Nancy Fisher | 24th Street
|Watermark site. Photo Bill Morris.
The developers of the proposed Watermark project recently met with their citizen advisory committee to preview planned responses to feedback from neighbors, community members, and the DRB.
After spending considerable time analyzing the concerns of the community, the planners identified density, landscape (especially streetscape), and the concerns of residents living on nearby Heather Lane, as their priorities and have made significant adjustments to the design to address these issues.
In response to density concerns, the unit count has been decreased (from 48 to 38), the lot coverage has been reduced from 0.45 to 0.39, the FAR has been reduced from 0.67 to 0.60, and there has been a reduction in the number of units per building. Large courtyard areas have been added, guest parking has significantly increased and traffic will be reduced by 21% from the last plan presented.
In response to streetscape presentation along Jimmy Durante Blvd. and San Dieguito Dr. additional landscaping has been added to soften the presentation, power lines will be undergrounded, and setbacks (especially on the second floor) will be increased throughout the project. The retaining wall adjacent to the sidewalk has been eliminated, and the pedestrian experience has been enhanced with shade trees and ornamental landscaping.
The concerns of the Heather Lane neighbors have been taken seriously, and include noise, view, lighting, a request for Torrey Pine trees, overflow parking, and easement and access conflicts. Noise will be decreased with the elimination of rooftop A/C units and the elimination of patio and deck areas facing Heather Lane. Front doors will be oriented away from Heather Lane, and a hillside unit has been entirely eliminated to increase the setback on the hill from 15 feet to 40 feet. View concerns have been addressed with a decrease in 2nd floor building mass along Heather Lane, increased setbacks to match neighboring homes, and a fence with dense trees and plantings, including Torrey Pines.
The number of affordable units will be reduced from 7 to 6, with 3 or 4 deeded outright to the city.
The Environmental Impact Report is being amended to include this updated alternative and should be available for public review by the end of the year. Also, planners hope to unveil their new renderings and video to the community within the next few months.