ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
AUGUST 9, 2005
CALL TO ORDER - Chair John Fields called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 East Main Street.
|Commissioners Present:||John Fields, Chair|
|Absent Members:||Russ Chapman|
|Council Liaison:||Jack Hardesty, Absent|
|Staff Present:||Bill Molnar, Planning Manager|
Maria Harris, Senior Planner
Mike Reeder, Assistant City Attorney
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary
ANNOUNCEMENTS - There were no announcements.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND FINDINGS
Dotterrer/Dawkins m/s to approve the Minutes of the June 28, 2005 Continuation of June 14, 2005 Regular Meeting and the June 28, 2005 Study Session. Voice Vote: Approved.
BRYAN HOLLEY, 324 Liberty Street, said at a recent meeting he spoke about an amendment to the Tree ordinance with regard to building permits. Since then, the Tree Commission has received a lengthy document from Randall Hopkins regarding the entire process and some underlying legal arguments. The Tree Commission will be reviewing Hopkins' document and the ordinances. He also suggested that the Planning Commission ask the other City commissions to send a list of ordinances that pertain to each of their commissions that might need to be reviewed.
TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS
PLANNING ACTION: 2005-01050
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 720 AND 730 LIBERTY STREET
OWNER/APPLICANT: DEAN SHOSTROM/DALE SHOSTROM
DESCRIPTION: REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION TO CREATE A FLAG LOT FROM THE REAR OF TWO EXISTING PARCELS FOR THE PROPERTIES LOCATED AT 720 AND 730 LIBERTY STREET. A PHYSICAL CONSTRAINTS REVIEW PERMIT IS REQUESTED TO CONSTRUCT A DRIVEWAY ACROSS A RIPARIAN DRAINAGE AND TO CREATE A PARCEL WITH SLOPES 25 PERCENT AND GREATER IN HILLSIDE LANDS.
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts
|•||Dotterrer had a site visit and no ex parte contacts.|
|•||Stromberg had a site visit. He had a business relationship in 2001 with Dale Shostrom but he does not believe that will affect his ability to make an unbiased decision. He is open to being questioned or challenged.|
|•||Dawkins had a site visit with Staff.|
|•||Fields had a site visit with Staff.|
|•||KenCairn had a site visit on her own.|
|•||Morris had a site visit. He was employed by Shostrom Brothers a year and a half ago. He is open to questions if anyone thinks he might be biased. He believes he can be impartial.|
|•||Black had a site visit on her own and an ex parte communication with a resident on Beach Street. Black asked her several questions about the Beach Creek waterway.|
|•||Douma had a site visit.|
Harris stated this action was administratively approved in June 2005. A request for a public hearing was received. Harris showed a vicinity map and a site plan. The site is composed of two parcels, each containing a single family home. The property at 730 Liberty has a Conditional Use Permit for an accessory residential unit in the basement. There is an existing looped driveway system that goes from Liberty Street to the end of the alley improvement. There is a drainage swale that runs diagonally through the property as well as some steeper sloped areas related to the drainage. The site is heavily treed.
The proposal is to create out of two rectangular lots, a new lot at the back of 730 Liberty. There is an eight foot flagpole going up to Liberty Street. It is considered a flag lot because the frontage on the public street is comprised of the eight foot pedestrian connection to Liberty Street. The proposed vehicular access is by way of the existing alley. The Fire Department would access the property from Liberty Street and exit out the alley. The third guest parking space required of a flag lot is proposed off the existing looped driveway system.
Most of the utilities will come from Liberty Street down the driveway, into the site to serve the home. A Tree Protection Plan has been provided. There are 95 trees identified on the plan that are six inches diameter at breast height (dbh) and greater. There are six trees proposed for removal. The driveway would come off the end of the alley right-of-way, and improved to a flag drive standard because it is more that 50 feet in length. The proposed building envelope is on a bench that was created at some time in the past that is relatively flat.
The Physical and Environmental Constraints is twofold. A permit is required to cross the drainage area because it is identified as a Riparian Land Drainage in the Ashland Comprehensive Plan. A permit is required for development of Hillside Lands. The areas 25 percent or greater are on each side of the drainage. The second piece relates to the drainage crossing and is identified as Riparian Land Drainage and is subject to the Floodplain Corridor Standards. There is a drainage easement on the property and it is 20 feet in width. The site plan shows a 20 foot setback from the drainage easement to the edge of the building envelope.
Harris recommended the Planning Commission discuss three items.
|1.||The Alley. Does the alley have adequate capacity to handle an additional single family home? Can it be the sole vehicular access for the residents that live there or will a street access be required? The following can be considered: The current number of vehicle trips compared to the impact of one additional home using the alley (roughly ten trips a day), emergency vehicle access issues, and the purpose of an alley.|
|2.||Liberty Street. Liberty Street is not paved along the property frontage. The criteria allow the Public Works Director to make a determination that the street does not need to be improved to city street standard if there is at least 20 feet in width of driving surface and the section is not more than ten percent grade and slope. Both standards have been met. The Public Works Director has said he can approve the proposal as is, but to sign in favor of a Local Improvement District.|
|3.||Physical and Environmental Constraints and Hillside Development Standards. The approval criteria are pretty broad.|
Dawkins said in walking up the alley, he identified at least 12 lots that could be split and have homes on the alley. This action might be fine, but it only adds more fuel for more development on the alley. When does it become too much? Is there a standard? Molnar said when assessing the impact of a particular application on any public facility, the Commission would be making a finding, "Is the public facility adequate at this time to serve the proposal?" Eventually, with subsequent applications it reaches a point where the application can't make a finding that the facility is adequate.
Douma questioned the meaning of "impacts of fill are minimized." Harris said the intent is to use the least amount of fill necessary to build a crossing (depth and width).
Fields noted that anyone coming forward from the audience to speak can, outside their allotted time, ask about the Commissioners' ex parte contacts.
DALE SHOSTROM, 309 North Pioneer Street, agent for his brother, Dean Shostrom, said he would answer questions.
Douma asked how much fill would be used. Shostrom said they sloped the drainage to 15 percent to minimize the fill in the drainageway. The culvert will sit about six inches below the existing grade, enabling the flat grade to fall toward the openings of the pipes. There will be about a foot of fill over the culverts. On the uphill side the fill will be about 18 inches. The downhill side will have about three feet. Three feet will be the maximum fill used anywhere.
Stromberg asked about residences that would have only alley access. Shostrom said accessory units would have their access from the alley. The alley extending to the back of 720 Liberty has been covered up since 1970. The fills were pushed into the alley. By using retaining walls and extending the existing city alley, it makes a nice flat entrance for the driveway into the house.
Dotterrer asked the basis of Shostrom's statement in his findings that alley is underutilized. Shostrom said if the alley had been designed today, the houses would have their accesses off the alley. When these deep properties were developed, the houses were built fairly close to either Liberty or Beach Streets, making it less convenient for someone to park off the alley. The potential for use is not as great. There are 26 houses on the alley, 12 of them have access to the alley and there are two or three accessory units. Not everyone parks off the 12 accesses.
Fields asked the developed length of the alley and about paving. The neighbors might have an issue with dust. Shostrom thought the alley is about 1000 feet in length. His brother goes down the alley every day and he has encountered another car only twice. Thy plan to use ¾ minus compacted gravel. Liberty Street is scheduled for improvement between 2005 and 2010. The City Engineers will make the determination as to whether they need to grade any of Liberty Street down. If they lower it, it would only help the slope off Liberty Street.
LINDA JOHNSON, 773 St. Andrew's Circle, gave her time to CHRIS HEARN, 515 E. Main Street, attorney representing ERIC JONES, a property owner to the east. Hearn said Jones is downstream from the proposed development. He said this is an example of infill in Ashland carried to an extreme. He believes the Planning Commission has the authority to say enough is enough where they are pushing the edge of the envelope. The applicants comply with most or all of the criteria, but don't really meeting the intent of the ordinance. There is leeway for the Commission to deny this application.
Inadequacy of the alley access. The Staff Report makes it clear the alley is discretionary according to 18.76.050.G, 18.76.050.G.1, and H. These have to be met first according to 18.76.060.A before moving the second part. If the lot is a flag lot, it requires subsection K. If it is required as a condition of approval, access can be from the alley. The alley is deficient. It is a prior non-conforming use and should not be expanded with the new standards being met. It is not paved and only about ten to 12 feet wide. The alley is 1000 feet long, is very narrow and cannot accommodate two vehicles meeting on the roadway. The alley serves at least 12 residences and that means is would be 120 vehicle trips per day (vtpd). If this alley was a simple flag lot request serving two lots, the code would require a 20 foot width with a minimum of 15 feet of paved driving surface. The discrepancy between the intent of the code and other portions of the code and requirements for a standard access and what is proposed should be looked at carefully when looking at how much is enough.
Physical Constraints Review Permit. Has the applicant addressed this to the extent possible or minimized impacts? These are highly discretionary standards. It is a stream drainage. It is not flowing but water is seeping out of the ground. The drainage is identified as Beach Creek and the disruption of drainage may have adverse impacts on the adjacent downhill properties. The neighbors are concerned that in a flood event, will the two 12 inch culverts going under the roadway more forcefully direct the water into a small area and perhaps do more damage?
Hearn showed pictures of the alley and the encroachments (fences, homes, accessory units) all along the alley. Harris said there is an 18 foot wide alley dedication.
KAREN BATES, 711 Beach Street, lives downhill from the proposed property. The riparian stream runs along the side of her house. Besides fire, she is concerned if there are culverts the stream could go either way. There is a substantial amount of water in the wintertime. If the culverting is done differently, will the riparian stream get any water or will it be diverted in a different way? She built her house ten feet away, as required.
NANCY MENKEN, 588 Liberty Street, lives four houses up from Ashland Street. Their garage has alley access. There is a lot more alley access use than stated earlier. There are 23 homes that have potential to have a driveway off the alley. There are five units she counted that have access only from the alley and four homes that have garages off the alley. Several others have driveways they could use. There are pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. If two cars meet, one car has to back up to Ashland Street. There is no place to give right-of-way. When it rains heavily, the alley can become very deeply rutted. It is impossible to drive down the alley until the city grades it. The city dug a ditch along the west side of the alley to catch the runoff, so a car cannot get out onto that part of the alley.
Black asked if an exit at the other end would be helpful. Menken said it would help.
JAN CRAIGIE, 689 Beach Street, noted there are 95 trees on the property filled with a lot of oak and madrone trees that can burn quite hot. It is in the forest interface. The applicants have used a band-aid approach. There will be an 18 percent grade off Liberty. That is the minimum acceptable grade for a fire truck. The residence has to be within 300 feet of a fire hydrant or an interior sprinkler system has to be installed. She feels the existing homes are being put at a greater fire risk. She asked the Commission to look at the overall project and keep the forest interface in mind and the 1000 foot alley, asking if this is really fair, safe and responsible to endanger this many homes.
STEVE SINCERNY, 790 Liberty Street, lives just south of the property. He believes this is a really thoughtful, considerate plan and that the Shostroms have addressed his concerns. However, when the riparian ordinance is revised, he is not sure the house could be built there. The riparian zone on the Bates property has been changed because the canopy has been removed. He is concerned the riparian zone will be negatively impacted and the cumulative development will have a negative impact on the riparian zone. The character of the neighborhood is changing from the rural feeling it used to have.
Douma asked Staff about the culvert flows. Molnar said the culvert is required to accommodate a 100 year flood flow. Shostrom has provided a preliminary design. The City Engineer will look at a watershed analysis.
Staff Response - MARGUERITTE HICKMAN, Fire Marshall, 455 Siskiyou Boulevard, stated the application meets fire code requirements. As the property currently stands, there is no ordinance that requires the owners to minimize the fire danger on the property. Once they decide to start developing the property, the requirement to reduce the wildfire hazard is implemented. With regard to access to the property, the AMC is very specific: if a driveway is between 15 and 18 feet wide or up to 200 feet in length, it is allowed providing the building is fire sprinkled. Theoretically, where the fire truck parks, it is required that the furthest point of the structure within 150 feet. The State adopted fire code allows that to be increased if there are fire sprinklers in the building. Hickman noted that if she was building her house today, she would rather have fire sprinklers in it than a fire hydrant in front of it. A fire hydrant won't do any good until the fire truck arrives. The sprinklers would respond immediately.
Rebuttal - Shostrom said they plan to re-grade the alley to a full 15 foot width and 13 ½ feet in height for clearance. Or, they could opt to grade the alley up to 18 feet in some areas to make passing easier. As part of their application they are going to improve the alley to the roadbed required by the Fire Department, 12 feet of pavement for 1000 feet.
With regard to water on Bates' property, Mark Amrhein, the geotechnical engineer, did not see any evidence of scouring above. Bates gets her water from two sources. Shostrom does not have any water from the drainage ditch any time of the year most of the time.
COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
KenCairn/Stromberg m/s to approve PA2005-01050.
Black believes the alley should have an opening at each end. Molnar read the definition of an alley. He added that the majority of alleys are through rights-of-way but some are unimproved or vacated and will never connect to another street. Harris suggested Black look at whether the alley has adequate capacity to serve the additional single family home.
Dawkins cannot approve something that will continue to over-utilize the alley's capacity by opening the area up to more development.
Harris suggested a Condition 24 because she didn't recollect seeing anything about paving as part of the proposal. The Fire Department did a drive through and took the emergency vehicle down the route they are accepting. When they went out the alley they measured for the 13 ½ vertical clearance and there is one tree that needs to be removed.
Stromberg asked if we address the problem of development along the alley in a preventative way by not allowing this application to proceed, or does something trigger action as more development occurs along the alley. Molnar said he has never come across a capacity standard for an alley. Until the community comes up with a livability capacity standard, it is done on a case by case basis.
Douma is concerned about the fire related issues and the riparian area. Fields envisions two 12 inch pipes installed and no erosion.
Black said the lack of an outlet on both ends of the alley will make it unusable to the applicant.
Morris did not see much traffic on the alley and believes 15 feet is adequate. He does not think the alley has to have an opening at each end. He has to rely on the Fire Department's information as to what is adequate.
KenCairn said if the Fire Department has accepted the proposal, she can too because their requirements are stringent. She is concerned about the quality and character of the alley, but believes we will have the option in the future to call a halt to development. She does not want the alley to get too wide. She likes the Shostrom's proposal to improve the alley so traffic flows better.
Fields was concerned with the impact of the drive. If we ask them to pave, there will be a group who wants the alley to remain natural. It would be beneficial to have a place to pass every 500 feet.
Harris said Page 11 of the Staff Report, Condition 8, second sentence after "Liberty Street" should say, "and the alley at the rear of the property." The property would be signing in favor of future improvements to Liberty Street as well as the paving of the alley.
Harris added a new Condition 24, "That prior to the signature of the final survey or commencement of driveway construction, the final driveway crossing shall be engineered to accommodate a 100 year flood flow.
Harris suggested a Condition 25, "That the alley shall be graded to 18 feet in width for passing areas, approximately every 250 in length."
Harris said Condition 26 could state "That the alley shall be graded to 12 feet in width. Driving surface of 15 feet and clear width prior to combustible construction as required by the Ashland Fire Department."
Stromberg wishes there could be a specific trigger, however, he doesn't feel we are at that point yet.
Dotterrer is comfortable with the fire issues and the Physical Constraints issues. He has a lot of problems with adequate capacity of the alley, but the added Conditions have alleviated his concerns.
KenCairn/Douma m/s to amend the motion to include Conditions 24, 25 and 26 as identified by Staff and the re-wording of Condition 11.
Roll Call: The motion carried with KenCairn, Stromberg, Dotterrer, Fields, and Morris voting "yes" and Douma, Dawkins and Black voting "no."
PLANNING ACTION: 2005-01313
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 917 E. MAIN STREET
OWNER: JERRY QUAST
DESCRIPTION: APPEAL TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION OF A STAFF ADVISOR DETERMINATION THAT THE CURRENT USE OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTY AT 917 E. MAIN STREET AS A COFFEE SHOP IS AN ILLEGAL, NON-CONFORMING USE IN VIOLATION OF ASHLAND MUNICIPAL CODE 18.68.090.
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts
|•||Douma said he has heard a lot of people talking about this application but as soon as possible, he's told everyone he cannot listen to or discuss the action.|
|•||Black has not had any contacts. She read two Daily Tidings articles.|
|•||Morris frequents Rogue Valley Roasting. He ran against one person for City Council that has been involved in this action. He has read the Daily Tidings articles. He's received, but not read e-mails. He believes he can be impartial|
|•||KenCairn frequents Rogue Valley Roasting, she's read the newspaper, but believes she can be impartial.|
|•||Fields agreed with KenCairn.|
|•||Dawkins has known the store through all of its incarnations. He goes there for hot chocolate.|
|•||Stromberg has not read the articles in the Tidings. He has been to the Roasting Company a few times in the last few months.|
|•||Dotterrer has read all the Tidings articles and he can be unbiased.|
Fields asked if anyone had an issue with the ex parte contacts. No one responded.
CHARLES CARREON, 1131 Barrington Circle, asked if there had been full and complete disclosure or others who have joined Cate Hartzell in her complaint.
|•||KenCairn, Stromberg and Morris have had no conversations with Councilor Hartzell regarding the issue before them tonight.|
|•||Dawkins e-mailed Hartzell today saying though he might disagree with her on issues, he still supports her.|
|•||Fields has not had contact with Hartzell for the past 18 months.|
|•||Dotterrer has not had any contact with Hartzell or any of the others filing the complaint.|
|•||Black has had no contact with Hartzell except what she read in the packet.|
|•||Douma has not had contact with Hartzell or the other complainants.|
Molnar said this action involved an appeal to the Planning Commission of the Planning Director's determination that the current use at Rogue Valley Roasting Company as a coffeeshop is an illegal non-conforming use, therefore in violation of the City's non-conforming use Section 18.68.
There was a grocery store in the early 1950's established at this location. In the 40's and 50's it was zoned general business and the grocery store appeared to comply with the zoning. In 1991, the Planning Staff permitted conversion of the commercial grocery store to a commercial restaurant use (catering, deli, prepared foods). In 1994, the current owners Jerry and Deborah Quast purchased the property and opened a commercial restaurant. In March of 2005, a complaint was filed raising the concerns regarding the validity of the use of the site and the impact on surrounding properties. Later in March the City Attorney informed the Planning Department that a Conditional Use should have been applied for regarding the change in use from the grocery store to the deli restaurant in 1991 and the current use of the property was illegal. In April, 2005, John McLaughlin, Community Development Director, sent a letter to the Quasts informing them they did not have approval to operate the coffee shop; that it was a change in use and they needed to apply for a Conditional Use Permit. On April 14, 2005, an appeal was filed by the Quast's attorney, appealing the decision of the Planning Director determining there was a change in use.
Was there a change in use in 1991 and 1994 from the initial grocery store use? Molnar, who has been with the City for 18 years, said looking back to 1991 and 1994, the Planning Department did not consider it a change in use. They looked at it broadly and that in the 50's when a grocery store was established, it was a permitted commercial use. The change of use in 1991 and 1994 was viewed as a commercial use that engaged in the sale of commodities, in other words, a continuation of a commercial use. Therefore, Staff did not require the owners to obtain a CUP. Molnar thought in the 60's when the property was rezoned to a higher density multi-family zoning that would have been the time at which the property became non-conforming.
The Legal Department has taken a narrower view, looking at the specific operating characteristics of a grocery store versus deli, restaurant and coffee shop and determined a CUP was required.
The issue before the Commission, if you concur with the City's position that the change in use did occur in 1991, a CUP would be required, the applicant would have to make application for a CUP and they would evaluate that application based on the CUP criteria. The Commission has the power to use some flexibility in interpreting the change of use and consider other factors and come to a conclusion that it is a continuation of a commercial use. The Commission should look at the definition of the use; the purpose for which the building was established, not looking at factors commonly associated with a CUP in terms of traffic generation, livability, etc.
Fields wondered if there was a point in time a CUP would not be required (sunset). Reeder said the whole point of a non-conforming use ordinance is to restrict the enlargement, remodel or substitution of a use, thereby encouraging the non-conforming use owners to come into compliance through some sort of procedure.
Reeder addressed some questions that have arisen regarding this action. He said the City is not trying to shut down Rogue Valley Roasting. They are asking them to come into compliance with the ordinances. Reeder has never spoken to Councilor Hartzell about this issue. When this issue first came to the Planning Department in January, 2005, John McLaughlin, attempted to deal with the owners and neighbors to address the complaints. After the discussion with the neighbors, it came to the Legal Department and the neighbors were asking if the owners were violating a CUP; have things changed so much that now they are in violation? When Reeder reviewed the file the only CUP he could find was in 1978 that allowed a porch extension off the grocery store. There were no Conditions of approval that met any of the issues the neighbors had. When there was a change of use, there should have been a CUP. We have a municipal code and we need to enforce it. They discussed this with John McLaughlin and he said he would let the Quast's know a change of use had occurred and that no CUP was applied for.
Tonight, the interpretation is being appealed. Reeder will be addressing three points:
|1.||What is the interpretation of the code (18.68.090 Non-Conforming Uses)?|
|2.||There needs to be fairness for the owner of the subject property, but there is fairness for the neighbors that requires that there be a hearing. That allows all parties to discuss the issue.|
|3.||Notice - Oregon Land Use Law requires that notice of a final decision be given to the neighbors. An oral decision by a planner is not a final decision because it requires interpretation.|
The question before the Commission tonight is: Was there a change or a substitution in use as interpreted by the code and what does use mean? Reeder said if they determine there is a change in use, our code requires a CUP process.
Douma/Black m/s to extend the meeting to 11:00 p.m. Voice Vote: Approved.
ALAN HARPER, 717 Murphy Road, Medford, stated he is representing the owners of Rogue Valley Roasting Company, Jerry and Deborah Quast. He said he has a slightly different interpretation than Reeder. There is something wrong with revisiting a decision made eleven years ago. The policy in land use decisions is to condense the timeframe of the process. Appeals to LUBA have to be made within 21 days of a final decision or 21 days from when you knew or should have known when a land use decision occurred. The short appeal time is because people make investments in a business or home use and there has to be foreclosure and certainty of a decision that is made. In this case, the Quasts did everything they could do to obtain the determination at issue. A decision was made. The question for the Commission is was there a final land use decision by the Planning Department. At some point it has to be memorialized or reduced to writing. He cited a case outline in his memo of June 27, 2005.
If there is no notice and no hearing, but a Planning Director decision, that is the final land use decision, and an opportunity to appeal it within 21 days of either finding out there was a decision made. When should a property owner reasonably be on notice? Once they know something is going on. Once the final decision is made, there is nothing more to talk about.
Before deciding if there is a change in use, the Commission has to get past "can we even talk about it." Is it appropriate for our Planning Staff to now make a new determination of whether or not there is a change of use?
When is a final land use decision? There are two places there is clearly a written final land use decision. In July of 1994, the Building and Zoning Permit clearly says Mark Knox signed off for an interior coffee shop and construction of a deck. That is the only written record they have that Planning agreed with a citizen that they can do what they asked to do as a permitted use. The other place there is a clear written decision is in a memo in 2002 to Jim Olson from Maria Harris, confirming the Quast's use is grandfathered in as a legal use.
Harper does not believe there is a change of use. The Quasts do not sell anything different than the Co-op or Market of Choice. The success of a business does not bring it back in front of the Planning Commission.
GUY WOLFING, 110 South Street, Port Jefferson, New York, said if they discuss the change of use, this is a quality of life issue. There are trade-offs in communities. You can walk to the coffee shop.
LANCE PUGH, 882 B Street, said he has lived in the neighborhood since 1973 and can remember purchasing coffee, ice cream, soda and sweets in this same location. It's a change of product emphasis, not a change of use.
STAN SHULSTER, 165 Pilot View Drive, thought it was abundantly clear that in 1991, the City did not consider it a change of use and again in 1994. The Commissioners have the power to cut short a long, expensive, time-consuming, nerve-wracking experience by simply saying there was not a change of use. We need to look at the compassionate, flexible construction of laws.
RONALD CORALLO, 805 Indiana Street, stated he is outraged and embarrassed. He sees the community getting further and further from the City government.
MAYNARD TELPNER, 229 Clay Street, said he does not see there has been a change of use. The equities have to be looked at. The damage to the business owner is great. He asked the Commission to decide this is not a change of use.
MARYLINE WHITE, 930 N. Mountain Avenue, said she finds it interesting that after all these years, the existence of the coffee shop is being challenged. Could the coffee shop become vacant and could it be eligible for another new rental unit?
JOHN WARD, 885 Twin Pines Circle, stated he perceives a dangerous line of injustice in the way this action has come forward. He can see how going from a grocery store to a deli can be seen as a change of use. The City should have gotten the change of use for the deli. Going from a deli where people walk in, drink and eat food to a coffee shop where people walk in, drink and eat food is not a change of use.
STEVE MORJIG, 610 Chestnut, said he knew Harold Johnson, the original owner of the grocery - where people bought coffee. There was a place to sit down and have coffee and donuts. Now they have bagels, not donuts.
LEAH SCHLINDER, 40 N. Mountain Avenue, said the Quasts had the best intentions when they checked with the City for the proper permits. It would not be right to take away their lifeblood.
LAURA MARSHALL, 214 E. Nevada Street, spoke in support of Rogue Valley Roasting Company and submitted her written testimony for the record.
CHARLES CARREON, 1131 Barrington Circle, said at this late stage, there could be a claim asserted that to radically change the use in such a way that completely eliminates the current commercial value of the structure could constitute a "takings." He seconded the statement made by Corallo.
BARBARA HETLAND, 985 E. Main Street, lives five doors down from the Roasting Company. When you move next door to a coffee shop, you don't complain about the people that buy coffee.
SCOTT CULLY, 461 Parkside Drive, believes there was a lot of evidence there has not been a change in use.
CARLA PRICE, 78 Lincoln Street, echoed what others have said. She is concerned if the coffee house can't stay, would it be another duplex or apartment. They wouldn't close their doors at 6:00 or 7:00 at night.
JOHN GAFFEY, 637 Oak Street, said he hoped the Commission would have voted by now that the window of opportunity is closed. If they find this use is not compatible, they might as well ignore the Comprehensive Plan.
Fields read remarks from BETSY BISHOP, 280 Normal Avenue, into the record in support of the Roasting Company.
Fields read remarks from MICAELA BISHOP, 280 Normal Avenue, into the record in support of the Roasting Company.
CATE HARTZELL, 881 E. Main Street, asked the Commission to ask Staff what criteria they should use in determining change of use. She presented a memo today providing some instructional information such as what kind of parking is required for restaurants. It is different than that of a grocery store. This started as a neighborhood store. When patrons frequent a grocery store, they go in and get what they need and leave. At the Roasting Company they park early, double park, park all day or stay for hours at a time. It is multi-purpose.
Rebuttal - Harper said Hartzell's remarks addressed impacts, not change of use. There is no decision in front of them that can be legally addressed. If they get to reassessing a change of use by looking back eleven years ago, the only evidence in the record is the testimony of those who are familiar with the grocery and Staff's comment that they probably would have approved it as a same use even then.
Staff Response - None.
COMMISSIONERS' DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Stromberg moved to deliberate at the start of the study session in two weeks. There was no second and the motion died.
Fields called for the question. Stromberg said some of the members want to have a discussion. Fields asked for a vote on whether to call for the question. Roll Call: KenCairn, Douma, Dawkins, Dotterrer, Fields and Morris voted "yes" and Stromberg and Black voted "no." The motion carried.
KenCairn/Dotterrer m/s to support the appellant because there was found to be no change of use. Roll Call: KenCairn, Douma, Dawkins, Dotterrer, Fields and Morris voted "yes" and Stromberg and Black voted "no." The motion carried.
PLANNING ACTION 2005-000964
APPLICANT: CITY OF ASHLAND
DESCRIPTION: REQUEST FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDMENT TO THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OPTION, CHAPTER 18.88 OF THE ASHLAND MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO CONSERVATION DENSITY BONUS FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS.
This action will be continued to the September 13, 2005 Regular Meeting.
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Susan Yates, Executive Secretary