ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
AUGUST 13, 2002
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chair Mike Gardiner at 7:00 p.m. Other Commissioners present were Alex Amarotico, Russ Chapman, Mike Morris, Marilyn Briggs, Ray Kistler, and Colin Swales. John Fields and Kerry KenCairn were absent. Staff present were John McLaughlin, Bill Molnar, Maria Harris and Sue Yates.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND FINDINGS
The Minutes and Findings of the July 9, 2002 Regular meeting were approved.
LARRY MEDINGER, 115 Fork Street, wanted to update the Commission on the zone change on the Clay Street project. He expressed his appreciation to the Commission for how his action was handled.
TYPE III PLANNING ACTION
PLANNING ACTION 2002-088
REQUEST FOR AN ORDINANCE MODIFYING CHAPTER 18.108 AND 18.106 OF THE ASHLAND MUNICIPAL CODE, LAND USE ORDINANCE, REGARDING APPROVAL STANDARDS FOR ZONE CHANGES AND ANNEXATIONS.
APPLICANT: CITY OF ASHLAND
Molnar stated the ordinance modification was reviewed last month before the Planning Commission. The Commission asked for a continuance in order to address a few items. It was taken back to the Housing Commission to discuss some of the issues raised along with some of the changes made. The City Attorney reviewed the ordinance and made some language modifications.
The three main areas the Planning Commissioners wanted review were: 1) Unit location, size and materials, 2) transferring ownership of land, and 3) period of affordability. These items are further discussed in the Staff Report. The Housing Commission was concerned about placing too many restrictions or requirements in this type of ordinance. Often, affordable housing projects are so complex that it could cause problems such as design constraints or pose problems for funders. These types of constraints can make or break a project. While the Housing Commission appreciates the comments, at this point, they prefer not to incorporate requirements relative to size, quality of materials, and adjacency of units.
Language has been added regarding transfer of land. It now reads, "The land shall be located within the project and all needed public facilities shall be extended to the area or areas proposed for dedication."
Concerning the period or length of affordability, the ordinance recommends a convenant or deed restriction requiring a minimum of 60 years. The Housing Commission’s feeling was that the 60 years followed two 30-year mortgage cycles. Again, there was concern the "in perpetuity" might affect state and federal funding sources.
Staff and the Housing Commission request the modifications be forwarded to the Council. If the Council feels that some of the wording of the items mentioned above should be incorporated into the ordinance, we could accompany the ordinance with a memo from the Commission to the Council, bulleting those items.
Briggs had brought up the desire to see some wording about the size, quality of materials and adjacency. If the Housing Commission feels it is not necessary, she is willing to go along with that. Molnar said the Housing Commission thought there were some instances with single family subdivisions where it would come into play. A provision could be added that no more than three or four units are contiguous. Molnar mentioned, for example, the 66 unit Mountain Creek Estates at the corner of Hersey and Mountain. There are 12 townhomes on the corner that are clustered because of certain constraints on the property. In other words, there are circumstances where it might not be a problem to cluster housing.
Swales said it seems the way the ordinance is written, if you meet the affordable requirement, then either the annexation or zone change would be granted. His concern is that most of the zoning in the city is on a block-by-block basis and divided by streets. He feels the way the ordinance is written, if you are in an R-1 or R-2 zone, you can get it bumped up to the next zoning. If a developer comes in and wants to zone R-1 to R-2, he can do that without taking any other steps. A neighborhood could be developed that is R-1 with a patchwork of R-2 and the people who bought single family homes would find they are next to a four-plex or six-plex.
Molnar said the beginning of the criteria state that "zone changes, zoning map amendments, and comprehensive plan map amendments are subject to a Type III procedure...may be approved, if in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan and the application meets one or more of the following". Specifically referenced in the Comprehensive Plan are policies regarding compatibility between neighborhoods, etc.
Swales said if a developer came forward with a proposal for affordable housing on a vacant lot, with the word "may" in the ordinance, it seems it would be a slam/dunk. This could change the grain of the neighborhood.
McLaughlin said the only way it becomes a slam/dunk is if the Planning Commission and Council determine that affordable housing is the only criteria considered. His experience with the City is that it is a balancing of all the issues. When you have to reference the policies of the Comprehensive Plan, the Commissioners have great discretion in weighing those on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis to find it an appropriate change. It gets away from the quasi-judicial action and instead to a legislative change, giving the Commission more discretion. The role of the Commission is to look at the bigger picture.
Swales asked about any Comp Plan policies that rule in favor of maintaining the existing housing style or density in the neighborhood. McLaughlin said there are policies in the Housing Element and some specific policies of how land should be zoned in certain areas. This is where the "art" side of planning comes into play. Swales thought this proposed language does not require proof of change to the neighborhood or a public need or anything else. His hope would be to get more affordable units, but at what cost to the grain and character of the existing neighborhood?
Amarotico is in full support of the intent of the modifications. He asked why we took out the "need to correct mistakes"? Molnar said they have found that from the few zone changes they have done, it is difficult to provide evidence to show that a mistake was made. It is difficult to show where the error originated and why it occurred. Amarotico noted the word "or" should be inserted at the end the first paragraph of D.3. He also noted the wording in E. in discussing median income. Is it median income of Jackson County? Molnar said generally we reference the area median incomes for Medford/Ashland. He’ll check with the City Attorney.
Kistler feels that getting annexation is a pretty good bonus. The density increase does not seem to be very necessary. Swales concurred. Molnar said there might be someone to speak tonight about reducing the density bonus for annexation. The new wording suggests capping the bonus at 15 percent. It is currently 35 percent.
DIANA SHAVEY, member of the Housing Commission, 694 Oak Knoll Drive, said the Housing Commission has worked on this ordinance for a year and is speaking in favor of it. She believes it is strategically important for the City of Ashland to provide a balanced profile with people of all incomes living here. The intent was that if a zone change were granted, one of the prices would be to then provide affordable housing. With regard to the 60-year requirement, federal and other funders used to want perpetuity, but no longer do they want that. So many communities are changing and if you lock something in for such an infinite period of time, it is not best for the community.
LARRY MEDINGER, member of the Ashland Housing Commission, 115 Fork Street, said they tried to set the percentage of affordability as equitable as it could be. Affordable housing is oftentimes more dense in order to make it an economic reality.
DON GREENE, 253 Normal Avenue, read a statement. He believes the current housing crisis extends well beyond the lower income households. The affordability crisis is across the board in Ashland. He believes that the proposed changes to the annexation ordinance will actually increase the price of most housing in Ashland, while providing a limited number of affordable units. He opposes the ordinances and he spoke of ways in which this ordinance could affect his business decisions.
By changing the median income requirement from 100 percent (the current ordinance) to 80 percent, effects the sales price. It will dramatically increase the cost of market rate homes on annexed land that is subsidizing affordable units. The maximum price for a family at 80 percent of median income is $98,800 compared to $135,450 for a family at 100 percent of median income. This is a difference of $36,650. The hard cost of building, coupled with land costs, adds up to development costs to develop a product that must sell for much more than $98,000. In order to meet the 80 percent of median income, these affordable units will have to be sold way below cost. The additional cost of the project has to be covered somewhere. It will be passed on to the market rate housing by $12,216 each in order to subsidize the 25 percent of the houses. These houses will be competing inside the city limits where there are no requirements to build even a single affordable house. Also, under this ordinance the maximum density bonuses are reduced for affordable housing by ten to 25 percent. He has included a written analysis.
Building is a very competitive business. He cannot price his home for $12,000 to $15,000 higher than his competition. He’ll have to wait until the price of housing inside the city catches up to his price that will include the subsidizing of affordable units. This means his land will not be available, reducing the supply. The result will be even higher prices for the housing in town and no affordable units being built.
Greene said we need a comprehensive plan for creating affordable housing, one that spreads the cost over a large base of people. Subsidizing housing to 80 percent of median income cannot be left to the private sector only. It needs local, state and federal funding.
RUSS DALE, 585 Allison, said he served on the City Council in the 1970’s, and has chaired the State Department of Housing and Community Services for about eight years, the primary state organization concerned with affordable housing issues statewide. He is the developer of Chautauqua Trace. It wasn’t profitable enough to attract other developers to want to do the same thing. He quoted from Page 3 of the Staff Report dated July 9, 2002. We are not getting the outcome we want. There have not been any significant affordable housing projects built since the last ordinance change. Why?
1. The existing 15 to 25 percent affordable requirement serves as a significant financial disincentive to developers to produce any entry-level housing. The margin is too low. You usually can’t use the density bonus. This amounts to a penalty ordinance.
2. The high density land intended for more affordable housing has the highest percentage of landscaping requirements which makes it low density unless you build up. There is a height limitation that precludes that.
3. You can’t build affordable housing on the side of a hill. You need flat, level land to keep the cost of the foundations down and to keep it consistent with the price of an entry-level product. There are very few flat, level parcels of any size where you can get any economy of scale inside the city limits.
4. The annexation process in Ashland is so expensive and time consuming that developers are discouraged from taking the financial risk of upwards of $100,000 that has to be spent in soft costs before you can even come to the Planning Commission for an annexation process.
If you want to increase the supply of affordable housing, increase the supply of market rate housing by rewarding developers rather than penalizing. There are no uneducated people who own property inside the UGB. They have already marked their property up.
He would suggest removing the penalty ordinance. Start over from the premise that if a developer does affordable housing they are compensated perhaps by reducing the SDC charges. Or, make it citywide. Make the benefit or profitability for everyone.
JEFFREY LAND, 442 Chestnut Street, said he agreed with Dale. He is advocating for affordable housing. There is an opportunity for affordable housing through the Ashland Community Land Trust. He has talked to builders that say in order to build a few houses, it involves six months worth of planning. That removes a lot of the affordability out of any kind of project. He would recommend for projects that are small in scale, to give an incentive by putting it on some kind of fast track. The ACLT could then try to get in the game and make a proposal to buy a lot. He would like for the Commission to acknowledge the impact that the whole process has and look for a way to create incentives for smaller affordable projects by trimming soft costs.
Molnar said to address Swales’ question regarding neighborhood compatibility, there is wording in the Comp Plan in the Housing Element. Single family zoned lands are to be consistent with the surrounding neighborhood if the area is mostly developed and does not allow for the deterioration of residential areas by incompatible uses and developments.
With regard to Greene’s comments, the Housing Commission pondered for some time about notching the affordability levels down from 100 and 80 percent to 80 and 60 percent of median income. Most zone changes and annexations are by smaller developers that are not tied to state or federal funding that may allow them to reach a lower level of subsidy.
Molnar said, at this point, Staff would still recommend moving this along to the Council and mention the types of items that have come up that still need consideration.
Swales said he understood that Shavey was under the impression the ordinance would be in addition to the other requirements. It isn’t in addition because if it was in addition, it would say "and" not "or" under D.3. Molnar said the main reason they went to "or" is that they were concerned under the current state statute that you can’t mandate a land use approval based upon having to construct or provide units to a certain family income level. Someone could still get a zone change by showing they meet one of the other criteria.
Swales has a concern that the testimony from two of the developers who don’t think they are getting enough with the ordinance modifications and it wouldn’t be worth their while to build affordable housing.
Gardiner has the same concern. Will the ordinance achieve the goal of producing affordable housing? He is hearing testimony that it may not do that.
Shavey said the reason they put in the option is so developers could give a portion of the land for affordable housing to somebody like the Land Trust or a non-profit housing developer. The Housing Commission recognizes that a profit-motivated developer has a track they go down and a product that they know. They recognize that in order to meet 60 to 80 percent of median, people aren’t going to do that unless there is something that requires them to do it or unless they are mission driven. So, the option existed to transfer a sufficient amount of property to cover these units to somebody who would go after the grants, etc. She invited developers and builders and the Planning Commissioners to the Housing Commission so they can discuss this.
McLaughlin believes the Commission does not have to answer to all questions tonight. It is more important to get this ordinance correct and take proper testimony and reflect it in some amendments. Perhaps with some assistance from the Housing Commission and based on tonight’s testimony, they could move it to the Council with comments.
Kistler said he stands corrected. He got an education from the builder/developer point of view in annexation.
Chapman is not comfortable moving this on to the Council based on his own reservations. He would like to be satisfied that the ordinance is going to have the intended effect. He should attend a Housing Commission meeting.
Dale offered his services to work with the Housing Commission to craft an ordinance.
The rest of the Commissioners felt the same as Chapman. The next process would be to bring it back again. McLaughlin may arrange for a Study Session.
TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS
PLANNING ACTION 2002-052 IS A REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW APPROVAL FOR A 13-UNIT, COTTAGE STYLE CONDOMINIUM DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDE A PHYSICAL CONSTRAINTS REVIEW PERMIT TO ALLOW FOR "DEVELOPMENT" WITHIN THE FLOODPLAIN CORRIDOR.
2275 SISKIYOU BOULEVARD
APPLICANT: ALAN PARDEE
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Site visits were made by all.
Molnar explained this proposal is to construct 13 cottage style condominium units. The applicant is also requesting a Physical Constraints Permit to allow "development" within the City of Ashland Floodplain Corridor. The application also includes a Variance to the rear yard setback standards for distance between buildings. The criteria are included and notice was sent to property owners within 200 feet of the project.
This is a 1.8 acre site on Siskiyou Boulevard zoned High-Density Multi-Family. The most notable feature on the property is Clay Creek, which runs through the property. There are numerous trees near the creek environment and outside the floodplain as well. There is a single-family residence located on the property along with two cottages, a barn and a storage shed. The plan is to remove the structures and build 13 detached units.
Auto access to the property is via the existing 20 foot driveway that already connects to Siskiyou Boulevard through Ashley Senior Center. There is a letter of agreement in the application and as part of the record, the property owner of the project has agreed to work out a mutual access agreement with this project and to remove three parking spaces at Ashley Senior Center. The use permit for the driveway and the three parking spaces will have to be recorded as a perpetual use agreement. There are 21 parking spaces provided, designated in three areas. Fifteen spaces are within the boundary of the site, three are within the adjacent and reconfigured senior apartment parking, and there are two parking credits along Siskiyou Boulevard. A public sidewalk will be installed for pedestrian circulation as well as a walkway through the project. The City has the right-of-way to Jaquelyn.
Molnar said this has been a work in progress. There are a couple of staff reports. One of the main issues is the development in proximately to the floodplain corridor. The current proposal states that none of the condominium units will encroach into the city’s floodplain corridor. All the structural components, foundations, and supporting piers will be at the city’s floodplain corridor line or in back of it. Units 8 and 9 will have a section of the floor level that will cantilever out beyond the corridor but the supporting piers will be outside the floodplain. There would no longer be a Physical Constraints Review Permit because as Staff understands it, no development, as defined in the ordinance, is occurring within the floodplain corridor.
Molnar stated another issue came up with the Fire Department regarding adequate fire apparatus access to the back units and adequate turnaround in the parking area. The Fire Department has met with the applicant and a new parking plan has been submitted. The current parking area for Ashley Senior Center has been reconfigured for the parking spaces, making slight changes to the curb alignment at the north to allow for fire apparatus turnaround. Dave Hard, Assistant Fire Chief, has reviewed this plan and has said it meets the requirements for serving the project.
Molnar said there has been a lot of discussion about tree protection and removal. The application has identified approximately 95 living trees on the site. An arborist did a general inventory of the trees in the area of development and the report is contained in the packet. Approximately 29 trees are scheduled for removal. Of the 29 trees, approximately 20 are riparian and a lot are the black cotton. Generally, when there has been a greater level of housing around those trees, it has been the position of Staff and the Tree Commission that they are not the best trees to be in proximity to housing units. Of the 29 trees, there are six oak trees to be removed due to their health. Approximately 75 percent of the site is to be maintained in common open space. There are a lot of trees being retained. The applicant has submitted a conceptual planting plan.
Molnar explained that the first Variance is a request to reduce the rear yard setback from approximately ten feet to seven feet for the two back units. Sixty five percent of the site is in the floodplain, limiting the area of development, putting constraints on design, spacing of the units to maintain further spacing from the dripline of trees, and location of some of the trees. While this is a reduction of the rear yard setback, the orientation of this parcel is south to north and will abut the side yard of the property to the north. There is a large barn structure that is less than a ten foot setback. Staff generally supports the Variance in terms of unique or unusual physical aspects that pertain to the property.
The other Variance pertains to distance between buildings. The requirement is to have a distance half the sum of the building height. The average distance is 15 1/2 feet. They have been treating the project more like a single family project because the cottages are detached rather than multi-unit structures.
Overall, Staff is recommending approval with 17 attached Conditions. They are suggesting an additional condition indicating that prior to issuance of a building permit that the floodplain corridor line be delineated on the ground by the surveyor so they can certify that all portions of that building are either at or outside the floodplain corridor.
Briggs asked if the applicant needed a solar waiver. Molnar said initially it appeared they would need a solar waiver. They currently have been in discussions with the property owner to the north and have indicated that owner would be amenable to granting a waiver. If the project is approved as is, they will have to apply for solar waivers or alter the rooflines to comply with solar.
Swales wondered with regard to distance between buildings where you draw the line with the number of units the applicant is choosing and the design they have chosen and whether or not this is willfully self-imposed. Molnar said just the act of proposing a design that doesn’t comply with the standards does not mean it is willfully self-imposed. That refers to criteria A (unique or unusual circumstances). Were the unique or unusual circumstances self-imposed? In this case, the applicant is making the argument the floodplain creates some unique or unusual circumstances. It is a natural feature.
McLaughlin said if this were to develop as individual lots under the Performance Standards as individual lots, the setbacks would be fine. It is not varying from a significant standard.
Swales wondered why the loft areas are not counted as bedrooms. Molnar said that is a judgment call and open to interpretation.
Swales asked about the joint use of facilities. The lot boundary is over the line. If the applicants had not done it this way, they wouldn’t have sufficient access. With all the changes in the parking, changing of the curb, removal of the tree, joint access, where does it cross the line that this is a joint project? Molnar said the landscaping plan shows from three to five areas where trees can be planted along the east property line that would compensate for the where the shading is going to be reduced from the existing cottonwoods.
Swales wondered if the barn is to be removed, doesn’t it have to be reused on the site? McLaughlin said a debris management plan is required. There is a separate permit for this. It does not require it to be reused on the site.
Swales noted that he was at the original Tree Commission meeting and heard testimony from the applicant and Tree Commission regarding the legality of the pond. Is it a legal pond? McLaughlin said Swales needs to make sure he further explains if he heard anything that would have influenced his decision such as the pond or other issues so the applicant has a chance to respond. Swales said the pond issue came up. The only other item he heard was opposition from some of the resident of the senior center concerned about the loss of tree buffering along their mutual boundaries.
Chapman asked how the on-street parking spaces will tie in. How will they effect the sidewalks and bike lanes? Molnar said there is quite a bit of right-of-way. Included in the Conditions of approval: That the street improvements have to be designed consistent with the City’s local Street Standards and coordinated with ODOT. They will consist of a six foot bike lane, on-street parking where noted on the site plan, curb and gutter, storm drain, seven foot planting strip and six foot sidewalk. The planting strip could be omitted in certain areas due to excessive grade. They are planning on a bike lane across the frontage.
Amarotico wondered if a span could be built from one side of the floodplain to other and have a residence entirely inside the floodplain. Molnar said, in theory, you could. Our ordinance is silent to cantilevering above.
ALAN PARDEE, applicant, landscape architect and design team lead. He introduced his design team. MIKE THORNTON, Civil Engineer, PHIL FRAZEE, arborist, Devian Aguirre, Sage Development.
DEVIAN AGUIRRE, 183 Lincoln Street, said the site has an island of green surrounded on both sides by very large block buildings and large parking lots. The demographics support this type of development. They think moderate cottage housing is valuable in Ashland, particularly when it comes to the issue of affordability and complexity of design and physical constraints. The footprint covers no more than 600 square feet. It is sensitive to the land and trees and it is easier to build a foundation.
They have been able to come to a cooperative understanding with the neighbor (senior facility) that has been there for 13 years. Rather than trying to disrupt an existing parking lot or creating an undersized access, they decided to cooperate and put together a shared access agreement along with a reciprocal parking agreement. They created three additional spaces. The reconfiguring of the parking plan takes the existing senior parking lot, widening many of the parking spaces to allow seniors wider parking spots. They have tried to mitigate the harm and the damage they may cause and the benefits will bear out.
PARDEE explained that at this time, the existing parking lot does not provide legal fire access to the senior housing facility. The changes the applicant has made will provide legal access to the senior facility.
All the units are outside the floodplain.
They have met with the Tree Commission and they have had two consulting arborists on the site and they agreed the trees slated for removal need to be removed.
AGUIRRE said with regards to demolishing the barn, it is their intent to salvage the barn by re-milling it board by board. They will attempt to certify the timbers. They intend to use all the siding in decks and areas and other applicable areas.
She said she has an application in to the state for approval for the pond. They are doing research to see if the pond is legal. It will be legal before they start the project.
Briggs asked about the pedestrian access through the project. Aguirre said she is sensitive to the possible pedestrian encroachment that might not be acceptable to the seniors. They’ve had discussions with the city about creating a barrier that allows pedestrian access but might not allow skateboards or bicycles.
Briggs mentioned Units 8 and 9 that will be cantilevered. If the sidewalk were to be parallel with the parking, would it be possible to bring those two units away from the floodplain a few feet? Pardee said they are hoping to provide landscaping close to the parking area. Briggs would hope to bring the cantilevers out of the floodplain by straightening the sidewalk and use some sort of vertical screening. Units 11 and 12 are seven feet from the north boundary line. Have they thought about making those slightly smaller? Aguirre said the got a solar waiver today. Aguirre said it has always been their intent to slope the rear of those units down.
Pardee said he would prefer not to encroach any closer to the Douglas fir at the south of Unit 6. In order to move Units 11 and 12 three feet further from the northern property line, he would have to bump all the units to the south.
KEN DEHAAS, 2301 Siskiyou Boulevard, #318, said he lives in Ashley Senior Center. He is one of six in attendance tonight that favors the project. There are a lot of problems with cottonwoods and he agrees they should be removed. The developer could develop high rises. He believes the owner is doing a minimal number of units. He likes the design. They are working with some complicated design constraints. He believes the development will be an asset to the residents and the whole community.
TOM FRANTZ, 1314 Seena Lane, said he built townhouses adjacent to the site and he feels the cottage setting is a great precedent. Townhouses have large walls.
DON RIST, 250 Jay Drive, Talent, OR, Windemere VanVleet Realty, said he had the property listed four and one-half years. It is a hard piece of property to develop. Aguirre contacted the owner of the neighboring property and worked out an agreement with them. Rist is hopeful this project will be approved.
DOROTHY CARNAGHI, 2301 Siskiyou Boulevard, #302, said she is a resident of Ashley Senior Center. She would like to see the city buy this property for a park. The flood took out the walls of the apartment across the street. It is ridiculous to build there. The tree behind the garbage container will have to come down for fire access. Fire trucks and ambulances and garbage trucks come in now. Another arborist said the trees could be there another 20 years.
HEINZ LEWIN, 2301 Siskiyou Boulevard, #108, stated that as a resident of Ashley Senior Center, some of the elderly become very emotional when their environment will be impacted. He is opposed to the development. He hopes the Fire Chief will review the proposal again. Where is the applicant’s garbage container? Installing the turnaround will require removal of a healthy tree to provide two more parking spaces. There are no parking spaces for larger vehicles, so they are forced to block the traffic. Has the applicant provided for storm drains that do not go into the riparian area?
Amarotico moved to extend the meeting to 10:30 p.m. The motion was seconded and approved.
DON SKILLMAN, 935 Jaquelyn, said he opposes the project, however, with the addition of a couple of conditions, he could become a proponent. As long as the City requires a registered surveyor’s certificate as to the location of the floodplain and if the project is outside the floodplain area, his objections are moot. In addressing the seven foot setback, he believes there is 400 feet from the rear line to Siskiyou Boulevard, and they should be able to pick up 36 inches incrementally. The reduced setback impacts the rear neighbor at the rear property line. He does not see a need for a pedestrian access to Jaquelyn because the residents on Jaquelyn, Diane, and Barbara don’t walk that way anyway. They walk along Diane out to Clay and up to Siskiyou, the shorter distance. There might be a possibility of undesirable affects by opening it up to foot traffic.
This property has been responsible for the floods from 1997 back to 1964. The lots on the west side of Jaquelyn flood their back yards. The floodplain slopes from the creek to the east so when the creek overflows, the water doesn’t go down the creek channel. It makes a separate flow in the back of where these units will be located and the houses already in existence. A very slight modification of the creek bank just below the pond could mitigate most of that problem. Also, the culvert in the fill is a great deal smaller than the culvert that ODOT installed under Siskiyou Boulevard. Any debris that makes it through the big culvert isn’t going to make it through the little one.
He believes this development can be done in such a way to become a very strong asset to neighbors and the city, particularly if his concerns can be addressed. He has concerns for the seniors that will be losing the large cottonwoods. The Commission can not only specify trees, but caliper. They could save a 20 year period for those trees to grow up effectively.
DENNIS MELLEKER, 2909 Diane Street, stated he has strong concerns about the pond. He would like to know if FEMA standards are going to be studied and looked at for the pond construction. What will ensure it won’t wash down the hill to their house? They sustained about $10,000 damage in the flood. The pond was rebuilt in 1997 and he doesn’t think there is any reinforcement.
Molnar stated two letters were received in support of this application from HARRY AND LESLIE SPENCER, 945 Jaquelyn Street and CANDY WOODING, 894 Blackberry Lane.
Swales wondered if we were talking about the Ashland floodplain. Molnar affirmed and said it is more conservative than FEMA.
Briggs asked if anything could be done to make sure the pond flow will not impact downstream residents. Molnar said it is sized for a 100 year flood.
Briggs asked about trucks parking in the driveway. McLaughlin said on the couple of site visits he has had, there have been a couple of trucks blocking only part of the parking lot. Deliveries occur on a short-term basis. He hasn’t seen any conflicts with that.
Pardee said the tree that Lewin mentioned is staying and the planter will be enlarged. They have added another lane. There is a designated area for garbage and recycling.
MIKE THORNTON, Thornton Engineering, 1231 Disk Drive, Medford, OR 97501, said the Fire Department is not happy with the accessway configuration. They are proposing to modify it to satisfy the Fire Department.
Aguirre said it is true from her research on the ponds that at peak flow periods, the flood channel jumps at the lowest point. She said the peak flow diverts off the creek path and flows out into the wider floodplain that is below the proposed units. Again, they are making application to make the pond legal. They are not opposed to removing the culvert.
Swales asked about the upstairs bedroom. Aguirre said the space is ancillary. It is a bonus space for office use or TV room.
Gardiner proposed adding Condition 18 that prior to the issuance of the building permit, the floodplain corridor will be certified. Aguirre agreed.
Briggs wondered if she would be willing to take care of the 36 inches. Aguirre said they could put the units closer together or they will lose a Douglas fir.
COMMISSIONERS DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Chapman moved to extend the meeting to 11:00 p.m. The motion was seconded and approved.
Chapman moved to approve PA2002-054 with the 18 Conditions as stated. Amarotico seconded the motion.
Briggs is upset about the seven foot rear yard setback. She believes it is self-imposed. Swales agreed that it is self-imposed. Amarotico suggested moving Units12 and 13 toward Siskiyou Boulevard and then live with just Unit 11 needing a Variance.
Gardiner took a straw vote on leaving the rear yard Variance as it has been requested and everyone favored except Swales and Briggs.
The motion carried with Swales voting "no".
PLANNING ACTION 2002-079
REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION TO DIVIDE A LOT INTO TWO PARCELS LOCATED AT 145 MANZANITA WITH BOTH PROPERTIES HAVING ACCESS TO MANZANITA THROUGH THE USE OF A PRIVATE FLAG DRIVEWAY.
APPLICANT: GLENN AND GAIL BERK
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Site visits were made by all.
Harris reported the Land Partition was administratively approved and subsequently called up by three of the neighbors. The flag lot is one-half acre in size. A portion of the flag drive turnaround is on the lot. There are eight trees. Staff believes they have met the criteria for approval. The applicants have shown a future development plan for 145 Manzanita. The minimum lot size has been met as well as the minimum dimensions. The landscape architect is recommending the removal of the apple tree due to its poor health. There are adequate public facilities and utilities. Due to the slope constraints the property owner will be required to sign in favor of future sidewalk improvements. Staff has recommended approval with 13 Conditions.
TOM GIORDANO, 2635 Takelma Way, said they only had a problem with Condition 12 (sidewalk). The owner has no problem signing in favor of a LID for future sidewalks, but would request deferring of the frontage until the LID is initiated and designed. At this time they would rather not dedicate this portion of land.
JOHN HASSEN, 717 Murphy Road, Medford, OR, applicant’s representative, asked to reserve time for rebuttal.
McLaughlin said they have never deferred a dedication. As part of the partition, when the survey is done, is the time to have the dedication completed. Otherwise, it would have to be resurveyed.
Kistler asked why the proposal was called up. Harris said the property owner to the north is concerned about shading a pool, another neighbor felt it infringed on quality of life and concern about construction noise, and the neighbor to the northwest had concerns regarding view. They have been made Conditions of approval.
Giordano said the owners and applicant would go along with Condition12.
COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Swales moved to approve PA2002-079 with the attached Conditions. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.
McLaughlin announced there would be a Study Session in two weeks. The topic will be "big box" ordinance.
ADJOURNMENT- The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.