Speak now or forever* hold your peace…

After 4+ years of back and forth with the city of Ventura; the time has finally arrived!!

The Refinement to the current City of Ventura General Plan is FINALLY up for a vote before the City Planning Commission this Wednesday at 6pm. After that vote, it goes before the city council to be ratified.

* most likely many years before another opportunity comes along to amend this document and then may be too late! This is your LAST CHANCE for input on this document.

We are pleased to report that most of the items the Montalvo Community has been pushing for during this time, we’ve got!!

• 204 Parcels within Montalvo Neighborhood Area that are currently zoned R-1– 6 change from Residential Neighborhood Medium to Neighborhood Low Land Use designation to reflect the Montalvo Community Councils request in preserving the neighborhood character;
• Three parcels within Moon Drive Overlay and three parcels within the Montalvo Neighborhood Area change from Residential Neighborhood High to Neighborhood Medium Land Use designation to reflect the Montalvo Community Councils request in preserving the neighborhood character;
• Three parcels within Montalvo Neighborhood Area that are currently zoned Commercial Planned Development (CPD) within existing commercial development from Residential Neighborhood Medium to Commerce Land Use designation;
• Restrictions on Adult Businesses & Homeless Shelters;
• Overlay Zones that reduce Commercial Building Heights in several areas to
cap at 3 stories (down from 6).
A FULL list of items can be fund here (pages 16-20)

There is only one major UN-resolved concern in the Staff Report (pg. 16)
As currently proposed, the commercial building height cold be as high as 45’+ along Victoria Ave. with the properties that share a rear property with the Alameda Ave. property owners. Any future building heights above 36′ would have a significant impact on privacy and sunlight for these existing single story homes. This is our only chance to protect them. See our 2016 shade study graphics for reference.


General Plan Amendment Case No. GPA-2-18-43787 Public Hearing Date of 04/11/18 6pm

  1. ATTEND the Planning Commission Meeting Wednesday April 11,2018  6pm
    Council Chambers, 501 Poli Street. Meeting Agenda Can Be Found Here
    ~ BE THERE to support your community and council for the things we ARE getting
    and to ensure that those promised items stay in the document until ratified by the
    city council.                              &
    ~ FILL OUT a comment card to address the Commissioners
    ~ FILL OUT a speaker card to address the Commissioners
  2. WRITE your Planning Commissioners; Deadline April 11, 2018 5:00p,
    -2 pages maximum (including exhibits); Number of copies to be submitted (15)
     Address: 501 Poli St,. Council Chambers, Ventura, CA 93001
    -eMail them at pc@cityofventura.ca.gov
  3. CALL your Planning Commissioners; Deadline April 11, 2018 5:00p,
    -Phone: 805-654-7893
  4. (Bonus way! Share this info with your neighbors ASAP!!)
    you do not to be in the Montalvo boundaries!
The Planning Commission has adopted Protocols for how their meetings are run. These Protocols are available at: https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8414

If you want to avoid this type of living situation, do one or all 3 of the aboveIMG_3670

The MCC has submitted a letter (below) and will speak at the Planning Commission Meeting this Wednesday.  If you are a concerned resident, please join us to make your feelings known.  This will be the final opportunity for public comment before the General Plan will be adopted. -Thank you!

Your MCC Board submitted this letter today (04/09/18)

Ventura City Planning Commission Councilmembers
City Hall 501 Poli St
Ventura, CA 93001

RE: General Plan Refinement Project No: 12142
General Plan Amendment Case No. GPA-2-18-43787
Public Hearing Date of 04/11/18


Dear Planning Commission Councilmembers and Planning Staff,

The Montalvo Community Council has reviewed the latest iteration of the General Plan Refinement, Public Comment Letters and Staff Report before you. We are thankful to the Planning staff for multiple meetings with our board and assisting in community engagement during this long multi-year process.  We feel that the Council and Staff have honored our community concerns related to the heights of future neighboring commerce buildings along the Victoria Corridor.  We look forward to future development that is compatible with our neighboring Single Family Residential homes.

When the City of Ventura adopted the 2005 General Plan, followed by the Victoria Avenue Corridor Plan & Development Code in April 2009, a portion of the Victoria Corridor and neighboring Montalvo was still part of the unincorporated area under county jurisdiction. During these planning phases, the Montalvo residents were not a part of the planning/development conversations for this area. It was only after the Montalvo area became incorporated into the city in September 2012, that the area residents became familiar with The Ventura General Plan & The Victoria Corridor plan and their respective proposals for our little community. Since then, the citizens of the Montalvo area have been working with the city Planning staff and councils to remedy the General Plan for future growth to be congruent with our little 65+ year old neighborhood.

At the meeting on September 12, 2016 the City Council voted 5-1 to approve staff recommendations for the general plan refinement with amendments. One important amendment made to item number 5 was to “incorporate the Montalvo Community Council’s recommendations.” We want to thank the staff for following the council’s instructions and making our community’s requested changes.

We (and the community we serve) are most pleased and grateful for the majority of the changes made to the General Plan during this refinement process. We felt compelled to address the recent resulting public comments and staff report now before this agency.

1) Building Heights along the T4.5 Victoria Ave. within the Moon Drive Overlay area.

We agree with the staff report that a 24′ overall building height limitation would be limiting to commercial development.  “2 ½ story structures with a maximum height of 30 feet.”  overall height limit, matching the neighboring R-1 zoning description, would be acceptable for future development.  We also do not object to a 15′ minimum ground floor height as long as the overall building height does not exceed 30′.  Our goal is to mitigate privacy and sunlight concerns for the R-1 Alameda Ave. property-owners and residents. The community would like to see any future development on the portion of Victoria Ave. that shares a property line with those on Alameda Ave., be compatible with one another, rather than looming over them. Even with a 30’ height limitation, roofing pitch, elevator bulkheads and other rooftop mounted equipment atop commercial buildings will add significant height and shadowing well above the 30’ limit that will affect the Alameda properties. Our primary intent for the General Plan in this area is to mitigate that building heights be compatible with current single story homes in the area. Please see attached Exhibits A-C that express our sunlight and privacy concerns. The current Moon Drive Overlay Resolution 84-85, required alley widths of 20’ and setbacks of 5’ also aid in mitigating these concerns.

2) Kim Ingram (IS-MND) Comment Letter Dated 03/09/18

On 01/24/2017, Mr. Kim was kind enough to attend our public MCC community meeting and presented/lead a discussion with the attendees about his future plans for developing his three Alameda Ave. property parcels into a future Senior Care facility. Most in attendance were engaged in the discussion and generally supportive of Mr. Ingram’s plans for his parcel and welcomed the idea of this type of facility in our neighborhood.

The community is supportive of Mr. Ingram’s project and understands the impact that the current proposed General Plan Refinement would have on his future development plans.  We did not take his project into consideration during our back and forth with the city. We would have no issue with the Planning Commission making amendments for these parcels of the Moon Drive Overlay to accommodate Mr. Ingram’s requests and defer to the Planning Commission’s judgment on this matter. We would ask that a 3-Story limitation be applied, as was in Mr. Ingram’s proposal to our community last year. Our hope for this area has always been to actas a transitional area bridging the Commercial and Island View Apartments adjacent to single family residences.

We do not object to future commercial development along Victoria Ave. We just want to ensure that what will come in the future is compatible with its neighbors who have been here much longer.

It’s been a long process working with the different agencies assisting us in our transition since our little community was annexed into the city back in 2012. We as a community would like to express our sincere thanks to City Planning Staff (especially Mr. Holt, Mr. Lambert & Mr. Ward), the City Council General Plan Refinement Ad hoc Committee, the City Planning Commission and the City Council (past and current members) for working with us to refine the General Plan to a document that promotes thoughtful and reasonable growth while remaining sensitive to our 65+ year old community.

Respectfully submitted on behalf the MCC Board.

MCC Community Meeting (3/20/18)

03-20-18 MCC Agenda
MCC Community Meeting (Open to the public and neighboring communities)
6:30pm – 8:15pm
(**not our usual Four-Square Church meeting place**)
Seed Communities Church 2734 Johnson Dr., Ventura, CA 93003

6:30p Welcome
6:35p-7:00p Ventura Police Department Presentation/Update
– District 6 Crime Report  (SEE BELOW)
7:00p-7:30 Ventura City Council Member Speaker – Christy Weir
– Various issues, including New Voting Districts (Montalvo District 6) & in Pipeline Projects in our district (Johnson Dr.)
7:30-7:50p Discussion on Future Montalvo Community Council Boundary Expansion
based upon the New 2018 Ventura District-Based Election Map
7:50-8:00p Upcoming General Plan Changes  It’s finally here!
-Discuss highlights the proposed General Plan Refinement updates for the Victoria Corridor & Montalvo Adoption By Ventura Planning Commission/City Council
Coming This Spring!
Please read the MCC response to the upcoming
2018 Ventura General Plan Refinement
8:00-8:05p Montalvo Recycling Fundraiser – Dan Farmer
Montalvo Recycled Aluminum Drive (MRAD)
8:05p-8:15p Wrap Up
May 1st Next MCC Public Meeting (Tentative)
MCC Zone 6
New Ventura Election Map Zone 6 (& proposed Montalvo Community Council boundaries)


Northbank Apartments

Large development set to break ground in 2018 at the corner of Johnson Dr and Northbank.

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“…The council approved a zone change that clears the way for 306 apartments to be built at Johnson and North Bank drives. The roughly 8-acre site is near Highway 101, the Santa Clara River and a Motel 6.

The units will range from 668 square-foot studios to three-bedroom units that are 1,759 square feet, according to the city’s staff report.

The council approved the zone change on a 5-2 vote, with Mayor Neal Andrews and council member Christy Weir opposed. Both expressed concern with traffic and Andrews felt the project was too dense.

Weir said the lack of park space bothered her — the quarter-acre public park was small for the number of children expected to live in the complex and and they wouldn’t really be able to walk to any park nearby, she said —  as did the height of the buildings that blocked mountain views from the freeway and the city’s uncertain water supply.

But a council majority and several who spoke agreed the project offered badly needed housing and would help activate a part of the city that has languished in recent years, particularly as The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard has flourished.

“I welcome the addition of workforce housing,” council member Erik Nasarenko said.

Ventura Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Stephanie Caldwell said the addition of residents could help revitalize an area that soon could be home to thriving restaurants, shops and services.

“The city needs a win. We need progress,” she said.

Ravello Holdings, the developer, will include 19 units for low and very low-income populations. In the city’s housing element, its blueprint for ensuring it has enough housing types to accommodate all income levels, the site was identified as having 55 units for the lowest earners. But the city has other sites identified to make up the difference, the December staff report to the Planning Commission notes.

Ravello will also pay $2.4 million in water fees, money that will help the city develop new sources of water. If a development lacks its own water source or rights, the city charges an “in-lieu” fee, which is based on the amount of water a development is expected to use. The fee was $26,457 per acre-foot when it was approved in June 2016.”

-Excerpt from VC Star Article

Full report here:

Design Review Report here:

Opinion piece regarding riverfront access:

“In the near future, many buildings are coming to the corner of Johnson and North Bank Drive in East Ventura (at the Hwy. 101 exit).  A project currently proposed and under review by the city of Ventura contains 300-plus apartments and retail stores in the now empty lot.   The project is adjacent to the Santa Clara River but contains no amenities to integrate or acknowledge the river’s ecological value. In fact, hundreds of acres of the river in the immediate vicinity are held by The Nature Conservancy with the intent of making them part of the future public Santa Clara River Parkway. The Nature Conservancy has been performing riparian and native plant restoration, endangered species recovery, and promoting sustainable environmental practices at this location for years. How often does a municipality have an international nonprofit group gifting a huge asset to them?  It’s more than puzzling that there is no city vision in the building project; it’s a major failing.

Visionary planning on this project would include some amenities consistent with the Santa Clara River Parkway at this urban-nature interface. Obvious examples include:

Multipurpose stormwater detention basin/outdoor amphitheater.  All new building projects are required to contain urban drainage from a 1.5-year frequency storm on-site (to reduce water pollution into surface streams). In this location, the detention basin could be designed as a dry-weather amphitheater and used for public education,  nature programs, outdoor cultural festivals or specialized sports events. Wouldn’t this be a great location to start/end a bike race or hold a bird-a-thon? Revenue from events could support the facility maintenance.

Series of educational kiosks.  Public kiosks highlighting the ecology of the river in the immediate area are the minimum inexpensive amenity in this urban-nature interface.  Kiosks could explain topics such as effects of urbanization on the environment, wealth of rare plant and animal wildlife present, surface water and groundwater issues and the connection to the region, such as the estuary.

Eco-oriented commercial areas: seasonal or permanent.  The project should expand on the adjacent existing bike path and linear park by incorporating areas reserved for small business such as bicycle services, farm produce market or entertainment/refreshment vendors. Find out about a similar situation at the Frog Spot on the Elysian Valley bike path along the LA River at www.thefrogspot.org.

Most importantly, this is the ideal time to plan and provide for consistent amenities between the proposed project and the Olivas Park Drive extension. The two locations are extremely close to each other, are both river-adjacent, and have superb potential to add value to the environmental stewardship of the area.  Let’s have a non-vehicular route and Parkway-consistent amenities between the projects such as wildlife and scenic viewpoints, picnic areas, educational kiosks and more.”


District Maps

Dear Community Partner,
The City of Ventura is pleased to announce that 33 draft maps were submitted to National Demographics Corporation for consideration of the City’s district maps.

The maps are available to view on the City’s website at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1249/DRAFT-DISTRICT-MAPS.

We need your feedback and involvement in the next steps at the two remaining Public Hearings, so please consider attending:

  • Public Hearing #3, on December 4, 2017 at 6 pm, City Hall
    City Council meeting to hear input on the draft district maps and to discuss which districts will have election in 2018 and which in 2020.
  • Public Hearing #4 on December 11, 2017 at 6 pm, City Hall
    City Council meeting to select a district map and introduction of an ordinance to transition to district based City Council elections.

An ordinance to establish the district boundaries is slated for adoption by January 14, 2018, and will be effective for the 2018 Election.

Your participation is very important to us and we look forward to hearing your comments.

Kelly Flanders
Communications Manager
City Manager’s Office, City of Ventura
501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA 93002
(805) 677-3993


Ventura’s Water Supply

If you are interested in the issue of the water supply for Ventura, and proposed capital water projects to enhance the water supply, then you should be aware of an upcoming meeting at City hall with the Ventura Water Commission.

Scoping Meeting
City Hall Council Chambers,
501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA 93001
on November 15, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. 

Public Notice

November 1, 2017

Interested Parties

Announcement of the Availability of the Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report

Ventura Water Supply Projects

Review Period:
November 1, 2017, through December 1, 2017

The City of San Buenaventura (City of Ventura/City) has prepared a Notice of Preparation (NOP) to notify the public, responsible and trustee agencies that as the Lead Agency the City will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for implementation of the Ventura Water Supply Projects. The NOP is available for review at the City’s Clerk Office located at 501 Poli Street, Room 204, Ventura, CA 93002 online at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10084.

The City is proposing to develop new water supplies to augment its water supply portfolio consistent with the City’s recently completed 2017 Comprehensive Water Resources Report (CWRR) and 2015 Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP). The EIR will analyze certain water supply alternatives outlined in the CWRR and UWMP including maximizing potable reuse of recycled water through implementation of the VenturaWaterPure Project, accessing imported water through the State Water Interconnection Project, providing groundwater treatment, and implementing an ocean desalination facility.

The City of Ventura is soliciting the views of responsible and trustee agencies, as well as other members of the public, including interested persons, organizations, and agencies, as to the scope and content of the environmental information to be evaluated in the EIR. The complete NOP contains more information on the project including figures showing the general location of the proposed facilities. The EIR will be used by the City Council when considering approval of the projects and any related discretionary approvals, as well as by state and federal agencies in considering discretionary permits and approvals for project(s) implementation.

All comments to the NOP are due no later than December 1, 2017. Please send your comments to the mailing address or email address shown below. Include a return address or email address and a contact name in your agency or group with your comments.

City of Ventura
Gina Dorrington,
501 Poli Street, Room 120
Ventura, CA 93002-0099

scoping meeting will be held to receive comments regarding the scope and content of the EIR. The scoping meeting will include a brief presentation providing an overview of the proposed water supply projects and the CEQA process. After the presentation, oral comments will be accepted. Written comment forms will be supplied for those who wish to submit comments in writing at the scoping meetings. Written comments also may be submitted any time prior to the NOP comment due date. The scoping meeting will be held at City Hall Council Chambers, 501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA 93001 on November 15, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. 

Water Well Information

Please see the previous post regarding this matter here.

In an email received 9/12/17:

Hello Montalvo community members,

Thank you for attending our informational meeting last Tuesday to discuss the Mound Well No. 3 project.  Community involvement is one of the most important aspects of the environmental review process, so we appreciated having such a good group of engaged citizens.

We received the following specific questions during our meeting and within follow up emails.

     1. Hydrology study

Preliminary Hydro Report_Mound_3-30-15

     2. Antenna specs – transmitting or receiving, frequency, directional or omni, type of antenna

The radio operates within the 900 Mhz range.  Due to security reasons, we cannot provide the exact frequency the City will operate on. However the Public Works Department has assured us that the radio signal transmission/receiving will be within what the law allows for public utility operations.  The antenna will be a directional yagi antenna, and will be pointed toward one of the City’s master radios for data collection.  Regarding the alternative possibility of using cable and wifi options, cable is not used because the City could not control the infrastructure and would have no control over outages and repairs.  Wifi is not used as the network and maintenance costs would be too great at this time, due to the current data requirements for well operation.

     3. CEQA report

See Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration below.  A copy can also be viewed in City Hall Room 117.

Final Mound Well 3 – IS-MND_Feb 2017

  1. Exact dB and frequency of pump sound

This is a copy of the City’s current Noise Ordinance.
Sec. 10.650.110._Noise Regulations_General-1

The City/Contractor will strictly adhere to this ordinance.

To help address people’s curiosity about noise from the pump/motor, Chris Dejarme is organizing a small “field-trip” to Saticoy Well No. 3 which was constructed in 2015.  This well should give anyone curious about noise a good first-hand experience of the noise generated by the pump once operational.

Chris should have already sent out a separate email, but he will open the facility on Wednesday, September 13th from 10:00-10:30 AM.  The site is located at 11183 Aster Street, Ventura, CA 93004.  Please note this is an industrial facility, so please use extreme caution and adhere to safety measures once onsite.  Please contact Chris Dejarme CC’ed on this email for more info regarding the field-trip.

  1. Light Pollution study

No light pollution study was conducted as the City is not planning on installing any lighting other than what you would normally find in a residential neighborhood.  Prior to installation of any lighting, the City’s Building & Safety Department will review the final plan and ensure that everything is within code.  Additional info on lighting can be found in the Aesthetics Section of the attached CEQA report.

  1. Where to direct concerns

You can direct your questions/concerns with regards to environmental impacts to me/Sespe, up to the day of the Administrative Hearing which is now scheduled for October 3, 2017.  The Planning Department has not yet opened up a formal portal for submitting comments directly to them, but any comments we received beforehand will be passed on once they do.  I will be sure to let everyone know as soon as this portal opens up.

You can direct technical questions and other general questions to Chris Dejarme of the City of Ventura  cdejarme@ci.ventura.ca.us

A point of clarification from the information provided at last Tuesday’s meeting, well drilling will need to be conducted around the clock for a few days, as once this process begins it cannot stop until the well is completely drilled.  During this process, a large sound curtain/wall will be placed around the entire drill site to attenuate noise during this activity.    The remaining construction activities (installation of pre-fabricated building, installation of other appurtenances, etc.) will occur during daytime hours.

Sound Curtain-Wall Image 1Sound Curtain-Wall Image 2

Please be aware, the Administrative Hearing for the project has been postponed until Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 4:00 in the afternoon at Santa Cruz Room, City Hall, 501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA.

Thank you, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to either myself or Chris Dejarme if you have additional questions/concerns.

Graham Stephens
Sespe Consulting, Inc.
374 Poli St., Ste. 200 • Ventura, CA 93001
Office: (805) 275-1515
Cell: (805) 794-4870


Proposed Water Pump Project

UPDATE    IMG_6012

The informational meeting was well attended and many thoughtful questions were posed.  The consultant for this project is available for questions, comments or concerns.

Graham Stephens
Environmental Professional I
805.275.1515 X 121

Sespe Consulting was kind enough to provide their presentation slides:
SA07_Mound Well_Montalvo Council Meeting PPT_fnl

We are waiting to receive more information, and will update as soon as possible.
The Administrative hearing for this project has been postponed to October 3, 2017.


Water well and pump proposed in Montalvo.

The Montalvo Community Council will host an
Informational Meeting
Tuesday, September 5
Lighthouse Church- 6500 Montalvo Dr

A representative from Ventura Public Works will make a presentation and answer questions regarding the proposed water well project.  Please join us to find out more.

Read full details here:

MoundWell3-Projectfacts (1)




Victoria Ave. & Moon Dr. Development Project goes before City Design Review Committee (09/06/17) 6pm

In an effort to keep the Montalvo Community informed of upcoming developments, please review the site proposal that will be before the City (DRC) Design Review Committee 09/06/17 6pm. This meeting would be an opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about or speak to the upcoming proposed project.

Meeting info can be found here after 8/25/17

Any comments or questions can be directed to the property owner, Mr. Peter Goldenring, who said he would be happy to receive communication.

Peter Goldenring
Goldenring & Prosser, APLC
6050 Seahawk Street
Ventura, CA 93003
Phone: (805) 642-6702
Fax (805) 642-3145

Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (1)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (2)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (3)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (4)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (5)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (6)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (7)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (8)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (9)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (10)Victoria Ave._Moon Dr. Development (11)


Auto Center Sign


City Staff attended the public meeting on 6-6-17.
Several members of the Ventura Auto Center were also in attendance.  Many questions were answered during a presentation by Neil Maguire.  If you have questions or concerns you may direct them to:

Neil P. Maguire
(805) 659-6800 ext 217

This issue will go before the Planning Commission on
Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at 6pm
at Ventura City Hall, Council Chambers, 501 Poll St.

See Item Number 3 on the the Agenda here:

Persons wishing to address the Commission during the Public Communications period of the meeting should fill out a speaker form prior to the Commission reaching this point on the agenda.


Please send correspondence to the following e-mail address: anna.hall@ventura.org (deadline 5pm June 12th)

End Update


Development at the Ventura Auto Center has potential to impact our neighborhood in the near future.  Located as little as a 1,000 feet from Montalvo doorsteps, and just on the other side of the 101 freeway, could be a new sign approximately 82 feet tall with an illuminated screen area approximately 20 feet high and 60 feet wide.  In addition to this “New multiple-user electronic reader-board sign (freeway sign)” many dealer specific signs, as well as entry signs are being proposed.

How do you feel about this proposal?  Please view the photos below, all of which can be found in the city reports, and let us know your thoughts by commenting on this post, or emailing the MCC at montalvocomcouncil@gmail.com

You can read all the details in the reports linked below.

Specific Plan:


Note: MND=Mitigated Negative Declaration.  The is a type of environmental impact report that says that the Specific Plan will not cause a significant environmental issue because they believe they have (through specific requirements within the plan)  mitigated (lessened) the environmental impact to an insignificant level.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.52.36 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.52.55 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.53.58 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.54.01 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.54.21 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 1.54.25 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 2.09.54 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 2.11.10 PMimage004image001 (1)

From page 24 of the MND report:

The proposed 82-foot tall freeway sign would be thirteen feet lower than the identification sign currently allowed under the Specific Plan. The proposed sign, however, would have a larger illuminated screen area of approximately 20 feet high by 60 feet wide, compared to the currently allowed 23-foot high, 34-foot wide screen area. The screen would produce a new source of light for drivers on U.S. 101, nearby commercial businesses, and residential areas to the north of the Auto Center on the other side of U.S. 101.

The nearest residences are in the Montalvo neighborhood, approximately 1,000 feet to the north of the Auto Center, at an elevation of 102 feet. Further to the north, approximately 3,000 feet from the Auto Center, the elevation rises to 146 feet. The top and bottom of the sign screen would be at elevations of 164 feet and 137.5 feet, respectively. Although separated from the Auto Center by U.S. 101 (130 feet elevation), the sign would be visible from residential areas to the north, as shown in Figure 7. The screens, however, would be oriented towards the freeway and away from the residential areas, so there would be minimal light and glare from the screens directed at the residential areas.

During the day, the illuminated sign would create a minimal source of light that would blend in with the surrounding area. However, at night and during inclement weather, the sign would create a 1,200 square foot-area of light adjacent to the freeway that may result in light and/or glare impacts on views from the freeway.

Implementation of Mitigation Measures AES-1 and AES-2, below, which requires that the Specific Plan includes standards for the brightness of electronic signs and prohibits animation, flashing, scrolling, etc., and requires City approval of the sign brightness would reduce impacts for both drivers and residents to the north to a less than significant level.


Mitigation Measures
AES-1: Electronic Sign Brightness. The Auto Center Specific Plan shall include the following standards for the Auto Center freeway sign and Auto Center entry sign: 

• Lighting levels on the digital sign shall not exceed 0.3 foot candles above ambient light from a distance of 250 feet, as measured according to standards of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
• Brightness shall not exceed 800 nits (candela per square meter) from sunset to sunrise. At all other times, brightness will not exceed 7500 nits.
• Illumination shall be directed such that minimal light spill will occur on either side or the top or bottom of the sign face.
• A light sensor shall be installed with the sign to measure ambient light levels and to adjust light intensity to respond to such conditions. The light sensor adjusts the sign’s brightness in order to compete with ambient light. The darker the surrounding ambient light, the less bright the sign is.
• The sign shall not display any moving, flashing, scrolling, fading, brightening or animated text or video. 
• Signage shall be controlled remotely and include remote maintenance software.
• LED lighting has a directional nature, and the projected viewing angle values for this sign shall be ± 30° vertically and ± 60° horizontally. Louvers shall be located above each row of lights to prevent light from projecting upward into the sky.

AES-2: City Approval of Brightness. Within 14 days of the freeway sign being operational, the applicant shall submit to the satisfaction of the Direction of Planning and Building the following information:
• A third-party test conducted after installation to verify that the billboard complies with the requirements not to exceed 0.3 foot-candle above ambient light at 250 feet from the face of the freeway sign. If the value exceeds industry standards, additional lighting output reduction shall be required until the 0.3 foot-candle requirement is satisfied.