Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Hearings Board

Minutes
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION

HEARINGS BOARD

MINUTES

MAY 9, 2006

 

CALL TO ORDER – Commissioner Dave Dotterrer called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 East Main Street, Ashland, OR.

 

Commissioners Present:

 

Council Liaison:

 

Dave Dotterrer

John Stromberg

Michael Dawkins

 

Kate Jackson, (Council Liaison does not attend Planning Commission meetings in order to avoid conflict of interest.)

 

 

 

 

Staff Present:

 

Absent Members:

 

Derek Severson, Assistant Planner

 

None

 

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND FINDINGS – To be approved at tonight’s meeting.

 

TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00451

REQUEST FOR A FINAL PLAN APPROVAL FOR A FIVE-LOT SUBDIVISION UNDER THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OPTIONS CHAPTER FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1500 OREGON ST.  THE APPLICATION INCLUDES A MODIFICATION OF THE OUTLINE PLAN APPROVAL FOR A TREE REMOVAL PERMIT TO REMOVE TWO TREES THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY IDENTIFIED TO BE PRESERVED. 

APPLICANT: MIRIAM TASSINARE

 

This action was approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00279

REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO CONSTRUCT A 476 SQUARE FOOT ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL UNIT FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 208 SLEEPY HOLLOW DR.  

APPLICANT:  ROSEMARY D. DALTON

 

This action was approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00608

REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AND SITE REVIEW APPROVAL TO CONVERT AN EXISTING 450 SQUARE FOOT STUDIO AT 415 E. HERSEY ST. INTO AN ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL UNIT.

APPLICANT: RAY MIKOTA

 

This action was approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00441

REQUEST FOR A SITE REVIEW AND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR AN ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL UNIT FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 160 NOB HILL.  THE PROPOSED UNIT IS 460 SQUARE FEET IN SIZE, AND WOULD BE ATTACHED TO A NEW GARAGE ON THE SOUTHEASTERN PORTION OF THE PARCEL. 

APPLICANT: DAN HELLER & DON SEVER

 

This action was approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00617

REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AND SITE REVIEW TO CONSTRUCT A 4,000 SQUARE FOOT STORAGE BUILDING FOR THE ASHLAND ARMORY FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1420 E. MAIN ST.   THE METAL STORAGE BUILDING WILL REPLACE THE EXISTING METAL SHIPPING CONTAINERS ON SITE. 

APPLICANT: STATE OF OREGON MILITARY DEPARTMENT

 

This action was approved.

 

TYPE II PLANNING ACTIONS

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00456

REQUEST FOR LAND PARTITION TO DIVIDE THE EXISTING PROPERTY LOCATED AT 2235 ASHLAND ST. INTO TWO PARCELS WITH THE NORTHERN PARCEL ON YMCA WAY SERVING AS A PARKING LOT FOR THE ASHLAND FAMILY YMCA.  THE PARKING IS LOCATED 278 FEET FROM THE FRONT DOOR OF THE YMCA AS MEASURED AS A PEDESTRIAN WALKING FROM THE PARKING LOT TO THE FRONT DOOR.  AS A RESULT, A VARIANCE IS REQUESTED FOR LOCATING PARKING MORE THAN 200 FEET FROM MAIN ENTRANCE. 

APPLICANT: ASHLAND FAMILY YMCA

 

Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts  - Site visits were made by all.

 

STAFF REPORT

Severson disclosed that Lisa Molnar, Executive Director for YMCA is married to Bill Molnar, the City’s Interim Community Development Director.  Bill has not been involved in this application and not present at this meeting.  If any questions from Commissioners or audience members arise after this hearing, they should be directed to a planner other than Bill.  Stromberg said the conflict of interest law also requires that there is a clear financial gain or loss that would occur to the person or spouse.  What is the financial gain or loss?  Severson said the spousal relationship implies there is a shared financial interest.   

 

This action is a request for a land partition to divide the existing property.  The portion of the parking lot that is being split off is proposed to provide additional parking for the nearby YMCA.  The proposed parking is located approximately 270 feet from the front door of the YMCA. When measured as a pedestrian walking from the parking lot to the front door, a Variance is required to allow off-street parking more than 200 feet from the main entrance.

 

The Staff Report contains the details of the project and is included in the record.  The partition will create 26 parking spaces for the bank and 13 spaces for patrons and staff of the YMCA.  Staff believes the impact is minor.  Ten spaces are already being used.  Severson referred to 18.12.050 discussing “similar use.”  The Variance criteria appear to have been met.  The applicants have noted there is a significant lessening of the impact of the use from a restaurant to a bank.  Also, the Y gym addition approved in 2001 was based on the Institute of Traffic Engineer’s (ITE) 2nd Edition that required approximately 200 parking spaces.  Under the most current ITE it would require an additional 45 parking spaces for the same use.  Several City Staff have observed overflow parking in the area frequently filling all available off-street spaces, all on-street spaces, and even overflowing to the Albertson’s parking lot.  By partitioning, the bank and Y come nearer to meeting their current parking requirements. 

 

Benefits are greater than any adverse affect – The applicants are proposing to upgrade the parking lot landscaping and proposing to provide a pedestrian connection from Barclay Square to YMCA Way, a last link in a pedestrian path from Clay Street to Tolman Creek Road to the Albertson’s parking lot. 

 

Circumstances or conditions have not been willfully or purposely self-imposed.  The conversion of the adjacent parcel to a much less intense use with a lesser parking demand and the resultant availability in location of the proposed parking were beyond the control of the applicants.  The current proposal represents the applicants attempt to find a balance between its increased parking demand and its neighbor’s reduced parking demand.    

 

Staff has recommended approval with the added Conditions.

 

PUBLIC HEARING

MARK KNOX, 320 E. Main Street, Suite 202, represents the YMCA.  Knox reiterated the information in their findings.  On Page 8 the Variance criteria has been addressed.

 

JEANNE TAYLOR, Board Member, YMCA,1176 Highwood Drive, Ashland, urged the Commissioners to pass this application.  The Y has over 7300 members and they really need the parking. 

 

JED MEESE, 88 Granite Street, urged approval.  In order to continue the Y services provided, it is important to provide adequate parking. 

 

SIDNEE DREYER, Premier West’s legal counsel, Huycke, O’Connor, Jarvis & Lohmon, LLP, 823 Alder Creek Drive, Medford, 97504, said this has been a cooperative application.

 

PAUL HILL, 975 Walker Avenue, believes this is a unique opportunity to benefit the City by improving traffic safety and reducing the number of people crossing Tolman Creek Road to get to their cars.  It will benefit Premier West Bank and Y by getting their parking more in balance.  The Variance is a win-win situation.

 

LISA MOLNAR,155 Hillcrest, Director, YMCA, stated the Y is an incredible resource for the town.  As schools continue to close and school days decrease and people feel increasingly disconnected, people are turning more and more to the Y for their programs and services.  All of their programs are at a record high.  More than a third of the community is members.  They save the Ashland community tax dollars by providing essential programs. They have become one of the key community centers. They need parking for that.  Currently, it is very unsafe for children to cross Tolman Creek Road to the Albertson’s parking lot.  Increased parking should increase safety.  If they were building the building today, they would be required to have more parking.  This is a win-win situation for everyone.

 

ROBBIE HARFST, 2230 Morada Lane, YMCA Board President, said the parking is critical to our continued service, to the community and to the members.  He reiterated the points others had made.

 

PETE HAAS, 431 Courtney Street, said he and his wife want go on record as supporting the Variance. 

 

Staff Comments

Severson responded to questions about Premier Bank having too much parking.  There was no discussion at the time of their remodel because they only needed a building permit.  There was no requirement for them to have a Site Review discussion.

 

Rebuttal

Knox said if a building or a use is non-conforming, the code does not address a site.  One day the bank could revert back to a restaurant and then they will need more parking. 

 

The new ITE book talks specifically about YMCA’s in suburban environment and the parking ratio has gone way up.  There is clearly a distinction between racquet club/spa center versus child care, youth activities, exercise and all the other things the Y provides.

 

Stromberg/Dawkins m/s to approve PA2006-00456 with the stipulation that we find in these particular circumstances that this private lot is equivalent to a public lot for the purposes of this decision. Roll Call:  The motion carried unanimously.

 

ADJOURNMENT – The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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