Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

MARCH 8, 2016
Chair Melanie Mindlin called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Troy J. Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Debbie Miller
Melanie Mindlin
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Derek Severson, Associate Planner
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Lynn Thompson   Greg Lemhouse
  1. Update on Council’s discussion of the Citizen Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC).
Community Development Director Bill Molnar provided the background information on the CPAC. He explained this 16 member committee was formed in 1981 to address Statewide Goal #1 for citizen involvement. One of the committee’s primary responsibilities was updating the city’s comprehensive plan, but after that work was completed the mayor and council shifted to more specialized committees to maintain compliance with Goal #1. Mr. Molnar stated while the CPAC has not been active for over 20 years, it is still referenced in the comprehensive plan. The city council recently evaluated this and directed staff to officially remove CPAC from the books and have the Planning Commission take over those duties for citizen involvement.
Council Liaison Greg Lemhouse explained this issue was brought forward by a single councilor but the majority of the council does not support reactivating the CPAC. Instead they felt the Planning Commission is the proper body to take on any issues the CPAC would have handled.
Commissioner Mindlin stated this may be motivated by people’s perception that there is insufficient public involvement in Ashland. She added the CPAC was responsible for certain actions the Planning Commission does not do, such as public outreach and publicizing issues. Commissioner Dawkins stated part of the problem is that a decade ago the Daily Tidings had a reporter on staff who attended all city meetings and got the word out on public issues and actions. He stated the local newspaper is now owned by a foreign entity and it is very difficult to get them to run articles ahead of hearings, and if there is any coverage at all it is often after a decision has been made. Mr. Molnar recommended they discuss this issue further at the Planning Commission’s annual retreat in May.
Mr. Molnar announced the March study session has been cancelled and the Planning Commission’s annual retreat has been scheduled for May 14. He added staff has been in discussion with the mayor regarding a joint meeting with the city council to discuss the wildfire lands ordinance and the public hearing for the ordinance will be pushed back so that this joint meeting can occur.
Commissioner Dawkins stated the Downtown Parking Management & Circulation committee is nearing the end of their work. They are currently reviewing reducing East Main Street to two lanes from Helman to Gresham through the downtown; eliminating the “Beaver Slide”; and adding new lights at Pioneer and Oak. Dawkins stated when their work is done their recommendations will go to the city council for review and approval and a new city commission will be formed to oversee the ongoing work.
  1. Approval of Minutes.
    1.  February 9, 2016 Regular Meeting.  2.  February 23, 2016 Study Session.
Commissioners Miller/Brown m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Commissioner Norton abstained from voting on the minutes of February 9, 2016.
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral Lane, #13/Stated public involvement is essential and is pleased to hear the commission is discussing this. Mr. Kauth recommended the city form a committee to tackle invasive noxious weeds, including tall poison hemlock and puncture vine, and stated land that used to provide shelter and food for wildlife is being destroyed.
Huelz Gutcheon/2253 Highway 99/Recommended the city form a safety commission made up of members who do not drive cars. He stated there are hundreds of bicycling hazards in town and the people responsible for designing the city’s corridors and not taking bicyclists into enough consideration.
  1. Adoption of Findings for PA-2015-02203, 868 A Street.
No ex parte contact was reported.
Commissioners Dawkins/Pearce m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2015-02203. Voice Vote: all AYES. Commissioner Norton abstained. Motion passed 5-0.
  1. Adoption of Findings for PA-2016-00041, 1465 Webster.
No ex parte contact was reported.
Commissioners Brown/Dawkins m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2016-00041. Voice Vote: all AYES. Commissioner Norton abstained. Motion passed 5-0.
  1. PLANNING ACTION:  PA-2015-01487
DESCRIPTION:  An Ordinance amending the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan to adopt the Ashland Municipal Airport – Airport Layout Plan Update 2004-2025, as a supporting document to the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan; and an Ordinance amending the Ashland Municipal Code Chapter Airport Overlay Regulations, Chapter Parking Ratios, Chapter 18.5.1, Table, Summary of Approvals by type of review procedure, Chapter, Exempt from tree removal permit, and Chapter, Definitions.
Assistant Planner Derek Severson provided a presentation on the proposed changes to the airport overlay zone. He explained the proposed ordinance would:
  • Adopt the most recent Master Plan as a supporting document to the Ashland Comprehensive Plan;
  • Provide a ministerial review process for permitting conventional hangars;
  • Add a parking ratio for conventional hangars;
  • Change the height limitations from the current 20 ft. maximum; and
  • Allow tree trimming or removal for safety reasons as mandated by the FAA without requiring permits.
City Engineer Scott Fleury commented on the Airport Commission’s long term plans, including drainage way enhancements and riparian restoration. He stated they are especially interested in the Neil Creek border and would like to remove some of the taller trees and bring in new, low growth materials. He added they are also in the process of creating a landscape plan and removing the junipers and replacing them with something more appropriate.
Staff was asked to clarify the language on page 2 that requires property owners to sign an agreement and waive their rights to complain. Mr. Fleury explained this is an existing provision and applies to the whole overlay. He stated Jackson County has similar requirements and the intent is to make property owners aware they are purchasing in an airport zone and there will be associated noise.
Commissioner Mindlin closed the hearing at 8:00 p.m.
Deliberations and Decision
Commissioners Pearce/Brown m/s to recommended council’s approval of PA-2015-01487. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Pearce, Miller, Brown, Dawkins, Norton, and Mindlin, YES. Motion passed 6-0.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Submitted by,
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor


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