Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, September 13, 2018

AGENDA
September 13, 2018

7:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

 
1.    Urbanization Comp Plan Element Amendment
 
2.    Wetland Inventory Code Amendments

MINUTES
September 13, 2018

7:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:

Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan, and Michael Zarosinski

City Manager Brian Sjothun,  City Attorney Lori Cooper, Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard, Planning Director Matt Brinkley, Principal Planner Carla Paladino

Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks, Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle were absent.

Urbanization Comp Plan Element Amendment
Principal Planner Carla Paladino advised that the amendment would adopt a new land use process called Urbanization Planning process that is specific to new expansion areas.
  •  Would require a major Comprehensive Plan amendment and revision of the Municipal Code, Chapter 10
  •  Objectives
    • Specific areas could create their own urbanization plan which would get adopted into the comp plan
    • Continue compliance with the Regional Plan
    • Plans required for each specific area
  • Planning has been discussing this urbanization planning since the beginning of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) process
  • Urbanization Plans needed as part of the annexation process
  • City adopted the general land use designations and higher order street connections; specific concept plans were not adopted, but were part of the UGB amendment submittal
  • Procedure
    • Revision to adopt plans concurrently with annexation
    • Applications could be applied for if they had consent of 50% of the owners and at least 50% of the total property area
    • The general land use planning were adopted with the UGB
    • Changes to the higher level street will be considered
    • Exemptions for all industrial and open spaces
  • To be annexed, the property need to be contiguous
  • Annexation is a separate process from the urbanization plan
  • The City can annex property with a Council vote and an election process
  • Coordinate with public utility providers
  • Identify special features such as wetlands, school districts, parks, wildlife habitats, historic properties, scenic views, etc.
  • Compliance with Urban Growth Boundary Management Agreement with the County and special agreements
  • Flexibility to move the designations within the property units; changes from less intense to more intense, but not the from more intense to less intense
  • Planning Commission Recommendations
    • Written consent should be from 50% of the land ownership AND 50% of the land area; perhaps modify from 50%
    • Applicants should hold a neighborhood meeting before the plan is formally submitted
    • Concept plans should we add language requiring people to stay consistent with the plans presented during the UGB
Councilmember Zarosinski noted that the percentages could be modified, as what would happen if one person owned 50% of the land.  He didn’t think the concept plans were enforceable except for the MD plan, except for the special agreements.
  • Tentatively the plan will go before the Planning Commission October 11 and back to the City Council November 14, 2018
Councilmember Stine noted five Councilmembers were not present and suggested another study session. City Manager Brian Sjothun recommended a recap at the September 24, 2019 study session.

Wetland Inventory Code Amendments
Ms. Paladino provided an overview of the wetland inventory and noted the following:
  • Currently there are no wetland regulations within the code
  • Background
    • 2015 a wetland consultant was hired to conduct a wetland inventory and document wetland areas, public outreach was held, and the plan was reviewed and approved by the Oregon Department of State Lands 
  • Need to identify the significant wetlands and whether to put a safe harbor on them or go around them
    • 82 wetland polygons in the urban reserve area with 68 probable wetlands, 14 locally significant wetland units and four areas of special interest
  • Comprehensive Plan amendment to revise environmental element, inserting the maps, incorporating the local wetland inventory and attaching the Economic, Social, Environmental, and Energy (ESEE) analysis
  • Municipal Code amendment to amend definitions, revise the riparian corridor and incorporating wetland  information
  • Planning Commission has reviewed the process over three study sessions, but nothing since 2016
  • Stakeholder group with 14 people interested in participating in the group
  • Next steps to update the language
    • Finalize language
    • Review with legal, stakeholder group and the Planning Commission
    • Discuss with Jackson County
    • November 8 Planning Commission hearing
    • December 6 Council hearing
Council comment
How will development change? How does the City have regulatory jurisdiction?  The inventory notes areas that may need protection. Then the Department of State Lands (DSL) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) would step in to regulate the area.  The applicant would then have to satisfy the state and federal regulations. The wetland designation should provide developers an idea of the local expectations. 

Councilmember Wallan voiced concerns about creating Code that the City couldn’t enforce, as the state and federal agencies have jurisdiction over wetlands.

Raul Woerner advised that City Code had no relevance to state and federal agencies. However, if the city is protecting the area, the state may not get involved. In addition, the state requires that cities have a local wetland inventory. 

Planning Director Matt Brinkley explained the wetland inventory provides a general idea of where the wetlands are located. The City could then provide prescriptive rules for development in that area and perhaps avoid going through DSL or the Corps.

Mayor Wheeler questioned whether the city has flexibility to mitigate the wetlands area; the mitigation is part of the plan and restoration projects may obtain “credits” for when other areas are impacted.

Councilmember Zarosinski clarified that if the City Code requires a delineation of the wetlands; the state approves the delineation. The wetland inventory is helpful to developers as it is easier to go around the areas if they are identified in advance. 

Councilmember Zarosinski questioned a 50 foot requirement for banks during waterway restoration; Raul believed that it prevented objections from nearby property owners as there is a required buffer.

Mr. Sjothun advised that another study session on this topic would be scheduled in late October before the topic goes to the Planning Commission.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.


Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder



 

 

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