ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
April 22, 2014
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.
|Troy J. Brown, Jr.
||Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
||Mike Morris, absent
Community Development Director announced the City Council will hold the public hearing on the Normal Neighborhood Plan on May 6, 2014. He also noted Commissioner Miller has been reappointed to a 4-year term, and announced that Michael Grubbs has resigned from his position as City Building Official. Commissioner Brown provided a brief update on the SDC Committee meeting, and Commissioner Dawkins commented on the Downtown Beautification Committee.
No one came forward to speak.
A. Review recommendation to Council on the Normal Neighborhood Plan.
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman noted the Planning Commission held the public hearing on the Normal Neighborhood Plan on March 11, 2014 and made their formal recommendation to the City Council April 8, 2014. He stated what is presented tonight is the Commission’s final report for their review.
The following suggestions were issued regarding the draft final report:
• Page 2 - Mobility Framework. Suggestion was made to include input from RVTD regarding the future transit stop on East Main Street. Mr. Goldman suggested the wording be changed to “A future transit stop coordinated with RVTD, in the immediate vicinity of the NN-03 Land Use Zone, should be incorporated into the East Main Street roadway design and development.” The Commission voiced support for this change.
• Page 2 - Mobility Framework. Suggestion was made for the railroad crossing language to clearly specify whether a crossing somewhere else in the City will need to be closed in order to make this a public crossing. The Commission shared their comments on this suggestion. Mr. Goldman explained that ODOT Rail has stated they will not prepare a final determination until a crossing application has been submitted. Comment was made expressing concern about putting this application and engineering process on the first annexation applicant. Recommendation was made to edit the language to read “
A final determination That the proposed public railroad crossing can be installed without necessitating the closure of any existing public crossing within the City.” The Commission voiced support for this change.
Mr. Goldman stated the report will be amended as requested and forwarded to the City Council for their public hearing on May 6, 2014.
B. Review elements of a draft ordinance related to Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.
Planning Manager Maria Harris explained staff has prepared a discussion draft based on previous meeting discussions and will take the input that comes out of tonight’s discussion and prepare an ordinance for the public hearing on May 13, 2014. Ms. Harris stated during previous discussions the Planning Commission has determined that: 1) dispensaries will be a special permitted use in the C-1 and E-1 zones, 2) dispensaries must be located on streets classified as a boulevard, 3) hours of operation will be from 7 am to 7 pm, 4) dispensaries must be enclosed in a permanent building, and no outside storage of materials is permitted, 5) any modification to the site or exterior of the building must be consistent with the Site Design and Use Standards and security bars are prohibited on windows and doors, 6) dispensaries must provide for secure disposal of any marijuana remnants, and 7) dispensaries must conform to the state requirements.
Comment was made questioning if consumption on site will be prohibited. Ms. Harris stated consumption on the premises is already prohibited by state law and clarified staff will check with the state regarding the definition of “premise”. The Commission agreed that their intent is to prohibit consumption both inside and outside the building.
Suggestion was made to allow dispensaries on A Street, however Commissioner Mindlin noted that this was voted down by the group at the last meeting. Another suggestion was made to potentially allow dispensaries to be located within one block of a boulevard. The Commission discussed keeping these uses away from residential neighborhoods and that placing these on busier streets would provide natural surveillance and limit increased traffic. No support was voiced for allowing dispensaries further off the boulevard.
Ms. Harris handed out code language from other cities and asked for the Commission’s input. The group agreed to not allow drive-thru dispensaries, and also agreed to not place any additional buffer for parks, libraries, and other places where children congregate.
Staff thanked the Commission for their input and noted they will have one more chance to discuss this issue when it comes back for the public hearing on May 13, 2014.
C. Ideas for upcoming Planning Commission Retreat on May 10th.
Staff and the Commission briefly discussed potential retreat topics. Suggestions were made to discuss infill strategies, look at where redevelopment can occur, and assess the qualities that exist downtown and in the railroad district that are lacking on Ashland Street and Siskiyou Blvd. Additional suggestions were made to visit previous controversial applications (such as the house at Gresham/Allison) and see how they turned out, and to review the updated Uniform Policies for Commissions and Committees.
Commissioner Mindlin left the meeting.
D. Clarification of recommendation to Council on Short Term Rentals.
Mr. Molnar stated staff does not know whether the City Council will want to make changes to allow short term rentals in the single family zone, but if they do decide to move forward with changes, the Planning Commission has recommended the following: 1) properties must be owner occupied and located within 200 ft. of a major city street, 2) rentals can be a one-bedroom or two-bedroom suite located within the residence footprint, 3) rentals may be accessed from either the main entrance or a separate private entrance, 4) a conditional use permit is required, and 5) there will be an annual or biennial review of the operation.
Comment was made questioning the fee structure and whether using the same fee as an accessory residential unit ($649) was appropriate. It was noted that those who apply for travelers accommodation approval in the R-2 or R-3 zones are changed a higher rate of $998. Mr. Molnar commented on the staff time and noticing requirements for these types of applications and explained it is comparable to the ARU process. Comment was made that they should not be making it harder for those in the zones where they want to encourage this use, and suggesting the City charge the same fee for all the zoning districts. Additional recommendations were made to only permit a single reservation (although the accommodation could be two bedrooms) and to not allow independent kitchen facilities, as allowing these units to be converted to short term rentals could reduce the City’s long term rental housing stock.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor