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Planning Commission Mtg

Minutes
Tuesday, August 13, 2013


ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
 MINUTES
August 13, 2013

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

 
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Troy J. Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Debbie Miller
Melanie Mindlin
Tracy Peddicord
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Derek Severson, Associate Planner
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor
 
     
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Richard Kaplan   Mike Morris, absent
 
 
ANNOUCEMENTS
Community Development Director Bill Molnar issued the following announcements: 1) there is a Planning Commission Training Session that will be held in Portland in September; any members interested in attending should contact staff, 2) Commissioner Davis has resigned and there is now a vacancy on the Commission, and 3) the Commission needs to select two members to serve on the Downtown Multimodal Advisory Committee. Commissioners Dawkins, Miller and Kaplan were identified as potential members.
 
CONSENT AGENDA
A.   Approval of Minutes.
       1.  July 9, 2013 Regular Meeting.
       2.  July 23, 2013 Study Session.
    
Commissioners Brown/Dawkins m/s to approve the July 9, 2013 Regular Meeting minutes. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0.
 
Commissioners Brown/Peddicord m/s to approve the July 23, 2013 Study Session minutes. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
No one came forward to speak.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
  1.     Approval of Findings for PA-2013-00806, Vacant Parcels at North Mountain & Fair Oaks.
 
Ex Parte Contact
No ex parte contact was reported. Commissioner Mindlin noted she was not present for this action and will not be participating in the vote.
 
Associate Planner Derek Severson reviewed the Staff Memo included in the packet and explained staff wants to make sure the Findings accurately reflect the Commission’s decision. He highlighted Condition #7 which addresses the parking issue and how the parking on Plum Ridge Court is treated. He stated the Findings as currently written state: “The Planning Commission supports consideration of the 23 Plum Ridge Court parking spaces to address the residential parking demand to accommodate the NM-C density envisioned in the North Mountain Plan, however the use of these parking spaces may not be restricted, assigned or otherwise treated as a private parking lot, as private parking lots are not a permitted use within the zone.” He clarified this language provides substantial flexibility for the applicant to use Plum Ridge Court parking to address the parking demand for any proposed use. Mr. Severson stated if this was not the Commission’s intent the condition will need to be modified and called attention to “Alternative Condition #7” contained in the Staff Memo.
 
The Commission discussed the public hearing and their deliberations and decision. Commissioner Dawkins stated his intent was for Plum Ridge Court to be used to meet the commercial parking demand and for the second and third story residential units to have dedicated parking on the site. Commissioner Miller thought they had decided that all of the residential units (including the ground floor temporary units) needed to have one off-street space per unit, and her understanding was that these spaces would be provided on the site itself. Commissioner Peddicord thought that only the upper floor residential units would have parking provided on the site. Mr. Molnar clarified while the applicants intend to put the bulk of the permanent residential parking demand on the individual lots, they would like some flexibility to utilize the parking spaces on Plum Ridge Court as well. Comment was made that if all of the residential parking were to be provided on the site than the applicants would have needed to bring forward a different site plan than the one that was voted on. Mr. Molnar clarified for the current building all of the parking for the second and third floors will be on the site. He added if the Commission approves Condition #7 as originally presented it would allow future buildings that have second and third floor residential to have the option of accommodating some of that parking on Plum Ridge Court. The Commission discussed this issue further and several members commented that they did not discuss the parking for future buildings during their deliberations. Mr. Molnar commented that his understanding was the Commission had agreed the ground floor parking could be accommodated on Plum Ridge Court. Commissioner Miller voiced concern with this and believes this will create parking issues for the people who live there. The remainder of the Commission was comfortable with this as long as the Findings are clear that future applications will need to be looked at separately since the Commission did not deliberate on the parking for the other lots.
 
Commissioners Brown/Peddicord m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2013-00806 with Condition #7 modified to clarify this applies only to this property. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Brown, Dawkins and Peddicord, YES. Commissioner Miller, NO. Motion passed 3-1.
 
DISCUSSION ITEMS        
  1.     Unified Land Use Ordinance – Discussion of Public Meeting Comments.
Planning Manager Maria Harris clarified at the last meeting the Planning Commission asked staff to compile a list of the public meeting comments so that the Commission could discuss them. She stated this summary is included in the packet and outlined several items staff believes are do-able within the established timeline if the Commission is interested:
 
  • Providing links in the digital format for cross-references. Ms. Harris clarified staff was already planning on doing this.
  • Increase building height in C-1 Zone. Issue was brought up that this conflicts with the plaza requirements, especially for buildings on smaller lots, and Ms. Harris clarified this is something that needs to be looked into and addressed in the next draft. Comment was made suggesting staff consider an in-lieu-of requirement that could create funds for public plaza spaces.
  • Allow rear yard alleys to be less than the standard 10 ft. per story.
  • Building separation for large scale developments. Ms. Harris stated staff believes the code needs to clarify how this standard applies to adjacent lots under different ownership.
  • Reducing environmental impacts of surface parking. Ms. Harris suggested a mix and match approach be incorporated that allows applicants to select from a menu of strategies. 
  • Adjusting front lot line for flag lots. Ms. Harris explained an opinion was put in place by the city attorney which states the front lot line of the flag lot is the line that parallels the street. She added this has significantly impacted the ability to divide lots and staff believes this should be revisited. The Commission briefly discussed this and agreed this may be one of the more contentious issues that needs to be handled separately. 
  • Minimum tree and shrub sizes. Ms. Harris stated she has been working with the City’s water conservation specialist on these standards, and will be taking this to the Tree Commission for their opinion and hold a focus group meeting that targets local landscape professionals. Suggestion was made for staff to consider using a mature height requirement for screening and buffering instead of a minimum container size.
 
The Commission received clarification from staff on their individual questions and shared their comments and suggestions. The Commission discussed creating some flexibility in the alley setback requirements and recommended staff look into this. Staff was also asked to provide the Public Meeting Comments and Matrix to the individuals who participated in the workshops.
 
  1.     Schedule tour of SOU Dorms and Dining Hall.
Staff informed the Commission they are considering scheduling a tour of the new Southern Oregon University dorms and dining hall the afternoon of the next study session date and stated an email will be sent out to verify commissioner availability.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Commissioner Mindlin read a statement aloud that explained why she did not participate in the discussion/vote regarding Short Term Vacation Rentals (see Exhibit A, attached).
 
ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
 

 

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