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Approved Dec 17, 2008 - Navarre Area Architectural Review Board Minutes


December 17, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. with the following members and staff present:
· Mr. Greg Fountain, Chairman
· Mr. Gaius Bruce, Co-Chairman
· Ms. Joanne Connor, Committee Member
· Mr. Kenneth Walter, Committee Member
· Ms. Sharon Bryant, Committee Member
· Ms. Sarah Hernandez, Committee Advisor
· Ms. Beckie Faulkenberry, Planning Director
· Ms. Leslie Statler, Planner I, Staff to the Committee

· Ms. Shirley Brown, Committee Member

Mr. Greg Fountain called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. He read the portion of the minutes of the previous meeting relative to today’s meeting. Ms. Joanne Connor noted that the Board suggested a variety of landscape planting options and did not mandate which varieties the applicant was required to plant. She made a motion to approve the minutes with a correction to indicate this. Mr. Gaius Bruce seconded the motion.

The Board then moved on to discuss the case on the agenda, a re-review of the Simmons’ project on Laredo Street (2008-NAARB-013). Ms. Debbie Simmons was present to represent the project.

Mr. Fountain opened the discussion with an inquiry about the existing engineered plans, specifically if they were structural, a site plan, or both. Ms. Simmons clarified that her project is required to have an engineered site plan, as well as engineering for the building, and expressed that it is difficult to provide a conceptual drawing of the project since the site plan has to be considered when developing.

Ms. Leslie Statler directed the discussion to today’s agenda item and asked Ms. Simmons to explain her position. Ms. Simmons shared with the Board her recent meeting with Planning and Zoning to modify the exterior. She explained the complications for carriage doors are due to wind-load requirements and cost. Mr. Fountain said that the landscaping was intended to correct some of the architectural deficiencies on the previous proposal.

Ms. Simmons introduced the new style as Caribbean and stated that she understood it wasn’t received favorably. She then introduced 2 new styles for the Board to review. She offered that she would install a coachman-style door with decorative accents if the Board approved the Caribbean. She explained that cost is a factor as these are rental units. The newest revisions have a large storage space where the garage was on the prior plans. She explained that renters have “stuff” and the garage provides a place to store their belongings without putting it in the yard.

Ms. Sarah Hernandez suggested changing the width on the siding boards at the base in addition to making them a different shade. Other suggestions were a trim band in the mid-way up (by Ms. Simmons) and installing the Hardi-plank vertically at the base (by Mr. Fountain). Ms. Simmons stated that the options available at the supply houses are small due to the market. Mr. Gaius Bruce asked Ms. Simmons her preference to which she replied it would be brick with a regular garage door. She then showed pictures of the existing units and expressed her desire for uniformity. Ms. Joanne Connor stated that the Board was trying to avoid since the other units did not meet the architectural standards.

The discussion then moved to shutter styles. Ms. Beckie Faulkenberry explained the origin of the shutters on the Caribbean version of the project. Ms. Hernandez explained that the building needs to have shutters since the architectural details do not meet the intent. Ms. Connor lamented the mistake made by the Board’s by allowing the other buildings although they did not meet the intent. She explained that they were trying to accommodate development.

Mr. Fountain asked is a conforming garage is what the project needs at this point. Ms. Simmons asked the Board for what she needed to do to make the project work. Ms. Hernandez stated that the Board wants to make projects work and then offered suggestions to make the building conform. Those suggestions included the addition of operable “colonial” shutters in a contrasting color, a conforming garage good without glass, Hardi-plank horizontal lapped siding, a fan window on the front door, and a faux dormer on the front elevation roof. As Ms. Hernandez was suggesting modifications, Ms. Simmons stated she thought the style was Cracker. Ms. Hernandez explained that the style is not similar enough to Cracker for modification to be conducive.

The discussion turned to the dormer. Ms. Simmons stated her concerns which included cost and engineering requirements. Ms. Hernandez assured her it could be faux. Ms. Sharon Bryant sketched the changes previously outlined by Ms. Hernandez and showed the rendering to the group. The Board agreed that it could be faux and would give enough detail on the street front. They agreed the roof could be built as previously submitted with architectural grade shingles.

Ms. Hernandez then suggested a few more modifications including changes to the front porch columns (Hardi-plank horizontal lapped siding with a base and capital painted a third (accent) color) and painting all doors a creamy off-white color to match the front porch columns.

Mr. Bruce asked if everyone was satisfied. Everyone agreed they were. Mr. Fountain asked for a motion. Ms. Bryant made a motion to approve the changes to the “Caribbean Vernacular” version with the following conditions: (1) operational Colonial shutters in a darker contrasting color must be added; (2) the garage door must be squared conforming style without glass; (3) the siding must be horizontal lap-siding with smaller planks on the main body and larger plank of a contrasting darker color on the base; the material specified was Hardi-plank; (4) the front door shall be a paneled door with a small fan detail; (5) a dormer is to be added to the roof; this dormer does not need to be operational and may be “faux”; (6) the porch columns shall be enlarged to match the scale of the building and trimmed in horizontal siding to match the body of the residence; the columns shall be painted a creamy off-white; and (7) all doors shall be off-white and match the porch columns. Mr. Bruce asked the applicant again if she was satisfied with the changes. Ms. Simmons said she was. Mr. Bruce seconded the motion. The Board unanimously approved the project with the conditions stated.

Ms. Simmons then asked about enforcement of the Navarre Town Center plan when sites are redeveloped. Ms. Faulkenberry addressed the inquiry by stating that staff doesn’t look for problems and further explained that the County Code Compliance Division is complaint based. Mr. Fountain asked if residents have been given notice and suggested sending a second notification after staff advised that notification has been made in the past. Everyone agreed that they want to keep the design standards in place.

The discussion continued on to the inception of the Navarre Town Center Plan with Ms. Faulkenberry relaying the history. She advised that the storm events from 2004 and 2005 have to be factored in to the progress. Ms. Simmons brought up the conflict with the Town Center 2 district and deed restrictions. Ms. Faulkenberry acknowledged that the deed restrictions for a portion of the Navarre 1st Addition subdivision need to be addressed.

Ms. Hernandez recalled that the intent was based on communities like Fairhope, Alabama. The idea was to utilize a “smart growth pattern” which enhances an area not detracts from it. She clarified that the color palette tells you which colors you cannot have but does not otherwise restrict the color choices. The intent was to enhance the properties by making the community more cohesive.

Ms. Simmons asked why the pictures were pulled form the website stating she believes it is because the plan is a failure. The Board reiterated their belief that the restrictions are good for the community and that it is a long-term plan which will enhance the value and quality of life for Navarre residents.

Ms. Hernandez excused herself from the remainder of the meeting at 4:10. The discussion of the Town Center 2 conflict continued with the Board avowing that nothing falls into eminent domain because the zoning allows for residential uses; the only additional consideration is the architectural standards. All agreed that there are a number of options to be discussed. Ms. Faulkenberry asked the Board to consider the issue for discussion at a future date.

Ms. Faulkenberry then expounded the current process for site plan review. She explained that currently an applicant may submit a project for concurrent review by the Navarre Area Architectural Review Board (NAARB), Development Services staff, and the Building Department. She stated that Commissioner Goodin asked that the Board review more conceptual renderings of proposed projects thus allowing the applicant to get input from the Board on “drafts” of projects.

Ms. Connor asked if a Board member should be present if a decision is appealed to the Board of County Commissioners. Beckie explained about the appeal process comparing the process to the Zoning Board of Adjustments. She stated that the complicating factor with this case (2008-NAARB-013) is that is was the first appeal of a NAARB decision.

Ms. Simmons continued the discussion be relaying the perspective from a builder adding that the process is cumbersome and lengthy when commercial site plan review is factored in. Ms. Bryant countered that most draftsmen can do a quick sketch of a proposed site. Mr. Fountain clarified that the time lines stated by Ms. Simmons are not typical and are usually shorter. Ms. Faulkenberry shared with the group a brochure that County staff was now using to assist their customers. She stated that the process for developing the brochure revealed the complexity of the development process. Ms. Simmons stated that she believes Santa Rosa County to be one of the most difficult municipalities to work with  and Okaloosa to be the easiest. Ms. Faulkenberry asked which area was most difficult. Ms. Simmons said it is the inspection process. She elaborated on Okaloosa County’s process.

Mr. Fountain expressed that the Board is charged with evaluating the architectural standards of the projects as presented. The Board tries to get those projects which do not meet the standards close to compliance with some modifications. He admitted that they have been lenient in the past.

Mr. Fountain asked for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Bruce made a motion. Ms. Bryant seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.

The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

Minutes approved by the Board on February 10, 2009