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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, May 11, 2017

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

1.  Urban Growth Boundary Update
2.  Urban Growth Boundary Pilot Program

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Prescott Room of Medford Police Headquarters on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks, Tim D’Alessandro, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan and Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Brian Sjothun; Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard
Councilmember Dick Gordon was absent.
Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) Update
Planning Director Matt Brinkley provided an update on the UGB process:
  • Requested extension on County approval to ensure all Commissioners are present
  • Proposed UGB amendment
    • 1,032 acres of residential land
    • 1877 acres of wildland park lands (Prescott and Chrissy Parks)
  • Any development would occur in higher density zones
  • Next steps:
    • Present to Jackson County
    • Jackson County will most likely hold public hearings
    • Any revisions would be determined with Jackson County and the City jointly
    • UGB Plan would go to the LCDC for adoption
UBG affordable housing pilot program
Planner IV Carla Paladino advised that Kyle Kearns, Planner II, assisted with this project. She spoke regarding an Affordable Housing Pilot Program, noting the following:
  • HB 4079 could add 50 acres to the UGB to be designed for affordable housing
  • Is a State of Oregon program with many regulations and requirements
    • Adequate supply of land in UGB
    • Encourage affordable housing
    • Program will select just one Oregon city, with a population greater than 25,000
    • Participating should not jeopardize the City’s pending UGB process; can run concurrently
    • 53 possible qualification points
      • Need 12 points
      • City currently only has four points
      • Current Code needs revisions/updating to qualify for additional points
      • SDC credits and property tax exemptions could qualify Medford for more points
      • City supports affordable housing through CDBG funds, but that doesn’t qualify toward points for this program
    • Unknown whether other cities were applying; nine cities with our population qualify
  • Planning is currently conducting a regional housing study
  • 50 acres must be contiguous
  • Inclusionary zoning requirements could be revised
  • Land must meeting density standards
  • Property would provide affordable housing for the next 50 years
  • Pre-application due September 5, 2017
  • Planning should determine UGB land that qualifies
    • Two properties that appear to qualify
    • Would need cooperation from property owners
  • Council concerns
    • Should this be pursued with the UGB expansion
    • Current UGB expansion previously had too many acres
    • Would like to review the proposed language before approving
    • Identified sites are already within the currently proposed UGB
    • Planning’s resources and staff time
      • Department is already short staffed
      • Appears to be lot of work in a short period of time
    • The City could revise Code to promote affordable housing, despite participation in this program
      • Code changes are universally applicable
      • Benefit multi-family housing and affordable development
      • Code amendments generally take three months to become approved
Mr. Brinkley defined “Inclusionary Zoning” for Councilmember Wallan as a regulatory requirement that a certain percentage of development is affordable housing. The percentage may vary based on the population, but is typically 80% or lower of median household income. Inclusionary zoning is used in larger cities.  Currently, Medford does not require it.
Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding pointed out that “high value farmland” has two definitions, but the definition used for this program includes a lot of the valley floor. 
Mayor Wheeler clarified the program requires land not currently within our UGB; proposed sites are within our UGB amendment.  Councilmember Jackle agreed; the State is looking for cities that are in between UGB amendments. Although it is possible to continue the UGB amendment and designate these pieces of land for affordable housing, the UGB amendment may not pass and we could end up with no additional acres.
Councilmember Zarosinski requested a verification of the definition and questioned whether there were available properties that qualified for this program.  Medford appears to be suited for this, but Council needs more information.  In addition, Council does not want to risk our UGB amendment for a pilot project.
City Manager Brian Sjothun noted the June 22 Study Session would bring forward options to incentivize downtown business and further discuss this pilot project. Staff will attempt to have Jeff Condit, our land use attorney, available for questions.
The meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder

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