Friday, August 13, 2010

June 30, 2010 Land Use Subcommittee Minutes

Land-use Subcommittee Minutes
June 30 2010
Subcommittee Members present:
Scott Glazebrook, John Kroll, Anita Margolis, Pat Shields,David Skillman, Marie Skillman, David Strickland (7 total)
City Staff present: None
Community Members present: None
Project Applicants present: Item #1 – Alex Camp, Applicant for Big Blue Box Lofts
Meeting called to order at 6:30 PM by Scott Glazebrook
Item #1
Project Name:
Big Blue Box Lofts
Project Address:
3363 C Street
Project Number:
Project Description:
Construct 4 residential for rent units on a vacant 0.16 acre site in the
GH-1500 zone of the Greater Golden Hill Planned District
Permit Application:
Process 3 Golden Hill Development Permit (Site Development Permit)
Presentation Status:
Action Item
Recommend approval of the project as submitted, presented, and discussed with the requested deviation and forwarding of this recommendation to the full committee.
Motion Passes
A new residential development of an existing vacant property between C Street and Highway 94. Project site slopes at 17% down towards the 94 with rear alley access.
Zone: GH-1500
Density Permitted: 5 DUs Density Proposed: 4 DUs
Floor Area Permitted1: 4,492 SF Floor Area Proposed: 4,248 SF
Coverage Permitted: 2,520 SF Coverage Proposed: 2,090 SF
Height Permitted: 30’ Height Proposed: Varies2 (<30’)
Parking Required: 6 Spaces Parking Proposed: 7 Spaces
1. FAR Bonus for covered parking
2. Arbor is allowed architectural projection above height limit
Proposed project complies with all setback and height requirements and limits, yard areas, and Golden Hill design criteria for “Contemporary” design. As proposed the project will incorporate wood framed windows throughout, has significantly divided massing to preserve neighborhood’s scale and character, and used multiple materials to enhance this scale and character. Materials to be employed include: CMU (concrete masonry unit, also known as concrete block or cinder block) for foundations and one smaller building mass, cement fiber horizontal lap siding, cement fiber smooth siding, and wood horizontal lap siding. Extension of CMU retaining wall into private patio screen wall may be eliminated and replaced with wood or wood-look screen wall to match building materials. CMU building mass to incorporate “green screens” at arbor above for landscaping, and foundation plantings in front. CMU is proposed to be a darker than standard grey in smooth finish. Cement fiber siding materials will be painted a variety of earth and earthy-green tones with a few bright accents, and wood siding will be stained.
1. The arbor structure at the front of the site is “startling” in its uniqueness. Steel structure will employ “green-screen” to allow plantings to grow up and create a “birds-nest” like private patio. The top of the arbor is 5’ above the adjacent roof and is open.
2. The project may be a “disconnect” with the neighboring existing buildings. This part of Greater Golden Hill developed later than other parts and there is not currently a consistent “theme” or aesthetic, creating a “hodgepodge” of design that this project would contribute to. The proposed design incorporates elements of valued historical styles to address it’s context, possibly more that its neighboring structures. Using quality finish materials and not relegating the design down to a stucco box as a single material with accents adds value to the neighborhood. This project proposes to fill-in a development “gap” along C Street with an appropriate density (while not maximizing the allowed density). It is possible this project may be “too different” for Greater Golden Hill.
3. The use of CMU as a finish material and the tower/arbor is contentious. There is concern in comparing this project to other recently completed projects in Greater Golden Hill that used a lot of CMU. The CMU to be used is not the typical concrete block but will be a darker grey and smooth finish. It will also be enhanced with foundation plantings in front so that it becomes more of a “background” material. The CMU is proposed for this location, as it will be a visual vertical continuation of the retaining wall below. The adjacent CMU screen wall will most likely be deleted and replaced with lighter wood-like screen wall.
4. The significant division of the project into discrete masses does a great job of creating a visually smaller scale development. This is further enhanced by the use of materials and colors. To achieve this desirable scale the project has proposed to incorporate more than the 2 types of wall siding materials allowed by the PDO [SDMC 158.0301(c)(1)(C)].
5. Applicant indicated that the landscape plan includes planting to mitigate the impact of the CMU retaining walls and other CMU portions of project; and will explore revised and/or additional plantings in these locations to “soften” visual impact of the walls.
6. Pertinent issues addressed in the Assessment Letter dated June 28 2010:
a. FAR and area calculations are in question. Applicant indicated that this was due to a simple math error on the submitted plans which when corrected will show the project to be compliant with FAR requirements.
b. Design Requirements in the PDO need to be more clearly defined on the drawings, including the use of more than 2 materials. The use of more that 2 materials would be a request to deviate from the PDO (allowed under a Process 3 review). The drawings do identify the required and selected elements from the “Contemporary” architectural style in the PDO.
c. Private Exterior Useable Area may not be sufficient to meet the PDO requirements. Applicant assures that the areas provided exceed the code minimums and will clarify that in the resubmittal.
d. Transparency requirements of the PDO may not be met. The Applicant assures that the minimums have been met and will clarify on the resubmittal.
e. Golden Hill Design Guidelines should be followed. Applicant has stated that the guidelines have been followed and will prepare an exhibit showing how each of the three criteria are being met.
f. Community Plan design objectives for visual compatibility while not duplicating historic styles and maintaining the original 50-foot lot pattern require further evidence of compliance. The project site is 50-feet wide so by definition the project complies with the lot pattern scale requirement. The project proposes to incorporate characteristics of historical styles into its design (horizontal lab siding, projecting roofs, wood-framed windows for examples) and not attempting to duplicate historical styles (should projects contemporary by definition – being designed and built today – reflect a historical agendas and convention or a contemporary ones while respecting context?).
7. Overall this proposed project is an exciting and unique addition to a unique neighborhood within our unique community. While the modern aesthetic may not please all, the design creates a visually pleasing image and scale that both addresses the uniqueness of the sloping site, the frontage along C Street, and the adjacency to Highway 94.
Meeting Adjourned at 7:40 PM by Scott Glazebrook