Design Review panel OKs plans for Williams-Sonoma, Dutch Bros.

With accolades ringing in their ears, the Williams-Sonoma design team ended a successful visit to the Sonoma Design Review and Historic Preservation Commission Tuesday, one step closer to creating their tribute store for 98-year-old Chuck Williams.

This time, the review was for an awning, fountain, outdoor fireplace and property landscaping, transforming what is now a weed-filled vacant lot on First Street West into what was characterized as “casual, Sonoma elegance.”

“The project exceeds all my expectations for design and materials,” said Commissioner Robert McDonnell. “There’s nothing to add.”

The conversion of three commercial spaces in front of a vintage house at 599 Broadway, into a small store, culinary school and cafe, was previously approved by the Planning Commission. Also approved were architectural details, colors, and materials.

Jeff George, landscape architect, presented plans for the rear of the property, which goes all the way back to the street. It included permeable pavers and pear trees for the parking lot, a gated entrance to the rear yard, featuring recycled timber for fencing, a garden space with raised vegetable beds, a stone fireplace and a 16-foot-long fountain along with a small potting area and mulch space. There will also be several trees and shrubs, grasses, vines, espaliers and ground covers.

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