Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019
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 Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Alan Harper
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:
    Stefani Seffinger, absent  
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced Councilor Stefani Seffinger was the new council liaison to the Planning Commission.  The City Council would discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Croman South property owner at their meeting February 19, 2019.  The Commission discussed council liaison participation during commission meetings.  
  1. Approval of Minutes
1.  January 8, 2019 Regular Meeting
2.  January 22, 2019 Study Session
Commissioners Thompson/Dawkins m/s to approve the Consent Agenda.   Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
  1.    PLANNING ACTION: PA-T2-2018-00006
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 476 N Laurel Street
OWNER/APPLICANT:  Clover Living Trust; Dave Clover, Trustee; Dorothy Clover, Trustee/ KDA Homes, LLC
DESCRIPTION:   A request for Site Design Review for a 12-unit Cottage Housing development and a Performance Standards Subdivision Outline Plan for a 13-lot subdivision located at 476 Laurel St. The application includes an Exception to the Street Standards to either install a curbside sidewalk or to reduce the required parkrow width to 3.7 feet on the Mountain View Dr. frontage of 478 Laurel St. The application includes a request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove a 12” diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) apple tree and a 12” dbh walnut tree. The application includes the demolition of the existing home and two accessory buildings located at 476 Laurel St. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single-Family Residential ZONING: R-1-5; ASSESSOR’S MAP & TAX LOTS: 39 1E 04CB 8800.
Chair Pearce explained the public hearing occurred at the meeting January 9, 2019.  There was a request to leave the record open.  The record was left open for a three-week period.  The public hearing was closed.  The record closed January 29, 2019.   The Commission would deliberate and make a decision at this meeting.
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioner Harper disclosed an ex parte contact with a citizen who had suggested there be fewer units and more parking on the site.  It would not influence his ability to make an impartial decision.  The remaining Commission had no ex parte on the matter.
Deliberations & Decision
The Commission discussed the possibility of widening the street width on Mountain View Drive.  The street complied with city standards and the street width calmed traffic.  Commission majority supported retaining the current street width. 
They went on to discuss the frontage on 478 Laurel Street.  There was 8.7 feet of space between the property line and the curb line.  It would either be a 5-foot curbside sidewalk with trees against the neighbors’ fence or a 3-foot 7-inch park row with smaller trees.  There was a street tree list for 4-foot wide park rows.  The park row would transition from the driveway to a full park row.
The Commission discussed a neighbor’s suggestion to install a pedestrian path out to Laurel Street for better access to guest parking.  Commission majority thought the path could invite security issues at night and possibly create a troublesome place in the neighborhood.
The applicants would allow draining from all the lots into their drainage system.
Commissioners Harper/Brown m/s to approve PA-T2-2018-00006 pursuant to the staff report recommendations and Conditions.  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Brown noted this was the first housing project of this size.  They needed to see how it developed. It fit with the neighborhood.  Chair Pearce appreciated the public testimony on the matter.  Although ensuring compatibility was not a land use criterion, it was a legitimate concern.  It would be a legislative issue for the Council going forward as the City increased density.  Commissioner Dawkins agreed.  Commissioner Harper added compatibility spoke to 2 and three stories.  He was more concerned when the rest of the area developed.   Commissioner Thompson spoke to the public concern the ordinance did not provide adequate parking.  She thought the compatibility statement at the outset of that ordinance was legislative rationale to support the adoption of the ordinance.  It was not land use criteria and would not provide a legal basis for the Commission to deny approval if the project complied with the specifics of the ordinance.  When the City Council adopted the ordinance, they found that it was consistent with the neighborhood.  This project met the criteria of the ordinance.  Imposing parking would require a Variance and Exceptions.  Commissioner Norton added a lot of thought went into the ordinance.  When they were developing the ordinance, there was little public involvement.  It would have added benefit to hear public concerns during that time. If they had to refine the ordinance in the future, the Commission could review the comments made on this project.  Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Mindlin, Norton, Dawkins, Harper, Thompson, Brown, and Pearce, YES. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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