Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March 26, 2019

Audio Recording
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
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:
Alan Harper   Stefani Seffinger
Community Development Director Bill Molnar noted an Appeal was filed for 476 North Laurel Street, PA-T2-2018-00006.  It would go before the City Council at their meeting April 16, 2019.  The Planners Network Meeting would happen April 2-3, 2019.  Planning staff would speak on Cottage Housing and the Middle Housing Strategy.  Planning Manager Maria Harris was on the Board of Oregon Planners.  Mr. Molnar addressed a site plan a citizen had distributed to the Commission at the meeting.  He explained it was currently an application at the City and cautioned the Commission not to speak on it to avoid ex parte contact.

Dr. Leander Zickler/Ashland/Spoke on improving code language regarding density bonuses for major recreational facilities.
Monika Neri/Jacksonville/Suggested changes to the code regarding open space, common space and recreational space.  
Huelz Gutcheon/Ashland/Spoke on renewable energy.
  1.   Land Use Ordinance - Open Space Amendments
Planning Manager Maria Harris explained the draft ordinance amendments was the starting point to fix inconsistencies regarding Open Space in the code.   The draft took key issues the Commission had discussed and focused on clarification and clean up.  Staff based the changes on the way the code had been applied in prior applications.  There were no significant changes to the policy core.  A presentation showed examples of how Open Space was used in the past. 
Properties included:
  • Open Space Requirements for a Subdivision:  Helman Springs Subdivision
  • Recreation Area – Multi-Family Zones:  231-235 Hersey
  • Recreation Area/Open Space Subdivision in Multi Family Zone:  1068 E Main and 472 Scenic
Key Issues:
  • Distinguish between open space and recreation area
  • Specify types of recreation areas that area allowed (i.e. common, deck, patios)
  • Clarify applicability of density bonuses for open space and recreation area
The Commission discussed the following potential changes:
  • Making the language clearer in (3) Open Space Required
  • Clarify definitions and percentages for Open Space, Recreational Space and Private Space then change the requirements if needed
  • (H) Recreation Area have 4% accessible to all residents for multi-family
  • (H)(1) Recreation Area possibly change language to “private recreation area”
  • Reviewing the definition and use of the word “yard”
  • 18.4.020 (4)(ii) remove the word “limited’
  • Review the qualifications for a slope too steep to be developed
  • Major Recreational Facilities – improve the language, include community gardens, possibly define “Major” instead of defining the area or including a list of activities
  • Definitions, Open Space, last bullet Recreation Area “Recreation areas are improved with suitable surfaces for human use,” change to “Recreation areas shall have suitable surfaces for human use”
  • (4)(b) Private Yard (ii) make the requirement a minimum 6-feet in depth and let the length be more flexible 
Ms. Harris would look into the differences and the language for 18.2.5. (F) Residential Density Bonus for the multi-family density bonus and the proposed wording in Density Bonus.
The Commission discussed the process regarding public speaking during meetings for informational items.  The public could complete a Speaker Request form and speak to any item on the agenda.  Items not on the agenda would be heard during Public Forum.
  1. Vertical Housing Development Zone
Maria Harris explained the City Council reviewed the Vertical Housing Development Zone (VHDZ) at their meeting March 19, 2019.  It was a recommendation from Fregonese and Associates during the Transit Triangle Infill Strategy as an incentive to develop multiple storied buildings on the bus route.
A presentation explained:
  • Envision Tomorrow
  • How Vertical Housing Tax Credits (VHTC) Worked
  • How VHTC Incentives differed depending on the number of floors
  • VHTC Eligibility and Benefits
  • VHTC was optional
  • Examples of the 10-Year Tax Abatement and Comparisons for one, three, and four story buildings (VHTC is ordinarily not used for two story buildings due to a 20% property tax exemption)
  • Key Conclusions
For the next step, staff would present a draft program for Council to consider at a future meeting.
Developers could not use the first floor for residential.  Per state law they would be required to keep 50% of the first floor commercial whether it was leased or not.  The participating city would be responsible for administering and monitoring the program.
Most of the development potential was on Ashland Street in areas zoned for commercial with small pockets of multi-family in the R-2 zone. 
The City could adopt local criteria requiring that a percentage of a Vertical Housing Development Zone be affordable housing.  Staff would add it to the Envision Tomorrow model to see how it affected market feasibility.  The City would have to consult with the developer and provide an option to opt out.
Meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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