I did not intend to start a post on the topic of the proposed assisted living center on Trousdale, but the buzz around town and the forthcoming election caused me to change my mind. I think the buzz started because more people than usual were watching the Council meeting on Oct. 23rd to see who would be appointed to the open seat vacated by Jerry Deal. This agenda item was right before it hence well-viewed. The front page article in the DJ on Thursday contributed to interest as well and noted
Meanwhile, the city brought up questions about the aesthetics of the building, including a chain-link fence property divider covered in vines not being up to par with the rest of the building.
“The original design was found to be very cold by the Planning Commission,” Nagel said. “Could you do anything for the fence itself? The chain link is kind of a step down from the character of this project. You can’t cover it all.”
The architects plan to look into alternatives. The financing is in place and the project represents six years of diligence, Cappel said.
“Your team (the council) has given us much to chew on and we have,” he said. “It meets the architectural requirements and fits into place beautifully at this point. It’s going to be welcoming to the community with a lot of glass and a lot of wood and will be open to community for classes.”
Other councilmembers had concerns about the fence and other features of the building.
“The wood brings an elegance to this building,” said Councilwoman Ann Keighran. “I’m not saying it has to be traditional; there’s ways of softening it. … It’s a corner building and much more prominent.”
The architects handling the project, SmithGroup JJR Architects, say they bring a knowledge of the region and local design aesthetics. The building will utilize Prodema metal painted wood to the exterior to make it warmer and to give it more character, said Joyce Polhamus, vice president of SmithGroup. The wood is easy to replace and lasts a couple decades, the architects added.
If you take a look at the Trousdale rendering on the DJ website (the link above) and then look at this sad little building in Millbrae you will see what she means by "bringing knowledge of the local design aesthetics" - unfortunately it reminds me of a really cheap hotel on the outskirts of Paris or Rome. Do large (as in the seventh largest firm in the country) and local go together? Then there is the Health Care District election next Tuesday with its own DJ article noting
Current board Chair Larry Cappel was elected to his first full term in 2010. Director Helen Galligan was elected to her first full term in 2006, while Director Dennis Zell was appointed in December 2013 to replace Joe Goethals, who was elected to the San Mateo City Council. Doug Radtke of Millbrae is running on a platform of combining the district with the Sequoia Healthcare District.
I'll leave the affordability question for another day, but it is interesting that the Daily Journal uses the first half of the article to discuss something brought up by all of two residents......
Read up and place your votes, ladies and gents!