Design Review Approves Project With Conditions

After six conditions are met, the owners of 1300 Bedford Road will get the green light to add onto their current home, the Design Review Committee decided recently.
The committee approved the project with conditions on a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner John Dustin opposing. In discussion, Dustin had voiced concerns not necessarily shared by his colleagues and ultimately not addressed in the conditional approval.
“There are several elements in this proposal that just don’t fit with the style of the home,” Dustin said at the March 15 meeting, before divulging what he later referred to as his “laundry list” of issues.
The homeowners intend to expand their one-story home and also add a three-car garage, a new front porch and a side yard wall, in addition to making various external modifications. Conditions added by the DRC include ensuring the front-yard trellis not have obtrusive ground covering (such as concrete), change the front bay window treatment to a city-approved design, remove the dormer windows, modify some exterior lighting, making the driveway gate open inward and clarifying added landscape.
The dormer windows were universally criticized for the fact they were part of a one-story home, as opposed to a multistory one. The project’s architect, Kamen Lai, explained that his clients initially wanted to add a second story to their home but eventually settled for the ground-level expansion and adding a basement.
As for a trellis in the front yard, city staff thought it might compete with the front porch and also felt it was not compatible with the neighborhood in general. Lai successfully appealed that finding to the DRC.
“We understand a trellis is not very common in this neighborhood, but looking at this project, we feel this is a special occasion,” Lai said, pointing out the property was at a corner and had a large front yard with virtually no back yard. “Over time, we think the neighbors will love it.”
Commissioner Chris Huang suggested adding another layer of foliage to the trellis to help it blend in and the DRC asked that the concrete flooring be removed to help separate it from the front porch and allow for landscaping.
Lai also will have to redesign the bottom treatment on the front bay window, which presently has a brick veneer treatment that angles into the home, instead of going straight into the ground. Commissioner Judy Johnson-Brody pointed out one outside wall had several lights that were not next to doors and that a pedestrian door on the garage did not have a light and asked that the lights be redistributed.
Dustin echoed each of those concerns and also added he did not care for the look of the gable above the new front porch, which he said conflicted with the hip roof design on the rest of the home. He also did not care for the multi-plane roofing shape on top of the bay window, a single oval-shaped window near the front door, the number of added skylights to the roof or the removal of two mature trees near the street.
“I just don’t see the logic in removing them,” Dustin said.
Lai indicated they were being removed to accommodate the driveway modifications and he planned to have three new trees planted on the property. Dustin said he was still concerned that the choice of new trees would not reach the size of the current ones in a reasonable amount of time.
Johnson-Brody, an alternate commissioner, took the place of Vice Chairman William Dietrick for this hearing because he lives within the legal neighborhood of this home.
Windows Approved for Commercial Building After The Fact
By another 4-1 vote — again with Dustin opposing — the DRC allowed 375 Huntington Drive to maintain the tinted windows that had been installed in 2013.
The windows were installed in 2013 without first securing a permit or even applying for one from the DRC. The original windows were clear and the property owners were notified they must apply to the DRC. According to documents, an application was eventually submitted in June.
The property owners argued the commercial structure was along a frequently trafficked part of town and, because it houses mostly medical offices, the privacy of clients was a concern.
Dustin said he opposed the motion to keep the windows because, had this come before the DRC before they were installed, they still would not have followed staff guidelines. Although used commercially, the building is zoned as and resembles a residential structure.
Other Business
• Exterior modifications and a new detached three-car garage were approved for the home at 1665 Del Mar Ave. on the condition that the front porch columns in the plans are corrected to be consistent.
• Siding was approved for use at the home at 2021 Sherwood Road. Although the applicant originally wanted to use TruWood siding, the DRC asked him to use Hardie siding instead. The applicant could alternatively have found local examples of the relatively new TruWood siding to show to commissioners, but that would have continued this hearing at least a month.
• The use of a CertainTeed Landmark TL composition roof at 1930 Marino Terrace was approved. The DRC had approved additions and remodeling for the home in July, but the planned Cedarlite roof was found to not function properly with the low slope of the roof.
• A proposed new home at 2151 Lorain Road was denied as expected. The DRC had last month deemed this and the neighboring 2159 Lorain Road’s proposals too similar not only to themselves, but to another home on Lorain Road. At the time, the DRC suggested to the applicants that a total redesign was in order, but that did not happen. The applicant also was unable to display public notice for the hearing in the required timeframe.

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