Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

July 8, 2008

Commission Chair John Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.

Commissioners Present: -- Staff Present:
John Stromberg, Chair Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Michael Dawkins Angela Barry, Assistant Planner
Mike Morris April Lucas, Administrative Assistant
Debbie Miller
Michael Church
Pam Marsh
Melanie Mindlin
Tom Dimitre
Absent Members: Council Liaison:
Dave Dotterrer, excused Cate Hartzell, arrived at 8:20 p.m.

Commissioners Miller/Dimitre m/s to approve agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 8-0.


A. Approval of Minutes
1. June 10, 2008 Planning Commission Minutes.
2. June 24, 2008 Planning Commission Special Meeting Minutes.

Commissioners Church/Dimitre m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 8-0.

No one came forward to speak.


A. PLANNING ACTION: 2008-00359
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 265 North Main Street
APPLICANT: Lithia Arts Guild
DESCRIPTION: Request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow a portion of the former Briscoe Elementary School building and the surrounding grounds to be used for individual artists' workspaces and community events. The application requests permanent approval for a yearly event that was previously approved on a temporary basis. The applicant is requesting to host 11 additional events per year in addition to the previously approved event. The application also includes a Type II Variance to parking to allow the parking for events to be off-site in the adjacent neighborhood. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Low Density Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: R-2; ASSESSOR'S MAP #: 39 1E 05 DD; TAX LOT: 2500

Stromberg read aloud the public hearing procedures for land use hearings.

Declaration of Ex Parte Contact
Commissioners Miller, Morris, Marsh, Dimitre, Church, Mindlin, Dawkins and Stromberg all reported no ex parte contact.

Staff Report
Assistant Planner Angela Barry provided a brief overview of the application and clarified the applicant has requested the public hearing be re-opened in order to submit new conditions that respond to the concerns expressed at the last hearing. The new conditions submitted by the applicant were summarized as the following:

1) The annual outdoor events would be limited to the Midsummers Dream event, the First Nations Day event, and a maximum of two other one-day events.
2) The Midsummers Dream event would be permitted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Sound amplification at this event will not exceed 95 decibels between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and 75 decibels between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. A sound technician will be required to be present to ensure the event complies with these requirements.
3) Sound amplification at the First Nations Day will be limited to single speakers and will not be audible more than 250 ft. from the site. There will be no amplification of music or drumming.
4) The two, one-day events will be limited to a maximum of 350 attendees, the events will conclude at 6 p.m., and there will be no sound amplification or drumming permitted.
5) Indoor events open to the public will be limited to a maximum of 5 weekend events and 12 evening events per year.
6) The Guild will deliver notice to each residence within two blocks of the site 60 days prior to the Midsummer s Dream and First Nations Day events, along with notice that the Guild will provide traffic barricades, upon request, to those residents who wish to protect the parking spaces in front of their homes.
7) The Guild will arrange for traffic and parking direction during the Midsummers Dream and First Nations Day events.

Ms. Barry recommended Condition 6 proposed by the applicant be amended to read "The Guild will provide traffic barricades, upon request, to residents who wish to protect their driveway entrances. Barricades shall not be used to block on-street parking." She also recommended the following language be added to Condition 7, "The applicant shall submit a traffic control plan for review and approval by the Ashland Engineering Department prior to implementing any traffic control measures on City of Ashland public right-of-ways. All traffic control measures are subject to City of Ashland standards and must be according to the approved traffic control plan." Ms. Barry noted the applicant has requested permanent approval, and if the Commission feels this is appropriate, they should strike Condition 9. Mr. Molnar clarified if they are granted permanent approval, and the applicant wished to add an event, that would be considered a modification to the CUP and it would have to come back before the Planning Commission.

Applicants Presentation
Jim Young/1102 Holton Rd, Talent/Chair of the Lithia Arts Guild/Commented on the work that was done following the public hearing to reach an agreement with the concerned neighbors. He commented on their relationship with the Methodist Church and clarified the church has not expressed any concerns with them starting at 11 a.m. on Sundays. Mr. Young noted the condition regulating decibel levels and explained these were determined after observing the levels at this year's Midsummers Dream event. He commented briefly on possible traffic control measures and gave an example of how fencing is used at the Saturday markets in Eugene. Mr. Young noted their request for permanent approval and stated they would prefer to not have to come back annually. He reminded the Commission of the Guild's relationships with the School Board and the Methodist Church, and recommended they not be required to draw up a formal parking agreement with the church.

Public Testimony
Bev Thurston/103 S. Laurel/Noted she lives directly across the street from the site and stated they have worked very hard to reach this agreement and find solutions that will work for the whole neighborhood. She noted they were able to gather decibel measurements at the recent Midsummers Dream event and explained the sound technician used a meter to gather this information. Ms. Thurston commented on the 60 day noticing requirement and stated this would provide neighbors adequate notice if they wished to go out of town. She stated a traffic control plan is a wonderful idea and voiced her support for granting permanent approval, so long as the applicant complies with the conditions.

Rebuttal by the Applicant
Jim Young/Stated they are willing to develop the traffic control plan recommended by staff, and thanked the Briscoe neighborhood for hosting these events.

Stromberg announced the public hearing and the record were now closed.

Deliberations and Decision

Commissioners Church/Dawkins m/s to approve PA 2008-00359, 265 North Main Street, with the staff recommended condition corrections. DISCUSSION: Dawkins suggested modifying Condition 10 to state if the church issues a complaint about the parking situation, this would trigger a violation of the CUP. Stromberg questioned to how to structure the condition to make this enforceable. Marsh noted there is letter of cooperation in the record from the church, and suggested the condition state "should the church rescind their letter of cooperation, it will trigger a review of the application" or something similar. Mindlin recommended they eliminate Condition 9 regarding periodic review of the CUP. Marsh suggested they strike Condition 13 and rewrite Condition 6 to read, "The Guild will deliver a notice to each residence within the parking impact area, at least 30 days prior to the Midsummers Dream event and at least 30 days prior to the First Nations Day event…" Morris asked if the Guild could distribute an annual events calendar to the neighborhood to satisfy this condition. Comment was made voicing support for the 60 day notification timeline brought forward by the applicant. The Commission briefly discussed the remainder of Condition 6 which addresses traffic barricades. Suggestion was made to amend this language to read, "…the Guild will provide traffic barricades, upon request, to residents within 2 blocks of the site …" Dawkins questioned Condition 11 regarding the placement of temporary fencing. Staff clarified the Commission could eliminate the language addressing the placement of the fencing and rely on the traffic control plan listed in Condition 7. Ms. Barry summarized the changes recommended by the Commission and clarified the conditions would be amended as follows:

1) Condition 6 will read, "The Guild will deliver a notice to each residence within the parking impact area, at least 30 days prior to the Midsummers Dream event and at least 30 days prior to the First Nations Day event, of the days and hours of such event, together with a notice that the Guild will provide traffic barricades, upon request, to residents within 2 block of the site who wish to protect their driveway entrances. Barricades shall not be used to block on-street parking."
2) Condition 9 will be eliminated.
3) Condition 10 will read, "If the Methodists Church revokes its agreement to cooperate with The Guild to share its parking area, the application will be subject to review."
4) Condition 11 will read, "If the temporary fencing proposed by the applicant as a pedestrian safety measure is used, it shall be installed not more than 24 hours prior to the event and be removed within 24 hours of the end of the event."
5) Condition 13 will be eliminated.

Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Dawkins, Mindlin, Church, Miller, Morris, Dimitre, Stromberg and Marsh, all AYES. Motion passed 8-0.


A. Update on Water Resources Ordinance: Field Trips and Responses to Issues.
Stromberg noted some of the commissioners attended the field trip organized by staff and stated the group visited several sites that would be impacted by the Water Resources Ordinance. He asked those that attended the field trip to share their thoughts and observations.

Dawkins commented that a building envelope as close 10 ft. could be problematic, and observed that the TID was responsible for the creeks at the Peachy Street and Tolman Creek properties they visited. He expressed concern with not allowing people to mechanically weed their property and voiced his appreciation to owners who have enhanced their creekside areas.

Mindlin noted that some of the improvements they observed would not be allowed under the proposed ordinance. She commented on the plants at the Helman and Paradise properties and noted these owners tried to work with native plants for a long time before switching to other plants.

Church stated he received conflicting data on whether native plants would work. He commented that a 10 ft. setback from the bank was too small and stated there are conflicting standards between what private parties can do compared to public agencies. He stated the public agencies will have to live by the same rules or no one will take this ordinance seriously.

Miller commented on the need to educate people on what the problem is and why the ordinance is necessary.

Council Liaison Hartzell arrived at 8:20 p.m.

Stromberg noted one of the property owner's suggestion to measure from the center of the stream, rather than top of bank. He questioned how this ordinance would be enforced and how to apply the regulations to everyone. He added the Commission will need to consider how this ordinance will affect properties such as the Water Street Inn and Lithia Park.

B. Sustainability Planning: Initial Steps
Stromberg noted Mindlin, Dawkins, Dimitre and himself have been talking about formulating an agenda item for the next Study Session. He recommended they start this process by establishing an inventory of what is going on with sustainability in the community. Marsh recommended they check with the League of Cities to see if they have some of this information. Stromberg requested the commissioners submit any ideas or information they have to him.
C. Update on Water Resources Ordinance: Field Trips and Responses to Issues. (Continued)
Comment was made questioning where the Commission was in this process and what the next steps are. Mr. Molnar stated the Water Resources Ordinance would likely come back to the Commission at the July Study Session. He noted the Commission has not had the opportunity to really discuss the proposed ordinance and stated staff would like the Commission to move into more formal deliberations.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Lucas, Administrative Assistant


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