Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

JULY 12, 2016
Vice Chair Roger Pearce 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
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
Derek Severson, Associate Planner
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Melanie Mindlin   Greg Lemhouse, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced the second reading of the Verde Village development agreement ordinance is schedule for next Tuesday, July 19. He also commented on the city hall feasibility study that is looking a different alternatives, including remodeling city hall, adding a second story to the Community Development building at 51 Winburn Way, or building a new city hall on the corner of Pioneer and Lithia.
Commissioner Dawkins provided a brief update on the Downtown Parking Management and Circulation Committee. He noted he is the new interim chair of the committee and commented on their request to use Fregonese Associates to help guide the group through the remainder of the process.
A.  Approval of Minutes.
      1.  June 14, 2016 Regular Meeting.
      2.  June 28, 2016 Special Meeting.
Commissioners Dawkins/Thompson m/s to approve the minutes of June 14, 2016. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
Commissioners Dawkins/Thompson m/s to approve the minutes of June 28, 2016. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0. Commissioner Miller abstained.
No one came forward to speak.
  1. Adoption of Findings for PA-2016-00617, 601 Fair Oaks.
No ex parte contact was reported.
Commissioners Thompson/Brown m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2016-00617. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
  1. Adoption of Findings for PA-2016-00847, 252 B Street.  
No ex parte contact was reported.
Commissioners Brown/Miller m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2016-00847. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
  1. PLANNING ACTION #:  PA-2016-01029                             
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  1365 Tolman Creek Road                            
OWNER/APPLICANT:  Ronald Rezek/Clason Company LLC
DESCRIPTION: A request for Outline and Final Plan approval under the Performance Standards Options Chapter (AMC 18.3.9) for a three-lot subdivision for the property located at 1365 Tolman Creek Road.  Also included are requests for a Physical and Environmental Constraints Review Permit for Floodplain Development to allow widening of the existing driveway entrance by two to five feet and the installation of utilities including stormwater drainage facilities within the floodplain; a Limited Use Permit to allow grading for utility installation and restoration of the buffer area of a small wetland on the property; and an Exception to Street Standards to not install city standard street improvements along the property’s Tolman Creek Road street frontage. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-7.5; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 23BA; TAX LOT #: 201.
Commissioner Pearce read aloud the public hearing procedures for land use hearings.
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioners Brown, Norton, Pearce, Dawkins, and Miller declared site visits. No ex parte contact was reported.  
Staff Report
Associate Planner Derek Severson presented the project details and approval criteria. He reviewed the applications four component requests and commented on why using the performance standards options is appropriate and results in a better project. Mr. Severson stated the minimum number of homes that can be placed on the site is three, which is what the applicant’s propose; although they could have requested as many as 5.  He explained all three homes will take access from the existing driveway, which will be improved to the city’s flagdrive standards. He stated the man-made pond on the site will be removed, but the wetland area will be preserved and enhanced. Of the 55 trees on the property five will be removed, however the removals are not subject to a tree removal permit and the applicants will mitigate those removals with new plantings. Mr. Severson noted the Tree Commission reviewed the application and issued two recommended conditions: 1) that tree protection fencing be provided for tree #15, and 2) that trees #39 and #40 be skirted (or limbed-up) to a height of 13 ft. from the base of the tree. Mr. Severson said the final element of the proposal is the exception to the street standards. He explained instead of piecemeal sidewalk improvements that would be difficult to transition at either end, it is appropriate and would result in a better pedestrian facility to grant the exception and require the applicants to sign in favor of a future local improvement district.
Applicant’s Presentation
Amy Gunter/Rogue Planning Development Services and John Clason/Clason Company LLC. Ms. Gunter stated the site is accessed via a meandering drive that is currently 12 ft. wide and will be widened to meet the flagdrive standards. She stated there is a concrete pipe that feeds the wetland and pond, and the pond is estimated to have been built between1950-1980. Ms. Gunter stated a wetland delineation was performed and the removal of the pond will require a fill removal permit and a limited activity use permit, and noted the pond is not a wetland protected by local land use law. She commented on the Migratory Bird Act, which prohibits vegetation removal between May 1 and July 31, and clarified they will not be doing any work during this time and will still be working through the land use process. Ms. Gunter explained the property has a potential density of 5.7 units and they initially considered building 4, but this would have required the removal of the tree grove and a new road installation which would have changed the character of the neighborhood. She stated the proposal complies with the performance standards options, is below density, meets the parking standards, and they are requesting the commission’s approval.
Questions of the Applicant
Commissioner Pearce stated the pond seems to meet the city’s criteria for a wetland and asked the applicant to respond to this. Ms. Gunter stated the pond has those characteristics because of the settlement of the water and stated according to the wetland biologist the wetland is a true wetland, but the pond only has those characteristics because it is fed by the wetland. She clarified there is no standing water in the wetland and it is not a creek. She added during high water events the soil will get sloppy and wet, but there will not be water flowing across the property. 
Public Testimony
Zach Brombacher/1370 Tolman Creek/Stated he lives across the street from the property and voiced his opposition to the city’s position on infill. Mr. Brombacher stated the roads are inadequate and could pose an issue during an emergency and voiced his concerns with the city’s water resources protection ordinance. He questioned how the city could allow the applicant to remove the pond when he is prohibited from doing work on his property because of the limitations in the ordinance. He stated the pond does overflow and he will be impacted. He requested the city not allow the applicant to direct water onto his property and stated the city needs to figure out a way to keep it from flooding. 
Applicant’s Rebuttal
Amy Gunter/Stated she sympathizes with Mr. Brombacher but the proposal complies with the city’s stormwater master plan and limits post develop flows to predevelopment levels. She added their engineer has designed their system accordingly and has been working with the city’s Public Works Department to ensure it meets the standards.
Public Testimony
Peck Yee/Stated there are two large trees on the site (#22 and #48) that appear to be encroached on by the proposed building envelopes. She requested the trees have adequate protection during construction.
Applicant’s Rebuttal
Amy Gunter/Stated unlike the depiction on the plan submittal, the tree canopies are not a perfect circle. She stated the building footprint encroaches a minimal amount into the dripline however the trees will not be harmed. She added each type of tree has a different tolerance to construction and they are fine with having a certified arborist on site during excavation.
Questions of Staff
Staff was asked what would trigger improvements to Tolman Creek for storm drainage and sidewalks. Mr. Molnar explained unless it is a public safety issue, sidewalk improvements would typically be triggered by the neighborhood coming forward and requesting enhancements. In terms of storm drainage, the city evaluates plans to ensure the system mimics predevelopment levels and can withstand a 25 year storm event.
Commissioner Pearce closed the hearing and the record at 8:10 p.m.
Deliberations and Decision
Commissioners Dawkins/Brown m/s to approve PA-2016-01029. DISCUSSION: Dawkins stated he sympathizes with Mr. Brombacher but when looking at the development potential for the property the applicants are doing the minimum possible. He stated the removal of the pond will help the hydrology for the area and stated this is a straight forward proposal that meets the criteria. Brown expressed support for the applicant’s proposal and stated it maintains the residential country feel. He stated it is a good solution and keeps with the city’s ordinances and goals. Thompson stated she is prepared to support the motion and stated she has trust that the professionals will design the swale and stormwater detention facility appropriately. Miller voiced support for the design and that the applicants are not proposing maximum density, but stated she is very concerned about the drainage issues. She stated she will vote in favor of the motion but would like this to be monitored. Pearce disagreed that the pond is not a wetland but acknowledged that its removal is permissible. He agreed that stormwater is a concern, but stated the newly constructed system will work better than what is there now. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Thompson, Norton, Miller, Dawkins, Brown, and Pearce, YES. Motion passed 6-0.
  1. PLANNING ACTION #:  PL-2016-00682
APPLICANT:  City of Ashland
DESCRIPTION: A legislative amendment is proposed to amend the City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan’s Introduction and Definitions Chapter (Chapter II), and Citizen Involvement Element Chapter (Chapter III), to designate the Planning Commission as the City’s Committee for Citizen Involvement, and to replace references to the Citizen’s Planning Advisory Committee with references to the Committee for Citizen Involvement.
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman noted the commission has previously reviewed this amendment and tonight is for the public to provide input and the commission to make a recommendation to the City Council. He explained the ordinance amends the comprehensive plan to reflect how the city conducts public involvement and addresses the recent ordinance amendments that were approved by the City Council that designate the Planning Commission as the committee for citizen involvement. Mr. Goldman stated the change is consistent with the statewide planning goals and staff is recommending the commission forward a recommendation of approval.
Deliberations & Decision
Commissioner Miller commented that the CPAC was broader based than the Planning Commission and if they are now acting in this role, questioned how to involve citizens and the other commissions early on and ensure their voices are heard. Mr. Goldman stated at onset of any proposal, prior to initiating any ordinance amendment, staff will outline a public involvement plan and bring that forward for review and approval before the process begins. He noted this is the current process and the ordinance amendment will codify current practices. Mr. Molnar noted the Mayor’s encouragement of ad hoc committees to greater support the citizen involvement process and stated the city will continue to seek out groups and people that should be engaged in decisions. Commissioner Norton stated it is appropriate for a city of Ashland’s size to have the Planning Commission take on this role and stated if they need assistance they have the ability to ask for it. Pearce agreed; he approved of how the ordinance is written and stated their duty is to assist the City Council with the program, not do it all alone.
Commissioners Brown/Thompson m/s to recommend approval to the City Council of an ordinance amending comprehensive plan as presented. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Submitted by,
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor


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