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City Council/Planning Commission Joint Study Session Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, July 09, 2015

                                       
 July 9, 2015
12:00 p.m.
                                                                                                           Carnegie Building
 Medford, Oregon
 
 
The joint meeting of the Medford City Council and Planning Commission was called to order at 12:00 pm in the Carnegie Building on the above date with the following members and staff present:
 
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski
                                  
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; Acting City Attorney Kevin McConnell; Deputy City Recorder Karen Spoonts
 
Councilmember absent:  Chris Corcoran
 
Planning Commissioners Tim DíAlessandro, Joe Foley, Bill Mansfield, David McFadden, Mark McKechnie, Jared Pulver, Patrick Miranda (Patrick Miranda arrived at 12:15 pm)
 
Planning Commissioner absent:  Norman Fincher
 
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke stated that it was Councilís desire to meet with the Planning Commission to discuss the time, place and manner, relative to the marijuana laws that have been passed recently, and how we deal with this within the city limits of Medford.  Where, how, when and why and since it does involve land use type items and questions that arise Council felt that it would be important to have the joint session with the Planning Commission to get the discussion started since we are going to be depending quite a bit on Planning Commissionís input on the time, place and manner for these issues as they come forward. 
 
Mayor Wheeler requested planning staff input. Acting Deputy City Attorney Kevin McConnell stated that Council was to direct the Planning Commission to start the process for time, place and manner restrictions for all marijuana licensees, which includes the Measure 91 retail licensees and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act licensees.   A summary on HB 3400 was provided and included information on where they can be located in a city. He provided an example of the 1,000 foot rule. Mayor Wheeler thought this was a great place to start with the Planning Commission. Mr. McConnell stated that the State has the public safety area taken care of, so the issue will be where the City wants them located if they lift the moratorium.
 
Councilmember Stine did not want a regulation of where they should be located as it tells you where it canít be within HB 3400. Mr. McConnell provided an example from another city in Oregon, such as near a drug store. Councilmember Bearnson questioned the locations of the drug stores. Councilmember Bunn stated that it does not fit well around certain businesses and we currently do regulate other businesses. It should not be different from other businesses. Councilmember Bunn thought that Community Commercial, Regional Commercial and Heavy Commercial would be a good location and it does not make sense in Neighborhood Commercial or CSP.  Councilmember Stine further questioned locations of businesses. Councilmember Jackle agreed with Councilmember Bunn and thought there would be less marijuana dispensaries which may impact the location of the business.
 
Commissioner DíAlessandro noted that OLCC does limit the number of liquor stores in an area and this should be somewhat similar to that on the recreational side based on the process they need to go through. Commissioner Pulver had not heard if that would pertain to this situation. Mr. McConnell provided information on the differences between the marijuana businesses. HB 3400 does allow OLCC to segregate these premises in a separate area, but thatís another little twist.  Marijuana extraction method cannot be in a residential area unless they do not use high heat to do so. Councilmember Bunn questioned the different categories.  Mr. McConnell indicated that on the retail side you have:  producers, wholesalers, processors and retailers.  On the medical side you have: marijuana growers/producers, medical marijuana processors, and medical marijuana dispensaries.    
 
Senate bill 460 would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell retail marijuana until the end of 2016.  It may not be signed yet and may not be an issue that we are faced with. 
 
Councilmember Bearnson talked about buffers and indicated that OLCC is still meeting to set their rules for where they are going to be allowed and where they are not going to be allowed.  Mr. Bearnson indicted his recommendation would be that if volatile or industrial gases are used they should be relegated to industrial areas because if there were an accident they could do a lot of damage.  This is a public safety issue that he hasnít seen dealt with on the state level.   
 
Commissioner Mansfield stated that the majority of people voted in favor of the marijuana passage but there was a large minority that voted against the passage and he just wanted to indicate that we are not of a like mind regarding the issue. Councilmember Bearnson noted that passing more prohibitive measures and trying to get it out of town would exacerbate the black market and keep it functioning solid.  Commissioner Mansfield noted that there are arguments against that as well.
 
Mayor Wheeler stated that for us it is a question of what do we want our city to look like.  In Colorado it drove out the antique shops in a certain district. We need to take everything into consideration and give the input to planning staff and have them come back with their recommendation that would best suit our needs for Medford, and what we want our city to look like.
 
Councilmember Gordon requested information on the testing labs that was mentioned in the materials on hand.    Mr. McConnell noted there is no law of where they can be at this time. Councilmember Bearnson noted that from the outside they look the same as any other business. Councilmember Gordon questioned if there were any extra precautions that need to be taken. Councilmember Bearnson noted that they use the same machines as any other lab and assumed they would be held to the same standards. Mr. McConnell noted that if the moratorium is lifted labs are necessary.
 
Commissioner DíAlessandro questioned if staff has checked on what has worked for the states that have done this already.  Mr. McConnell noted that lack of labeling was an issue; another issue is taxation which is in place for the retail side. If the moratorium is lifted we would need to capture new language that has taken place and tax the medical and retail the same. He noted we are not in line with the tax as noted with HB 3400.
 
Councilmember Bearnson indicated HB 3400 is a culmination of the best of what worked for the two states; he also noted that we can regulate advertising to some extent. Mr. McConnell indicated that in a big indoor grow for recreational use you may want to regulate due to the odor issue.  Commissioner Foley noted there was a huge spike in energy consumption at two different states due to the indoor grows.
 
Commissioner Pulver questioned what planning staff and Planning Commission is being tasked with.  Mr. McConnell indicated that the Council would direct the Planning Commission to draft some reasonable time, place and manner restrictions.  Planning Department will help you do that.  The Planning Department would come up with a zoning text amendment, come back to the Planning Commission for a public hearing, with Planning Commission recommendations to the City Council. Commissioner Pulver questioned if medical and recreational marijuana would be separated or merged or is it just an unknown at this time.  Mr. McConnell noted that for the time being politics dictates that they be separate.  The Oregon Health Authority is regulating the medical marijuana portion and the OLCC is regulating the retail side.  HB 3400 tried to make them as close as possible as far as their definitions are, especially the lab testing requirements. They are mentioned together to address who would monitor them and to make sure the safety standards are the same.
 
Councilmember Bunn indicated that we have time, place and manner authority and questioned whether or not they are in Chapter 10 and if they are land use.  If so, do we want to task the Planning Commission with at least looking at time, place and manner restrictions or do we want them just to stick to zoning districts.  Mr. McConnell noted other cities put in hours of operation, the no drive-through item, and advertising limits into their text amendments. Planning Department might not like to see that in there, and maybe that is something you put in the business license chapter.  A broader question from Councilmember Bunn was do we want to have our Planning Commission look at time, place and manner.  Councilmember Gordon would like that to be dealt with within the Emergency Services.  Councilmember Zarosinski indicated that after reviewing Coloradoís regulations they are similar to alcohol. We deal with alcohol different than most states and questioned if we could we use that as a guiding principle. Councilmember Bunn questioned if we want to task that process to the Planning Commission.  Commissioner DíAlessandro questioned if OLCC would take care of hours, etc.  Mr. McConnell indicated he would do more research on that issue.
 
Mr. McConnell indicated other issues raised were design standards and whether or not a review from SPAC would be necessary. The reason for zoning in Chapter 10 is because on the retail side HB 3400 requires OLCC to obtain a Land Use Compatibility Statement from the City before it actually issues a state license. If we say no, they donít get a license. Councilmember Jackle thought the Planning Commission needs to address all three issues. The Mayor would appreciate as much input from Planning Commission and the Site Plan and Architectural Commission as possible.
 
Commissioner McFadden remarked that a comment he received was when a current clinic is open there is no parking available for the neighborhood. He assumed that marijuana use was only allowed in the home and Mr. McConnell indicated that he was right. Commissioner McFadden questioned clubs being opened under the current regulations.  Mr. McConnell will research whether or not cannabis clubs would be allowed in the City of Medford. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie talked about time, place and manner, stores vs. bars, etc., and that we are breaking new ground and need as many minds as possible look at these issues to come up with some sort of solutions on these issues.  Councilmember Bearnson stated that OLCC will probably set a time as liquor stores close at 9 pm, etc.
 
Mr. McConnell mentioned that on the retail side in HB 3400 if a licensee is convicted of violating a local ordinance in the Municipal Court or the Circuit Court we can report that conviction to the OLCC and enforcement action against that licensee will be taken.
 
Mayor Wheeler talked about clubs and the difference between that and a bar. A ventilation system would be extremely important and we do put restrictions on restaurants on hoods, etc., so we need to take a look at that issue. 
 
Councilmember Gordon stated that if we are looking at retail he agreed with Councilmember Bunn; no on CSP and CN, yes on CC, CR, CH, IG and IH. He was not sure in IL because it is up against lots of residential areas. Commissioner Pulver agreed with Councilmember Bunnís comments in the commercial arena just for the outlets. He would be inclined to not allow retail sales in industrial zones as currently we do not allow them. Councilmember Bunn indicated it might be that this would be an ancillary business in an industrial zone. 
 
Councilmember Jackle questioned the light industrial zone possibilities.  Commissioner Pulver noted that does not allow retail uses. It allows restaurants and banks and might allow personal services category uses.  Liquor may be allowed in that zone also.
 
Councilmember Bunn asked if the Council needs to regulate commercial outdoor grows. Mr. McConnell was unsure where you could grow that in the city. Commissioner McKechnie questioned if that would be in the exclusive agriculture overlay. Councilmember Bearnson stated that retail should be restricted to industrial zone.  The County will be the one tasked with the outdoor grow.  Mayor Wheeler noted that the County will need to look at this regardless of the law.
 
Councilmember Bearnson questioned Mr. McConnell regarding retail sales of medical marijuana come October 1, 2015, is that correct.  Mr. McConnell indicated that that was the estimate.  Councilmember Bearnson spoke to the timing issue on this and the more we drag our heels the more disservice we are doing to our local business people who would like to be in this business. We are also keeping the playing field un-level because there is out of state well-funded outside interests that can buy up that property and sit on it, so he would like this process to go relatively quick.
 
Commissioner Mansfield questioned a report from Mr. McConnell regarding content regulation of signs.  Mr. McConnell noted that marijuana cannot be seen on a storefront. We can regulate size but we are not in the business of regulating content and he is not sure whether OLCC may get into this or not. It cannot be appealing to minors, promote excessive use, promote illegal activity, or otherwise be a significant risk to public health and safety.   Commissioner Mansfield thought it was getting close to content.
 
Mayor Wheeler questioned if Planning Director Jim Huber had received enough direction to work with Legal staff. Mr. Huber noted direction on the time, place and manner restrictions is wide open. Commissioner Pulver identified how we will tackle the use issue; which is basically that we will take the seven categories and try to determine where they fit in the Code. He reviewed the Milwaukee, Oregon ordinance about time, place and manner restrictions on a medical marijuana facility. Restrictions included; they defined it; could not be within 1000 feet of a public or private elementary or secondary school or a career school that worked with minors; could not be within 1000 feet of another medical marijuana facility; couldnít be within 1000 feet (two certain properties); could not collocate with another business; couldnít display marijuana or marijuana products from outside the facility; and the hours of operation would be 8 am to 10 pm.  After that they mapped locations where facilities would be permitted. 
 
Mr. McConnell questioned when Council would like to see this back to them.   Mayor Wheeler agreed with Councilmember Bearnson that this needs to be as soon as possible.  Mr. Huber stated they will rough something up before the Planning Commission in a draft form.  Commissioner Pulver questioned time, place and manner for other uses outside OLCC. Mr. Huber noted there are some restrictions. Councilmember Bunn asked if it would be helpful to formally initiate this text amendment at the next Council meeting; Mr. Huber stated that it would.
 
Councilmember Stine questioned how fast this could be done. Mayor Wheeler noted we need to follow the rules of our State and our Code. Mr. Hoke talked about Mr. Huberís comments about his timeline.
 
The meeting adjourned at 1:13 p.m.
 
 
 
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC
Deputy City Recorder
 
 

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