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File #: 18-0612   
Type: Report to Board/Commission Status: Passed
Meeting Body: Planning Commission
On agenda: 7/9/2018
Title: Proposed Project: Related applications on a 6,186-square foot residential lot: DESIGN REVIEW: To allow demolition of an existing one-story single family residence and construction of a new two-story single-family home resulting in 3,223 square feet (2,790 square feet living area and 433 square feet garage) and 52% Floor Area Ratio (FAR). Location: 1159 Norththumberland Drive (198-38-040) File #: 2018-7065 Zoning: R-0 Applicant / Owner: Nilsene Builder Inc (applicant) / Jamie Young (property owner) Environmental Review: Categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to Section Class 3, Section 15303 (New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Project Planner: Cindy Hom, (408) 730-7411, chom@sunnyvale.ca.gov
Attachments: 1. Vicinity and Noticing Radius Map, 2. Project Data Table, 3. Recommended Findings, 4. Recommended Conditions of Approval, 5. Project Plans, 6. FAR Analysis, 7. Staff Presentation 20180709 (18-0612).pdf

REPORT TO PLANNING COMMISSION

 

SUBJECT

Title

Proposed Project:                      Related applications on a 6,186-square foot residential lot:

DESIGN REVIEW: To allow demolition of an existing one-story single family

residence and construction of a new two-story single-family home

resulting in 3,223 square feet (2,790 square feet living area and 433

square feet garage) and 52% Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

Location: 1159 Norththumberland Drive (198-38-040)

File #: 2018-7065

Zoning: R-0

Applicant / Owner: Nilsene Builder Inc (applicant) / Jamie Young (property owner)

Environmental Review: Categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to Section Class 3, Section 15303 (New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Project Planner: Cindy Hom, (408) 730-7411, chom@sunnyvale.ca.gov

 

Report

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

General Plan: Residential Low Density (0-7 du/ac)

Existing Site Conditions:                     Single Family Residence

Surrounding Land Uses

North: Single Family Residence

South: Single Family Residence

East: Single Family Residence

West: Single Family Residence

Issues: Floor Area Ratio

Staff Recommendation: Approve the Design Review based on the Findings with the recommended Conditions in Attachment 4.

 

BACKGROUND

Description of Proposed Project: The project site is 0.14 acres in size and is currently developed with an existing one-story single family home located on the northeast corner of the intersection at Norththumberland Drive and Bernardo Avenue. The existing neighborhood includes a blend of one and two-story homes consisting of traditional California ranch style architecture. Some of the common design elements found in the neighborhood include low or moderately pitched roofs, combination of stucco and horizontal siding, brick, or stone veneer exterior finishes; and porch entry features.

 

The applicant requests to construct a new two-story single-family home resulting in resulting in 3,223 square feet (2,790 square feet living area and 433 square feet garage) and 52% Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

 

The application is submitted pursuant to Sunnyvale Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 19.80 (Design Review) which requires Planning Commission review and approval for homes that exceed the 45% FAR or 3,600 square foot limitation for the R-0 Zoning District. The purpose of the design review is to ensure neighborhood compatibility as well as compliance with Zoning development standards and the Single-Family Home Design Techniques.

 

Previous Actions on the Site: The original home was built in 1954 as a single-story residence that provided approximately 1,152 square feet of living area and a 408-square foot two car garage. There were no previous planning permits granted for this site except for building permits that were issued for minor repairs and re-roof

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

Class 3, Section 15303 (New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures) categorical exemption relieves this project from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provisions. Categorical Exemptions includes reconstruction of one-single family residence in a residential zoning district and minor land alteration associated with the proposed construction of the new home.

 

DISCUSSION

Architecture and Site Layout:

The project proposes Transitional Spanish architecture that includes design elements such as a wide covered porch entry feature, decorated eaves consisting of exposed rafter tails on all four elevations, smooth stucco walls, wood trims around window and door openings, metal balcony railings, and hipped roof form with round barrier roof concrete tiles. As proposed, the materials and styles are in keeping with the architectural style and provides for an aesthetic and harmonious development.

 

The proposed home is located on a standard rectangular, corner lot and will maintain the same layout, orientation and driveway location as the existing home. 

 

Floor Area and Floor Area Ratio:

Based on the proposed 3,223 square foot home, the proposed FAR is at 52%. The general context of the surrounding neighborhood consists of mainly one-story homes with a few two-homes in the immediate neighborhood with FARs ranging between 19% and 47% and gross floor areas ranging from 1,584 square feet to 2,845 square feet.  The average FAR and gross floor area in the neighborhood is 31% and 1,977 square feet (Attachment 6).

 

The proposed 52% FAR would not be appear to be out of character considering there are (2) two-story homes located across the street from the proposed home. The closest neighboring two-story home has a 47% FAR.  Although the neighboring homes to immediate east, west and north are single story, the project has been designed to maintain sensitivity and provide some design consistency. To minimize the perception of bulk and mass, the new home is incorporated the following design treatments:

                     Maintaining a modest second floor area by limiting the second-floor area to 35% of the first-floor area (including the garage area).

                     Utilize a 9-foot wall plate on the first floor and an 8-foot plate height on the second floor so that the proposed home does not appear tall or disproportionate in scale.

                     Provide second floor setbacks so that there is adequate transition from neighbors and the public street.

                     Use similar roof forms, materials and finishes so that there is design compatibility with the neighborhood. 

 

Height:

The proposed project has a 9-foot plate height for the first-story and an 8-foot plate height for the second story. The total height of the structure (measured from top of curb to top of ridge) is 24 feet and 7 inches. Although the home is surrounded by one-story homes on three sides, the project maintains compatibility by utilizing wall plate height and roof pitches similar to the other homes in the neighborhood. The architecture includes wall plane changes that also help minimize visual bulk and massing as well as provide architectural interest.

 

Development Standards: The proposed project complies with the applicable development standards as set forth in Sunnyvale Municipal Code (SMC). The Project Data Table for the proposed project can be found in Attachment 2.

 

Solar Access: SMC Section 19.56.020 states that no permit may be issued for any construction which would interfere with solar access by shading more than 10% of the roof of any structure on a nearby property. The solar analyses for the project illustrates that the proposed project will not cast any AM or PM shadow on neighboring roof structures.

 

Privacy

The anticipated privacy impacts are minimal in that most of the new windows are small, high sill windows on the second floor. The larger, egress windows for the bedrooms are mainly located on the front, street side and rear elevations where there is a substantial setback from adjacent neighbors’ windows.

 

There is a proposed second floor balcony located on the front elevation that is approximately 63 square feet is size and consist of metal railings and a solid roof cover.  The balcony is accessed from the second story master bedroom suite. As proposed, it is setback approximately 31 feet and 5 inches from the front property line and approximately 10’-4” to interior side lot line. There is a potential privacy concern because it does have a view into the adjacent neighbor’s side yard that has a bedroom window. Staff recommends a condition of approval that requires a solid or decorative railing that provides adequate privacy screening and compatible with the proposed architecture (Recommended Condition No. PS-1).

 

Landscaping: The proposed project is subject to the Water Efficient Landscaping requirements. A conceptual landscaping and irrigation plans was submitted to demonstrate compliance with the City’s Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance. The final landscaping and irrigation plans shall be reviewed through a Miscellaneous Plan Permit prior to the building permit issuance (Recommended Condition No. PS-2)

 

The project does not propose to remove any on-site trees or street trees. As conditioned, the applicant shall incorporate tree protections measures on the construction plans to preserve all existing on-site trees in their existing locations (Recommended Condition No. DC-2).

 

Applicable Design Guidelines: The proposed home is consistent with the adopted Single-Family Home Design Techniques. The recommended Findings can be found in Attachment 3.

 

Fiscal Impact

No fiscal impacts other than normal fees and taxes are expected.

 

Public Contact

As of the date of staff report preparation, staff has received no comments from the public.

 

Notice of Public Hearing:

                     Published in the Sun newspaper

                     Posted on the site

                     65 notices mailed to property owners and residents within 300 feet of the project site

 

Staff Report:

                     Posted on the City’s website

                     Provided at the Reference Section of the City’s Public Library

 

Agenda:

                     Posted on the City’s website

                     Posted on the City’s official notice bulletin board

 

ALTERNATIVES

1.                     Approve the Design Review with the Conditions of Approval in Attachment 4.

2.                     Approve the Design Review with modified conditions.

3.                     Deny the Design Review and provide direction to staff and the applicant where changes should be made.

 

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Recommendation

Recommend Alternative 1 to approve the Design Review in accordance with the Findings in Attachment 3 and Conditions of Approval in Attachment 4.

 

Staff

Prepared by: Cindy Hom, Associate Planner

Approved by: Gerri Caruso, Principal Planner

 

ATTACHMENTS   

1.                     Vicinity and Noticing Radius Map

2.                     Project Data Table

3.                     Recommended Findings

4.                     Recommended Conditions of Approval

5.                     Project Plans

6.                     FAR Analysis