Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


These minutes are pending approval by the Ashland Planning Commission.





January 11, 2011



Chair Pam Marsh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.


Commissioners Present:


Staff Present:

Larry Blake

Michael Dawkins

Pam Marsh

Debbie Miller

Melanie Mindlin

John Rinaldi, Jr.


Bill Molnar, Community Development Director

Derek Severson, Associate Planner

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor





Absent Members:








Commissioner Marsh requested the following items be added to the end of the agenda:

·         Selection of Planning Commission Officers for 2011.

·         Planning Commission’s Memo on Council Goals.

·         Possible Cancellation of January 25, 2011 Study Session.


Marsh noted the 2011 Schedule of Meetings and clarified this list incorporates the additional joint meetings with the Transportation Commission for the TSP Update. Comment was made that the list was missing the Commission’s Annual Retreat. Marsh concurred and clarified the Retreat schedule still needs to be determined.



A.      Approval of Minutes

  1. December 14, 2010 Planning Commission Minutes.

Commissioners Dawkins/Mindlin to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion Passed 5-0. (Commissioner Rinaldi abstained)



No one came forward to speak.



A.      Planning Commission Representative for Infrastructure Financing and Urban Renewal Feasibility Study.

Community Development Director Bill Molnar provided a brief summary of the Infrastructure Financing and Urban Renewal Feasibility Study. Commissioner Blake expressed interest in the study and the Commission agreed that he would serve as the Planning Commission’s Representative.  



A.      Approval of Findings for PA-2010-01239, 85 Winburn Way.

Commissioner Marsh noted she had asked staff to prepare modified language on the alternative transportation mode encouragement program of the development agreement recommendations. Associate Planner Derek Severson read the suggested modification to page 6 aloud: “The Commission finds that measures to this end should include the development of a multi-modal transportation plan which includes but is not limited to a staff ride share coordinator as proposed by the applicants, free bus passes made available to employees who request them, provisions for significant secure bicycle parking, which a portion of this parking to be provided in a location suitable for employee use, and showers and lockers to serve bicycle commuting employees. ”

Ex Parte Contact: No ex parte contract was reported by the commissioners.


Commissioners Miller/Blake m/s to approve the Findings for PA-2010-01239, 85 Winburn Way as amended by staff. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 5-0. (Commissioner Rinaldi abstained)



A.      PLANNING ACTION: #2010-01570                     


APPLICANT:  Caldera Brewing Company

DESCRIPTION: A request for Annexation; Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment/Zone Change; Site Review approval to construct a new 28,000 square foot manufacturing, warehouse, storage, tasting room and administrative office building for the production of brewing products; Lot Consolidation; and Tree Removal Permit to remove 17 trees for the 3.72 acre parcel located at 590 Clover Lane.  The proposal involves an annexation of three parcels totaling 3.72 acres in area which currently have a County zoning designation of RR-5. Two of the three parcels have a current Comprehensive Plan designation as Single Family Residential, while the third is already designated as Employment.  With the proposal all three parcels will be annexed as Employment lands to be zoned E-1 and consolidated into one parcel.  The application also involves a Modification of Planning Action #2003-112 to eliminate the previous vehicle trips per day per lot cap on Tax Lots #6800 and #6801 at 580-585 Clover Lane, and Administrative Variance to the Site Design and Use Standards to place parking and circulation between the building and the street and to the parking lot landscaping and screening requirements. {The Planning Commission will also consider inclusion of Interstate 5 right-of-way in the annexation to make the extension of the City boundaries more logical and orderly.}

CURRENT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATIONS: Employment & Single Family Residential; PROPOSED COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Employment; CURRENT ZONING: RR-5 (County); PROPOSED ZONING: E-1 (City); ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 14 AA & 14 AD; TAX LOTS: 14AA 6900, 14AA 7000 and 14AD 7000.

Commissioner Marsh read aloud the public hearing procedures for land use hearings.  


Ex Parte Contact: Commissioners Mindlin, Rinaldi, Dawkins, Blake, Miller and Marsh conducted site visits. No ex parte contact was reported.


Staff Report

Associate Planner Derek Severson presented the staff report and explained this application involves an annexation, Comprehensive Plan Map and Zone change, and Tree Removal permit. He noted the location of the site and reviewed the current zoning designations. Mr. Severson explained two of the three parcels are zoned residential in the Comprehensive Plan, and the third parcel is zoned E-1. He stated the proposal is to annex all three parcels as E-1, consolidate them into one parcel, and develop a brewery building on the property. Additionally, staff has recommended a portion of the ODOT right of way along I-5 be annexed to make the extension of the City’s boundaries more logical (pursuant to AMC 18.106.040).


Mr. Severson reviewed the existing site conditions and clarified the structures and trees proposed for removal. He also provided some background on the nearby pedestrian connection to the Spring Creek neighborhood. Mr. Severson stated the applicant proposes to build a 28,000 sq. ft. structure that will include a tasting room with 40 seats as well as brewery functions for Caldera Brewery Company; and reviewed the applicant’s landscape plan, building elevations, and floor plan with the Commission.


Mr. Severson stated staff has identified the following four issues they feel need to be addressed in the conditions for approval: 1) a stronger sense of entry, 2) the amount and extent of paving, 3) placement of parking and circulation between the building and street, and the resulting challenges to pedestrian access, and 4) buffering of the property line to mitigate paving and visual impacts of the building mass. Mr. Severson commented on the Traffic Impact Analysis provided by the applicant and also noted ODOT’s concerns about left hand turns at the Ashland/Clover intersection. He noted this area is currently being looked at as part of the City’s Transportation System Plan (TSP) Update, and clarified ODOT is supportive of this issue being dealt with by the TSP. To this regard, staff recommends the Commission consider adding a LID participation agreement as a condition of approval.


Mr. Severson concluded his presentation and stated staff is recommending approval of the application with the conditions as noted.


Applicants Presentation

Mark Knox/ Applicant’s Representative/Introduced Transportation Engineer Kim Parducci, Landscape Architect Laurie Sager, Civil Engineer Mark Kamarath, and Caldera owner Jim Mills. Mr. Knox stated they have been working on this project for over a year and clarified Mr. Mills’ already operates a brewery on Clover Lane that is actually closer to the neighborhood than the proposed site. He stated Mr. Mills has never received any complaints about his operations and noted they held a neighborhood meeting and received favorable comments about this project. Mr. Knox stated they have gone through a number of design scenarios to minimize the impacts to the neighbors but still provide a functioning manufacturing facility. He commented on the site constraints, including the levelness of the site and grading issues, and stated they tried to minimize the impacts of the retaining walls and the mass on top of the embankment. He noted the grade change between this site and I-5 is approximately 20 ft, and because of this the asphalt along the east side of the property will not be visible from the freeway. Mr. Knox commented on conditions 5(h) and 5(i) proposed by staff. He displayed a colored drawing of what the building will look like from Clover Lane and commented on the architectural elements. He stated they believe they have met condition 5(h) and asked that it be removed. Mr. Knox shared their concerns with condition 5(i), which talks to a pedestrian connection to the front entrance and a reduction in the paved surface area. He clarified they are proposing a striped crosswalk and believes this is appropriate given the level of pedestrian traffic this proposal will generate. In terms of the second part of 5(i), Mr. Knox stated they have done their best to minimize the amount of asphalt, but noted this is a manufacturing facility that has product coming and going on large trucks. He stated because of the site constraints and the need to accommodate delivery trucks and emergency vehicles, it would be very difficult to reduce the paving any further. Mr. Knox concluded his presentation and restated his request for conditions 5(h) and 5(i) to be removed.


Transportation Engineer Kim Parducci was asked to comment on the issue of left hand turns off of Clover Lane. Ms. Parducci explained Clover Lane is not an ideal intersection, but it does have the benefit of a center turn lane which allows vehicles to turn left onto Ashland St. in two stages (once into the center lane, and again into the through lane). She stated the concern is with ODOT’s future plans to insert a traffic signal at the I-5 off ramp, which could create stacking issues and possibly block the Clover intersection.


The applicant expressed no concern to a potential LID participation condition.


Public Testimony

Steve Morjig/610 Chestnut/Stated he is a long-time Ashland resident and voiced his support for encouraging local businesses. He voiced his support for annexing this property and noted it is surrounded by City property. Mr. Morjig stated the proposed landscaping and pavement will suppress the potential for wildfire and noted the tragic fire that occurred behind this property last summer. He commented on porous asphalt and recommended they encourage, but not require this.


Andy Reinholz/1490 East Main St/Stated he is speaking on behalf of his father and shared his concerns regarding the proposal. Mr. Reinholz stated a trucking facility is not a desirable business to have this close to a residential neighborhood and questioned how this would negatively impact their property values. He questioned whether Spring Creek would be able to handle the water load and questioned what would happen if it can’t release it fast enough. Mr. Reinholz stated he has a family member who works for a brewery and stated these businesses tend to increase the rodent and feral cat population. He noted the undesirable smell that can omit from the breweries, and stated the tasting room hours of operation is another concern.


Linda Hood/785 Oak Knoll/Expressed concern with how this project will impact her living situation. Ms. Hood stated her house is across the ravine from the proposed loading deck and voiced concern with the number of trucks visiting the site and the back-up noises they will make. She commented that her home’s sense of privacy will be taken away and invited the commissioners to her home to see what she is speaking about. Ms. Hood also expressed concern with the amount of water runoff this development will generate and questioned whether increased traffic will impact the Clover Lane intersection.


Richard Tripoli/690 Spring Creek/Stated his property is adjacent to the proposed building site and stated the proposed building would be far better than the high grass that is there now. He stated he regularly walks his dog down Clover Lane and has never smelled anything coming from the brewery. He noted he attended the neighborhood meeting held by the applicants and thanked them for their desire to make this building as un-offensive to the neighborhood as possible. Mr. Tripoli commented on the placement of the building and voiced support for keeping it as close as possible to the freeway.


Margueritte Hickman with the Ashland Fire Department was asked to come forward and address the issue of clearance between the building and the freeway. Ms. Hickman clarified the Oregon Building Code requires a 26 ft. wide driveway in order to accommodate an aerial apparatus emergency vehicle and stated if the proposed driveway width was narrowed it would not meet this standard.


Commissioner Marsh noted the submittal by the Talent Irrigation District and clarified this will be added to the record.


Rebuttal by the Applicant

Mark Knox/Noted the city policies regarding jobs and supporting local businesses and commented on some of the concerns raised during public testimony. Mr. Knox clarified how the bioswale and storm drain system will work and stated the only water being collected on site and fed to Spring Creek is rain runoff; Water from the brewery will go straight into the City’s wastewater system. In terms of truck noise, Mr. Knox stated not only is there a distance of 80-90 feet, but the berm and thick tree canopy also provides a buffer to any potential noise. Mr. Mills added the majority of the truck traffic will occur between 10 am and 3 pm, and stated none of the trucks have beepers on the back of them. In regards to smell, it was noted that this business has never received a complaint and has neighbors closer to its current operations than the proposed site.


Commissioner Marsh closed the public hearing at 9:00 p.m.


Deliberations & Decision

Commissioner Dawkins motioned to approve PA-2010-01570 with the removal of conditions 5(h) and 5(i). Motion failed due to lack of a second.


Commissioners Rinaldi/Blake m/s to approve PA-2010-01570 with the conditions of staff, but change Conditions 5(h) and 5(i) to be recommended rather than required. DISCUSSION: Rinaldi commented on the 5 ft. landscaping strip that is required along the freeway side and suggested they increase the landscaping to the north and south and keep the 26 ft. fire lane clear. Dawkins agreed that you will not be able to see the landscaping along the freeway side, and in terms of the sense of entry he feels this has been met. Mindlin stated if they are going to relax the language in 5(h) perhaps they should just remove it, and in terms of the pedestrian connection she recommended this be scored concrete instead of striped paint. She commented on the buffer along the freeway and stated she would not push too hard for this and would be satisfied if they included some larger stature trees in the southwest corner. Rinaldi amended the motion to include a LID participation requirement; Blake seconded. In terms of the annexation request, several commissioners voiced their support for annexing this area into the City and making it E-1. Rinaldi was asked to re-state his motion before the vote. Rinaldi clarified his motion is to approve with the following changes to the conditions: 1) Change 5(h) to indicate this is preferred rather than required, 2) Require a scored concrete treatment to the pedestrian crossings in 5(i), 3) Remove the permeable paving requirement from 5(i), 4) Add a condition that the 5 ft. landscaping strip be transferred to the north and south of the building to provide additional screening, and 5) Require the applicants to sign a LID Participation Agreement. Mindlin offered a friendly amendment to 5(i) to clarify “both” pedestrian connections shall be delineated through the use of scored concrete. Rinaldi and Blake agreed to this change. Roll Call Vote on motion as amended: Commissioners Mindlin, Dawkins, Rinaldi, Blake, Miller and Marsh, YES. Motion passed 6-0.


B.      PLANNING ACTION: #2010-01622


APPLICANTS:  R. Scott Dixon and Joan Cresse

DESCRIPTION: A request for a Modification of the Performance Standards Options Subdivision Final Plan Approval (PA #2003-020) for the Strawberry Meadows Subdivision. The proposed modifications include relocation of the driveway entrance, changes to the approved building envelope, and the allocation of a portion of the lot coverage from the subdivision’s approved “Open Space ‘A’” to allow increased lot coverage for Lot #6, located at 163 Hitt Road. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Rural Residential within a Performance Standards Overlay; ZONING: RR-.5-P; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 08AC; TAX LOTS: 506.


Ex Parte Contact

Commissioner Miller reported a site visit, and Commissioners Blake, Dawkins and Mindlin stated they are familiar with the area. No ex parte contact was reported.


Staff Report

Associate Planner Derek Severson presented the staff report and briefly reviewed the Strawberry Meadows Subdivision and the slopes in that area. He explained this property is part of the Performance Standards Subdivision and this application involves three components: 1) The applicants are proposing to not use the existing shared driveway on their property. They would like to relocate the gate that currently blocks access to upper Hitt Road and create a new driveway that would allow them to enter the site and build on the least sloped portion of the site. 2) Modify the building envelope to provide more buildable area near the new access. 3) The final and biggest piece of the application is a request to allocate additional lot coverage from the adjacent open space and increase the total lot coverage to 56.7%. Mr. Severson explained the area is zoned RR-.5-P which has a standard lot coverage of 20%, and noted the Performance Standards Options chapter does provide some flexibility to deal with lot issues.


Mr. Severson provided some history of this subdivision and noted that its approval was appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals. He noted when the subdivision was originally approved there was no allocation of lot coverage. However in the LUBA land use record there is a submittal from Tom Giordano, who was the applicant’s agent, indicating they recognized they were restricted to the 20% lot coverage limitation. Mr. Severson noted the applicant’s have submitted a second statement from Mr. Giordano clarifying the intent was to meet the 20% standard by allocating lot coverage from the open space.


Mr. Severson stated the applicant’s are proposing 4,356 sq. ft. of coverage on their property for site construction, and excluding the existing driveway. In addition they are proposing 1,122 sq. ft. in patio areas, pads for parking, and walkways in permeable coverage for a total lot coverage of 56.7%. Mr. Severson explained in looking at the RR.5 zoning designation, which has a minimum half-acre lot size and a 20% coverage standard, it is reasonable to assume the intention was for a minimum 4,356 sq. ft lot coverage to accommodate homes in this district. He stated staff is supportive of the 4,356 sq. ft lot coverage proposed by the applicants and stated previous Planning Commission decisions have allowed the exclusion of driveways from the lot coverage calculation when the driveway serves adjacent properties. However, he stated staff is not supportive of the additional 1,122 sq. ft. of permeable coverage proposed by the applicants.


Commissioners Dawkins/Marsh m/s to extend meeting to 10 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion Passed 6-0.


Applicants Presentation

Scott Dixon and Joan Cresse/Stated it has taken them 3 years to get to this point and they have put a lot of time and effort into this. Mr. Dixon explained they would like to move the gate on Hitt Rd, create a new lot entrance, and expand the building envelope to take advantage of the new entrance. He stated the upper part of the lot is the flattest portion and they would like to take advantage of this and access the lot from the top. Mr. Dixon commented on their allocation request and stated they believe the original intent of the lot coverage for this parcel was 5,478 sq. ft; however they are comfortable with staff’s suggestion to make the coverage relative to the lot coverage associated with a half acre lot, which is 4,356 sq. ft., and using permeable surface for the remaining 1,122 sq. ft. Mr. Dixon noted their request to have the existing driveway covered by a separate open space allocation and stated staff has been supportive of this. He explained the main problem is that they have a .25 acre lot in a .5 acre zone. He stated they believe their lot was purposefully made small because of the huge open space, and when they purchased it there was general agreement that they would be able to allocate coverage from the open space. Mr. Dixon said the problem is that the way these open space allocations were made has been changed, and when they approached the Planning Department is 2008 they were told

there is no lot coverage allocation from open space and their lot was essentially unbuildable.


Mr. Dixon commented on the other parcels in the subdivision and the open space allocations they were granted. He also commented on the letter from Tom Giordano and explained while the letter did indicate the subdivision would meet the 20% lot coverage, it never said how it was going to be met. He explained he contacted Giordano and asked why this was submitted and was told by Giordano that clustering was commonplace and it was expected that they would receive open space allocations for the lots. Mr. Dixon noted the letters from Margaret Brown and Paul Hwoschinsky indicated this was their understanding as well, and noted under the current Planning Department’s interpretation 3 of the lots in this subdivision are completely unbuildable.


Mr. Dixon stated they do not want to build a massive house, only a home that is compatible to those in that area. He requested the Planning Commission allow them what the developers asked for and what the Planning Commission originally approved in 1998, what the realtor thought she sold them, and what they believed they purchased.


Public Testimony

Sandra Kuykendall/1436 Mill Pond/Stated she was the realtor who sold this lot to the applicants and was also the realtor in 2003 who listed the lots owned by Margaret Brown. She explained when she listed this property she went into the Planning Department to make sure her information was correct and was told this lot was not under the Hillside Ordinance because the slope was not that severe. She added it was her understanding the reason for the large building envelopes was because there were over 8 acres in open space and 8 lots were approved, and so each lot would receive an acres worth of coverage. She noted there are other lots up there that are in this same situation and hopes the Planning Commission considers how they understood this when it was first developed.


Commissioners Dawkins/Miller m/s to extend meeting to10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.


Margaret Olson/385 Strawberry/Stated she was the original owner of 8 acres and after years of work was able to develop them into 8 lots. She concurred with everything that has been said and stated they intended for nice homes to be able to be built on these lots. She explained the home sites were purposefully placed on the edges of the open space and recommended the City allow reasonable home sizes on these lots.


Catherine Dimino/423 Strawberry/Requested the record remain open for at least 7 days and asked for a virtual lot coverage for all existing lots and un-built lots in the neighborhood. Ms. Dimino stated she is supportive of the applicant’s first two requests, but commented on their request for lot coverage. She stated the 56% lot coverage is misleading and what they are really asking for is 26% since their lot is only .25 of an acre. She stated 23% lot coverage seems fair, but would like the Planning Commission to determine the coverage allocations for the other lots in the subdivision. 


Mark Knox/485 W. Nevada/Voiced support for the applicants and noted he has a lot of background on this issue. Mr. Knox stated lot coverage and lot consolidation are planning tools, and commented on clustering houses to put them in the least sensitive spots and maintaining open space for the most sensitive areas. He stated if they did not have this tool, there is no doubt these lots would have all been at least .5 acres, which some much larger. He noted the Hillside Ordinance had not been created when this subdivision was created, and now that it is in effect, we want houses to step back which creates even more lot coverage demands. Mr. Knox voiced his support for allowing the lot coverage associated with a .5 acre lot, and allowing the applicants to meet their additional needs by using porous concrete.


Rebuttal by the Applicant

Scott Dixon and Joan Cresse/Requested the record be left open for an additional 7 days for written response. Mr. Dixon commented on the informal system of granting lot allocations that was in place when this subdivision was created, and stated that informal system was still in place when they purchase this parcel. He explained it wasn’t until three years later that they were told they had a dead lot. Mr. Dixon commented on Mr. Giordano’s open ended statement which failed to clarify the intent was to meet the lot coverage by using an open space allocation, and hopes that the Planning Commission will look at their situation and agree that it does not make sense. Mr. Dixon noted the difficultly with all the property owners in the subdivision coming together to submit a single application, and recommended the Planning Commission consider what was listed in the outline plan.


Commissioners Dawkins/Mindlin m/s to continue this action to the February 8, 2011 Planning Commission meeting and to keep the record open for 14 days as requested. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.



A.      Planning Commission’s Memo on Council Goals.|

Commissioner Mindlin commented on examining the TOD issues in relation to the TSP and Commission Marsh requested they confer briefly after this meeting to add that clarification into the Memo.


B.      Selection of Planning Commission Officers for 2011.

Commissioner Marsh noted the requirement to select officers at the first Planning Commission meeting in January.


Commissioners Dawkins/Mindlin m/s to elect Pam Marsh as Chair. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.


Commissioners Dawkins/Miller m/s to elect Larry Blake as First Vice Chair. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed 6-0.


Commissioners Miller/Dawkins m/s to elect Melanie Mindlin as Second Vice Chair. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed



C.      Cancellation of January 25, 2011 Study Session.

Commissioner Marsh announced the January Study Session will be been cancelled.


Meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor

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