A proposed 67-unit apartment building near the Elks Lodge will be on the tonight's agenda for the Design Review Board.
The six-story L-shaped complex, which would be constructed on the parking lot behind the Elks Lodge, has gone through several incarnations since its original concept in 2008.
Development agency Thompson/Dorfman Partners changed the design to make the new building look less contemporary after meeting that the structure would clash with the near by , and .
The new plan includes 67 units, with four stories of residential housing over two stories of parking, 112 garage and uncovered parking spaces, new landscaping and driveway improvements.
In several community meetings, neighbors voiced their concerns over increased traffic on Mission Avenue and the demolition of the historic carriage house on the site. The two-story carriage house was built in 1875 and is considered a historic resource, according to the staff report. The project is proposing to preserve the southern facade of the structure and relocate it to another area of the site.
"The developer is asking us to believe that demolition or partial demolition of this significant historic Louise Boyd Carriage House will improve the area and make his apartment project feasible," Elks member Brad Sears wrote in a letter to his fellow Elks.
Although Sears is not speaking for the Elks Lodge, he believes the club should take a part in preserving this historic structure.
"Some of us find the idea that having an oversized building with the additional residents and their vehicles an inappropriate use for this unique area as supported by our zoning laws," he wrote.
The project is also requesting for an exception to be made for the building height, which stands at 57 feet. The city's maximum allowed height for this area is 36 feet, according to the staff report.
"These buildings are very subjective things," said Lorn Dreitzler, lead Elks trustee who's negotiated the deal with the developers.
Dreitzler believes the redesigned building fits in better with the neighborhood, but there will always be "others who look at it and will not like it no matter what."
The Design Review Board will also hear the proposal for a nine-unit, three-story residential townhome development on G and Ida streets.
Check San Rafael Patch tomorrow for the results from the meeting.