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RDRC Minutes May 13, 2004

RDRC Minutes May 13, 2004


The meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m. by Vice-Chair Silber


COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Vice-Chair Silber, Committee Members Duncan, and Johnson
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: Chairman Daybell and Committee Member Coffman
PUBLIC PRESENT: Natalie Kennedy; Jim Bowdion; Aly Haidar; Tom Dalton; Erin Ortega; John T. Ahern
STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Assistant Planner Kusch, Associate Planner Eastman, and Clerical Support Thompson


Voting of the minutes for the April 22, 2004 meeting was CONTINUED to the next meeting.


  • ITEM 1

    Assistant Planner Eastman described the project as outlined in the staff report. City Councils condition of project approval requires RDRC review of the landscape plans. At the previous meeting the Committee outlined three items of importance; the landscaping along the rear alley; the landscape in the Commonwealth frontage to resemble the BRE project, and the landscaping on Lawrence to be consistent to the adjoining residential area to the north; and an open design of the seconded story courtyard. The original plans submitted showed the courtyard as a more open free-form planter area, which was the RDRCs preferred option. There was additional comments relating to the courtyard areas lack of comprehensive design, and the revisions were more appropriate to the space; the alley trees at the rear of the building need to be provided, and the Committee felt that the proposed Carolina Cherry tree is adequate. Staff has recommended project approval with a number of conditions as indicated in the staff report.

    Vice-Chair Silber asked staff if the applicant has provided a design for the sidewalks related to scoring and paving materials. Assistant Planner Eastman stated that the applicant would provide decorative stamped concrete. The architects plan shows the decorative paving on-site, with nothing special public right-of-way, on-site improvements will be colored stamped concrete and a condition of approval is that staff be provided with details such as stamp design and color samples to make sure it is consistent with the architecture of the building. The BRE project has alternating patterns, in terms of the concrete and texture.

    Committee Member Duncan asked about an issue with the landscaping around the corner areas of the building. Associate Planner Eastman noted that the previous landscape plan had less landscaping and actually showed paving as an extended sidewalk, so there was pavement to the north of the Commonwealth property line on-site, and a grass parkway (which has been eliminated). Staff had indicated the entire 10-foot setback to be landscaped, excepted for the entry. Committee Member Duncan asked if there are any special conditions for the corners of the building. Associate Planner Eastman stated that they would be stamped concrete. Committee Member Duncan stated that the landscape plans do not match with the landscape architects plans.

    There being no further questions for staff Vice-Chair Silber opened the discussion to the public.

    Mr. Aly Haidar stated that they have revised the plans based on comments from the previous RDRC meeting and would be happy to answer questions. Committee Member Duncan asked if the border for the planter and the concrete area is raised. Mr. Haidar stated that it is a 6 concrete curb. Committee Member Johnson questioned if plants indicated on the plans were in tree wells. Associate Planner Eastman stated that there are inconsistencies on the plans: the original architecture plans showed conceptual trees, which have been mistakenly superimposed by the landscape architect. Vice-Chair Silber asked staff if the spacing is consistent with the spacing typically used. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the spacing is 15-20 ft between the trees. The Citys standard is typically 30-40 ft between street trees, however Commonwealth Avenue has two street trees that alternate to create a layering effect, although trees are 15-20 feet apart, similar trees are 30-40 feet apart. Vice-Chair Silber asked if they are in grates or wells. Mr. Haidar stated that they are in grates. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the Citys standard is a Neenah tree grate. Committee Member Duncan asked if it is a condition of approval that the applicant matches the BRE tree wells. Associate Planner Eastman stated that it is a requirement.

    Mr. Haidar asked the Committee to review the exterior colors for the project. He asked the Committee for their opinion of a grey color proposed for the trim around the window. The Committee reviewed a colored elevation presented. Committee member Duncan asked about the brick on the building. Mr. Hidair stated that it would be used brick. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the conditions of approval require that the applicant submit final colors and materials for review by the Director of Development Services. However, since the item is before the Committee, staff would like the Committees input.

    There being no further public comments, Vice Chair Silber turned the discussion over for Committee comments.

    Committee Member Johnson stated that he did not really have any additional comments. He noted that he is in approval of the project as proposed with Staffs recommended conditions. He preferred the darker of the two greys and would like to see a richer, darker brown color used on the base to provide more contrast (sienna was given as an example). Associate Planner Eastman stated that staff would recommend a consistent color scheme for the entire project; Staff recommends that the colors be darker to compliment the brick, such as an orange or brown.

    Committee Member Duncan supported the changes to the project with an additional condition pertaining to the Plum trees. He felt that the plum trees are too small for the area and instead suggested the Plantanus be continued along the west side. He noted that the courtyard revisions are nice, and agreed with Committee Member Johnson on the contrast of colors.

    Vice-Chair Silber said that he would like to see the main portion of the sidewalk and the paved parkway area along the street to be tied together. He would like to see the rhythm of the tree wells picked up in the sidewalk. He thought that as a practical matter it would probably be the case that scoring be to the corner of the tree wells, otherwise there would be cracking. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the BRE project has a pattern sidewalk were paving alters in relationship to the tree wells; staff would direct the applicant to provide the same material and textures as seen at the BRE project to create consistency along Commonwealth Avenue. Committee member Duncan asked if it is the intent to use the regular concrete with exposed bricks to match. Associate Planner Eastman said that it is staffs recommendation. Vice-Chair Silber thought that BRE project was very successful and liked the reoccurring pattern. He felt that the City is trying to reinforce an idea on Commonwealth and that a pattern sidewalk is a good way to do it. Committee Member Duncan stated that at the BRE project they used brick pavers for on-site improvements. He said that the pattern of stamped concrete will be critical, and asked the applicant what stamping they would be using. Mr. Haidar responded that they would be using a 12 square diamond pattern with color mixed into the concrete. Committee Member Duncan stated that this is located in the transition to the Downtown area and if one matched the sidewalk and parkway paving design, it would set the tone as part of downtown, where as the site is currently on the edge, it is a transition to residential. Associate Planner Eastman stated that it is not a requirement that this project be identical to the BRE project and asked Chief Planner Rosen if the City had established a policy for the sidewalks on Commonwealth Avenue. Chief Planner Rosen said that the color and texture was not established along Commonwealth. The only thing established was the alternating Palm and Magnolia under-story street trees in tree grates, which will be implemented this summer from the Police Station to Pomona. Associate Planner Eastman stated that although this is a different block, staff would still use the BRE project as a guideline. However, staff would be willing to look at creative solutions that are aesthetically pleasing. Committee Member Duncan stated that they would potentially be creating an island with matching the BRE project and everyone in between being different and end up being an eclectic mix. Vice Chair Silber suggested for the Committee to establish the scoring pattern for this project to match the pattern of the trees and the BRE project, with the texture material to be approved by staff.

    Committee Member Duncan made a motion to approve the project with staffs recommended conditions and additional conditions that 1) the applicant provide a scoring pattern that matches the existing BRE project at the NWC of Lemon Street and Commonwealth Avenue; and 2) change the plum trees along the west property line to plantanus trees. Committee Member Johnson seconded the motion and it passed unanimously by a vote of 3-0.


  • ITEM 2

    Associate Planner Eastman described the project as outlined in the staff report. The project is located at 234 West Malvern, which is zoned R2P. The applicant is requesting an addition to an existing single-family residence. The structure is a Craftsman style home built in 1920. The request will include the removal of exterior walls and the addition of 545 square feet. Staff has reviewed the submittal and believes the addition will be compatible to the existing house. The addition will have wood siding or a composite material to match the existing house, and the existing front facade will not be altered. The proposal includes two sky lights, one which may be visible from the street. However staff believes it would be minor and not noticeable, since it faces the side property and is behind the ridge of the addition. The preservation guidelines state that the skylight should not be seen from the public street; however a project presented previously to the RDRC included a skylight on a second floor, at which time the use of skylights in the P zone was discussed. Based on the discussion, this proposal would be consistent with the policy outlined at that time.

    One of the items outlined in the staff report recommended that the existing siding removed to accommodate the addition could be salvaged for use on the addition, where it faces the public street. The idea is that the siding on the existing building is the closest match to the front of the building, and salvaging the existing material would ensure a consistent view from the public street. Staff recommended approval of the project with the thirteen conditions of approval.

    There being no further comments from staff, Vice-chair Silber opened the discussion to the public.

    Vice-chair Silber asked the applicant if they would be able to comply with staffs conditions of approval. Mr. John Ahern, the applicants architect, stated that there is a minor problem with salvaging the siding and asked to eliminate it as a condition of approval. Associate Planner Eastman clarified that it was a suggestion instead of a recommended condition of approval. Associate Planner Eastman stated that the condition of the siding is unknown at this time and staff has seen in other cities where siding has been salvaged, and would recommend that the applicant try to use any salvageable siding. Vice-chair Silber asked about the new siding material to be used. Mr. Ahern stated that they had not gotten to that point yet, however they will look at their options, it will most likely be a composite material, rather than a cementous, because it is easier to match. Vice-chair Silber asked if they would shingle it in individual boards instead of a panel. Mr. Ahern stated that it was his understanding that they would use individual boards.

    Mr. Tom Dalton, the President of Fullerton Heritage, stated he felt that the project looked good, although it looked like a big project. He asked staff if the calculations were done to make sure it complied with square footage usages. Associate Planner Eastman confirmed that staff had calculated the floor area ratio and the proposed project complies with code. Associate Planner Eastman pointed out that the property has a large front yard which helps lower the floor area ratio. In terms of lot coverage, the project is within the 60% allowed for the R2P zone. As indicated in the staff report, the addition will preclude the construction of a second unit without any significant modifications to the building. Mr. Dalton applauded the applicant for keeping the design in character with the neighborhood, and asked the applicant if about the type of material used for the windows. Mrs. Erin Ortega noted that they were planning on using wood at this point. Mr. Dalton asked the applicant if there would be anyway to disguise the skylights so they are not seen from the public street. Mrs. Ortega stated that the skylights would not be as much an issue as the air conditioning unit that is currently in public view on top of their house. Chief Planner Rosen asked if they would be relocating the AC unit somewhere else on the property. Mrs. Ortega stated that it would not be seen from the public.

    There being no further comments from the public, Vice-chair Silber opened the discussion for Committee Member comments.

    Committee Member Duncan stated that he thought this is a nice project. He stated that the new bedroom window placement is currently facing the rear of the property and suggested placing it to the front so there is not a large blank wall to the public street. If it couldnt be done, then general landscaping should be added to soften the wall. Mr. Ahern stated that the purpose for placing the window to the rear of the property is for the safety of the property owners children, and to create a buffer from the street noise.

    Committee Member Johnson stated that it is a great project, and felt that it is refreshing to see a project come through that is one-story and not a second unit across the back yard. He stated that he is in support of the project. He then stated that he felt that salvaging siding would be a construction issue. Associate Planner Eastman clarified that staff would require the product material information for the new siding to be provided to staff for approval prior to issuing building permits.

    Vice-chair Silber noted that there might be an opportunity to save some of the siding under the eaves, which has not been affected by the weather. He felt that it is a good project and did not have any additional changes to the conditions of approval. He agreed with Committee Member Duncan about the landscaping to soften the blank wall and thought that there might be a possibility to add a clerestory window above the closet. However, he did not want to mess with the exterior elevations.

    Committee Member Johnson made a motion to approve the project as submitted with staffs recommended conditions of approval, with Committee Member Duncan seconding. The motion was unanimously approved by a vote of 3-0.

  • ITEM 3

    Assistant Planner Kusch described the project at 118 West Brookdale Place as described in the staff report. He stated that the property is located in the Jacaranda/Malvern/Brookdale historic area and represents the most extensive intact collection of 1920s housing in the city. The property consists of two dwellings; the original residence built in 1919 and a rear residence built in 2001. The applicant is requesting approval to replace the existing shingles and windows on the front residence due to deterioration, and to increase seismic stability and energy efficiency. Since the property is located in a preservation zone, the requested exterior changes need to be consistent with the Design Guidelines for the Residential Preservation Zones. The guidelines state, as an underlined policy, the original architectural elements of existing residences shall be retained, repaired, or restored rather than replaced. If such elements can not be repaired or restored, the replacement should be made with the original type of material when possible. When necessary, substitutions may be made with materials that match in design, texture, and color. Original material shall be proven deteriorated beyond reasonable repair before substitute materials can be considered. The design guidelines further state any improvements, restoration, or additions to an existing residence should duplicate traditional original details and materials as accurately as possible. Staff conducted a site inspection to determine the extent of the sidings deterioration, and the Citys Building Official estimates that half of the siding is in a condition of deterioration. Non-deteriorated shingles would need to be removed in order to access and replace the deteriorated shingles. The submitted proposal includes replacing the 2-0 shingles with 8 lap siding. The applicant has chosen the same siding product, including color and texture, as the rear residence built in 2001. Staff recommends a 6 lap siding, which is more consistent with the historical context and the siding found on neighboring residences. According to the applicant the proposed project would reduce the ongoing maintenance and repair of the existing shingle siding and provide better insulation. The proposal includes a new plywood sheer wall under the siding to provide insulation, improve energy efficiency and increase seismic stability. The exterior of the front residence includes an angled skirt or flare at the base of the residence. The existing shingles accentuate the skirt; the proposed horizontal lap siding would eliminate this feature. The applicant proposes to replace the windows on the front residence to increase energy efficiency and reduce exterior noise and ongoing maintenance. The front grid window facing Brookdale Place would be replaced with a window similar in appearance and material to the living room window on the residence located at the rear of the property. Double hung and slider windows would be replaced on the sides and rear of the residences. Staff recommends that the replacement windows be of significant detail to express the appearance of wood construction. Marvin Windows will manufacture the proposed windows with a pebble grey aluminum clad exterior finish. Staff recommends approval subject to the conditions contained within the staff report.

    Vice-chair Silber asked staff if they determined the vertical length of the existing shingles. Associate Planner Eastman noted that the applicant has indicated that they are 2 foot with 16-inch exposure.

    There being no further comments Vice-chair Silber opened the discussion to the public. The applicant, Ms. Natalie Kennedy stated that she likes the siding on the back house, even though it is not what she originally wanted. She said that they are no proposing a TruWood Cedar Shake siding, which she felt would look similar to their existing shingles. Vice-chair Silber asked if it will have the staggered shingle appearance and what would be the exposure. Mr. Bowdion (applicants son-in-law and contractor) stated that it is called 10 , but comes out to be more like a 10 exposure. Vice-chair Silber asked if it is the Cedar shake lap siding shown on the manufactures product sheet. Mr. Bowdion confirmed that it is.

    Mr. Tom Dalton, the president of Fullerton Heritage, stated that they would like to see the original type of shingles used, however recognize the cost implications. The intent of the guidelines is to keep the house in character with the neighborhood. As long as keeping the shingles horizontal, and keeping them the same size, he felt that they would be within the guidelines. As far as the windows are concerned, he would like to see the applicant use wood windows or vinyl windows that imitate wood.

    Ms. Kennedy brought some pictures of the home from the original owner, who told her that the home was there in 1911.

    Vice-chair Silber asked the applicant if plywood sheer panels would be applied to the exterior of the building. Mr. Bowlin said that they would be applying at least 3/8 plywood. Vice-chair Silber asked if they would be anchoring the foundation at the same time. Mr. Bowlion stated that it looks like a good foundation, but he would most likely do some improvements. Vice-chair Silber asked if they would be able to keep the skirt. Mr. Bowlion said that they would, however the new material would be difficult to miter at the corners. Vice-chair Silber asked if it would be possible to salvage some of the existing shingles to be used for the skirt. Mr. Bowdin stated that the shingles look like they are in better condition than they really are. Vice-chair Silber stated that it would be wonderful if they could keep the skirt.

    There being no further comments from the public, Vice-chair Silber turned the meeting over to Committee Members for comment.

    There being no further comments from the committee, Committee Member Johnson made a motion to approve the project with staffs recommended conditions of approval, except that the TruWood Cedar Shake lap siding with a 10 exposure shall be used. The motioned passed unanimously by a vote of 3-0.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.