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RDRC Minutes January 27, 2005

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
REDEVELOPMENT DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE

COUNCIL CONFERENCE ROOM FULLERTON CITY HALL
Thursday January 13, 2005 6:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER :

The meeting was called to order at 6:05 PM by Chairman Daybell

ROLL CALL :

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Daybell; Vice Chair Silber (arrived at 6:15); Committee Members Coffman, Duncan and Johnson
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: None
PUBLIC PRESENT: A complete list of those attending the meeting but did not speak is available in the Development Services Department
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Associate Planner Eastman, Assistant Planners Kusch and Sowers

MINUTES :

None

Chairman Daybell called for a motion to shift the larger project to the end of the meeting.

MOTION by Committee Member Coffman, SECONDED by Committee Member Duncan and CARRIED by a 4-0 vote (Silber late) to hear the agenda items out of sequence.

OLD BUSINESS

PRJ04-00647 ZON04-00064 APPLICANT: MICHELLE ALFIERI; PROPERTY OWNER: FULLERTON ASSOCIATES.

Review of architectural, landscape and signage plans for a new 3,100 square foot restaurant with a drive-thru window (Farmer Boys Restaurant) on property located at 1446 North Harbor Boulevard (east side of Harbor Boulevard, approximately 600 feet north of Harbor/Brea Boulevard divide) (C-3 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from August 26, 2004). (AK)

Assistant Planner Kusch stated that the property is located at the former Red Onion restaurant site. The City Council approved this project on appeal subject to the Redevelopment Design Review Committees (RDRC) review and approval of architectural and landscape plans. The Committee reviewed the architectural plans at its August 26th meeting and recommended plan revisions (their comments are listed in the January 27, 2005 Staff Report). The landscape plan was not reviewed.

The applicant has submitted revised plans and believes the building design incorporates the Committees comments. The following design changes have been made:

  • The canopy has been eliminated over the drive-thru next to the pickup window.

  • The stone wainscot veneer has been incorporated as a material on the building elevations to resemble the stone colonnade feature of the adjacent Automobile Club building.

  • Eliminated the tower elements.

  • The light sconces have replaced previous diagonal reglet-patterned box outs on the stucco portion of building elevations.

The architecture incorporates a concrete tile roof with a parapet that has a plaster cornice trim. There are stucco exterior walls with awnings providing articulation on the elevations. The landscape plan from an area analysis meets Code requirements. As it relates to drought tolerate trees, either the Queen Palm, or the Fern Pine would have to be replaced with a drought tolerant tree. Also, the pedestrian pathway serving the parking spaces along the north aisle should have a return path to the drive aisle so that people on the passenger side can exit without disturbing the landscape.

Staff recommends approval subject to the conditions contained in the Staff Report.

Committee Member Duncan asked staff if the proposed monument sign has been submitted. Staff replied that it has been submitted and is subject to the review and approval of the Director of Development Services. The tile signs on the building are also a part of the signage program.

Public Hearing Opened.

Alan Wishard, architect for the project, said the changes are in compliance with staffs recommendations and described the changes in depth. He reaffirmed that the applicant will agree to all conditions that are imposed on this project. Committee Member Duncan asked Mr. Wishard to elaborate on the proposed height of the signage. Mr. Wishard said that the sign on the drive thru and at the end of the building to the north are about 25 feet in height. They since have been scaled down to 22 feet to the crown of the canopy. The sign adjacent to the sidewalk and detached from the building is not part of Farmer Boys signage.

Hank Lowinger, construction manager, said the design of the monument sign would be very similar to what is seen on the building; the base will be 18 inches high with stone work to match the foundation of the building. Committee Duncan asked if the existing trees on the curb line would be removed as part of the construction. Mr. Lowinger said that the trees are close to the curb line, but will remain and be protected. Chairman Daybell said staff requires that the drive-up menu sign be screened from Harbor Boulevard with planting, what will be planted there and how many years will it take before the screening becomes effective. Mr. Lowinger said they would do whatever is recommended.

Public Hearing Closed.

Committee Member Duncan said that he understands the need for signage and attracting business but on the west elevation there is still an out-of-proportion element with signage on it. He would prefer that the element be the same size as what is on the east elevation and match the scale of the rest of the building. The additions to the project are more helpful. Vice Chairman Silber stated that the design has improved but wished it could go further in terms of tying in with the building around it. He would have liked to see a covered canopy on the drive-thru.

Committee Member Coffman was not convinced that the changes improved the design but just made it different. There was discussion at the last meeting that the focal points (towers) were out of proportion and didnt seem to serve any purpose. The towers have not been reduced but still appear to be bulky and awkward. Where the drive-thru occurs a cover was a nice feature and did not believe that it needed to be eliminated. What needed to be done was to reduce the bulk of the towers. What got eliminated was the cover, but the big box is still there. He suggested that the mansard and parapet along the building could be extended across the drive-thru, or a moderate feature with some signage would be a good idea.

On the north side there is a pop up feature that would tend to want to bring attention to a feature of the building below, but the back of the building is totalitarian with just a blank door. The towers could function better. Chairman Daybell said the building is somewhat austere in its design and he would support Committee Member Coffmans comments. Vice Chairman Silber stated that Committee Member Coffman made a good point and if we were to approve the project with an arcaded covered drive thru it would be an improvement. He understands the need for the monument sign for the traffic coming from the north but it seems confused. During the initial review he was outspoken about the design having a corporate look. and is now trying to meet half way but this may not be in the best interest of the community. He would support the project with conditions.

Committee Member Coffman stated that the majority of the committee members seem to be in favor of approving with revisions. However, he does not feel comfortable with the design as it is. He would be in favor of continuing the project and asking the applicant to try to resolve some of the issues that have been discussed.

Chairman Daybell called for a motion.

MOTION made by Committee Member Coffman, SECONDED by Committee Member Silber and CARRIED by a 4-1 vote (Johnson abstaining) to CONTINUE PRJ04-00647 ZON04-00064.

PRJ04-00840 ZON04-00084. APPLICANT: JEFF DOTTERWEICH; PROPERTY OWNER: PACIFIC TELEPHONE.

A request for a facade remodel of existing telephone exchange facility to replace exterior and add architectural elements compatible with the surrounding neighborhood (generally located on the northwest corner of East Amerige and Pomona Avenues) (C-3) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from September 23, 2004). (HS)

Assistant Planner Sowers stated that this is the second review for this project. Previously the faade was configured differently. It has been modified to simplify the buildings architecture and detail based on the comments of the Committee that the building should be a background building. Assistant Planner Sowers described the changes. There would be three different paint colors; two different variations of stone veneer rough and smooth on the wainscot features with accent bands. Also proposed is decorative tile on the top of the structure.

Assistant Planner Sowers said that the single story is the office section of the building on the corner of Pomona and Amerige. There are existing windows at that location. The applicant is proposing to maintain those windows but has eliminated the faux windows and the painted windows of the previous proposal. Staff is concerned that the project does not interface with the pedestrian environment on this corner. Staff recommends adding additional windows with clear glass, consistent with the Downtown Guidelines, where possible on the office portion of the building.

Assistant Planner Sowers said that on the rear elevation many of the architectural features on the south elevation have not been carried forward to the rear elevation. Given the size and location of this building the design elements should be carried forward to all sides of the building. Staff recommends support with conditions.

Public Hearing Opened.

Ed Guerro, architect, for SBC stated that he only has two issues. On the rear (north) elevation the majority of the building is obscured by an existing restaurant and alley. This is the only reason the design elements were not carried forward on the north on the east elevation, it may be possible to add two more bays, but in the far right corner SBC has two secured spaces that are used to maintain some of their equipment. If we were to put in windows it might be necessary to put in a false wall. Mr. Garrett asked staff to clarify mechanical equipment concerns on the north elevation. Assistant Planner Sowers said that Rutabagoras outdoor dining and the public park are affected by an equipment fan. Staff recommends that the fan be relocated so as to not affect outdoor activities. Staff has also received concerns about the noise of an existing generator. Mr. Garrett said that it is there only for emergencies and is only tested once a month and to run an interior duct would be difficult. Committee Member Coffman asked which came first, the fan or the outdoor patio. Senior Planner Rosen answered that the patio came first and staff was not able to find out when the fan was installed. Usually staff requires that mechanical equipment be mounted on the roof. Mr. Garrett said he would check to see if the equipment meets the sound standards.

Committee Member Coffman mentioned that the veneers on the color board might be mislabeled.

Public Hearing Closed.

Committee Member Silber thought that the changes were a big improvement over the last proposal. As far as the termination of the materials on the blank elevations, he is comfortable with the applicant and staff working out an agreeable solution and with the conditions recommended by staff. He would support the use of clear glass for the windows. Committee Member Coffman liked the project and would support staffs conditions. If because of security issues clear glass cannot be used, he would not object to a glazed opening. Committee Members Duncan and Johnson and had no other comments and support staffs recommendations. Chairman Daybell would like the applicant to work with staff on the window, if it is a security issue, and would support staffs recommendations.

Chairman Daybell called for a motion.

MOTION made by Committee Member Johnson, SECONDED by Committee Member Duncan and CARRIED by a 5-0 vote to APPROVE PRJ04-00840 ZON04-00084 subject to staffs recommended conditions as stated in the Staff Report dated January 27, 2005.

There is a 10-day appeal period where any action by this committee can be appealed to the Planning Commission and ultimately to the City Council.

PRJ05-000007 ZON05-00002. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: CECILIA CARRIEDO.

A request to for a new 2,900 square foot second single-family residence with two-stories located at 333 East Valencia Drive.

Associated Planner Kusch showed aerial photographs of the site. The property currently contains a single family residence built in the 50s. Adjacent to the property are two units to the east, and to the west is a single-family residence. The property is zoned R-2 which allows for up to two units. The property is also located within a Redevelopment area. The existing residence is simple with few embellishments. The roof has a slight pitch with a covered entry. The purpose of review is that the building would be readily seen from Valencia Drive considering that the new residence is going to be two story. The new residence includes a low pitch roof, eave overhang and composite shingles. The exterior would be stucco similar to the existing residence. The intent of requiring Redevelopment Design Review (RDRC) review is not to match the existing residence, but rather to improve the Redevelopment Area. Staff noted that there is an open space deficit and to meet the open space requirements, the footprint of the new residence should be shifted toward the west property line. Staff also suggests the following:

  • Relocate the stairwell on the front elevation to allow the door to be centered.

  • Incorporate foam trim around the windows.

  • Provide decorative vents.

  • Add a soffit with lighting above the garage doors and improve the appearance of the windows on the rear elevation.

Public Hearing Opened.

Margaret Dalkey, living at 111 Rosecrans Avenue voiced concern that the units would be rented out with multiple families living in the complex.

The applicant was not present to discuss the project.

Public Hearing Closed.

Committee Member Johnson said, given that the applicant and his architect are not present, the project should be deferred. Committee Member Duncan commented that there are a lot of possibilities with the architecture within that area and would prefer that the applicant be present before the Committee reviews the project. Committee Member Coffman stated that the project needs work, design-wise, and supports a continuation. He said that the proposed residence has a boxy appearance. There should be some distinction between the one and two story features to create some interest in the building. Some movement and articulation needs to occur such as jogging the building in and out or by lowering or raising the roof line. The exact location of the door is not clear, and should be clarified on the plans. Committee Member Silber said having a blank wall facing the alley is not a good idea for the general security of the neighborhood. It is important that there be natural surveillance of the alley. Also, a long blank wall without expansion screeds and stucco just invite cracks to occur. He supports continuing the project until the applicant and his designer can be present to answer questions.

Chairman Daybell agreed with the comments of the Committee Members and called for a motion to continue.

MOTION made by Committee Member Silber, SECONDED by Committee Member Duncan and CARRIED by a 5-0 vote to CONTINUE PRJ05-00007 ZON05-00002.

PRJ03-00363 ZON03-00027/28. APPLICANT: THE MORGAN GROUP; PROPERTY OWNER: JACK CHOU

A request to demolish an existing tennis club and construct a 161-unit senior housing complex on a 6-acre parcel located at 1900 Camino Loma (southwest corner of Rosecrans Avenue and Camino Loma) (O-P Zone) (Mitigated Negative Declaration) (Continued from December 9, 2004). (JE)

Associate Planner Eastman stated the proposal includes a number of applications including a Development Project, Conditional Use Permit, and General Plan Amendment. The project will go on to the City Council for approval. The Redevelopment Design Review Committee reviewed the project on December 9th. Staff thought that a two-story structure would be more compatible with the neighborhood and recommended denial without prejudice because of its mass and scale. The RDRC concurred. The applicant had asked for a continuation to revise the project.

The applicant has made the following changes:

  • Eliminated ten units (171 to 161 units) and five compact parking spaces.

  • Reconfigured the units at the end of the buildings.

  • Reduced the height of Buildings 1, 2, and 3 (facing the single family residences to the west).

  • Revised an elevation rendering to show a panorama view from the west; and revised a perspective sketch as seen from the Rosecrans and Camino Loma intersection.

Staff still believes that the project should be limited to 100 to 120 units a maximum 2-story height; and recommends denial without prejudice. Staff has included findings in the Staff Report for the basis of denial. If the Committee chooses to recommend approval, staff has included appropriate conditions of approval.

Public Hearing Opened.

Derek Empey, Morgan Group, gave background information about the project, its amenities, and what has been done to address the suggested changes. The baby boomer generation is aging, the demand for higher quality active senior environments is growing in Orange County and this project caters to seniors who are renters by choice. The property management is very rigid with proactive community standards.

Mr. Empey said there are a number of opportunities and constraints with the property. The lot is an irregularly shaped parcel with a limited access to the public right-of-way, it has reduced frontage visibility with a deep infill condition.

The first proposal was a combination of 3 and 4 story buildings with a Mediterranean style. Three of the four proposed buildings have been revised by eliminating portions of the third floor. The height reductions were done to buildings 1, 2 and 3. Building 4, which abuts the shopping center to the east, has not been changed. The changes made to the height of the proposed project are only in relationship to the single family residences to the west and the building fronting Rosecrans Avenue. Mr. Empey addressed the changes made to the height, scale and mass of the proposed development.

  • Reduced the unit count by 10 along the western boundary.

  • Enhanced the faade treatment.

  • Changed the roof line.

  • Reconfigured the units at the end of the buildings.

  • Increased segmentation on the west building by breaking them apart.

  • Reduced the overall mass by the use of two and three story buildings in the key areas.

  • Reduced the height of the elevation facing Rosecrans Avenue and moved the building farther from the street.

  • Eliminated 5 compact parking spaces.

In summary, Mr. Empey stated that he believes the development provides a superior architectural design, significant private amenities, a strong demand for the product, utilizes existing infrastructure in the city; is compatible with the surrounding areas quality of development and will be a great neighbor.

Chairman Daybell asked Mr. Empey how he responds to Staffs position that the project be limited to two-story with a density of 100 to 120 dwelling units. Mr. Empey stated that the project would be a long-term asset to the community; however for senior use there would be a significant difference economically if it were changed to a two-story development. A combination of twos and threes give the development a lot of variety. There is so much screening existing and proposed on the west boundary already that very little of the structures would be visible. The developers approach is to mitigate the height relationship without going to an all two-story development, and he is open to suggestions.

Vice Chairman Silber asked Mr. Empey to explain the drastic change in elevation on the south side of the property. Mr. Empey explained that there is a retaining wall on the back side of the parking garages of the condominium property. This condition is the most extreme. The interface is a 6-7 foot elevation grade break at maximum. As it goes to the east it becomes lower. This is a worse case scenario.

Public Hearing Opened.

The following people voiced their concerns with the development.

Doug Chaffee, 141 W. Wilshire #B
Paul Coyne, representing the Home Owners Association south of the property
Herb Wise, no address
Paul Freedman, North Fullerton Home Association
Lisa Vaugh, Chipwood Estates
Clyde Kitchen, Sunny Hills Racquet Club

Major concerns express by the public include:

Over development leading to blight.
Impacts on the neighborhood, such as from traffic.
Traffic at the exit/entrance.
Height and density.
Use does not belong in this location.
Units may become non-senior rentals.
Adjacent sites (Pavilions/West Coyote Hills) need to be addressed before going forth with this development. The two properties are dependant on each other.

Public Hearing Closed.

Committee Member Coffman stated that he understands both sides. The developer needs this project to be profitable but recognizes the communitys viewpoint as well. The developer should consider the possibility of reducing the height and mass if it is at all profitable. During the last review, the Committee discussed having some three-story units but there seems to be no place where they would be acceptable. He would support having a three-story building adjacent to where the shopping center is; however, by the time you get to the end of Building 4, it butts up to the condos. There should be some sort of a break. The project needs to be sensitive to the community.

Vice Chairman Silber stated that there should be a balanced and coordinated growth plan in Fullerton. Because of the number of on-site constraints in terms of access, the proposal at three-stories isnt able to overcome those constraints and the plans have no transition. If the density were lower the developer would have more options.

Committee Member Johnson agreed that the project should be denied based on the findings of staff and the comments from the community. It is a quality project, but at that scale and size does not fit this site.

Committee Member Duncan said that opposition creates a better project, but we are not there yet. He does not have a problem with three stories in certain areas. Based on the architectural style it is a nice project; however the reduction in height and density is minimal and suggested that the applicant work with staff to reach an agreeable solution. The landscape theme should be looked at in greater detail in terms of the plant material as it relates to this architecture style. There is plant material that would provide a greater consistency, such as using trees that reflect the mountain style of architecture (pines, firs, etc.)

Chairman Daybell thanked the community for coming out and expressing their view. The committee will support a motion to either continue or recommend a denial depending on what the developer would like to do with the project. He asked the developer to respond.

Mr. Empey expressed his desire to continue to work on the project.

Public Hearing Closed.

Chairman Daybell called for a motion.

MOTION made by Committee Member Coffman, SECONDED by Committee Member Silber and CARRIED by a 5-0 vote to CONTINUE PRJ04-00647 - ZON04-00064 to a date uncertain.

OTHER BUSINESS:

None

ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.

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