Lake County Gazette

Lake County Gazette

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

City of Lake Forest Building Review Board met June 5

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Jul 12, 2019

Meeting 01

City of Lake Forest Building Review Board met June 5.

Here is the minutes provided by the board:

A regular meeting of the Lake Forest Building Review Board was held on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 6:30 p.m., at the City of Lake Forest City Hall, 220 E. Deerpath, Lake Forest, Illinois

Building Review Board members present: Chairman Jim Diamond and Board members, Joanne Bluhm, John Looby, Fred Moyer, James Sykora, and Richard Walther

Building Review Board members absent: Chris Bires

Staff present: Catherine Czerniak, Director of Community Development and Jennifer Baehr, Assistant Planner

1. Introduction of Board members and staff, overview of meeting procedures – Chairman Diamond

Chairman Diamond reviewed the role of the Building Review Board and the meeting procedures followed by the Board. He asked the members of the Board and staff to introduce themselves.

2. Consideration of the minutes of the May 1, 2019 meeting of the Building Review Board.

The minutes of the May 1, 2019 meeting were approved as submitted.

3. Consideration of a request for approval of a second-story addition and other exterior alterations at 358 Ravine Park Drive.

Owner: Susan Ipsen

Representatives: Gerry McManus, architect; Glenn Heidbreder, Thomas Kearin builder

Chairman Diamond asked the Board members for any Ex Parte contacts or conflicts of interest. Hearing none, he invited a presentation from the petitioner.

Mr. Heidbreder introduced the petition and the design team.

Mr. Kearin explained that the house was originally a one-story ranch home built in the 1950’s and that a second-story addition was built on the north side of the house in1996. He added that the homeowner always intended to add a second-story to the remaining portion of the house. He stated that as a result of the earlier second-story addition, there is an imbalance to the appearance of the house. He explained that the gable roof form on the existing single-story portion of the house will be raised to the height of the roof of the previous second-story to create new second-story living space. He stated that shed dormers are proposed on the front and rear of the house. He noted that the shed dormer proposed on the front of the house is nestled into the roof form to minimize its appearance. He stated that the front dormer has a flared detail to add interest to the home. He explained that the rear dormer is stepped in approximately six inches from the south side of the house to allow some reveal of the roof surface. He added that there is a cupola on the existing house that will be relocated to the center of the new second-story addition. He noted that the cupola reflected in the drawings is not to scale and in reality, the cupola is larger than the cupola shown in the plans. He stated that LED lights are proposed inside the cupola and are directed down. He stated that a column is proposed at the southeast corner of the front elevation. He noted that the column is intended to balance the existing three columns found on the front of the house.

Ms. Baehr stated that the intent is to give the house a more balanced appearance with the proposed second story addition. She noted that the existing exterior materials on the house are stucco and brick and the proposed exterior material for the front dormer is horizontal siding. She asked for Board input on the proposed addition of a third exterior material noting that the City’s Design Guidelines direct that siding materials should be limited to two.

In response to questions from Board member Walther, Mr. Kearin explained that three sets of double windows are proposed across the front dormer. He added that the windows are proposed as square casement windows. He stated that relief panels are proposed on either side of the windows on the front dormer. He noted that the roof of the rear dormer roof is proposed as rubber due to the shallow pitch. He added that the roof on the rear dormer is not visible from the street or adjacent properties.

In response to questions from Board member Moyer, Mr. Heidbreder stated that the existing second floor facade material is stucco. He explained that the proposed front dormer is a composite wood material.

Board member Moyer commented that there are already a variety of windows on the house with vertical and horizontal orientations.

In response to questions from Board member Moyer, Mr. Kearin confirmed that currently, there are shutters alongside the front door and on the lower level windows on the rear elevation.

In response to questions from Board member Sykora, Mr. McManus explained that the windows between the first floor and proposed second floor cannot be aligned due to the location of interior walls and cabinetry.

In response to questions from Board member Bluhm, Mr. McManus stated that the homeowner wants to create symmetry along the front elevation by adding an additional column at the southeast corner of the house. He acknowledged that the front porch slab does not extend to the south side of the front elevation explaining that the column will rest on the ground. He explained that on the south side of the house, the first floor footprint projects forward, leaving little room to extend the front porch concrete slab.

Board member Bluhm noted that the additional column may not necessary given the extensive landscaping that already exists along the front of the house. She stated that the scale of the existing cupola appears appropriate for the scale of the house with the new second-story addition.

Board member Looby expressed support for the additional column at the southeast corner of the house noting that it will extend the existing pattern of columns across the front of the house.

In response to questions from Board member Looby, Mr. Kearin stated that the composite material proposed for the front dormer is available in a smooth or wood grain finish. He added that the color palette of the proposed addition will match the neutral colors on the house.

Hearing no further questions from the Board, Chairman Diamond invited public comments. Hearing none, he invited final questions and comments from the Board.

Board member Walther suggested consideration of eliminating the proposed column on the south end and the existing column at the north end of the porch, leaving only two columns on either side of the front door. He noted that this approach would provide symmetry along the front elevation and resolve the concern about the proposed column which would be located beyond the front porch slab.

In response to questions from Board member Walther, Mr. Kearin stated that the soffit of the porch is bead board. He confirmed that the existing windows on the house do not have muntins.

Board member Walther suggested removing the muntins on the proposed front dormer windows in an effort to achieve consistency between the new construction and the existing house.

In response to suggestions from Board member Walther, Mr. Kearin stated that removing the muntins on the window would compromise the design intent. He noted however that it is possible to use a very thin muntin, to minimize the appearance of the inconsistencies between the windows.

Board member Looby stated that the removing the muntins on the proposed windows could make them appear larger.

Board member Moyer stated that the proposed massing works well for the house and is appropriate for the neighborhood. He expressed support for thinner muntins.

Hearing no further comments from the Board, Chairman Diamond invited a motion.

Board member Walther made a motion to recommend approval of the second-story addition and associated alterations based on the findings in the staff report and the testimony presented by the petitioner and incorporating the Board’s deliberations as additional findings. He noted that the approval is subject to the following conditions.

1. Sketches shall be developed of the front of the building with, four columns, three columns and with two columns and, if desired, an alternate approach or element. The final configuration shall be subject to staff approval.

2. A rendering or colored elevation shall be provided reflecting the textures and color palette and will be subject to staff review.

3. If any modifications are made to the plans in response to Board direction, or, as the result of final design development, the modifications shall be clearly called out on the plan and a copy of the plan originally provided to the Board shall be attached for comparison purposes. Staff is directed to review any changes, in consultation with the Chairman as appropriate, to determine whether the modifications are in conformance with the Board’s direction and approval prior to the issuance of any permits.

4. Details of any exterior lighting that is proposed shall be provided with the plans submitted for permit. Cut sheets of all light fixtures shall be provided and all fixtures shall direct light downward and the source of the light shall be fully shielded from view by the fixture or by sight obscuring glass.

5. A plan for construction parking and materials’ staging shall be submitted for review and will be subject to approval by the City’s Certified Arborist, City Engineer and Director of Community Development.

The motion was seconded by Board member Looby and was approved by a 6 to 0 vote.

4. Consideration of a request for approval of changes to the previously approved plans for a new residence at 234 W. Westminster. The residence is currently under construction. Changes are proposed to architectural design elements, the massing and height of the garage, and the exterior materials.

Owners: Peter & Mary Liz Lehman

Representatives: James Metropulos, architect; Peter Stevens, builder

Chairman Diamond introduced the project. He asked the Board members for any Ex Parte contacts or conflicts of interest. Hearing none, he invited a presentation from the petitioner.

Ms. Lehman introduced the design team. She explained that in September, 2016, the Building Review Board approved the demolition of the original home on the property and a replacement residence. She added that the initial plan was to reuse the foundation from the original house however, as construction progressed, it was determined that the original foundation was not viable. She stated that revised plans with modifications to the previously approved siting of the residence and associated driveway and landscaping were approved by the Board in August, 2017. She explained that during construction of the house in its new location, it was determined that the basement as reflected on the approved construction plans was problematic due to soil conditions on the site. She added that the basement was eliminated from the plans and revised construction plans, with a crawl space, were submitted to the City for review and approval. She explained that as a result of eliminating the basement space, approximately 1,500 square feet of living space was lost. She stated that the current request proposes a second-story addition above the garage to make up for the loss of the basement. She explained that previously, the Board discussed the lack of dimensionality on the front façade and as a result, a new covered entry is now proposed at the front entrance. She noted that originally, the design of the house was in the style of a traditional New England home. She stated that the current request also includes modifications to the exterior materials to transition the house to more of an American Colonial style home.

Mr. Metropulos explained that the white board and batten is proposed for the exterior of the house and horizontal wood siding is proposed for the connecting elements, pool house and the garage. He stated that the horizontal siding on the garage and pool house are proposed with a darker finish to create a more rustic appearance. He added that the standing seam metal roof on the house will remain as originally approved. He stated that a stone base is now proposed around the house to create the appearance of a stone foundation.

Ms. Baehr gave an overview of the revisions to the previously approved plans that are now proposed. She added that the previously approved landscaping and hardscaped areas remain as originally approved. She noted that staff received a letter from the neighbor to the east expressing general support for the project and changes proposed, but raised concerns about the extended timeline for completion of the project.

Board member Moyer stated support for the proposed changes to the materials commenting that it is refreshing and unique.

In response to questions from Board member Moyer, Ms. Lehman stated that the square footage lost as a result of eliminating the basement is not completely recouped with the second-story addition above the garage. She explained that the covered porch on the north side of the garage will be enclosed to house a stair to provide access to the new space above the garage.

Board member Moyer stated that the garage element as reflected in the renderings appears as a large mass adding that it is located close to the street, forward of the home.

Mr. Metropulos stated that the proportions of the garage are distorted in the perspective view of the rendering.

Ms. Lehman clarified that the second-story addition will only add 3’-4” to the height of the garage mass.

In response to questions from Board member Looby, Ms. Lehman stated that the space above the garage is a multi-purpose room, not an apartment.

In response to questions from Board member Sykora, Mr. Metropulos stated that the horizontal siding on the connecting elements will have a 10 inch exposure. He explained that the 10 inch exposure is intended to minimize the perception of mass of those elements.

Board member Bluhm stated that the increased height of the garage is supported by the mass of the main house and the height and massing of other homes in the neighborhood.

In response to questions from Board member Bluhm, Mr. Metropulos stated that the covered entry is intended to be a pergola type structure. He added that the covered entry will project approximately 7 feet from the front elevation.

Board member Bluhm observed that the exposed rafter tails on the proposed covered entry are not found anywhere else on the house.

Board member Walther agreed with Board member Bluhm that the rafter tails on the covered entry appear out of character with the house. He explained that other homes in the Colonial style have covered entries with a boxed out shape, and a heavier appearance. He suggested using a straight fascia board on the covered entry as opposed to the rafter tails.

In response to questions from Board member Walther, Mr. Metropulos explained that two columns are proposed against the wall on either side of the front entrance and two columns are proposed at the corners of the front stoop. He noted that the proposed trim material is cedar. He confirmed that shutters are only proposed on the single windows on the front elevation. He stated that the shutters are proportionate to the window sizes. He stated that adding shutters to the double windows would be inappropriate. He noted that the shutters on the single double hung windows, on the front elevation, are designed to have the appearance of operable shutters.

In response to questions from Chairman Diamond, Ms. Lehman stated the intent to complete the project as quickly as possible.

Mr. Lehman noted that the architect and builder are ready to move forward upon approval.

Hearing no further questions from the Board, Chairman Diamond invited public comments. Hearing none, he invited final comments from the Board.

Board member Looby expressed support for the proposed covered entry design. He stated that if the entry is boxed out, the texture and detailing created by the timbering will be lost.

Mr. Metropulos offered that in his opinion, the rafter tails soften the appearance of the entry.

Board member Sykora expressed support for the project.

Hearing no further comments from the Board, Chairman Diamond invited a motion.

Board member Walther made a motion to recommend approval of the modifications to the garage massing and height, changes to the exterior materials and modifications to the overall design for the new single family residence, attached garage and pool house based on the findings detailed in the staff report and incorporating the Board’s discussion as additional findings. He noted that the recommendation is subject to the following conditions of approval.

1. Project must proceed diligently, demonstrating continuous progress as required by the Code. Addition of landscape screening for neighbor to the east.

2. The plans shall be refined to address the conditions detailed below.

a. The covered entry element should be further studied and refined to be more consistent with the style of the house.

b. Further consideration should be given to the use of shutters on only the primary front façade of the house. If shutters are uses, they should be used consistently around the house.

c. Consideration should be given to limiting the number of exterior façade materials.

3. The plans submitted for permit shall be fully detailed with respect to architectural elements, dimensions and exterior materials.

4. To minimize the increased height and mass of the garage, the landscape plan should be reviewed with an eye to adding higher canopy vegetation to mitigate and filter street views of the garage.

5. Any further changes or refinements made to the plans, beyond those directed by the Board, shall be clearly called out and will be subject to review by staff in consultation with the Chairman as appropriate.

The previously approved applicable conditions remain in effect and are repeated below.

1. A final lighting plan, including specifications on all exterior fixtures proposed, shall be submitted prior to any installation of light fixtures. The dark sky, right to night approach shall be complied with, sources of light shall be fully shielded from view and fixtures shall direct light downward. Given the proximity of open lands, minimizing light impacts and visibility from off of the property is important.

2. The final landscape plan must be submitted prior to rough inspections and must be drawn on and be in alignment with the grading and drainage plans as approved by the City Engineer. The landscape plan shall be subject to review and approval by the City’s Certified Arborist. The Arborist’s review of the plan shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Verification that appropriate replacement inches are planted on the site to compensate for trees removed or, if on site plantings cannot be accommodated, a payment in lieu of onsite planting must be made to the City, prior to any final inspections, to support streetscape plantings in the immediate neighborhood. If additional trees are proposed for removal, beyond those reflected on the tree removal plan submitted to the Board, additional review and additional replacement inches may be required.

The motion was seconded by Board member Sykora and approved by a vote of 6 to 0.

5. Consideration of a request for approval of replacement of the existing multi-tenant monument signage at Forest Square, 840 S. Waukegan Road, with two smaller signs. Owner: GCP Forest Square, LLC

Representative: Stephen Douglass

Mr. Douglass stated that he is a member of Green Courte Partners, owner of Forest Square. He explained that the existing monument sign was approved in 2007, at the time the site was developed. He stated that replacement signage is requested to accommodate more of the tenants and to increase visibility. He acknowledged that some tenants have installed signage in their windows without proper approvals or permits to increase visibility. He noted that the sign existing sign has become obscured by the landscaping along the road. He stated that the current request is to remove the existing monument sign and install two new monument signs along Waukegan Road of the same design as originally approved. He added that the proposed signs will be slightly smaller than the existing sign. He stated that the height of the new monument signs is proposed at 12 feet, a foot shorter than the existing sign. He noted that the two signs are proposed roughly 150 feet apart along the streetscape. He stated that the name placards on the proposed signs are 8 inches tall to allow for slightly larger text. He noted that the height of the lettering on the existing sign is 4.5 inches tall. He explained that it is expected that the two signs will accommodate all of the tenants. He stated that the two signs will address the tenant’s concerns and raise awareness of the business district along Waukegan Road. He added that the goal is to set a design precedent for signage in the area.

Ms. Czerniak stated that the City recently began a review and update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the first area that was looked at was the Waukegan Road Business District. She explained that consistent themes throughout the public discussions to date included increasing awareness of businesses along Waukegan Road and creating more of a unified identify for the area. She agreed with Mr. Douglass that the intent is to encourage other property owners along Waukegan to use signs with a similar design. She explained that a variance was granted for the size and height of the original sign on the property at the time the development of Forest Square was considered. She added that those same variances are required for the signage as now proposed along with a variance to allow more than one monument sign on the site. She stated that the property owner of the adjacent property to the north has expressed a willingness to consider installing a monument sign of the same design. She stated that if the signs are approved, staff will approach other businesses and property owners in the area. She added that there has also been discussion about using a similar design, in a smaller format, for entrance signs at the north and south ends of the business district. She stated that with respect to the present request, lettering with a consistent font and size is proposed for all tenants. She recommended that the Board direct that the size of the lettering be resolved with staff, based on the installation of a mock-up. She added that it may be necessary to remove some of the landscaping in the area to increase visibility of the signs.

In response to questions from Board member Sykora, Mr. Douglass explained that as currently proposed, the signs each have 11 name placards. He noted that the number of placards on the existing monument sign is not sufficient to accommodate all of the building tenants. He added that some of the name placards may need to become larger to accommodate the names of some of the tenants, with the lettering remaining consistent.

Board member Bluhm expressed support for the petition. She added that a second sign on the property is needed.

Board member Looby stated that the proposed signs are an improvement to the existing sign on the site. He noted that the landscaping should be adjusted to prevent obscuring views of the signs.

In response to questions from Board member Walther, Mr. Douglass stated that roughly 30 tenants can be accommodated in the building. He confirmed that as proposed, the address is proposed on both signs.

Board member Walther suggested that the address only be located on the north sign, near the entrance driveway. He added that visitors may be confused with the address numbers on the south sign, due to its proximity to Chase Bank.

Mr. Douglass agreed with Board member Walther and agreed to explore the option of eliminating the address on the south sign.

Board member Moyer expressed support for the petition.

Hearing no further questions from the Board, Chairman Diamond invited public comments. Hearing no public comments, he invited final questions and comments from the Board. Hearing none, he invited a motion.

Board member Looby made a motion to recommend approval of two multi-tenant monument signs for Forest Square as presented based on the findings presented in the staff report, the information presented by the petitioner, and incorporating the Board’s deliberations as additional findings. He noted that the motion includes the following conditions of approval.

1. A single standard typeface shall be used for all tenant names listed on the sign.

2. The light source for the ground lights shall be fully shielded from view from the streetscape to avoid glare and bright spots for drivers.

3. All signage shall only be illuminated during business hours.

4. After installation, the lighting intensity shall be evaluated by staff to verify consistency with lighting levels in the area. The intensity of the lighting shall be reduced if determined to be necessary by staff.

5. A mock-up of a few letters, or a form core or paper version of the proposed lettering shall be put up to allow verification that the size of the letters as proposed is appropriate in scale and proportion and to allow readability from different points on and off the site. The mock-up shall be subject to review and final approval by City staff prior to the issuance of a permit authorizing installation.

6. Non-conforming, non-permitted window signage shall be removed from individual tenant spaces.

7. Any modifications to the plan, either to response to direction from the Board or changes made for other reasons, must be submitted for review and a determination by staff, in consultation with the Chairman as appropriate, that the plans are in conformance with the approvals granted and the conditions prior to submitting a complete application and plans for a building permit.

The motion was seconded by Board member Sykora and approved by a vote of 6 to 0.

6. Consideration of Consideration of a request for approval of two replacement multi-tenant signs and the associated landscaping at 810 S. Waukegan Road. Owner: Dr. Derek Bock

Representative: Linda Hartman, landscape architect

Ms. Hartman introduced the project on behalf of the property owner. She stated that two replacement monument signs and updated landscaping are proposed. She stated that the proposed monument signs will replace the existing signs on Waukegan and Conway Roads. She explained that the proposed monument sign on Waukegan Road is very similar to the monument signs proposed at Forest Square. She stated that the monument sign on Conway Road is similar in design to the monument sign proposed on Waukegan Road, but smaller in scale. She noted that the new signs are proposed in the same locations as the existing signs. She stated that as part of the updated landscaping, modifications are proposed to the existing front walkway. She stated that the portion of the walkway that wraps around the north side of the monument sign on Waukegan Road will be removed. She added that a patio area is proposed near the southeast corner of the building. She stated that 10 trees are proposed for removal. She stated that the trees proposed for removal are all dead or declining adding that they will be replaced. She added that most of the trees proposed for removal are the Honey Locust trees located in the islands in the parking lot. She noted that the Honey Locust trees will be replaced with Autumn Blaze Maple trees. She added that enhanced landscaping is proposed around the building on the site.

Ms. Czerniak stated that Dr. Bock recently purchased the property and upgrading the building, inside and out, and the overall site. She noted that the City’s Certified Arborist supports the removal of the declining trees and the plan to plant replacement trees. She added that during review of the final landscape plan the City Arborist may provide feedback on species that are being proposed to assure that the new trees have a good chance to thrive. She stated that the modifications proposed to the hardscape are appropriate. She suggested that the exact placement of the sign along Waukegan Road be subject to review in the field prior to installation to maximize the visibility of the sign in the context of the surrounding landscaping. She stated that the proposed signs are consistent with the design of the Forest Square monument signs and will provide continuity within the area. She noted that the sign on Conway Road is proposed to be illuminated with ground lighting. She suggested that the sign at this location should not be lighted because it is across from residential development. She stated that the lights on the sign on Waukegan Road will need to be turned off after business hours. She explained that the petitioner requested review of preliminary concepts for additional building signage however, staff is requesting the opportunity to work through the preliminary concepts for additional signage with the petitioner so that a recommendation can be presented to the Board.

In response to questions from Board member Walther, Ms. Hartman confirmed that the existing sidewalk near Waukegan Road is low and floods frequently. She stated that the landscape bed around the sign will be raised.

Board member Walther encouraged the petitioner to work with staff to resolve the drainage issues on the site. He added that in his opinion, lighting the Conway monument sign is not necessary.

In response to questions from Board member Looby, Ms. Hartman stated there is a drain located adjacent to Starbucks on the neighboring property. She added that they plan to install catch basins and connect to existing storm sewers if possible.

Ms. Czerniak stated that a grading and drainage plan has not yet been submitted and reviewed by the City Engineer.

Board member Bluhm expressed support for the petition.

In response to questions from Board member Sykora, Ms. Czerniak confirmed that the height of the monument signs as proposed require a variance similar to the existing sign and proposed signs at Forest Square. She added that the sign proposed along Conway Road is 8 feet tall. She added that the proposed height of the signs appear appropriate for the area and are consistent with the goal of increasing visibility for the businesses.

In response to questions from Chairman Diamond, Ms. Hartman stated that a grading and drainage plan has not yet been developed for the site.

Hearing no further questions from the Board, Chairman Diamond invited public comments. Hearing no public comments, he invited final questions and comments from the Board. Hearing none, he invited a motion.

Board member Looby made a motion to recommend approval of replacement monument signs on Waukegan and Conway Roads, tree removal, enhanced landscaping and hardscape modifications.

1. Grading and drainage plans shall be submitted for review by the City Engineer reflecting the proposed changes to the hardscape and landscape and in an effort to find a collaborative approach to reducing standing water in the area.

2. The Conway Road monument sign shall not exceed eight feet in height as measured from the lowest point of existing grade to the tallest part of the sign and shall not be lighted.

3. Final siting of the monument sign located on Waukegan Road shall be subject to staff approval through a site mock up, with the goal of creating generally equal spacing of signs along the west side of Waukegan Road and high visibility.

4. All signage shall only be illuminated during business hours and shall be set on an automatic timer.

5. The source of light shall be fully shielded from view from off of the sight to prevent glare or hot spots particularly for drivers.

6. After installation, the lighting intensity shall be evaluated by staff to verify consistency with lighting levels in the area including sensitivity to the nearby residential areas. The intensity of the lighting shall be reduced if determined to be necessary by staff.

7. Any modifications to the plan, either to respond to direction from the Board or changes made for other reasons, must be submitted for review and a determination by staff, in consultation with the Chairman as appropriate, that the plans are in conformance with the approvals granted and the conditions prior to submitting a complete application and plans for a building permit.

The motion was seconded by Board member Walther and approved by a vote of 6 to 0.

OTHER ITEMS

7. Opportunity for the public to address the Building Review Board on non-agenda items.

There was no additional public testimony presented to the Board.

8. Additional information from staff.

No additional information was presented from staff. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

https://www.cityoflakeforest.com/assets/1/27/BuildingReviewBoard.Minutes.06.05.2019.pdf

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