413 West Main Street, Medford, Oregon
1. Joint Study Session with the Site Plan & Architectural Commission
413 West Main Street, Medford, Oregon
The Medford City Council Joint Study Session with the Site Plan & Architectural Commission was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Carnegie Building, Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski
Site Plan & Architectural Commission: Chair Jeff Bender; Vice-Chair Jim Quinn, Commissioners Jim Catt, Bill Chmelir, Tim D’Alessandro, Bob Neathamer, Marcy Pierce, Curtis Turner, Rick Whitlock
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; City Recorder Karen Spoonts
Joint Study Session with the Site Plan & Architectural Commission
Site Plan & Architectural Commission Vice Chair Jim Quinn noted Commissioners requested this meeting to determine Council's vision for the downtown area as well as the SkyPark Development.
- Mayor Wheeler believed the City does not have the housing element downtown and we need that; would like to have housing with parking.
- Commissioner Quinn stated the Commission believed the SkyPark Development is extremely important and would bring life to downtown.
- Councilmember Corcoran noted there have been a lot of developer issues and Council had become frustrated with last minute issues.
- Councilmember Stine clarified the project was denied and it didn't fit in with the surrounding area and parking. However, he noted it was a good project.
- Commissioner Jim Catt questioned Council’s preference for parking and downtown development and whether standards should be created for both parking and downtown development.Councilmember Stine did not believe that this was a frequent occurrence, as this is the only one he remembers being overturned.
- Councilmember Jackle noted he is recused on Skypark; however, he would look at an ordinance encouraging downtown parking.
- Mayor Wheeler noted Council had “plowed new ground” on this development by using air rights. He questioned if the City offered two parking places per apartment whether it would have killed the project from the start. He also noted many businesses in the area did not want to lose parking for housing.
- Commissioner Quinn commented on parking compatibility and noted SkyPark’s parking disconnects from the street level. He wanted it to grow beyond surface parking, such as parking lots, which seem to be “anti-urban”.
- Councilmember Corcoran noted it is a perception of parking compatibility, because what is acceptable to one person is not to another. He would like to identify a starting point with items needing clarification.
- Councilmember Gordon noted this is the first project SPAC reviewed with City owned parking places.
*Commissioner Neathamer left and returned.
- Commissioner Bender noted the issues regarding parking have been fixed and the community wants this development.He also explained that it is very difficult for SPAC to change the process, and can only say it is incompatible.
The 120-Day Rule:
- Councilmember Jackle preferred clarifying the 120 days as a form of deadline.
- Commissioner Whitlock noted the 120-day rule is a state rule.He also agreed with Councilmember Jackle to give the developer options to make the project a go.
- Commissioner Neathamer believed SPAC's purpose was to review project, not design projects for applicants.
Councilmember Corcoran recalled an issue within a development approximately nine years ago. SPAC agreed to a development and there was an issue with the garbage collection. Developers were attempting to cut back on the garbage pickup on rental units. The patios faced Midway and the garbage must be at the front door or taken through the house to the backyard. He stated we have no Code pertaining to this.
Councilmember Gordon did not think SPAC has the authority although they do look at trash enclosures. Commissioner Bender thought there should be a way to address it. Commissioner Whitlock stated this came up on a development on Barnett and SPAC was told by staff that they can look at the aesthetic compatibility only. Councilmember Corcoran stated that Council should direct staff to deal with issues such as this. Ms. Cooper noted there is nothing in the Code to address Councilmember Corcoran's concern. Commissioner Neathamer liked the idea that Councilmember Corcoran would bring this to Council for SPAC to address.
The meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC