On February 18, 1999, the Planning Commission adopted a resolution of intent for Amendment 885.
<br />On March 24, 1999, the EDC was briefed on the Planning Commission's recommendations on
<br />Amendment 885. The EDC voted to support the amendment with the revisions recommended by the
<br />Planning Commission.
<br />The Planning Commission held new hearings on the Amendment 885 on March 18, 1999 and April 8,
<br />1999. The Planning Commission voted unanimously (with one absent) to recommend approval to the
<br />City Council.
<br />Current Regulations
<br />The current regulations for service stations have remained essentially unchanged since they were first
<br />adopted in 1972. The regulations are highly specific as to the type of permitted activities. Permitted
<br />activities are limited to the dispensing of fuel, vehicle maintenance and repair, vehicle washing and
<br />detailing, trailer and automobile rental, and tire sales. The only non - automotive activities permitted are
<br />the sale of soft drinks, candy, cigarettes, ice and similar items from vending machines.
<br />The intent of the current regulations is to clearly define what a service station is, including the products it
<br />sells and the services it dispenses. Due to this specificity, a number of common service station activities
<br />are technically in violation the Zoning Code. For example, under the current regulations, the only
<br />activities allowed outside of a building are the dispensing of gasoline, oil, air and water, lamp adjustment,
<br />and the testing or servicing of automobiles which necessitate a running engine. Therefore, a number of
<br />minor maintenance activities, such as the replacement of windshield wipers, batteries, and fuses, and the
<br />replenishing of windshield wiper, brake, and transmission fluids, are technically not permitted unless they
<br />are conducted within a building. Likewise, service stations with car washes conflict with this regulation if
<br />they vacuum, dry, or wax vehicles outside of a building.
<br />The current regulations are also reflective of the typical service station of the early 1970's. The
<br />regulations cannot accommodate, and therefore preclude, the types of service station operations that have
<br />developed during the past twenty -seven years, as well as the new types that are under development today.
<br />Industry Trends
<br />In 1971, Newport Beach had 44 service stations and car washes; today, there are 17. This reflects a
<br />nationwide trend. Since the mid- 1970's, the number of full- service stations has declined by more than 50
<br />percent. This is due to an ongoing trend from conventional stations with service bays to large - volume,
<br />self - service stations brought on by increasing construction and payroll costs, consumer preferences, and
<br />the decreased demand for repair and maintenance services.
<br />The industry is also seeing a decline in the overall profitability of gasoline sales. The industry response
<br />has been to provide alternate services, most notably convenience markets and car washes. More recently,
<br />the industry has begun developing a number of hybrid facilities. One type involves "co- branding," the
<br />combining of two or more franchise operations. One example of this is "quick serve" (fast food)
<br />restaurants and service stations (e.g., McDonald's restaurant franchises operating within Chevron service
<br />stations). Another approach is the combining of a number of services within a single development. One
<br />servim stew, update
<br />May 10, 1999
<br />Page 2