Project Number: 2001140
Address: 101 20th Avenue East
Applicant: Paul Pierce
Board members present: Loren Adams
Board members absent: None
DCLU Staff Present: Lisa Rutzick, DCLU Contract Planner
BRIEF PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Design and construction of a townhouse development consisting of six residential units and six surface parking spaces. The townhome structure is three stories high with units extending across the width of the property. The property is located in an Lowrise 3 (L-3) zone. The site is rectangular, 40 feet wide and 120 feet in length, equaling approximately 4,800 square feet. The subject site is situated on the southeastern corner of a rectangular block which is defined by 19th Avenue East to the west, East Denny Way to the south, East John Street to the north and 20th Avenue East to the east. There is alley access to the project site along the western edge of the property. Five of the six surface parking spaces will be accessed from the alley and the sixth space will be access directly from 20th Avenue East.
Ten members of the public were present at the meeting, including nearby property owners. Public comment and clarifying questions focused on the following issues:
Most of the public comment was incorporated in the recommendations of the Board.
After visiting the site, considering the analysis of the site and context provided by the proponents, and hearing public comment, the Design Review Board members provided the following siting and design guidance and identified by letter and number those siting and design guidelines found in the City of Seattles "Design Review: Guidelines for Multifamily and Commercial Buildings" of highest priority to this project:
A-2 Streetscape Compatibility
Siting of buildings should acknowledge and reinforce existing desirable spatial characteristics of the right-of-way.
The Board encouraged the building mass to be further shifted to the southern edge of the property, which will provide strong definition to the streetscape. Such a configuration will also reinforce the design of the stoop-like entryways. The Board expressed potential support of a departure which may be required as a result of this building shift.
A-3 Visible Entrances
Provide clearly identifiable entryways.
The Board suggested combining walkways to the entryway stoops and giving the individual units a strong residential character.
A-5 Respect for Adjacent Sites
Buildings should respect adjacent properties by being located on their sites to minimize disruption of the privacy and outdoor activities of adjacent residents.
The Board emphasized that this shift of the proposed building to the south will pull the building mass away from the multifamily development to the north and will open up the configuration of the rear yards to accommodate more functional and usable open space. The building to the north, however, does not include any windows on its southern façade, and therefore greatly reduces the issues of privacy relative to the proposed adjacent residential units.
A-7 Residential Open Space
Residential projects should be sited to maximize opportunities for creating usable, attractive and well-integrated open space.
The Board encouraged the shifting of the building mass to the south, in order to create larger, more usable rear yards which will have greater privacy. Please see A-5 for further discussion.
A-10 Corner Lots
Builds on corner lots should be oriented to the corner and public street fronts. Parking and automobile access should be located away from corners.
The Board recommended incorporating a corner accent, different from the rest of the building, to the southeastern corner. This accent might include design treatment, such as landscaping materials or fenestration patterns.
B-1 Height, Bulk & Scale Compatibility
The height, bulk and scale of the proposed building should be compatible with the surrounding area and sensitive to nearby zones.
The Board expressed an interest in integrating additional modulation to the northern façade, which will be highly visible from the more functional and usable rear yards, made larger by the building shift.
C-3 Human Scale
Design of buildings should incorporate architectural features, elements and details to achieve a strong human scale.
The use of bay windows, stoop entryways, landscaping and roof forms should serve to reinforce the human scale of the neighborhood.
C-4 Exterior Finish Materials
Building exteriors should be constructed of durable and maintainable materials that are attractive even when viewed up close. Materials that have texture, pattern, or lend themselves to a high quality of detailing are encouraged.
The Board expressed a strong interest in the use of high quality materials in the proposed structure. The selected materials and colors should reflect the neighborhood context.
D-6 Screening Dumpsters, Utilities and Service Areas
Building sites should locate service elements away from the street and provide screening so that they are not visible from the pedestrian right-of-way.
The Board supports a design which addresses the screening (such as a fence) of those service elements associated with the proposed project and encouraged the siting of the service area near to the alley, rather than 20th Avenue NE. The applicant should consult city Ordinance 119836 which establishes standards for service areas.
D-7 Personal Safety & Security
Design should consider opportunities for enhancing personal safety.
The Board felt that the entryways and open spaces should reinforce personal security around the building, such as providing lighting, clear view corridors and windows which allow visibility to and from these spaces. The exterior lighting plan should also be cognizant of the glare impacts on adjacent properties.
E-1 Landscaping to Reinforce Design Continuity with Adjacent Sites
Landscaping should reinforce the character of neighboring properties and abutting streetscape.
The Board agreed that the landscape design of the subject site should enhance the streetscape. The planting strip and street tree landscape design and maintenance will also be important, especially if the front setback is reduced.
E-2 Landscaping to Enhance the Building and/or Site
Landscaping, including living plant material, special pavements, trellises, screen walls, planters, site furniture and similar features should be appropriately incorporated into the design to enhance the project.
The Board expressed a strong interest in the use of high quality vegetation and landscaping materials which will reinforce the pedestrian streetscape and provide a functional and attractive space for building residents. The Board also suggested using vertical trellises and landscaping along the driveway off of 20th Avenue NE, to screen the parking area.
Departure from Development Standards
The following departures from standards of the Land Use Code were requested by the applicant at the time of this meeting.