Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting (Cont.)

Minutes
Tuesday, October 26, 2004

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
(CONTINUED HEARINGS FROM OCTOBER 12, 2004 REGULAR MEETING)
MINUTES
OCTOBER 26, 2004

I. CALL TO ORDER
Chair Russ Chapman called the Ashland Planning Commission meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. on October 26, 2004 in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street, Ashland, Oregon.
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Russ Chapman, Chair
Mike Morris
Dave Dotterrer
John Fields
Marilyn Briggs
Allen Douma
Olena Black
Michael Dawkins
ABSENT MEMBERS: Kerry KenCairn
COUNCIL LIAISON: Alex Amarotico, present
HIGH SCHOOL LIAISON: None
SOU LIAISON: None
STAFF PRESENT: John McLaughlin, Planning Director
Bill Molnar, Senior Planner
Maria Harris, Associate Planner
Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary
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II. APPROVAL OF FINDINGS
Morris/Douma m/s to approve the Findings for PA2004-110, 150 Church Street, Robert M. Saladoff. Voice Vote: Unanimous.
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III. TYPE III PUBLIC HEARING
PLANNING ACTION 2004-121
REQUEST FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDMENT RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MINIMUM DENSITY REQUIREMENTS IN R-2 (LOW DENSITY MULTI-FAMILY) AND R-3 (HIGH DENSITY MULTI-FAMILY) ZONING DISTRICTS.
APPLICANT: CITY OF ASHLAND

STAFF REPORT
Goldman handed out the latest modification to the R-2 and R-3 ordinances containing less ambiguous language. He explained the background leading to these ordinance changes as outlined in the Staff Report. The Housing Needs Analysis clearly demonstrates there is a need for multi-family housing units and Staff believes this ordinance would encourage that type of development. The ordinance amendment would require the lots develop at 80 percent of the base density that is already established for the zones. For the most part, the planned densities have been accomplished. The ordinance is an effort to establish minimum densities before any market forces change, encouraging single family home development even further.

Anticipated Outcomes: Thirty-two properties have been identified as developable that meet the parameters of this ordinance. The development potential is 154 units or eighty percent (124 units) that could potentially be developed on these properties over time. Without minimum densities, though not likely, as few as 32 units could be added to the properties. Therefore with the ordinance changes, the number of multi-family residential development would increase over time.

The Housing Commission has reviewed the ordinance changes and has forwarded a recommendation that the minimum densities within the R-2 and R-3 zones be established to allow for development at the intended densities. There was a concern from the Housing Commission regarding the provision exempting areas of the lot that already have a conditional use permit on them. By allowing a reduction in the number of housing units for existing conditional uses or future conditional uses, it could inadvertently lead to a situation where housing is not prioritized for those multi-family zones. Staff believes this concern is best addressed in evaluating new conditional use permits.

The Commission discussed, in particular, 2.c. Lots with authorized conditional uses may exempt that portion of the property that is subject to the conditional use for calculations of the minimum base density standard. They suggested new wording as follows: Lots with existing or proposed conditional uses may be exempt for that portion of the property that is subject to the conditional use for calculations of the minimum base density standard.

PUBLIC HEARING
Barbara Vasquez, 885 Palmer Road, thought a housing type analysis should be done for Ashland. She cautioned against making changes to the ordinance without having fundamental questions answered. There are current projects, annexations, and another 70 acre zone change coming up that will help meet the additional housing needs through existing affordable requirements. Ashland currently has 94 accessory residential units for rentals in R-1 zones. Through the planning process, the affordable housing stock is increasing. Pending Council review and award to the Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation are Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) funds to acquire property for six affordable townhomes in Ashland. The City will seek a developer to build ten affordable units on a City owned parking lot downtown. Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT) is working with developers to provide 25 percent affordable units within private projects, as well as looking for donated land or acquiring land at a reduced cost. There are already 232 low income families living in Ashland receiving government assistance. SOU will be constructing 96 apartment dorms that will create vacancies in town.

She supports affordable housing but not everyone can live here nor has a desire to live here. Participate in providing housing where the land can be purchased through existing mechanisms and affordable housing can be provided for sale or rent without requiring a private property owner to meet the goals enforced by the City Council. The City can issue a bond for affordable housing as they have done for other city projects.

COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Chapman mentioned a letter from Neti Rest and an e-mail from Julia Woosnam in the packet.

Goldman noted that the Housing Needs Analysis takes the place of a housing type analysis. With regard to the 96 SOU units, the units will not create vacancies just within the Ashland city limits.

McLaughlin explained that the market will determine the rate of consumption and rate of development. This ordinance looks at the efficient use of land. There is a goal for affordability and maintaining the city's compact urban form and that land identified for R-2 and R-3 development is not inefficiently used. The impact for long term is that we don't have to be looking beyond our boundaries for additional land or extending services if we have to build beyond our boundaries.

Some Commissioners questioned changing the rules for those property owners who purchased land before this ordinance is enacted and they were uncertain if there would be any impact with the changes proposed to the ordinances.

McLaughlin responded that as growth pressures continue, a single family home is the desirable housing type. We are going to see land zoned multi-family used more and more for single family. It is the City's responsibility to amend ordinances to achieve what is best for the community in the long-term. Let's set the pattern now.

Other Commissioners see the change as setting property aside for how it is already zoned. If more single family homes are built on multi-family zoned land, this will cause sprawl and extra expenses for the citizens. As lots get more expensive, there is more value in building a single family residence on a lot, not multi-family. Multi-family is a needed part of our housing stock.

McLaughlin reminded the Commission we are defining density, not units.

The Commissioners changed the wording of 2.g. A lot that is nonconforming in minimum density may not move further out of conformance with the minimum density standard. However, units may be added to the lot which bring the lot closer to conformance without coming all the way into conformance, provided it is demonstrated the minimum density will not be precluded.

Briggs/Dawkins m/s to accept the proposed land use amendments to PA2004-121 with the language changes to 2.c. and 2.g. as noted above (bold). Roll Call: Morris, Dawkins, Black, Chapman, Fields and Briggs voted "yes" and Douma and Dotterrer voted "no".

PLANNING ACTION 2004-131
REQUEST FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDMENT RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HERITAGE TREE LIST.
APPLICANT: CITY OF ASHLAND

STAFF REPORT
Harris gave some background on the ordinance amendment as outlined in the Staff Report. The bulk of the work relating to the Heritage Tree list has been working out the wording of the deed agreement and the internal process to be used and the form that would be used.

The Heritage Tree program was intended for very special trees whether by species, size, cultural or historical. The program is voluntary. If a property owner agrees to have a tree listed as a Heritage Tree, the deed agreement (copy attached to Staff Report) would be completed and signed and recorded on the title to the property. If a property owner decides they no longer wish to have their tree listed, they would need to go through a quit claim process at the City Recorder's office. Once a tree is listed, a tree removal permit would be required to remove the tree. That is a function of the deed agreement.

Bryan Holley, 324 Liberty Street, said arborists have said that mature trees on a property add value to the property. The Tree Commission wanted to create an easy in/easy out method if people choose to participate. There will be no cost to the property owner to either place a tree on the list or remove a tree from the list. Holley said the reason for the deed agreement is that the danger to loss of a tree comes in the transfer of property.

COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Harris said to clarify, the wording under E. on Page 2 of the Staff Report would read as follows: A Heritage Tree may be removed from the list by the City Council upon its own motion, or a Heritage Tree shall be removed from the list upon written request from the property owner.

Douma/Black m/s to recommend approval of PA2004-131 with the proposed changes. Voice Vote: Unanimous.

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IV. OTHER BUSINESS
ABSTAINING FROM VOTES
McLaughlin said the Planning Commissioners are appointed to make decisions. The only way not to vote is if there is a conflict of interest. It is the Commissioner's responsibility to make decisions. This is not written anywhere, but comes from the Council.
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V. ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Yates, Executive Secretary

End of Document - Back to Top


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