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Planning Commission Agenda and Minutes
Thursday, September 13, 2018
The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 5:30 PM in the City Hall Council Chambers on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Patrick Miranda, Chair
David McFadden, Vice Chair
Kelly Evans, Assistant Planning Director
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer
Greg Kleinberg, Fire Marshal
Terri Richards, Recording Secretary
Steffen Roennfeldt, Planner III
10. Roll Call
20. Consent Calendar/Written Communications.
20.1 ZC-18-087 Final Order for request of approval for a zone change on a 0.69 acre parcel zoned C-C (Community Commercial) to C-H (Heavy Commercial) located at 111 N Fir Street between West Fifth Street and West Sixth Street with in the Downtown Historic District and Central Business District (372W25AD TL 100). Applicant: Rosebud Media LLC; Agent: Ausland Group; Planner: Liz Conner.
Motion: The Planning Commission adopted the consent calendar as submitted.
Moved by: Vice Chair McFadden Seconded by: Commissioner Foley
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 9-0.
30.1 The minutes for August 23, 2018, were approved as submitted.
40. Oral and Written Requests and Communications. None.
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney, read the Quasi-Judicial Statement.
50. Public Hearings – New Business
50.1 LDS-18-085 / E-18-086 Consideration of a tentative plat for an 11-lot subdivision on approximately 2.1 acres within the SFR-6 (Single Family Residential – 4 to 6 dwelling units per gross acre) zoning district, located on the east side of Orchard Home Drive at 1945 & 1965 Orchard Home Drive (382W02AA TL200 & 300). The project includes an Exception request to the right-of-way dimensions and reduced sidewalks width (382W02AA TL200 & 300). Applicants: Joshua and Shawna Wallace & Michael and Heather Johnson; Agent: Scott Sinner Consulting, Inc.; Planner: Steffen Roennfeldt.
Chair Miranda inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex-parte communication they would like to disclose. Commissioner McKechnie disclosed that Scott Sinner is his neighbor.
Chair Miranda inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
Steffen Roennfeldt stated that staff received a revised Public Works staff report this afternoon. It corrected a minor typographical error on page 3 of the agenda packet. It was emailed to the Planning Commission and will be entered into the record as Exhibit F-1. The Subdivision Tentative Plat approval criteria can be found in the Medford Land Development Code Section 10.202(E). The Exception approval criteria can be found in the Medford Land Development Code Section 10.186(B). The applicable criteria were addressed in the staff report, property owner notices and hard copies are available at the entrance of Council Chambers for those in attendance. Mr. Roennfeldt gave a staff report.
Commissioner McKechnie asked, is Lot #6 large enough to subdivide in the future? Mr. Roennfeldt replied yes as is Lot #1. Minimum lot size for a single family dwelling in SFR-6 is 4,500 square feet.
Vice Chair McFadden asked, is the exception for the roadways all together; sidewalks, PUE road width and driveways; technically approving four separate exceptions? Mr. Roennfeldt replied yes. The Planning Commission could approve them separately.
The public hearing was opened.
a. Scott Sinner, Scott Sinner Consulting, Inc., 4401 San Juan Drive, Suite G, Medford, Oregon, 97504-9343. Mr. Sinner reported that the issue that the applicants have is the recommendation for denial on retaining the existing driveways.
When designing the project to the east Mr. Sinner stated that he pointed Ingram Lane at these two properties at the property line in order to have the ability to develop conforming lots at the time they chose. It completes a circulation pattern for the neighborhood. It is important for vehicle access and more importantly for pedestrian access. There will be sidewalks if the application is approved.
Currently there are four access points. With the approval of the exception request they would be improving the driveways at the far side of the development. They are stipulating to provide the turnaround that allows onsite maneuvering to enter traffic on Orchard Home Drive in a forward manner.
b. Joshua Wallace, 1945 Orchard Home Drive, Medford, Oregon, 97501. Mr. Wallace pointed out that he parks in his carport that is situated so it is accessible from Orchard Home Drive. His front door is also accessible from Orchard Home Drive. If he was to have his driveway come off Ingram Lane his front door would be in his backyard. Again, if he was to have his driveway come off Ingram Lane his carport would not work and his driveway would be in his current backyard where his bedrooms are. It is not close to his entries.
c. Heather Johnson, 1265 Sterling Creek Road, Jacksonville, Oregon, 97530. Ms. Johnson has the same concerns as Mr. Wallace. Moving the driveway onto Ingram Lane side of her house is not functional. The house butts up to Ingram Lane and that is the side where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located. They have no entry from that side of the house. Moving the driveway to Ingram Lane their address, front entrance and porch stays on Orchard Home Drive. They would have the same problem that their front door would be in their backyard and their driveway would not be consistent with their address. It would be confusing and frustrating for not only them but for people coming to their home. They plan to reclaim the garage and extend it to the right. The paved area in front of the garage will accommodate the larger garage and allow them to have more parking, a turnaround area as well as a basketball hoop.
Mr. Sinner reported that this is not just a profit motive. It is a financial hit with retaining the driveways on the street. It is a collector and the development is subject to SDC reimbursement. Retaining access reduces the SDC credits.
Vice Chair McFadden asked, how many parking spaces do they expect along the frontage with the driveways staying off Orchard Home Drive? Mr. Sinner reported no on-street parking on Orchard Home Drive. Vice Chair McFadden asked, and none on Ingram Lane? So all the parties will have to park in the driveway? Mr. Sinner stated there is no parking allowed on a major collector. There is no on-street parking on Orchard Home Drive. Both the sites can accommodate additional parking. They meet the two spaces per dwelling unit parking on Orchard Home Drive. They are still providing the 28 foot paved width of Ingram Lane; even in the reduced right-of-way area. With the public works and fire report the applicant is required to meet the conditions that are either staggered offset driveways to limit parking across from each other to create reduced right-of-way width. Or sprinkling the dwellings is also an option. They will comply with the code standards. Both lots are re-developable.
Vice Chair McFadden asked, did the original property extend off the northeast corner into now where the roadway is on the Wallace property? Mr. Sinner reported that it was a remnant piece from the improvement of the Diamond right-of-way. He believes is was a property line adjustment adjoining the Wallace property. It currently has some storm facilities and will have the applicant’s storm facility and dedicated. Vice Chair McFadden asked, is there a storm drainage easement? Mr. Sinner replied there will be.
Commissioner McKechnie asked, would the owners object to installing “No Parking” signs on the narrow part of Ingram Lane? Mr. Sinner stated they would not object. They could stipulate now for “No Parking” signs on one side and if two sides are necessary.
Mr. Sinner reported that this project was approved and expired. The exceptions were approved on the prior approval as well. The exception included allowing driveways as the applicants are proposing.
Mr. Sinner reserved rebuttal time.
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer, reported that traffic control devices are not the purview of the Planning Commission. The City Traffic Engineer and Fire Department work on how to deal with parking on minor residential streets. “No Parking” signs would have to be requested through the Transportation Manager.
In the exception there is a request for 4 foot sidewalks. The Public Works report does not discuss this. The City Engineer has the right to reduce the PUE. If the applicants go with 4 foot sidewalks it is acceptable per the American Disability Act (ADA) but free and clear of any obstructions. That may be challenging. They may want to consider 5 foot sidewalks and reducing the PUE by a foot. It is an option that Public Works supports. Maintaining that type of access through that area is important. There should be plenty room for most utilities within a 9 foot versus a 10 foot PUE. The applicant is also requesting a quarter foot instead of a half foot between the property line and the back of the sidewalk. There will be an encroachment but it is an option. He has not discussed this until now.
This area of Orchard Home is not developed to urban standards. There will be an increase in traffic along Orchard Home and safety concerns with having direct driveways. The City has recently extended Orchard Home connecting to Lozier and now is the de-facto west side bypass. It goes from South Stage to Highway 238 when the City finishes the work on Lozier. It has significance for west Medford.
Commissioner Mansfield asked, is it the basis that Mr. Georgevitch stated the proposed removal of the two direct accesses onto Orchard Home Drive are based on traffic safety considerations? Mr. Georgevitch replied that is the basis. Commissioner Mansfield asked, does Mr. Georgevitch consider removal of those to make it safer for the traveling public? Mr. Georgevitch stated that is correct.
Commissioner McKechnie asked, what is the minimum distance from the corner if the applicants put a driveway at the front side of the two residences onto Ingram Lane? Mr. Georgevitch reported that code requirement for a driveway is 35 feet from the property line. There are several in town that are closer. Through a process that the applicants work with the City Engineer and Transportation Manager to move it closer. Commissioner McKechnie asked, would it be possible to put the driveway in front of the two houses heading to Ingram Lane? Mr. Georgevitch replied yes.
Commissioner Culbertson agrees that they could be moved to Ingram Lane but he is not sure how that would be a safer method with people coming off Orchard Home Drive onto Ingram Lane to a blind driveway. Mr. Georgevitch reported that concern is on every single residential street off every high order street in the City. They do not have a crash history suggesting there would be a problem with it. Having a 28 foot street out there is probably a positive to create a nice community to move traffic nice and slow. It does not go far. It extends to the east through two phases of the same subdivision then turns south. There are not a lot of homes on this road. Long term goal is to have Diamond connecting which is the east/west collector that will serve the majority of the traffic in the area.
Commissioner Culbertson asked, does Public Works have crash history off Orchard Home Drive for the existing homes? Mr. Georgevitch does not.
Mr. Mitton raised the question about the 4 foot sidewalk versus a 5 foot sidewalk. Are there any plans for mailboxes or something that reduces the 4 foot sidewalk potentially creating an ADA issue? Mr. Sinner reported that it would depend on where the driveways are. He suggested leaving the mailboxes where they are currently located.
Mr. Sinner stated that 5 foot sidewalks on both sides is a great enhancement. He asked Planning and Public Works staff that the applicant is proposing a 37 ½ foot right-of-way width. Would they be looking at a 39 ½, 1 foot each side and a 9 foot PUE?
Vice Chair McFadden stated that the section under City required PUEs states a 5 foot wide easement but utilities has always requested 10 for residential and 15 in commercial areas. If it is still 5 feet then going down to 8 feet is no problem.
Mr. Sinner stated the City Engineer has the flexibility to recommend less. They would have two options to accommodate the 5 foot sidewalks. One would be a 1 foot sidewalk easement and leave the right-of-way width which would not be his first choice. His first choice would be to add a 1 foot to each side with no pedestrian easement required.
Mr. Mitton reported that under Section 10.471 the default for PUEs is 10 feet in width.
Mr. Sinner reported that the applicants would like to be able to provide the 5 foot sidewalks and keep the mailboxes on Orchard Home Drive for the two existing dwellings. They are eliminating two existing driveways and keeping the accesses far as possible from the intersection. They are removing the stipulation for no parking because that would have to go through Public Works.
Commissioner Mansfield stated as a matter of procedure he presumes there will be a split on the question of direct access to Orchard Home Drive. He thinks each Commissioner is entitled to vote on it. He proposes that the motion be made either specifying one way or the other. Then the opponents will have the opportunity to amend and that issue will be decided on the motion to amend. Chair Miranda agreed.
Mr. Georgevitch clarified that the code allows for a reduction or as otherwise required. Therefore they can reduce it. He understands Vice Chair McFadden’s concerns for utilities. The City has reduce is several locations down to as low as 5 feet. This would be a short distance before going to full width. He encouraged that if there is going to be a 5 foot sidewalk that it be in right-of-way to protect the interest of the property owners as opposed to having an easement.
Commissioner McKechnie stated that the plan looks like the PUE and sidewalk on the north side can remain as is. The encroachment would only be on Lot #6 on the south side. Mr. Georgevitch reported that existing structures are normally reduced. In this particular case they would reduce in any place they can maintain full easement.
Commissioner Pulver reported that from time to time this body may over extend its power. He wants to understand where lines are drawn in the ability to require things like driveway locations and more specifically the turnarounds on Lots #1 and #6. Are those things the Planning Commission would stipulate as part of their approval or is it even in their purview? Second question, if there was the ability to put a deed restriction on redevelopment if the lots were split? Kelly Evans, stated that the turnaround is a requirement of the code. They do not have the ability to give away unless there are findings to make the exception. She does not think a stipulation on redevelopment would be necessary because when they apply they will be subject to the standards that apply at that time.
Vice Chair McFadden commented that he does not think Mr. Sinners drawing of the possible turnarounds were still available but whether it comes off Orchard Home Drive or the side street it shows an example of the type of turnaround. You cannot have a turnaround that utilizes two driveways. Ms. Evans stated that it is limited to none if there are options on higher order streets. On page 20 of the agenda packet is the diagram out of code Section 10.746(11) of what the turnarounds look like.
The public hearing was closed.
Commissioner McKechnie asked, can they look at each exception individually and look at the overall project as one action? Chair Miranda reported that they will do one main motion and handle the exception separately.
Mr. Mitton asked procedurally, is the Planning Commission proposing to make the main motion then dealing with each exception as a friendly amendment or having a motion, voting on the main project and then dealing with the exceptions as a separate vote? Chair McFadden stated make the main motion, if someone has a concern with one, pull it, discuss it and handle it as a separate amendment to the main motion.
Motion: The Planning Commission adopts the findings as recommended by staff and directs staff to prepare the Final Orders for approval of LDS-18-085 and E-18-086 per the staff report dated September 6, 2018, including Exhibits A through L, replacing Exhibit F with Exhibit F-1; reduce width dimensions of Ingram Way as presented; deny the reduction of sidewalks and to accomplish that recommend PUEs adjusted accordingly where necessary to allow a 5 foot sidewalk; honor the original approved (expired) approval of this project; the two driveways can be taken off of Orchard Home Drive, to do that include Condition of Approval item 1-G.
Moved by: Vice Chair McFadden Seconded by: Commissioner Mansfield
Motion to amend: Follow the recommendation of staff. Change the driveways to Ingram Way from Orchard Home Drive.
Moved by: Commissioner Mansfield Seconded by: Commissioner McKechnie
Roll Call Vote for the Amendment: Motion failed, 4-5, with Commissioner Culbertson, Commissioner Poythress, Commissioner Pulver, Vice Chair McFadden and Chair Miranda voting no.
Roll Call Vote for the Main Motion: Motion passed: 9-0.
60.1 Site Plan and Architectural Commission.
Commissioner Culbertson reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission meeting scheduled for Friday, September 7, 2018 was cancelled.
60.2 Report of the Joint Transportation Subcommittee.
Chair Miranda reported that the Joint Transportation Subcommittee has not met since July. They plan to meet the end of this month.
60.3 Planning Department
Ms. Evans, reported that the Monday, September 24, 2018 is the joint study session with City Council. Discussion will be on accessory dwelling units, cottages and urbanization plan. It will be held at 6:00 p.m. in the Prescott Room. The regular noon Planning Commission study session will be canceled.
The Planning Commission will have a study session on Monday, October 8, 2018. Discussion will be housing, house-keeping amendments and wetlands inventory and regulations.
There is business scheduled for the Planning Commission on Thursday, September 27, 2018, Thursday, October 11, 2018 and Thursday, October 25, 2018.
Last week the City Council approved the interim design standards. They made several changes requiring 15% glazing, retained the building length limitation, and retained the restriction allowing parking and maneuvering area between buildings and street. They stated that if the projects meets the design standards it can be a director’s decision with property owner notice. Appeals would go to the City Council. If the proposal did not meet the design standards it would go to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission and be subject to the 120-day rule. They approved as recommended by the Planning Commission the small cell facilities ordinance except they required a Conditional Use Permit process for facilities located in residential zones.
Next week the City Council will hear cooling and warming shelters.
Tonight at the City Council study session they will hear Urbanization Plans and Wetlands Regulations.
70. Messages and Papers from the Chair. None.
80. Remarks from the City Attorney. None
90. Propositions and Remarks from the Commission. None.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:36 p.m. The proceedings of this meeting were digitally recorded and are filed in the City Recorder’s office.
Terri L. Richards
Planning Commission Chair
Approved: September 27, 2018