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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 5:31 PM 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
Tim D’Alessandro
Norman Fincher
Chris MacMillan
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
Jared Pulver
Alec Schwimmer
Staff Present
Jim Huber, Planning Director
John Adam, Senior Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, Acting City Engineer
Terri Rozzana, Recording Secretary
Aaron Harris, Planner II
10.          Roll Call
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications
20.1.      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 (Greg McKown), Applicant; ORW Architecture (David Wilkerson), Agent.
20.2.      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.
20.3.      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; Hoffbuhr & Associates (Dennis Hoffbuhr), Agent.

20.4.      NO FILE NUMBER. Planning Department request for Commission to authorize an ad hoc committee to develop design standards for the core area of the downtown. This is part of the reform of the Central Business District zoning overlay and implementation of the “Downtown 2050 Plan.”
Motion: Adopt the consent calendar.
Moved by: Chair McFadden                                        Seconded by: There was no second
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 9–0.
30.         Minutes
30.1.      The minutes for April 9, 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 Hearings—New business
50.1.      CP-15-022 General Land-Use Plan (GLUP) Map amendment from Urban Residential (UR) to Service Commercial (SC) on 0.33 acres comprising three lots located on East Jackson Street between Mae Street and Marie Street (map/taxlot no. 37-1W-19DD/8400, 8500, 8600). Ryan Kantor, James & Eva Kell, and Michael Malepsy, Applicant.
Aaron Harris, Planner II, gave a staff report and reviewed the General Land-Use Plan amendment criteria.
Commissioner MacMillan asked if staff determined that no transportation, water, or sewer improvements were required based on the fact that Public Works and the Water Commission did not comment. Mr. Harris replied that when there are no comments it is safe to assume the infrastructure is sufficient.
Commissioner McKechnie asked if the zoning is changed to Service Commercial and a commercial use is put there does that require a buffer between that and the residential uses? Mr. Harris replied that it does. The buffer required will be 10 feet wide, vegetation of various sorts that grows to 20 feet high over a ten-year period, and a six-foot high concrete or masonry wall. That only applies to new development.
Commissioner Schwimmer asked how the request meets the public need criterion when the intent is unknown. Mr. Harris stated that the need for the City is determined by the Economic Element and the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan. The Housing Element calls for 826 acres of urban residential and 290 acres for office uses over the next 20 years. It is such a small area to be changed that relative to the scale of need it is inconsequential.
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
a.  Ryan Kantor, 1029 East Jackson Street, Medford, Oregon, 97504. Mr. Kantor stated that it is his property that is in question. The other two property owners have no desire to do anything with their property at this time. Mr. Kantor plans to do a full renovation of the building, turning it into a small office. It will be attractive from the street instead of the dumpy looking house it is now.
Chair McFadden stated that he likes the changing of the neighborhood. It shows a progressive commercial area. Does Mr. Kantor find in his analysis the cost balances out for the developer? Mr. Kantor stated that if Chair McFadden is talking about the potential income of the property from residential versus commercial there is an advantage. One can get a better per-square-foot rate. That is one of the major thoroughfares that one would want attractive buildings to make the City look better and promote growth. It makes sense considering the entire street is pretty much all commercial.
b.  Cynthia Swaney, 320 Marie Street, Medford, Oregon, 97504. Ms. Swaney reported that the proposed amendment will significantly impact the neighborhood and those who live in it. She said her neighborhood is already bounded on three sides by commercially zoned lots. They need the freedom to improve their historical cottages and reap the benefits. She said the proposed change would not be compatible with the goals for the neighborhood or the goals of the Medford Comprehensive Plan.
Chair McFadden asked if new development along Jackson might provide the neighborhood in that it would provide a buffer against the traffic noise. Ms. Swaney said she is concerned that more traffic that will be cutting through to get to more commercial properties. She added that there are children that play in the streets especially in the evenings; it is an old-fashioned neighborhood.
c.  Dave Swaney, 320 Marie Street, Medford, Oregon, 97504. Mr. Swaney said he is against the change to the subject properties in the Laurelhurst subdivision. He gave two reasons: one, the proposal is not compatible with their historic neighborhood; two, it is a case of mistaken discrimination against Laurelhurst by the City. It is mistake because Laurelhurst has changed substantially for the better recently. Last year they had to endure months of upheaval during the paving of their alleys. The alley project has one positive outcome; it made the neighborhood aware of the need to protect their community from actions like the proposal tonight that work against it. They will be organizing a neighborhood association to work with the City and the media to increase awareness of threats like these to their hopes and dreams for historic Laurelhurst.
Mr. Kantor reported that the majority of commercial property is leased. He has approximately thirty properties across Medford that are leased because they are consistently maintained and attractive. The need is there. He does not think the community the Swanys live in behind the major thoroughfare of Jackson Street will be impacted by traffic. There is no reason for traffic to go through those streets unless they are going to a residence.
Mr. Harris addressed the requirements for Goal 10, relating to housing. By making this map change the properties in question still retain the potential for providing housing. The proposed map designation allows for housing at MFR-30 density.
Vice Chair Miranda asked whether map change allows or requires MFR-30? Mr. Harris clarified that the change allows for MFR-30 density.
Commissioner McKechnie clarified that this is not a zone change but a General Land Use Plan map change. It just means that at some point the owners of the three properties can change from the current zoning to C-S/P. Mr. Harris replied that is correct.
Alex Georgevitch, Acting City Engineer, apologized that Public Works did not have a staff report in the agenda packet. The reason they had no comment is that there was not a trip generation rate increase over 250 trips; therefore, there are no definable impacts from the transportation side. He added sewer and storm drainage systems are adequate.
The public hearing was closed.
Motion: Based on the findings and conclusions that all the approval criteria are either met or are not applicable, the Planning Commission forwards a recommendation for approval of CP-15-022 to the City Council per the Staff Report dated April 13, 2015, including Exhibit A.
Moved by: Vice Chair Miranda                                   Seconded by: Commissioner Pulver
Commissioner Schwimmer stated that this is a General Land Use Plan map change to the overall zone. It is important that the actual use of the properties will be utilized whether it is C-S/P or allow high density housing. The need for affordable housing in this community is a need that he always looks for. He supports the General Land Use Plan map change.
Commissioner Mansfield commented that he appreciates Commissioner Schwimmer’s input. It is very helpful to him. If he understands Commissioner Schwimmer’s comment that there is a need for more area for high-density residential, he accepts that. This is a tough one for Commissioner Mansfield. He is going to vote no because his belief is there are other areas that can perform this development.
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7–2 with Commissioner Fincher and Commissioner Mansfield voting no.
60.         Reports
60.1.      Site Plan and Architectural Commission
Commissioner Schwimmer reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on Friday, April 17, 2015. The consent calendar AC-14-129/E-15-025 consideration of site plan and architectural review and related exception was approved by 5 to 1 vote. The minutes of April 3, 2015, were approved. Under old business, AC-15-007/E-15-009 consideration of plans and associated exception request seeking relief from required parking standards for 26 residential dwelling units upon a deck over the Medford Urban Renewal Agency Parking Lot Facility with Skypark as the applicant. That final order for approval was denied by a vote of 6 to 1. The new business AC-15-020/E-15-021 consideration of a request for approval of a new Jackson County District Attorney’s Office structure including the exception request seeking relief to requirements for establishing a cross-access easement to an adjoining commercial property and reduction to the required right-of-way width was passed by a vote of 4 to 0.
60.2.      Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee. None.
60.3.      Planning Department
Jim Huber, Planning Director, reported that Kelly Akin was out of the office today and he did not prepare any comments. He would be happy to answer any questions that the Commission might have.
Chair McFadden asked if there would be time set aside, at the next Planning Commission study session, for a report from any of the Planning Commissioners that attended the APA Conference? Mr. Huber reported that no Planning Commissioners attended the APA Conference. Mr. Huber and Mr. Harris attended. They would be happy to give a report to the Planning Commission at their Monday, April 27, 2015, study session.
70.          Messages and Papers from the Chair. None.
80.          Remarks from the City Attorney. None.
90.          Propositions and Remarks from the Commission.
90.1        Commissioner Pulver asked if the Planning Commission passed on agenda item 20.4 under the consent calendar? Chair McFadden stated that was part of the consent calendar that was approved. Commissioner Pulver asked that the Commission approved it in concept and will be discussed and recruit some of the Commissioners at a later date? Mr. Adam reported that staff plans to discuss this at a study session and recruit some Commissioners.
100.        Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 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: May 14, 2015


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