PRJ02-00145 - ZON02-00015. APPLICANT: INTERNATIONAL PARKING DESIGN, INC. AND PROPERTY OWNER: ST. JOSEPH HEALTH SYSTEM.
Senior Planner Mullis presented the committee with staff's report. She noted that Saint Jude Medical Center (SJMC) has been working toward renovating their buildings as required by state law related to seismic retrofit. As a result they will be redeveloping their site for the next 25 years. In 2002, SJMC submitted an application for a 455 space parking structure located on the east property line along the Brea Dam over an existing surface parking lot. As part of that project is a large retaining wall that is required to accommodate the widening of Bastanchury Road for a right turn lane into the parking structure. The retaining wall is required to be 20 feet to accommodate an existing building at the top of the slope. The original plan was not presented to the RDRC because it is not in a redevelopment area. When it went the Planning Commission there was some concern about the design of the retaining wall being in a prominent location on Bastanchury Road, therefore staff recommended the retaining wall design be presented to the RDRC for approval.
SJMC is proposing a 22 feet concrete retaining wall with some variation in texture with the lower portion being a board-formed design and the upper portion with a smooth base. The upper portion will have recessed wording consisting of the organization's value statements, to create visual interest and landscaping along the base of the wall. Staff is recommending approval with an additional condition requiring waterproofing of the retaining wall, which the applicant indicated they would do anyway.
Committee Johnson asked staff about drainage. It was identified that the drainage would be underground. Committee member Johnson then asked about the type of construction on the wall. Staff indicated that it is concrete with a shot-crete application.
Chairman Daybell asked the applicant about the existing building above the retaining wall. It was identified as a medical records storage building. He then asked where the existing parking structure is located on the plans; and if all of the proposed project would be located on SJMC property. Staff noted that only a small sliver of land is owned by the City, which will be abandoned for this project.
There being no further questions for Staff, Chairman Daybell opened the meeting for public comments.
Committee Johnson asked if the applicant if they would apply a graffiti coding. Mr. Rasland responded that a coating would be up to a certain height on the wall.
Committee member Duncan inquired about the separation and association of the two textures. Mr. Rasland noted that they would be on the same plane. Committee member Duncan asked about the finish of the radius planter on the corner. Mr. Rasland said the face would be a smooth finish at the planter in front.
Ms. Cannizzero noted that the corner is a simple design to differentiate from the main entrance of the hospital. The future parking structure is primarily for employee and physician parking. SJMC was looking for something to let oncoming traffic know that they were approaching the hospital and gave a consistent design feel that would incorporate the entire campus but not so dramatic that the entrance was confused with the main entrance.
Committee member Duncan asked about the corner sign. Mr. Rasland said that the sign would be attached raised lettering. Committee member Duncan asked if it would be a different color. Mr. Rasland noted that they had not chosen a color.
Committee member Johnson asked to eliminate confusion if they were going to provide signs identifying employee entrances. Ms. Cannizzero noted there would be a street sign and they are working with staff to display signs on the light.
Committee member Duncan asked if it would be only one access to the property. Mr. Rasland said there is an additional entrance on the other side.
Chairman Daybell asked if they had considered colors for the retaining wall other than the traditional grey concrete. Ms. Cannizzero noted that since SJMC is planning on replacing every building over the next 25 years, the challenge of this project was to design the wall in the simplest form so as to be consistent with future designs. Chairman Daybell expressed his distaste for the concrete grid.
Ms. Cannizzero asked the committee to keep in mind that when the retaining wall is installed they would also be installing three thru lanes and a left turn pocket.
There being no further comments from the public, Chairman Daybell turned the meeting over to Committee member comments.
Committee member Duncan agreed with the design of both the landscape and the function of the wall. He liked the architecture of the wall and was impressed with the introduction of the embossed lettering ("value statements"). He felt that there could be a bolder design on the sign at the corner. He felt it would be nice to add some human/pedestrian scale to the planter that turns the corner instead of just the concrete and the plants would spill over to break up the line. The plants along Bastanchury Road at the base of the wall are pretty durable and would soften the base. Because of the proximity to the flood control area, he suggested the applicant double check the Lasiandra with compatibility to the habitat.
Mr. Rasland noted that there is a separate plant palate for the project.
Committee member Johnson is in support of the project and felt it would be a great enhancement.
Committee member Johnson made a motion to approve the project with staff recommendations including the additional condition requiring the waterproofing. Committee member Duncan seconded the motion and it passed unanimously with a vote of 3-0.