Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Study Session

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

December 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
Haywood Norton
Kerry KenCairn
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
Lisa Verner
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Derek Diamond, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Alan Harper   Stef Seffinger, absent
Chair Norton introduced Lisa Verner as the new Planning Commissioner. Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced the City Council passed second reading approving the annexation for 1511 Hwy 99 North at their meeting on December 15, 2020.  During that meeting, they adopted the Vertical Housing Development Zone by resolution in the Transit Triangle Zone.  The applicants for 196-200 Clear Creek Drive had been in contact with staff since the planning action denial during the Planning Commission meeting on December 8, 2020.  The applicants were revisiting the design with a possible modification.  If that happened, the planning action would be re-noticed, and the item would come back to the Commission.  The Planning Commission would have an electronic joint commission meeting with the Housing and Human Services Commission, Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.  
Commissioner KenCairn joined the meeting at 7:14 p.m.
III.       PUBLIC FORUM - None
A.  Changes in commercial space needs – A developer’s perspective
Mr. Molnar provided background on the topic.  During the Planning Commission’s retreat in 2018, they had discussed the impacts of technology on land use planning.  This included autonomous vehicles and ecommerce.  Also discussed were potential impacts to neighborhoods due to increased truck deliveries.  In terms of commercial site planning, they had discussed how to accommodate loading facilities and service aisles differently.  Another topic was how online purchasing might influence commercial employment as well as land and space needs.  COVID-19 had the City evaluating working from home once the pandemic ended.  National research suggested many communities had a surplus of land zoned for retail.  The Commission had addressed some of that during the Transit Triangle Zone discussions on reducing commercial ground space to 35%.  There was a potential for commercial and employment land to be used to accommodate housing needs.  He introduced Mark Knox and Laz Ayala who were present to speak to that potential.
Laz Ayala/ Mark Knox/604 Fair Oaks Court/Ashland/Spoke to the impact ecommerce, the wildfires and the pandemic had on the local economy. There was also the ongoing shortage of housing while there was a surplus of commercial space.  They suggested using the surplus commercial space as temporary residential.  The building would be built to commercial standards with 1 to 2-bedroom apartments until market demands changed.  This would apply to areas outside the downtown area like North Mountain Avenue, Laurel Street, A Street, B Street to Hersey Street.  They also suggested applying the vertical housing development zone to those areas as well.  When the demand for commercial returned, the temporary residential could convert back to commercial within 4-6 months.
Commissioner Thompson asked who would determine the market demand for commercial.  Mr. Knox responded it would be market driven.  There would be no incentives involved.  Commissioner Thompson wanted to know how they would preserve non-retail commercial space.  Mr. Knox explained the current code required the ground floor to be 65% permitted use commercial or employment and 35% could be residential.  The code would retain the 65% commercial space so long as it prohibited condominiums.  The residential use would be temporary until there was demand for commercial.  Once there was a demand, it would take 4-6 months to convert back to commercial.  The second third floors could be residential.
Chair Norton suggested homebuilders add a delivery box to their designs to keep packages secure.
Commissioner Verner asked about tenant landlord law and providing notice.  Senior Planner Brandon Goldman explained the City adhered to state law.  Commissioner Verner noted some agreements required 90-days and wanted to know how that would fit into the four to six-month conversion time.  Mr. Knox thought it could be a provision included in the rental agreement.   Mr. Ayala added it could not be less restrictive than state law.  Mr. Goldman explained the restrictions and that there were exemptions to the standards.
Chair Norton thought the suggestion should go to the City Council.  If they supported it, the Planning Commission would start working on it.
B.  Code Amendment Options for State of Oregon Middle Housing (Duplex) Requirements
Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation (see attached):
•  House Bill 2001 (2019)
•  Duplex Code Options
•  Attached 2nd Unit Diagrams
o  Single Family Home – 1 Unit
o  Side by Side Duplex – 2 Units
o  Side by Side Duplex – photo
o  Stacked Duplex
o  Stacked Duplex
o  Duplex Examples
•  Detached 2nd Unit Images
o  84 and 88 Dewey Street diagram and photos
o  426 B Street and 170 Third Street diagram and photos
o  117 8th Street and 859 C Street diagram and photos
o  240 and 244 Van Ness diagram and photos
Per state law, they would need an ordinance in effect no later than June 30, 2021.  Staff would use the feedback the Commission provided tonight for a future study session.
Chair Norton noted the three public comments submitted on the topic.  All three agreed with the recommendation in the staff report.
Mr. Harris explained allowing two units on a lot in any configuration, attached or detached, gave the property owner the opportunity to use the best design for their lot.  They could work around any lot issues.  The other layer was the approval process.  It could be difficult.  She explained why some projects required a building permit and others planning approval. 
Commissioner Verner asked for clarification on the design standards for a single-family residence and duplex.  Ms. Harris explained the new state law required the same standards for a single-family residence applied to a duplex.  Building a single-family residence and adding a second unit two years later would require a building permit.
Commissioner Thompson asked about building volume.  Ms. Harris explained the lot coverage and height limitation was the same.  The number of units depended on the lot size.  The new law did not double the number of units allowed. If someone wanted to build four units, the lot size would have to be at least 13,000 sq. ft. 
Ms. Harris would look up the definition the LCDC used for residential zones.  
The Commission agreed with the staff recommendation.

Meeting adjourned at 8:32 p.m.

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