Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Mtg

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September 10, 2019
I.              CALL TO ORDER:
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
Alan Harper
Melanie Mindlin
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Fotini Kaufman, Associate Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
    Stefani Seffinger, absent 

Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced the City Council denied the Appeal for Snowberry Brook Phase II and upheld the Planning Commission’s approval.   There were two public hearings scheduled for the meeting October 8, 2019.  One was a potential site review on Russell Street and the other a possible annexation.  Senior Planner Brandon Goldman would host a webinar on middle housing Friday, September 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the Community Development Building.
Commissioner Dawkins noted work on the Downtown Plan would start September 26, 2019.
A.  Approval of Minutes
1.  July 9, 2019 Regular Meeting
2.  July 23, 2019 Special Meeting
3.  August 27, 2019 Study Session
Commissioner Brown/Dawkins m/s to approve the minutes of July 9, 2019. Commissioner Thompson abstained.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
Commissioner Dawkins/Thompson m/s to approve the minutes of August 27, 2019 and July 23, 2019.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
V.            PUBLIC FORUM
Huelz Gutcheon/Ashland/Spoke on the Climate Energy and Action Plan and EV ready wiring for new buildings.
A.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-T2-2019-00011                                                                                   
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  657 Oak Street (Tree Removal – 677 Oak Street)
APPLICANT:  Rogue Planning & Development
OWNER:  Salty Rogue Real Estate LLC
DESCRIPTION: A request for Site Design Review for a 4-unit Cottage Housing development and a Performance Standards Subdivision Outline and Final Plan approval for a 5-lot subdivision located at 657 Oak St. The application includes a Physical and Environmental Constraints Permit to utilize a portion of the floodplain as open space and construct a patio in the floodplain. The application includes an Exception to Site Development and Design standards to locate the open space at the rear of the development. The application also includes a request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove four trees - a 40-inch diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) Black Walnut tree in poor Condition on the shared property line between 657 and 677 Oak, and three additional trees on the subject property - a 22-inch Deodar cedar, a 14-inch Ash and a 16-inch Box Elder. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single-Family Residential ZONING: R-1-5; ASSESSOR’S MAP & TAX LOTS: 39 1E 04CA 1900 & 2000.

Chair Pearce read the rules of the Public Hearing.
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioner Harper, Brown and Pearce declared no ex parte contact.  Commissioner Dawkins, Mindlin, Thompson, and Norton had no ex parte contact and one site visit. 
Staff Report
Associate Planner Fotini Kaufman described the project and provided a presentation (see attached) that included:
  • Proposal.
  • Vicinity Map.
  • Cottage Housing Ordinance.
  • Examples of cottage housing in Oregon and Ashland.
  • Outline Plan – 5-lots P.S.O. Subdivisions.
  • Floor plans. 
  • Floor Area Ratio & Density.
  • Elevations.  
  • Parking & Driveway.
  • Tree Removals.
  • Ashland Modified Floodplain.
  • Open Space Exception & P&E Permit.
  • Views of the floodplain natural transition.
  • Landscape Plan.
  • Utilities Map.
  • Staff Recommendation.



The proposal met the standards.  Staff recommended approval with the Conditions detailed in the meeting packet.
Questions of Staff 
  • The legal description was different from the notice because it included two tax lots. Tax Lot #1900 was the location of the development.  Tax Lot #2000 was the location of a proposed tree removal.
Adjustments would be made to the final version of the findings to state what the Commission found instead of what the applicants proposed.
Applicant’s Presentation
Amy Gunter/Rogue Planning & Development/Kerry KenCairn/KenCairn Landscape Architecture/Ms. Gunter introduced the project team.  She further explained that 667 Oak Street was included in the application due to a tree that straddled both properties that would be removed.  They submitted an Open Space exhibit into the record depicting 3-D aerial renderings of the proposed units (see attached).  A presentation (see attached) included the following:
  • Layout Plan.
  • Tree Protection, Tree Removal and Plan Preservation.
  • Conceptual Elevations.
  • Open Space Plan / Open Space Landscape Plan.
  • Utilities, Infrastructure & Stormwater.
  • Conceptual Utility Plan.
  • Stormwater Management Plan.
A stormwater dispersal system would have the roof and parking lot drains go through collection systems above and below ground into the floodplain to a dispersal trench.  The patio had drain rocks underneath that would serve as a retention area and allow stormwater to percolate through.  The applicants were working with the Parks and Recreation Department on an easement.  Stormwater dispersal would flow towards the neighboring property and not the park.  An easement would allow the stormwater to cross property lines.
The proposal met the purpose and intent of the cottage housing ordinance and performance standards.  The applicants chose not to increase density.  Parking was accommodated on the property and there was no need for on street parking.
Questions of the Applicant
  • What type of material would go under the patio for drainage? 
    • Large granulite drain rock. 
  • What were the rules for building in a floodplain?
    • It required a Physical and Environmental Constraints review.  The applicants would remove earth from the site to incorporate the drain rock.  Standards in the state building code chapter 15.10 addressed construction in floodplains.  The Building Board adopted FEMA floodplain elevations.  Ashland had a modified floodplain that was more restrictive. 
  • Describe the storm water treatment technique. 
    • It was a low impact development technique approved by Rogue Valley Sanitary.  The process merged two techniques and was not new.  It also did not require an Exception or variance.  If the applicants could not obtain the easement for stormwater drainage, they would pump it out to the city systems.  
  • How many units would abut the common open space?
    • Two units. 
  • Was the private open space part of the purchase lot or part of the common area?
    • It was post monument survey and the footprints of the buildings were the tax lots that were purchased.  The private open space was part of the total lot.  The Home Owners Association and Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions would be responsible for maintenance. 
  • Where was the 200 sq. ft. of private space located? 
    • Everything outside of the building foot print was considered common although an owner could plant their own plants around their home.  The terraces would be landscaped.
  • Where was the main common space located? 
    • The main common space would be a patio several feet below the units. 
  • Were the landscaped terraces accessible? 
    • No, they were not accessible.
  • Could they add a fence around the units for private space?
    • No, fencing would create a shade canyon.  There was no walking path or way to access the area.
  • How did the proposal meet the Exception to Open Space?
    • The narrowness of the lot showed demonstrable difficulty.  The proposal showed it was better than what would be achieved by following the guidelines of the ordinance.  Approximately one third of the property was protected floodplain and could not be developed with residential dwelling units.  The proposal met innovative design criteria because it provided small single family detached dwellings and preserved the floodplain.  It also created a large buffer between the public park and the development.
  • What was the fence height between the park and the property? 
    • It would be 4-feet tall.  Deer fencing was allowed. Fence requirements by a floodplain had different standards.
Public Testimony - None
Rebuttal by Applicant
The applicants responded to a letter submitted earlier from Matt Brinkley (see attached).  The letter referred to public open space when it was common open space.  The intent of the ordinance and layout complied with the performance standards that required preservation of natural features.  It also complied with the Cottage Housing Ordinance that gave the ability to amend the location of open spaces.  Property owners would have to walk a couple hundred feet to use the patio area.
The space between the units was not 20-feet wide.  It was 10-feet from the porch to the wall or 18-feet from structure to structure.  The trash enclosure would have a 5-foot screening fence.  Lighting would consist of sconces on the structures and possibly landscape solar lights.  There were no overhead parking lights or bollard lights.
Chair Pearce closed the public hearing and the record.
Deliberations & Decision
Mr. Severson explained the Ashland floodplain map was the reason the applicants sought a Physical and Environmental Constraints component.  The development was within the Ashland modified floodplain and the applicant would have to minimize impacts stated in chapter 18.3.10 Physical and Environmental Constraints Overlay.  The patio was a low structure with porous paving.  The applicants were limiting the size and height to minimize floodplain impacts. 
Commission and staff discussed structures that might wash away in a flood and cause harm downstream.  Both 18.3.10 Physical and Environmental Constraints Overlay and chapter 15.10 of the local building code regulation addressed disturbances in the floodplain and way and required low rise certificates.  In this proposal, the patio was 160 feet from the creek.  The Building Division would review the proposal in terms of the requirements in chapter 15.10.
Staff was not comfortable stating the second cottage abutted the open space due to the location of a low retaining wall and the walkway.  The Cottage Housing ordinance spoke about walkways being used to differentiate the open space area from the units.  This walkway divided the unit and did not appear to abut the common open space.
Commissioners Dawkins/Mindlin m/s to approve PA-T2-2019-00011 657 Oak Street with all the Conditions and the Findings stating two units abutted open space.  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Mindlin thought the proposal met all the criteria.  She amended the motion that the Findings state there were two units abutting the open space.  The area adjacent to the south was 20-feet wide or more if the walkway was considered.  She thought it fell within the criteria and preferred not to give an Exception.  Commissioner Dawkins accepted the amendment.
Commissioner Brown disagreed with the open space being centrally located and that 50% of the units did not abut open space.  Commissioner Harper agreed and would not support the motion.  It did not meet the criteria or the intent of what the code meant.  Chair Pearce explained the applicant was requesting an Exception to the criteria.  Commissioner Harper did not think a narrow lot was a physical constraint or the basis for an Exception.  Commissioner Brown added having a lot with a floodplain in the back did not make it an Exception either.  Chair Pearce explained the standards stated a demonstrable difficulty due to a unique or unusual aspect of the existing structure or proposed use of a site.  Commissioner Brown responded the existing structure was not a problem.  He added people would have to walk down the pathway to access the common open space.  Commissioner Thompson addressed the area the path went through to reach the patio.  The walkway itself was not considered open space and the other space was not private.  The second unit abutted the walkway and part of the slope.  Commissioner Norton had security concerns regarding the walkway that led to the patio as well as the terraces.  He agreed with Commissioner Brown and would not support the motion.
Commissioner Thompson confirmed the open space was all of the terrain in addition to the patio.  Chair Pearce wanted to know if the landscape area adjacent to the south was common open space.  Commissioner Harper thought it attempted to connect chunks of open space.
Commissioner Dawkins addressed the elevation lines.  Technically the two units abutted common open space. 
Commissioner Brown restated his concerns regarding the proposal.  Mr. Severson explained the setback for cottage housing in Building Separation was a minimum of six feet from the nearest point of the exterior walls.  Chair Pearce clarified the issue was if the open space met the dimensional requirements.  Commissioner Mindlin commented the applicants had provided a cognizant argument in support of their Exception.  It met the criteria for the Exception.
Commissioner Norton was concerned with the path that led to the patio and thought safety should be a criterion.  The 3-Dimensional rendering had confirmed his concerns regarding the path.  The project did not fit the lot and did not meet the Exception. 
Commissioner Dawkins called for the question.  The Commission decided to continue deliberation.  Chair Pearce was not sure if the 20-foot dimensions were met.  Mr. Molnar explained these were foot print lots so everything south of the building wall was open space and at 20-feet.  Chair Pearce thought the open space went all the way to the edge of the unit in the back.  There were several walls but he thought the two units did abut the open space.  The pathway went from one open space to another.  He agreed with Commissioner Mindlin that it met the Exception.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Mindlin, Pearce, Thompson and Dawkins, YES; Commissioner Norton, Brown and Harper, NO.  Motion passed 4-3.
B.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-T2-2019-00013
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  Otis Street (39 1E Map 05AD Tax Lot #200)    
APPLICANT:  Rogue Planning & Development Services, LLC                  
OWNER:  Taylored Elements/CMK Development LLC                 
DESCRIPTION:  A request for Outline Plan subdivision approval under the Performance Standards Options Chapter to develop a 27-lot subdivision for the vacant 5.92-acre parcel (Tax Lot #200) at the current western terminuses of Otis and Randy Streets, west of Elizabeth Avenue.  The proposed subdivision would include 23 single family residential lots, two common open space parcels and two larger lots intended for future Cottage Housing developments totaling 19 cottages.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Single-Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5-P; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 391E05AD; TAX LOT: #200.

Chair Pearce summarized the rules of the Public Hearing.
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioner Harper declared no ex parte contact.  Commissioner Brown, Dawkins and Norton had no ex parte contact and one site visit.  Commissioner Mindlin, Thompson and Pearce declared no ex parte contact and had driven by the site.
Staff Report
Senior Planner Derek Severson provided a presentation (see attached) that included:
  • The Proposal.
  • Vicinity Map.
  • Site Plan.
  • Site Tree Preservation.
  • Plan Site Survey Plan.
  • Landscaped Site Plan.
  • Utility Plan.
  • Conceptual Grading & Drainage.
  • Example Elevation.
  • Open Space.
  • Irrigation Plan.
  • Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA) Thresholds.
  • TIA Conclusions.
Staff recommended approval with the Conditions in the draft findings.
Questions of Staff 
  • Concerns regarding the multi-use path that dead ended. 
    • Having multi-use paths dead end was typical in build-outs for incremental connectivity.  This would be another incremental extension.
  • Would another transportation impact analysis be needed for the cottage housing developments? 
    • No.  The TIA presented in the packet included the cottage housing. 
  • Staff described the location of the four open space areas.
  •  The potential for a wetland to exist on the property.
    • There were no wetlands indicated on the local or national inventory.  The applicants had submitted a Wetland Determination Request (see attached) to the Oregon Department of State Lands.
Applicant’s Presentation
Amy Gunter/Rogue Planning & Development/Kerry KenCairn/KenCairn Landscape Architecture/Ms. Gunter introduced the owner, Kyle Taylor from Taylored Elements and the project team.  Mr. Taylor had held a neighborhood meeting in August in response to concerns from neighbors that had gone well.
Ms. Gunter described the subject property.  Highlights included that Lot 20 would come back to add an accessory dwelling unit.   Lot 19 had a solar envelope.  Lots along the north side of the development would most likely be single story units due to solar requirements and an agreement with the present neighbors.  The agreement would also increase the side yard setback from 6-feet to 10-feet to the neighbor’s property on Vansant Street.  A presentation (see attached) included the following:
  • Street Design and Layout.
  • Tree Protection Preservation.
The applicant distributed the street tree proposal for Randy Street (see attached).
  • Example of Street Tree Planting Plan.
  • Open Space Plan.
  • Utilities/Infrastructure/Stormwater.
  • Traffic.
  • Conceptual Utility Plan.
  • Conceptual Grading.
  • Potential Wetland.
Questions of the Applicant
  • When was the last time the site was used for agriculture?
    • The land was still in use and currently had an agricultural exemption because it was a hay field.  There were TID rights on the property.
  • Open Space 1 was not a residential lot.  
    • The lot would serve as a buffer from the house on Randy Street and provide a storm water detention feature.
  • Where was the culvert located?
    • It was located in one of the common areas.  If it was determined there was a wetland, the applicants would modify the plan and the culvert would allow room to comply with the requirements and provide setbacks.  They would amend the final plan to include water protection.
Commissioner Harper wanted to add a Condition that the path be built out in the open space during Phase I.  Ms. Gunter objected and explained it would have to happen during Phase II.  The objection was having to install a water meter just to meter the open space.  She confirmed there was no connection from Randy Street, just Otis Street.
Public Testimony - None
Rebuttal by Applicant - None
Commissioner Dawkins/Thompson m/s to extend the Public Hearing to 10:00 p.m.  Voice Vote: ALL AYES.
Deliberations & Decision
Mr. Severson explained the small portion of land on Billings Ranch Road was a building lot.
The Commission discussed a letter submitted by Dave Kanner (see attached).  One of Mr. Kanner’s concerns was a sharp curve from Randy Street to Vansant Street.  He suggested the City either bump out the curb, place a sign or add a warning light.  Currently, there was a Condition in regards to the stop sign where the applicant would work with the Public Works Department to determine whether stop signs were necessary at the intersection of Randy Street and Otis Street.  Mr. Severson thought staff could rework the Condition to include traffic calming or safety measures needed at the connection to Vansant Street prior to the final plan.  Commissioner Dawkins recommended having a 3-way stop at Randy Street and Otis Street.
Commissioner Brown/Dawkins m/s to approve PA-T2-2019-00013 and recommend a 3-way stop at Randy Street and Otis Street.  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Dawkins thought it was a straight forward proposal.  Commissioner Harper supported the project.  He was concerned with the build-out of the common path on Otis Street.  Mr. Severson explained 50% of the value of recreational amenities had to be built in Phase I before 50% of the units.  All amenities would be built before two thirds of the units were finished.  The applicant could clarify that at final plan.  Commissioner Harper wanted to know how the path would connect during Phase I.  Chair Pearce confirmed two thirds of the build-out was 16 units.  The path would be built during Phase I as well.  The road would not.  Chair Peace was concerned with the wetland.  If there was a possible wetland, a wetland study should have been included instead of a Wetland Determination Request.  However, he was comfortable with it being a Condition.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Mindlin, Pearce, Norton, Brown, Thompson, Dawkins and Harper, YES.  Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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