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HDC_06 01 2023DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT 723 West Markham Street Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-1334 Phone: (501) 371-4790 Fax:(501) 399-3435 www.littlerock.gov LITTLE ROCK HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION AGENDA Thursday, June 1st , 2023, 4:00 p.m. Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, 3805 W. 12th Street I. Roll Call Members Present: Chair, Amber Jones Vice Chair, Christina Aleman Tom Fennell Jonathan Nunn Amber Haugen Scott Green Members Absent: Mark Hinson Staff Present: Hannah Ratzlaff Walter Malone Shawn Overton Alice Anderson Citizens Present: Joseph Flaherty Jen Adams Nathan Price Patricia Blick II. Finding a Quorum Quorum was present being six (6) in number. III. Minutes 1. May 4, 2023 Minutes A correction to the minutes was made on page 17, switching the name from Aleman to Haugen to reflect which commissioner spoke. Commissioner Fennell made a motion to accept the amended minutes. Commissioner Jones seconded. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. 1 June 1, 2023 IV. National Register Nominations None V. Deferred Certificates of Appropriateness None VI. New Certificates of Appropriateness 1. HDC2023-016 Jen Adams, Nathan Price, & Brad Spradlin Associated General Contractors of Arkansas 523 E. Capitol Signage VII.Other Matters 1. MacArthur Park Design Guidelines Comprehensive Update 2. CAMP Training June 2, 2023 -Virtual 3. Enforcement Issues 4. Certificates of Compliance HDC2023-017 -1301 Cumberland -reroof and roof repairs 5. Citizen Communication VIII. Adjournment 2 June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO.: HDC2023-016 NAME: Signage LOCATION: 523 E. Capitol Ave. OWNER/AUTHORIZED AGENT: Brad Spradlin & Nathan Price Associated General Contractors of Arkansas 523 E Capitol Little Rock, AR 72202 Figure 1. 523 E. Capitol, Little Rock, AR 3 June 1, 2023 ITEM NO .. ONE (Cont.) FILE NO.: HDC2023-016 AREA: 0.26 acres NUMBER OF LOTS: 1 WARD: 1 HISTORIC DISTRICT: MacArthur Park Historic District HISTORIC STATUS: Non-Contributing CURRENT ZONING: UU - Urban Use A. BACKGROUND Location The subject property is located at 523 E. Capitol. The property's legal description is "Trapnell Block of Stevensons Addition, East 75 feet of the North 150 feet, Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas." Context The subject property is the site of a two-story brick commercial structure, built d. 1974. The structure is a Non­- Contributing resource identified in the 2007 National Register survey form, PU2780, as a two­- story office building in the 20th century standard commercial style with frame construction, brick cladding, on a continuous concrete foundation. The structure has a rectangular plan with a pyramid roof. At the center of the roof is a skylight. Brick detailing includes cornice level courses, window lintels and sills, brick pilasters, and decorative courses along the foundation. Windows are stationary and arranged in groups of four Vertical, rectangular panes. Figure 2. Location of 523 E. Capitol within the MacArthur Park Historic Dis1rict. 4 June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO.: HDC2023-016 According to a 1972 zoning casefile (Z-2665-A), the structure was designed by John V. Robinson with the intention of being compatible with the surrounding historic district-before the district became an LOO. In the application, the structure was called the "Prestige Building". THE PRESTIGE BUILDING Figure 4. Z-02665-A Site Plan 3. Planning Commission casefile. 1972. Figure 3. 523 E. Capitol, Prestige Building, 1978 QQA Survey. 5 June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO .. HDC2023-016 The entry door was modified sometime between August 2014 and June 2015. Between 1978 and 1988, several first-floor windows were modified to have louvered panes on their lower half. Recent/Previous Action In 1981, a COA (HDC1981-002) was issued to Associated General Contractors for the installation of a new ground mounted sign. The sign was a 6' x 2.5' metal box on 2' supports. In 2009, a COC (HDC2009-003) was issued to Associated General Contractors to replace the sign after it was vandalized. The replacement sign was 6' x 4' vinyl applied to plastic poly frame. No other actions were found. B. PROPOSAL/REQUEST/APPLICANT'S STATEMENT: The application requests to install a free-standing sign at the front of the property and window signage on the front and rear entrances. See Attachment B. C. EXISTING CONDITIONS: See site photos (Attachment A) and application packet (Attachment B). D. NEIGHBORHOOD COMMENTS: At the time of distribution, there were no comments regarding this application. All owners of properties located within 200 feet of the site and all neighborhood associations registered with the City of Little Rock that surround the site were notified of the public hearing. E. ANALYSIS: The application requests the installation of four (4) signs: one (1) free-standing ground mounted sign facing northeast at the front of the property and three (3) window signs on the front and rear entrances. Sign #1: The proposed free-standing sign is 96" x 54" x " double sided acrylic and vinyl lettering and graphics on MOO panel. MOO panel (medium density overlay) is a plywood surface with a weather-resistant resin overlay bonded to the wood by heat and pressure. The MDO will be attached to 60" x 18" square brick masonry posts with 1" brackets. The sign will be located 5 feet from the front and 6 1. June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO.: HDC2023-016 side property lines and will be oriented northeast, facing the intersection of E. Capitol and Sherman Street. See site plan in Attachment B. Sign #2-4: The window signs are vinyl adhesive lettering and graphics. Signage for the Associated General Contractors will be placed on the front and rear entry doors and signage for Wright's Shine Parlor will be placed on the upper portion of the right sidelight. Section VII. E. "Design Guidelines for Site Design: Signs" of the MacArthur Park Design Guidelines (pg. 63-64) state: Signs should be subordinate to the architecture and overall character throughout the district. Historic signs should be preserved, including "ghost" signs on the sides of buildings. 1. Attached to Building: Signs attached to a building should not cover or obscure architectural features. Signs may be painted on windows, doors, or small panels at entrances or on awnings. Small signs may be flush-mounted on a building wall; may be hung on porches between posts; or may project from the structure. A sign on a masonry wall should be mounted in the mortar, not the masonry. 2. Free-Standing Signs: Free-standing signs should be low, small, and constructed of wood or a non-shiny finish. The recommended size should not exceed six square feet in area. These signs should be located in landscaped areas. All ground mounted (free standing) signs in the UU zoning district must be approved by the Board of Adjustment in addition to the Historic District Commission. [...] 3. Materials for signs: Materials used for signs should be traditional, such as finished wood, glass, copper, or bronze, not plywood, plastic, unfinished wood, neon or other internally lighted materials, or flashing lights. Materials should be compatible with the building materials. 4. Design of signs: The design of the signs should be appropriate to the building, in size, lettering, and style. Business logos or symbols are desirable. If several businesses share a building, coordinate the signs. Flashing, rotating, moveable, or portable signs should not be used. 5. Lighting of signs: Lighting of signs should be from remote sources, preferably from the ground aimed directly at the sign and shielded from street view. Lighting should not use visible bulbs, internal sources or luminous paint. Staff finds the signage request partially consistent with the guidelines. The free­ standing sign is not consistent with the guidelines in size and material. The guidelines recommend a sign area of 6 ft2. The proposed sign area is 36 ft.2, excluding masonry posts, and 49.5 ft.2, including masonry posts. A sign this large 7 June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO .. HDC2023-016 is not typical of the district. The property sits at the corner of an intersection and is easily visible from the public right of way. Staff finds that neither the scale of the structure, nor the circumstance of the property warrant a large sign. The property's base zone is Urban Use, where ground mounted signs are discouraged and can only be permitted by a variance. Concerning material, the sign is made of non-traditional materials, primarily plywood and vinyl. Instances of ground mounted signs with MDO plywood exist throughout the district. Where found, these signs are made more compatible with the district through their size, design, and integration of traditional materials through other features. Below are examples of signs in the district, specifically on E. Capitol, which utilize an MDO panel and are compatible with the district. To make the proposed sign more compatible with the district in size and material, Staff recommends reducing the size of the sign and using wood posts with simple Figure 6. Trapnall Hall, 433 E. Capitol, signage_ Figure 7. Current Hall. 615 E. Capitol, signage. Figure i. Raim•rater.4parrnreuts. 519E. Capitol. signage. capitals rather than masonry posts. The only instance of the use of masonry posts for a sign in the district is the Cumberland Towers at 311 E 8th Street —an 11-story International Style residential tower. Additionally, the property possesses two unpermitted sandwich board signs. Sandwich boards are not permitted in the UU Zone unless meeting specific June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO.: HDC2023-016 requirements and obtaining a sign permit. Staff requires the signs be removed for compliance and recommends integrating Wright's Shine Parlor signage into the proposed ground mounted sign by installing a horizontal sign board below AGC's signage. "If several businesses share a building, coordinate the signs." -Design Guidelines, p.64. Lighting and landscaping are not mentioned in the application. Figure 8 Multi-business sign example from Design Guidelines. page 63. Concerning the window signage, Staff finds the adhesive graphic signs proposed for the front and rear entrances to be consistent with the guidelines. As designed, the sign for Wright's Shine Parlor is inconspicuous. Staff recommends relocating the sign for Wright's Shine Parlor and placing it beneath the AGC sign on the rear entry door with a horizontal line between the two graphics. F. STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends denial of the application as submitted, or approval of the application with the following conditions: 1. Obtain required sign permits for all signs on property. 2. Reduce free-standing sign to no more than 24 square feet with a height not to exceed 6 feet. G. COMMISSION ACTION June 1, 2023 9 June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO .. HDC2023-016 Staff made a presentation to the commission. Chair Jones invited the applicants, Jen Adams and Nathan Price, to make a presentation. Mrs. Adams shared that AGC is agreeable to reducing the area of the sign to Staff's condition-no more than 24 square feet with a height not to exceed 6 feet. She also said they are agreeable to Staff's recommendation of replacing the proposed masonry posts with wood posts with capitals. Mrs. Adams said their main priority is to update the existing sign to be more representative of their organization's mission, reputation, and goals. AGC is pursuing signage updates in coordination with interior updates to the property. Mr. Price said they would ideally like to keep the masonry posts as part of the design if possible. Mrs. Adams said the size of the sign was proposed by the sign contractor and AGC was more in favor of a smaller sign anyway. They agreed the proposed size was not necessary for the property. Chair Jones asked Staff if the applicants amended their design to comply with the guidelines, would the application require another public hearing or could the final design be submitted to Staff for final approval following today's commission action. Ratzlaff said an amended design could be submitted and reviewed for final approval following today's public hearing if it complied with the approved conditions set by the Commission in a motion. The Commission discussed the applicant's request to use masonry posts. Commissioner Fennell said he agreed with Staff's recommendations for wood posts because it was consistent with the district, whereas masonry monument signs were not. Chair Jones asked if there were any other signs in the district that had masonry columns or were made primarily of masonry. Ratzlaff said the only instance of the use of masonry posts for a sign in the district is the Cumberland Towers at 311 E 81h Street-an 11-story International Style residential tower. Commissioner Nunn suggested that the masonry posts be scaled down as a compromise. He said it was not a deal breaker from his perspective and found the masonry design to be consistent with other masonry site features in the district, such as the masonry posts next door for the Rainwater Apartment fencing. He said he also recognized the difference between signs and fencing for the district. The applicant, Jen Adams, asked if they used wood posts rather than masonry, could the wood be the same color as the building trim. Ratzlaff said the guidelines did not regulate color in this circumstance. Commissioner Fennell said the use of masonry as a platform for the sign or integrated as a landscape feature beneath the sign would be more consistent 10 June 1, 2023 ITEM NO.: ONE (Cont.) FILE NO.: HDC2023-016 with the guidelines. Mrs. Adams asked if the shape of the sign was appropriate. Ratzlaff answered that it was not in conflict with the guidelines. Commissioner Fennell made a motion to approve the application with Staff's recommendations as well as the recommendation to use wood posts rather than masonry posts. The amended design will be submitted to Staff for final review for compliance with the approved conditions. Fennel added that a brick masonry base could be incorporated if desired. Commissioner Nunn seconded. The motioned passed with 6 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent. 11 June 1, 2023 VI I. Other Matters a.MacArtliur Park Design Gu1del111es CurT1pretlens1ve Update Staff presented a list of goals for the comprehensive update of the MacArthur Park Design Guidelines for Rehabilitation and New Construction for the purpose of the Commissioner prioritization. Staff goals: • High expectation of consultant for community engagement and participation. • National best practices applied to th_e Little Rock context. • Resource to property owners/developers/contractors for maintenance and repair, incentives, and technical-assistance. • Treatments for "non-contributing" resources. • Addressing gaps: e.g., historic detached accessory structures. • Clearer guidelines for the use of artificial materials. • Consideration of a residential infill pattern book. • Neighborhood/urban design standards for right-of-way improvements. The commissioners discussed the goals presented. Commissioner Aleman said as a property owner and resident in MacArthur Park Historic District neighborhood design standards were important. The Commission agreed that community engagement, neighborhood design, and the consideration of a residential infill pattern book were high priorities. Commissioner Green asked about the timeline for the project. Ratzlaff shared that the City of Little Rock was awarded a Certified Local Government grant in March. The Arkansas Historic Preservation's Certified Local Government coordinator is waiting on the approval and disbursement of funds at the federal level before a grant contract can be signed. Ratzlaff said the RFQ for consultant services will go out to bid soon and the project will be complete by August 2024, per the CLG grant requirements. b. CAMP Training June 2, 2023 -Virtual Staff reminded the commission of the upcoming training. c. Enforcement Issues There were no enforcement issues. d. Certificates of Compliance HDC2023-017 -1301 Cumberland -reroof and roof repairs e. Citizen Communication No citizens chose to speak during this time. 12 June 1, 2023 VIII. Adjournment There was a motion to adjourn. The meeting ended at 5:48pm. Attest Chair Date Staff Date 13