Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021
I.          CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins
Haywood Norton
Roger Pearce
Lynn Thompson
Lisa Verner    
  Bill Molnar, Community Development Director
Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner
Derek Severson, Senior Planner
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant
Absent Members:   Council Liaison:
Kerry KenCairn
  Paula Hyatt
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced the Planning Commission will resume live meetings after August 17, 2021.  The Study Session for July 27, 2021 might be canceled.  There were two public hearings scheduled for the meeting on August 10, 2021.  One regarding a possible correction to the Urban Growth Boundary map for properties located at 375 and 475 East Nevada Street.  The other was an annexation request for 192 North Mountain Avenue.
III.       PUBLIC FORUM - None
A.  Approval of Minutes
 1.   June 22, 2021 Special Meeting
Commissioner Dawkins/Verner m/s to approve the Consent Agenda.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
A.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-T2-2021-00028
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  364 Walker Avenue (Walker Elementary School)
APPLICANT/OWNER:  HMK Company for the Ashland School District
DESCRIPTION:  The Planning Commission will conduct an initial public hearing to review details of the proposal and take public comments on a request for Site Design Review approval for a 22,450 square foot, single-story addition to Walker Elementary School at 364 Walker Avenue.  As part of the proposal, the parking lot and drop-off lane would be relocated and expanded, with access to be taken via Hunter Court (the driveway serving Hunter Park) and a new courtyard would be created. The application also includes requests for a Conditional Use Permit to modify the School District’s Master Sign Permit Program (PA#2012-00899) to allow new signage for Walker Elementary School in conjunction with the proposed addition, and Tree Removal Permits to remove 20 trees.  An existing 9,700 square foot classroom will be demolished in conjunction with the proposal. No final decision will be made at this initial public hearing; the item will come back to the Planning Commission for a decision at the April 13, 2021 meeting.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5; MAP: 39 1E 10; TAX LOT #: 3600.
Chair Norton read aloud the rules for electronic public hearings. 
Ex Parte Contact
Commissioner Dawkins, Pearce, and Thompson had no ex parte contact or site visit.  Commissioner Verner had no ex parte contact and one site visit.  Chair Norton had no ex parte contact but drove past the site often.
Staff Report
Senior Planner Derek Severson provided a presentation (see attached):
•  Aerial of Site & Surrounding
•  Request
•  Proposal – aerial photo
•  Status Update
•  Map - detailing requirements
•  Current Drop-Off/Pick-Up Loop from Homes to Walker
•  Existing Parking Lot (from Homes Ave.)
•  Existing Parking Lot adjacent to Homes Avenue
•  Senior Center (corner of Homes & Hunter Ct.)
•  On-Street ADA Spaces adjacent to Senior Center
•  Hunter Court (narrow section)
•  Hunter Court (looking north to Central Ashland Bike Path)
•  Central Ashland Bike Path
•  Site Demolition Plan (C1.2)
•  Overall Civil Site Plan (C3.0)
•  Overall Site Utility Plan (C5.0)
•  Tree Protection & Removal Plan (L1.1)
•  Tree Commission Recommendation
•  Bicycle & Pedestrian Path Route
•  Staff Recommendation: Bike & Ped Circulation
•  Planting Plan (L3.0)
•  South Elevation (Addition, facing Homes Ave.)
•  East Elevation (Addition, facing Hunter Court)
•  West Elevation (Facing fields)
•  North Elevation (Facing fields)
•  Photo of School 1952 
•  Photo
•  Proposed rendering
•  Sandow Engineering Report
•  Sandow Engineering Recommendations
•  Conditional Use Permit/Sign Program
•  Conditional Use Permit/Sign Program
•  Overall Civil Site Plan/Rendering


Staff recommended approval with conditions.
Questions of Staff
Commissioner Thompson thought the design modifications addressed a lot of the issues.  She asked whether the use of granite on the bike path made it dangerous for biking.  Mr. Severson explained the decomposed granite would be compacted and leveled.  Decomposed granite would also avoid impacts to the trees and fields.  The Parks and Recreation Department did not want to preclude the ability to pave the path in the future.  The Public Works Department wanted the path to meet ADA requirements for trails.
Commissioner Pearce questioned the need for Condition 14.  It was asking the school district  to do something not on their property.  He suggested making them recommendations instead.  Mr. Severson explained the Commission could decide to remove the condition.  The Ashland School District would still work with the Parks and Recreation Department regarding Hunter Court and with the Street Department to implement them.  Commissioner Verner did not want to remove enforceability.  Commissioner Pearce responded it would, but it could not be enforced anyway.
Applicant’s Presentation
Amy Gunter/Rogue Planning and Development Services/Medford, Or/Matthew Guthrie/BP Architects/Mike Freeman/HMK/Ms. Gunter addressed the decomposed granite trails.  There were trails guidance adopted by the Oregon Department of Transportation for off network multiuse paths.  It was similar to what the Parks and Recreation Department used for their gravel paths.  They used compacted decomposed granite versus a rock surface.  It was heavily compacted so wheels would not get stuck.
She provided a presentation:
•  Aerial photo
•  Existing Conditions
•  Site Plan
•  Site Access Routes
•  Proposed Addition Area
•  Plans
•  South Elevation – Homes Avenue
Questions of the Applicant
Commissioner Dawkins clarified page 7 of 37 and explained the school was constructed in 1951, not the late 1950s.
Matthew Gutherie/Addressed Commissioner Verner’s previous question regarding the number of classrooms.  The overall school population was not increasing with this project.  They were moving all the classrooms that were in the basement and not accessible to the main floor.  The basement would  be used for the mechanical system.  The project would move the Special Education classrooms to a central location.  Kindergarten would have additional amenities.  Administration would relocate and face the parking lot.  The computer lab space would increase as well.
Public Testimony - None
Applicant’s Rebuttal - None
Mr. Molnar asked for clarification on Commissioner Pearce’s suggestion regarding Condition 14.  He interpreted it as endorsing the recommendations of the traffic engineer to ensure safe circulation to and through the site.  It was necessary for the project to function appropriately.  Generally, it would be a condition of approval on the site plan at the time of the building permit and in place prior to issuing the certificate of occupancy to meet the standard of adequate transportation based on the recommendations from the traffic engineer.  Commissioner Pearce commented if the applicant was fine with the condition, he was too.  They had worked it out with the Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Works Department.  The applicants did not challenge the condition.  No changes were made to Condition 14.
Deliberation and Decision
Commissioner Dawkins/Pearce m/s to approve PA-T2-2021-00028 with staff’s amendment to Condition 9(d) to include the addition of 3-4 large stature conifers.
Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Dawkins, Verner, Norton, Pearce, and Thompson, YES.  Motion passed.
A.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-L-2021-00011
APPLICANT:  City of Ashland
DESCRIPTION: The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to review and make recommendations to the City Council regarding an ordinance adopting the 2021 Housing Capacity Analysis as a technical supporting document of the Housing Element of the Ashland Comprehensive Plan.
Staff Report
Senior Planner Brandon Goldman summarized previous meetings regarding the Housing Capacity Analysis and provided a presentation (see attached):
•  Components of this Project
•  Housing Capacity Analysis Questions
•  Ashland’s Buildable Lands Inventory
•  BLI Results Updated to 2020
•  Types of Housing – owner & renter occupied
•  Mix of Housing, Ashland
•  Housing Tenure, Ashland
•  Household Composition and Size, 2018
•  Median Sales Price, August – Oct 2020
•  Rental Housing Costs, 2018
•  Local Factors Affecting Needed Housing
•  Financially Attainable Housing
•  47% of new households will be lower income
•  Forecast of New Housing, 2021 to 2041
•  Land Sufficiency Results
•  Community Open House and Questionnaire
•  Responses Survey Responses type questions
•  Responses - What Housing type do you think Ashland needs?
•  Ashland Housing Strategies
•  Housing Capacity Analysis Public Hearings

Questions of Staff
The Commission appreciated the work staff, and the consultant had done on the ordinance.  Commissioner Thompson shared her concern on building smaller units that seemed more suited for retirees and not families.  She was interested in strategies for larger units that were affordable.  Chair Norton was encouraged that 400 people attended the virtual meeting and they received 300 surveys.   
Public Testimony - None
Deliberation and Decision
Commissioner Thompson/Dawkins m/s to approve the recommendation to adopt the ordinance included in the packet.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Pearce, Dawkins, Thompson, Verner, and Norton, YES.  Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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