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Hearings Board

Minutes
Tuesday, January 08, 2008

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
HEARINGS BOARD
JANUARY 8, 2008
MINUTES

CALL TO ORDER - Chair Melanie Mindlin called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland

Commissioners Present: - Council Liaison:
John Fields Cate Hartzell, absent due to quasi-judicial items
John Stromberg
Melanie Mindlin, Chair
Absent Members: Staff Present:
None Adam Hanks, Permit Center Manager
Angela Barry, Assistant Planner
Derek Severson, Associate Planner

TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS
PLANNING ACTION: PA2007-01557
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 593 Crowson Rd.
APPLICANT: Crowson Business Center LLC
DESCRIPTION: Request for a modification of a previous Site Review approval (PA #2005-008). The original application included Site Review approval for a business complex with offices, light industrial space and three residential units. The modifications requested include changes to the mix of industrial and office uses, to the number of parking spaces provided, and to the amount of landscaping to be provided, and the addition of second story spaces on Buildings B & D. (NOTE: The original 2005 approval also included the Annexation of the subject property and Tree Removal Permits. No modification of these approvals is requested with this application.)

This action stands approved.

PLANNING ACTION: PA2007-02101
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 11 First St
APPLICANT: Ron Yamaoka
DESCRIPTION: Planning Action #2007-02101 is a request for Site Review approval to construct a two-story mixed-use commercial and residential building to be located at 11 First Street, within the Detail Site Review Zone. Also included is a request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove four trees sized six-inches diameter at breast height and greater. {This application reinstates approvals already granted under Planning Action #2006-01546, which has expired.}

This action stands approved.

PLANNING ACTION: PA-2007-02105
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 615 Oak
OWNER/APPLICANT: Urban Development Services for Denton Graham
DESCRIPTION: A request for a Conditional Use Permit and Site Review approval to convert the a portion of the existing residence to a 594 square foot Accessory Residential Unit for the property located at 615 Oak Street.

This action stands approved.

TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS
PLANNING ACTION: PA2007-02104
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 1725 & 1729 Siskiyou Blvd.
OWNER/APPLICANT: Behnam Mehmanpazir
DESCRIPTION: Request for a Site Review approval for a commercial addition onto the existing bicycle shop building at 1729 Siskiyou Blvd The addition would be located at 1725 Siskiyou Blvd. The request includes and Administrative Variance to Site Design and Use Standards to exceed the maximum floor area ratio.

EX PARTE CONTACT/BIAS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST/SITE VISIT
Mindlin drove by the site and had no ex parte contacts. Stromberg and Fields had no ex parte contacts and no site visits. There were no challenges.

STAFF REPORT
Barry explained the application as outlined in the Staff Report. The application would typically have been subject to an Administrative approval as a Type I action; however, after reviewing the initial submittals, Staff identified three issues they did not feel had been sufficiently addressed to grant Administrative approval. As such, Staff scheduled this for a hearing, imposing some conditions allowing for approval rather than delaying the application.

Staff concerns include:

  1. Sidewalk Improvements are Incomplete - The applicants Site Plan shows sidewalk improvements ending at the property line instead of extending the improvements to the shared flag drive that accesses the site. Site Review criteria require transportation facilities to and through the site. The gap in the sidewalk would create a barrier for pedestrians.
  2. Driveway approach - The applicants have requested not to install a driveway apron. Staff does not support this approach since an apron would delineate the driveway area, narrow the vehicle area, and prevent traffic from encroaching into pedestrian space.

Staff recommended approval with the inclusion of conditions addressing the above issues.

PUBLIC HEARING
Stuart Smith spoke as the applicant. He explained that the project was originally a Tenant Improvement with a building permit, prior to the demolition of the building. He discussed the need for the Administrative Variance to Floor Area Ratio because of the financial constraints of the small size of the new building. He stated that the frontage improvement are proposed in front of the property, and that the extension of improvements beyond the property line will not help complete the transportation network, as there are currentlly no sidewalks on either side of the project site. He presented the board with photos of adjacent properties that have been required to install sidewalk improvements, and stated that the subject property is unique due to the slope where the driveway meets the street, the larger scope of the other developments, and the fact that a portion of the sidewalk would not be contiguous to the development. He stated that the purpose of a concrete apron is to catch runoff and that the slope of this property would make an apron problematic in this location. Additionally, he stated that they would prefer curbside sidewalk to sidewalk and parkrow, and felt that this would be a safer design as it would discourage people from walking in the street. Additionally, he objected to the proposed condition requiring street lighting.

Mindlin closed the public hearing and the record.

COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Commissioner Fields and Stromberg discussed whether or not the fact that the property access from the shared driveway makes it part of the proposed site and subject to improvement requirements. Commissioners discussed whether there were issues relating to connecting the required improvements to existing and future improvements.

Mindlin questioned whether bicyclist would have access to front of the building if the sidewalk ends before the driveway entrance, since they would have to cross the unimproved area.

Stromberg asked if an LID was a possibility in this case. Adam Hanks replied that this was usually only done for smaller residential type development, such as accessory units and that it might not be possible to do this type of agreement on a state highway. Fields expressed concern about storm drainage and how the improvements would affect this.

Commissioners agreed that the applicant met the criteria for the requested Administrative Variance given the existing developed site.

Stromberg/Fields m/s to approve PA2007-02104 as recommended by staff with a modification of Condition 4 to eliminate the requirement for installation of the driveway apron, but to retain the requirement that the drive be no wider than the required 20 foot width.

Roll Call: The motion was unanimously approved.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 255 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Angela Barry, Assistant Planner

 

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