Project Number: 2007096
Address: 1816 19th Ave
Applicant: Jeff Oaklief, Johnson Architects
Date of Meeting: October 17, 2000
Board members present: Loren Adams
Nancy Henderson (substitute for Robert Hall)
Board members absent: Robert Hall
DCLU staff present: Michael Jenkins
The applicant is proposing a 47 unit residential building comprised of three stories of residential space above a partially below grade parking garage for 63 automobiles.
8 members of the public attended this meeting. The following issues and concerns were raised during the meeting:
After visiting the site, considering the analysis of the site and context provided by proponents and hearing public comment, the Design Review Board members provided the following siting and design guidance, identifying by letter and number those siting and design guidelines found in the City of Seattles "Design Review: Guidelines for Multifamily and Commercial Buildings" that are of the highest priority to this project:
A-1 Responding to Site Characteristics - The siting of buildings should respond to specific site conditions and opportunities such as non-rectangular lots, location on prominent intersections, unusual topography, significant vegetation, and views or other features.
The Board felt this was a priority due to the slope of the property towards the east and the additional height the building will be allowed.
A-3 Entrances visible from the street Entries should be clearly identifiable and visible from the street
The Board felt this was a priority for the project. The Board indicated that the details provided for the building entrance would be critical to the projects success.
A-4 Human Activity - New Development should be sited and designed to encourage human activity on the street.
The Board emphasized this guideline, indicating that the scale of the project should be brought down along the area of the 19th St courtyard/entrance area.
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 residents in adjacent buildings.
The Board prioritized this guideline due to the location of adjacent residential properties immediately to the north. The Board indicated it would look to how the project incorporated materials and modulation along the north and south portions of the building and how privacy was maintained.
A-6 Transition Between Residence and Street - For residential projects, the space between the building and the sidewalk should provide security and privacy for residents and encourage social interaction among residents and neighbors.
The Board felt this guideline should be a priority, especially if there are residential units with direct access to the street or front area along 19th. One method recommended by the Board to address this issue is through variation in ground level elevation for these proposed units.
A-7 Residential Open Space - Residential projects should be sited to maximize opportunities for creating usable, attractive, well-integrated open space.
The Board had considerable discussion on this guideline, as it was the basis for the applicants requested design departure. The Board indicated that they were not convinced that the departure was essential to the project, as there was potential for roof top open space or to extend balconies to meet the minimum usable open space requirements. The Board did indicate that a departure would be considered if there were some public benefit incorporated into the project, such as street level art, decorative grating along the front and the alley or other features to justify the 20% reduction in required open space. The Board indicated that an interim meeting might be necessary, but that the applicant was instructed to address the issue further as part of the MUP submittal.
A-8 Parking and Vehicle Access - - Siting should minimize the impact of automobile parking and driveways on the pedestrian environment, adjacent properties and pedestrian safety.
Board members felt that the project was a high priority due to the required alley dedication and improvements, how the alley currently functions for adjacent properties, the number of trips generated due to required access from the alley and the effect of the concrete garage wall along the alley.
B-1 Height, Bulk and Scale Compatibility - Projects should be compatible with the scale of development anticipated by the applicable Land Use Policies for the surrounding area and should be sited and designed to provide a sensitive transition to near-by, less-intensive zones. Projects on zone edges should be developed in a manner that creates a step in perceived height, bulk and scale between the anticipated development potential of the adjacent zones.
The Board prioritized this guideline due to the height bulk and scale of the proposal in relation to the adjacent L-3 zone. Some of the Boards suggestions to address this issue included modulation on the zone edges and treatment of the garage walls along the alley and side yards. The Board also voiced their support for the clerestory windows in their proposed configuration, which was setback from the edge of the building.
C-1 Architectural Context - New buildings proposed for existing neighborhoods with a well-defined and desirable character should be compatible with or complement the architectural character and siting pattern of neighboring buildings.
The Board noted the photographs of adjacent buildings that show extensive use of brick and masonry with metal as accent. The Board indicated that hardi-board would be an acceptable material. The Board specifically indicated that any use of materials should be used as an entire concept on all sides and not just on the street façade along 19th.
C-2 Architectural Concept and Consistency - Building design elements, details and massing should create a well proportioned and unified building form and exhibit an overall architectural concept. Buildings should exhibit form and features identifying the functions within the building. In general, the roofline or top of the structure should be clearly distinguished from its facade walls.
Board members again reiterated their support for the project, indicating that simple, well-proportioned solutions should be explored. The Board sited the older brick buildings in the area presented by the applicant to underline their reasoning.
C-3 Human Scale - The design of new buildings should incorporate architectural features, elements and details to achieve a good human scale.
The Board referred to previous discussion in support of this guideline.
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.
Please see guidelines A-3 and A-4.
D-1 Pedestrian Open Spaces and Entrances - Convenient and attractive access to the buildings entry should be provided. To ensure comfort and security, paths and entry areas should be sufficiently lighted and entry areas should be protected from the weather. Opportunities for creating lively, pedestrian-oriented open space should be considered.
Please see guidelines A-4, A-6 and A-7.
D-2 Blank Walls - Buildings should avoid large blank walls facing the street, especially near sidewalks. Where blank walls are unavoidable they should receive design treatment to increase pedestrian comfort and interest.
The Board reiterated their previous discussions concerning blank walls for the garage along the alley and requested modulation, plantings or other design solutions to address the issue.
D-6 Screening of Dumpsters, Utilities and Service Areas - Building sites should locate service elements like trash dumpsters, loading docks and mechanical equipment away from the street front where possible. When elements such as dumpsters can not be located away from the street front, they should be situated and screened from view and should not be located in the pedestrian right-of-way.
The Board indicated that applicant should address this issue, in regard to its location in relation to the alley
D-7 Personal Safety and Security - Project design should consider opportunities for enhancing personal safety and security in the environment under review.
The Board was concerned about appropriate lighting and its potential effect on adjacent residences along the alley from the garage.
E-2 Landscaping to Enhance the Building and/or Site - Landscaping, including living plant material, special pavements, trellises, screen wall, planter, site furniture and similar features should be appropriately incorporated into the design to enhance the project.
The Board indicated that solutions that provide softening of the garage should be explored, including planting in front of the garage and landscaping that would trail over the top of the garage from the proposed rear open space of the garage roof.
DEPARTURES FROM DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
As referenced, the applicant is seeking a design departure from the minimum open space requirements. As proposed, the building would need a minimum of 7,898 square feet of usable open space, under SMC 23.47.024. The applicant has proposed 6,170 square feet, for a total departure of 22% from the minimum requirement.