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Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Minutes 8/30/2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007



August 30, 2007



Chair Bill Street called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:


SOU Liaison:  none

Carol Voisin



Steve Hauck


Council Liaison:  Alice Hardesty, Absent

Regina Ayars



Bill Smith


Staff Present:: 

Aaron Benjamin


Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist

Richard Billin


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Bill Street, Chair








The  minutes of the July 26, 2007 meeting were approved as presented. 



No one came forth to speak.



Subcommittee Report

        Education – No meeting/no report

Finance – No quorum

It was decided that both subcommittees for Finance & Education will meet together to plan logistics regarding an upcoming Community Workshop on Housing Trust Funds scheduled for October.  The meetings will be held on September 5th at 6:00 p.m. and September 19th at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Development Building.  Brandon spoke with Oregon Action regarding inviting Mary Brooks to the meeting.


Liaison Reports

Council – No report.  Street thanked Voisin, Smith & Benjamin for attending the August 21st Council meeting and going forward to recommend the condo conversion ordinance be passed.  Voisin would like to suggest to the council that the meetings stop after 4 hours. 

Parks – No report.

Schools – Street recently spoke with three different board members regarding housing.  It appears unclear what if anything will be happening regarding housing on the school properties.  Street commented that every new teacher he is aware of does not live in Ashland.  Benjamin said this is definitely an opportunity to make the case of workforce housing. 

Planning Brandon reported that at the last Planning Commission meeting the Verde Village subdivision was reviewed.  It will have 15 affordable units. The applicant’s proposal would dedicate the land to RVCDC and they would then develop the affordable housing on it. Commissioner Marsh recommended that as a condition of approval if RVCDC did not develop the land within a five year period that it revert back to City ownership.

TripartiteBrandon reported that the Tripartite Committee met and discussed the Housing notebook that is in development.  Once Brandon has received their recommendations for changes he will forward it on to be published by the City as a resource for different types of affordable housing.  The time frame is feedback by Sept. 15th and then have it ready in October.


Public Testimony - City Councilor Cate Hartzell spoke.  She is the Council’s representative to the County regarding the effort to create a 10 year plan to end chronic homelessness.   The committee will be setting up sub committees to do work on data research, outcome identification, prevention, intervention and infrastructure.   Hartzell would like to encourage the Housing Commission as well as the Council to look more strongly at a priority for homelessness.  She would like to see some of the CDGB money used for this.



Federal Appropriations Process Update

Brandon stated that the City made a request for direct earmark funding in the amount of 2.2 million dollars to develop 56 new units on multiple sites.  If the funds come through the City would then identify property for development and come back to the Housing Commission with money in hand looking to do a project.  Similar requests have been made in the last two years and neither of those received the funding.


Land Use Ordinance Changes

The Commission discussed the following three proposed changes that have a direct impact on housing.


Accessory Residential Units and Density-Currently ARU’s are not permitted in multi-family zones. What this ordinance proposes to do is to allow for those units to be permitted in mufti family zones. The two options are:

1)       Units can be up to 1000 square feet

2)       Units can be up to 500 square feet  maximum


After discussing whether it is appropriate to have ARU’s in multi family zones and if so which option would be best Street/Voisin m/s to recommend and approve the change of the first option of allowing a unit similar in size of ARU’s up to 1000 square feet in multi family zones. 


Public Testimony – Cate Harzell spoke on the proposal.  She shared her concerns about allowing larger ARU”S in multi-family zones.  She felt it would be to high a density and distributes them around town instead of in a concentrated area making the buildings less desirable.   She proposed the question.  Would it be legal for the City to make this change but require that any of the new housing done under the change be affordable?


The Commission voted on Street’s prior motion.  The motion passed with a majority vote with Ayars descending. 


Voisin left the meeting at 7:00 p.m. because a notice of flash flood warning was announced.  She lives on Wrights Creek.


Maximum permitted floor area in mufti- family zones.  Brandon explained that the option that has been forwarded says that if you have an Accessory Unit, provided the unit is less then 500 square feet, it need not meet the MPFA. At this time in the MPFA there is an exemption of things not included, basements, garages, detached accessory structures.  What is recommended is a change that would say “or” a second residential unit on a lot, where the unit is less then 500 square feet in gross floor area.  This changes the exemption from being just detached residential units to detached 500 square foot residential units. If they are exempted from the floor area it gives more of an incentive to build them because it doesn’t count against the size of the primary home.


Hauck/Street m/s to recommendation that the Commission look at making detached ARU’s of 500 feet or less exempt from MPFA calculations, and to recommend that ARU’s less than 500 sq.ft be an outright permitted use in single family zoning.  Voice Vote:  Approved


Residential Ground Floor in C-1 and E-1Zones. The proposed standard is to either prohibit ground floor residential or to allow for 500 square foot units on the ground floor provided they are ADA assessable.  The existing ordinance allows for up to 35% of the ground floor area to be residential and all of the second and third stories to be residential. 


The Commissioners discussed whether residential should be permitted on the ground floor of Commercial buildings.  Street asked the Commissioners if they were comfortable with buildings in the Commercial district being less then 50% commercial, changing the nature of the Commercial District.  Street felt that with residential in a Commercial zone you’re expecting a very high price for the residential unit rather then being affordable.  Benjamin pointed out the affordable units on Lithia Way.  He felt the more residential you have in mixed use situations the healthier the community is going to be. People without children, older people and those who don’t want to depend on cars will benefit from that situation. 


Street/Hauck m/s to recommend option two to allow 500 square foot units on the ground floor provided they are ADA accessible.  Voice vote:  Approved



                Regular meeting – September 27th  5:30-7:30.  Ayars will not be present at the September meeting.

City Council:  Second reading of the Condominium Conversion Ordinance:  September 4th 7:00-10:30.  It was Brandon’s understanding that there will be no public impute at this second reading.


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


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