ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
MARCH 12, 2002
CALL TO ORDER- Chair Mike Gardiner called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. John Fields and Marilyn Briggs were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- The February 12, 2002 Hearings Board minutes were approved.
TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS
PLANNING ACTION 2002-021
REQUEST FOR MODIFICATION OF A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED SITE REVIEW, ALLOWING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A GARAGE AND SECOND CURB CUT (ALONG HIGH STREET) FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 25 GRANITE STREET.
APPLICANT: CAROL DUTRA
This action was approved.
PLANNING ACTION 2002-023
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO EXPAND AN EXISTING NON-CONFORMING STRUCTURE (I.E. GARAGE AND TOOL SHED) AT THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 660 B STREET.
APPLICANT: SUSAN DEMPSAY
This action was called up for a public hearing.
PLANNING ACTION 2002-024
REQUEST FOR A REAR YARD VARIANCE TO REDUCE THE REAR YARD SETBACK FROM 10 FEET TO 6 FEET FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 706 CLAY STREET.
APPLICANT: RALPH NEUMAN
This action was approved.
PLANNING ACTION 2002-025
REQUEST FOR A TWO LOT LAND PARTITION AND VARIANCE TO REDUCE THE SIDE YARD SETBACK REQUIREMENT FROM 6 FEET TO 4.5 FEET FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 645 FAITH AVENUE.
APPLICANT: JIM GREEN
This action was approved.
TYPE II PUBLIC HEARING
PLANNING ACTION 2002-010
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AND SITE REVIEW FOR AN ACCESSORY RESIDENTIAL UNIT TO BE LOCATED AT THE REAR OF THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 103 S. LAUREL STREET.
APPLICANT: LAURENCE & LAURA SHREWSBURY
Site Visits and Exparte Contacts- Site visits were made by all.
Harris said the application is to move the accessory residential structure to a separate structure. The owners wish to consolidate the main house into just one residence. Currently in the existing house there are two units--the ground floor and the upstairs. There is also a garage off Laurel Street that serves the existing house and a carport off the private alley in the rear. The applicant is proposing to either relocate an existing cottage from 99 Granite Street or construct a unit similar to that house facing High Street. The applicant is proposing two parking spaces off the private alley to serve the structure. It is somewhat unclear because the applicant is also saying they will use the existing carport. The applicant has three off-street parking credits available, but they do not plan to use them at this time. They are proposing to close the driveway apron on High Street, do some repairs and install wheel chairs ramps. No landscaping is proposed to be removed. Two trees will be added on the Laurel Street frontage. Staff believes the application meets the criteria for a Conditional Use Permit. A lot of the criteria have been met since there are already two units on the property. It is a matter of moving one of the units to a new structure.
Harris said the proposal meets architectural compatibility. In the immediate neighborhood, there are a variety of one and two story homes with many roof shapes and entry areas. Staff feels the bulk and scale are compatible. The two adjacent properties there are accessory buildings that have been built or remodeled to accommodate additional living space.
Two letters have been submitted by neighboring property owners. One is from Richard and Jean Abbott who own the private alley and 276 Almond. They have requested the right of the applicant to use the private alley. A neighbor at 285 Almond has raised issues about traffic and safety in the school area and the architectural compatibility.
Staff has recommended approval of the Conditional Use Permit and Site Review with 12 attached Conditions. Harris suggested an added Condition 13 that the building permit for the accessory residential unit shall not be issued until 60 days after the planning approval (findings approved) as described in the letter from Laura Shrewsbury dated 3/6/2002.
Fields asked about the letter regarding adverse possession. Harris said it would have to go to court if the neighbor wanted to pursue adverse possession. That would be left to the applicant to work this out. If they cannot work it out, they still have enough parking.
LAURA SHREWSBURY, 215 High Street, said when they purchased the property, it was with the specific intent of relocating, if needed, the house at 99 Granite. Recognizing there were already two units on her site, it made the particular location ideal since it was in the Skidmore Academy District and comfortably meets lot coverage at 25 percent (with relocated unit).
Her concerns were with vehicle trips on the corner because it is near Briscoe School. They preferred to move the vehicle trip 150 feet down a straight visual range on a flat section of High Street so that vehicle trips would be safer. The other issue in this neighborhood, is that it is a very long-term neighborhood. It is clear as landlords that separate dwelling units generate longer tenancies. She wants to continue encouraging long-term tenancies.
Three hours before the Historic Commission met on March 6, 2002, the owner of 99 Granite called to say she was not sure what her plans would be for 99 Granite. Shrewsbury concurs with Harris regarding the added Condition.
LINDA AND ANTHONY HAWK, 285 High Street, live at the corner of High and Manzanita. Linda was mostly concerned with the traffic issues. The school is so busy during the school year and High Street is very busy. Adding renters is going to create a huge traffic problem. There will be no place for the parents to pick up their kids. They park on High Street to pick up kids. There are always trucks backing up. Bus drivers have asked them to move cars parked in front of their house because they are unable to get by. Her main concern is safety and traffic. There is a dispute as to who owns the alley. Who owns it? If the Shrewsbury's are no longer able to park in the shed, it will require more parking spaces.
Anthony said they are in favor of the development, however, they are concerned about the parking issue and the dispute over alley ownership. He understood the house from Granite Street is not habitable. He wants to make sure the building would be brought up to code. He is also concerned about long-term tenants.
Fields wondered in what direction the buses traveled. Linda said the buses come up Manzanita, turn on High and then on Laurel. Anthony thought they loaded on Laurel. Linda said often the buses are tour buses, not school buses. Harris said she checked with Engineering with regard to recorded accidents. They were not aware of any problems.
Gardiner explained to the Hawks that there are currently two residences on the property. The number of units will not be changing. The applicant is making the main house one unit with the accessory unit. Adding the new structure will not change the amount of parking the applicants have available to them.
Rebuttal- Shrewsbury said the reason they decided to move the house 150 feet to the rear of the lot is because it should lessen the traffic impact.
COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Fields moved to approve the application with the 13 applicable Conditions. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
ADJOURNMENT– The meeting was adjourned at 2:10 p.m.