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File #: 18-0623   
Type: Report to Board/Commission Status: Passed
Meeting Body: Planning Commission
On agenda: 7/23/2018
Title: Proposed Project: DESIGN REVIEW to allow a 498-square foot second-story addition to an existing 2,465-square foot two-story single-family home resulting in 2,963 square feet (2,603 square feet living area plus 360-square foot garage) and 58.6% FAR. Project includes removing a shed in the rear yard and in the side yard to meet the 40% lot coverage requirement. Location: 863 San Pablo Ave. (APN: 205-04-040) File #: 2017-7797 Zoning: R0 Applicant / Owner: Megan Miner Design (applicant) / Gursharanjit (Jit) Jagait Environmental Review: A Class 1 (e) (1) Categorical Exemption relieves this project from the California Environmental Quality Act provisions. Class 1 (e) (1) Categorical Exemptions, Section 15301(e) include additions to existing structures resulting in no more than a 50% increase in floor area. Project Planner: Teresa Zarrin, (408) 730-7429, tzarrin@sunnyvale.ca.gov
Attachments: 1. Vicinity and Noticing Map, 2. Project Data Table, 3. Recommended Findings, 4. Recommended Conditions of Approval, 5. Letter from Applicant, 6. Two-Story Homes in Vicinity, 7. Neighborhood FAR Data, 8. Site and Architectural Plans, 9. Staff Presentation 20180723 (18-0623).pdf

REPORT TO PLANNING COMMISSION

 

SUBJECT

Title

Proposed Project: DESIGN REVIEW to allow a 498-square foot second-story addition to an existing 2,465-square foot two-story single-family home resulting in 2,963 square feet (2,603 square feet living area plus 360-square foot garage) and 58.6% FAR. Project includes removing a shed in the rear yard and in the side yard to meet the 40% lot coverage requirement.

Location: 863 San Pablo Ave. (APN: 205-04-040)

File #: 2017-7797

Zoning: R0

Applicant / Owner: Megan Miner Design (applicant) / Gursharanjit (Jit) Jagait

Environmental Review: A Class 1 (e) (1) Categorical Exemption relieves this project from the California Environmental Quality Act provisions. Class 1 (e) (1) Categorical Exemptions, Section 15301(e) include additions to existing structures resulting in no more than a 50% increase in floor area.

Project Planner: Teresa Zarrin, (408) 730-7429, tzarrin@sunnyvale.ca.gov

 

Report

REPORT IN BRIEF

General Plan: Residential Low Density

Existing Site Conditions:                     Single-Family Residence

Surrounding Land Uses

North:                     Two-Story Single-Family Residence

South:                     One-Story Single-Family Residence

East:                      One and Two-Story Single-Family Residences

West:                     One-Story Single-Family Residence

Issues: Neighborhood Compatibility, Floor Area Ratio, Compliance with Single Family Home Design Techniques

Staff Recommendation: Approve the Design Review with the Conditions of Approval in Attachment 4.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Description of Proposed Project

The project site is 5,054 square feet in size and is currently occupied with a single-family, two-story home. The applicant proposes to add a two-story addition of 498 square feet to the existing 2,465-square foot two-story home. The original one-story home was built in 1956. A two-story addition was completed in 2017. This second addition to the second story is to provide additional space for a multi-generational extended family due to the rising cost of living in the Bay Area.The proposed two-story, single-family home would be a total of 2,963 square feet, including a 360-square foot garage and 58.6% floor area ratio (FAR). A Design Review permit is required for second-story additions to evaluate compliance with development standards and with the Single-Family Home Design Techniques. Planning Commission review is required for homes that exceed 45% FAR.

 

See Attachment 1 - Vicinity and Noticing Maps and Attachment 2 - Project Data Table.

 

Previous Actions on the Site

Design Review #2014-7236 approved a 497-square foot, two story addition resulting in 49% FAR. The building permit for that project was finaled on 12/9/2017.

 

DISCUSSION

The project site is located on the west side of San Pablo Ave near East Ahwanee Ave. and US Hwy 101. The existing neighborhood is comprised of single-family residences, which were developed in the mid-1950s with Postwar Minimal homes. The overall neighborhood is mostly one-story homes; however, the house next door on the right and the house diagonally across the street are two-story homes. See Attachment 6 for a map of two-story homes in the vicinity.  Most homes on San Pablo Avenue have two-car garages, some which are below the current 400-square foot requirement.

Architecture The second story addition is situated to the right and front of the existing second story. The addition balances the appearance of the second story with the proposed second story evenly distributed across the first story instead of the existing second story which is mostly on the left. The proposed second story addition matches the stucco exterior and existing roof of the existing first and second stories.

The staff finds the proposed architecture and building materials to be aesthetic and harmonious with the surrounding neighborhood because the new second story addition balances the appearance of the second story and has minimal impact on the adjoining neighbors. See Site and Architectural Plans in Attachment 8.

 

Development Standards

The proposed project complies with the applicable development standards as set forth in the Sunnyvale Municipal Code, such as lot coverage, parking, height, solar access and setbacks. The Project Data Table is in the Attachment 2.

 

Floor Area Ratio The current FAR of the home is 49%. The proposed 58.6% FAR requires Planning Commission review because it exceeds the 45% FAR threshold. The neighborhood contains mostly one-story homes with four, two-story residences on San Pablo Ave and five additional two-story homes nearby. See Attachment 6 - Two-Story Homes in the Vicinity.

The gross floor area of the homes on San Pablo Avenue ranges from 1,424 to 2,637 square feet, with the average of 1,726 square feet. The FARs on San Pablo Avenue range from 24% to 44% FAR with an average of 34%. The proposed gross floor area of 2,963 square feet and 58.6% FAR would make the home the largest on the block. The next largest home is the two-story home next door on the right with 2,637 square feet and 43% FAR. See Attachment 7 - Neighborhood FAR Data.

Neighborhood Compatibility

The addition would make the house the largest house on the block; however, the design of the new second story addition minimizes the impact on the neighbors and streetscape because:

                     The location of the addition is inside the L-shape of the existing second story;

                     The second-story rear and left setbacks remain the same;

                     The front extends only an additional 5 feet towards the street;

                     The right side of the house extends an additional 9 feet to the right side.

                     The front setback is a generous 34’9” when 25’ is required

 

The new second story addition extends mostly to the right; however, the house on the right is also a two-story home with its second story portion on the left next to the new addition.

 

The proposed house is 23’2” in height, with 8-foot plate heights on both the first and second stories. The height is comparable to the height of the 21’10” two-story house next door on the right.

The exterior materials of composite shingle roof and stucco are compatible with the neighborhood. The 4:12 pitch hip roof matches the roof pitch of the existing home and other homes in the neighborhood.

 

Privacy Impacts

There are no additional windows proposed on the left or right side elevations. There is one additional window on the rear elevation which has a 31-foot setback from the rear property line where 20 feet is allowed. This is an additional 11-foot setback compared to the existing second story. There are additional windows on the front elevation, but they do not affect the privacy of the neighbors.

 

Second Floor Massing (proportion of first story to second story) The City's Single Family Design Techniques suggest a second floor massing of up to 35% of the first floor when a neighborhood is predominantly single-story. Two of the immediate neighbors of the property are two-story homes and are located on the end of the block near Ahwanee Ave and Hwy 101. The adjacent neighbor on the right (869 San Pablo Ave.) has an approximate second story massing of 37% which was approved in 1975 prior to adoption of the City’s current design guidelines. The addition on 869 San Pablo is a rectangle on the left side of the house which lacks integration with the first story. The second story massing on the diagonal neighbor at 868 San Pablo has 43%massing on an L-shaped second story that was built in 1992.

The second-story massing of the existing house is 25%. The proposed second story massing of the project home is 50%, however, the addition is placed to minimize the added mass by fitting it in to the L-shape of the existing second story and creating a more balanced appearance on the front elevation. The generous setbacks and location of the addition adjacent to the neighbor’s second story also lessens the impact of the addition on the streetscape.

 

Lot Coverage The existing lot coverage shown on the plan is 44% which exceeds the maximum allowable lot coverage of 40%. The applicant has removed the 160-square foot side yard shed and will remove the 63-square foot rear yard shed prior to receiving a building permit final to achieve the maximum allowable lot coverage of 40%. See Condition of Approval PS-1 in Attachment 4.

 

Solar The Sunnyvale Municipal Code (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 bulk of the addition is on the north side of the existing second story and is adjacent to the second story of the neighbor on the right so the addition has little additional solar impact on the neighbor. The shading of the neighbor on the right is 1.2% in the morning and 4.8% in the afternoon, which is less than the 10% maximum allowed.

Garage The legal non-conforming, 360-square foot garage does not meet the 400-square foot minimum currently required by code but has functioned as a two-car garage since it was built in the mid-1950s. Of the 33 homes on San Pablo Avenue, 10 of the homes have garages with 360 square feet and two have no garages (converted with permits).

Protected Trees No protected trees are proposed to be removed as part of the application.

 

Applicable Design Guidelines and Policy Documents Staff considers the proposed home to be consistent with the adopted Single-Family Home Design Techniques regarding second story additions. It positively adds to the streetscape. The proposed second story massing of the home is 50%, however, the addition is placed to minimize the added mass by fitting it in to the L-shape of the existing second story and creating a more balanced appearance on the front elevation. The project is also located adjacent to two other two-story homes. The generous setbacks and location of the addition adjacent to the neighbor’s second story also helps lessens the impact of the addition on the streetscape. The exterior materials of stucco and composition shingle roofing match the existing house and are compatible with the neighborhood.

Staff has included findings for the Single-Family Home Design Techniques in Attachment 3.

 

Fiscal Impact

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

 

Public Contact

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 official notice bulletin board

Posted on the City’s website

 

Public Comments: As of the date of staff report preparation, staff has received no comments from the neighbors.  See Attachment 5 - Letter from Applicant.

 

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 in accordance with the Recommended Findings in Attachment 3 and Conditions of Approval in Attachment 4.

Staff

Prepared by: Teresa Zarrin, Associate Planner

Approved by: Gerri Caruso, Principal Planner

 

ATTACHMENTS

1. Vicinity and Noticing Map

2. Project Data Table

3. Recommended Findings

4. Recommended Conditions of Approval

5. Letter from Applicant

6. Two-Story Homes in the Vicinity

7. Neighborhood FAR Data

8. Site and Architectural Plans