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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 17

Meeting Date: August 22, 2000

Subject/Title: Request to modify Conditional Use Permit (CUP) 97-10, to change the color of the canopy fascia for the new Chevron Station under construction at 336 Oak Street. Applicant: TBC Architects for Chevron Oil.

Submitted by: Mitch Oshinsky, Community Development Director

Approved by: Jon Elam, City Manager


RECOMMENDATION
Adopt the attached resolution denying the request.

PREVIOUS ACTION
On December 28, 1999 the City Council adopted Resolution No. 99-258 modifying the Planning Commission approval of CUP 97-10 allowing a new gas station and convenience store, by eliminating the proposed car wash.

BACKGROUND
On November 2, 1999 the Planning Commission approved Chevron’s application for a CUP to allow a new gas station, convenience mart and car wash on the subject site. 

On November 9, 1999 the City Council voted to appeal the Planning Commission decision related to the car wash.

On December 28, 1999 Council modified the Planning Commission approval by eliminating the car wash.

At the time this project went through the planning review process, I spent considerable time getting Chevron to amend their original “cookie cutter” standard gas station design, to be more harmonious and compatible with our downtown, and to recapture some of the historic character of the former Brentwood Hotel which once occupied this site. To their credit, Chevron and their Architect Tim Boe eventually did cooperate and incorporated many of the features of the historic hotel design into their project, including arches, pitched tile roof, wood style eave supports, columns and window treatments.

They also proposed an attractive exterior building color motif with earth tone colors such as mocha brown and café au lait light brown in relation to the original hotel color theme, as opposed to the standard Chevron blue and white.

With the station currently under construction, I have received comments regarding the blue fascia on the new canopy. The approved plans clearly show this fascia to be light brown with no blue. However the “Chevron” sign on the canopy would have blue on the sign can edges of their raised individual letter internally illuminated plexiglass face sign; and will have some blue on their raised, internally illuminated Chevron logo sign, which will also be on the canopy.

In meeting with the Architect last week, he requested that Chevron be permitted to amend their CUP approval to allow a portion of the canopy fascia to be colored blue as shown on the plans in your packet. Chevron feels that the public identifies their corporation and it’s products with their blue color, and that it is essential to attracting customers to their new station.

It seems that when one shops as a customer for a particular brand of gas, one looks for the gasoline company’s name on a sign, such as “Chevron” or “Shell,” and that the color is not necessarily what the public recognizes. Customers also will shop for gas based on the individual station’s price signing. 

Therefore, it appears the blue fascia color may not be necessary. It would detract from and stand out “like a sore thumb” from the overall earth tone color motif of the facility. 

There is a very attractive Chevron station in Claremont, California which does not have any blue on the canopy. It’s architectural theme is very similar to the California Mission architectural style of our new Oak Street Chevron station. I used it as an example to encourage Chevron to rise above their standard cookie cutter plan and redesign their station to be compatible with the former hotel which was also California Mission style. 

In the final analysis, color is subjective. While the blue is not necessary, if Council is inclined to approve the color change, it could be considered that it would not completely ruin the appearance of the service station, or seriously detract from the overall charm of the Downtown. However at this point, staff is recommending that we deny the blue fascia request and stay with the original color palette. 

RESOLUTION NO. 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD DENYING THE AMENDMENT OF CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT (CUP) 97-10, INCLUDING DESIGN REVIEW FOR A COLOR CHANGE ON THE SERVICE STATION CANOPY AT 336 OAK STREET. 

WHEREAS, On November 2, 1999 the Planning Commission approved Chevron’s application for a CUP including Design Review to allow a new gas station, convenience mart and car wash on the subject site; and

WHEREAS, through the CUP and Design Review processes the Planning Commission very carefully considered and deliberated on the exterior architectural appearance and style of this project to ensure it would be harmonious and compatible with the Brentwood Hotel historic landmark which formerly occupied the site, and with the historic Brentwood Downtown in which the project will be located; and

WHEREAS, as part of the CUP approval, the Planning Commission also approved the Design Review for the exterior architectural elevations of the project to incorporate many of the California Mission style design characteristics of the former Brentwood Hotel historic landmark, including arches, pitched tile roof, wood style eave supports, overhanging eaves, columns, window treatments, and an earth tone color palette; and 

WHEREAS, on November 9, 1999 the City Council voted to appeal the Planning Commission CUP decision related to the car wash; and

WHEREAS, on December 28, 1999 Council modified the Planning Commission CUP approval by eliminating the car wash; and

WHEREAS, Chevron has filed an application to amend their CUP including Design Review to change the color of a portion of the canopy fascia from light brown to blue for the new Chevron station under construction on the subject site; and 

WHEREAS, on August 22, 2000, the City Council held a duly noticed public hearing to consider the request of Chevron, to amend the canopy color; and 

WHEREAS, the environmental effects of this proposed action have been addressed in the previous Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared for this project; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has considered the staff report, and all oral and written testimony presented at the August 22, 2000 public hearing; and 

WHEREAS, the City Council makes the following findings with regard to CUP 97-10:

1. If the canopy color is amended as proposed, the development shall not create a well-composed urban design, harmoniously related to other facilities in the immediate area and to the total setting as seen from key vantage points in the community, in that the City Council recognizes the importance to community quality of life of preserving and recreating important historic and cultural landmarks in the City. The character of the former historic landmark Brentwood Hotel on the site was composed of many distinct California Mission architectural elements, and the new service station was approved to incorporate the arches, pitched tile roof, wood style eave supports, overhanging eaves, columns, window treatments, and an earth tone color palette of the historic landmark. The substitution of blue color for earth tone color on the prominent façade of the canopy would not be harmonious and compatible with the color scheme of the former historic building, or the new service station on the site. 

2. Elements of design which have significant relationship to the exterior appearance of structures and facilities shall be given special consideration; these elements include texture, material, color, signs, landscaping and appurtenances. The new service station achieves this in that it incorporates the arches, pitched tile roof, wood style eave supports, overhanging eaves, columns, window treatments, and an earth tone color palette of the former historic landmark on the site. However, the proposed blue color on the canopy would detract from the harmonious design and special consideration given the balance of the project.

3. The proposed development shall not be of a quality and character appropriate to, and serving to protect the value of, private and public investments in the immediate area in that the proposed blue color would not be harmonious and compatible with the earth tone color scheme of the project.

4. The design of the proposed development will not provide an attractive shopping area in that the blue canopy color would detract from the continuity of the overall project design and the California Mission style architecture and elements of style of the project, including the earth tone color motif. 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council hereby adopts Resolution No. 00-, denying the amendment of CUP 97-10, including design review for a color change on the service station canopy at 336 Oak Street. 

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at its regular meeting of August 22, 2000, by the following vote:

AYES: 
NOES: 
ABSENT:
ABSTAIN: 

 

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