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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The regular meeting of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 5:30 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              
David McFadden (arrived at 5:42 p.m.)  
Bill Mansfield    
Patrick Miranda               
Alec Schwimmer             
Commissioners Absent
Jim Huber, Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, Transportation Manager
Greg Kleinberg, Fire Marshal
Terri Rozzana, Recording Secretary
Desmond McGeough, Planner II
10.          Roll Call
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications. 
20.1        LDS-14-072 Final Order 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).
Motion: Adopt the consent calendar.
Moved by: Commissioner Tull                    Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 7-0.
30.          Minutes. 
30.1        The minutes for September 25, 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        ZC-14-067/LDP-14-068 Consideration of a request of a consolidated application for zone change from SFR-00 (Single-Family Residential – 1 dwelling unit per existing lot) to SFR-6 (Single-Family Residential – 6 units per acre) on a 2.2 acre site and associated tentative plat for a two lot partition of the subject property, located on the west side of Orchard Home Drive approximately 430 feet south of Arlington Drive.  (Reeder Knouff Thomas LLC, Applicant; Farber Surveying, 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, read the zone change and land division criteria and gave a staff report.  
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given. 
a.  Herb Farber, P. O. Box 5286, Central Point, Oregon, 97502.  Mr. Farber reported that he is the agent for the applicant Reeder Knouff Thomas LLC.   Staff has done a very good job of outlining this application.  It is set up for a future development.  The two parcels, as stated, will be reserve acreage.  Mr. Farber requests to change the language on Page 112 of the Staff Report under B. Easements to read “Public storm drain easements shall be provided on the final plat or by a deed document…”  This gives the applicant the flexibility when it comes to final plat time to do it in an orderly process rather than putting an easement on a plat that is very difficult to work with in future development. 
Alex Georgevitch, Transportation Manager, reiterated a comment that he made the last time this application was presented to the Planning Commission and was not updated in the staff report that the Public Works Department does not have an issue with making the document by separate instrument as long as the plan appropriately notes that and is recorded at the same time which they have discussed with the applicant with other issues in the past. 
The public hearing was closed.
Motion:  Adopt the Final Orders for approval of ZC-14-067 and LDP-14-068 per the Staff Report dated October 2, 2014, including Exhibits A through N.
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden                                     Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
Friendly Amendment made by Commissioner Mansfield:  To include the language that the public storm drain easements shall be provided on the final plat or by a deed document.
Roll Call Vote: 7-0-1, with Commissioner McFadden abstaining.
50.2        LDS-09-089 Consideration of a request to revise three conditions of approval for the approved tentative plat for Innsbruck Ridge, a 60-lot subdivision on approximately 24.36 acres within the Vista Pointe Planned Unit Development, located on the east side of Vista Pointe Drive within the SFR-4/PD (Single Family Residential – 4 dwellings per acre/Planned Unit Development Overlay) zoning district. The subject conditions are related to on-street parking/approved alternate method of construction, street trees, and pedestrian paths.  (Innsbruck LLC, Applicant; CSA Planning Ltd., 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 designed a retaining wall on this project a few years ago but has no interest or is biased or have a conflict in this matter.  
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, stated that the approval criteria for the land division were read prior to the last item and they also apply here.  Ms. Akin pointed out that there were two letters that staff received regarding this application.  They were forwarded to the Planning Commissioners by email   and placed at their places this evening.  They will be included in the record and Exhibited as O and P.  Ms. Akin gave a staff report.
Commissioner McFadden stated that he is concerned with the swaths of bare land opened that will be subject to landslides with rain water.  The slope makes it hard to install utilities then with trees on top of them that grow and clog off the same utility lines will cause problems that will haunt this place as long as it exists because of the conditions building on these steep hillsides.  Ms. Akin replied that this project was approved eleven years ago in a similar configuration.  It is difficult for her to address the alignment of streets and how that was done.  
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 stated that he was present tonight on behalf of the applicant Innsbruck LLC.  Mr. Stone addressed Commissioner McFadden’s concerns with respect to the bare land.  It is barren looking and very rocky.  They would expect that the land along the frontages where the houses are oriented would be landscaped appropriately to typical urban standards.  On the backside where it is extremely rocky the plans are to do some landscaping but it would be xerlscaping, something that does not require some kind of irrigation.  Mr. Stone briefly discussed the on-street parking and an alternative method of access.  In 2009 the Fire Department recommended to restrict on-street parking and provide an approved alternate method of construction, such as residential fire sprinklers.  That not being the only method used the applicant proposes to provide parking in selected areas of one side of the streets and 25-pull-outs for fire truck access.  The Fire Marshal has reviewed the proposal and concurs with the request.  The applicant is requesting that the trees be required on only one side of the street, citing site and soil conditions.  The applicant requests to remove the conditions from Lots 21 and 33.  For Lot 21, the request states that a path was never planned in that location.  That is correct.  A scrivener’s error incorrectly identified Lot 23 as Lot 21.  For Lot 33, the applicant cites steep terrain and a lack of future connections as reasons for removal of the requirement to construct the path.           
Commissioner Schwimmer asked if it was fair to say that the reconfiguration of the road and only having parking on one side and the pull-outs is the alternate method of construction that was intended by the original language in the 2009 plat approval in lieu of residential fire sprinklers?  Mr. Stone replied that is how he understands it to work.   
Mr. Stone stated that a letter was received by the Planning Department from Edward and Faye Beres.  They seem to have a misunderstanding.  They are requesting that the applicant does not do away with all the pedestrian paths.  They like sidewalks.  The applicant is not proposing to do that.
Greg Kleinberg, City of Medford, Fire Marshal, cleared up what seemed to be some confusion.  In 2009 with the original approval the Fire Department was under the assumption that all approvals had expired on this development.  They required an alternate method which would be residential fire sprinklers because of the 10% grade leading into both sides of this development.  Since then the Fire Department discovered the original Vista Pointe PUD is still valid.  The way that the alternate method rules under ORS and OAR is that it has to be required in the original land development meeting.  You cannot come in later and say they want sprinklers if it was approved long ago without them.  The parking and no-parking areas are a separate solution.  The applicant wanted parking within the development.  Parking was mentioned with a 20-foot unobstructed width throughout all of the development notes.  The Fire Department allowed the applicant to submit a plan showing closer hydrant spaces and no-parking areas which met their approval. 
Chair Zarosinski asked that the closer spacing for the fire hydrants was to allow for some on-street parking?  Fire Marshal Kleinberg reported that normally fire hydrants in residential developments are 500-feet on center.  These are 250-feet maximum which is typically what they require for narrow streets.  They have the turn-outs that allow the fire trucks to pull in, set-up and have another fire engine to pass onto another emergency or to move on to protect another home.
Commissioner McFadden asked if all the fire hydrants were going to be on the uphill side of the road?  Fire Marshal Kleinberg replied they are going to be on the downhill side.   
Vice Chair Tull asked whatever happened to the kind of vision that the City had for this hillside development when the City was beginning to work on this project and the others that abut it?  The Planning Commission spent a lot of time talking about the various water courses that come through on these hillsides, most of which have trees in them.  Most of them do not have water in them but then can have.  There was a concerted effort to connect the various developments that could take place along this hillside leading up to Roxy Ann so that the water courses would serve as connections.  There would be pathways or greenways so one could move from one section to another and eventually connect up with things that went on up Roxy Ann.  The City had a vision of an interconnected hillside community development.  An upscale kind of development.  What happened?  Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, replied that she is not sure that vision has gone away.  She is not sure of the timing of this particular reach with the property adjacent to the east.  She did not investigate the adjoining project to see if there had been a pathway that was planned through there.  Vista Pointe has a series of pathways that are being constructed.   
Chair Zarosinski asked Mr. Georgevitch that since there is no required landscape requirements for these lots what happens in regards to erosion control on the bare slopes?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that these are private streets so Public Works does not make any comments.  They have to be built in accordance to public standards for grade and horizontal/vertical geometry.  Typically, through construction Public Works would require that all slopes that have been cut or filled to be seeded to allow some type of vegetation to take place to minimize erosion.  He assumes the same condition would occur here but he cannot speak for the developer.  They should have a permit from DEQ to deal with their erosion control and recommends that be looked at.     
Mr. McConnell stated that if there is a motion to approve tonight to make sure it includes the four documents Mr. Stone added to the record this evening.  
The public hearing was closed. 
Motion: Direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of the request to revise three conditions from the 2009 approval of LDS-09-089 per the Staff Report dated October 2, 2014, including Exhibits A through N, specifically: The conditions of approval for LDS-09-089 dated December 10, 2009, are revised as follows: Condition 5.c. is amended to allow on-street parking per the plan identified as Exhibit C and as approved by the Fire Marshal.  Condition 7.b. is stricken.  Condition 3 is corrected to remove the erroneous reference to Lot 21 and replace it with the correct reference to Lot 23, and to remove the requirement for the path on Lot 33.
Moved by: Commissioner Tull                    Seconded by: Commissioner McFadden
Friendly Amendment made by Chair Zarosinski: To include Exhibit O and Exhibit P and include the four exhibits Mr. Stone submitted into the record this evening.
Commissioner McFadden stated that once one gets high enough on the hill the normal water courses water do not collect themselves.  It is too spread out the narrower one gets to the top.  It is his opinion that the lower areas have a more distinct water course because they have collected more water.  
Vice Chair Tull responded that there has been active discussion of a vision that would provide access points to a regional parks system.  A system of trails and connections between Roxy Ann, Chrissy Park, and on.  He is sorry to see that they have lost, in this planning, a ready connection from this compact development upscale neighborhood to the sort of regional open space that makes this valley important to us.  He is very sorry to see that has happened.   
Roll Call Vote: 7-0-1, with Vice Chair Tull abstaining.
50.3        LDP-14-063/E-14-090 Consideration of a request to create two parcels and an Exception to allow an 89 foot lot depth in lieu of the required 90 foot depth on 0.64 acre located the east side of Merriman Road, approximately 50 feet south of the easterly terminus of Mace Road in the SFR-6 (Single Family Residential, 6 dwelling units per gross acre) zoning district (2772 Merriman Road).    (Legacy Development, LLC, Applicant; Mark Snyder, 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.
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, stated that the Planning Commission already heard the land division criteria and read the exception criteria.  Ms. Akin stated that there is a Revised Public Works Report that was placed at the Commissioners seats this evening.  This will be submitted into the record as Exhibit E-1.  Ms. Akin gave a staff report.
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given. 
a.  Mark Snyder, 110 Clay Street, Ashland, Oregon, 97520.  Mr. Snyder reported that his property seemed like it was following the flow of the development by splitting the lot.  Also, the fact that it had a drainage easement to the downhill slope was a nice feature.  When the developers did that subdivision is seems like they put some thought into it.  
The public hearing closed.
Motion: Adopt the Findings as recommended by staff and direct staff to prepare Final Orders for approval of LDP-14-063 and E-14-090 per the Staff Report dated October 2, 2014, including Exhibits A through Q and replacing Exhibit E with Exhibit E-1.
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden                                     Seconded by: Commissioner Christie
Roll Call Vote: 8-0.
60.          Report of the Site Plan and Architectural Commission. 
60.1        Commissioner Miranda reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on October 3, 2014.  The only item on the agenda was 50.1 a continuation request for consideration of an exception to allow expansion of a building with a non-conforming setback on a 1.04 acre parcel at the northern terminus of Crews Road, approximately 760 feet northeast of Table Rock Road, within a MFR-20 zoning district.  The item passed.     
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 at the Commissioners places this evening is the agenda for the Planning Commission study session on Monday, October 13, 2014.  Discussion will be on the Urban Growth Boundary amendment. 
Business is scheduled for the Planning Commission on Thursday, October 23, 2014 and Thursday, November 13, 2014.  As a reminder, November 27, 2014, is Thanksgiving.
Last week at the City Council meeting the Mayor read the proclamation for October being National Community Planning Month.  Chair Zarosinski accepted the proclamation. 
On November 6, 2014, the City Council will hear the electronic message sign code revisions.
The City is in the process of updating the Strategic Plan.  An email was sent to the Planning Commission several days ago explaining it to them.  This Plan is helpful to staff as they work through their projects.  Planning’s name appears approximately 50 times in this document.  There are a lot of action items for staff.  The document is set up with four main themes: 1) Safe Community; 2) Healthy Economy; 3) Quality Public Services; and Responsive Leadership.  There are sixteen goals under these themes.  The Planning Commission has interest in all kinds of things throughout the document.  The email that was sent has a link to a survey that is available online until October 30, 2014.  Ms. Akin encouraged the Planning Commission to partake in these surveys.  Ms. Akin has several hard copies of the Strategic Plan if any Commissioners would like one.  It is also available online.             
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 7:06 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 23, 2014     

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