Thursday, July 23, 2015

Yet another DRC recap!

It's time, once again, for a Development Review Committee recap!  It seems like we're always doing this, right?  Well, yes, we are, because DRC meets every other week.  That may not seem like a lot, but DRC decides over 150 decisions every year.  Which doesn't even take into account those applications that are decided by the Planning Commission or the Historic Preservation Commission.  Or those projects that do not even require review because they meet the code.  Which is all to say that things are pretty busy around here!

Yesterday, the Monrovia Development Review Committee reviewed four items.  Here's a quick replay:

728 East Greystone Avenue
-  Two Minor Exceptions for 728 East Greystone Avenue.  This historic home is proposing to add square footage to the back of the house.  Because this home is one of our Historic Landmarks, this addition has to be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) through their Certificate of Appropriateness process.  The HPC will hear this item at their meeting next week on July 29th at 7:30 p.m.  But, in the mean time, the DRC can do their part of the job...Minor Exceptions!  There were two reasons Minor Exceptions are needed for this one.  First, the existing house is only 3'6" from the side property line (the code requires 5'), so, in order to continue that line, an exception must be granted.  Second, the addition will reduce the amount of space for cars to back-up from the driveway.  The code requires 25' of back-up, but this will provide 24'-1".  The DRC granted both Minor Exceptions contingent upon the Historic Preservation Commissions approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness.  Now that's what we call teamwork!

-  A Minor Exception for 166 Stedman Place.  This is a very similar situation.  The existing house is setback only 3'-3" from the side property line and the homeowner would like to add some square footage to the back of the house, continuing the existing setback.  It was also noted during the meeting that this house has only 35' of frontage - that is a pretty skinny lot!  Or is svelte a nicer way to say that?  Slender?  Well, you know what we mean...Anyhoo, the DRC saw fit to grant this Minor Exception as well.

-  A Design Review for a new 600 square foot granny flat at 237 East Walnut Avenue.  You might be asking yourself how, exactly, a "granny flat" is defined?  Does a grandmother actually have to live there?  Well, no, not really.  Originally, granny flats were built as full second units for elderly folks or for caretakers of the elderly.  These days, though, a granny flat is a smaller version of a full second unit.  But, there are certain other requirements of granny flats.  Among other things, they have to share the same utility meters as the main house, the owner of the property is required to live on the property if a granny flat is constructed, and a granny flat does not get a separate address.  In this case, the DRC approved the granny flat, and had some feedback on the design to help tie it with the existing residence.  Quality... that's what we're about here in Monrovia!

-  A Sign Review for 801 Royal Oaks Drive (Ducommun).  Yes, DRC approved Ducommun to update their signs and we would just like to take a moment to thank all of those businesses in Monrovia that maintain their locations with new signs, fresh paint, and clean landscape.  All of that helps to create the character of Monrovia of which we are all so proud!  So, thanks, businesses, we think you're pretty great!  And, thank you, DRC for guiding the process!