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RDRC Minutes December 8, 2005

RDRC Minutes December 8, 2005


Thursday December 8, 2005 4:00 PM


The meeting was called to order at 4:06 PM by Chairman Daybell


COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Daybell; Committee Members Cha, Hoban and Duncan
PUBLIC PRESENT: Tony Bushala, Don Carter, Steven Cohen, Tom Dalton, Glenn Gaelick, Dick Hamm, Chris Loh, Patrick O'Connor, Charlene Palmer, Betty Ren, Rocky Shen, Bob Stevens, Terry Silvestri, and Mike Wallace
STAFF PRESENT: Associate Planner Allen, Civil Engineer Ron Bowers, Senior Planner Eastman, Clerical Staff Leopold, Chief Planner Rosen, and Redevelopment Director Rob Zur Schmiede






1. PRJ04-01164 - ZON05-00024. APPLICANT NANCY CHANG; PROPERTY OWNER: XUE REN. A request for an 14-unit, 429 square foot garage; 185 square foot first floor; 462 second floor; 500 square foot third floor attached condominium project in Community Improvement District located at 918 South Highland Avenue (generally located on the east side of Highland Avenue between 150 and 275 feet south of Knepp Avenue, west to Tamarack Drive) (R-3 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines) (Continued from October 27 and November 10, 2005). (HA)

Senior Planner Eastman provided a staff report stating that the project was reviewed at a previous RDRC meeting. He reviewed concerns expressed by the committee including the three-story height and additional issues. At the time, there was a request as to whether the project would be continued to allow the applicant to revise the plans or move forward to the Planning Commission for review with a recommendation of denial. Senior Planner Eastman stated the applicant requested to continue project to this meeting.

Senior Planner Eastman stated that staff had not received revised plans in time to review and provide comments and check for code compliance. Staff indicated in the report to recommend a continuation to a further date.

Associate Planner Allen said that the applicant was formally requesting a continuance to address RDRC concerns expressed with the three-story height and revise the plans and come back to the committee with a formal re-submittal rather than going forward to the Planning Commission with a denial.

The applicant was present and presented revised plans to the committee.

Associate Planner Allen reviewed the plans and said the applicant wanted to vary the roof and add a roof at the second story level to break up the vertical mass of a three-story project.

Chairman Daybell and staff discussed a possible meeting date to continue the project.

Committee Member Cha reviewed the committee's request from the previous meeting. He recommended the applicant submit a conceptual design rather than a detailed design before going any further with the project.

Senior Planner Eastman requested initial feedback from the RDRC to indicate if the project was headed in the right direction. Chairman Daybell provided his comments stating the project looked more proportioned than before.

Committee Member Duncan questioned if the two-unit building was a two or three-story building. The designer answered it was a mixture.

Committee Member Hoban asked if there was consideration to not locating the buildings in a box format? The applicant's representative answered saying the arrangement presented is the best way to use the property because there is common open space and balconies.

The designer commented the parking requirements and setbacks were very restrictive.

Committee Member Cha reiterated a comment made from the Committee in the previous meeting regarding the "box-type" condominium.

Committee Member Hoban said the applicant did make some of the recommended changes to the roof lines and has tried to put together a common theme rather than the mismatch of the architectural elements found in the last set of plans.

Chief Planner Rosen recommended to the applicant that, when plans are resubmitted, they should add an oblique view of the project from the street.

Committee Member Hoban questioned if there was a redesign for:
  • The issue of coming through the front door to a washing machine and dryer
  • Relocating and screening the air conditioning condenser units on the front porch.
The designer answered they do have a location for the condenser units (remaining on the front porch). The applicant's representative said there were pony walls that will block the condenser from the common walkways. She also discussed the change in layout.

Committee Member Hoban said the layout is limited because a lot is being packed into a small space. By reducing the number of units, the applicant can create a more inviting layout.

Senior Planner Eastman discussed the previous plans submitted, and clarified that the number of units met density requirements. He stated the revisions and design is driven by maximizing the number of units while still trying to meet the minimum requirement of the code.

Staff discussed with the applicant a date to submit a new set of revised plans to the committee.

MOTION made by Committee Member Cha to CONTINUE project to January 12, 2006 meeting. SECONDED by Committee Member Hoban. Passed unanimously.


2. PRJ05 00756 - ZON05-00107. APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: CITY OF FULLERTON. A review of five preliminary design concepts for the State College Grade underpass at railroad row along the north side of Valencia Drive. (JR)

Applicant was present along with Architect Dale, from Cleveland, Ohio, on speaker phone. He gave a brief overview about his background with the project.

Those in attendance for this project were: Charlene Palmer, Arcadis project manager; Bob Stevens, Arcadis Transportation Business Practice Director, located in Denver; Glenn Gaelick, Arcadis Phoenix office; and Ron Bowers, City of Fullerton Senior Civil Engineer.

Senior Civil Engineer Bowers and the applicants gave a brief overview of both of the proposals presented to the Committee.

Option A.2 (in color)
  • Is more of an art deco concept.
  • Decorative tiles in columns and along retaining walls.
Option B.2
  • More of a traditional bridge with a textured finish.
  • Cylindrical form concrete rails with openings between them.
Senior Planner Eastman stated this project, will go to the City Council for final approval. The engineering staff asked for recommendations and comments from the RDRC, which will be forwarded on to the City Council.

Chairman Daybell asked about the color scheme on the main bridge.

Committee Member Hoban questioned if the walls were split face block. He asked if the colored concrete was to be stained concrete or poured colored concrete?

The architect and Ms. Palmer elaborated on the walls, color and texture in Option B.2. The architect added if there is a large field that is a color, it could be poured. A smaller field could be stained

Senior Planner Eastman asked if there was a substantial cost difference in coloring the concrete and would that make a difference to the project options. The architect didn't know off hand if there was a difference and that a cost study could be performed.

Chairman Daybell stated that the City Council should be appraised of the cost differences between both concepts. Committee Member Hoban questioned if both of the proposals were designed within the scope of a given budget? Civil Engineer Bowers answered the project is estimated at a $35 - 40 million budget, with Option B - 2 being less expensive than Option A - 2.

Chairman Daybell expressed his liking toward the railing in concept A - 2. But he did like the vertical and horizontal lines in Option B-2.

Committee Member Hoban asked if there is pedestrian traffic across current City railroad crossing bridges. Senior Planner Eastman said that none of the bridges he is aware of in the city have pedestrian paths included.

Committee Member Hoban questioned how the tiles would be attached? The architect answered they could be clay, glazed based or cast in with the form liner for more economy and then painted. The size of the tiles are approximately 2 ft. x 2 ft. each. By having the tiles, they will bring some color to the project and stop at the bridge, letting the bridge be a separate design element.

Committee Member Hoban questioned if it was a traditional concrete I-beams or steel I-beams under the bridge. The architect said they are concrete.

Committee Member Duncan questioned the reason for choosing the art deco style. Senior Planner Eastman and Chief Planner Rosen discussed the previous plans and designs submitted.

Chairman Daybell said he would feel more comfortable with Option B-2 if the design was not all one color white, but a tan color could be added to jazz it up.

Committee Member Cha said he was tired of the concrete look seen in underpasses. He said if cost wasn't an issue, he'd prefer a more artistic look.

Senior Planner Eastman asked the committee if they had any thoughts or opinions on the different variations of the art deco railing provided.

Committee Member Hoban said Option A-2 is the one that impressed him, since it has round shapes rather than angular and has color. Option B.2 doesn't. Fullerton needs a piece that is more unique.

Committee Member Duncan said he liked the art deco design of Option A-2, and didn't like the bridge design of Option B-2. However, he did like the treatment of the wall and the sides since it's nice and simple. He said Fullerton should have a unique bridge such as the one in Option A-2.

Committee Member Duncan suggested that in Option A-2, there is an opportunity to have school involvement in designing of the tiles.

Chairman Daybell chose Option A - 2.

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan to recommend Option A-2, SECONDED by Committee Member Cha. Passed unanimously.

3. PRJ05-00257 - ZON05-00023. APPLICANTS: BARGHAUSEN CONSULTING ENGINEERS AND PRICE CO. A request to construct and operate a self-serve retail gasoline service station with 8 dispensers, a 32 foot by 120 foot canopy and 3 underground fuel storage tanks with a capacity of 90,000 gallons located at 900 S. Harbor Boulevard (east side of Harbor Boulevard between 770 and 1232 feet north of Orangethorpe Avenue (C-2 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15332 of the CEQA Guidelines). (JW)

Chairman Daybell stated item 3 was CONTINUED.

4. PRJ05-00752 - ZON05-00104. APPLICANT: CRANE ARCHITECTURAL GROUP. A request to construct a new second dwelling on property in a CID zone and in a potential landmark district at 137 West Ash Avenue (north side of Ash, approximately between 160 and 205 feet east of the centerline of Malden Avenue (R-2 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15303 of the CEQA Guidelines). (AK)

Chairman Daybell stated item 4 was withdrawn at the applicant's request.

5. PRJ05-00757 - ZON05-00108. APPLICANT: PATRICK O'CONNOR. A request to upgrade the main entrance of historically significant (potential National Register) property including the replacement of the existing concrete stairs, the construction of an ADA ramp, the installation of new decorative hardscape replacing the existing, and the installation of wrought iron perimeter fencing at 142 East Chapman Avenue generally located at the southwest corner of Chapman and Pomona (C-3 Zone) (Categorically Exempt under Section 15301 of the CEQA Guidelines). (HA)

Associate Planner Allen provided a staff report on the project. Staff feels the plans did not include enough detail for them to make a recommendation on the project. However, some actions have been proposed that staff feels would move the project forward. Staff requested comments from the Committee to give to the applicant for plan revisions.

Committee Member Hoban asked if the design of the ramp lends itself to bringing it away from the street or pedestrian area, farther away from the building? Senior Planner Eastman stated the question should be directed to the applicant as to the thought process as to why the ramp was designed in the manner and location presented.

Committee Member Duncan asked if the concern mentioned of the possibility of modifying the building because of the stairs has been addressed. Associate Planner Sowers answered the applicant talked about relocating a window because of where the stairs would be proposed to be located. Staff is not in favor of this decision, but it was not indicated on the plans only through conversation with the applicant.

Senior Planner Eastman reiterated from the staff report that the project is a potential National Registry property and staff uses the Secretary of Interior Standards for Historic Preservation & Rehabilitation. The extent of this project affecting the potential listing is minimal because they are not affecting the building itself. However, staff considers the orientation of the building as it relates to the street as part of the defining characteristics of the building. Staff is reluctant to support any work done to the front of the building that alters the symmetry of the building. Senior Planner Eastman reviewed some of the recommendations indicated in the staff report.

Senior Planner Eastman stated on a general context, staff is supportive of the site with grade perspective. Staff is concerned with how this affects the corner and the historical nature of the building and indicated design comments in the staff report.

Chairman Daybell asked if the applicant has a copy of the staff report. The applicant answered yes.

Public comments opened.

The applicant, Pat O'Connor, discussed the items of concern to the Committee including the ramp orientation.

Chief Planner Rosen questioned the proposed expansion of the ramp in the public right-of-way at the corner onto the property. He explained that the ramp at the corner comes to a 6 inch high curb at the radius and the applicant is proposing to do is remove the curb and pull the ramp into the property. He asked the applicant why they are proposing to do this. The applicant said the reason was safety.

Senior Planner Eastman asked if there was a grade separation between the sidewalk and the property. The applicant answered yes.

Senior Civil Engineer Voronel explained to the applicant that in order to comply with ADA requirements a slope of the ramp cannot exceed 8.33 percent (1 inch per foot). Another ADA requirement is to have a landing with a minimum of 4 ft. at 2 percent maximum slope. She said the wall must be built to comply with ADA and asked where people should enter the building.

The applicant said they can have people dropped off on Pomona or enter through the sidewalk entrance. He said they'd accept the RDRC and staff recommendations.

Chairman Daybell reiterated that the applicant would modify the entrance and add landscaping. The applicant said he would have to deal with the curb in some way whether it be railing or have it incorporated into a graded apron. He would add landscaping if it complies with the requirement.

He asked if the RDRC would allow the fence to be set back at 5 ft. all the way around with landscaping on the outside of the fence? What would be an acceptable setback? The applicant discussed some options with staff.

Chairman Daybell asked if there was a maximum length to have on a handicap ramp based on slope? Senior Civil Engineer Voronel answered 30 ft., and it would have to be designed in compliance with code.

Associate Planner Allen stated staff did recommend a rendering. Realizing the improvements are simple, they will still be viewed in combination with the historic building.

Senior Planner Eastman stated staff would like to see where the colors are being applied to and getting a better understanding of where those elements go.

Staff's main concerns are the proposed colors and materials, and there is too much paving.

Fullerton resident Tony Bushala questioned the removal of steps, and why couldn't a ramp be added without removing the steps? Mr. O'Connor answered to accommodate those individuals who are unable to use the stairs. The stairs are disintegrating, and he'd like to have them replaced when the ramp is added.

Mr. Bushala added that the stairs give some character to the building. He gave some suggestions as to how the applicant could refurbish the stairs.

Mr. O'Connor said the most important thing for them is to have the ramp at the west side of the building and to have the perimeter of the fence 6 ft. high.

Chairman Daybell said he liked the present entrance and the least disturbance from that is best. He suggested instead of taking out the lawn and putting in pavers they can have a descent looking lawn with landscaping in front.

Mike Wallace, a member of the church, stated this project with pavers, would help with having additional space to have people congregate after church.

Committee Member Hoban said he has a concern with the steps and believes they are part of the architectural element of the era of that building. If they must be removed, it should be done in the same style, angular and square. He said he would not suggest to throw flat red on the ground, since the roof is red. He recommended varying the color of the pavers.

He said the ADA ramp is not a component that will fit the church and it needs to be made unapparent as possible.

Committee Member Cha said what concerned him was the ADA ramp and that it go further to the west of the building or move over to the other side of the building, so the Chapman side can be preserved. The wrought iron fence does not seem to fit with the rest of the building on Chapman Avenue and will damage the church's image. He would like to go with the staff recommendation of 3 - 4 ft. of stucco to match the rest of the wall. Other than those recommendations, he does not see any problems.

Staff clarified that they had indicated that the code allows for a 3 ft. high solid wrought iron with 6 ft. view not being obscured.

Committee Member Hoban agreed with the suggestion of the faade of the wall on the Chapman side.

Fullerton resident Tom Dalton commented his concern that they follow the Secretary of Interior Standards and make sure that anything that is added to the building can be removed, so the historic integrity of the building is not comprised.

Mr. Bushala and Mr. Dalton discussed the historic standards of buildings.

Committee Member Cha made a comment and recommended the applicant install CCTV saying it is not costly to install and is very effective to use for security.

Public hearing closed.

Chairman Daybell recommended that the applicant bring the plans back with modifications. He stated if the ramp is moved to the back corner that would eliminate the problem with people sleeping in or behind the plants at night. He suggested the wrought iron would look better if a 1 ft. or 2 ft. stucco wall or planter be placed below it. Chairman Daybell stated the project needs more work and said the church is one of the most attractive buildings in Fullerton.

Committee Member Duncan stated there is very little that he liked about the project. He suggested not to put any concrete pavers over the steps to keep them natural gray concrete and maybe add detail and scale. He would condition the project to push fence back off of the sidewalk and add landscaping.

Committee Member Cha said if the applicant works with the engineers and follows the staff's comments the project would make a good project. He would like to minimize the wrought iron fence for the opening and closing of the building and would like to see the stucco extended out from the building and incorporated in the ramp or a low wall.

Committee Member Hoban reiterated his recommendations in tearing down the porch and redoing it, using the same shape and treatment finish.

MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan to CONTINUE as recommended by staff. SECONDED by Committee Member Cha. Passed unanimously.


Committee took a 5-minute break.

Committee agreed to hear item #6 at the end.

7. PRJ05-00606 - PRE05-00060. APPLICANT: PELICAN LANG/FULLERTON LLC; PROPERTY OWNER: CITY OF FULLERTON. Review "Option B" site plan and building concepts preliminary review comment for mixed-use development above existing public parking lot (generally north and south sides of the 100 block of Amerige Avenue) (C-3 Zone) (JR)

The City's Redevelopment Director Rob Zur Schmeide presented an overview about the project. He explained the project has been presented to the RDRC after every design step. This meeting is the third time the project has been before the RDRC.

Dick Hamm reviewed plans for Amerige Court/Vintage Square. He reviewed:
  • Vehicular and pedestrian traffic and connections
  • Parking
  • Alleys
  • Townhome units
  • Bridge
  • Fire accessibility
The RDRC commented on the open space near proposed flats.

Committee Member Duncan commented that office space may be developed instead of commercial on the second story.

Mr. Hamm said they feel very comfortable with the design, although there are many things that still need to be worked out. A finalized plan that will be the entitlement plan should be ready in June or July.

Redevelopment Director Zur Schmeide said they would like to use the RDRC as the venue to conduct the additional reviews as they go through the design review process.

6. PRJ05-00753 - ZON05-00105. APPLICANT: RYAN GREGORY. Review preliminary site plan and elevations for mixed-use project of 27 residential condominium units above 4,600 square feet retail space and parking garage located at 345 East Commonwealth Avenue (C-1 Zone). (Negative Declaration) (HA)

Senior Planner Eastman gave a staff review on the project previously approved but not constructed for this site.

Chairman Daybell was concerned that the new building would not preserve the view of the adjacent historic building. Senior Planner Eastman said the project is more restrictive in this regard than the previous project, but does provide a 45 degree cut off to maintain visibility.

Committee Member Duncan asked how many versions of this plan had staff seen? Chief Planner Rosen speculated that there have been three reviews.

Associate Planner Allen gave a brief overview on the project.

Chairman Daybell asked if the same development standards that applied to the Pinnacle project applied here. Associate Planner Allen said yes the high density residential standards are for the residential component.

Senior Planner Eastman stated that there were questions as to whether the applicant meets the required open space. The applicant needs to address those issues.

Staff requested comments from the committee on this project.

Committee Member Duncan said he's looking for the building to be timeless rather than trendy and stated he was having a tough time with the large marquee sign. Chief Planner Rosen suggested a vertical blade sign that works with the building.

Committee Member Cha asked if the building west of the historic building is the same type of concept with the parking in the back? Staff answered yes, the parking is in the back.

Chairman Daybell questioned the type of material proposed.

Committee Member Duncan recommended the applicant bring in a model of the project. Senior Planner Eastman said staff had already suggested the owner build a massing model, although it is not typically required.

Committee Member Hoban stated the barrel roof on the common recreation area is a defining feature of the building that might be needed to be carried through to more locations. Another piece of very modern and contemporary architecture is to put the vertical glass planes at an angle in some capacity, perhaps along the storefronts.


No public comments


Senior Planner Eastman provided a brief overview on the Dec. 6 City Council meeting.




MOTION made by Committee Member Duncan to ADJOURN, SECONDED by Committee Member Hoban. Meeting adjourned at 8:12 P.M.