Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March 12, 2019
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:
Michael Dawkins
Alan Harper
Melanie Mindlin
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Troy Brown, Jr.
  Stefani Seffinger, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained staff would provide City Council an overview of the Housing Element and Planning recommendations at their Study Session Monday, March 18, 2019.  At the City Council’s regular meeting March 19, 2019, Scott Fregonese of Fregonese and Associates would discuss the Vertical Housing Development Zone. It would apply to the Transit Triangle Overlay.  In April, there would be a joint study session between the Planning Commission and the Housing and Human Services Commission regarding rental housing.  The 188 Garfield Street project was Appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals.
Chair Pearce attended a meeting on the role of Commissioners and Chairs.  The City Attorney reviewed public meeting laws, public records laws and Ethics.  The meeting discussed quorum and what constituted as a public meeting.  Any gathering of at least four commissioners created a quorum.  That included hub conversations as well.  Private notes used for work as a commissioner were subject to public record law.  On the topic of Ethics, commissioners needed to disclose if a family member would be affected by a project.
  1. Approval of Minutes
1.  February 12, 2019 Regular Meeting
Commissioners Thompson/Mindlin m/s to approve the Consent Agenda.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
  1.    Approval of Findings for PA-T2-2018-00006, 476 N Laurel
Commissioner Thompson noted page 11 and the reference by the applicant to provide a drainage easement so the neighbors could connect to the drainage on site.  She thought it should be added to the Conditions of Approval.  The Commission agreed. 
Commissioners Thompson/Dawkins m/s to approve the Findings, Conclusions, and Orders in PA-T2-2018-00006, with the modification to include the requirement to provide a drainage easement and install storm drain pipe under City permit at the Applicant’s cost with the initial site infrastructure to provide neighbors with the option of connecting at the neighbor’s expense, their storm water drains to resolve surrounding drainage issues.  DISCUSSION:  The Commission had no ex parte on the matter.  Commission comment complimented Mr. Severson on the format he used for the Findings.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
  1. Croman Mill District
Planning Manager Maria Harris and Mr. Molnar spoke to the matter.The City Council supported going forward with the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City and Croman Corporation at their meeting February 19, 2019.The City would work with the Croman Corporation to consider amendments to the Croman Mill District Plan.The amendments would allow for the development of housing to facilitate and finance the construction of the main street and utilities to affect further development.
The presentation included:
  • History of the property
  • Actions taken by the City
  • Croman Mill District boundaries
  • MOU Project Objectives
  • Housing Options 
The scope of work would have four steps.The location for additional housing would be at a specific area west of Central Boulevard.The property was the furthest away from the Railroad tracks and close to existing residential.
Step One General Plan & Land Use
  • Establish objective for housing types
  • State agency coordination
  • Develop general site plan
  • Council and Planning Commission Check in
Step Two Technical Analysis & Central Boulevard
  • Updated the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA)
  • Update Buildable Lands Inventory (BLI)
  • Timeline and phasing plan for Central Boulevard
  • Council and Planning Commission Check-in 
Step Three Plan Amendments & Annexation
  • Prepare Croman Mill Plan amendments
  • Prepare Annexation application
  • Initiate formal application process
  • Advisory Commission reviews (Transportation, Housing)
  • Council and Planning Commission public hearings
Step Four Development Proposal Review
  • Planning Application by Croman Corp for housing development
  • Advisory Commission reviews
  • Planning Commission public hearings
Mr. Molnar referenced an email Mark DiRienzo sent to the Commission.There was an opportunity to reassess infrastructure requirements and zoning to create more flexibility.
He confirmed the subject area was owned by the Croman Corporation and described the ownership boundaries.The rezone area was entirely owned by the Croman Corporation.
Staff clarified past efforts to seek grants or low infrastructure notes to build infrastructure and tax increment financing were not pursued.The City could look at it but it was not on table right now.
The need for both housing and employment land did not outweigh the other.The Economic Analysis conducted in 2010 showed there was a slight surplus of employment land if a twenty-year supply was considered.Since 2010, the focus was more on housing and how to get infrastructure to employment lands in general.The Croman area and part of the Railroad District lacked infrastructure.The Croman Mill Site was 65 acres.They were considering having 10-20 acres for housing.That left 40 acres for employment that could be fully serviced.Commissioner Thompson suggested adding that to the discussion to provide the rationale for the change in direction.The Conditions that had changed since 2010 should also be included.Chair Pearce clarified that would happen but they were not there yet.Ms. Harris added that was why the Buildable Lands Inventory was included.
Staff would find out whether city services were extended to the trailer park.The plan was initially to bring it into the city.
Commissioner Norton wanted to know how the Commission would be involved in the process.Mr. Molnar clarified the item was informational only.The next step after agreement on the area, densities and land use types, was the check-ins with the Commission and City Council for input.
  1. State Legislative updates regarding Housing
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman provided an overview on state legislation regarding housing over the past two years.  A presentation showed how the recently passed House Bill (HB) 4006 - Severe Rent Burden related to current conditions in Ashland. He described legislature currently pending or in effect.  
Pending legislature included:
  • HB 2001 Middle Housing in Single Family Zones
  • Senate Bill (SB) 334 Urban Reserves for Workforce Housing and Commercial Development
  • SB 529 Housing Limited City – allows suspension of certain planning and zoning ordinances
  • SB 569 Urban Growth Boundary Amendments - for needed housing and annexation
  • SB 621 – Vacation Rentals would require local governments to allow vacation rentals in any legal home
Legislature passed and currently in effect:
  • SB 608 – Rental Dwelling Tenancy – no cause evictions, rent increases
The Commission briefly commented on SB 621, HB 2001 and SB 608. 
Meeting adjourned at 8:07 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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