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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, May 28, 2015

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 5:30 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
Norman Fincher
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
Jared Pulver
 
Commissioners Absent
Tim D’Alessandro, Excused Absence
Alec Schwimmer, Excused Absence
 
Staff Present
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, Acting City Engineer
Praline McCormack, Recording Secretary
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV
Jennifer Jones, Planner II
               
10.          Roll Call
 
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications.
20.1  PUD-15-011 / LDS-15-012 Final Orders for a request for a revision to 10th Fairway Office Park Planned Unit Development and tentative plat for a 7-lot commercial subdivision on two parcels totaling 3.79 acres located on the south side of North Phoenix Road, approximately 370 feet south of Hillcrest Road, within an SFR-4 (Single Family Residential – 4 dwelling units per gross acre) and C-S/P/RZ (Service Commercial and Professional Office/Restricted Zoning) zoning district.   Michael T. Mahar, Applicant; CSA Planning Ltd., (Jay Harland), Agent.
 
Motion: Adopt the consent calendar.
 
Moved by: Chair McFadden                                        Seconded by: There was no second.
 
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 6–0.
 
30.          Minutes
30.1.      The minutes for May 14, 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  SV-15-023 Consideration of a request to vacate a portion of a public alley measuring 16 feet in width and 150 linear feet located between East Main Street and Euclid Avenue, approximately 295 feet east of Academy Place.  Raimond Peterson, Elizabeth Martin, Joseph Henry, and Karen Henry, Applicants; Neathamer Surveying, Inc., Agent.
 
Chair McFadden inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose. Chair McFadden stated that he has knowledge of the utilities to be vacated in this area.  It will not affect his decision. 
 
Chair McFadden inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
 
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV, read the street vacation criteria and gave a staff report.
 
Commissioner McKecknie asked if the properties at the end of the alley utilize the alley?  Ms. Sousa replied not for vehicular access.
 
Commissioner Pulver asked if there were plans in the future to expand East Main and restrict access to the properties that currently have alley access but may lose it in the future?  Ms. Sousa replied that she is unaware of any plans but would check with the Public Works Department.
   
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given.
 
a.            Bob Neathamer, Neathamer Surveying, Inc., P. O. Box 1584, Medford, Oregon, 97501. Mr. Neathamer stated that the applicants are in attendance this evening.  Based on the application and the staff report that has been prepared that they respectfully request that the Planning Commission forward a favorable recommendation to the City Council. 
 
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer, addressed Commissioner Pulver’s question that there are no plans currently to do additional widening.  They are going through their Transportation System Plan update and they will have a better idea of how their plans will be changing the future that is dependent on the urban growth boundary expansion.
 
Commissioner Pulver asked what level is Main Street in that vicinity?  Mr. Georgevitch reported that it is a major arterial from west of Crater Lake Avenue.  East of there it becomes a minor arterial or a major collector, essentially a three lane facility.  There is almost enough width there now.  Any improvement would require a Transportation Facility hearing that requires City Council approval.  Typically in those situations they will work closely with the existing right-of-way that is available.
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that a 16 foot wide alley would not be usable for access other than utilities if that were redeveloped.  Would they not need at least 20 feet?  Mr. Georgevitch reported that the standard is 20 feet but they have 16 foot alleys that are being used for access.  They work better as a one-way.  The Public Works Department supports the vacation in the particular case.            
The public hearing was closed.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission forwards a favorable recommendation to the City Council for SV-15-023 per the Staff Report dated May 21, 2015, including Exhibits A through H.
 
Moved by: Vice Chair Miranda                                   Seconded by: Commissioner McKechnie
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6-0.
 
50.2        PUD-15-043 / LDS-15-044 Consideration of a request for a revision to the Cedar Landing Planned Unit Development (PUD) and for approval of the tentative plat for High Cedars Subdivision Phases 1 through 5. The PUD revision request applies only to the portion south of Cedar Links Drive and consists of: 1) reconfiguring the entire area into the High Cedars subarea, phases 1 through 5; 2) changing all commercial, multi-family, and condominium uses to single family detached residential; 3) removing the below grade pedestrian crossing at Cedar Links Drive; 4) creating a single access point to Foothill Road at Normil Terrace and eliminating the second access point at Tree Top Drive; and 5) relocating pedestrian 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; CSA Planning Ltd., 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, read the planned unit development and land division criteria and gave a staff report.
 
Commissioner Mansfield asked what causes the applicant to change from a series of mixed-uses to one use?  Is it an economic determination?  Ms. Jones deferred the questions to the applicant’s agent.
 
Commissioner McKechnie asked would the open space easements be controlled by the Planned Unit Development or the individual lots that have the easement?  Ms. Jones reported that all the open space would be maintained by a Home Owner’s Association.
 
Commissioner McKechnie asked if there was a maximum front yard setback?  Ms. Jones reported that the 33 feet is to account for the extra space for the path.  Commissioner McKechnie asked if there is no maximum setback why is it needed as part of the process?  Ms. Jones replied it is for consistency of the lots.  Ms. Jones deferred the questions to the applicant’s agent for more details.
 
Commissioner Pulver asked Ms. Jones to explain the 4 foot setback exception if open space easements are not utilized.  Ms. Jones reported that the alternative to open space easements is to have commonly owned lots.
 
Commissioner Pulver asked is the reason for the modification to eliminate below grade pedestrian crossing across Cedar Links because it was a tunnel in the original approval?  Ms. Jones stated that it was and in the original written in 2005 proposal narrative she could not find a lot of discussion or description about that so the applicants are proposing to eliminate it.  There is an existing pedestrian crossing that is currently located there that they intend to keep.
 
Chair McFadden asked if the streets were all public streets?  Ms. Jones replied yes.
 
Chair McFadden asked that behind the front property line will it contain a standard 10 foot Public Utilities Easement (PUE)?  Ms. Jones replied yes.
 
Chair McFadden asked is the City requesting a separation feature on the last phase against Foothills Road to separate those homes from the road right-of-way?  Ms. Jones replied there is an 8 foot vertical separation requirement per the Code and outlined in the existing Planned Unit Development that has not been requested to be revised at this point.  The applicant’s agent may discuss that further with the Commission. 
 
The public hearing was opened and the following testimony was given. 
                        
a.            Craig Stone, 4497 Brownridge Terrace, Suite 101, Medford, Oregon, 97504-9173. Mr. Stone stated that he was present tonight on behalf of the applicant Cedar Investment Group LLC.  The principals of that are seated in the audience as well as Mike Savage, CSA Planning Ltd.  Mr. Stone had prepared remarks but he would rather use his time responding to the various questions proposed by Commissioner’s to the planning staff.  Beginning with the first one proposed by Commissioner Mansfield why the design change and what prompted it.  When this project was originally approved in 2006 it was highly contested by not just citizens surrounding this portion of the project but the entire Planned Unit Development.  They pooled resources, took the City on appeal and while the approval was sustained the hostility remained behind.  When his clients took ownership of this property they did not have an appetite for pounding something down the throats of this neighborhood that they clearly did not want.  Secondly, the market has changed since the downturn.  This was approved a couple of years before the downturn began.  He does not know if there was ever a time where 83,000 square feet of commercial could be justified in this location.  It does not have enough traffic to merit that kind of commercial exposure.
 
Mr. Stone addressed Commissioner McKechnie’s questions stating that the 33 foot setback is not a deviation.  There is no maximum setback.  The reason for the greater setback is to accommodate the meandering path that traverses the project.  The applicant wants to make sure there is enough room for the pedestrian path and for it to meander as well as sufficient space behind it to provide two off-street parking spaces on the driveway.
 
Mr. Stone addressed the question about the street vacations proposed stating that at the time this project was initially approved they had different phases.  Each phase was to be on a separate parcel.  By creating parcels one has to create access to them.  The roadways were dedicated to provide that.  The applicant discovered that they need to be slightly modified.  It is a formal process controlled by the statute that requires the City Council to vacate a right-of-way before a new one can be established.  Those vacations will need to occur to implement the plan before the Commission tonight.
  
Mr. Stone addressed the question of an easement versus fee ownership.  It is really just a question over how the open space would be held.  Whether it be held by the individual lot owners through an easement or whether it would be a fee simple dedication to the Home Owner’s Association.  The applicant does not have a strong preference on that.  It will be maintained by an association that collects monies from the various property owners in the project to defray the maintenance expenses.
 
Mr. Stone addressed Commissioner Pulver’s questions of the 4 foot setback and the deviation sought for that.  That was also mistaken.  The setbacks in the single family residential zone are 4 feet.  There is no deviation.  That is an issue that does not really exist.
 
Mr. Stone addressed the discussion on the separation feature.  The vertical separation feature would be a 4 foot or so retaining wall on top of which the applicant will do a 4 foot or so wooden fence for a combined stipulated total of 8 feet to comply with the Land Development Code.  The applicant requests that the Planning Commission accept this as their vertical separation feature that is part of their request tonight.
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that if the retaining wall is more than 4 feet the building code requirement is that there must be a 42 inch guard rail.  It would be safe to say that the applicant’s vertical separation feature would be a minimum of 8 feet.  Mr. Stone stated that they would comply with the law.  Does Commissioner McKechnie want to deal with that in more precise terms a condition that states the portion of the fence above the sidewalk grade must be no less than 42 inches?  Commissioner McKechnie replied that is correct.
 
Chair McFadden asked where was the PUE going to be placed?  Mr. Stone stated that by Ordinance the PUE has to be adjacent to the right-of-way.  It will be under the meandering path.
 
Chair McFadden stated that historically there has been water drainage from the southeast corner of the property line down to the junction of the other subdivisions on the southwest corner.  How is that drainage being handled?  Mr. Stone reported that the applicant took note of a letter from Mr. White that stated about thirty years ago Lone Pine Creek was put underground along the south boundary of the property.  Since it was placed underground he has had nothing but trouble with high ground water problems.  They conferred with their civil engineer and since he could not be present tonight he submitted a letter explaining storm drainage along the south boundary and what might be done.  The development of this property may improve the situation because it will intercept the storm drainage that will find its way to the south boundary ditch.  From there it will be picked up and transported to a storm water detention pond and then into an existing underground storm drainage pipe that is owned by the City.
 
Chair McFadden stated that the applicant is eliminating the south side commercial area of Cedar Links.  There are remaining commercial areas on the north side of Cedar Links.  What is the remaining square footage?  Mr. Stone replied there will be approximately 60,000 square feet.
 
Mr. Stone submitted the letter from their civil engineer into the record.
 
Mr. McConnell reported that in the revised staff report that Section 10.245(A)(3) is a criterion that needs to be reviewed by the Planning Commission before they can approve the PUD.  It states under Subsection 10.235(D)(5) “It is further provided that before the Planning Commission can approve a PUD Plan revision, it must determine that the proposed revision is compatible with existing developed portions of the whole PUD.”  Does the applicant’s report cover that?  Mr. Stone stated that he believes it was covered but he would double check while the Commission is taking public testimony.
            
b.            Gene Pelham, 1016 Callaway Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97504. Mr. Pelham stated that he supports the development of this piece of property.  The neighborhood deserves to have a development.  He does not support the revision.  One of the properties adversely impacted by this change is his property from the perspective that there were no homes behind him and directly to the west in the previous design plan.  He is concerned of the grade and drainage issues.  He requests that the developer consider density of the lots abutting current properties.  He asked the Commission to consider compatibility.  He requested a restriction for two-story homes. He requested that the developer for appropriate mitigation be used to remove the power line to the maintenance shed as a goodwill gesture for the abutting residences.  He requests that there be an identified pedestrian crossing across Cedar Links Drive for the 170 lot development.  There should be some consideration of a traffic control device at the corner of Normil Terrace and Foothill Road.  He also requested a clear line of site be considered at Callaway Drive.
 
c.             Tom Castle, 1050 Callaway Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Castle agrees with Mr. Pelham’s testimony.  Mr. Castle reported that the open space has been cut about 30% from the previous approved plan. He requested the developer to consider leaving as many of the trees as they can to help the buffers between properties.  The weeds are a real hazard right now.
 
d.            Jim Garner, 1020 Callaway Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Garner agrees with everything of the previous testifiers.  He also wants to see only single story homes behind him.  Behind his fence there are 55 gallon oil drums with used oil in them.  Those should be removed.  The weeds are a fire hazard.
 
e.            Bob White, 3113 Sycamore Way, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. White has concerns with the drainage.  He would like to see the creek restored between Kerrsdale Ridge Drive and Foothill Road.
 
f.             Fred Holloway, 3163 Sycamore Way, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Holloway also has concerns with the drainage.
 
g.            Diane Berger, 3229 Sycamore Way, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Ms. Berger voiced the same concerns that have previously been documented. She has concerns of the trees, overgrowth and blackberries in the back of her house currently.
 
h.            Tamara Barris, 3227 Sycamore Way, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Ms. Barris has many of the concerns that Ms. Berger stated.  She has two sump pumps under her house right now so she has real concerns about the drainage.  Her lot is lower than the property being developed.  She had a tree located behind her house that fell and damaged her fence.  She contacted the developer and they told her they would take care of it but never showed up.  She is concerned of trees falling on her house or not being maintained properly.
 
i.              Mark Gustafson, 3111 Westminster Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Gustafson’s concern is the congestion of traffic with that the development will bring.  Has there been a traffic study done? Chair McFadden suggested that Mr. Gustafson contact the City of Medford Engineering Department.
 
j.             Fred Holloway, 3163 Sycamore Way, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Holloway suggested that single story homes be built in his neighborhood due to the elevation behind him.
 
Ms. Jones clarified based on advice from legal counsel that the Planning Department staff was supporting this revision in light of compatibility with the PUD as a whole.
 
Mr. McConnell stated that the several people have testified about drainage but those houses are not in the PUD.  They are in the adjacent properties.
 
Mr. Georgevitch is the City Engineer and the Transportation Manager.  Mr. Georgevitch reported that the applicant has submitted an exhibit that shows a retaining wall adjacent to the back of right-of-way.  The fence on top is a vertical separation that has to be built outside of the public right-of-way.
 
There was a comment about a pedestrian crossing across Cedar Links Drive.  If a neighbor is concerned about that Mr. Georgevitch suggested they contact the Public Works Department after the development is built to see what is feasible.  There is nothing being proposed through this process and had not been part of a traffic analysis to support the pedestrian crossing at this time.
 
Concerns about access onto Foothill Road.  Mr. Georgevitch pointed out that with this project Foothill Road is being widened to accommodate a center turn lane that will be temporarily striped.
 
There were concerns of the drainage and high water table.  Mr. Georgevitch reported that development at this stage just not come in with a hydrology report.  It is a condition of their approval to provide the analysis and make sure they will not adversely impact adjoining properties.  If this is an existing condition it will probably be improved by the development of this property.  He cannot say for sure because he does not know the condition out there.  It will come out of the hydrology report.
 
Mr. Stone had commented about Public Works request for a 10 foot multi-use path.  It is shown in certain parts of the development to go north/south and not along frontage.  This is not required at the north half of the development.  Public Works is requesting a 10 foot multi-use path to be built to AASHTO standards.  If it is going to be a meandering sidewalk it can be a 5 foot walk.
       
 Vice Chair Miranda stated that the applicant is currently proposing a 7 foot instead of a 5 foot meandering path as a compromise between a meandering path and a multi-use path.  It is his understanding that it needs to be one or the other not something in between.  Is that correct?  Mr. Georgevitch stated that is a fair assessment.
 
Mr. McConnell reported that Mr. Georgevitch stated that the City missed the path designation last time.  What was it designated in the other part of the PUD that they missed?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that he wanted to make sure that the developer uses the same design on the north half when they did their revision.  Mr. McConnell asked if they designated it as a multi-use path?  Mr. Georgevitch stated that he did not have that with him and asked the applicant to give clarification on that.
 
Mr. Georgevitch stated that Ms. Jones pointed out that the path was previously planned as a multi-use path around significant portions.  If it is going to be a multi-use path the applicant needs to follow the 10 foot standard.
 
Ms. Jones reported that 10.797 in the Land Development Code discuss the vertical separation being a minimum of 8 feet in height and it gives authority to the Planning Commission to make adjustments.  Planning staff’s concerns with this issue was less about the overall height but with the wooden fence.  Commissioner McKechnie mentioned some kind of rail of a minimum of 42 inches in height.  Planning staff suggests that the Planning Commission consider Commissioner McKechnie’s suggestion as a better alternative.
 
Mr. Stone began with the multi-use path.  He does not recall them referring to it as a multi-use path.  If they did Mr. Stone withdrew that from any of their plans and text.  What they would like to propose in the alternative is where the path adjoins the public street it will be 5 feet in width.  Where the path does not adjoin the street it will be a 10 foot path. 
 
The vertical separation feature is required to be 8 feet tall.  Exactly how that might be measured is not specified.  The ordinance does provide authority for the Planning Commission to vary the height of the separation feature based on topography, in this instance based upon steep terrain at the drop off at Foothill Road.  The applicant has to double terrace to get up to the grade of the sidewalk.  They would hate to put an 8 foot tall anything on top of that and objects just to a practical basis.  As to the feature being wood or railing, their preference would be railing.  The applicant agrees to stipulate to the railing instead of wood. 
 
Mr. Stone admitted that the applicant did not cover the provision of compatibility with already built portions of the PUD.  Compatibility can be ascertained through the separation of the northeast corner on the portion of the PUD north of Cedar Links Drive to the south part of the PUD. 
 
The southerly portion of the property drains into the south boundary.  Most of the water now accumulates at the southwest corner where there is some problem.  The proposition is that when the streets are built the water that drains down will be captured by the streets where the storm waters will go into an underground system to be transported to the southwest storm water detention facility then into an existing City of Medford underground storm drain.
 
Mr. Stone addressed the question if a traffic study had been done.  It had been done as part of the original project.  It produced considerably more traffic than the modified project because of the reduction in commercial land uses and square footage.
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that from the testimony earlier the original development proposed a pathway that separated the new development from the existing ones around it.  The developer on this project opted to move the pathway to the front of the houses because of neighborhood opposition.  They felt that was a security issue.  Mr. Stone reported that the person that testified to that brought up that would provide a greater separation in the event there were two story homes built adjacent.  Mr. Stone discussed this with his client during testimony and that the City’s Code Enforcement had expressed concerns about policing the portions of paths in those locations because there was not good access to them.  That is the reason the applicant chose to eliminate them.
 
The issue of the applicant agreeing to only single story houses in certain locations.  The applicant’s position is no, that he does not want to agree to building just single story anywhere.  He wants the freedom to do different house plans to accommodate different folks’ needs.  That is not to say that the Planning Commission cannot impose that as a condition.
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that Mr. Stone stated earlier that the north half still has potentially 60,000 square feet of commercial/office.  Is there any multi-family (townhouses, duplexes) left in the north half and how much?  Mr. Stone stated there is to be higher density in a location above some of the commercial buildings.  Also, there is a sizeable congregate care facility proposed centrally within the northerly part of the Planned Unit Development.
 
The public hearing was closed.
 
The Planning Commissioners took a 10 minute break at 7:50 p.m.  They reconvened at 8:00 p.m.
 
Motion: Adopt the modified findings as recommended by staff and direct staff to prepare a Final Order for approval per the Staff Report dated May 21, 2015, including Exhibits A through P, with specific requirements of allowance of proposed lot layout (through lots and access restrictions), minor modifications to side yard setbacks, front yard setback a minimum of 33 feet, adhering to block lengths, and along Foothill Road the vertical separation wall will be a metal rail with the height a minimum of 42 inches.
  
Moved by: Vice Chair Miranda                                                   Seconded by: Commissioner McKechnie
 
Friendly amendment made by Commissioner McKechnie: It was not adhering to the block length it was an exception to the block length, the 33 foot front yard setback was only in lots specific to accommodate meandering path and the 4 foot side yard setback was a moot point because that is the minimum setback so it can go away.
 
Friendly amendment made by Chair McFadden: The sidewalk in front of lots specific on the street is 5 feet and any areas where it is not adjacent to the street it will be a 10 foot wide path.
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that it is his opinion that the applicant needs to leave some sort of higher density housing in this proposal.
 
Mr. McConnell stated that the compatibility provision in 10.245 (A)(3) that the proposed revision is compatible with the existing developed portion of the whole Planned Unit Development.  Mr. Stone state that the housing is of similar character to other parts of the Planned Unit Development.
 
Mr. Georgevitch is looking for the 10 foot multi-use path.  Mr. Stone stated that it was never intended to be a multi-use path.  There are several ways for this Commission to determine what the intent was.  The testimony of the applicant’s agent and what was done on previous applications.  Ms. Jones showed in some other application where it was referred to as a multi-use path.
 
Friendly amendment made by Commission Pulver: If necessary, to allow a 7 foot meandering sidewalk through the development as proposed and clarify that it is in fact a 7 foot meandering sidewalk as being approved and not a multi-use path.
 
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, stated that Commissioner Pulver made a friendly amendment changing the path from a 5 foot to a 7 foot.  The motion was 5 feet at the street and 10 feet multi-use path where it is not adjacent to the street.  Does Commissioner Pulver intend to change it as a whole it was a two part item?  Commissioner Pulver reported that his intent was that it would be a meandering sidewalk of 7 feet in its entirety to be compatible with the north section and overriding the previous part of that amendment.
 
Commissioner Pulver asked if the motion clarified where the bottom of the 42 inch rail begins?  It is his opinion that the motion should specify that.
 
Friendly Amendment made by Chair McFadden: The railing must be made out of metal.
 
Ms. Jones stated that the original question was which side is the height measured from?  The Code does not specify that. The illustration provided by the applicant can help clarify.
 
Chair McFadden commented that the Planning Commission will be reviewing this once again when it comes before them on the consent calendar at their next meeting.  They could request the applicant to provide further construction detail of the vertical separation before they give final consent approval at that meeting.
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated then it would not be a consent calendar item.  Is that correct?
Ms. Akin replied that is correct.  Items on the consent calendar are basically saying that the Planning Commission agrees that the commission report and findings contained in them reflects the actions of the Planning Commission this evening.  The Code gives the Planning Commission clear authority to revise or tweak the 8 foot vertical separation feature that is required in 10.797.  Part of it is in response to topography.  As far as the placement, on top of that is pretty clear in meeting the building code standard.
 
Commissioner Mansfield stated that respectfully the Commissioners were getting into much more details than they need to.  The important part of what they are doing tonight is changing a very large segment of property from mixed-use to single family dwellings.  To him that is the emphasis on this matter.
 
Commissioner Pulver stated that the bulk of the public testimony focused on the drainage issue.  He is comfortable that it will be addressed through the development.  Neighbors to the north specifically made reference to a single story limitation.  He is curious to hear what the other Commissioners thought about those issues.
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that he does not have a problem with a height limitation to match the adjacent subdivisions within the first lot in or 50 to 100 feet.  That goes to compatibility.
 
Ms. Akin reported that up to 35 feet high in single family residential zones is permitted in the Code.
 
Chair McFadden asked if the Planning Commission has the flexibility to partially restrict the height?
Ms. Akin stated a portion of Section 10.230(A) in the Code for the Planning Commission to modify states to fulfill the purpose and intents of the standards.  If the Planning Commission thought it necessary to further the project then they could do that.  She believes that is the way the Code is intended to be worded. Building height is under Subsection 2 that they have the authority to modify.  Whether it helps to fulfill the purpose and intent of the Planned Unit Development is the Planning Commission’s decision to make.
 
Ms. Akin returned to the question of the vertical separation feature.  Ms. Akin showed the Commission an exhibit that was submitted by the applicant that was not included in the packet that deals with the retaining walls.  The diagram calls for a two steel railing or fencing per the standards.  This will be included with the Planning Commission Report in their next packet.
 
Mr. McConnell read Section 10.230(A) “Purpose and Intent.  The PUD approach permits flexibility to allow creative and imaginative urban development that would otherwise not be possible under the strict requirements of this Code.  The intent is to promote more efficient use of urban land and urban services while protecting natural features, creating common open space, promoting the development of transit-oriented design along designated transit corridors and within designated transit-oriented development (TOD) areas, and encouraging a mixture of land uses and housing types that are thoughtfully planned and integrated.”  That is the Planning Commission’s power under Section 10.230(A) as far as whether they cannot allow two story housing.  He is not sure if that fits or not.
 
Ms. Akin stated that this section was not included in the staff report.  Only the criteria were included in 10.235.
 
Commissioner Mansfield reported that Mr. Stone articulately explained the economics and been very clear that his clients position is that the market calls for two story housing under certain circumstances.  The Commission must consider the economics of the developer.  If that limitation is created by the Commission makes it no longer economically feasible.  With due sensitivity to the neighbors he is going to vote against any limitations of two story housing for the reason Mr. Stone explained.
 
Vice Chair Miranda stated that unless the Commissioners have any other strong points of discussion he suggested they move forward on the motion. There were no objections.
                               
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6–0.
 
60.          Reports
60.1.      Site Plan and Architectural Commission
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on Friday, May 15, 2015.  Three items on their agenda were continued to the June 5, 2015, Site Plan and Architectural Commission meeting and the fourth item, Costco Warehouse was withdrawn.
 
60.2.      Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee. None.
 
60.3.      Planning Department
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, reported that the Planning Commission’s next study session is scheduled for Monday, June 8, 2015.  Discussion will be regarding the downtown.
 
There is business for the Planning Commission scheduled through July.
 
It was Historic Day at the City Council meeting last week.  The Chair of the Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission, Cathy deWolfe, gave an update on what the Commission has been up to.  They gave awards for rehabilitation or design awards for properties in the Historic District.  They gave an award to the Medford Urban Renewal Agency and to the City itself for the preservation of the Greyhound portal.  The City Council also approved the GLUP map amendment on East Jackson.  They overturned the Site Plan and Architectural Commission on appeal for the Sky Park project.
 
Commissioner MacMillan is moving out of state and has resigned his post.
 
Chair McFadden requested that a thank you of service letter that the Commissioners could sign be made available and sent to Commissioner MacMillan.
      
70.          Messages and Papers from the Chair.
70.1        Downtown Design Committee
Ms. Akin reported that staff is putting together a committee of architects and a member from each of the three land use commissions to help staff develop some architectural design standards for the downtown area.  They are going to be based on the Design Guidelines that the Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission has adopted already.  On page 117 of the agenda is a list of the meetings.  There are 5 or 6 meetings scheduled.  They will meet Tuesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. beginning June 16, 2015.  Other meetings are scheduled for June 23, 2015, June 30, 2015, July 14, 2015 and July 21, 2015.  Aaron Harris is the staff contact.
 
Chair McFadden appointed Commissioner McKechnie as the Planning Commission liaison to the Downtown Design Committee.
 
Chair McFadden requested that Mr. Harris include the entire Planning Commission on all announcements he sends regarding the Downtown Design Committee.  Ms. Akin stated that she would keep the Planning Commission updated as well.
 
80.          Remarks from the City Attorney. None.
 
90.          Propositions and Remarks from the Commission. None.
 
100.        Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m. The proceedings of this meeting were digitally recorded and are filed in the City Recorder’s office.
 
Submitted by:
Recording Secretary
 
Planning Commission Chair
                                                                               
Approved: June 11, 2015


 

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