PRJ02-00276 - DEVELOPMENT PROJECT ZON02-00033. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: THE BROOKHOLLOW GROUP.
The Committee continued its review of site and architectural plans for a new one-story 6,300-sq.-ft. multi-tenant commercial building at 1446 North Harbor Boulevard. Program Planner Linnell described the proposed development and the issues relating to the submitted plans. He said that the issue for staff is the need to comply with a 10-foot landscaped setback along Harbor Boulevard, and that the proposed patio area that would encroach within this setback at the north end of the building is not acceptable. Staff is willing to allow the minor encroachment at the other end of the site, as shown on the site plan. Condition 1 of the recommended conditions of approval addresses the need to eliminate the patio area at the north end. Staff has no objection to the proposed building design, subject to the Committee's comments and recommendations.
Present to discuss the proposed development were Greg Knapp of The Brookhollow Group and his architect, Mike Heinrich of Lee and Sakahara Architects, and his consultant, Phil Schwartze of PRS Group. Mr. Knapp said that he has tentative leases for three eating establishments, but each is concerned about having sufficient outdoor seating. Also important for these tenants is the number of conveniently located parking spaces. The proposed site plan shows 29 parking spaces - a reduction from the preliminary plan - and a further reduction may not be acceptable to these tenants.
Mike Heinrich described the building's architecture and displayed a color and materials board showing the exterior treatment. He noted that a "warm" color scheme is proposed to compliment the surrounding development; that espaliers for vines are proposed for the back (east) wall; that low-height (20") curvilinear walls define the patio area from the landscaped setback along Harbor Boulevard; and that according to the prospective tenants, there is no need to provide a sound barrier along Harbor Boulevard to make the outdoor areas useable.
Phil Schwartze noted that sections of the city's Zoning Ordinance seem to allow patio areas to be counted as part of the landscaped area, and he asked staff to consider that provision in the code with the proposal. Chief Planner Rosen said that, notwithstanding the section of the code cited by Mr. Schwartze, the policy of the city has been not to allow patio areas to be part of the required landscaped setback for commercial property that is outside of the defined downtown area. He noted that this property is not considered to be within the downtown area.
Chairman Coffman noted that no one from the public was present. He closed the public hearing and asked for comments from the Committee.
Committee Members thought the building's contemporary design was acceptable as proposed, but encouraged the architect to provide a more pronounced offset at various locations.
With regard to the setback issue along Harbor Boulevard, Committee Members were supportive of some type of compromise design that would be acceptable to staff. Committee Member Silber was supportive of having the patio area at the north end of the building encroach three to four feet into the 10-foot setback. Committee Members Daybell and Caufman were more adamant about requiring the full 10-foot landscaped area, but were willing to allow staff to negotiate a compromise with the applicant. One alternative that was discussed required a longer but shallower curved area to define the patio and the provision of a pedestrian walkway from Harbor Boulevard in order to open up the entry at the north end. Also discussed was a possible conversion of one of the parking spaces to the patio area if another parking space could be provided elsewhere. In the end, Committee Members agreed to retain the requirement for the full 10 feet of landscaping at the north end of the building, as stated by Condition 1.
Motion by Silber, seconded, and CARRIED unanimously by Members present to APPROVE Development Project ZON02-00033 as proposed, subject to all recommended conditions in the staff report.