Wednesday, July 18, 2007

House Plan Elevations Are Given High Marks

House Plan Elevations Are Given High Marks
By Jennifer Gentile/Staff Writer

The second time was a charm for house plans related to a Vacaville subdivision, which the Planning Commission approved unanimously Tuesday night.

Both the commission and the City Council have voted in favor of the Montessa Subdivision, a 58-lot, subdivision of single-family homes to be built on California Drive opposite Araquipa Court. Approximately 17 acres of the 40-acre site will be developed while the remainder will be designated hillside open space.

While the commission supported the project at its June 5 meeting, it wanted to take another look at the house plans at a later date. The panel had concerns about the elevations - front, side, and rear views - of the homes, since the rear and sides will be visible from adjacent neighborhoods and parks.

As Jill Williams, architect with KTGY Group, Inc. explained Tuesday night, the plans were amended to address these concerns. Details like gable roofs and window shutters were added to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the other sides of the homes.

"We've been working very carefully with city staff," Williams said. After the project was approved, she said, "It was really just addressing the four-sided nature of the homes, taking the details of the front elevations and wrapping them around the other sides of the homes so they are complete in their detailing."

The four proposed house plans reflect a mix of one- and two-story models. The largest is a 3,562-square-foot model with five bedrooms and three bathrooms while the smallest is a 2,065-square-foot model with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

A neighbor to the project, Lew Derfuss, stated a variety of concerns about Montessa as a whole.

"I'm opposed, I'm adamantly opposed to this," Derfuss said. "California Drive has a traffic congestion problem now." Responding to Derfuss's concern about how far up the hillside the homes would climb, Eric Peterson with developer Pavilion Communities said the homes would only extend about 25 feet vertically up the hill.

Frank Crim, one of the four commissioners who voted on the item, said he was concerned before about the rear of the homes looking like a flat wall with little detailing.

"I think it's great to go that extra step and do the right thing," Crim said. "All in all, I think it is a much better plan design."

Peterson said he expects construction to start in the summer of 2008.

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at

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