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Planning Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes
Monday, October 08, 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:
Patrick Miranda, Chair
David McFadden, Vice Chair
E. J. McManus
David Culbertson, Excused Absence
Mark McKechnie, Unexcused Absence
Kelly Evans, Assistant Planning Director
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV
20.1 DCA-18-118 Housing and Housekeeping Amendment
Sarah Sousa, Planner IV reported that the amendment is housekeeping corrections and minor changes related to housing and density in the Medford Land Development Code.
Reconfiguring Article II removed the requirement for posting public hearing signs for Type 2 applications. These applications are approved by the Planning Director and does require the posting of public hearing signs.
A new application type was created for the public parks zoning review but submittal requirements were not included. The housekeeping amendment will include those requirements.
Small cell facilities needs the addition of public parks zone to the list of zones they can be located in.
There are a total of twenty four housekeeping amendments. The above are just a few examples.
Housing and Density Changes.
The minor revisions to make housing more feasible:
• Equalizing lot coverage for all residential housing types
Vice Chair McFadden asked, does lot coverage include the concrete for parking? Ms. Sousa replied that it does not. Vice Chair McFadden asked, will the concrete for parking take more percentage because the house is 10% bigger? Ms. Sousa reported that it would apply to multi-family because another unit could be added. Single family and duplexes have a set amount of parking; two spaces per unit for single family detached. Vice Chair McFadden commented that one knows they are going to get the parking and building. Chances are they will maximize the building which means the only third option is all the open space for children to play in that just took a hit. Ms. Sousa replied that there is not a minimum of open space except in Planning Unit Developments for multi-family projects.
• Allowing structures built as single family homes to convert back and forth from residential to commercial in the commercial zones
Commissioner Pulver asked, if a zone is designated commercial isn’t it to eliminate residential uses in that zone? Ms. Sousa stated that multi-family is allowed in commercial zones. They would look like single family homes.
Commissioner Mansfield asked, what public purpose is served by not permitting a residential in a commercial zone? Commissioner Pulver’s opinion is that there will potentially be conflicting uses. There are all sorts of dynamics associated with commercial and industrial uses. There are different traffic flows and noise associated with commercial uses.
Personally, Commissioner Foley likes this one. He did not realize there were a lot of requests for this. Jackson Street is a classic example.
Vice Chair McFadden asked, does this allow changes to the outside of the building? Is there something that states one cannot add onto the footprint or add an accessory dwelling unit on the lot? Could there be a business and an accessory dwelling unit on the back side? Ms. Sousa stated that one would have to look at the nonconforming section. It is a Planning Director decision of over a certain percentage it is a conditional use permit. It is limited to expand the nonconformity. Also, the accessory dwelling unit standards would have to be reviewed. Currently, they are not allowed in commercial zoning districts but staff is reviewing maybe they could be allowed.
Chair Miranda asked, if it is converting from residential to commercial then converts back to residential would it not be permitted because it is residential? Commissioner Foley commented that the zoning did not change. It is allowing the use.
• Removing the locational requirement for zone changes to the Single Family Residential – 6 dwelling units per gross acre zone
Commissioner Pulver asked, what is the neighboring locational requirement for SFR-6? Ms. Sousa stated that the neighboring property has to have a GLUP designation of UR. Staff is leaving the locational criteria for SFR-10. SFR-10 still has to be abutting another property zoned SFR-10.
• Allowing townhomes the same setbacks as single family detached homes
• Revising the maximum density calculation to round up if .5 or greater
• Eliminating the restriction that duplexes must be on a corner lot in the single Family Residential – 4 dwelling units per gross acre zone
Chair Miranda asked, what was the logic behind enforcing that requirement? Ms. Sousa commented that it would not look like a duplex.
• Clarifying that more than one duplex is permitted on a lot zoned multi-family
• Removing restrictions prohibiting residential care facilities for 15+ individuals in the multi-family zones and the Neighborhood Commercial zone
Vice Chair McFadden asked, is there a state maximum of the number of people in residential care facilities? Is this aimed at the development on the corner of Lone Pine and Springbrook? Ms. Sousa replied that the Residential Care Facility on the corner of Lone Pine and Springbrook is in a single family zone as a conditional use. She does not believe there is a cap in multi-family zones.
Commissioner Pulver requested clarification of what residential care facilities are. Are they senior care facilities without medical care? Carla Paladino, Principal Planner replied that they can be. Kelly Evans, Assistant Planning Director commented that residential care facilities are super broad. Carla Paladino reported that a customer wanted to do an Alzheimer’s care facility in a multifamily zone. It did not show as being allowed over 15 units. Nursing homes includes a definition of residential care. Technically, a residential care facility can be in a multifamily zone under the nursing home category. It needed to be clarified.
Commissioner commented that during an earlier discussion there are specific definitions of all types of care facilities on the state and federal level. Are they codified in the City’s Code? Ms. Paladino agreed and reported they are codified in the Code.
The hearing schedule is October 25, 2018 for the Planning Commission and December 6, 2018 for the City Council.
Commissioner Foley asked, why move the working days to calendar days? Ms. Evans reported that it makes it easier for staff to manage.
Commissioner Pulver asked, does the Planning Commission review park developments? Ms. Evans stated they are kin to a Conditional Use Permit.
Commissioner Foley did not understand the description of the amendment for “Clarify that landscaping in the planter strip can count towards required frontage landscaping”. Ms. Sousa replied that if there are plantings in the park strip it can count towards frontage landscaping. Frontage landscaping is on the private party portion of a lot. When doing commercial development there are required number of bushes and trees per whatever the length of the frontage. Existing landscaping in the planter strip can count towards the frontage landscaping requirement. Ms. Evans reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission reviews that requirement.
Vice Chair McFadden commented that adding the public parks zone to Wireless Communication Section did not dis-allow anything else. Ms. Evans replied that is correct.
Commissioner Pulver stated that at the last Planning Commission and City Council joint study session there is a lot of emphasis on density and affordability. It is his opinion that it is a mistake to eliminate the ability for people to be creative for large lot homes. He does not think it needs to be the standard but there needs to be a place for that. By eliminating that ability makes a stereotype generalization. It will push high wagers out of the City. Making SFR-6 and SFR-10 does make it affordable. The gross number is smaller but that does not mean it is affordable. There needs to be thought into this before it gets carried away.
Commissioner Mansfield respectfully disagreed with Commissioner Pulver. Large homes are not in the public interest. Our society can no longer afford those size of houses. The American public simply has not recognized that yet.
Commissioner Pulver disagrees and aren’t those people going to go somewhere else? They will move to the County or another municipality. They are not going to happen here if boxed out.
Commissioner Mansfield stated that we need to be leaders. We might lose a house or two here or there is a little moment to him.
Commissioner Poythress empathically agrees with Commissioner Pulver. The unattended consequence of limiting lot and house size will artificially inflate property value. It addresses two different sides. One it is allowing the freedom. Respectfully, he stated that our society will decide for itself and correct itself if somebody builds a home on a two acre lot. If there is no one to buy the home it can be addressed. We are doing ourselves a long term disservice.
Commissioner Mansfield commented that it is a good thing there are different viewpoints on the Planning Commission.
Vice Chair McFadden thinks that Commissioner Pulver wants to include the idea that certain lot configurations could be big or small and should be protected from redevelopment or further development. Large lots are being divided. There are lots that should stay a lot and a home and restricting the option to sell part of it.
Commissioner Pulver reported that the Planning Commission heard the one on White Oak where the owner was splitting it into three houses. There are neighborhood that should be protected and preserved. New ones need to be created. Regulations are coming from Salem/Portland metro area that has different issues than Medford. People come to Medford for different reasons. We have a strong medical community and the doctors do not want a 1,600 square foot home in an SFR-6 zone. We want those people a part of our community and a part of our tax base. Lot size restrictions will push them out. That is short sighted.
Commissioner Foley stated that in relation to the urbanization plan, how much flexibility is there within the Planning unit creating whatever they want as long as the total density is the right number? Commissioner Pulver reported that the answer they received the other evening was that it was specific units. Not MD-5 but MD-5E that has to meet the 6.6 requirement. There are parties that disagree with that. Ms. Paladino stated the way the Regional Plan is built is density is spread across our City limits and our expanded area. The Planning unit should meet that. She believes there will be testimony Thursday evening that staff needs to look at somehow making that different.
Vice Chair McFadden commented or should the City allow people to bank that with the City acting as the banker and the flexibility gets paid to the City.
Ms. Evans stated that usually the Planning Commission has one meeting in November because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of the month. This year there are five Thursdays in November. The agenda is busy. Is the Planning Commission interested in having a meeting on Thursday, November 29, 2018? She will ask the question again on Thursday.
Commissioner Mansfield, Commissioner Foley, Vice Chair McFadden, Chair Miranda and Commissioner Pulver are fine with a Thursday, November 29, 2018 Planning Commission meeting.
Regular December Planning Commission meetings will be on the 13th and 27th. Staff will try not to schedule business for Thursday, December 27, 2018 but they do not always have that luxury.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
Terri L. Richards