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Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Agenda Packet and Minutes

Thursday, February 23, 2017

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
Patrick Miranda, Chair
David McFadden, Vice Chair
Joe Foley
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
E. J. McManus
Jared Pulver
Commissioner Absent
David Culbertson, Excused Absence       
Staff Present
Matt Brinkley, Planning Director
Kelly Akin, Assistant Planning Director
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer
Debbie Strigle, Recording Secretary
Carla Paladino, Interim Principal Planner
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV
10.          Roll Call
20.          Consent Calendar/Written Communications. 
20.1 ZC-16-148 Final Order of a request for a zone change from SFR-00 (Single Family Residential, one dwelling per existing lot) to SFR-4 (Single Family Residential, four dwelling units per gross acre) on approximately 0.47 acres located approximately 150 feet south of Pluton View Way and adjacent to the southerly boundary of Panorama Heights Phase 1. (Up to Ginger LLC, Applicant; Herb Farber, Agent)
Motion: Adopt the consent calendar as submitted for item 20.1 ZC-16-148.
Moved by: Vice Chair McFadden                              Seconded by: Commissioner Foley
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 7–0.
20.2 GF-17-022 Request to initiate a Comprehensive Plan amendment to reclassify Lone Oak Drive between Barnett Road and Coal Mine Road from a major collector to a standard residential street. (Mahar Homes, Inc., Applicant)
Kelly Akin, Assistant Planning Director stated that this item was discussed at the Planning Commission’s study session on February 13, 2017.  They discussed three options of whether or not to initiate the site specific TSP amendment in the Southeast Plan area.  It is the reach of Lone Oak south of Barnett between Barnett and Coal Mine Road.  A property owner requested revising the TSP downgrading Lone Oak from a major collector to a residential street.  The options were: 1) Initiate the amendment and include the request in the current City TSP amendment process; 2) Initiate the amendment independent of the current City TSP amendment process; and 3) Do not initiate the amendment.
Commissioner Foley asked, if the Planning Commission voted for initiating the amendment independent of the current City TSP amendment process, would staff study the request and come back to the Planning Commission with a recommendation to make the change or not to make the change?  Is that the process?  Ms. Akin reported that a traffic analysis would be conducted with that specific focus in mind. 
Commissioner Pulver commented that in the study session the property owner stated he would pay for the traffic study.  If the Planning Commission goes with the second option he suggested stipulating that the property owner pays for the traffic study.  Ms. Akin replied that this is their request.  Regardless if the Planning Commission requires the property owner to pay for it, it is part of the traffic analysis they would provide.
Commissioner Mansfield asked, in terms of process, what is procedurally best for staff?  Ms. Akin stated that the TSP is already opened.  From staff’s perspective it would make sense for staff to continue the work on the TSP.  Ms. Akin deferred the question to Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer.  It is such a focused request that she does not know the City’s TSP work would consider this specifically.
Mr. Georgevitch stated that he is not sure if any outcome of a technical analysis will affect a policy decision.  It is going to be a challenging process to go through and have a definitive outcome from Public Works standpoint on whether to recommend for or against making a change.  Traffic volume is one factor when building out infrastructure for long term community needs.  There are going to be several goals both in the Traffic System Plan and in general how one wants the City to look and operate.  Those are questions that are going to be City Council driven and not a technical analysis.
Ms. Akin reported that this is a public request of the initiation for the change.  Staff gave alternatives when discussing this with the requestor.  If the Planning Commission initiates the process and they change their mind, that may be withdrawn. 
Motion: The Planning Commission initiates the amendment independent of the current City TSP amendment process.
Moved by: Commissioner Mansfield                       Seconded by: Vice Chair McFadden
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 7–0.
30.          Minutes
30.1.      The minutes for February 9, 2017, were approved as submitted.
40.          Oral and Written Requests and Communications.  None.
The Quasi-Judicial Statement was not read since it was not applicable to this evenings hearing.
50.          Public Hearings – New Business
50.1 TF-16-149 The City proposes a transportation facility project to construct street improvements (specifically sidewalk installation) on portions of Plum Street, Stewart Avenue, Tennessee Drive, and Chico Street.  (City of Medford, Applicant)

Chair Miranda inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex-parte communication they would like to disclose. None were disclosed.
Chair Miranda inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV, referenced a letter that was submitted this evening by Shawn Adams, residing at 1040 Murray, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Adams was unable to stay for the hearing.  The Planning Commissioners have a copy of the letter at their seats. Ms. Sousa read the transportation facility criteria and gave a staff report.
Commissioner Foley is curious about why planter strips on Plum Street and nowhere else.  Ms. Sousa stated that Public Works has not budgeted for plants in the planter strip.  Ms. Sousa deferred the question to the City Engineer.
Alex Georgevitch stated that the reason they are installing planter strips is because it is a code requirement shown in the Medford Land Development Code and the Transportation System Plan.  If it is adequate right-of-way Public Works will install a planter strip.  They could look at purchasing additional right-of-way but those impacts to surrounding neighborhoods would be great and they are using Community Block Grant funds which are very limited.  There is no requirement for plants in the planter strips.  Adjoining property owners are responsible for the maintenance of the planter strips.
Commissioner Mansfield stated in the presentation staff talked about many of the places had sufficient right-of-way to place the sidewalks and some were not.  Are they talking about street right-of-way?  He believes that many of the property owners would like to have the sidewalk even if there were not enough right-of-way space they would willingly grant the opportunity to place the sidewalks in their lots outside of the right-of-way.  Is that a fair thought?  Ms. Sousa reported that all of the right-of-way is existing. 
Commissioner McKechnie asked, does all the streets in the project have curbs?  There was an affirmative nod. 
Commissioner McKechnie asked, is the recommendation of the sleeves from the Medford Water Commission Conservation Coordinator going to be done?  Ms. Sousa stated all the recommendations would be forwarded to the City Council.  There is no issue from Public Works.
The public hearing was opened. 
a. Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer, reported that there is a small amount of right-of-way that needs to be purchased at the corner of Chico and Tennessee.  Both intersections have right-of-way needs because of existing conditions.  They are minimal.  Public Works can offer to pay for the right-of-way and the owner can choose to donate it but by the time Public Works offers someone to pay them they typically do not want to donate it.  Public Works has to follow the federal process.
Regarding the community mail box on Plum Street.  There is a planter strip approximately 6-feet in width in front of it.  The mail box can and will be moved.  Public Works will also do all they can to work with the community.  If there are fences slightly over the right-of-way Public Works will do what they can to shift it over.  That is part of their application.
The Medford Water Commission requested two different items.  One is to put sleeves under the sidewalks.  Public Works does not have an issue with that.  The Medford Water Commission in their staff report has requested some specifics that contradict their later exhibits.  They ask Public Works to move the water meters along Tennessee to the back of the sidewalk.  That is an expensive venture.  Then on page 44 of the agenda packet they state on the north half of the project there are five water meters to be reset in new sidewalk and four water meters to be reset in new sidewalk.  Public Works requests that these be reset in new sidewalk and not moved to the back.
Mr. Georgevitch reserved rebuttal time.
b. Marc Haefling, 1041 Mt. Pitt, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Haefling stated that is the southeast corner of Mt. Pitt and Plum.  Elizabeth Brandenberg that is with Mr. Haefling is the owner of the house for twenty-six years.  He is also speaking for Damien Oliver who owns the northeast corner of Winchester and Plum.  None of them want the sidewalk.  It would be disruptive.  The all have foliage and Mr. Oliver has a 100-150 year old chestnut tree that the sidewalk would have to be moved around.  They do not want to lose any of the foliage because it is a privacy hedge.  He has concerns with his dogs and possible injuries if a child sticks their finger through the chain link fence.  He is also concerned with the property value and tax assessment.
c. Elizabeth Brandenberg, 1041 Mt. Pitt, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Ms. Brandenberg does not understand why a sidewalk on that strip would be an improvement.  No one walks up and down that street.  If she is the owner of the property can the City make a decision to put a sidewalk in and she does not want it?  The legalities are not clear to her.
Vice Chair McFadden stated that the City is stating there is enough room behind the curb that is road right-of-way and not Ms. Brandenberg’s property.  She would have an obligation as the property owner adjacent to a facility like this to maintain it.
Mr. Haefling testified that the traffic zooms down the street trying to bypass Columbus.  Can they get a speed limit sign installed?
Vice Chair McFadden reported that there is a City Committee that handles traffic control issues but more importantly there is the City Police Department that they can request to have someone watch that area.
Commissioner Pulver asked, if the applicant would object if a motion was made to move forward with the sidewalks without planter strips?  Mr. Georgevitch stated that is an option up to the Planning Commission as the recommended body.  Public Works is trying to follow what is in the code.
Mr. Georgevitch commented that the concerns about people walking along this street and the liability of what happens if a sidewalk is installed.  Nothing changes.  If a person sticks there hand through a fence and the dog bites the person, no conditions have changed. It is in public right-of-way and one’s legal right to be there.  He deferred any liabilities to the Deputy City Attorney.
The public hearing was closed. 
Motion:  The Planning Commission finds the approval criteria is met and forwards a favorable recommendation to the City Council for TF-16-149, per the Staff Report dated February 16, 2017, including Exhibits A through M.
Moved by: Commissioner McKechnie    Seconded by: Commissioner Foley
Friendly amendment made by Commissioner Foley: Eliminate the planter strips on the Plum Street section.
Commissioner McKechnie reported that he would vote against that.  The reason is it is part of the City plan and he is reluctant to go arbitrarily changing things. If the Commission believe planter strips are not a good idea that should be worked through the process.  There needs to be consistency.  Opting to do that on Plum Street ultimately will cause chaos.  He stands with his motion.
Commissioner Mansfield is also opposed to eliminating the planter strips.
Motion: Amend eliminating the planter strips on the Plum Street Section.
Moved by: Commissioner Mansfield                       Seconded by:  There was no second
Kevin McConnell, Deputy City Attorney, stated regarding the arguments in favor and against eliminating the planter strips the Planning Commission’s recommendation could be that the Planning Commission forwards TF-16-149 with a favorable recommendation including the arguments in favor and against eliminating the planter strips.
Commissioner Mansfield reported that he would like it to be recorded by vote.
Commissioner Pulver stated that the applicant requested that a clarification be made to where the water meters need to be.
Friendly Amendment made by Commissioner Pulver:  The water meters are to be reset in the new sidewalks.
Commissioner McKechnie and Commissioner Foley agree to the friendly amendment.
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 6-1, with Commissioner Pulver voting no.
60.  Reports
60.1            Site Plan and Architectural Commission.
Commissioner Culbertson submitted in writing a report that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission met on Friday, February 17, 2017.  They considered plans for a 1,900 square foot expansion of the deli, offices and restroom facilities within an existing Astro Mart located at the southwest corner of East Vilas Road and Crater Lake Highway.  They approved that application
60.2        Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee.
Commissioner Pulver reported that the Joint Transportation Subcommittee met in January.  He was unable to attend.  Updates had been done on the goals and policies.  Their meeting yesterday was furthering updating the goals and policies.  There was concern in the meeting that six or twelve months of meetings did not appropriately get reflected in the latest draft.
Matt Brinkley, Planning Director, stated that he was not at meeting yesterday.  There was some confusion that hopefully will be sorting that out. The work that had gone in the previous draft was migrated into the new draft.  It is different both structurally and in terms of some of the goals and objectives.  Comments will be coming from JTS and BPAC over the next couple of weeks.  The vision goals and objectives of the TSP to the Planning Commission relatively soon.
60.3        Planning Department
Kelly Akin, Assistant Planning Director, reported that the next Planning Commission study session is scheduled for Monday, February 27, 2017.  Discussions will be on National Hazard Mitigation Plan update, Greenway Trail amendment and initiation and an update on the TSP for Foothills.  Please note that meeting will be held in the Medford Room.
There is business scheduled for the Planning Commission through April.
The Planning Department did not have any business before the City Council.  Staff received an appeal on the Bed and Breakfast on Mallard Lane. It will go before City Council on March 2, 2017.  The applicant is appealing the decision to limit the number of occupants from his requested ten to six.
There is a partial term vacancy on the Planning Commission.  The City Council has scheduled interviews in the next couple of weeks.
Mr. Binkley commented that Carla Paladino has been promoted to Principal Planner for the Long Range Division.
Mr. Brinkley and Ms. Paladino will be back in front of the Jackson County Planning Commission on Thursday, March 9, 2017, to hear public testimony on the UGB amendment.
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 6:40 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
Patrick Miranda
Planning Commission Chair                                                                         
Approved: March 9, 2017

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