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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, September 24, 2015

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 5:33 PM in the City Hall Council Chambers on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
 
Commissioners Present
David McFadden, Chair
Tim D’Alessandro
David Culbertson
Norman Fincher
Joe Foley
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
Jared Pulver
 
Commissioner Absent  
Patrick Miranda, Vice Chair, Excused Absence
 
Staff Present
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director
John Adam, Principal Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer
Terri Rozzana, Recording Secretary
Aaron Harris, Planner II
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV
 
10.          Roll Call
 
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications.
20.1 LDP-15-092 Final Order of a request for a partition to create two parcels from 1.82 gross acres located approximately 250 feet north of O’Hare Parkway between Heathrow Way and Biddle Road, within the I-L/PD (Light Industrial/Planned Unit Development) zoning district. (Mandell Landing LLC, Applicant; Hoffbuhr & Associates, Inc., Agent)
 
20.2 LDS-15-073 / E-15-099 Final Order of a request for tentative plat approval for Spring Creek Subdivision, a 9-lot residential subdivision located on the southwest corner of North Ross Lane and Finley Lane and an Exception to the required right-of-way dedication for a 1.99 acre property zoned SFR-6 (Single Family Residential – 6 dwelling units per gross acre). (Tony and Tory Nieto, Applicant; Farber Surveying, Agent)
 
20.3  DCA-15-104 Review of final draft of text amendment that the City Council will consider at its October 1, 2015, meeting concerning regulation of marijuana-based businesses. (City of Medford, Applicant)
 
Commissioner Mansfield stated that it was his understanding that the Planning Commission intended to pull agenda item 20.3 out of the consent calendar and deal with it separately.
 
John Adam, Principal Planner, stated that agenda item 20.3 was delayed because he and Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney were working on a final draft.  It was too late to get it in on the consent calendar before the packet was sent out.  It was emailed to the Planning Commissioners on Monday, September 21, 2015, for their review.  The changes incorporated the vote of the Commission and a few technical changes.  It is not named on the consent calendar.
 
Commissioner Pulver pulled agenda item 20.3 for discussion.
 
Motion: Adopt items 20.1 and 20.2 of the consent calendar.
 
Moved by: Commissioner Pulver                                              Seconded by: Chair McFadden
 
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 8–0.
 
20.3 DCA-15-104 Review of final draft of text amendment that the City Council will consider at its October 1, 2015, meeting concerning regulation of marijuana-based businesses. (City of Medford, Applicant)
 
Mr. Adam stated that several terms were changed in order to match the State and their regulatory powers and that the retail use would be a conditional use permit.
 
Commissioner Mansfield asked if staff was going with the same recommendations with a few technical changes on what the Planning Commission voted on at their last meeting?  The features that Commissioner Mansfield likes are prohibiting any activity outdoors and the conditional use permit.   Mr. Adam reported that the general provisions that applied to all marijuana-related businesses remain in place.  They have to be inside a secure building.  All grows are indoors.  No external display.
 
Mr. McConnell stated that there will probably be multiple changes done at the City Council level.  Licensees will obey State and local laws and maintain any license that is required by the State.  The City Council maybe imposing hours of operation on marijuana retailers and dispensaries.  Anyone interested in knowing about marijuana and more, they can attend the October 1, 2015, City Council meeting.
 
Commissioner Pulver stated that he was surprised that the Planning Commission came to a recommendation so rapidly at their last meeting.  Staff has done a great job crafting a framework for a difficult and new subject matter.  He struggles to see how the Planning Commission can effectively do what they are being asked to do when the OLCC has not put rules to date.  He thinks they are being asked to make sure what is being done in the City is for the benefit of the City.  What they are being asked to recommend to the City Council, he is not sure that the conditional use permit is the appropriate mechanism to accomplish what they are trying to accomplish.  When reading the conditional use permit criteria, how somebody is going to navigate that with a professional planner, could get murky real quick.  This is a very big deal.  If he was asked to vote again today he thinks he would vote differently.
 
Chair McFadden stated the options that the Planning Commission has this evening is that they can make a motion to 1) Accept the consent calendar item and move it forward to City Council or 2) Deny the consent calendar item and move it back to staff for further discussion.  There may be other options but those are two that could be done.  Has the Planning Commission been asked by the City Council to bring this to them by a certain date?  Mr. Adam reported that the City Council was firm on a date they wanted to see this item.  They want it by October 1, 2015.
 
Mr. McConnell stated that at the City Council and Planning Commission joint study session he specifically asked the City Council when would they like to see this and they said as soon as possible.  It is set to be heard on October 1, 2015.
 
Commissioner Foley asked what would the Planning Commission like to know before they move this forward that they do not know today?  He is not sure of the next steps they could take.  He was a little disappointed that they did not get public input as they had anticipated, hoping to get somewhat educated by the public’s feeling about this but there was none.  With the excellent work that staff did, it is his opinion, they have a workable framework to start from and see where it goes when it gets to the City Council.
 
Commissioner Pulver stated that with a conditional use permit in place these things could show up wherever they want.  The road to get there might be more difficult.  He would make it similar to liquor stores.  At a minimum there needs to be time, place and manner restrictions in place.
 
Motion: Accept 20.3 as part of the consent calendar.
  
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie                                                    Seconded by: Commissioner Foley
 
Commissioner Culbertson asked if the motion included the correction of the numbering of the items and technical corrections that were made.  Commissioner McKechnie replied it included all changes.
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion failed, 4–4, with Commission Fincher, Commissioner Mansfield, Commissioner Pulver and Commissioner D’Alessandro voting no.
 
Mr. McConnell reported that the Planning Commission is required to make a recommendation.  It does not have to be a favorable one.  If the Planning Commission wanted to make a recommendation putting forth a lot of what Commissioner Pulver has stated, the Planning Commission could do that.  This came before the Planning Commission as a zone change text amendment.  That is what the City Council wanted to take a look at and the Code requires that the Planning Commission make a recommendation before the City Council sees it.  This Commission has the authority to go beyond just looking at the chart and SIC Codes in this zone text amendment.  If there are broader issues that they would like the City Council to address they can do that.   Whether or not marijuana should be legalized in the City of Medford is something, if the Commission wants to explore, they can do that. Or they can recommend an unfavorable recommendation based on other reasons.
 
Commission D’Alessandro asked if the Planning Commission could recommend part of this item and recommend the City Council disregard another portion?
 
Mr. McConnell stated that he is not telling the Planning Commission what to do.  They could say looking at what staff did, as far as the zoning and the SIC Code classification, looks great but other than that the Planning Commission has serious issues with marijuana being legalized in the City of Medford.  The Planning Commission does not know what the rules are going to be at the State level.  The Planning Commission recommends that the City waits to address this issue until the rules from the State come forth.  He is not telling the Planning Commission what to do.  This is the time the Planning Commission needs to think about what they want to do and what to recommend to the City Council.
        
Motion: The Planning Commission agrees that what staff did with the zoning and the SIC Code classification is great but they have serious issues with marijuana being legalized in the City of Medford.  The Planning Commission does not know what the rules are going to be at the State level and recommends that the City waits to address this issue until the rules from the State come forth.
 
Moved by: Commissioner Mansfield                                                       Seconded by:
 
Friendly amendment made by Commissioner Foley: That more definitive time, place and manner restrictions should be considered in order to move forward.
 
Commissioner Mansfield withdrew his motion.  It has died from a lack of a second.  He hopes that someone will make a motion eventually that the Commission can vote yea or nay on.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission forwards what staff has presented in consent calendar item 20.3 with the modification that conditional use permits be removed from the retail component and permitted with special regulations.  The Planning Commission forwards an unfavorable recommendation that they think it is important that time, place and manner regulations be considered before any moratorium be lifted.  The City Council needs to wait to see what OLCC rule making body put forth as a final regulation.     

Moved by: Commissioner Pulver                                              Seconded by: Commissioner Mansfield
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 5–3, with Commission Fincher, Commissioner Mansfield, and Commissioner McKechnie voting no.
 
30.          Minutes
30.1.      The minutes for September 10, 2015, were approved with the following corrections:  1) Commissioner McKechnie stated that on agenda item 50.3, the vote was recorded as 8-1 with Commissioner Pulver recusing himself.  The vote should be 8-0-1 with Commissioner Pulver recusing himself; and 2) Commissioner Foley stated that he had one minor correction that he sent in an email to the Recording Secretary, Terri Rozzana.  On page 4 of 11 it reads: “Commissioner Foley asked if it was appropriate to put a sunset clause on the process since it is a new industry…”  It was changed to read:  “Commissioner Foley asked if it was appropriate to put a sunset clause on the conditional use permit process since it is a new industry and they do not know enough about it? Mr. McConnell stated that it would be a possible line they could explore.”
     
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 LDS-15-095 Consideration of a request for tentative plat approval for Merlot Valley Subdivision, a 23-lot residential subdivision on 3.75 acres located on the west side of Kings Highway, approximately 200 feet south of Diamond Street, within the SFR-10 (Single Family Residential, 10 dwelling units per gross acre) zoning district. (Mark McAlister, Applicant; Richard Stevens & Associates, Inc., Agent)
Chair McFadden inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex parte communication they would like to disclose. Commissioner Fincher stated that he has a conflict with this application and recused himself.
 
Chair McFadden inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
 
Aaron Harris, Planner II, read the land division criteria and gave a staff report.
 
Commissioner McKechnie asked if Lillian were to be extended would the City require a street to be put in?  Mr. Harris deferred the question to Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer.  Mr. Georgevitch reported that it is his opinion that this development does not preclude a future street connection.
      
Commissioner Pulver asked if the applicant was applying for an exception?  Mr. Harris reported that they are not applying for an exception.  It would be the approval authority granting relief from the standards to allow the block lengths to exceed the standards.
 
Commissioner Pulver asked that according to the Southwest Circulation Plan Nobility is not intended to connect and Lillian is intended to serve the job, is that correct?  Mr. Georgevitch reported that the Southwest Circulation Plan is supposed to show a general framework, not all streets.  There was a recent approved development that is pushing all the way to the UGB that will connect with the new street, labeled Marsh that runs north and south.
   
Commissioner Pulver asked if one of the requirements is that some improvements be made to Kings Highway?  Mr. Georgevitch stated that was correct.  Commissioner Pulver asked how does that work?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that improvements are conditioned for that section of Kings Highway.  This development will receive SDC credits from the City on the construction of that section of Kings Highway.
Mr. Harris reported that the Planning Commission has the authority to grant the relief for the length of street from Lillian to Nobility where they do not meet the 200 foot standard.  That is an action that the Planning Commission needs to take.  The Code provides the language to grant relief to the block length standard.
 
Commissioner McKechnie asked if the Planning Commission needs to modify the recommended action?  Mr. Harris agreed. 
 
The public hearing was opened.
 
a. Megan LaNier, Richard Stevens & Associates, P. O. Box 4368, Medford, Oregon, 97501-0168.  Ms. LaNier reported that Mr. Harris summed everything up on this application.  In regards to the block length, the Code states that block lengths are permitted to exceed the maximum as long as they do not exceed it by 20%.  The applicant determined they were able to satisfy that condition.  They are over by approximately 11%.
 
b. David West, complete address was not given or was legible.   There are mature trees on the property being discussed this evening that are over 200 years old.  Are the trees going to be protected?  He is concerned with the increased traffic.  He requests that the applicant install a privacy fence.
 
Ms. LaNier stated it is her understanding that at the time of development the fence is generally installed.  It is something that can be negotiated with the developer.  It is also her understanding that the developer is planning on installing a 6 foot fence along the boundary line.  Ms. LaNier confirmed that access is to the north of the property.
   
The public hearing was closed.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission adopts the findings as recommended by staff and directs staff to prepare a Final Order for approval of LDS-15-095 per the staff report dated September 18, 2015, including Exhibits A through N and Exhibit O (pictures) and adding additional language to grant relief to the block length standard.
 
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie                                                    Seconded by: Commissioner Foley
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7–0-1, with Commissioner Fincher recusing himself.
 
60.  Reports
60.1            Site Plan and Architectural Commission.
Commissioner D’Alessandro reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on Friday, September 18, 2015.  They had a lengthy debate over a cross-access easement for a proposed Starbucks in the Black Oak Shopping Center.  The Site Plan and Architectural Commission voted that they did not have jurisdiction.  The other project they heard was consideration of plans for the construction of a 44-unit multi-family residential project located on the east side of Crater Lake Avenue, between Roberts Road and Brookhurst Street.  The Commission approved the application.
 
60.2        Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee. None.
 
60.3        Planning Department
Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director, reported that the Planning Commission study session scheduled for Monday, September 28, 2015, has been cancelled.
 
The Planning Commission meeting on October 8, 2015 will hear a zone change and the housekeeping issues.  The lot legality and lot issues are being removed from the housekeeping items.
 
The City Council on October 1, 2015, in addition to discussing the marijuana-related businesses will have their 5th meeting on the UGB amendment.  The record is still open for written testimony.  One of the issues that came up was that a local consultant suggested that maybe staff had not figured the land need correctly and had some suggestions for adding more land based on how staff calculated agricultural bufferyards.  He thought they could get up to 120 acres.  Staff received a letter from the State saying that staff over counted about 60 acres.  Now the City Council is waiting for staff to come back with a recommendation of either adding 120 acres or subtracting 60 acres.
 
On September 17, 2015, the City Council had a lengthy discussion on the fire stations.  They did not get to too much of the UGB discussion.  Hopefully, at their October 1, 2015, meeting they will put the UGB amendment before the marijuana discussion.
 
Also, regarding the UGB amendment, the City Council wanted to question some of the department heads about facility adequacy.  They were also interested in talking to staff about how to make some of the promises binding of the property owners who wanted to make it into the UGB if they include those properties.  At one point the Mayor suggested that they hoped to have made a decision by November.
 
60.          Messages and Papers from the Chair. None.
 
70.          Remarks from the City Attorney. None.
 
80.          Propositions and Remarks from the Commission. None.
 
90.          Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 7:07 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: October 8, 2015
 

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