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Far West Design Review Case Report


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Project Information

Far West Case #  FW 2017-022

Address: Triskett Rapid Station Parking Lot
Company: Fischer & Associates Architects Inc

New Horizon Educational Center on portion of Triskett Rapid parking lot.


Committee Actions/Submissions

Date: September 20, 2017
Committee: Staff
Action Type: Initial Plan Submission
Date: September 27, 2017
Committee: Local Design Review Committee
Action Type: Tabled

Tabled with following comments:

·         Complete sidewalk needed on front (inboard of landscaping promised by applicant)

o   Must look like a sidewalk

o   Should tie in to existing sidewalk along east side

§  Loss of southerly and easterly sidewalk is a serious issue, especially for handicap

o   Can RTA be brought to the table to ensure pedestrian connections are strong?

·         Building

o   Feels suburban and cookie cutter

o   Reminds of new church at Triskett & Lorain (not a good thing!)

o   Forward Ian’s suggestions to applicant

o   Opportunity to bring in more color: roofing, metal

§  Take a risk with one material to add color/accents

o   How does the design tell us this is an education center? Is this an assisted living facility? An office?

o   Mix up material size and type to create more texture/articulation of building.

o   Add color

o   Take cues from the character of the city and neighborhood in general

o   Small Details: Metal roof, blue accent band, glazing of the windows, colored storefront system

o   The building should read as ‘SCHOOL’

o   Bring playground samples next time

o   Green space: What are you doing with the hillside?

o   Billboard: Find out lease – probably want to remove

o   Fences: Chain link STRONGLY discouraged

§  If you must do chain link it must be black vinyl coated

§  Vinyl coated chain link along hillside may be okay

§  Aluminum fence product must be kid tested – high enough quality to survive kids.

§  Enhanced landscape buffer along tracks to enhance sound buffering. Evergreens.

§  North side and frontage should be same type of fencing

§  6’ vinyl privacy fence along tracks is okay

§  Bring a spec sheet for proposed fence products.

·         Committee wants as many trees as possible: refer to Tree Plan.

o   Ask Tom for a copy of the City’s Tree Plan if you do not have one.

·         Complete landscape plan required. Plant list. Scientific and common names. Number. Size at time of planting. Number shown on plan must match number in schedule. Curbed edges required for all landscape areas.

o   Minimal care plant selections

o   Speak to maintenance plan

·         Consider punching out hipped roof to create cupola. Widows watch instead of hipped roof at top. Adds extra natural light on the inside.

·         Drainage? Applicant: 4-catch basins throughout site and removing impervious surface.

·         Site lighting? Applicant: lights at entry, wall packs. Two four headers on edges of parking spaces. Ohio Edison poles for the north side. Replicate sconces on rapid station.

o   Study pedestrian-level lighting

·         Photometric plan required.

·         Northeasterly parking stalls and adjacent play area. Is the play area big enough to be adequately buffered? Visual separation between parking area and play area for kids safety. Perhaps even remove them?

·         Signs: A sign plan is required. Applicant: Ground sign 6’ max on masonry base. Internally illuminated. Landscape around sign base.

·         Design Dumpster enclosure to match building. Include gate. Study re-orienting opening of dumpster enclosure.

o   Masonry enclosure with pipe bollards out front


·         Connect entrance sidewalk from building to main sidewalk


Remove existing stair from Triskett

Split face striped pattern

Asphalt shingle roof

Aluminum sliding window

Tried to react to colors around Lorain Rapid Station

Fencing basically encircles the entire site, except northerly bank of spaces is unenclosed so it is effectively shared with RTA park n ride.

6’ privacy fence along rail line

4’ chain link on sides

4’ ornamental aluminum along frontages

Removal of stairs & sidewalk along rail line

All split face block

Azek trim

Vinyl shake shingle

Landscaping around front

Two major play areas – one north, one south – similar pieces to W 25th


25-28 staff members

Date: October 4, 2017
Committee: Staff
Action Type: Revised Plan Submission
Date: October 11, 2017
Committee: Local Design Review Committee
Action Type: Schematic Design Approval
  • Provide dumpster enclosure detail including gate material
  • Clearly indicate smooth block sills and proposed paint color
  • Provide window details. Elevations should indicate type and method of operation.
  • Provide glazing material sample.
  • Provide storefront material sample.
  • Obtain details of lease with billboard company prior to next meeting.
  • Clearly delineate curbed and non-curbed areas.
  • Add more trees. Replace boxwoods in front of building with trees. Use expanded green space as an opportunity for robust landscaping and tree planting.
  • Complete lighting plan required for next meeting. Provide details on wall packs.
  • Provide detail showing how pedestrian-ways will be striped.



  • Can you add a header piece above the windows? Different texture of same materials? 
  • Please get in touch with RTA to ensure your pedestrian connections are satisfactory to them.


Emailed Notes from Absent Committee Member:

  • Are they planning on rebuilding the tree beds along the road? In the site plan it looks like they’re keeping the tree pits as existing despite removing a lot of the curb cuts that were once parking aisles (look at the curb drawing between their two driveways to see what I mean, as well as at the east corner). It wouldn’t make sense to keep the curb cut and have it terminate at the sidewalk.

  • Are they open to continuing the block upward so that it fills the larger gable in the front? I have a deep aversion to siding gables sitting on top of masonry walls. Just looks awkward. I’m thinking they can continue the block up into the gable and either eliminate the top-most horizontal green band in that center portion, or have it line the gable under the eave rather than going straight across. 



Tom Jordan. Melissa Miller. Jeff Blazek. Michael Howard. Marty Cader. Dave Smith. Tom Zimmer. Gary Fischer.

Date: November 3, 2017
Committee: City Planning Commission
Action Type: Schematic Design Approval

Schematic Design Approval incorporating the Staff Report and Design Review's comments.

Date: November 7, 2017
Committee: Staff
Action Type: Revised Plan Submission
Date: November 8, 2017
Committee: Local Design Review Committee
Action Type: Approved with Conditions

Conditions of approval:

  1. Add additional trees towards front of building in green spaces.
  2. Add medium-height shrubs around dumpster enclosure.
  3. Make sure all plans match (site plan, architectural plan, landscape plan, civil plan)
  4. Provide a spec sheet for the concrete planters (this last one is a staff-requirement, not a committee requirement).

Recommendations/Suggestions (not required for approval):

  1. Study a color for the vinyl privacy fence that is more complementary to building and other fences. Applicant currently proposes white. Grayish or taupe recommended.
  2. Add a tropical jade accent to the top of the monument sign base.
  3. Wall sign. Sign band return should match or complement building color.
  4. Work with RTA to improve pedestrian connection.

Applicant has committed to do the following:

  1. Hillside. Clean up garbage. Give vegetation a haircut. Make an effort to remove invasives.
  2. Close one of the three, southerly curb openings.
  3. Revise sign plan so that max height does not exceed 6' and scale down area of sign face accordingly.
  4. Billboard will be removed.
Date: November 17, 2017
Committee: City Planning Commission
Action Type: Approved with Conditions

Approved with Condition that plans shall include a concrete sidewalk and landscaping to be installed for staff approval.