Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Planning and Building Department



October 18, 2010


November 2, 2010


10-Day Notice





Honorable Board of Supervisors



Jim Eggemeyer, Community Development Director



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Public Hearing to consider a Minor Subdivision to subdivide a legal 12,504 sq. ft. parcel into two parcels and the granting of an exception to the County Subdivision Regulations to allow a flag lot access width of less than 20 feet and certification of a Mitigated Negative Declaration. (Appeal of the decision of the Planning Commission to deny this project.)



Deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the Minor Subdivision, County File Number PLN 2008-00066, by adopting the findings of denial at the end of this report.



As presented to your Board, the project is in its third revision and is unmodified since the Planning Commission’s denial decision. Included in this minor subdivision and subdivision exception request application is a 15-foot wide flag pole access width (with an adjacent 5-foot wide emergency vehicle parking easement) and a 15-foot setback from the top-of-bank of San Francisquito Creek.


Previous Actions: The Minor Subdivision application was submitted by the applicant and subsequently denied at the Zoning Hearing Officer meeting. The applicant, now appellant, revised the proposal and filed an appeal to the Planning Commission. The Commission heard the revised proposal and continued the project for the applicant to explore the Commission’s concerns that arose during the Planning Commission hearing. Modifications to the proposal were made and a second Commission hearing was held. The Commission considered both revisions and denied the minor subdivision application.



The initial Minor Subdivision proposal was for a two-lot subdivision and a subdivision exception request for a 12-foot wide flag pole access width instead of the 20-foot required access width. In addition, an 8-foot wide emergency vehicle parking easement was proposed adjacent to the 12-foot wide flag pole access to serve as a fire truck turnaround along Bishop Lane. At the Zoning Hearing Officer (ZHO) meeting held on August 6, 2009, numerous members of the community expressed opposition to the proposal, due to concerns regarding traffic safety, encroachment of the existing single-family residence extending over the top-of-bank of San Francisquito Creek, potential sensitive habitats, erosion and sediment control and stability of the soils and the existing retaining walls. The ZHO, after consideration of the project and public testimony, denied the application on the basis that the first of three required findings for the subdivision exception could not be made.


The applicant revised the proposal to increase the access width from 12 to 15 feet and reduced the adjacent emergency vehicle parking easement from 8 to 5 feet. The revised plans were submitted to the Planning Department along with the applicant’s appeal. On January 13, 2010, the Planning Commission heard the appeal and continued the item for the applicant to explore further modifications to the project addressing the following concerns: (1) minimizing impervious surfaces of future development, (2) protection of an oak tree, (3) shifting the rear residence away from the top-of-bank of San Francisquito Creek, including requesting a variance, and (4) exploring the potential removal of the existing retaining wall and possible stabilization of the creek bank in a more natural manner. In response to the Commission’s concerns, modifications were made to the proposal and additional supporting documents were submitted and heard by the Commission on August 11, 2010. The Commission considered both proposals and public testimony and denied the minor subdivision application on the basis that the first of three findings for the subdivision exception request could not be made.


The applicant has filed an appeal of the Commission’s denial stating that the subdivision exception request findings can be made.


The denial of the Minor Subdivision contributes to the 2025 Shared Vision outcome of a Livable Community by preserving the public health, safety, and general welfare and facilitating orderly growth and development.



No net County cost.