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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, October 27, 2014

The study session of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in Room 151 of the Lausmann Annex on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners:  Michael Zarosinski, Bill Christie, Patrick Miranda, Robert Tull, Bill Mansfield, Norman Fincher, and David McFadden.
Staff:  Jim Huber, Bianca Petrou, Kelly Akin, Kevin McConnell, John Adam, Aaron Harris, Carla Paladino, Joe Slaughter and Alex Georgevitch.
Guests:  Alan Noble, Rogue Federal Credit Union, Rich Scholes, Rogue Federal Credit Union, Carl Bartlett, Southeast Plan Committee, Bob Neathamer, Neathamer Surveying, Cynthia McNeil and Greg McNeil, homeowners on Stanford, Paige Townsend, Rogue Valley Transit District, Raul Woerner
Subjects:  1. Southeast Commercial Plan.
                 2. Housekeeping amendments.
1. Southeast Commercial Plan
Aaron Harris, Planner II, presented an overview, background history, associated housekeeping items from the Medford Land Development Code, explained the next steps moving forward and answered questions.  The Southeast Village Center is a Transit-Oriented District consisting of 178 acres located in the Southeast Overlay District.  Within this 53-acre Commercial Center there is a 19-acre retail core.  The Master Plan serves as a component of the Southeast Overlay District.  Pursuant to Section 10.374(4), the Southeast Overlay District regulations establish that a Master Plan adopted by the City Council shall govern design and development within the Commercial Core Center Area.  Section 10.377 (Special Design Standards for Southeast Village Center) further provides that design standards for the Commercial Center Core Area shall be established through the adopted Master Plan rather than under Section 10.377.  All zone changes, Planned Unit Developments, other land use actions and permits within the Commercial Center Core Area shall conform to the Master Plan in addition to all other applicable land use and development regulations.  It was emphasized that the Master Plan must be adopted by City Council prior to zone changes in the Master Plan area. 
The Southeast Plan was originally incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan in 1998.  It was further refined in 2004.  The City adopted text amendments in 2008.  In September 2010 various property owners within the Commercial Center Core Area submitted a Master Plan.  In 2012 the property owners that submitted the Master Plan requested (from City Council) initiation of the Comprehensive Plan and Medford Land Development Code amendments that would allow adoption of the proposed Master Plan.  The City Council voted to initiate the process with a stipulation that work not begin until after the Southeast Plan Implementation Advisory Committee made a recommendation.  In November 2012 the Southeast Plan Implementation Advisory Committee recommendations were reviewed by the City Council during a joint study session.  The City Council, at the conclusion of the study session directed staff to proceed with the proposed Comprehensive Plan and Medford Land Development Code amendments as recommended by the property owners and the Southeast Implementation Advisory Committee.  In March 2013, the City Council adopted an ordinance approving major amendments to the Neighborhood Element and Transportation Element of the Comprehensive Plan and also adopted an ordinance approving amendments to sections of the Medford Land Development Code pertaining to the Commercial Center Core Areas of the Southeast Overlay District.  These actions allowed for subsequent adoption of the Master Plan as proposed by the property owners.  While property owners were finalizing the Master Plan the City purchased the three adjacent Greenway properties to the north of the Market/Grocery Center.  In July 2014, the City received the final Master Plan proposal.           
Land Development Code Sections 10.370 through 10.385 addresses the Southeast Overlay District.  Staff has proposed edits to these code sections for simplification and clarity.  The resulting changes aim to make implementation of code sections easier for staff and developers.  Staff proposes only one change to standards, which is a minor change to the setback standard. 
On November 13, 2014 the Planning Commission will consider a development code amendment to approve the proposed Master plan and associated housekeeping items at a public hearing.  The Planning Commission will forward their recommendation to City Council.  The City Council will be the final approving authority for adoption of the Southeast Commercial Center Core Area Master Plan and accompanying housekeeping amendments. 
Mr. McNeil stated that he is a property owner on Stanford Avenue.  He claimed this is the first time he had seen the development plan for that area.  He had read in the newspaper on Sunday that the traffic pattern will be shifting from Barnett and North Phoenix Road onto Stanford Avenue.  He became concerned because of traffic, home values and changes to his property.  He asked if the traffic directed onto Stanford Avenue going to be before the Greenway?  The newspaper indicated it was from Hillcrest all the way into the development which goes right by his house.  Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director, reported that this area is a transit-oriented district.  It is supposed to function somewhat like a downtown around the commercial area.  Originally, Barnett was going to be the main street, oriented towards commercial on both sides.  It was decided a couple of years ago that it would be better if the main street portion of the commercial center was actually on Stanford.  It will not have an effect on traffic in Mr. McNeilís area.    
Commissioner McFadden reported that the City expects the main traffic to remain east and west on Barnett.  There may be some increase that may change the traffic flow on Stanford but is should be minimal especially near Cherry Lane. 
Alex Georgevitch, Transportation Manager, stated that the Southeast Commercial Center and the entire area are planned for higher activity.  It has always had connector roads coming into them.  Stanford has always been planned to connect to allow people from the north to travel to and from the area.  Some of the buildings have been reoriented towards that as opposed to on Barnett does not change pulling people from the north to the center.  He does not see any change in the overall traffic patterns. 
Commissioner Mansfield reported that it appeared from the newspaper article that the transportation district is on board with the project.  Paige Townsend from Rogue Valley Transit District was present and Commissioner Mansfield asked her if she had any comments to add. 
Ms. Townsend stated that Rogue Valley Transit District has been involved with this project almost from the very beginning of the transit-oriented district.  They have had intentions to provide service to this area for a number of years.  They have been waiting for the first site in 7A to get developed in order for them to break the barrier of Barnett having circulation in the area.  There is a need in the area for transit.  
Commissioner Mansfield commented that he and Carl Bartlett are both impressed with the architectural details in dealing with the cityscape of this plan.  It seems ironic to Commissioner Mansfield that the City would spend so much energy on the niceties of cityscape here as the rest of the City lets the sign industry proliferate all over the City.  It is his opinion that it is an ironic difference.   
Vice Chair Tull stated that the City has been able to do something different when starting with a clean slate. 
Mr. Bartlett stated that this project started out originally with the City as part of the TPR and as a TOD.  Mr. Bartlett commented that whoever did the report did an outstanding job.        
2. Housekeeping amendments.
Carla Paladino, Planner III, reported that there are twelve housekeeping amendments that staff is proposing to bring to the Planning Commission for their recommendation on November 13, 2014.  It will be presented to the City Council in December 2014. 
1.  Eliminate Site Plan and Architectural review for duplexes allowing it to be exempted from a development permit and only requiring a building permit.
2.  Change peak-hour factor for TIAís from 0.9 to 1.0 to capture a larger portion of the peak hour.
3.  Eliminate BSIA process. 
4.  Allow auto dealerships in I-L zoning district; eliminate CUP requirements.
5.  Clarify how much retail is permitted in industrial zoning districts as an accessory use.
6.  Eliminate CUP requirements for farmerís market in the CB overlay.
7.  Fix contradiction in Code Section 10.747 about how much bicycle parking is required with expansion of building.
8.  Clarify whether parking can overhang into landscape areas.
9.  Eliminate GLUP boundary referent and instead use zoning district boundary in Code Section 10.721 for determining commercial structure height adjacent to residential designations.
10.  Eliminate GLUP boundary referent and instead use zoning district boundary to measure setbacks for electronic message signs.
11.  Bufferyard table and conflicts.
12.  Clarify that through-lots are subject to 20 foot and 10 foot street setbacks.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:48 p.m.
Submitted by:
Terri L. Rozzana, Recording Secretary

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