Attachment F

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD STAFF REPORT

 

 

Project #: Name

 

ARB-2007-80: Montessori Community School – Replacement of Modular Classrooms

 

Review Type

 

Final review of a Site Development Plan

 

Parcel Identification

 

Tax Map 78, Parcels 12A

 

Location

 

On the north side of Route 250 West, on the west side of Rolkin Drive

 

Zoned

 

Commercial Office (CO), Entrance Corridor (EC)

 

Owner/Applicant

 

Montessori Community School of Charlottesville

 

Magisterial District

 

Rivanna

 

Proposal

 

To construct a new 5,500 square foot classroom building with associated landscape and site work as Phase I of the school’s proposed expansion.

 

ARB Meeting Date

 

October 1, 2007

 

Staff Contact

 

Margaret Maliszewski

 

 

SITE/PROJECT HISTORY

 

·         ARB-2006-140: Montessori Community School: February 5, 2007: ARB advisory review for the Special Use Permit request. ARB recommended conditions on the SP. (February 27, 2007 action letter attached.)

·         SP-2006-38: Montessori Community School: March 14, 2007: Special Use Permit for school expansion approved by the BOS.

·         ARB-2007-55: Montessori Community School:

o        July 2, 2007: ARB Preliminary Site Plan Review (rescheduled from June 18) (July 20, 2007 action letter attached.)

o        August 6, 2007: Work Session (August 17, 2007 action letter attached.)

o        August 20, 2007: Other Business discussion of chain link fence (See email correspondence attached.)

·         SDP-2007-44: Montessori Community School Preliminary Site Plan: June 27, 2007: Department of Planning and Community Development granted administrative approval of the preliminary site plan (rev. date 05/29/07).

 

PROJECT DETAILS/CHANGES

 

·         The applicant has agreed to comply with the ARB’s direction regarding the chain link fence by agreeing to remove the existing chain link by December 1, 2008.

·         Proposed materials and colors of the building have changed as outlined in this table:

 

 

Material

July 2 Original Proposal

August 6 Work Session Options

Current Proposal

Base (lower level of building)

Exposed natural concrete

1)      Masonry with white stucco

2)       Masonry with grey parged finish

3)      Dark tinted concrete

Parged concrete base colored with

1)      Silversmoke 8084 by Davis Colors or

2)      Shadow slate C31 by Scofield

Siding at upper level

Envirosafe” clear sealed pine siding

1)      Pine siding with clear penetrating oil and vertical battens painted white

2)      Cedar siding with poly-acrylic sealer and cedar vertical battens

3)      Weathered cedar siding and vertical battens painted white

Hardi-panel siding painted “baked brick”, a shade of red, with vertical battens and trim painted white

 

Colonnade roof construction

Clear sealed Envirosafe 2x with treated wood posts

Clear sealed Envirosafe 2x with

1)      wood posts painted white

2)      cedar posts with poly-acrylic sealer

Clear sealed Envirosafe 2x with wood posts painted white

 

Balcony railing

Unspecified

1)      Clear sealed Envirosafe 2x

2)      weathered cedar

Clear sealed Envirosafe 2x

Roof (building and colonnade)

Standing seam Galvalume

Standing seam Galvalume

Standing seam Galvalume

Doors and windows

Natural metal

Unspecified

Satin silver aluminum

Eaves, fascias, soffits

Unspecified

Hardi-panel in white

Hardi-panel in “slate grey”

 

ANALYSIS (based on SP-1 Phase 1 Site Plan revised 8/20/07; Exhibit A-1 Sections & Elevations revised 8-20-07; Exhibit L-1 revised 8-20-07;unlabeled, undated color perspective rendering; Wildflower meadow images dated 8-20-07; B-K Lighting “Square Step Star” cut sheets; Cabot solid colors brochure for fiber cement siding products, “Shale” and “Baked Brick”; Galvalume roofing sample; Chemetal “Satin Silver Aluminum” sample)

 

Issue: Building form, scale, general design

Comments: The form, scale, and general design of the Upper & Lower Elementary building has not changed since the last ARB review. Only materials and colors have changed, as outlined elsewhere in this report. The proposed building design would better meet the ARB Guidelines if it incorporated architectural elements - not just colors - that reflect the design of the existing Administration Building. A revised roof form, one that incorporated a gable, could significantly increase compatibility and appropriateness. (There was not a consensus on the roof form at the July 2 ARB meeting.)

Recommendations: Revise the form of the classroom building to be compatible with the forms and features of the significant historic buildings of the County and, particularly, the on-site Administration Building.

 

Issue: Materials/colors

Comments:

·         The “brick red” color now proposed for the upper story walls of the new building is better coordinated with the Administration Building than other colors previously proposed. The darker color will also blend better with the surroundings.

·         The applicant indicates that the slate gray color for the roof fascias and eaves is intended to reflect the slate of the Administration Building.

·         The remaining clear sealed Envirosafe elements are uncoordinated with the revised color scheme.

·         The exact color of the parged concrete is not specified on the drawings. The applicant has indicated that the intent is to match the color of the slate roof by adding integral color mix to the parge. The applicant would like to eventually provide on-site samples prior to finalizing the color recipe, for staff/ARB to view. Colors under consideration are Silversmoke 8084 by Davis Colors and Shadow Slate C31 by Scofield Systems. A color will need to be specified on the drawings to obtain site plan approval from the ARB. Either proposed color would be appropriate. If an alternate similar shade is desired after approval, staff can work with the applicant on approval of the revision at that time.

Recommendations: Specify a parge color on the drawings. Revise the proposal to better coordinate the colors of the “Envirosafe” elements with the revised brick red color scheme.

 

Issue: Landscaping

Comments:

·         The frontage treatment is not addressed in the submittal. Approximately 70’ of Route 250 frontage is included in Phase 1 of the project. The frontage is at the top of the slope, with the slope in the right-of-way and covered with Ailanthus and other vegetation. No large shade trees are shown. No new trees are proposed along the frontage. The easement associated with overhead electric is not shown on the plan, as required. The height of the electric line is not indicated.

·         The planting proposed along Rolkin Road is composed of meadow, low growing juniper, and groups of trees/shrubs. Its primary intent is to provide an educational environment. The resulting character is expected to be more like a country garden than an urban entryway. Although the importance of the educational goal to the school’s mission is understood, the landscape design is not appropriate to the urban location.

·         A meadow mix is proposed for a large portion of the Rolkin Road frontage. The mix includes grasses and perennials. Two photographs of wildflowers in bloom were submitted to address the ARB’s request for additional information showing that the meadow will have an appropriate appearance. The photos show beautiful flowers, but do not sufficiently describe how the meadow will maintain an appropriate appearance for the EC. Additional information should be provided, including but not limited to: specification of the percentage of each plant type in the meadow mix; provision of a maintenance schedule addressing fertilizer, watering, feeding, weeding, and mowing/topping; and other appropriate specifications, as necessary. This information will be required as part of the site plan.

·         The hand-drawn landscape plan is difficult to read, making it difficult to review in detail. It is more suited to a conceptual level review. The type of landscape plan submitted as part of the official site plan should be submitted for review.

·         As previously noted by both the applicant and the ARB, the juniper that is currently planted on the Rolkin Road slope is in poor condition. The forsythia has received similar comments. The current plan proposes to maintain some of these plants in place and move others to different locations. The prudence of the continued use or reuse of poorly performing plants is questionable. Alternate plants, better suited to the local conditions, would help ensure a more successful landscape.

·         The site plan has not been submitted for ARB review. The Phase 1 drawings submitted do not sufficiently address existing conditions and demolition. Tree protection is not shown on the landscape plan and must be coordinated with grading, limits of construction and the E&S plan. A conservation checklist hasn’t been submitted.

·         The narrative on the phase 1 landscape plan describes boardwalks across a bioswale. The boardwalks are not identified on the site plan. The bioswale is not evident from the proposed grading. A biofilter shown at the northeast corner of the playground does not appear to be coordinated with the proposed landscaping and paths. The paths shown on the hand-drawn landscape plan are not coordinated with the site plan.

Recommendations:

·         Provide the landscape plan as part of the official site plan, not a hand-drawn document.

·         Revise the landscape plan to a design that will achieve a character suited to the surrounding urban area.

·         Show on the plan the easement associated with the overhead electric line along the Route 250 side of the property. Indicate the height of the electric line.

·         Revise the plans to include existing conditions and demolition for Phase 1. Include a conservation checklist on the plan. Show tree protection on the landscape plan, grading plan, and E&S plan.

·         Delete the poorly performing forsythia and juniper from the Rolkin Road planting and replace with plants that will perform better at this site under the existing conditions.

·         If meadow mix is retained in the landscape design, specify the percentage of each plant type in the meadow mix. Provide a maintenance schedule (fertilizer, watering, feeding, weeding, mowing/topping, etc.) to show how the meadow mix will continually have an appropriate appearance. Include this information on the site plan.

·         Provide large shade trees along the EC frontage outside the electric easement. Spacing may differ from the standard 35’ on center EC spacing, but size and quantity guidelines should be met.

·         Clarify the location of the bioswale on the grading and landscape plans. Include and identify the boardwalks and paths on the site plan. Coordinate the biofilter in the northeast corner of the playground with all other site elements and all plans.

 

Issue: Fence

Comments:

·         A revised design has not been provided for the new fence.

·         The applicant has agreed to comply with the ARB’s determination on the chain link fence by removing the chain link fence by December 1, 2008. (See Attachment D.)

·         Sheet SP1 includes a note regarding painting of the chain link fence.

·         The applicant has indicated that the concrete site wall has been eliminated from the proposal; however, Sheet SP1 includes a note regarding the “new perimeter wall”.

Recommendations:

·         Provide on the site plan and for review the details of the design for the new fence.

·         Add a note to the site plan indicating that the existing chain link fence will be removed by December 1, 2008.

·         Delete note 6 under Phase 1 Stage 2 on Sheet SP1 regarding painting the chain link fence.

·         Correct note 5 under Phase 1 Stage 2 on Sheet SP1 regarding the perimeter wall.

 

Issue: Grading

Comments:

·         The grading is not legible on the landscape plan.

·         It appears that grading west of the proposed building will eliminate the two trees that currently stand in that location. Planting in the area would occur in a later phase, but the two trees are not shown as to be removed.

·         Proposed grading is shown within the drip line of a large tree located in the parking area north of the proposed building. The applicant has indicated that this tree will be removed in Phase 2.

·         Grading for the entire site has not been submitted for ARB review at this time; only Phase 1 has been submitted for review. The preliminary site plan approved by Current Development includes grading within the drip line of trees in the central lawn area that was identified as an EC issue in July. Staff remains concerned about the proposed grading within the drip line of trees to remain. The applicant should be aware that grading for future phases will need to be maintained outside the drip line of trees to remain, regardless of grading approved on the preliminary plan.

Recommendations: Make the grading legible on the landscape plan. Coordinate grading and tree removal. Eliminate grading within the drip line of trees to remain.

 

Issue: Visibility

Comments: The site sections show that the Upper & Lower Elementary building will not be visible to viewers standing at the base of the slopes on Rolkin Road and Route 250 at the property frontage. The site sections have been revised to include the location of the existing grade, so the proposed change in grade is more readily understandable. The perspective views show the proposed development from the most visible viewpoint. The “springtime” view shows that the building will be considerably screened by the proposed planting on the Rolkin hill. However, the view shows the plants at maturity, and it will require a number of years to achieve this appearance.

Recommendations: None.

 

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Staff recommends the following as the primary points of discussion:

1.       Proposed building form

2.       Proposed building colors and materials

3.       Landscape treatment for Rolkin Road frontage

 

Staff offers the following comments on the site plan and building design:

 

1)      Revise the form of the classroom building to be compatible with the forms and features of the significant historic buildings of the County and, particularly, the on-site Administration Building.

2)      Specify a parge color on the drawings. Revise the proposal to better coordinate the colors of the “Envirosafe” elements with the revised brick red color scheme.

3)      Provide the landscape plan as part of the official site plan, not a hand-drawn document.

4)      Revise the landscape plan to a design that will achieve a character suited to the surrounding urban area.

5)      Show on the plan the easement associated with the overhead electric line along the Route 250 side of the property. Indicate the height of the electric line.

6)      Revise the plans to include existing conditions and demolition for Phase 1. Include a conservation checklist on the plan. Show tree protection on the landscape plan, grading plan, and E&S plan.

7)      Delete the poorly performing forsythia and juniper from the Rolkin Road planting and replace with plants that will perform better at this site under the existing conditions.

8)      If meadow mix is retained in the landscape design, specify the percentage of each plant type in the meadow mix. Provide a maintenance schedule (fertilizer, watering, feeding, weeding, mowing/topping, etc.) to show how the meadow mix will continually have an appropriate appearance. Include this information on the site plan.

9)      Provide large shade trees along the EC frontage outside the electric easement. Spacing may differ from the standard 35’ on center EC spacing, but size and quantity guidelines should be met.

10)   Clarify the location of the bioswale on the grading and landscape plans. Include and identify the boardwalks and paths on the site plan. Coordinate the biofilter in the northeast corner of the playground with all other site elements and all plans.

11)   Provide on the site plan and for review the details of the design for the new fence.

12)   Add a note to the site plan indicating that the existing chain link fence will be removed by December 1, 2008.

13)   Delete note 6 under Phase 1 Stage 2 on Sheet SP1 regarding painting the chain link fence.

14)   Correct note 5 under Phase 1 Stage 2 on Sheet SP1 regarding the perimeter wall.

15)   Make the grading legible on the landscape plan. Coordinate grading and tree removal. Eliminate grading within the drip line of trees to remain.

 

 

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