ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
January 28, 2014
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Melanie Mindlin called the Study Session to order at 7:40 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
|Melanie Mindlin, Chair
Troy J. Brown, Jr.
||Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor
||Mike Morris, absent
No one came forward to speak.
A. Unified Land Use Ordinance: Section 18-4 Site Development and Design Standards.
Planning Manager Maria Harris noted this is a short section and stated most of the edits were reorganizing and reformatting. She explained tonight the Commission will review Chapter 18-4.4 Landscaping, Recycling and Refuse, Outdoor Lighting, Fences and Walls and Chapter 18-4.5 Tree Preservation and Protection. She noted the recommendations from the City’s Conservation Specialist as well as input from the landscape professionals focus group has been incorporated, and highlighted the key changes as follows:
- Landscape Plans – Temporary and Permanent Erosion Control Measure: This language has been moved and combined with the preliminary grading and drainage plan in the Site Review Plan Requirements.
- Landscaping Requirements – Minimum Tree and Shrub Sizes: The proposed language establishes a one-gallon minimum container size for shrubs and includes a reference to the existing hedge screening standard.
- Landscape Requirements – Mechanical Equipment Screening: The proposed language establishes standards and identifies clear methods for screening mechanical equipment
- Landscape Requirements – Water Conserving Landscaping Design Standards: Edits and additions include: 1) non-drought tolerant species are required to be located in a separate irrigation zone; 2) plants in the same irrigation zones are required to have similar water needs unless irrigated by drip irrigation with emitters sized for individual plant water needs; and 3) amend soil by adding mature compost and work soil amendment to depth of four to six inches.
- Landscape Requirements – Irrigation System Design Standards for Water Conserving Landscaping: Edits and additions include: 1) separate irrigation zones based on water needs of plantings and types of sprinklers being used, 2) equip irrigation zones with pressure regulator valves, and 3) use controllers with a water budget feature or the capability of accepting an external rain or soil moisture sensor.
- Landscape Requirements – Exception to Water Conserving Landscaping Design Standards: Proposed amendment states an alternate design may be proposed if the applicant demonstrates that water use will be equal to or less than what would occur if the standards are applied and if the proposal meets the criteria for an exception to the Site Design and Development Standards.
- Recycling and Refuse Disposal Areas: The proposed language adds a requirement for disposal areas be placed in an area that allows truck access and not located in any required front yard or required landscaped area.
- Tree Preservation and Protection: The proposed amendment limits tree protection plans to those developments requiring a planning action and eliminates the tree protection plan requirement from projects that simply require a building permit.
Ms. Harris noted an additional item that will come back to the Commission is the Fire Department’s request to exempt owners from having to go through the tree removal approval process when bringing their properties into compliance with FireWise standards. Comment was made expressing concern that people may use this as an excuse to remove trees and recommending the City retain standards and an approval process. Additional comment was made requesting additional information on the FireWise program and which actions are advisory and which are regulatory.
Ms. Harris clarified the screening requirements for mechanical equipment and explained why equipment placed on alleys is exempt. She stated alleys were developed to be utility and service corridors and this was an impossible standard for most commercial businesses to meet. Suggestion was made for staff to consider revising this language for clarity.
Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.