Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Electronic Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

November 9, 2021
I.          CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Haywood Norton called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioners Present:   Staff Present:
Michael Dawkins
Kerry KenCairn
Haywood Norton
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
Chair Norton announced the public hearing for PA-T2-2021-00031, 375 & 475 East Nevada Street was continued to the Planning Commission meeting on December 14, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. per the applicant’s request.
Community Development Director Bill Molnar announced the Commission would continue their discussion on expanding residential housing in commercial and employment zones at the study session on November 23, 2021.  Oregon state Goal 9 Economic Development required jurisdictions to provide an economic opportunity analysis to determine impacts on employment lands.  He would have more details on the analysis at a future meeting.  The Planning Commission would give its annual report to the City Council at their meeting on December 7, 2021.   
Senior Planner Derek Severson announced a series of video interviews by Maureen Battistella called ‘Stories of Southern Oregon – Ashland in Transition Video Series’.  One featured Mr. Severson interviewing Mr. Molnar.   The interview could be viewed on YouTube by searching “Stories of Southern Oregon”.
Mr. Molnar introduced Stuart Warren, a commission member of the State Department of Land Conservation and Development (LCDC).  Mr. Warren represented southern Oregon.  Mr. Warren explained he was a commission liaison on the  state’s Climate Friendly and Equitable Rulemaking.  They were working on land use decisions and rules that would navigate the next generation of climate friendly livability for Oregon.  They were also part of the Diversity Equity Inclusion initiative.  The Climate Friendly and Equitable Rulemaking was originated by Governor Brown through Executive Order 20-04. His role as a commissioner on the LCDC was like the Planning Commission but at a state level.  They primarily worked on transportation and housing. 
A.  Approval of Minutes
1.   October 12, 2021 Regular Meeting
2.   October 26, 2021 Study Session
Commissioner Thompson/Dawkins m/s to approve the consent agenda.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
V.        PUBLIC FORUM - None
A.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-T1-2021-00158   
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  351 Walker Av/390 Stadium St
OWNER/APPLICANT:  Southern Oregon University/ Smartlink, LLC
on behalf of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC/AT&T
APPELLANTS:  Kelly Marcotulli & Pamala Joy
DESCRIPTION:  The Planning Commission will consider an appeal of the Staff Advisor’s approval of Site Design Review and Conditional Use Permits to install a new Wireless Communication Facility on the Southern Oregon University Campus at 351 Walker Avenue/390 Stadium Street. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Southern Oregon University; ZONING: SO; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 10CD; TAX LOT: 100.
Chair Norton explained the record and public hearing was closed on the matter.  The Planning Commission's consideration of the item would be limited to their deliberation and decision.  No further submittals (evidence or argument) would be accepted into the record.
Ex Parte Contact
The Commission had no ex parte contact on the matter.
Staff Report
Mr. Severson explained the record was left open for three comment periods.  The first week allowed any party to submit additional evidence or argument.  The deadline was Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.  The second week allowed any party to submit evidence or argument in rebuttal only to the materials submitted during the first open record period.  The deadline for the second week was Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.  The last week, only the applicant could submit final legal arguments and could have waived this period if they chose.  The deadline for the final week was Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. 
Deliberation and Decision
Commissioner Pearce read the submittals but did not see anything that would make the Commission overturn the decision.  The Planning Commission’s focus was on land use criteria only.  Property values, substantial changes to an existing cell tower were not land use criterion in the ordinance.  The service gap was not correctly analyzed.  The applicant’s expert and the City’s third-party expert both disagreed with that challenge.  The FCC report, titled Mobility Fund Phase II Coverage Maps Investigation Staff Report, that Mr. Rathsam discussed in his testimony spoke to a problem with the coverage analysis in rural areas and had nothing to do with city studies.  He thought that should be addressed in the Findings.  The only conclusion was to uphold staff’s decision and deny the appeal.
Chair Norton had been originally concerned with future colocations that could increase the height of the tower by 20-feet without the City’s input until he read additional materials that allowed some discretion.  If they wanted to increase the height, they had to come to the City and prove it was necessary.  He agreed with Commissioner Pearce that the appeal should denied and the decision upheld.  He wanted to add a condition that future collocations had to come back to the Commission.  Commissioner Pearce disagreed.  The statue indicated if the request pertained to state or local governments, the had to go through the application process.  Chair Norton agreed and withdrew his condition.  
Commissioner Dawkins participated in every decision dealing with cell towers since 2010.  He was very sympathetic to the people who perceived there was a health concern.  He did not know if there was or not. He detested cell phones and would never have one.  There was new information on how cell towers effected property values.  The Planning Commission had to base their decision on the land use criterion in the ordinance.  He wanted the public to know they were heard but the Commission was governed by very strict rules on what they could decide.
Commissioner Thompson/KenCairn m/s to concur with the staff decision, deny the appeal, and direct staff to prepare Findings consistent with that determination and address the service gap issue in collocation in the Findings.  DISCUSSION:  Commissioner Pearce suggested addressing the service gap issue in collocation in the Findings.  The appellants spoke strongly about this issue and there were two experts who disagreed and thought modeling was the correct process.  He did not think the FCC report, titled Mobility Fund Phase II Coverage Maps Investigation Staff Report was on point and that should be addressed in the Findings as well.  Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner Verner, Thompson, Norton, Pearce, KenCairn, and Dawkins, YES.  Motion passed
A.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-L-2021-00012     
DESCRIPTION:  Amendments to the Ashland Municipal Code (AMC) Chapters 18.4.6, 18.5.8 and 18.6.1 regarding annexation standards.
Chair Norton opened the public hearing at 7:36 p.m. 
Staff Report
Planning Manager Maria Harris provided a presentation (see attached):
•  Project Objectives
•  Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
•  Other Items
•  Affordable Units
•  Definitions
•  Next Steps
•  Project Information
Questions of Staff
Commissioner Thompson addressed the approval criteria in  and asked if the words “annexed area” meant “entire property” or “site”.  Ms. Harris explained it was an oversight in the existing language and should say annexed area.  In the same section, Commissioner Thompson asked how staff would address that requirement if staff included extra land?  Ms. Harris explained undevelopable land did not have to be counted in an annexation and read the last sentence in the paragraph.  Commissioner Thompson thought staff might add developable land and wanted to know how that would be addressed.  Ms. Harris thought it was a good point but had not seen that happen in her tenure.  Mr. Molnar commented the intention was if they were recommending bringing in additional property, the property owner was involved.  If they were not proposing development at the time, they would show a plan that met the required density of 90% and would not develop at less than that standard in the future.  It was intended for all developable property to meet that standard whether it was part of the initial annexation or suggested to be brought into city limits.   Commissioner Thompson noted it might be a different landowner who may not be prepared or willing to provide a plan.
Commissioner Thompson addressed the definition of contiguous and asked if that included railroads.  Commissioner Pearce responded it would not unless it was a public railroad.
Commissioner Thompson went on to the safe and accessible facilities language for bicycles and pedestrians and wanted to know what facilities encompassed.  Ms. Harris explained each jurisdiction had a safety analysis manual that engineering, and safety were based on.  It was in depth and looked at several things like crash data, crossings, site distance, lighting, crossing locations and more.  This analysis was used to determine how pedestrians and bicyclists would get to a destination.  Street crossings were part of that analysis.     
Commissioner Pearce liked adding the standard for bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  It made it clear.  On the definition of lot and parcel he noted some were not subdivided and thought that should go into the definition.  Some lots were created by deed or a land sales contract prior to the zoning being in effect.  The definition of lot needed to recognize there could be a legal lot that was not subdivided or partitioned.  Potential wording might be “…or otherwise legally created pursuant to state law”.   
Chair Norton closed public hearing at 8:03 p.m.
Deliberation and Decision
Commissioner Pearce/Dawkins m/s to adopt the staff recommendation and forward it to City Council with changes to the definition of parcel and lot, page 7 under F. changing “entire property” to “annexed area” and on page 6 under D., the staff suggestion to change the wording to “approved wastewater treatment facility”. 
Roll Call Vote:  Commissioner KenCairn, Dawkins, Verner, Pearce, Thompson, and Norton, YES.  Motion passed.
B.  PLANNING ACTION:  PA-T2-2021-00031   
SUBJECT PROPERTY:  375 & 475 East Nevada Street   
APPLICANT:  Rogue Planning & Development Services, LLC for
OWNERS:  Peter & Laura Schultz (owners, 375 E. Nevada St.-Tax Lot 1000),
                   David Young (owner, 475 E. Nevada St.-Tax Lots 1100,1200 & 1300)
DESCRIPTION:  A request for a Minor Comprehensive Plan Map Correction to clarify the City of Ashland’s Urban Growth Boundary for four properties located at 375 & 475 East Nevada Street. The application asserts that there are differences in the UGB’s location between the official paper maps and the current GIS maps in use by both the County and the City, and that the original maps’ scales were such that the line width could significantly alter the boundary location. The application asks to make clear that the portions of the four properties in question are within the City of Ashland’s Urban Growth Boundary as Residential Reserve (1.37 acres of Tax Lot 1000) and North Mountain Neighborhood Plan (2.08 acres of Tax Lots 1100, 1200 & 1300). PLEASE NOTE: The “1982 Ashland/Jackson County Urban Growth Boundary Agreement” requires review and approval of applications to correct errors in the Comprehensive Plan Map by both the Ashland City Council and Jackson County Board of Commissioners as well. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential Reserve & North Mountain; ZONING: RR-.5 & NM-MF; MAP: 39 1E 04A; TAX LOT #: 1000, 1100, 1200 & 1300.
Commissioner Verner/Thompson m/s to continue the item to the Planning Commission meeting on December 14, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.  Voice Vote: all AYES.  Motion passed.
The Commission discussed why this item kept being postponed.  With consensus from the Commission, Chair Norton directed staff to inform the applicants they either needed to withdraw the item or understand the Commission intended to take some form on action on it during their meeting on December 14, 2021.
Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
Submitted by,
Dana Smith, Executive Assistant

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