Cotati City

CC Resolution
Continued-No Vote
Mar 28, 2017 7:00 PM



Department:Community DevelopmentSponsors:
Category:Private Development Project


WHEREAS, Colvin 100A, LLC submitted an application on April 21, 2014 to amend a vesting tentative map at 100 Valparaiso Avenue to reduce the number of lots from 62 to 45. The application also included requests for design review and a hillside development permit; and

WHEREAS, the 100 Valparaiso Vesting Tentative Map was originally approved in 2009, was extended through multiple automatic state extensions; then granted two 12-month extensions by the Cotati City Council on November 23, 2015 and November 22, 2016; and

WHEREAS, after multiple design revisions the Community Development Department deemed the application complete on April 26, 2016; and

WHEREAS, during the summer of 2016 it came to staff’s attention that federal jurisdictional wetlands had developed on the site and within a roadside ditch; and

WHEREAS, the applicant has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to design project improvements that do not impact the wetlands and has revised the Vesting Tentative Map to accommodate that design; and

WHEREAS, the project is consistent with both the 2015 Cotati General Plan, and the City’s Land Use Code and;

WHEREAS, a Mitigated Negative Declaration was originally adopted for the project and under the California Environmental Quality Act an addendum to the original document can be prepared if there are no new environmental impacts, thus an addendum has be prepared to document the current proposal, and no further environmental review is required; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has considered the addendum to the original mitigated negative declaration in their deliberations;

WHEREAS, on October 20, 2016 the Design Review Committee reviewed the application and made recommendations to the Planning Commission with respect to architecture, subdivision design and the on-site historic resource (stone building); and

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on February 21, 2017 regarding the amended application and associated entitlements, at which time all interested persons were given an opportunity to be heard; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission recommended that the City Council approve the Vesting Tentative Map Amendment without the Dorfman Connection for a total of 46 lots along with associated entitlements of Preliminary Design Review and a Hillside Development Permit; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council held a duly noticed public hearing on March 28, 2017 regarding the application and associated entitlements, at which time all interested persons were given the opportunity to be heard, and


1.              The above recitals are true and correct and constitute a part of the Findings made by the City Council in approving this Resolution.

2.              The City Council does hereby find that the proposed project is consistent with the intent of the City of Cotati General Plan and hereby approves the project subject to the Conditions of Approval attached as Exhibit “A.”

3.              That the approval is subject to the following findings of fact for a Hillside Development Permit:

-              The proposed project complies with the requirements of this chapter (Chapter 17.53) and all other applicable provisions of the Land Use Code; in that the 100 Valparaiso Vesting Tentative Map Amendment better implements the hillside development standards than the 2009 approvals by meeting the larger hillside rear yard setbacks for all perimeter lots adjacent to existing neighborhoods, by meeting the height limitations of the Land Use Code and reducing the Floor Area Ratio for the proposed lots.

-               The proposed project is consistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan, by creating a grid like street system with sidewalks (Circulation Element), retaining historic resources (Conservation Element), and developing on an in-fill site at the preferred density (Land Use Element).

-              The design, location, and size of proposed structures and/or additions or alterations to existing structures will be compatible with adjacent existing and anticipated future development, in terms of aesthetics, character, scale, and view protection, because the project architecture and proposed landscape plan the project is creating a new neighborhood which is compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods in its design, density and similar building masses.

-               The design and placement of proposed structures will minimize their visibility from offsite and reinforce the appearance of the site as more of an open hillside than an intensively developed property, to the maximum extent feasible, because the 100 Valparaiso Vesting Tentative Map amendment develops the site with fewer lots and a greater number of single story homes which will make the site appear less dense than the 2009 map.

-              The placement of proposed structures on the site avoids slopes over ten percent to the maximum extent feasible, because with the proposed grading, the structures will not occur on slopes over 10%.

4.              With the recommendations of the Design Review Committee and the Planning Commission as they pertain to architecture, the findings for a Design Review under 17.62.040F of the Municipal Code can be made, because:

-              The project has proposed an architectural design, building massing and scale appropriate to and compatible with the site surroundings and the community, by proposing one-story buildings at the highest point of the project site, and proposing a color and material palette which is appropriate for hillside design.

-              The project provides attractive and desirable site layout and design, including building arrangement, exterior appearance and setbacks, drainage, fences and walls, grading, landscaping, lighting, signs, etc, by proposing perimeter setbacks which will ensure privacy of the established neighborhoods, by proposing low water and native landscape materials, and by designing a subdivision with a lower FAR than the previous map.

-              The project provides efficient, safe, and visually attractive public access, circulation and parking, by proposing public roads that meet City engineering standards, by designing entry pilasters to mark the main entrance to the subdivision and proposing crosswalks marked with different paving materials to encourage pedestrian use.

-              The project provides appropriate open space and landscaping, including the use of water-efficient landscaping, and native plants where appropriate; by proposing to create a pocket park to enjoy a historic resource, through the interesting design and creation of interpretive signage around the stormwater retention areas, and by proposing a landscape plan which will meet the City’s low water use standards.

-              Through the project design and conditions of approval, the project will implement improvements that will not negatively impact city services, traffic flows or patterns, or environmental considerations. The proposal has been designed in a manner that ensures maximum protection, efficiency and enhancement for the immediate area and the city as a whole;

-              The project is consistent with the general plan; namely through the Land Use and Conservation elements, because the project is an in-fill project that will protect a historic resource and promote alternative energy sources while providing housing units for the City of Cotati.

5.              That the findings for an amendment to a Vesting Tentative Map under 17.71.100(D)(2) of the Municipal Code can be made, because the downturn of the economy created a circumstance where implementation of the 2009 map is no longer feasible. Aa changes in circumstances does allow a previously approved map to be amended.  The amended map meets the findings for approval under 17.71.070 because the proposed map is consistent with the General Plan, it is being proposed on a site that is suitable for development, the proposed design will not harm the environment and the proposed public improvements will enhance the community.

6.              That the findings of fact under 17.70.100(C)(1) for an exception to the City of Cotati subdivision standards (the maximum block length) can be made, because:

-              Due to special circumstances or conditions affecting this property, the strict application of Chapter 17.78 of this title would create an unnecessary hardship;


The 100 Valparaiso property is unique because it is subject to the Hillside Development Standards and it is surrounded by existing development on all sides of the same or similar density as the proposed project. Connecting Dorfman through to Fehler is not necessary in order to connect new neighborhoods to existing and could add a nuisance factor of bringing additional cut-through vehicular traffic through the neighborhoods.


-          The exception is consistent with the intent of the requirements of Chapter 17.78 of this title and does not constitute a grant of special privilege;


The balance of the subdivision meets the intent of the City Code through a design which is thoughtful, addresses known neighborhood concerns, creates usable lots with attractive architecture and interconnected old and new neighborhoods.


-          The exception would not result in significant increased adverse environmental impacts compared to the strict application of the requirements of Chapter 17.78 of this title;


The subdivision both with and without the Dorfman connection have been analyzed by a traffic engineer, the exception would not result in an increased environmental impact.


-               The granting of the exception will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, convenience and general welfare or injurious to other property in the territory in which such property is situated; and


The design of the subdivision without the Dorfman connection will potentially create a more livable community, will not decrease the convenience of drivers, and will not be detrimental to public health or safety.


-               The exception will not affect the consistency of the proposed subdivision with the general plan or any applicable specific plan.


The design of the subdivision without the Dorfman connection is consistent with the General Plan.


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City Council approves the Vesting Tentative Map Amendment, Preliminary Design Review and Hillside Development Permit in order to create a 46 lot subdivision which includes six inclusionary lots and a pocket park (known as parcel B) for the preservation of a historic resource subject to the applicable Conditions of Approval attached as "Exhibit A."


Meeting History

Mar 28, 2017 7:00 PM Audio/Video Cotati City Council Regular Meeting