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The study session of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room 330 of City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners: David McFadden, Patrick Miranda, Bill Mansfield, Alex Schwimmer, Tim D’Alessandro, Chris MacMillan, Jared Pulver, and Mark McKechnie.
Staff: Jim Huber, Bianca Petrou, Kelly Akin, John Adam, Joe Slaughter, Aaron Harris (left at 12:30 p.m.), Tracy Carter (left at 12:30 p.m.), Alex Georgevitch, and Kevin McConnell.
Guests: Megan LeNier, Greg Holmes, Craig Stone, Randy Jones, Laz Ayala, Ray Kissler, Chris Hearn, Mark Knox, Mike Mahar, Raul Woerner.
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director, stated that Thursday, March 12, 2015, will probably be a big hearing. Staff has sent out the staff report and wanted to review the main issues with the Commissioners and see if they have any questions.
John Adam, Senior Planner, reported that due to the time constraint of getting the agenda packet out, staff did not bookmark each written testimony received from interested parties. Mr. Adam distributed a table of contents to Exhibit J.
At the last study session, Mr. Adam had discussed a notebook for the Commissioners to work with when they are taking testimony in order to take notes on particular areas. Mr. Adam suggested that the Commissioners review the notebook and if there are any changes, staff will make those changes and have them for the Commissioners at Thursday evening’s meeting.
Joe Slaughter, Planner IV, reported that he would focus on Goal 14 which is the land need and the boundary location. The boundary location is further broken down to: 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 the urban growth boundary.
Mr. Slaughter reported that the Commission has not spent a lot of time recently on the land need. There was discussion back in October when doing the coarse filter analysis and the serviceability during the ISA’s that changed to PAL’s (Proposed Amendment Location) and now known as the SAL’s (Selected Amendment Location) since the City Council has adopted them. The total land need is 1,669 acres; 1,032 acres residential and 637 acres employment. There is 3,686 acres of land available within the current urban growth boundary for development. The Urban Reserve has a total of 4,488 acres, totaling 8,174 acres for the next 50 years. The proposal for the next 20 years includes 5,757 acres, or 70% of the available land. This does not include Chrissy Park and Prescott Park. Including Prescott Park and Chrissy Park is 1,877 acres totaling 3,948 acres; 402 acres are not counted because they are unbuildable and 426 acres are for Public and Semi-public uses. The 426 acres for Public and Semi-public uses includes: 1) Government facilities – City, County, State and Federal; 2) Other public agencies; 3) City parks; 4) Schools; 5) Churches; and 6) Fraternal organizations. The 402 acres of unbuildable land includes: 1) Open space assessment (for Centennial golf course); 2) Steep slopes (25% and greater); 3) Agricultural buffers; 4) Wetlands; 5) Riparian corridors; 6) Developed areas and 7) Deer and Elk habitat overlay. Open space required by the Regional Plan will include: 1) Open space assessment (for Centennial golf course); 2) Steep slopes (25% and greater); 3) Agricultural buffers; 4) Wetlands; 5) Riparian corridors; 6) Deer and Elk habitat overlay; and 7) City parks. Open space required by the Regional Plan will NOT include: 1) Government facilities – City, County, State and Federal; 2) Other public agencies; 3) Schools; 4) Churches; 5) Fraternal organizations; and 6) Developed areas.
Oregon State University has requested that their land be counted as developable rather than developed (22 acres).
The conversion of Cedar Links golf course to residential development should not have been counted as an additional need for open space.
Land for public administration has been counted twice. The Economic Element of the Comprehensive Plan states 908 new jobs needing 30 gross acres.
The Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan states 135 acres for City (64 acres), County (17 acres), State (22 acres), Federal (12 acres), and other public agencies (20 acres).
Centennial Golf Club has to be in open space assessment in order for it not to count as developable.
There are still challenges to how many acres are needed. It would be hard to add additional land. Staff is certain that the acreage will decrease.
Commissioner Pulver asked is it staff’s plan to wait and not modify their recommendation until after Thursday’s meeting? Mr. Slaughter replied that is correct.
Commissioner Mansfield asked when does staff plan to make the recommendation about the amount of land needed? Mr. Slaughter replied that by Thursday staff would have a number for what they believe should be the number. Commissioner Mansfield asked if it would be reduced from the current number? Mr. Slaughter replied that is correct.
Ms. Petrou commented, that change, will be coming from testimony.
The boundary location is broken down to: 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 the urban growth boundary.
The location must be consistent with approval criteria and supported by findings. If an area is added then an area the same size must be subtracted.
Commissioner D’Alessandro asked what are the primary criteria that put MD-5 outside on the coarse filter versus being brought in? Mr. Slaughter reported that MD-5 is a large area that includes the golf course property out to Hillcrest Road. It is based on proximity, parcel size and service availability for sewer, water and transportation. In this case, those properties are close to the existing urban growth boundary but distant from existing development. Water and sewer are currently an issue.
Commissioner Schwimmer stated that it seems to him to be prudent to wait until the State approved the Housing Element. A lot of these inclusions are based on the final determination and approving of the Housing Element to justify the findings. Why are we not waiting until that final determination has been made? Mr. Slaughter replied originally the City’s tactic was to get all the building lots in place, get the foundation built and finish off the structure. The state refused to do it that way. They want to see the problem and the solution at one time.
Chair McFadden asked whether the Planning Commission needs to base their decision on existing property lines? Mr. Slaughter replied that staff’s recommendation is based on the existing property lines.
Mr. Adam asked if there was any feedback on the notebook. The responses were positive. Mr. Adam reported that a notebook would be place at the Commissioner’s seats Thursday evening.
Commissioner Mansfield asked if the Planning Commission was to make a decision Thursday evening regarding this amendment. The Commission is only taking testimony and will make their decision at a later date, is that correct? Chair McFadden replied that the Commission will have further deliberation and will have additional input from staff.
Commissioner Mansfield asked if it is correct that on a legislative proceeding, if a Commissioner spoke to a person, he has not created a conflict of interest? Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney reported that is generally correct. He asked Commissioner Mansfield if he received a copy of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission staff opinion that he provided to the Commissioners. Commissioner Mansfield replied that he did but his memory is not that good. Mr. McConnell stated that Commissioner Mansfield was fine and that he could talk to him more about it after today’s meeting.
Chair McFadden commented that the public hearings are a very good opportunity for property owners to come and make their concerns known.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:53 p.m.
Terri L. Rozzana, Recording Secretary