M I N U T E S REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA Founded 1875 "Populus felix in urbe felici" WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1995 CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS 7:00 P.M ROOM 213, 1685 MAIN STREET 1. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 7:25 p.m. 2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Commissioner Gruber led the Pledge of Allegiance. 3. ROLL CALL: Present: Kenneth Breisch, Chairperson Berton R. Bradley Terry Graboski, ARB Liaison Frank Gruber Eric Parlee Kathy Weremiuk Absent: Lou Moench John Zinner Also Present: Kyle Ferstead, Commission Secretary Suzanne Frick, Director of Planning/ PCD Karen Ginsberg, Planning Manager/PPA Amanda Schachter, Senior Planner Mary Strobel, Deputy City Attorney Kenyon Webster, Planning Manager 4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes were not submitted for approval. 5. PLANNING DIRECTOR'S REPORT: Ms. Frick gave the Director's Report. In City Council action, Ms. Frick reported that the Earthquake Recovery Act has been amended which impacts tonight's project on Palisades Beach Road in that a condition of the project is that its effective date will be the effective date of the amended ordinance. Also approved were the revised definitions and a Zoning Ordinance amendment requiring mixed-use projects to have their residential units deed-restricted so they may not be converted to other uses. Finally, Ms. Frick reported that next week's meeting will be at the Ken Edwards Center for the Circulation Element Workshop and Open House. 6. STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL ACTION: Consent Calendar No items were submitted for approval. 7. PUBLIC HEARINGS: Consent Calendar 7-A: Resolution of Intention, Gun Ordinance. (Planner: P. Foley) Staff Report Commissioner Weremiuk made a motion for approval of the resolution as submitted. Commissioner Parlee seconded the motion, which was approved by voice vote. 8-A: EQPC 95-002, TM 95-006 (VTPM 24337), 1351 Palisades Beach Road, R2B, Applicant: Westec Construction, Inc., Application for a Vesting Tentative Parcel Map and an Earthquake Recovery Permit to consider the replacement of a demolished four story 17,845 square foot commercial office building with a four story 14,483 square foot building with three (3) residential condominium units at 1351 Palisades Beach Road. (Planner: Steven Ross) The applicant, Craig Jones, 429 Santa Monica Boulevard, was present to discuss the project. The following members of the public spoke: Joseph Palazzolo, 11111 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 1200, Los Angeles 90025 Scott Burgess, 1319 Palisades Beach Road #2, Santa Monica 90401 Mario Savvides, 1230 25th Street #3, Santa Monica 90404 Suzanne R [address not given] Jason Froehlich, 1329 Palisades Beach Road, Santa Monica 90401 Martin Tahse, 1364 Palisades Beach Road, Santa Monica 90401 Jim Barden, 1355 The Promenade, Santa Monica 90401 Chris Harding and Craig Jones spoke in rebuttal to the public comment. Commissioner Gruber asked about the faux window treatments. Commissioner Parlee commented on the need to maximize the envelope and utilize the south view. He also commented on the awkward interior circulation, the location of the stairwells, elevators and lack of vestibules. He suggested the addition of fenestration on the south facade. Mr. Jones stated that the design meets code. Commissioner Gruber asked if the development must replicate the envelope of the destroyed building to qualify for this type of permit. Ms. Frick stated that the developer has the discretion to modify the building envelope, but may not decrease the building setbacks. Additionally, the developer can increase the setbacks and do various other design changes. Ms. Frick also stated that the Commission is acting as the Architectural Review Board (ARB) and must find that the proposed design meets the specified criteria cited in the staff report. Commissioner Gruber expressed puzzlement over the location of the stairways. Mr. Jones explained how the placement could have been different, but noted that the best view from this property is to the north, so the majority of the windows are designed to face in that direction. Commissioner Gruber commented that one set of stairs open into a bathroom and another into a bedroom. Ms. Frick stated that this is beyond the discretion of the Commission and restated the criteria for approval of the building design. Commissioner Bradley commented on the amount of traffic on Palisades Beach Road (a.k.a. Pacific Coast Highway) and potential visibility problems for vehicles exiting the garage. Mr. Jones stated that this issue was studied thoroughly due to the dangerous location and the driveway into the parking garage is extra wide and deep with the access gate at the bottom of the ramp. Boardmember Graboski stated that he likes the overall project, that the design is compatible with the neighborhood, and that the faux windows are a good addition. He asked about the roof deck. Mr. Jones stated that there is no roof deck in this design, however the roof will be painted in a checkerboard design to add interest when viewed from Palisades Park. Chair Breisch closed the public hearing. Commissioner Parlee acknowledged that this is an aesthetic review and stated he has problems with the design. He asked if he could make friendly suggestions to the application. Ms. Frick stated that this would be permissible and that there is a lot of flexibility in the findings. She then read from the Earthquake Recovery Act the three findings the Commission must agree with to approve the project. Commissioner Parlee verified that the Commission could find the design not compatible with the neighborhood. Ms. Frick stated that this is correct and the Commission could cite that it does not look like the pre-earthquake structure. Commissioner Weremiuk stated that she does not like the proposed design and that it is not similar to the prior building. She stated that the "echo design" is not attractive. She commented that the neighborhood has an architectural mixture of hi-tech buildings to the north of the property and historic-type dwellings to the south. She again stated that she does not feel it is compatible with the district and is not comfortable with the design. Chair Breisch asked about a landmark status. Ms. Frick stated that there is no building on the site as it was ordered demolished by the Nuisance Abatement Board. Commissioner Gruber expressed agreement with Commissioner Weremiuk regarding changing the site to residential use, which is preferable to commercial use in this area, and with her opinion on the proposed building design. Boardmember Graboski stated for the record that the ARB had approved a commercial project design for this site, however with the conversion of the use to residential, the previously approved design is negated. Ms. Frick stated that this is correct as the Commission is only reviewing the residential design. Boardmember Graboski commented that the new building design is different from the approved commercial design and that is a transitional point in the neighborhood. He expressed the opinion that the residential bungalows to the south will be rebuilt eventually and that the current design is generally good. He stated he would like to see more fenestration, however the proposed building is compatible with the area and he supports the project. Commissioner Bradley commented on the design of the building, how it "echoes" the previous structure, and noting that the neighbors have expressed support for the project design. He stated he would support the project. Commissioner Weremiuk stated she likes the residential character, but does not like the proposed design and does not feel it is compatible with the neighborhood. Commissioner Parlee commented on his problems with the facade design, particularly the fenestration, massing and proportions. He expressed the opinion that opportunities were missed in the design by comparing it to the prior building on the site. He also expressed his fondness for the previous tower element, which was not repeated in the current proposed design. Additionally, he commented that the ocean facade balconies are too asymmetrical and very foreign to the rest of the building design. He stated he could not support the current building design. Commissioner Gruber commented on the issue of windows on the south side and suggested the architect study the hi-tech designs to the north of the property. He expressed a desire for cleaner lines in the design or starting over with a completely modern design as is seen in the buildings to the north of the property. Commissioner Bradley commented on the small setbacks on the south side. Commissioner Parlee suggested that the architect could consider more setbacks and windows on the side. Chair Breisch stated that the architect should study the previous building on the site for its classic proportions. He expressed distaste for the "fat molding" and felt that the design was like bad Beverly Hills architecture. He stated that if the developer wants an Italianate design, then better proportions are needed. He also stated that the painted windows are wasted and blank, unarticulated wall would be better. He then stated he could not support the design. Ms. Frick suggested that the Commission move to continue the project for redesign, or make a motion for denial or approval. Commissioner Parlee asked if the motion could be split. Deputy City Attorney Strobel stated that approval findings are needed for the conversion from commercial to residential under the Earthquake Recovery Act, which only allows rebuilding in-kind, i.e. commercial. Commissioner Weremiuk made a motion to continue EQPC 95-002 to December 6, 1995. Commissioner Parlee seconded the motion. Commissioner Gruber asked staff for the effective date of the City Council action that affects this project. Deputy City Attorney Strobel stated that the date is thirty days from October 17, 1995. The motion was approved by the following vote: AYES: Bradley, Breisch, Graboski, Gruber, Parlee, Weremiuk; ABSENT: Moench, Zinner. ACTION: Continued to December 6, 1995 for redesign. 8-B: Conditional Use Permit 94-022, 1429 Third Street Promenade, C3C, Applicant: Albert Mizrahi/Gotham Hall, Application for a Conditional Use Permit to amend Conditional Use Permit 92-014 to permit a 4,766 sq.ft. expansion of an existing 9,365 sq.ft. restaurant/bar with an approved Type-47 (On-Sale General for Public Eating Place) alcohol license on the second floor and roof deck of 1429 Third Street Promenade. The proposal includes a request for a 190 sq. ft. dance floor, a 102 sq. ft. stage, and live music. The proposal would add 237 seats to the existing 206 seats for a proposed total of 443 seats. (Planner: Susan Healy Keene) Continued to November 1, 1995.