Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Special Meeting

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

July 28, 2020
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins
Alan Harper
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Kerry KenCairn   Stef Seffinger, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced the Commission would hear the appeal of a Type I administrative approval on 345 Clinton Street, PA-T1-2020-00109 in August.  Staff received an appeal of the Planning Commission decision for PA-T2-2020-00017 at 210 Alicia Street Friday, July 24, 2020.  It would go before the City Council at their meeting August 18, 2020.  The City Council heard from staff on the Affordable Housing Standards update at their Study Session July 20, 2020.
A.  PLANNING ACTION: #PA-T3-2019-00001
OWNER/AGENTS/APPLICANT:  Linda Zare/Casita Developments, LLC & Kendrick Enterprise, LLC/ Rogue Planning & Development Services, LLC
DESCRIPTION: A request for Annexation of a 16.87-acre parcel and Zone Change from County RR-5 Rural Residential) to City R-2 (Low Density, Multi-Family Residential) for the properties located at 1511 Highway 99 North.  The annexation is to include adjacent railroad property and state highway right-of-way.  The application includes conceptual details for the future phased development of 196 apartments (1- and 2-Bedrooms, ranging from 480-701 square feet) in 14 two-story buildings; Outline Plan subdivision and Site Design Review development approvals are not requested here, and would be applied for subsequent to annexation. The application also requests an Exception to Street Standards to deviate from city standard parkrow and sidewalk improvements to respond to constraints of right-of-way width and existing encroachments. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: Existing – County RR-5, Proposed – City R-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP:  38 1E 32; TAX LOT#’s: 1700 & 1702.
Chair Norton read the rules of the electronic public hearing. 
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
•  Aerial Photo (2018)
•  “Grand Terrace” Annexation
•  “Grand Terrace” Conceptual Elevations
•  “Grand Terrace” Pedestrian Circulation
•  “Grand Terrace” Open Spaces
•  Contiguity & the Railroad Property
•  “Grand Terrace” Annexation
•  Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 222.170
•  Transportation and Circulation – Access
•  Driveway Treatment
•  Site Design Review
•  Vehicle Area Design ( & .080.C)
•  Driveways and Turn-around Design (
•  Pedestrian Access & Circulation (AMC
•  Parking Lot Landscaping & Screen Standards (AMC 18/4.4.030) / Street Dedication Requirements (AMC
•  City of Ashland Street Design Standards (AMC Table
•  Easement Language
•  Frontage Improvements (North)
•  Frontage Improvements (South)
•  Transit Improvements
•  Issues from last month’s discussion…
•  Affordability, Base Density and Undevelopable Lands
•  Tonight

Questions of Staff
Commissioner Pearce asked what the proposal was for rezoning the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad properties.  Mr. Severson thought it would go in the R-2 zone.  Borders between districts extended to the center of the right of way.
Applicant’s Presentation
Robert Kendrick/Ashland/Explained it had been a year-long process. Had he known; he would had submitted the proposal differently.  The affordability component had been a challenge. The requirements could break the project.  He was open to making a lot line adjustment to make the units fit.  He had wanted to avoid doing two sets of plans, so he submitted developers plans that had caused some confusion.  The project worked.  He acknowledged the public response having a project on Highway 99.  He used the Road Diet as an example noting that since it was put in place accidents and injuries had decreased dramatically.  Ashland built approximately 15 apartments each year when it could handle over 50 yearly.  The type of housing in this project would keep people in town.
Public Testimony
Don Greene/Ashland/Noted his credentials as a planning commissioner in Ashland and Jackson County for 30 years. He referenced a section of the parking ordinance and questioned having a driveway access for a 200-unit development instead of requiring it to be a street.  The code also required 5-foot landscape areas when it abutted private property.  He did not think there was enough space to meet the requirements.  The driveway needed a sidewalk and should have a bike path.  The driveway would not accommodate bikes with 1,800 vehicle trips a day.
Rebuttal by Applicant
Amy Gunter/Medford/
Explained the exception to the design standard for 5-foot landscaping abutting private property would be explored during site review.  They were showing the driveway conceptually and it was not up for approval currently.  She clarified all trips to the site were not impacting this one narrow driveway, there would be other access points.  Additionally, apartments did not have a.m. and p.m. peak hour volumes.
Questions of the Applicant
Commissioner Thompson asked about the conclusion of the traffic impact analysis done by Sandow Engineering that projected all site driveways would operate safely and efficiently.  She only received the executive summary.  Mr. Kendrick explained they submitted two reports.  Mr. Severson clarified the packet and traffic impact analysis (TIA) was posted online.  Ms. Gunter explained vehicle trip numbers, their distribution throughout the day, the turning lane by the trestle and driveway were adequate to accommodate right and left turns in and out of the property.  The driveways met the standards.  Mr. Molnar added ODOT concurred it met the requirement as well.
Commissioner Thompson wanted to ensure the conceptual ideas with the driveways would meet the access requirements.  She asked what the conceptual plan was for pedestrian and bicycle access using the driveway within the easement.  Mr. Kendrick explained there would not be a lot of cars parked on the easement and access area.  A bicyclist would most likely use the main entry point.  It would also depend on the time of day.  Maximum peak loads projected 50 or 60 cars in the morning and afternoon.  They could make the driveways shared use instead of incorporating bike paths on the easement road.  Mr. Kendrick wanted a dedicated bike lane at the other entrance.  They had paths already designed into the project and would add almost a mile for the rest of the sidewalk.  It was a multi-modal project.  They would provide electric cars onsite for residents to use.  Ms. Gunter added the bike lane along the highway was already installed and would remain.
Commissioner Thompson wanted to know how a bicyclist would access the site riding north.  Mr. Kendrick explained they would use good judgment and cross at the safest point.  Ms. Gunter added painted arrows and restriping was suggested.  It would be no different than all the other intersections without a bike path.
Commissioner Thompson wanted to know if the same would apply to a pedestrian trying to cross the highway.  Mr. Kendrick responded there was excellent connectivity to the bus line on Valley View.  It was a fifteen-minute walk. 
Ms. Gunter noted the conclusions drawn in the TIA.  The traffic engineer found all mobility standards met the current conditions and future developments.  All intersections, whether they were marked or unmarked, were considered crosswalks.
Deliberations & Decision
Commissioner Pearce commented on the findings.  Page 8, section 2.2. stated the proposal met the appliable criteria and it did not.  He suggested saying it did not meet the boulevard street standards and the applicant would apply for an exception. 
Commissioner Pearce explained the applicant did not meet the affordable housing base density either.  The applicant had subtracted unbuildable areas from the calculation.  Staff was recommending changing that in the code.  Presently, it was not in the code so the proposal did not meet the standards.  The City Council could modify the affordable housing requirements in the Type III legislative action on the annexation if they agreed with the applicant.
In the section regarding contiguity, Commissioner Pearce noted staff had included the ODOT property and justified adding it.  Then ODOT agreed on including the property.  The findings did not reflect that.  He suggested making the findings about public facilities.  That the Public Works Department reviewed the availability of water and sewer and with these conditions it would be ok.
On page 11 under Electric, strike the last sentence.  Lastly, the Transportation section was confusing and should be rewritten to adhere with the ordinance.  On the same page, Commissioner Thompson suggested deleting that it was ok the applicant did not have a site design plan.  The applicant chose their approach and the Commission making findings on that approach was not necessary or appropriate.  She also wanted to exclude wording that referenced what their attorneys had said.
Commissioner Harper did not agree that the City Council could choose to do whatever it wanted with the standards. He also spoke to the importance of the easement.  Without the easement, the project did not meet the standard.  Commissioner Dawkins agreed.
The Commission discussed the testimony Mr. Greene provided.  They considered it a driveway instead of a street. 
Commissioner Pearce/Dawkins m/s to move PA-T3-2019-00001 on to City Council with revised Findings. DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Pearce recommended a traffic speed study on Highway 99 at some point.  Commissioner Thompson suggested adjusting the affordable housing units in the findings to 56 units or 37 if it was at 60%.  She did not think the Commission had the authority to make a recommendation contrary to the code to exclude unbuildable lands in the calculation.  She reiterated her concerns about transportation safety (Section E of the Annexation Standards).  Specifically that ODOT was unwilling to agree to any speed limit reduction, installation of a signal or even a crosswalk given the size of the development, the volume of cars, the history of traffic accidents according to the testimony of the community surrounding the development and the danger to bicyclists and pedestrians as well as vehicles of attempting to cross the highway under these circumstances.  She also wanted language like the Transportation Commission’s safety issue comments included in the findings.  She thought the speed limit in that area should be addressed.  Commissioner Dawkins agreed.  Commissioner Pearce thought it could be treated in the findings. Commissioner Harper agreed.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Pearce, Harper, Thompson, Norton and Dawkins, YES.  Motion passed.

A.   PLANNING ACTION: PA-L-2020-00008
APPLICANT:  City of Ashland 
DESCRIPTION:  A public hearing on ordinance amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to update and clarify the open space requirements and design standards for multifamily and single-family housing developments, and to correct terminology related to open space and other minor wording edits. The proposed amendments include two ordinances: 1) An ordinance amending Chapters 18.2.5 Standards for Residential Zones, 18.3.9 Performance Standards Option and PSO Overlay, 18.4.2 Building Placement, Orientation, and Design, 18.4.4 Landscaping, Lighting, and Screening, and 18.6 Definitions of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to amend the open space requirements and design standards, and 2) an ordinance amending chapters 18.2.2 Base Zones and Allowed Uses, 18.2.3 Special Use Standards, 18.2.5 Standards for Residential Zones, 18.3.2 Croman Mill District, 18.3.4 Normal Neighborhood District, 18.3.5 North Mountain Neighborhood District, 18.3.9 Performance Standards Option and PSO Overlay, 18.3.10 Physical and Environmental Constraints Overlay, 18.3.11 Water Resources Protection Zones (Overlays), 18.3.14 Transit Triangle Overlay, 18.4.2 Building Placement, Orientation, and Design, 18.4.2 Parking, Access, and Circulation, 18.4.4 Landscaping, Lighting, and Screening, 18.4.5. Tree Preservation and Protection, 18.4.6. Public Facilities, 18.5.2 Site Design Review, 18.5.3 Land Divisions and Property Line Adjustments, and 18.5.7 Tree Removal Permits of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance for consistency in terminology related to open space and other minor wording edits.
Staff Report
Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation (see attached): 
•  Issues
o Surfacing standard in proposed
o  Private open space standards, walkways and storage space, ground floor dwelling units’ size
o  Table in
o  Cross reference open space fence requirements
•  New Standards
•  Current Surfacing Standard Residential Development
•  Proposed Surfacing Standard
•  Shared Outdoor Space
•  Renderings
•  Examples of multifamily developments common open space
•  Minimum Area Required in Lawn, Courts, Etc.
•  Staff Recommendation
•  Water Conservation & Climate Change
•  Ground Floor Private Open Space 18.4.070.D
•  Other Changes in Version 3

Questions of Staff
Commissioner Thompson discussed counting walkways and storage areas with Ms. Harris.  Counting them addressed walkways that went through private open space like a porch, patio, or deck area.
Commissioner Pearce confirmed that moving Surfacing from Section 4 to Section 5 of the common open space standards made it applicable only to R-2 and R-3 zones.
Commissioner Thompson addressed the reference in the new table regarding maximum area allowed in private open space.  She wanted to know why it was allowed only up to a certain amount.   Ms. Harris explained if it was 10 units or more, the other half had to be in common open space.  Commissioner Pearce commented they would provide additional open space and receive only half a credit. 
Deliberations & Decision
Commissioner Pearce was not sure he supported the 48 to 60 sq. ft. dimensions for private open space.  He thought people should do the door swing calculations.  Mr. Molnar thought the issue would be if the 48 sq. ft. was intended to be exclusive of those other areas.  A usable area had a minimum dimension of 6 feet and should be at least 48 sq. ft. By default, it was 6 x 8.  The walkways and storage areas would have to be left out to create an exclusive 48 sq. ft. space.  Ms. Harris clarified the concern was the administrative task of calculating for the applicants.
Commissioner Thompson/Pearce m/s to modify the proposed ordinance to incorporate Version 3 excluding Section D1 and D2.  DISCUSSION:  None.   Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Thompson, Norton, Dawkins, Pearce, and Harper. YES.  Motion passed.
Ms. Harris noted the Surfacing standard was in Version 2.
Commissioner Thompson/Pearce m/s to modify the proposed ordinance to reflect the change in the Surfacing standard as reflected in Version 2 of the proposal as well as stating lawn and durable lawn alternatives and striking the list.  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Harper suggested stating lawn and durable lawn alternatives and striking the list.  Commissioner Thompson accepted the modification.  Roll Call on the amended motion:  Commissioner Dawkins, Harper, Thompson, Pearce and Norton, YES.  Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned 9:04 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Online City Services

Pay Your Utility Bill
Connect to
Ashland Fiber Network
Request Conservation
Proposals, Bids
& Notifications
Request Building
Building Permit
Apply for Other
Permits & Licenses
Register for
Recreation Programs

©2023 City of Ashland, OR | Site Handcrafted in Ashland, Oregon by Project A




twitter facebook Email Share
back to top