2017-09-01 / Front Page

New apartment complex coming to Patricia Ave.

By Melissa Simon

READY TO GO—A 12-unit apartment complex is slated to be built on Patricia Avenue. 
Courtesy ofarchitecturefirmstu3Dio READY TO GO—A 12-unit apartment complex is slated to be built on Patricia Avenue. Courtesy ofarchitecturefirmstu3Dio The second time proved to be a charm for a local developer whose plan to replace a vacant house with an apartment building in the western end of town received unanimous support from the Simi Valley planning commission.

Contractor Jerry Jacob and his son Jordan presented their proposal for a two-story, 12- unit complex at 1590 Patricia Ave. at the Aug. 23 planning commission meeting, this time with additional design elements the commission had requested.

Slated for a half-acre parcel, the apartment building will house two-bedroom units with wood floors, stainless steel appliances and tankless water heaters. Each 1,030-square-foot apartment will have two parking spaces with access to chargers for electric vehicles.

There will also be six guest parking spots and a playground for small children.

Following an initial hearing May 17, planning commissioners asked the developer to refine the plans for the building design, the tot lot fencing, the staircase and the lighting.

Jerry Jacob said he took the commission’s “desires to improve the building . . . to heart” and made several changes, such as the addition of stone elements, trellises and columns and lighting on all sides of the building.

The stairwell leading to the second story was moved from the center to the rear of the courtyard, and places where tenants can “sit and congregate” now adorn the middle of the area, he said. The applicants also added a fence around the tot lot and specified what kind of lighting would be used on the property.

“I drove by Patricia (Avenue) today and I strongly believe this is going to be one of the best-looking buildings on that street, and it’s going to hopefully raise the bar in the neighborhood,” Jacob told the commissioners.

Commissioner Jim King said the difference between the old and new plans is notable.

“Now the outside matches the inside, where you had already done a good job,” King told the Jacobs. “We appreciate your attention to our concerns and I’m . . . fully in support of this project.”

Commissioner Tim Hodge congratulated the duo on a “much-improved building.”

“I’m hopeful . . . this will set the (design) bar higher and there will be people that wish to climb that bar higher.”

‘Missed the boat’

At the meeting Aug. 23, the planning commission also reviewed plans for a two-story, six-unit apartment building that would go on a half-acre vacant lot at 1837 Hubbard St., in the western end of town.

The proposed Spanish Revival style building would have single-story, two-bedroom flats about 1,200 square feet in size. Also included are two assigned parking spaces per unit, three guest parking spots and a common area with a barbecue.

Stucco walls, arched openings, wrought iron and tile accents as well as decorative railings and curved roof tiles would adorn the outside of the building, said Scott Peters, the Agoura Hills-based developer working on the project.

“I built at 1378 Patricia Ave. a few years ago and . . . I’m excited to build on that street again,” Peters said of the lot at the corner of Hubbard and Patricia. “I think it’s a great-looking project and fits the neighborhood.”

While the commissioners were pleased with the overall layout of the project, they were concerned about the lack of design features on the outside of the building and agreed more work was needed.

Commissioner Mary Bibb said she had “major problems” with the proposal.

“You could barely read (the plans). I don’t think we should be accepting plans like this because it makes our job harder,” Bibb told Peters.

Bibb also objected to the idea of using boulders instead of a wall as a barrier around the complex. “I’d have good insurance if I were going to do that because I think they’re nothing but a hazard,” she told Peters.

But the developer said the boulders are intended to “soften up the area and give protection for people who are driving down the street.”

Commissioners Ken Rice, Jim King and Allan Mann agreed the boulders were a unique, creative idea and should be left as part of the project.

“You’re going down the right path but you still need to make some changes,” he said.

Although Hodge liked much of the proposal, including the footprint of the building, the size of the units and the location of the parking, he told the applicant he “just missed the boat” when it came to designing the outside.

“A lot of the things you’ve done here are terrific, (and) I’m all for someone coming in to try something new but . . . this project is completely devoid of design,” Hodge said.

Peters agreed to make some changes and return to the planning commission Oct. 4.

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