Detailed Site Plan of Former Koons Property

The developers from Keane Enterprises came to last night’s Council meeting to talk about their detailed site plan at the former Koons Ford site on Route 1 (between McDonald’s and Best Western)

This is a 2.86-acre site that is currently zoned partly Mixed-Use-Infill (MUI) and one-family detached residential (R-55). The developer is proposing to rezone the R-55 portion to MUI and build a six-story, 156-room hotel (Marriott) with over 12,000 feet of retail, a one-story pharmacy (CVS), and 295 parking spaces (mostly in a 3-story parking garage).

The developer has asked the City to forego any rights it has in a paper street called Osage Street and a triangular area between this paper street, Berwyn House Road and Route 1, which would increase the total acreage of the site to 3.12. City staff has concluded that the development conforms with the 2002 County General Plan, in that it is a high-intensity non-residential use that will support transit and be pedestrian-friendly. The 2010 Central US 1 Corridor Sector Plan places this intersection in a “walkable node,” which also supports a higher-density mixed-use development with non-residential uses.

The applicant is requesting a number of amendments to the District Development Standards, particularly:

1) amendment of the front build-to line to be 12 feet from the right-of-way instead of the required 0-10 feet, to avoid building into the flood plain – staff supports this amendment;
2) amendment to the building height requirement – although the DDOZ requires 2-6 stories here, the pharmacy is one story, but reaches to two stories with a parapet roof. Staff supports this amendment;
3) an amendment to the maximum permitted parking spaces of 117 to allow 293 spaces, as required by the hotel chain and retail chain, and to prevent parking in the neighborhood. Staff supports this amendment because the parking garage would be a benefit to the neighborhood and is built into a slope to minimize visual impact;
4) a modification to the proposed bicycle parking space requirement (1 for every three automobile parking spaces) to only require this for the retail spaces since hotel guests are unlikely to use bicycles, for a total of 50 bicycle spaces – staff supports this amendment because it is enough for the uses on the site and the developer is working with the City on providing a bike-sharing space;
5) a modification to the requirement that the header (or the main support beam spanning the entrance) be wider than the entrance because of modern waterproofing and flashing requirements – staff supports this modification;
6) a modification to signage limits to allow four wayfinding signs to direct automobile drivers to the entrance – staff supports this requirement with a limitation on the height of the signs; and
7) use of an alternative standard to the requirement of a LEED-Silver development, which the developer says it may not be able to reach due to the “specialized uses” of the building.

Staff does not support this amendment and is proposing a condition that the developer provide proof of application to the US Green Buildings Council. Staff has drafted a recommendation of approval of the DSP with the conditions listed above, as well as the following conditions:
1) that the developer install a sign limiting right turns out of the north side of the development onto Pontiac Street into the neighborhood (the developer proposes closing off the Route 1 access points and putting in two access points off Pontiac Street);
2) that the development not generate more than 129 AM peak hour vehicle trips and 246 PM peak hour vehicle trips, which will keep the traffic levels within acceptable limits for the corridor;
3) that the developer revise the architecture to provide a more prominent landmark feature in the northwest corner of the building than the proposed 24′ x 45′ tower that rises 10 feet above the parapet;
4) that the parking garage, currently proposed to be made of precast concrete with a red brick veneer, incorporate more brick to meet the intent of the Sector Plan;
5) that the developer indicate a location and provide funding for a Capital Bikeshare station;
6) that the developer increase the percentage of wall area on the South side that is transparent windows;
7) that the developer either work with the State Highway Administration (SHA) to provide an underground vault for undergrounding of utilities or otherwise participate in a comprehensive plan for undergrounding utilities;
8) that the developer work with SHA to accommodate the impending reconstruction of Route 1; and
9) that the developer reimburse the City for operation of the traffic signals at Route 1 and Berwyn House Road and Pontiac Street, and agree to maintain all streetscape improvements in the public right-of-way.