Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission

Tuesday, June 14, 2011




June 14, 2011



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

Pam Marsh

Debbie Miller

John Rinaldi, Jr.


Bill Molnar, Community Development Director

Derek Severson, Associate Planner

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor





Absent Members:


Council Liaison:

Melanie Mindlin


Russ Silbiger, absent



Commissioner Rinaldi noted the final meeting of the Economic Development Ad-Hoc Committee was held yesterday and they voted to advance the final Plan to the City Council. He provided a brief overview of the Plan’s elements and stated the City Council will discuss it at the June 20, 2011 Study Session. Commissioner Marsh requested the final plan be provided to the Planning Commission once it is approved by the Council.


Commissioner Miller stated she attended the June Historic Commission meeting and noted they are finishing up their work on the updated Historic District Design Standards. Mr. Molnar thanked Miller for bringing this up and stated the draft standards update would be presented to the Planning Commission at their June 28th Study Session. Miller noted she would absent from the June Study Session and would submit her comments to staff in advance of that meeting.


Community Development Director Bill Molnar noted the additional joint meetings that could be added to the Planning Commission’s schedule in order to finish up the Transportation System Plan update. He stated the next joint meeting with the Transportation Commission will be July 26, and they are proposing another joint meeting in August. He stated the draft Plan should be ready by November, and the formal public hearing has been tentatively scheduled for February, 2012.



A.      Approval of Minutes.

  1. May 10, 2011 Regular Meeting.

Commissioners Rinaldi/Miller m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0.



No one came forward.



A.      PLANNING ACTION: #2011-00397     

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 2234 Siskiyou Boulevard (accessed from Chitwood Lane)

APPLICANT: Groundworks Community Development Corp.

DESCRIPTION: A request for Outline and Final Plan review, and Site Review approval to construct a five-unit townhouse development under the Performance Standards Options Chapter (AMC 18.88) for the property located at 2234 Siskiyou Boulevard, also known as Chitwood Park. The applicants have also requested a Tree Removal Permit to remove three trees six-inches in diameter or greater at breast height; Exceptions to Street Standards to allow a dead-end street in excess of 500-feet in length, a private drive to serve five units, and a separation between driveways of less than 24 feet; and an Administrative Variance to the Site Design & Use Standards to allow a reduction in the separation and screening between residential units and parking areas.


Commissioner Marsh invited the Applicant to come forward.  


Kerry Kencairn/Applicant’s Representative/Announced they are withdrawing their application and provided a brief explanation as to why. Ms. Kencairn stated they tried to carry forth a project that was desired by the Housing Commission and City Council, and their intention was to create something that the community said they wanted. She noted the issues that have come up and stated because this is an affordable housing project they cannot afford the legal fees and time delays, and at this point they cannot afford to move forward.


Commissioner Marsh noted that a number of citizens had signed up to speak and asked if any of them would still like to come forward.  


Edward McBride/2241 Chitwood Ln/Requested confirmation that the Commission received his letter and pictures and that they would be included in the record. Marsh clarified the Commission did receive the materials submitted by Mr. McBride.


Matthew Terreri/2252 Chitwood Ln/Stated he is saddened that this project will not move forward and would have liked to seen something done with that land. He commented on the importance of doing a project right and getting the facts straight, and stated there were a lot of things that were not taken into consideration by the Applicant.



A.      Firewise Presentation

Firewise Communities Coordinator Ali True provided an overview of the City’s Firewise program.


Ms. True’s presentation covered:

  • General overview of the Firewise Communities program and concept
  • Fuel arrangement and fire behavior
  • Home ignition zone concept and defensible space zones
  • Basic concepts of Firewise landscaping, including fire-resistant plants and which fire-prone plants to avoid

Mr. True explained that by taking away the fuels, you can affect how a fire burns or whether it burns at all. She encouraged fire resistant landscaping and building materials, and stated involving planners in the landscape and construction design is an important factor of the Firewise program. She explained that by controlling the fuels within 100 ft to 200 ft of a home, you can impact how a fire burns; and in urban areas like Ashland this is often a shared responsibility between neighbors. Ms. True reviewed plantings that are fire-prone (including Junipers, Italian Cypress, and Rosemary), and suggested Firewise approved alternates that could be used instead, including those that are appropriate for privacy screening.


Ms. True clarified there are some communities in California that have mandated Firewise landscaping requirements; however, in Ashland participation is voluntary. She also clarified all of the City’s street trees are fire resistant.


Mr. Molnar asked about privacy screening for upper floors. Ms. True stated there are some tall, narrow tree varieties (such as Aspen and Maple) that tend to provide the same type of screening as Italian Cypress, but in a much safer way.


Ms. True commented on the outreach she performs. She stated she teaches a Fire Resistant Landscaping course to contractors, and it will be offered for nursery associations and local contractors through the OSU Extension office. She added it will also be offered by SOU and RCC as part of their credit program.


Commissioner Marsh thanked Ms. True for providing this presentation and recommended the Firewise Program information be handed out by staff to anyone who gets a building permit.



A.      TSP Joint Meeting Follow-up Discussion.

Commissioner Marsh commented on the TSP Subcommittee meeting she attended, and asked if the commissioners had any other TSP related items they wished to discuss.


Commissioner Blake commented on a commuting survey that was done at SOU regarding whether students would be supportive of a quarterly fee to cover bus passes; and whether they would be more likely to support this fee if there was better service. He stated there was a fair amount of support for this, however a bus pass fee would not be likely to pass until RVTD improves their connectivity.


Associate Planner Derek Severson noted the Census statistics that were reviewed by Senior Planner Brandon Goldman which showed that Ashland is less car-centric that any other metropolitan area in the State, including Portland.


Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor

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