St. John Fisher Master Plan

Project Planner: Leza Mikhail, Senior Planner
Contact Information: lezam@rpvca.gov / (310) 544-5224
Project Background
St. John Fisher Church submitted an application for Conditional Use Permit #96 – Revision “D”, a Grading Permit, Minor Exception Permit and Sign Program to establish a Master Plan for the St. John Fisher Church and school property.

The first public hearing was held before the Planning Commission to discuss the proposed project, including the proposed Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration, on Tuesday, June 24, 2008. On October 14, 2008, the Planning Commission adopted Resolution No. 2008-34, thereby certifying the Mitigated Negative Declaration and approving the Mitigation Monitoring Program for the St. John Fisher Master Plan Case No. ZON2007-00492 and Resolution No. 2008-35, thereby conditionally approving the St. John Fisher Master Plan, including CUP #96 – Revision “D,” Grading Permit, Minor Exception Permit and Sign Permit for Case No. ZON2007-00492.

On October 29, 2008, the project was appealed to the City Council by local residents. The first public hearing was held before the City Council to discuss the appeal, including the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008. On February 17, 2009, the City Council denied the appeal of the St. John Fisher Master Plan and adopted the conditions of approval set forth by the Planning Commission with specific modifications.

Project Site Description
The St. John Fisher property is located at 5448 Crest Road, on the southeast corner of the intersection at Crest Road and Crenshaw Boulevard. The property is currently developed with an elementary school (K-8), administrative/parish offices, recreational hall (Barrett Hall), rectory (priest’s residence), convent (no longer in use) and sanctuary. The existing campus is sited 15 – 20 feet above the adjacent streets, Crest Road and Crenshaw Boulevard.

There are 2 access driveways for ingress / egress on the property. One driveway is located at the southwest corner of the property and ascends approximately 43-feet from Crenshaw Boulevard (elevation 1182) to the main parking lot (average elevation 1225), A second driveway is located at the northeast corner of the property and ascends approximately 30-feet from Crest Road (elevation 1195) to the main parking lot (average elevation 1225).

Proposed Project Description
The approved project includes a major remodel and expansion of the existing facilities. Details of the proposed project are listed below.
A request to construct a combined total of 32,426-square-feet of new building area to the existing site as delineated below:
  • A 1,074-square-foot addition for the creation of a new 2-classroom preschool (currently no preschool on-site)
  • A 304-square-foot expansion to Barrett Hall for storage area
  • A 400-square-foot addition north of the existing music room to accommodate 2 new offices
  • A new 1,217-square-foot school library at the northeast corner of the existing classrooms
  • A new 1,289-square-foot art room at the northwest corner of the existing classrooms
  • A new 17,000-square-foot sanctuary (to replace the existing 15,402-square-foot sanctuary) to be located at the northwest corner of the subject property. The sanctuary also includes a 900-square-foot basement for the housing of mechanical equipment. The new sanctuary will be circular in shape, whereby the main structure will range in height from 15-feet at the northeast end of the structure to 43-feet at the southwest end. In addition, the new sanctuary will include a steeple, at the west end of the structure, with a maximum height of 60-feet to the top of the steeple and 74-feet to the top of the cross which will be affixed to the top of the steeple.
  • A new 454-square-foot garage at the southeast corner of the property, adjacent to the priest’s new residence (previously nun’s residence)
  • A new 9,788-square-foot administration building (7,488-square-foot first floor and 2,300-square-foot basement)
In addition to the proposed new construction, the applicant is proposing to demolish a combined total of 10,329-square-feet of the existing facilities (offices, youth building and existing priest residence) and remodel 26,544-square-feet of the existing structures (existing nun’s residence to be converted to priest’s residence, existing sanctuary to be converted to new gymnasium, office areas and classrooms).

Proposed Grading
A total of 30,688-cubic-yards of grading is required (19,694-cubic-yards of raw cut and 10,994-cubic-yards of fill to be reused on-site) to accommodate the new construction, major remodel, proposed retaining walls and new parking lot. A total of 8,700-cubic-yards of earthwork will be exported from the property.

Parking
The existing property has a total of 359 parking spaces with 0 loading spaces. As the new sanctuary will be located on a portion of the existing parking lot, the applicant is grading and reconfiguring the parking lot at the south end of the property to accommodate a total of 331 parking spaces with 3 loading spaces. The total number of proposed parking spaces is based on a parking needs analysis for the highest peak hour of operation. In addition to the 331 required parking spaces, the property will also accommodate 23 additional seasonal / peak parking spaces which are only permitted to be used when St. John Fisher Elementary School or Preschool are not in session.

Project Phasing
The applicant is proposing to phase the project. Phase I would include the construction of the new sanctuary, a remodel of the existing sanctuary into a gymnasium, parking and site work improvements, and demolition of the existing rectory and conversion of the existing convent into a new rectory for the priests’ living quarters. Phase II would include remodeling the existing administration building and constructing the new administration building, preschool, library and art room.

Planning Entitlements for Phase II of the Project will remain in full force and effect for a maximum of 5 years from February 17, 2009 unless construction plans for the final phase of construction have been submitted to Building and Safety for plan check.

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