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RDRC Minutes February 23, 2006

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
REDEVELOPMENT DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE

COUNCIL CHAMBERS FULLERTON CITY HALL
Thursday February 23, 2006 4:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER :

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 PM by Chairman Daybell

ROLL CALL :

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Daybell; Committee Members Cha, Duncan, Hoban, and Larsen
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT:
PUBLIC PRESENT: Ryan Gregory, Brett Detmers, Tom Dalton, Robert Thomspon, Mike Hart, Randy Carucci, Sue Graban, Grace Imamura, and Abdul Salehi
STAFF PRESENT: Senior Planner Eastman, Associate Planner Allen, Clerical Staff Leopold, and Chief Planner Rosen

MINUTES:

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan, SECONDED by Committee Member Cha to APPROVE January 12 and 26 minutes AS WRITTEN.

OLD BUSINESS:

Item No. 1

PRJ05-00753 - ZON05-00105, ZON06-00009. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: RYAN GREGORY.


Associate Planner Allen provided a staff report pertaining to a request to construct a mixed use project comprised of 27 residential condominium units above retail space and a parking garage. The application includes a Major Development Project, Zoning Adjustment, and a one-lot condominium Tentative Tract Map, for property located at 345 E. Commonwealth Avenue (Generally located on the Northwest corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Lawrence) (C-3 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines). (Continued from February 8, 2006 meeting) (HAL)

Associate Planner Allen summarized the changes since the last meeting. She stated that the roof over the common area has been raised and expanded making it more of a focal point. The applicant added a larger window to the top floor of the community's recreation area and will be adding a similar feature to the room below. The applicant also increased both the interior and exterior height of the commercial space to differentiate it from the residential floors and make it more commercially flexible. The space between the ceiling and finished floor was also increased to better accommodate the commercial and residential infrastructure that will be between the two floors. In adjusting the ground floor height, 3 ft have been added to the overall building height. The material details have been identified on the plans and the applicant provided a Materials Manual as requested by staff. The courtyard landscaping has been revised to reflect a different layout and the plant selection changed.

Associate Planner Allen stated that color elevations were provided and addressed the areas that staff had commented on including accenting the curved walls and differentiating the commercial level from the residential level. A color scheme has been chosen as reflected in the elevations being presented. The corrugated metal on the penthouse level is proposed with a natural finish based on the RDRC's prior recommendations.

Public hearing opened.

The applicant, Ryan Gregory, stated that he took into consideration the prior recommendations of staff and the RDRC and incorporated them into the new design.

Committee Member Hoban asked if the color elevations reflected the stone to be utilized. Architect Brett Detmers referenced the Materials Manual and the stone selected confirming that it was accurately rendered in the color elevation. The intention with the stone is to use multiple colors that fit with the color scheme of the building and apply them randomly in location and size to give a pattern with visual interest.

Committee Member Duncan questioned the trellis structure on the 5th floor noting that it is a basic form. Architect Detmers stated that the 5th floor trellis matched those on the levels below. He purposely chose a standard basic form for this element to be carried throughout the project. He reiterated that it is an open trellis.

Committee Member Hoban pointed to the project rendering and asked if the glazing on the windows had been changed. Mr. Detmers answered no and that the color elevations reflected an "artistic rendering". He referenced the glazing in the Material Manual.

Committee Member Larsen asked about the residential window frames. Mr. Gregory stated that they are considering aluminum or vinyl, noting staff's recommendation to use a high-quality vinyl if that material is used. They have not yet decided on what material to use, however. Associate Planner Allen suggested that the Committee may want to comment on the use of windows of different materials on the commercial and residential floors. She stated that while vinyl could be installed that would match the aluminum storefront windows, the two could age and weather differently. She suggested the Committee possibly consider recommending another color for the residential windows or otherwise make a recommendation on the window materials. Mr. Detmers discussed the choices of framing that would match the aluminum storefront and durability. Committee Member Duncan questioned if another material could be selected that would age differently. Mr. Detmers reiterated that the building has other aluminum and metal elements and he is hesitant to introduce another element or color. Chairman Daybell stated that it seems that it would make sense for the sake durability to use the same material on all windows.

Tom Dalton, Fullerton Heritage, liked the design of the building, but thought it was "awfully" big for that part of town.

Chairman Daybell referenced the recent work on the Fullerton Downtown Strategy noting that projects proposed on East Commonwealth and towards the Transportation Center would be going more vertical.

Public hearing closed.

Committee Member Larsen said he liked unpainted aluminum on the top floor. It presents an honest use of the material and helps to mediate the other color of the stucco.

Committee Member Hoban stated he is comfortable with the project and staff's recommendations. He is happy to see that the applicant and architect have been working toward solutions. He reiterated comments from the earlier meeting to incorporate glass block in the sidewalk like that at the Historic Chapman Building. (Based on the relationship of the parking structure to the building setback at ground level, the parking garage could be lit though glass blocks in the sidewalk.)

Committee Member Cha liked the project and the way the commercial and residential has been separated.

Committee Member Duncan is in support of the project and said the changes made to the courtyard are awesome. The planting overall is very thematic and the applicant has done a good job in complementing the plant materials. He noted that the legend there shows King Palms or alternate Queen Palms can be planted in the courtyard. He'd like to strike the Queen Palm and stay with the King Palm, since the trees are a little bit smaller and better suited to the location. Queen Palms are more common around the downtown as well and he liked the idea of something different.

Chairman Daybell agreed with the Committee's comments. He stated that his involvement with the Fullerton Downtown Strategy process has given him a new appreciation for this project. He told the applicant he likes what has been done with the design and looks forward to seeing the project being built.

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan to APPROVE the project with staff recommendations and add an additional condition that King Palms being used solely in the courtyard (no Queen Palms). Also a revision should be made to Condition No. 2 which states that the landscape plans come back to RDRC. Committee Member Duncan stated that the applicant has shown construction level landscape plans and doesn't feel they need to come back to the Committee for review. Condition No. 2 should be modified to come back to staff.

Chief Planner Rosen asked the Committee if they had a condition on the windows. Senior Planner Eastman reiterated the condition as written which covers overall materials and would include the windows, whether it is aluminum or vinyl. Chairman Daybell requested that a decision be made regarding the materials of the windows at this stage. Committee Member Larsen agreed. Chairman Daybell felt that the building would look cleaner if all window materials were the same.

Chairman Daybell requested to amend the motion to add that the materials should be the same for all windows. The committee agreed with his comments.

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan to AMEND original MOTION, SECONDED by Committee Member Larsen, and CARRIED unanimously with all voting members present.

NEW BUSINESS:

Item No. 2

PRJ05-00730 - ZON05-00102. APPLICANT: MATHEW HOWE; PROPERTY OWNER: ERNESTO R. SAVEDRA.


Associate Planner Allen provided a staff report on a request pertaining to a Minor Development Project to 1) demolish existing dwelling in preservation zone and 2) construct a 1,298 square ft. two-story residence and 450 square ft. dwelling unit above a two-story garage located at 220 and 220 N. Lincoln Ave. (Located on the east side of Lincoln, approximately 273 ft. north of Wilshire. (R-2P Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15303 of the CEQA Guidelines). (HAL)

Senior Planner Eastman clarified that the project was revised and pointed out a discrepancy made on the agenda. He stated that the notice posted had the revised description. Staff will be re-noticing for the next RDRC meeting. In addition, the project will be noticed for the Planning Commission meeting. The Landmarks Commission will make the final decision on this project because there is a demolition involved.

Chairman Daybell stated that he drove past the site today and the notice posted was torn or blown off and vandalized. He asked if the Committee should review or continue the item? Senior Planner Eastman stated that the project was appropriately notified by mail and had the correct project description and complied with the noticing requirements. The Committee would not be making a final decision on this project; Therefore, there is technically no need to notice the item. Staff is recommending continuation of the project, since there are a number of items that need to be addressed.

Associate Planner Allen stated that the applicant is proposing two new dwellings:

  • One two-story dwelling at the front of the lot, which would be the main residence
  • One two-story unit in the back, which would be a garage and a residence above
Associate Planner said the project mostly resembles a Spanish-colonial revival style home, but one of staff's main issues is that the project is a contrived version of that. Staff does not feel it reflects the level of detail needed in a preservation zone.

Staff's concerns included:

  • Extraneous elements - such as the balcony on the front elevation
  • The use of brick, stone and stucco being a bit complicated
  • Revisions needed to be made to the chimney in order to meet building code.
  • The back unit having little to no detail on it. Staff would like to work with the architect to get some additional detail on it, while reducing the add-ons to the front dwelling, thereby focusing on traditional Spanish-colonial features.
Senior Planner Eastman stated that staff has a clear understanding of what needs to be done to the project to get it closer to staff recommendations. There is an issue whether a two-story structure in the front unit would be appropriate. Staff feels that a two-story structure can be accommodated and meet the guidelines, but it needs to be a simplified building.

Public hearing opened.

Resident Patty Gallente is concerned about privacy issues with her (the rear of) home facing (the rear of) the proposed building. She stated her neighborhood consists of all one story homes. She would like to see a one-story building for both units and no windows on the rear of the back unit. If windows are to be used, she requests clearstory. She said staff has done an amazing job in working with the applicant.

Tom Dalton, Fullerton Heritage, stated his first concern was the floor area ratio, since it is a substandard lot. Typically in that neighborhood there would be a 50 ft. lot, whereas this lot is 40 ft. He was concerned that if it was necessary to build a two-story structure for 450 sq. ft on the second story. He suggested making the front house larger and keeping it all on one level. Mr. Dalton said the lot is too small to build two two-story structures, one-story would be more appropriate.

Chairman Daybell said he was disappointed to see the condition of the property and stated that it needs to be cleaned up promptly. He stated that the building proposed would go well in a neighborhood such as Amerige Heights, but does not belong in a preservation zone. In his opinion, he believes a long narrow building would fit in that lot. He stated the plans need to be redone.

Committee Member Hoban stated he was not impressed with the architecture and it doesn't fit in the area. Although he's not opposed to a two-story structure, it has to be massed right.

Committee Member Larsen agreed with Committee Member Hoban's comments. He liked Mr. Dalton's comments regarding a single-story structure and having that work with the rest of the buildings on that street. He suggested that the applicant completely start over and had some issues with the building as proposed fitting in the preservation zone.

Committee Member Cha recommend a one-story reconstruction instead of a two-story and said that the 450 sq. ft. second floor is not practical.

Committee Member Duncan agreed with Committee Member Hoban's comments and is okay with a two-story unit in the front. He stated there is not much that can be done with 450 sq. ft and thinks a well designed two-story home would be nice. Committee Member Duncan stated it would actually be nice to have an eclectic grouping of houses, not all single-story, in the preservation zone. The designer needs to visit the street and take a look at the quality, character, detail and elements and incorporate it into the design, whether it be single or two-story. Committee Member Duncan did not wish to discuss the unit in the back until he first sees a revised front of the house.

Public hearing reopened.

Ms. Gallente said the presence of the house, if it were a two story, would be even greater because several of the neighboring lots only have a single unit in the rear.

Public hearing closed.

Chairman Daybell suggested the Committee recommend the project be CONTINUED and requested a MOTION be made.

MOTION made by Committee Member Hoban, SECONDED by Committee Member Cha and CARRIED unanimously by all voting members present to CONTINUE project to a date uncertain.

Item No. 3

PRJ06-00028 - ZON06-00007. APPLICANT: ABDUL SALEHI; PROPERTY OWNER: RONALD O. BATCHMAN.


Senior Planner Eastman provided a staff report for a request for approval of a Minor Development Project to modify the exterior facade and add signage for a tenant improvement project at 2415 E. Chapman Avenue. (College Square shopping center, at the northeast corner of State College Blvd. and Chapman Avenue). (C-2 Zone) (APN 338-101-06) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15301 of the CEQA Guidelines). (JEA)

Senior Planner Eastman introduced the committee and explained the hearing process to the members of the public who were present.

Staff is recommending that the RDRC take one of the following actions, pending discussion:

1. Approving the project with staff working with the architect to incorporate design features;
2. Continuing the project to allow the applicant to bring something back to the Committee.

Chairman Daybell stated that the current shopping center has become a background building and needs to be "spiffed up".

The applicant, Abdul Salehi, agreed with the staff's conditions and asked for approval of the project.

Mike Hart, real estate manager for Panera Bread, gave a company overview. He stated that it is very important to Panera to be able to maintain the corporate identity items, specifically the signage, awnings, and outdoor patio seating. He stated they look forward to the opportunity to working with staff to modify and adjust their design to accommodate the needs of the staff.

Committee Member Duncan asked about the outdoor seating and any intent to introducing different pavement or utilizing what's currently there. Mr. Salehi said they have a type of concrete they like to use in those areas, but would try to work with existing sidewalk as much as they can. He stated that Panera does not use paving, just different color concrete.

Committee Member Cha told the applicant there would be a problem with the location of the handicap parking because they must have at least a 4 - ft. clearance. Senior Planner Eastman stated that existing curb approach for the handicap parking is going to have to be relocated or replaced. He said typically the handicap parking acts as a corridor for people entering the building, so they can walk between the vehicles. He suspects it would be relocated as part of the project.

The applicant explained to Committee Member Cha that the columns noted on the plans would be removed.

Chairman Daybell asked about the condition of the trash enclosure. Senior Planner Eastman stated that staff had not had a conversation with MG Disposal and do not know the circumstances regarding pick up and the capabilities of existing facilities. So, the trash enclosure conditions were included as a place holder to make sure the trash is accommodated. Staff suspects that a trash enclosure will not be needed.

The committee and the applicant discussed the canopies. The applicant said they will remove the existing canopies and finish the face of it with the same brick-look material.

Chairman Daybell asked about the double doors located on the west building. The applicant stated the doors would remain and be used for delivery service. The outside brick finish would be removed, but the actual walls and room would remain and add the same plaster finish to match.

Committee Member Duncan asked the applicant if he had ideas on what to do to match materials to seek approval today?

Mr. Salehi said he and Senior Planner Eastman had discussed changing out the terra cotta tile. If staff prefers to use face brick instead, it can be substituted on the column base or extended to the new columns.

Public hearing closed.

Committee Member Cha said he liked the way the project appears and will be a major remodeling project with an upscale appearance.

Committee Member Hoban likes the project, but is indecisive as to whether it should be brick, stucco, or terra cotta tiles.

Committee Member Larsen said the entry will look very cool. He asked the applicant about the columns on the elevation and where they are going to? Mr. Salehi pointed to the columns on the plans and showed what part of the building and framing would be preserved. Committee Member Larsen said the terra cotta would be fine.

Committee Member Duncan said it's definitely an improvement and likes the direction of the interior and thought it is very dynamic. He likes the fact that the columns from the existing structure are being integrated into the modification. He suggested that brick should replace where the applicant has proposed tile, but doesn't think it would necessarily complement the rest of the forms. Liked the fact that more outdoor seating is being added and it adds a new flavor to the area. He said that he'd like to focus more attention to the exterior environment, and would like to see as much effort put out there as to the building. He added that more interest to the paving should be added or redo the planters to make it look nice. He suggested replanting the foundation plantings in the planter and create some nicer detail planting.

Chairman Daybell suggested adding potted plants in the outdoor dining. Committee Member Duncan said the pots always add pedestrian scale interest and would be a good idea, but he'd like it to go further and remove the existing planters and create a whole new patio.

Chairman Daybell asked the applicant if there would be a possibility to incorporate the black metal roof into the new scheme? Mr. Salehi said currently they are going with a parapet wall vs. a tower and if they would incorporate the black metal roof, it would go only over the entry.

Robert Thompson from Panera said they have good looking multi-color planters with great plants in them that define the patio, and are a certain height, which are currently being used. He offered to provide cut sheets to the Committee.

Chairman Daybell said it would also be nice to have a facility, such as this one, in the Downtown. He is in support of this project.

Senior Planner Eastman stated that staff would like to work with the architect to come up with some solutions and work with some conceptual drawings and bring that as an off-agenda item to the Committee. The essential foundation that is proposed is appoveable and staff thinks the design and scheme is good.

MOTION made by Committee Member Hoban, SECONDED by Committee Member Cha and CARRIED unanimously by all voting members present to APPROVE the project with staff recommendations.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS:

None

PUBLIC COMMENT:

No public comments

STAFF/COMMITTEE COMMUNICATION:

MEETINGS:

Senior Planner Eastman provided a summary on the February 21 City Council and February 22 Planning Commission meetings.

AGENDA FORECAST:

None

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION made by Committee Member Cha, SECONDED by Committee Member Duncan and CARRIED unanimously by all voting members present to adjourn meeting at 5:30 P.M.

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