Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Hearings Board

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008

CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order at 1:35 p.m. by Chair John Stromberg at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main Street, Ashland, OR.

Commissioners Present: - Council Liaison:
John Stromberg Cate Hartzell, absent
Mick Church
Absent Members: Staff Present:
Tom Dimitre Derek Severson, Associate Planner
Adam Hanks, Permit Center Manager
Angela Barry, Assistant Planner
Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Hearings Board Minutes of April 8, 2008 to be approved at the Planning Commission meeting this evening.

APPLICANT: Brammo Motorsports, LLC
DESCRIPTION: Request for a Minor Land Partition for a property located on Jefferson Ave. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Industrial & Employment; ZONING: M-1 & E-1; ASSESSOR'S MAP #: 39 1E 14A; TAX LOT: 1104.

This action stands approved.

APPLICANT: Melanie Mindlin
DESCRIPTION: Request for a Lot Line Adjustment and a Conditional Use Permit to allow the structural alteration and intensification of use of an existing non-conforming structure for the properties located at 1338 Seena Lane. An existing shed is located approximately three feet from the east property line of Tax Lot 400. With the proposed Lot Line Adjustment the shed and an attached studio are to be converted to the primary residence on Tax Lot 408, and as part of a primary residence the shed's existing three foot setback becomes non-conforming. The required side yard setback for a primary residence is six feet. The shed portion of the building is to remain as unheated space, and is not proposed to be remodeled. An 80-square foot bathroom and kitchen addition will be made to the existing 528-square foot studio; the existing studio and the proposed addition comply with required setbacks.

This action stands approved.

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 489 Russell Street
DESCRIPTION: Request for Site Review approval for a two-story, mixed use building located at 489 Russell St., comprised of office space on the ground floor and two residential units on the second floor. The proposed building is approximately 5,579 square feet in size. The property is located in the Detail Site Review Zone.

This action stands approved.

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 215 Fourth Street
APPLICANT: Ashley Jensen
DESCRIPTION: Request for a Conditional Use Permit to operate a private dance school and for a Variance to the required number of parking spaces and a Variance to the required proximity for offsite parking for a property located at 215 Fourth Street.

Ex Parte Contact/Bias/Conflict of Interest/Site Visit - No one took part in any exparte contacts. Both Stromberg and Church have driven by the property though neither did a specific site visit.

Barry stated that the Board needs to establish if the requested variance is a unique or unusual circumstance as well as establish that the negative impacts would not be more then the positive. Key question is: Are the benefits of the Dance Studio in proportion to the impact of having the variance for the parking be farther then 200 feet away? Barry acknowledged that staff believes it is a reasonable walking distance to assume that people would actually use the parking lot.

Church asked with the conversion from Residential Use to Commercial Use "What's the applicant's reason to replace the units," he assumed that the residential is less profitable. Church inquired from Barry if they had done other variances in this area for distance. Barry confirmed there had been a number of parking variances in the area and because it's in the Historic District up to a fifty percent variance on the required parking could be processed administratively.

Stromberg confirmed that the applicants are ten short of the required thirteen parking spaces. Barry explained that they are legal nonconforming because they already had a Commercial Use on that site prior to the City's Land Use requirements. Barry said because they are intensifying the use of the building it triggered a variance. The daytime use is not changing and for the parking in the evening they are providing a separate parking lot. (Dance Studio)

Because the parking contract is revocable Stromberg asked what would happen if they are in case of revocation? Barry stated that their Conditional Use Permit would no longer be valid and the contract states that they have to notify the City. This is a legal agreement which will be recorded with the property deed.

Stromberg questioned whether customers would be content walking from the parking lot in rainy or inclement weather. Barry commented that it is the applicant's burden of proof to show that it's a reasonable distance away.

The Historic Commission had a suggestion. Barry said they would like it if the use would be able to revert back to apartments at a later date without going back through a Planning Action. Barry believes that procedurally this might not be realistic.

Kerry KenCairn, 147 Central, explained that currently in the building with the six apartments upstairs and Commercial Uses downstairs 16 spaces would technically be required. The proposal for daytime use will actually reduce the number of parking spaces used during the day because the intensification is strictly for the night time use. This building has been operating at actually intensified daytime use for years and they will not have an impact on that in any negative way said Ms. Ken Cairn. They do not feel there is a lack of parking on Fourth Street during the day.

Ashley Jensen, 153 Fork Street, stated that currently she is holding classes at the Community Center across from Lithia Park. At the time they use the Center it is high volume at the park and they are not having a problem with people attending even though there appears to be very little parking. Ms. Jensen said many of her customers walk to the class.

SUSAN SPRINGER, 19 Gresham St, shared her support for the building and feels like it is a vast improvement to the building in the area. Ms. Springer does not see a parking issue and believes this is a great addition to the neighborhood.

SHANKARA GLASSFORD, 537 C Street had lived in the building for a long time and is glad to see it getting repaired. Mr. Glassford acknowledged when he lived there he didn't have a hard time parking. Mr. Glassford stated he did not have a difficult time finding a new rental and pays only twenty-five dollars more a month in rent at his current residence.

Severson had a request from Bill Molnar, City Community Development Director, asking for a planning condition that standard tree grates be added.

Ms. Jensen and Ms. KenCairn agree that the existing tree grates are not safe and they are ok with replacing them.

Stromberg said his main concern is that the whole area needs to have the parking concept rethought in the Historic District. The Historic Districts parking does not fit our parking requirements though it seems to function very well and could possibly function even better commented Stromberg. Stromberg said perhaps next month when the Planning Commission is figuring out what to work on next year this might be something to address.

Church/Stromberg m/s to approve the two Variances and the CUP with the additional condition, number nine: Prior to Certificate of Occupancy standard tree grates meeting engineering specifications be installed, inspected and approved by the Staff Advisor.

Roll Call: The motion carried with Church and Stromberg voting yes.

Findings for 214 Fourth Street will be ready to sign at next months meeting.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 2:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk



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