Ashland Land Use Ordinance Amendments
|Meeting Date:||January 15, 2008||Primary Staff Contact:||Bill Molnar|
|Secondary Dept.:||Secondary Contact:||Maria Harris & Adam Hanks|
|Approval:||Martha Bennett, City Administrator||Estimate Time:||1 hour 30 minutes|
Should the amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission and Staff, which implement many of the changes described in Phase 1 of the Siegel report and proposes changes to the city's permitting and appeal procedures be approved?
These amendments are recommended by the Ashland Planning Commission and Planning Division staff after considerable discussion, hearings and deliberation.
In 2005, two reports were commissioned to address concerns raised by the Council and community regarding conflicting and unclear portions of the land use ordinance and the planning process. The Community Development and Planning Division Operational and Organizational Review by Zucker Systems was completed in February 2006. This Review focused on the planning process and had a short reference to procedural issues. The other report, known as the Siegel Planning Report, was completed in April 2006. The Siegel Report focused specifically on the Land Use Ordinance.
From June 2006 until February 2007 a committee comprised of three members of the Planning Commission, a City Councilor and a member of the Planning Department staff reviewed the recommendations of the Siegel Report. This committee identified issues within the Land Use Code that needed clarification and could be accomplished.
From January through June 2007, past Community Development Director, David Stalheim, worked with the Planning Commission to review the planning program in Ashland, including land use procedures. This review also included an analysis of Oregon statutes and the application of procedures in Ashland. The Director provided the Planning Commission with alternatives and recommendations on procedures to consider.
On June 4, 2007, the Community Development Director provided an update to the Mayor and City Council on the Planning Commission work program and priorities, including proposed amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance.
On June 12, 2007, the Ashland Planning Commission made a motion to initiate proposed amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance regarding proposed procedural changes.
On July 24, 2007, Community Development staff completed draft amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance that included both procedural changes and substantive amendments partially based on the Siegel report. This draft was presented to and reviewed by the Ashland Planning Commission on July 31, 2007. The Planning Commission made a motion that a public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance be scheduled on September 11, 2007.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on September 11, 2007 and continued that public hearing to October 4, 2007. Public testimony provided orally and in writing was considered by the Planning Commission, and many suggestions were incorporated into the Planning Commission recommendations. (Testimony and minutes of public hearings and deliberation are attached.)
At the October 4th Planning Commission meeting, the Commission requested that a subcommittee of the Planning Commission (the "Siegel" committee) composed of three Planning Commission members (Stromberg, Fields and Morris) meet to review the ordinance in detail and provide recommendations back to the full Planning Commission for consideration. The Planning Commission also voted to make the following recommendation, which is outside this ordinance but is applicable to this amendment:
The Planning Commission recommends that the City Council not adopt fees for appeal of Type I staff decisions to the Planning Commission or Hearings Board. The Planning Commission feels that the new procedures should be given an opportunity to be enacted before the city considers setting any appeal fees.
The "Siegel" committee provided recommendations and the Planning Commission deliberated on October 23, 2007. At the October 23rd meeting, the Planning Commission voted 8 to 0 to recommend that the City Council adopt the ordinance as attached. The Planning Commission also voted to table a decision on the following items until more discussion and alternatives could be pursued.
SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS
PROCEDURAL - REQUIRED BURDEN OF PROOF
The state Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) was noticed of the proposed amendments in accordance with ORS 197.610. In accordance with Oregon State Law, a Measure 56 notice to property owners regarding any change in land use law that "adopts or amends an ordinance in a manner that limits or prohibits land uses previously allowed in the affected zone" was sent to every property owner of record within the city limits. Over 9,000 properties received notice.
According to ORS 227.186, all legislative acts relating to comprehensive plans, land use planning or zoning adopted by a city shall be by ordinance. The City Council shall hold a public hearing on the amendment.
|Related City Policies:|
City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan
The Council has several options that they can consider. Before proceeding with laying out some of the main policy issues before the Council, staff would like to note the issues that the Council would have to face if only parts of this ordinance were adopted.
In drafting this ordinance, considerable time was taken by staff to ensure that references to other sections of the Land Use Ordinance are not broken by this amendment. One of the more important linkages in this draft is the changes to Chapter 18.72, Site Design and Chapter 18.108, Procedures. It will not work to adopt one of these chapters and not the other. They have been restructured to have all Procedure issues in the Procedure chapter, and site design standards in the Site Design Chapter.
Similarly, removing the Site Design and Procedure chapters from the remainder of the ordinance causes some conflicts in references within the proposed ordinance. However, these conflicts can be overcome with minor difficulty if the Council chose to segregate the Procedure and Site Design chapters from the remainder of the ordinance.
Options Regarding Changes to Procedures and Appeals:
1. Take No Action. The first option is to not enact any changes to the procedures. Drawbacks of that option include:
The positive aspects of not adopting any changes include:
2. Council Appeals. The proposed changes to the procedures include some fundamental shifts in how land use decisions are heard on review or appeal in front of the council. The first question to the Council is:
"Does the Council agree that appeal of Planning Commission Land Use decisions:
The Council could choose to not be involved in appeals of Planning Commission land use decisions. Options include appeal directly to LUBA, or appeal to a Hearings Officer.
If the Council wants to handle appeals, then the Council could choose either appeal on the record or de novo public hearings. (Current procedures are de novo public hearings.)
If the Council chooses to keep the appeal procedures as drafted, it should be pointed out that the Mayor and/or Council should specify rules as to how "on the record" appeals would be handled. This authority is spelled out in Section 18.108.110. It would be very helpful to have those procedures spelled out in advance of any "on the record" appeal. For example, some of the rules that would need to be decided include:
The second question regarding Council appeals is:
"Does the Council want to continue with the ability to either appeal or call up Planning Commission decisions for review?"
The ordinance as drafted eliminates the City Council as a party to land use actions that can appeal Planning Commission decisions. The proposed amendments do retain the right of the Council to "call up" items for review (18.108.070 B. 4.), whereby the Planning Commission decisions could be affirmed, modified, reversed or remanded back to the Planning Commission. The Council review, however, would be limited to the record and public testimony would not be allowed (18.108.070 B.5.).
An option for the Council to consider include:
3. Type I Decisions. The proposed amendments have the final decision on Type I Planning Actions assigned to the Staff Advisor, with de novo appeals of those decisions to the Planning Commission or Planning Commission Hearings Board. This procedure eliminates the "review" of Type I planning actions by the Planning Commission Hearings Board. The question for the Council is:
"Does the Council agree that Type I planning actions should be decided by the Planning Director, subject to appeal to the Planning Commission or Hearings Board?"
Options for the Council to consider include:
4. Type I and II Planning Actions. The proposed amendments move some Type II planning actions to Type I. Because the Procedures chapter has been restructured to make it clear which conditional use permits are Type I permits, it is impossible to quantify this change. The most noticeable difference is that the trigger for Detail Site Review applications going to Type II would be based on the same overall floor area of the building, but not on the length or width of the building (100 foot standard). In deliberations, staff and the Planning Commission both felt that there are many other potential triggers for what should be a Type II application, such as proximity to residential uses, visibility along arterials, historic significance, etc. Rather than detail all the potential scenarios for Type II planning actions, the ordinance continues to authorize the Planning Director to refer Type I planning actions to a public hearing as a Type II application. Thus, any projects that should receive an initial public hearing and consideration by the Planning Commission can be sent directly to hearing. This discretion has been used successfully by the city for many years.
"Does the Council agree that the list of Type I planning actions decided by the Planning Director is appropriate?"
There are many options for the Council to consider. The Council should go through the list in Section 18.108.040 and determine whether any of those planning actions should go automatically to a Type II planning action process.
Options Regarding Code Amendments:
Changes from Planning Commission Draft:
|Attachments: Click on the PDF file below to view the following attachments:
• Staff Report on Amendments dated December 18th, 2007
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