Ramona Design Review Board approved the plans for Ramona’s new library last Thursday with the exception of signage and the exterior color, which will be further discussed and approved at a later date.
The architects for the library presented their plans at the board’s Aug. 27 meeting, highlighting several changes resulting from comments made at July’s meeting.
One of the features of the Southwest and Tuscan-style library building that had been debated was the color of the stucco. Last month board members said the proposed orange hue was too intense in color, although one of the architects, Manuel Oncina of Manuel Oncina Architects Inc., said it provided contrast to the Tuscan-style stone that had been selected.
At Thursday’s meeting, Oncina showed the board members samples of other shades of orange for the exterior.
Philip Pape, architect and vice president of Ferguson, Pape, Baldwin Architects, told the board that Director of the San Diego County Library Jose Aponte wants a color similar to that which was originally proposed, because it will make the building stand out and draw people to it.
Oncina said most of the libraries he has designed have strong colors.
“It almost seems the more colorful ones attract more attention,” he said.
Looking at the samples, Design Review Chair Carol Wylie said she preferred a color richer than terra cotta and suggested that a bright color could be used with a mottled look.
Board member Greg Roberson suggested a color between terra cotta and the deep orange originally proposed. Because a decision could not be made on the exterior color, Roberson suggested approving the library plans but allow the color to be further reviewed.
The board also held off on approving the signage because board member Rob Lewallen said they needed more specifics after the members discussed the size of the lettering and consistency among the signs.
Referring to the proposed signage, Oncina said, “It’s pretty much about attracting people to the library.”
The library approval vote also allowed for the possibility of modifying the parking lot to coordinate with any design modifications of the Ramona Intergenerational Community Center (RICC).
Roberson noted that the library is an anchor to the RICC and said there has been discussion of creating more of a Prado effect, as in Balboa Park, in the public space in the RICC. He said there is an opportunity for a pedestrian link to the public space and suggested that the library’s parking lot might be somewhat re-configured to work with this idea.
Oncina said he thought the RICC was in its final form but wants the library project to be complimentary to the ideas for the RICC.
Lewallen, who is chair of the Ramona Village Design Committee, suggested that those involved with the library plans attend a meeting that will be scheduled with the review board and the Ramona Community Planning Group on the ideas that resulted from the committee’s recent design workshop. The design group is working on the Paseo area of town, he said, and the library and RICC are in the center of the Paseo, from 10th to Pala streets.
Some other features in the library plans that the architects covered were the photo voltaic panels and the landscaping.
According to Pape, there will be about 3,400 square feet of photo voltaic panels on the roof that will be purposely visible in some spots for a “teachable moment.” He said they are looking into the maintenance of cleaning the panels.
Mitch Phillippe, with Van Dyke Landscape Architects, addressed some adjustments in the proposed landscaping. While the look will be lush and there will be a lot of color, the landscaping will require low water use, he said.
Regarding other issues at the meeting, Lewallen reported that Consultant Howard Blackson, who led the three-day village design workshop, has been working on the plans and ideas that resulted from the event, held earlier in August. The project is really exciting, Lewallen said, and “we need to get a lot more people involved.”
In other business, Wylie temporarily stepped down as board chair to make a presentation with Steve Powell on behalf of Richardson Recycling. Wylie, of Wylie Architects, showed her designs for a nearly 8,000-square-foot metal building.
Powell, president of Woodcrest Homes Inc. and the project coordinator for Richardson Recycling, said it is a million-dollar project with much of the cost due to extending the sewer line to accommodate bathrooms on the site per county regulations.
“The Richardsons have been wonderful people,” said Powell.
The reason, the Richardsons are doing this, Powell said, is because they own the land and have 20 years worth of patrons.
“It’s going to be a good looking building,” Lewallen commented just before the board approved the project.
The board also approved the signage for a new business, Sandy’s Shoppe, an antiques and collectibles shop at 738 E. Main St.
Signs for Chase bank were approved after reviewing changes that had been made from previous requests.