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Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planing Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes

Monday, April 23, 2018

The study session of the Medford Planning Commission was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Lausmann Annex Room 151-157 on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners Present               
Patrick Miranda, Chair
David McFadden, Vice Chair
David Culbertson
Joe Foley
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
E. J. McManus
Alex Poythress
Jared Pulver
Staff Present
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
Kyle Kearns, Planner II
20.1        DCA-17-062 Cooling / Warming Shelters
Kyle Kearns, Planner II, reported that the City Council directed staff to separate cooling/warming shelters from transitional housing into its own code amendment. 
Staff is seeking direction and has identified three options for this code amendment and request that the Commission express its preference:
1.            Continue drafting code language, have a study session with the Planning Commission.  That being done today.  Housing and Community Development Commission (date to be determined); and proceed to hearings for Planning Commission and City Council in June and July.
2.            Similar timeline to the above option but includes another City Council study session prior to hearings; or
3.            Cease work on DCA-17-062
Vice Chair McFadden asked if another option would be for the Planning Commission and Housing and Community Development Commission have a joint meeting.  Carla Paladino, Principal Planner something could be setup. 
Commissioner Pulver asked, is this presentation going to the City Council on Thursday for their study session?  Mr. Kearns replied yes.
Commissioner Pulver stated that if City Council on Thursday states to cease work and the Planning Commission spends a lot of time discussing it today that might be all for not.  Staff is optimistic about this. 
Staff was directed to draft code language after complications with local shelter and unclear path forward for regulation.  The proposal was discussed at four separate study sessions.  The larger discussion points included text revisions:
•             Allow for weather based timing events
•             Removal of the allowance of tents, yurts, and similar structures
•             Concentration prevented with 500 foot distancing requirement
•             Create standards for revocation of permits
Cooling/Warming shelters, as proposed are defined as a temporary shelter within a structure meant to provide relief from extreme weather conditions for individuals or families who are homeless or in need of relief due to substandard living conditions.
They are permitted with special standards in residential zones as accessory use to institutional uses and in commercial/industrial zones as primary use or as an accessory use.
Vice Chair McFadden asked, what is the standard City Code dealing with tents and those types of structures?  Mr. Kearns stated this has been discussed before and the Planning Commission’s preference was to allow for tents in cooling/warming shelters but not in transitional housing.
Commissioner Mansfield asked staff to comment on the Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) issue.   
Commissioner McKechnie asked, if it is an accessory use, is there a size limitation?  Mr. Kearns reported whatever is in the Building Code.
Mr. Kearns addressed the NIMBY issue stating it is more related to the transitional housing code amendment.
Commissioner Culbertson asked, how many properties are actually 500 feet away centrally located in any lot that can accomplish 500 feet on each side.  Commissioner Foley reported it is 500 feet from property line to property line.
Vice Chair McFadden does not see the need for the 500 feet. 
Chair Miranda asked, what is the logic for the 500 feet?  Mr. Kearns replied they do not want them to concentrate.
Special standards include:
•             Submittal of Operations Plan
•             Reporting requirements for tracking
•             Submittal of Safety and Security Plan
•             Revocation of permit standards
•             Site specific standards
To better understand the draft language, the following will be several scenarios that would permit or prohibit a shelter:
•             Existing Institutional Use, regardless of zone – 607 W. Main – First United Methodist Church
•             Residential zone: accessory use
•             Commercial zoning: accessory or primary use
•             Existing structure, contained entirely within structure
•             New Institutional Use, regardless of zone – Proposed Future Use
•             Residential or Commercial zoning
•             New Building, shelter as accessory use
•             Shelter use contained entirely within building
•             Vacant building, in a commercial zone – 135 W. Main Street
•             Commercial zoning
•             Existing building, shelter as primary use
•             Shelter use contained entirely within building
Commissioner Mansfield stated the he looked for conditional use permit procedures, there is some reference to it.  He has noticed Mr. Kearns has not discussed this.  Is staff leaving out conditional use permit procedures?  If so, why?  Mr. Kearns reported that these are being permitted outright.  They are not a conditional use because they are a temporary use.  Under the 90-day timeframe they would not have to pull any sort of building permits.  They do not have to do much for site development.  These will be contained within the building.  A conditional use process for a 90 day use thatdoes not make any money seems out of place. 
Commissioner McKechnie asked, if someone wants to provide one of these shelters, do they submit an application or is it a change of use application?  Mr. Kearns reported that it is a Class “D” land use action or a Type II action.  Administrative review with Class “D” noticing.  It would be its own permit that would need to be created.
Commissioner McKechnie asked, is there a fee connected with the action?  Mr. Kearns replied that staff has not established a fee.  Currently the fees could be waived.  The fees would be set low or no fee at all.  Staff will need direction on that or research what other cities do.   
•             Vacant building, in a residential zone – 820 Crestbrook Road
•             Residential zoning
•             Existing building, shelter as primary use
•             Shelter use contained entirely within building
•             Vacant Lot, no building, regardless of zone – 233 W. 6th Street
•             Residential or Commercial zoning
•             No buildings or structures
•             Shelter use as primary use
•             Tents/yurts, combined with above scenario – Any location
•             Residential or Commercial zoning
•             Yurts, tents, etc. as accessory or primary structure
•             Shelter use as primary or accessory use
Chair Miranda would like the tents/yurts restricted.  Structures that are self-contained, Category “A” facilities are his preference. 
Hearing/Commission Dates (Past/Future)
•             August 31 2017: City Council Study Session
•             September 18, 2017: Joint Study Session
•             October 4, 2017: Housing and Community Development Commission Meeting
•             April 23, 2018: Planning Commission Study Session
Tentative Hearing Dates:
•             June 14, 2018: Planning Commission Hearing
•             July 19, 2018: City Council Hearing
Chair Miranda asked, if the City Council approves the amendment at their July 19, 2018 hearing, how long will it take to be implemented?  Mr. Kearns reported that assuming the direction is to move forward it could be ready the day of adoption. 
Commissioner Foley likes the proposed language.
Commissioner Mansfield thinks there will be problems with neighbors but staff has done a good job. 
Commissioner McKechnie agrees with Commissioner Foley and Commissioner Mansfield. 
Commissioner McKechnie asked, since everything is indoors, why is a site plan required?  Mr. Kearns stated a site plan is required to show where they meet the lighting requirements.  To show the location of the lighting.  Commissioner McKechnie asked, why is that needed if it is indoors?  Mr. Kearns reported that the site specific standard states that certain areas need to be lit to a certain level.  Staff would need to know where the lighting is to understand that requirement.  Also, to know where the access point is.  The entry may not be understandable on a floor plan because it could be in the basement. 
Commissioner McKechnie is confused about the reporting.  Is there a template stating specifically what staff is asking the people to report on?  Mr. Kearns stated that the code states exactly what they are reporting on.  On page 18 of the memorandum under (3) Reporting Requirements. It reads: “The operator shall be required to report to the Housing and Community Development Commission…” They would have to report care using the industry standard software.  “The reporting shall include the following:
•             Number of residents served
•             Number of public service calls and reason for call
•             Services provided
•             Number of residents denied tenancy
•             Reason for denying a tenant residency
•             Number of nights spent at full capacity (if applicable)
•             Number of residents provided with more permanent or transitional housing”
•             Other requirements as required by Code Section 10.819A (D) (3) (a)
Commissioner McKechnie stated that he can understand having parking for staff but why is there a parking requirement since these people are homeless or possibly living in their car?  Mr. Kearns reported that staff was directed from talking with Rogue Retreat that a lot of the people that are homeless in the Rogue Valley have cars.  It is probably a higher number than anticipated. 
Commissioner Pulver asked, is it correct that there is no limit to the number, size and capacity of these shelters in the City?  Mr. Kearns replied that is correct.  That is a concern for Commissioner Pulver. 
Commissioner Pulver asked, is the Continuum of Care (COC) organization going to be monitoring them?  Mr. Kearns stated that it would be two different organizations.  One would be the COC organization and the second organization would be the Housing and Community Development Commission.  That Commission would report to the City Council. 
Commissioner Pulver asked, has the COC existed for a while?  Mr. Kearns replied yes.  It is being restructured. 
Commissioner Pulver stated that the oversight responsibility is being given to the COC body that is in transition.  It is his opinion the oversight factor is loose at best.  Mr. Kearns reported that they are not going to oversee the shelter.  They are to coordinate with the COC on the applicable software used to report to the COC organization on what they are doing.
Commissioner Pulver asked, does the City have the time, resources and staff to manage this?  Commissioner McKechnie stated that the City is not managing the shelters.  Commissioner Pulver understands that but the City has revocation privileges.  The City is going to allow the shelters, the proposal is presented to the City and the City monitors it.  He does not think Code Enforcement is staffed to handle all this.  Mr. Kearns commented that the language can be tweaked on how to revoke the permit to make it broader.  For the most part it is explicit how it can be done. 
Chair Miranda asked, how did staff come up with 40 calls in 30 days?  Mr. Kearns stated that apartment complexes in Medford exceed that.  The Kelly Shelter in its first year of operation had over 100 service calls.  They had less than 30 the second year.  Staff used 100 for the standard then divided that over the course of 3 months.  That is how staff came up with that number.
Commissioner Pulver reported that on page 6 of the memorandum it mentions of two new proposed uses, emergency shelter and then cooling/warming shelter.  It is defined as providing temporary transitional shelter for the homeless.  The emergency shelter term is used but it seems like staff might want to save that for something else.  Mr. Kearns stated it is a HUD definition and staff is trying to allow for the traditional homeless shelter opened year round with that term. 
Commissioner Pulver stated that on page 13 it talks about established days of operations may not exceed 90 calendar days.  Is it or is it not continuous days?  Mr. Kearns reported that is no longer continuous.  That came from the City Building and Fire departments discussions.  They notify the City’s Fire department when they open and close.   Once the shelter exceeds the 90 days the Fire code is enforceable.  How is that tracked?  Mr. Kearns stated that he would have to discuss that with the Fire department and get back with Commissioner Pulver. 
Commissioner McManus if there are two buildings on a lot does that allow the property owner to have two permits; 90 days in one and 30 days in the other?  Mr. Kearns reported that would be a question of how the 500 feet would play out.  It would also depend on how they write their plan.  If they are operating in two buildings under the same warming shelter it would be deferred to Building codes for occupancy load. 
Would the direction be to make it per lot?  Chair Miranda stated that previously that is where the 500 foot condition would come into play.  Being on the same lot but within 500 feet, it would be disallowed.   
Chair McFadden asked, does there have to be consistency between Hope Village and cooling/warming shelters?  Mr. Kearns stated the intent is to keep them separate. 
Any direction from the Planning Commission on the 500 feet?  Chair Miranda wants the 500 feet per lot to remain as a limiting factor.
Ms. Paladino asked, after hearing from the City Council on Thursday and they indicate to move forward, does the Planning Commission want to see it before going to a public hearing?  Chair Miranda stated that he did not need to see it again.     
20.2        DCA-17-109 Transitional Housing Villages
Kyle Kearns, Planner II, reported the reason to keep this topic short is to respect the Planning Commissions time and if the City Council directs staff to cease work on this topic then today would have been wasted.  This could be the one directed to stop work on more than the other. 
Staff is seeking direction on DCA-17-109 and has offered two possible directions and one question.
1.            Revise transitional housing standards to:
a.            Only allow for use within ORS 446.265
b.            Allow for expansion beyond ORS, with limitations on total number permitted at one time (4 proposed as limit)
…then proceed to the City Council and Commissions study sessions, send through hearing process after study sessions.
2.            Cease work on DCA-17-062
If work to continue staff is asking has staff met the direction of increasing public outreach by:
•             Requiring a Conditional Use Permit with hearing
•             A neighborhood meeting is required prior to application submittal and approval
•             Staff must summarize the neighborhood meeting and provide for the hearing process
Commissioner Mansfield commented that he cannot imagine what more is needed.  Mr. Kearns reported that staff is already attending the neighborhood meeting.  Staff is already writing a memorandum summarizing that meeting.  The conditional use permit requires a public hearing.  He does not know what more staff could do besides being stricter on the neighborhood meeting requirement. 
Commissioner McKechnie liked the temporary cooling/warming shelters because it required a plan and security.  It is always helpful to have the “what ifs” thought through with an answer.  That helps a neighborhood meeting.  If that is in the conditional use application as a requirement then he thinks staff has it pretty well covered.  Mr. Kearns reported that the operations plan for the cooling/warming shelters was modeled after this one just scaled down for those shelters. 
August 18, 2016, staff was directed to draft code language “…in accordance with ORS 446.265.”
Larger discussion points included in text revisions:
•             Villages now a Conditional Use in all proposed zones
•             Removed allowance of “tent villages” emergency housing villages, and similar allowances
•             Concentration prevented with 1,000 feet distancing requirement
•             Create standards for revocation of Certificate of Occupancy
•             Included in a four village limit
Commissioner Mansfield stated that he thinks there is technical legal problems when you give City Manager’s discretion.  Legally, there needs to be standards set.  The standards do not have to be specific but if there are no standards set for exercising their discretion there is going to be a problem of improper delegation of legislative authority. 
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney, reported that he does not agree.  There are several other points in the code that leaves discretion to the City Manager for establishing drinking in public, for having a beer garden for a special event.  He is comfortable with that being a City Manager discretion. 
This is a rough draft.
Chair Miranda asked, is the “included in a four village limit” in addition to?  Mr. Kearns replied yes.  Chair Miranda stated that it would be a six village limit.  Mr. Kearns reported that Hope Village is a village on two lots.  It is Hope Village plus four.  If Hope Village becomes one parcel then it would be five.  Anything on government property is exempt.  Anything prior to the code adoption would be exempt.
The reason Chair Miranda asked the question is if Hope Village shuts down with the four village limit would Hope Village be able to start back up or set up as preexisting?  Commissioner Pulver stated that he thinks ORS 446.265 is stating that there are two allowed and this code would allow four additional.  Chair Miranda commented that the code language needs to state “an additional four or not including the four”.  Mr. Kearns stated that based on the conversation Commissioner Pulver has it the way it should be interpreted but reading it now it needs to be clarified.  The idea would be to allow the state statute and this is an additional four allowing a maximum of six.      
Transitional Housing Villages is defined as a programmatic housing development that is run by a qualified organization to transition tenants from homelessness to permanent housing in a time period of 24 months or less.  Tenants of transitional housing must be homeless and shall enter into a lease and/or occupancy agreement that outlines the programs for transitioning to permanent housing and the standards that one must adhere to for residency.
Transitional Housing Villages are conditionally permitted, with special standards in:
•             Residential Zones – as accessory use to institutional uses
•             Commercial/Industrial Zones – as primary use or as an accessory use.
Transitional Housing Villages are prohibited in Neighborhood Commercial (C-N) and Heavy Industrial (I-N) zones.
Special standards include:
•             Neighborhood meeting requirement
•             Limits on total number of Transitional Housing Villages
•             Submittal of operations plan
•             Annual reporting requirements
•             Property Owner Agreement (Modeled after Hope Village agreement)
•             Revocation of Certificate of Occupancy standards
•             Design standards
•             Architectural standards
•             Site design standards
There are no hearings scheduled yet.  Staff prefers the fall of 2018.
Commissioner Pulver still has concerns with the number and size with transitional housing villages.  He wants a limit on how big.  Mr. Kearns reported the limit is one acre.  Commissioner Pulver commented that Hope Village needs to prove itself. 
Mr. Kearns stated that Hope Village has had less than 10 police calls since opening in the fall.  They have transitioned some people to homes, got people jobs and medical attention.  It has all been positive.  The Police Department is amazed nothing has happened at Hope Village.  The police calls they received could have been resolved if they had taken five minutes to calm down.  It is functioning better than some of the apartment complexes.
Commissioner Pulver commented that the key is to get them in the two year window to housing, employed, medical care and all the basic needs.  They have some success stories but can they successfully turn the majority of their residents in that two year window.   
30.          Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 1:07 p.m.
Submitted by:
Terri L. Rozzana
Recording Secretary


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