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Hearings Board Minutes

Minutes
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION

HEARINGS BOARD

MINUTES

DECEMBER 12, 2006

 

CALL TO ORDER – Commissioner Mike Morris called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main Street.

 

Commissioners Present:

 

Council Liaison:

Mike Morris

Tom Dimitre

Pam Marsh

 

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

 

Absent Members: 

 

Staff Present:

None

 

Maria Harris, Senior Planner

 

 

Derek Severson, Associate Planner

 

 

Angela Barry, Assistant Planner

 

 

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

 

 

Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Morris made a correction to the November 14, 2006 Hearings Board minutes.  Swales was a party for PA2006-02017, 180 Clear Creek Drive, not the action at 1651 Ashland Street.  The minutes were approved with the correction.  Marsh did not vote as she was only present for the Type I hearings.

 

TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS

PLANNING ACTION #2006-01959 

REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AND SITE REVIEW APPROVAL FOR A THREE-UNIT TRAVELER’S ACCOMMODATION (INCLUDING THE OWNER’S UNIT) FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 144 SECOND ST.  THE APPLICATION ALSO INCLUDES A REQUEST FOR A TREE REMOVAL PERMIT TO REMOVE TWO TREES, AND TWO CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT REQUESTS TO CONVERT AN EXISTING, NON-CONFORMING GARAGE TO HABITABLE SPACE, AND TO EXCEED THE MAXIMUM PERMITTED FLOOR AREA FOR THE LOT BY 506 SQUARE FEET, OR 21 PERCENT.

APPLICANT:  MARY E. NELKE

 

This action stands approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION #2006-02014 

REQUEST FOR A MODIFICATION OF A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED BUILDING ENVELOPE FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATION AT 531 LAKOTA WAY.  THE BUILDING ENVELOPE MODIFICATION REQUEST IS TO REDUCE THE SIDE YARD SETBACK ON THE WEST SIDE FROM 20 FEET TO 15 FEET TO ACCOMMODATE THE PREVIOUSLY APPROVED DRIVEWAY LOCATION.

APPLICANT: RON MARCHETTI/STERLING GATE DESIGN

 

This action stands approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION #2006-02194 

REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO CONVERT THREE EXISTING APARTMENTS TO THREE CONDOMINIUM UNITS FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 180-184 VAN NESS STREET. 

APPLICANT: MEREDITH LOWRY

 

This action stands approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION #2006-02241 

REQUEST FOR A MODIFICATION OF A SITE REVIEW OF AN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING FOR BRAMMO MOTORSPORTS FOR A PROPERTY LOCATED ON JEFFERSON AVE. THE PROPOSAL IS TO DIVIDE THE SINGLE 41,024 SQUARE FOOT BUILDING INTO TWO BUILDINGS, RESULTING IN AN ADDITIONAL ACCESS AND ADDITIONAL PARKING DUE TO ADDITIONAL BUILDING SQUARE FOOTAGE.

APPLICANT:  CRAIG BRAMSCHER

 

This action stands approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION #2006-02225 

REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR A TWO-UNIT (INCLUDES OWNER’S QUARTERS) TRAVELER’S ACCOMMODATION FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 639 N MAIN ST. 

APPLICANT: JOYCE CHASE JARVIS

 

This action stands approved.

 

PLANNING ACTION #2006-02160 

REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO CONVERT FOUR EXISTING APARTMENTS INTO FOUR CONDOMINIUMS AND A LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT TO REDUCE THE WIDTH A FLAG POLE PEDESTRIAN ACCESS FROM 20 FEET TO 8 FEET FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 220-226 VAN NESS AVE.    1601. 

APPLICANT: CARL M. WRIGHT

 

Dimitre expressed an interested in calling this up for a public hearing because he felt under the Procedures Chapter this is more than three units.  Harris said they have always interpreted it to mean “existing structures” and have not required a Type II hearing.  No one made a motion.   

 

This action stands approved.

 

TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS

PLANNING ACTION #2006-01999 

REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW APPROVAL TO CONSTRUCT AN APPROXIMATELY 1,000 SQUARE FOOT THIRD-STORY  ADDITION TO AN EXISTING COMMERCIAL BUILDING FOR USE AS A RESTAURANT WITH A ROOF-TOP PATIO DINING AREA.  IN ADDITION, THE REQUEST INCLUDES CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO EXCEED THE 40-FOOT HEIGHT LIMITATION IN THE DOWNTOWN COMMERCIAL DISTRICT FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 25 N MAIN ST.

APPLICANT:  ASHLAND HOLDINGS LP/ALLAN SANDLER

 

This action was postponed.

 

PLANNING ACTION #2006-02239 

REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION TO CREATE TWO LOTS FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 221 OAK STREET.  A VARIANCE IS ALSO REQUESTED TO ALLOW A 15-FOOT DRIVEWAY TO SERVE MORE THAN SEVEN PARKING SPACES WHERE A 20-FOOT DRIVEWAY IS TYPICALLY REQUIRED.  THE VARIANCE IS BEING REQUESTED IN ORDER TO SAVE TWO MATURE TREES.

APPLICANT: KOKOPELLI PROPERTIES LLC

 

Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts – Marsh had a site visit.  Morris did not make a site visit but he is familiar with the property.  When the previous owner owned the property he may have called Morris up about it.  Dimitre did not have a site visit.

 

STAFF REPORT

Severson explained the request as outlined in the Staff Report.  Access to the parcel is currently by way of a shared driveway.  The applicant does not propose any tree removal or construction to the seven mature trees on site.  An arborist’s report and tree removal plan have been provided as well as building envelopes on the proposed parcel.  The proposed flag configuration is odd because there is not enough lot width between the house and the property line to accommodate the required flag drive width and the required setback from the property line. The controlled access standards do not allow driveways within 75 feet of each other.  The applicant’s proposal wants to create the paper flag drive to meet the setback requirements and continue to utilize the existing shared drive for functional access to the parcel.

 

With the creation of the additional lot, they will be adding at least three additional parking spaces to the current seven spaces.  The applicant has requested that in order to preserve two trees, to continue a 15 foot wide driveway along with measures to mitigate that impact.  They would run the utilities within the north side of the driveway in order to benefit the trees.  They would restrict parking in the front yard, restrict the improvement of the flag drive, and require fire sprinklers to the rear of the property. 

 

Staff believes the requirements for a flag partition have been adequately met.  The primary basis for the required width pertains to fire apparatus access and with adequate circulation onto and off the property.  Staff believes those concerns have been met, and would recommend approval.  The applicants are proposing to widen the driveway a foot in one direction and another two feet in another direction, creating a 15 foot improved width with a 20 foot clear width. 

 

Severson suggested adding one additional condition that the carport proposed for removal is removed prior to signature of the final plat.  The carport straddles the property line.

 

PUBLIC HEARING

MARK KNOX, Urban Development Services, LLC, 320 E. Main Street, Suite 202.

DALLAS HYMANS, Kokopelli Properties, 725 Terrace Street.

ERIC LARSON, 46 Union Street.

 

KNOX said the idea of having the flagpole on the south side of the property is to demonstrate that the application meets the flag lot dimensional requirements.  A 15 foot wide flagpole is required plus a six foot setback from the new property line.  When multiple lots are requested the flagpole gets widened.  The actual proposal is to utilize the existing driveway to preserve traffic and transportation impacts on a collector street.  It also minimizes curb cuts.  Oak Street has become less residential and more commercial.  They could meet the access requirements by removing trees, but they would rather not remove the two larger trees.  They looked at all alternatives.  The proposal today is the most sensitive to the historic streetscape and the neighbors.  They have tried to address the Fire Department requirements with sprinklers in each unit and have minimized parking in the front between the trees and the house.

 

The flag area will have a deed restriction stating the flag drive cannot be utilized for auto access.  They could propose a Use Benefit Easement, giving the right of the front lot full use of the flag drive area.  There would be a flag drive on paper, however, in reality it looks the same as it does now.  The goal of their application is to minimize the width of the driveway and any disturbance to the site.

 

HYMANS said they’ve been in contact with the owners of 239 Oak Street, Sue and John Blaze and have tried to involve them in the process and the Blazes’ have been supportive.  He feels what they are trying to do will benefit the entire neighborhood.

 

Knox said their goal has been to minimize the Variances.  They could put the flagpole where the driveway is now as a Condition of approval.  Harris said if they add another Variance, the application would have to be amended and the action re-noticed.

 

Knox encouraged the Commission to move ahead with the ahead the Use Access Easement. 

 

JOHN BLAZE, 239 Oak Street, is the owner and operator of Oak Street Station Bed and Breakfast.  He has met and discussed with the owners what they plan on doing with the project.  In the past, the house next door has had a lot of transient traffic from college kids to families.  At times, it has been a problem.  He’d rather have someone own the property that would take care of it.  Putting another driveway in would probably cause more traffic and congestion.  He is hoping the application is approved as submitted.

 

Staff Response – Severson said this application has gone through two to three pre-applications in the last year.  Each application had some Variance component that Staff had issues with.  This was the applicant’s attempt to get to something that avoided Variances to the greatest extent possible.  The issue with the trees came up after they got through a pre-application where there were no Variances and Staff supported the application as proposed. 

 

Rebuttal – There was no rebuttal.

 

Morris closed the public hearing.

 

COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION

Marsh said the proposal to use the existing driveway is very sound.  Minimizing curb cuts especially in the historic parts of town is desirable.  She supports the Variances.  We do, however, have a responsibility to create lots that make some sense.  If we are going to create a flag lot that uses the driveway, it doesn’t make any sense to use a “ghost” driveway on the south side of the parcel.  It is ripe for conflict between neighbors when there is confusion over who controls it, maintains it, etc.  The Hearings Board could deed use of the land to the front parcel or make it much more straightforward and make the lots reflect in reality what they appear to reflect in the actual use.  That would require another Variance.  She would support the applicants coming back with that adjustment to the application, winding up with a front lot with integrity, giving the owner plenty of outdoor space, not foreseeing conflict, and reflecting what’s on the ground.

 

Dimitre agrees that he would favor Variances to reflect what is really happening.  It doesn’t make sense to have an abandoned driveway.  He appreciates saving the trees, but we need to have an approval that is realistic. 

 

The Commissioners said they could attend the January meeting to review and make a decision on the revised application.

 

Morris re-opened public hearing.

 

Knox agreed to the continuance and to come back with a revised application so Staff can notice for the second Variance.  Knox agreed to a 60 day extension to the 120 day rule. 

 

Morris closed the public hearing.

 

COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION

Marsh/Dimitre m/s to continue to the January 9, 2007 Hearings Board with an extension of 60 days and request for the second Variance.  The motion carried unanimously. 

 

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

 

Respectfully submitted by,

Susan Yates, Executive Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

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