SB planners review Regency Center permit

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Seal Beach staff presented the Wednesday, May 5 meeting of the Planning Commission with a follow-up report on the parking situation at the Seal Beach Regency Center, home to the CVS Pharmacy.

The conditional use permit to reduce parking requirements for the center was issued in January 2009. According to the staff report by Senior Planner Jerry Olivera, staff is not aware of any problems caused by a lack of parking space in the center.

“In response to some of the previous parking issues occurring with the area near the Laundromat, Regency Centers has installed four reserved parking stalls for the exlusive use by Laundromat patrons,” Olivera wrote. “This had helped alleviate some of the issues with people not having to walk far distances when carrying large, bulky laundry baskets,” Olivera wrote.

The CVS loading dock also came up in the staff report. “Staff is having an on-going dialogue with CVS management and Regency Center management regarding the CVS loading dock being used for storage/staging,” Olivera wrote.

“Part of the problem seems to lie with CVS’s corporate offices and staff will continue to work with everyone and will help alleviate conflicts between vehicles parking in the lot and large delivery trucks that use the rear lot drive aisle as a loading/unloading area,” Olivera wrote.

According to his report, staff considered a smaller loading zone for trucks in a different area of the rear lot, but there apparently wasn’t enough space for a new loading zone without eliminating more parking spaces.

In other news

That same night, planners:

• Directed staff to prepare a municipal code amendment that defines patio enclosures. The current Seal Beach code does not define patios in residential areas. The proposed code amendment will come back to a future Planning Commission meeting for a public hearing. Planners do not have authority to change the city code. The commission will make a recommendation to the City Council and the council will look at the issue.

• Continued a hearing on a variance request until Wednesday, June 1. The applicants, Alan and Lorraine Chavez, requested the continuation. The Chavez family requested a 1,555-square-foot addition to a non-conforming unit and an 864-square-foot addition to another non-conforming unit.

The two units, located on Central Avenue, are located in the residential high density zone of the city.

“The property is non-conforming due to substandard rear yard,, side yard and front yard setbacks,” according to the staff report.

The property owners wanted to keep the non-conforming setbacks and provide tandem garage parking for one.

Staff recommended that the Planning Commission deny the application. Staff usually recommends against granting a variance.

According to the staff report, signed by Olivera, planning staff believed that requiring non-conforming properties to conform whenever they are expanded helps make development and renovation more uniform and logical.

“The idea is that, over time, properties that are deficient with regard to building code standards, life and safety issues, inadequate on-site parking, etc., will be brought up to more modern code standards,” the report said.

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SB planners review Regency Center permit