ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
SEPTEMBER 10, 2002
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Russ Chapman at 7:05 p.m. Other Commissioners present were Colin Swales, John Fields, Kerry KenCairn, Alex Amarotico, Mike Morris, and Marilyn Briggs. Mike Gardiner and Ray Kistler were absent. Staff present were John McLaughlin, Bill Molnar, Maria Harris and Sue Yates.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND FINDINGS
August 13, 2002 Regular Meeting
The minutes of the August 13, 2002 meeting were approved. Amarotico moved and Briggs seconded the motion to approve the Findings for PA2002-079. Swales moved and Morris seconded the motion to approve the Findings for PA2002-052.
August 13, 2002 Hearings Board
KenCairn moved and Swales approved the motion to approve the Findings for PA2002-094. Swales moved and KenCairn seconded the motion to approve the Findings for PA2002-077. Briggs moved to approve the Minutes of the August 13, 2002 meeting, Swales seconded the motion and it was carried.
PUBLIC FORUM- No one came forth to speak.
TYPE II PLANNING ACTION
PLANNING ACTION 2002-054
REQUEST FOR OUTLINE PLAN APPROVAL FOR A 67-LOT SINGLE FAMILY SUBDIVISION UNDER THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OPTION FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED ON THE WEST SIDE OF MOUNTAIN AVENUE, IMMEDIATELY NORTH OF THE TERMINUS OF LYNN STREET.
APPLICANT: NOMOCO, INC.
Site Visits or Ex Parte Contacts - Site visits were made by all.
Molnar reported this action is a request for Outline Plan approval for a 67-lot subdivision under the Performance Standards Option (18.88). Notices along with the applicable criteria were mailed to affected property owners. The parcel is roughly 17 acres. The area is not included in the North Mountain (NM) zone but is zoned R-1-5. The site is relatively flat. There is a ten to twelve percent slope in the very southwest corner of the property. There is a steep slope associated with the Bear Creek channel. Approximately six acres of the property is within the Bear Creek 100-year floodplain. The applicants plan to donate this area to the City of Ashland as part of the Ashland Parks and Open Space Plan.
A new street system will be developed to serve the 67 new lots with four major points of access to the project. There are two new streets coming in from Mountain proceeding west, swinging to the south and connecting with Clinton and Ann Streets. At the southern part of the site, there is an unimproved portion of Lynn Street that goes up to Hersey. Also, there is to be a continuation of Ann Street that will ultimately link up to a new street. A public alley system is planned to be extended westward to serve some vacant undeveloped property.
A small portion of Lynn Street is in the project. The applicants propose improving Lynn Street to city standards all the way up to Hersey Street. In addition to frontage improvements along North Mountain Avenue, the improvements will be taken to the intersection of North Mountain Avenue and Hersey Street to accommodate storm drainage and pedestrian improvements.
One alley will parallel North Mountain Avenue and intersect Lynn Street. The alley system will allow alley access for approximately 48 of the 67 lots. Those lots that abut an alley are required to take garage access from the alley and would not be permitted a separate driveway approach from the public street. This is a modified grid system as required by the city’s ordinance. In addition to the city sidewalks installed along all public streets, the application shows a multi-use public pathway connecting to the park area between lots 3 and 4. The plans for the park area are for a passive recreational facility that will include a multi-use path system, keeping the floodplain and riparian area intact.
The extension of Ann Street is planned to occur at the existing intersection of Ann and Clinton Streets. Staff has been recommending a partial improvement of the right-of-way by the applicant that would establish the west perimeter of the grid system. It makes sense to do a partial improvement so everyone will know it is intended to go through.
Staff believes the application does a good job of providing a modified grid system that integrates well with the existing grid system, giving multiple routes for traffic with a low level of traffic on neighborhood streets.
The property has access to most of the city’s public facilities (water, sewer, electric). One off-site improvement requires piping the current ditch from the intersection at Hersey and North Mountain all the way along the frontage to the point of outfall below Bear Creek Bridge. There is a Condition requiring the storm drain pipe be sized consistent with the methodology in the city’s latest storm drain master plan as well as considering runoff in addition to what is anticipated by the master plan by some of the more recent upstream approvals.
In order to deal with some of the storm drain from south to north and protect the property owners along the southern perimeter of the site, a curtain drain is proposed to be installed. There are a number of ways to do this. The purpose is to catch the ground water and ultimately divert it to the storm drain system in the street. Or, it may have to have its own route to Bear Creek. The engineering plan for the project is required to consider runoff from the spring located behind Lots 27 and 28. The applicants are considering utilizing some of the open spaces in the project for the retention and direction of storm water.
The most notable natural feature is the floodplain to be donated to the city. There are two groupings of cottonwood trees on the property. One group is to be removed to provide for the alley and street system. The other group is in a small drainage area identified on the National Wetlands Inventory. Scott English, Northwest Biological, has done a general boundary determination of the wetland area and the lots 7, 8, 9, 10 have been situated so they are out of that area. A Condition has been added that the back part of lot 8 be pulled back to give similar space to lots 7 and 9. The cottonwood trees that are really close to the building envelopes in lots 9 and 10 are proposed to be preserved. Staff and the Tree Commission raised some concerns about how close the trees are to potential building sites. There is an interest at Final Plan in removing a few of the cottonwoods that are really close to the building envelope. There is one conifer on lot 46 that is identified to be retained as part of the project.
With regard to accommodating adjacent lands, Staff believes the street system has been laid out so it can be easily extended to the west.
Again, the floodplain is being donated. The three other open spaces in the project would be owned by those that own lots in the subdivision and maintained through the homeowner’s association. There is a formal landscaping plan for those areas, however, Molnar said the landscaping plan could be subject to modification, should those three areas serve a more public facilities requirement (storm water retention). They might be more passive in nature. There is discussion that the open space to the north (wetland) will be part of the park donation.
The 17 acres allows for 76 units. They are proposing 67. There is no request for a density bonus. The density of the area outside the floodplain allows for 50 units. The applicants are allowed to transfer density from the floodplain of 17 units.
Thirty-one of the lots are smaller and identified for attached and detached smaller lots and homes located generally on the eastern part of the project. There has been a lot of concern about attached units adjacent to an existing neighborhood. Two streetscapes were submitted. Along the southern property line, they are identifying narrow homes or attached housing. There is one streetscape rendering for lots 60-67. Rather than having a series of duplex units, there is a streetscape that shows narrow homes but they are detached. The developers would like the flexibility on the remaining 23 narrow lots to do either detached narrow homes or duplex units (two units attached by a common wall). Staff has added Condition 17 that the eight lots along North Mountain will follow the detached unit streetscape (all detached) and the remaining lots identified as attached or narrow lot housing, have to follow one of the streetscapes submitted in the record. No more than two units can be attached. Condition 17 notes that lots 49-53 can have three units attached. Staff believes the rendering submitted is binding. Staff is suggesting the Commission consider adding a Condition that the houses built on the lots immediately adjacent to the southern neighborhood are one to one-and one-half stories in order to provide a comfortable transition to the single family neighborhood. The current streetscape rendering for North Mountain would assure that lots 66 and 67 would have single story units. It is a little uncertain what unit types would be built on 37 and the other four.
Another item for consideration by the Commission for a Condition is to install a curtain drain along the south property line. There is an interest between the applicants and property owners to allow for the property owners south of the project to have stub-ins to the line in order to deal with some of the run-off from their property. Staff feels this would be an appropriate Condition to add. If so, as part of Final Plan or the survey, there would need to be an easement. If it were a private system, the homeowner’s association would be responsible for maintaining the curtain drain. If the property owners to the south utilized it as well, it would probably be equitable to have them assist in the maintenance.
Molnar said a map was submitted showing areas of inundation should the Emigrant Lake Dam fail. The proposed development is included in that area of inundation. Staff does not recognize the map as a regulatory map, however, it might be advisable to have a Condition in the CC&R’s for the project that would note this area of inundation.
Molnar said another potential modification could be to Condition 37. As part of the design of Lynn Street, the centerline of the new part of Lynn Street as well as the older part be aligned. There has been some concern about a large tree that exists about halfway up Lynn Street on the east side. There will be no problem in retaining the tree. There are some areas of mature landscaping adjacent to the ditch along North Mountain, off-site of this property. The Commissioners might want to include that the impacts of mature vegetation are considered not only along Lynn Street improvement, but the off-site improvements along North Mountain.
Staff believes overall the applicant has done a good job in designing a project that complies with City’s ordinances, specifically the local street standards. They have provided a lot of detail regarding public facilities. Staff has conditioned several things that can be carried out at Final Plan. Staff also feels the Conditions as recommended make it possible for the Planning Commission to approve the project, if they choose to do so tonight, with the added Conditions. Molnar recommended the consideration of the additional Conditions he suggested as well as some discussion about adding a Condition regarding the attached narrow lot housing, if they are considering limiting the height or number of stories, specifically around the southern perimeter. They know units 66 and 67 will be single story, but the remaining lots along the southern boundary have not yet been specified.
Chapman asked if Molnar would provide specific language modifying Condition 37. Molnar said the language could state "That the final design of the existing section of Lynn Street as well as off-site improvements to North Mountain Avenue, up to the intersection of Hersey and North Mountain, consider impacts to existing mature vegetation."
Molnar said Condition 38 could be "That the area of inundation as depicted by the hazard map in case of a dam failure, be noted in the CC&R’s."
Condition 39 is up to discussion at this point. Where would single story or one-and-one-half stories be built?
Fields wondered if the access to the dedicated open space is an easement or right-of-way. Molnar said the public pedestrian path would be an easement. There is Condition stating it will be improved to multi-use path standard. Molnar said they feel the donation of the parkland to the City is significant.
Fields wondered if there was anything identifying existing structures and a tree inventory. Molnar said trees are noted and the existing structures are outlined on the map.
Fields asked about the building envelopes and solar setbacks from the neighbors. Molnar said they are required to meet solar setbacks unless at the time of Final Plan they propose a modified solar setback. There has been some discussion about this for some of the attached or narrow lots. The conflict with the solar ordinance is that while allowing attached housing and units to be clustered, the problem occurs when there are east/west oriented lots that are narrow. In order get around the solar ordinance, the Commission has seen projects where they have eight attached units and solar is measured by the very northern portion of the building. At the neighborhood meeting, there was concern about creating a block facade. The applicant is looking at trying to create some distance of about ten to twelve feet between buildings. In that case, there will be conflicts with solar. In the past, at Final Plan, they bring a specific home design showing where shadows are going to the southern wall. That is something that the Performance Standards allows the applicants to propose.
Fields asked why we want to own floodplain land if we aren’t planning to do any improvements on it rather than just have access to it. McLaughlin said the whole proposal has gone before the Parks Commission and they have said they want this land for community ownership. There will be a trail through it and it will be passive, more in keeping with the greenway type of development.
Fields wondered if the plan dimensions would work. Where are the air conditioners and condensers? Aren’t these supposed to be part of Outline Plan? Molnar said for lots having detached units, they are required to have a building envelope which there have. It is minimal information. A Condition has been added stating that architecture (height and scale) has to be mimicked at the time of Final Plan. Final Plan only gives them so much room for change. There is a Condition that they are held to the streetscape in terms of height, architecture, and distance between buildings.
KenCairn thought there should be something at Final Plan showing protective fencing and a tree protection plan. If there is a designated wetland, there should be attention paid to keeping the boundary clear of any impacts from construction. Molnar said there is a Condition that there has been a general determination of the area of the wetland and that be verified by the Division of State Lands and that all areas noted for open space shall have permanent fencing.
KenCairn commented that the public space between lots 37 through 40 and the area perpendicular to lots 33 through 36 seem like an access corridor for lots 37 through 40. It seems like it is the front door to those units. What was the thought there to have turf block? Molnar said that’s where pedestrians would access the fronts of those units. The open space is owned by the homeowner’s association but there needs to be a specific easement on the walkway for pedestrian access to the front doors of units 37 through 40.
KenCairn noted that these are the only units that do not have street access.
Amarotico asked about access to lot 49. Molnar said public facilities like streets should be kept out of the floodplain. At this point, the applicant is proposing an individual driveway approach that would access the garage or off-street parking. There still could be some discussions with the City and the Parks Department if they want to look at going through a Physical and Environmental Constraints permit to connect the alley systems. At this point, off-street parking for lot 49 would probably be a side garage. The idea was to limit driveway access to Mountain Avenue.
Molnar said that with regard to street lighting, the City Utility Dept. is in the process of developing a new street light prototype. Rather than the traditional lights that light all over, it will light directed downward.
EVAN ARCHERD AND RUSS DALE
Archerd expressed his thanks to the many that helped in their project. The collaboration with the neighborhood helped them arrive at a project that is better in every way. The goal of the project is to create a great community. A community that would provide a mix of housing types and prices and it would preserve the natural beauty of this site and its frontage on Bear Creek. It has always been their goal to preserve this area for the use for all of Ashland. When the donation is complete, they will have a walking trail from Mountain Avenue to Oak Street.
Dale focused on five major points: 1) Neighborhood meetings, 2) Transportation, 3) Infrastructure, 4) Types of housing, and 5) Parkland benefits.
The neighborhood meetings were an incredibly illuminating process. They’ve incorporated into the project what they learned. Initially they were looking at a density of 76 units on the site. Sixty-seven units are more compatible with the neighborhood. They have detached housing along North Mountain Avenue. They are providing for single story houses that go next to the existing neighborhoods and gradually step up in height. The neighbors have asked them to move lots 27 through 32 farther forward and decrease the pitch of the roofs to lessen their visual impacts.
There was a desire for more access points. Lots 33 through 67 have the ability to have vehicular access to the backs of their lots.
Dale said there is a need for a curtain drain. Their engineer said that was an extremely good idea.
Dale showed an overhead of the least offensive street lighting allowed by the City. He believes it is an excellent idea.
The applicants are proposing three housing types. Thirty-one narrow lots, mostly detached, single family entry level housing, making them as affordable as possible and still provide the amenities that the buyers want. Twenty-two of the mid-priced homes are predominantly in the center of the project. That will enable rear alley access. The rest will be slightly higher priced homes.
Briggs said the two-story houses on Mountain Avenue look like they definitely have a solar shadow on the houses to the north. She said if you keep moving north, there is a single story in between two two-story houses that will be in the shadow and the last one will have a shadow. Dale said there is a problem on this site in finding the balance. They struggled to find the best compromise. They are trying to provide diversity and what the public wants. They feel what they have proposed is the best alternative.
Archerd said they want to have a streetscape where the houses face Mountain Avenue and they are trying to provide the best balance. Dale added that they want to diminish the impact of the alley.
KenCairn said this is identified as a 12-foot wide turf block. It seems like a non-street and a non-alley, and feels like an out-of place element in the rest of the development. Dale said it softens the streetscape and diminishes the amount of paving on the site. KenCairn said if they are not going to take vehicles through there, then turf block may not be the solution. Archerd agreed and thought the turf block could go.
Fields asked where the guest parking would be located. Archerd said it would be on the street. There is double-sided street parking on all streets. Dale mentioned there is quite a lot of unimpeded parking along the open space.
Archerd said the pedestrian easement that goes to the park is not an easement. It is their intention to dedicate that path to the City. The access to lot 49 will be the same access created for the Parks Department to the open space.
TOM FOSTER, 147 Nutley Street, member of the board of Bear Creek Greenway Foundation, said he is representing that organization. The Foundation is pleased with the offer of six acres of the floodplain bordering Bear Creek. It is an important segment of property needed to make the extension of the Bear Creek Greenway possible. This will make a better terminus of the greenway.
CAROL CARLSON, 509 North Mountain Avenue, said she is one of the neighborhood representatives speaking tonight. She feels that her property is at the point of highest impact. A team of neighbors, including Carlson created the ten-page letter they are submitting. Eight neighbors signed that letter. There are 38 names on an outline petition. They are not trying to block the development but they have serious concerns and they want to find real solutions to the problems. They would like to see more written specifics than found in the Outline Plan. They are formally requesting that many of these points be included as Conditions of approval. They endorse completely the 37 Conditions in the Staff Report. Each of their concerns are based on ordinances and criteria stated in their letter.
Carlson discussed the following concerns:
1. Attached housing and transition between neighborhoods. The narrow lots are a big change for the neighborhood. They request that along the southern boundary next to the older neighborhood, that those homes be one or one-and half stories (#5).
2. Off-site street improvements. She wants to see protection of trees (#12). She has had discussions with Engineering about #13 and they feel it is feasible to provide a percolated pipe alongside the main storm drainage so the mature trees will not be deprived of the water they are now used to. Also, that all off-site improvements to Lynn and North Mountain will be at the cost to the developer and not the residents. They have heard this but they would like it in writing (#15). Improvements along North Mountain will also provide for conditions previously committed to property owners (Carlson), namely, the removal of a stone berm, protection of her water line, and prevention of run-off from the street down the driveway.
EDWARD GELLER, 495 Lynn Street, said he lives adjacent to the proposed Summer Walk Subdivision. The neighbors had a meeting with Russ Dale and they aired a number of issues. One was the need for an appropriate transition between the subdivision and the existing neighborhood. At that time Dale indicated he would be willing to limit the height of new houses fronting his property and other properties fronting lots 27 to 32 (area of concern). His is representing his two neighbors, Donald Duval and Pamela Shaver. They sent a letter to Dale asking for consideration of the following options. 1. Consider pulling the rear line of the building envelope 30 feet closer to the proposed Clinton Street. 2. Place a deed restriction of a 25-foot height limit on the rear 30 feet of each lot. 3. Place a deed restriction limiting development on each lot to a single story in the rear 30 feet. They have not received a letter back from Dale.
Geller referred to the Staff Report, page 12, Condition 32, "That the building envelopes for Lots 27 and 32 be adjusted to incorporate a setback of ten feet per story from the existing fenceline or surveyed rear property line, whichever is greater. These changes shall be reflected in the Final Plan." They would like to ask for a15 foot setback. That would protect their views of the Bear Creek corridor. Lots 30, 31, and 32 are considerably shorter than Lots 27 through 29. He is requesting that building envelopes for Lots 27 through 32 be adjusted to incorporate a setback of 15 feet per story from the existing fenceline or surveyed rear property line, whichever is great. These changes shall be reflected as a Condition for approval of the Outline Plan and these changes be reflected on the Final Plan.
MARK SHERBOW, 497 East Hersey Street, spoke to water flow and flooding. He has lived in his house for 12 years. During that time, they have experienced 25 rain events. A rain event for them is water flowing through their property onto the proposed development. When their house was built, they installed two french drains in the rear of their property. They built a dry creek adjacent to their house. The water from above travels down their driveway and theoretically flows into their dry creek onto the proposed development land. A rain event consists of two inches of rain in a day. With two inches of rain, water flows through their property in a little stream. In a prolonged rain event (two in 12 years) they have experienced 19 inches of water in their understory. This is not just water flow, but water saturation. He is quite certain they will see more flooding in this neighborhood. He has heard that the water detention in the Asher development above them is not big enough. He does not want to see water flow onto the proposed development and then back onto his property.
His family does not feel secure in the preparation and detail of the current plan for storm drainage in the proposed subdivision. The continued work addressing future flooding is needed. Specifically, the property owners along the southern subdivision boundary along Lynn to Mountain be given stub-outs or off-site inlets, whichever is deemed more effective by Public Works, incorporated into the overall drainage plan. That the developer be responsible for the cost of this, rather than the existing neighborhood. That it is clearly stated who is responsible for maintenance of the storm drainage system, particularly the curtain drain, apart from the off-site stub-out. That, if the homeowner’s association is responsible for any of the storm drain’s maintenance, the developer is to research and report evidence that such association follow through with that responsibility and how neighbors can address it if they don’t. The Final Plan will show how more extreme rain events will be handled. That a bioswale is considered, as suggested in the neighborhood letter, to handle the inevitable overflow of water.
JUDY JONES, 512 Ann Street, expressed the neighbor’s appreciation for the involvement with the neighborhood by Russ Dale and Evan Archerd with regards to the development.
Jones has a year-round spring on her property. During winter and spring, it runs about 1000 gallons per day. It exits onto lots 28 and 29. They want to be sure that on the Final Plan that water does exit onto those properties. She believes that is the intent of the curtain drain. She referred to Page 4 of their ten-page letter. Traffic flow (#2) is a concern. Ann Street is steep. If that area at the bottom of Ann Street where the half-street improvement will be made were to allow traffic out from there to Ann Street, it would exit into downhill, oncoming traffic. She believes this would be a hazard. At their last meeting on September 5, 2002, Archerd agreed it would be a good idea to access into that alleyway for emergency vehicles only or pedestrians. They could possibly have bollards at the half-street.
In addition, there is a concern where Ann enters Hersey. It is fairly narrow at the top of Ann. Hersey does a little jog. They would like to see no parking on the east or west side of Hersey and within 25 feet of the top of Ann Street.
DIANA STANDING, 394 Clinton Street (corner of Ann and Clinton) stated the impact of 67 homes and 134 cars in their neighborhood will be great. There are many questions and concerns that have not yet been answered. Because of this, they would like the Final Plan to be reviewed at a public hearing of the Planning Commission with notice to adjoining property owners and any persons with standing. Those with standing at Final Plan hearing, be notified by Staff of any substantial amendments to the approved Final Plan. That adjoining property owners be notified when construction documents have been received by the City for Phase I construction of the approved Final Plan. It is important for the neighbors to continue to be a part of the process.
RICHARD HARTLEY, 508 Lynn Street, had the same concerns as Geller. The north side of his house is six feet from the fenceline where the alleyway will go. He is concerned with the larger setback for Lots 33 through 36, similar to what has been requested for Lots 27 through 32.
BONNIE MOODY, 511 East Hersey Street, lives at the corner of Hersey and Mountain Avenue. She spoke about the unintended harmful impacts on existing neighborhoods of various actions that are initially very helpful for the common good. In the last decade, the neighbors have seen the siting of the substation, the development of a partially lighted sports park drawing a lot of people in cars, diversion of traffic from downtown to Hersey and Mountain. At the same time, large, dense subdivisions are developing in that area at an increasingly rapid pace. Traffic and noise have already increased dramatically and that can only be predicted to proceed as rapidly as development is proceeding. How much infill, density, and activity can one area absorb without seriously affecting the quality of life of the current residents? Most people cannot regularly attend public meetings of various commissions and boards that make decisions that may impact very negatively on their property or on their lives. The neighbors are really dependent on the wisdom, the good will, and the foresight of our public officials and the professional staff to consider their interests prior to making a final decision.
Moody’s concerns are not only with the density of this subdivision, but on density standards for this area as a whole. She feels this issue is not exhausted by the considerations cited of adequate provision of city services and open space, but also on the impact of ever-increasing density on the nature of that area and its livability. Is there consideration of that issue when development decisions are made? The aggregate of density in that area will ultimately depend on the density of each development. She believes the density of this subdivision should be reduced and she would hope the Commission will look seriously at other proposals that come forward in this area.
THOMAS BIZEAU, 304 Clinton Street, stated will be quite a few trips coming out of this development (670 per day) when it is built out. These trips will be disbursed to different access points. He believes driver preference going to the west will be up Clinton Street and it will impact the eight houses in the area. There is a letter in the record stating his concerns. The street itself is starting to deteriorate. If the street is owned by the property owners because they put the money into it in a LID and Clinton is not an adequate facility (Criteria B), more trips will cause it to deteriorate even more. He is proposing a condition mandating the repair of that street prior to starting construction. He believes the Clinton will be the street of choice because the intersection at Ann and Hersey is a dangerous.
He agrees the bollards are a good idea at the half-street. It creates turning movement problems coming in and going out. At a very minimum if they decide to leave it open, it has to have stop signs.
There is no mention of lighting in the Staff Report and that is a concern.
There is no mention in the Staff Report of how to deal with the outfall from the storm drain in the neighborhood. He likes the idea of detention.
PETER JONES, 512 Ann Street, stated he is a state certified engineering geologist and a neighbor. Part of his duties as an engineering geologist is to identify geologic hazards that are known to the city and the landowner to make them aware of potential problems with future developments. He has an emergency action plan that he has distributed to the Commission for Emigrant Lake Dam. Warning and evacuation planning implementation are the responsibility of the downstream local authorities, i.e., the City of Ashland. He is trying to raise the awareness of the downstream community. The number one potential hazard is for a large magnitude eight earthquake or greater. That type of earthquake could impair or fail Emigrant Lake Dam. The inundation map he has provided shows the proposed development is on of the only property that is in the direct potential pathway of this failure. The probability is low, the consequences are high.
Chapman asked how the Commission should take this information into account. Jones is providing information to the Commission in order for them to make an informed decision. Fields asked if they would be a recommendation. Jones said it should be in the development’s CC&R’s or as a disclosure to the potential property owners.
KEN MICKELSON,Director of Ashland Park and Recreation, said he wanted to address the offer of the developer to donate this property to our parks system. This has always been in our Open Space plan. They have negotiated with the landowners to acquire this property for park purposes. Working with the developer, there is an opportunity to acquire this valuable piece of property, particularly the floodplain area, at no acquisition cost to the city. He is extremely excited about adding this property to the parks system. This donation will allow us to add a key element to make the connection from Nevada Street all the way to North Mountain Park. This has been a major goal of both the Parks Commission and the City Council to acquire this land to make this connection.
Swales said it seems the developer is getting the density for the houses that could have been built on the floodplain and at the same time getting rid of the maintenance and the tax liability. When the city takes it on, it will have major impact on developing it. Were there any negotiations to get the easement for this property rather than taking on the ownership of this property? Mickelson said they would like to acquire the property to add to our parks system. North Mountain Park is a tremendous asset to our parks system. It will allow for expansion of educational opportunities about the floodplain and it will help us repair floodplain damage over the years. It is in best interest of the city to have that entire floodplain in public ownership.
Briggs asked if the engineer decides in a flood situation it would be valuable to have a holding pond on the greenway, would the City be willing to put it in now? Mickelson said they worked recently on the Wightman Street sediment pond. If engineers believe it can be done on this property, he is quite sure the Parks Commission is open to doing that. They would be very much in favor of cleaning up the water going into Bear Creek.
Briggs noted a typographic error on Page 5 of the Staff Report. The word "site" should be "sight".
Molnar said one of the issues that has come up is regarding solar access. He mentioned to the applicant today that some of the units along North Mountain that are on narrow lots will probably be unable to comply with the six foot high shadow. He thought consideration should be given to condition the units that do not comply with solar access have to comply with the City’s energy bonus standard even though they are not getting a density bonus for the energy provision.
Briggs asked about staggering the front setback. Molnar said that would be an option.
Molnar said there was a question about on-street parking. Each unit is required to have two off-street parking spaces. The streets have been designed rather than with the minimum width of 22 feet, to 25 feet in order to allow more on-street parking in anticipation of any overflow from North Mountain Park events. There are so many units that have alleys that there is a lot of uninterrupted curb along these streets that will allow for more on-street parking.
Briggs said there is a letter from Mark Murphey that was handed out this evening. He asked why, if the developer is giving away six acres to the city, the density is not based on the remainder of the land instead of the whole. McLaughlin said the land has not been given to the city. It is still in the ownership of the applicant. Not until the final step in the process (recording the final survey) is the property deeded to the city. They could retain ownership of the property and leave it as open space and not allow the public access to it. That would be another option. The subdivision would look the same. There is no benefit in terms of transfer of density. This is very standard in how transfer of density works in the floodplain. Molnar said they are just transferring density that is already theirs to the buildable area. There is no density bonus.
Dale said the idea of staggering the buildings is well intended, but he still feels it is preferable to build single family detached homes. They will do the best they can to address the spirit of the solar ordinance.
Dale responded to Geller’s letter requesting the properties bounding their property. Dale has committed to those property owners individually to work with them to design each house along that boundary in such a way that respects their access to light and try to come up with the best possible compromises that enables them to have light, access and visibility but also produce a buildable, marketable product, giving the purchaser a decent product for their price. Geller asked for a deed restriction to limit building to a single story in the rear 30 feet of each lot. Dale is willing to respect this. If he complies with the 15-foot setback, that will make almost a columnar house. It forces a garage in the front with a house over the top. He commits to working with any individual who has an impact by an individual house.
Archerd said with regard to the Emigrant Dam possible inundation. He believes it is in everyone’s best interest to include disclosure in the CC&R’s about this potential event. Perhaps the homeowner’s association can develop some sort of an evacuation plan.
This development will create 67 homes according to Archerd that will typically generate 670 trips per day. They have created five access points to the subdivision. They don’t know where the traffic is going to go, but they will assume it will be equally distributed to the five access points. There will be 134 trips per day for each access point. That calculates out to one trip every six minutes. That does not seem unreasonable.
SCOTT PINGLE, project engineer, said the storm drainage issues brought up tonight are of a real concern that they will be able to handle fairly easily in working with the Public Works Department. The collection of the upslope water coming down from Hersey will be done with the use of french drains as well as providing stub-outs to the property owners to the south. It is a very good idea and of no consequence to our project. The homeowners on the south side can take the stub outs and connect directly into them. They can put surface inlets on them if they wish. They can easily provide those homeowners the access to the facility to direct the water through the project.
With regard to the overland flooding issue, it can be accomplished to provide a common low point through the subdivision to the common areas that have been noted previously to get the water down through the project to the open spaces and down into the Bear Creek drainage area. Because the project is relatively flat, they have to create ups and downs to get the drainage to work. They can be placed at points so if there is overland flow, that it can go through those spaces with minimal impact to the new structures and without really ponding water behind the alleyway that would back up on the property to the south.
They are not adding any storm water from the project onto the North Mountain drainage. The piping done on Mountain Avenue will be done to accommodate water from upslope. Pingle thought the pipe to the Bear Creek Bridge is only a 24-inch culvert. On the preliminary plan, they have shown the potential with the dedication of the open space area, an opportunity to create some type of treatment/detention facility to pre-treat the water before it goes into Bear Creek. They are willing to work with the City on this.
Amarotico moved to continue the meeting to 10:30 p.m. The motion was seconded and carried.
Swales asked if they were anticipating any fill on this site. Pingle said it would be minimal, if any. As far as fill over the areas for the lots, he would say no. There might be fill to create minimal slopes on the streets to get them drain properly. They would design the street section to allow a pathway for any overland flow water that would flow through the site.
COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Chapman summarized the following possible Conditions 38, 39 and 40.
38. CC&R disclosure about the dam.
39. Wetland and tree protection plan (protective fencing and fill fencing)
40. Stub outs for the storm drainage for adjoining property
Molnar said if the storm drainage is part of the city’s system, the city will take responsibility. If it is a private system, either the homeowners or the city will maintain. This will be cleared up more at Final Plan. There might need to be easements associated for use of the curtain drain that would be included in Condition 40.
On Page 2 of the neighbor’s request, Briggs wondered if the percolating pipe should be included along the North Mountain culvert to provide water to the existing trees. KenCairn said that creating an underground storm pipe that can potentially perk to service existing trees is asking for trouble. You are inviting these trees to dip their roots into the pipe. Ideally, she would like to see the spring at the other corner of the site used to irrigate both the existing trees and all of the public parkrows for the whole property. She believes there should be a condition that states the trees, during the total construction of the project and afterwards, should be irrigated. The applicants can decide how that will happen.
Molnar said they could add Condition 13 as the neighbors proposed it as our Condition 41. That gives our Public Works Director discretion. Until the street design is completed for North Mountain and survey of the right-of-way, some of the trees are still in question.
Briggs wondered if there is some debate about the accurate depiction of the southern boundary (Page 21). McLaughlin said there is, but the developer will have to determine that in order to file their survey.
McLaughlin explained that the property owners will be provided notice of Final Plan. They can call it up for a hearing if they are not in agreement with what is proposed. If the Commission would like to see the Final Plan, they have that choice.
McLaughlin said the lights will be the design Molnar showed that are standard in the development. This is a new standard where the lights will shine down, not up.
KenCairn moved to approve PA2002-054 with the attached 41 Conditions. Morris seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
PLANNING ACTION 2002-101
REQUEST FOR A LAND PARTITION TO DIVIDE AN EXISTING PARCEL INTO THREE LOTS FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 128 EAST NEVADA. PARCEL THREE IS LOCATED ENTIRELY WITHIN THE ASHLAND CREEK FLOODPLAIN CORRIDOR AND WILL BECOME DEDICATED APRK LAND UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE ASHLAND PARKS DEPARTMENT.
APPLICANT: CITY OF ASHLAND PARKS DEPARTMENT
Harris reported this was administratively approved and called up for a public hearing. The property is zoned R-1-5-P and located between Oak and Helman on the south side of Nevada. One single family residence is proposed for Parcel 1 (8000 square feet). Parcel 2 is 9000 square feet in size. There are two fruitless mulberry trees in the building envelope. The proposal is to remove the trees when a home gets built on Parcel 2. The building envelope is eight feet from the floodplain boundary. There is a total of 48 feet in the side yard. Parcel 3 is entirely in the floodplain and is dedicated parkland.
There will be a right-of-way dedication of five feet or whatever is necessary to straighten the jog in Nevada Street.
Staff believes the proposal meets the development criteria. There is no way to build more than one unit on the new proposed parcel. The Physical and Environmental Constraints Chapter requires that when a new lot is created, there be a buildable area on every new lot. The exception is if the lot is going to be for open space or a park. Parcel 3 complies.
Two concerns brought up in the letters submitted by neighbors were irrigation concerns relating to access to the flume. The other concerned historical flooding. The City has some photos of the 1997 flood, showing flooding along the toe of the slope. Conditions 7 and 8 have been added that are relatively standard procedure for any development that is close to a floodplain boundary. Before any site work is done, that the floodplain elevation is determined and identified on site and also a certificate of elevation is prepared by a surveyor or engineer. Once the house is built, the elevation of the lowest habitable floor is certified by an engineer or surveyor.
There is a flume and water rights to some of the properties across Nevada Street to the north. One way to address their concerns is to put in a driveway access somewhere on Parcel 3, not only to provide access to the park parcel for maintenance, but also to provide vehicular access to the flume. In order to build a driveway in the floodplain, there would have to be an application submitted for a Physical and Environmental Constraints permit. Harris suggested an added Condition 9, that an access easement for irrigation maintenance shall be provided for to those parties with water rights and shall be indicated on the final survey.
Staff is recommending approval with the nine Conditions.
Briggs asked about fencing off the flume. Harris said generally fencing is not allowed in the floodplain. Briggs wondered about a No Trespassing sign. Mickelson said he would be willing to put that up.
It was moved, seconded and approved to extend the meeting to 10:45.
KEN MICKELSON, 340 South Pioneer, Director of Parks and Recreation, said this dedication allows the Parks to acquire a very nice piece of property along Ashland Creek. Hopefully, someday they will be able to make connections. They will provide the driveway. He is agreeable to the Conditions.
JOE HORN, 1109 Oak Street, said he expects trespassing on the south end will become an issue with the adjoining property owners. He also noted during the flood in 1997, the neighbors claim the water was approximately four feet at toe of slope.
COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION
KenCairn moved to approve PA2002-101 with the attached nine Conditions. Swales seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
OTHER- There will be a Study Session in two weeks. There will be a presentation of the Housing Action Plan.
ADJOURNMENT- The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 p.m.