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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, February 09, 2015

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:                David McFadden, Norman Fincher, Bill Mansfield, Tim D’Alessandro, Jared Pulver, Patrick Miranda, Mark McKechnie, Chris MacMillan, and Alec Schwimmer (arrived at 12:07 p.m.).
Staff:     Jim Huber, Bianca Petrou, Kelly Akin, Joe Slaughter, Kevin McConnell and Roland Mancuso, Technology Services.
Guests:                Randy Jones and Mike Mahar, Mahar Homes; Brian McLemore, Pacific Retirement Services; Jim Stocker, Ray Heisler and Fred Willms from Rogue Valley Manor;  Megan LeNier, Richard Stevens & Associates, Inc., and Chris Hearn, Attorney.
Subject:               1.            CPA-14-114 UGBA Phase 2: ESA Boundary Amendment.
Acting Chair McFadden reported that he was chairing today’s meeting because he is a senior Commissioner.  On Thursday, February 12, 2015, the Planning Commission will elect a new Chair and Vice Chair for 2015.  
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director, reported that today’s study session is a decision that will be made by the City Council.  The Planning Commission will make the recommendation to the City Council.  It is probably one of the biggest issues that the Commissioner’s will be dealing with while on the Commission.  Staff has made a recommendation for the Planning Commission using objective criteria.  At the public hearing the Commission will hear testimony from the public where the Commission will have the opportunity to their decision based on more subjective criteria.  Goal #14 guides staff on and how to do an urban growth boundary amendment.  One of the locational factors for an urban growth boundary expansion is an ESEE (Economic, Social, Environmental and Energy) analysis.  The Commission can base their decision on the ESEE.  On Thursday, March 12, 2015, a Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled.  If need be, it can be carried over to Thursday, April 9, 2015.  Property owner notifications will go out on February 19, 2015 for the March 12, 2015, public hearing.  Staff is planning on having a study session with City Council in May and them making a decision in June.  After City Council makes their decision it goes to the County.  The County has suggested to staff that it could take up to a year for their decision.  Following that it goes to the State for their approval.  Ms. Petrou encouraged the Commission to contact staff if they have any questions.       
Joe Slaughter, Planner IV, stated that the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) is intended to provide a 20-year land supply.  The City’s current UGB was adopted in 1990.  Studies from the Comprehensive Plan have identified a deficit of employment and residential land to meet the future need.  State law allows the City to meet the need by: 1) increasing the developable capacity with the UGB; 2) expanding the UGB; or 3) a combination of the two.  The City is doing the combination of the two.  First, was the UGBA Phase 1: Intensification measures within the UGB.  That was the process of identifying land that was undeveloped or underdeveloped within the UGB, then looking at opportunities to change the General Land Use Plan map designation for those lands to efficiently accommodate some of the future needs in the existing UGB.  That process has been completed.  Now, staff is moving to UGBA Phase 2: Expansion of the UGB.  There are approval criteria for UGBA expansion: a) Goal 14 and other State Goals, Statutes, and Rules; b) Goals and Policies of the Medford Comprehensive Plan; c) Jackson County’s requirements; and d) Urban Growth Management Agreement (UGMA) between the City and Jackson County which will include compliance with the Regional Plan.           
The first portion of Goal 14 is the identification of land need.  Then there are four boundary location factors: 1) efficient accommodation of identified land needs; 2) orderly and economic provisions of public facilities and services; 3) comparative environmental, social, economic, and energy (ESEE) consequences; and 4) compatibility of the proposed urban uses with nearby agricultural and forest activities occurring on farm and forest land outside of the UGB. 
The total land need for the UGB expansion is 1,669 acres.  Residential land equals 1,032 acres, broken out as 885 acres UR, 27 acres UM and 120 acres UH.  Employment land equals 637 acres, broken out as 222 acres SC, 318 acres CM and 97 acres GI and HI.  
Commissioner Fincher asked if the land need for School District 549C was accounted for.  Mr. Slaughter reported that the schools are lumped into the public and semi-public land needs.  That group is included in the residential categories.   
Commissioner Fincher asked if staff was expecting a challenge from the School District in this process.  Jim Huber, Planning Director stated that the parcel that Mr. Fincher is talking about is outside the urban growth reserves.  It is not considered a part of this expansion.  Mr. Slaughter reported that his understanding is that the School District has changed their Facilities Plan since the last time the Planning Commission reviewed it.  They have a revised Plan that includes some of the land that is included in the City’s recommendation.  He is not sure if they have dropped the Hull Road property off the Plan.  He does not think at this time they are planning on challenging the City based on that information.     
Commissioner Mansfield asked how low is the density on the 885 UR acres?  Mr. Slaughter replied that it is SFR-4, single family residential – 4 units per acre up to SFR-10, single family residential – 10 units per acre.  There is an exception for sloped land between 15% and 25%; that can go down to SFR-2, single family residential – 2 units per acre.    
Commissioner Mansfield asked what economic situation would call for the lower density.  Who wants those kinds of lots?  Mr. Slaughter replied that there is a strong demand for it from a lot of different groups.  Then there is the affordability.  Acting Chair McFadden stated that it is going to be limited to slope definition.     
Commissioner Pulver asked for clarification that if someone wanted a larger lot, then they are forced to go to the County.  Mr. Slaughter replied, if they can find it in the County.  It is getting harder to develop outside of the urban growth boundary.  Kelly Akin, Principal Planner commented that there are existing large lots in the City. 
Commissioner Pulver asked if the 6.6 requirement mandated by the State and the City is doing to appease the State; where is it coming from?    If a developer wanted to develop four units per acre they would have to make up for it elsewhere.  Is that on a City wide basis or is it developer only?  If they have 25 acres and they want to develop several four units per acre and they would have to make up for it with some 10 or something elsewhere?  Mr. Slaughter reported that zoning has a maximum and minimum of units that can be developed.  The minimum is in place to make sure the existing land is not underutilized.  This was expanded out into the new areas but at a higher density than what was previously developed at.  This mostly came from the State.          
Mr. Huber reported that the density target has to be met on properties annexed into the City since the Regional Problem Solving plan was adopted in March of 2012.  It is not City wide.  
Commissioner Pulver asked if the employment land has an amount of square footage that is required for buildings per acre?  Mr. Slaughter replied there was not. 
Mr. Slaughter continued with the presentation of the location of the boundary.  The Regional Plan Element of Medford’s Comprehensive Plan calls for a 50-year land supply.  It has 4, 410 acres that is buildable and non-buildable lands and an additional 1,877 acres for Prescott and Chrissy parks.  The parks are City owned.  The City’s Parks Department is responsible for these parks but they are outside the City’s jurisdiction because they are out of the urban growth boundary and the City limits.  Any time the City wants to do anything with these parks they have to get permission from Jackson County.  Jackson County and the City both agree it is better to have these parks inside the City limits.  Everyone agreed with this during the Regional Problem Solving process.  
Mr. Slaughter presented maps with the areas to be brought into the urban growth boundary.  He also showed a conceptual plan with a conceptual General Land Use Plan.  Staff used a coarse filter to eliminate areas that did not meet the efficient accommodation of land needs.  Proximity and parcel size were used to be the deciding factors of what made it into efficient accommodations and what did not.  Mr. Slaughter showed maps of the proximity analysis, parcel size analysis and the result of the coarse filter.         
Mr. Slaughter showed maps using the orderly and economic provision of public facilities including water, sewer and transportation.  All these maps combined show the proposed urban growth boundary amendment. 
Commissioner Pulver asked what happens if the projections are wrong?  Mr. Slaughter responded that if the City runs out of land before the 20 years, staff can go back and do this process again.   
Commissioner D’Alessandro commented that there is likely going to be some heated conversation about too little and too much land.  Does the 65% take into consideration all the land use laws and things that have changed in the last 20 years, the efficiencies that have been put into planning and such?  Mr. Slaughter stated yes it does.  
Commissioner Mansfield noted that the Jackson County Commissioners enacted a resolution showing concern about the incursion of urban development into the agricultural areas.  Acting Chair McFadden commented that the City was also concerned throughout the entire process.  The first step was complete review of all the areas to be included in the urban reserve by the Resource Land Review Commission.    
Ms. Akin reminded the Commissioner’s that at Thursday, February 12, 2015, Planning Commission meeting the Commissioner’s will be electing a Chair and Vice Chair.  There will also be appointments to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission and the Joint Transportation Subcommittee.  Commissioner Schwimmer is interested in the appointment to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission. 
Staff is requesting the Commission to adopt final orders at Thursday’s meeting because there is no business scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2015, Planning Commission meeting.
The National American Planning Association conference is scheduled for April 18-22, 2015, in Seattle.  If any Commissioner is interested in attending please contact Terri Rozzana or Kelly Akin by the end of this week.  Ms. Akin will ask the Commissioner’s again on Thursday, February 12, 2015.        
Ms. Petrou commented that this is a lot of information.  If any Commissioner goes home and has questions, feel free to call staff.  If there are questions that will benefit the rest of the Commission there is room to conduct another study session before the Planning Commission public hearing.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
Submitted by:
Terri L. Rozzana, Recording Secretary

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