Design review process is a work in progress

The city's new design standards and its Design Review Board still are being "tweaked" and will require some trade-offs by developers, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce learned at its Tuesday meeting.

Ann Hall, plans examiner and interim building official, said five projects have gone through the design review process: the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe's medical clinic, Black Bear Diner, IHOP restaurant and two duplexes.

The IHOP restaurant was "interesting" because the company submitted its standard design, which contained several conflicts with the city's design standards, Hall said.

Those were solved by substituting a timber frame awning for the proposed metal one and toning down the bright blue trim to better match the brownish background, she said.

The duplexes were in an already approved development, so the city will look at "tweaking" that part of the code, she said.

The Black Bear Diner had two blank walls that the board asked to be covered up with landscaping, Hall said.

The clinic installed a fence and landscaping as a buffer to an adjacent residential area, she said.

The design standards encourage low-impact development and preserving Garry oaks as well as how structures are oriented, setbacks, building materials, windows and colors, Hall said.

City staff is proposing that previously approved site plans and planned unit developments be "grandfathered" in and residential buildings be removed from review, Hall said.

They also are proposing that conflicts with other parts of the code be resolved, she said.

Hall said there will be trade-offs between the design standards and colors that have been identified with a company, such as the shade of blue used on IHOP restaurants or Home Depot's shade of orange.

The five-member Design Review Board first met Dec. 10. Its members are chairwoman Troye Jarmuth, who also serves on the Board of Adjustment; Kevin Estes of Estes Builders; Doug Jensen, Clallam County deputy prosecutor; Colleen McAleer of Re/Max Fifth Avenue; and Harold Andersen from Quadra Engineering Inc.

The panel meets at 5 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month in the Public Works Department conference room, 615 N. Fifth Ave.

The ordinance will be in effect for one year and city staff will present a report on its successes and failures to the council after 10 months.

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