Acton Town Council Meeting Minutes – 8-17-2015 – Draft
1. Meeting called to order at 7:31 p.m. Flag Salute and Roll call. Present at the meeting were Chris Croisdale, Tom Costan, Jacki Ayer, Michael Hughes, Ray Billet, Pam Wolter, Katherine Tucker, and Thor Merich
2. Minutes of the 8/3/2015 are posted and will be reviewed by the 9/21/2015 meeting.
3. Treasurer’s Report: There is $1806.28 in the ATC bank account.
4. Sheriff’s Report: Deputy Short was not present at the meeting
5. Library Report: The Librarian reported on the latest activities
6. SCE Report: No report
7. Announcements and Correspondences: a) The ATC received a letter from Boy Scout troop 737 that Cameron Faufman achieved Eagle Scout. It was decided that the ATC will give Cameron a certificate of achievement from the ATC. b) Letter received from the City of Santa Clarita regarding High Speed Rail Project dated 7/24/15 which establishes their position against HSR and undergrounding it anywhere it is routed in the area. c ) Taco Bell Project – R2015-02996-(5) RCUP 201400142- Notice of Public Hearing 9/16/2015 at 9:00 a.m. d) Notice of 9/22/2015 hearing on Technical Update to Title 22. It is supposed to be a format update to Title 22 and not contain any content change. Jacki Ayer had asked for a “backstop provision” which would maintain the substance of the old code if changes were noted. Jacki Ayer has asked for a “strike out version” of the Title 22 update, but it has not been supplied. e) Dept. of Public Works – Traffic Methodology calculation change – Jacki Ayer spoke to Assemblyman Lackey and Senator Runner’s offices about the new Traffic Impact Analysis procedures and how is does not take into account the affect to rural communities. Chris Calfee, Senior Counsel at the Office of Public Research (OPR) said that there is a new Draft Traffic Impact Analysis Procedure coming out in the fall of 2015. There is the opportunity for Public comment on this version.
8. Acton Town Council 501 c 4 update: The by-laws are in process of update, once they are finalized, they can be submitted to Attorney Randall Fink.
9. Introduction Christine Borzaga, Senior Field Deputy for Supervisor Antonovich: Ms. Borzaga was introduced to the Acton Town Council. She said that she would like the ATC Agenda at least a week or so before the meeting in case she needs to invite relevant staff to address concerns / issues. The Acton Town Council asked Ms. Borzaga if they could meet at her office with she and Adel 1-2 x / month to cover active issues. This will be considered. Pressing issues are the need to have single family residences exempted from the newly expanded SEA in Acton, limitations on “Big Box” stores in Acton, enforcement of the AV General Plan and Acton Community Standards, and early notification to Acton Town Council of proposed projects.
10. Taco Bell Presentation – S.G. Ellison, owner of First Street Development, and Chris Czyz project developer presented the most current plans for the project – R2015-02996-(5) RCUP 201400142. It was noted that Mr. Ellison is in Escrow for the purchase of the property on the northeast side of Crown Valley and Sierra Highway from Mr. Brevadora. Mark Reed and Brian xx were also present. They are the Franchisees of C&R Taco. Mr. Ellison explained the project to the Council. Some of his points were that the project fills 52% of the property; they increased the size of the parking stalls and widened the turning radii to accommodate truck traffic in Acton. Mr. Ellison said that the project will NOT have any impact on traffic at the Crown Valley intersection and near the 14 Freeway. He said that no traffic signal is warranted. Mr.Ellison and Mr. Czyz talked about the “state of the art septic system that is being used for the project. It will be located at the northeast end of the property and the tops of the tanks will be at ground level. The project is designed with a drive through window.
He said that Mr. Brevadora stressed the importance of selling the property to the right owner and of working with the Acton Town Council. Mr. Ellison said that he is from a small town and said that he understands the need for responsible development.
11. Taco Bell Project – Community Input: Michael Hughes asked about whether or not the project would be viable without the drive through component. Mr. Ellison said that it would not be viable. He said that they anticipated that 80% of the business would come from the freeway traffic and 20% from the town. Jacki Ayer commented that she and her family sat outside McDonald’s restaurant from 4-7:00 p.m. on 8/17/2015. They counted 74 cars going in and 74 cars going out per hour. Mr. Ellison said that McDonald’s is twice as large and as busy as a Taco Bell and that they would not generate as much traffic as the McDonalds. He said that a Jack In the Box would be more comparable. Jacki Ayer said that she would be counting traffic at the local Jack in the Box. It was noted that children walk from the Junior High School north on Crown Valley up to the Library and the increased traffic will create higher risk for traffic accidents at the intersections in the area. Also the residents living on upper Crown Valley (approximately 300 homes) will be greatly affected by the increased traffic. It was also noted that when there are accidents on the 14 Freeway, that the overflow traffic routes onto Sierra Highway. The increased traffic from a fast food restaurant will make the area impassable.
It was noted that the survey conducted from the Country Journal of the Acton residents regarding questions on whether or not residents were for additional fast food restaurants / development, that 700 residents responded. This is double the amount of response usually received in surveys. 85% of the survey respondents were against adding more fast food restaurants in Acton with the resulting increased traffic and draw from the 14 Freeway.
Lighting: Jacki Ayer noted that the several of the signs on the buildings were lit internally and this was against the Acton Community Standards. She also noted that any gooseneck lights need to be directed from the top down, not from the bottom upwards. The area of Acton is part of the Dark Skies Initiative. Mr. Ellison was asked when the Acton Town Council will see the modified lighting plans. Mr. Ellison said that they would be provided.
Resident Kathleen Trinity noted that if fast food restaurants are clustered at the Crown Valley Sierra Highway Intersection that this will promote more of this type of development. Another resident said that Acton already has a problem with gang graffiti in town; pulling more traffic from the freeway will only pull more gang type activity to the area.
Mr. John Vidic asked to see where else has the same type of proposed septic system been installed and has it been field tested. Mr. Czyz said that he would provide an example to Mr. Vidic.
One community member said that she has lived in Acton for 30 years and resides in the Shannon Valley area. She said that she is for the project and half of the residents in her area are for it. She was thanked for her participation and asked if she and her neighbors took part in the Country Journal Survey regarding fast food restaurant development in Acton. She said that she had not participated and did not know about it. It was explained that the Acton Town Council represents the Community and that we need community input in order to accurately provide representation. If 85% of the respondents in the Country Journal Survey did not want any more fast food restaurants in Acton, that seemed to be overwhelmingly clear what the residents wanted in this regard. Everyone is encouraged to participate. It was reiterated that residents should read the Country Journal and also go to the Acton Town Council website at www.actontowncouncil.org for information.
Pam Wolter suggested that a survey be taken of the residents in the Upper Crown Valley area to see how they feel about the proposed Taco Bell project.
It was also noted that the land on the proposed project is zoned C-2 – this is Community Serving, not Freeway serving.
J. Ayer also noted that the “trails” on the project were only 4 feet wide instead of 12 feet wide.
A motion was raised by Jacki Ayer to submit a letter to Regional Planning from the Acton Town Council in response to the information presented 8/17/2015 on the proposed Taco Bell project. There are still significant areas to address – i.e. the drive through and the methodology of the Traffic Study. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. Bearing in mind that the hearing for this project is on 9/16/2015, Jacki Ayer will draft the letter by 8/21/2015 and will want final comments in from the ATC by 8/28/205.
12. Acton Town Council By laws: Michael Hughes will be presenting the by-laws in side-by-side format: current by-laws and proposed changes. M. Hughes asked for a vote from the Council on their thoughts on “absentee” voting. After discussion, it was decided that a quorum of the Council needs to be physically in attendance based on the seated Acton Town Council, and that the person requesting to participate electronically needs to give notice beforehand.
13. Committee Reports:
- High Speed Rail – Pam Wolter: C. Croisdale reported that the PR person for HSR called him and he told her that HSR needs to keep in touch with the community – we need updates. Pam Wolter reported that the Tos/ Fukuda lawsuit is scheduled for 2/16/2016. M. Hughes sent an e-mail to Michele Bohm reminding her that HSR promised to come back to Acton.
- Publicity and Association of Rural Town Councils: Tom Costan And Ray Billet
- Finance Ways and Means – Thor Merich: no report
- By-Laws and Community Standards and Decorum: Tom Costan said that an alternative to revising the whole community standards would be to prioritize the elements of the standard and go to the Board of Supervisors to get approval on the change.
- Public Works – Chris Croisdale: Mr. Croisdale discussed the need for further discussion on the procedure of road closures during filming and the need for restoration of damage done after completion of filming.
- Emergency Response and Disaster Planning M. Hughes:
- Beautification, Illegal Dumping, and Perspective – K. Tucker: K. Tucker will report on several areas in Acton where dumping is noted – one of which is Sierra Highway and Soledad.
- Unfinished Business: Proposed Animal Facility Ordinance: the hearing in front of a public officer will be on 9/30/2015. Jacki Ayer will send out the Acton Town Council position letter to the ATC. Several members will attend the hearing and speak.
- New Business: a) The Acton Town Council received a phone call regarding the old Acton Market. The resident was not happy that the old Acton Market owner is covering much of the store front with paper signs advertising products. Signage on store fronts in the Acton Community Standards is limited to 100 square feet at the most. The owner has exceeded this amount. Chris Croisdale will speak with the owner and show him the Acton Community Standards. b) Acton Town Council Elections 2015 – it was noted that the applications for Acton Town Council will be available by 8/19/2015 at the following locations: Acton Hardware, Acton Print Shop, Acton Auto Parts store, the 76 Gas station, and on line at www.actontowncouncil.org. Also the request for absentee ballots will be available too.
Meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m