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Meeting Date: March 25, 2003

Subject/Title: Appeal of the Planning Commission’s Condition on Design Review No. 02-19 / Conditional Use Permit 03-03 Requiring Concrete Tile Roofs for Sycamore Place II located at 161 Sycamore Avenue.

Submitted by: Community Development (M. Oshinsky / W.Rhodes) 

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

That the City Council pass a Resolution denying the appeal and upholding the Planning Commission’s action to require the installation of concrete roof tile.

On February 12, 2002 , the City Council authorized the sale of city-owned property at 161 Sycamore Avenue in the amount of $530,733 to the Brentwood Redevelopment Agency for development of Sycamore Place II, a very low-income senior housing project.

On November 12, 2002, the Redevelopment Agency approved the execution of a Disposition and Development Agreement between the Agency and Christian Church Homes, which authorized the Agency’s financial assistance and participation in the development of Sycamore Place II in an approximate amount of $585,000.

On February 18, 2003 the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider Design Review No. 02-19 / Conditional Use Permit 03-03 for Sycamore Place 2, a 40-unit senior apartment development proposed by Christian Church Homes. The Commission voted 5 – 0 to approve this Design Review and Conditional Use Permit application and included a condition of approval requiring the installation of concrete roof tile. 

The long time policy on appeals is for staff to carry forward the Planning Commission action to the City Council, and that is the case here.

Don H. McCreary, on behalf of Christian Church Homes, has appealed the Planning Commission condition of approval requiring the substitution of concrete tile roofing for the applicant-proposed 30-year asphalt composition shingle roofing material. The appeal is being made on the basis of financial hardship. The applicant has provided bid material from two sources estimating the cost of providing concrete roof tile. The first cost estimate from Sunseri Construction (attached) accompanied the original appeal letter and estimated an additional cost of $103,271.00 to install concrete roof tile. The second cost estimate (attached) was received on February 28, 2003 and estimated the additional cost of concrete roof tile at $96,543. The applicant has also forwarded information from R.S. Means Building Construction Data, 2002 Edition (attached) documenting a unit cost difference (i.e. cost to install 100 square foot roof 

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area) of $321 or approximately 368% between the cost to install “concrete tile shakes” and “standard, laminated multi-layered asphalt shingles.” 

The Planning Commission considered the roof material on the nearby existing Sycamore Place, north of the proposed project which is asphalt composition shingles but decided to require concrete roof tile instead to match the existing roofing of the more recent and larger low-income multi-family development (Brentwood Garden and Park Apartments) located south of the project site at 160 and 180 Sycamore Avenue. The Planning Commission regularly requires use of concrete roof tile throughout the City because of its superior durability to asphalt composition shingles and its high quality and lasting aesthetic appearance. The Planning Commission thought that roof material for affordable developments needs to be comparable to market-rate development to help assure that it blends in with existing development and provides a high quality appearance over many years. 

The Planning Commission’s action on the roof material for Sycamore Place II is also consistent with the design review approvals for the past three multi-family developments (including affordable housing) that either proposed or were conditioned to install concrete roof tile (Villa Amador, Brentwood Senior Commons, and Arbor Ridge Apartments). In the past, the Planning Commission has received testimony from roofing contractors that the cost of available concrete tile roof products is comparable with composition shingle material and the new lighter-weight concrete tile does not require additional structural support. In addition, the Planning Commission’s primary focus on reviewing proposed project design is not the cost of different materials. Instead, the Commission focuses on the design issue of whether materials proposed are harmonious and compatible with adjacent development and will enhance the aesthetic appearance of the City. 

Based on the cost information provided, if the City Council upholds the Planning Commission's decision and denies the appeal, Christian Church Homes will seek additional financial assistance for Sycamore Place II from the City’s Redevelopment Agency to cover the added cost of concrete roof tile. If the City Council overrules the Planning Commission's decision and approves the appeal, Staff will return at the next City Council meeting with a resolution and appropriate findings to eliminate the condition of approval requiring installation of concrete roof tile.

As recommended by the Economic Development/Redevelopment Committee on March 13, 2003, in the event this appeal is denied, an item has been placed on the Redevelopment Agency Agenda for this same evening to reimburse Christian Church Homes, Inc., for additional roofing expenses in an amount not to exceed $114,000 for development of Sycamore Place II.

In the event that this appeal is approved, no fiscal impact to the Agency is anticipated because no additional unplanned roofing expense would result.

1. Resolution upholding the Planning Commission's decision
2. Appeal request letter from Don McCreary of Christian Church homes, dated February 24, 2003
3. Concrete roof material cost estimate information 



WHEREAS, on February 18, 2003, the Planning Commission conducted a noticed public hearing and considered all written and oral testimony, and approved via Resolution No. 03-06 a Design Review and a Conditional Use Permit to allow development of Sycamore Place 2, a 40-unit senior apartment development and an accompanying 1,400 square foot community building on an approximately 2.57-acre site at 161 Sycamore Avenue; and

WHEREAS, on February 24, 2003, an appeal of the Planning Commission's condition of approval for DR 02-19 and CUP03-03 requiring installation of concrete roof tile was filed; and

WHEREAS, a Notice of Public Hearing for this appeal was distributed to all property owners of record within 300 feet of the project site and published in the Brentwood Press on March 14, 2003, in accordance with City policies and Government Code Section 65090; and

WHEREAS, on March 25, 2003 the City Council held a noticed public hearing and considered the staff report, and all oral and written testimony presented; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood does hereby uphold the Planning Commission's condition of approval #47 requiring installation of concrete roof tile in accordance with Planning Commission Resolution No. 03-06 and denies the appeal, by making the following findings:

1. The installation of concrete roof material as conditioned, will be compatible with and will not adversely affect abutting properties and the surrounding neighborhoods in that it will be a comparable quality and design as the most recently installed roofing material in the immediate vicinity of 161 Sycamore Avenue; and

2. The installation of concrete roof material will help the proposed Sycamore Place II development create a well-composed urban design, harmoniously related to other facilities in the immediate area and enhance the total setting as seen from Sycamore Avenue; and 

3. The installation of concrete roof tile shall provide a quality and character appropriate to, and serving to protect the value of, private and public investment in the immediate area; and

4. The use of concrete roof tile is regularly required by the City for new residential single and multi-family developments, whether the developments are market rate or affordable.

PASSED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at its regular meting on the 25th day of March, 2003, by the following vote:

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