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Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Special Meeting

Agenda
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
SPECIAL MEETING
MINUTES 
October 27, 2020
 
I.          CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
 
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
Linda Reid, Housing Program Specialist
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
 
     
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Alan Harper
Kerry KenCairn
  Stef Seffinger, absent
 
II.        ANNOUNCEMENTS
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the City Council heard the first reading on the open space amendments ordinance during their meeting on October 20, 2020.  The City Council approved the first reading unanimously and were supportive.  There would be a public hearing for cottage housing on Otis Street at the Planning Commission meeting on November 10, 2020.  The City Council would have a public hearing on the affordable housing program amendments and the annexation 1511 Hwy 99 North at their meeting on November 17, 2020.  The Planning Commission’s annual report to the City Council was scheduled for December 1, 2020.
 
III.       PUBLIC FORUM - None
 
IV.       LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC HEARING       
A.   PLANNING ACTION: #PA-L-2020-00009
APPLICANT:  City of Ashland
DESCRIPTION: Amendments to the Ashland Municipal Code regarding the affordable housing program.  Referencing AMC 18.2.3.200, 18.2.5.050, 18.5.8.050, add 18.5.9.020.
Chair Norton explained the process for a legislative recommendation to the City Council.
 
Staff Report
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman and Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid provided the background on the matter.  They gave a presentation on the Affordable Housing Standards Amendments (see attached):
•  General Objectives
•  Resale and rental Rate Formulas
•  Land Use Ordinance Amendments
•  Base Density Calculation (18.2.5.050.G.1)
o  Affordable Unit Equivalency Table (18.2.5.050.G.1.c&d)
o  Affordable Housing Development Timing (18.2.5.050.G.a)
o  Affordable Housing Distribution (18.2.5.050.G.5)
o  Affordable Housing Comparable Bedroom Number / Materials (18.2.5.050.G.6)
o  Annexation Density bonuses for providing affordable housing 18.2.5.050.G.8)
 
Commissioner Thompson asked if developers were getting a bonus just by adhering to annexation requirements.  Mr. Goldman explained they would.  The provision of affordable housing required a subsidy from the private developer and was intended not to reduce the amount of market rate units they could provide.  Under the state law passed in 2019 for inclusionary zoning within city limits where affordable housing was required, the jurisdiction had to provide a density bonus for the developer to offset the affordable housing.  The provision of affordable housing cost more than what it could be sold at.   Commissioner Thompson asked if it was a form of density bonus when an 80% affordability unit counted as 1.25.  Mr. Goldman responded it was a sliding scale where the lower the target, the fewer affordable units were provided.  Density was based on the number of units.  Ms. Reid added the two code requirements addressed different things.  It was worth more to have units targeted at 80%.  The other was a subsidy that allowed developers to build what the jurisdiction was asking.
 
•  Land Use Ordinance Amendments
o  Term of Affordability (18.2.5.050.G.8)
o  SDC Deferral Resolution / SDC Affordable Housing Payoff Estimate – Proration Table
 
Commissioner Pearce wanted to clarify if the deferral amount changed as SDCs did.  Mr. Goldman responded the $14,000 at year one did not account for inflation at years 30, 40 or 50.  Commissioner Pearce thought interest and capital should be considered.  Mr. Goldman listed what SDCs covered.  If at one point, state law changed and another SDC was added it would not be newly applied.  The interest appreciation would be based on the $14,000.  Ms. Reid added the previous SDC program had a payoff that could be done within the 20-year period where the original SDCs would be paid plus 6% interest.  Others stayed in the full twenty years and had their deferral forgiven.  This structure was like the previous one but without the ability to pay off and leave the program early.
 
•  Land Use Ordinance Amendments
o Annexation 5-year supply of land Criteria (18.2.5.050.H.1)
•  Next Steps
 
Questions of Staff
Commissioner Dawkins expressed concerned with the equal bedroom allotment in affordable housing and referenced Barclay Square.  Mr. Goldman confirmed the commensurate bedroom number still applied.  The ordinance was drafted in 2006 after Barclay Square was developed.
 
Commissioner Thompson commented that the M-1 zone was added to the code and thought it had to do with the Croman Mill Site going residential.  Mr. Goldman clarified the approval criteria for annexations in 18.5.8.050(h)(2), the proposed lots would be zoned M-1, CM-E-1 or C-1 under the Comprehensive Plan required the applicant to obtain site design approval for an outright permitted use or special permitted use.  M-1 was added to acknowledge properties off Crowson Road outside of city limits that if they were annexed the City would require a site design proposal.  He would include it in his Council Communication for the City Council meeting.
 
Commission Thompson wanted to know the rationale for allowing zoning changes for affordable housing purposes in Type II versus Type III.  Mr. Goldman explained the Type II criteria for a zoning map amendment had to indicate a public need other than providing affordable housing.  Staff recommended striking that language due to the current housing crisis and the need for housing types that included affordable housing.  It could demonstrate a need. Commissioner Thompson asked why that was not considered earlier.  Mr. Molnar explained it spoke to zone changes where affordable housing was proposed. 
 
Commissioner Thompson addressed page 11 of 15 in the draft ordinance, 18.5.8.050(4)(c.).  The code section references were confusing.  Mr. Goldman would clarify the language.
 
Commissioner Thompson thought the City should incentivize affordable family housing.  Currently, smaller affordable units were going to seniors.  Ms. Reid responded it was an important piece in the affordable housing development process.  For developers, there were commercial lending requirements and building material costs that had doubled.  The process had been helpful to understand what City incentives can and cannot do.  In the stakeholder meeting they heard from private marketing developers that affordable housing was too expensive.  However, they could do ownership housing which was a valuable steppingstone to the housing ladder.  Mr. Molnar thought it was a good question but to date, annexation standards had been successful in developing affordable housing where many families lived.  There was a trend towards smaller units.  Mr. Goldman added creating smaller units freed up homes occupied by one or two person households.  There was more need for two-bedroom units instead of three-bedrooms.  Staff would conduct a housing analysis soon.
 
Public Testimony - None
 
Deliberations and Decision
Commissioner Pearce/Thompson m/s to recommend favorably PA-L-2020-0009 with the correction to 18.5.080.4(c.).  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Pearce thought staff had done a good job.  He appreciated Commissioner Thompson’s question regarding larger units.  There was a similar question on how to get larger market rate units.  It was a challenge that they could try to address.  Chair Norton agreed. 
Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Pearce, Thompson, Dawkins, and Norton, YES.  Motion passed.
 
Commissioner Thompson volunteered for the Housing Needs Subcommittee.  Commissioner Pearce was willing as well but thought if Commissioner KenCairn had the time, her experience would be valuable.
 
V.        ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned 8:01 p.m.
 
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
 

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