At a Planning Commission meeting on June 26, two members of the Commission were appointed to the Architectural Committee. Commissioners Lance Saleme and Anthony Becker volunteered for the role and were backed by their colleagues. Originally established in 1960, the committee was reinstated in 1986.
As described in City literature, the Architectural Committee, “Reviews new development projects to encourage orderly and harmonious appearance of structures and property, maintains property and improvement values and encourages the physical development as intended by the General Plan.”
During the public hearing portion of the meeting, a resident made a general statement admonishing the Commissioners to give greater consideration to public feedback on development projects. He recommended continuing topics until subsequent meetings so that more time could be spent deliberating, and stressed that Commissioners shouldn’t just automatically approve projects just because they’ve been found to be legal.
Another member of the public spoke expressing concern about potential noise from The Hut, a new restaurant at 3200 The Alameda near the intersection with Franklin Street. She’s a resident of Franklin Street and said that homes in the area are mostly occupied by seniors whose health could be adversely impacted due to loss of sleep from live music.
Commissioners and staff clarified existing laws and said that no music would be performed after 10 p.m. on any day of the year. The venue is only authorized to play live music five days out of the year. The concerned resident was instructed to notify Code Enforcement if any noise violations arise. The Commission also approved a Use Permit for alcoholic beverages to be served at the restaurant, which has the capacity to seat 63 patrons indoors and 28 outdoors.
The owner of a Chevron gas station and auto service shop at 500 Lawrence Expressway won approval from Commissioners to convert an existing one-story building into an ExtraMile convenience store that will operate 24 hours per day, year round.
No food will be prepared at the store, however it will sell pre-packaged food items, dispensed and bottled drinks, automotive accessories and an assortment of other goods. The building currently serves as a snack bar and has three bays for vehicle repair, which would be modified for full retail use. The project was found to be consistent with the General Plan because it provides retail within a 10 minute walk to residential areas.
Improvements will include facade modifications, parking lot re-striping, greater accessibility, added bike racks and landscaping including four new trees. The business owner spoke at the meeting explaining that part of the rationale for the project is that the service bays have become underutilized since customers are increasingly taking their newer cars to dealerships for maintenance.
Also approved was a Use Permit to convert a closed carwash into an outdoor vehicle storage and sales area for a car dealership at 3941 Stevens Creek Blvd. The changes will involve display areas for sales material as well as landscaping, a trash enclosure and re-striping of parking lot that will accommodate 22 vehicles.