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Minutes - Planning Board - 5/22/2003APPROVED JUNE 26, 2003 CITY OF BOULDER PLANNING BOARD SUMMARY MINUTES May 22, 2003 Council Chambers Room, Munici~al Building 1777 Broadway, 6:00 p.m. The following are the minuYes oF the May 22, 2003 city of Boulder Planning Board meeting. A permanent set of these minutes is kept in Central Records, and a verbatim tape recording of the meeCing is maintained for a period of seven years in Central Records (Yelephone: 303-441-3043). BOARD PRESENT: Macon Cowles, Vice Chair ~lise Jones Thom Knieger, Chair Simon Mole Alan O'Hashi Beth Pommer BOARD ABSENT: Jolui Spitzer STAFF PRESENT: Bob Cole, Land Use Review Manager SYeve Durian, Transportation Engineer David Gehr, Assistant City Attorney Elizabeth Hanson, Planner Mary Lovrien, Board Secretary PeYer Pollock, Planning Director Mike Randall, Planner Marie Zuzack, Boulder Urban Renewal Authority CALL TO ORDER Chair T. Krueger declared a quorum at 6:07 p.m., and the following business was conducted. 2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Anril 3, 2003: On a motion by A. O'Hashi, seconded by M. Cowles, the Planning Board approved the minutes of April 3, 2003 as presented (4-0; E. Jones and S. Mole were not present for this item, a~id J. Spitzer was absent). 3. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION There was no citizen participation. s:\plan\pb-items\minutes\May 22, 2003 Cily of Boulder Planning Board Minutes May 22, 2003 Page 2 4. DISCUSSION OF DISPOSITIONS, PLANNING BOARD CALL-UPS The Planning Board had no comments on the Planning Department dispositions for Spring Valley Estates Replat A located at 3722 Spring Valley Road or the alley right-of-way vacation located at 5035 Chaparral Court. 5. ACTION ITEMS A. Public hearing and consideration of Site Review #LUR2002-00071 to construct a 40 foot tall, three story retail and residential building located at 1540-1590 28`~' Street. Two existing buildings would be removed. The proposed building will include 10,000 square feet of retail and 16 one- and two-bedroom residential units on the second and third tloors. B. Cole said that the proposal inchides a three-story, mixed use building with retail on the ground level and residential above. The floor area ratio in the development is a lower intensity than the zone allows. The key issues relate to building massing and height, compatibility of those components with the surrounding area, the blocking of views and shadows of neighboring properties, and consistency with the Boulder Valley Regional Center (BVRC) Design Guidelines. Staff agrees that the project doas fulfill the Site Review criYeria, and that the proposed height is such that it could be compatible with the surrounding area if the building were airanged in such a way that it minimized the blocking of views. The applicant will fiilfill the inclusionary zoning requirement by providing 1.2 units through cash-in-lieLt and 2 units on site. Becky Callan Gamble, President of Dean Callan and Company, managing partner for the applicant, said that it was determined that the highest and best use of the property is mixed use. Tim van Meter, Architect, described the existing site, including the traffic that exists today on the site and the fact that there are no pedastrian amenities. He addressed the design and orientation of the building, the mix of uses, the shadow analysis, how the scale of the building was minimized, the types of environmental features that will be used in the construction of the building, the garage entry and its location on the site, parking on the site and curbside, the outlook of the building from the adjacent uses, and the elevations on all four sides. The building is in the flood zone so the building is designed accordingly. All the residences will be for sale. The height of the screening wall that will block car headlights will be no higher than 42 inches. The mechanical equipment will be centrally located on the roof with screening. Bart Costello, 1650 38th Street, said that both the city and the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority have taken the position that the project should be approved. One of the main concerns is that the Hospice building is located in a Transitional Business zone which the city has stated should be rezoned to residential. If this were to happen, then the proposed building could not be built to 40 feet because it would be adjacent to a residential area. He described the historic building adjacent to the proposed site. Concerns for the neighborhood include taking the commercial Arapahoe corridor and moving it to Culver Street, creating a commercial district where there is none now, and increasing trafFic. There is no reason why three stories could not be s:\plan\pb-items\minutes\May 22, 2003 City of Bonlder Planning Board Mimites May 22, 2003 Page 3 compressed into 35 feet because the increased height would take away views. There is nothing in the neighborhood, even in the commercial area, ihat is anywhere near 40 feet tall. B. Cole said tbat the height limit in the community is 55 feet, and iu this particular area the by- right height limit through conditional height (based on surrounding land use designations) is 40 feet. If a land use designation change to residential were made, the by-right height limit would be 35 feet, and the conditional height to 40 feet would no longer be available. However, since the community height limit is 55 feet, Planning Board could approve such a development through Site Review. Public Partieipation: There was no public participation. Retnrn to the Board: S. Durian said that a traffic impact study was not conducted for the site. The two intersections that would be most affected by this development are Arapahoe and Culver Court, but there is no accident history consistent with the concerns voiced. The intersection at 29th and Arapahoe is well under capacity, and traffic mitigation woiild not be necessary. The traffic patterns are consistent with the goals of the Arapahoe Transportation Network Plan. The buses will use the frontage road to the south of the site, and a muiti-use path will be located on both sides of 28th Street. T. Krueger said that he was concerned about conflict between high speed bicycles on the nearby path and pedestrians coming in and out of the building onto the path. S. Durian said that trees and a cafe next to the path will help to slow traffic. B. Callan Gamble discussed potential businesses that might lease the space, including a bank, coffee shop, and a retail use. M. Cowles asked why the sidewalk is only five feet when the BVRC guidelines call for a six- foot sidewalk. T. van Meter said that since the BVRC guidelines are not standards, the applicanY decided to follow a pattern of five-foot sidewalks in the area which would also address a couple of constraints from building a wider path. M. Cowles said that he was concerned about the adequacy of the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan which excludes the residences entirely. He suggested that the TDM require a plan that will develop a transportation mode shift among the people who live there as well as the employees. In order to address this concern, D. Gehr suggested rewarding Condition 9 to read "Prior to application for a building permit, the applicant shall submit a financial security to guarantee the initial operations of the RTD Eco-pass program far the benefit oF all the employees and residents within the development. The guarantee shall be in an amount to cover program operations for no less than three consecutive years. The applicant shall pay any amount above in the amount provided in the guarantee required to ensure the operation of the RTD Eco- pass program for the benefit of all employees and residents in the development for three years." s:\plan\pb-items\mi~mtes~Nlay 22, 2003 City of Bouldcr Planniug Board Minutes May 22, 2003 Page 4 S. Durian noted that RTD does not have a program for less thau 100 homes, and the Board might be setting up a condition that cannot be met. B. Pommer supported the project because it appears to be low-intensity for the given zoning designation and agrees with the low intensity because of the constraints of the size of the site and because of the location as a transition to the neighborhood to the east. Having more parking on the site enhances the property, and a by-right 35-foot height would take up the same view as a 40-foot building. S. Mole suggested creating a public area on the east side where five parking spaces are planned. T. van Meter said that even though all residents have secure reserved parking spaces in the basement, and there are several spaces reserved for the employees, these five parking spaces will provide short-term, convenience parking. MOTION: On a motion by B. Pommer, seconded by M. Cowles, the Planning Board approved (6-0; J. Spitzer was absent) Site Review LUR2002-00071, adopting the staff inemarandum dated May 22, 2003 (preparation date May 4, 2003), including the attachments, as findings of fact; further, including the recommended conditions of approval with the modification to Condition 8 outlined on pages 10-11 in the staff inemorandum to read as follows: Priar to a building permit application, the Applicant shall submit a detailed Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan to the Public Works Department for review and approval, that provides for a minimum of 10%, ar whatever is practicable, shift away from single occupant vehicle use, that shall include, but is not limited to the following: provide three consecutive years of iransit passes to all employees and designation of an employee Transportation Coordinator, and TDM programs for residents. M. Cowles said that this condition would ensure that the developer devises a program that promotes the use of alternative transportation for the people who will live in the development. T. Krueger said that the proposed floor area ratio (PAR) for this project is exactly the size that we want the building to be with the right mix of uses according to the direction of the Jobs/Housing Project that City Council provided. The impacts have been appropriately mitigated. E. Jones agreed that it makes sense to move forward with mixed use on this property, and the design is well crafted. B. Public hearing and consideration of Site Review LUR2003-00025 for a height modification of a proposed single family residence from 28 feet to 31.5 feet. The building site is located at 3580 4th Street on the southeast corner of 4th and Kalmia Avenue. M. Randall said that the applicant is requesting a height modification under Site Review. The site is slightly larger than 14,000 square feet in a Rural Residential (RR) zone which has a s:\plan\pb-items\minutesUblay 22, 2003 City of Boulder Planning Board Miuutcs May 22, 2003 Page 5 minimum lot area of 30,000 square feet The ordinance provides tl~at when a lot is smaller than the standard zoning, the height of the allowed dwelling is restricted proportionately to a lower height. The code allows the applicant, under most circumstances, to request a height modification if certain criteria are met (whether the height of the new dwelling unit is proportionaYe to the height of existing buildings in the area, whether the proposed dwelling's height, mass, scale, orientation, and configura6on are compatible with the existing character of the area, and whether the orientation of the proposed dwelling minimizes the blocking of views from adjacent properties). Staff concluded that the applicant meets all three criteria. Fred Clare, 3234 l Oth Street, applicant, addressed why thc request for a height modification is reasonaUle (in order to conPorm to the zoning, the house as currently designed would have to be sunk into the ground about a foot--this would make the main entrance to the hoLise below the street level, would create drainage issues, and would be out of character with the neighborhood) and addressed the concerns of the neighbors to the east oF the property (out of the 11 houses that are nearest to the subject house, 7 of them are either near or above the height limit that is being requested, a positive precedent is being set for the neighborhood by building a smaller house, the driveway will not create congestion because it will be the only one for 200 feet on the south side of Kalmia, the height of the garage will conform to the 28 foot height limit, and even though some views will be lost to the west, there will be a gain of views to the southwesf). Kristin Lewis, Architect, said that it is most appropriate to place the house against both setbacks to define the corner. The house is more compact along 4th Street, and the height of the garage has been reduced to 28 feet or less. Public Participation: Burt Tolbert, 444 Kalmia: He was concerned about the fact that there are six lots thaY are ]ess than 30,000 square feet adjacent or nearly adjacent to the subject property--granting Yhis height variance will establish a precedent for this area and perhaps for the entire RR area. The second concern is the blocking of views. Return to the Board: M. Randall said that the existing home has a height of 28 feet and blocks a certain view to the west the new home will occupy a space slightly north of where the existing house is, and those views that the neighbar enjoyed before will be gone at the legally permitted height of 28 feet. However, there will be an open view from the southern part of the house. He demonstrated how 28 Feet is not significantly different from 31 feet as far as the blocking of views is concerned. B. Pommer said that when this area was rezoned the change in slope was not considered on the nonconforming lots. On other such lots in the city the heights of the houses have had to be modified to what is a perceived height within the neighborhood. s:\plan\pb-items~ninutesUVlay 22, 2003 City of Boulder Planning Board MinuCes May 22, 2003 Pagc G K. Lewis said that having the lower garage nearer the east property line and angled to the neighbor is a plus. She outlined the reasons for requesting the height variance (better architecture from 4th Street and the fact that the three-foot additional heighY is as far as possible from the adjacent property). D. Gehr outlined the criteria for granting a height variance and referred to Attachment C in the staff inemorandum and the Site Design standard in 9-4-11( i)(2) which states that projects should preserve and enhance the community's unique sense of place or creative design that respects historic character, relationship to the natural eirvironment and its physical setting. Projects shoiild use site design techniques which enhance the quality of the project. In determining whether this subsection is met, the approving agency will consider and balance several criteria. The Planning Board was concerned about setting a precedent that would allow all the neighbors with a similar sloping lot to request a height variance and that, indeed, approval of this request would in itself contribute to the surrounding area. M. Randall said that this design solution is a good one because it is a modest house covering only 14 percent of the site, and it opens up views over the southern half of the site. S. Mole said that because it is not the largest building that could be built on the lot, he supported staffls recommendation. P. Pollock said that a finding could be made that the orientation of the building on the lot actually maximizes the views to the affected property to the east. MOTION: On a motion by S. Mole, seconded by B. Pommer, the Planning Board approved (5- l; M. Cowles opposed, and J. Spitzer was absent) Site Review LUR2003-00025, incorporating the staff inemorandum dated May 22, 2003 (preparation date April 28, 2003) as findings of fact with the recommended conditions of approval, M. Cowles opposed the motion because he said that the factor that should be considered in granting a height vari~nce (the property is on a lot that may provide a challenge to Yhe architect or designer to fit the house within a building envelop) is not called out as a special consideration. The height of existing buildings in this neighbarhood is set by the mass and scale regulations that apply to this zoning district, and a case has not been made that the criteria have been met such that there should be a variance granted, particularly with respect to the third key issue regarding blocking of views from adjacent properties. B. Pommer said that the intent to grant the height variance to the nonconforming lot is because of the specific sloping lot--the perceived height is no different than what could happen on the other sites. The intent of the rezoning of this area from ER-E to RRl-E ii~ 1997 was that there would not be tall houses in this neighborhoocl. She suggested that the height of the garage be minimized as much as possible. s:\plan\pb-items\minutes\May 22, 2003 City of Boiilder Planuing Board Minutes May 22, 2003 Page 7 C. Public hearing and consideration of a Concept Review # LUR2003-00028 to construct a 17,126 square foot addition to the front (west side) of the existing Target retail store, resulting in a total of 135,727 square feet. The concept plan inclndes redesigned drives, parking and landscaped areas, and conceptual architectural elevations. L. Hanson said thaC this is a concept plan for an addition to the Target store and redevelopment of the parking area, circulation, pedestrian, bicycle connections, and landscaping. The three issues are 1) appropriateness of the location and size of the proposed building, 2) whether the proposed site plan meets the objectives of the Boulder Valley Regional Center Transportation Connections Plan, and 3) whether the conceptual architectural plans show a redesigned building faqade that would improve the appearance of the building and be consistent with the surrounding area. She said that expanding to the west seemed appropriate for reasons related to the building code, utilities, and other aspects of the site plan. This pulls the main north/south driveway farther to the west which better aligns with the proposed 29th Street. This connection is important for both the Target store and the Crossroads Mall. The plan was reviewed by the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority (BURA). M. Zuzack said that BURA liked the expansion plans, the many connections, and would like to see more break-up of the fa~ade. K.K. Yeow, Project Manager, CEI Engineering, said that Yhis prototype will define all Yhe Target stores across the nation. The plau will include more diversity of materials, more grassy areas, and provide a greater visual interest. He described the proposed building design plans, landscaping for the parking area and for the sidewalk, automobile and bicycle/pedestrian transportation connections, provision of a transit super stop, access improvemenY to the store, elevations, possible future connections from Walnut Street to Pearl Street to the future transit village, and parking improvements. Public Participation: There was no public participation. Return to the Board: Individual Board members made the following comments, not by consensus: • Provide an 8-foot tree lawn on each side of the sidewalk to provide a welcome to people who arrive at the Target store by transiY, bicycle, or on foot. Create a mare prominent pedestrian connection and encourage parking in other areas. s:\plan\pb-items\minutes\May 22, 2003 City of Boulder Planning Boa~d Minutes May 22, 2003 Page 8 • Open up the Pearl Street side of the store, particularly given development occurring across Pearl Street. • Break up 29th Street (create curves to slow the traffic, make it more like a str•eet rather than a parking lot, and provide landscaping). • Provide some tables in the area so that customers can sit and view the foothills. • Provide a more indirect access from 28th Street in ordcr to minimize the amount of traffic that backs up in this area. • Make sure that there is not a net loss of glass. Provide more windows in the store. Break up the faqade of the building to create a design Yhat is different from stores around the country, • Keep the views that currently exist and provide skylights that can bring daylight into the store. • Pay special attention to the ditch that runs behind the sCore. • Consider the reorientation of the pedestrian path. • Consider cutting a diagonal fagade on the building. . Encourage the use of underutilized parking areas. • Consider retaining the angled exit area. • Place an array of trees, planters, and (andscaping along the front of the building Yo hide the expansive brick wall and to make the front of the store more inviting so that customers will want to linger. The Board discussed the placing of 29th Street so that it might eventually connect to the north all the way to Iris Avenue and the need for the developer to show that the site can provide in the future an area for a norYh/south connection and a connection to the future transit center. T. Krueger distributed J. Spitzer's comments as part of the record. s:\plan\pb-items\minutes~May 22, 2003 City of Boiilder Plam~ing Board Minutes May 22, 2003 Page 9 6. MATTERS FROM THE PLANNING BOARD, PLANNING DIRECTOR, AND CITY ATTORNEY A. Canon Park out-of-city utilities: P. Polloclc said that the policy in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP) allows staff to consider the extension of out-of-city utilities to Area III if it continues to meet the policy objectives of maintaining the rural character of this area. Of concern to the city of Boulder are f'ailing septic systems within the 15-home Canon Park area at the mouth of Boulder Canyon. To resolve this problem, staff is exploring the option of providing city sewer services to Canon Park. Since this area is above the Blue Line, the city cannot provide water services without a vote of the citizens, but there is no such restriction in providing sewer services. In furthering the BVCP policy of preserving the rural character of the land, staff would require the property owners to commit to building size restrictions so that city services do not induce additional development. If this service were provided, these property owners would form a special district to raise money for this service. The Board agreed that given the close proximity of Canon Park to the city of Bouldcr and the health issues associated with failing septic systems so close to Boulder Creek that the city should pursue out of city sewer service to the 15 properties in Canon Park. The Board further stated that Yhe rural character of the land should be preserved. B. Education excise tax (this item was discussed at the beginning of the meeting). P. Pollock explained that the Education Excise Tax (EET) was approved by voters in 1994, and the first appropriation was made against the fund this year. The City Council will be considering a policy on the use of EET fimds. T. Krueger asked if there would be a way for the city to keep the Boulder Valley schools open. P. Pollock referred the Board to Attachment A in the staff memorandum that suggests four options to subsidize the maintenance of smailer schools in Boulder, including the direct and indirect subsidy and lease/purchase component. D. Gehr said that the School District has expressed some concern about accepting money for operating expenses because it might potentially violate the State School Finance Act. P. Pollock added that the money could be used for lease/purchase or for improving facilities. A. O'Hashi asked if the money could be used for tax increment financing. P. Pollock said that the money could be used for a contribution toward financing a School District's need for educational facilities. The Planning Board discussed recommending that City Council raise the tax levy to give the city more resources to address school facility issues. Further, the money would be used only for capital expenditures and not for ongoing maintenance, and it might be appropriate to use the funds for specific projects. M. Cowles said that one rationale for raising the excise tax is to create the opportunity to either purchase and lease back to the schools facilities that the School s:\plan\pb-items\minutes~May 22, 2003 City of Boidder Planning Board Minutes May 22, 2003 Page 10 District intends to close or to purchase Yhe scbool facility and bank it for the School District if it is needed in the futurc. MOTION: On a motion by A. O'H~shi, seconded by B. Pommer, the Planning Board recommended (6-0; J. Spitzer was absent) that City Council look seriously at increasivg the Education Excise Tax to give tlie city more resources to deal with school facility issues. Other Matters P. Pollock gave an update on the code simplification project that staff l~as proposed. City Council stated that they did not want Yo accelerate this process in 2003 as part of the Phase II Land Use Regulation changes but that this project could be part of tl~e 2004 revisions. The Water Resources Advisory Board will meet wiYh the Planning Board on August 28 regarding drought issues, water conservation regulations and incentives, and flood area regulations. Greystone Environmental ConsultanYs discovered the mosquito larva that transmits West Nile virus on city- owned wetlands, and they will begin to introduce larvacide in those areas. D. Gehr said that City Council adopted a new set of standards for conduct for employees, Councilmembers, and board and commission members. 7. DEBRIEF The Board debriefed tonighYs meeting. 8. ADJOURNMENT The Planning Board adjourned the meeting at 10:55 p.m. s:\plan\pb-items\minufes~Ivlay 22, 2003