Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Special Meeting

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020
I.          CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:00 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
Aaron Anderson, Assistant Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
    Stef Seffinger, absent
Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the recent fire event disrupted the City Council agenda on September 8, 2020.  Subsequently, the public hearing on the Open Space Amendments Ordinance was moved to the City Council meeting on October 20, 2020.  The Planning Commission meeting on October 27, 2020 would be a Special meeting with a public hearing on changes to the affordable housing standards.  The annexation for PA-T3-2019-00001, 1511 Highway 99 North would go before the City Council in November.  There was still a vacancy on the Planning Commission.  The City of Ashland had taken a strong support role in the region regarding the recent fires.  The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department had added a webpage to the city website that provided regional resources for the Almeda Fire.  The Housing Authority of Jackson County had broken ground on Phase II of the Snowberry Brook project.  Columbia Care would pick up their building permits soon.  The permit process for the 70 units at 188 Garfield Street would come in soon as well.  A permit was issued for the Ashland Middle School project.  The Helman Elementary School project was waiting for building review. 
Commissioner Harper asked about city personnel working on the regional response to the fire.  Mr. Molnar explained City staff from the Fire Department and the Community Development Department had helped as needed.  He confirmed there was minor damage to the urban growth boundary.
A.  Approval of Minutes
1.   July 28, 2020 Special Meeting
2.   August 11, 2020 Regular Meeting
Commissioner Dawkins joined the meeting at 7:19 p.m.
Commissioner Pearce/Thompson m/s to approve the minutes of the meeting on July 28, 2020.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
Commissioner Thompson/Pearce m/s to approve the minutes of the meeting on August 11, 2020.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
IV.       PUBLIC FORUM    
Amy Gunter/Medford OR/Spoke to a letter she submitted into the record from Brent Hall (see attached) regarding the urban growth boundary in the Katherine May subdivision.  Maps adopted and created in the 1970s and 1980s differed substantially.  Mr. Hall’s letter was sent to the Community Development Department in June and had not received a response.  They were asking for direction from the Planning Commission.
Mr. Molnar explained staff was looking into it and confirmed the old maps were substantially different. Staff would contact the City Attorney for an interpretation and process for map corrections.  It would come before the Planning Commission who would provide a recommendation to the City Council.  If there was a potential correction for one of the properties, they might look at the quadrant as well.
A.  Approval of Findings for PA-T2-2020-00020, 705 Helman Street (Helman Elementary School)
Commissioner KenCairn recused herself from the item because she was part of the project.  She left the meeting.
Commissioner Thompson and Dawkins declared no ex parte contact.  Commissioner Pearce and Harper both spoke with City Attorney Dave Lohman regarding his memo and otherwise had no ex parte contact.  Chair Norton discussed Mr. Lohman’s memo with Mr. Molnar and otherwise had no ex parte contact as well.
Mr. Molnar summarized the memo from the city attorney.  Mr. Lohman had concluded that draft findings could uncover issues previously addressed in the record that warranted clarification.  The Planning Commission’s decision was not final until the findings were approved.  Whether it was legal to mandate public access to public property would take more research. Mr. Molnar suggested having the City Attorney attend a meeting to discuss how to approach a similar situation in the future. 
Commissioner Dawkins/Pearce m/s to approve the Findings for PA-T2-2020-00020, 705 Helman Street.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
Commissioner KenCairn returned to the meeting.
B.  Approval of Findings for PA-T3-2019-00001, 1511 Hwy 99 N
Commissioner Thompson suggested replacing the word “legitimacy” with “intent” in the second paragraph under Access Easement on page 13.   There was language throughout the findings on not satisfying the street standards that were unclear.  Senior Planner Derek Severson explained the language was based on a previous discussion with the Commission. The applicant had requested an exception and the application did not have a development proposal and was not subject to that sort of review.  The intent was forwarding a recommendation in support while recognizing the actual exception would be considered later.  Commissioner Thompson thought the findings should state what they were going to do with the street standards.  The Commission was suggesting to City Council that they approve the exception to the standards.  Commissioner Pearce had the same comment as Commissioner Thompson.  The first paragraph on page 9, last sentence read an exception was merited.  He did not think the Commission could make that finding because it was not being considered.  They could say an exception could be merited under existing conditions.  There was not a development and it currently did not meet the standards.  The City Council could either require it or not.
Commissioner Thompson noted the civil drawings on page 21.  They were asking the City Council to make a set of findings on what those street improvements would be.  The findings needed to state it would be considered later and they wanted the City Council to approve an annexation without addressing the street standards.  Commissioner Harper thought the findings were saying they had demonstrated it was possible.  Commissioner Thompson explained it was written with shall.  Commissioner Pearce thought they were written incorrectly because no construction had been proposed.  Commissioner Thompson commented all they could say was to recommend approval and the applicant did not have compliance with that requirement of the annexation code.  It should be addressed at site design review but was mentioned several times in the findings.
On page 10, under Water, the third bullet, Commissioner Thompson did not understand how it would be determined.  It was not stated as a requirement.  She suggested it be revised.  Commissioner Harper thought it was irrelevant at this time.  Commissioner Pearce observed a lot of it was written “as will be required” and the wording should be changed. 
Commissioner Thompson disagreed with the affordable housing language on page 18, second full paragraph, last sentence.  It implied that reasonableness was the standard for modifying a legislative requirement.  She suggested using “in accordance with the existing code the applicant should satisfy the affordable housing requirements” and acknowledge the applicant had requested a reduced requirement.  The City Council could decide what standard they wanted to supply.  Mr. Severson explained they had changed that to reflect the discussion stated at an earlier meeting.  Commissioner Pearce added that was what the proposed affordable housing legislation they had passed on to the City Council, would do.  Commissioner Thompson disagreed.  If someone wanted to make a recommendation on affordable housing rules, let the City Council look at it and create an exception or variance.  Mr. Molnar explained the code change to affordable housing would go before the City Council at their meeting in November before they saw the findings for this application.  Commissioner Thompson wanted to change the language and recommend the applicant comply with whatever the affordable housing rule was as set by the City Council.  Commissioner Harper agreed.  The City Council could make a different interpretation.  The Planning Commission could not approve something other than what the standard currently required.  Commissioner Pearce thought they should have language that let the City Council know there would be a modification to the code.  Commissioner Harper thought that could be relayed in the staff report and not the findings.
Mr. Molnar suggested removing the part of the last sentence that it did not strictly comply. Then add the Planning Commission noted the City Council had the option to use legislative discretion.  Commissioner Thompson thought it should say the Commission recommended the City Council approve something consistent with the legislation as it existed now or is modified by the City Council.  Mr. Molnar explained Commission majority had not felt that way at the last meeting.  However, if the Commission agreed, they could modify it now.
Chair Norton added the street standards needed to be clear as well.  Commission majority had wanted to make a statement regarding the affordable housing piece. Commissioner Thompson said it was not reflected in the minutes and it was not her understanding.  Chair Norton commented it was something the Commission would have to vote on.  Commissioner Thompson asked why the Commission would need to make a recommendation to the City Council on changing the rule around affordability.  Chair Norton thought it was a question of which one went before the City Council first.  It could be handled in the staff report and not in the findings.  Chair Pearce suggested language in the findings that the Commission recommended legislation changing that it did not comply with current annexation legislation.  That there was recommended legislation before the City Council to change the annexation statute based on what the applicant had proposed.
Commissioner Pearce thought the conditions about construction, etc. should be removed.  The conditions should only address the annexation standard.  Commissioner Harper agreed.  Commissioner Pearce noted that page 7 and 8 included the criteria for site design and street standards and wanted paragraphs 4 and 5 removed as well.  The findings should be rewritten.
Mr. Molnar confirmed sections on the approval standards not being applied and conditions that focused on improvements  would be removed.  They would replace “legitimacy” with “intent” on page 13.  Staff would bring back a couple options for the Commission to consider regarding affordable housing and constrained lands.  The findings would come back for approval at the next Commission meeting on October 13, 2020.   
Commissioner Pearce/Thompson m/s to continue the discussion of the findings for PA-T3-2019-00001 to the next meeting on October 13, 2020 for staff to make changes. Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed. 
The Commission acknowledged the findings for this application were difficult to write.
A.   PLANNING ACTION: #PA-APPEAL-2020-00011 (appealing PA-T1-2020-00109)
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 345 Clinton Street
OWNER/APPLICANT:  Rogue Planning and Development/Paul Mace & Kathleen Kahle
DESCRIPTION: Consideration of an appeal of the administrative approval PA-T1-2020-00109 of a two-lot partition of a 12.29-acre lot for the property located at 345 Clinton. The tentative partition plat creates two parcels that are 8.943 ac. and 3.35 ac in size, with the smaller parcel situated in the southeast of the parent parcel.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5; MAP: 39 1E 04 DB; TAX LOT: 401
Chair Norton explained the record and public hearing were closed. 
Ex Parte Contact
The Commission declared no ex parte contact on the matter.
Deliberation and Decision
Commissioner Pearce understood the appellant’s frustration.  The pandemic and subsequent lockdown had made accessing and physically viewing the documents difficult.  However, in the end, the appellant was able to access all the information.  If any of that was a procedural error, it was cured.  The appellant did not show there was any substantial prejudice to him that he could not prepare his appeal.  The argument about the easements and not knowing what they were was not a requirement of the partition statute.  The easements could create an impact but that was an issue for a future development application, not for a partition application. 
Commissioner Pearce/KenCairn m/s to deny the appeal and approve the application.  The findings would include all the appellant’s issues and Condition 1(a).  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Harper asked staff if there was a condition on the partition where the access points lined up.  Mr. Severson recommended a condition that cured the connectivity for the draft findings but was it not included in the packet.  Assistant Planner Aaron Anderson had a copy of the draft findings and read “Condition 1(a) That the partition plat shall be adjusted such that the north-south property line between parcel 1 and parcel 2 is  shifted to allow a future extension to Phelps Street with two lanes of travel without alignment issues and that the driveway accessing the larger parcel be relocated to meet minimum spacing requirements.”  Commissioner Pearce included it in the motion.  
Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Norton, Dawkins, KenCairn, Harper, Thompson and Pearce, YES.  Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned 8:22 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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