Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

February 25, 2020
Chair Roger Pearce called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Troy Brown, Jr.
Michael Dawkins
Kerry KenCairn
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Alan Harper
  Stefani Seffinger, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced there would be site visit to the 476 North Laurel Street cottage housing development in lieu of a Study Session March 24, 2020.  Ashland was recognized by the National Association of Home Builders for best practices regarding the cottage housing ordinance.
  1. Draft Amendments to Open Space Standards
Community Development Director Bill provided history on the process. This was an opportunity for the following:
  • To make the code clearer and more consistent. 
  • Ensure the standard allowed flexibility in having common open space and private open space. 
  • Clarify what could be included and what should not be included in the common areas.
  • Clear up general standards.
Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation (see attached):
  • When is Open Space Required?
  • Multifamily Development:  231-235 Hersey
  • Attached Single-Family Development: 429 Scenic
  • Attached Single-Family Development:​1068 East Main
  • Single-Family Detached Development: Helman Springs Subdivision​
  • What Stays the Same?​
  • Proposed Amendments for Definitions
  • Proposed Amendments for Common Open Space
  • Proposed Amendments for Private Open Space
  • Open Space Terminology
  • Next Steps​                                   
Ms. Harris clarified a parameter setback could not be used for common space but could for private yard area.  It did not apply to the front yard.  The language needed to be cleaned up.  She confirmed the minimum dimensions for common open space was 20 feet.
Commissioner KenCairn suggested changing the private yard requirement from six-foot depth to an eight-foot depth.
The Commission agreed with staff’s recommendation to delete “Common open space may include areas that provide for the preservation or enhancement of natural features such as wetlands, floodplain corridors, ponds, larger tress, and rock outcroppings,” from the following sections:
  • Section 1. Residential Development, (H) Open Space, (h) Natural Areas.
  • Section 3. Performance Standards for Residential Developments, (3) Common Open Space Required (a)(iii).
  • Section 4. Definitions, Common Open Space.
The Commission reviewed each section and made changes to the following:
Section 1. Residential Development
  • Rewrite H. Open Space Section 2 (b) Dimensional Standards.
  • H. Open Space (1)(g) Credit for Proximity to a Park.  Change the walking distance from one-quarter mile to one-eighth of a mile.
Section 2. Residential Density Calculation in R-2 and R-3 Zones, (F) 3. Density Bonus Point Criteria (b) Common Open Space.
  • Remove the purpose statements.
  • Add a reference to Section 1 (H)(2) in (F)(3)(b) Common Open Space, sentence “A one percent sentence bonus shall be awarded for each one percent of the total project area in common open space in excess of the base requirement.”
Section 3. Performance Standards for Residential Developments.
  • In (A)(3) Common Open Space Required (a) Required Area (iii) Natural Areas include the ability to provide unenclosed structures. 
Section 4. Definitions
  • First sentence in Open Space, add “Unless otherwise specified in this land use code,” at the beginning and revise “…or structuring urban development and form (or creating a pattern of development).”
  • Under Open Space, revise the language in Private Open Space to exclude the indication that front yards could be used.
Meeting adjourned at 8:51 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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