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Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, March 23, 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, Mark McKechnie, Patrick Miranda, Jared Pulver, Chris MacMillan, Bill Mansfield, Norman Fincher, and Tim D’Alessandro.
Staff:  Jim Huber, Kelly Akin, John Adam, Carla Paladino and Kevin McConnell.
Subjects:             1.  DCA-13-080/ZC-13-079 – A-A/A-R Overlays Code Amendment.
                           2.  CP-13-076/CP-13-077/CP-13-078 – Airport Master Plan Adoption.
                           3.  DCA-15-014 – Beekeeping.
1.  DCA-13-080/ZC-13-079 – A-A/A-R Overlays Code Amendment
2.  CP-13-076/CP-13-077/CP-13-078 – Airport Master Plan Adoption
John Adam, Senior Planner, reported that the airport has developed a new master plan and typically the City adopts the master plan and elements into the Comprehensive Plan by reference.  The other item for discussion is beekeeping.  A citizen petitioned beekeeping to the City Council for the Planning Department for a Code amendment.  
Carla Paladino, Planner III, stated that the City will adopt the airports new master plan by reference into the City’s Comprehensive Plan.  Also, making adjustments to the development code related to the overlays (i.e. airport approach, airport radar and a new mapping category called the airport area of concern).  In addition there will be zone map amendments.  The General Land Use Plan Map shows the majority of the airport under the “Airport” map designation.  There is outlying property owned by the County with different General Land Use Plan Map designations that will be changed from the current designation to the Airport designation.  The Airport Master Plan’s focus is the aviation facility and its surroundings along with meeting future demand needs.        
There are three elements that will be amended in the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate the new airport update: 1) Environmental Element (avigation easements, deed restrictions and noise abatement); 2) Transportation Element; and Transportation System Plan. 
The Development Code amendments would affect sections:
•             10.031 – Exemptions
•             10.146 – Referral Agencies
•             10.300 – Zoning Districts
•             10.349 – Airport Approach (application requirements)
•             10.350 – Airport Radar Overlay
•             10.414 – Airport Area of Concern (NEW) (application requirements)
Chair McFadden asked if developments outside the airports fence would still come before the City?  Ms. Paladino replied yes. 
Chair McFadden asked if has reviewed the tall sign ordinance such as freeway signs, etc. that there are no existing conflicts with the airport master plan update?
The City’s text changes were provided to the airport. Maps were not included.  Staff received positive feedback from Bern Case, Airport Director.  He agrees with the changes including avigation easements and the noise abatement changes. 
Staff’s next step is to update the maps and make sure the airport concurs with those changes.  There is a scheduled hearing before the Planning Commission on Thursday, April 23, 2015.  It will be presented to the City Council in June. 
3.  DCA-15-015 – Beekeeping
Ms. Paladino reported that the proposal is to amend the Code to allow beekeeping in all single-family residential, commercial, and industrial zoning districts within the City limits. 
There have been two citizen requests to the City Council to allow urban beekeeping.  The current Code provides for beekeeping in the agricultural overlay only.   
Cities across the Country allow urban beekeeping such as Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Austin, Texas.  Cities in Oregon such as Ashland, Hillsboro and Portland allow beekeeping. 
Jesse Botens launched the most recent amendment.  Ms. Paladino has talked with Southern Oregon Beekeeper’s Association, Sarah Red-Laird and Martin Seybold.  Drafts were sent to them for their feedback.  There were e-mails included in the agenda packet.
The proposed language includes defined terms, updated the permitted use chart, and added relief on the 20 foot front yard setback, allowing them to be at 10 feet.  
Special use regulations would include a required free registration; number of hives permitted (3 hives per one acre or less and 6 hives over one acre); two types of hives would be allowed (Langstroth and a box type); flyway barrier will be required if hives are fewer than 20 feet from property line; water supply provided; swarm removal, sale of products; only docile bees are permitted.   
Commissioner MacMillan asked if using the airport for bees is that one large parcel that would have only six hives?  Ms. Paladino replied yes, although the airport is made up of many different lots.
Vice Chair Miranda commented that the airport is considered County.  Ms. Paladino replied that the City regulates the airport and is operated by the County.     
Commissioner D’Alessandro asked has the cost of enforcement been considered and who would enforce if there was a problem?  Ms. Paladino reported the City has a Code Enforcement division that is part of the Police Department.  
Commissioner McKechnie asked if the registration was free and is the flyway barrier described in the ordinance?  Ms. Paladino replied that registration is free and the flyway barrier is described. Its purpose is to make bees will fly over rather than through the material to reach the colony.
Commissioner Mansfield asked if some people attending the public hearing be prepared to discuss the safety of beekeeping?  Ms. Paladino replied that Jesse Boten as well as representatives from the Southern Oregon Beekeeper’s Association will be present and have the knowledge of allergies and the impacts.  Commissioner Mansfield said he hopes that someone will supply that information for the Commissioner’s on Thursday evening.      
Commissioner D’Alessandro asked what was the reason for allowing beehives in front of the house versus restricted to the rear section of the house?  Ms. Paladino reported that it was originally allowed on the side and rear yards.  The Southern Oregon Beekeeper’s Association requested that beekeeping be allowed in the front yard because bees need sun.  They can get moldy and diseased if in a dark back yard.   
Commissioner D’Alessandro asked, with the above stated, could the majority use the back yard   and people could request an exception based on those needs?  Ms. Paladino replied that at this point it is going to be allowed outright.  There is no process.   
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney, asked that if there is going to be hives in the front yard has anyone talked to Ms. Paladino about requiring a posting for the public?  Ms. Paladino commented that the City could require a posting. 
Other business.
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, stated that several weeks ago she sent out an application form for the Commissions that came from the City Manager’s Office and she needs the Planning Commission’s comments back on March 31, 2015.  Ms. Akin’s comments were lengthy because she wanted to make sure the residency and employment requirements were clear. 
April 9, 2015 will be a busy meeting for the Planning Commission.  There are five hearings. 
There will be a Planning Commission study session on Monday, April 6, 2015 for the Urban Growth Boundary expansion.  Commissioner MacMillan and Commissioner McKechnie were not present at the March 12, 2015, Planning Commission meeting so they will need to review the record if they intend to participate.  The meeting is viewable on the City’s website under Online Video Center. 
Mr. Adam asked that if the Commissioner’s read the approved minutes would that count as being caught up?  Mr. McConnell replied that he did not know if minutes alone would be sufficient.  Just to be safe they should view the online video of the meeting.  
Commissioner Pulver asked if Joe Slaughter could provide the number of acres in each MD area as opposed to how much total land is being proposed to be brought in?  
Commissioner Mansfield stated that Greg Holmes from 1000 Friends of Oregon testified that the land figures that were proposed to be brought in, is above what LCDC will permit.  Is that true?  Mr. Adam stated that it is looking like that.  Staff also has the number of acres that were requested for inclusion during the hearing. 
Jim Huber, Planning Director, reported that the record was left open for two weeks.  It closes Thursday, March 26, 2015.  Staff has not so far discovered any arguments that would respond to the too much acreage. Mr. Holmes’s comment remains unchallenged at this point. 
Commissioner D’Alessandro stated that the maps that were used while the public was testifying he struggled trying to identify some of the areas, especially in MD-9.  If it could be a coding system colored per section or something in the mapping.  An identifier of the section being discussed would be helpful.
Mr. McConnell reported that identifying issues and making things clear for the next public hearing like the double-counting issue and making maps clear is appropriate for the study session.  Getting into discussions about what land is in and out should be left for the public hearing.
Vice Chair Miranda asked if it would be possible for staff to create map that highlights the sections people were talking about. Mr. Adam replied that should not be a problem.
Commissioner Pulver asked what is the goal for the study session on Monday, April 6, 2015?  Mr. McConnell stated that staff is identifying issues and clarify items that the Planning Commission would need to be able to make a proper recommendation when they go to the next public meeting in council chambers.  Making maps easier to read is a good item to have so that the Planning Commission does not struggle with it.      
Chair McFadden commented that he finds in-depth discussion is difficult in council chambers.  It is hard for a group to craft anything.  Mr. McConnell asked what about another venue like the Carnegie Library?  Have a big round table.  It is not a public hearing, but it is a public meeting.    
Mr. Adam reported that staff has set up a meeting with Mr. McConnell, Chair McFadden and Vice Chair Miranda to discuss what can actually happen during the meeting.  The special study session on Monday, April 6, 2015, is going to be in the Medford Room 330 at City Hall. If the Commission wants a bigger venue then staff can look into obtaining the Carnegie Library.  Chair McFadden replied that with the importance of this issue, it is his opinion that the Medford Room will be too small.  Mr. Adam stated that staff could investigate setting up a table in council chambers with microphones so that people in the audience could be there for the study session.  Staff will work on that.        
Commissioner Pulver asked if staff was waiting for the study session to receive additional direction and would not modify the recommendation until after that meeting?  Mr. Adam replied yes.  Staff will be seeking direction from the Planning Commission to bring back a proposal.   
Mr. Huber commented that there will be three new items that the Planning Commission would see.  Written testimony that comes in until the record closes, eliminating acreage and who requested to be included who were not recommended in the beginning. 
The meeting was adjourned at 12:58 p.m.
Submitted by:
Terri L. Rozzana, Recording Secretary


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