Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013
Vice Chair Michael Dawkins called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.

Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Tracy Peddicord
Troy J. Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Richard Kaplan
Debbie Miller (recused self from discussion)
Carol Davis
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
Derek Severson, Associate Planner
Dawn Lamb
Absent Members: Melanie Mindlin   Council Liaison: Mike Morris
Commission welcomes Carol Davis to the Planning Commission.
Dawkins described the objective of the planning process for the Normal Avenue Neighborhood Plan.  The hope is to have developers follow a plan that has been discussed by the community and for staff to form a functional neighborhood.  This is a tried and true process that has happened for decades within Ashland.  Dawkins has asked Molnar to describe and give examples of other areas with similar density to help establish an idea of what is being discussed. 
Molnar commented that the area near Clay Street has developed over the last 25 years.  Three or four developments were ultimately annexed over the last 24 years.  The densities ranged from 9 to 13 units per acre.  As we plodded through the projects there was sentiment on what the broader plan for the area would be.  We have adjusted the plan to reflect the want and need for the area's objective.  Looking at Normal with the property owners will help us set expectations for the natural areas, the types of houses and to provide diverse options for movement.  This is a great opportunity to look at the area comprehensively rather than reacting to an annexation.  But nothing will happen until a developer wants to make an application. 
Goldman spoke to the last meeting on April 9th.  Staff worked with Transportation Growth Management Program, the state agency funding consultant in order to amend the prior scope of work to incorporate another iteration of the plan. Joseph Readdy, ERB Works is here tonight and has been working on the plan since the inception.  We will go over the incorporated revisions.  Areas that need to be further evaluated in the revised concept plan include the redistribution of housing within the plan area, identification of transitional standards, housing in the plan area, and how it relates to existing development on the perimeter.   Additionally, staff will look at the potential use of open space to provide pedestrian connectivity and development standards that address the retention of storm water and preserve the areas hydrology.  Density will be discussed to clarify zones in terms of single dwelling or multi-dwelling housing types.  We want input from both public and commission to further refine the plan.  The next revision will be the conclusion of work with the consultant.
Joseph Readdy addressed the commission.  The first steps identified in the plan were to look at area in terms of ingress and egress and to identify border areas that are affected by the 94 acres.  Readdy identified border vacuums which are areas that separate neighborhoods from neighborhoods, districts from districts, access restrictions to destinations.  Because of physical constraints of the Middle School, rail line, playfields, and cemetery access is inhibited.  This only allows 3 ways in and out of the site. This access has been a key characteristic in forming a plan.  One other aspect was wetlands.  The wetland inventory indicated the middle wetland was of lower value but we wanted to keep the hydrology and natural qualities offered by this middle wetland.  Those areas have been carefully considered and respected.
Despite access issues we wanted to create a street network integrating all the parcels to the largest extent possible while preserving some of the characteristics that people really enjoy.  The future Normal Avenue runs straight across the site, but the new street plan introduces an inflection to the east and it bends.  The current Normal will not be the primary way through the site.  We designed a network to local access and not for getting traffic through.  We prioritized destination over long distances. The number of street crossings has been minimized.  There are only two possible street crossings; Cemetery Creek at the north and one at the south.  But connectivity exists for pedestrians and bikes.  The streets identified are collectors from north to south, neighborhood streets, and woonerf, "a shared space" where pedestrians, bicyclists and cars all occupy the same surface areas of road.  Also proposed rear lanes and alleys throughout the plan allows access to backyards.  These are pedestrian and bike friendly.  Pedestrian and bicycle paths are connected in the network.  In terms of transportation, we have been successful with making it work with what has been offered. 
Zoning had two major designations identified in the comprehensive plan.  We came up with 3 levels of intensity in development which are appropriate for this site based off of access connection, what is there now, and what might possibly be there.  We believe that this is a reflection of what we heard from the public during the charettes and study sessions.  It incorporates messages received in the interim.  The plan was redrawn as of last week to incorporate comments. 
Goldman discussed housing designations and density.  Each plan area designated is permissible.  The most familiar, the single-family with a garage, is permissible in the NA-01 and NA-02.  Single-family dwelling with an accessory residential unit is also permitted in the NA-01 and NA-02.  ADUs are accessed off the back and half the size of the primary dwelling.  This is a gentle way of adding density in neighborhoods without changing the character.  Double dwelling or duplexes have the same mass and scale as one single-family unit and are allowable in the NA-01 and NA-02.  Cluster dwelling and pocket neighborhoods are compact dwelling units around the perimeter of property surrounded by open green area.  The distinction between this and what you see in the multi-family housing developments is that the cluster residents units could be zero lot line.  Each unit is owned or rented by an individual.  The complexes have consolidated parking in one area of the site.  The footprint is typically around 1000 sq ft.  Attached dwellings that share a common wall like townhomes offer another form of density.  Parking is provided on each lot or townhome off a rear alley, permissible in the NA-02 and NA-03 zones.  Opportunities could be expanded to other zones if the commission agreed.  It could help to consolidate the open space.  Multiple-dwellings in residential units like row houses or apartments. Six combined units in one building with consolidated parking and shared surface parking area.  Parking needs to be in rear or side of building per building standards.  Goldman showed images of each type of developments discussed to provide examples of density.  The high-density zone [NA-03] had been conceived at a density of  20 units per acre, hoever it has since been reduced to 15 dwelling units per acre and still achieve the overall targen number of units per acre for the plan area. 
Goldman discussed project goals provided at the project initiation including an objective to increase the efficiency of land use by a concentration of housing centrally located within the existing UGB.  Forming a development pattern of multi-modal transportation systems that enhances bicycle and pedestrian access both through and to the area.  Opportunities for transit will be responsive to future need.  The need has to exist to make a probable route.  It came up during a planning commission meeting that there wasnít a neighbor serving commercial center within a ľ-mile radius of the plan area.  One project objective envisions home occupations, and neighborhood serving businesses such as a coffee shop or neighborhood market. 
Dawkins asked to discuss the pocket neighborhood.  Readdy illustrated an example showing a 0.6-acre lot with 10 units.  Goldman commented that the density in Budís Dairy is 9 units per acre, additionally Creek Drive south of Meadowbrook is the same, this would be considerably more dense, but in the examples the yard space is private and not visible as whole.  It increases neighborhood amenities like creeks for neighborhoods to see and share. 
Dawkins wanted to explain that commercial is not always something that you drive too, consider mixed use of a coffee house or residential business.  Molnar wanted to comment on the neighborhood services overlay similar to Mountain Meadows which has a small area. The scale limits the size of these uses will prohibit the buildings from being much larger than a larger home, it is not a multi-story building. 
Public Discussion:
Howard Miller, 160 Normal Avenue.  He spoke in regards to Planning commissioner Debbie Miller who recused herself from the proceedings to prevent a conflict of interest.  Possesses strong feelings that the project is at an impasse because the qualities of decisions should be based on facts and how many facts do we have, not much.  All kinds of other opinions and items are "to be determined".  There is still a need for a set of options and that is ongoing.  The thing we do have is very dense housing and I waited for someone to say that this is 1000 new people in area.  The housing areas where we see iterations of people and they are represented by colored blocks of areas on the map that look like puzzle pieces that hop around the map.  Transportation goes in lots of direction without bearing on terrain and owners of the property they cross.  Interconnectivity multimodal aspects keep coming up, but the closest store is Ĺ mile to a 1 mile away.  Everyone is going to have 1-2 cars.  The wetlands the streams and drainage keep changing.  These are geographic facts not political issues.  The thing that impressed me is this may be happen in 10 to 20 years from now.  How many detailed business plans go out 20 years, how do you make housing plans for families for 2033?
Barry Vitcov, 430 Briscoe Place, but owns home at 316 Meadow Drive.  Not speaking to specific infrastructure issues being addressed by others.  He is trying to understand the plan.  This is an opportunity to look at the integrated use of the site and I appreciate that.  A lot appears to be missing.  Not looking at surroundings of the site and if looking at as an integrated plan than need to look beyond the 94 acres and how it connects beyond itself.  How do you create a plan that integrates in a larger community not just a small one?  Questions whether what is being presented is well integrated.  There are some areas that are beyond development.  They are the way they are.  Only a percentage is developable. There is not a flow here to create a unified plan.  Cluster developments are closed and exclusive centered around a green space for a group.  Need spaces that will pull a community together and create a flow that the community will take advantage of.  There is a lot of thought and changes that have gone into this plan but there needs to be greater thinking in the transition outside the areas and how we pull them into community.
Stewart Reid, 2045 E. Main Street.  Fish biologist by trade.  Look outside the boundaries to look at the water.  Inside the plan he is happy to see the riparian corridors being maintained throughout the development.   The bridges are beneficial for fish and other animals.  Streams should be there for kids to play, and we are a tree community that plants trees but we are also a stream community with great diversity.  The terrace used to be a spring fed wet area that drained into Bear Creek and would prefer to maintain that character in the City.  Concern with infiltration and wells on the other side of development.  Water infiltrating into ground water from a reef is not something you want to drink, but it does get rid of a lot and does recharge the water.  Clay Creek is listed ESA salmonic habitat at the lower end of Clay Creek so everything that goes in affects the habitats and populations in Bear Creek.  Sewer impacts are a concern.  Springs on other size recharge in this area on the south side.  Need to think and preserve the waterways because they are a treasure.  Neighborhood density is not reflective of a small town but a bunch of apartments.
Byce Anderson, 2092 Creek Drive.  Live across the street from where the highest development for this plan will exist.  Goal one of the Oregon land use is citizen involvement, and until recently none of us that are affected were involved because we didnítí know about it.  This was because it was titled Normal Avenue and that is not what is reflected.  Most of the people who live on Normal Avenue are totally unaffected by this project.  If it had been called the Gateway District plan and if we were told that it affects people from Tolman Creek to Wightman, and from East Main up to Ashland Street and beyond, there may have been more participation in the charettes that seems to have made such a difference in this plan.  Concern that much of the workability there is in this plan depends on entire thing being developed out and done together, and this will most certainly not happen.  The section of high density is designated between Clay Creek and E Main and the wetlands and developers are chomping at the bit to get to.  Whereas the other areas, not so much.  Especially the broad area down the middle there is no prospective at all that exists where the streets are cut through or any of that is going to be developed.  When the high density goes in we will be stuck with it and what was your problem is then going to be our problem.  The idea that there should be a park ľ mile away from wherever you live in Ashland is not being upheld.  Snowberry never got its park and now this area has no provision for an open space that is not either part of the wetland or potentially in a cluster development that will not include the public.  Water quality issues have been spoken too, but utilities are another issue.  City crews are called out to pump out the sewers regularly because they are too small for the existing services.
Dale Swire, 233 Clay Street.  He will live across from the high density when you can get 28 property owners to go along with it and get all those county people into the City.  Only addressing one concern because of time.  Traffic problems would be exacerbated.  Living off lower Clay Street the surrounding neighborhoods face the task of turning left onto East Main by the Mormon Church face relentless oncoming traffic coming to and from Ashland Middle School, Walker Elementary, Willow Winds school, Scienceworks, National Guard Armory with the Tuesday market, City offices and other generators. East Main Street is also used to reach I-5 and Oak Knoll and Emigrant Lake.  It has more bikers than Main Street and a lot of walkers that use the narrow bikepaths.  The high-density zones of the draft plan are big concerns because they are along East Main and Clay Streets and the newly proposed Normal Avenue extension onto East Main will add hundreds of autos and daily trips onto this artery and further endanger our neighborhood citizens.  He has seen no traffic modifications in this plan; no turn lanes, no traffic stops, and no lane widening for East Main.  Understand property acquisition problems from county lots that are on both sides and that are part of problem.  Like to hear more about how that will be handled and the cost to the City will be.  The future traffic analysis needs to be done before any final plan can be honestly acted on.  We count on volunteers of planning commission to keep Ashland a livable community.
Lisa Sennhauser, 300 Normal Avenue.   She is not willing to change her property from a single dwelling.  Her issue is the placement of the road that is currently connecting with the Clay Street area.  This road affects her property adversely.  It would add headlights directly into her home.  Property is surrounded by riparian area with two streams on either side of home.  Bringing a road through would take out trees and natural space.  The health of the creek and drinking water could be affected.  The street would be within the entire buffer zone.  That would affect the buffer zone negatively.  Prefer road continue straight ahead from the intersection and instead of coming in and going directly past her home go to the field that is adjacent to her home.
Carrul Breon, 322 Meadow Drive. Lives next to the wetland boarder. Experiences great amounts of flooding on her lot.    The 80-foot ravine behind her house floods and fills with debris carried from streams above.  In past storm events, water rushes down from the hills carrying debris and filling the fields behind the windmill property.  It quickly dissipates over the entire field creating a wetland.  What happens if there are houses on that land and if it is not been sufficiently addressed? 
Ray Eddington, representing Gracepoint Church, 1760 East Main Street.  Want to address concerns from the community behind us. We hear the concerns of the wetlands.  The board consensus and membership have the neighbors in mind about this development.  The church has three items to discuss.  One is the wetland protection.  It is still in planning where the delineation would come out.  Thanks the architect on making changes based on their letter.  They oppose a road going through the wetlands.  They are in support of low-density housing with a calming effect.  Church has future plans for a care home of some low impact type behind their building.  There is concern that we will be asked to develop high-density housing on our property and it is not what we want.  At this point we can't visualize a lane going across the back of the property.  Not even a bike or pedestrian trail.  We want to leave the area open for development. 
Nancy Boyer, 425 Normal Avenue.  She has a lot of concerns, but water is a big issue for her.  We may not agree on climate change; however, our weather patterns are changing.  Read climate issues from other areas.  Mt Ashland has good and bad years with snowfall.  Snow runoff fills Reeder Reservoir which is our water supply, how many more units can we add to Reeder Reservoir?  Even now the reservoir is strained.  Water shortages in the past are supplemented by treating TID water.  The wastewater treatment plant has issues with cooling of the effluent.  Will old storm, sewer and water lines be able to handle the increase of usage?  Where is the tap-ins?  Plan shows the wetlands in the middle wetland are not circled like the others.  It is an important wetland, the irrigation has been turned off for 2 years, and it is still green.  New street design has Normal Avenue over wetlands, neighborhood streets over streams and woonerf over wetlands.  Woonerf are typically designed with less pavement along riparian areas.  How do we assure this development won't disturb the natural flow of the water in the wetlands or below the ground?  I read 25% of development to be surface carving.  The discussion of bikes, paths, trails, and buses but there are still going to be cars requiring all this carving.  When the digging begins will the dirt be hauled away or will houses be built on it disturbing the water flow.  There is a significant grade between Ashland Street and Main Street to keep in mind.
Michael Shore, 140 Clay Street.  The discussion of this development reminds him of classes he took when he was young on how this country was formed in the past, specifically who was being left out of the planning process than.  We are leaving out the birds, bees, and fish to make room for houses.  No one on the panel is asking questions.  See the commission relying on some really wonderful expert services from the consultants, but the nuance questions about where we are going to put the people, what the people are going to do, what is going to happen to the water is not coming from commissioners but us, why?  Listening to people designing houses and not questioning decisions unless we bring it up is not acceptable.  There are so many people without houses and animals that we haven't taken care of.  We are biased homeowners, if you are planning the city you need to look at the city and everyone's needs.  Traffic is a really important issue and it has been mentioned that there are no turnouts.  Cars are passť we have to think about big picture in this country and bring it up to discussion.  Not just how we develop a little piece of property or the homeowner's view or someone's ability to make money by building units.  Wages are going way down so all these rentals will be empty.  Who can afford to live in these places?  Where are the jobs for these people?  Any type of plan needs to go beyond how many people can we fit in on the site.
Carol Black, 355 Normal Avenue.  Concern with traffic patterns in the proposed site.  Twenty years ago Normal had 3 houses.  It is a little bigger down the tracks now.  The houses are expensive homes and I want to talk about how this is a small community of several homes on the whole Avenue below the tracks and as an owner of one of the those homes, I would like the planning commission to be sensitive to the concerns of those homeowners on this portion.  We believe this will likely decrease our property values if the plan goes forward in its current form.  I would like to stress that not one of the owners who live below the tracks are interested in our existing street being used as entrance point to a new community.  I think there are ways to easily get around that.  We would like to ensure that our portion of the street be kept separate and untouched.  This is a long-term plan, but I also know that no one on our portion of Normal is interested in annexing at this point or in the next couple of decades.   These are long-term residents who are staying in their homes.  I don't see any of them who will be moving out of the neighborhood or someone else buying the homes who is going to want the same quality of life that Normal affords in its current state.  When you look at the plan and see that Normal becomes a neighborhood street.  Why does it have to be a neighborhood street and why do we need parking and turnouts when all the existing parcels have plenty of parking on their 1-2 acres of land.  Everyone had plenty of parking.  If no one annexes does that mean that the street goes untouched or will it be developed anyway.  When homes are built across the street I would like to ensure that the properties would mirror the single-family homes on the other.
Commission Discussion:
Carol Davis spoke to a piece of property owned by the school district within this area and used as bus turn-around.  It was created as a safety factor to reduce traffic impact.  In a long range planning scope, does it make sense to call this parcel a high-density zone?  Goldman said that it has an existing land use designation assigned to it as all the land does.  In terms of looking at land area that is not otherwise developed by existing buildings, if there was an alternative road put in as opposed to the single lane there may be an opportunity for a bus loading area and free up the land for future development purposes.  It would need to be initiated by the school board and as a long-term institution it may not happen.  The current underlying designation of thatland area  is single-family residential and it is not likely that a house would be put in the middle of the area.  It really does lean to redevelopment in the distant future.
Brown commented that people tend to look at these as short-term plans; schools close but as pointed out by Goldman the pieces of the land need to have a land use designation.  People want to be advocates for their positions as if they will be here in 10, 20, 30, or 40 years, but maybe not.  Cities last hundreds of years and part of land use plan is to say what the land could/should be used for at a future date.  If people are not here in 30 years than we need to look at that future usage, that is what land use planning is accomplishing.  This is long range planning because cities last for a long time. 
Kaplan wanted to ask based on public input were there any items that have not been addressed.  Goldman thought the housing density  issue could be further examined.  We talked about creating a buffer or transition to existing neighborhoods to the remaining property and could look into consideration of making high-density areas into medium density areas and provide for  more flexibility in housing types.  That is one analysis we would like to do before coming back as an alternative plan.  Under the 1982 comprehensive plan, the gross unit potential is 560 units.  That is what annexations could propose at.  However, with development that has occurred, we anticipate actual net unit potential of 431 units.  The plans that have been presented are other arrangements to reach a similar target of around 450 units.  If there was an opportunity to look at greater flexibility within that medium density zone expand it further and hit the target of 430 than we would consider it.  We need to look for consistency so that we do not provide less units then what was provided in the existing comprehensive plan because that would make it incumbent upon the city to look for alternative locations to increase density or expand the UGB.  Brown stated that is what the current situation is if left alone with no plan and not do anything. What are the allowed units if nothing is planned?  Goldman said with the two different zones, single family and suburban residential, what is allowed for SF is an average of 6 units per acres after calculating in bonus densities, and 9 units per acre on suburban residential.  That calculates 54 acres of developable property instead of 93 acres because you would subtract out existing buildings and existing riparian areas. 
Peddicord questioned the riparian zones and the wetlands. How recent are those designations?  Does the riparian area reflect the standard flood plain definition and how it was determined.  Molnar said that delineations were done as part of a state required local wetland inventory in 2003-04 with varying degrees of precision. It requires permission forms be sent to property owners to reach the wetlands. Some owners did not respond or refused.  Data was than collected by other means.  Even before an application is submitted for a development, often a more precise delineation will be done.  Delineations are only good for so long because water and hydrology does change with time.  Wetlands shrank and expanded over time in developments.  The riparian buffer requirement for Cemetery Creek is the general standard of 40 feet from centerline.  Flood plains, intermittent and ephemeral streams are also regulated.  Kaplan was there a buffer for the middle wetland?  Goldman said it was not shown because the proposed road on either side encroaches into that 50 feet buffer. The wetland buffer of 50 feet from outside edge of the wetland was intended to create an added protection zone.  In the case of a narrow wetland a 15 to 20 feet buffer exists or even as narrow as 2 feet wide.  We do envision roads within the buffer and it is allowed per the Riparian and Wetland Zone Ordinance when necessary for the location of public streets.  It would be incumbent upon a future development to delineate that wetland and if it is larger than we anticipate it may affect the location of the streets. 
Brown wanted to know if any wetlands are usable for open space. Readdy answered that they will be scenic value to many of the street corridors.  One could be usable for recreation during dry months.  Goldman also added that it is a goal to have a park within ľ mile of all residents.  This area is adjacent to Hunter Park, the school fields when not in session, and YMCA park all fall within a quarter mile of this area.
Dawkins recalled that Don Greene made comments during the first charette that the sewer could be a problem and has that been addressed as far as infrastructure.  Molnar felt that we havenít gotten to that level of detail.  Mr. Greene was talking about the cost of extending it from the west to the east.  Larger master planning issues are taken very seriously.  The update of the TSP and the Sewer/water master plan are done every 20 years.  We plan for worst-case scenarios and look for capacity to handle these developments.  We ensure that there is adequate capacity within the infrastructure systems to accommodate development.  Analysis of that level does not happen until the development happens.  It is impossible to tell when some of these bigger pieces will develop.  Detail studies of infrastructure will be completed later.
Brown spoke where the streets will go in and out and how they will be developed.  Traffic happens incrementally and part of the street that does not go in is dedicated as public right of way.  This inhibits streets being piecemealed through the development.  So the where it will go and the how it will go is thought out, but the actual development of that is in incremental pieces.  This has to be done this way so that developers do not trap neighborhoods without access.  It may just be right of way defined and not happen until a much later date.  This is not true for sewers, you must plan ahead. 
Goldman followed up on the statement regarding traffic concerns; those are valid and need to be addressed before a final plan is presented for consideration.  There is a current future traffic analysis of the current level of service of existing streets within the area.  Under the alternative consideration presented here in terms of if the plan built out at the proposed densities with this traffic network, what improvements would be needed on intersections in the vicinity as well as E. Main, Clay, Walker, Tolman and whether it changes what the TSP analysis was for broader improvements.  We will have that information back to help inform the plan develop the next iteration.  Staff would like to have that information in hand to help guide development.
Dawkins recapped comments brought forward tonight.  In terms of density, if we did nothing and did not create a plan, the number of homes that could go into this area following the existing rules is between 430-560 units depending on redevelopment.  This is part of the process that people tend to miss.  This is a runaway train that you really cannot do a whole lot about because it exists.  What do we do to try and create a reasonable neighborhood that we can all live with?  Dawkins spoke regarding an article in the Mail Tribune regarding this development.
Kaplan voiced that the property has various uses now, mostly open space.  What is the driver to develop this property as opposed to doing nothing?   Goldman explained that for many years the City watched large lots needing further master planning to identify their development.  This area is the largest residential land area remaining within the City UGB that had long been considered for a master planning effort.  The City has an aspiration to develop a long-range plan for the Normal Area recognizing as market forces change and development within the City limits consumes the remaining buildable land, this area would become higher and higher value in terms of annexation.  Master planning provides the ability to establish a plan in advance of the market  forces.  Receiving grant funding from the State of Oregon TGM program, and the expertise it provides,  gave us opportunity to work on it at this time. The difference between the project and a specific development plan is key because the project of master planning puts framework in place but nothing will happen until individual property owners chose to annex.  The objective is to put a plan in place instead of being driven in a piecemeal fashion by others.  Kaplan reiterated again that this is a concept plan and it looks so real but this is not a done deal. It can clearly be refined and even more refined when a developer is in hand.  The comments are important because people would be impacted.  Developers and residents along with the City will work out the details.  The Planning Commission is just providing a technical plan to go to the City Council who approves the plan.  Kaplan feels that comments have been taken into account and reflected.  Molnar agreed this is a relatively detailed concept because of existing standards in our code and that is why some parts look detailed.  The  plan  aims to address  current standards with the understanding that the plan does allow for minor and major amendments.  If someone develops  in advance of someone else they will have to meet the plan as best as possible.  But if plans are contingent on another property owner who is not ready to annex, the plan will have to adapt.  They will be able to adapt, but the plan outlines the goals. 
Peddicord asked Readdy with so few points of entry, how does this affect adjacent properties?  Was this developed in isolation to adjacent areas?  Readdy responded that they tried to create not just an internal system but one inclusive to every street it touches upon.   With E. Main Street in particular, tried to make the points of contact at the best possible places and look for logical areas.  We saw disadvantages to making Normal a straight street: site distances, grade access, and impacts to avoid.  We wanted to avoid making a channel through the development.  The goal was to make the path clear, but not easy so that it would used by people coming to that neighborhood as their destination.  Brown recollected that in one of the first meetings 90% of people were adamant that they did not want Normal to become a thoroughfare between the two main streets.  That became a large portion of design besides the wetlands and other necessary items.  But neighbors that live close to it, around it or near it said that if Normal is straight it will be a thoroughfare.  Molnar recalled the TSP has little transportation planning for this area.  One focus for E Main and Clay Street is to create a graded system with a goal of distributing traffic throughout the whole system.  This plan would supersede the TSP plan upon adoption.
Dawkins was pleased at the rearrangement of the densities.  He would still like a more homogenous plan. The pocket neighborhood plan concept could benefit this area.  Some people are looking at smaller yards and cottage neighborhoods.  Could this be a type of density that will change the demographic?  Does this meet changes in housing needs and be a model for that.  Do we do street standards different for less asphalt?  We ask so many questions that you donít even know.  These meetings are your chance to give us comments and give us your opinions. 
Next steps: August for the next plan reiteration with traffic analysis, beginning of public process for adoption, draft ordinance to council.  All this will take through December for adoption. Draft formal documents are time intensive and Council will see this before it is in ordinance form.  Molnar reiterated that fine-tuning will continue through the public process during the Council adoption phase.  Unresolved public issues will be addressed to show that we have done our due diligence to resolve them.  They need to see validity of the comments as a concept and not a detail. 
Dawkins questioned looking at mixed use with commercial implications.  The opportunity in the North Mountain neighborhood has not been utilized.  Is there something that could be created like a stipulation to provide a mixed-use space for a convenient store, coffee shop, or deli to work into the neighborhood?  Molnar not sure when the market would come for that neighborhood service.  Ground floors around the neighborhood service areas could easily adapt to small business spaces but also be reflected in the plan as residential use.  Kaplan asked if anyone knew details on the Clearview Development in Talent?  It is being touted as a mixed-use single-family, townhouse, live/work units, retail, restaurant, and office.  Molnar will look into this.  Brown felt that the commercial mixed-use developments needed to be further discussed. 
C.    Other Business: 
Meeting adjourned at 8:54 PM.

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