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Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes

Monday, September 10, 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
Bill Mansfield
Mark McKechnie
E. J. McManus
Jared Pulver
Commissioners Absent
Joe Foley, Excused Absence      
Alex Poythress, Unexcused Absence
Staff Present
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
Karl MacNair, Transportation Manager
Seth Adams, Planner III
Milan Hansen
20.1        CP-16-036 Transportation System Plan Update
Karl MacNair, Transportation Manager reported that the presentation is from the City Council study session on August 23, 2018 regarding Transportation System Plan (TSP) project funding.
The beginning fund balance is $30 million that includes:
•             Street Improvement Fund:         $ 3,029,600
•             Street SDC Fund:                              $11,736,700
•             Gas Tax Fund:                    $15,606,900
The beginning fund balances fluctuate in response to types and funding sources of budgeted projects.  The gas tax beginning fund balance is projected to be $11.3 million in the next budget.
Of the $30 million, approximately $16.7 million has encumbrances:
•             Street Improvement Fund (obligated for specific projects)
•             Contingency (operating contingencies)
•             Obligated SDC credits for completed developer projects
•             Columbus Avenue Extension
•             Delta Waters Road fill-ins
Grant Funding
•             City has received $42 million since 2004 (averages $3 million a year)
•             State and Federal Grants
•             Projects include bridge replacements, sidewalk infill, alley paving, multi-use paths, railroad crossings, and street improvements
•             Not necessarily TSP related projects; grants are typically for a specific purpose such as safety, technology, schools, etc.
Grant Funding Scenarios
•             As projected:     $   700,000 per year
•             Historical:                            $3,000,000 per year
•             Alternative:                        $1,500,000 per year
HB2017 and Street Utility Fee Increases
•             Using gas tax to fund pavement maintenance, removes $36,581,000 for capital projects from the 20 year projection
•             Funds maintenance INSTEAD of raising utility fees
•             None of the increase is available for funding projects
•             ADA ramp replacements have increased in maintenance costs. Approximately $900,00 in 2018
Commissioner McKechnie asked, are the ADA ramps limited to major arterial and collector streets?  Mr. MacNair reported no.  Any street they do a pavement overlay they have to rebuild the ramps by Federal regulations.
Project Funding Scenarios
Scenario #           HB2017 Funds    Annual Grant Funding    20-year Revenue Available for Capital Projects   Difference from Scenario 1 Exhibits # of Tier 1 Non-LOS Projects
1              Projects               $700,000              $72,440,343        $0                           1              23
2              Maintenance     $700,000              $35,859,063        ($36,581,280)       2                9
3              Projects               $3,000,000           $118,440,343      $46,000,000        3              34
4              Maintenance     $3,000,000           $81,859,063        $9,418,720           4              26
5              Projects               $1,500,000           $88,440,343        $16,000,000        5              28
6              Maintenance     $1,500,000           $51,859,063        ($20,581,280)      6              17
 Associated project lists were developed based on priorities heard through past study sessions and public outreach.
Commissioner McKechnie asked, why pick a scenario that has less than $3 million?  Mr. MacNair stated they may project more money than what comes in.  Some projects are not TSP projects but more projects that can be done over 20 years.
Commissioner McKechnie stated that typically money left over at the end of the year no one is happy.  It is better to have 6 projects that are not funded.  He would go for the $3 million and not be conservative on the annual grant funding.
Vice Chair McFadden commented that it gives ammunition for the next grant funding cycle.  Commissioner McKechnie has a good point.
Mr. MacNair reported that there were less projected in the last TSP.  Some projects were not TSP related.  There has been adjustments to the TSP over time to reconcile those things.  Putting more projects on the list can be done later. 
Mr. MacNair stated that it was not unanimous with the City Council on the $1.5 million for Scenario #5, Projects into the TSP.  Staff is going to bring all the options forward to the Planning Commission, Super Citizen Advisory Committee and other advising bodies to get their comments. 
Commissioner Pulver stated that he did not see in what was provided the project lists for the various scenarios.  Ms. Paladino stated that she would email the lists and exhibits. 
Commissioner Pulver stated that he thought Mr. MacNair stated earlier in his presentation that the HB2017 Funds could not go towards projects.  Mr. MacNair reported those are gas tax funds that are the most flexible and can go towards anything. 
Commissioner Pulver asked, would they still be asking for the increase in fees from the City that mirrored the gas tax funds?  Mr. MacNair reported that those would be devoted to either projects or maintenance.  
Scenario #1 completes the remaining two projects on the 17 projects list, allocates $15 million towards the Foothill/North Phoenix/South Stage mega corridor; provides $200,000 annually for sidewalks; $100,000 annually for bike improvements; completes 2 segments of Larson Creek Greenway; includes 15 street improvement projects; and 6 non-level of service intersection projects.
Scenario #2 allocates money to the mega corridor and the two projects on the 17 projects list. 
Scenario #3 increases funding for the mega corridor.  A federal grant has been applied for to complete one segment on North Phoenix and one segment on Foothill as well as start the environmental process on South Stage.
Commissioner McKechnie asked, regarding the mega corridor what is the projected shared revenue from Medford, Phoenix and ODOT?  Mr. MacNair reported that Medford’s share would be the largest part on the South Stage portion. He does not know what Phoenix’s or ODOT’s portions would be.  South Stage would go over I-5 and the hope is that ODOT would participate.  There is no commitment.  It is a key to mitigating congestion at the South Medford and Phoenix off ramp.  There would also be federal funding to look at.
Scenario #3 increased the sidewalk and bike improvement money; increased the number of street improvement projects that are on the list; and the number of non-level of service intersection projects which would be addressing more maintenance and safety concerns. 
Scenario #4 is similar to Scenario #3.  Increased funding for sidewalks and added a few street improvement and intersection projects. 
Scenario #5 is the one that will be put in the document based on getting some of the City Councilors support. Increased funding for sidewalks and added a few street improvement and intersection projects. 
Scenario #6 is a $20 million decrease if HB2017 is funding maintenance.  Keep funding for sidewalks and bike improvements; reduced the number of street improvement and intersection projects. 
Chair Miranda asked, on Scenario #3 the previously additional unidentified intersections come from Tier 1 projects or from Tier 2?  Mr. MacNair replied those would be coming off the Tier 2 list on going to Tier 1.
Mr. MacNair reported that all the revenues are projections and will fluctuate over time.  The projected gas tax from HB2017 is dependent on ODOT performance and the economy of how much people are driving fuel efficiency vehicles.  The gas tax is a set amount on each gallon sold.
There will be opportunities for the City Council to revisit the priorities at least every 5 years through the Capital Improvement Plan.  The Transportation Committee will also have input.  Every budget cycle there will be an opportunity for the City Council and Transportation Committee to have input on projects that make it into the budget.
Commissioner McKechnie thinks it makes since for Scenario #3 or Scenario #4. 
Chair Miranda agrees with Commission McKechnie.  There is a 14 year trend that shows the City gets approximately $3 million.  It goes from 3 to 5 dropping 50%. Mr. MacNair commented that there is criteria for some of the grants changing and some not available but is that 50% of them no longer available or not qualified?  That seems like a high number to lose over the course of a year.  Mr. McNair responded that they have received Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding over the years.  There has been a change to that program.  The funding has been used in street improvement projects for pedestrian and bicycle component of those projects.  The rules were rewritten that the funds would no longer be used in that type of projects. 
Vice Chair McFadden commented that one gains public support by showing Medford is moving forward to solve the traffic problem that people in the community feel exists.
Commissioner McKechnie feels that the HB2017 funds should be a mix.  The way he understands the scenarios is that there are two choices.  Either raise the utility fees to cover all the maintenance money or use all the gas tax money and do not raise the fees.  Scenario #3 is all the gas tax money goes into projects and an equivalent amount is raised in utility fees.  Scenario #4 does the opposite.  It does not raise the utility fees and all the gas tax money goes into maintenance.  He thinks a scenario that would be justified is not do Scenario #4.  Do the annual grant funding on $3 million and if it turns out $1.5 million is approved then raise the utility fee just to cover the other $1.5 million.  He also noticed on Scenario #3 there were 6 undesignated location projects To Be Determined (TBD).  That says they do not know where they are going to spend the money.  Scenario #4 toned that down and had definite locations for the money.  Utility fees may need to be raised a little but they would not need to be raised to the level staff was discussing with the City Council. 
Mr. MacNair stated that the 6 TBD is that there is a difference between the costs of signalization versus a street improvement project.  As traffic patterns change sometimes there could be a need for a traffic signal.  In the last TSP signalizations in so many locations were To Be Determined.  It is a good idea for planning at this level. 
Carla Paladino reported that staff is updating the draft document, updating the maps and putting in Scenario #5.  City Council directed staff to bring this to the Planning Commission and other committees providing all the scenarios.  If the Planning Commission chooses to pick a different scenario as their recommendation, staff will move that forward to the City Council.  Staff is proposing to go to Planning Commission hearing October 11, 2018.
Vice Chair McFadden asked, is staff wanting a consensus today or is it going to hearing for a vote on which one of the six scenarios they support?  Ms. Paladino reported that on Thursday, October 11, 2018 staff will present the draft with Scenario #5 but the City Council made it very clear that they wanted the Planning Commission to decide if they wanted something different.  If they choose Scenario #3 then the Planning Commission would do that as part of the hearing process. 
Chair Miranda stated that his direction based on the discussion is Scenario #4 as well.  Commissioner McKechnie agreed. 
Commissioner Pulver stated that super CAC is going to weigh in at the end of the month.  Then staff will take all the information from the different bodies to the City Council.  There needs to be feedback at the hearing on October 11, 2018.                               
20.2        CP-18-063 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan Comprehensive Plan Amendment
Seth Adams, Planner III, reported that staff is asking the Planning Commission for direction on identifying any necessary changes to the proposal.
The proposed amendment incorporates the 2017 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (NHMP) into the Comprehensive Plan.   
The proposed hearing schedule is Thursday, September 27, 2018 to the Planning Commission and November 1, 2018 to the City Council.
The Comprehensive Plan Environmental Element currently discusses wild land fires, air quality, flooding, landslides and earthquakes.  A lot of this information has not been updated since the 1990’s.  Last year the City Council approved the 2017 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan then FEMA subsequently approved it.  The Plan is effective through September 12, 2022. 
The Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan contains analysis of the previous hazards but now it also includes severe weather, volcanic eruption, emerging infectious diseases.  The amendment incorporates (by reference) the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan into the Environmental Element of the Comprehensive Plan.  The amendment includes discussions of severe weather, volcanic eruption and emerging infectious diseases.  It reflects the current information in the NHMP and condenses existing text.  Finally, it updates the conclusions, goals, policies, and implementation strategies of the Comprehensive Plan.       
20.3        CP-16-075 & DCA-18-120 Urbanization Plans
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner reported that the urbanization plan is a requirement that came out of the adoption of the Urban Growth Boundary expansion.
This will be a new land use process.  It would adopt specific and adoptable concept plans for the new expansion areas.  Help regulate and ensure compliance with the Regional Plan.
The process would be adopted as a major Comprehensive Plan amendment into the Neighborhood Element.
Land Use Actions Needed:
•             Major Comprehensive Plan Amendment
             Neighborhood Element
             Review and Amendment Section
•             Development Code Amendment
             Articles I and II in Chapter 10
   Urbanization Plan – Objective
•             Adopt maps that comply with the Regional Plan
•             Regional Plan requires:
             Minimum Density (6.6 du/acre)
             Mixed-use, Pedestrian Friendly
             Land Use Mix
•             Plans required for each planning unit
Vice Chair McFadden asked, is there flexibility in the land use mix?  Ms. Paladino replied that flexibility would require changes to the Regional Plan.  The mixes are specific to each of the MDs. 
Commissioner Pulver asked, if two MD’s do a zone change, would that not require a modification to the Regional Plan but it would require a change to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and zoning map?  Ms. Paladino reported that is correct. 
Commissioner Culbertson reported that most of the applications that were submitted on MD-7 and MD-8 with full architectural schematics on where they were going to line everything out was submitted into the record.  He suspects the majority of the areas all have masterplans as to what they wanted to see for their applications. If there are any modifications this amendment is where they would refine it.  Ms. Paladino reported that the commercial designations allow for multifamily residential.
Vice Chair McFadden commented that it ties into pedestrian friendly.  Making it so people do not have to drive from MD-7 and MD-8 to the north end of the Valley to do their shopping.  He hopes it adheres to the original mix.  Ms. Paladino stated that the flexibility that is built in to this amendment is that if there is low density urban residential and one wants to do medium or high density residential, it can be converted from the lower designation to the higher.  One cannot go backwards.  Designations can be moved around in the MD.  They cannot be rid of. 
The Urbanization Plan – Procedure
•             Adopt prior to or concurrently with annexation
•             Pre-application required
•             Application needs to have consent of at least 50% owners representing 50% of the total property area
MD’s have a majority ownership. 
Vice Chair McFadden suggested that there should be a meeting of the ownerships inside and outside the MD regarding what is being planned for the area.
Commissioner McKechnie stated that a pre-application is a discussion between staff and the property owners.  A notice and a neighborhood meeting should be before the pre-application and the notice submitted with the application.  That would solve Vice Chair McFadden’s concern.
Ms. Paladino reported that the amendment is written that all the property owners in the MD would be notified of the pre-application.  When they formally submit their urbanization plan it would be everyone in the MD plus the 200 feet outside. 
It was unanimous to add a neighborhood meeting after the pre-application.
Commissioner Pulver asked Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney, he does not know what the approval criteria is for the Planning Commission but he does not see harmony amongst the neighbors or the property owners in the MD as an approval criteria.  If the Planning Commission is rejecting an application based on something that is not their criteria he believes it will be appealed to the City Council and then if have to, to LUBA and the City will lose.  Is that correct?  Mr. Mitton reported that there needs to be something in the approval criteria to base a denial.  If the applicant has the necessary 50% and 50%, and can show all the different criteria on the application, he is not sure 1 or 2 aggrieved parties within the MD, that the City would have a basis to deny the application. 
Ms. Paladino stated that an application must contain the written consent of at least 50% of the property owners, representing at least 50% of the total property area. 
Commissioner McKechnie suggested rewriting that statement.
Mr. Mitton stated that it should read: “An application must contain the written consent of at least 50% of the property owners and representing at least 50% of the total property area”.
Ms. Paladino asked, does the Planning Commission want staff to bring options to the public hearing? As it reads today with an “and” and then something more along the lines of consent of property owners scenario?
Commissioner Pulver agrees with the “and” inserted and bump up the percentage, closer to 65 or something.
Commissioner Culbertson asked, how much latitude do the homeowners have to deviate from the plans that were submitted in the discovery period for the UGB?  Ms. Paladino reported they can modify as much as they want as long as they meet the Regional requirements.  Commissioner Culbertson asked, is there a way to tie it back to that?  Because the majority of the areas all had area meetings.  They got together as groups to design them.  MD-7 has seven different owners.  They all got together in a meeting and hired an architect firm to do a masterplan on where the open space would be, commercial and housing.  They could take that application and file as a PUD.  Ms.  Paladino stated that is a question for the Planning Commission.  She does not want to limit anyone to something if they want to change it.  Staff did not say those were concept plans.  Those were presented as possibilities.
Commissioner Pulver suggest bouncing that off the City Council because that was part of their dialogue.  He remembers explicitly a certain Council member asking what guarantee do they have that all the fancy plans presented are actually what is going to be built?
Ms. Paladino reported that what was adopted with the UGB was the special agreements.  Like MD-2 had agreements with the Parks Foundation and the School District stating they were donating the land.  Those were assurances the City Council relied on.  The concept plans did not get adopted with the UGB. 
The Urbanization Plan – Procedure (continued)
•             Will consider changes to GLUP or Higher Order Streets
•             Exemptions (MD-2a, MD-5h, MD-6b, Prescott and Chrissy Parks)
•             Submittal requirements outlined in Chapter 10
The Urbanization Plan – Compliance
•             Show compliance with minimum gross density
•             Provide a transportation circulation map
•             Comply with open space
•             Comply with mixed use/pedestrian friendly
•             Coordinate with public utility providers
•             Identify special features (wetlands; historic structures)
•             Compliance with UGMA and special agreements
•             Coordinate with Parks Department (park acquisition, trails/paths)
The Urbanization Plan – Allowances
•             Rearrange GLUP designations within the unit
•             Change GLUP from less intense to more intense
The Urbanization Plan – Amendments
•             Follow Process described, except ownership calculation changes
•             Amended plan replaces previously adopted plan
Chapter 10 Revisions
•             Add land use action under Type IV review
•             Update hearing schedule
•             Outline application requirements
Tentative Hearing Schedule
•             Planning Commission Hearing: October 11, 2018
•             City Council Hearing: November 15, 2018
Ms. Paladino reiterated what she heard from the Planning Commission.
•             Add a neighborhood meeting before the formal application.
•             Look at the language about who gets to submit this (property owner consent). 
•             Add “and” to consent language (4.2.2) and bring options. 
•             Clarify if the prior UGB plans hold weight and add that if the City Council thinks so.  
30.          Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 1:29 p.m.
Submitted by:
Terri L. Richards
Recording Secretary


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