ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
DECEMBER 9, 2003
CALL TO ORDER - Commissioner Dave Dotterrer called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.
Russ Chapman, Chair
Absent Members: None
Council Liaison: Alex Amarotico - not present
High School Liaison: None
SOU Liaison: None
Mark Knox, Associate Planner
Brandon Goldman, Assistant Planner
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary
Russ Chapman left the meeting after the first hearing (PA2003-118 - 265 Glenview - DeBoer) and Kerry KenCairn stepped in for the second hearing.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES & FINDINGS
Chapman moved to approve the minutes of the November 12, 2003 Hearings Board. Morris seconded and the minutes were approved.
Knox noted on Page 4 of the November 12, 2003 minutes, last sentence of the third paragraph. It states the Tree Commission recommended approval . Knox said technically, that was statement he made, when in fact, the Tree Commission did not make an approval, but a recommendation for mitigation strategies.
Chapman moved to approve the minutes with that change. Morris seconded the motion and the minutes approved as amended.
Chapman moved to approve the Findings for PA2003-129 - 900 Glendale - Scott Allison. Morris seconded and the Findings were approved.
ANNOUNCEMENT - Planning Action 2003-150, 22 Scenic Drive, Ryan, was called up for a public hearing and will not be heard at today's meeting.
TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS
PLANNING ACTION 2003-152
REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW AND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO CONSTRUCT AN APPROXIMATELY 715 SQUARE FOOT ADDITION TO THE PARISH HALL OF THE EXISTING TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH LOCATED AT 44 NORTH SECOND STREET
APPLICANT: TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
This action was approved.
TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS
PLANNING ACTION 2003-118
REQUEST FOR A PHYSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTRAINTS PERMIT TO CONSTRUCT A SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL HOME ON HILLSIDE LANDS WITHIN A HISTORIC DISTRICT.
265 GLENVIEW DRIVE
APPLICANT: SID AND KAREN DEBOER
Chapman stated this action is a continuation from last month. The public hearing has been closed and no new testimony will be taken.
STAFF REPORT UPDATE
Knox said Staff approved the application on October 10, 2003 at a staff level determination. It was called up for a public hearing by the Hearings Board on November 12, 2003. The Commissioners heard testimony from the applicants and opponents and had discussions with Staff at that meeting. It was requested to leave the record open for 14 days, seven days for opponents to submit additional information and seven days for the applicants to have rebuttal. That information has been submitted. There were four people who submitted information. Staff reviewed that information and reviewed the rebuttal comments by the applicants and Staff still stands by their original approval. There are nine conditions attached. The initial staff approval had eight conditions. There was a request by Staff after discussions about the trees, to add a ninth condition pertaining to a group of trees (9 through 13) that are required to be retained until additional information is in for the pool house structure. The applicants have agreed to that condition.
Knox said after Staff again reviewed all the materials pertaining to this application and listened to the tape from the last meeting, they still concluded that the criteria for the house at 265 Glenview Drive, have been met for a Physical and Environmental Constraints Permit. Most of the written testimony that came in pertained to aesthetics and neighborhood compatibility. The application is not subject to those standards. Germaine to the criteria is the disturbance of the site. In Staff's opinion, the applicants have had a number of professionals deal with these issues, trying to address what is best for this site as far as recovery of the disturbed areas. That is the purpose of the Physical and Environmental Review process - to make sure that what is left over is going to be retained, it is not going to break down and cause downhill affects or affects to the site itself. The statements made in opposition referring to possible site constraints do not show any evidence that something is going to fail. Staff is recommending approval of the application with the attached nine conditions.
COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Chapman moved to approve Planning Action 2003-118. Dotterrer seconded the motion.
Morris congratulated Bryan Holley and George Kramer on their comments because of the enlightening information and history they provided, however, it did not seem to him to be applicable to the criteria. Kramer is the only one who addressed timing of the submittal of the application.
Dotterrer added that he appreciated Holley's timeline.
Chapman said under a Physical and Environmental Constraints Permit, the only relevant testimony would have been if the opponents had brought forth evidence that the engineer, contractor, or surveyor was somehow incompetent, or if they had provided information showing evidence of past failures. That would have weighed heavily on Chapman's decision. He believes the applicants have met the requirements of the Physical and Environmental Constraints Permit with a professional team in place to handle the issues involved with building on this site.
Dotterrer concurred. The approval permit was contingent upon the issues raised by the opponents.
The motion carried unanimously.
PLANNING ACTION 2003-149
REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW TO CONVERT AN EXISTING ACCESSORY STRUCTURE TO A SECOND RESIDENTIAL UNIT AT THE REAR OF THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 238 EIGHTH STREET. A VARIANCE IS REQUESTED TO PERMIT A SECOND RESIDENCE ON A PROPERTY OF LESS THAN THE REQUIRED LOT AREA, AS WELL AS A VARIANCE TO ON-STREET PARKING CREDIT STANDARDS.
Knox said the site has an existing 672 square foot house. There is a small detached studio that appears to have once been a garage. It is non-habitable space. Behind the studio is a third building that has been used as an illegal unit for at least ten plus years and maybe 25 years when it was built in 1977. It is 357 square feet. The lot is a shotgun style lot - 50 feet wide and 108 to 122 feet deep.
In 2002, the property was sold. The purchasers live at 248 Eighth Street. They purchased the property with the hope of improving the site. There was some concern about tenants in past years. The realtor told them the rear unit was legal. Additional evidence suggested to the buyers that it was legal because there was a separate water and electric meter. The illegal unit was discovered after a routine building inspection. Upon additional Staff research no evidence was found this was a legal unit. The applicants are trying to legitimize the illegal unit. The Variance is to have a second unit on a substandard size lot. The second Variance is to have one less parking space than required.
Knox reported that over the last year, the applicants have upgraded this site to the point it will meet all the requirements of a Site Review. With regard to the Variance, for a second unit to be on a substandard lot, 6500 square feet of lot area is needed if the second unit is less than 500 square feet. The lot is 5,763 square feet. There is a 737 square foot deficiency. The applicants have argued for a unique circumstance. This unit has existed for quite some time. Knox believes it was always assumed this unit was grandfathered. The applicants are saying that the owner of an R-1-5 lot can propose a Conditional Use Permit for an accessory residential unit. In an R-2 lot, if it is less than 6500 square feet, one cannot even apply for a CUP. It is a Variance. The applicants contend these are unusual circumstances. Staff has not received any negative comments from neighbors since the notice went out. Knox said technically, two and one-half parking spaces are required. There are two spaces in the driveway and one on-street space. The applicants are asking for a deviation from the City's on-street parking credit. Staff believes it is an unusual circumstance for parking and is recommending approval of both Variances. The Historic Commission also granted approval of the application.
Knox added that the applicants have proposed to make the unit affordable. There are five attached conditions.
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Morris stepped down because he has worked on the building and he feels he would be biased. Site visits were made by KenCairn and Dotterrer.
KenCairn believes this is a fine proposal. Is there a way to make the unit a permanent affordable unit in order to get some balance with the application? She would like to see it tied to future proposals rather than the current since we are in the middle of revising the affordable requirements.
RICHARD VEZIE, 208 Oak Street, Suite 204, agent for the applicant, handed out photos of the "before" and "after" of the front dwelling of the subject lot. He said the biggest issue with affordable housing that his clients have is that it restricts the tenant base. The unit is pretty much self-limiting as to what can be charged for rent. There is a good basis for minimum lot size requirements but that is the reason for a Variance. This lot is in a great location. The owners have a vested interest in preserving the feel of the neighborhood. Any negative impacts have already happened. There should be a positive impact from the unit, especially since his clients have owned the property. They will sign off on the affordable housing requirements.
JANET LARMORE, 248 Eighth Street, said their long-term intent is to hold the property as long as they can for rentals. They want to keep the neighborhood as nice as possible. The street has ample parking. There is only one house that faces Eighth Street and there are rarely cars parked on the street.
GARY FOLL, 925 B Street, said his house faces B but the side of the yard is on Eighth Street. As far as they are concerned the house has always been lived in, so that would not be a change to the neighborhood. The house in the back has always been occupied too. He supports the application. His concern is "why are we even at this hearing?" There are several R-2 properties in that area that have inadequate square footage for additional units. However, if you want to put affordable housing in, there are so many tucked away places in the Railroad District that are 400 to 500 square feet that would house a single person or a single parent with one child. Why do the applicants have to go thru all these hoops?
PAUL BERGLUND, 255 Ninth Street Alley, originally went to the Historic Commission to hear what was happening. When he first moved into his house, the proposed development was full of weeds, etc. Since Larmore and Strong have purchased the property, it is so much better. It is a nice unit. Everything is just so much better. The owners should be rewarded.
KenCairn asked Larmore how she felt about adding a 60-year duration for required affordability. Larmore said she has a little problem with the affordable housing structure. It really narrows down prospective tenants. They want a nice, quiet respectful neighbor. She is not keen on 60 years. She has a wonderful tenant and she does not know what his income level is and would he be able to stay?
KenCairn would like to grandfather in the current tenant and extend the affordability to 60 years.
Rebuttal - None
COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
KenCairn moved to approve PA2003-149 with the amended Condition 4 that extends the affordable period to 60 years but grandfathers in the current resident. She wants to make sure evidence is submitted to the City on the current tenant so we will know when the current tenant vacates. The 60 years starts right now. If the current tenant does not happen to meet the affordable standards, he won't be kicked out. His rental agreement cannot be passed to anyone else. Dotterrer seconded the motion. The motion carried.
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
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