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File #: 2017-4674   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 9/11/2017
Title: Public Hearing to Consider a Proposed Zoning Amendment to AMC Section 30-25 Appeals or Calls for Review
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 City Council Referral, 2. Exhibit 2 City Council Minutes, 3. Exhibit 3 Draft Ordinance Amendment

Title

 

Public Hearing to Consider a Proposed Zoning Amendment to AMC Section 30-25 Appeals or Calls for Review

 

 

Body

 

To:                     Honorable President and Members of the Planning Board

From:   Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

                                                        

Date:                     September 11, 2017

Re:                     Public Hearing to Consider a Proposed Zoning Amendment to AMC Section 30-25 Appeals or Calls for Review

Background

On March 7, 2016, the City Council directed staff to prepare a zoning amendment to increase the threshold for a "call for review" by the City Council from one member to two members.  The City Council-approved referral is attached as Exhibit 1.  The City Council minutes from the March 7, 2016 meeting are attached as Exhibit 2.

Exhibit 3 includes draft amendments to Section 30-25 Appeals and Calls For Review designed to achieve the City Council's requested change to the threshold for a City Council call for review and clarify the existing procedures established by Section 30-25. 

Analysis

Currently, Section 30-25 establishes the procedures for: 

                     An individual community member to appeal a decision by the Planning Director, Zoning Administrator, the Planning Board, or the Historical Advisory Board; 

                     A member of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board to call for review a decision of the Planning Director or the Zoning Administrator;  and

                     A City Council member to call for review a decision by the Planning Director, Zoning Administrator, the Planning Board, or the Historical Advisory Board.

Each subsection of Section 30-25 is described below with a brief description of the proposed amendments.

Section 30-25.1 - Purpose and Authorization for Appeals and Calls for Review This subsection establishes the purpose of an appeal or call for review, which is to avoid or reverse a city decision that is "inconsistent with the purposes" of the Zoning Code.  The current code does not explain where one might find the “purposes” of the Zoning Code. 

The proposed amendments to this section shown below add a reference to sub-section 30-1.2 of the Zoning Code, which is where the purposes of the Zoning Code are stated. The other amendments shown below are simply design to update the terminology in the ordinance to reflect current titles.  

30-25.1 - Purpose and Authorization for Appeals and Calls for Review

 

a. Appeals. To avoid results inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter as stated in subsection 30-1.2, decisions of the Planning Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator may be appealed to the Planning Board and decisions of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board may be appealed to the City Council by any person aggrieved or by any officer, agency or department of the City affected by any decision, determination or requirement.

 

b. Calls for Review. As an additional safeguard to avoid results inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter as stated in subsection 30-1.2, decisions of the Planning Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator may be called up for review to the Planning Board by the Planning Board or by the City Council and decisions of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board may be called up for review to the City Council by the City Council or a members of the City Council.

Section 30-25.2 - Final Decisions Sub-sections a. and b. establish how a member of the public may appeal a decision and how a member of the Planning Board, Historical Advisory Board or City Council may call a decision for review. 

The changes to these subsections shown below: 

                     Increase the threshold for a City Council call for review from one member to two members, as requested by the City Council, when the final decision being called for review is a decision by the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board.

                     Clarify that if the decision being called for review is a staff level decision by the Community Development Director or the Zoning Administrator, then only one (1) City Council member or one (1) Planning Board member request is necessary, which is the current threshold to call for review a staff level decision. 

                     Clarify that in addition to Zoning Administrator decisions on administrative use permits and minor variances, Community Development Director decisions on Design Review may be appealed and called for review. This change brings this section into conformance with the existing Design Review ordinance and reflects the current practice.

                     Clarify that any decision made by the Planning Board on an appeal or call for review is appealable to the City Council or may be called for review by the City Council. This change reflects current practice. 

Section 30-25.2 - Final Decisions

a.                     Final Decision of the Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator. Any decision of the Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator shall be final on the date of the decision, unless any person aggrieved or by any officer, agency, or department of the City affected by any decision of the Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator, files a Notice of Appeal with the Planning Department no later than ten (10) days following the decision or at least one (1)  City councilmember or at least one (1) Planning Board member files a call for review with the Planning Department no later than ten (10) days following the decision. Decisions that are appealed or called for review shall not become effective until the appeal or call for review is resolved by the appropriate City body Planning Board.  Decisions by the Planning Board to uphold, overturn, or modify a decision of the Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator are appealable to the City Council.

 

b.                     Final Decision of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board. Any decision of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board shall be final on the date of the decision, unless any person aggrieved or by any officer, agency, or department of the City affected by any decision of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board, files a Notice of Appeal with the Planning Community Development Department no later than ten (10) days following the decision or at least two (2) a City councilmembers files a call for review with the Planning Department no later than ten (10) days following the decision. Decisions that are appealed or called for review shall not become effective until the appeal or call for review is resolved by the appropriate City Council. body.

Section 30-25.3 Time Limits This subsection establishes the time limits for a member of the public to file an appeal or a member of an appointed board or City Council member to file a Call for Review.  The proposed changes:

                     Increase the threshold for a City Council call for review of a Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board decision to require a request by two (2) Council members to call the decision for review, as requested by the City Council. 

                     Remove redundant and unnecessary text. 

                     Establish consistency with the prior sections.

 

30-25.3                     - Time Limits for appeals or Calls for Review.

a. Appeals of Actions of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board. Appeals to the City Council concerning actions of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer, agency, or department of the City affected by any decision, determination or requirement of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board. Such appeal shall be filed no later than ten (10) days following the decision of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board.

b. Appeals of Actions of the Planning Board. Appeals to the City Council concerning actions of the Planning Board may be taken from any person aggrieved or from any officer, agency or department of the City affected by any decision, determination or requirement of the Planning Board. Such appeal shall be filed no later than ten (10) days following the decision of the Planning Board.

 

c. Calls For Review of Planning Community Development Director, Zoning Administrator, Historical Advisory Board, or Planning Board. Calls for review to the Planning Board concerning actions of the Zoning Administrator or Planning Community Development Director may be made by the Planning Board, City Council, or a member of either body. Such calls for review shall be filed no later than ten (10) days following the decision of the Planning Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator. Calls for review concerning decisions of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board shall require submittal of a written request by at least two (2)  may be taken from the City Council or  members of the City Council. Such calls for review shall be filed no later than ten (10) days following the decision of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board.

30-25.4 - Initiation of Appeals and Calls for Review. This section establishes the procedures and requirements that a person must follow to file an appeal or a Council member must follow to file a call for review.  The section currently states that the cost of an appeal will be funded by the appellant. The proposed amendments to Section 30-25.4:

                     Clarify that any person may appeal a decision of either the Community Development Director and/or the Zoning Administrator, which reflects current practice.

                     Eliminate a redundant subsection.

                     Clarify that a call for review must be submitted in writing, must explain how the decision is in conflict with the purposes of the zoning code, and that the cost for a Call for Review of a City decision by a City Council person or a City Council appointed Board member will be funded by the General Fund and not by the project applicant.    

 

30-25.4                     - Initiation of Appeals and Calls for Review

a. Appeals of Actions of the Planning Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator. An appeal to the Planning Board concerning actions of a Planning Community Development Director or the Zoning Administrator decision shall be filed in writing with the Planning Community Development Department and shall be accompanied by the required fees. In filing an appeal, the appellant shall specifically state the reasons or justification for an appeal.

b. Appeals of Actions of the Zoning Administrator. An appeal to the Planning Board concerning actions of the Zoning Administrator shall be filed in writing with the Planning Department and shall be accompanied by the required fees. In filing an appeal, the appellant shall specifically state the reasons or justification for an appeal.

 

c.                     Appeals of Actions of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board. An appeal to the City Council concerning actions of the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board decision shall be filed in writing with the Planning Community Development Department and shall be accompanied by the required fees. In filing an appeal, the applicant shall specifically state the reasons or justification for an appeal.

 

d.                     Calls for Review. A call for review shall be filed with the Planning Department by the Planning Board, the City Council, or a member of either body by stating the reasons or justification for the review. No fee shall be required for a call for review.  A call for review shall be filed in writing with the Community Development Department and shall state how the decision being called for review may be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter as stated in Section 30-1.2.All costs associated with the call for review, including staff time, technical assistance, and noticing the public hearing shall be funded by the General Fund and shall not be charged to the project applicant.

30-25.5 - Procedures for Appeals and Calls for Review.   This subsection establishes the time limits and procedures for the appeal or call for review.   The proposed revisions establish conformity with the prior sections and establish a uniform deadline to schedule the decision on one of the next three regularly scheduled regular meetings.  

a.   Hearing Date. Appeals or calls for review shall be scheduled for public hearing and decision by the Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board no later than the second third regularly scheduled and held meeting following submittal of the appeal or call for review. Appeals or calls for review shall be scheduled for public hearing and decision by the City Council no later than the third regularly scheduled and held meeting following submittal of the appeal or call for review. An alternative date for the hearing may be selected by mutual agreement of the original applicant, the City and appellant.

 

e. Decision and Notice. The Planning Board or City Council may, so long as such action is in conformity with the terms of these regulations, reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination of the Planning Community Development Director or Zoning Administrator or Planning Board or Historical Advisory Board and may make such order, requirement, decision, or determination as is appropriate.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

The proposed zoning text amendment is exempt from review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061 subsection b.3. , which is the general rule that CEQA does not apply to a proposed action which does not have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment.  The proposed amendments pertain to procedures for additional review of decisions that have already been reviewed for impacts on the environment.

 

RECOMMEndation:

 

Hold a public hearing and recommend that the City Council approve the Proposed Zoning Amendment to AMC Section 30-25 Appeals or Calls for Review.

 

Exhibits:

1.                     City Council Referral

2.                     City Council Minutes

3.                     Draft Ordinance Amendment.