ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
JULY 8, 2003
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Commissioner Colin Swales. Other Commissioners present were Marilyn Briggs and Cameron Hanson. Staff present were Bill Molnar, Brandon Goldman, and Sue Yates.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Minutes of the June 10, 2003 meeting were approved.
TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS
PLANNING ACTION 2003-071
REQUEST FOR FINAL PLAN APPROVAL FOR A 41-UNIT PROJECT UNDER THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OPTION.
250 CLAY STREET
APPLICANT: RUSS DALE
This action was called up for a public hearing.
PLANNING ACTION 2003-072
REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION TO DIVIDE THE EXISTING PROPERTY AT 1131 NORTH MAIN STREET INTO TWO PARCELS. THE APPLICATION INCLUDES A VARIANCE TO PERMIT THE CREATION OF A PARCEL THAT HAS A LOT WIDTH APPROXIMATELY TWO FEET GREATER THAN THE LOT DEPTH.
APPLICANT: JONATHAN LEVANN
Briggs asked a Condition be added that addresses interior sprinklers for houses exceeding 3000 square feet. Molnar suggested a Condition stating that "All conditions of the Fire Department be met prior to issuance of a building permit."
This action was approved.
PLANNING ACTION 2003-074
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO ALLOW THE EXPANSION OF THE EXISTING NON-CONFORMING GARAGE LOCATED AT 253 ALMOND STREET.
APPLICANT: JUDY PATTERSON
This action was approved.
TYPE II PLANNING ACTIONS
PLANNING ACTION 2003-051
REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION TO DIVIDE THE EXISTING PROPERTY AT 1205 TOLMAN CREEK ROAD INTO TWO PARCELS, WITH THE EXISTING RESIDENCE ON PARCEL 1.
APPLICANT: RICHARD AND SHIARA KIRSCH
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Briggs made a site visit.
Goldman said the applicant is proposing to divide a lot at Black Oak Way and Tolman Creek Road. The lot is over 18,000 square feet. There is a garage attached to the single family home straddling the property line. The garage is proposed for removal. Each lot meets or exceeds the zoning requirements. Staff is concerned that access to the proposed lot on Black Oak Drive will interfere with a ponderosa pine tree. Staff has recommended a 25 foot setback for the home on the new lot that will not impede on the dripline of the tree.
Adjoining property owners have expressed concerns regarding setbacks and density. The average lot size in this area is 12,000 square feet. Although it is a change in density within the neighborhood, it is consistent with the criteria in the R-1-7.5 zone.
Briggs referred to the TID letter. Molnar said the request made by TID is between the property owner and TID and the City does not need to be involved.
RICHARD AND SHIARA KIRSCH, 1205 Tolman Creek Road.
Richard addressed the concerns of the neighbor. Under the existing setbacks, they will be increasing the setback to ten feet. They are not intending to rent the home. They intend to sell the lot and improve the existing house and eventually live in it. They believe a new house will provide a buffer between the Freeman's house and their house.
Shiara said the application meets the City's criteria. By taking this ground and making a lot where a family can live is putting the ground to far better use than it is now.
HOLLY AND TOM FREEMAN, 1215 Tolman Creek.
Holly is concerned that the front home is currently a rental and there is increased noise in their yard. They don't want another rental so close to them. She is concerned about her plants during the construction process. It will change the feel and flavor of the neighborhood by adding another home. It will be very crowded and very close.
Tom is concerned about the lot square footage.
Goldman said if the survey shows the partitioned lot is only 7400 square feet, the applicant would be required to change the line to increase the square footage.
Rebuttal - No rebuttal
COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Briggs moved to approve PA2003-051. The motion was seconded and approved with the attached Conditions.
PLANNING ACTION 2003-053
REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION TO DIVIDE THE EXISTING PROPERTY AT 155 STRAWBERRY LANE INTO TWO PARCELS.
APPLICANT: BEN STOTT
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Briggs had a site visit.
Molnar said this action was granted administrative approval last month and a request was filed for a public hearing from the adjoining property owner at 29 Scenic Drive. The lot has frontage on Scenic Drive and Strawberry Lane. The proposal is to split the lot into two parcels with the larger of the two parcels retaining the residence, cottage and pool structure. A smaller parcel will have frontage along Scenic as well as the minimum required frontage along Strawberry Lane. The northeast section of the property is much more undeveloped in terms of steeper slopes with understory trees. The house will be on a half acre and the second parcel will be almost 14,000 square feet. Because this is a partition and involves slopes greater than 25 percent, there is a geological report submitted by Tom Ferraro. He states the area is suitable for construction.
There was a letter submitted by Barry Katzen that was handed out. His primary objection is the concern over adding another driveway in a particular section of Scenic because of sight distance. There are no curbs on either side and cars that make the turn are often driving in the middle of the road. Molnar said that generally improves as curbs and gutters are added.
Staff is requiring at least some evidence that the driveway grade standards can be met. Until a hillside permit is filed, that design could change. From a driveway grade standpoint, Strawberry would work better. Molnar recommended that if they chose to exit onto Scenic, at the time of the hillside permit, they would have to show they could not only meet driveway grade standards but they could get at least 150 feet of sight distance entering from the driveway onto Scenic. He suggested a Condition be added that evidence (as noted above) be provided at time of hillside permit and reviewed by the Engineering Division. Most likely the best location would be moving the driveway more to the south.
Staff just came across some new information as they were taking a final look at the application. As part of the local improvement district for Scenic and Strawberry, there is a retaining wall near the proposed driveway entrance. The retaining wall is shown to be about four and one-half feet high. Staff is concerned with the suggested Condition, that in moving the driveway into the other location, it will most likely be very difficult to see around the retaining wall unless the car is almost in the travel lane. Molnar said they are considering a change in Condition 4. It would state that the driveway access to the new Parcel 2 be from Strawberry Lane unless they can show they can meet driveway grade, sight distance and mitigate any potential conflicts with Katzen's driveway. It appears it could be very difficult to design a driveway that will work and they may be forced to design the driveway from Strawberry.
Molnar said the partition meets all the requirements with the exception of the gray areas concerning driveway access. The Commissioners can either approve the partition as proposed or approve the partition and change the language of Condition 4, directing the future house to gain access off Strawberry Lane. Or, a new owner could ask for modification of this partition if they can show they can access Scenic.
Swales believes there are some severe constraints on the partition without having plans for building.
BEN STOTT, 155 Strawberry Lane, said some of the largest trees are on the flag lot. He has a strong desire not to have a driveway running next to his pool. He believes his request meets the code. Stott said Jim Olson, City Engineer, suggested contouring the land back to do something with a retaining wall and then the sight distance could work.
COMMISSIONERS' DICUSSION AND MOTION
After finding out there are significant trees on the flag lot, Briggs would not like to approve this application until the trees are mapped. She would propose a continuance to wait for better drawings.
Hanson does not object to the partition. He believes someone can put in an appropriate driveway. It will present problems for anyone purchasing the property. Anything that comes up will have to be dealt with by the buyer. He does not see this as a reason to deny the application at this point.
Molnar is concerned if the Commissioners deny this action, on what criteria standard will they base their decision?
Swales said the whole parcel is on the edge. The lot is steep. The driveway shown has a triple retaining wall not showing detailed drawings to see if it meets the criteria. He is concerned about protecting the future owner. He is not convinced that the terraces drawn meet the requirements of developing on hillside lots. Molnar explained this is not a Physical and Environmental Constraints permit.
Hanson moved to approve. The motion failed for lack of a second.
Based on Criteria A, Briggs moved to continue this action to the full Commission. She would like to see better drawings, showing the trees along the Strawberry flag lot and better elevations of the hillside. Swales seconded the motion. The motion carried with Hanson voting "no".
PLANNING ACTION 2003-061
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO OPERATE A THEATER (THE GREEN ROOM OF ASHLAND THEATER VENUE) AT 280 E. HERSEY STREET (LEASE SPACE A-1). THE THEATER PROPOSES TO OPERATE FROM 5:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT, MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AND 9:00 A.M. TO MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAYS.
APPLICANT: JOSHUA HEUERTZ
Goldman said Staff's primary focus on this application has been regarding building and fire codes as this building was originally not intended for a theater use. They have also looked at the Conditional Use Permit criteria to see if there would be an adverse impact on the neighborhood.
In March of 2003, theaters were not a permitted use in an E-1 zone. The City Council amended that section of the code, allowing theaters as a CUP. The theater, housed in unit A-1 is at the rear of the property. They are not proposing any external modifications to the building. Staff believes the unit will not violate the noise ordinance, however, a neighbor has heard noise in the early morning hours. It is unclear if the noise is coming from the theater use or from another use in the complex. If it is found that applicant violates the noise requirements, the CUP can be revoked.
With regard to hours of operation, Staff has recommended the hours as noted Condition 2.
Parking was a concern. The applicant produced a lease agreement stating they would have use of the 15 parking spaces exclusively for their use during the proposed hours of operation.
The Fire Marshall has performed a special inspection and the applicant was given a list of items to be completed. Goldman has included Conditions 3 and 4 to insure the building and fire code requirements are met.
Swales asked if the 15 parking spaces are their exclusive use. Goldman said only during their hours of operation.
Briggs suggested using "midnight" instead of 12 a.m. in Condition 2. Goldman agreed.
JOSHUA HEUERTZ, 73 Garfield Street, #4, does not believe the noise violation is with them. The have made the corrections the Fire Department has requested. If the application is approved, he will finish the list.
Briggs suggested Heuertz get his lease to match the hours of operation noted in the Conditions of approval.
BRUCE DWIGHT, 275 E. Hersey Street, said he has some signatures from people living in a one block area nearest the entrance and exit to the proposed use expressing their concern over the late hours and noise and traffic. He would like to see Clear Creek Drive punched through. Molnar said that vehicular connection has not been considered because of grade. Dwight is concerned about the applicants running the theater because when they began operating (for a considerable period of time) they did not realize they needed a CUP. As business owners, they should find these things out.
Rebuttal - Heuertz specifically located in E-1 because it seemed designed to accommodate their facility. He understands they could have their CUP revoked if they violate any of the Conditions of approval. He said people talking outside can be a problem because the noise ricochets off the building.
COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Hanson moved to approve PA2003-061. Briggs seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Swales thinks the Commission needs to look carefully at these applications with regard to the criteria.
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.
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