Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Hearings Board

Minutes
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
HEARINGS BOARD
MAY 11, 2004
MINUTES

I.      CALL TO ORDER
Chair Russ Chapman called the Ashland Planning Commission Hearings Board meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. on May 11, 2004 at the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street, Ashland, Oregon.

000 COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Russ Chapman, Chair
Marilyn Briggs
Kerry KenCairn
ABSENT MEMBERS: None
COUNCIL LIAISON: Alex Amarotico (Council Liaison does not attend Planning Commission meetings in order to avoid conflict of interest.)
HIGH SCHOOL LIAISON: None
SOU LIAISON: None
STAFF PRESENT: Mark Knox, Associate Planner
Maria Harris, Associate Planner
Brandon Goldman, Assistant Planner
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

II.       APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND FINDINGS
The minutes of the April 13, 2004 Hearings Board were approved.

III.     TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS 

A.       PLANNING ACTION 2004-049
IS A REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED TRAVELER'S ACCOMMODATION LOCATED AT 115 NORTH MAIN STREET.
APPLICANT: JESSICA AND BRUCE CAPP

This action was approved.

B.       PLANNING ACTION 2004-051 IS A REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION AND BOUNDARY LINE ADJUSTMENT TO DIVIDE TWO EXISTING PARCELS INTO THREE PARCELS (I.E. NET INCREASE OF ONE PARCEL) FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 705 CLAY STREET.
APPLICANT: MERLIN NUSS

This action was approved.

C.       PLANNING ACTION 2004-052
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AND SITE REVIEW TO CONVERT A PORTION OF THE EXISTING RESIDENCE AT 904 GARDEN WAY INTO AN ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL UNIT.
APPLICANT: DENNIS GRAY AND JANE CORY-VANDYKE

This action was called up for a public hearing.

D.       PLANNING ACTION 2004-053
REQUEST FOR FINAL PLAN APPROVAL FOR A TEN-UNIT RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION UNDER THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OPTION FOR THE 2.4 ACRE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 940 CLAY STREET (EAST SIDE OF CLAY STREET, SOUTH OF SISKIYOU BOULEVARD).
APPLICANT: COTA HOMES, LLC

This action was approved.

E.       PLANNING ACTION 2004-018 IS A REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW TO CONSTRUCT A TWO-STORY, 1800 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION TO THE EXISTING COMMERCIAL BUILDING LOCATED AT THE CORNER OF PIONEER AND "A" STREETS AT 322 PIONEER STREET. THE BUILDING ADDITION IS LOCATED ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE EXISTING GATHERING GLASS STUDIO (AND ASSOCIATED MANUFACTURING AREA) AND CONSISTS OF 1,050 SQUARE FEET OF COMMERCIAL SPACE AND A 750 SQUARE FOOT ONE-BEDROOM APARTMENT.
APPLICANT: AL CARLSON AND SANDRA

This action was approved.

IV.     TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS

A.       PLANNING ACTI0N 2004-023
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO ALLOW A TEMPORARY PRIVATE PARKING LOT ON A VACANT PARCEL LOCATED AT 530 CATALINA DRIVE, SOUTH OF MAPLE STREET. THE REQUEST WOULD ALLOW THE TEMPORARY PARKING LOT TO BE USED FOR TWO YEARS IN ORDER TO OFFSET THE DISPLACEMENT OF OFF-STREET PARKING ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMODELING OF THE MEDICAL BUILDING LOCATED AT 246 CATALINA STREET (I.E. RETINA AND VITREOUS CENTER).
APPLICANT: DR. WILLIAM RODDEN

STAFF REPORT
Goldman said the intent of the request is to offset the current on-street parking demands. The proposed parking lot would accommodate 16 parking spaces. Staff has recommended several conditions of approval to assure the parking lot remains only a temporary use. They have directed the applicant not to do physical improvements to the site that would become a de facto permanent parking lot and not to formalize the existing driveway curb cut to the north. Staff has recommended a Condition that would allow the applicant to bond for the sidewalk improvements to be completed at a future date with the site design for a future building. A 3500 square foot building that could be accommodated on the site with ten parking spaces (hypothetical medical building) would be a greater impact on the site than the parking lot. Staff believes 16 parking spaces would generate less traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) than would a medical office.

Staff has had concerns with the storm drain runoff due to the seven percent slope on the property. The applicant has proposed a bioswale to extend along the south property line, continuing downhill until it gets to the lowest point on the lot in the northern corner. A sump pump would be installed at that point to pump the water back up to the catch basin and into the storm drain system. The Engineering Dept. has said the proposal can work. Condition 3 has been added requiring submittal of a revised storm drain plan.

The applicant has proposed installing an automatic gate at the parking lot entrance. Only employees would be allowed to access for parking. During the construction phase on the Catalina building, the applicants envision a valet parking where patients' cars would be parked in the lot. Staff is recommending at the conclusion of the CUP (two years), if no extension for a CUP has been filed, that either bollards be installed or the automatic gate disabled so the parking lot would be permanently closed. The parking lot will have a six inch shale base. The applicant has proposed using "Earthbind" on the surface for adherence and dust abatement.

The Tree Commission has recommended the poplar trees along the property line be removed and replaced. The existing almond tree is proposed for retention. The Tree Commission did not believe parking in the vicinity of the almond tree would damage it. However, they recommended a barrier around the tree to keep cars from hitting the trunk of the tree. The Tree Commission has recommended the apple tree in the travel lane be preserved. Retaining the apple tree would eliminate five parking spaces. Staff only recommends preservation of the almond tree.

There are seven Conditions attached.

KenCairn and Briggs favored the Tree Commission's recommendation to retain the almond tree, but agreed with Staff that the apple tree should be removed.

PUBLIC HEARING
MARK REITENGER, 305 Vista Street, concurred with Staff's recommendation to remove the apple tree. If they could remove the almond tree, they would be willing to make an exchange and provide a tree as large or larger as a street tree. Goldman responded they would have to go through the tree removal staff permit process. Reitenger said Dr. Rodden felt the use of a temporary parking lot would be the best way to aid them in reworking their own parking lot and bringing it up to current standards. The hospital construction is taking a bite out of on-street parking.

CASEY BRIGHT, 531 Scenic Drive, lives to the west of the proposal. He has no objections to a temporary parking lot, but his main concern is with the storm drain runoff and surface runoff. The whole area - Catalina, Scenic, Dr. Fried's office and his property - are the low point. They have had a lot of summer/winter water (subsurface) runoff and the runoff has been re-routed by the City Engineering Dept. He has seen the bioswale proposal and is concerned with overflow or inability of the bioswale to absorb the storm water. The overflow would end up in Bright's garage. There is a utility easement along the north side of his property from Scenic to Catalina. When the medical clinic was built, all the utilities were laid in the ground on the north side of his property and they made allowances for future development. He just doesn't want this project to exacerbate the run-off problems. Chapman suggested Bright make a list and give it to Jim Olson.

YVONNE FRIED, 540 Catalina, said she likes the almond tree. There is almost no parking on Catalina. She does not like the idea of a gravel parking lot next to her office as it is not in keeping with the neighborhood. She is concerned with the incline. Her parking lot is paved. She has the same incline in her lot. She has to stop at the top and sometimes pull back. She envisions someone trying to get out of gravel lot and if they have a stick shift, they will have to accelerate, tossing rocks. There will be some amount of dust generated and it will be a problem for her office. She has a lot of computer equipment and already deals with dust. Paving would be fine. If they have valet parking for their patients, it implies there will be a lot of use of the space. Construction usually takes longer than anticipated. The hospital will soon be starting the construction of their new wing. Fried said her husband is concerned about the lack of beauty and would like to make sure the parking lot has a rim of appropriate green space.

KenCairn noted that paving would only make the storm water issue worse.

The Commissioners agreed to add a Condition that a 25' x 10' wide paved strip extend from the existing curb cut on Catalina to the interior of the parcel.

Add to Condition 7 that Earthbind be reapplied "annually".

Rebuttal
Reitenger heard there was an easement on the east side of the property. Jim Olson, City Engineer told him there is no way to access the easement for storm drain purposes.

Staff Response
Goldman recommended a Condition that the dead poplars along the south property line be removed and be replaced with new trees and that a detailed, revised landscape and irrigation plan be provided and approved by the Staff Advisor along with the bioswale areas.

COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Briggs/KenCairn m/s to approve PA2004-043 with the following: Modify Condition 7 to add "annually", add Condition 8 to remove the dead poplars (as stated under Staff Response), add Condition 9 that a 25' x 10' wide strip of paving extend from the existing curb cut on Catalina Street to the east.

Roll Call Vote:   The motion passed.

B.       PLANNING ACTION 2004-054
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AND SITE REVIEW TO CONSTRUCT A 770 SQUARE FOOT ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL UNIT ON THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 610 ORCHARD STREET. A VARIANCE IS REQUESTED TO REDUCE THE SIDE YARD SETBACK FROM SIX FEET TO ZERO FEET.
APPLICANT: LUCINDA PATTERSON

Site Visits or Ex Parte Contacts - Site visits were made by everyone.

STAFF REPORT
Knox said the application identified an oak and a hawthorn tree. The Tree Commission corrected the application stating the trees were a maple and crab apple. The property is zoned R-1-10. The property is 22,000 square feet. Comparing the potential impact for a Conditional Use Permit, the Commissioners need to look at what is permitted outright for the property or possibly two houses. Staff believes the impacts would be less than what would typically be found for two homes. The design of the unit is compatible with other structures in the area.

With regard to the Variance, the applicant wanted to keep the maple tree away from the structure. Knox said Staff felt there are alternative locations for the accessory unit. Has the applicant explored a construction technique that could equally benefit the tree? Staff would like further exploration for siting the unit back on the property. There would not be a setback issue or a problem with any vegetation. Another alternative would be to set the structure at six feet and do some type of cribbing measure at the footings that run parallel over the root zone. The Tree Commission recommended the applicant use post and beam foundation due to the vigorous surface roots of the maple. With proper tree protection measures and proper cutting of limbs during construction, Staff does not believe a Variance is needed. The accessory unit could shift to a three foot setback (50 percent Variance). Staff would recommend shifting the unit to another location on the lot or using construction techniques to eliminate any potential harm to the tree.

The applicant is working with the Fire Department, as there is an issue with the fire hydrant location or possible installation of an interior residential sprinkler system.

There are seven Conditions attached.

Chapman asked if there was any downside to the community if the Variance were to be approved. Knox said there is no impact to the community, but Staff believes the other criteria have not been fully explored to justify the Variance.

PUBLIC HEARING
LUCINDA PATTERSON, 610 Orchard, submitted photos. She had a graphic of the site and showed what would happen if she constructs the alternatives. It would interfere with her view. She would end up 70 feet from the road and she is concerned that would be too far for the eventual use a wheelchair to transport her father from his unit to a car (at the road).

Commissioners KenCairn and Briggs offered alternatives and solutions to the Variance. Patterson said an arborist recommended the unit be built farther away from the maple tree.

MARGUERITTE HICKMAN, Ashland Fire Safety Officer, discussed fire apparatus access. The furthest point on the building cannot exceed 150 feet from the street or they will need to provide some type of apparatus that could allow them to get closer to the building.

KenCairn is not inclined to support the Variance when there is no need for it and there are other options available. Maple trees can withstand post and beam construction.

Rebuttal
Patterson said she would put the unit six feet closer to the trees.

Briggs does not want to set a precedent by approving the Variance. She also believes Patterson can come up with an alternative design that will work.

Patterson said this is a unique and unusual circumstance. The tree abuts county land that is not usable. She did not plant the tree, therefore the circumstances were not willfully self-imposed.

Knox stated the burden is on Patterson to meet all three criteria. Of course the Tree Commission said it is best to move the building away from the tree. Location of the unit elsewhere on the site has not been fully explored. Patterson could push the driveway along the property line and locate the accessory unit in the back.

COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Briggs/KenCairn m/s to deny the Variance for PA 2004-054.

Chapman did not believe the Variance would set a precedent. Each Variance application should be reviewed on its own merits. He felt there are unique and unusual circumstances. Nothing can be developed on the other side of the property line (county property). He can understand her desire to move to the unit to the front of the property. There are no negative impacts to the community or the neighbors. Patterson did not plant the tree.

KenCairn said this a 22,000 square foot lot. She imagined someone said just move it over to the property line and the applicant was led to believe it is a viable solution. There is tons of room on this lot for an accessory unit. It's all a choice. She does not see a hardship.

Knox said Patterson did not supply information to argue her case for setting a precedent.

Briggs withdrew her motion. Briggs/KenCairn m/s to approve the Conditional Use Permit and Site Review for PA2004-054 and deny the Variance for a zero side yard setback.

Roll Call Vote:  The motion passed.

V.       ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,
Susan Yates, Executive Secretary

End of Document - Back to Top


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