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Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Agenda
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES
May 14, 2019
 
CALL TO ORDER
Vice Chair Melanie Mindlin called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
 
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Troy Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Alan Harper
Melanie Mindlin
Haywood Norton
Lynn Thompson
  Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant



 
     
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Roger Pearce
 
  Stefani Seffinger, absent
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Manager Maria Harris explained the Public Hearing for the Housing Element would go before City Council at their meeting June 4, 2019.  The Commission would discuss the election of officers at their meeting May 28, 2019.
 
AD-HOC COMMITTEE UPDATES - None
 
CONSENT AGENDA
  1. Approval of Minutes
  1. March 12, 2019 Regular Meeting
  2. March 26, Study Session
  3. April 23, 2019 Joint Study Session
 
Commissioners Thompson/Harper m/s to approve the minutes of March 12, 2019 and March 26, 2019.  Commissioner Brown abstained from the vote regarding the minutes of March 12, 2019.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.  
 
Commissioner Thompson offered the following changes to the minutes of April 23, 2019:
  • Page 2, last set of bullet points, change the first bullet under “Other items the Commissions discussed were,” from “Public opposition to multi-family rentals,” to “Public opposition to high density developments in developed Ashland neighborhoods, particularly parking and traffic impacts.”
  • Page 2, add the following two statements after the second set of bullet points and before the third set and “Other items the Commissions discussed were:”
“Regarding recommendations to increase allowed density and consider a tax abatement program, the ECONorthwest analysis indicated that such changes would not produce the “rental mix” housing that was highly desired, particularly for families.Rather, it appeared that they would incentivize small units, less than 500 square feet and rent-by-the-bedroom larger units which were what the Planning Commission was currently seeing.Since this is occurring anyway, the incremental value of changes in zoning and tax abatements needed to be considered carefully in relation to the impacts and costs of incentivizing such developments.”
And

“The study appeared to indicate that it was not so much a shortage of units as the cost of multi-family rental units that was a problem.”  
  • Page 3, under “Overall, both Commissions supported the recommendations made by ECONorthwest with several comments concerned with the tax abatement program.  Additional comments included,” delete the third bullet, “That the only way to increase housing was either increase density or expand boundaries.”
  • Page 3, change the seventh bullet under “Overall, both Commissions supported the recommendations made by ECONorthwest with several comments concerned with the tax abatement program.  Additional comments included,” from “Concern on decreasing multi-family parking,” to “Concerns expressed about recommendation to decrease parking requirements for multi-family housing.”
  • Page 3, under “Overall, both Commissions supported the recommendations made by ECONorthwest with several comments concerned with the tax abatement program.  Additional comments included,” add to list, “Policies that incentivized land annexation within the UGB may be a desirable way to add multi-family including possibly affordable housing.”
  • Page 3, “Overall, both Commissions supported the recommendations made by ECONorthwest with several comments concerned with the tax abatement program.  Additional comments included,” change to, “Overall, both Commissions supported the recommendations made by ECONorthwest with several comments concerned with the tax abatement program.  Commissioners were invited to offer their reactions and the following were expressed by individual Commissioners.”
 
The Commission discussed the proposed changes.
 
Commissioners Thompson/Harper m/s to approve the minutes of April 23, 2019, as amended with a further amendment to add a sentence before the bullet points on page 3 (following Overall, both Commissions…) “Commissioners were invited to offer their reactions and the following were expressed by individual Commissioners.”  Voice Vote:  Commissioners Dawkins, Harper, Norton and Thompson, YES; Commissioners Mindlin and Brown, NO.  Motion passed 4-2.
 
PUBLIC FORUM
Huelz Gutcheon/Ashland/Commented on meeting minutes, climate change and the lack of affordable housing in Ashland.
 
UPDATES
  1.    Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) Update by Stu Green, Climate and Energy Analyst
Climate and Energy Analyst Stu Green provided a presentation (click here) on the Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP).  A slide from 1982 projected greenhouse gas emissions would exceed 400 parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 2019 and it had.  There were nine actions ascribed to the Community Development Department in the CEAP.   The presentation included:
 
Ashland’s Climate Vision
  • CEAP Timeline.
  • Projected Climate Impacts.
  • Mitigation and Adaptation Goals.
  • Climate Recovery Ordinance for Community and City Operations.
  • Climate Goals.
  • Status of adopted climate actions.
  • Are we making progress?
  • Accomplishments.
  • Opportunities.
 
Hydro power was not considered renewable energy.  Projections indicated that by 2030 all new energy would be solar power.  It was more expensive to purchase a unit of electricity than one unit of natural gas.  The City was developing an electrification program but it was budget cycle driven.  The master plan for the electric utility would contain a climate policy advisory.
 
The Commission discussed passive solar in building requirements with Mr. Green.  Ms. Harris explained how building specific requirements in the City’s code could possibly violate the maximum building code in the International Building Code.  Land Use code could not require more than the state required. 
 
Mr. Green would forward the resources listed in the presentation to Ms. Harris.
 
The Commission suggested sharing information and providing specifics on steps the public could take to minimize their personal impact on the environment.  The City could provide residents with multiple categories and a range of actions they could take to make a difference.  Additionally, they could create action items that would become cultural norms.
 
Mr. Green addressed if infill density contributed to the heat island effect.  He explained everything was a tradeoff and provided examples.  He also commented on eco system restoration versus carbon reduction.  Planting more plants would cut down on carbon.
 
Another Commission suggestion was having the new climate commission incorporate subsidies or incentives for developments that addressed climate items in the CEAP.  The Planning Commission could work on zoning to accommodate development. 
 
The Commission liked the report.  Ms. Harris noted the Cottage Housing/ARU Ordinance, the Development Standards for Wildfire Lands Ordinance, and the Transit Triangle Overlay Ordinance all addressed action items in the CEAP.
 
Mr. Green clarified the state did not mandate the Climate and Energy Action Plan. 
 
OTHER BUSINESS
  1. Technical Advisory Committee Member – “Revitalize Downtown Ashland”  
The Commission agreed that Commissioner Dawkins would participate on the Committee.
 
  1. Finalize Planning Commission Retreat Date
The Commission confirmed the retreat date as June 10, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
 
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
 
ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
 
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
 

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