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Minutes September 12: Redevelopment Design Review Committee

Minutes September 12: Redevelopment Design Review Committee

September 12, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 4:10 P.M. by Chairman Coffman
Johnson; Committee Members Blumer, Daybell, and Silber
Chief Planner Rosen, Program Planner Linnell, Senior Planner Mullis, and Associate Planner Eastman
The minutes of the August 22, 2002 meeting was approved as written.



The Committee reviewed site and architectural plans related to a Conditional Use Permit to allow a new 640-sq.-ft. limited second dwelling unit on property at 440 West Malvern Avenue. Associate Planner Eastman described the proposal, noting that because the property is within a residential preservation zone (R-1P-7,200), the Committee is reviewing the plans before the Planning Commission considers the request. He said the existing garage, built in 1979, would be demolished and a new 640-sq.-ft. residence over a three-car garage would be constructed at the back of the property. Staff has three issues with the proposed design: 1) the chimney needs to be relocated or eliminated in order for the design to be architecturally correct; 2) to reduce the impacts on adjacent single-family residences and to be consistent with the intent of a "granny unit" in a single-family residential zone, the limited second dwelling unit should be oriented toward the property's primary residence instead of the alley; and 3) the horizontal siding for the new residence should match the original lap siding of the main residence, which is now hidden under a layer of asbestos shingles. Staff believes that, given time, the existing asbestos shingles will eventually be removed and the original lap siding will be restored.

Present to discuss the request were Caroline Druiff, property owner, and her brother. Ms. Druiff said that she plans to live in the limited second dwelling and rent the main residence. The orientation of the residence toward the alley with its south-facing balcony would provide her with more privacy than if the residence is facing the existing house. She noted that the lack of windows on the north side of the new residence is to address privacy concerns. The issue with the chimney's location can be resolved by her project designer, and the siding for the new residence will be similar to the original siding of the main residence. She said that she would explore the removal of the existing asbestos shingles. She was not aware of any opposition from her two neighbors with the proposal, and noted that the property to the west is already improved with a structure that has a two-story equivalent height.

Chairman Coffman opened the discussion to public comment. Katie Dalton, representing Fullerton Heritage, supported staff's recommendations. She thought that the chimney, if retained, should be a masonry material to be in keeping with the 1920s bungalow architecture for this neighborhood. She encouraged the property owner to investigate the removal of the asbestos shingles on the main residence, noting that it is relatively easy to have done and that the property at 204 North Cornell Avenue is a recent example of how the original siding may be restored.

Committee members voiced support for the new, two-story residence and its proposed orientation toward the alley. Members thought, however, that revisions needed to be made to address the chimney design and location and the specification of horizontal lap siding for the exterior. Additional design features were also recommended by the Committee: 1) to adjust the balcony design to setback the edge on its west side; 2) to specify double or single hung windows, including the one for the garage; 3) the consideration of landscaping, including a trellis on the north side. Committee members encouraged the property owner to redesign the unit to provide more window area on the north side of the unit, but did not feel it needed to be a recommendation of approval.

Motion by Blumer, seconded and CARRIED unanimously to RECOMMEND APPROVAL of site and architectural plans for a limited second dwelling at 440 West Malvern Avenue subject to the recommendations in the staff report and amended as follows:

  • The orientation of the residence may remain as proposed with its entry facing the alley to the south.
  • The exterior walls will have lapped horizontal siding that is similar in design to the original siding on the existing residence.
  • Primary windows of the new residence will be single or double hung in type, including the garage window.
  • The chimney will be relocated to a side of the residence or changed to a design that has a less dominate/massive appearance, such as a metal flue feature. Wood siding will not be used to enclose the flue.
  • The design of the balcony will be adjusted as shown on the marked up plans.
  • A landscape/hardscape plan, including the location of all fencing, will be submitted for review and approval by staff.

The Committee reviewed a conceptual design of a building sign for the Imperial Academy, a major tenant in the Williams Building at 112 East Commonwealth Avenue. Program Planner Linnell said that the business owner, Dennis Lyle, is proposing a projecting sign over the entry along Commonwealth Avenue to the upper level floors of the building. He said that because the building is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and therefore, signage should compliment and not compromise the architecture of the building, the Committee is being asked to review the concept and give direction to the applicant. Graphics of the proposed sign were displayed.

Dennis Lyle was present to discuss the proposal. He said that the sign has a vertical orientation to provide visibility as well as to reflect a sign reminiscent of the 1940s era. The sign would be located between the windows of the second and third levels; the colors for the sign are not chosen; and the sign includes the use of neon for the outline. The property owner, Brian Williams, is supportive of the sign's design and location. Mr. Williams is in the process of development the sign program for the building, including other signs on the south side of the building. Mr. Lyle said that he is seeking tentative approval of the sign's concept before going forward with a specific proposal, which will include the selection of colors and the method of attachment.

Chairman Coffman opened the discussion to public comment. Katie Dalton, representing Fullerton Heritage, said that the concept of the sign was entirely appropriate for the building. She encouraged the use of neon, but agreed that the choice of colors needed further review. As a major tenant for the building, the sign's location could be prominent and would not set a precedent for other signs on the building.

The consensus of the Committee was that the design of the sign, including its size (16-foot high) was acceptable, as was the location (over the doorway or at least 5 feet inside the corner of the building). Members questioned whether there was the need for the copy "Lessons/ Parties/ Banquets" and wanted to review the specific color selection and use of neon. The Committee thought that the property owner, Brian Williams, should develop and submit a sign program for the building as soon as possible so that prospective ground floor tenants would understand the restrictions for identifying their businesses.

Mr. Lyle said that he would submit a specific proposal for the sign in the near future for the Committee's review and approval.


The Committee reviewed site and architectural plans for a new two-story, 7,225-sq.-ft. general office building on property at 1601 North Harbor Boulevard. Program Planner Linnell explained the history of the property, its prominent setting along Harbor Boulevard within a scenic corridor, the nearby commercial buildings, and the hillside topography that makes the site difficult for a large development. He said that staff believes the contemporary architecture that is proposed for the office building is not in keeping with surrounding property, and staff is seeking direction from the Committee with regard to the building's design.

Program Planner Linnell said that the applicant has come to the meeting with a revised design of the building. He asked the applicant to describe the revisions for the Committee.

In attendance were the prospective property owner, Jay Ho, and his architect, Paul Kim. Mr. Kim displayed colored elevations of the proposed building and sample paint colors. He said the revised plan does not change the size, location, or configuration of the two-story building. The revision shows a different architectural treatment to the building's faade to address staff's concern for having the architecture better fit with other commercial development in the area.

Committee members were pleased that the design of the building had been submitted early in the review process so that alternatives can be discussed without the concern of delaying the normal timeline. Committee Member Silber thought the building needed to be more reflective of the hillside site; the building's placement and form should be reconsidered, perhaps with tuck-under parking. Also the pedestrian movement from the parking area to entry to the building should be given more thought.

Other members echoed Committee Member Silber's comments. Members were not supportive of the proposed design, noting that the building's features needed to have a more cohesive appearance; that the staircases needed to be enclosed and become part of the building; and that the building should incorporate a pitched roof. The applicant was directed to create a building that is more responsive to the site and its surrounding development.

Program Planner Linnell indicated that the Committee is scheduled to meet on September 26th, and the applicant could return at that time with a new set of plans for its consideration and still be to go forward to the Planning Commission on October 9th. Mr. Kim indicated that he would not be able to attend the September 26th meeting, and a future meeting would have to be planned. Program Planner Linnell said that without the Committee's further review in September, the proposal would not be able to be placed on the Planning Commission's October 9th meeting.

No action was taken on this item.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.