The study session of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at noon in the Lausmann Annex Room 151-157 on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
David McFadden, Chair
Patrick Miranda, Vice Chair
Mark McKechnie, Excused Absence
Jared Pulver, Excused Absence
Jim Huber, Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
John Adam, Senior Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Aaron Harris, Planner II
Desmond McGeough, II
Megan LaNier Wattier, Richard Stevens & Associates
Brad Earl, Chief Operations Officer, Medford School District 549C
Thad Pauck, Attorney for Medford School District 549C
Ron Havniear, Facility Manager, Medford School District 549C
- CP-15-078 Medford School District Long Range Facilities Plan Update
John Adam, Senior Planner, stated that the Medford School Districts Facilities Plan was adopted approximately a year ago. There have been several changes in some of their facilities planning.
Aaron Harris, Planner II, reported that the proposal is to adopt by reference and incorporate the undated School Facilities Plan into the Comprehensive Plan Public Facilities Element. ORS 195.110 School facility plan for large school districts requires inclusion as element of the comprehensive plan, must cover a period of at least 10 years and specific plan elements including population projections, identification of desirable school sites, descriptions of physical improvements needed to existing schools, financial plans to meet school facility needs, analysis of the alternatives to new school construction and major renovation, analysis of measures to increase efficient use of school sites. It also requires ten-year improvement plans and site acquisition schedules and programs.
The Long-Range Facilities Plan 2013 Update was adopted January 16, 2014. The most notable issue in the 2012 Plan was the Hull Road property. The School District found this property to be a desirable school location. The City had issue with this site because it was located outside the urban growth boundary.
Significant changes between the 2012 Plan and the 2014 Plan include existing school capacities, facilities’ needs, costs and recommendations for future facilities. The 2014 Plan includes an adjusted capacity. The adjusted capacity accounts for partnerships and district programs. These include fine and performing arts, physical education, special education, tutorial support and career and technical education programs.
The capital improvement plan takes into account large projects that cannot be funded from the maintenance operating budget. It takes into account projects such as roof replacements, mechanical and electrical system upgrades, parking lot and sidewalk replacements, painting sports fields and track replacements and building renovations. It does not include new construction or major renovation projects. There is an overall increase in cost of approximately 48 percent.
Facility needs in the 2012 Plan states they will need two elementary schools (east side/west side). The east side school is located in the Southeast Plan map area and it is identified in the Southeast Plan. The west side school was the Hull Road property. The 2014 Plan provides multiple options for each of the three phases (1 to 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years). The options in the three phases include boundary adjustments, adding modular units to existing school sites, relocating elementary school students to secondary schools that have extra capacity, expanding existing schools, and adding new schools. The 2014 Plan specifically notes the Coker Butte property and the Southeast Plan property as desirable locations for new schools.
Commissioner Mansfield asked if the same problem exists that the School District wants the Hull Road property and the City has not agreed that the urban growth boundary should be expanded to include that property? Mr. Adam explained that the Hull Road property was not in the candidate urban reserve which was the point of contention.
Commissioner Fincher asked what are the odds of the area of MD-2, where the School District is proposing a school site, coming into the urban growth boundary in the next 10 years? Mr. Harris reported that it is likely to be adopted. Mr. Adam stated that the area that includes the school site was in the Planning Commission’s recommendation to the City Council.
Brad Earl, Chief Operations Officer, Medford School District 549C, stated that if development starts going in that area they are going to need a school sooner than later. Most of the projected growth and current growth has been on the east side. They have pressure on Lone Pine, Abraham Lincoln, all the schools in that area are full. They are expanding into full day kindergarten next year. They are installing two modular units on the Lone Pine campus. As they look at potential growth they need an elementary school if they stay with the current K–6 in elementary then 7th and 8th grade in the middle school model. If they go to a K–5 model and a 6th–8th they will need a middle school on that side of town. They will need these within seven years.
Commissioner Fincher asked if staff foresees the urban growth boundary extending west in order for the School District to fulfill their growth need in seven years in that area? Mr. Adam stated that when the decision was before the City Council that information was put forward by certain parties. Whether the Planning Commission acknowledged and incorporated it into their recommendation at that time or not, it was potentially there. The question on the table is before the City Council and how much does that affect their decision.
Mr. Harris asked if someone from the Medford School District 549C speak to the capital improvements that were taken from the 2012 and 2014 Plans. Mr. Earl stated there were a couple of things that happened. One of the things is that they included computer and server upgrades. The second thing is since the Plan was adopted they have implemented a construction excise tax. It is projected to bring approximately $750,000 next year to the District. All that money has to be used for capital improvements.
Commissioner D’Alessandro asked if the schools on the west side such as Jefferson and Washington are going to be able to maintain capacity? Mr. Earl stated right now they have capacity in those locations. They were able to expand into full day kindergarten in all the west side locations without adding modulars except for one. They did have to add a unit at Jackson. If growth starts going to the west they will need schools on the west. That is one of the reasons Kings Highway property was ruled out by them because they have not seen growth out there. Medford School District’s boundary ends at South Stage Road.
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, stated that staff sent out an email for a joint study session with the City Council on Thursday, July 9, 2015, at noon in the Carnegie Library. Commissioner Miranda, Commissioner D’Alessandro, Commissioner Fincher, Commissioner Mansfield will be there. Chair McFadden and Commissioner Pulver had responded to the email that they will be present.
Mr. Adam reported that the Downtown Design Committee started work last Tuesday, June 16, 2015. They took a walking tour of the Downtown. They will meet again tomorrow evening, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. They will take another walking tour meeting at Starbucks at The Commons. They are trying to get this done in approximately five meetings. There are five members on the Downtown Design Committee.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:28 p.m.
Terri L. Rozzana, Recording Secretary