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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Minutes

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 5:35 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
Joe Foley
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
Jared Pulver
Commissioners Absent
Patrick Miranda, Vice Chair, Excused Absence
Norman Fincher, Excused Absence
Staff Present
Jim Huber, Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner
John Adam, Principal Planner
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer
Donna Holtz, Recording Secretary
Carla Paladino, Planner IV
Jennifer Jones, Planner III
10.          Roll Call
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications.
20.1 LDS-15-095 Final Order 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)
Motion: Adopt the consent calendar.
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie                                    Seconded by: Commissioner Foley
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 7–0.
30.          Minutes
30.1.      The minutes for September 24, 2015, were approved with the following correction.  The motion on agenda item 50.1, LDS-15-095 read: “…Exhibits A through L with Exhibit M being the pictures…” It should read: “…Exhibits A through N with Exhibit O being the pictures…”
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 DCA-15-103 Consideration of a Class “A” legislative code amendment to revise provisions in Chapter 10 of the Municipal Code. (City of Medford, Applicant)
Carla Paladino, Planner IV, reviewed the proposal, read the approval criteria and gave a staff report.
The public hearing was opened and there being no testimony, the public hearing was closed.
Motion: Based on the findings and conclusions that all of the approval criteria are met or are not applicable, initiate the amendment and forward a favorable recommendation for adoption of DCA-15-103 to the City Council per the staff report dated October 1, 2015, including Exhibits A and B including the email received yesterday as Exhibit C.
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie                                    Seconded by: Commissioner D’Alessandro
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7–0.
50.2 ZC-15-019  Consideration of a request for a zone change from SFR-4 (Single Family Residential, four dwelling units per gross acre) to MFR-30 (Multiple-Family Residential, 30 dwelling units per gross acre) on approximately 6.70 acres located at the southeast corner of Roberts Road and North Keene Way Drive. (Foursquare Gospel Church, Applicant; Richard Stevens & Associates, 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 III, read the zone change criteria and gave a staff report.
Commissioner Foley asked if there was an advantage to the MFR-30 designation that has a benefit above and beyond the current designation?  Ms. Jones reported that it would allow what could be built under the current zoning. 
Commissioner Pulver asked with regard to the limitation on sanitary sewer, who would remove the condition?  Ms. Akin replied that Section 10.228 gives the Planning Director the authority.
Commissioner Pulver asked if the General Land Use Plan map was modified as part of Phase I of the UGB project?  Ms. Akin replied yes. 
Commissioner McKechnie asked if there were some sort of logic that MFR-30 was chosen as opposed to MFR-20 which the other land uses are between this and Crater Lake Avenue?  Ms. Jones replied that it is one of the two zoning districts allowed under the General Land Use Plan designation.
Commissioner McKechnie stated that staff’s recommendation is a conditional approval subject to only doing 28 single family units.  Is that a discretionary condition if the Planning Commission approves this or is it fixed?  Ms. Jones replied that it is fixed based on the criteria being met.
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer, stated that it is a code requirement to verify category “A” facilities.  The applicant has not been able to demonstrate that there are adequate facilities at this time.  The applicant can speak to that.  Mr. Georgevitch can speak to any additional concerns.  The purpose is to get the zone change in place.  Public Works is beginning an update to the Sewer Master Plan.  The Master Plan might end up showing facilities are more adequate than they anticipated through their previous master plan.  Until that process is complete, they do not know the answer.  The applicant has the option to show through analysis that there are adequate facilities.  The applicant can go through the Planning Director to have that condition either removed or allow more dwelling units based on evidence provided to the Planning Director and Engineering Department.
Chair McFadden stated that there is nothing in the Traffic Impact statement that states something needs to be done with intersections.  Can the City improve intersections or flow of traffic with remedial actions at any time?  Mr. Georgevitch replied that the code requires the applicant to look at category “A” facilities.  In this case it would be the higher order facilities of the transportation system meaning collector and arterial.  The lower order streets do not require analysis.  The higher order streets that are signalized met the level of service policy.  This development did not generate any locations that did not meet adequacy requirements.  Therefore, Public Works did not have any mitigation requirements for the transportation system.
Ms. Akin clarified the language in Section 10.228 as far as lifting the condition.  The Planning Director does not have the authority to modify conditions, only to remove them.  If there were additional capacity that was found, the applicant would have to come back before the Planning Commission to modify that condition.
The public hearing was opened.
a. Clark Stevens, Richard Stevens & Associates, P. O. Box 4368, Medford, Oregon, 97501-0168.  Mr. Stevens reported that he was present this evening representing Foursquare Gospel Church in this zone change application.  This zone change is from SFR-4 to MFR-30 on a property that went through the ISA review and was changed from single family to multi-family on the Comprehensive Plan.  With this application they have to go to either MFR-20 or MFR-30 zoning.  They have reviewed the staff report, conditions and exhibits within the record, particularly Exhibit H, where Public Works has requested the condition of 28 single-family dwelling units.  The applicant is in agreement to stipulate to those conditions for sanitary sewer flow to the current SFR-4 standard.  This limitation only allows the applicant to build 1 ½ acres of the site.  They will be first in line to have any additional capacity if that occurs during the new study.
Commissioner McKechnie asked Mr. Stevens to provide the Planning Commission with the rationale of going to MFR-30 instead of MFR-20.  Mr. Stevens stated that the applicant has spoken to several realtors and developers and apparently this is the zone that those people are looking for.  They are looking to increase the density in these pocket areas of high density residential.  These potential buyers and developers of these projects are looking and requesting for the higher density.  It is strictly based on the realtors and development industry not so much on the church.  Thirty units per acre is the maximum but it will probably be more like 21 or 22 units per acre. 
Commissioner Pulver asked if there had been any communication with the School District in regards to this zone change?  Mr. Stevens stated that he was not aware of any communication.  They would have been noticed of this application.
Chair McFadden asked what was the extent of the area affected by this lack of capacity?  Mr. Georgevitch reported that the sewer modeling works as basins.  As they collect sewer within the basin, which is Midway, anything upstream would have the same constraint placed on it.  There is not a lot of development potential in this basin.  The capacity constraints right now are not affecting too many properties.  They are significant based on the analysis that the applicant’s engineer and staff worked on to get a handle on where the problems occurred.  The dilemma is there are a lot of assumptions built into the models to give them the output.  Based on the best available information, they show failing facilities, but they have had no sanitary sewer overflows to indicate that there are problems.  Through the process Public Works is starting, they are hoping, there will be a better data collection of rain water and things like that that enter the system that can cause capacity constraints.  There is a potential that they may not have the constraints that are currently being shown in their current master plan.  He believes it encompasses the high school and over to at least Springbrook Road, down Roberts to Grandview, to Whittle, to Highway 62, and down to the north Medford interchange.
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 ZC-15-019 per the staff report dated October 1, 2015, including Exhibits A through H including a letter submitted today as Exhibit I.
Moved by: Commissioner D’Alessandro                                                Seconded by: Commissioner Mansfield
Commissioner McKechnie stated that he needs to feel comfortable about putting somewhere between 150 and 350 houses or apartments several blocks in from Crater Lake.  Personally, he would feel more comfortable if it was MFR-20 which gets a minimum of 105 and 140 units, which seems to him eminently workable for development and something more suitable for what is in there.  It just seems like a lot of people coming in and out of development that is a couple of blocks away from major roadways.
Commissioner Mansfield stated that as a general proposition, good planning in the public interest, demands greater density.  The more density that we can have the greater the public interest is served and therefore, he intends to vote for this.
Commissioner Culbertson echoed some of the concerns.  When the modification of the General Land Use Plan was put in, more scrutiny should have been given to any upsizing needs the constraints they had on the facilities that were already there.  Going to the max of 30, in his opinion, is a mistake.  It needs to be modified and brought back down.  He has concerns with the density.
Chair McFadden state that if the Planning Commission accepts the application as it is now, there is all the preponderance of the testimony and all submissions that support this application as being an adequate decision, even with the limitation of the sewer line and the limitation of the development because of that.  To do anything other than that, they have to show cause which is more than a feeling.  It is more than what has been stated so far this evening.
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney concurred with what Chair McFadden just stated.  If this Commission wants to do something different it would need to go back to the criteria Section 10.227(1) and (2) and make findings that it does not comply with something in Subsections (1) and (2).
Commissioner Mansfield stated that he forgot to add one other factor which is a business and economic factor.  Testimony showed clearly that there is an economic demand for greater density.
Commissioner D’Alessandro asked Commission McKechnie to explain the numbers he stated earlier of the amount of dwellings placed on an acre.  Commissioner McKechnie stated that for MFR-20, it is a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 20 dwelling units per acre.  For MFR-30, it is a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 30 dwelling units per acre.  Also, one has to count, as part of the density, half of the right-of-way wherever it abuts the right-of-way. The site is approximately 6.7 acres which does not include the right-of-way.  If one did 15 units to the acre times 7 acres it would end up with 105 units.  If one does 20 units to the acre times 7 it would end up 140 units, 30 times 7 is 210 units.  Commissioner McKechnie admitted he was wrong about the 350 units he mentioned earlier.
Ms. Jones reminded the Commission that the total acreage included the existing church facility.  Staff is unaware of how much of that the applicant is interested in developing or preserving.  Those types of plans have not been created or calculated yet.  That may be another consideration that would potentially adjust the final numbers somewhat.
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 4–3, with Commissioner McKechnie, Commissioner Culbertson and Commissioner Foley voting no.
60.  Reports
60.1            Site Plan and Architectural Commission.
Commissioner D’Alessandro reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on Friday, October 2, 2015.  The Human Bean off of East Barnett is replacing the existing unit with a larger unit.  The Site Plan and Architectural Commission approved the application.  The other application was a sign for a development off of East McAndrews.  The Site Plan and Architectural Commission approved that application.
60.2        Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee. None.
60.3        Planning Department
Kelly Akin, Principal Planner, reported that the Planning Commission study session scheduled for Monday, October 12, 2015, has been cancelled.
There is business for the Planning Commission study session scheduled for Monday, October 26, 2015.
There is business for the Planning Commission regular meetings of October 22, 2015 and November 12, 2015.  November 26, 2015, is Thanksgiving.  The Planning Commission will meet again on December 10, 2015, which will be the last meeting of the year.  December 24, 2015, is the day before Christmas and the assumption is there will not be a quorum so there will be no meeting on that date.
October 1, 2015, at the City Council meeting the Mayor read a proclamation for October being the National Community Planning month.  The City Council had a public hearing on the marijuana-related businesses.  The result was a split vote.  It will go to a second reading next week.  They did not require conditional use permits.  The also removed the retail component until the State finishes their rule making.  Also, the Urban Growth Boundary record remains open for written testimony.  The City Council has asked for a study session on Thursday, October 22, 2015.
Today, at the Farmer’s Market the Planning Department had a booth.  The Planning Department has had a booth for the last several years.  This year the focus was on bees.  There were a lot of folks that participated.
The City Council meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2015, the UGB hearing will continue.  The Planning Department has requested that the City Council initiate a vacation of excess right-of-way at the corner of Holly and Garfield. 
Commissioner Pulver asked if and when the City Council chooses to add the retail component what would that process look like?  Would they do it independently or would it come back to the Planning Commission?  Ms. Akin reported that it would have to come back to the Planning Commission for another text amendment to allow the retail component.
70.          Messages and Papers from the Chair. None.
80.          Remarks from the City Attorney. None.
90.          Propositions and Remarks from the Commission. None.
100.        Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 6:34 p.m. The proceedings of this meeting were digitally recorded and are filed in the City Recorder’s office.
110. Photographs for January Luncheon.
Due to all members were not present for photographs for the January Luncheon, the photograph session has been rescheduled to the Thursday, October 22, 2015, Planning Commission meeting.
Submitted by:
Terri L. Rozzana                                                                
Recording Secretary
David McFadden
Planning Commission Chair
Approved: October 22, 2015

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