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Redevelopment Design Review Committee Minutes

COUNCIL CONFERENCE ROOM

                                FULLERTON CITY HALL

 

Thursday

April 27, 2006

4:00 PM

 

CALL TO ORDER:

The meeting was called to order at 4:03 PM by Chairman Daybell

 

ROLL CALL:

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:

Chairman Daybell; Committee Members  Duncan, Hoban, and Larsen

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT:

 

Committee Member Cha

PUBLIC PRESENT:

 

 

Kirk Keller, John Killen, Ceanatha LaGrange, Michael Lehman, and Leland W. Stearns

 

STAFF PRESENT:

Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Eastman, Senior Planner St. Paul and Clerical Staff Leopold

 

MINUTES:

MOTION made by Committee Member Hoban, SECONDED by Committee Member Larsen and CARRIED unanimously by all voting members present to APPROVE April 13 minutes AS WRITTEN. (Vote

3 -0 with Committee Member Duncan abstaining)

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

Item No. 1

 

PRJ04-00919 - ZON04-00098.   APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER:  ACCRETIVE LAGUNA PARTNERS, LLC.

 

Review of final landscape details for an approved commercial/office development comprised of approximately 10,400sf of retail; 8,000sf of restaurant uses; 101,725sf of medical office; and 3,700sf of administrative offices, and a 549 space parking structure.  (Generally located at the SWC of Bastanchury Road and Laguna Road, encompassing an area between Bastanchury Road., Laguna Road, Laguna Drive, and Sunny Crest Drive) (Previously Certified Mitigated Negative Declaration) (C-2 Zone) (Continued from April 13, 2006) (JEA)

 

Senior Planner Eastman provided a staff report on the project with comments from the previous meeting.  He stated that staff is in approval with what is being presented, but expressed concern with  a small band of flat space that is 3 ft. wide.  Staff is not overly concerned with the slope descending behind the band because it’s not along the entire parking structure, only a portion.  Staff would prefer to see some kind of hierarchy in terms of landscaping and some colorful landscaping.  Staff suggested to move the Texas Privet farther back from the sidewalk, to where  it is part of the slope as a hedge planting, and add a flowering plant in front of it, using the Privet as a backdrop to provide some color and interest at that location along the street.  Senior Planner Eastman stated that staff had not communicated these comments to the applicant and this was the first time the comments were heard by the applicant.

 

Senior Planner Eastman provided a brief background on the project to Committee Member Duncan who was not in attendance at the previous meeting.  

 

Public hearing opened.

 

Chairman Daybell explained to the applicant that the Committee understood that the plan presented before them would be applied to the main plan.  John Killen, applicant, explained that there were some minor adjustments made to the grading, and these revisions have not yet been shared with the City.  The applicant and architects were going to review those adjustments with the Committee now.

 

Chairman Daybell asked Mr. Killen about Senior Planner Eastman’s comments regarding colorful plantings along the top of the slope.  Leland Stearns, architect, said they revisited how much open area was needed in the parking structure during the course of re-doing the whole corner level.  He explained where the grade goes up to the building, and where it goes down to the subterranean parking.

 

Kirk Keller, landscape architect, stated they were able to manipulate the ventilation to work in their advantage.  They will provide layers of landscape, a foreground cover will have a mass planting and a foundation of accent planting on the building, but also vertical screening trees.  A giant Bird of Paradise to create a backdrop to the seating area would be flanked by four palm trees, at grade or as the berm comes through they would be slightly above grade.   The slope has gone from a 2-1 slope to a 3-1 slope, which offers less of a slope maintenance.  The flat area was pushed from 3 ft. to 5 ft., which allows the hedge to be pushed away from the sidewalk and a flowering plant will be placed in front of the hedge.    The slope would intercept a v-gutter, which would be in front of a wall and the slope won’t go all the way to the bottom.  It will be going down about 2 ½ or 3 ft.  

 

Committee Member Duncan asked Mr. Stearns why the trees around the structure are placed the way they are because there is no relationship to the building architecture.  Mr. Keller stated that the trees are designed to respond to the rhythms on the building.  He pointed to an open and airy section on the plans that has more open, airy trees such as Eucalyptus trees.  Where there is more of a mass of building Melaluca trees will be planted.  Committee Member Duncan stated the trees are not responding to the modules, as far as placement goes.  He explained that the tree selection does not relate well with the Melaluca low branching and asked why the trees were not all the same.  He questioned the tree spacing and said the trees should tie into the architecture. 

 

Committee Member Duncan said the tree selection is good on a whole, but questioned the use of the Eucalyptus.  He stated that in the preliminary stages of the project, the existing species of Eucalyptus trees were brought up and were going to be preserved.  Mr. Stearns explained they were saving the trees at another area.  Committee Member Duncan didn’t understand why they were introducing a whole other species of Eucalyptus.  Mr. Keller explained that if other trees were placed there would not be any relationship and would be competing visually.  Committee Member Duncan agreed with their response.

 

Committee Member Duncan stated there were two and three modules on Sunnycrest Drive that could be thought out a bit more.  He suggested adding another Magnolia at each one of the stalls. 

Mr. Keller stated that in that area they are responding to a pedestrian type of light standard.  The light fixtures changes from a pedestrian to vehicular type, so the spacing varies.  Mr. Stearns explained the reasoning behind the lighting and pedestrian orientation.  The light standards are not shown on the landscape plans.

 

Committee Member Duncan said he did not like the use of the Privet, with the exception of the trash enclosure.  He thought it was a neat project and it was different than a lot of the projects done.   Committee Member Duncan suggested revising the olive tree, which is proposed as being 3 ½ ft. away from the building and is too close because the olive trees grow wide and are fairly low branching.  

 

Committee Member Duncan suggested working with the pedestrian access columns versus offsetting it evenly within the sidewalk and not let the sidewalk force the design, but the building.

 

Mr. Stearns talked about the areas that would include water and art and the foodcourt. 

 

Committee Member Duncan explained that he liked the way the planting works around the building’s massing and how the plants respond to the shade and sun.  The design works out well.  Committee Member Duncan stated that the area around the parking structure is fussy because the Cottoneaster can spread up to 10 ft. in a 5 ft. strip and will be hedged in time.

 

Committee Member Duncan asked if street trees or another type of tree can be used, instead of Magnolias, at the west edge portion of the sidewalk.  Senior Planner Eastman said there is no reason why they couldn’t use these trees because these are private streets, if the Committee wished.

 

Committee Member Duncan stated it was a nice parking structure, but some of the trees can be eliminated and open up the structure.  He said that at the corner, perhaps no trees are needed or should start further away and shouldn’t cover up a lot.

 

Public hearing closed.

 

Senior Planner Eastman asked the Committee if there were things that needed to be addressed in the plan and need to come back to them, or if they can be implemented through plan check. 

 

Committee Member Duncan stated that he thought the discussion was good and doesn’t suggest that the applicant do everything suggested but he is confident that they will revise it to where the plans don’t have to come back to the Committee and they can move forward.

 

Chairman Daybell said that many suggestions and ideas were given and wouldn’t want to “lock the door” for the applicant to incorporate those ideas.  He would like to see the applicant be open to the ideas suggested by Committee Member Duncan to improve the project.

 

Committee Member Hoban approved the project and said his concerns have been addressed.  He welcomed and agreed with Committee Member Duncan’s comments.  Committee Member Hoban stated that the recommendations can be addressed by the applicant.

 

Senior Planner Eastman asked for clarification from the Committee regarding the suggestions made to the applicant.  Committee Member Duncan stated that most importantly is the relationship of the tree spacing to the building;  the applicant should research the west facing Magnolias toward the street.  He stated that his concerns regarding the rhythm of the trees along Sunnycrest and the three versus two modules were adequately addressed with the light standard  and stated the applicant can actually eliminate the one at the west end, near the entry.  Committee Member Duncan stated he did not like the Privet, but understands why it is used. 

 

Senior Planner Eastman asked the Committee if there were any additional suggestions for applicant to consider?  Committee Member Duncan said he liked the selection with the Carolina Cherry.  Mr. Keller stated he was not opposed to changing it to a Compacta or “Bright ‘n Tight” and keep it at 4 or 5 ft., since there are some windows above that need to be considered.

 

Committee Member Hoban stated that he thinks it is a good-looking structure overall with the Eucalyptus against the building.   Senior Planner Eastman asked Committee Member Duncan if he approved the choice of the Eucalyptus?  Committee Member Duncan stated yes.  The architects gave a good reason as to why they chose that type of Eucalyptus.

 

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan, SECONDED by Committee Member Hoban, and CARRIED unanimously by all voting members present to APPROVE the project based on the points discussed.

 

STAFF/COMMITTEE COMMUNICATION:

Senior Planner Eastman provided a summary of the City Council and Planning Commission meetings.

 

Senior Planner Eastman introduced the new Senior Planner, Bob St. Paul.

 

MEETINGS:

 

City Council – April 18

Planning Commission – April 26

 

ADJOURNMENT:


Meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

 

 

                                                                                              Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

                                                                                              ___________________
                                                                                              Ruth Leopold

                                                                                              Clerical Support

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