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Council to Vote on RST Affordable Housing Tomorrow with Revised Conditions

At tomorrow’s City Council meeting, the Council will discuss and vote on the Detailed Site Plan for “Flat at College Park” by the RST development on the east side of Route 1, between Cherokee Street and Delaware st. This will be a 5-7-story, mixed-use development comprising 317 multi-family residential units and 3,296 square feet of commercial space on a total of 3.81 acres parcel.

The Applicant requests modifications to the US 1 Corridor Development District Standards discussed in the December 13 Worksession. Staff and Applicant agreed on several conditions, except for a condition (5.6 below) that was added to address neighborhood traffic concerns about the sole point of ingress on Cherokee Street. M-NCPPC staff confirmed the possibility of submitting a reconsideration request to the Planning Board, and the Applicant is researching the implications.

Please see the revised conditions (with track changes) below:

  1.  SUPPORT the three requested Departures:
    1. Parking space dimensions from 9.5-feet x 19-feet to 9-feet x 18-feet.
    2. Height of the garage entrance is from 15 feet clearance to 13.5 feet clearance.
    3. Height of ceiling above loading space from 15-feet clearance to 14-feet clearance=
  2. SUPPORT the following alternative development district standards, as noted below (Note: The page numbers are referenced in 2010 Approved Central US 1 Corridor Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment)
    1. Mandatory Build-to-Line (BTL) (page 229) – To increase setback from 0 feet to 10 feet to allow for Public Utility Easement.
    2. Front Build-to-Line (BTL), Secondary (page 234)- To increase the setback requirement by 17.6. from a maximum of 12 feet to 29.6 feet along Cherokee St. and increase the setback requirement by 2.6 feet along Delaware St.
    3. Parking, number of spaces (page 239) – To increase the number of spaces by 32 spaces from 327 to 359 spaces.\
    4. Parking Access (p. 241) – To increase the width of access drives from 22 feet in width to 24 feet.
    5. Architectural Elements (p. 245-250) – To allow three units along Baltimore Ave. and two units along Delaware St. to not be 24 inches above the sidewalk.
    6. Architectural Elements/Siding (p. 252) – To allow fiber cement panels as a siding material.
    7. Sustainability and the Environment (p. 256) – To use an alternative certification system (NGBS-Silver) but equivalent to LEED Silver.
  3.  (Deleted)
    1. Mandatory Shopfront (page 229) – To not provide mandatory shop frontage along Baltimore Avenue.
    2. Building Form, Step-Back Transition and Landscape Buffers (page 238)-To not provide a step-back transition of the building to 2-3 stories where it adjoins a residential area.
  4. DO NOT SUPPORT: Section 4.4 of Landscape Manual (page 60)-To not screen a transformer.
  5. Prior to certification of the Detailed Site Plan, the Applicant shall revise the Site Plan to:
    1. Identify a micro-mobility parking area on Baltimore Avenue or Cherokee Street.
    2. Provide a “Do Not Enter” sign at the Baltimore Avenue exit and add a median to Baltimore Avenue at the garage exit, subject to approval of SHA.
    3. Provide details of signage along 48th Avenue such as “Service Entry Only” and restrictions for resident vehicles including information regarding move-ins/outs.
    4. Provide tabletop crosswalks in front of the garage entrance/exit on Cherokee Street and exit on Baltimore Avenue subject to engineering/grading/permitting feasibility. If not feasible, provide a painted crosswalk or another material to distinguish these crosswalks.
    5. Re-label the site plan to remove “residential use” from the 3,296 square foot commercial area along Cherokee Street.
    6. Provide a right-in, right-out access from the parking garage to Baltimore Avenue subject to Planning Board approval of a reconsideration of Preliminary Plan 4-22007, if required.
  6. Prior to certification of the Detailed Site Plan, the Applicant shall revise the Architectural Plans to:
    1. Remove the shopfront treatment where residential uses extend to the ground floor.
    2. Remove the spandrel at level three along Baltimore Avenue to improve the shopfront treatment.
    3. (Deleted: Enhance the lobby entrance by adding a canopy that extends to the sidewalk)
    4. Use predominantly dark colors for the base and predominantly light colors for the upper stories of the building..
    5. For the east elevation along the rear yard, the color of the horizontal masonry veneer panels for the parking garage should be the same color as the adjoining fiber cement panels used for the building walls. The precast panels on the ramped portion of the parking garage should be a lighter color.
    6. Change the building identification sign over the entrance to the Cherokee Street commercial space to identify the commercial user. (Sheet A202, Detail F1).
    7. Indicate a clearance bar with dimensioned height be placed at the parking garage entrance.
  7. Prior to certification of the Detailed Site Plan, the Applicant shall revise the Landscape Plan to:
    1. Provide an artistic treatment detail to be applied to all sides of the ground transformer located at the southeast corner of the south building.
    2. Revise fencing proposed on the north side of 48th Avenue to comply with the City fence ordinance (the first 25 feet from Delaware Street should not exceed 3-feet in height and be open and transparent such as the picket fence shown on Sheet L301, detail 11).
    3. Clarify which of the existing trees will be removed and which will remain on Sheet L401B and any other relevant sheet.
    4. Consider tree substitutions for the following problematic species:
      1. Boxwoods
      2. Otto Luyken-Consider Juniper horizontalis, abelia, or Cornus sericea
  8. Prior to Planning Board approval of the DSP, execute a Declaration of Covenants and Agreement with the City that includes, at a minimum, the following provisions:
    1. Provide a retail use or other commercial use approved by the City , if cfor Meals-on-Wheels does not occupy the designated commercial space..
    2. Construction and maintenance of improvements to the City’s unimproved 40-foot-wide right-of-way known as 48th Avenue, for approximately 219 feet west of Delaware Street, in accordance with City design standards (including installation of a roadbed, roadway, curb, gutter, and a five-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side and four-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side). “No Through Street” and “No Parking” signs shall be posted and enforced by the City.
    3. A public access easement to the City for the “T-shaped” hammerhead turn-around located on the Applicant’s property at the end of 48th Avenue-See Public Use Easement Plan.
    4. A public access easement to the City, to accommodate the sidewalk along Delaware Street-See Public Use Easement Plan.
    5. Construction of an exclusive right turn lane on Cherokee Street between the site access and US Route 1 in accordance with City and SHA standards.
    6. Installation of high visibility (piano keys), crosswalks along US Route 1 on Indian Lane and Fox Street, as indicated in the BPIS, subject to any required SHA approval.
    7. Installation of pedestrian signals and high visibility crosswalks (piano keys) along the US 1 and Cherokee Street intersection, as indicated in the BPIS, subject to any required SHA approval.
    8. PILOT to City if the property becomes tax exempt.
    9. Unitary management and condominium conversion requirements.
    10. Acknowledgement of responsibility for maintenance of pedestrian light fixtures, landscaping, and sidewalks.
    11. Restrictions related to construction staging and hours of operation, if needed.
    12. If feasible, provision of an outdoor public art feature, which can be matched by City funds (up to $15,000).Evidence of NGBS SILVER certification.
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3 Comments to “Council to Vote on RST Affordable Housing Tomorrow with Revised Conditions”

  1. By Dick Hageman, January 9, 2023 @ 3:18 pm

    Thanks for providing this information, Fazlul.
    What reasoning does the city have regarding eliminating the requirement for step back building height facing our neighborhood? 5-7 stories seems overbearing in that location.
    Also, it appears that they are demolishing 2 houses on Delaware. Is that correct?

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, January 9, 2023 @ 3:29 pm

    Hi Dick, Thanks for the questions. Yes the applicant bought the property behind their development to create landscape buffer between the neighborhood homes. The creation of the buffer could be the reason why the step back requirement has been waived. Let me double check and confirm. Thanks.

  3. By Fazlul Kabir, January 10, 2023 @ 10:48 am

    Hi Dick, The step-back requirement actually has not been removed. The change in staff’s recommendation is from “conditional support” to “support” of the requested modification to the sector plan requirement to step down 2-3 stories adjoining residential. It was previously “conditional” because staff was requesting a landscape buffer, and now this buffer is shown on the plans.

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