Attachment 1

5 F. The project proposes the legalization of construction within the footprint of an existing residence and therefore would not conflict with policies regarding the protection of wetlands or stream conservation areas (CWP Policies BIO-3.1 and CWP BIO-4.1). G. The project would be required at the time of building permit application to comply with all development codes regarding stormwater runoff and would comply with all requirements prohibiting the discharge of sediments into surface runoff (CWP Policies WR-2.1, WR-2.2, WR- 2.3, and WR-2.4). H. The project design would be required to comply with all earthquake standards at the time of building permit application (CWP Policies EH-2.1, EH-2.3, and CD-2.8). I. The project has been reviewed by the Tiburon Fire Protection District and is found to be in compliance with fire protection standards regarding, removal of hazardous vegetation (CWP Policy EH-4.1, and CWP Policy EH-4.2), water for fire suppression (CWP Policy EH-4.c), and defensible space. During building permit review the project will be required to comply with Marin County fire safety standards, construction of fire sprinklers, fire-resistant roofing and building materials (CWP Policies EH-4.d, EH-4.e, EH-4.f, and EH-4.n), and maintaining the clearance of vegetation around the proposed structure (CWP Policy EH-4.h). J. The project has been designed to be of similar design and scale to other residences in the vicinity and does not detract from the open character of the surrounding landscape or public open space (CWP Policy DES-1.2). K. The project as conditioned would be required to comply with energy efficient standards for exterior lighting, reducing excessive lighting, light pollution, light trespass, and glare. (CWP Policy DES-1.h). L. The project has been designed to preserve visual quality, and protect scenic quality and views of the natural environment from adverse impacts related to development (CWP Policy DES- 4.1). VIII. WHEREAS the Marin County Planning Commission finds that the Mandatory Findings for a Design Review per Section of the Marin County Development Code can be made based on the following findings: A. The proposed development provides architectural design, massing, materials, and scale appropriate to and compatible with the site surroundings and the community. The proposed project does not result in any changes to the mass of the residence. No modifications to the footprint or architectural design of the residence were made. The project results in a residence that is smaller in size than a majority of the other residence within the vicinity. B. The proposed development results in site layout and design (including building arrangement, exterior appearance, heights, setbacks, drainage, fences and walls, grading, lighting, signs, etc.) that will not eliminate significant sun and light exposure, views, vistas, and privacy to adjacent properties; that will not result in light pollution, trespass, and glare; and that will not adversely affect rights-of-way or pathways for circulation. Page 3 PC Attachment 1

6 The project does not propose new retaining walls, fences, or lighting. The project would only legalize existing construction on the subject property, outside of the access easement, which was approved, yet never received final inspection approval. No new site improvements are proposed; therefore, there will be no site disturbance that would impact drainage. In addition, the project does not result in any changes to property line setbacks or the height of the residence and therefore would not result in the elimination of sun, light, or views to adjacent properties. The project does result in the reduction of parking within the carport/garage, which has been reviewed by DPW. It was found that the site can accommodate the required two parking spaces by locating one space within the garage, and one space perpendicular to the garage, or in the northeast corner of the property, outside of the access easement. Therefore, the project would not result in adverse impacts to rights-of-way or pathways for circulation. C. The proposed development will provide appropriate separation between buildings and will be properly and adequately landscaped with maximum retention of trees, native plants, and other natural features consistent with fire safety requirements. As stated in A and B above, there would be no reduction to the existing property line setbacks, and no site disturbance. D. The proposed development will minimize cut and fill, the reforming of the natural terrain, and appurtenant structures (e.g. retaining walls and bulkheads). No site disturbance is proposed; therefore, there are no impacts due to cut and fill or the reforming of natural terrain. E. The proposed development complies with the Single-family Residential Design Guidelines and the design and locational characteristics listed in Chapter (Planned District Development Standards). The project complies with the Single-family Residential Design Guidelines and Chapter because no site disturbance is proposed, and the project is located within the footprint of the existing residence. The residence is served by an existing road system, the Marin Municipal Water District, and Sanitary District #5. F. The project is designed to conserve energy and natural resources by meeting the green building standards in Table 4-6 of the Marin County Code. The project would be conditioned to apply for building permit approval within 30 days. During building permit review, the project would be required to comply with California Building Code Title 24, which requires the project to be designed with energy conserving features. G. The design, location, size, and operating characteristics of the proposed use are consistent with the Countywide Plan and applicable zoning district regulations and will not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the County. The project complies with the single-family land use designation, and all zoning district regulations, which ensure that development is not a detriment to the public or the County. Page 4 PC Attachment 1

7 SECTION II: DECISION This decision denies the Saffouri appeal and conditionally approves the legalization of additions that total approximately 775 square feet in size. The additions are for the conversion of a carport to living area and an upper level addition. The additions did not result in an increase in height of the residence, and the residence continues to maintain all pre-existing setbacks to adjacent property lines and the shoreline. The project results in a new building area of 3,757 square feet, and a floor area ratio of 15% on the 25,200 square foot lot. The subject property is located at 7 Playa Verde, Tiburon, and is further identified as Assessor s Parcel SECTION III: CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Marin County Planning Commission hereby imposes the conditions listed below on the MMB First Mortgage Design Review ( ). The property is located at 7 Playa Verde, Tiburon and is further identified as Assessor's Parcel Community Development Agency Planning Division 1. Plans submitted for a Building Permit shall substantially conform to plans identified as Exhibit A, entitled, 7 Playa Verde, consisting of 9 sheets prepared by Bmod, dated November 18, 2010 and received April 6, 2011, with a survey conducted by American Land Surveying, Inc., dated March 24, 2011 and received April 6, 2011, and on file with the Marin County Community Development Agency, except as modified by the conditions listed herein. 2. BEFORE ISSUANCE OF A BUILDING PERMIT, the applicant shall revise the site plan or the first sheet of the office and job site copies of the Building Permit plans to list these conditions of approval as notes. 3. Exterior lighting shall be located and/or shielded so as not to cast glare on nearby properties. 4. If archaeological, historic, or prehistoric resources are discovered during construction, construction activities shall cease, and the Community Development Agency staff shall be notified so that the extent and location of discovered materials may be recorded by a qualified archaeologist, and disposition of artifacts may occur in compliance with State and Federal law. A registered archeologist, chosen by the County and paid for by the applicant, shall assess the site and shall submit a written report to the Community Development Agency staff advancing appropriate mitigations to protect the resources discovered. No work at the site may recommence without approval of the Community Development Agency staff. All future development of the site must be consistent with findings and recommendations of the archaeological report as approved by the Community Development Agency staff. If the report identifies significant resources, amendment of the permit may be required to implement mitigations to protect resources. Additionally, the identification and subsequent disturbance of an Indian midden requires the issuance of an excavation permit by the Department of Public Works in compliance with Chapter 5.32 (Excavating Indian Middens) of the County Code. 5. All construction activities shall comply with the following standards: a. Construction activity is only permitted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.. No construction shall be permitted on Sundays and the following holidays (New Year s Day, President s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day). Loud noise-generating Page 5 PC Attachment 1

8 construction-related equipment (e.g., backhoes, generators, jackhammers) can be maintained, operated, or serviced at the construction site from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday only. Minor jobs (e.g., painting, hand sanding, sweeping) with minimal or no noise impacts on the surrounding properties are exempted from the limitations on construction activity. At the applicant's request, the Community Development Agency staff may administratively authorize minor modifications to these hours of construction. b. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all construction materials and equipment are stored on-site (or secured at an approved off-site location) and that all contractor vehicles are parked in such a manner as to permit safe passage for vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic at all times. 6. All utility connections and extensions (including but not limited to electric, communication, and cable television lines) serving the development shall be undergrounded from the nearest overhead pole from the property, where feasible as determined by the Community Development Agency staff. 7. The applicant/owner hereby agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the County of Marin and its agents, officers, attorneys, or employees from any claim, action, or proceeding, against the County or its agents, officers, attorneys, or employees, to attack, set aside, void, or annul an approval of this application, for which action is brought within the applicable statute of limitations. 8. Any changes or additions to the project shall be submitted to the Community Development Agency in writing for review and approval before the contemplated modifications may be initiated. Construction involving modifications that do not substantially comply with the approval, as determined by the Community Development Agency staff, may be required to be halted until proper authorization for the modifications are obtained by the applicant. SPECIAL CONDITIONS: Code Enforcement 9. Within 30 days of this decision, the applicant must submit a Building Permit application to legalize the MMB First Mortgage Design Review. Requests for an extension to this timeline must be submitted in writing to the Community Development Agency staff and may be granted for good cause, such as delays beyond the applicant s control. 10. Within 60 days of this decision, a Building Permit for all approved work must be obtained. Requests for an extension to this timeline must be submitted in writing to the Community Development Agency staff and may be granted for good cause, such as delays beyond the applicant s control. 11. Within 120 days of this decision, the applicant must complete the approved construction and receive approval of a final inspection by the Building and Safety Division. Requests for an extension to this timeline must be submitted in writing to the Community Development Agency staff and may be granted for good cause, such as delays beyond the applicant s control. Marin County Department of Public Works - Land Use and Water Resources Division BEFORE ISSUANCE OF A BUILDING PERMIT: Page 6 PC Attachment 1

9 12. The boundary and topographic map sheet shall be clearly cross-referenced with the title report and the recording documents provided. Provide the recording document numbers that created the easements on the boundary and topographic map sheet. 13. Sheet A1.1 shows a rectangular outline adjacent to the building footprint. Based on the boundary map, this appears to be a concrete slab. If this is an at-grade concrete slab, clearly label it on sheet A1.1. If this is otherwise a structure it encroaches into the existing easements. 14. Provide a drainage plan for the proposed project, plot downspouts (if any) and show how they tie into the existing drainage system. Show how that site complies with 2007 California Building Code (CBC) Section and J The drainage plan shall also include the location where the storm drain lines daylight and means for dispersal within the subject property. 15. Although no work is proposed within the Special Flood Hazard Zone VE, the zone limit is not coordinated between the surveyed map sheet and the architect plans sheet A1.1. Coordinate the limits of special flood hazard zone between all sheets and as it appears on FIRM 06041C489D. 16. Provide the existing deck elevation (in NAVD) on sheet A1.3. Note that any improvements below the BFE shall be designed per MCC Provide an engineering cost estimate for the proposed improvements. 18. Per MCC (a), head-in parking spaces shall be a minimum 8.5 by 18 feet. Parallel spaces shall be a minimum 8.0 by 20 feet. For constrained locations such as garages serving single family dwellings, spaces shall be a minimum 9.0 by 20 feet. As shown on the plans, one of the proposed interior dimensions of the garage is substandard. If the garage depth is constrained and 20-foot requirement cannot be satisfied, submit an exception request per MCC The exception request must address the findings as described in section Plot and label the location of the two additional parking stalls required for guests. 19. Per county records, a building permit was issued for 3 retaining walls on the subject property in May of However there is no record that these permits were finaled by DPW. In order to finalize this permit, provide a certification letter by a registered civil engineer or a licensed contractor. SECTION IV: VESTING AND APPEAL RIGHTS NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the applicant must vest this approval by obtaining a Building Permit for the approved work and approval of a final inspection by the Building and Safety Division within the time limits specified in the conditions of approval. Requests for an extension to the time limits specified therein may be granted administratively by the Community Development Agency staff, in consultation with the Code Enforcement Section, for good cause, such as delays beyond the applicant s control. In no event may such extensions be granted beyond two years from the effective date of this approval. Time extensions to vest the approval beyond two years and up to a maximum of four years may only be granted upon the filing of an extension application with required fees pursuant to Section B.3 of the Marin County Code. NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this decision is final unless appealed to the Board of Supervisors. A Petition for Appeal and a $ filing fee must be submitted in the Community Development Agency Planning Division, Room 308, Civic Center, San Rafael, before 4:00 p.m. on August 22, Page 7 PC Attachment 1

10 SECTION V: VOTE PASSED AND ADOPTED at a regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the County of Marin, State of California, on the 8 th day of August, AYES: NOES: ABSTAIN: ABSENT: Attest: PETER THERAN, CHAIR MARIN COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION Debra Stratton Planning Commission Secretary Page 8 PC Attachment 1