Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

JULY 13, 2004

Chair Russ Chapman called the Ashland Planning Commission meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. on July 13, 2004 in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street, Ashland, Oregon.


Russ Chapman, Chair
Mike Morris
Kerry KenCairn
John Fields
Marilyn Briggs
Allen Douma
Olena Black
Michael Dawkins
Dave Dotterrer
ABSENT MEMBERS: No absent members
COUNCIL LIAISON: Alex Amarotico (Council Liaison does not attend Planning Commission meetings in order to avoid conflict of interest.)
STAFF PRESENT: Bill Molnar, Senior Planner
Mark Knox, Associate Planner
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

There will a Planning Commission study session on July 27, 2004 to discuss a Council goal of reserving multi-family properties.

Tuesday, July 27th, Chapman and Dotterrer will be available at the Community Development and Engineering Services building for the monthly Planning Commissioner drop-in "chat" from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Current officers: Russ Chapman, Chair, Mike Morris, First Vice Chair, and John Fields, Second Vice Chair.

Chapman opened nominations for Chair. Black nominated Chapman, Briggs seconded and Chapman was unanimously elected.

Morris was nominated for Vice Chair but declined. Chapman nominated John Fields, Briggs seconded and Fields was unanimously elected.

Black nominated Dotterrer for Second Vice Chair and Briggs seconded the nomination. KenCairn objected based on gender. Dotterrer withdrew his name. Black nominated KenCairn, Dawkins seconded and KenCairn was unanimously elected.

Fields arrived.

Briggs/Fields m/s to approve the Minutes of the June 8, 2004 meeting. Voice Vote: The motion passed. There were no findings.

Douma asked Molnar if he followed up on the question from the last meeting regarding retention of notes. Molnar said the state statute say notes need to be retained for five years. Briggs requested this as a future study session topic.

Katherine Dimino, Takelma Way, has purchased property on Strawberry Lane. She wondered if she would be allowed to use permeable asphalt or concrete on her building site wondered when that discussion would happen. Knox said it would not be brought up tonight but Staff has been discussing different types of asphalt with regard to lot coverage. He suggested Dimino write a letter to the Planning Department stating her request.

Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Site Visits were made by all but Morris. He is familiar with the site.

Knox reported this proposal is for a mixed use project consisting of one office building, one retail building and approximately 68,000 square feet of mini storage space. An apartment is proposed above Building A for the manager. The property is zoned M-1 and surrounded by M-1. There are a total of 107 parking spaces on the site.

Staff had concerns about lot coverage from the standpoint of storm water management. Knox explained the storm water detention system planned for the site. The system has been approved by a private engineer and by the City's Engineering Department.

The Tree Commission met and agreed the conifer trees planted on a manmade mound along the frontage of the triangular shaped parcel should be removed. The mound will be removed and the trees will be replaced with trees from the approved street tree list.

There will be a slight widening of Mistletoe in the front for parking. There will curbing, a seven foot parkrow and a six foot sidewalk. The applicants are dedicating 15 feet in order to obtain this City street standard.

The applicants are requesting a bike parking variance for the mini storage portion. The mixed use portion will have the required amount of bike parking (one space for every five parking spaces). Fifty percent of the spaces are required to be covered. Typically, a person visiting his/her storage unit on a bicycle would park the bike outside the unit rather than a location in the front.

Staff is recommending approval of the application. There are 13 Conditions of approval. This application will set a precedent for the standard of development for this area.

Knox said there is a Condition that Buildings C7 and C8 have a gap in the buildings to meet the Fire Department's requirements.

Black questioned the landscaping on the site and the tree plantings along the frontage as well as a concern for planting trees that would produce more shade. Knox said heat reduction is not a criteria. He said since there would be future construction and a risk of disturbing new trees, it would be best to defer the planting of ten of trees until the second building is constructed.

Fields asked about the residential use. Knox said over the years, one residential unit in E-1 or M-1 has been permitted as a manager's unit.

Joanne Krippaehne, Madrona Architecture, 520 Terrace Street
, project architect, addressed the lot coverage and landscaping questions. She referred to page 3, Phase I Landscaping. The total square footage of the entire parcel is close to 260,000 square feet. In Phase I they are providing 26,900 square feet of landscaping, over the required ten percent. They are providing 7500 square feet of landscaping in the parking areas that is over the seven percent required. There are five categories of trees listed on Page 3. They are providing seven trees in front of Buildings A and B. They are providing 13 shade trees in the mini storage parking lot (ten required). They are providing the required six trees in the parking area for the front buildings. At this time, they will be providing 26 substantial shade trees. At a future date, they will provide another 22 street trees.

Krippaehne said part of the reason they want to remove the existing significant trees is because they are not canopy forming. The Tree Commission has asked they change their selection to provide large canopy trees. The Tree Commission also asked them to substitute the cypress trees along the north side of the mini storage to less fire hazardous trees and asked them to take into consideration the three suggestions they made and intersperse them with varied shrubs.

They have talked with the Fire Department and have committed to working with them concerning the length of the building.

KenCairn asked if it would be a hardship to do all the landscaping improvements and mitigation measures in Phase I. Krippaehne said the only hardship is not knowing where future curb cuts and driveways will be placed. It could probably be worked out. It would be their preference not to do all the mitigation during Phase I.

Black said the front building facing Mistletoe Road would be getting an enormous amount of afternoon sun. Krippaehne said they had not planned any awnings, but they could consider it.

Dawkins thought they should think about planting the entire street with street trees first. When the other phase is built, some of the trees will already be three or four old. Additionally, it would be more aesthetically pleasing. KenCairn noted if the applicants follow the tree protection plan the trees should be fine.

Margueritte Hickman, Ashland Fire and Rescue, 455 Siskiyou Blvd., said they have had discussions with the applicant and they will work out access prior to obtaining a building permit. The entire V- shape is considered one building. One hundred fifty feet of hose is not going to make it to all parts of the building. Some options would be to provide easements on the adjacent property for access. Another option would be to divide the building to provide access. Providing the access points will make the hydrant distances better too. Knox said the applicants have proposed seven hydrants with one on each end of the buildings.

Bill Phillip, 4000 Kenny Road, Jacksonville, OR, stated he supports this application.

Staff Comments
Black wondered if there was anything in the plan about cleaning the storm drainpipes.

Krippaehne said there is a separator as part of the storm water detention system. She said they can plant the street trees now, but she would like to wait on the southern most 175 feet because they are not sure of the street alignment. There is not a right-of-way currently. The right-of-way will be created at some point in time.

Some of the Commissioners suggested modifying Conditions 3 and 9. Briggs asked that Condition 9 be placed after Condition 3, requiring renumbering of the Conditions.

Knox clarified Condition 3, third sentence, delete "street trees". Condition 9, first sentence should read: "That street trees, one tree for every 30 feet of street frontage be installed along the site's proposed curb improvement (along the entire frontage except for the last 175 feet) prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy." Renumber Condition 9 as 4 and shift everything down.

Morris is concerned that Conditions 3 and 9 have been revised without any discussion. He is not in favor of putting in a restriction. It seems unnecessary to take an area of future development and require street trees on that stretch. The risk is greater that damage to the trees and irrigation system supporting it can happen and then the applicant will have to deal with that.

KenCairn said there is another E-1 project where the entire infrastructure has to be done before any building.

Morris said this project borders another M-1 property that contains piles of concrete. Is this really something that needs to happen at this point?

Dotterrer said originally he agreed with Morris, but if a tree protection plan is in place, it is a good compromise.

Morris reminded the Commissioners that mitigation is not a requirement.

Briggs is in favor of planting the trees now so when the new buildings go in, all the trees will be the same size.

Douma doesn't think it is a good idea to require the applicants to put in plantings and irrigation that will be damaged. Molnar said it doesn't appear that planting on the northerly section would be a problem. Most likely it would be hard to have a driveway from Mistletoe to the northerly part.

Dotterrer/KenCairn m/s to approve PA2004-075 with the two changes (above) to Conditions 3 and 9. Roll call vote: All approved.

PLANNING 2004-077

Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Site visits were made by all.

Knox said the current portion of the former Briscoe School is used by the Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC) Headstart program. Headstart has approximately 40 to 50 kids and a staff of 35. The kids range in age from six weeks to four years old. They use their portion of the building from July through December.

The Lithia Arts Guild is proposing to have an arts coalition in the other portion of the building (floor plan in packet). There are no exterior changes proposed except for a sign. There will be a wall between the two wings. Six classrooms will be used for artists' space, workspace, classroom space and Friday Art Walk. The purpose is to create an affordable area for local artists and to bring the artists together in space. The hallway area will become primarily a place to display finished work.

The applicants are proposing a number of events on the site. They range in size from one to 15, 15 to 30, and 30 to 60 people, with approximately five events per month. The small events will be for drawing classes with the Friday Art Walk as the larger event (once a month). The applicants are proposing one large event to occur in June on a weekend. It is named "A Midsummer Night's Dream Festival." It will last for a weekend, using the outside grounds (75 booths) and inside space from 10 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. both days. At the conclusion of the event, there will be a ballroom dance.

Parking for the area is all around the site. There are 26 spaces along Laurel and 14 spaces along Manzanita. The applicants are working with the church to use their 65 spaces for their large event. There is parking on the opposite side of Laurel, Manzanita and High Streets. The school has a total of 40 parking spaces. The Headstart program uses 35 spaces. That is a conservative number. That leaves five spaces between 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during the six months of operation for the Arts Guild. During those times, five spaces should work. It very likely the artists will be working after the Headstart program closes.

Staff had concerns about retail use. Retail is not a permitted use in the R-2 zone. The applicants are not proposing to have true retail. Retail will be a small bi-product. There is no cash register proposed. The artists do not intend to turn this into a retail space. Knox noted a letter from Colin Swales stating he would like some assurance through an annual report that the applicants are staying within their approved use. Staff has asked the first year for a review of the large Midsummer Night's Dream event.

Staff has recommended approval with the five attached Conditions. A sixth condition could be added regarding the annual review to release information as to how the CUP is not going to have a retail environment.

Molnar said the Briscoe grounds are owned by the school district. It serves as an informal neighborhood playground.

Knox explained the Arts Guild is a non-profit organization. The space will be used for teaching a multitude of ages. There is a specific agreement with the school district that the Guild will provide a certain number of hours to the school.

Debbie Lorray, Lithia Arts Guild, P. O. Box 3194, Ashland, OR
, stated the Briscoe art wing was proposed to remedy a lack of artist's synergy, a lack of presentation of nonformula arts and events and a lack of community involvement. At the same time, through a partnership with the Ashland School District, they will be enhancing the arts education and also contributing funds to the school district through this project from the events. The Lithia Arts Guild has been in existence for 14 years. The art wing will be a great asset to the community by encouraging an artists' community and collaboration and inspiration by daily interaction with other artists. The project is possible because of the partnership with the schools. They have offered their skills (270 hours per year) to the schools. The arts events will involve the greater community. The various aspects will occur with minor disruption to the neighborhood. There will be less impact than with a school.

Lorray said there would be no developed retail/commercial use. The middle hallway will be used for exhibition. There are no hours of operation, no cash register, no one on hand to help the public. Artists will put their names and contact numbers on their artwork. The Guild will not collect any commissions.

The artists will be using the facility mostly on the weekends and generally after 3:30 p.m. during the week. They have worked hard to make sure OCDC, the Methodist Church and the surrounding neighborhood has been supportive of this project.

Jim Young, said that by occupying Briscoe they could bring their art through collaboration with professional artists to young people and teach them what it is to be an artist. It will allow for the creative spirit to come forward.

The events will all be part of the educational environment. They hope to study what it takes to produce a show. They hope to make use of the outside grounds in an appropriate way that serves the neighborhood and the entire community.

Lorray said there would be 50 booths, not 75 at the summer fair. She believes it is important to maintain the outside space as a park. There is a bus line on Main Street and a bike rack outside the main entrance. Many of the artists are planning to ride their bikes to work.

Lorray said they would not have a problem with an annual review.

Briggs wondered if the artists don't get there until 5:30 p.m., how could young children come for classes? Lorray explained most of the teaching would be done in the Ashland schools. They will mentor, do assemblies, and work with individual teachers. There will also be adult education. They will be signing a three-year lease with the school. She said four percent of the profits from the sale of art would go back to the schools.

Lorray said a security system is built into the school. The door will be open during the day, but there will be specified hours for public access. Each room has a key and a locking door.

Margueritte Hickman, Ashland Fire and Rescue, 455 Siskiyou Blvd., encouraged the Artisan's Guild to consult with the Fire Dept. The summer fair also needs to go through the Fire Department. .

Chapman read comments from Devon Strong, 2253 North Pacific Highway #66, Ashland, in support of the proposal.

Melissa Mitchell-Hooge, 271 High Street, strongly supports this project. She submitted a letter in support signed by her family and other Briscoe neighbors.

Liberty Kester, 140 VanNess, #3, fully supports the project. She discussed the importance of giving artists an opportunity to make and sell their goods in order to make a living.

Camille Stewart, Family Service Manager of the OCDC, stated she is very happy to share the space with the artists. It is a great match for their program.

Helga Motley, 111 Gresham Street, Apt. A, said she has been involved the arts and has a room reserved at Briscoe. She currently teaches various art classes during the summer and an after-school program during the school year where parents bring their children to her for classes. Parents carpool. She would like to teach adults in the evening and offer her space to other textile artists who would wish to teach on the weekends. She would offer to teach classes in clay at the Ashland schools.

Victoria McOmie, 1140 Old Highway 99 South, said she would be sharing Room 5 at Briscoe. Getting her work to the public is difficult. Briscoe will allow greater public access to her work.

Sophia Bogle, 1329 Beckman Avenue, Medford, OR 97501, said she is a bookbinder. She will occupy a room at Briscoe. She hopes to teach book binding to students.

Staff Comments - None

Knox said the zoning designation is Residential. A public school is a permitted use. This applicants want to call this a private school (Conditional Use). The impacts are based on the target use of the zone. Based on the target use, 46 multi-family units could be built on this property. Other things to look at are vehicle trips, lighting, and intensity of use over 24 hours. Is this application compatible with the neighborhood? In staff's opinion, the application meets the criteria. Molnar said the Commission needs to feel there is evidence that the proposed use falls within one of the conditional uses. There is a strong educational component, mentoring aspects and teaching aspects. It doesn't fit perfectly, but it is similarly in type.

Dotterrer believes it is unnecessary for the applicant to come before the Commission annually. Chapman agreed. The Guild has to fulfill the educational component with the school district and he doesn't feel like burdening them any further.

Briggs wants the emphasis on the education, not the commercial. She believes the Midsummer Night's Dream event should be held on grounds off-campus.

KenCairn did not agree. Douma does not find booths on Main Street objectionable one time a year on-site. He would suggest the CUP is reviewed annually.

Morris/Fields m/s to approve PA2004-077 with the attached Conditions. Roll Call Vote: Unanimous.

Douma referred back to two items from tonight's meeting. How can they do something about these items in a proactive way? There is a backlog of housecleaning items. The items of concern are: 1) A residential use, including mixed use in an M-1 zone. It seems reasonable, but the language in the ordinance is unclear. 2) With regard to the bike variance at the mini storage, why don't we change the ordinance to say that in mini storage areas, no bike parking is required?

Fields suggested adding the items to the laundry list. Molnar said they would have to take the bike parking change to the Bike Commission.

Fields asked to respond to the last action (Lithia Arts Guild). He disagreed with the concern that the space might turn into a commercial use. This is a perfect fit. There are no neighbors complaining. He feels completely comfortable approving it. It seems like an awful lot of oversight and Staff time to review it.

VIII. ADJOURNMENT- The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Submitted by,
Susan Yates, Executive Secretary

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