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RDRC Minutes October 24, 2002

RDRC Minutes October 24, 2002


The meeting was called to order at 4:08 p.m. by Chairman Coffman


COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Coffman; Committee Members Blumer, Daybell, and Johnson
STAFF PRESENT: Program Planner Linnell; Chief Planner Rosen; Senior Civil Engineer Voronel


Minutes of the September 26th and October 10th meetings were approved as written.



    The Committee reviewed a proposed sign program for the Williams Building, a designated Historical Landmark, on property at 112 East Commonwealth Avenue. Program Planner Linnell noted that last month the Committee had looked at a preliminary design of a blade or projecting sign for Imperial Academy, a major tenant for the building. At that time the Committee advised the applicant that before an approval of the Imperial Academy could be made, a comprehensive sign program for the building should be submitted for review.

    Drawings and photos of the building were distributed. Program Planner Linnell said that the owner, Brian Williams, is proposing a sign program for the building and that Dennis Lyle, the owner of the Imperial Academy, is proposing a final design of the projecting sign for his business.

    Brian Williams said that the existing sign for the Williams Company would be removed and that the future first floor tenant(s) would have signs in the same location as the old sign. The Imperial Academy projecting sign would be the only sign on the upper level of the building. The submitted photo of the building shows the location of the Imperial Academy sign. Signs would also be placed on the south (back) side of the building, most likely with foam letters on the brick wall.

    Dennis Lyle said that the Imperial Academy sign would have the colors and copy as shown on the submitted drawing.

    Committee members were unanimous in support of the proposed sign program. In response to Chairman Caufman's question, Program Planner Linnell said that any future proposal for a sign on this building that is different than what is being reviewed and approved by the Committee would be subject to the Committee's approval.

    Motion by Blumer, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by Members present to APPROVE the sign program for the Williams Building, including a projecting sign for Imperial Academy at the upper level of the building.


    The Committee continued its review of site and architectural plans for a two-story, 7,225-sq.-ft. general office building on property at 1601 North Harbor Blvd. Program Planner Linnell said that the applicant has revised the proposed set of plans to address the Committee's comments of the September 26th meeting. Minor changes have been made to the site plan, primarily to accommodate two driveways from Harbor Blvd. - one for entry the other for exit only. The building has been redesigned using a Spanish or Mediterranean style of architecture, and staff believes it is a good improvement from the initial submittal. Staff recommends that refinements be specified in the building's features, such as recessing the windows on the north and south sides of the building, to reflect a truer Spanish architecture.

    In attendance to discuss the proposal was Paul Kim, the architect for the prospective property owner. Mr. Kim displayed a color and materials board for the Committee's review. He explained the various revisions to the building, noting that the exterior staircases are now enclosed and the second story balcony is partially covered. He said that the roof tile is not yet specified as to its form or shape, and that the tile on the building wall would have a ceramic finish.

    Chairman Coffman asked for comments from the Committee. Members were supportive of the proposed Spanish architecture but thought that a number of refinements were needed to convey a more classic look to the building (vs. its contemporary design). The following features were suggested:

    • The roof should have no more than a 4 to 12 pitch.
    • Break up the expanse of the storefront windows on the front (Harbor Blvd.) elevation with columns. These windows should be recessed from the plane of the columns or walls of the building.
    • Use corbel features as part of the support for the second story.
    • Provide a recess to the windows on the north and south sides of the building.
    • Eliminate the use of tile on the walls and specify a smooth plaster finish.

    Chairman Coffman said that he would like to see the building designed to be more responsive to its hillside setting. He thought that the building could be stepped or terraced up the slope and the symmetrical design of the building should be discouraged.

    The Committee requested Mr. Kim to return with revised drawings at the meeting on November 7th that considers these suggested refinements.

    Motion by Daybell, seconded and CARRIED unanimously by Members present to CONTINUE consideration of the site and architectural plans for ZON02-00026 until the meeting on November 7, 2002.


    The Committee reviewed a proposed design of a new monument sign that would be placed within medians of key arterial streets and which would be seen by motorists who are entering the city. Chief Planner Rosen explained that the request was initiated by the City Manager; the city has commissioned a consultant to design a prototype sign with the idea that it would be displayed at numerous "portal" locations. He asked Engineering staff to describe the proposal.

    In attendance to discuss the request were Senior Civil Engineer Voronel and the city's consultant Catherine Cooper of Cooper Design. Associate Engineer Voronel distributed an up-dated graphic of the proposed sign. She said that the city is interested in placing an entry sign at three locations in the near future: on Brookhurst Road at the 91 Freeway; on Euclid Street at the 91 Freeway; and on State College Boulevard north of Bastanchury Road. In each case, the sign would be tailored in size to fit the median. These locations have been selected because road improvements are scheduled along these segments, and a redesigned median with the entry sign may be easily incorporated into these improvements. The sign's design is preliminary, and the Committee's comments and suggestions will be used to finalize the sign and obtain estimates on the cost. She asked Ms. Cooper to describe the features of the sign.

    Ms. Cooper said that in addition to announcing the city, the sign is intended to be an attractive structure that brings character and distinction on its own merits. The base would be smooth concrete and the face of the sign is composed of ledger stone. The raised letters would be made of aluminum, stainless steel, or concrete. The structure would be two to three feet in depth and would have a cap of stainless steel or aluminum. Landscaping would be included in the design, with a Jacaranda tree behind the sign structure and low-lying plants at the base.

    Chairman Coffman asked for comments from the Committee.

    Members were supportive of the concept for the monument sign and thought the structure would present a very positive image of the city. Several suggestions on the details of the sign were voiced:

    • The selection of stainless steel or polished concrete for the cap would be preferable to aluminum.
    • The ledger stone veneer should wrap around the structure.
    • The concrete base should have a color (tint).
    • The design should include a multi-trunk tree. A Jacaranda tree or Olive tree (non-fruit producing) would be appropriate.
    • The planting at the base should be low maintenance in-kind and low in height.
    • The sign should be lit with lighting concealed under the structure's cap.
    • If an anti-graffiti treatment is used, specify a non-glossy finish.

    Ms. Voronel thanked the Committee for its suggestions.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.