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Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Special Meeting

Agenda
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
SPECIAL MEETING
MINUTES
June 23, 2020
 
 
I.          CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.
 
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins
Alan Harper
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
 
     
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Kerry KenCairn   Stef Seffinger, absent
 
II.        ANNOUNCEMENTS
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced that Interim Public Works Director Scott Fleury would form a committee to evaluate updates to the water and storm drain system charges.  Commissioner Pearce volunteered to serve on the committee.   The first reading of the Open Space ordinance amendments was postponed due to concerns expressed by KDA Homes.  Staff would review the concerns and bring the item back to the Commission at the Study Session in July. 
 
III.       PUBLIC FORUM - None
 
IV.       TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS CONT’D
A.   PLANNING ACTION: #PA-T2-2020-00019
SUBJECT PROPERTY: Vacant Tax Lots #10104 & #10105 on First Street (North of Lithia Way, Across from the Post Office)
OWNER/APPLICANT:  Randy Jones for First Place Partners, LLC
DESCRIPTION: A request to consolidate two vacant lots and construct a new 10,547 square foot, three-story mixed use building as the third and final phase of the First Place subdivision. The building’s ground floor will be primarily commercial space, while the second floor will include three one-bedroom residential units and the third floor will have one two-bedroom residential unit.  The proposal includes modifications to the common area landscaping and parking configuration to provide more efficient access from the accessible parking to the entrances, and two requests for Exceptions to the Site Development & Design Standards’ "Downtown Design Standards" to allow for a staggered street setback and to allow vertical windows installed together in groups of three that are more horizontal than vertical.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Commercial; ZONING: C-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09BA; TAX LOTS: #10104 & #10105
Chair Norton read the rules of the electronic public hearing.  This item was on the agenda for the meeting on June 9, 2020.  An issue occurred with RVTV and the livestream was interrupted.  The public hearing was continued to this meeting.
 
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioners Dawkins, Harper, and Pearce had no ex parte on the matter but drove past the site frequently.  Commissioner Thompson declared no ex parte but had accessed the north parking lot to observe traffic during peak times.  Chair Norton had no ex parte and no site visit since June 9, 2020.
 
Questions of Staff
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman gave a report on the applicant’s response to questions asked at the meeting on June 9, 2020.  Jerome White, the architect submitted additional testimony that addressed concerns the Commission raised regarding a deck encroaching into a common area and the request for two on-street parking spaces within 200-feet of a C-I-D zone.
 
The applicant consulted their attorney regarding the deck.  The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions could create an allowance for the easements to run with the land.  It would give the applicant the ability to build an encroachment into the common area and maintain it over time.
 
The two on-street parking spaces were on First Street and outside the 200-foot buffer.  The applicants were requesting two on-street parking spaces for potential change of use in the future.  The parking spaces were included in the original subdivision from 2012.  If this application was approved, there would be no further development on the site.
 
Applicant’s Submittal (See attached)
 
Written Testimony - None
 
Rebuttal by Applicant - None
 
Deliberations & Decision
 
Commissioner Thompson/Pearce m/s to approve PA-T2-2020-00019, with the exception of the two on-street parking places.  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Thompson noted aspects she liked about the project.  The code allowed on-street parking credits to reduce the number of required off-street parking.  In this case the applicant did not need an on-street parking credit because they had enough parking off street.  Commissioner Pearce agreed with Commissioner Thompson adding it did not prohibit them from requesting then if the use changed.  He thought the findings should link the exceptions to the purpose of the site design review in 18.5.2.010.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Harper, Pearce, Dawkins, Thompson and Norton, YES.  Motion passed.
 
V.        TYPE III PUBLIC HEARINGS CONT’D
A.  PLANNING ACTION: #PA-T3-2019-00001
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 1511 Hwy 99 N
OWNER/AGENTS/APPLICANT:  Linda Zare/Casita Developments, LLC & Kendrick Enterprise, LLC/ Rogue Planning & Development Services, LLC
DESCRIPTION: A request for Annexation of a 16.87-acre parcel and Zone Change from County RR-5 Rural Residential) to City R-2 (Low Density, Multi-Family Residential) for the properties located at 1511 Highway 99 North.  The annexation is to include adjacent railroad property and state highway right-of-way.  The application includes conceptual details for the future phased development of 196 apartments (1- and 2-Bedrooms, ranging from 480-701 square feet) in 14 two-story buildings; Outline Plan subdivision and Site Design Review development approvals are not requested here, and would be applied for subsequent to annexation. The application also requests an Exception to Street Standards to deviate from city standard parkrow and sidewalk improvements to respond to constraints of right-of-way width and existing encroachments. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: Existing – County RR-5, Proposed – City R-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP:  38 1E 32; TAX LOT#’s: 1700 & 1702.
 
 
Staff Report / Questions of Staff
Senior Planner Derek Severson provided a presentation (see attached):
•  Grand Terrace Annexation
•  Contiguity & the Railroad Property
•  Grand Terrace Annexation – AMC 18.5.8.060 Boundaries
•  Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 222.170 “Triple Majority”
•  Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 222.170 2017 ORS 222.170
•  Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 222.170; Subject Properties; ODOT Right of Way
The Commission could find the proposal to annex the applicant’s properties, the adjacent ODOT right of way and the railroad to achieve contiguity and satisfy the ORS 222.170 Triple Majority option.  It would not need consent from the Railroad.
 
Commissioner Thompson explained this was the first she was hearing of this option.  It would be difficult to reach a determination.  Commissioner Dawkins agreed and wanted to know how ODOT and the Railroad would determine a valuation of their properties.  Commissioner Pearce explained there was no assessed value on either property.  It was the assessed value of the private properties.  It was half the owners who owned more than half the land in the annexation area that was worth more than half the assessed value.  He clarified it would be contiguous by including the additional property in the annexation.
 
Commissioner Thompson confirmed the Triple Majority option would annex the Railroad without their consent.  She thought the code section was about avoiding an election to annex property without people’s consent.  Chair Pearce clarified it was one of three statutes that talked about annexation by consent before a public hearing.  An order or election was not required if there was a Triple Majority. 
 
Mr. Molnar further clarified this was an update on key issues and the contiguity was evolving.  ORS 222.170 was preliminarily discussed but needed more information.  A draft report would come before the Commission for consideration prior to it going to the City Council. 
 
Commission Harper asked if the owners of the properties circled by the annexation wanted to be included.  Staff explained the neighbors were noticed and some had sent written comments.  Staff would reach out and let them know the proposed boundaries.  Key considerations were services they currently had and what the obligation would be if they came into the city.
 
Staff clarified the ODOT right of way would remain a state highway that was in city limits until it met areas where the city had jurisdictional limits.  It would be subject to ODOT standards.  The City would have no control over signals or crosswalks.
 
•  Transportation and Circulation – Access
•  Frontage Improvements (North)
•  Frontage Improvements (South)
•  Transit Improvements
Commissioner Thompson asked about a two-way bike lane to avoid left turns across traffic.  Staff noted the Transportation Commission had raised the same question. Interim Public Works Director Scott Fleury thought they could have a two-way bike lane within the existing right of way pending ODOT approval. 
 
•  Affordability Calculations & Constrained Lands
The applicant proposed to reduce the affordability requirement by removing the unbuildable areas and wetland buffers and base their density calculations on 13.7.5 acres of the site.  It would result in 7-10 fewer affordable units.  In the Code, the minimum residential density for annexation called for 90% of the base density of the zone to be provided with annexation unless reductions in the total number of units were necessary to that minimum density to accommodate significant natural features, topography, access limitations or physical constraints.  The section requiring affordable housing stated a percentage of the base density did not provide for any reduction to accommodate significant natural features or physical constraints.  The applicant was contending the number of required affordable units should be reduced based on the total land area after the unbuildable lands were removed from the calculation.  Presently, the code did not provide for any such reduction.  Staff was currently proposing code revisions that would remove unbuildable lands from consideration in the calculations.  The Commission could choose to add in their recommendation to the City Council the applicant made a reasonable argument in support of this approach; that staff had drafted code language reflecting the change and the legislative nature of an annexation would allow the City Council to take that approach.
 
The Commission did not support revising the ordinance for this specific project.  They were open to potential changes in the future.  The Commission needed to approve the application based on the current code.  The applicant could ask the City Council for a legislative fix during that public hearing.
 
•  Next Steps
o  Commissioners to weigh-in on issues identified and indicate any additional information they believe is needed from the applicant or staff to arrive at a formal recommendation to Council.
o  Motion to continue the action to a date certain – July 14, 2020 or later.
o  Based on discussion tonight, staff will prepare a formal recommendation with draft findings for consideration and adoption at the continued meeting.
 
The Commission wanted more detailed analysis on contiguity in the recommendation to the City Council.  The Commission also agreed the number of affordable housing units did not meet the requirement. 
 
Transportation concerns included traffic volume and speed, entering and exiting the site and bicycle safety.   Both left turns seemed problematic.  Some were not persuaded the north entrance should be limited to emergency traffic only.  Other comments supported a two-way bike lane but thought it should be separated.  The Commission could recommend the City talk to ODOT about reducing the speed.
 
If the annexation was approved, the number of units could be increased or reduced.  It would depend on the conditions the City Council put on the annexation.  The City Council could adopt the annexation by ordinance and conduct a public hearing and vote on whether to annex or not.  The application would be conditioned upon first going through the site design review process before approving the annexation.
 
Commissioner Pearce commented the issues the applicant and property owners were having regarding the easement were outside of the Commission’s purview.  He also wanted to know if the applicant had abandoned their request for street design standards.  The code applied to new developments and not annexations.  He suggested including that it was irrelevant in the recommendation to the City Council.  Mr. Molnar clarified the exception would be determined during site review.  Annexation criteria were very specific to pedestrian improvements along the frontage.  It was something the applicant would have to do.  Commissioner Pearce added they did not meet the city’s standards because it was in ODOT’s right of way.
 
The Commission continued the meeting to July 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.  The item would not be re-noticed.  Anyone who had submitted comments would be notified.
 
Commissioner Dawkins/Pearce m/s to continue the public hearing to July 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.  Voice Vote:  All AYES.  Motion passed unanimously.
 
VI.       ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned 8:43 p.m.
 
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
 

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