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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, September 25, 2014

The regular meeting of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 5:39 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         
Norman Fincher              
Bill Mansfield    
David McFadden             
Patrick Miranda               
Alec Schwimmer             
               
Commissioners Absent
               
Staff
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, Transportation Manager
Ralph Sartain, Lead Fire Inspector
Eric Johnson, Medford Water Commission, Principal Engineer
Rodney Grehn, Medford Water Commission, Staff Engineer
Chris Reising, Deputy City Manager/Development Services
Terri Rozzana, Recording Secretary
Praline McCormack, Planner II
Desmond McGeough, Planner II
 
10.          Roll Call
               
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications. 
20.1        ZC-14-065 Final Order of a request for a change of zone from SFR-00 (Single-Family Residential, one dwelling unit per existing lot) to SFR-4 (Single-Family Residential, 4 dwelling units per gross acre) on one parcel located at 336 Charlotte Ann Road, consisting of approximately 0.44 acres on the south side of Charlotte Ann Road, approximately 860 feet east of South Pacific Highway.  (Daniel Gan, Applicant; Stephen M. Terry, Agent).
               
Motion: Adopt the consent calendar.
               
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden          Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
               
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 8-0.
               
30.          Minutes. 
30.1        The minutes for September 11, 2014, were approved as submitted.
               
40.          Oral and Written Requests and Communications.  None. 
               
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney, read the Quasi-Judicial Statement.
               
50.          Public Hearing. 
                Old Business
50.1        DCA-13-090  Consideration of an ordinance amending Land Development Code, Sections 10.764, 10.1010, 10.1022, 10.1046, 10.1100, 10.1200, 10.1300, 10.1400, 10.1410, 10.1500, 10.1510, 10.1600, 10.1610, 10.1700, 10.1710, 10.1800, 10.1810 regarding electronic message signs to provide brightness standards and a method for measuring brightness, adding definitions for new terms and revising definitions for existing terms, housekeeping revisions, prohibiting specific sign effects, and in commercial and industrial zoning districts reducing the size by half; creating new Section 10.1140 pertaining to standards and regulations of all signs, and creating new Section 10.1150 pertaining to standards and regulations of all electronic message signs in the City of Medford, including: brightness, rate of message change, transition types, prohibiting blinking flashing types of lights, requiring photocells, requiring greater setbacks and reduced height at signalized intersections, and requiring existing signs to comply with all new regulations except location and size within 180 days. (City of Medford, Applicant).
               
Praline McCormack, Planner II, presented a summary of the amendment along with a brief discussion of the supplemental information that was provided in the agenda packet.  
               
Chair Zarosinski stated there was a concern from the industry at the last meeting regarding time of transition for a message change.  They recommended it be instant.  How was that considered?  Ms. McCormack replied that is an option.      
               
Vice Chair Tull recognized Ms. McCormack for an extraordinary year of her effort for this complicated situation. 
               
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given. 
               
a.  Rob LaGrone, 135 Silver Lane, Suite 230, Eugene, Oregon, 97401.  Mr. LaGrone works for CBS Outdoor and testified at the August 28, 2014, Planning Commission meeting.  He spoke about the proven safety of the digital billboard signs in the way that the industry uses them.  It is the same as the State requires static 8 second messages, no flashing or animation, automatic diming and brightness control.  The digital signs that they use improve aesthetics as well as night sky affects.  LED panels have a cleaner more modern appearance than static boards when one sees them up close because they do not need decks for crewmen to stand on or external lights sticking out.  They signs that they use have louvers and are angled slightly downward.  They have been tested and found to cast less light in the sky than the static lights they replace.  He is concerned with the restriction on size.   He asked the Commission to recommend allowing all billboards to be upgraded to the next phase in outdoor advertising in their current face size whether they conform to the current sign code or not. 
               
Chair Zarosinski asked Mr. LaGrone if he was asking the Commission to allow bigger signs with no animation.  Mr. LaGrone replied that is the way his industry uses them.   
               
Commissioner McFadden asked Mr. LaGrone how many signs does he manage in this area?  Mr. LaGrone replied roughly thirty. 
               
b.  John Watt, 101 E 8th Street, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Watt stated that he was representing the Chamber of Commerce this evening.  They were approached by a number of business owners who have electronic signs or are thinking about having electronic signs to form a committee to address the issue.  He is present this evening to make some general comments from a business owners perspective.  He thanked Bianca Petrou, Praline McCormack and Chris Reising for coming to the Chamber on Tuesday to share information and answer questions. 
               
c.  Brad Hicks, 101 East 8th Street, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Hicks reported that he was present tonight representing the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County.  He thanked the Commission for the extension in this issue because they asked for it at the last minute.  He thanked staff for meeting with them and helping them through questions.  He also thanked staff for their response in the case of the Verizon issue.  Mr. Hicks mentioned the letter he submitted earlier today expressing their concerns.  One of their concerns was the sign size.  They are aware of no evidence that electronic signs of the size now permitted are somehow unsafe or inappropriate and urge the Commission not to change the sign size standards.       
               
Chair Zarosinski asked Mr. Hicks if he had any thoughts on how his committee would react to the sign size remaining the same with no animation.  Mr. Hicks replied that he did not know if he wanted to speak on behalf of that group without sitting back down with them but he thinks the answer might be that there are probably a lot of answers within that committee to that same question.  He thinks some would say absolutely some would say absolutely not.  He cannot give a straight answer.  
               
Chair Zarosinski asked Ms. McCormack to speak to the 50% reduction.  Ms. McCormack replied that was an arbitrary decision that was made in discussions at a study session.
               
Commissioner Schwimmer stated that during the study sessions he does not recall the Commission discussing sign reduction.  That issue is most troublesome for him based on testimony provided this evening the framework of being able to retrofit existing signage with electronic boards and inherent cost in doing that.  The sign reduction issue and basing it on basically creating a non-conforming signs with the majority of signs in town is an issue for him.  He does not recall the Commission discussing that during study sessions.  The fact that now they are saying they came up with that without an objective basis is something that concerns him.  Ms. McCormack stated the language about the conversion of existing non-conforming signs is currently in the Code.    
               
Chair Zarosinski asked Ms. McCormack if she found a clear definition of a strobe affect, similar to what she did with glare.  Ms. McCormack replied that there are definitions for blinking in the Code.  The definition for scintillating is to sparkle or shine brightly to admit flashes of light.  The definition for flashing is a sign incorporating intermittent blinking or flashing light source where the same display message is constantly repeated at extremely fast intervals.      
               
Ms. McCormack stated that staff reviewed extensively other city’s sign codes when they were preparing this amendment. 
               
Mr. McConnell asked whether other cities had a similar definition for glare.  Ms. McCormack replied yes. 
               
The public hearing was closed.
               
Motion:  Based on the findings and conclusions that all of the approval criteria are either met or are not applicable, the Planning Commission forwards a favorable recommendation for adoption to the City Council per the Supplement dated September 16, 2014, and the Staff Report dated August 19, 2014, including Exhibits B through R-3, and including four new changes and two new Exhibits S and T., without revising the electronic sign size limitation.
               
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
               
Friendly Amendment made by Commissioner Mansfield:  Commissioner Mansfield stated that he senses a division amongst the Commission on the issue of size.  Perhaps a better way to do it is move for approval as written and then someone can make a motion to amend it to change the 75 feet back to 150 feet and they can all vote on that.
               
Commissioner McFadden stated that he understands where Commissioner Mansfield is leading with that and he has a problem with that.  The power of the motion makes him able to make the motion as he sees fit.  If someone wants to make a subsequent amendment to that motion in order to make that change it can be handled in that format rather than him changing the motion that he made.  If Commissioner Mansfield wants to make a motion that we make an amendment to change that and vote on it that is his motion to make if he chooses.   
               
Mr. McConnell asked for clarification that the motion maker does not agree to the friendly amendment.  Commissioner McFadden replied that is correct. 
               
Motion:  Amend the motion to remove the change from 150 square feet to 75 square feet, thus if his motion to amend were to be approved then the recommendation if enacted finally would be back as staff recommended.   
               
Moved by: Commissioner Mansfield     Seconded by: Commissioner Tull
               
Commissioner Mansfield withdrew his motion and made a subsequent motion.  
               
Motion:  Remove Commissioner McFadden’s motion regarding size and instead approve the recommendation of staff as given. 
               
Moved by: Commissioner Mansfield     Seconded by: Commissioner Tull
               
Chair Zarosinski stated that he had concerns of maintaining the full animation requirements in the Code at the sizes that they are at.  He believes that is why they are here. 
               
Commissioner Miranda commented that his understanding is that there are a number of signs out there that are currently non-conforming without the animation. 
               
Roll Call Vote on the amendment: 2-6, with Commissioner Christie, Commissioner Fincher, Commissioner McFadden, Commissioner Miranda, Commissioner Schwimmer and Chair Zarosinski voting no.  
               
Motion: Electronic message signs may maintain the existing allowable size if they are static (no animation).  If one wants animation it has to revert to the smaller size.   
               
Moved by: Commissioner Zarosinski      Seconded by: Commissioner Christie
               
Commissioner Schwimmer has issues with safety.  People diverting their eyes from the traffic to look at the signs.  It was his understanding that the rate of change would be solved.   There has to be clear and objective standards in a Code and a revision has to be the same.  He does not know if they have it here.   
               
Chair Zarosinski reported that the studies put out by the FHWA are all based on static electronic message signs with no animation.  They have 8 seconds for the rate of change in their reports.  It is his opinion that the distraction came from a larger animated sign. 
               
Roll Call Vote: 7-1, with Commissioner Schwimmer voting no.
               
Motion:  Based on the findings and conclusions that all of the approval criteria are either met or are not applicable, the Planning Commission forwards a favorable recommendation for adoption to the City Council per the Supplement dated September 16, 2014, and the Staff Report dated August 19, 2014, including Exhibits B through R-3, and including four new changes and two new Exhibits S and T., without revising the electronic sign size limitation without animation  and maintaining the current staff report size, animated.
               
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden      Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
               
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7-1, with Commissioner Schwimmer voting no.
               
50.2        LDS-14-072 Consideration of a request for tentative plat approval for Annapolis Drive Estates, an 11-lot residential subdivision on a 4.24 acre site located at the western terminus of Annapolis Drive and on the northeast side of Normil Terrace approximately 700 feet east of Foothill Road, within an SFR-4 (Single-Family Residential – 4 units per acre) zoning district.  (Buntin Construction, LLC, Applicant; Maize & Associates, Agent).
               
Chair Zarosinski inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  None were disclosed.  
               
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, referenced the handouts distributed to the Planning Commission in emails and placed at their seats that would be identified as Exhibits J and K.  Mr. McGeough read the land division criteria and gave a staff report.
               
Mr. McConnell reminded the Commission that he has provided a document placed at their seats called “Planning Commission Training”.  While the Commission is hearing testimony tonight they may want to review the three questions that are provided in the document.  It may help them in their decision of this issue.   
               
Commissioner McFadden asked where does the storm drain legally go that is on the corner that is paved?  Mr. McGeough deferred the question to the applicant.   
               
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given. 
               
a.  Jim Maize, Maize & Associates, Inc., P. O. Box 628, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Maize stated that he was present tonight representing Buntin Construction, LLC.  Terry Buntin, President of Buntin Construction LLC is in the audience this evening to answer any questions the Planning Commission may have.  Mr. Maize addressed Commissioner McFadden’s question that the storm drainage easement was constructed in conjunction with the development that occurred further to the east along with water and sanitary sewer.  That line runs along the west property line and heads north and empties out into the property adjoining to the north of the applicant’s property and then west.  This leads into an important point.  The infrastructure to this subdivision was installed after the 2008 approval of the same subdivision essentially with some changes in the lot design.  That tentative plat expired without all of the completion of the infrastructure.  Final plat approval was never achieved by the applicant.  A new application was submitted although there have been some changes.  Those changes are important.  One of the changes was the configuration of the lots.  There were lots that were oriented to make better use of the slopes and the views.  As a result by changing those lot configurations and reducing the lots by a couple it resulted in better access.  Mr. Maize referenced the letter he submitted dated September 24, 2014.  It addresses the concerns of the letter submitted by Scott & Keri Friesen, dated September 8, 2014, labeled Exhibit I of the agenda packet regarding a condition requiring the northwest extension of the water line in the Normil Terrace right-of-way across the subject property to the corner of the Friesen property which is a distance of approximately 685 feet.  There is no evidence in the record to show that there is either an essential nexus or a rough proportionality between the burden of the condition upon the applicant and the impact of the development on public water facilities.  It is not the applicant’s responsibility to show that there is not, it is the City’s responsibility to show there is a connection.  
               
Mr. McConnell stated that Mr. Maize talked about the cost of extending the water main along Normil Terrace the 685 feet.  Does he have an estimate of what that cost would be?  Mr. Maize stated that in talking with the Medford Water Commission $100 a lineal foot was given which would be approximately $68,000.
               
Vice Chair Tull requested Mr. Maize to state again for the Commission the rationale for reconfiguring the lots that are now 3, 4, and 5.  Mr. Maize deferred the question to the applicant because it was a design issue more than anything else.  He designed the lots to have better use of the views and the space between each other.      
               
b.  Terry Buntin, Buntin Construction, LLC, 572 Parsons Drive, Suite 100, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Buntin reported that there are several reasons for the reconfiguration of the lots.  The first reason is that at the bottom of Lot 4 it far exceeds the 15% slope.  Another reason is that Lot 6 is encumbered by too much pavement for access down to the storm drain and sewer man-holes.  The topography at the top of Lot 6 is sloping approximately 10% to 12%, downward is approximately 20% rendering that lot tough to build on.  With the current design there are two minimum access roadways versus one.  Every lot has a view either looking out to the south, southwest or the west.  Lots 8, 9 and 10 will have a view to the northwest.   
               
c..  Carlyle Stout, 215 Laurel Street, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Carlyle reported that he was present tonight on behalf of the Apostolic Faith Church.  The Church is adjacent to the Friesen property.  Mr. Stout stated that he submitted into the record a letter dated September 23, 2014, that expresses the reasons opposing the approval as it has been recommended by the Planning Commission.  Their objection has to do with the water.  Their issues are addressed in the submitted letter.       
               
Commissioner Schwimmer stated that the Commission has to make and individualized determination that the exaction is related to the impact of the development.  How is this development related to that exaction when the property Mr. Stout is representing is in the northeast and the water is in the southwest?  Mr. Stout replied that is comes down to the public safety issue and extending the water services so there can be future development.
               
d.  Scott Friesen, 3191 Normil Terrace, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Friesen stated that he is directly west of the proposed project.  His concerns are strictly fire safety.  He is surprised that the Medford Fire Department signed off on this application.  He is the lone property on the hill that is still on a well.  All the other properties have City water.  The nearest fire hydrant to him is exactly 685 feet away.  He does not know what that means in the case of a fire for his house.  He suspects in will go up in smoke.  He understands that if the water is brought to his property in order for him to hook up to it he has to extend it the length of the frontage of his property and he is ready and willing to do that.  He lives in a limited service area.    
               
e.  Tim DeBusk, Apostolic Faith Church, 5601 SE Duke Street, Portland, Oregon, 97206.  Pastor DeBusk stated that he was present tonight to show the Commission the impact that it has on the church.  This lot was donated by one of their lifetime members.  The member’s intention was that this would be the site of a much needed new parsonage.  The long term plan was based on the 2008 approval that included water that would service both the Friesen’s lot and the Church’s lot.  It is disheartening to them that they are not able to acquire City water. Most likely preventing them to build or to follow through on the parsonage.  They strongly object and asked the Commission to reconsider and honor the details of the 2008 approval. 
               
Mr. McConnell stated that for the Commission’s assistance put the Nollan/Dolan issue aside and try to decipher whether the Code or the Medford Water Commission’s Regulations absolutely requires the water main extension of 685 feet.  
               
Mr. Maize briefly addressed several points.  Please keep in mind that the Medford Fire Department reviewed this application and they do it carefully.  They looked at fire safety which is their job.  They did not ask for any fire hydrants other than the ones that were proposed.  Mr. Stout eluded the fact that this case did not fall under Nollan/Dolan in Section 10.668.  The applicant feels that it does apply.  It was decided by the Supreme Court last year Koontz versus St. Johns River Water Management District that answered that question of what is an exaction.  They decided that monetary exactions which this is, falls under that category.   As far as proportionality, the applicant believes it is a clear determination.  Mr. Stout eluded the fact that the applicant will be responsible for improving that section of their frontage of Normil Terrace.  It is true.  In fact there are findings provided in the staff report from the Public Works Department addressing Section 10.668, is there a nexus is there rough proportionality and the answer is yes because the applicant is going to be using Normil Terrace.  The subdivision is going to be utilizing it for vehicles that will be entering that subdivision and the applicant is required therefore to pay their rough proportional share of improvements.  As far as the water line, no.  There is no proportionality whatsoever.  Water is available to all the property owners.             
               
Vice Chair Tull asked if the site plan that was approved in 2008 was by a different developer?  Mr. Maize stated that was correct.  Vice Chair Tull stated that once again the Commission has a situation where a site plan was approved, could not be pursued to completion and another developer picks it up and plans to take it to completion.  In the new developers judgment it is a better way to utilize the property.  Is that what the Commission is dealing with?  Mr. Maize replied yes. 
               
Commissioner Mansfield stated that there are two reasons that he is thinking about the idea of moving to continue this public hearing.  One is that he would like to read and study the letters that were submitted more carefully plus the Supreme Court case Mr. Maize mentioned.  He also heard the possibility that there may be some area for  compromise      
               
Mr. McConnell stated that the Commission does not want to get involved in suggesting compromises or other ways to resolve an issue.  He suggested that the Commission is either going to find that the applicant needs to extend the water line 685 feet or not. 
               
Eric Johnson, Medford Water Commission, stated that they concur with staff’s findings and support staff’s recommendations. 
               
Commissioner McFadden asked if there was a way, could service be brought from the west end of Annapolis through the properties in a proper easement and according to Medford Water Commission Rules and Regulations be installed to a neighboring property if all parties agreed?  Mr. Johnson replied that their current standard precludes that.  There is nothing that stops the opponents to this subdivision from approaching the Water Commission Board and requesting such.  Staff would not support it.   
               
Commissioner Miranda asked what are the restrictions or concerns of the installation of a dry line?  Mr. Johnson stated that the Medford Water Commission does not allow dry line installations.  With a dry line there is no delivery of water.  When lines are installed they are pressurized, chlorinated, sampled and it is bacterially sound.  It is “in service”.  They maintain and service it.  
               
Ralph Sartain, Medford Fire Department, Inspector III/Paramedic and acting Fire Marshal in Fire Marshal, Greg Kleinburg’s absence.  Mr. Sartain apologized that tonight was his first chance to review this application.  He trusts Fire Marshal Kleinburg’s judgment.  It has been very sound and astute throughout his entire tenure.  He addressed some of the comments made earlier.  This is a choke point access.  There is one way in and one way out.  The Fire Department can require additional means of fire suppression.  The 2008 plat shows that the hydrants were required at that time because they were using it as an access point off of Normil Terrace.  Had they kept the access off Normil Terrace they would have been required to install hydrants.  Accessing off Annapolis they do meet the minimum requirements of 600 feet to all four sides of the structures erected on the property.   Their entire mission is to protect the community.  The developer will have to do because of the grades of this property is that all sites will be sprinkler homes.  They will all have sprinkler systems inside to protect the residence.  That is part of the Fire Departments approval.  If the developer decides to access off of the lower portion of Normil Terrace the Fire Department would require the hydrants to be installed down Normil Terrace.   
               
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, stated that she heard testimony from Mr. Friesen that he was the last house up there on a well.  Ms. Akin’s question for Mr. DeBusk is that property served with the well?  Ms. Akin stated that she heard no from the gallery. 
               
The public hearing was closed.
               
Motion: Direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of LDS-14-072 per the Revised Staff Report dated September 18, 2014, including Exhibits A through I.
               
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden     Seconded by: Commissioner Christie
               
Friendly Amendment made by Commissioner Miranda:  Include Exhibits J and K to the motion.
               
Mr. McConnell stated that there were specific questions on whether the Land Development Code or Medford Water Commission Regulations required the extension of the 685 feet.  The Nollan/Dolan analysis requires making specific findings particularly as to essential nexus and rough proportionality. 
               
Chair Zarosinski reported that when he read through the findings of the staff report it was not proportional nor nexus to require that to be extended. 
               
Commissioner McFadden stated that was his understanding reading through the staff report as well. 
               
Commissioner Christie replied his also.
               
Commissioner Miranda stated that he concurred.
               
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6-0-2, with Commissioner Fincher and Commissioner Mansfield abstaining.
               
60.          Report of the Site Plan and Architectural Commission. 
60.1        Commissioner Miranda reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on September 19, 2014.  They did not have a quorum so no business took place. 
               
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, stated that staff moved last week’s study session to Monday, October 13, 2014.  Discussion will be an update on the UGB amendment.  Staff has also scheduled two weeks later to do the same for City Council. 
 
There is business scheduled through November for the Planning Commission.  Remember the second meeting in November is Thanksgiving.  This time of year always gets congested.  Look for a heavy meeting the first meeting in November and the first meeting in December. 
 
The Planning Department has not had any business for City Council since the Planning Commission last met. 
 
October is National Planning Month.  Staff will have a booth at the Farmer’s Market which they do every year.  It is a way to touch the community in a way they do not expect. 
               
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 7:55 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:  October 9, 2014        
 
 

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