Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020
I.          CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins
Alan Harper
Kerry KenCairn
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
    Stef Seffinger, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced there would be a Special Meeting July 28, 2020 for the continuation of PA-T3-2019-00001, the annexation at 1511 Hwy 99.  The Commission would also hear a possible amendment to the Open Space Ordinance. 
III.       PUBLIC FORUM - None
A.  Approval of Minutes
 1.   June 9, 2020 Regular Meeting
 2.   June 23, 2020 Special Meeting
Commissioner KenCairn/Pearce m/s approved the minutes of the meeting on June 9, 2020.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
Commissioner Thompson/Pearce m/s approved the minutes of the meeting on June 23, 2020.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
V.        PUBLIC FORUM - None
A.  Approval of Findings for PA-T2-2020-00017, 210 Alicia Street.
The Commission had no ex parte contact regarding the matter.
Commission Dawkins/Pearce m/s to approve the Findings for PA-T2-2020-00017, 210 Alicia Street.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
B.  Approval of Findings for PA-T2-2020-00019, Vacant Tax Lots #10104 & #10105 on First Street (North of Lithia Way, Across from the Post Office).
The Commission had no ex parte contact regarding the matter.
Commission Thompson/Dawkins m/s to approve the Findings for PA-T2-2020-00019, Vacant Tax Lots #10104 & #10105 on First Street (North of Lithia Way, Across from the Post Office).  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
A.   PLANNING ACTION: #PA-T2-2020-00020
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 705 Helman Street (Helman Elementary School)
OWNER/APPLICANT:  HMK Company/Ashland School District #5
DESCRIPTION: A request for Site Design Review and Conditional Use Permit approvals to allow the construction of a new 23,755 square foot, single-story school building for the Helman Elementary School property at 705 Helman Street.  The requested Conditional Use Permit is to allow the expansion of an existing non-conforming development pattern where both the existing and proposed new parking and circulation are located between the buildings and the street, and for the on-site relocation of previously approved signage. The proposal includes the demolition of two existing classroom buildings (the A & B quad’s) and requests a Tree Removal Permit to remove 12 significant trees. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5; MAP: 39 1E 04 BD; TAX LOTS: 600, 2700, 2800 & 2900.
Commissioner KenCairn recused herself from the hearing due to a conflict of interest.  She was working on the project and part of the application.  Chair Norton read the rules of the public hearing during an electronic meeting. 
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioner Dawkins declared no ex parte and one site visit.  Commissioner Pearce and Chair Norton had no ex parte but were familiar with the site.  Commissioner Thompson declared no ex parte or site visit.  Commissioner Harper had no ex parte contact but was very familiar with the site. 
Staff Report
Senior Planner Derek Severson provided a presentation (see attached):
•  Classroom Addition Proposal
•  Vicinity Maps
•  Video Tour by the Applicants
•  Demolition Plan
•  Civil Site Plan
•  Tree Removal & Protection Plan
•  Landscape Plan
•  Aerial Perspective from Southeast
•  Aerial Perspective from Northeast
•  Driveway proximity to Crosswalk & Corner
•  Existing Corner Parking & Orientation
•  Existing Orientation to Corner
•  Aerial Perspective from Northeast    
•  New Entry Plaza (Northeast)
•  New Main Entry Plaza
•  Photos
•  North Courtyard looking Southeast
•  North Elevation from North Courtyard
•  South Courtyard Looking West
•  Southwest Corner Looking East
•  Outdoor Classroom Space/Elevation
•  Amphitheater
•  New Basketball Court
•  Dragon Tile Mural Relocation
•  Staff Recommendation
Staff recommended the following:
1.  Extension of new main entry plaza treatment to include seven parking places.
2.  Providing 100% of required bicycle parking (nine more spaces).
3.  Removal of the middle driveway on Helman Street frontage.
4.  Monitored/Gated Pedestrian Access during pick-up/drop-off for the easement to the south.
Questions of Staff
Commissioner Thompson asked about the new parking lot and accessing the school.  Mr. Severson responded there were no details on access from the new parking lot.  He went on to explain where the fence would be placed.  Commissioner Thompson asked how the circulation would go if the exit point in the plans was eliminated.  Mr. Severson explained the circulation consisted of two points coming in and two potential outlet points 130-feet apart.  Commissioner Harper further explained the drop offs that occur at that location.  Currently there was one entry and often cars were backed up.  The space was wide enough for two drop off spaces.
Commissioner Pearce asked if the permit was required to move an already approved sign.  Mr. Severson explained it was considered a governmental signage.  The conditional use permit (CUP) covered moving the sign.  Commissioner Pearce was concerned how the CUP process was being used.  It was referred to as a non-conforming development pattern and that was not in the code.  Mr. Severson responded that was how the applicant framed it as a modification of that non-conforming pattern.  The other option was treating it as an exception to the site development standards.  It did not conform with standards and the applicant was not correcting or expanding it.  They approached the building as an exception.  The parking and circulation were treated as a CUP.
The Commission discussed the security fencing and potential impact to after school hours use.  Commissioner Harper spoke to the importance for the community to have access to the green space.  Mr. Severson explained the green space had been used as a park in exchange for Parks and Recreation Department maintenance.  It was in the Parks Open Space Plan as a park.  The applicants were in negotiations with the Parks Department to change that due to dog waste issues.  The applicant did discuss possibly having a walking track around the field for the neighborhood.  Mr. Molnar added the Parks and Open Space element of the Comprehensive Plan identified the need for community parks within a quarter mile of every neighborhood.  Schools were used to meet that requirement.  
Applicant’s Presentation – (see attached)
Written Testimony - None
Rebuttal by Applicant - None
Deliberations & Decision
Commissioner Pearce thought the CUP requirement was appropriate for the parking. They would have to rely on the exception for the building.  He agreed with the curb cut on Helman Street and staff’s recommendation on removing the pedestrian connection.  It would be hard to mandate how the green space would be used.  He suggested a condition that the applicant negotiated with the Parks and Recreation Department.  The Commission discussed options for leaving the green space open outside of school hours and how to make it a condition of approval. 
Commissioner Thompson asked why staff recommended not adding the 17 spaces.  Mr. Severson explained the applicant met the parking requirements of 100% on site.  Staff suggested the Commission treat the seven on street parking spaces as overflow instead.  They did not support eliminating them.
Chair Norton asked if the easement was originally a requirement. Mr. Molnar confirmed the walkway from the residential subdivision was a requirement of the earlier project as well as the public easement and the concrete walkway to the school property.  Chair Norton suggested unlocking the gate during off school hours and possibly providing a dog waste bag station.  He supported the applicant working with the Parks and Recreation Department to resolve the issue.
Commissioner Pearce/Thompson m/s to approve PA-T2-2020-00020 with the recommendations of staff but allowing the second curb cut on Helman Street and revising staff’s analysis in terms of the conditional use permit so the criteria apples to the parking lots and the exception criteria that allows them to put the buildings and improvements where they had planned.
Commissioner Harper/Dawkins m/s amended the motion to add a condition to open the green space and playground to the public during non-school and non-school event times through the normal access points.
DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Harper thought the Commission had the authority with the conditional use permit and the pedestrian easement provisions.  It was important for the community and it fit into the Comprehensive Land Plan’s provisions.  Commissioner Thompson wanted to know what was occurring at other elementary schools.  Commissioner Dawkins responded they were all open.  Commissioner Pearce was reluctant to require them to keep it open but supported encouraging them to keep it open.  Commissioner Dawkins explained how the Parks and Recreation Department took over the maintenance of school green spaces.  Commissioner Pearce was more inclined going with a suggestion that they negotiate this with the Parks and Recreation Department.  Roll Call Vote on the Amended Motion:  Commissioner Dawkins, Harper, Norton, and Thompson, YES; Commissioner Pearce; NO.  Motion passed 4-1.
Roll Call Vote on the Main Motion.  Commissioner Harper, Thompson, Pearce, Norton and Dawkins, YES. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned 8:18 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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