Appearance Review Board Coordinator Says He Worked on Fountain VU 5 With Its Developer - What Exactly Did He Do?

The 1921 home and the building that will replace it.

We told you February 21st that a home built in 1921 may be demolished at 330 Broadway Ave as part of a master plan request submitted by developer Mark Kinchla to the city to construct on that lot a five story, 56.5 feet tall, 5 unit, rear-loaded, townhome development called Fountain VU 5.

The Municipal Planning Board public hearing for this project is scheduled for March 20, 2018.

Appearance Review Board Coordinator Douglas Metzger did a courtesy review of the project. He spent several months working on the building's architecture with the developer and believes the exterior architecture design is close to being ready for an ARB Final Review.  

The exterior architecture, based on the current renderings provided in City documents takes no visual cues from the historic district laying just behind it. Also, there is a large chasm between the size of this building and the size of the homes within the neighborhood.

Because of these discrepancies, The Daily City asked for an interview with Metzger. We wished to ask exactly what he spent those months doing with the developer. 

The Daily City was turned down for an interview. 

We were given instead the first drawings Kinchla gave Metzger. This was an attempt by Metzger to display the differences between Kinchla's first presentation and the most current rendering shown at the top of the page. In the initial presentation below, the building is only 4 stories and 46 ft tall. Click the sketches below to see the details. 

Others are attempting to reach Metzger as well. Members of the Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association are being urged by their President David J Martensto to email a pre-written message to Metzger as well as Commissioner Patty Sheehan to share very specific thoughts about he building using a pre-formatted letter. (See below). 

The formatted letter given to member of the Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association to sent to Metzger and Sheehan below: 

Douglas A. Metzger, Appearance Review Official
Appearance Review Coordinator
City Planning Division
400 S. Orange Ave-6th Floor
Orlando, FL 32802

Dear Mr. Metzger,

Our neighborhood association board recently provided an overview of a proposed development project at 330 Broadway Ave. The new development would add 5 townhouse units to the parcel on the corner of Ridgewood St. and Broadway Ave. While we are encouraged that the owners plan to keep the parcel residential, the overall volume, scale, massing and design unacceptable. 

The proposed plan has the units fronting Ridgewood. This will cause irreparable harm to the residents of Broadway. The shared easement driveway will have an appearance of an alley with garages and any necessary O2-zoned security lighting visible from most of the homes on Broadway which is not compatible with the established pattern along the block face. Additionally there is concern of potentially 10 trash/garbage receptacles as well as other debris needing collection that will be placed along Broadway Ave driveway. The front porches must face Broadway and be aligned with the existing home setbacks to maintain a sense of community and neighborhood. This will also place the garages to the west, adjacent to the parking lot on Ridgewood where no residential neighbor will have to see them. We believe that the current position will be unattractive, increase traffic and reduce the perceived value of our properties.

The setback allowances seem overly generous. The structure should align with the existing homes on Broadway to not upset the rhythm of the street. This is first and foremost a residential area and a key gateway to the Lake Eola Heights Historic District. If you allow the building as drawn, it will overshadow the existing structures.

The mature tree canopy is another concern. Orlando City Code Sec.60 addresses protection of Specimen, Landmark and Historic Trees. The proposed structure would impact the specimen oaks on the property as well as the parkway which violates City Code. The structure must be a proper distance from each of them for protection. 

The height, at 5-stories, is far too tall. It does not provide a transitional scale and will dwarf the existing structures along the block. Additionally it will cast permanent shadow on the adjacent contributing historic structure. This shade will most likely prevent the landscape buffers from surviving causing another unsightly view from our property.

The exterior of the building as shown in the renderings does not have any character. It has the appearance you would find in a lower level planned community and not that of the surrounding historic neighborhood. The roof line and upper balcony is especially troublesome. It has an entirely different architectural look than the rest of the building. Though the property is not in the local historic district it is in the Lake Eola Heights National Register Historic District and should be sensitive to its collective contextual relationship with regards to form, scale, massing and design. 

The shared driveway will add a massive amount of concrete to the site that will be visible from most of the homes on Broadway. Not only is this a clunky and awkward solution, it will be a permanent eyesore for us and the other residents on the east side of Broadway. If a project must borrow land from an adjacent property to function that is an indication the project is too large for its site. There is no other example in this district where O-zoned property shares an easement with R-zoned property and in particular with a contributing historic property. This configuration and use would diminish the historic character of the historic property 

Another concern regards parking. This block along Broadway and in front along Ridgewood does not provide on-street parking. Experience shows narrow townhouses can rarely hold two cars in their two car garages let alone additional guest parking. There is no support for any changes to the parking rules that are in existence. Furthermore, the St. James school blocks the Ridgewood/Broadway intersection twice daily. FountainVu5 residents would be trapped if the alley is off of Broadway. On Ridgewood, there would not be a problem entering or exiting. 

It is our opinion the proposed project as presented is not compatible within its block and will be detrimental to the surrounding residential and historic properties and cause a decline in value/ perceived value. It should be scaled back and managed closely so it has a look and feel that works with the existing neighborhood. 


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