ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
JANUARY 24, 2017
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Melanie Mindlin called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
|Troy J. Brown, Jr.
||Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor
||Greg Lemhouse, absent
ANNOUNCEMENTS/AD HOC COMMITTEE UPDATES
Community Development Bill Molnar announced January 31 is the State of the City celebration at the Community Center. He also commented on the denial of the Rogue Credit Union application at the least hearing. He informed the commission that staff has met with the applicants and their legal counsel and the applicant is considering coming back at the next meeting with new information or better articulating why their proposal meets the approval criteria prior to the commission adopting findings. Mr. Molnar stated staff does not yet know how the applicants will proceed and can renotice the action as a limited public hearing if necessary.
Commission Thompson questioned if this would create precedence. She stated she is comfortable with the applicants presenting a revised proposal but expressed concern with them coming back to reargue the same evidence. Commissioner Pearce warned staff about a recent LUBA case and recommended they proceed carefully if this action is renoticed and stated all those who were originally notified need to be included. Commissioner Mindlin agreed that presenting new changes is appropriate but recommended staff consult further with the City Attorney on the possibility of the applicants rearguing their position.
Mr. Molnar indicated there could potentially be four public hearings on the next agenda and stated the Planning Commission Hearings Board may be convened. He stated staff would be sending out an email to determine who is available.
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman provided a brief update of the housing survey that is currently underway. He noted the survey will be open until March 31 and can be accessed through the city’s website.
Commissioner Mindlin commented on the Wildfire Lands Ordinance and noted the mayor has presented some alternative ideas. Mr. Molnar noted this is a community wide issue and putting the requirements solely in the land use ordinance might not get the city to where they want to be quickly enough and other options are being discussed.
No one came forward to speak.
Project Manager Adam Hanks provided an update on the Climate and Energy Action Plan. He explained the City Council was presented with the draft at their study session last night and it will go back for adoption in March. Mr. Hanks stated the Climate and Energy Action Plan Committee held a number of open houses and have presented the draft to the city’s advisory committees for review and comment. He noted this is the second time it has come before the Planning Commission and aside for some minor edits the plan is for the most past complete. He stated this plan touches nearly every department in the city and he is here to answer any questions they may have.
- Climate and Energy Action Plan – Plan Update.
LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC HEARINGS
- Mr. Hanks clarified as the individual actions get implemented they will come back before the commission(s).
- Commissioner Thompson suggested Table 2, Goal 1 of the implementation chart better distinguish whether the item listed is a city goal or a community goal.
- Commissioner Mindlin referenced the letter she submitted to the Climate Energy and Action Plan Committee and clarified she was speaking individually and was not representing the full commission. She went on to question whether Mr. Hanks was seeking detailed input at this stage in the process.
- Commissioner Thompson suggested rather than specific action items the strategies in the plan should create more of an umbrella that would allow the commission to participate in the types of activities under their purview. Mr. Hanks agreed and stated the strategies are fairly broad and many things can fit under them. He also clarified the city is not limited to the actions listed under each strategy but rather these are just a sample of the types of activities they could take.
- Commissioner Brown commented that the umbrella is very broad at this point and the specifics will come later. He stated he supports the plan but it is too early for them to provide specific input.
- Commissioner Miller commented that the Planning Commission will have quite a bit of involvement as the plan moves forward.
- Mr. Hanks clarified the intention is that as these topics start to get worked on they will come back for further dialogue with the individual commissions.
- Commissioner Thompson agreed with not loading too much policy into the original document, as those will need to be debated and vetted later down the road.
- Commissioner Norton commented that the plan contains lots of good ideas but there are some that may conflict with things the Planning Commission is trying to achieve. He added not many Oregon communities have something like this and stated the general direction is great.
- Mr. Hanks clarified the plan is attempting add climate and energy implications as one of the top tier discussion points for decision makers.
- Comment was made that the plan will continue to be monitored and updated as it moves forward.
- Commissioner Dawkins agreed with Commissioner Brown and stated it is a good document but there is nothing there for them to consider yet. He added when they start to get into the specific the commission can delve into more detail at that time.
DESCRIPTION: A request to amend the City of Ashland Physical and Environmental Constraints map to reflect changes in the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps relating to the Neil Creel 100 year floodplain, to provide consistency with Chapter 15.10 (Flood Damage Prevention Regulations) of the Ashland Municipal Code and federal regulations regarding building within the 100 year floodplain.
- PLANNING ACTION: PL-2016-00024
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman and Assistant Planner Mark Schexnayder addressed the commission. Mr. Goldman explained FEMA is preparing to issue a letter of final determination to Jackson County and the City of Ashland stating that new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) will become effective on April 1, 2017. In order to maintain its certification and preserve reduced flood insurance rates for Ashland citizens, the City must adopt the flood insurance study and flood insurance rate map updated by FEMA. Staff explained this is minor update and only affects the boundaries of Neil Creek. Mr. Goldman displayed a map of the area that has changed and noted the floodplain has shrunk considerably with the exception of the south part of the Ashland Municipal Airport. He noted the Public Works Department and the Airport Commission have been notified and the implications of the modified floodplain will not preclude the airports current or future use. Mr. Goldman stated both the land use code and the building code reference the floodplain maps and therefore this action requires a public hearing as well as approval by the City Council.
Questions of Staff
Mr. Goldman confirmed that all affected property owners have been notified.
Staff was asked why the floodplain shrank and Mr. Schexnayder clarified the change was due to the significantly more accurate LiDAR data that was collected.
Deliberations and Decision
The commission held a brief discussion on the history of flooding in Ashland.
Commissioners Brown/Pearce m/s to recommend Council approval of proposed amendment. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Brown, Dawkins, Miller, Norton, Pearce, Thompson, and Mindlin, YES. Motion passed 7-0.
Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor