The developers behind a project that is one of the first to take advantage of Capitol Hill’s recently established “Lowrise 3” zoning are returning to the city’s design process this week even though the Capitol Hill Design Board gave its approval for their project back in July. Nicholson Kovalchick Architects will present their new plan for an apartment project planned at 11th and Republican that will either incorporate an existing 1900-built house — or demolish it.
“Due to the recent land use code changes, this situation will occur more frequently throughout this neighborhood and in the city,” Nicholson Kovalchick writes in the proposal to be presented at Wednesday night’s design review. “It is in our best interest to work together to preserve existing structures and historic context, but also to allow for new structures and infill development within the city.”
Wednesday meeting info:
Project: 505 11th Ave E
Review Meeting: August 17, 6:30 pm SU Alumni Relations and Admissions Building 824 12th Ave map Community Room Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance past reviews Project Number: 3012300 permit status | notice
The architecture firm says it is returning to the process to make one more attempt on forging an agreement with the design board on a plan that will allow it to preserve the old house and develop the project in a way that makes financial sense for the property:
At the conclusion of the first EDG meeting on July 6, 2011 for this project, the Board recommended that the project move forward to MUP Application in response to the guidance provided at the meeting. The recommendations at the first EDG meeting included preserving the original structure of the 1900’s existing house. However, many departures were not granted by the Board and a significant amount of rentable square footage of the new development was eliminated as a result. Setback departures for the west and north property lines were not granted. It was recommended by the Board to eliminate the new structure to the north of the existing house in the previous preferred scheme (Option 4 in the EDG 1 packet). The Board also recommended a decrease in the height and area of the new structure on the west side of the site. The diagram on page 3 illustrates the plan view of these implications. In order to maintain the development potential of the site and to justify the cost of preserving the existing house, the new development must include a certain amount of rentable square footage and FAR.
This second EDG meeting has been requested by the Owner in response to the Design Guidance that was given at the ﬁ rst EDG meeting. It is our preferred option to preserve the existing house, but we are returning to request some more guidance by the Board and some departures from the Land Use Code in order to make preserving the house a more feasible option.
This packet presents two options. Option A is the preferred option that preserves the original 1900’s structure of the house. This option requests specific departures of setbacks and facade lengths in order to justify the preservation of the house. Option B is a code compliant option that requires no departures but it requires that the house be demolished.
It is in our best interest to save the house, however, we ask that you please consider the requested departures in order to make this option more feasible. Due to the recent land use code changes, this situation will occur more frequently throughout this neighborhood and in the city. It is in our best interest to work together to preserve existing structures and historic context, but also to allow for new structures and infill development within the city.
They’ll be asking the Capitol Hill board to consider zone departures that would allow the project to be built closer to the edges of the lot’s property lines than is typically allowed.
Here is the full presentation packet for the second review:
Meanwhile, here's a summary of the issues raised by the Board following the first design review. We've also included the full report from the session, below.
* The Board is open to possible departures to make the space between the new and existing building on site narrower, and open to reducing the south and east setbacks to make more room at the north and west property lines.
o The space at the interior of the site should be carefully detailed to tie the overall design of the two buildings and create an amenity for residents.
* The Board would not be amenable to departures to reduce the setback at the north and west sides.
* The overall site design should reference the pattern of development along 11th Ave E (one way to achieve this is to place the existing 'house' close to the east property line and not add new buildings on either side of it).
* Maximize light and air to the Park.
* The design should be done to carefully reference historic elements such as building mass, building proportion, scale, articulation, materials, decks, sunshades, etc. It's possible to do this well with a modern design, but the Board noted that the preliminary sketches don't appear to do that yet.
* The landscaping should relate to the proposed Park design. The applicant should demonstrate how the landscaping and hardscape will relate to the design of the new retaining wall at the west property line and the Park beyond.