Planners to discuss shielded parking at future meeting By Karen Brainard Ramona Community Planning Group unanimously approved the site plan for the Tractor Supply Company (TSC) store proposed for Main and Hunter streets. The presentation, however, led to concerns about the yet-to-be-adopted Ramona form based code and its push to shield parking lots from the main thoroughfare. The developers for the TSC store have been following the draft Ramona Village Center Form Based Code that was created by a consultant working with the Ramona Village Design Group.
The document is out for public review and is expected to be approved by the county Board of Supervisors this fall.
According to the county, the code differs from traditional zoning in that it the de-emphasizes use and puts greater emphasis on regulating building appearances within given neighborhoods.
Ramona developer Steve Powell, who is working with client Haymes Snedeker on the TSC building, told planners that with the form based code, “the intent is to move the building close to Main Street and then try to shield the parking.”
The 20,000-square-foot TSC building therefore has been designed to face Hunter Street with a street scene facade along Main. Access to the parking lot will be from Hunter Street and, at the request of the Ramona Village Design Group and the Ramona Design Review Board, several landscaping elements will be added along the Main Street side to help conceal the parking, noted Powell.
Working with the code and the village design group, Powell also said a corner monument for Main and Hunter was requested. Although what that will be has not been determined, Powell said it would have an “ag flavor,” such as a rustic silo.
During planners’ concerns at the end of the RCPG meeting, planner Torry Brean, who is also a member of the village design group, brought up the masking of parking lots.
“I’m still not 100 percent sure on how I feel on it,” he said, “but I think as a group I would encourage everyone to consider your position on it because that’s going to affect future projects moving forward and I think we need to be consistent on it whatever that direction is.”
“Some of the elements of the parking brings on synergy,” said planner Paul Stykel, who is also on the village design group. “If you see a parking lot empty, you’re not going to go in there. Or, if you can’t see the parking area, you’re not going to go in there, and that’s somewhat how I feel.”
Planner Dennis Sprong requested that a future agenda topic be a review of parking lot concealment and the design-based code.
The Ramona Village Center Form Based Code can be viewed at sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/ordamend.html and then click on “Ramona Form Based Code.” Public comments are due by Aug. 2.