Home Decision Delayed After Architect, Neighbor Make Changes

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An architect for a new home proposal on Old Mill Road asked for a delayed decision because he and neighboring residents agreed to a modified design after the first set of plans were submitted to the Design Review Committee.
The project under consideration is a large two-story Spanish revival home with a subterranean garage and an extensive set of backyard amenities at 1560 Old Mill Road. Its architect, Alex Chang, acknowledged he had already made changes that would require another hearing but welcomed the DRC to give comments so he could consider them sooner.
It seems the spirit of Chang’s design will hold.
“It’s a gorgeous house,” Commissioner John Dustin said. “It’s tricky with this lot, though, because it’s pushed so far forward. It just shoots up from the ground.”
Perhaps most at issue was a second floor terrace along the north side and back of the house, but Chang scaled back the accompanying wall and roof for it by more than 30 feet. He and the neighbors discussed how to design that portion of the home without obscuring their view and mutually came to the decision.
Chang also was asked to try to make the windows consistent with the gridded rectangular design throughout the plans for the home, perhaps to reduce some of the outdoor lighting and try to find ways to cut back on the massing, if possible. Although within legal limits, the home stands perilously close to maximizing allowable square footage.
“It is a nicely designed, stately building,” Chairman Frank Hsu said.
The home’s backyard is slated to include an outdoor fireplace, a pool, a spa and a connecting waterfall.
In other business, the DRC also continued the hearing on the proposed second-story addition, two-car garage and exterior modifications for the home at 2793 Gainsborough Drive because story poles for the project were not installed in time for consideration at the last hearing.
In any event, neighbors were not happy with the proposal, which many said will be virtually a brand-new home given the extent of the modifications.
“We have seen no less than seven teardowns on our street in less than 10 years,” said Edward Driegler. “This is a teardown in disguise.
“Don’t give us a Cape Cod house with a red tile roof,” he added. “That’s gross.”
Echoed Maryadele Clougherty, “We have seen our street destroyed.”
Other Business
• A proposed new two-story home with detached two-car garage at 1867 Windsor Road was continued because the applicant made changes to the plans after submitting them. The new plans are expected to reflect a less-imposing second story.
• After prolonged discussion, the DRC voted to allow the applicants for 2168 Adair St. to use clay tile handmade in Nicaragua from volcanic ash for the home’s roof. The home is presently undergoing a previously approved remodel. However, in an undetermined error, the DRC and city staff believed they were evaluating a litany of changes to the plans instead of just the roof. With the applicants agreeing, the DRC ultimately voted 4-1 to allow the roof but require that the applicants resubmit paperwork and fees when they want any other changes that were mistakenly listed on this application. Dustin voted against.
• The use of CertainTeed Presidential composite roofing material in its charcoal black color for 1104 Lorain Road was approved unanimously.

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