A project manager from said he has worked with the city and the San Clemente Historical Society to address concerns about a big planned project next to the historic City Hall on El Camino Real, known as the Easley Building.
Soong Kim, project manager for a, said he's upset about recent criticism in the media from the San Clemente Historical Society.
"We started out designing with a lot of respect for the [city hall] building," Kim said. "Our architect for the project is WHA and a consulting architect reccommended by the city--you probably have heard of him; Henry Lenny from Santa Barabara is kind of the Spanish colonial guru.
The historical society sent out press releases and President Georgette Korsen commented on the recent article about the project on Patch.
"The developers latest renderings for this project use perspective, angles and incomplete images to create the illusion that it is considerably smaller than it is," Korsen wrote.
"When residents make up their mind, I'm hoping they insist on viewing a straight on shot, showing all buildings adjacent, so that the enormity of this project is not obscurred and they will fully understand what it is we will be getting."
Kim denied that any of the renderings--many of which were prepared in response to the historical society's concerns--were misleading.
"I'm a little offended as a project manager when I go to your blog and see Georgette Korsen saying the renderings are misleading," he said. "[The renderings are] not not an illusion. These are scientific architectural tools. I realize everyone has different opinions, but I feel like we're dealing with emotions now. Our project meets all the zoning requirements."
Kim cited changes that have made the building less massive, both in appearance and in actuality.
The third story is set back from the street farther than the first two, cutting into the residential square footage, but creating a stepped back effect that keeps the front face of the building from looming over the old city hall.
Kim also said a 30-by-32-foot courtyard fronting El Camino Real directly adjacent to the Easley building would expose more of the city hall's frontage to Camino Real than is visible now.
This courtyard and another, larger street-facing courtyard will break up the frontage of the building, also making it appear less massive and cutting into the indoor-square footage of the commercial space, Kim said.
The design review subcomittee of the San Clemente Planning Commission will review the project at a meeting in mid February.