PRJ03-00188 - MINOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT ZON03-00014. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: PETER AND SUZANNE ALEXANDER.
City Associate Planner Eastman presented the proposal project, which is located at 428 E. Amerige Avenue. The proposal is to construct a second dwelling unit over a new 4 car garage in an R-2P zone on a lot which is 140 feet deep, and only 40 feet wide. The R-2P zone is a duplex residential category (R-2), with an historic preservation overlay (P). The site currently contains a 1921 California Bungalow styled single-family residence and a detached garage. The proposal demolishes the existing garage to make room for the new dwelling structure, which is freestanding from the existing residence. Three of the new garages will take access from the rear alley, and one of the garages will take access from Amerige Avenue, via an existing ribbon-driveway.
The project is being reviewed by the RDRC because it is located in a preservation (P) overlay zone. Additionally, the applicant is requesting a minor reduction to the required side yard setbacks of roughly three (3) inches. The Staff Review Committee (SRC) reviewed the development project and setback reduction request on April 17, 2003; and recommended approval subject to the conditions outlined in the Staff Report. The project is now before the RDRC's for final review, which shall determine design compatibility with adjacent properties, including historic character and site design.
It was explained that Staff believes the setback reduction is warranted because the 40 foot lot width makes it impossible to construct three code compliant garage spaces and still maintain the required setbacks. Staff believes the proposed design accommodates the intent of the code requirements while maintaining a compatibility with the adjacent properties and historic character of the area.
Planner Eastman stated that Staff has reviewed the proposed project and determined that it complies with all the other zoning standards. However, from a design perspective, several conditions of approval were recommended to "tweak" the design and increase it's compatibility with adjacent structures. Additionally, several conditions of approval were recommended which required the applicant to provide further clarity related to project design. Staff did not discuss all the issues or concerns in detail, as they were all identified in the staff report. The Committee agreed that the issues need not be addressed unless the applicant required more clarity or had objections to the conditions.
Lisa Snowden introduced herself as an associate from the project architect's office, and said she was present on behalf of John Silber, who could not be in attendance. Lisa stated that the architect had made several changes to the plan, as recommended by Staff, including the addition of an entry vestibule and modified extension of the kitchen roof at the front door. The architect had also prepared a section detail showing the exterior wall at the second floor. Staff had previously asked for a detail to clarify exterior treatment, particularly at the transition from siding to board and batten.
Ms. Snowden pointed out that the architect had considered Staff's condition to match the front window at bedroom no. 3 with the dimensions and design of the existing bungalow's front 3-panel windows. The architect felt that the vertical design and height of the bungalow's windows would not work well with the geometry of the board and batten design, and would hinder the usability of the bedroom. Therefore the applicant objects to condition no. 5 as recommended in the staff report. Ms. Snowden further clarified that the architect has not continued the rafter tails across the rear elevation at the bathroom pop-out, because it would restrict the interior area of the bathroom. For this reason, the applicant also request that condition no. 8 be removed.
The property owners, Suzanne and Peter Alexander, presented a color and material board to the Committee. Susanne Alexander discussed the tertiary color scheme and the exterior siding materials. She stated that the existing house and the proposed structure will be painted the same color. She identified the colors of the trellis, doors, and gates. The entry doors on both dwellings are to be painted red. The garage doors will match the building.
Associate Planner Eastman asked the applicant to provide clarity regarding the wall treatment and trellis feature at the side doors to the garages. Susan stated that the siding and board & batten is essential flat (no recess), and that the trellis eave would not extend out very far. Committee Member Daybell pointed out that the depth of the trellis was not shown on the plans, and he wanted to know how close it would extend to the property line. The applicantsstated that they were not sure. Staff clarified that the code allows eaves to encroach into the setback up to 18 inches, and it was Saff's understanding that the trellis would expend only as far as the roof overhang above.
Susan Alexander presented a colored landscape plan.
Planner Eastman asked the applicant to clarify if windows were to be added to the kitchen on the north facade. She stated it had not yet been decided. The applicant, Staff, and Committee members discussed the pros and cons of additional windows.
As there was no one present from the public wishing to speak regarding the project, Vice-Chairman Daybell closed the public hearing.
Committee Member Coffman had nothing to add to what was previously discussed. He said that he would like to see the windows added to the kitchen. He believed that the addition of windows under the roof could create a statement whereas it appears the kitchen roof is floating above the mass of the structure.
Committee Member Blumer likes the proposed project. He's glad to see a project which has articulation and doesn't look like a box. He stated that it is rich and simple at the same time, and it displays good craftsman qualities, such as the way the second floor cascades to the first floor, the stepped elements, use of various materials, etc. He felt the front windows at the bedroom no. 3 is in proportion to the rest of the project, and doesn't want to see the 3-piece windows which were recommended in the Staff Report. He also doesn't think the rafter tails work at the bathroom pop-out, as they will look like an after-thought, not structural. He felt the project worked without adding kitchen windows, but believed the windows could also work well. The other committee members agreed with his comments.
Vice-Chairman Daybell stated that he liked the project. He likes the idea of windows if the applicant wants to add them. He sees no reason why the addition of windows should come back to the Committee for review.
City Planner Eastman clarified Staff's concerns as it relates the kitchen windows. One is that the RDRC approves plans which are submitted to them; therefore the addition of windows or other modifications after RDRC review is discouraged. However, since the addition of window has been discussed at this meeting, the potential change has now become part of the proposal. The other concern with the addition of the windows is that a determination of historic compatibility still needs to be made. Therefore, the RDRC (or Staff, if directed by the RDRC) would need to review the modification and determine compatibility with the City's preservation guidelines.
The Committee indicated that they were supportive of the project with or without the windows, and felt Staff could review revised drawings during the construction process if the architect felt the project would be better served by the change.
Motioned by Vice-Chairman Daybell, seconded by Member Blumer, to approve the project subject to the discussion above, and Staff's recommended conditions of approval, except condition number 5 (3-piece windows at bedroom) and number 8 (rafter tails at bathroom pop-out). The project was approved by a vote of 3 to 0.