Architecture board OKs row home project

Publication Date: Wednesday Apr 8, 1998

BARRON PARK: Architecture board OKs row home project

26-home Barron Park project now goes to Planning Commission

The Architectural Review Board has recommended that the Palo Alto City Council approve a 26-home rowhouse project on El Camino Real on the former Cameo Club property.

The project, dubbed "Classics at Barron Park," will be built by Classic Communities, the same developer that built homes on the former Peninsula Times Tribune property on Emerson Street in north Palo Alto.

While approving the project 5-0 last week, ARB members expressed concerns about some aspects of the project and asked developers Scott Ward and Jim Baer to reconsider them. Their chief concerns include the location and small size of open space on the property, and placement of two large palm trees at the entrance to the development.

"The two palm trees at the entrance to the site are inappropriate," said ARB chair Cheryl Piha. She asked the developer to "do something more Palo Altan, and less like Southern California."

The trees could be moved to the edges of the property and used as markers on the corners, suggested board member Francisco Alfonso.

Developers estimate the homes will be priced at about $425,000 each. They will be located on El Camino between Arastradero and Los Robles Avenue.

The ARB voted to recommend that the developer be allowed a "design enhancement exception," to build 24 three-story units, even though the height of one of the units will intrude into a neighbor's daylight plane. Two units will be only two stories tall.

Board members also were concerned about the small amount of open space in the development, the lack of ventilation in locating garbage facilities in individual homes' garages, and the coordination of screen trees and fencing with an adjacent housing project on Goebel Lane.

Some board members were concerned about the proposed materials and design of the project, but they approved it anyway.

The farmhouse-style homes will be made of hardboard siding, designed to look like wood, and painted in muted tones of blue, gray, white and tan.

Board member Lee Lippert was concerned about the proposed materials. "I would prefer to see the siding go natural or to some cedar shake, something that's a bit more genuine," Lippert said.

The project is tentatively scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on April 29, and the City Council on May 18.

The developer will be asking the Planning Commission to recommend, and then the City Council to approve changing the 1.5-acre property's zoning from medium and low-density to Planned Community (PC). This will allow the developer to build the homes very close together (six inches apart) yet still be single-family homes.

--Elizabeth Lorenz 

Back up to the Table of Contents Page