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Planning Commission

Minutes
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES
APRIL 14, 2009

CALL TO ORDER
Chair Michael Dawkins called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.

Commissioners Present: - Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins, Chair
Larry Blake
Tom Dimitre
Dave Dotterrer
Pam Marsh
Melanie Mindlin
Mike Morris Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Derek Severson, Associate Planner
Richard Appicello, City Attorney
April Lucas, Administrative Assistant
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Absent Members: Council Liaison:
Debbie Miller Eric Navickas
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ANNOUNCEMENTS
Community Development Director Bill Molnar noted the vacancy on the Planning Commission and encouraged interested candidates to submit an application to the City Recorder's Office.
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CONSENT AGENDA
A. Approval of Minutes
1.  March 10, 2009 Planning Commission Meeting
2.  March 31, 2009 Planning Commission Meeting
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Commissioners Marsh/Dimitre m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
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PUBLIC FORUM
No one came forward to speak.
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PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. PLANNING ACTION: 2009-00314
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 500 Strawberry Lane
APPLICANT: Robert & Laura McLellan
DESCRIPTION: A request for Final Plan approval for a size-lot, five-unit Performance Standards Subdivision for the property located at 500 Strawberry Lane. The application also includes a request to modify the phasing and conditions of approval of Planning Action #2008-00182 which granted Outline Plan approval, a Physical and Environmental Constraints Review Permit, Tree Removal Permits, and an Exception to Street Standards. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Rural Residential; ZONING: RR-.5-P; ASSESSOR'S MAP: #391E 08AC; TAX LOT: #201.

Ex Parte Contact
Commissioners Blake and Dotterrer declared site visits; no ex parte contact was reported by any of the commissioners.

Staff Report
Associate Planner Derek Severson presented the staff report. He explained the application before the Commission is for Final Plan approval of a six-lot, five-unit subdivision at 500 Strawberry Lane. He noted typically Final Plan approval does not come before the Commission, however in this case the Applicant's have requested modifications to the conditions imposed by the Commission when Outline Plan was approved.

Mr. Severson provided an overview of the application. He stated the property is located at the intersection of Strawberry Lane and Hitt Road, it is 4.62 acres in size, and contains an existing house. With the proposed development, the Applicant's were approved to create six lots, five of which would contain homes and the sixth would be preserved as open space. Mr. Severson noted that during the public hearing a number of neighbors expressed concerns with the additional driveways and the impact this would have on the parking demand in the neighborhood (largely caused by hikers using trails in the vicinity). In order to mitigate this, conditions were applied at Outline Plan approval requiring the Applicant's to provide three parking spaces for each of the lots that contain homes, and to provide on-street parking in two separate parking bays (two spaces each).

Mr. Severson reviewed the modifications requested by the Applicant for Final Plan approval. He stated staff has no specific concerns with phasing the development into two stages or relocating the placement of the parking bays; however, they do have concerns with the following changes requested by the Applicant's:1) delaying the installation of the required sidewalk improvements, 2) reducing the number of parking spaces on Lot 1 from three to two, and 3) delaying the installation of the parking bays until the second phase of the development. Mr. Severson explained staff's recommendations are to have the sidewalks installed during Phase 1, for the third parking space on Lot 1 to be retained, and for at least one of the parking bays to be installed during Phase 1.

Applicant's Presentation
Mark Knox/485 W Nevada St/Applicant's Representative, Robert McLellan/500 Strawberry Lane/Applicant, and Mark Kamarath/Project Engineer addressed the Commission. Mr. Knox stated a significant amount of effort has been put into this proposal and explained the modifications have been requested due to the recent changes in the economy and to address the neighbor's concerns regarding viewscapes. He stated even though they did ask for deferral of the improvements to Phase 2, the conditions proposed by staff are acceptable to the Applicants, except they would like some consideration for the improvements along the flag driveway for Lot 3. He explained that driveway serves the existing house and this will not change until Phase 2 when that driveway is severed. He added they are just asking to defer this improvement until the actual impact is there. Mr. Knox commented on the third parking space on Lot 1 and explained the adjacent neighbor, Ms. Dimino, felt strongly that this space should not be added, however this was not part of their agreement. He also commented on the parking bays along Hitt Road and stated this was an unexpected condition added to the application and stated the Applicant attempted to mitigate this by adding a third parking space on the lots. He added the Applicant is not going to argue this condition, but clarified this was an additional cost that they did not expect.

Mr. Knox clarified when Lot 3 is created, the driveway will be in the same location as it is now.

Public Testimony
Scott Dixon/838 Blackberry Lane/Voiced his support for the proposed placement of the parking bays at the bottom of Hitt Road and requested the fuels reduction for Lot 6 be included in Phase 1.

Lou Dimino/423 Strawberry Lane/Stated Lot 1 is a flag drive, but not a flag lot and therefore the additional requirement for parking does not apply. Mr. Dimino stated the parking concerns raised at the public hearing were primarily focused on Hitt Road. He stated there are no parking issues on Strawberry Lane and the third parking space for Lot 1 should be eliminated. Mr. Dimino disagreed with staff's argument for the need of the extra space and requested the application be approved with the request to remove the third parking space from Lot 1. He also requested the original placement of the parking bays be retained.

Rebuttal by the Applicant
Mark Knox/Commented on the relocation of the parking bays. He stated the discussion on parking bays happened after the public hearing was closed and the Applicant was not given the opportunity to respond. Mr. Knox explained the Applicant's engineering efforts since the hearing have shown the original placement of the bays is problematic. He stated the Planning Commission wanted to provide additional public parking along the street and they feel they are still providing the intent of what the Commission wanted by installing four additional parking spaces along Hitt Road. Mr. Knox stated the only real change they are asking for is the deferral of the sidewalk improvement along Lot 3.

Mr. Knox clarified most of the fuel reductions have already been done. He stated Mr. Dixon referred to the entire lot, however this is not a requirement of the City and is not part of the fuels reduction plan they submitted. He stated the fuel reductions proposed in the plan are close to being completed.

Advice from Legal Counsel and Staff
Mr. Severson explained the definition of driveways touches on the requirement for the third parking space. He read the definition aloud and stated rather than the parking space requirement be determined at the building permit stage, the Applicant offered this condition and the Commission approved. Mr. Molnar added if a driveway exceeds 50 feet, the third parking space is not discretionary and is a requirement.

Regarding the fuels reduction, Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman indicated she would verify the Applicant's fire prevention and control plan had been reviewed by the Fire Department, and noted Condition 9a addresses this issue and requires the fire prevention and control plan to be implemented prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

Mr. Severson displayed photos from the presentation that displayed the sidewalk pattern in the area.

Mr. Molnar stated the street width of Strawberry Lane is 22 feet, and noted the standard that allows the City to prohibit on-street parking in hillside areas in order to provide a 20 ft wide emergency vehicle access. He stated at this time there is no signage that restricts parking on either side of the street, but if parking became a persistent issue that created a problem for emergency vehicles, the Fire Department could restrict the on-street parking.

Commissioner Dawkins closed the public hearing at 7:55 p.m.

Deliberations & Decision
Dawkins noted the three main issues and asked the Commission to share their opinions. Regarding the timing of the sidewalk improvements, support was voiced for deferring this to Phase 2. Varying opinions were shared regarding the third parking space on Lot 1. Commissioners Dimitre and Morris agreed with staff's recommendation for the three parking spaces. Commissioner Dotterrer suggested the Applicant comply with the third space requirement if the driveway is over 50 feet, and Blake voiced his support for this suggestion. Marsh agreed with keeping three parking spaces on Lot 1 and stated there is no criteria for dropping the previous requirement. In regards to the installation of parking bays, Dimitre voiced his preference for these to be done in Phase 1. Morris was fine with deferring these to Phase 2. Marsh stated staff's recommendation, which is for the Applicant to install one now and one later, is a good compromise and voiced her support. Dotterrer and Blake agreed.

Commissioner Dotterrer/Marsh m/s to approve PA 2009-00314 with staff's recommendations, with the exception to defer the sidewalk improvements in front of Lot 3 to Phase 2. DISCUSSION: It was clarified this motion would require the Applicant to install one of the parking bays during Phase I and includes the three parking spaces for Lot 1. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Blake, Dawkins, Dotterrer, Marsh and Morris, YES. Commissioner Dimitre, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

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OTHER BUSINESS
A. Update on Timeline for Croman Mill Site Redevelopment Plan Phase II: Implementation Package
Planning Manager Maria Harris submitted the Phase II Timeline to the Commission and provided an explanation of the spreadsheet. She stated they are looking at a 10-month process to refine the draft plan into what the community is looking for and then take it through the public hearing process. She noted staff has already started looking at review of the land use framework and clarified the Joint Study Sessions listed in the timeline will be with the City Council

Commissioner Marsh commented on the public component and noted there is no public participation scheduled until October when the whole package is together. Mr. Molnar stated the Commission does have some discretion as to how the Study Sessions are designed. Suggestion was made for the Commission to take 15-20 minutes of public testimony at each Study Session and for the public to be apart of this process well before it gets to implementation.

Mr. Molnar noted the next Study Session on April 28, 2009 will be a site visit to the Croman Mills property and will likely start earlier than the normal 7:00 pm meeting time.

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ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Lucas, Administrative Assistant

 

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