Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021
I.          CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins
Alan Harper
Haywood Norton
Kerry KenCairn
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
Lisa Verner
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Maria Harris, Planning Manager
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
    Paula Hyatt
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced the LUBA opinion expected April 30, 2021 on the 1511 Highway 99 annexation had not posted yet.  The Ashland School District was getting closer to a resolution regarding the Walker Elementary School project.  Staff would present the duplex code amendments and the Housing Capacity Analysis to the City Council at their study session May 17, 2021. Community Development Department and Fire Department staff would propose the final piece of the fire adapted model.  It would require all new construction to use noncombustible or fire-resistant materials.  This would apply to Ashland within city limits.
III.       PUBLIC FORUM - None
A.  Approval of Minutes
 1.   April 13, 2021 Regular Meeting
 2.   April 27, 2021 Special Meeting
Commissioner Thompson/Dawkins m/s to approve the Consent Agenda.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
V.        PUBLIC FORUM - None
A.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-T1-2021-00141                       
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  599 East Main Street   
APPLICANT/OWNER:  Rogue Planning & Development Services, LLC for Livni Family Trust (Gil Livni, Trustee)
DESCRIPTION:  A request for Site Design Review approval to modify the existing building at 599 East Main Street including converting the former church to use as office/assembly space and adding a new entry. The application also includes requests for a Conditional Use Permit as it involves the alteration of an existing non-conforming development where no off-street parking is available, and Street Tree Removal Permits to remove and replace two Callery Pear street trees (10.2-inch & 12.7-inch DBH) in the park row planting strip along East Main Street.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Commercial; ZONING: C-1; MAP: 39 1E 09AC; TAX LOT #: 7600 
Chair Norton read aloud the rules for electronic public hearings. 
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioner Dawkins explained he had lived across the street from the project site for nineteen years.  There had always been an abundance of parking in the area.  Commissioners Pearce, Thompson, and KenCairn declared no ex parte contact and no site visit.  Commissioner Harper, Verner, and Norton had no site visits, but each had discussed the project with staff.
Staff Report
Senior Planner Derek Severson provided a presentation:
•  Additional Items Received
•  Technical Memo – Parking
•  Technical Memo – Trip Generation
•  Neighbor’s Comments
•  Parking Spaces off the Alley behind Fellowship Hall
•  Parking Spaces off the Alley
•  Parking Spaces off the
•  Staff Recommendation
Based on the technical memo provided, staff thought a finding could be made that the proposal satisfied the applicable criteria for a conditional use permit (CUP) and merited approval.
Questions of Staff
Commissioner Pearce asked for the rationale of having the parking stay with the church property.  Mr. Severson explained the parking was available through the nonconforming development that consisted of both lots.  Having them separate and potentially have the spaces vacant while the other lot was generating demand on the neighborhood seemed questionable.  The applicant continuing to contribute what little parking they had control of was beneficial.
Applicant’s Presentation
Amy Gunter/Rogue Planning and Development Services/Medford, Or/ Gil Livni/Magnolia Fine Homes LLC/Ashland/Ms. Gunter provided a presentation:
•  East Elevation
•  West Elevation
•  South Elevation
•  Impact Area
•  Conclusion
•  Proposed Conditions 10 and 11
•  Historic Renovation 599 E Main Street
•  Graphics of the general area of the property
•  Subject Property
•  Site Plan
•  Existing Structure
•  North Elevation      
Their concern was setting up a negative impact on an adjacent use by dedicating the parking.  Mr. Livni explained that giving the parking to the church property made the other property useless.  There was also the potential of losing one of the three spaces if they converted it to an ADA parking space.
Questions of the Applicant
Commissioner Pearce asked what the current use of the fellowship hall was.  Mr. Livni explained it was being used to cook meals and other activities for the homeless community. 
Commissioner Dawkins asked if Mr. Livni would be willing to stripe the three parking spaces so people would stop parallel parking there.  Mr. Livni responded he would and added he wanted to improve the landscaping there as well.
Commissioner Harper was struggling with the no greater adverse material effect on the livability of the impact area criteria.  He wanted to get to an approval that allowed all on-street parking, no on-site parking with no greater adverse material effect on the livability of the impact area than having the required on-site parking.  He was not sure how to say it had zero impact. 
Ms. Gunter explained that was why it was compared to the existing use of the site as a church.  There was not a good analysis in the code for the project.  There was no comparison to a 4,600 square foot building with no on-site parking.  This was a rare instance.  City code would not let them tear down a  historic building that was economically viable nor would the code let them look at  what the current uses of the property were.  The only alternative was demolishing the building and rebuilding at a reduced size to incorporate a parking lot.  Mr. Livni thought they were doing less impact with the proposal.  If they kept it as a church, it would be a greater impact.  Ms. Gunter added the code did say livability of the impact area and this was a commercial zone.  Of the twenty-one properties in the impact area, more than half were commercially zoned.  They were trying to compare it to the use they were forced to use.
Commissioner Verner thought the proposal from staff was to ask the applicant to allow the uses of the parking area now but then they would be jointly used by both properties if the second property developed.  Mr. Livni explained he would be unable to develop the property or sell it if he had to keep the three parking spaces on the property.
Ms. Gunter explained there was a condition of approval for the church when they built the fellowship hall to put in adequate parking.  The applicants at that time did not do that and had not met the building permit requirements.  Ms. Gunter and Mr. Livni were aware of the parking concerns at 48 5th Street.  The use of that 1,500 sq. ft. building was going to require three or four parking spaces for its use.  If they remove a portion of the building it would require a separate site review and would be analyzed at that time.  They wanted to retain the parking spaces because they would be necessary when it was used as an office.
Commissioner Pearce asked about the permit history of the fellowship hall.  Mr. Severson explained in the applicant’s submittals it was approved in 1993.  A building was demolished, and the fellowship hall was built.  It was accessory to the church use but was not part of the sanctuary.  There was a statement the parking spaces were not required in the planning approval for the fellowship hall but were shown on the building permit just not striped.  They had volunteered more parking than what was required.
Public Testimony - None
Applicant’s Rebuttal - None
Chair Norton closed the hearing and the record at 7:54 p.m.
Deliberation and Decision
Commissioner Thompson offered a line of argument to Commissioner Harper’s earlier concern.  She thought it might be possible to argue that in utilizing the exception to site design development and land provision there was a unique or unusual aspect of the structure in that it was a historic nonconforming building onsite. It was nonconforming because it did not satisfy the parking requirements.  The CUP target use comparison to the retail use would incorporate the exception standard, the recognition that it was a nonconforming structure without parking then look at whether granting the CUP would substantially negatively impact the adjacent properties.  It might not because the impact of having an office versus retail would not increase the parking demand beyond the status quo.  Commissioner Harper thought it could be argued.  Because it was a pre-existing development, it would be compared to something with an exception to retain the structure.  Commissioner Pearce thought it was a good way to think about it.  His concern regarding the parking was alleviated when he found out the spaces were not required.  The traffic analysis showed eleven office trips in the p.m. peak hour where retail would have 27 trips.
Chair Norton noted conditions 10 and 11.  One condition required parking be shared and the other required it to be recorded.  He thought the conditions should be addressed in the motion.
Commissioner Pearce/Harper m/s to approve  PA-T1-2021-00141 for 599 E Main to change the use of the building of church to office use and delete Conditions 10 and 11 from the proposed  Findings and that the Findings include there was an exception or the parcel was already built and committed to a historic structure and was part of the analysis that considered the livability in the neighborhood.   DISCUSSION: Commissioner Harper thought the findings  should include they found an exception, or that the parcel was already built and committed to a historic structure and was part of the analysis that considered the livability in the neighborhood.  Commissioner Pearce accepted the amendment.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Verner, Dawkins, Thompson, Harper, KenCairn, Pearce, and Norton, YES.  Motion passed.
A.  Approval of Findings for PA-T1-2021-00141, 599 East Main Street.
Item was moved to the next Planning Commission Meeting.
A.   PLANNING ACTION: PA-L-2021-00010
APPLICANT:  City of Ashland 
DESCRIPTION:  A public hearing on a legislative amendment to the Ashland Municipal Code Title 18 Land Use to update the allowances and standards for duplexes and accessory residential units as required by House Bill 2001 from the 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2019 Regular Legislative Session. The proposed amendment includes a series of changes to the following chapters of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance including 18.1.4, 18.2.2, 18.2.3, 18.2.5, 18.3.4, 18.3.5, 18.3.9, 18.3.10, 18.3.12. 18.4.2, 18.4.3, 18.5.2, 18.5.7 and 18.6.1.
Staff Report
Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation (see attached):
•  New Items
o  Conversion of nonconforming structures
o  Building separation in multifamily zones
o  Existing lots over 35% slope
o  Duplex parking
Questions of Staff
Commissioner Harper wanted to know if there were reductions for System Development Charges (SDCs) and water meters for duplexes and accessory dwelling units (ADUs).  Ms. Harris explained SDCs were reduced for units under 500 square feet (sq. ft.).  Senior Planner Brandon Goldman  further explained that transportation SDCs were reduced 50% for units under 500 sq. ft. and 25% for units that were 500 to 800 sq. ft.  There was a 25% reduction of parks, water, and sewer for units under 500 sq. ft.  SDCs were based on unit size and not a designation of accessory residential units, duplexes, or apartments.     Ms. Harris explained meter sizes and other costs were based on single-family or multi-family and technical factors like water line size.  She noted earlier comments made by Mark Knox that ARUs were being charged a higher multi-family base rate for utilities.  Staff had contacted the Utility Billing Division and was looking  into it.  Mr. Goldman clarified water and electrical meters were driven by building code, not land use code.  Separate dwelling units could be occupied independently and required a separate meter.  That was federal law.  Mr. Molnar provided history on an earlier discussion during a City Council study session a couple years before to waive more fees for ARUs. 

Commissioner Thompson asked about allowing multiple structures on a lot with a severe slope.  Allowing ARUs and duplexes would congest development on a steep slope.  Ms. Harris agreed and explained there were parameters in the hillside standards that would be applied if someone proposed a separate structure.  The Commission discussed building ARUs or duplexes on a severe slope and how the hillside standards applied. 
Public Testimony – None
Chair Norton closed the public hearing at 8:37 p.m.
Deliberation and Decision
Commissioner Pearce thought Ms. Harris had done a good job incorporating the new changes.  It met the state requirements.
Commissioner Pearce/Verner m/s to recommend adoption of PA-L-2021-0010 Duplex and ARU code amendments to the City Council.  Voice Votes:  ALL AYES.  Motion passed.
Ms. Harris explained the item would go before the City Council at their study session on May 17, 2021.  The public hearing and first reading would happen at their meeting on June 1, 2021.  Second reading and adoption would occur at the City Council’s meeting on June 15, 2021.
Meeting adjourned at 8:42 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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