Agenda & Minutes

When available, the full agenda packet may be viewed as a PDF file by clicking the "Attachments" button and selecting the file you want to view.

Agendas are posted until the meeting date takes place.  Minutes are posted once they have been approved.

Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, April 09, 2015

The regular meeting of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 5:31 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
 
Commissioners Present               
David McFadden, Chair
Patrick Miranda, Vice Chair         
Norman Fincher              
Chris MacMillan (left at 9:04 p.m.)           
Bill Mansfield    
Mark McKechnie             
Jared Pulver      
               
Commissioners Absent
Tim D’Alessandro,  Excused Absence     
Alec Schwimmer, Unexcused Absence 
 
Staff
Jim Huber, Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Greg Kleinberg, Fire Marshal
Brian Fish, Fire Chief
Justin Bates, Deputy Fire Chief
Alex Georgevitch, Acting City Engineer
Terri Rozzana, Recording Secretary
Jennifer Jones, Planner II
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV
Desmond McGeough, Planner II
 
10.          Roll Call
               
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications. None.
               
30.          Minutes.
30.1        The minutes for March 26, 2015, were approved as submitted.
               
40.          Oral and Written Requests and Communications. None.
40.1        Don Bartlett, 3342 Wellington Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Bartlett testified regarding Delta Estates Subdivision.  One of two main accesses into the subdivision will be off of Springbrook.  Ford Drive will be a main access.  His concern is the traffic flow.  When the City opened up Owen Drive off of Springbrook up to Crater Lake Highway, it greatly increased the traffic flow.  It is his estimate that the average flow of speed is at least 35 to 40 mph.  It is posted at 25 mph.  He would like to see speed bumps or grooved pavement in order to slow traffic.    
               
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, reported that the item Mr. Bartlett testified about is the third item on tonight’s agenda, 50.3 LDS-15-015/E-15-016/ZC-15-017.  He should testify under that public hearing. 
               
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney, read the Quasi-Judicial Statement.  Mr. McConnell also stated that the staff reports for the City of Medford as applicant will serve as the applicant’s case.
               
50.          Public Hearing.
                New Business
50.1        CUP-14-127/E-15-026 Consideration of a request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow for the construction of the replacement of Fire Station #3 and an Exception to driveway width standards on a 23.12 acre parcel located on the west side of Highland Drive near the intersection of Highland Drive and Siskiyou Boulevard, within a SFR-6 (Single Family Residential – 6 dwelling units per gross acre) zoning district. (City of Medford Fire-Rescue, Applicant; ORW Architecture, Agent).
               
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV, stated that the agent listed as CSA Planning, Ltd., is incorrect.  The correct agent is ORW Architecture. Ms. Sousa read the conditional use permit and exception criteria and presented a staff report.
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  None were disclosed.  
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts.  None were disclosed.
               
Commissioner McKechnie stated that Ms. Sousa reported that Fire Station #2 was approved by the Site Plan and Architectural Commission.  What driveway width did they approve?  Ms. Sousa replied that a specific width was not approved.  It is to be worked out between Public Works and the applicant. 
               
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
               
a.  David Wilkerson, ORW Architecture, 2950 East Barnett Road, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Wilkerson addressed the width that was approved at the Site Plan and Architectural Commission for Fire Station #2.  The applicant requested 80 feet Public Works suggested 56 feet.  They have done a truck turning analysis that substantiates the 80 feet.  The Site Plan and Architectural Commission approved a driveway width up to 80 feet.  The final width would be worked out in concert with staff coming up with an agreeable solution.  The applicant is asking for that same language tonight for Stations #3 and #4.  They have similar issues.  In the audience tonight is Brian Fish, Fire Chief, Justin Bates, Deputy Fire Chief and Greg Kleinberg, Fire Marshal, from the City of Medford Fire Department that can speak specifically to the truck movements and the need for the truck turning radius that they have shown in the analysis.  A particular concern to the Fire Department is the need to do a U-turn movement on the front apron.  That is one of the items driving the width. Also, with Mr. Wilkerson tonight is Civil Engineer, John Hardy.  He prepared the analysis.  Mr. Wilkerson addressed concerns whether the Fire Station is being built on top of the park or the skate board park.  Mr. Wilkerson presented and submitted into the record an aerial photograph depicting the project site.  The Medford Parks and Recreation Department and Medford Fire Department intend to do a land swap.  The current facility will be used for parks maintenance.              
               
Commissioner MacMillan asked if the applicant considered the impact of moving the driveway closer to the entrance to the footpath of the park would have on the safety of the people entering the skate park?  Mr. Wilkerson deferred the question to Deputy Fire Chief, Justin Bates.  The concern that Public Works had about the driveway width was not so much about a pedestrian being ran over by a fire truck as it leaves the station, but more to the fact that when a pedestrian is on the wide driveway apron they are not in the veld of safety behind the curb, parkway strip and trees.  Trucks being driven by a first responder are trained to drive that fire truck in a safe manner. 
               
Commissioner McKechnie asked that on the existing fire station once it is transferred to Parks are they going to abandon the driveway on Highland?  Mr. Wilkerson did not know the answer. 
               
Commissioner McKechnie has concerns with the building and pointed out for the record that the elevations submitted were not for building 3 they were for building 2 which is a mirror image of this one.  His concern is the trees on either side of the driveway, especially the exit driveway.  They will be blocking visibility of the fire trucks.  His recommendation is to eliminate the requirement for the tree on the north and south side of that driveway.  He is also concerned about the shrubs that run down the side of the building all the way to the sidewalk. It seems to him they should be eliminating shrubs back about 10 feet so people can see what is going on.      
               
Commissioner McKechnie is concerned with the position of the building.  The building seems close to the street.  Mr. Wilkerson stated that the reason for that is for the trucks to be able to make the big U-turn.  The parking lot is a little over width because of the turning radius. 
               
Chair McFadden asked if there was an architecture style for the fire station?  Mr. Wilkerson said he did not know that there is a name.  His firm inherited this project and the design after it was already established. There were many discussions before his involvement about what the City wanted to see.  It had to have red brick and flat roofs.  They did not want it to look like a house.  
               
Chair McFadden asked if the extra landscaping on the west side of the building is a storm drainage detention area?  Mr. Wilkerson replied yes on the backside. 
               
Commissioner Pulver asked if the sidewalks were level on the driveways?  Mr. Wilkerson stated they were level as they crossed the driveway.  Staff requested the applicant with the oversized driveway clearly identify the sidewalk so as pedestrians were crossing the wide driveway they do not meander off.  
               
Doug Burroughs, Public Works Development Services Manager, reported that they have been working with the applicant’s engineer assessing the truck turning data that was submitted to them recently.  It is his understanding that at the Site Plan and Architecture Commission meeting last week that the project for Fire Station #2 was approved with the condition that the driveway width would be determined between Fire staff and Public Works.  They support the exception they just need to dial in the driveway width.  Their concern is for pedestrian safety crossing a vast area.    
               
Commissioner Mansfield asked what is the argument with staff wanting 56 feet?   Are they staying with that or willing to compromise?  Mr. Burroughs replied that they are willing to compromise.  The 48 to 56 feet was based on the approximate width of the bays plus addition width for every vehicle travel.  This particular case does not have vehicle travel around the building as some of the other ones do.  They did not have the auto turn information at that time either.  They want to review the information further and discuss it with the applicant’s engineer and come up with better idea of the width.  
               
b.  Justin Bates, Deputy Fire Chief, clarified that they do have fire trucks coming out on that driveway but all of their drivers are very careful when they come out.  The U-turn movement is a big deal for them.  They do this at all of their fire stations currently.  It is not only the fire trucks at that station but also other trucks that come to the station.  Typically, they have a training scenario or meetings that other fire trucks from other stations come to this fire station.  With the bays being drive through, they will be full of fire trucks.  Trucks cannot just drive through and come park on the front apron.  There is a U-turn movement that has to happen where additional fire trucks will come in and do a U-turn and back in in front of couple of the bays that do not have the primary engine coming out.  At the current Fire Station 2 the trucks have to come out into the lane of travel which is hazardous.  At nighttime it has been problematic for them even with their lights flashing.  It is dangerous for their personnel to stand out in the street and direct traffic.  
               
Chair McFadden asked why access off of Siskiyou Boulevard was not maintained by coming through that property to the new location?  Deputy Fire Chief Bates stated that they did look at maintaining the current driveway to come back from behind but the cost was prohibitive and it would impact more of the park.  There is a creek that runs through that area that they would have to be careful of.   
               
Commissioner MacMillan asked what lights and sounds happen when the trucks are coming out?  Deputy Fire Chief Bates reported that they try to be respectful to the neighbors that are around that area.  They are getting hit continually multiple times a day living near a fire station.  They have instructed their personnel to not come out with the fire engine blazing with the siren and horn.  If they have to get out in traffic they will.  Sometimes that is the case at Station 3 with the round-a-bout.  In the evenings when traffic is not flowing through there they do not do that.  The will turn on their lights in order to give an indicator for pedestrians and traffic coming and 99% of the time that is enough.  
               
The public hearing was closed.
               
Chair McFadden stated that he sees three points of putting this motion together: 1) Which of the two criteria this gets approved under; 2) An exception for the driveway width; and 3) How the Commission handles this in terms of Site Plan and Architectural Commission review.    
               
Mr. McConnell commented that normally under Robert’s Rules a motion is made and then the Commission can discuss the motion.  There are exceptions for small bodies that they can discuss issues before a motion is made unless someone objects.  In this case it may be appropriate or helpful to the Commission to discuss the issues before crafting a motion. 
               
Commissioner McKechnie asked where are they with the Site Plan and Architectural Commission review?  Vice Chair Miranda reported that based on staff’s recommendation and the fact that they have already reviewed and approved Fire Station #2 he does not believe this needs to go to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission.  Chair McFadden replied that the Commission can forward this to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission for review.  Vice Chair Miranda stated that the Planning Commission does not do Site Plan and Architectural review.  The Planning Commission either forwards it or does not.    
               
Mr. McConnell stated that there is an issue of the driveway width.  He recommends that this body does not kick it back for staff to work out with the applicant.  There needs to be direction from the Commission as to what they want for the driveway width.  It does not have to be an exact size but tell them what they need to do to come up with a number that is acceptable.  
               
Vice Chair Miranda reported that referencing Fire Station #2 there was an agreement between Public Works and the Fire Department that they would work out a specific number. Would something along those lines suffice?  Mr. McConnell stated that the Planning Commission needs to flush out their concerns and make sure those concerns are addressed by staff and the Fire Department.   
               
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, reported that at the Site Plan and Architectural Commission hearing there was new information submitted by the applicant and what was provided in tonight’s staff report was different than what was presented at that hearing.  The 80 foot driveway width was new at the hearing.  The concern was not articulated by the Site Plan and Architectural Commission.  It was staff’s inability to react quickly because it was new information.  The Planning Department and Public Works supports the function of the Fire Station and the exception request.  Staff’s concerns have partially been addressed with having a pedestrian identifier so they do not get lost in the sea of concrete.  Site Plan and Architectural Commission’s motion did not include a number.  It was to work it out between the departments up to 80 feet.  
               
Commissioner Pulver asked Mr. Burroughs if Public Works would be supportive of bumper strips on the sidewalk on both sides of the 80 foot driveway?  Mr. Burroughs replied that ADA compliant ramps are normally at intersections.  They are called truncated domes.  Public works would not be opposed to having them installed.  He does not believe that fully addresses the vast width being proposed.     
               
Motion: (Commissioner Pulver) Direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of CUP-14-127 and E-15-026 per the Staff Report dated April 2, 2015, including Exhibits A through X, with the addition of truncated domes on the north and south edges of the sidewalk at the south driveway.  
               
Friendly amendment made by Chair McFadden:   To approve the application with Criterion #2, that it is for the good of the public and conditions have been placed on it to mitigate difficulties. 
               
Friendly amendment made by Vice Chair Miranda:  This application should not be forwarded to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission.  Also, up to 80 feet for the driveway width.   The “up to 80 feet for the driveway width” was denied by Commissioner Pulver.
               
Friendly amendment made by Commissioner McKechnie: Eliminate the shrubs the first 10 feet from the right-of-way going west of the south driveway and eliminate the tree on each side of the south driveway.   
               
Moved by: Commissioner Pulver              Seconded by: Commissioner McKechnie
               
Secondary Motion:  Amend the main motion to change the wording to “up to 80 feet for the driveway width.”
               
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie    Seconded by: Vice Chair Miranda
               
Roll Call Vote: Motion failed, 3–4, with Commissioner MacMillan, Commissioner Fincher, Commissioner Pulver and Commissioner McFadden voting no.
               
Main Motion: Roll Call Vote: 7-0.
               
50.2        CUP-14-128/E-15-027 Consideration of a request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow for the construction of a replacement of Fire Station #4 and an Exception to driveway width standards on a 3.54 acre parcel located east of Table Rock Road on the south side of Berrydale Avenue west of the Railroad Park, within a MFR-20 (Multiple-Family Residential – 20 dwelling units per gross acre) zoning district.  (City of Medford Fire-Rescue Department, Applicant; ORW Architecture, Agent).
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  None were disclosed.  
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts.  None were disclosed.
               
Jennifer Jones, Planner II, reported that the correct agent for this application is ORW Architecture not CSA Planning, Ltd.  Ms. Jones stated that she would just point out the differences since this application is similar to the previous application.
               
Commissioner McKechnie asked if there was a map showing the right-of-way that is being dedicated?  Ms. Jones does not have a map at this time.  The applicant may have that with him tonight.  They may have additional issues to bring to the Commission’s attention.  Commissioner McKechnie asked that since this is a dead end street, was it Public Works that wants to extend the street?  Ms. Jones deferred the question to Mr. Burroughs. 
               
Chair McFadden asked if there were was any history of neighborhood complaints dealing with the existing Fire Station?  Staff has not been made aware of any complaints. 
               
Commissioner Pulver asked if there were any other improvements on the tax lot that are not Fire station improvements?  Ms. Jones replied that they are all Fire Station improvements.  They are not all part of this subject area.  She just focused on the front 1 ½ acres.  There are some other Fire Station related improvements on the 3 ½ acre site.
               
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
               
a.  David Wilkerson, ORW Architecture, 2950 East Barnet Road, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Wilkerson stated that they are asking for a final order for Fire Station #4 because of the need to put a modular building which will be temporary housing and a new metal building that will be temporary apparatus bay that will become storage after the new building is built.  The applicant is requesting an 80 foot driveway based on the truck turning analysis that was done.  Mr. Wilkerson discussed the right-of-way dedication on Berrydale.  Berrydale is a private street that serves the Fire Station and the Railroad Park.  Making this a public street would be a significant impact on the project budget.  The applicant would like to provide the pedestrian amenities that are shown on the site plan, sidewalk and tapered parkway strip to the Railroad Park.  They want to avoid rebuilding the road to a public street standard.  The applicant requests that in making the approval to amend this condition, either to remove the requirement to rebuild the street or to leave it more open that the applicant would have the flexibility to work this out with staff.  Mr. Wilkerson learned of this on his way to the meeting tonight.  He requested, even though they do not want to continue this agenda item and it would severely impact the schedule, he would rather get the continuance than have to commit to the public street tonight or have the application denied outright.   
               
Commissioner McKechnie asked how much right–of–way is the City requesting?  Mr. Wilkerson stated that the right-of-way tapers because of the configuration of the property.  There will be some right-of-way required to be taken from the other side that the City also owns.  The applicant does not object to the granting of the right-of-way.  They would prefer not to put in the new street at this time. 
               
Commissioner Fincher asked that according to the agent, it makes economic sense to demolish and rebuild the Fire Station but it does not make economic sense to improve the roadway to the Fire Station?  Mr. Wilkerson replied that at first this project was to be a remodel of the existing building.  It was determined that it made more sense economically to rebuild a new building and give the Fire Department exactly the station they wanted. He is not saying it does not make economic sense it is not a part of this projects budget.  The budget assumed a certain level of work in the station that they were able to stretch to build a new station and it assumed the normal amount of site improvements of curbs, sidewalks, parkway strips and street trees.  It did not assume rebuilding the street in front of the station because the prior design team thought that street was adequate.     
               
Commissioner Fincher asked if this was an additional exception that the applicant is requesting?  Chair McFadden replied that they will hear more on that from staff.  There is an issue of does this rise to the issue of something covered by the Medford Land Development Code or is this an issue that is solved as a recommendation from Public Works.  Mr. Wilkerson stated that the applicant is proposing to work it out with staff and getting their support of leaving the existing road.     
               
Commissioner Mansfield stated that it appears to him that this application is not ready to be presented to the Planning Commission.  He suggested continuing this hearing to the first Planning Commission meeting in May.  
               
Mr. McConnell echoed some of Commissioner Mansfield’s concerns.  He is hearing that the applicant is requesting an exception to a Code requirement that usually requires an exception application.  They have an exception application for another request.  He does not see an application on whether to rebuild the street or not.  
               
Ms. Akin stated that she had procedural suggestions.  Ms. Akin addressed Commissioner McKechnie’s question regarding the right-of-way.  Page 150 of the agenda packet under Dedication it states “will vary from 69 feet on the west end to 49 feet on the east end”.  If the exception is granted it states “would then vary from 61 feet on the west end to 41 feet on the east end”.   As far as the question of constructing the street, procedurally it was not part of the exception request.  It does need to be.  It is a requirement of the Code under Section 10.431 that street improvements are required to be made.  An option would be to make a decision on what is before the Planning Commission and then the applicant could come back with an exception request independent of this decision.  It would be relief from that particular standard.  An alternative to the applicant is to appeal the requirement.  Another option is a continuance of this application. 
               
Mr. Burroughs stated that not wanting to reconstruct the street come up rather suddenly.  As Ms. Akin mentioned it is a Code requirement.  It seems an exception would be the appropriate procedure to deal with that issue.  He is not in a position to say tonight whether it is okay or not.  Another issue on this application is the driveway width.  He reiterated that Public Works is still reviewing the auto turn information from the engineer.  At this station they have the ability to drive around the building.  It may affect the need to make a U-turn in the driveway.  He desires more time to explore the reconstruction of the street which is a Code standard.       
               
Commissioner McKechnie asked Mr. Burroughs when did the right-of-way requirement come up?  Was it at the Land Development meeting?  Mr. Burroughs stated that they have been discussing the right-of-way since the middle of February.  They sent the applicant an exhibit around the middle of February showing what Public Works was proposing.  Public Works was supportive of an exception to eliminate the park strip and do a curb tight sidewalk beginning at the existing sidewalk on the northwest corner going straight across to the northeast corner.  The Railroad Park land lot does not have any right-of-way frontage and this would provide them with public street frontage.   
               
Commissioner Fincher asked if an exception can be granted to improve the road because they do not want to spend money?  Mr. Burroughs replied that they would have to meet all the exception requirements.  Mr. McConnell replied that there is not a specific exception ordinance for this particular requirement.  Applications have to meet the requirements of the Code.  If they do not meet the requirements of the Code and they want an exception they have to meet the criteria.  That is for the Planning Commission to decide whether they meet those criteria or not.  The Planning Commission does not have the information in front of them to make that decision. 
               
The Planning Commission took a 10 minute break and resumed at 7:47 p.m.
 
Ms. Akin reported that the question is what to do with the improvements.  In the Public Works report on page 149 specifies prior to issuance of the first building permit the following items shall be completed: 1) Submittal and approval of plans for site grading and drainage, and detention; and 2) Completion of all public improvements.  An alternative would be to push back the public improvements to the Certificate-of-Occupancy for the new fire station not the modular housing and temporary apparatus bay.  That will give time to figure out how to fund it.  It would be difficult to make the finding under the exception criteria.  It is not impossible; it may be a challenge. 
               
Commissioner Fincher asked what happens if they cannot come up with the funding?  Does that mean there is a vacant building at the end of the street that cannot be occupied?  Ms. Akin replied that it does apply pressure on everyone to get that work resolved in some fashion through the exception process or appeal process to make sure those improvements are completed.  It is important even though the City owns the property to the south of the Railroad Park, it is a separate property, and there is no guarantee that the City will own it in perpetuity.   
               
Commissioner Fincher asked if that was not backwards?  Shouldn’t the Commission understand the exception prior to going into a project as opposed to extending a project in hopes that an exception can be found before occupancy?  Ms. Akin replied that the Code allows bonding.  Before the issuance of a building permit under the current recommendation the street would need to be designed and then the Code allows applicants to post a bond for those improvements guaranteeing completion prior to occupancy.  It is odd because it is the City.  She does not know that the City would bond to itself.   
               
Commissioner Mansfield asked what is the urgency of this project getting done so quickly?  Ms. Akin reported that there is a construction schedule and they are under contract. 
               
Mr. McConnell reported that he does not know if the bonding would work in this particular case because the City is the one paying for the bond.  They would have an interest in not complying so they could take from the bond.  It is talking public money here.  He does not know if a bonding company would consider that. 
               
Mr. Wilkerson stated that the applicant will move forward with this application as presented.  As he understands from Ms. Akin they have the option to come forward with an exception request after this is approved tonight.  It gives them time to figure out if the is a viable request.  This project has a fairly tight schedule.  They also have the opportunity figure out how this might be funded if an exception is not a viable option.  Mr. Wilkerson requested to tie the improvements to the Certificate-of-Occupancy for the building so that this work does not have to be designed before they pull a permit.  They will be breaking ground in late July.  
               
Commissioner McKechnie clarified that the Planning Commission is being requested to approve an exception for the width of the driveway, an exception for the width of the right-of-way dedication, fire stations will be built according to the requirements of Public Works that states prior to the issuance of the building permits completion of all public improvements.  Public Works needs to agree that particular requirement can be moved to their second phase which is prior to Certificate-of-Occupancy.  Other than that staff is expecting public improvements will be completed as if the City was a private developer.   Ms. Akin replied that is correct.
               
Ms. Akin stated that there are two items happening on the site.  There is the construction of the new Fire Station and then there is the installation of the temporary apparatus bay and the housing quarters.  If the Planning Commission moves to approve to specify that permits be issued for the two modular buildings.  The requirements that specify prior to the issuance of the first building permit apply to the Fire Station building and not the modular buildings.  
               
Mr. Burroughs stated that it is uncommon for them to defer public improvements especially plan approval to after a building permit is issued.  He agrees with Ms. Akin that it would be prudent in this case to allow the applicant to pull a building permit for the two temporary buildings to allow them to get started.  They can also pull a demolition permit for the other building once the temporary buildings are in place.  During that process they can get their public improvement plans reviewed and approved.  After that they could bond for the improvements for the public street.  Or it would give them time to decide if they want to file an exception.  Public Works is supportive of that.  That would take care of the right-of-way issue.  The other question that still remains is the driveway width and that would be something Public Works would like to continue to work with the applicant’s engineer to determine the appropriate width given the information they were given last week.      
               
The public hearing was closed.
               
Motion: Approve the Final Order for CUP-14-128/E-15-027 per the Staff Report dated April 2, 2015, including Exhibits A through Q and granting the exception for the right-of-way dedication, exception for driveway width of 80 feet and completion of all public improvements prior to the issuance of the Certificate-of-Occupancy for the completed Fire Station. 
               
Friendly Amendment made by Chair McFadden: Approve this under Criterion #2.
               
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie    Seconded by: Vice Chair Miranda
               
Friendly Amendment made by Commissioner Pulver: The applicant will work with Public Works on the exception of driveway width but not to exceed 80 feet.  An acceptable width that can be agreed upon by both parties. 
               
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6–1, with Commissioner Fincher voting no.
               
50.3        LDS-15-015/E-15-016/ZC-15-017 Consideration of a request for a consolidated application consisting of a Zone Change from SFR-10 (Single Family Residential – 10 dwelling units per gross acre) to SFR- 6 (Single Family Residential- 6 dwelling units per acre) on one parcel totaling 11.36 acres, a tentative plat for a 57 lot residential subdivision and an associated Exception request seeking relief to side yard setbacks on particular lots within the subdivision. The subject site is located east of the terminus of Ford Drive and north of the terminus of Cheltenham Way within corporate limits of the City of Medford.  (HH Medford One, LLC, Applicant; CSA Planning, Ltd/Jay Harland, Agent).
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  None were disclosed.  
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts.  None were disclosed.
               
Desmond McGeough, Planner II, read the zone change and land division criteria.  Mr. McGeough reported that the exception criteria was read previously and gave a staff report. 
               
Commissioner McKechnie stated that the exception is to Section 10.710 Detached Single Family dwellings.  The minimum side yard building setback is 4 feet plus ½ foot for each foot in building height over 15 feet.  If there is a two story unit with a partial two story, in other works like a split foyer or split level old style where there is a two story wing on one side and a one story wing on the other, would one evaluate both sides of the house the same?  Take the tallest part of the house and require whatever the setback is on the tallest side, to be on both sides?  Mr. McGeough replied that is the way staff interpreted the Code.  
               
Ms. Akin reported that the Code tells how to measure building heights.  It states one takes the average peak to the eave and measure at the average ground level.  The Code directs to measure only one place.  It assumes a monolithic structure.  It does not contemplate undulating roof line and single and multiple stories in a single structure.  Staff is drafting a Code amendment to address this issue.   
               
Commissioner Fincher asked that changing from SFR-10 to SFR-6 would they be expected to make up the difference in Phases 3 and 4 or is it no longer expected?  Mr. McGeough reported that there is nothing that obligates them to do that.  The density range would remain with the zoning district should the Planning Commission drop this down to SFR-6. 
               
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
               
a.  Jay Harland, CSA Planning Ltd., 4497 Brownridge Terrace, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Harland reported that Eric Peterson was in the audience tonight.  Mr. Harland clarified who is the applicant.  Mr. Harland has been before the Commission on this property before with the applicant as Delta Waters Properties LLC.  This particular portion has been sold to HH One Medford LLC.  It is a project company for Hayden Homes.  Mr. Harland is present tonight representing HH One Medford LLC and Hayden Homes.  The land division and zone change meets all requirements and requests that it be approved.  The exception is requested because that is how they understood how it had been applied in the past.  He agrees with Commissioner McKechnie that it does not make sense and he does not read it to require quite that literal of an application.  That would be one way to resolve the issue is to deny the exception by virtue of its inapplicability because the Commission finds that the Code can be interpreted to allow the garages to be located in that location.  An argument could be made to interpret the Code to allow the calculation of building setback for the single story garage attached to the single family dwelling to be calculated based on the height of that roof structure. 
               
Chair McFadden stated that if the applicant is playing with depth why not look at an alley situation and put all the garages off the back therefore have narrower houses to fit on a narrower lot.  Mr. Harland replied that is not the product they build.  That would be a totally different layout.  It would only work for the center block.   
               
Mr. McConnell commented on the interpretation of the Code stating that Ms. Akin gave a plausible interpretation on how the City interprets its Code.  A court shall defer to a City’s interpretation of its own Code if it is plausible.  Mr. McConnell asked the Planning Commission to defer to the Planning Department’s interpretation of this Code.  If people disagree with that interpretation the correct way to change it is to have the City Council make that change, not a Planning Commission on an application.  
               
Mr. Harland responded to Mr. McConnell’s statement reporting that it cuts both ways.  Generally building setbacks will come before the Planning Commission.  This is a unique circumstance.  The applicant is doing several different designs along the frontage of the individual streets by having different buildings with different layouts that look good.  Is it plausible to say, on this side the roof line will be reviewed for the setback and on the other side the roof line will be reviewed on that setback side.  The Planning Department will look at that different ways.  Doing it a certain way for a long time and now maybe thinking about it differently does not make the new interpretation necessarily wrong if it is resulting in a good outcome. 
               
Ms. Akin reported that should the Planning Commission choose to approve the exception there are several items to consider.  On page 203 of the agenda packet there are stipulations related to that action that were offered by the applicant.  It has to do with deed declarations.  Mr. Harland indicated that should the Planning Commission approve the exception request, they would stipulate to not having a third car garage on the lots that abut the project boundaries.  That would be restricted to lots 32 through 52 (the block in the center).  Mr. Harland crafted the findings of fact and conclusions that state if made a condition attached to the approval of the applications then those stipulations will become effective.  
               
Mr. Harland stated that this particular project had three different options for off-site storm drainage that were not covered in the findings.  It looks like they are going with option C which is the most expensive option down Owen Drive to where Garrett Creek crosses.  The applicant is working with Public Works on the value of reimbursement for those improvements.  Mr. Harland stated for the record that they did not put in any findings and Public Works did not put anything with respect to what reimbursement may be appropriate.  There is nothing in tonight’s decision resolving that.  It may be a matter of dispute later.      
               
The public hearing was closed.
               
Motion: Adopt the Findings for the Zone Change and Land Division and direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of LDS-15-015 and ZC-15-017 and for denial of E-15-016, per the Staff Report dated April 2, 2015, including Exhibits A through F.
               
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie    Seconded by: Commissioner Mansfield
               
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7–0.
               
50.4        PUD-14-136/LDS-14-137/LDS-14-138 Consideration of a request for a revision to the Cedar Landing Planned Unit Development (PUD) and for approvals of the tentative plats for Sky Lakes Subdivision Phase 1, a 60 lot subdivision, and The Village at Cedar Landing Subdivision Phase 1, a 38 lot subdivision. The PUD revision request applies only to the portion north of Cedar Links Drive and consists of: 1) the addition of Longstone Drive, 2) the loss of one lot in Sky Lakes Phase 1, 3) the gain of two lots in The Village at Cedar Landing, and 4) the relocation of pedestrian/bicycle paths. The project is located on approximately 114 acres on the north and south sides of Cedar Links Drive, west of Foothill Road within an SFR-4/PD (Single-Family Residential – 4 dwelling units per gross acre / Planned Development) zoning district.  (Cedar Investment Group LLC, Applicant; Dennis Hoffbuhr, Agent).
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose.  Commissioner MacMillan recused himself from this agenda item and left the meeting. 
               
Chair McFadden inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts.  None were disclosed.
               
Jennifer Jones, Planner II, reported that the land division criteria were read previously.  Ms. Jones read the planned unit development criteria and presented a staff report. 
               
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
               
a.  Dennis Hoffbuhr, Hoffbuhr & Associates, 880 Golf View Drive #201, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Hoffbuhr reported that there is a new intersection at Cedar Links and Foothills that was paid for by this project to allow it to move forward.  That was one of the conditions of the City that that intersection be completed first.  Many of the changes were in response to the addition of the Park and the redesign that was necessary to include the Park.  When the City first bought the Park property they thought it might be a possibility to access it from Cedar Links Drive.  Because of the grade differential and other issues the City came back to the applicant and requested that they redesign the project to allow access from inside the project.  That is how Lone Stone Drive came about.  It is a joint project between the Parks and Recreation Department and the applicant.  When the road is built the Parks Department will participate in the construction of that road.  During the original hearing there was a lot of concern expressed by the neighbors about the pedestrian paths being located on the exterior of the project.  They were uncomfortable with the fact that there would be people adjacent to their rear property lines.  Also, there were security issues raised.  The applicant relocated the pedestrian paths to the interior and adjacent to the street but they wanted to do something different than a standard sidewalk.   They are providing a meandering sidewalk in front of the lots linking it to the open space.  Street trees will be on each side of the walk way per lot.   The applicant is requesting a 15 foot front yard setback.        
               
Commissioner McKechnie asked if the lots in The Village on Cedar Links Drive had on-street parking and will they have guest parking in the alley?  Mr. Hoffbuhr reported that there will be on-street parking on the streets themselves because there are no driveways.  There will be ample on-street parking.  
               
Mr. Burroughs clarified that in the Public Works staff report that the street would be built to City standards which varies somewhat.  He would like to add if any of those portions of the meandering sidewalks are outside of the public right-of-way there should be a pedestrian easement included. 
               
The public hearing was closed.
               
Motion: Direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of PUD-14-136, LDS-14-137, and LDS-14-138 per the Staff Report dated April 2, 2015, including Exhibits A through P, with modification to the Public Works report to require any meandering sidewalks outside of the public right-of-way to have a pedestrian easement.
               
Moved by: Commissioner Pulver              Seconded by: Commissioner Vice Chair Miranda
               
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6–0.
               
60.          Report of the Site Plan and Architectural Commission. 
60.1        Ms. Akin reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on Friday, April 3, 2015.  They heard and approved Fire Station #2.  They also heard a medical office and a Starbucks on Barnett Road and Medical Center Drive that was continued.  They heard Sky Park that is downtown on Central between 10th and 9th that was also continued. 
               
70.          Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee. None.
               
80.          Report of the Planning Department.
80.1        Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, reported that the Planning Commission’s next study session schedule for Monday, April 13, 2015, has been cancelled.
 
There is business scheduled for the Planning Commission through June. 
               
90.          Messages and Papers from Chair of Planning Commission. None.
               
100.        Remarks from the City Attorney. None.
               
110.        Propositions and Remarks from the Commission. None.
               
120.        Adjournment.
              The meeting was adjourned at 9:36 p.m. The proceedings of this meeting were digitally recorded and are filed in the City Recorder's office.
 
Submitted by:  
 
Terri L. Rozzana
Recording Secretary
 
David McFadden
Planning Commission Chair
               
Approved: April 23, 2015
 

© 2019 City Of Medford  •  Site Handcrafted in Ashland, Oregon by Project A

Quicklinks

Select Language

Share This Page

Back to Top