Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Hearings Board

Tuesday, August 14, 2007







AUGUST 14, 2007


I.          CALL TO ORDER: 1:30 P.M., Civic Center, 1175 East Main Street


Members present: Pam Marsh, Dave Dotterrer, Michael Dawkins


II.         APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Hearings Board Minutes of July 10,  2007 to be approved at the Regular

Planning Commission Meeting.




A. PLANNING ACTION:  2007-01209

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 1160 Bellview 

OWNER/APPLICANT:   Jack & Mary Kyman / Richard Wagner

DESCRIPTION:   A request for a Conditional Use Permit to expand an existing non-conforming garage by 13.5 square feet within 2 feet of the east property line.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Single-Family Residential ZONING: R‑1‑7.5; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 014CC; TAX LOT: 3000


Staff Decision stands 3-0



B. PLANNING ACTION:  2007-00961

SUBJECT PROPERTY:  1618 Ashland St.

OWNER/APPLICANT: Kerry KenCairn for Miller Paint

DESCRIPTION:  Request for a Site Review approval for a 994 square foot addition to the existing Miller Paint building located at 1618 Ashland St. 



Staff Decision stands 3-0


C. PLANNING ACTION: 2007-01201


OWNER/APPLICANT: Ashland Christian Fellowship & Pilot Rock Christian School

DESCRIPTION: Request for a modification of an existing Conditional Use Permit to allow the use of Ashland Christian Fellowship’s Educational/Multi-Purpose Wing Sunday School classroom facilities to offer  year-round/Monday through Friday pre-school, after-school daycare, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes for the property located at 50 West Hersey Street.  The application also requires an Exception to Street Standards to allow the placement of a curbside sidewalk along a steeply sloped section of the site’s Oak Street frontage, where a park row planting strip would typically be required.



Staff Decision stands 3-0





A.  PLANNING ACTION: 2007-01215

SUBJECT  PROPERTY: 510 Granite Street

OWNER/APPLICANT: Urban Development Services

DESCRIPTION:  Request for a Variance to exceed the maximum lot coverage requirements of the Woodland Residential (WR) zoning district for the vacant parcel located at 510 Granite Street.  The maximum lot coverage permitted is 7 percent of the total lot area, and the request is to increase this amount to 25 percent lot coverage to address the fact that 16 percent of the lot area is already covered by an existing paved driveway serving seven parcels.  A similar Variance was approved for this parcel in 2005 to allow 23 percent lot coverage - this request involves an additional 418 square feet of lot coverage. 



Chair Dotterrer read format script, detailing the rules and procedures for public hearings.  Both Dawkins and Dotterrer stated they made a site visit.


Severson provided a staff report detailing the history of the site and the current request before the Hearings Board.


Mark Knox, 700 Mistletoe Rd, as agent for the property owner summarized the applicant’s request stating that it was a minor 2% additional coverage request and also mentioned that previously the lot had been described as unbuildable due to the non conforming nature of the parcel.  Surrounding lots are zoned R-1-10, which allow higher lot coverage with larger lot sizes than the subject property.  Subtracting the driveway and parking from the lot coverage allowed in the zone leaves 600 or so square feet for the building footprint. 


Knox was asked why a larger variance wasn’t requested several years ago to better deal with the site’s coverage constraints and Hillside Ordinance issues.


Knox stated that design issues with the Hillside Ordinance could create large volume, up to a 28 foot overall height including roof and that aesthetics were some of the issue.  Safety is another component.  Cars could park in the easement and possibly into the driveway which could cause safety access problems for fire access.  Applicants have worked with a designer and have had immediate issues with site work retaining walls, turning radius, etc.


Terry Clement, owner of the lot spoke and stated that the request boils down to a small area in question.  He stated that he thought the original lot coverage variance was for the footprint of house, not the driveway also.  He also thought that a gravel driveway surface wouldn’t trigger lot coverage.  What is left is too small to deal with.  The shared drive situation is what triggers the problem.  An alternative is to put house right up to the common drive.  Parking is going to be a problem for guests.  Impervious surface is the problem.  Clement stated he would actually want more to move house back further and have more driveway.  Compare his lot to lots on Ashland Creek Dr, they are much smaller lots with much more coverage.  Utility easement move to driveway would cause other problems for use of the land.  He stated he is not asking for bigger house, but rather looking for parking spots.


No questions of the Hearings Board for the applicant. The hearing was closed at 2:05


Dotterrer requested clarification on impervious surface as it relates to lot coverage.


Severson noted that there are three components and the original variance spelled out specific components of lot coverage.  The definitions of Lot coverage; does not allow normal infiltration of water and also as it is more than 50 feet in length so classified as flag drive and needs to be paved.


The record was closed by Chair Dotterrer at 2:07.


Marsh made a motion to approve the variance, with a second from Dotterrer.


Marsh stated that she felt the application does meet the requirements of the variance criteria; small lot size, existence of existing shared drive is unique.  The benefit of fire protection and house placement that minimizes the impact to the adjacent residences meet criteria.  Circumstances were not willfully self imposed, as the lots were created and zoned this way.


She also commented that the Land Use Code does contain lot coverage definition and needs to be looked at during the Land Use Code review process.


Dotterrer clarified the motion to include staff conditions of approval, Marsh concurred.


Dawkins noted that the drive is not paved, but someone probably will.  He also stated that he has no problem with this variance, but regardless of zoning, it was purchased with that zoning so it is self imposed, as no one was forced to purchase the lot.


Dotterrer stated that he approves also, looked at variance definition and concurred.


Motion carries 3-0.



B. PLANNING ACTION: 2007-00985


OWNER/APPLICANT:  Holden, Hugh & Liesa

DESCRIPTION: Request for a Land Partition to create two lots, including one flag lot, for the property located at 805 Oak Street.  The application also requests an Exception to Street Standards to allow the placement of a driveway 16 feet from the driveway to the south, where a minimum of 24 feet is required.




Chair Dotterrer asked the Hearings Board to communicate any biases or ex-parte contact with all stating that it was limited to a site visit.


Severson provided a summary of the staff report by noting that the request is for a land partition and exception to street standards for the driveway.  He noted that the 16 foot driveway separation rather than the required 24 is reason for hearing.  The partition is very straightforward and meets the partition criteria. The application does provide information showing that the driveway standard could be met as the applicant originally submitted.  They then changed their application and staff was not able to support the request so a hearing was requested by the applicant.


Marsh asked about aligning the driveway with the street across from the proposed driveway on Oak St and Severson noted that the PW/Engineering Dept had no issues with its placement.


Staff explained how driveway distances were measured.  Dawkins then asked for staff’s recommendation.  Severson stated that staff recommends the approval of the land partition, but a denial of the exception to the street standards for the distance between driveways.


Applicants and property owners Hugh and Liesa Holden, along with Tom Giordano, agent and land use planner explained that the driveway is really the only issue.   The made an attempt to join driveways with the existing Tolliver Lane but that didn’t work out.  The original layout could work, but would be better with the exception and it would better align with Sleepy Hollow.


Hugh Holden provided two exhibits and stated that the issue is functionality.  If vehicle parked there, width goes to 7 feet.  The existing driveway does save a tree.

He also noted that the majority of drives along Oak do not currently comply, including some new ones, and also commented that all neighbors he spoke with are ok with the project.



Functionality and safety are the reasons for the request.  Additionally, an old curb cut will be eliminated on other side of property so there is no increase in curb cuts for the property.  Giordano noted that he sees staff point of view, but there are so many exceptions existing along Oak St.


Marsh asked if the existing driveway on the north end of the property would work and Giordano noted that it would be too close for setbacks to work.


Margueritte Hickman, City of Ashland Fire Marshal mentioned that the recent site plan has to work around tree.  Fire access needs turning radius data before Fire Dept could recommend one proposal over another and that maybe a condition could be added for radius information.  She also noted that parking could not go into the driveway area so radius information is critical.


Dotterrer asked if the width of driveway is not as big of deal as whether or not a car is parked.  Hickman stated that the drive width is first priority, the radius second.


Dotterrer asked if the applicant would like to use their rebuttal time and Giordano clarified that they are not saying that they are proposing a parking space in the driveway and that the new layout will make the movement easier, not a more difficult radius.  He also noted that a landscape architect did check that tree will be able to meet fire access standards for height and width and that pavers will be installed on the portion of the driveway near the tree, which will able to support the 44,000 pounds required for fire apparatus.


The hearing was closed at 2:40.


Severson clarified that 13.5 feet in height is required for tree branches and the arborist stated it will work.


Dawkins noted that he feels the real issue is trying to stick to street standards and noted the importance of curb and sidewalk regularities for pedestrians and cyclists.


The record was closed at 2:43.


Marsh stated that the request was difficult , but can’t see where it meets the exception standards.  What is unique?


Dawkins added that the removal of one curb cut doesn’t figure in to the decision since it is non usable anyway.  Tolliver lane would have been a good solution.


Dotterrer went through the exception criteria and gave his opinions: minimum needed  to aleiviate the difficulty – yes, not changing transportation facility – equal, unique or unusual-  harder to determine.  Maybe is unique because it is there already, just wanting a flag drive down the side of it.


Marsh noted that it is needed because a second lot is being requested.


Dotterrer added that it does bring more traffic to the street.  The driveway may be better to be wider with additional traffic.


Marsh stated that, with new parcel, there is an opportunity to require meeting development standards.  The originally submitted driveway drawing does meet so the issue is not limiting new lot creation so the criteria should be followed.


Marsh made a motion to approve the partition and deny the exception to street standards for the driveway location. A second was provided by Dotterrer with the motion carrying 3-0.



VI.        UNFINISHED BUSINESS – Adoption of Findings, Orders & Conclusions

A.                  Findings for PA2007-001215, 510 Granite St

B.                  Findings for PA2007-00985, 805 Oak St


Dawkins then moved to adopt findings for both 510 Granite St and 805 Oak St, with a second from Marsh the motion was approved 3-0



VII.              ADJOURNMENT


The meeting was adjourned at 3:08.



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