Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes

Minutes
Monday, June 11, 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
Joe Foley
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
 
Commissioners Absent
David Culbertson, Excused Absence       
E. J. McManus, Excused Absence            
Jared Pulver, Unexcused Absence          
Alex Poythress, Unexcused Absence
               
Staff Present
Kelly Akin, Assistant Planning Director
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
Kyle Kearns, Planner II
Seth Adams, Planner III
 
Subject:
20.1        DCA-17-062 Temporary Shelters (Formerly Cooling/Warming Shelters)
Kyle Kearns, Planner II, reported that staff will be presenting the findings of DCA-17-062, Temporary Shelters, on Thursday, June 14, 2018 before the Planning Commission.  Staff is recommending approval of the code amendment.  The intent of today’s presentation is to determine if any changes are needed to the proposed amendment prior to the hearing. 
 
The code amendment is to allow for a new land use, temporary shelters.  Temporary shelters are a use within an existing or new structure, short-term in nature, in which homeless individuals or families are provided temporary shelter for no more than 90 days in a 12 month period.  An example of a shelter that would qualify as a temporary shelter would be the Kelly Warming Shelter.  The Kelly Warming Shelter has operated in the winters of 2017 and 2018 and has aided in the drafting of the proposed language for DCA-17-062.
 
Citing frustrations with the process in which the Kelly Warming Shelter was permitted, staff was directed to draft proposed standards in order to provide a clear and concise path forward for permitting temporary shelters in the future. 
 
Staff is proposing the shelters be conditional uses going through the Conditional Use process.  Allowing for weather based timing events.  Removal of the allowance of tents, yurts, and similar structures.  A 500 feet buffer from any property line that has a shelter.  Created standards for revocation of permits.
 
Temporary shelters are conditionally permitted with special standards in residential zones as accessory use to institutional uses and as a primary use or as an accessory use in commercial/industrial zones.   
 
In Code Sections 10.816 and 10.817 adding language “added provision stating allowance of temporary shelters as a conditional use per these special standards.” 
 
Vice Chair McFadden stated that since this is included in the conditional use section does it need to be mentioned twice?  Kelly Akin, Assistant Planning Director, reported that the use table talks about it as a stand-alone use.  This would allow it as an accessory to one of the other conditional uses. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie asked, would this apply to natural disaster shelters?  Chair Miranda reported that he read there is a condition for emergency shelters.  Mr. Kearns clarified that temporary shelters is defined for people that are homeless. This amendment was not meant for natural disaster temporary shelters. 
 
Commissioner Foley asked, why is the definition for transitional housing included in this text amendment?  Mr. Kearns stated that it is used in the definition of temporary shelters that they may be transitioned to transitional housing.  It is needed to define transitional housing for clarification of what it is.
 
Commissioner Mansfield commented that everything in this section requires a conditional use permit.  He is not opposed to that.  There is going to be resistance.  Mr. Kearns reported that as a conditional use it would come before the Planning Commission and it would have to meet the criteria.  
   
The purpose and intent of the special use standards is to “…ensure that any conflicts with temporary shelters and the surrounding land uses are mitigated through the special regulations…”
 
Definitions pertaining to temporary shelters defined the following terms specifically for temporary shelters:
1.            Access Point
2.            Operator
3.            Operational Period
4.            Operations Plan
5.            Shelter Areas
 
Commissioner Mansfield pointed out that throughout this entire set of instruments there are all kinds of things the City Manager is authorized to do.  Does standards need to be set?  Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney, stated that there is specific criteria that the City Manager needs to identify for termination.  There is public safety and violation of the code criteria.
 
Commissioner Mansfield referred to page twelve of the study session packet “… (h) The City Manager’s decision to revoke a temporary shelter’s permits shall be final.  Appeals shall be made to the City Council.”  He is concerned with that. It seems to be inconsistent to say it is final and then stating the right to appeal.  Commissioner Mansfield stated he was in error and apologized for missing the standard.  Mr. Mitton stated that in terms of appeals shall be made to the City Council is that if the City Manager is trying to revoke a permit for a safety issue there is a question whether the revocation is effective or not while trying to get on a City Council calendar that can take several weeks.  Commissioner Mansfield suggested changing the word “final” to “effective immediately”. 
 
Vice Chair McFadden asked, in light of the recent shooting in a Portland shelter, does police and their responsibilities need to be addressed in this code amendment versus normal procedures for Medford Police?  Mr. Mitton responded that he can research any specific issues with the Portland shooting.  One of his concerns is if things were to escalate and something happened or walking through a routine inspection and saw heroine in an obvious position or a weapon he did not want a motion suppressed by an officer being in a shelter to begin with.  He wants to make sure there is no constitutional challenge for officers being there and charges rise out of it.  Their safety can defer to their normal standards. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie asked, in a residential area as and accessory use, is there a square footage limitation?  Mr. Kearns replied no.     
 
20.2        DCA-17-111 Senate Bill 1051 – Interim Multi-Family Residential Design Standards
Seth Adams, Planner III, reported that staff is asking the Planning Commission for direction on the following:
1)            Identify any necessary changes to the proposed interim design standards.
 
Senate Bill 1051 (SB 1051) was signed into law on August 15, 2017.  The objective of the bill is to increase the supply of housing in the state.
 
SB 1051 amended ORS 227.175 to state that:
                “A City may not deny an application for a housing development located within the urban growth boundary if the development complies with clear and objective standards, including but not limited to clear and objective design standards contained in the city comprehensive plan or land use regulations.”
 
With SB 1051s amendment of ORS 227.175, the compatibility criterion can no longer be applied to any residential development applications that complies with the basic development standards since the Medford Land Development Code does not contain any residential design standards.
 
Staff surveyed several cities design standards and Eugene hit the basics that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission had concerns with. 
 
Commissioner Mansfield stated that Section 10.716A (b) Promote building and site design that contributes positively to a sense of neighborhood and to the overall streetscape is a built-in NIMBY defense.  Each time there is a hearing the NIMBY people will be using that to shoot it down.  They will say it does not contribute positively to the neighborhood.  Commissioner Mansfield does not have a good answer to this.  He thinks they are cornered by Senate Bill 1051. 
 
Vice Chair McFadden believes Section 10.716A (a): Enhance the visual character and livability of the community, has the same problem.
 
Mr. Mitton stated Section 10.716A (a) and (b) are the purpose statement not the approval criteria.  There will be objective approval criteria.  If those are met even though someone does not feel that it meets the standards it gets approved. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie is also struggling with this.  He commented to leave Senate Bill 1051 alone with no design standards and rely on the Site Plan and Architectural Commission to make the right decision.
 
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner, stated that if this is how they feel at the time this is presented to the Planning Commission, then they need to vote that way.  The City Council has directed staff to do this. 
 
Vice Chair McFadden asked, is the City Council asking for the criteria or general.  The code is typically done with purpose and how it is presented.  Typically the purposes are so general it allows anything and conflicts to happen. 
 
Commissioner Mansfield would be willing to volunteer to talk to the City Council when they consider this process.  Apparently the City Council is insisting this be in the code but may not realize the trap they are making. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie commented that there are two cities that he is familiar with and has done work for them.  They are Solvang, California and Happy Valley, Oregon.  It is simple.  One can build anything they want in Solvang as long as it looks like the Solvang style.  Happy Valley is another one that says build anything as long as it matches the Happy Valley style.  They have design guidelines that list all options that are accepted as the Happy Valley style.
 
Ms. Akin suggested continuing on to the actual standards.
 
Staff tried to create a checklist that design professionals already do on a day to day basis.  It gets specific and Mr. Adams reviewed the rest of the multi-family special development standards.
 
Commissioner McKechnie suggested that rather than doing these standards, take Charles Point and see if it fits these design standard criteria.  He does not know of any builders in Medford building anything bigger than two-story buildings. 
 
Vice Chair McFadden asked, is there a type of metal paneling to be avoided?  Commissioner McKechnie thought that metal panels are put on metal buildings.  Maybe that should be deleted in the standard or be more specific.  He has seen a lot of places that requires two different sidings.  Maybe have a primary material and accent material that gives variation. 
 
Chair Miranda asked why vinyl siding is prohibited?  Commissioner McKechnie reported that it is not used much anymore.
 
Vice Chair McFadden asked, does the roof slopes conform for solar energy?  Commissioner McKechnie responded that one can do everything solar wise except from 10 to 12 and higher in Medford.  Ms. Akin stated that the statute requires allowing them.  The Code does not have standard specifics. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that he thinks it is a mistake to require buildings up close to the street especially when streets have not been built out.                        
 
Vice Chair McFadden commented that it seems that the preferred location of bio-swales is along the frontage.
 
Mr. Adams asked, in the interim design standards, should there be a provision for a deviation through the Site Plan and Architectural Commission?  Should they have the authority to approve deviations?  Commissioner McKechnie stated that the building code has a prescriptive path with an alternate path that gets to the same end result through a different method. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie’s prediction on the design standards is that staff will be in a battle for months and then trash can it.  Architects do all this when designing a project.  It is building designers that does not know what is going on.  They are the ones that will complain about having to follow the design standards. 
 
That is the exact reason why Vice Chair McFadden thinks there needs to be an interim design standard.  He thinks if there is not a review because of the State code, then what will stop people from doing what they want to do? 
 
Commissioner McKechnie thinks the problem with the code is that it becomes a maximum rather than a minimum.  You won’t get anything better than that. 
 
Commissioner McKechnie stated that Ashland instituted a requirement that projects with more than 10 apartment units need to incorporate affordable units, and Portland instituted a similar requirement for projects with more than 20 apartment units. The result is that no one in Ashland is building projects with 10 or more apartment units, and no one Portland is building more than 19 apartment units because they do not want to deal with that requirement. 
 
Staff will be discussing this subject with the Site Plan and Architectural Commission on Friday, June 15, 2018 in a study session.  Staff will then take these comments into consideration for the final draft.  It will come before the Planning Commission at a formal hearing on Thursday, July 12, 2018 and then proceed to the City Council on Thursday, August 16, 2018 for adoption, if they still desire to proceed down this path.         
 
20.3        GF-18-073  Outdoor Marijuana Grows in Residential Zones
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner, stated that staff is seeking direction from the Planning Commission on the following areas:
•             What are the Commission’s comments on the proposed language?
•             What additional changes does the Commission recommend Council consider?
  
In 2014 Measure 91 allowed adults age 21 years and older to grow up to 4 marijuana plants per household.
 
In 2016 Ordinance No. 2016-60 proposed ban on outdoor production of marijuana at dwellings and vacant land in residential areas.  Outdoor production ban was approved by Medford voters in November 2016 election.
 
Plant Possession limitations for recreational is no more than 4 plants per household (mature or immature).  No more than 10 seeds per household and must be 21 years or older. 
 
Medical card holder allowance is not more than 6 mature plants and no more than 12 immature over 2 feet tall.
 
Producer allowance is no more than 12 mature plants and no more than 24 immature over 2 feet tall.  No more than 24 mature and no more than 48 immature over 2 feet tall (registered before 1/1/2015).
 
The current Code Section 5.653 states:
1.            No marijuana cultivator shall engage in the outdoor production of marijuana at a dwelling or on vacant land in residential area.
2.            Violation of this section constitutes a violation.  Every day in which the violation exists constitutes a separate violation.
  
The City’s regulations area silent on what is considered “indoor” versus “outdoor” growing of marijuana. 
 
OAR333-008-0010(43) defines outdoor production of marijuana as being produced “…in an expanse of open or cleared ground open to the air; or in a greenhouse, hoop house or similar non-rigid structure that does not utilize any artificial lighting on mature marijuana plants, including but not limited to electrical lighting sources.”
 
The City’s regulations allow for greenhouses and other accessory structures in residential districts. 
 
Code enforcement started tracking in 2016.  There have been 32 Code Enforcement complaints from June to October of 2017 for the outdoor production of marijuana and marijuana odors.  There have also been numerous cases involving plants grown inside of makeshift greenhouses or other accessory structures.
 
The proposed language:
•             New Cannabis Structure defined
•             Add definitions for indoor and outdoor production of marijuana
•             Residential growing allowed in dwelling plus 1 more non-habitable structure
•             Cannabis structure; or
•             Attached garage; or
•             Detached garage
•             Carbon filter system needed for 4 or more mature marijuana plants
 
This will go before City Council on Thursday, June 21 2018.
 
Last week the City Council approved the public zoning amendment for public parks.  They also approved chickens with no limit. 
 
Vice Chair McFadden asked, is the Urban Growth Boundary amendment out of the appeal stage?  Ms. Paladino reported that she has not heard but last Friday was the final appeal deadline. 
   
 
30.          Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 1:13 p.m.
 
 
Submitted by:
Terri L. Richards
Recording Secretary
 
 

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