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02/26/2001MINUTES 1 SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL CITY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26 - 7:00 P.M. COUNCIL CHAMBER, 990 PALM STREET SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA ROLL CALL: Council Members Present: Council Members Jan Howell Marx, Christine Mulholland, Ken Schwartz, Vice Mayor Ewan, and Mayor Allen K. Settle City Staff: Present: Ken Hampian, City Administrative Officer; Jeff Jorgensen, City Attorney; Lee Price, City Clerk; Wendy George, Assistant City Administrative Officer; John Mandeville, Long Range Planning Manager; Mike McCluskey, Public Works Director, and Jeff Hook, Associate Planner PUBLIC COMMENT None. PUBLIC HEARING ' 1. DRAFT MID - HIGUERA STREET ENHANCEMENT PLAN. Long Range Planning Manager Mandeville provided the introduction. Consultant Eric Justison. RRM Design, and Associate Planner Hook presented the report. Mayor Settle opened the public hearing. Theo Dunn. Pastor, St. Luke's Baptist Church, voiced concerns about changes proposed for Brook Street and in opposition to the proposed median on Higuera Street. Jim Morabito, 214 Higuera Street (Paul's Dry Cleaning), opposes the proposed median on Higuera because it will interrupt business. Sabrina Ross, 175 Brook Street, objects to extending Brook Street because it will increase traffic. Michael Sullivan. 1127 Seaward Street, voiced concerns about the Plan's initial environmental study and certain mitigation measures. He objects to certain proposed land use changes and plans to extend the bike path in the creek setback. Gerald Parsons, 848 Venable Street (speaking on behalf of the Association of Mid - Higuera Street property owners and residents), spoke in support of street widening but in opposition to the proposed median and the extension of Brook Street. He urged the Council to not include Phase II of the plan because it's too controversial. Dave Romero. 2057 Skylark, summarized recommendations provided in his correspondence to Council relevant to flood prevention (on file with the Office of the City Clerk). He urged the Council to seek improvements for flood protection first and expressed opposition to the City Council Meeting Page 2 Monday, February 26, 2001 - 7:00 p.m. landscaped medians. He asserted that a detailed design for sidewalks is needed and asked the Council to consider at least a ten foot sidewalk on both sides of the street. ' Steve Hilstein, 280 Higuera Street (The Drum Circuit), said he was unclear about how much of the property he leases will be taken if the Plan is adopted. He voiced concern about traffic impacts with the proposed expansion of Bianchi and Brook Streets. He also asserted that the Plan seems radical and added that he wonders how soon the recommendations will become mandates. Buzz Neilsen, 236 Higuera (Hayward Lumber), argued that extending the access street will make it impossible for the lumber yard to operate. He said he doesn't want to move his business and challenged the City to come up with a solution that will allow the Plan to work and the lumber yard to stay in its present location. Dave Hite, 252 Higuera Street (The Tire Store), opposes the proposed median and common driveway. Gary Finch, 177 Brook Street (Asian Auto), voiced support for plans to widen Higuera Street, but in opposition to the proposed median, common driveway and extension of Brook Street. He also argued that the bike path should be on the creek side of the street. Kurt Kupper, property owner at 180 -190 Brook Street, also supports the widening of Higuera Street but opposes the extension of Brook Street. He asked the Council to be careful with this special neighborhood and to develop better solutions for creating affordable housing. Roy Parsons, President, Hayward Lumber (236 Higuera Street), spoke in opposition to most of the Plan including proposed changes in land use, the median and the common driveway. He urged the City to find solutions to problems relating to flooding. Ralph Pierro, 183 Brook Street, agrees that Higuera Street should be widened but voiced dissatisfaction with plans to extend Brook Street. Raymond Hanson, 3960 S. Higuera, opposes the median and plans to close Walker Street. Fred Rattcliff, Rattcliff Welding, supports the widening of Higuera Street but not the median. Richard Ferris, 365 Branch Street (property owner 303, 295 and 283 Higuera Street) also voiced opposition to the median and the closure of Walker because it will impact truck access to commercial properties. Tony Horzen, 526 South Street (Glacier Ice Company), spoke against the closure of Walker Street because his business relies upon it for deliveries. He urged the Council to do more traffic analysis. John Via, 1973 Royal Way (business owner at 34 South Street), argued that flooding should be the first priority. Mike Spangler, owner of properties at 1 - 34 Higuera Street, made the following suggestions: 1) Add verbiage to the Plan noting that it is a 50 -Year concept plan driven by property and business owners. 2) Change the flood zone from A to B to save property owner costs for property flood insurance. 3) Investigate the possibility of having the State assist with the flood protection plans. 4) Lower some of the area on the west side of the creek. 5) Build the bike lane on the east side and use the west side for flood control. City Council Meeting Page 3 Monday, February 26, 2001 -7:00 p.m. Patricia Wilmore, Chamber of Commerce, shared results of a recent survey she conducted of the business owners. She noted that the business owners are successful and happy where they are. While the general membership agrees that beautification would be a positive element, they don't want disruption to their businesses. She complimented staff for being receptive to the needs of the propertylbusiness owners at every step in the process. Mayor Settle closed the public hearing. Staff addressed some of the issues commented upon by the public and responded to numerous questions from the Council. Individual Council comments and input to staff followed. Council Member Marx supports the construction of a median and suggested that permeable materials be used to eliminate the potential for flooding. She favors the west side of the creek for the bike path but does not believe the planning area is a good location for a convention center. Council Member Mulholland argued against building a bike path in the creek setback and objected to textured crosswalks as they are difficult for seniors and the disabled. She expressed dislike for the median and was not in favor of changing the flood plain designation. Vice Mayor Ewan approved of many of the Plan components, including the median, plans to extend Bianchi and Brook Streets, the proposed closure of Walker Street and the installation of Class I bike lanes. He did, however, note that-he wasn't fond of building the bike lanes on the west side, but pointed out that the solution may be the only way to ensure i the future connection to other bike paths in the community. Council Member Schwartz commented that he believes the area is a good location for a convention center and that the bike path would be appropriately located on the west side along the creek. He added that he was not in complete agreement with the mixed use concept and would prefer to see the use of a planned development overlay. Mayor Settle spoke in support of the widening of Higuera Street and the proposed zoning changes, which he believes will eliminate non - conforming uses. He did, however, express dissatisfaction with many of the other components of the Plan, including the median, the extension of Brook Street, the widening of Bianchi Street, the closure of Walker Street, the construction of 100 -foot long bridges and the concept of a convention center in the planning area. He concluded that the bike lanes should be on the west side. ACTION: Moved by Marx/Ewan to conceptually approve the Council Hearing Draft Mid - Higuera Street Enhancement Plan, with the following changes: a) modify crosswalks to ensure accessibility, b) minimize the amount of bike path in creek set- back area, and c) minimize the size of the bridges; motion carried 4:1 (Settle). ACTION: Moved by Marx/Ewan to direct staff to place a draft resolution on the March 20th Council meeting agenda to approve the mitigated negative declaration, approve the Enhancement Plan, amend the General Plan Land Use Element, and initiate rezoning as shown in the Plan with the exception of the proposed Tourist Commercial (CT) Zone for the CalTrans property, for which staff was directed to bring back for Council consideration other alternatives; motion carried 3:2 (Settle, Schwartz). City Council Meeting Monday, February 26, 2001 - 7:00 p.m. There being no further business to come before the meeting at 11:30 p.m. to Tuesday, March 6, 2004/ -t 9 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo. I I Lee Price, City Clerk APPROVED BY COUNCIL: 3120101 LP:dr Page 4 Council, Malor Sett adjourned the i.m„irrlhe CouuncilChamber, 990 1