ASHLAND HISTORIC COMMISSION
August 3, 2016
Community Development/Engineering Services Building – 51 Winburn Way – Siskiyou Room
CALL TO ORDER:
Commission Chair, Shostrom called the meeting to order at 6:03 pm in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
||Mark Schexnayder; Staff Liaison
||Regan Trapp; Secretary
Giordano motioned to approve minutes from July 6, 2016. Swink seconded. No one opposed. Whitford abstained.
- Shostrom stated that in the past, minutes were much more detailed. Molnar remarked that staff is trying to make minutes brief and capturing just the most important details, such as recommendations and motions. Molnar, went on to say that when actions are controversial, we do try to capture key comments related to the standards.
There was no one in the audience wishing to speak.
COUNCIL LIAISON REPORT
Voisin gave the Council Liaison report. Items discussed were:
PLANNING ACTION REVIEW:
- Study session:
- Council received the downtown parking proposal and there will be opportunities for public input soon. The ad-hoc committee for downtown parking will end soon and a new committee will be formed related to urban design. Cycling safety will be of the utmost concern.
- There is a plan being reviewed to allow Martoli’s to place tables and chairs in front of City Hall. They will put a rail up to separate the area from pedestrian traffic.
- There will be an open house on September 15th at 7PM in the Community Room to review and discuss plans for City Hall. Public input is encouraged.
- Council regular meeting:
- Parks purchases: Parks purchased a dump truck and the Hitt Road property above Lithia Park.
- Grandview guardrail was discussed.
- Fair housing ordinance was passed.
- Food & beverage tax will be going on the ballot for consideration. The public will be able to vote on how they want the money to be used.
50 East Main St.
Ted DeLong/Oregon Shakespeare Festival
A request for Site Design Review approval for exterior changes to a contributing property in the Downtown Historic District. The proposal is to construct a 150 square foot addition to the existing deck located at the rear of the building located at 50 East Main Street. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:
Commercial - Downtown; ZONING:
C-1-D; ASSESSOR’S MAP:
39 1E 09BB; TAX LOT
There was no ex parte contact or conflict of interest indicated by the Commission.
Schexnayder gave the staff report for PA-2016-01385.
Shostrom opened the public hearing to the applicants.
David Wilkerson of ORW Architecture, and Ted Delong, General Manager of Oregon Shakespeare Festival addressed the Commission regarding their application. Mr. Wilkerson stated that it’s a fairly straightforward application and was first applied for to prevent water intrusion into Harvey’s Place. Mr. Wilkerson went on to say, that since the first application, this has morphed into something a little bigger as they take into consideration size of the deck and the water intrusion issue. They will keep the existing deck, making only small repairs in certain places where the deck needs some reinforcements and new framing. He pointed out that the goal of the expansion is to match the existing deck built in the 1990’s.
Shostrom closed the public hearing and opened to the Commission for comments.
Giordano motioned to approve PA-2016-01385 as presented. Whitford seconded. No one opposed.
PLANNING ACTION #:
150 N. Pioneer St.
City of Ashland
A request for a Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment and Zone Change for the properties located at 150 and 162 North Pioneer Street. The current Comprehensive Plan Map designation is Low Density Multi-Family Residential and the Zoning is R-2. With the current request, the Comprehensive Plan Map designation would be changed to Commercial and the Zoning to C-1. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Existing:
Low Density Multi-Family Residential, Proposed:
Commercial; ZONING: Existing:
C-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP:
39 1E 09BA; TAX LOT #:
11800 & 11900
Skibby indicated that he spoke with the owner while he was taking pictures of the property and the owner gave him a tour of the house. He declared that it would not affect his decision making on this application.
Mr. Molnar, Community Development Director, gave the staff report for PA-2016-00309.
Mr. Molnar, discussed the background and process of this application and stated that zone changes do not come about often. He went on to say that the City’s land use ordinance allows the City Council to initiate the zone change by a majority vote. Mr. Molnar said that the Mayor had requested the City Council take a look at this application. At that point, the City Council directed staff to process the application for the zone change. This is not applicant initiated, it has been initiated by the City Of Ashland and will still have to go through the full approval process. Mr. Molnar explained that the Historic Commission would make a recommendation tonight and then it would go to the Planning Commission for their recommendation, ultimately to be decided by the City Council. Mr. Molnar gave a history on the property and said that this isn’t the first time this property has been up for re-zoning. He discussed that the basis for doing a zone change often comes down to one of two issues. One, that it needs to be re-zoned to conform to the City’s comprehensive plan to accommodate residential growth or two, over time certain circumstances change in an area that might warrant re-zoning. Mr. Molnar described the neighborhood around the properties in detail and went on to speak about the congestion of the area. He pointed out that one of the biggest implications of re-zoning this property is that Commercial zoning designation allows for residential use in conjunction with a commercial use, but it doesn’t mandate that you have to have the residential use on the property. With commercial zoning, comes flexibility to choose what kind of use you want. Mr. Molnar directed attention to the fact that the neighbor to the north of this property owns an antique shop and they share a mutual access easement of the driveway. This neighbor has shown interest and may be agreeable to this application.
Skibby wanted clarification if both, 150 and 162 N. Pioneer were the properties in question for the re-zoning. Mr. Molnar stated that, yes, both properties would be looked at for re-zoning since they are connected and that the Commission could visit the idea of re-zoning both addresses. Mr. Molnar explained that both properties were properly noticed and procedures were taken to notify everyone in the neighborhood.
Mr. Molnar impressed upon the fact that if the properties were to be re-zoned that they would be held to a higher standard because they are commercial and historic contributing. If they made exterior changes that require a building permit they would go through a full Commercial Site Review.
Emery asked about solar and Mr. Molnar stated that C-1 zones have to maintain a 16 foot height requirement. C-1-D zones are exempt from solar altogether.
Shostrom asked if the point of this re-zoning was the de-valuation of the owner’s property and Mr. Molnar emphasized that staff does not look at re-zoning a property due to de-valuation or to provide greater economic value. They have to look at it from a land – use perspective. They discussed examples of some properties in the past that had been up for re-zoning.
Shostrom opened the public hearing for comments from the audience.
Marilyn Stewart, property owner at 142 B Street, Ashland, OR addressed the commission regarding this planning action. Ms. Stewart’s property abuts 162 N. Pioneer and stated that this potential zone change is a huge deal to her. She directed attention to the fact that a zone is there for a reason and if we go changing them, then where does that stop? The zone line is where it is for a reason and if the line moves then it will be abutting residences. Ms. Stewart doesn’t see why the need for a zone change and thinks if approved, will open the door for more of these instances. Ms. Stewart remarked that problems with homeless in parking lot, noise with Gil’s and Ruby’s, and parking lot construction were all factors when the owner bought the property at 150 N. Pioneer. With this zone change, she feels the Railroad district is vulnerable to change, too quickly and feels the livability of the street scape will suffer.
Shostrom closed the public hearing and opened to the Commission for comments.
There was much discussion by the Commission in regards to what would happen long term on this property if it does go through a zone change and the repercussions felt on the neighborhood. Leonard brought up an option of building a substantial fence which would help mitigate outlying problems.
Giordano motioned to deny PA-2016-00309 as proposed. Whitford seconded. No one opposed.
Giordano requested that Voisin report back to the Commission the City Council’s decision on this application.
By a unanimous vote, the Historic Commission recommended that the City Council not change the zoning designation for the property. The Commission noted the following concerns as the basis for their recommendation:
- The request represents a step toward a gradual encroachment of the “commercial” zoning district into the Historic Railroad District;
- This gradual encroachment will negatively impact the livability of the historic residential district to the north, as well as the residential properties in the immediate vicinity;
- The change from Multi-Family Residential to Commercial zoning will increase the value of the property (150 N. Pioneer), which will result in putting pressure to redevelop the property;
- Redevelopment of the property will likely result in changes to the existing historic, “contributing” residential building, and/or may lead to a future proposal to remove or demolish the structure; and
- Concerns over impacts related to 150 N. Pioneer’s proximity to the city public parking lot could best be addressed through mitigation, such as better fencing and landscaping, rather than a change in zoning. A change in the zoning designation will not resolve the impacts noted by the property owner.
- Review board schedule
- Project assignments for planning actions
Whitford asked about the status of 135 Nutley and Mr. Molnar stated that they had to center a window and fix the stairs to the property. He went on to say that the owner added a belly band and a flower box and the project looks to be moving forward and progressing. Swink stated that the owner had said (in a review board meeting) that he was going to remove the footings under the stairs to narrow and change the orientation (of the stairs) and has not done that as of yet. Schexnayder stated that the actions of the owner at 135 Nutley were egregious and in the future will keep a better watch out for actions like this. Swink suggested a listing of recommendations be given to commissioners when they review building plans. Schexnayder stated that it’s unknown why the owner at 135 Nutley did not have come back to submit a modification with the Historic Commission. Schexnayder suggested having the Commission obtain the files at Review board so they can see the entire history as well as recommendations and findings for the action. Shostrom impressed upon the fact that sometimes the recommendations aren’t accurate and that they should have the chance to review them before they go to the Planning Commission. Shostrom suggested that Schexnayder email the recommendations to the entire Commission after he writes them, so that they can do any edits if necessary. Shostrom said that the recommendations that are given to the applicant should be clearly written on the plans and plans should be to scale. Schexnayder commented that he compares the Commission’s recommendation with what is submitted on the revised plans. Schexnayder stated that he will speak with Mr. Molnar about these suggestions. Shostrom would like to look at the entire review process of the Commission to see if there could be a way to catch these things before they get too far in the process.
There were no items to discuss.
COMMISSION ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA:
Voisin discussed the way minutes are taken with Shostrom. Voisin stated the she heard Shostrom say that “minutes were too brief”. Shostrom remarked that yes, in the past they were much more detailed. Voisin stated that minutes are a record and are very important. Skibby agreed that yes, they are important and sometimes things get misconstrued if not enough detail is given. Schexnayder responded that staff’s direction has been for “action minutes” with more emphasis on motions and recommendation without all the discussion unless controversial.
Review Board Schedule
Project Assignments for Planning Actions
||Terry, Tom, Andrew
||Terry, Taylor, Sam
||Terry, Taylor, Dale
||Terry, Keith, Bill
||Lithia & First
||Swink & Whitford
||485 A Street
||156 Van Ness Ave
||160 Lithia Way
||35 S. Pioneer
||35 S. Second-Winchester Inn
||868 A Street
||95 N. Main
||5 N. Main
||25 N. Main
||Shostrom & Skibby
||252 B Street
||872 Siskiyou Blvd
||276 B Street
||Shostrom & Leonard
|| 50 E. Main
ANNOUNCEMENTS & INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:
Next meeting is scheduled September 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm.
There being no other items to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm
Respectfully submitted by Regan Trapp