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    7. 3.    
CC Regular Session
Meeting Date: 04/28/2015  
Submitted For: Tim Gladhill, Community Development
By: Tina Goodroad, Community Development

Information
Title:
Adopt Resolution #15-04-093 Granting Preliminary Approvals for COR Parkview Addition and Parkview East
  1. Preliminary Plat for Major Subdivision
  2. Preliminary Site Plan for 121 Unit Apartment Building
Purpose/Background:
The purpose of this file is to review the Preliminary Plat and Preliminary Site Plan Review for the Parkview East Apartment Complex. Final Plat and Final Site Plan Review will be considered tentatively for May 12, 2015. At that time, the contingencies for plan revisions must be made.

The Subject Property is located south of Ramsey Parkway, east of Town Center Drive East and west of Rhinestone Street NW and north of Sunwood Drive.  The property is located in COR-1 zoning sub-district. The application includes a plat to be called COR Parkview Addition and development of phase one apartment complex consisting of one four-story building with a total of 121 units with tuck under, detached garage and surface parking.

It is noted that the City Council is considering a contingent approval of the plans. The Developer desires to review the current plan set with the City Council as it relates to advisory board recommendations and seek preliminary approvals at the April 28 Meeting. A key milestone in the Purchase Agreement occurs on May 1 in which the City will retain earnest money if the Purchase Agreement is extended as allowed in the Agreement. The Developer desires an indication from the City Council on the status of the plans before that date occurs. There are a number of plan revisions that are required to satisfy the contingency of approval:
 
  1. Resolve discrepancies in layout between architectural plan set and civil engineering set.
  2. Address deficiency in 'build-to' line
  3. Revise boulevard and sidewalk widths
  4. Address Planning Commission and Environmental Policy Board recommendations regarding amount of surface parking area
  5. Address EPB recommendation regarding internal landscaping and landscaping along southern property line to screen detached garages
Final background note: the revised architectural plan set will require revisions to the Civil Engineering plan set. Of key reference for future review, this will impact the layout of the proposed underground stormwater system. Staff cannot fully understand the impacts of this revision until revised plans are submitted for review as part of the Final Plat and Final Site Plan Review anticipated to be in front of the City Council on May 12.
Notification:
Staff attempted to notify all Property Owners within 700 feet of the Subject Property of the Public Hearing via Standard US Mail. A notification of Public Hearing was published in the Anoka County Union Herald.
Observations/Alternatives:
The property is zoned COR-1 Mixed Use Core Sub-District which is intended to provide a mix of residential, retail, and service uses. This sub-district allows the highest intensity of uses including high density housing.  The proposed use as an apartment building meets the intent of the COR-1 Sub-District.

The COR Design Framework establishes maximum build to lines based on the roadway the property frontage. For buildings located along a Parkway, sixty (60) percent of the building (at least 300 feet) shall be located five (5) feet from the back of the sidewalk. As the Staff Review Letter notes, revisions to the boulevard width, sidewalk width, and placement of the building itself must be made. 
 
The COR Design Framework includes guidelines on how to manage parking. This is particularly important in COR-1 Sub-District, being the most intense and pedestrian oriented. A variety of parking options are proposed for the site. The parking plan for the site is as follows:

 
Surface Stalls 125
Tuck Under Garage (Internal to Building) 44
Detached Garage Stalls 91
Total Proposed Parking Stalls 260
Parking Ratio 2.14
Needed Stall Reduction to Avoid CUP 18


Both the Environmental Policy Board and Planning Commission recommended that the Developer work to reduce the amount of surface parking on the site. The EPB noted very limited landscaping and green space internal to the site. The Planning Commission noted that there appears to be more parking supplied than will be demanded by the proposed use. The Developer has made an attempt to reduce the amount of off-street parking and increase the amount of green space internal to the site. The Planning Commission directed Staff to include the tuck-under garages in the total calculation and follow the guidelines of the Design Framework for total parking. The Design Framework specifies a maximum of two (2) stalls per unit, which can be increased by another 25% with the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit. The Developer shall either remove an additional eighteen (18) parking stalls or secure a Conditional Use Permit to run concurrently with the remainder of the review. The Developer could show 'proof of parking' to review the need for additional parking spaces at a later date. On-Street Parking is permitted on Sapphire Street and 145th Avenue to be constructed with the project.
 
The COR Design Framework includes Street Design Standards within the COR. The plans will need to be revised to reflect the revisions required in the Staff Review File. Generally speaking, both the sidewalk and boulevard area along Ramsey Parkway will need to be widened. The landscape plan includes rows of street trees along each of the three streets the site abuts. Ramsey Parkway and Rhinestone Street contain two types of trees while Sapphire Street and 145th Avenue include one type. The proposed trees meet the requirements based on street type. No other landscaping is shown on the plan other than the required street trees. A community garden and playground space is include at the northwest corner. Additional detail and proposed landscaping for this area shall be submitted. The Environmental Policy Board made several advisory recommendations to enhance the internal landscaping plan, as outlined in the Staff Review File.
 
High quality architecture and building materials is an essential component in fulfilling the objectives of the COR Design Framework.  Roof design, materials, amount of windows, and overall design that breaks up the different floors and walls are all important elements to the overall building design.  In the COR-1 Sub-District buildings are placed closer to the street so greater emphasis is placed on materials and design features at the street level.
 
Architectural Elevations for all exterior walls have been completed. The proposed materials consist of stone and brick at the base. The rear elevation includes an enhanced stone entry with canopy and additional stone above. Other materials include composite panel (i.e. fiber cement panels) and steel lap and vertical siding. Metal siding can be used as a complementary material. In COR-1 Sub-District buildings shall be primarily brick or comparable alternative and shall comprise a minimum of fifty (50) percent of the non-glazed wall area. Calculations shall be provided for brick and stone for each elevations.

Full colored elevation plans should be provided. The combination of composite and steel in the differing patterns divides the floors and sections of the building. Multiple sections of the building are articulated to break up the flat wall.  In addition windows and decks are proposed for each unit that provide further breaks in the building wall design. Additional information is required for the specific appearance of the individual air conditioning units. Staff is concerned over the appearance, color, size and overall look of units on each elevation.
 
The south elevation includes garage doors for tuck under garages. Garage doors shall be in colors that are complementary to the main building materials. The roof design is pitched with asphalt shingles. The elevation facing Ramsey Parkway is actually the rear of the building and contains the same materials as the front.  The first floor contains windows to create street-level interest and pedestrian scale along this street frontage. The northern elevation does include an entrance for the building.
 
Five detached garage buildings are planned in the southern portion of the site. Three long buildings each containing 16 stalls are located in a row along the south property line with two additional buildings just north of this row containing 22 stalls each. The garage buildings contain the same materials as the apartment building. The roofs are pitched with additional accenting so that they are of a higher design standard than typical detached structures. The materials will include stone, horizontal lap siding, shake siding and an asphalt shingle roof. The sides will contain the stone and horizontal siding. The additional roof treatments and glass demonstrate a good effort in enhancing the design of these detached structures. The use of stone at the base will help improve the longevity of these structures. Staff would recommend considering all brick or stone on the back side of these garages in lieu of any lap siding. Although the garages will eventually be screened by future buildings, that timeline is undetermined. The Environmental Policy Board recommended additional landscaping along this wall to soften the view. The EPB noted that the number of plantings along public streets could be reduced to off-set the suggested plantings along the southern garages.
Funding Source:
All costs associated with processing this Application are the responsibility of the Applicant.
Recommendation:
The Planning Commission recommends approval of the request with required revisions as outlined in the Staff Review Letter.

The Planning Commission did have significant discussion about the original vision of the COR-1 Sub-District, especially as it relates to the definition of mixed-use in addition to managed parking. The original Ramsey Town Center placed a higher emphasis on vertically mixed uses within buildings. The revision to the Master Plan in 2012 shifted to more of a focus of mix of uses within a single block. The proposed building does not include a retail component, but does sit on a block with multiple other uses including retail and office.

The Planning Commission requests an opportunity to meet with the City Council in a Joint Work Session to discuss clarification and potential language changes to rectify a perceived disconnect between the Development Plan and language contained within the Design Framework. The Planning Commission desire the City Council's thoughts on the vision of The COR to potentially revise zoning language to better clarify said vision.
Action:
Motion to recommend that the City Council adopt Resolution #15-04-093 granting Preliminary Plat and Preliminary Site Plan Approval for COR Parkview Addition/Parkview East, with required revisions as outlined in the Staff Review Letter.

NOTE: this is not final approval of the project. The Developer will need to satisfy the contingencies of the approval of Preliminary Plat and Preliminary Site Plan. In addition, the Developer will need to secure Final Plat and Final Site Plan approval.

Attachments
Site Location Map
Architectural Plan Set
Civil Engineering Plan Set
Staff Review File
Environmental Policy Board Minutes dated March 31, 2015
DRAFT Planning Commission Minutes dated April 9, 2015
Resolution #15-04-093

Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Tim Gladhill (Originator) Tim Gladhill 04/23/2015 07:44 AM
Kurt Ulrich Kurt Ulrich 04/23/2015 12:01 PM
Form Started By: Tim Gladhill Started On: 04/16/2015 08:47 AM
Final Approval Date: 04/23/2015

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