Design review board doesn’t like looks of health clinic design
By Karen Brainard
Ramona Design Review Board sent Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) officials and architects back to the drawing board to revise their medical clinic design.
Aaron Warner with Mascari-Warner Architects and Michael Shanahan, director of facilities planning development for PPH presented the plans for a one-story, 7,600-square-foot medical building on 13th Street across from the Ramona Library. The clinic will contain urgent care and primary care. There will be room to expand on PPH’s two adjacent parcels, Shanahan said at the Oct. 27 meeting.
Design review board members said the building design was different from the two-story, nearly 37,000-sqaure-foot building they approved almost two years ago. The clinic has since been downsized due to the economy and fewer tenants, said Shanahan.
Chair Debi Klingner said she was not a huge fan of the new style.
“It doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor the big one did,” she commented.
Member Greg Roberson said he was disappointed in the design and described the scale of the project and the look as residential. He pointed to the hip roof over the entry of the rectangular building and said that gives it a residential feel. Roberson asked that the roof form be changed.
“In my opinion, a dated design,” he said. “To me, the project, the look of the building…doesn’t do anything, doesn’t invite me.”
Design Review Board member Rob Lewallen also said he was not happy with the architectural style.
“We have all the intention of making this a high pedestrian area,” Lewallen said, mentioning future plans for the Ramona Intergenerational Community Campus to be added to land adjacent to the library.
“And they’re improving the street, so it’s going to get a lot more traffic,” added member Carol Close.
Warner agreed that the building was almost on a residential scale and said they didn’t want to give it a prominent entry. Shanahan and Warner talked about the possibility of expanding one day either by adding to the building or putting in additional buildings at the site.
Design review member Dan Vengler said he is concerned that, if the economy gets worse, PPH could sell one or both of the vacant parcels “and something else could go up there.”
Vengler also said he thought Ramona would be getting a lot more medical services and questioned what the community was getting from the $496 million bond voters approved in November 2004.
“I’m sorry it’s something smaller,” responded Shanahan. “We never had emergency care. We always had urgent care and that’s what we’re providing.”
The design review board also reviewed landscape plans, presented by John O’Malley with Weiland and Associates, and requested some changes. The board tabled approval and asked the architects to bring revised site plans to the design review board’s next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 17.
Although the plans for the clinic were approved by the Ramona Community Planning Group at its Oct. 6 meeting, that vote was made pending approval by the design review board.
In other business, the design review board voted in a new member for its remaining open seat.
Jim Cooper, a builder and a former member of the design review board, received the most votes for the seat. County supervisors must approve Cooper’s appointment.
Also expressing an interest in the board position was Nicole Ward, a Realtor and past president of the Ramona Real Estate Association, who attended the meeting. Roberson said Carol Fowler, a Realtor and member of the Ramona Village Design Group, was also interested but could not make the meeting.
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