The meeting was called to order at 4:25 p.m. by Chairman Johnson
COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Johnson; Vice-Chair Daybell; Committee Members Coffman, and Silber
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: Committee Member Blumer
PUBLIC PRESENT: Director of Community Services Susan Hunt, Dominic K. Oyzon, and Randal A. Larsen
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Associate Planner Eastman, and Clerical Support Thompson
Minutes for September 11, 2003 were unanimously approved with a vote of 4-0.
Committee member Silber recused himself due to a potential conflict of interest. Associate Planner Eastman presented the proposed project as a request to construct a new Community Center in Amerige Heights on Lot 15 of Tract 15994 adjacent to McDermont Park (northwest corner of Hughes Drive and Begovich Street). The project will continue on to the City Council for final approval. Staff is recommending review, comments, and approval from the RDRC.
The Director of Community Services, Susan Hunt addressed the committee about the proposed project. She stated that there has not been any new construction of Community Centers in quite some time. Community Services is excited about the project and look forward to bringing this new asset to the community. From a programmatic stand point, they were trying to design a building that was 8,000 square feet. The plan was designed to have as flexible space as possible with a great deal of lighting, inviting in design, and could be managed with a small amount of staff. Chief Planner Rosen pointed out that this project is an obligation by the developer and funded by park fees.
Chairman Johnson questioned on-street parking. Chief Planner Rosen confirmed that parking during the day would be allowed on Hughes Drive, a public street, up to the speed table. However both Begovich Street and Goodwin Street are private streets and overnight parking would be permitted. Associate Planner Eastman provided some clarity in terms of the relationship of land use. The homes across Hughes Drive, will face the park with no garages facing Hughes Drive; this will create a pedestrian oriented environment.
Chairman Johnson questioned the assembly area occupancy capacity. Chief Planner Rosen approximated the assembly rooms at around 2,000 - 3,000 square feet and roughly 300 people.
Vice Chair Daybell asked about the importance of a service dock. Director of Community Services Hunt stated that the service dock would be for deliveries to the catering kitchen for scheduled events, rather than deliveries being brought through the main entrance and would be an important asset to the community center. There was some concern from the Committee about the screening material causing a security problem and an attractive nuisance. The project architect, Dominic Oyzon recommended the possibility of opening up the enclosure to provide additional security. Committee member Coffman asked if the Community Center would be equipped with a security system in addition to police patrolling. Directory Hunt pointed out that the Community Center would be considerably close to the surrounding homes and the community design hopes to develop an old fashioned neighborhood relationship with the neighbors, to help prevent such nuisances. The Committee suggested some supplementary materials to help provide security and avoid the nuisances such as wrought iron fencing (tubular steel), low walls with hedges, and night time illumination.
There being no further questions for staff, the project architects or the general public (none present), Chairman Johnson opened the floor up to committee member comments. Vice Chair Daybell stated that the overall project looked well planned. His only concern as stated before would be to modify the service dock bay so that it's not fully hidden from the public. Committee member Coffman agreed with Vice Chair Daybell's concern of the service dock and would like to see some modifications as well. He also showed some apprehension with the amount of parking available. Chairman Johnson's only comment was about the building faade screening the service dock from public view, but keep in mind the security issues that it would face and he is in full support of the project. Vice Chair Daybell made a motion to make a recommendation to the City Council for approval of the project with suggested modifications to achieve the intent to make the service dock visible but not intrusive to the neighborhood. The motion passed with a vote of 3 to 0.
Associate Planner Eastman updated the committee on the proposed project and the results from the Planning Commission's September 24th meeting. Due to a variety of concerns the Planning Commission continued the item and asked the applicant to consider doing a revision to the plans and bring it back before the Planning Commission for review. The architect's new proposal includes smaller retail showing 3,400 square feet oriented toward the front sidewalk; gated parking for residents, that would be open during daylight hours for commercial overflow parking; and parking underneath 2 stories of residential units (instead of 1). The project still has detached garages in the back of the complex for the residents. The architect is considering an atrium court in the middle of the complex to provide natural light to the underground parking garage. Although elevations are forthcoming it appears that the new proposal would be a more massive building being considerably higher and deeper. However, is located closer towards Commonwealth Avenue, which is consistent with the Planning Commission's direction.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.