Design Review Delays Two Hearings

25Hearings for two proposed homes on Lorain Road were continued until the next Design Review Committee meeting because of missed public-notice deadlines.
Hearings for the proposed homes at 2151 and 2159 Lorain Road were moved to the Feb. 1 DRC meeting because neither property had story poles installed with sufficient notice before the Jan. 18 meeting. The city requires story poles be installed at least 10 days before public hearings are held for the project.
Much of the City Council chambers were filled with residents in that neighborhood hoping to speak on the two projects, but the continuation did not seem to disappoint them.
Lorain Road resident Dale Pederson said the delay was welcome because there are more neighbors who want to speak about the projects.
Both projects have thus far received more objections than approvals from neighbors. Although the same architect, James Coane, is designing both homes, he only presented details on 2159 Lorain Road at the meeting.
“I think we need to review both of these houses together,” Pederson told the DRC. “They’re going to impact the same neighbors in the same way.”
Coane explained that although this two-story colonial revival home was within 4 square feet of the maximum allowed, the remaining dimensions of the home were well within the maximum of what was allowed. He also added that the eclectic style of the neighborhood would accommodate his design.
“We’re not pushing the envelope in any way whatsoever,” Coane said.
In meetings with neighbors about this project, Coane said some have questioned whether his clients actually own the property and one even questioned the authenticity of their signatures on paperwork. Others have erroneously insisted, he said, that various parts of the design violated San Marino building code.
Another neighbor, Eldon Swanson, pointed out that the interior plan of these two houses was similar to another of the architect’s homes in the vicinity and said the only difference was the front facade of the proposed new homes.
“I don’t think we want that look in San Marino,” Swanson said. “I certainly don’t want that look in my neighborhood.”
Considering dimensional restrictions and lot sizes, Coane said it can be difficult for architects to design to client demands without adhering to a familiar idea.
“We’re always scratching for square footage and central hallway floorplans tend to accommodate that,” he told the DRC.
Neither property owner attended this DRC meeting. Both projects will be revisited on Feb. 1.
In other business, three other projects were approved by the DRC with conditions.
A two-story home with a detached garage at 1865 Rose Ave. was approved at on the condition that shutters matching the front and rear windows are added to the side windows and a bay window replace one of the front windows.
Initially, the DRC had asked that the front window in question also have a shutter, but the architect alternatively presented a plan with a bay window. The DRC opted for the bay window for its favorable aesthetics.
A first- and second-story addition to the home at 1450 Westhaven Road was approved with conditions.
The plate glass doors being added must be replaced with divided light-duty doors. The corbels and wood paneling added to the front of the home were found to not match the style of the existing home and must be modified according to city rules. The pitch of a portion of roof being added also must be modified.
First- and second-story additions, a detached garage and exterior modifications were approved for the home at 2920 Lorain Road on the condition that the rear windows have grids similar to those of the front windows, a rear balcony window be made rectangular instead of flush with the roofline and that city-approved lighting be added to the back patio.

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