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HDC_12 10 20121 of 10 LITTLE ROCK HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MINUTES Monday, December 10, 2012, 5:00 p.m. Board Room, City Hall I. Roll Call Quorum was present being seven (7) in number. Members Present: Julie Wiedower Randy Ripley Chris Vanlandingham BJ Bowen Toni Johnson Mark Brown Kwadjo Boaitey Members Absent: none City Attorney: Debra Weldon Staff Present: Brian Minyard Citizens Present: Ron Ross Keith Canfield George Campbell Stephan McAteer Byl Harrell Notice requirements were meet on both applications to be heard tonight. II. Deferred Certificates of Appropriateness None III. Certificates of Appropriateness DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT 723 West Markham Street Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-1334 Phone: (501) 371-4790 Fax: (501) 399-3435 2 of 10 DATE: December 10, 2012 APPLICANT: Ron Ross, Parks and Recreation ADDRESS: 503 E 9th Street COA REQUEST: Signage and Fencing PROJECT BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION: The subject property is located at 503 East 9th Street. The property’s legal description is “That part NW lying E of Quapaw Line W of McAlmont Street & North of E 13th Street in Township 1N, Range 12 W Sections 2 and 11, Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas." The Arsenal Building was built in the 1840’s and is a national landmark, the highest recognition of a historic building. The structure is a contributing structure in the district. This application is for 6 new signs for the MacArthur Park activities. The signs are for the Bike Polo court; the Amphitheater/Pond/Dog Park; Arkansas Arts Center; Multiple use sign; and the wayfinding sign. This Plan for the signage will need to be presented to the Parks Commission. PREVIOUS ACTIONS ON THIS SITE: There have been numerous COA’s on the park property. Relevant ones are below: On March 12, 2012, a COA was approved for a sign at the Firehouse Hostel and Museum. On January 31, 2011, A COA was approved for two new signs for the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and for a directional sign for the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and the Arkansas Korean War Veterans Memorial. On September 13, 2010, a COA was issued for a new park sign for the identification of the park to be located near the intersection of Sherman and 9th Street. DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT 723 West Markham Street Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-1334 Phone: (501) 371-4790 Fax: (501) 399-3435 STAFF REPORT ITEM NO. One. Location of Project 3 of 10 WRITTEN ANALYSIS OF THE APPLICATION BASED OFF OF INTENT AND GUIDELINES: The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation #3 states: Each property will be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or elements from other historic properties, will not be undertaken. For this application, Staff interprets this as not adding faux Federal style signage to the park to match the Federal style building of the Arsenal. SIGNS: The signs are contemporary (of today’s design) and will not be interpreted as a faux historic sign. These signs will continue the theme of the previously approved sign for the entire park that will be installed near the intersection of Sherman and Ninth Streets. All signs will have ground mounted floodlights. Below is a breakdown of all signs already approved and included in this application: # SIGN NAME PROPOSED TEXT DETAIL PAGE # LOCATION APPROVED BUILT HEIGHT 1 MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History & Ark, Korean War Veterans Memorial MACARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY ARKANSAS KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL NA Southwest corner of Ninth and Crescent Drive 01-31-2011 yes 8’-8” 2 Firehouse Hostel FIREHOUSE HOSTEL AND MUSEUM NA 1201 Commerce 03-12-12 no 5’-10” 3 MacArthur Park MACARTHUR PARK NA Ninth and Sherman Streets yes Under const. 24’-0” 4 Dog Park DOG PARK 3 McMath Blvd at roundabout no no 8’-8” 5 Bicycle Polo BICYCLE POLO 1 McMath Blvd south of 10th at courts no no 8’-8” 6 Amphitheater and Pond & Dog Park AMPHITHEATER POND DOG PARK 2 / 2A Northeast corner of Commerce no no 8’-8” 4 of 10 and Pulaski Lane 7 Arkansas Arts Center ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER 4 Southeast corner of Ninth and Commerce no no 8’-8” 8 Dog Park, Bicycle Polo, Pond and UALR Law School DOG PARK BICYCLE POLO UALR LAW SCHOOL AMPHITHEATER POND 5 Southwest corner of McMath Blvd and Ninth Street. no no 8’-8” 9 Wayfinding sign KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL RESTROOM PAVILION STAGE POND DRINKS 5A Center of park south and east of both museums no no 6’-9” ± Sign #1 at Ninth and Crescent Drive. Sign #3 at Ninth and Sherman Drive. 5 of 10 FENCING: Page 66 of the current Guidelines state: 3. Fences and Retaining Walls: Iron, wood, stone, or brick fences or walls that are original to the property (at least 50 years old) should be preserved. If missing, they may be reconstructed based on physical or pictorial evidence. Sometimes a low stone or brick wall supports an iron or wooden fence. Fencing material should be appropriate to the style and period of the house. Cast iron fences were common through the Victorian period and should be retained and maintained. Wrought iron and bent wire fences are also historic. Wood picket fences may be located in front, side, or rear yards, generally following property lines. They should be no taller than three feet (36”) tall; pickets should be no wider than four inches (4”) and set no farther apart than three inches (3“). The design shall be compatible with and proportionate to the house. Wood board privacy fences should be located in rear yards. They should be no taller than six feet (72”), of flat boards in a single row (not stockade or shadowbox), and of a design compatible with the structure. The privacy fence should be set back from the front façade of the structure at least halfway between the front and back walls. Chain-link fences may be located only in rear yards, where not readily visible from the street, and should be coated dark green or black. Screening with plant material is recommended. Fences should not have brick, stone, or concrete piers or posts unless based on pictorial or physical evidence. Free-standing walls of brick, stone, or concrete are not appropriate. New retaining landscape walls are discouraged in front yards. Certain front yards that are in close proximity to the sidewalk may feature new walls that match the materials of the building and be consistent with historic walls in the neighborhood. Landscaping walls should match the materials of the building and be consistent with historic walls in the neighborhood. The fence’s purpose is to enclose the playground area of the park, which is used by park patrons and St. Edwards School on a regular basis. This fence provides security for children playing in the playground area adjacent to Ninth Street. The fence has been partially dismantled with the construction of McMath Boulevard. The section along McMath has been taken down, but the section along Ninth is still in place. The fence now has brick panels in the Arkansas Arts Center sign to be replaced. 6 of 10 fence with a curve set into the brick. The brick sections are 40” tall and the iron sections are approximately 45” tall. The new fence will not feature the curves, it will feature straight lines. The fence originally bordered Ninth and McMath. The proposal is to totally enclose an area surrounded by Ninth, McMath, Tenth, a private drive, and Crescent Drive. It will have two gates on the western side of the enclosure for access. The fence will be about 20’ off the curb on Ninth Street, and about 8’ off the property line. On McMath, it will be about 32’ off the curb and 10’ off the sidewalk. On Tenth Street, it will be 30’ off the curb line. The proposed fence is 4’ tall as stated on the cover letter, but the drawings show a 6’ fence in dimension. The Plan shows the older brick section of the fence removed, but the letter states that the new fence “complements the park, as well as, the existing wrought iron brick paneled fence that remains.” There have been fences along Ninth Street at the Arsenal before. The photo to the right shows one circa 1900 at the west entrance of Ninth and Crescent Drive. The fence that is to be proposed is not a recreation of this fence, but a modern fence. Crescent Drive frontage of existing fencing Detail of existing iron fence Fence at the west end of Crescent Drive and Ninth ca. 1900 7 of 10 View towards 9th Street with 40” tall brick panels. View towards 9th Street NEIGHBORHOOD COMMENTS AND REACTION: At the time of distribution, there was one comment of a neutral nature regarding this application. STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approval with the following conditions: 1. Obtaining a building permit. 2. Clarification of height of fence, location of, and any further demolition of existing fencing. COMMISSION ACTION: December 10, 2012 Brian Minyard, Staff, made a presentation of the item and noted that the Staff recommendation was for the signs as submitted but was for a 4’ fence, not a six foot fence. Ron Ross, Parks and Recreation, noted that the signs were in the same theme as approved before. Concerning the fencing, the desire was to remove all of the fencing and replace with a fence that was six feet tall. He has been working with the MacArthur Park Group and St. Andrews School. St. Andrews wants a six foot fence barrier for traffic and from pedestrians. This would give the parents a better sense of security. Chairman Chris Vanlandingham asked if this was the finished sketch. Mr. Ross said yes. Mr. Ross said it was an iron fence and that people would not be able to sit on an iron fence or hang stuff on the fence as before. Commissioner Toni Johnson asked if the gate would be locked to the playground area. Mr. Ross said that the gates would be control points for entry. Commissioner Julie Wiedower asked where the gates are proposed. Mr. Ross said that they were on the west side and that they were 6’ gates. He continued by answering Commissioner Wiedower’s question that the material will be wrought iron. Commissioner Vanlandingham commented on the 1000 feet of fence and that it was about keeping people out rather than letting people in. He understands that it may be necessary at this time. He continued that we need to stop creating barriers to the neighborhood and to keep that in mind for the future. He commented that a six foot fence was very standoff-ish. He asked about the fence height in other parks. Commissioner Wiedower commented that there were no fences at Murray Park or War Memorial Park. Mr. Ross stated that Prospect Terrace and Pettaway have fences but most playgrounds do not have a fence around them. The fence in Pettaway is five feet including the stone base. 8 of 10 Chairman Vanlandingham asked if this action would complete the signage for the park and what was the timeline. Mr. Ross said that there was no definite timeline for completion. Commissioner Wiedower complimented Mr. Ross on the quality of his presentation and agreed with the design of the signage. She noted that she has a problem with the height of t he fence. She commented that it is great the St. Edwards School uses the park and that the perception is that St. Edwards owns that corner of the park. She has not heard of incidents that would necessitate a six foot fence and think that a four foot fence would be adequate. The district has guidelines and the Commission has been flexible in the past. If the commission constantly overrides the guidelines, the Commission will have to start explaining why. Commissioner Boaitey agreed with Commissioner Wiedower’s comments. Commissioner Randy Ripley commented that the drawings were good. He advocated features that create community ownership and continued that the fence is more about barrier than defining space. He would prefer the fence to be less jail like. He continued about the difference in defined and non-defined space and the sense of ownership. He prefers finials on the top and thinks it would be more time period appropriate instead of no finials. He also agrees with Commissioner Wiedower and Commissioner Boaitey. Commissioner Johnson asked if a fence had finials and was shorter, would it deter people from climbing the fence. Commissioner Ripley stated that anybody that wanted in can get over a fence. Commissioner Mark Brown commented that the same guidelines were applied for all fences, whether they are commercial, residential or institutional. Other urban areas have higher fences, some up to 12’. The Commission may want to consider different heights for parks. Commissioner Wiedower asked if the MacArthur Park Master Plan addressed fencing. Stephan McAteer stated it did not. Commissioner Wiedower continued that deterring illegal activities is a police issue, not a fencing issue. Mr. Ross stated that he hears the comments and will consider them going forward on this project. Keith Canfield stated he lives in the 1400 block of Rock. He is a volunteer Park Ranger. He said historically there was a large iron fence that covered the entire perimeter of the park. They are only proposing the area around the playground at this time. He said the high traffic corner and the undesirable transients are the major impetus for the fence. He continued that in his 92 visits to the park, 42 percent of the time adults are sitting on the benches smoking and drinking and has found cigarette butts, beer bottles and other bottles. He understands the reticence of a six foot fence around the roughly 8000 feet of the perimeter of the entire park. Mr. Canfield states that the MacArthur Park group feels a sense of ownership of the park and did not want to use the fences to enable a particular activity. He does not believe that police and parks departments can fix the problems. He referenced a citizen survey that advocated for a single access point for the park. Commissioner Wiedower stated that she attended some of the presentation for the Master Plan and does not remember this being addressed. She asked about moving the playground to another site away from the traffic. Mr. Canfield said that the playground was scheduled to be upgraded in its current location. 9 of 10 Commissioner Brown asked Mr. Canfield what he thought about the four foot fence. He replied that he did not think it provided much of a barrier for the traffic and that the finials can impale the children. Commissioner Brown commented that the traffic is probably from the Shell Station. Mr. Canfield noted that the two convenience stores that sell single servings of 32 and 40 ounce beer. Commissioner Wiedower commented that without locking the gates, t hey could still access the area. She commented about adding benches in other areas. Mr. Canfield suggested marking the area with signage that required adults to be accompanied with a child. Commissioner Boaitey noted that signs like that were a deterrent in Atlanta. Commissioner Wiedower also suggested using the six foot fence only along the Ninth and McMath street frontage and the four foot on the rest. George Campbell, resident of Quapaw Towers, commented that there needs to be some kind of deterrent there. He commented in the early hours of the morning on weekends, there is a lot of customer traffic at the convenience stores. He stated the problem was beer sales at the convenience stores. Byl Harrell, Bylites, commented that when the police are at the convenience store, the problem is moved south to the polo bike courts. The problem is just moved to a different area. He suggested a different approach without a fence around the entire park. Mr. Ross said that there could be a whole discussion on the heights of fences. Commissioner Ripley said that the public spaces should be more inviting. Commissioner Wiedower continued that comment and said that the consultants on the master plan wanted to make the park more inviting. She stated that she was not going to support a six foot fence all around but had no issue with the signage. Mr. Ross said that the signage was first and wanted to resolve it now. There was a discussion on amending the application to remove the fencing. Mr. Ross stated that he wanted to amend his application to remove the fencing from the application. Commissioner Wiedower made a motion to approve the amended application. Commissioner Johnson seconded and the motion was approved with 7 ayes and 0 noes. Im IV. Other Matters Enforcement issues Staff reported that there were no enforcement items at this time. Chairman Vanlandingham proposed moving the Memphis Training Questions to the next month's agenda. No commissioner opposed this change to the agenda. Citizen Communication There were no citizens present for citizen communication. Adjournment The meeting adjourned at 6:18 p.m. Attest: 'o- Chair Secretary /Staff 10 of 10 Date Date