ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
CALL TO ORDER
Kerry KenCairn called the meeting to order at 1:40 p.m. Mike Morris was also present. Ray Kistler arrived at 2:15 p.m. Staff present were Mark Knox, Brandon Goldman and Sue Yates.
TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS
PLANNING ACTION 2001-048REQUEST FOR A TWO-LOT LAND PARTITION 1668 SISKIYOU BOULEVARD. APPLICANT: ERIC AUSTAD & CRAIG DILLEN
This action was approved.
PLANNING ACTION 2001-043
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AND SITE REVIEW TO OPERATE A ONE-UNIT TRAVELER'S ACCOMMODATION WITH BUSINESS OWNER .
125 THIRD STREET.
APPLICANT: PATRICIA LORENZ
This action was approved.
PLANNING ACTION 2001-088
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION/STRUCTURAL ALTERNATION OF A NON-CONFORMING STRUCTURE.
61 NUTLEY STREET.
APPLICANT: WILLIAM MACHADO & DENISE BYRON
This action was called up for a public hearing.
PLANNING ACTION 2001-090
REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW TO CONSTRUCT AN 8000 SQUARE FOOT COMMERCIAL BUILDING CONSISTING OF OFFICE AND WAREHOUSE SPACE, FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED OFF THE CUL-DE-SAC AT THE END OF APPLEGATE WAY
APPLICANT: MEGALAFA, LLC
This action was approved.
TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS
PLANNING ACTION 2001-078
REQUEST FOR A THREE PARCEL LAND PARTITION AND SITE REVIEW TO CONVERT AN EXISTING SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE INTO TWO APARTMENT UNITS AND CONSTRUCT A THIRD RESIDENCE (I.E. COTTAGE) ADJACENT TO THE EXISTING GARAGE ON THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 107 MANZANITA.
APPLICANT: KATHLEEN MITCHELL
Knox reported they have requested this planning action be rescheduled because they found today there was a procedural error with the posting of the sign. Two months ago the applicant was requesting just a Site Review Permit. It was called up by the neighbors so the applicant decided to go ahead with the Land Partition. The sign, posted on the property, did not reflect the change. Notice went out to the neighbors, however. We will hear testimony today, but no decision will be made. The re-notice will be sent and this will be heard at the October Hearings Board as a new hearing.
Knox said the proposal is for a three-lot Land Partition and a Site Review approval to convert a single family house into two units and build a third cottage unit on one of the adjacent parcels. This project is located at the corner of High and Manzanita. Zoning is R-2 and it is a 22,000 square foot lot. The applicant is proposing Parcel 1 to consist of 9,759 square feet, Parcel 2, 7,007 square feet and Parcel 3, a little over 5,000 square feet. There is an existing house and garage. The partition is relatively straightforward. All building and solar setbacks have been met.
The existing house has a daylight basement and it will be converted into its own unit (900 square feet). The upstairs and the main floor is proposed to be a separate unit. The cottage proposed to be constructed is small in scale and Staff believes it is compatible with the neighborhood. The Historic Commission gave unanimous approval to the project. Nothing on the main house is changing on the exterior except for a new casement window in the daylight basement area that has been reviewed and approved by the State Historic Preservation Office. The property owner recently received approval for special assessment program. There was some dispute about how much coordination has gone on with the Historic Preservation about this. It is not an issue the City is responsible for. It should, however, be resolved by the State in the near future.
The letters received by the neighbors have been split. Some have been very positive and some have questioned the safety of traffic levels on Manzanita or design compatibility. There are single level homes in the immediate area that are compatible. Staff does not see an issue with design. Concerning traffic and safety, Knox spoke with the Public Works Department, and they felt there was not an issue. If anything, over the last couple of years they have done some things to reduce the speeds and improve the parking and crosswalks. The crossing to Briscoe is mid-block and it is stripped. Public Works thought the sidewalks are going to extend the full length of the street and that should help.
Staff has recommended approval of this application. Again, testimony will be taken, but the hearing will not be closed.
LAURA SHREWSBURY, 315 High Street, offered oral and written testimony. She said her primary concern is that of compatibility. She would strongly disagree with the Staff Report that calls this application "contextually compatible". She strongly disagrees. She feels the cottage would be jammed in between an existing garage and lot line and that would dramatically impact the quality and setting of the property. She would recommend any additional structures be placed behind the existing house and identify with High Street. She noted her dismay at the flawed process. More time needs to be provided to clarify and correct this application.
SU ROLLE, 311 High Street, said she submitted a letter in August regarding this proposal, along with Beth Geismar, 323 High Street, She has three concerns as outlined in her comments that she provided for the record. Manzanita is a particularly congested street; additional traffic and parking can jeopardize children’s safety. The planning process has been flawed, creating difficulties for the applicant and concerned citizens. The proposed partition and short-term rentals are not compatible with the neighborhood. She noted that Briscoe School was notified of the hearing just yesterday.
VICKI CAPP, 59 Manzanita, said she has seen over 20 years time, increased congestion on Manzanita. The last thing she wants is another multi-family use. She is in full support of Mitchell’s projects. Part of the problem on Manzanita is that the Briscoe staff parks on Manzanita because they are unwilling to park their cars farther away and walk more distance to get to school. This would help with traffic congestion.
KenCairn read a letter submitted by Jeff Schlect, Principal, Briscoe School.
KATHLEEN MITCHELL, 125 Manzanita, said she would like to totally lessen the development impact on the property. She had the cottage in back at one time, but changed to the front because it lessened the impact to the neighbors. She believes it helps with the parking situation based on the former use of the property. There are a total of seven parking spaces. She is completely concerned with the safety of children. She envisions renting the house to professionals who might be moving here and looking for a place to rent before buying a house. She envisions renting the basement and cottage for full-time rentals. She believes the design is compatible. There are all kinds of multi-family dwellings in the neighborhood.
KenCairn asked the possibility of making the property denser. Knox said the two lots on Manzanita are locked in based on size, however, the third lot could be made denser. He noted the lots are very compatible with the lots in the neighborhood.
Mitchell said she made her decision based on the neighborhood, not her own economic gain.
STEVEN DEWEY, contractor, said it has been a huge project bringing it up to the level of safety just so it could be remodeled and utilized.
Knox spoke about the special assessment and said it does not involve local land use.
The hearing was closed but will be again opened and continued on October 9, 2001, at 1:30 p.m. The neighbors will be receiving a new notice.
PLANNING ACTION 2001-075
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT, PHYSCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTRAINTS PERMIT AND SOLAR WAIVER TO CONSTRUCT A SINGLE FAMILY HOME AND A 443 SQUARE FOOT ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL UNIT LOCATED AT 348 IOWA STREET
APPLICANT: EVA COOLEY
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Site visits were made by all. KenCairn said she did a one hour consult for Cooley, however, she does not have a financial investment in the project and feels she can be unbiased in her decision.
Goldman gave the history of this action as outlined in the Staff Report. The application is to construct a 2747 square foot home with a 443 square foot attached accessory unit as well as a 600 square foot garage. A Physical and Environmental Constraints Permit is required because of the slope and a Solar Waiver is required because of the shading on the property to the north which has a house on the parent lot.
The Historic Commission voted denial of the Conditional Use Permit because it failed to meet the criteria for similarity in scale, bulk, and coverage, and because the house is architecturally incompatible with the impact area. The Historic Commission asked the applicant to work with the designer to bring the house into a more appropriate scale.
Goldman explained that there are a number of significant trees on the site, all proposed to be preserved. The Tree Commission made a recommendation that the 28 inch oak tree be protected during construction. A Condition has been added.
Goldman said the alley is in poor condition. Drastic improvements will need to be made, however, engineering plans will mitigate most of the problems. It will not be improved with asphalt surfacing but 3/4 minus gravel.
A letter has been submitted from a neighboring property owner objecting to the mass of the building. Condition 12 has been added that the roofline be lowered a minimum of one foot and that maximum height be no more than 35 feet.
All other Conditions of approval have been met.
DOYLE BRIGHTENBURG, 545 A Street, Suite 3, designer for the project, contends there will be very little mass of the building showing through the trees. The mass diminishes significantly because of the roofline. He designed the structure to be vertical because the applicant wants to preserve her existing gardens.
Brightenburg mentioned that they would like to have Condition 12 from the prior approval (PA95-061) dropped. This Condition deals with staging construction on the front parcel. That area is way below the proposed house. He believes access should be from above. Condition 9 of the same approval (PA95-061) states that an agreement needs to be signed prior to recording of the final plat for the alley improvements. The applicant is asking that the improvements be made prior to the occupancy of the residence, not before the building permit. And, Condition 5 from the prior approval, that temporary fencing be installed, because Brightenburg said there is a hedge there now.
Knox said Conditions of prior approvals cannot be modified without public notice. In response to Condition 12, a finding could be made that all efforts be made to see what can be done to minimize impact on the alley.
EVA COOLEY, 348 Iowa, remembers another accessory unit in the area being granted approval and that the finish work on the alley was to be completed upon occupancy, not issuance of a building permit. She is asking the same consideration be granted to her project. During construction, finished grade is likely to get undone.
Goldman explained that by changing the Condition, the neighbors would not have a chance to address the new required Conditions. With a continuance, Cooley could ask for the same approvals as she is asking for today and modification of a previously approved action.
Knox remembered from a prior action that the alley, at one point, was impassable and it was an issue for the Fire Department to review.
STEVEN MEEKS, 1537 Woodland Drive, said he owns the property adjacent to Cooley at 372. He is building an accessory unit on the alley. He noted the alleyway seeps at the bottom onto his property. The water began saturating his property. He mentioned the hedge and is concerned about damage during construction. Meeks said there are old oaks and firs and it looks like the siting of the building has taken that into consideration. When he started construction, he was not required to do any alley improvements, but once he started, he had to make alley improvements. He said there is no way to get equipment in and out of the alleyway without doing improvements. He had to do most of the construction out of the Gresham Street side. If the applicant is asking to do final grading of the alleyway prior to a Certificate of Occupancy, that makes sense. If, however, they are asking not do the basic alley stabilization and put in all of the drainage required to deal with the water problem, he does not know how they can stage the project from there without doing that first. It makes sense to do the staging for construction from that alleyway area instead of the lower part.
AUGUST SCHILLING, 280 Meade Street, said he is not opposed to putting in a new house on this property but he has some concerns as the uphill neighbor. All the photos talked about by the designer were from the view below, not above. He is concerned about the massiveness in front of him and his view. He would like the house to be smaller. He likes the rural character of the neighborhood. He is concerned if construction is staged from the alleyway, his vegetation is in jeopardy. He believes he has some mature pine trees that might be in conflict with trucks, concrete pumps and cranes.
ERIC SETTERBURG, 375 Holly Street, did not live on Holly during the 1995 partition. He agrees with the Historic Commission on the issue of height and mass of this structure in an area that has much smaller houses. It is a very imposing structure. He is not opposed to this structure, but feels it needs to be compatible with the neighborhood. He believes more people closer together do not add up to a more livable neighborhood and this proposed residence changes the character of the neighborhood. He is concerned that the sewer and storm drains be placed in such a way to minimize any potential damage to the conifers that line the east side of the property.
Brightenburg said the Fire Department requirements are dealt with in Condition 3 (current action). The City is putting a new main in Meade Street. There is a problem with the ten foot storm drain easement that runs along the east property line. When it gets to the next property, it goes to 16 feet, because Cooley wanted to bypass the trees that were there so she widened the easement.
Kistler said it seems the largest concern from the neighbors has been the size and massing of the building. Brightenburg feels the massing is broken up. The roofs are broken up. They took into account the view from below. The upper roof diminishes one-third of what you see when you look at it from the street. The accessory unit next door is close to the property line and is 28 feet from the grade to the peak. The house is lower than that. There are massive buildings in the neighborhood.
Kistler asked if it was an option to put the master suite square footage in the basement level. Brightenburg said the third floor is Cooley’s son’s room and the stairway to get to it. Kistler said the square footage into the lower level is not an option? Cooley said the proposal to include an accessory residential unit follows the Comp Plan for infill and it is an extremely desirable neighborhood to include this in. She believes the general livability and nature of the neighborhood is perfect for a small, one-person accessory residential unit in that area. If she wasn’t looking to put the accessory unit in the daylight basement, she would be looking at putting it as a separate unit on the property.
KenCairn would like to add a Condition that an arborist would do root pruning on the trees prior to the trenching. She would like to include August Schilling’s trees too. If they encounter any large roots, assess the location of the trenching. If Cooley root prunes, the trees have a chance to send out new feeder roots. KenCairn said when you trench on a slope, the tree roots or shrubs growing on a slope, are absorbing water from below.
Goldman suggested a Condition be added that fencing be installed along the north side of the alley to protect the adjacent property. The Commission could modify the Condition and ask that an arborist evaluate any existing trees and shrubs that will be impacted by the installation of the storm drain or utilities. Any necessary root pruning shall be completed prior to trenching or installation of utilities. Add another Condition that temporary fencing be installed for the existing trees adjacent to the south side of the alley prior to operation of construction vehicles on the alley.
Cooley wants to be careful to agree to not disturbing a hedge if the Fire Department says they have to. Goldman said the alley improvement plan he is looking at shows a ten foot improvement. KenCairn does not want orange temporary fencing. She would like it to be rigid fencing. KenCairn said she would be required to improve the alley first, then the fencing would go up at the time of issuance of a building permit, before anything starts. It would be removed at issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
Goldman said there are 13 previous Conditions. Condition 14: That temporary cyclone fencing be installed adjacent to the south side of the alley at issuance of a building permit. Condition 15: That an arborist evaluate the existing trees and shrubs and any necessary root pruning be completed prior to trenching or installation of utilities. The other modification would be to include "temporary fencing" on Conditions 6 and 7.
Kistler moved to approve PA2001-075 with the attached, added and modified Conditions.
ADJOURNMENT- The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.