PRJ02-00392 - MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT ZON02-00048. APPLICANT: LITTLE DIVERSIFIED ARCHITECTURE; PROPERTY OWNER: COLUMBUS PACIFIC PROPERTIES, LLC.
Associate Planner Eastman introduced the proposed project located at 140 E. Orangethorpe Avenue, on the south side of Orangethorpe, between Harbor Blvd. and Lemon Street. Associate Planner Eastman described the scope of the project, which includes a two phase renovation of the existing Orangefair Marketplace. Phase 1 includes a remodel of the shopping center facades along Harbor Blvd and Orangethorpe Avenue. Phase 2 encompasses the rear of the site, and includes an addition of 50,500 square feet of retail area, the remodel of the Lemon and Orangefair Avenue facades, and revisions to the parking lot on the southeast portion of the site. Staff clarified that the agenda incorrectly listed the additions as totaling 49,000 square feet. This is because a 1,500 square foot single tenant addition was not identified earlier in the review process.
Associate Planner Eastman stated that the applicant has submitted two site plans, with Site Plan "B" being the preferred alternative. The ability of the applicant to construct Site Plan B is contingent on attracting tenants and re-negotiating leases. The applicant had submitted two renderings of the proposed project as part of the original packet. A third rendering was provided which shows the conceptual view of the project from Lemon Street.
Planner Eastman stated that, based on the schematic plans and conceptual design presented by the applicant, Staff recommends the RDRC recommend project approval to the Planning Commission subject to conditions. A memo prepared by the Planning Division staff was distributed, which revises the recommend conditions in the Staff Report. Staff revised the recommended conditions at the request of the applicant to better address the flexibility needed in attracting tenants. The general intent of the conditions remains the same. The substantial differences include a change as to who will review the final project drawings; and the modification of Condition No. 7, which had requested that the parking and loading area west of Tenant space 29 and 30 be redesigned. Condition No. 7 was reworded to address only screening of loading areas.
Chairman Coffman asked for clarity regarding the process of approving the final drawings. Chief Planner Rosen stated that staff recommends that the final drawings be reviewed administratively after the conceptual project has been approved by the Planning Commission.
Member Blumer asked for clarity regarding the condition that limits new curb cuts. Associate Planner Eastman and Chief Planner Rosen confirmed that the condition only restrict new cuts, not relocations.
Chairman Coffman expressed concern with approving the project at a very conceptual phase. Member Blumer indicated a preference to have elevations come back to the RDRC at some point. Chief Planner Rosen expressed staff's desire to have final approval on the concept plans, with elevations possibly coming back to the RDRC during the construction drawing phase for comments, but not major changes. Chief Planner and Associate Planner Eastman identified a need to expedite the approval so that the applicant can solicit tenants and move the renovation forward. It was clarified that the applicant is competing with an adjacent shopping center in Anaheim to attract the "A list" tenants, and that a delay could hinder the marketability of the site.
Roger Rozelle, architect for the project described the project design and building materials. He said that a main focus of the project is to create a cohesive center, and that even Circuit City has expressed interest in renovating their facade to match the rest of the center. Rozelle stated that the owner will also upgrade the landscaping, although the extent of the upgrade has not yet been identified.
Member Johnson asked for clarity regarding the factors that will determine which site plan will be developed (A or B). Architect Rozelle stated that there are a number of variables which come into play, including tenant leases and the ability to attract new tenants for Phase 2. The applicant does not know which plan will be constructed, but feels that Site Plan B is a better plan and therefore the preferred alternative.
A discussion of the history of the shopping center and it's changes over the years transpired. The pedestrian relationship of the center was discussed, including the proposed plaza area and the "alley" behind the tenant spaces. The RDRC was positive toward pedestrian circulation and uses, but expressed concerns regarding the safety of parking and pedestrian access in the alley.
Member Blumer asked if "face-in" parking could be provided in front of tenant spaces 25, 26 and 27 to buffer the buildings from the circulation road. Rozelle identified this as a possibility during the reorientation of the rear parking lot.
Chairman Coffman inquired about the exterior finishes. Architect Rozelle stated that the buildings have colored plaster/stucco finishes, but the texture has not yet been determined. Awnings and projections were identified as being painted metal; wood would not be used. The horizontal features on the top of the "towers" will likely be metal, although a plastered box feature is possible.
The design theme of the two new signage towers on the Burlington building were identified as being carried over from the existing monument signs. The Committee expressed a positive response to the Center's existing signage.
Chairman Coffman noted that no one from the public was present. He closed the public hearing and asked for comments from the Committee. Member Daybell stated that he liked effort being made to the shopping center. Chairman Coffman stated that he was fairly comfortable with the project although it was highly conceptual. Member Blumer expressed a desire to get parking to "front-in" at tenant spaces 25, 26 and 27, and stated that he would like to see as many "links" as possible throughout the center, such as the tour features. Member Daybell expressed his preference for Site Plan B. Member Blumer concurred.
Motion by Daybell, seconded by Blumer, and CARRIED unanimously by Members present (Silber absent) to RECOMMEND APPROVAL of Major Development Project ZON02-00048 to the Planning Commission as submitted, discussed, and recommended by staff in the revised conditions memo, and with a caveat that the Committee prefers Site Plan B.
Chairman Coffman, seeing that Member Silber had arrived, brought the committee to order. Motion by Daybell, seconded by Silber, and CARRIED by vote of 3 to 0 (Coffman and Blumer abstained) to APPROVE minutes of November 21, 2002 as written.