Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission

Tuesday, February 23, 2010





February 23, 2010



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


Commissioners Present:


Staff Present:

Larry Blake

Michael Dawkins

Dave Dotterrer

Pam Marsh

Debbie Miller

Melanie Mindlin

Mike Morris

John Rinaldi, Jr.


Bill Molnar, Community Development Director

Maria Harris, Planning Manager

Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner

Richard Appicello, City Attorney

April Lucas, Administrative Assistant





Absent Members:


Council Liaison:



Eric Navickas, absent



Commissioner Marsh announced the vacancy on the Planning Commission and encouraged interested citizens to submit applications to the Mayor’s Office. She also reminded the Commission the March Study Session has been moved to March 30, 2010.



A.      Approval of Minutes.

1.  February 9, 2010 Planning Commission Minutes.


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



No one came forward to speak.



A.      PLANNING ACTION: #2009-01292
APPLICANT: City of Ashland
DESCRIPTION: A request to amend the Ashland Land Use Ordinance (ALUO) creating a new Chapter 18.53 Croman Mill, to amend the multiple chapters of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to provide consistency with the new Chapter 18.53 Croman Mill (ALUO 189.08, 18.12.020, 18.61.042, 18.68.050, 18.70.040, 18.72.030, 18.72.080, 18.72.110, 18.72.120, 18.72.140, 18.72.180, 18.84.100, 18.88.070, 18.106), to amend the Ashland Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map to include the Croman Mill District, and to adopt the Croman Mill Site Redevelopment Plan as a supporting document to the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Commissioner Marsh noted the two letters that were submitted by Mark DiRienzo and Marilyn Briggs. She stated these letters would be added to the record and officially closed the public record at 7:08 p.m.


Declaration of Ex Parte Contact

Commissioner Miller stated she was contacted by Marilyn Briggs. She informed Ms. Briggs that she could not speak to this issue and encouraged her to submit a letter. No ex parte contact was reported by any of the other commissioners.


Staff Report

Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a brief summary of the Staff Report Addendum included in the packet materials. She explained the report provides options to deal with the issues raised by ODOT, and stated staff is recommending making the ODOT maintenance yard a special permitted use. Ms. Harris stated this would make the yard a legitimate use, but once it goes away all that can go in there would be the previously defined uses. She stated staff is also recommending language that clarifies before the second phase of the central boulevard is built, the ODOT maintenance yard will need to be relocated. Ms. Harris noted ODOT has also recommended the City update the Transportation Analysis, and clarified this piece is in progress.


Ms. Harris noted the Staff Report includes sample motions and recommended the Commission make separate motions for each of the separate elements identified. She added the sample motion for 3(a) in regards to the East-West street orientation might be worded too strongly. She stated this is not an either or situation and the Commission could ask that the Council give this option further consideration.


Ms. Harris commented briefly on the issues raised by Mr. DiRienzo and stated staff does not believe either option that has been put forward would make his buildings non-conforming. She stated if he wanted to enlarge his buildings or needed to re-build them he could do so, but they would be subject to site review.  Ms. Harris also clarified the plaza space requirements referenced by Mr. DiRienzo only apply to large scale developments (10,000 sq. ft or greater or more than 100 ft. in length). She stated once you reach that size you are required to provide 1 sq. ft. of plaza area of every 10 sq. ft. of building.


Commissioner Mindlin expressed concern that the plan provides preferential treatment for ODOT. Ms. Harris responded that ODOT is in a unique position because all of the other existing buildings in the district could be allowed in the proposed zone, but the plan does not provide for ODOT’s public facilities maintenance yard. Community Development Director Bill Molnar noted he met with ODOT and they assured him of their support for the plan and their desire to find a replacement location. He stated ODOT’s concern is they do not want to be zoned out until they can find a suitable replacement for their operations. Commissioner Mindlin noted the proposed language revision in response to ODOT’s concern about the easements and restated her concern regarding preferential treatment. Staff indicated the proposed language change is more consistent with what has been presented and intended this whole time. Senior Planner Brandon Goldman noted all of the needed easements would be contingent on both parties being agreeable. Ms. Harris stated she does not believe this language treats ODOT differently and stated if the Commission is uncomfortable with the proposed wording, staff is open to any suggestions they may have.


Upon request, staff responded to the assertions made in Mr. DiRienzo’s letter. Item 1) Clarified staff is recommending Mr. DiRienzo’s property retain its M-1 zoning designation. Item 2a) Clarified Modern Fan’s newest addition is .45 FAR, which conforms to the requirements in the Detail Site Review zone. Item 2b) Noted the plaza space requirements have already been listed. Item 2c) Clarified in the Detail Site Review zone, only structures over 10,000 sq. ft. would be a Type II planning action; anything smaller than 10,000 sq. ft. is still a Type I. And Item 2d) Clarified Mr. DiRienzo could replace his buildings if they are damaged.


Ms. Harris explained staff believes the proposed distillery on Mr. DiRienzo’s property could still be built if the property goes into the Detail Site Review zone. She stated the distillery’s FAR is within the required range and clarified the public requirement would apply, however the approved plans did have some public space included and this would count towards that requirement. Ms. Harris noted the Detail Site Review standards currently apply in the downtown area, as well as along all of the City’s main corridors.


Commissioner Rinaldi stated he does not agree with the assertion that changing the M-1 zoning designation removes this type of land from the City’s inventory, and stated many of the industrial uses would still be allowed. Ms. Harris agreed and stated a lot of what people think about when they hear industrial uses are still allowed; what has been removed is the land intensive, low employment uses (such as junk yards and concrete/asphalt batch plants,)


Staff provided a brief explanation about advanced financing districts and clarified the adoption of the Croman plan does not obligate Ashland residents to pay for the street installation and infrastructure. The improvements identified for Mistletoe Road during Phase 1 were identified, and staff clarified the updated Traffic Analysis will look at traffic flows on Mistletoe.


Commissioner Marsh recommended the Commission move forward with their recommendations. She noted page 11 of the Staff Report lists sample motions and opened the floor to motions.


Commissioners Morris/Rinaldi m/s to recommend approval of the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map amendments to revise the Comprehensive Plan Map designations of Industrial, Employment and Single-Family Residential to the Croman Mill District, and revise the Zoning Map designations of M-1 Industrial, E-1 Employment and R-1 Single Family to CM Croman Mill including the Compatible Industrial (CI), Mixed Use (MU), Neighborhood Center (NC), Office Employment (OE) and Open Space (OS) zoning overlays with amendments as follows:

a)       Include the Mixed Use zoning overlay (CM-MU) in the Zoning Map amendment;

b)      Retain the M-1 Industrial zoning for the properties at 650-750 Mistletoe Road, have the Comprehensive Plan designation amended from Industrial to Croman Mill, and include the portion of the site adjacent to the street in the Detail Site Review zone;

c)       Extend the Croman Mill District to the properties that are currently outside the city limits, but within the UGB, with an underlying Mixed Use zoning designation should they choose to annex.  

DISCUSSION: The commissioners shared their preferences in regards to whether the property on Mistletoe Road should be included in the Detail Site Review zone. Commissioners Blake and Morris voiced their support for including this property in the Detail Site Review zone; Dotterrer stated he does not believe it should be included. Morris recommended it be it included to protect the area in case the property is sold and someone else wants to develop it. Marsh voiced her support for the motion and commented on how well designed the buildings along Washington Street are. She stated she is convinced the Detail Site Review zone will have a big difference and does not believe it will be that onerous. Dotterrer voiced his support for including the Mixed Use Zoning Overlay and noted these areas are located next to the existing neighborhoods. Miller voiced her opposition to the inclusion of the Overlay and stated she would prefer to see more opportunities for Compatible Industrial uses. Regarding (c) Mindlin stated she feels strongly that by rezoning it they are sending a message to future applicants that this is what the City’s wants, and stated this option was not really discussed or put up for public input. Mindlin recommended they leave this property in its existing zoning and Commissioner Miller agreed. Mr. Molnar explained if they leave this area in its current designation, when an annexation request comes forward it will be for the currently identified E-1 Employment Zone, which receives basic site review. He added the annexation applicants could request a plan designation amendment, but this adds complexity to the process and is often not what people want to do when they are requesting annexation. The Commission talked about this further and received further clarification from staff. Mr. Molnar stated if the property is identified as part of the Croman Mill District, when the annexation requests comes forward there may be a possibility for the Mixed Use designation to be changed to one of the other two Croman designations. Ms. Harris noted the open space protections would not apply if the property is not included in the Croman Mill District, and explained as proposed, the property would come in as Croman Mill Mixed Use, which is very flexible and allows for compatible industrial, office employment, and the option for residential uses on upper floors. Senior Planner Brandon Goldman added that the City does not have a zone comparable to the property’s current RR-5 designation, and to keep this property as County RR-5 in perpetuity would require redrawing the Urban Growth Boundary to no longer consider this area urbanizable. Marsh restated the motion on the floor.

Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Rinaldi, Miller, Dotterrer, Blake, Morris, and Marsh, YES. Commissioners Dawkins and Mindlin, NO. Motion passed 6-2.


Commissioner Marsh noted the second sample motion put forward in the Staff Report and listed their options.  


Commissioners Dotterrer/Miller m/s to recommend approval of adding a new Chapter 18.53 CM to the Ashland Municipal Code, with amendments as follows:

a)       Revise the Major Amendment section 18.53.020.B.1 to clarify the distinction between a major and minor amendment as it relates to the changes to street or other transportation facilities as described on page 11 of the February 3, 2010 staff memo;

b)      Add the manufacture of food products to the Office Employment (OE) zone as a special permitted use.

DISCUSSION: Commissioner Miller voiced her support for the manufacture of food products to be included. Dotterrer also voiced his support and stated this will provide more options for people who want to develop in this area.

Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Dotterrer, Blake, Marsh, Miller, Morris, and Rinaldi, YES. Commissioners Mindlin and Dawkins, NO. Motion passed 6-2.


Commissioner Marsh noted their options for motion 3 and recommended the group work through their options before a motion is made.


Item 3(a): Should the street orientation follow the framework in the proposed Croman Mil District Implementation Plan, or should the streets and zoning overlays be adjusted to the East-West street orientation?


Commissioner Marsh noted they do not have to choose tonight and can recommend that the Council consider the East-West alternative. Mr. Goldman clarified the East-West option results in a slight reduction of Compatible Industrial lands (1.3 acres), and a slight increase in Mixed Use and Office Employment. Blake stated if there is no significant loss of acreage for the various uses, they should recommend the Council pursue the East-West orientation. He stated the 45° layout is a bad way to start out, and unless you have flat roofs on the buildings this is bad planning. Rinaldi voiced his support for recommending the East-West layout. Morris stated he is not a big fan of the East-West layout and is concerned the buildings will get too hot. He stated he is not sure the revisions that would be needed to the streets are worth the gain in solar savings. Mindlin voiced her support for the East-West orientation and stated they know for sure this will increase the possibilities for solar and believes they should lay the groundwork to make it possible for future owners to achieve solar savings.


Item 3(b): Should an alternative location for the northern section of Phase II of the central boulevard as shown in the East-West Alternative Option map be included as a potential option?


Commissioner Dotterrer recommended they leave the options as wide open as possible. Miller stated she does not think they should recommend anything since it will be a long while before Phase II happens and they can not anticipate what will change. Marsh clarified this is what is proposed and they are leaving all options on the table. She clarified they are essentially putting forward two conceptual ideas that will be need to evaluated when Phase II is designed.


Item 3(c): Should the onsite surface parking limitation be revised so that a higher percentage of the required off-street parking can be constructed as surface parking on the site until a parking management plan is established for the Croman Mill District, and retaining the 50% maximum once the management plan is in place?


Commissioner Rinaldi asked if a development put in their own off-street parking, would they be relieved from any future obligation that comes out of the parking management plan? Ms. Harris clarified the original concept was to have a system set up so that in lieu of putting in parking spaces, a developer could contribute to the funding of the shared parking structure. She added if a developer is able to put in their own parking, they will not have to pay for the parking structure as well. Marsh asked if the Commission would be willing to recommend the parking management plan address alternative options that limit vehicle traffic on the site. General support was voiced for this. Miller stated she hopes the City will be flexible in how many spaces they require.


Item 3(d): Should the Green Development Standards (VIII-C-8 through VIII-C-11) be combined to provide a menu of items the applicant could choose from?


Ms. Harris provided a summary of this issue. She explained these items were previously listed under one standard and they were recommended, not required. Through the Planning Commission’s discussions, staff revised the language to make these requirements. Blake stated he would like for these four items to be mandatory; however he wants to be sensitive to concerns raised regarding the costs of property development. He also commented that there may be some internal inconsistencies and stated if the final plan includes the original 45° street layout, there will be two west sides and two east sides for each building. He explained the way the building shading and solar orientation standards are worded assumes the buildings are oriented north-east-south-west. He stated there may be some logic to using the menu approach and giving the developer more latitude. Mindlin stated she is in favor of leaving this as a list of requirements, however she noted the standards do not specify how much or to what degree. Mr. Molnar commented that by not specifying this it provides some flexibility. Dotterrer suggested they add the language “to the extent practical” to clarify the intent. Mindlin noted this does not mean to the extent practical financially. Morris stated these are too ambiguous to be requirements, and if they make this a standard they need to quantify them. Marsh stated she does not support the menu approach and felt they should make these either requirements or recommendations. General support was voiced for recommending these as standards, but asking the Council to refine them further.  


Item 3(e): Should the Green Building Bonus standard be revised to reduce or delete the performance bond and penalty amounts?


Commissioner Marsh noted their options and general support was voiced for deleting the performance bond and penalty amounts. It was noted the City could reinstate this language if abuse becomes an issue.


Commissioners Dotterrer/Morris m/s to recommend approval of adding a new Section VIII – Croman Mill District Standards to the Site Design and Use Standards, with amendments noted as follows:

a)       Strongly recommend the East-West street orientation as shown on the East-West Alternative Option Map included in the January 12, 2010 Planning Commission packet materials;

b)      For the alternative location of the northern section of Phase II of the central boulevard as shown in the East-West Alternative Option Map be included as an option.

c)       For the on-site surface parking limitation (Standard VIII-B-3.2) be revised so that a higher percentage of the required off-street parking can be constructed as surface parking on site until a parking management plan is established for the Croman Mill District, and retaining the 50% maximum once the parking management plan is in place; and for the management plan to consider multi-modal options and the possible phasing of parking requirements;

d)      To strongly endorse the Green Development Standards VIII-C-8 through VIII-C-11 and ask that the standards are recommendations, but for the Council to look into making these more specific and required standards;

e)       Delete the performance bond and penalty amounts from the Green Building Bonus standard VIII-C-13.1.

Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Morris, Blake, Rinaldi, Miller, Marsh, and Dotterrer, YES. Commissioners Mindlin and Dawkins, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


The Commission moved onto the final motions outlined in the Staff Report.


Commissioners Morris/Dotterrer m/s to recommend approval of revisions of various sections of Chapter 18 to provide consistency with Chapter 18.53 Croman Mill. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Blake, Dotterrer, Marsh, Miller, Morris, and Rinaldi, YES. Commissioners Dawkins and Mindlin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


Commissioners Dotterrer/Rinaldi m/s to recommend approval of adopting the Croman Mill Site Redevelopment Plan as a supporting document to the Ashland Comprehensive Plan. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Miller, Rinaldi, Dotterrer, Blake, Morris, and Marsh, YES. Commissioners Mindlin and Dawkins, NO. Motion passed 4-2.


Ms. Harris noted the final decision that needs to be made regarding the suggestions brought forward by staff to deal with the ODOT concerns.


Commissioners Dotterrer/Blake m/s to amend the Commission’s recommendation to the Council for AMC 18.53.040.B and Croman Mill District Standard VIII-A-1.2 as outlined in pages 3 and 4 of the February 23, 2010 Staff Report Addendum. DISCUSSION: Commissioner Miller voiced her opposition to the realignment of Grizzly Drive and Tolman Creek Road which is identified as a requirement for Phase II in Section VII-A-1.2. Marsh clarified the Commission has acknowledged that Phase II of the central boulevard is going to have to undergo significant planning and design. Suggestion was made to amend the language to read, “Consideration of the realignment of Grizzly Drive and Tolman Creek Road.” Commissioner Dotterrer amended his motion to include this clarification and Blake agreed. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Dotterrer, Blake, Marsh, Miller, Morris and Rinaldi, YES. Commissioners Dawkins and Mindlin, NO. Motion passed 6-2.


Commissioner Marsh announced this item will go before the Council on April 6, 2010 and encouraged members of the public to share their input with the City Council. Marsh commented on the possibility of a minority report and noted the procedures for this to occur. She noted any minority report will need to be presented to the full Commission and they will need to vote on whether to forward it along with their recommendations.


Commissioner Dawkins shared his frustrations. He stated the primary issues he raised were never discussed and he believes the process was totally flawed.

The Commissioners commented briefly on the possibility of a minority report and shared their thoughts. Marsh indicated if a minority report is prepared, it will need to be submitted to the Planning Commission at their next meeting on March 9, 2010.


Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

April Lucas, Administrative Assistant

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