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RDRC Minutes April 28, 2005

MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
REDEVELOPMENT DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE

COUNCIL CHAMBERS FULLERTON CITY HALL
Thursday April 28, 2005 7:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER :

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Chairman Daybell

ROLL CALL :

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Daybell; Committee Members Duncan, Coffman, and Hoban
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: Committee Member Johnson
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Associate Planner Eastman, and Clerical Staff Baker

MINUTES:

Member Hoban asked that Vice Chairman be removed before his name. MOTION to approve by Member Hoban, seconded by Member Duncan that the minutes of April 12, 2005 be approved as AMENDED.

The Minutes of April 21, 2005 were deferred to May 26, 2005.

The minutes of March 24, 2005 were deferred to the May 26, 2005 meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:

1. PRJ04-00841 - ZON04-00085. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: ABRAHAM ABYAD

A request for a 4-unit multi-family project in a redevelopment area at 115 Southgate Avenue (generally located on the north side of Southgate Avenue, 200 feet west of Harbor Boulevard) (R-3 Zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines).

Chairman Daybell informed the applicant of the meeting procedure.

Associate Planner Eastman stated that this was a request to demolish two existing units and construct a four unit multi-family project. The parking would be provided in the rear alley. This project was originally submitted in September, 2004, and has had several revisions because of various code issues.

Mr. Eastman explained that it is located in a CID (Community Improvement District) overlay zone and is a minor development project. It is a town home-type layout. Staff has recommended 24 conditions of approval, such as modifications of the landscaping, and relocating the air conditioning, increasing the wainscoting and brick, and defining the lighting plan.

Staff recommended approval, based on the conditions of the staff report. A letter from the owner of the adjacent property at 121 Southgate Avenue, Mr. Orville Woods, was handed to Associate Planner Eastman at the beginning of the meeting and was noted for the record.

Fabian Buenaventura, architect, introduced the applicant Abraham Abyad. Mr. Buenaventura stated that the proposed units are intended for small families. There are two buildings which will provide one and two bedroom units, to be occupied by one family. There is a walkway between the units and the open space meets the setback requirements.

Chairman Daybell asked Mr. Buenaventura if he had read the conditions of approval and if he was in agreement with them. Mr. Buenaventura stated that he had read them and was in agreement.

Staff stated that the parking was not to be considered today because the parking requirements were met.

Associate Planner Eastman read aloud the contents of Mr. Woods' letter to the RDRC. He discussed the three conditions that Mr. Woods requested to be added:
  1. A concrete block wall, not less than six feet in height shall be constructed along the complete west side of the proposed project.
  2. Said wall shall be constructed on applicant/owner's side of the boundary line between his property and Mr. Woods rental property.
  3. Said wall shall be constructed at applicant/owner's expense.
      Associate Planner Eastman asked Mr. Woods if he had previously discussed any of these issues with the applicant/property owner. Mr. Woods answered that he had not, however, he did discuss it with Mr. Abyad and his architect, Mr. Buenaventura, prior to the meeting.

      Associate Planner Eastman stated that a split face has limitations for the front wall setback. He explained that there is a six foot maximum height for the block wall and also a limit of the wall height in the back yard. The block wall will be constructed on the applicant's property, not on the property line.

      Mr. Woods' son, Steve Woods, noted a concern for the privacy of his father's tenants.

      Member Coffman stated that there is a wide setback and the windows will be 9 feet from the property.

      Member Hoban stated that he supported the project, with staff's conditions of approval, and the block wall, and he felt that the design issues had been worked out.

      Member Duncan supported the project, but was concerned with the extent of the overhang. He agreed with staff's conditions of approval, but felt the applicant should review the landscaping again because he thought it was unfinished and it is an important part of the project.

      Member Johnson stated that he supported the project, with staff's conditions of approval.

      Chairman Daybell was in agreement with the project also.

      MOTION by Member Johnson, seconded by Member Duncan to approve the project as presented, with staff's recommendations. Motion passed unanimously 5 - 0.

      2. PRJ05-00272 - ZON05-00026. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: BRUCE WARD. A request for a two-story addition at the rear of an existing single-family residence located at 406 Malvern Avenue in an historic preservation overlay zone (between approximately 50 and 100 feet west of the southwest corner of Ford Avenue and Malvern Avenue) (R-1P Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines).

      Assistant Planner Kusch presented the proposal. He indicated that the two-story addition would consist of a kitchen expansion, a family room and a rear porch on the first floor with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the second story. All additions would be located at the rear of the existing single-story residence.

      Associate Planner Eastman stated that the purpose of the meeting was to review the compatibility of the proposed addition to the adopted Historic Preservation Zone Guidelines. He stated that the proposed materials will match the existing residence. In addition, the applicant is proposing original double or single hung windows for the addition. Assistant Planner Kusch added that three 2'x3' slider windows are proposed front second floor elevation.

      The design of the proposed addition is intended to blend with the existing residence and with the immediate neighborhood. Staff stated that the proposed addition is sensitive to the massing, scale, and design portrayed toward Malvern Avenue. Staff believed the proposed addition meets the intent of the preservation zone guidelines and recommended support of the request, subject to the recommended conditions in the staff report. Staff reviewed the conditions, including the need to submit samples of the exterior materials, including product brochures of window samples, and a paint pallet.

      Member Hoban discussed the preservation guidelines and asked if there were any other two story residences in the neighborhood. Assistant Planner Kusch answered that there was a two-story residence across the street from the proposed project, but generally the immediate residences are single-story

      Public hearing was opened.

      The applicant and property owner, Jeff Hertzig, said he had attempted to do the addition and second floor to make it look like the original part of the building. He said he was having success in finding additional windows at the salvage yard in the original craftsman style. He stated that staff's recommendations were minor and will be accommodated, nothing needs to be recreated.

      Member Coffman stated that that he has concerns with the west wall and its singular plane and believes that it is not typical of the original Craftsman architectural style. He believes the first and second floor should be offset from each other to provide the appearance of a single-story element.

      Member Coffman discussed the floor plan at the lower level. The proposed addition is new at the first and second story.

      Member Hoban asked why the west elevation could not be engineered to break up the two-story plane and provide a single-story element.

      The applicant and architect, Bruce Ward, said that he was also a structural engineer and stated that the owner did not want to lose extra square footage with a redesign. He also stated that after the Northridge earthquake, new guidelines were developed. The Building Department required the offset of a shear wall from second floor to the first floor. He discussed the path of travel of horizontal loads.

      The applicant, Jeff Hertzig, stated that he wanted to retain the back yard space. If they offset the west side, it will result in a loss of interior space. He decided the expense to add on was worth it because he liked the neighborhood and wants to keep the Craftsman style home.

      Tom Dalton, Fullerton Heritage, stated that he agreed with Member Coffman that the solid wall would be better if it was offset. He felt that the proposed sliding windows do not go with the Craftsman style houses. He was concerned with the windows facing the street, that they not be sliding windows. He commented that the back porch and the roof line of the existing house looked good.

      Member Coffman said that he liked the project and thought there was not a problem with a second story. He said he was not a structural engineer, but worked with them and knew that it could be offset in the front elevation at the second story.

      Chief Planner Rosen asked how much it could be offset, creating a one-story roof plane.

      Member Coffman said a three to five foot setback at the wall would be too shallow and that it should be offset as much as possible.

      Member Johnson also discussed the offset and commented that he liked the visual appearance of the project and did not have any big reservations. He thought the location of the addition to the rear of the property was a mitigating factor for the singular two-story side elevations. He understood the applicant's need for usability of the space. He supported the project, with staff's recommendations.

      Member Duncan supported the project. He thought the two walls were too large and the applicant should propose to do something about it. He supported it, with staff's recommendations, if the applicant could make those changes.

      Member Hoban stated that he also had concerns with the two-story side wall being so large. It reminded him of homes in Newport Beach, but he would not stop the project because of it. He thought that an off-set would probably make it a better looking home.

      Chairman Daybell would like to see something done so that it isn't so plain.

      Member Coffman was supportive of the project and agreed with Member Johnson.

      Chairman Daybell wanted the applicant to make it a less massive wall. He would like to see windows or trim added.

      Member Johnson discussed the location of the project.

      MOTION by member Johnson, seconded by Member Hoban to approve the project as proposed, with staff's recommendations.

      All in favor, passed unanimously 5 - 0

      3. PRJ04-01060 - ZON04-00109. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: ADOLFO URRUTIA A request to construct a new 3-bedroom unit on a lot currently developed with a single 2-bedroom unit at 437 East Amerige Avenue (generally located on the north side of East Amerige Avenue 130 feet west of Balcom Avenue (R-3P Zone) (Categorically Exempt per Section 15303 of the CEQA Guidelines).

      Staff requested a continuance to a date uncertain. MOTION by Member Duncan and seconded by Member Johnson to continue this item to a date uncertain.

      4. PRJ05-00279 - ZON04-00028 - APPLICANT: GERALD ROBESON; PROPERTY OWNER: FREDERIK MOEHRING. A request to review site improvements in Downtown (CBD Design Guidelines) Redevelopment Area, including encroachment permit to create outdoor patio at 128 West Wilshire Avenue (south side of Wilshire, approximately between 230 and 280 feet east of the centerline of Malden Avenue) (C-3 Zone) (Categorically Exempt per Section 15301 of the CEQA Guidelines).

      Judith Kaluzny, asked for a point of order. She felt that this project dealt with the outdoor dining issue, and it should be continued until after the City Council has reviewed the outdoor dining guidelines.

      Chief Planner Rosen stated that this project was different because it is a use of city-owned property. He also stated that the RDRC will be reviewing design-related issues only.

      Associate Planner Eastman distributed a letter from Bruce Hostetter, that was provided to staff earlier in the day and also a memo from staff regarding what the RDRC will be reviewing today. He also displayed photos of the site and explained that the request was to review the faade improvements and the patio design of the proposed restaurant located at 128 W. Wilshire.

      Associate Planner Eastman asked the RDRC to look at the design of the project. The RDRC will be making a recommendation to the City Council who will make the final approval of the project. It included an encroachment permit and a lease agreement.

      Mr. Eastman described the proposed changes to the front of the building, the planter, the masonry wall, the dining patio, the interior kitchen, and the outside seating.

      Staff has recommended that:
      • access to the public sidewalk be maintained
      • a minimum six foot path of travel be provided between the tree well and the low wall
      • termination of the wall be one foot from the window of the adjacent tenant space and located outside of the window trim
      • clarification of window locations in the plans
      Associate Planner Eastman asked the RDRC to review the site design and architecture. The City Council will determine the policy issues regarding the lease agreement and the encroachment. The City Council will be considering the RDRC's opinion of how it relates to the aesthetics of the project.

      Associate Planner Eastman asked if all the members have reviewed the memo from staff. Chairman Daybell stated that all the members have reviewed it.

      Associate Planner Eastman explained that staff hand delivered notification to tenants in a one block area of the Amerige parking lot and also the north side of Wilshire. All tenants were notified, as well as property owners. City code requires that only adjacent property owners are to be notified. Staff felt it was important to notice the area surrounding the Amerige parking lot and the north side of Wilshire.

      Member Hoban asked if the tree was going to be removed from the flush surface well. Associate Planner Eastman answered that the tree was going to be removed. He also stated that the applicant is proposing to remove one tree and the planter. Two other trees and their tree wells will remain.

      Member Duncan asked if the setback will be a minimum of 12 inches on the south side of the patio wall that will come in contact with the adjoining window. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the 12 inches was based on the width of the walls.

      Member Johnson asked if the minimum public walkway clearance of six feet was from the edge of the pilaster to the edge of the tree well. Mr. Eastman showed on the plans where it would be reduced an additional two feet to 17 feet from the face to the inside wall.

      Member Hoban asked about condition #3 if a landscape planter proposed. Associate Planner Eastman stated that a small landscape planter at the base of the wall was proposed, but it is not crucial because of the height of the wall. He said that staff is recommending a planter be provided on the south side, as a terminus, to direct pedestrian traffic around the wall.

      Member Hoban discussed condition #7 regarding the cap element along the top of the west elevation parapet. Staff was concerned that if it is repainted, they would need to paint the entire cap portion on the side of the building.

      Associate Planner Eastman stated that it is a multiple tenant space, so the architectural feature should continue through the rest of the building.

      Member Hoban asked which type of Higgens brick would be used and would it match the front brick or will it all be removed. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the north side would have a brick veneer and the front would be painted. The toekick, soldier course and header course would be on the front of the building.

      Associate Planner Eastman explained that the existing material will be painted on the north side with no brick work or veneer, however, there will be an awning feature above the door.

      Member Duncan asked if the entire building will be repainted. The applicant indicated that they will be painting the building a lattice red and staff assumed there would be a terminus at the block wall.

      Member Hoban asked if there is currently a cinder block or slump-stone look. Associate Planner Eastman answered that it is brick, not a slump stone. Associate Planner Eastman displayed a photo of the area.

      Member Coffman asked if the proposed planter at the north side of the patio was eliminated, could the patio wall be shifted to the sidewalk.

      A photograph was displayed of the existing north elevation, and Member Coffman pointed out the pilaster, wall and planter area on the plans. There was a discussion regarding the planter area, and staff identified that the planter is not required or essential to the project's design. Coffman asked if the wall could be constructed at the sidewalk without the planter.

      Associate Planner Eastman said that the wall could be moved toward the sidewalk.

      Associate Planner Eastman stated that the wall is eight inch masonry block with veneer, 10 - 12 inches from the block wall. He recommended that the 18 inch cap be flush with the faade and the wall be recessed a few inches from the sidewalk.

      Member Coffman said that if the wall was moved to the sidewalk, there would be an issue as to how the pilaster joins with the existing building's north faade. A setback would allow the pilaster to terminate at the building and not have the cap protrude beyond the building into the sidewalk.

      Associate Planner Eastman said the wall is constructed of eight inch masonry block with veneer, so the wall is roughly 10 - 12 inches wide. The pilaster is roughly two feet wide, with the cap extending about two inches beyond. Therefore, the edge of the cap is approximately nine inches beyond the face of the wall. Staff recommended that the edge of the cap be flush with the face of the north faade, the pilaster would then be recessed a few inches from the sidewalk, and the wall would be nine inches back.

      Associate Planner Eastman stated that the void space between the sidewalk and the wall would be concrete to match the existing sidewalk. This would be done when the proposed outside patio area is repaved.

      Member Coffman asked if the final pilaster against the building is wider than the wall. Associate Planner Eastman said the end pilaster is wider than the wall.

      Member Hoban asked if the same planter was moved back more than one foot would it affect the exit paths. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the bussing station would be affected, not the seating. He discussed the two foot minimum dimension which pushed it back another foot. He said that it would not affect the path of travel.

      Public hearing opened.

      Applicant, Patrick Robeson, 118 W. Wilshire Avenue, stated that he was trying to make it look like a separate, older building with an older brick facade. He said he was willing to accommodate the corrections of staff and the RDRC. He also said that because of the small square footage of the restaurant, they needed as much patio space as possible.

      Member Duncan asked about the mansard roof over the elevation and if he explored removing it. Mr. Robeson stated that he thought it was appropriate for a Chicago-type pizza restaurant.

      Chairman Daybell asked if there was a way to preserve the large tree in the middle of the walkway. Mr. Robeson said that he had considered it, but he would be losing about 38 feet, which is too much space.

      Member Hoban asked about exposing the existing brick and continuing the wainscoting around the corner on the west side. Mr. Robeson stated that it is a concrete block that is approximately one foot thick. He had looked into veneering the whole side of the building.

      Jim Ranii, 123 N. Cornell, felt that size of the outdoor dining is a hot button issue in Fullerton. He did not understand a plan where a wall was being built to accommodate outdoor dining and if that was a function of the outdoor dining guidelines. He felt that the guidelines need to be revisited and staff should consider this plan without a wall. He also suggested that the RDRC review the colors, materials, pedestrian access, and circulation. He felt that greenery is as important as the bricks and mortar. He suggested that clear glass or wrought iron be used around the patio wall. He said that he did not see a public seating area proposed. He asked that the applicant provide an area to sit down, which promoted the use of the downtown area.

      Sean Francis told the committee that he owned two restaurants in the downtown area; one that has a patio and one without a patio. He thought that it was a great design and he felt that it could bring some life to the area and it could be a good project.

      David Steifi, the tenant adjacent to the proposed project, referred to the plan and discussed the proposal for the patio to extend five feet past their leased space. He was concerned with the potential noise and the close proximity to his office. He said that he currently can hear conversations through the wall and felt that the noise level would be increased. He felt that the access and view of his business would be blocked by the patio. He discussed smoking and drinking in the patio and how it will negatively affect his business.

      Tony Florentine, 626 N. Mountain View, owner of Downtown Bar and Grill, felt the applicant did a good job of presenting his proposal and was willing to accommodate the need to keep it a green and open space. He felt it was a good use of a public space. He supported the concept and design and felt that outside dining was an asset.

      Sandy Kates, owner of the Back Alley Bar and Grill, was in favor of outdoor dining. He was concerned with the different requirements the City has imposed on various restaurants regarding outdoor dining. He spoke of the requirement for him to install a wrought iron gate and a nine foot walkway. He complained of being required to put a tree back, after taking it out to put in a grease interceptor. He would like to put up a wall, install a planter, and have an extra three feet for his patio by removing the tree. He felt that the City should have the same standards for all patios.

      Doug Chaffee, 141 W. Wilshire, said that he enjoys the view and sitting on the planter on Wilshire and asked that they be maintained. He was concerned with the symmetry in the alley and wanted the balance maintained and did not like the pilasters. He felt there would be too much red and the City should have the same standards for all patios. He discussed the lighting in the alley after the removal of one lamppost. He spoke of how he regularly cleans up beer bottles and cigarettes in front of his business and was concerned with the possible increase in littering.

      Julio Valdez, 128 W. Wilshire Suite C, was concerned with a greater lack of visibility and losing business because he currently has a sign on the proposed corner to advertise. He currently removes chairs and umbrellas daily and was in favor of an outside patio. He was concerned with diminished pedestrian access to his business.

      Fred Moehring, owner of the building since 1978 where Mr. Robeson is proposing the outdoor patio use. He discussed the planters, thickness of the walls and how he liked the diverse colors on the street.

      Landon Cole, the property manager for Wilshire Promenade, located across the street . He discussed the exterior design of the patio area. He felt that another bar was not necessary and was concerned with noise pollution. He was concerned with commercial and residential tenants and not being able to guarantee continued quiet. He talked about accumulated trash and vandalism to the ceramic pots and was concerned with additional vandalism with increased traffic. He was in support of outdoor dining, just not across the street from his facility.

      Chairman Daybell told Mr. Cole that he would need to address the Planning Commission and the City Council with his concerns.

      Jan Flory, a tenant across the street from the proposed project, stated she was a huge supporter. She felt that outdoor dining is a component to bringing vitality to the area. She discussed the various restaurants with outdoor dining, which are on public or private property. She asked that tree grates be installed and the large tree not be removed. She suggested double-glazed windows, a trellis or vine to soften the exterior look, and was concerned with additional noise. She did not like a wall being installed if this business is not successful, because it is a permanent fixture.

      Judith Kaluzny, 149 W. Whiting, stated that this is a space that is used often and needs more ambiance. She felt this issue should be deferred until the City Council makes a decision regarding the outdoor dining guidelines in May.

      Public hearing closed.

      Member Johnson asked the applicant why there was a requirement for the wall and glass, and if there was a height requirement.

      Public hearing reopened.

      Mr. Robeson stated that the wall and glass were a noise buffer for the apartment complex. He spoke with the previous property manager of the Wilshire Promenade and it was planned at their request.

      Member Coffman asked if the applicant will be selling beer and wine, which requires a wall if alcoholic beverages are consumed on the premises. The applicant answered affirmatively.

      Chairman Daybell suggested a wrought iron system be used instead of glass. Mr. Robeson said that it was their original plan and would be cheaper for him.

      Member Johnson discussed the echo affect with a closed space and how the open space will create less noise. He discussed the aesthetics of using wrought iron, planters, vine pockets, and removing the pilasters. He concurred with using tree grates and providing bench seating for pedestrians and customers.

      Member Duncan discussed how the floor plan elements disrupt the path of travel so that the front door is not being used. He recommended that the applicant change his plans so that the front door can be used as an entrance. He suggested they use portable patio furniture and discussed the brick veneer, the raking of mortar joints and providing a seating wall with more banding to the south.

      Member Hoban was in support, other than some elements that he could not see because of a lack of full plans and drawings. He desired to see greenery retained, trees, signage, lighting, pilasters, pedestrian flow, and wainscoting around the entire building. He asked staff about the termination of the wall at the adjacent business. Chief Planner Rosen stated that the wall terminates before the window and the setback is a condition in the staff report. Member Hoban supported the project and thought it would be an interesting dynamic in the downtown.

      Member Coffman thought there were good suggestions, that it was a good idea and would help the downtown. He had concerns regarding visibility being blocked, but felt that this business would attract more attention. He felt that noise is just a part of the downtown area. He suggested that the local businesses share a sign listing all of their names. He preferred wrought iron, rather than glass on the wall. He also hoped the tree could be preserved. He supported the project, with staff's recommended conditions.

      Chairman Daybell liked the idea of wrought iron, he would like to see the tree preserved, and was concerned that the tables extend beyond the lease line. He supported outdoor dining.

      Member Johnson asked the RDRC if they wanted to make the wrought iron a condition, along with a condition that the tables and chairs be removed daily. Chairman Daybell wanted to see it made as a condition. Member Duncan felt it could be a suggestion. Member Hoban felt it could be a suggestion, and would prefer wrought iron with brick and no glass.

      Member Coffman suggested that a vine on the building would be a good idea.

      MOTION by Member Johnson, seconded by Member Hoban, that the RDRC APPROVE the project with a condition that black wrought iron be incorporated into the project, either between columns, or standing alone, that vine pockets be incorporated along the fence and that spacing be subject to staff approval and the tree either be saved in place with a tree grate or another tree be replaced if the tree cannot be save because of construction.

      Member Duncan asked if the lighting issue will come back to staff for review.

      Associate Planner Eastman indicated that the plans should be revised to show all exterior lighting and details, the landscape planter on the north, a seat wall, or some type of potential combination.

      Member Johnson suggested that the applicant look at it as an option, not a condition to incorporate into the design.

      Member Duncan suggested a recessed bench be built into the patio area or on the sidewalk.

      Member Johnson suggested that the public bench be flush with the wall and brick veneer be considered as another design option to wrap around the building.

      Doug Chaffee suggested that the wrought iron could be brought out of the planter.

      All in favor, passed by a vote of 4 - 1 with Member Duncan abstaining.

      Public hearing closed.

      Chief Planner Rosen stated that this item will go to City Council as a recommendation along with the lease agreement that will be prepared. This date has not been scheduled yet.

      The RDRC took a three minute break.

      Readjourned at 8:23 p.m.

      It was the consensus of the RDRC that Item #6 be heard before Item #5 so that Redevelopment staff would not have to wait any longer.

      6. TRANSPORTATION CENTER STUDY/DOWNTOWN STUDY. A request to receive, discuss and file materials pertaining to the update of the 1995 Transportation Center Study/Downtown Study; and appoint Committee Members to serve on the "Transportation Center Study/Downtown Study Host Committee." Appointments to include one active Host Committee Member and one alternate Host Committee Member.

      Redevelopment Project Manager Ferrier reviewed the original study of 1995 to establish a vision for downtown and goals. He referred the Planning Commission to the last presentation given regarding the downtown area. He discussed that the study will focus on site opportunities and constraints; review traffic circulation patterns and public art; the map of the primary study area and the secondary downtown area; the mixed use and multi-story project; Amtrak ridership; the Transportation hub and the Fox Theater. He stated that the developments have possibly changed the physical limits of downtown; and the study area boundaries need to be defined; the vision of land use needs to be reviewed and changes recommended. He stated that some areas were not originally included in study. Mr. Ferrier stated that he would need someone from the RDRC to serve on the committee. Chairman Daybell volunteered to serve on the Downtown Study Host Committee but had a conflict on May 19. Member Coffman agreed to be an alternate. Mr. Ferrier stated that the upcoming meetings will be held on May 19, June 16, July 21, and Aug 23.

      5. SOCO DISTRICT. A request to review and discuss revisions to the "SOCO" District sign and alley improvement project (south of Commonwealth Avenue between Malden Avenue/Harbor Boulevard/Santa Fe).

      Yelena Voronel, SOCO Sr. Civil Engineer Project engineer for SOCO district improvement, described the location of the sign and alley improvement project. She explained that there will be demolition of the existing concrete gutter and pavement. She stated that bids were being received for the pavers and interlocking concrete. There will be some private improvements done also. The bids received in July will decide the type of pavement, i.e. interlocking or stamped pavement. She reminded the RDRC that they reviewed the original signage in January, 2004. The signs were revised after suggestions were received from the business community. She asked the RDRC for their ideas on the new signage and reminded them that this is in the final planning stages. She was hopeful to award the bids by the second City Council meeting in July.

      Associate Planner Eastman displayed the new signs and those submitted in 2004. He stated that the business owners wanted the improvement. The Redevelopment funds were being used for the alley and three different signs. The tertiary sign will be at the entrance to the alley and the gateway sign is a minor type of sign. The intersection of the parking lot and alley will have a canopy feature which will be a patina metal, which will age over time. The base is similar to the train station overpass at Harbor at the depot. He also stated that the suggestions were implemented to remove climbable posts on the gateway signage. He discussed the neon inside the reversed channel letters. He discussed the secondary sign and the tertiary sign, which were similar to what was previously proposed. The canopy sign has changed to an arched approach. He felt the new signage was more festive and more lighting was provided.

      Member Hoban liked the direction of the design. He felt the industrial back alley would look good and it matched the area. He felt the locations were reasonable. He recommended a treatment for bird abatement because this type of sign collects pigeons. He felt the previous color was outdated.

      Member Duncan liked the old design, but not the color. He said that the new color matched the train overpass. The primary structure is huge and will overpower the area, he understood the intent but felt that the area is already identified and he felt that it created too much of a boundary. He preferred pedestrian-oriented projects. He felt that pavers were a more preferable material.

      Member Coffman felt that by creating a new, contemporary sign it does not have an old look. He did not like the color, but thought the new signs were good. He recognized the work on the new signage design and the community input. He preferred signage similar to the Fox Theater. He also thought that bird deterrents were important.

      OTHER BUSINESS:

      None

      ADJOURNMENT:

      There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:53 PM.

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