JUNE 14, 2005
CALL TO ORDER
Chair John Fields called the Ashland Planning Commission meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. on May 10, 2005 at the Civic Center Council Chambers,
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: John Fields, Chair
ABSENT MEMBERS: Kerry KenCairn
COUNCIL LIAISON: Jack Hardesty, present
STAFF PRESENT: John McLaughlin, Planning Director
Bill Molnar, Planning Manager
Maria Harris, Senior Planner
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary
There will be a study session on June 28, 2005. Staff will provide a presentation on the Riparian Ordinance, the Conservation Housing Density Bonus as part of the Performance Standards Options based on the Earth Advantage model, and updates on the Downtown Plan and on the ordinance review process.
Douma mentioned the memo sent by Mike Reeder regarding a number of legal rulings on a variety of issues. He would like this as a study session agenda item. McLaughlin said since the rulings are specific to a current planning action, they should be talked about at the hearing for the planning action. Reeder said the memo deals with interpretation of ordinances but within the context of the Northlight application. The Commissioners asked for an opportunity to discuss the memo after the Northlight planning action has been through the process.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
At the end of page 1, Roll Call, change ”Stromberg voted yes and no” to “Stromberg voted yes.” Black/Douma m/s to approve the minutes of the May 10, 2005 Regular Meeting (as amended), the May 24, 2005 Continuation of the Regular Meeting, and the May 24, 2005 Study Session. Voice Vote: Unanimous.
PUBLIC FORUM – No one came forth to speak.
TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS
PLANNING ACTION 2004-141
REQUEST FOR ANNEXATION, COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND ZONING MAP CHANGE FROM
APPLICANT: D AND A
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts - Black, Douma, Fields, Dawkins, and Chapman had a site visit.
Morris had a site visit and a potential conflict. He did some installation work for his brother on a property owned by Andy Cochrane (applicant). He did not feel this would prejudice his ability to make an unbiased decision.
Dotterrer noted a letter contained in the packet from Carolyn Brand stating that she does not believe Dotterrer should participate in a hearing involving Andy Cochrane because of their friendship and what she has viewed as his prior actions promoting Cochrane’s interests. Dotterrer stated he did not believe his relationship with Cochrane would prejudice his ability to make an unbiased decision.
Molnar stated this application involves Annexation, Outline and Site Review approval, a Tree Removal request and an Exception to the City Street Standards. This was last reviewed at the February Planning Commission meeting. Several issues were raised at that meeting in the Staff Report, through public testimony and by the Commissioners. It was decided to continue the application.
The application has changed substantially. There is a reduction in the number of units from 130 to 117 units. The housing mix has changed (see Staff Report). The farmhouse will be retained. The major changes revolve around the concerns for the potential wetland on the site. In addition, the project has been redesigned to retain the three large cottonwood trees.
Molnar showed photos of the site. He showed the proposed transportation system for this project connecting with some of the other developments in the area.
He showed the area of the wetland (approximately .6 acre) located in the northwest corner of the project. To compensate for altering the wetlands, the applicant plans to expand the wetland area toward the northeast. It is thought the underground hydrology feeding the wetlands is possibly connected to the wetlands toward the north that leads to Bud’s Dairy. The other wetland area and large cottonwoods are located in the southwest corner leaving a large buffer between the farmhouse and the new units that are being proposed.
There are two new streets accessing the property that could ultimately be shared with the properties to the north. All the other accessways are public alleys to provide rear access to the parking associated with the units. There are no public driveways off the street system thereby providing a lot of on-street parking.
Molnar showed the tentative storm water layout. There will be piped systems in
Molnar showed a plan with the existing street improvements and the proposed street improvements. The applicant is proposing off-site improvements to have a connected sidewalk system from
Staff has outlined the following areas of concern:
Delineation of the wetlands. Not only is there a requirement from the State to get the delineation, but one of the applicable approval standards for Outline Plan approval is that significant natural features such as wetlands have to be identified and incorporated into common areas or unbuildable areas in the project. The applicant has done a preliminary delineation, yet it has not been submitted to the State. Molnar said in order to make a determination that the natural features have been accurately identified, a delineation is the standard approach. A specific wetland planting or enhancement plan has not been submitted. Staff would like a confirmation on the wetland boundary. If approved, it would be up to Staff as part of Final Plan approval to determine if the enhancement plan for the area was appropriate.
Preservation of the cottonwoods. The arborist has suggested the trees will have to be continually monitored over the life of the project. Cottonwoods are prone to break limbs.
Traffic at intersections.
Dawkins did not believe the available building inventory had been addressed. Molnar said there had been discussion at the past meeting by Commissioner Briggs. The applicant provided information taken from City Staff who looked at the available lands inventory and subtracted out what lands had been approved for development over the past six years and made a determination based on the consumption rate. Staff felt it was a fair approach and one they have used in the past to determine the five year supply, based on the approval standards for annexation. The approval standards reference the Buildable Lands Inventory (BLI) as well as the Housing Element. Following the Housing Element, for a five year supply, thirteen acres of buildable multi-family land is needed within the City Limits at any one time. When Staff updated the BLI in 1998-99, they took a more conservative approach and found eight to ten acres for a five year period were needed.
Douma referred to page 5 of the Staff Report (6-14-05) Policy XII-1, specifically, “The five year supply shall be determined by the rate of consumption necessitated in the projections made…” Staff and the applicant seem to be basing inventory on consumption rates, not on anything referenced in the Comprehensive Plan. Using the consumption model (18 acres used in the last five years), does that mean in the next five years we need to have available 18 acres or 3.6 acres per year? If that is the case, it becomes exponential so that every time we do something, we increase the ability to do even more. The problem with the consumption model is it builds on itself.
Secondly, Policy XII-2, “The City shall incorporate vacant land only after showing that land of similar qualities does not already exist…” Should we be including both R-2 and R-3 lands? They are of similar quality.
Molnar responded that we don’t distinguish between R-2 and R-3 to establish whether or not we have an adequate multi-family inventory.
Molnar referenced the 1982 Housing Element because he thought back then it was based on population projection and determining what percentage of the population needed a certain housing type. Did we have enough acreage within our Urban Growth Boundary to accommodate the needed housing types, based on population projections, not consumption rate over the next 20 years?
McLaughlin said the demand projected in the Housing Element of the Comp Plan is to provide housing for the future population for a 20 year period. How many acres of land are needed to meet that population demand for multi-family housing? The plan estimated 54 acres in a 20 year period. It was assumed a five year supply would be 13 acres. The State has outlined methodology for cities to adopt a Buildable Lands Inventory. One is based on a fairly recent period of consumption. They came up with ten acres is a five year supply. They are both valid approaches and based on what is happening with population projections and growth rate. The population projections from 1982 are tracking well even in the updates with the BLI. Either approach can be valid. At all times there should be at a least a five year supply of land available in the City for development.
Douma suggested we discourage people from using a consumptive model and we do not reinforce saying we agree with a consumptive model.
Molnar said there are some housing policies in the Comp Plan that say the City should continually review their land needs and their inventories and refers to implementing that policy. It is not an adopted ordinance but a continual task of the Planning Department. The BLI that was done in 1998 was more of a consumptive model that was prescribed by the State. Staff isn’t necessarily endorsing the applicant’s consumptive model but we did have a BLI done in 1998-99 that was a consumptive model that our Council endorsed.
Black noted that she would like to see parking along
ALAN HARPER, Hornecker, Cowling, 717 Murphy Road, Medford, OR 97504, stated he has been involved with this project since the redesign. This is a substantially better project. The applicant has redesigned the project to maintain the existing house and poplar trees. He confirmed that Reeder said the 120 day clock is starting over (from May 19, 2005). The applicant can extend the time limit for a total of 245 days.
Harper said the connectivity issue has been addressed, the number of units reduced; there are no density bonus issues, and adequate open space.
The applicant handed out additional materials at the meeting addressing the wetland delineation and street capacity. They received a preliminary delineation and punch list of a mitigation plan from Scott English, Northwest Biological Consulting. There is a hand-written letter from Bob Lobdell, Department of State Lands (DSL). They will still have to get a DSL permit to do the project. Wetland area 1 is the only jurisdictional wetland on the site. The approximate wetland boundaries are acceptable to DSL pending their final concurrence of the site conceptual planning and layout. Lobdell has reviewed the applicant’s mitigation plan and agrees with the direction in which they are going. DSL would like to see an approved conceptual plan in order to move forward. Harper has submitted a proposed condition that says the applicant is taking the risk that the final delineation from DSL has to comply with the Outline Plan.
The applicant has agreed to do all the off-site improvements along
Harper would encourage Staff to write their findings based on the Housing Element model, not the consumptive model.
TOM GIORDANO, 2635 Takelma Way, asked for questions.
Dawkins said the applicants have provided the required affordable housing. Giordano said the duplexes are a full size house plus a studio unit. The studios are beyond the requirement and those units should target a lower income bracket. They are building affordable units into this project. The applicant is not asking for any subsidies. Dawkins wondered why they would, if they receive approval for their annexation request. Harper said they meet the standard and they are accomplishing what the City has asked to accomplish.
Dawkins commented that there a lot of units that are being built to be affordable, but the reality is the market forces are moving toward units being purchased but not owner occupied. Units are purchased for an investment.
Black asked if the applicant could add to their Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) that one of the duplexes must be the owner of the rental. Harper did not know of a criteria or CC&R provision that would restrict one to be owner occupied and the other a rental. They have tried to provide a housing mix. Harper added there will be CC&R’s for the condominiums, another set for the townhomes and a master association. The farmhouse will not be included in the CC&R’s.
Douma wanted to make sure the storm sewer will connect with the larger pipe as he didn’t see it on the drawing.
Morris asked if any houses were single level or handicap accessible. Giordano said the duplex units and the fourplex units can have handicap access on the ground floor.
Black hoped the Logtown Rose on the southwest corner of the property (by the mailboxes) will be preserved.
ROBERT D. KORTT, Transportation Engineer, RDK Engineering, 3350 Green Acres Drive, Central Point, OR 97502, said 2300 vptd are projected by the year 2024, about half the capacity of
Stromberg asked how high the traffic volume would have to get on
Black asked about the pedestrian path to the south. Molnar said as part of the Gargus partition, there was a pedestrian easement dedicated, but no improvements that have been done. The easement would connect to the Birchwood easement and would in turn connect to the easement on the proposed development. It would probably be up to the City when that easement would be activated. Giordano said the applicant will do that.
There will be path to the YMCA. McLaughlin said a gate design will have to be coordinated with Parks. Molnar said there is a Condition relating to this. Giordano said there is a potential to hook up through the Cooper property with the path to Bud’s Dairy.
Fields read comments from GREG GARGUS,
ROBERT WILDMAN, 420 Clay Street, asked, “Where are all the families?” Are there families lined up that need this development? He would like Staff to provide numbers associated with how many families, consumption rate, what is forecast, inventory, etc. They may find it is not best to annex. Additionally, the wetlands are not finalized and not well understood.
McLaughlin said the single family residential vacancy rate is one percent. Rental housing is less than four percent. There is a demand for houses. There are only a few vacancies. There is not a process for limiting the number of houses built or the growth that occurs. The number of homes built has remained fairly constant from between 100 to 150 per year. The amount of developable land is decreasing each year. McLaughlin said
ALBERT PEPE, 320 Clay Street, said in Wingspread units can only be owner occupied. His definition of affordability is people living in it can afford to buy it. He is concerned about the amount of development on
OSHANA, 321 Clay Street, #26, said she does not like the density. Her primary concern is the traffic. She can only see it getting more dangerous and inconvenient for others. Where will the water come for the hundreds of people on Clay?
Chapman asked about the applicant’s suggested Condition 26. Molnar said they would want the Staff Advisor to be part of the review of the wetland. Lobdell, DSL, has gone to the site and Molnar doubts there will be anything too different once it goes to the State.
Black would rather see a full street improvement at the north boundary. Molnar said a half street has two travel lanes, is a minimum of 20 to 22 feet wide, curb gutter and sidewalk on one side.
Harper said infill projects within exiting neighborhoods can almost be harder on existing neighborhoods. There is some economy of scale in all the projects going on at once, especially when you take into consideration the off-site improvements the applicant is willing to do. They have no objection to building to the curb on the north side of the project.
Harper explained a certain number of units will be less than 500 square feet. Coupling the density and affordability, it drives the project to create a certain product. The product will serve a certain part of our population. The profitability for developers is in big houses. The small product isn’t as profitable but creates the inventory that the City regulations are driving.
Giordano said this property is surrounded on three sides by City land. It is a logical place to annex property.
COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Chapman/Douma m/s to approve PA2004-141 with the added Condition 26 and forward a favorable recommendation to the Council to annex this property. There was discussion by the Commissioners about whether to approve the Annexation or the Site Review first. Chapman withdrew his motion.
Chapman/Dotterrer m/s to approvethe Site Review for PA2004-141 with the added Conditio
Dawkins is not comfortable with the wetlands issue. Water wants to go where it wants to go. We should be looking at the whole neighborhood to see where the water has changed with the different uses that have come into play. He would like to see a more comprehensive plan of the
Dotterrer is comfortable with approving with the Condition 26 and including the approval of the Staff Advisor. If there is a problem, the plan will come back. Molnar said it will be part of their Final Plan review and if Staff felt they did not follow the intent of their bulleted list of wetland enhancements, Final Plan would be scheduled as a hearing rather than administratively.
Douma/Stromberg m/s to extend the meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: Approved.
The Commissioners discussed whether or not they wanted to have this application come back to them for review of Final Plan as a public hearing before the full commission. It was decided, that they add a Condition that the application would come back for Final Plan approval only if there is a discrepancy with the wetland, otherwise the full commission will not see it again.
Molnar suggested wording to Condition13 that the development and surfacing of the multi-use pathway of the south boundary of the project (through taxlot to the south) be designed and improved as part of this project.
Amend the applicant’s suggested Condition 26 by adding at the end of the first sentence, “and approval by the Staff Advisor.”
Roll Call: Unanimous.
Dotterrer/Chapman m/s to recommend to the City Council that they approve the request for annexation.
Douma believes there will be issues on
Black does not believe the applicant has met the criteria for annexation. The destination for bicycles to the middle school cannot be addressed by bringing this land into the City.
We are putting a lot of load on streets that we can’t complete. The methodology in the Comp Plan is clear that apartments would be built on R-2 land. She does not feel assured the housing will stay at the affordable rates. Chapman said there are bike lanes on
Dawkins said he would hope we start to re-look at how we determine whether annexations happen. Fields said if are going to use planning to stop growth, there is a larger community discussion. Chapman reminded the Commissioners there was a huge public process that went into establishing our UGB. And, the Commission made a significant vote when they said they were not going to extend the UGB. We have managed to slow growth by having infill.
Douma/Morris m/s to extend the meeting to 11:00 p.m. Voice Vote: Approved.
Douma asked for clarification of the calculations used to come up with the available land and those calculations be brought to the Council and presented to them the way we want to do the calculations in any future annexations.
Roll Call: Douma, Chapman, Dotterrer, Fields and Morris voted “yes” and Stromberg, Dawkins and Black voted “no.”
PLANNING ACTION 2005-00858
REQUEST FOR OUTLINE AND FINAL PLAN APPROVAL FOR A THREE-LOT SUBDIVISION UNDER THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OPTIONS FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 945 N. MOUNTAIN AVE., WITHIN THE NORTH MOUNTAIN NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN AREA. THE DEVELOPMENT REQUESTS A SITE REVIEW APPROVAL FOR A SIX-UNIT MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT, WITH THREE OF THE RESIDENTIAL UNITS THAT WILL INCLUDE GROUND FLOOR OFFICE SPACES THAT CAN BE USED AS A HOME OCCUPATION OFFICES.
APPLICANT: GREG WHITE
Site Visits and Ex Parte Contacts – Site visits were made by all except Stromberg and Black.
Harris reported this is a request for a Subdivision and a six unit residential development. The applicant is proposing to divide the existing property into three lots with two units on each property. The Subdivision portion is what requires a public hearing and this subject to the approval criteria for Outline and Final Plan. The six unit development is subject to Site Review and the North Mountain Design Standards.
The proposal is near the north edge of the North Mountain Core Overlay. She showed the site plan. The three lots are being developed with two units on each with a single family home with a home occupation office at the front of the unit with a garage at the rear and studio above.
Access to the units is proposed off the alley to the rear of the site. Improvements are made on
There is a condition that the streets and utilities must go in before a building permit would be approved. There is one parking space per unit. The density works.
The maintenance of the parkrow is required as part of the Subdivision (Condition 11).
The property grade drops to the north but can be accommodated in the structures with one sitting above the slope and one sitting below.
This is a transitional area. The property to the north is targeted to come in as single family residential. The design standards for the North Mountain Plan encourage small residential units above the studios. When an accessory unit over a garage is abutting a side yard, the Plan states that there be considerate design and placement, specifically the second story massing be brought down in height and size through the use of dormers rather than a full two-story structure. Staff is recommending the unit on
There is an entry staircase that is two stories high oriented to the side property line. Staff is recommending putting the staircase on another side of the building to address the considerate design and placement standard.
Staff is recommending approval of the application with 25 attached Conditions.
Black asked about a parking lot to the east. Harris said that is a public parking lot. The only parking requirement is for residential uses. Home occupations are not required to have off-street parking.
TOM GIORDANO, 2365 Takelma Way, said they agree with everything Staff has mentioned. However, they wondered if they could word Condition 16 differently. They are not responsible for the streets to be paved. It is the responsibility of the developer working around their property to pave the streets. What if the streets never get paved because of bankruptcy or some other reason and they can’t go forward with their project?
The reason for the stair placement on the northerly unit is to add a softer element to it instead of having a solid wall. It was designed in response to the design guideline for the district. He does not have a problem with lowering the volume.
GREG WHITE, 4700 E. Main Street, only has a question about Condition 16. The Commission approved the eight lot subdivision on the Cislo property. He noted he would never take trucks by the Marr property. If they are able to get in there and get the work done before the streets are in, they won’t damage the street surface. He is agreeable to changing the volume of the units and might do it on all of them.
Douma believes the stair side looks better than just a flat wall.
Molnar discussed Condition 16. Any Site Review or Outline Plan approval requires paved access to the property. They need to guarantee that if the larger project goes belly up, this project has to improve the street and alley access to their property. They could possibly put up a bond that covers paving the street and the back alley. That would be rather substantial.
This action will be continued to the study session on July 28, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. No additional notice will be sent out.
The last two items on tonight’s agenda (below) will not be carried over to the study session but to the next regular meeting.
PLANNING ACTION 2005-00960
REQUEST FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDMENT TO THE SIGN REGULATIONS, CHAPTER 18.96 OF THE
APPLICANT: CITY OF
PLANNING ACTION 2005-00965
REQUEST FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDMENT TO THE TREE PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION, CHAPTER 18.61 OF THE
APPLICANT: CITY OF
ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.