Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

January 9, 2018
Chair Roger Pearce called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Troy Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Debbie Miller
Melanie Mindlin
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
  Dennis Slattery, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced John and Scott Fregonese would provide a presentation on the Infill Strategy January 16, 2018, at the City Council Meeting.  Staff originally continued PA-2017-01911, regarding the proposal for a 4,000 square foot (sq. ft.) marijuana grow and 2,000 sq. ft. of retail to the January 23, 2018, Planning Commission meeting.  The applicants requested postponing until February.  Since there was no date certain, staff would re-notice it to the surrounding property owners.  The applicant modified the application and withdrew the marijuana grow from the proposal.  The annual Mayor’s State of the City address was scheduled for January 29, 2018, at the Ashland Springs Hotel.
The Wildfire Lands Committee would meet January 31, 2018.    
  1. Approval of Minutes
1.  December 12, 2017 Regular Meeting.
Commissioners Thompson/Mindlin m/s to approve the Consent Agenda.Voice Vote: all AYES.
Motion passed 7-0.
Eric Elerath/419 Clinton Street/Recently purchased a house in the river walk neighborhood. He thought some of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) were flagrant violations of rights to speech.  He received a letter of Findings from Community Development Director Bill Molnar regarding 345 Clinton and a density transfer.  He had objected to it because there were a lot of issues not addressed in the application.  He had issues with the conditions and the language of any CC&Rs required as part of the density transfer.  If they were found invalid, the density transfer was revoked.  He wanted to know the process that determined whether conditions were invalid.
Chair Pearce explained the Community Development staff made that type of determination.It was not in the Planning Commission’s purview.He suggested Mr. Elerath talk to Mr. Molnar or his staff.
  1.    Approval of Findings for PA-2017-02134, 1068 Main Street.
The Commission had no ex parte contacts regarding the matter.
Commissioners Miller/Thompson m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2017-02134, 1068 Main Street.Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 7-0.
  1.    PLANNING ACTION: PA-2017-02129
OWNER/APPLICANT:  Young Family Trust & City of Ashland/Rogue Planning & Dev. Services   
DESCRIPTION:   A request for Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment; Zone Change; Outline Plan approval for a 20-lot, 23-unit subdivision; Site Design Review; and Tree Removal Permit for the properties located at 475 East Nevada Street. The existing Comprehensive Plan designation is “Single Family Residential Reserve” and the existing zoning is “Rural Residential (RR-.5-P”). The proposal would change the Comprehensive Plan Map designation to “North Mountain Neighborhood Plan” and the zoning to “North Mountain Multi-Family (NM-MF).” (NOTE: Portions of the subject properties are located outside of the city limits; the current request involves only those portions within the city limits.) COMPREHENSIVE PLAN MAP DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential Reserve (Existing), North Mountain Neighborhood (Proposed); ZONING: RR-.5-P (Existing), NM-MF (Proposed); ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 04A; TAX LOT #’S : 39 1E 04A 1100, 1200 & 1300 and 39 1E 04AD 100.
Chair Pearce read aloud the public hearing procedures for land use hearings.
Ex Parte Contact
The Planning Commission declared no ex parte contact and one site visit with staff. Chair Pearce spoke to Mark Knox five years ago regarding the matter.He recalled Mr. Knox had explained the project would need a Comprehensive Plan amendment and a rezone for density.Chair Pearce also participated in one site visit with the Commission and staff.
This was a Type III hearing of a rezone that needed a Comprehensive Plan amendment.There were permit applications.The action was a legislative rezone.The Planning Commission would make a recommendation to the City Council who had full legislative discretion.In all rezones and map amendments, the City had to make Findings that it was consistent with statewide planning goals and guidelines.The Planning Commission could only make a conditional decision for the City Council to consider.The City Council could send it back for adoption by the Planning Commission or they could adopt the Findings provided.
Senior Planner Derek Severson clarified the only items preliminary or conceptual in the submittal was the building designs. The applicant’s intention was doing the project in phases.It would be sold to different people to build out each phase.This was incorporated into the conditions and would come back as a Type I if there were no significant modifications.
Staff Report
Mr. Severson explained the subject property consisted of three lots along the north side of East Nevada Street, Tax Lot 1100, 1200, and 1300.The subject properties had the city limit line and the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) line running through the back two-thirds of the land.There was a portion outside the city limits and the UGB.Under the Regional Problem Solving Agreement in 2012, the City was committed to not go beyond the UBG for the next 50-60 years depending on how long it took to double the population.
The current application would amend the Comprehensive Plan, change the zone, and have approvals only to the portion within city limits.The three lots were 4.5 acres with 2.4 acres actually in city limits.The proposal would demolish the existing house on Tax Lot #1200.The trailer house would most likely remain until that area was developed.There was a City tax lot in the proposal and staff recommended including the .35 acre in the rezone for the affordable housing development.
The application included the following components:
  • Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment (Single Family Residential Reserve to North Mountain Neighborhood Plan).
  • Zone change (RR-.5 to NM-MF).
  • Outline Plan approval for a 20-lot, 23-unit subdivision.
  • Site Design Review approval.
  • Tree Removal Permit to remove ten trees greater than 6-inches in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.).
  • The exception to Street Standards to not install bike lanes, and to not install sidewalks on a portion of East Nevada.
Note:  Portions of the subject properties are located outside of the city limits; the current request involves only those portions within the city limits.
  • Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) - Plan Amendments and Zone Changes - Type III.  It may be necessary from time to time to make legislative amendments in order to conform with the Comprehensive Plan or to meet other changes in circumstances or conditions. The Type III procedure applies to the creation, revision, or large-scale implementation of public policy requiring City Council approval and enactment of an ordinance; this includes adoption of regulations, zone changes for large areas, zone changes requiring comprehensive plan amendment, comprehensive plan map or text amendment, annexations (see chapter 18.5.8 for annexation information), and urban growth boundary amendments. The following planning actions shall be subject to the Type III procedure.
  1. Zone changes or amendments to the Zoning Map or other official maps, except where minor amendments or corrections may be processed through the Type II procedure pursuant to subsection, above.
  2. Comprehensive Plan changes, including text and map changes or changes to other official maps.
  3. Land Use Ordinance amendments.
  4. Urban Growth Boundary amendments.
  • Type II. The Type II procedure is used for applications involving zoning map amendments consistent with the Comprehensive Plan map, and minor map amendments or corrections. Amendments under this section may be approved if in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan and the application demonstrates that one or more of the following.
  1. The change implements a public need, other than the provision of affordable housing, supported by the Comprehensive Plan.
  2. A substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the existing zoning or Plan designation was proposed, necessitating the need to adjust to the changed circumstances.
  3. Circumstances relating to the general public welfare exist that require such an action.
  4. Proposed increases in residential zoning density resulting from a change from one zoning district to another zoning district, will provide 25 percent of the proposed base density as affordable housing consistent with the approval standards set forth in subsection
  5. Increases in residential zoning density of four units or greater on commercial, employment, or industrial zoned lands (i.e., Residential Overlay), will not negatively impact the City's commercial and industrial land supply as required in the Comprehensive Plan, and will provide 25 percent of the proposed base density as affordable housing consistent with the approval standards set forth in subsection 
  6. The total number of affordable units described in, subsections 4 or 5, above, shall be determined by rounding down fractional answers to the nearest whole unit. A deed restriction, or similar legal instrument, shall be used to guarantee compliance with affordable criteria for a period of not less than 60 years., subsections 4 and 5 do not apply to Council initiated actions.
The existing R-.5 zoning dated back to the 1970s.The City began the neighborhood plan process in 1994 and adopted it as the North Mountain Neighborhood Plan (NMNP) in 1997.The area filled out with the NMNP in place along with the facilities to support current and future development.The proposal would update the half-acre minimal lot size zoning at the subject property and continue the same level of development.
The applicants proposed two units on Tax Lot 1100.The rock outcropping on the lot was steeper than 35% and not buildable per code. The applicants provided site plans depicting attached housing, detached units and two attached units sharing an attached garage.They did not want to install sidewalks along the rock outcropping of East Nevada Street or bike lanes at another section of the street.Camelot Drive would extend into the site as a public street with full street improvements on both sides.They would also extend the North Mountain Avenue right of way and rename it Franklin Street to access an alley at the rear of the site.The applicants wanted the alley to be public but the Public Works Department disagreed and thought it should be private.The applicants provided a Civil Site Plan, plans for Grading and Drainage, Landscape Irrigation, Planting, Electric Service, Tree Removal and Protection, and Conceptual Elevations for the units.
The Tree Commission thought Tree #1 was a native Juniper and not a Cedar as indicated in the applicant’s plan.They initially wanted Trees #1, #2, and #5 preserved and protected. However, due to 5-8-feet of grading near trees #1, #2, #3 and #5 for access, the Tree Commission recommended the following:
  1. That all native species such as the Oaks to be removed be mitigated on a one-for-one basis with four-inch caliper native species that will attain a similar size to the tree being removed at maturity. 
  2. That the conifers to be removed such as the Juniper & Ponderosa Pine be mitigated on a one-for-one basis with conifers that will attain a similar size to the tree being removed at maturity, and that is at least ten feet tall at planting. 
Key Items from the Staff Report included:
  • Open/Recreation Space – Staff asked for a revised plan with usable recreation space placement and treatment.
  • Building Orientation – Staff recommended a condition that corner units at Camelot Drive and Franklin Street have an orientation with entry and pedestrian connection directly to the higher order East Nevada Street.
  • Street Improvements
  • Nevada Street to include standard Avenue improvements where the rock is not impacting.
  • Staff supported the exception for sidewalks at the rock.
  • Staff supported the exception for Bike Lanes (sign-in favor of future bridge L.I.D.)  There were 107 vehicle trips per day on that section of Nevada Street.  The Avenue Standard called for bike lanes under all circumstances with a trip generation number of at least 3,000 vehicle trips per day.
  • Staff recommended a Pedestrian Refuge at the toe of the rock with 18 to 24-inches flattened, surfaced with decomposed granite or concrete maintained weed-free as a refuge for pedestrians.
Staff recognized the following changes in circumstances:
  • Extension of essential services in conjunction with NMNP adoption and build-out.
  • Regional Problem Solving (RPS) Commitments to Efficient Land Use within existing boundaries.
  • Housing Crisis.
  • Need for More Land to Accommodate Moderately Priced and Affordable Ownership & Rental Units.
The changes supported the requested up-zoning.  The additional units were in the public interest.  The Planning Commission could recommend that the Council consider requiring the three ARU units currently listed as optional as well as additional density to utilize available density and bonuses. 
Questions of Staff
Mr. Severson explained the applicants were offering 23 units.  The maximum number of houses would be 24 units.  With density bonuses, it could increase to 28 units, possibly 30.  The Avenue Classification was in the Transportation System Plan (TSP).  If the bridge went in, it would connect to Oak Street and Mountain Avenue. 
When the original subdivision was developed, it looked like it needed an alternative connection for fire access.  That resulted in the avenue designation.  With the recent discussions regarding the bridge, the Public Works Department was considering revisiting the avenue designation during the next TSP update.  They also discussed the potential of Kestrel Parkway taking over the avenue function.  
In terms of not having bike lanes, the Public Works Department could have the Transportation Commission investigate the use of bike Sharrows. 
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained sidewalk and park row were the same whether it was a residential neighborhood street or a residential avenue.  The Avenue Standard allowed parking bays that were one foot smaller in dimension.  
Mr. Severson clarified the application would provide 4 units of affordable housing that was 25% of the base density.  A memo in the file spoke to transferring the land to an affordable housing provider in the future.  It would be a 60% area median income level of affordability that had a conversion factor.  The base density would be 25% or six units.  Because they were at 60% area median income, there was a 1.5 conversion factor resulting in 4 units at the lower level.
The code discussed having affordable housing completed before 50% of the units were built.  The applicants did not want it tied to this requirement because the affordable housing provider was not related to the project and applicants would not be building the affordable housing.  Commissioner Thompson wanted to know what methods existed that would ensure the affordable housing would be built.  Mr. Molnar thought it could be recommended to City Council as a condition.  The specific standard stated that “50% of the affordable units shall have been issued building permits prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the last of the first 50% of the market rate units.”  Mr. Severson noted the applicants were asking for an exception to that standard.
Applicant’s Presentation  
Amy Gunter/Rogue Planning and Development Services/1424 South Ivy/Medford, OR/Thought the Planning Commission could find the change in circumstances with the development of the North Mountain Neighborhood, Skylark, Mountain Meadows, Julian Square and the Great Oaks Subdivision to necessitate changing the zoning and the comprehensive plan map designation for the subject property.  The need for all housing types and compliance with the standards from the NMNP was in substantial conformance with the Ashland Land Use Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan.
The proposed development for 20-23 units addressed minimum density standards for the NMNP.The layout was similar to a townhouse development and provided a mix of housing types.It allowed four affordable housing units restricted to the 60% area median income.This type of affordable housing was in higher demand.
The Conceptual Elevations complied with the NMNP.The C Units were proposed to front on Camelot Drive.The applicants wanted to rotate these units to face on North Mountain Avenue with access from the rear.It would improve orientation to Nevada Street and provide ease of construction. This was a 10% substantial change for orientation from Outline Plan to the Final Plan. It could trigger a Type II planning action at the final plan stage.The Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) called for orientation to “a street” and not a “higher order street.”It also spoke to the design of the front facade, the entry layout, corresponding setbacks, and a primary orientation to the front.The front entrances to the D corner units at Camelot Drive and Nevada Street faced West and the other corner unit at Franklin Street and Nevada Street faced East.Both were oriented to their front.The sides would be oriented towards Nevada Street.The Site Design Chapter stated when buildings are located within 20 feet of a street, the primary entrance opening facing the street connected via a right-of-way.The proposed units complied with the North Mountain Neighborhood District Site Development and Design Standards.It also met the standards in Housing.
Adequate area was provided for the open spaces. The Subdivision open space exceeded the required 5,270 square feet of area. The multi-family recreational space was required to be 8,422 square feet.The application provided 2,500 square feet of play area, 1,870 square feet of deck and 2,100 square feet of patio all more than 6' by 8'. There was also more than 5,150 square feet of lawn area.Many areas of open space could be private or common.Ms. Gunter described potential landscape features that included a path to a vista viewpoint.
Public Facilities - Water
  • There are no wells on site.
  • The proposed civil engineering plans have located a public water line to extend to the development from Nevada Street and through the development via the public alley and Camelot Drive. The meters would be located as close to the units as practical without the need for pressure increasing devices or cross-connection issues.
  • Without the alley and with Camelot Drive as a public street, private lines can be extended via private laterals to the detached residences without the “premises isolation” issues.
  • Fire Hydrants are proposed at the intersection of the alley and Franklin and Camelot and the alley. In the event the alley becomes private, the hydrants would be verified to be within the right-of-way of the two streets.
  • Electric services to the properties outside of the Urban Growth Boundary are required to be provided and maintained (tax lot 201 has City of Ashland electric service).
  • Electric service is allowed to and through the development via either a public alley or private driveway.
  • Alleys: The City of Ashland Comprehensive Plan (10.05.05) recommends alleys. Throughout the Land Use Ordinance specifically in the connectivity standards found in regarding 1) Interconnection; 2) Connectivity to Abutting Lands: 5) Use of alleys is recommended where possible.
    • Accessing more than three lots via a private driveway requires an exception with demonstrable difficulty. In the development of the subdivision layout, all indications in the code are to provide alleys, not private driveways. 
  • Pedestrian Refuge: Decomposed granite has been discouraged in other applications. The applicant is worried about creating a safety hazard by encouraging pedestrians to walk in the roadway on a blind curve against the flow of traffic. There is a sidewalk along the South side where pedestrians should walk instead of the roadway.
The requested modifications to conditions of approval included the mitigation standard in Condition 4 from the Tree Commission.The mitigation exceeded what was required by code.The AMC required 1.5-inch caliper trees.The applicant proposed 2-2.5-inch caliper trees.Kerry KenCairn was an arborist and landscape architect.She did not recommend using trees larger than 2.5-inch caliper due to the rocky terrain.The adjacent neighborhood was unable to plant one tree per thirty feet of frontage required by the code because of the impenetrable rock they encountered.The applicant wanted flexibility with the spacing standards in case they encountered something similar.It would also be difficult to find a 10-foot conifer tree.In addition, they were hard to plant and sustain.The applicant wanted the Conditions to allow for 2.5-inch caliper deciduous trees, and six to eight-foot tall native conifer trees.
Another request for modification was Condition 9 requiring orientation to a “higher order” street.This was not supported by the AMC for Site Design Review or the North Mountain Design Standards.
A final request for modification was requiring dedication of an additional right-of-way.The applicant proposed the layouts to meet the NMNP standards.It was a 3-foot difference to widen the park row, sidewalk, and parking bay that would encroach on the property and require dedication.The applicant requested it to be a public pedestrian access easement if found to be necessary by the Commission versus a dedication of a public right of way.
Questions of the Applicant
Ms. Gunter addressed affordable housing and noted the code was not clear.  When there was a transfer of property to a different developer, the applicant was excepted from all of the construction standards.  When the property was sold, deeded, or transferred to a different developer, she did not think it should hold up a development no longer associated with affordable housing. 
With the maximum conservation density bonus, open space density provided a 35% density bonus that equated to 8.4 additional units.  They could not find more space for additional units on the property due to the pond size for stormwater retention treatment, the number of impervious surfaces, and the parking spaces for three-bedroom units.  It was built in a manner that maxed out parking, open spaces, and setbacks.  The three optional accessory dwelling units had parking provided.
Commissioner Brown confirmed the applicant could not sell the affordable housing land to anyone not building affordable housing.  Ms. Gunter addressed the applicant’s Findings and the request for an exception from the standards in Approval Criteria and Standards (G) Subsections 4 and 6, timing, location, distribution, and design.  They planned to sell the land for affordable housing.  Once sold, it would be difficult to control the development of the affordable housing units.  Habitat for Humanity was interested in the property.  Mr. Molnar clarified allowed for exceptions.
Ms. Gunter thought it would cost $200,000 to build each affordable unit.   She confirmed street improvements would be constructed prior and were not the responsibility of the affordable housing developer.  Due to construction, the applicant wanted to defer installing park rows, sidewalks, and street trees until just before the site review. 
Staff had rejected the request to bond and the exception to delay improvements for Franklin Street.  The areas of exception were Camelot Drive to the rock outcropping.  The applicant had requested to bond for the sixty-foot lot at the base of the hill because there were no other sidewalks or pedestrian crossings when the adjacent property to the west was developed.  There was a sidewalk opposite the rock outcropping on Nevada Street.
Ms. Gunter addressed removing trees #12, #13, #14, and #15.  The proposal would build a 3-foot retaining wall at the base of the hill.  The lot from the base of the hill to the property line was 60-feet wide.  In addition to the retaining wall, there was a driveway with a 20-foot clear width and a 15-foot paved width and two lots.  Construction would have a negative impact on the trees.  One of the two units would front on Nevada Street and the other would face the driveway. 
Kerry KenCairn/545 A Street/Explained there was a flat surface area and anything above that was too steep for a road.  It was already graded and in order to make both lots viable, it was practical to remove tree #15. The graded driveway already went under the two Oak trees in the back northeast corner and would not affect them.  Ms. Gunter commented Jackson County code did not require paving that part of the driveway.  The applicants did not plan to pave that section.  Ms. KenCairn noted tree #15 was too close to the construction to preserve.  Ms. Gunter added native trees would not flourish when irrigation was installed.
Public Testimony
Gerald Stein/989 Camelot Drive/Wanted to know how many parking spaces, garage spaces, outdoor spaces were proposed.  Camelot Drive was narrow and parking was already a challenge.  He was concerned parking would encroach where he lived on Nevada Street.  He had traffic concerns with the extension of Camelot Drive and wanted to know if a traffic study had occurred.  Another concern was water pressure.
Tom Marr/955 N Mountain Avenue/Lived there for more than 25 years and would be the most impacted as far as proximity to the project.  He thought parking should go in first to accommodate the construction that would be extremely disruptive.  He wanted constraints for dust control, noise, hours of operation, and traffic control.  He testified before the Tree Commission to preserve as many native trees as possible.  He also wanted an assurance the electric, water, and sewer would not enter his property for the use of these 22-28 homes.  He supported a buffer for the freeway.  He liked the pedestrian refuge.  He did not support the Nevada Street Bridge or the City requiring the applicant to sign a future LID to build the bridge.  He suggested not developing the City property and keeping it natural.
He confirmed that he was affected by freeway noise almost constantly.The sound would change. At times it was very loud and he could hear it from inside his house.
Andrea Napoli/325 Stoneridge Avenue/Was concerned about adding more car-dependent density to the neighborhood.  Currently, there was no bike connection from North Mountain to the rest of town.  There were no bike lanes, the streets were narrow and there was limited sight distance if a bicyclist was on the road.  There was not a bike-pedestrian bridge that connected to Nevada Street but it was in the NMNP.  The Outline Plan approval noted adequate key facilities could be provided including adequate transportation.  It also stated the proposal complied with applicable standards in Section 18.4.6 Public Facilities. Adequate transportation included pedestrians and bicyclists.  She questioned how the plan met adequate transportation without a bike connection to the rest of town.
Iraj Ostovar/566 Park Street/Supported the annexation.  It would add 20-22 lots and there were not many lots available for building at this time.  The proposal provided affordable housing.  It would add to the base revenue for Jackson County and the City.  He thought it was a valuable project.
Dan Thomas/18227 Hwy 66/Was the construction manager for Habitat for Humanity.  This was a prime opportunity for Habitat for Humanity to build houses.  With their corporation partnerships, donations, and volunteer base, they could build a house that would sell as an affordable home.  They sold to the federal standard of 40% -70%.  The cost of land in Ashland was an issue.  There were questions regarding the proposal that needed to be resolved.  Habitat for Humanity fund raised because they sold at a zero interest loan.  Most families stayed in their homes for 30 years.  This was an opportunity for Habitat for Humanity but they were limited by funds and could not spend $100,000 for property and then pay another $200,000 to build a home for a family on minimum wage.  Currently, they built 5-6 homes a year.   He thought they could start building within a year or two.
Applicant’s Rebuttal
Ms. Gunter explained thirteen three-bedroom units would require 26 parking spaces.The seven detached and semi-detached three-bedroom units would need 14 parking spaces.The three units less than 500 square feet required three for a total of 43 on-site spaces. On-street parking at one space per lot required twenty parking spaces for a grand total of 63.Not all the units would be three-bedroom so the parking ratio could decrease.There were twelve garage units.The remainder were surface and on-street parking.
Steve Walker, the water quality supervisor for the Public Works Department had addressed water pressure with the applicant.There was one hundred-pounds static PSI on one side of the street and 90 pounds PSI on the other side.He did not see any impacts to water pressure for the proposed development.
She addressed Mr. Thomas’ testimony and explained the code allowed for 60%-80% that gave the pro rata of the 1.5 units per 1 for affordability.Habitat for Humanity was within that range at 40%-75%.
Ms. Gunter responded to testimony regarding adequate key facilities, transportation, and circulation.The applicants had a transportation engineer look at the project.Through the analysis, offsite improvements were not required because of the number of trips generated by the project were below development thresholds.They looked at the rationale nexus of what improvements the City could require based on the transportation impacts of the project.The proposed transportation improvements along the entire frontage of the project complied with the City standards.They addressed the exception and believed there was demonstrable difficulty meeting the exception.The transportation analysis did not show a rationale for offsite improvements to the bridge or North Mountain Avenue.
Additionally, developments were required to pay system development charges (SDCs) for transportation that could pay for offsite bicycle facilities that would better serve the community.There was not an adequate right of way to develop bike lanes.The bike lanes would go from Franklin Street to Camelot Drive then stop.
Mr. Molnar explained there were two ways an applicant could provide affordable housing.They could build it or provide title to sufficient amount of buildable land for development transfer to a non-profit affordable housing developer.The provision clearly did not require the applicant to give it to a not for profit housing developer. Community Development staff and the City Legal Department had been discussing that language.They concluded that it was clearly an obligation as part of the application to make that a reality.By the time it went to Council, it should be clear that if a not for profit developer was involved, they had a very strong agreement in place to make the four units a reality under that provision.City Attorney Dave Lohman was not sure it did not require an obligation to negotiate or provide that land to the not for profit developer.
Ms. Gunter responded it had been done differently in the past for a variety of affordable housing developments.The code was originally written because people had shirked their responsibility.That was not the intention here.It did not appear there was a precedent in the code to give the land away.Past practices varied from selling, donating, or transferring the land.It was not clear in the code.
Deliberations & Decision
Mr. Severson explained there was a North Mountain Avenue Standard in the NMNP.  It contained a median down the middle of the street and was approximately 3-feet smaller for the park row and parking bays.  The Planning Commission agreed to keep the North Mountain Avenue Standards for park rows and sidewalks.
For the private alley, staff looked at functional access versus legal access.  With the exception of the A Unit, all of the units fronted directly on the public right of way.  While they were accessed from an alley at the rear, they all had frontage on a public street.  Typically, with flag drives, staff did not count the flag drive lots that had frontage on a public street even though they took access from the flag drive.  The applicant could convert to a private alley without requiring exceptions to the access requirement. 
In the affordable housing requirements, different phases were acceptable provided there were assurances the project would be built.  It was not clear where it fell under the statutory provision.  Nor was it clear whether it referred to getting an exception to phasing that would require building the affordable units before 50% of the project was completed.  If that was the case, it might set a standard for an exception and would need adequate assurances that the project would be built.  The Commission could make a recommendation to the City Council that having a deed restriction on the property was adequate assurance it would remain affordable and transferred to an affordable housing provider.
Mr. Molnar thought there were strong similarities between the City Street Standards and North Mountain Avenue Standards.  The only difference was 6-feet versus 5-feet for sidewalks.  The parking bay standard of 7 on a residential street would ultimately be decided by the Public Works Director.  Commissioner Dawkins spoke to the bike lane exception.  It did not make sense to have a bike lane going up the hill.  He suspected people would bike through the old mill lumber site to Bear Creek because it was flat.  If a bridge went in, bicyclists would most likely follow Kestrel Parkway and a private roadway that connected to North Mountain Avenue.
The Planning Commission supported applying the North Mountain Avenue Standards and agreed with the exception made for the bike lane.  Chair Pearce noted they would have to make Findings that the application met the street criteria exceptions and there were adequate transportation facilities.
The Commission agreed to modify 9(m)(i) and remove the language referring to the refuge area by the rock outcropping.
They supported the applicant signing the agreement to participate in a future Local Improvement District (LID) regarding the Nevada Street bridge.
Commissioners Dawkins/Mindlin m/s to extend the meeting to 10:00 p.m.  Voice Vote: ALL AYES. 
Motion passed 7-0.
The Commission discussed the affordable housing component.  Commissioner Mindlin supported having them build 50% of their project but at that time they had to start building the affordable units.  If they transferred the land, it should be restricted so that it returned to the applicant if the affordable units were not built in a timely manner.  She thought the affordable housing provider should be able to access the additional density if they wanted.  Commissioner Miller did not support making the units smaller than 2 or 3-bedrooms.  Commissioner Dawkins clarified the ordinance already had the language regarding building 50% of a project then requiring construction to begin on the affordable housing portion.  Commissioner Norton thought all the D Units should be built at the same time.  It would be less expensive.  The units should look similar as well.  He supported language to build the affordable units at the 50% point.  Chair Pearce suggested having them all built by the time certificates of occupancy were issued.
The Commission agreed that by the time 50% of the project was complete, construction should start on the affordable units.  They retained all the requirements in with the exception of allowing the units to be clustered.
Chair Pearce explained the project needed to be in conformity with the Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines.  He had written a document that addressed compatibility with the goals for inclusion in the Findings.  
The Planning Commission discussed the proposed changes to the trees.  They reduced the caliper to 2.5” and the size of the evergreens to 6-8 feet.  The applicant could plant comparable trees.   They also agreed on not paving the driveway past the western post units to protect Trees #16 and #17.  The applicant needed to further identify the condition for the new site plan for open space.
The Commission addressed 9-C-1 and gave the applicant permission to rotate the C Units on Camelot Drive and Nevada Street and Nevada Street and Franklin Street.  They agreed to keep the alley private and not public.  For the right of way improvement along Nevada Street, the Commission and staff supported it being a public easement if improvements extended outside the existing right of way.  Building the three additional accessory dwelling units would remain optional.
Commissioners Dawkins/Mindlin m/s to extend the meeting to 10:10 p.m.  Voice Vote: ALL AYES. 
Motion passed 7-0.
The Commission was fine with the applicants having the option to get a bond for the 60-foot street improvements.
Commissioners Dawkins/Mindlin m/s to approve Planning Action PA-2017-02129 with the following items:
  • Retain the North Mountain Avenue Standard.
  • Accept the bike lane exception.
  • Modify 9(m)(i) and remove the language referring to the pedestrian refuge area by the rock outcropping.
  • Retain signing the agreement to participate in a future Local Improvement District (LID) regarding the Nevada Street bridge.
  • Retain all the requirements in with the exception of permitting the units to be clustered.
  • Reduce the caliper of trees to 2.5 inches and the size of the evergreens to 6-8 feet and allow the applicant to plant comparable trees.  
  • Not paving the drive just past the garage at the western post units to protect Trees #16 and #17.
  • The applicant needed to further identify the condition for the new site plan for open space.
  • For 9-C-1, rotate the C Units on Camelot Drive and Nevada Street and Nevada Street and Franklin Street to comply with driveway length if the developer wanted.  
  • The alley will be private and not public. 
  • Have a public easement for the right of away improvement along Nevada Street if improvements extended outside of the existing right of way.
  • Keep the 3 accessory dwelling units as optional.
  • The applicants had the option to get a bond for the 60-foot street improvements.
DISCUSSION:  Chair Pearce clarified these were recommendations on legislation and proposed findings, conclusions and conditions on the Outline Plan, and the Site Design Review.  All conditional on Council approval of the rezoning. The Council could send them back to the Planning Commission for final approval or they could approve them themselves.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Brown, Norton, Thompson, Mindlin, Dawkins, Pearce, and Miller, YES.  Motion passed 7-0.
Meeting adjourned at 10:02 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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