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File #: 21-0508    Version: 1
Type: PC/DRC New Items Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 9/7/2021 In control: Design Review Committee
On agenda: 10/6/2021 Final action:
Title: Design Review No. 4954-18, Dental Office and Training Facility, 1936 E. Katella Avenue.
Attachments: 1. Staff Report, 2. Attachment 1 - Vicinity Map, 3. Attachment 2 - Existing Site Photographs, 4. Attachment 3 - Project Plans, Date Stamped September 13, 2021; Colors and Materials Board Available at Planning Counter 1

TO:                                          Chair and Members of the Design Review Committee


THRU:                     Anna Pehoushek, Assistant Community Development Director                                          


FROM:                     Monique Schwartz, Associate Planner



1.                     Subject


Design Review No. 4954-18, Dental Office and Training Facility, 1936 E. Katella Avenue.


2.                     Summary


Recommendation of approval to the Planning Commission.


The applicant proposes to demolish an existing restaurant building and construct a two-story dental office and training facility and related site improvements.


3.                     BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Applicant/Owner: Better Blocks Orange, LLC, Bruno Boval

Property Location: 1936 E. Katella Avenue

General Plan Designation: General Commercial (GC)

Zoning Classification: Limited Business Tustin Redevelopment Project Area (C-TR)

Existing Development: The site is currently developed with a 3,611 square foot restaurant building (Shiki Restaurant), freeway billboard sign, surface parking, minimal landscaping, ground signs, and related site improvements. There is an existing wireless communication masonry equipment enclosure that encroaches onto the south property line that will be removed as part of this proposal.

Associated Application: Major Site Plan Review No. 0954-18

Previous Design Review Committee (DRC) Project Review: None

4.                     project description

The applicant proposes to demolish an existing restaurant building and construct a 9,904 square foot, two-story dental office and training facility, trash enclosure, 33 surface parking spaces, landscaping, and related site improvements.

The existing freeway billboard and ground signs will remain in the same locations. The encroaching wireless communication equipment enclosure wall along the south property line will be removed in order to accommodate the new office building. Access to the site remains the same via a shared access driveway and easement off of East Katella Avenue.



The new building will be situated at the southeast corner of the site. The first floor is 5,316 square feet and configured with a lobby, reception/waiting room, 16 open and enclosed dental chair stations, meeting and consultation rooms, x-ray room, sterile lab area, two restrooms, and mechanical and storage rooms. The second floor is 4,588 square feet and is configured with eight training/classrooms, office, lounge, two restrooms, and a storage room. The stairways are located at the northeast and northwest corners, while the elevator is located off the main lobby area.


The two-story building has a maximum height of 32 feet. The building design incorporates a contemporary architectural style with features including varied flat roof lines, vertical and horizontal accent details, and extensive use of windows. Exterior materials and colors also contribute to this style including painted stucco finish, stone veneer, anodized aluminum store front windows, painted foam band accent details, and a metal canopy marking the building’s main entrance. The overall color scheme will incorporate tones of tan, green, and brown.


A detached trash enclosure located in the parking lot area along the west property line will be constructed of concrete masonry block and painted stucco finish, solid flat roof design, and solid metal gates. The materials and colors are intended to coordinate with the design of the dental office building.



All existing ground signs will remain and the Shiki Restaurant pylon sign will be refaced.  Signs are not included in this project proposal.



Sheets L.1 through L.7 of the submittal plans provide conceptual landscape/irrigation plans. Existing trees and landscaping will be removed, with the exception of two Palm trees that will remain along the south property line. The project proposes water efficient landscaping along the perimeter boundaries and project interior to include, Oklahoma Redbud, Pink Dawn Chitalpa, Australian Willow, Majestic Beauty Fruitless Olive, and California Bay trees, and goupings of shurbs and groundcover including Whales Tongue Agave, Lions Tail, Kangaroo Paw, Feather Reed grass, Spanish Lavender, Coast Rosemary, Silver Carpet, Pink Iceplant, and Golen Sedum.The total landscaped area proposed will be 6,851 square feet (23% of the site). Pedestrian walkways will consist of color stamped concrete.


While the Landscape Guidelines recommend a total of 38 trees to be planted on the site, the project has provided 31 of which two are existing and 29 are new 24-inch box size trees, in response to recommendations by the City’s Senior Landscape Coordinator for adequate spacing to prevent over-crowding and tree sustainability. Trees are not proposed along the east and half of the south elevation so as to maintain unobstructed Fire Department access around the rear of the building. 



Existing perimeter fencing will be removed and replaced with new 42-inch to 6-foot tall wrought iron fencing painted in a black finish. Also proposed are access gates at the northeast and southwest corners of the building for landscape maintenance purposes.



Proposed lighting includes 16-inch tall LED wall-mounted fixtures on the north, east, and west elevations of the building in a rubbed bronze finish with ribbed frosted glass cylinder diffusers. In addition, the project site will include one existing, and three new 18-foot tall pole mounted LED light fixtures located in the north and east perimeter landscape areas. Various landscape lighting, including in-ground flush mounted fixtures, and tree/sign up lighting will also be provided. All project lighting will be installed and directed so as to prevent off site light spillage beyond the exterior boundaries of the property.


5.                     EXISTING SITE

The 0.68 acre site is one of four interior parcels located behind an existing Chevron station on the south side of Katella Avenue, directly adjacent to the State Route 55 Freeway on ramp. The site is vacant and developed with the vacant 3,611 square foot former Shiki restaurant building, a storage container, associated surface parking, and minimal landscaping. An existing shared access driveway and easement off of Katella Avenue will be utilized by the project site, Chevron Station, Howard Johnson motel, and Smithson Electric businesses, located at 1930-1940 E. Katella Avenue. There is an existing wireless communication masonry equipment enclosure wall that encroaches onto the southern boundary that will be removed and relocated as part of this proposal.

There is an existing freeway billboard sign that is located on the south side of the restaurant building that was built as part of a 1995 Settlement Agreement between the City and former billboard owner. The billboard was recently replaced with a digital LED billboard in coordination with the City. There are two existing pylon signs (Howard Johnson and Shiki Restaurant) located adjacent to the north and east property lines. The Howard Johnson sign was erected on the site when the original hotel site was built in 1966, at a time when the adjoining properties operated as an integrated development. The existing billboard and Howard Johnson pylon signs and easements will remain in place and the Shiki Restaurant pylon sign will be re-faced for identification of the new dental office.

6.                     EXISTING AREA CONTEXT

Surrounding development to the north of the project site is a Chevron gas station, convenience store, and detached automatic car wash. To the south, is a freestanding industrial building (Smithson Electric). To the east, along the entire eastern boundary is the State Route 55 freeway on ramp. To the west, is the shared access easement and Howard Johnson motel. The architecture of the surrounding development is eclectic and typical of commercial development dating from the 1960’s though the 1980’s.

7.                     analysis and statement of the issues

The project site is located in the Limited Business Tustin Redevelopment Project Area (C-TR) zoning district. The 1986 Tustin Street Design Standards were created in response to the City’s goal of redevelopment and reinvestment into the Tustin Street Project Area. Although the Redevelopment Agency no longer exists, the Tustin Street Design Standards are still applicable to changes proposed to existing buildings and new construction within the Tustin Street Project Area.  The proposed project is located within Thematic District #4 of the Tustin Street Design Standards.  This District does not have a particular design theme, but considers adjacent developments for consistency of design. The project site is setback and not visible from Katella Avenue. It is immediately adjacent to an industrial building to the south and hotel to the west, both constructed between 1960-1980.  Also to the west is a one-story commercial strip center, located at 1920 E. Katella Avenue that displays a simplistic contemporary design with varied flat roof lines, vertical attached columns, and textured stucco finish.


The dental office building utilizes similar architectural features and materials that are consistent with the one-story commercial strip center to the west, in that the building displays a modern aesthetic, has varied flat roof lines, utilizes vertical accent details, and painted stucco finish, consistent with the intent of the Tustin Street Design Standards. The project is in compliance with all development standards, has an overall coordinated architectural style, uses matching colors and materials for all structures, has a varied landscape palette on the interior and perimeter of the property, and presents an overall integrated design theme. The unique design will also provide a revitalized appearance to a site that is currently outdated and degraded.



The City’s inter-departmental staff review committee (SMART) conducted reviews of the project on November 6, 2019 and May 20, 2020. On May 5, 2021, SMART recommended that the project proceed to the Design Review Committee.

9.                     PUBLIC NOTICE

No Public Notice was required for DRC review of the project.


10.                     ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

Categorical Exemption:  The proposed project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) per State CEQA Guidelines 15303 (Class 3 - New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures) because it consists of the construction of a new, small (< 10,000 SF in urbanized area) structure zoned for such use, not involving the significant use of hazardous substances, where all necessary public services are available and where the area is not environmentally sensitive. There is no environmental public review or notice required for a categorical exemption.


Findings for DRC applications come from four sources:

                     The Orange Municipal Code

                     The Infill Residential Design Guidelines

                     The Historic Preservation Design Standards for Old Towne (commonly referred to the Old Towne Design Standards or OTDS)

                     Orange Eichler Design Standards (or OEDS)


The Findings are applied as appropriate to each project. Based on the following Findings and statements in support of such Findings, staff recommends the DRC approve the project with recommended conditions.


                     The project design upholds community aesthetics through the use of an internally consistent, integrated design theme and is consistent with all adopted specific plans, applicable design standards, and their required findings (OMC 17.10.07.G.3).


The project is not located within a specific plan; however, it is located within Thematic District #4 of the Tustin Street Design Standards. This District does not have a particular design theme, but considers adjacent development for consistency of design. The project site is setback and not visible from Katella Avenue; however, the building design utilizes similar architectural features and materials that are consistent with the one-story commercial strip center, located to the west at 1920 E. Katella Avenue, including modern aesthetic, varied flat roof lines, vertical accent details, and painted stucco finish. The exterior design, including colors and materials, and landscape palette provides an internally consistent and integrated design theme that upholds community aesthetics. The project as proposed will generally provide positive improvements to the vacant and degraded site conditions.


12.                     CONDITIONS

The approval of this project is subject to the following conditions:


1.                     All construction shall conform in substance and be maintained in general conformance with plans and exhibits labeled as Attachment 2 in the staff report (date stamped received September 13, 2021), including modifications required by the conditions of approval, and as recommended for approval by the Design Review Committee.


2.                     Except as otherwise provided herein, this project is approved as a precise plan.  After any application has been approved, if changes are proposed regarding the location or alteration of any use or structure, a changed plan may be submitted to the Community Development Director for approval. If the Community Development Director determines that the proposed change complies with the provisions and the spirit and intent of the approval action, and that the action would have been the same for the changed plan as for the approved plot plan, the Community Development Director may approve the changed plan administratively.



3.                     Subsequent modifications to the approved architecture and color scheme shall be submitted for review and approval to the Community Development Director or designee. Should the modifications be considered substantial, the modifications shall be reviewed by the Design Review Committee.


4.                     The applicant agrees to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend the City, its officers, agents and employees from any and all liability or claims that may be brought against the City arising out of its approval of this permit, save and except that caused by the City’s active negligence. The City shall promptly notify the applicant of any such claim, action, or proceedings and shall cooperate fully in the defense.


5.                     The applicant shall comply with all federal, state, and local laws, including all City regulations. Violation of any of those laws in connection with the use will be cause for revocation of this permit.


6.                     Building permits shall be obtained for all future construction work, as required by the City of Orange, Community Development Department’s Building Division. Failure to obtain the required building permits will be cause for revocation of this permit.


7.                     All signage shall comply with Chapter 17.36 Sign Regulations of the Orange Municipal Code.


8.                     If not utilized, project approval expires twenty-four months from the approval date. Extensions of time may be granted, if requested in writing in accordance with OMC Section 17.08.060. The Planning entitlements expire unless Building Permits are pulled within two years of the original approval.


9.                     In conjunction with construction, all activity will be limited to the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No construction activity will be permitted on Sundays and Federal holidays.


10.                     These conditions shall be reprinted on the second page of the construction documents when submitted to the Building Division for the plan check process.


11.                     Any graffiti shall be removed within 72 hours from the time the City of Orange Notice of Violation is received by the applicant/property owner.


12.                     Any new lighting on the premise shall be installed in such a way to direct, control, and screen the lighting to prevent off site light spillage onto adjoining properties and shall not be a nuisance to any point beyond the exterior boundaries of the property.


13.                     Prior to issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, the applicant shall schedule a light reading inspection with the Crime Prevention Bureau. The lighting shall be tested and confirmed to determine if the lighting meets or exceeds the exterior boundary standards. The applicant shall use shielding so as to ensure that the light standards meet the requirements of OMC Section 17.12.030 for areas beyond the property’s exterior boundaries.


14.                     Prior to building permit issuance, the applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Community Development Director that all mechanical and air conditioning equipment shall be shielded and screened from view from adjacent streets and properties. The screening shall be integrated architecturally with the building and painted to match the walls of the building.


15.                     Plans submitted for Building Plan Check shall comply with the California Fire Code as amended by the City and as frequently amended and in effect at the time of application for Building Permit.


16.                     Prior to building permit issuance, final landscaping plans for the project shall be designed to comply with the City’s Water Efficient Landscape Guidelines as described in Section IX et al of the City of Orange Landscape Standards and Specifications.


17.                     Prior to building permit issuance, the applicant shall prepare a final landscaping and irrigation plan consistent with the grading plans, site plans, and the conceptual landscaping plan as proposed for the project for the review and approval of the Community Development Director and Community Services Director.


18.                     Landscape maintenance shall be performed in such a manner as to allow all trees to retain their full canopy height for screening and full canopy breadth for shade at point of maturity, except as required for public safety purposes.


13.                     ATTACHMENTS

                     Attachment 1 - Vicinity Map

                     Attachment 2 - Existing Site Photographs

                     Attachment 3 - Project Plans, Date Stamped September 13, 2021; Colors and Materials Board Available at Planning Counter