Design Review Board Reviews Three Proposals

The Design Review Board held its monthly meeting April 5 at City Hall.

The meeting was a standard conceptual review of three proposals, which included the remodeling of an 11-car garage lot behind 1714 Monterey Road into a single-family home, as well as a second story addition 1521 Meridian Ave and a façade change to join the front decks of 1482 Indiana Ave. No final decisions were made.

Attending board members included Vice Chair Mark Smeaton, local architect James Fenske, and LA Metro’s creative director, Michael Lejeune. Chair Conrado Lopez, landscape architect Yael Lir, and Edwar Sissi, the staff liaison were absent. 

Paul Koehler, the project manager, has been working on the remodel of the garages into a dream home with John Rose, the sole designer of the house, for the past two years.

The 2,623 square-foot 1955 inspired structure would feature several skylights, slanted shed roofs, and a window paneled skewed walls for the entranceway, accented by a 19-foot geometric sculpture. The frosted windows that make up the entranceway would also allow light in, while still maintaining privacy.

Rose, who is over 70 years old with an MFA from Otis College, has been a painter all his life. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wrightian architecture, Rose plans to live there for the rest of his life.

The home will also contain a 500 square-foot art studio, with plenty of wall space to act as a gallery and could be split into two bedrooms for future families who may buy the house, according to Rose.

“I definitely designed this house with the future in mind,” Rose said.

The garages have been rented out as storage spaces for the past 20 years, but have recently been cleared out, according to Koehler. He hopes to add a 1710 address number for the 6,569 square-foot lot, which is separate from the two-story apartment complex at 1714 A and B which it sits behind. 

The property is also next to one of Southern California Edison’s easements two blocks west of Fair Oaks Boulevard. The future 1710 property has limited visibility from the street and would create more privacy for Rose.

The board additionally advised applicant Michael Yu to match details on windows, change the old stucco, and correct the elevation drawings for the 1,017 sq. ft. second-story addition to 1521 Meridian Avenue.

Daniel Terasia, the designer for 1482 Indiana Avenue, requested to connect the two front balconies, coming individually from the kitchen and the living room. The larger 15 sq. ft. deck would replace 17th century columns in between and feature an adjustable metal framed roof to account for light and heat changes. 

The Design Review Board is a group of architectural and design professionals that approve city building proposal before submittal of a plan check to the Planning and Building department.

They guide homeowners in the last finishing touches, prioritizing style, outward appearance and cohesive detailing, to maintain South Pasadena’s charm while allowing homeowners to realize their individual ideas.

Sissi, the Assistant Planner and Staff Liaison confirmed that neighbors within a 300 ft. radius will be notified 10 days before the Design Review Board makes their final decision.

Neighbors and applicants are given 15 days afterward to appeal the decision, according to Jeremy Reed, the permit technician for the building and safety commission.

“The purpose is to strike that balance between representing everybody collectively,” said Michael Jejuenne, LA Metro’s Creative Director, and a recent board member for the last nine months.