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Planning Commission Minutes
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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:
Robert Tull, Vice Chair
Alec Schwimmer, Excused Absence
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Debbie Strigle, Recording Secretary
Alex Georgevitch, Acting City Engineer
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV
10. Roll Call
20. Consent Calendar/Written Communications. None.
30.1 The minutes for January 8, 2015, 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.
50.1 E-14-059 Consideration of an Exception to allow for the reduction of required street dedication along a northerly section of Cedar Links Drive adjacent to Cedar Landing Planned Unit Development within an SFR-4 (Single Family Residential – 4 units per acre) zoning district. (Cedar Investment Group LLC, Applicant; Hoffbuhr & Associates, Inc., Dennis Hoffbuhr, Agent).
Vice Chair Tull inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose. None were disclosed.
Vice Chair Tull inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV, read the exception criteria and gave a staff report.
The public hearing was open.
Neither the applicant nor the applicant’s agent was in attendance.
Vice Chair Tull inquired whether it made a difference in what action the Planning Commission takes and how they proceed without testimony from the applicant or agent.
Mr. McConnell stated that normally the applicant and/or agent would be present. Staff has presented findings for each of the criteria listed. If the Planning Commission were to find the findings adequate and the exception should be granted it could do so.
a. Edie Gilder, 3093 Westminster Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97504. Ms. Gilder stated that she walks the area twice a day and is very familiar with street. It is her understanding that the piece in question was northeast of Wilkshire Drive. It looks like it is northwest of Wilkshire Drive. Is that correct?
Vice Chair Tull asked what issue does this raise for Ms. Gilder. Ms. Gilder replied that she and some of the neighbors were concerned with widening the street.
Alex Georgevitch, Transportation Manager/Acting City Engineer reported that if the exception is granted there is no reason to widen the street. There is a sidewalk planned north of the street that would be far enough from the road that no widening is necessary.
Vice Chair Tull asked who has the responsibility for construction of the sidewalk if it is not on City right-of-way. Mr. Georgevitch replied that it would be the applicant’s responsibility whoever develops Tract A and whatever portion of Tract D is part of this exception. They would be required to build it as if it was a City street. It will be a granted easement to the public to allow them to cross the land. It will not be in public right-of-way. It will be north of it, approximately an additional 10 feet or so. The intent is to only build a sidewalk outside of the impact area of the trees.
Vice Chair Tull asked if the trees sit within the right-of-way. Mr. Georgevitch replied that the trees will be in the right-of-way which is a typical condition. When streets are built with a 10 foot planter strip on a high order street like this, there would be street trees planted that would be in the right-of-way. This would not be abnormal.
Vice Chair Tull asked Ms. Gilder if that speaks to the question that she came with. Ms. Gilder replied that it did. She was under the impression that the area in question was northeast of Wilkshire and she was going to be advocating for widening the street in that area because of the increased traffic they were predicting with this project
Mr. Georgevitch clarified that northeast of the area the road is not fully improved and as future phases of the development move forward there will be improvements. This was only to deal with the tree section. It is northwest not northeast. The section in concern will eventually be widened as the development moves forward.
Commissioner McFadden asked that with the reduction in the road right-of-way width, the edge of the road will be south of the trees and therefore, the trees will be on private property north of the street right-of-way. That is why Public Works is reducing the street right-of-way and why they need the easement for the sidewalk further north of the trees. Mr. Georgevitch replied that right now the street is 42 feet wide. Public Works standard is 44 feet wide. Face-of-curb to face-of-curb the standard for a major collector is 44 feet. The current staff report states that it is 42 feet in width. They would essentially be moving the road 2 feet. It could be 2 feet to the north or 2 feet to the south or 1 foot to the north and 1 foot to the south. Moving further to the north could interfere with the root structure and damage the trees. The trees are in the public right-of-way.
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Adopt the Findings as recommended by staff and direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of E-14-059 per the Staff Report dated January 15, 2015, including Exhibits A through G.
Moved by: Commissioner McFadden Seconded by: Commissioner Miranda
Voice 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 met on Friday, January 16, 2015. They had three items on their agenda. An exception request to allow for the expansion of a building with a non-conforming setback on Crews Road. This application was withdrawn. They heard consideration of plans for the construction of a 4,087 square foot medical office building located on East Barnett. That item was approved. Last on their agenda was consideration of plans for the construction of a 3,200 square foot Wellness Pharmacy building and an exception to allow reduction of required right-of-way dedication located at 522 Crater Lake Avenue. That item was also approved.
70. Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee.
70.1 Commissioner Christie reported that the Joint Transportation Subcommittee has not met. Vice Chair Tull stated so that the public understands is that there is staff work underway updating of the City’s Transportation System Plan and that staff work is in process and working with the consultants that will come to the Subcommittee when it is ready for public input that is expected.
80. Report of the Planning Department.
80.1 Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, welcomed Commissioner D’Alessandro and Commissioner MacMillan.
The Planning Commission study session scheduled for Monday, January 26, 2015, has been cancelled.
There is business scheduled for the Planning Commission study session on Monday, February 9, 2015 and Monday, February 23, 2015.
There is business for the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, February 12, 2015.
Last week City Council heard an appeal on a zone change on West 8th and Lozier Lane by Lewis Park. City Council upheld the Planning Commission’s decision. The person that appealed did not receive notice. He purchased the property in June and the Assessor’s office did not update their records before the applicant submitted the mailing labels. It was a question of timing. City Council will affirm that decision at their next meeting by a resolution.
There are two new Commissioners, Jared Pulver and Mark McKechnie, starting at the next regular Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, February 12, 2015.
Ms. Akin gave many thanks and present a certificate to Commissioner Christie for his four years of service and participation.
Friday, January 26, 2015, is the Boards and Commissions luncheon at the Rogue Valley Country Club at noon.
Ms. Akin prepared a resolution for Vice Chair Tull that Commission McFadden will read. Ms. Akin requested the Commissioners to stay and sign the resolution after tonight’s meeting.
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 made a motion to pass a resolution of the City of Medford Planning Commission honoring Bob Tull, Planning Commissioner. Whereas, Mr. Tull has served on the City of Medford Planning Commission from June 6, 1996 to January 31, 2015; and as Chair of the Planning Commission from February 1, 2002 to January 31, 2005; whereas during his tenure, Mr. Tull contributed to the improvement of the Medford Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan, the development of policies regarding the management of the City’s Urban Growth Boundary, and the City’s leadership in the Regional Problem Solving process; and whereas Mr. Tull served as the Planning Commission liaison on several committees, including the Joint Transportation Subcommittee, the Southeast Plan Implementation Advisory Committee, the Regional Problem Solving Policy Committee and the Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing Task Force; now, therefore, be it resolved by the Planning Commission of the City of Medford, Oregon, that the Commission hereby expresses its appreciation for his dedication and holds Mr. Tull in high regard for his many years of thoughtful service to the community as a Planning Commissioner. Passed by the Planning Commission this 22nd day of January, 2015. Commissioner Christie seconded the motion. It was a unanimous affirmative vote by the Planning Commissioners.
Vice Chair Tull stated that he was very moved by the resolution. He had forgotten all the ways in which he was involved. He has enjoyed this. This has been a major focus of satisfaction for him to be of service, as best as he can, with what he has to offer to a City that he holds in very high regard. He has worked with some very fine people on the Commission and on staff. A part from the role he may have played, the City of Medford is well served by those who volunteer to work on its Planning Commission and by staff that have responsibility for the work of planning in the City. Medford is very well served by its professional staff and well supported by its ready volunteers. It has been a privilege to be a Commissioner for a while. Enough is enough. There are others ready to step in and take responsibility and take the Commission further along and that is exactly the way it should be. If he has helped to lay some good groundwork for the next twenty years or more it is fine. He is pleased that he could do so and thanked the Commission for their support they have offered.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m. The proceedings of this meeting were digitally recorded and are filed in the City Recorder's office.
Terri L. Rozzana
Planning Commission Chair
Approved: February 12, 2015