Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Hearings Board

Tuesday, July 12, 2005



JULY 12, 2005




Commissioner Michael Dawkins called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. on July 12, 2005 in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street, Ashland, Oregon.


               Commissioners Present:                  Dave Dotterrer

                                                                           Kerry KenCairn

                                                                           Michael Dawkins

               Absent Commissioners:                   None

               Council Liaison:                                Jack Hardesty, absent

               Staff Present:                                     Maria Harris, Senior Planner

                                                                           Derek Severson, Assistant Planner

                                                                           Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

                                                                           Sue Yates, Executive Secretary


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – KenCairn/Dotterrer m/s to approve the minutes of the June 14, 2005 Hearings Board.  Voice Vote:  Minutes were approved.




PLANNING ACTION:  2005-00869

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 249 Hillcrest Drive

OWNER/APPLICANT:  Russell & JoAnn Manzone

DESCRIPTION:  Conditional Use Permit to construct an accessory residential unit on the western portion of the parcel adjacent to Terrace Street for the property located at 249 Hillcrest Drive


This action was approved.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-00868

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 706 Tolman Creek Road

OWNER/APPLICANT:  Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

DESCRIPTION:  Conditional Use Permit and Site Review to construct a 4,900 square foot storage building in the existing maintenance facility of the Oregon Department of Transportation for the property located at 706 Tolman Creek Rd.  The proposed building is centrally located in the parcel, and will house existing maintenance equipment. 


This action was called up for a public hearing.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-01055

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 928 Glendale Avenue

OWNER/APPLICANT:  Doug Neuman/Pacific Northwest Building & Design, LLC

DESCRIPTION:  Conditional Use Permit and Site Review approval to convert the seven apartments to seven condominiums for the property located at 928 Glendale Ave.


KenCairn abstained and stepped out of the room during this discussion because she had a conflict of interest.


Dawkins expressed an on-going, deep policy concern that we are converting too many apartments to condominiums. The applicant conforms to the criteria.  However, Chapter 2.14.040 states that “The Hearings Board or Staff Advisor may refer any matter before the Board or Advisor to the Planning Commission when it becomes apparent that the matter involves major policy concern or potential serious impacts on surrounding areas.”  This application is another case where we are taking something that is affordable and turning it into condominiums even though the applicant has agreed to 25 percent affordability.  Dawkins is inclined to take this application before the full Commission because we need to ask ourselves if we are going to continually take these types of uses out of circulation.  He would like to rewrite the code in order to have some latitude to say “no.”


Dotterrer argued the fairness of taking one action to the full Commission instead of working on the larger policy issue.  Harris reminded the Commissioners that the Procedures Chapter outlines the process for legislative review for policy changes.  Dawkins is concerned if we don’t take this action to the full Commission, the policy issue will be lost.  Dotterrer did not have a problem bringing the bigger issue before the Commission.


This action was approved.


Ken Cairn returned to the meeting.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-01057

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 1673 Parker Street

OWNER/APPLICANT:  Muriel Ames & Michael (Rolar) Yondorf/Pacific Northwest Building & Design, LLC

DESCRIPTION:  Land Partition to divide one existing parcel into two parcels including a flag lot at the rear.


This action was approved.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-01051

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 526 Washington St.

OWNER/APPLICANT:  Absolute Realty

DESCRIPTION:  Request for Site Review approval for the construction of an approximately 4,000 square-foot office building located within the Washington Street Professional Plaza at 526 Washington St. 


This action was approved.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-01050

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 720 and 730 Liberty St.


DESCRIPTION:  Land Partition to create a flag lot from the rear of two existing parcels for the properties located at 720 and 730 Liberty St.  A Physical Constraints Review Permit is requested to construct a driveway across a Riparian Drainage and to create a parcel with slopes 25% and greater in Hillside Lands. 


This action was called up for a public hearing.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-01043


OWNER/APPLICANT:  Ashland Creek Holdings, LLC

DESCRIPTION:  Site Review approval and Conditional Use Permit for the second-story expansion of the Ashland Creek Inn to construct two additional overnight accommodation units for the property located at 70 Water St.  A Physical Constraints Review Permit is also requested for the second-story addition because the site is located in the Ashland Floodplain Corridor.  


This action was approved.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-01049

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 400 E. Nevada Street


DESCRIPTION:  Request for Final Plan approval for an eight-lot subdivision under the Performance Standards Option for the property located at 400 E. Nevada St., within the North Mountain Neighborhood Plan area.  The development requests Site Review approval for an eight-unit multi-family residential development. 


This action was approved.




PLANNING ACTION:  2005-00666


OWNER/APPLICANT:  Mary Barnhill              

DESCRIPTION:  Request for a Conditional Use Permit for a 3-unit Travelers Accommodation for the property located at 184 B St.


Site visits or ex parte contacts – Site visits were made by all with no comment.



Severson said this action was administratively approved on May 25, 2005.  A request for a public hearing by a neighboring property owner was received on June 8, 2005.  In discussions with that neighbor, it was determined the posted notice had been improperly placed on another property, rendering the application incomplete.  The action was re-noticed.  The neighbor identified the following reasons for requesting a public hearing.  The cumulative effect of prior Conditional Use Permits and this request will be harmful to the livability in the R-2 zone when compared to its target use. 


The Staff Report describes the site and the proposal.    The parcel would accommodate up to five traveler’s accommodation units.  The applicant is requesting three units, consisting of the owner’s unit and two guest rooms.  Parking is proposed to be provided at the rear of the parcel via an access easement over the property at 165 North First (property owned by applicant).  The applicant is providing five spaces; the requirement is four. 


Severson said this parcel could potentially allow three residential units.  Staff believes the potential traffic impacts and parking demands for the three unit traveler’s accommodation would be less than or equal to that of three separate residential units.  There are no modifications to the historic structure or the site, the required parking is existing and provided on-site, the proposed number of units is less than could have been allowed, and the walking proximity to the bus route and downtown would likely result in fewer vehicle trips than might be expected elsewhere.


Staff prepared a map identifying approved CUP’s within the impact zone.  Of the 20 residentially zoned parcels within the impact zone/notice area, 12 are in use as strictly residential, and eight others have been issued CUP’s, although three of the eight may have reverted back to residential use.  Seven of the eight CUP’s have retained a residential component as part of their approvals.  The Code Compliance Staff has indicated no complaints have been made against any of the existing Conditional Use Permits within the impact zone in the last five years.


Staff believes the proposal will have no greater impact on livability than a residence and has recommended approval.  However, the Hearings Board needs to decide if the concerns expressed regarding the cumulative effect of Conditional Use Permits in the zone represents a greater adverse material effect on livability than the target residential use. If the Commission wishes to approve this application, there are eight attached Conditions.


Severson said a neighbor expressed a concern concerning the hours guests arrive.


KenCairn expressed an interest in adding a Condition that the property can never have more than two units and an owner’s unit.  She would like to hold the property to a maximum and that it never exceeds the number of units it has in order to tie it to the target residential Harris said a Condition could be added but it wouldn’t preclude someone coming back and asking for additional units.



MARY BARNHILL, 165 North First Street and BRENDA BARNHILL, 228 B Street are the applicants.  Mary said she will provide four parking spaces.  The traveler’s accommodation would offer alternative lodging for theater attendees.  Because of their close proximity to town, most guests will park their cars when they arrive and walk during their stay.  If the property was a rental, it would generate more traffic and more automobiles.  The traveler’s accommodation use will run May through September.  She has met all the requirements of the CUP process.  The Historic Commission approved her request.  One unit is upstairs and one downstairs.


PHILIP LANG, 758 B Street, owns property at 270 First Street.  He asked that this action to be called up before the full Commission.  He handed out a memo.  At some point, regardless of the specific CUP or Variance request, a halt must be called to granting these requests.  The sum of these projects creates chaos, congestion, and loss of infill.  It is Staff’s responsibility to see when there are enough CUP’s.  The question is just how many traveler’s accommodations should be allowed?  He is contesting the Hearings Board.  This is a major policy issue that needs to come before the Planning Commission.


KenCairn said she is familiar with the house and the neighborhood.  It seems like it has always been an active neighborhood with people living there in lots of different ways.  Does Lang see it as having a larger impact that six or seven people living in that house?  There should be a criteria that says “enough” or we will end up converting everything to a CUP.


Lang said Staff should be required to look at the negative adverse impacts; to look at the whole neighborhood.  Harris said the Planning Commission can initiate an ordinance change. Dawkins suggested having Lang’s help.


Dotterrer asked what specifically about this project will degrade the livability of the neighborhood.  Lang said this one will not, but in sum they all do.  Dotterrer asked if Lang wants the neighborhood to remain purely residential.  KenCairn said she lives in an R-2/R-3 neighborhood and over time, the CUP’s start to dilute the residential character of a neighborhood. 


Staff Response – None


Rebuttal - None



KenCairn/Dotterrer m/s to approve PA2005-00666 with the added Condition that holds the approval to no more than three units.  KenCairn is trying to reassure the neighborhood that we are holding the traveler’s accommodation use to the same density as the residential use.  She wants either three traveler’s accommodations (two guest accommodations and one owner’s quarters), or three units.  Harris’s wording for the Condition:  That the traveler’s accommodation shall be limited to three units.  Roll Call:  Motion passed unanimously.


PLANNING ACTION:  2005-00454

SUBJECT PROPERTY:  2510 and 2512 Siskiyou Boulevard

OWNER/APPLICANT:  Mike MacFarlane        

DESCRIPTION:  Request for a Site Review approval to construct two residential units on the property located at 2510 and 2512 Siskiyou Blvd.  The development is part of a previously approved project. 


Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Site visits were made by all with no comment.



Severson reported that in 1995 there was an approval for a three-unit development to construct a single story single family residence and a two-story duplex.  Access was approved by the private driveway and shared with the parcel to the south.  Vehicular access is off that private drive from Tolman Creek Road.  The approval included paths to allow pedestrian access from units to Tolman Creek Road and Siskiyou Boulevard.  A Condition of approval required the installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, street trees, storm drains and additional paving along Tolman Creek Road and sidewalk improvements along Siskiyou Boulevard prior to the certificate of occupancy.  The single family dwelling was constructed in 1997 by Habitat for Humanity.  The request today is for the duplex.  The improvements have yet to be installed.


The request for public hearing came with several concerns including insufficient lot area to accommodate a duplex, insufficient parking for two units, the proposed structure would interfere with 2500 Siskiyou Boulevard’s solar access, and traffic impacts could negatively impact the safety of school children coming from nearby Bellview School.


Severson said a Condition has been added to require the six foot wide path (easement) on the eastern boundary be surfaced with pedestrian friendly treatment.  The proposal is to construct a two-story duplex consisting of a 938 square foot flat on the ground floor and a 735 square foot flat on the second floor.  Two units are in keeping with the overall density.  The applicant is proposing 72 percent lot coverage with two small usable recreation areas.  Four parking spaces will be provided for the two units.  The solar protection is to the north property line (Siskiyou Boulevard).  With regard to traffic impacts, the Oregon Dept. of Transportation is recommending the City enforce parking restrictions on both sides of Siskiyou to the north of the intersection of Tolman and Siskiyou.  The City is working on reconstructing the intersection in 2007-2008.  Staff believes the impact of the two small units over what might be expected by a single unit (13 vehicle trips per day for two multi-family units) will be offset by the street and sidewalk improvements proposed and the fact that the parking will be accessed at the rear of the parcel, off Tolman Creek Road, not Siskiyou Boulevard.   Staff is recommending approval with the attached Conditions.


Staff believes the Commission is tied to the previous approval.  Any time you develop under Chapter, 18.88, the lot sizes go away.  The number of units is held to the original approval.




MRS. MCFARLANE said they bought the property based on being able to build duplexes.  They went through the process with the City and the changing criteria.  The McFarlane’s have done everything they have been asked to do.  The solar shadow falls on the neighbor’s driveway.


ROGER JOHNSON, Medford, OR, designer said the lot was two lots and a two-story duplex ten years ago. 


PEGGY AND MARK SEVERSON, 2500 Siskiyou Boulevard.  MARK went to the City and was told that unless there is a lot line adjustment there could only be a single family residence built on the property.  Chris Gentis owns 50 percent of the driveway the applicants are using.  They are not using the easement for what it is set up for.  He is concerned a duplex will be towering over his yard and devalue his property.    


Derek Severson (no relation to Peggy or Mark Severson) explained the easements.  One easement refers to the partition plat.  An easement was granted from the McFarlane property to the Habitat parcel for a single family residence.  It was vacating a public utility easement that was required in 1995.  It was vacated by an agreement.  The driveway easement was part of the 1995 approval. 


PEGGY SEVERSON  believes the lot is not big enough for two units.  Parking is already a problem with inadequate parking for visitors.  The units are small. They bought 2500 Siskiyou and removed three units.  There are traffic and parking problems because of the school.   They have curbs and walkway.  Why do they need to do all the improvements?  The residents of the duplex will be looking into their backyard because of the two-story design.  She has questions about the easements.


STAN SHADLE, 1126 Tolman Creek Road, lives in one of the townhouses and will be sharing the common driveway.  They live with three townhouses in the front and three in the rear.  There are four parking spaces along the driveway area for the four townhouses that are in from the driveway.  Parking has been a huge problem.  He is concerned about the proposed duplex becoming a student living situation.  There is congestion because of the lack of parking.  The proposal is out of character with the neighborhood.  A single family residence would be more in keeping with the neighborhood.  He would rather see cars coming off Siskiyou.  Everyone he has talked with in his complex are against the project as it stands.


JIM PHILLIPS, 1130 Tolman, stated he is opposed to the project and presented a written statement.  His primary concern is with the easement and access.  It is his understanding that DeGroodt Homes is the legal owner of the easement (Lots 1 and 2).  It seems there are questions to be considered.  The easement is granted only for the purpose of ingress and egress.  Phillips mentioned a memo dated August 26, 1997.  He wants to make sure the entire driveway area stays clear for emergency vehicles. 


SUSIE BROWN, Ashland Homes Real Estate, 515 Spring Creek Drive, said she sold the property to the McFarlane’s.  They researched everything and they were told everything was okay.  She believes the application meets the criteria and should be approved. 


Staff Response – Severson said there is an easement allowing only a single family residence from the McFarlane property to the Gentis property for the Habitat house and it is 14 feet wide.  The second easement is a 20 foot wide drive shared by several properties and there would be joint use of on-site parking. 


Dotterrer said the neighbors believe the easement setting up the 20 foot drive is only for a single family home.  Severson said the only place he has seen the restriction for a single family home is on the easement from McFarlane to Gentis.  With regard to a possible access off Siskiyou, he did not think ODOT would allow a curb cut from Highway 99.


Rebuttal – None



Dotterrer/KenCairn m/s to approve PA2005-00454.   Roll Call:  The motion passed unanimously.



Dotterrer/KenCarin m/s to approve the Findings for 180 Lithia Way, PA2005-328.  Voice Vote:  The Findings were approved.


Dotterrer/Dawkins m/s to approve the Findings for Clear Creek Drive (Buddhist Temple), PA2005-671.  Voice Vote:  The Findings were approved with KenCairn abstaining.


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m. 




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