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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The regular meeting of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 5:31 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners Present                                 Staff
Michael Zarosinski, Chair                               Jim Huber, Planning Director
Bill Christie                                                     Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director
Norman Fincher                                             Suzanne Myers, Principal Planner
Bill Mansfield                                                  Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
David McFadden                                            Lori Cooper, Deputy City Attorney
Patrick Miranda (arrived at 5:34 p.m.)           Larry Beskow, City Engineer
Alec Schwimmer                                            Terri Rozzana, Recording Secretary
Paul Shoemaker                                            John Adam, Planner IV
                                                                      Desmond McGeough, Plan
Commissioners Absent
Robert Tull, Vice Chair, Excused Absence   
10.       Roll Call
20.       Consent Calendar/Written Communications. 
20.1     LDS-13-137 Final Order for tentative plat approval of Stonegate Estates Phase 2, a 94 lot residential subdivision on approximately 31.73 acres, within Stonegate Estates PUD, generally located on the north side of Coal Mine Road and east of North Phoenix Road within the SFR-4/SE/PD (Single Family Residential – 4 units per acre/Southeast Overlay/Planned Development) zoning district.  (Louis Mahar / Mahar Brothers Holdings, LLC, Applicant; Richard Stevens & Associates, Agent).
20.2     CUP-13-135 Final Order of a request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow an electronic message sign at a location within 150 feet of a residential zone district on a property zoned C-SP (Service Commercial and Professional Office) at the northeast corner of Barnett Road and Highland Drive.  (People’s Bank of Commerce, Applicant; CSA Planning Ltd., Craig Stone, Agent).
Motion: Adopt the consent calendar.
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden          Seconded by: Commissioner Christie
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 7-0.
30.       Minutes. 
30.1     The minutes for February 27, 2014, were approved as submitted.
40.       Oral and Written Requests and Communications.  None. 
            Steve McNeal, 4 E. Clark Street, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Clark read a letter that he tried to submit and was told not to because the hearing had been closed on CP-13-032.  This is for the purpose of calling attention to a few things that are already in the record.  In light of the Plannings staff insistence in retaining 49% of ISA 950 in the Property Amendment Locations (PALs) map, he would like to stress the requests of Dave and Mira Frohnmayer on the letter that is in the record dated February 12, 2014.  They strongly object to change zoning designation for parcel ISA 950 and state the following: “Our parents gave this property in the expectation that the City of Medford and its governing bodies would be wise and thoughtful stewards of this legacy in perpetuity and this would be an irreparable travesty and an insult to the philanthropic legacy of the donors and ISA 950 should be removed from rezoning consideration and set aside for study as future wetlands, restoration and park acquisition property.  I had attached a wetlands map showing that there is wetland in the center of the 5.4 acres that the Planning Departments staff had shown to be included.  Also attached is the staff’s original land need showing UM to be a total of 69 acres and staffs new proposed UM to now be 75 acres, in fact the addition of UM acres shown on the PAL map actually totals 75.3 acres.  It would still be 69.9 acres if ISA 950 is removed from consideration.  The public hearings also revealed that growth and employment has been stagnant in Medford since about 2007 and even the 69 acres will probably not be required”.  Mr. McNeal agrees with the rest of the work staff has done.    
50.       Public Hearing. 
            Old Business
50.1     CP-13-032 Consideration of a General Land Use Plan Map amendment to reclassify approximately 800 vacant or redevelopable acres (Internal Study Areas) within the City’s urban growth boundary (UGB) for the purpose of maximizing the current capacity of land within the boundary.   (City of Medford, Applicant).
John Adam, Planner IV, gave a brief background, reviewed the qualitative criteria and the selection process.  Mr. Adam stated that there were no technical analysis done on any of the request areas and no notice was provided because they came out on their own.  If there any favorable of the Planning Commission to include in their recommendation notice will be sent prior to the City Council meeting so that the immediate neighbors will get noticed.  Staff will try to do a technical analysis before presenting to the City Council.   
Chair Zarosinski asked about trip caps limiting use on properties going to commercial in the area of Highway 62.  Mr. Adam replied that is a complex answer.  The City Council is interested in lowering the level of service.  They were going to have a study session about that today but it did not happen.  Trip caps are triggered by the City that has a concurrency requirement in its Code stating that the improvements have to be built when development takes place not within the planning period.  
Chair Zarosinski asked what was the consideration in making revised ISAs 212 and 213 UM versus UH, particularly ISA 213 since it is right next to and SFR-4 designation?  Mr. Adam reported that the east side of ISA 213 is urban growth boundary and Springbrook Road extension would go up the southwest corner of that area.  Staff is pulling back one tier of single family lots.  Together it is approximately seven acres.  Development is more feasible as opposed to an enormous area.           
Chair Zarosinski stated that on ISA 640 Mr. Adam had mentioned removing a portion of UH on the north end.  It looks like there is a multiple of lots that it would affect.  Mr. Adam showed a map of the tier of single family residential lots that he had mentioned earlier. 
Commissioner Fincher asked what is the reason that staff is recommending 5 over of UM in the final results of the Capacity Analysis?  Mr. Adam reported that after staff looked at the areas that they would recommend, they did the Capacity Analysis and that is how the numbers came out.  The City has adopted a density target that is going to require staff to look at changing the housing mix maybe a couple of percentage points.  That would give staff more requirements for UM and UH.  There is some latitude in that.  With the Housing Element and an Economic Element they have very precise numbers identified.  It is hard to say one would hit those numbers precisely and a little fudge factor is one thing that the State will accept given if staying within the property lines.  This applies mostly to an expansion proposal.  If the City Council does not accept all of the recommendation staff will be looking at outside areas anyway that will have to make up any sort of difference.  Staff is in the margin of error that they are comfortable with.      
Motion: Direct staff to prepare a revised staff report with a recommendation for approval to the City Council of the Proposed Amendment Locations (PALs) per staff memo dated March 6, 2014 and change ISA 640 asking for one more lot width to the north to make sure the single family residences along that area are buffered from the development.  
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Mansfield
Commissioner Mansfield stated that Mr. John Adam and the rest of the staff have done an excellent job and wished to compliment them for the job they have done on this very difficult and detailed problem.  He would also like to compliment the Carpenter family for the rational approach they have taken to this matter. Their approach is an intelligent approach and it is refreshing to have citizens that come forward with rational approaches like this.  
Commissioner Miranda wanted clarification that, does the current motion on the table   Include the request areas?   Chair Zarosinski replied that at this point it does not. 
Commissioner McFadden amended his motion: To also include staff’s recommendation presented this evening on the requested areas.  Staff had good reason on all of them to find them the way that they did.     
Chair Zarosinski asked staff if those areas were 1100, 1200, 1400, 1500 and one was neutral?  Mr. Adam replied that a couple of them were neutral.  One of them was 1500 that was not in the staff report.  Mr. Adam stated that if the Commission makes that motion, it would be carrying forward continued neutrality.  Would the Commission like to include it as a change?  Commissioner McFadden replied yes and 1500 as well to his motion.  
Commissioner Fincher stated that the reason he asked the earlier question of under/over of UM is because it seems area ISA 950 has had its fair amount of higher density.  He would like to consider not including ISA 950 in their recommendation.   
Chair Zarosinski deferred to Commissioner Mansfield asking, could the Commission discuss making that a friendly amendment?  Commissioner Mansfield replied they could if they are unanimous in the amendment then he sees no issue.  They could simply by consent agree to the amendment.  If there are differences then he thinks the amendment should be voted on separately prior to the principal issue. 
Commissioner Fincher made a motion: To amend their recommendation by removing ISA 950a.  There was no second.
Commissioner Schwimmer asked that he is not sure if it is appropriate to make a discussion on a motion that there is no second but maybe an explanation?  In due respect to Commissioner Fincher but when he reviewed ISA 950 he has some similar considerations and concerns.  This addresses many of the public testimonies before this Commission about the decisions they are making.  When looking at these properties there were single family residences backed up to areas being reviewed to increase density.  In most cases staff did an excellent job of using the tiered zoning approach as they did with ISA 640 in considering not putting high density backed up to urban residential.  In the case of 950 it is medium density and the concept that staff is going to create a higher density but allow the current lower density to come to it, it is his opinion, that it is a viable concept.  It is a good way to approach it.  He thinks that ISA 950 was the middle ground approach.  This is the reason the Commission should go ahead and keep 950 in the ISA.    
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 8-0.
Lori Cooper, Deputy City Attorney, read the Quasi-Judicial Statement.
            New Business
50.2     SV-13-123 Consideration of a request to vacate an approximate 15 foot by 237-foot long strip of public right-of-way which is an alley extending between Quince Street and the alley between Rose Avenue and Quince Street, approximately 215 feet north of West Main Street.  (Jackson County, Applicant; CSA Planning Ltd/Jay Harland, Agent).
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  None were declared.
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts.  None were disclosed.
Desmond McGeough, Planner II, read the street vacation criteria and gave a staff report.
Commissioner McFadden asked if it was possible for the Planning Commission to add mitigation onto this type of application?  In previous testimony the neighbors testified that there was a maintenance issue with the property.  He is tempted to put some kind of requirement on this vacation that would state the vacation is permitted assuming the owner of the property, i.e. the County, maintain the property in good condition without it becoming an eyesore in the community.  It is not typical mitigation request on an application but it has kind of been asked by the people in the neighborhood who have been unhappy with the way they have maintained it.  Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director stated that if there is a way it is being maintained then it could be a code enforcement issue.  They would just need a complaint and they would take care of it.  She does not think it is appropriate to have it attached to a vacation.  Ms. Cooper stated that she agrees and reiterated it is a code enforcement issue.  It will be reflected in the minutes to this meeting and hopefully City Council will hear about the issue.  She is not sure they can attach anything to their ultimate decision either but it is duly noted. 
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
a. CSA Planning Ltd., Craig Stone, 4497 Brownridge Terrace, Suite 101, Medford, Oregon, 97504-9173.  Mr. Stone stated that he has no presentation on this matter for the Commission this evening.  If the Commission has questions that would go to the applicant, he is prepared to answer those.
b. Stacey Faught, 39 Quince Street, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Ms. Faught stated that she had a little bit of history trying to find out about information on what is going to be happening to the front part of the lot as well as the future of the lot that is right behind her property.  It sounds like most of her questions will have to be addressed to the County.  As far as the alley she knows the front part of that lot has been designated as community commercial.  Her question to CSA Planning Ltd. Is what does that exactly allow for?  She assumes if they are requesting the vacating of the alleyway it would also be community commercial.  What does that mean?  Or is it the development of that piece of property?  Chair Zarosinski stated that this is a testimony portion of this application.  The Commission does not really address direct questions but if she has a general concern.  Ms. Faught stated that her general concern would be that the County and the City be transparent with what their plans are for the Quince Street and West Main property.  That they would consider a communities wish to have part of that property designated as a community garden or food forest which the neighborhood is very committed to helping get it going and taking care of it.  She would like the Planning Commission to take into consideration the bettering of that neighborhood aesthetically or otherwise in their decision regarding the Quince Street property.  They have dealt with it being a wasteland for many years now.       
Commissioner McFadden commented to Ms. Faught that the Planning Commission or the City have not been informed of the County’s intentions for the project completely.  Therefore it is hard to answer her questions.  That information is not required at this point in the process.  When they do come up with a development plan they will need to come back to the City and present that plan.  It will be noticed to all the people in the neighborhood like herself to come and look at what it is.  In the meantime he recommends contacting the County about what their plans might be. 
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Forward a favorable recommendation to the City Council for SV-13-123 per the Staff Report dated March 6, 2014, including Exhibits A through G.
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Mansfield
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 8-0.
50.3     CUP-13-139 Conditional Use Permit for the following improvements in the Lone Pine Creek Riparian Corridor related to the construction of the Highway 62 Bypass: realignment of approximately 400 feet of the creek approximately 100 feet to the east; removal of the existing concrete lined channel and construction of a new channel constructed in a manner that more closely simulates natural conditions; construction of dual 6 foot x 10 foot box culverts countersunk with natural streambed material; and riparian area plantings. Subject site is located just west of Highway 62 approximately 830 feet southwest of Delta Waters Road. (Oregon Department of Transportation, Applicant – Jannell Stradtner – ODOT, Agent).
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  None were declared.
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts.  None were disclosed.
Desmond McGeough, Planner II, read the conditional use permit criteria and gave a staff report.  Mr. McGeough stated that he did receive comments from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stating that they want any trees that perished over the next five years to be replaced and watered during the dry season as a condition of approval.     
Commissioner Miranda asked with the imposition of the new routing of this channel that also offsets the riparian corridor by the fifty-feet on either side, is there any impacts to the commercial center directly to the /northeast.  Mr. McGeough replied that the larger the riparian area the more impact there can be to that site which has a site plan approval on it today.  The applicant has just recently submitted a request to the Planning Director seeking a reduction in the riparian corridor through that part to reduce it down to twenty-five feet.  That is a request within the authority of the Planning Director.  They probably make a very good case with all the additional vegetation and stream flow.  That has not yet been approved.  They will have to go outside and into that property a little bit even with that twenty-five foot corridor.             
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
a. Dick Leever, Project Leader and Ian Horlacher, Senior Planner, Oregon Department of Transportation, 100 Antelope Road, White City, Oregon, 97503-1674.  Mr. Leever stated that there were several items in the staff report that he has concerns with.  One of them is with the permits that are required for sewer.  His environmental people reviewed that and basically there are no permits required for moving the sewer to the new location.  Mr. Leever had an email from Anna Henson, ODOT Environmental Project Manager, dated February 20, 2014, sent to Devon Montgomery, who is handling the utilities on this project, working with the City, looking at acquiring those permits.  Mr. Horlacher stated there was one more item.  On page 144 of the agenda packet the letter from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife it states that ODFW recommends that all trees and shrubs that die, be replanted for a period of 5 years.  That should not reflect their specific program language.  ODOT has a contract with their landscape contractor for one year who would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep.  The remaining four years is on ODOT as far as maintenance and upkeep.
Larry Beskow, City Engineer reported that City of Medford is responsible to relocate the sewer.  The only permit that was needed is a conditional use permit.  That is why they incorporated in this conditional use permit so they would not have to get a separate one.  It is already designed and as soon as ODOT has the right-of-way cleared the City will contract out to have it relocated. 
b. John Ward, 1525 Baldy Creek Road, Ashland, Oregon, 97520.  Mr. Ward stated that he is the Conservation Chair for Rogue Fly Fishers.  Mr. Ward’s concern is the Lone Pine Creek relocation.  Rogue Fly Fishers supports this project.  It looks like a lot of effort has gone into the design but it may not be as well tuned as it could be.  The materials that he received from the Planning Department did not include the landscape plan that the Commission briefly saw in the presentation.  Maybe it has already been resolved.  The Oregon Department of Transportation information that was provided to the Planning Department noted that Lone Pine Creek is listed on DEQ’s Water Quality Limited Water Bodies 303 (d) list (DEQ, 2006) from its mouth to its headwaters for temperature.  Elevated temperatures, bacteria and sedimentation are the most common water quality problems.  The absence of large, shade-producing trees has contributed to elevated temperatures of the creek.  Reviewing the details of ODOT’s plans they are to plant native plants and shrubs.  It may be the detail sheet shows a 10 to 20 foot height, in his opinion, would be helpful in providing shade.  It does not tell if it is a tree that would lose its leaves annually or perhaps it is a coniferous tree.  He hopes that the Planning Commission can clarify with the representatives here this evening or perhaps a condition that the native trees provided would be shade producing.  Shade needs to be cast on the water. 
Mr. Leever stated that he appreciates Mr. Ward’s comments.  One of the limitations that ODOT has is height because of the airport.  It is outside of the landing pattern.  Another consideration brought up by the airport is that if certain types of vegetation are planted that draws birds it becomes a problem for the airplanes.  They encouraged ODOT to minimize the vegetation that they plant.      
Mr. McGeough followed up with the same issue as the airport has.  In this area there are no specific height restrictions.  It does put an emphasis that there be no impacts on the airport with any development that occurs in that area.  The 10 to 20 feet is compatible. 
Commissioner McFadden asked if staff or the City have any concerns with listing the City of Medford as co-applicant on this conditional use permit?  Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, replied no.  It is work to be done within the riparian corridor and the City’s work is a result of ODOT’s work. 
Mr. Beskow reported that the relocation would not be happening unless it was not for the work ODOT is doing.  It is an associated item that needs to be done as part of their project.  The City will be relocating the sewer.  It is no different than ODOT hiring a subcontractor.   
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of CUP-13-139 per the Staff Report dated March 6, 2014, including the findings prepared by staff and Exhibits A through Q and the applicant has met Criteria #2 and this is in the public interest. 
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
Chair Zarosinski commented that he appreciates the comment from the public and hopes that ODOT will work with their environmental department to ensure everything is handled properly.  
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 8-0.
50.4     LDP-14-003 Consideration of tentative plat review for a two lot partition on a 3.35 acre parcel located between Crater Lake Highway (Hwy 62) and Skypark Drive approximately 400 feet southeast of Whittle Avenue within an I-L (Light Industrial) zoning district.  (Crater Terminal LLC, Applicant; Neathamer Surveying, Inc., Agent).
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  None were declared.
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts.  None were disclosed.
Desmond McGeough, Planner II, read the land division criteria and gave a staff report. 
Commissioner McFadden asked in staff’s review of the documents for this application was there a record of whether or not the frontage along Skypark Drive had created behind it a public utility easement.  Mr. McGeough replied that currently there is a 10-foot public utility easement that follows the existing Skypark Drive alignment.  Yes, there would be a potential conflict that might need to be addressed.     
Mr. Beskow reported that the street meets City standards so there is no need to widen the street.  The 6.5 feet they are requesting is for a park strip.  If the telecommunication lines are underground there they will remain. 
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
a. Neathamer Surveying, Inc., Bob Neathamer, P. O. Box 1584, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Neathamer reported that they have reviewed the staff report and has several issues he would like to discuss.  The issues that have come up are issues of service laterals, i.e. sewer, storm drain and water.  He has discussed this with Mr. Beskow and the Medford Water Commission.  They would like to see in the approval that the applicant can demonstrate that there are less service laterals for sewer on the site and they do the water lateral at the time that the property develops because they do not know where to put the meters at this time.  They can also demonstrate there is already service to the property.  The storm drain lateral is a bigger problem because they have no idea what is going on these parcels yet or how they would address the rating of the storm drain.  Everything drains to Crater Lake Highway.  They have discussed this with Mr. Beskow and believe they can meet the criteria without having to put those service laterals in at this time.  They request that the Commission allows the applicant to amend that part.  The applicant has elected to provide the 6.5 foot dedication with this partition plat so they can get all platted at the same time.  They are electing to not put in any other improvements including street lights, sidewalk and planter strip.  They will do that when a permit comes in for a vertical construction.        
Chair Zarosinski asked for clarification to satisfy Mr. Neathamer’s request.  Mr. Neathamer replied that this area is going to have to have some kind of application for any kind of construction.  The service laterals should be tied into that development because then you know where you are going to put those services.  They can demonstrate they have water and sewer services to the lots.  The service lateral for storm sewer at this time is hard to do because they do not have a grading plan so they do not know which way they are going to go.  They do not see the need to do it now because there is another opportunity when the development for vertical construction comes in.    
Chair Zarosinski asked for the specific language that Mr. Neathamer would be asking for.  Mr. Neathamer replied that the service lateral for storm drain with vertical construction in future applications.  This will have to have a site plan application.  
Commissioner Schwimmer asked if the City was asking for the storm drain as a condition of approval?  Mr. Neathamer replied yes.  Commissioner Schwimmer asked if Mr. Neathamer was requesting that to be amended?  Mr. Neathamer replied that it is his opinion that it should go with the vertical construction.
Mr. Beskow followed up on Mr. Neathamer’s comments stating that there is an existing storm drain on their side of the road.  Currently, all the properties drain to that.  Public Works has no problem changing the report on page 166 of the agenda packet, Item C Main and Laterals from “a separate storm drain lateral shall be installed to serve each parcel directly from the public storm drain system prior to approval of the Final Plat” to “a separate storm drain lateral shall be installed to serve each parcel directly from the public storm drain system prior Certificate of Occupancy”.  As far as sanitary sewer laterals, 10.490 of the Code requires that each lot created have a sewer lateral.  If the applicant can demonstrate there is already a sewer lateral to each parcel then they meet that section of the Code. 
Commissioner McFadden stated that Mr. Neathamer also included water.  Mr. Beskow replied that he does not know about the water.  
Mr. Neathamer stated that if you look at the Medford Water Commission report there is a comment that states “unless otherwise arranged with the Medford Water Commission”.  Mr. Neathamer has done that.  Mr. Neathamer commented that they can demonstrate that there are already water services on the property. 
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of LDP-14-003 per the Staff Report dated March 6, 2014, including Exhibits A through J and amending the Public Works report requirements, as necessary, in regards to providing storm drains and sanitary sewers to the property. 
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 8-0.
60.      Report of the Site Plan and Architectural Commission.
60.1     Commissioner Miranda reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission did not meet last Friday.  There was no business to discuss.
70.      Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee.
70.1     Commissioner Christie reported that the Joint Transportation Subcommittee has not met.
80.       Report of the Planning Department.  
80.1     Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, reported that on the March 6, 2014, City Council meeting there was a final order for the de-annexation. The Planning Department does not have any business before the City Council until mid-April.
The Planning Commissions next study session is scheduled for Monday, March 24, 2014.  Today there is no business scheduled but there may before then.  Staff will keep the Planning Commission informed. 
The Planning Commission has a joint study session with the City Council on Thursday, April 24, 2014.  The topic will be the West Main Transit Oriented District (TOD) held in the Medford Room.
There is business scheduled for the Planning Commission through April 2014.      
90.       Messages and Papers from Chair of Planning Commission.  None.
100.     Remarks from the City Attorney. None.
110.     Propositions and Remarks from the Commission.   
110.1   Commissioner McFadden asked if the Planning Commission was sending anyone to the APA Conference in Atlanta this year?  Ms. Akin replied that the Conference is at the end of April.  There are several staff members attending but she does not know if a Commissioner is going.  Commissioner McFadden stated that the Conference is worth going to.  He highly recommends it.       
120.     Adjournment. 
            The meeting was adjourned at 7:22 p.m. The proceedings of this meeting were digitally recorded and are filed in the City Recorder's office.       
Submitted by: 
Terri L. Rozzana
Recording Secretary
Michael Zarosinski
Planning Commission Chair
Approved:  March 27, 2014   

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