Alright, this group keeps pretty busy, too.
Let me introduce you to all the players: the staff is Planning Director Kirsty Shelton, Assitant Planner Diane Levine, and Assistant Planner Kyle Johnson. Interm Town Clerk is Yvonne Spence, and you will see her at the Town Council meetings as she is filling in for Clerk Eddy Gomez, who is on paternity leave with his wife and new son.
The first order of business was to appoint a new Chair and Vice-Chair, so for this year, Steven Miller will be Chair, and Michael Jordan will be Vice-Chair. The other members are Michael Zagorsek, Kimberly Cook, and Hillery Trippe.
With Chair Miller and Vice-Chair Jordan recusing themselves because of proximity to the property, the remaining three members heard the first public hearing for 6765 Jefferson Street: variance request to allow construction of single car garage; remodel of an existing single-family dwelling. Assistant Planner Levine gave the presentation focusing on the findings and staff support for the variance to the setback. The variance is only three feet instead of the required five because this is a setback to an easement, not the property line. The two smaller lots at the rear of the property require the easement. Staff and member Zagorsek detailed the size of the lot and easement details to ensure precedence was not being set to allow for this variance. The lot is 50 feet wide and was also a consideration as to the fact that if there were no easement, the lot would not need the variance. All members agreed the new design fits in the Old Town design standards and improves the property. Vine Construction represented the owners and gave a brief overview. The members approved the project and the variance on a vote of 3 – 0.
Chair Miller returned, but Vice-Chair Jordan again had to recuse himself for the second public hearing. Planning Director Shelton reminded the members that there is a conflict when the distance from the subject item (members property) is the property line, not the building itself. So, in this case, the building was far enough away but was still part of the Hillstone complex. Vice-Chair Jordan asked for a future discussion because he felt the current radiuses were “onerous.” Staff stated it would be discussed. The idea with the radius is that the members do not participate in a public hearing that could benefit them, such as which could increase the value of the properties. You cannot have a financial gain from your position.
The remaining four members heard the presentation for 6795 Washington Street, Building B. Design review request for one new wall-mounted sign on the north-facing eave and amendment to the Washington Square Master Plan. It appears Hillstone, which owns the complex, and R+D Restaurant wants to have a retail space called Hillstone Home and sell home goods and books skewed to architecture and food. The current Use Permit allows for retail, and the only discussion was for the signage. The Master Sign Plan was approved in the past, providing 164 sq ft of signage for the entire property and 52 sq ft remains. The proposed sign by Hillston will be 10.3 sq ft, wood, and painted letters. Several members questioned the applicant, concerned about the size and visibility from the street.
Rakesh Patel, representing Hillstone, explained that the Hillstone group tends not to maximize signage, like a billboard, and like the fact, you can meander through the courtyard and stumble upon the shop. Planning Director Shelton did remind the members that an interior courtyard sign, not visible from the street, is exempt from the Master Sign Plan, so they do have options if the applicant desires in the future. The vote was 4 – 0 for the sign.
Don’t forget, when you click through to the agenda, it also includes all the drawings and maps—plenty of details.