Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Continuation of Northlight

Minutes
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION

Continuation of MAY 10, 2005 REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

MAY 24, 2005

 

CALL TO ORDER

Chair John Fields called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 East Main Street.

 

                COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:            John Fields, Chair

                                                                                Michael Dawkins

                                                                                Mike Morris

                                                                                Olena Black          

                                                                                Russ Chapman

                                                                                John Stromberg

                                                                                Allen Douma

                                                                                Dave Dotterrer

                                                                                Kerry KenCairn

                ABSENT MEMBERS:                            None

                COUNCIL LIAISON:                             Jack Hardesty

                STAFF PRESENT:                                 John McLaughlin, Planning Director

                                                                                Bill Molnar, Planning Manager

                                                                                Mike Reeder, Assistant City Attorney

                                                                                Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

 

TYPE II PUBLIC HEARING

 

PLANNING ACTION 2005-00084

REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW APPROVAL OF A MIXED-USE COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT TO BE LOCATED AT 165 LITHIA WAY AND 123 N. FIRST STREET.  THE PROPOSAL INCLUDES TWO THREE-STORY MIXED-USE COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS.  IN ADDITION, SIX ROW HOUSES ARE PROPOSED.  A TOTAL OF APPROXIMATELY 14,700 SQUARE FEET OF RETAIL AND OFFICE SPACE AND A TOTAL OF 41 RESIDENTIAL UNITS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  THE SITE IS LOCATED IN THE DETAIL SITE REVIEW ZONE, AND IS SUBJECT TO THE DETAIL SITE REVIEW STANDARDS BECAUSE IT EXCEEDS 10,000 SQUARE FEET IN SIZE AND INCLUDES BUILDINGS GREATER THAN 100 FEET IN LENGTH.  AN ADMINISTRATIVE VARIANCE FROM THE SITE DESIGN AND USE STANDARDS IS REQUESTED FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE BUILDINGS.  A TREE REMOVAL PERMIT IS REQUESTED TO REMOVE FOUR TREES ON SITE. 

APPLICANT:  ARCHERD & DRESNER, LLC AND REDCO, LLC

 

Molnar stated that last month the public hearing was closed.  There was a request at that time that the record remain open for seven days to allow for additional information to be brought in and the applicant agreed to a five day rebuttal to respond.  At the conclusion of the five day rebuttal, the Planning Staff had a meeting with the City’s Legal Department to go over some of the issues raised at the previous hearing as well as the issues raised seven days following the hearing.  Specifically, there was one code provision in question regarding the requirement for a front yard of 20 feet along arterials, excluding the C-1-D zoning district.  Staff had felt there was conflicting language in the ordinance because the ordinance states there is no front yard requirement in the C-1 zone. The Downtown Standards state you “shall build up to the front property line.”  Staff’s guidance to the applicant was that they did not believe the special setback applied and that there were other standards that weighed more heavily than the special setback requirement.  The City Legal Department reviewed it as it was raised by Colin Swales and they determined the special setback applied at this location and there wasn’t a venue for interpreting it otherwise.  The Legal Department’s interpretation will have a potentially profound impact on the application.  Staff had advised the applicant that they should request a postponement from the Planning Commission.  They can seek their own legal advice, talk with the City’s Legal Department, look at revising their application to the meet the standard or potentially request a Variance.  Because the public hearing was closed, the Planning Commission has to vote to grant the applicant a postponement to allow the applicant time to decide what to do.

 

The applicants did not find out until yesterday that the Special Setback standard would apply and out of fairness to the applicant, McLaughlin believed the Planning Commission should vote to grant a postponement to the applicant.  Staff believes the applicants should be allowed an opportunity to address this issue and they be allowed to reopen the public hearing.  The hearing would be re-noticed at a future date. 

 

Mike Reeder, Assistant City Attorney, prepared a memo dated May 24, 2005 and it was distributed to the Commissioners for their review, outlining the options open to the Planning Commission in reaching a decision on the applicant’s request for postponement.  The Commission can vote to allow the reopening of the record or they can vote to deny the request to reopen the record and proceed to deliberations.

 

The applicant agreed in an e-mail to extend the 120 days, as necessary.

 

Stromberg believes there should be a valid reason to reopen the public hearing.  He is concerned the Commission will be scrutinized and possibly criticized if it appears the Commission is giving the applicants another chance to get an approval because things aren’t working out right.  He is also concerned about carefully managing the 120 days.  McLaughlin said it is Staff’s responsibility to track the 120 and it should not be the Commission’s worry. 

 

Stromberg suggested that the Commission could deny the request to reopen the public hearing.  Next, deny the application.  The applicants can reapply and ask for a waiver from waiting a year to reapply and ask for a waiver of the application fees.  Or, he would be in favor of the applicants applying for a Variance.

 

McLaughlin said in order to waive reapplying within a year, the applicants could not come back with a substantial change to the project.  And, the applicants have to make their request to waive the fees to the Council.

 

Morris suggested opening the public hearing again and starting all over.

 

Dawkins moved to deny the request for re-opening the public hearing.  The motion died for lack of a second. 

 

Chapman/Douma m/s to reopen the record for Planning Action 2005-00084.

 

The e-mail from the applicant stating they would waive the 120 days was handed around to the Commissioners for their viewing.

 

Douma explained that he seconded the motion because he believes by allowing the applicants to reopen the public hearing, the Commission will have ample opportunity to review the application with a better understanding of the ordinance and how it is applied and base their decision on all of the evidence presented. 

 

Dawkins is upset because the setback question was raised at the very first hearing on this application and neither Staff nor the applicant bothered to figure it out then.  The setback issue is huge and he does not believe it is fair to reopen the public hearing.

 

KenCairn believes there was a fair amount of deliberation about the 20 foot setback and Staff had made their interpretation based on overlapping zoning issues.  There are inconsistencies in our code.

 

Dotterrer would be uncomfortable denying the applicant’s request when we have an opportunity to hear additional evidence.  Continuing the process cannot hurt.

 

Chapman cannot fault the applicant for basing their design on wrong information.  Whatever the applicant brings back, the public will have plenty of time to respond. 

 

Black is concerned that by approving the reopening of the public hearing, this could delay other Planning Commission business.

 

Roll Call:  KenCairn, Douma, Chapman, Stromberg, Dotterrer, Morris and Fields voted “yes” and Black and Dawkins voted “no.”  The motion carried.

 

ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Susan Yates

Executive Secretary

 

 

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