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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The regular meeting of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 5:34 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners Present
Michael Zarosinski, Chair             
Robert Tull, Vice Chair   
Bill Christie         
Bill Mansfield    
David McFadden             
Alec Schwimmer             
Commissioners Absent
Norman Fincher, Excused Absence         
Patrick Miranda, Excused Absence          
Jim Huber, Planning Director
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
John Adam, Senior Planner
Lori Cooper, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, Transportation Manager
Terri Rozzana, Recording Secretary
Joe Slaughter, Planner IV
Desmond McGeough, Planner II
Aimee Staton, Intern
10.          Roll Call
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications.  None. 
30.          Minutes. 
30.1        The minutes for July 10, 2014, were approved as submitted.
40.          Oral and Written Requests and Communications.  None. 
                Lori Cooper, Deputy City Attorney, read the Quasi-Judicial Statement.
50.          Public Hearing. 
                Old Business
50.1        DCA-14-028 Consideration of an ordinance amending Medford Municipal Code, Chapter 10 (Land Development Code) Section 10.012 creating a definition for Portable Storage Containers and Section 10.840 permitting Portable Storage Containers as a temporary use in C-R, C-H, I-L, I-G and I-H zoning districts (City of Medford, Applicant).
Joe Slaughter, Planner IV, presented a summary, read the amendment criteria and gave staff’s recommendation.
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
a.  John McBride, 3615 Crater Lake Highway, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. McBride has a concern with the application to be submitted at least 60 days prior to the proposed placement date this year.  He requests that this code amendment be effective next year.
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Based on the materials presented in the Staff Report dated July 17, 2014; testimony provided at the July 24, 2014 Planning Commission hearing; and discussion of the Planning Commission, the Planning Commission recommends to adopt the findings and conclusions that all of the approval criteria are either met or are not applicable and forward a favorable recommendation for adoption to the City Council per the Staff Report dated July 17, 2014, including Exhibits A through E, and due to timing, that the City Council provide flexibility in timing for 2014.    
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Christie
Vice Chair Tull reported that he had a continuing concern.  The City has established and worked with for years a procedure for considering site plans and paying attention to the details that go into the use of a property for whatever purpose.  When it comes to a store, however big, the site plan pays attention to the access and egress, lighting, the details that makes this a useable site.  This sidesteps that process.  They have not asked retail establishments to provide a site plan for review by Site Plan and Architectural Commission that includes a designation of where they would put storage units when and if they need them.  Now we are asking them to file an application that would show how they want to use the site.  It sidesteps the process that the City has lived with for a number of years where a Commission reviews in detail the plans for the use of a site and can make conditions and modifications. This essentially becomes an administrative kind of review.  A retail establishment that has decided that the facilities they have is not sufficiently large enough to accommodate all of the programs of customer service they wish to establish does not go back to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission and request to modify their site plan so they can accommodate this temporary use.  They come to staff, not to denigrate in any way the expertise of our staff, but it does in fact sidestep the process that the City has used for years in reviewing and approving site plans.   
Commissioner McFadden stated that it seems to him that this is adding one more item onto the Site Plan and Architectural Commission that they will have to address on each location to make sure such locations are available within the properties that may utilize this code amendment.  Is this being too generous to the thought?  Mr. Slaughter replied that given the proposed code amendment the original site plan would not have to show an area that would be used as a potential storage area in the future.  The Site Plan and Architectural Commission would review the site plan for required parking, access, etc.  As long as it met those criteria, it would be approved.  The temporary portable storage container permit would be a separate review that would look at the approved site and if it met the criteria for not taking up required parking, fire lanes, access, etc.             
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6-0.
                New Business
50.2        LDS-14-051 Consideration of a request for tentative plat approval for Silky Oaks Phase 3, an 8-lot residential subdivision on a 1.90 acre parcel located on the north and south sides of the Katie Mae Drive alignment, approximately 140 feet west of Silky Oaks Lane within a SFR-10 (Single-Family Residential – 10 units per acre) zoning district.  (Ron Horton Et Al, Owner; Scott Sinner Consulting, Inc., Agent).
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  Chair Zarosinski disclosed that he worked on a project for the owner east of the subject area.  He is not involved in this application, does not have a conflict or is biased.  
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
Chair Zarosinski asked Alex Georgevitch, City of Medford Transportation Manager, if the storm drain map that was shown incorporated as an adopted plan?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that the plan shown is part of the City’s Elk Creek Basin Plan that was adopted June 4, 2012.  It clearly depicts that there is a break between the two phases of this development that shows water intended to go to the east for Phase 1 and Phase 3 should be going to the west of the break line that runs north and south through the site.   
Commissioner McFadden asked if the storm water cannot be made to drain to the east.  Mr. Georgevitch stated that it is a separate drainage basin.  Typically they do not allow water to cross basins.  It appears from the contours provided that there is a ridge and water is directed to the north from both Phase 1 and Phase 3.  The City’s master plan shows two basins, east and west for Phase 1 and Phase 3.  Getting more field detailed information it may become clear that the natural flow is to the east.  If that was the case because it is on a boundary line that would be acceptable but Public Works needs more evidence.  Storm drain calculations from the Master Plan shows that the storm drain west of the break that would be part of Phase 3 has a 30-inch storm drain line with a capacity of 26 cubic feet per second and an existing 10-year flow of 16.4 cubic feet per second.  The sub-basin to the east has a 30-inch line as well serving it and it has a capacity of 38 cubic feet per second but a 10-year flow of 44.1 cubic feet per second.  It is over capacity.  We have concerns that if there is not clear direction that this water would flow that direction.  We do not want it redirected to an over-capacity storm drain at this time.  We want it to flow to its naturally intended location to the north and west.  The problem is that Section 10.475 of the Code requires that if water is directed off-site public water has to be taken through easements.  That is still trying to be determined.  If the water has to go to the west they have to make sure there are adequate easements.  If it can go to the east it would run through the applicant’s side and flow through their existing infrastructure that is in place.  As soon as the applicant can provide Public Works with more information Public Works can make that determination.       
Commissioner Mansfield asked if this was a situation that some time might cure.  Is it possible that some kind of solution might be forth coming or is it dead in the water?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that the solution is that the applicant shows Public Works that the water naturally flows there.    
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
a.  Scott Sinner, Scott Sinner Consulting, Inc., 4401 San Juan Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97504-9343.  Mr. Sinner stated that he is the agent for the applicants, Ron and Rob Horton that are present in the audience tonight.  There is a disagreement on the storm drainage issue.  They believe that the storm drainage issue is acceptable and that this is an approvable application tonight.  Mr. Sinner explained their contention. According to the Master Plan it states that
“in some areas of the basin a discernable drainage-way does not exist”.  In a meeting with Roger Thom, Public Works, he stated that “the direction of drainage on the site is inconclusive”.  The applicant has not obtained easements because it is their contention that the drainage is not going that way.  The applicant’s plan calls for using the northerly extension and create their own site detention facility consistent with the Code.  This property went through two zone changes.  One in 2003 prior to the Silky Oaks Phases 1 and II.  It also went through a zone change in 2007 which was after the development of Silky Oaks Phases 1 and 2.  In order to comply with the storm drainage requirements the storm drainage systems had to be in place or extendable.  It is the applicant’s contention that these facilities were both available in 2003 showing historical flow and they were extended with the development of Silky Oaks Phases I and II.  That was the extension that would be available at the time of vertical construction.  The applicant also has a letter from their Civil Engineer, Mark Dew, stating that he has reviewed the proposed tentative plat for Silky Oaks Phase III.  The existing site conditions and the record drawings for Phases I and II he is confident that he will be able to design a functional storm water drainage system utilizing the adjacent public storm drainage facilities that were constructed with Silk Oaks Phases I and II for Silky Oaks Phase III development.  It is the applicant’s contention that the existing facilities are there and they have the ability to do that.  The property is entirely within the Elk Creek Drainage Basin.  All of the water ends up in the same place.  The applicant believes that the water can go to the east.              
Vice Chair Tull stated that Mr. Georgevitch talked about not receiving the information that would make him change his mind in terms of flow.  Mr. Sinner reported that he and the applicant met with Roger Thom and went over this for two hours.  Mr. Thom did a site visit and came away with “we are not sure where it goes”.  Mr. Sinner believes this is compelling that the extended urban services that were provided with Silky Oaks Phase II are able to handle this. Vice Chair Tull stated that his concern is that Mr. Georgevitch’s testimony is that he needs additional information in order to reach a different conclusion than he has which this is not an approvable situation.  Does Mr. Sinner know what more Mr. Georgevitch needs?  Mr. Sinner replied no, he does not.  Vice Chair Tull reported that they need to hear from Mr. Georgevitch in that regard.                 
Commissioner Schwimmer stated that is understanding from the testimony of the City and Mr. Sinner’s is that Mr. Sinner’s plan is to run the water southeast and the City’s plan is for Mr. Sinner to run the water northwest.  Mr. Sinner reported no.  The options are that it drains to the north and to the west into a facility that is approximately 800 feet off-site.  The other facility is to the east and north.  The only thing draining to the south is the houses on the north side of the street.  Mr. Schwimmer stated that the documents presented in the record talks about easements from adjacent property owners.  He believes those are the documents that Mr. Georgevitch is waiting for to accommodate the plan the City was talking about.  Is that correct?  Mr. Sinner replied that is not the first step.  That is saying absolutely the water goes to the facility in the northwest.  It is the applicant’s contention that it does not.  They do not have access to those easements.       
b.  Tim Zacha, 1080 Katie Mae Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Zacha has two concerns.  One is the addition of eight more houses on the street as well as the recent houses added on the flag lot the other direction increases traffic flow through the one access point.  He requests either a stop or yield sign at the north end of Silky Oaks meeting Katie Mae.  His other concern is the lack of another access at this point.  He understands in the future that another access will be added.  If they did not add the eighth house in Lot 27 they could add an access road to Maple Park to Ross Lane north.
c.  George Hollingsworth, 1063 Katie Mae Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Hollingsworth is concerned with ingress and egress of emergency vehicles.  Currently there is only one access into this subdivision.  With eight more units added it will bring the total to thirty.  There will also be more cars parked on the street.  How is an emergency vehicle able to get through?  Where is the second access?  No parking signs should be installed on the west side of Silky Oaks Lane.        
d.  Ron Horton, 2195 Rabun Way, Central Point, Oregon, 97502-3652.  Mr. Horton stated that he was the developer for Silky Oaks Phases I and II.  It is his understanding that the Public Works Department required him to install a 10-inch storm drain to drain water off of Silky Oaks Phase III and when he installed the 42-inch storm drain across the front for the water retention that was also stubbed out to Silky Oaks Phase III.  At that time Public Works was confident that everything drained to the east.  He does not know why now it is inconclusive.    
Mr. Sinner addressed the emergency vehicle concern by reading the City of Medford Fire Department’s staff report: “A fire department turn-around is required at the end of Katie Mae Drive.  In lieu of a fire department turn-around the developer can propose an alternate method of protection (residential fire sprinklers) for lots 22, 23, 26 and 27”.
Commissioner McFadden pointed out that the vicinity map on page 93 of the Staff Report dated July 17, 2014, appears to be from another application.  Mr. McGeough replied that the vicinity map is not part of this application.  A correct vicinity map can be presented with the Final Order.    
Mr. Georgevitch stated that earlier Mr. Sinner reported that a 2007 zone change was the last zone change.  The storm drain master plan was in 2012 which is a newer document and as they move forward with application they apply the newest information.  Mr. Georgevitch addressed the question of what else was needed by the Public Works Department staff.  Mr. Georgevitch had an email from Roger Thom stating that Ron Horton is hiring a surveyor to do a topographical map on the property to the north.  That is what Public Works was anticipating receiving prior to this meeting to determine the direction of flow.  Public Works cannot determine from the information provided to them for this application which direction water flows.  When Silky Oaks Phase I moved forward the applicant’s calculations did not include any drainage to the west.               
Vice Chair Tull stated that there is a suggestion in the staff report that the applicant could adjust the elevation, he is assuming, in the streets so that it would have to flow to the east.  Did he read that correctly that is what they are suggesting?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that is what the applicant is suggesting.  Vice Chair Tull asked if that was an acceptable solution to the kind of situation that is being presented tonight.  Is it something that is done?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that this comes down to the Storm Drain Master Plan and where water naturally flows.  Currently, whether it can be engineered or not to flow someplace and it did not come naturally, the Code directs to not put water where it did not naturally flow.           
Chair Zarosinski stated to counsel that there is a 2003 zone change that would indicate that the property had service at one point.  Now there is a Master Plan from 2012 that says otherwise.  Which one trumps?  Ms. Cooper replied that the newer information would be strong evidence in support of the Public Works Department recommendation.  She does not see in the Code any specific criteria for land divisions that point to drainage.  It does say it has to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and other plans of the City which the Storm Drainage Master Plan is probably a piece of the Comprehensive Plan.        
Commissioner McFadden asked Mr. Sinner that if the Planning Commission is unsure or decides one way or another to the negative on this application, the Planning staff has recommended denying or approving it.  Does he feel this is solvable and would his client be willing to do a waiver of the 120-day rule so that this can be further investigated?  Mr. Sinner stated that he forgot to mention that his surveyor was out of town this week and he was not able to get the spot surveys that would have helped.  Absolutely he and his client would be more than interested in a continuance to a date certain instead of a denial.  Probably continue it to the next Planning Commission meeting.    
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Continue this application to the August 14, 2014 Planning Commission meeting. 
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Mansfield
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 5-0-1, with Commissioner Christie voting no.
50.3        LDP-13-086 Consideration of a request for tentative plat approval of a 3 lot partition on 65.55 acres generally located south of the Owen Drive Alignment and west of McLaughlin Drive within the SFR-10 (Single Family Residential –10 units per acre) zoning district. (Delta Waters Properties, LLC, Applicant; CSA Planning Ltd/ Craig Stone, 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.
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, commented that there is a handout for this item identified as 50.2 but it is agenda item 50.3, and gave a staff report.
Ms. Cooper asked that the proposed language states that buyers of the property are advised to consult the City of Medford.  How is the City going to calculate the trips when asked?  Ms. Akin replied that the City would track them by building permits.   
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
a.  Craig Stone, CSA Planning Ltd, 4497 Brownridge Terrace, Suite 101, Medford, Oregon, 97504-9173.  Mr. Stone reported that he is appearing on behalf of his client Delta Waters Properties, LLC.  He did not prepare the application.  It is not an application per say.  It is simply a request to modify a condition.  They worked with staff to come up with something mutually agreeable.  The purpose of having this sort of condition is to put buyers on notice that there are limitations that exist with respect to the developable property that relate to traffic and other public facility improvements that are going to have to be made before it can be fully built out.      
b.  Robert Williams, 3340 Sharman Way, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Williams stated that his project originally came up approximately two years ago for the SFR-10 zone change.  Approximately three to four months ago this project came up to partition into 3 lots.  He believes it went from Ford not Owens Way.  It seems like this proposal tonight is including the entire 55 + acres.  Was there any action from three to four months ago on what was brought up at that time which was sort of tabled because of traffic flow and now it has expanded to the full aspect.  Chair Zarosinski replied no that the only thing that is being addressed right now is there is so many trips that can come off all three parcels together and they are dividing them up on how that is going to happen.        
Ms. Akin showed the vicinity map that entertained the zone change in 2011 and the partition last fall.  The size of the property has not changed. 
Mr. Georgevitch addressed the question of how the City tracks trips.  Public Works has requested that the applicant provide an accounting of trips at each phase. 
Mr. Georgevitch addressed the comment regarding Crater Lake and Owens.  The re-alignment was done.  The issue is more about the operations at the intersection that needs some type of treatment; a signal or a four-way stop.  It has not been completed yet.  When the applicant moves forward with the development they will either exceed their limits and purpose mitigation or they will show the City that they are not exceeding the limits of available capacity.   
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Approve the request to replace Condition 6 of LDP-13-086 with the language in the memorandum labeled Exhibit A per the Staff Report dated July 17, 2014, including Exhibits A through F.
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Christie
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6-0.
60.          Report of the Site Plan and Architectural Commission.  None.
70.          Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee.  None.
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 the Planning Commission’s next study session scheduled for Monday, July 28, 2014, has been canceled due to no business.
There is business for the Planning Commission meetings on Thursday, August 14, 2014, and Thursday, August 28, 2014.
There was no Planning business for City Council at their last meeting.  They will not have a quorum at their next meeting.
The Site Plan and Architectural Commission met last Friday.  They heard two items.  They heard a new O’Reilly’s Auto Part store that is going to be coming onto Crater Lake Highway between Skypark and Whittle.  They also heard a requested revision to the County’s parking structure across the street.  They want to add two floors to the existing parking structure.  It is going from six stories to eight.
Commissioner McFadden recommended that the City send someone with the County to an APA conference where they will learn how to make a parking structure without making it look like a 1950’s bad looking parking structure.  Something that looks like a regular building.  Personally he wishes that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission would have turned it down.
Vice Chair Tull asked if this would be the tallest building in the City.  Ms. Akin replied that it would be the tallest building in the Downtown.
The Planning Department is not finished with the Sustainable City Year program.  There are several projects still lingering.  Ms. Akin is working on the Downtown Way Finding.  That project extends over three terms with the second term now starting.  Next Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. in the Medford Room there will be a meeting with the Community Planning Workshop people associated with the University of Oregon doing the next phase.  This term will focus on the language on signs and what landmarks or items to direct folks to.
Commissioner Shoemaker resigned his position due to moving out of the City.  If anyone is aware of someone interested in serving on the Planning Commission, please encourage them to apply.
A similar situation happened with the Site Plan and Architectural Commission.  If anyone is aware of someone interest in serving on the Site Plan and Architectural Commission, please encourage them to apply.
90.          Messages and Papers from Chair of Planning Commission. None. 
100.        Remarks from the City Attorney.  None.
110.        Propositions and Remarks from the Commission.  None.     
120.        Adjournment. 
                The meeting was adjourned at 7:33 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:  August 14, 2014        

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