A design to enclose a covered porch on a building at 3202 Big Horn owned by Kanye West is compatible to surrounding buildings, city planning and zoning board members say.
By unanimous vote Jan. 14, the P&Z approved plans for the former Mountain View Equipment office and shop across from Fremont Motors on Cody’s east side. The one level, 60-by-80-foot metal building – originally built as a two-suite office and shop – sets 350 feet off the road on 3.76 acres.
Paul Hansen Construction, a Cody-based general contractor, submitted the exterior architecture plan on behalf of West’s Psalm Cody Commercial. The porch enclosure is described as a vestibule rather than office space.
The proposed design removes front masonry wainscot. Instead, black metal wainscot from the building sides is continued along the lower portion of the Psalm Cody front porch enclosure. Although posts will no longer show, rock along the bottom posts will remain exposed.
City planner Todd Stowell said some variation of the building’s depth will be lost by the enclosure as it goes from an 8-foot deep porch to about a 2-inch recess.
“There is still some variation in depth due to the upper portion of the wall of the main building being stepped back,” he said. “The use of several windows and the aligning of the new doors with the gables above are good components of the project.”
Summarizing the enclosure request, Stowell said the board would need to determine if the proposed architecture is acceptable or if the building should be further enhanced to meet standards set by nearby businesses in the open business-light industrial zone.
Many nearby buildings are either relatively new or recently expanded and upgraded such as Sherwin Williams to the west and Federal Express to the south.
Referencing businesses with “higher architectural quality,” Stowell listed T-O Engineers (formerly GDA Engineers), Eleutian Technologies, Rawhide Mechanical, Cody Enterprise and Northwest Rural Water.
He said the “somewhat newer” buildings all have masonry, and encouraged the board to consider recommending Psalm Cody use a different material or different textured siding.
“Just to kick it up a notch,” Stowell said.
Providing a brief history, Stowell said when the Mountain View office-shop design was first presented to P&Z in 2016, board members then felt it didn’t fit with the quality of surrounding buildings.
They were concerned the all-metal building with covered porch and tri-color scheme for the roof, side-gables and trim-wainscot was too plain. Board members asked owner Steve Swan of Swan Enterprises to reconsider adding enhancements to the building’s exterior design.
Richard Jones, first appointed to P&Z in January 2016, is the only person on that board who remains on the P&Z commission today.
Three years ago Jones said the goal for Mountain View was not to just use different paint colors. It was to have other features to “lessen the impact” of a metal building.
Swan and his architect then returned with a plan that included timber frame gables above the two entry doors and the addition of a masonry wainscot on the building front along with a color change on the lower portions of the side walls.
At that time Stowell said the masonry reflected the architecture of the FedEx building with similar decorative rock along the lower portion of its walls, and the use of a wainscot was similar to the Sherwin Williams building to the northwest.
Black metal or rock
On Jan. 14, Stowell noted how the Psalm Cody proposal would hide all existing masonry enhancement with the exception of the column bases, and would visually replace the rock with black metal siding.
“The use of black sheet metal for the proposed front wainscot is admittedly the cheap alternative,” he said in a written summary.
Stowell suggested Psalm Cody investigate a more aesthetically enhancing material or texture.
“Any additional expense that may involve would be more than reflected in the resulting value,” he wrote.
Jones said he’d looked at the nearby businesses.
“In general, the (Big Horn) corridor is looking better,” Jones said. “(The proposed Psalm architecture) is not as good as the others. But I would have to approve it.”
No other board members commented.
The 6-0 vote to approve the architecture as “adequate to maintain compatibility with the area” was on condition lights with full-cut off design and modest intensity are added to the building front for the parking lot, per ordinance.
In October the P&Z approved a request from Psalm Cody Commercial to put up a 4,800-square-foot engineered fabric building on the same lot.
Some dirtwork has been done; however, concrete has not yet been poured.
Once in place, the structure is to serve as temporary storage for materials and merchandise related to apparel and music businesses.