ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
OCTOBER 9, 2001
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Commissioner Kerry KenCairn. Other Commissioners present were Mike Morris and Ray Kistler. Staff present were Mark Knox, Brandon Goldman and Sue Yates.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND FINDINGS– KenCairn moved to approve the Minutes of the September 11, 2001 meeting. Morris seconded the motion, and the Findings were approved.
TYPE I PLANNING ACTIONS
PLANNING ACTION 2001-094
REQUST FOR A LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT AND LAND PARTITION
705 CLAY STREET
APPLICANT: MERLIN D. NUSS
This action was approved.
PLANNING ACTION 2001-096
REQUEST FOR SITE REVIEW APPROVAL TO CONSTRUCT A NEW AIRPORT OFFICE AND STORAGE FACILITY.
ADJACENT TO THE ASHLAND MUNICIPAL AIRPORT ACCESS ROAD
APPLICANT: MIKE SORENSEN
This action was approved.
TYPE II PUBLIC HEARING
PLANNING ACTION 2001-078
REQUEST FOR A THREE PARCEL LAND PARTITION AND SITE REVIEW TO CONVERT AN EXISTING SINGLE FAMLY RESIDENCE INTO TWO APARTMENT UNITS AND CONSTRUCT A THIRD RESIDENCE (I.E. COTTAGE) ADJACENT TO THE EXISTING GARAGE
APPLICANT: KATHLEEN MITCHELL
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts – Site visits were made by all.
Knox reported this is an application for a three lot partition and site Review. The applicant is proposing to convert the existing house into two units. One unit is proposed for the first and second floor and the second unit in the basement. The third unit is on its own lot and about 1000 square feet in size. The partition is to create three parcels. Zoning is R-2 and allows for multi-family uses. There is a possibility for seven units if developed to their maximum density. There are a potential four units total for this property.
Mitchell, the applicant has, based on a pre-app meeting, begun to do a lot of the work around the house such as sidewalk improvements and landscaping. There is a garage next to the house and the SHPO has seen the plans. They are agreeable to the plans. Knox said, after his correspondence with SHPO, they are willing to work out the partition and the cottage plans with the applicant.
There were some issues from last month’s meeting. Knox talked with Public Works regarding the traffic on Manzanita. They said last year they had a number of complaints about speeding cars. They striped the curbs and put in a crosswalk. They do not believe there is a safety issue. The applicant is proposing two additional units and based upon the trips they will generate, Staff does not see this causing a safety issue. .
Staff believes this development is close to school, close to the downtown and appropriate for R-2 densities. The building design is compatible with the eclectic mix of design in the area. Staff is supportive of the application and the 16 attached Conditions.
KATHLEEN MITCHELL, 124 Manzanita Street, showed photos of the mixed neighborhood designs. The project is within the bounds of R-2 zoning and appropriate and compatible. The proposed cottage will be very compatible with the house. There are houses in the neighborhood with smaller yard areas than this property.
Mitchell has been working diligently with Dave Skilton at SHPO. She has successfully gotten the house on the National Register. It is an asset to the community for its historic value. She believes the lower density is appropriate for this neighborhood.
The landscaping is compatible with the bungalow style residence. She is planting drought tolerant plants, a small amount of grass, and private areas as well as common areas. A portion of the sidewalk has been installed. There is adequate parking with seven spaces.
The existing rental unit is rented until the end of the year. The basement apartment will be unfurnished and at lower rent. The city needs quality affordable housing. The cottage will be a medium price range rental.
Mitchell does not intend to record the partitions, but she felt it was in her best interest to obtain the approval now. She has no intention of selling any of it off. SHPO required she keep the garage where it is. The intent of the back is for a single family residence that she will undoubtedly sell some day.
FREDERICK GIBBS, 189 Logan Drive, stated that this project has been a major aesthetic improvement in this neighborhood. The apartment in the basement is a very interesting space and should be enjoyable for someone to live in. He is very supportive of the application.
DAVE HARD, Fire Marshall, Ashland Fire and Rescue commented regarding capacity of city facilities, that the best he could determine where the cottage will be located will still be further than 250 feet from the closest hydrant. He stands by his earlier comments that the applicant is required to install a hydrant for the cottage. Morris noted that fell under Condition 7.
COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION
KenCairn moved to approve PA2001-078. Kistler seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
PLANNING ACTION 2001-088
REQUEST FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION/STRUCTURAL ALTERATION OF A NON-CONFORMING STRUCTURE
61 NUTLEY STREET
APPLICANT: WILLIAM MACHADO & DENISE BYRON
Site Visits and Ex Parte contacts – KenCairn and Kistler had a site visit, Morris did not.
Goldman reported this application is for the alteration of a non-conforming structure located within one foot of the west property line. There is an existing garage that is located to the rear of the property that is one foot from the property line. There is an outdoor landing for the staircase from the rear door of the house that the applicant is requesting to enclose. Both items require a Conditional Use Permit.
The neighbor of 65 Nutley called this action up for a public hearing. He has submitted a letter relating to this current proposal.
The property at 61 Nutley is 4600 square feet. There is about 65 percent lot coverage and 45 percent is allowed. The primary house is located three feet from each side yard. The only areas of impervious surface are at the rear garden and the front lawn area minus the sidewalk. The applicant had no alternative but to build except up above the garage for their home office. The addition above the office involves 232 square foot second story addition. The addition is to be set back an additional two feet from the existing wall. The new addition would be three feet from the property line to meet with building code and firewall protection. The structure has been designed to meet solar access.
The Historic Commission reviewed this application at their at last meeting. The house was built in 1890. The Historic Commission Minutes are attached. They wanted to forward their recommendation to the Planning Commission although they saw the design was suitable in historic context with the surrounding neighborhood. However, seven of the nine Commissioners were hesitant to recommend approval because of possible adverse impact on the neighboring properties, particularly relating to the issue of bulk and scale. The other two Commissioners felt the design was historically compatible but felt the impact would be negligible to the adjoining property.
Goldman showed photographs of the property prior to 1982 and one of how it looks today, specifically the garage. In 1982, the previous property had removed the pitched roof and installed the flat deck, without permits, on top of the garage. The adjoining property owner brought it to City Staff's attention and ultimately it went to a public hearing. The addition of the second story sundeck was denied by the Planning Commission. They felt the use of it as a deck would have an adverse impact on 63 Nutley Street. The applicant today has come forward with a design that is closed, however, there is still the issue of the window overlooking the adjoining property. It is unclear from the neighbors if they are in favor or opposed to the window. The applicant stated at the Historic Commission meeting that they would be amenable to removing the window if that would satisfy the neighbor's concern.
Goldman said the application complies with our solar access ordinance. Staff contends that as the rear yard is within the unbuildable area, it doesn't violate the intent of the solar ordinance, and there is no possibility to install solar energy systems or building in that location that would benefit from solar radiation. The shadow cast in the rear yard would effect the recreational open space. However, in comparing that to the target use of the zone, if the applicant had asked to remove an additional three feet and thereby comply with all setbacks, the same morning shadow cast would effect the adjoining property in the same way.
Goldman explained this is an extension of living space, not an accessory structure.
KenCairn wondered if the garage could be moved over six feet. Goldman said that would not leave the 22 feet of backup space required from the garage. It has been Goldman’s experience that the granting of this type of request for a non-conforming structure has been quite common.
WILLIAM MACHADO, 61 Nutley, said this is really tiny lot. The intent is to put a new roof on the garage. As long as he is going to explore the option such as the home office that fit into the neighborhood, he would try.
PETER CIPES, designer, has tried to work with the neighbors but he has not gotten a satisfactory indication from them. The last letter was a little ambiguous from the neighbor. Since he has changed things substantially they have reduced the square footage of the office.
Goldman said there are four Conditions attached. If the Planning Commission has a finding on the whether or not to allow the window in the upper story of the garage, it would be a good time to elaborate on that. Knox felt the Historic Commission liked the idea of the window and the break-up of the mass. However, if it gets down to an issue of impact, they were more than willing to let it go.
COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Knox said seven Historic Commissioners said that if they lived there, there would be some impact. Kistler feels the mass is already out of compliance for the lot. It is already too big for the little lot. We are being asked to exacerbate the massing with even more bulk than what is there.
Morris wondered if he could put the old roof back on. Knox said then it could only be used for storage.
Kistler said even though he is proponent of home occupations, he cannot see an extenuating circumstance to increase the massing on this lot. He added that if this was a blank lot, it could be built with a window on the garage. Goldman said the problem of lot coverage is pre-existing. They are not becoming more out of compliance in that regard.
Kistler said an extra three feet does not change it for him. It is the bulk that most concerns him. Knox said they can move it six feet, then all they need is a building permit. And they could still have the bulk.
Morris asked the height of the ridge of addition. Knox said it is 19 feet.
Goldman asked the Commissioners not to forget there is also a request for the enclosure of the rear patio. That doesn’t increase the impervious surface.
Knox told the Commissioners if they are feeling stuck, look at the criteria and see if anything jumps out at them. When they talk about target use, it is a single family residence that could potentially be 35’ in height but would have to meet solar. That is what they should compare this proposal to.
KenCairn moved to approve. Morris seconded the motion. The motion carried with Morris and KenCairn voting "yes" and Kistler voting "no". Kister explained voted "no" because this was a difficult decision.
APPROVAL OF FINDINGS– KenCairn moved to approve the Findings for PA2001-075, 348 Iowa, Eva Cooley. Kistler seconded the motion and it carried.
ADJOURNMENT– The meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.