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Planning Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes
Monday, January 14, 2019
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
Mark McKechnie (arrived 12:05 p.m.)
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
Seth Adams, Planner III
E. J. McManus, Excused Absence
Bill Mansfield, Unexcused Absence
Jay Harland, CSA Planning Ltd.
20.1 CP-18-182 Phoenix-Talent School District Master Plan
Seth Adams, Planner III reported that the purpose of the study session is to discuss the incorporation of the Phoenix-Talent School District Long-Range Facilities Master Plan into the Comprehensive Plan, and to make related updates to the Conclusions, Goals, Policies and Implementation Strategies of the Comprehensive Plan.
The Phoenix-Talent School District has formally requested that all of the jurisdictions affected by its recently adopted Long-Range Facilities Master Plan (City of Phoenix, City of Talent, City of Medford, and Jackson County) incorporate the document into their respective comprehensive plans.
Staff is intending to place the initiation of the comprehensive plan amendment on the January 24, 2019 Planning Commission agenda as a consent item. Assuming the Planning Commission approves the initiation of the amendment, staff will draft the Comprehensive Plan amendment language and present it to the Planning Commission at a future study session. Planning Commission and City Council public hearings are to be determined.
As the School Districtís plan affects multiple jurisdictions, the involved parties have agreed that the various Planning Commissions conduct their formal reviews of the Long Range Facilities Master Plan in the following order: 1) Phoenix Planning Commission; 2) Talent Planning Commission; and 3) Medford Planning Commission. Once all three city Planning Commissions have recommended approval of the Master Plan, the District will forward it to the County Planning Commission to review. If any of the Planning Commissions request changes that could affect the interests of any of the other cities, then the requested changes would be brought back to the applicable Planning Commission(s) for concurrence on the changes.
Once the Planning Commission review process is completed, the School District Board would adopt amendments reflecting the changes (if any) that occurred during the Planning Commission reviews. The updated Master Plan would then be reviewed by the various City Councils in the same order as the Planning Commissions, with the final review being the County Board of Commissioners.
Vice Chair McFadden stated that the one vacant parcel identified as being owned by the school district is different than the land identified in the Southeast Plan as being reserved for Phoenix-Talent School District. Would the school site identified in the Southeast Plan automatically be changed to the parcel currently owned by the District? Mr. Adams reported that staff will not amend anything in the Southeast Plan. The other school site that Vice Chair McFadden mentioned will remain as flagged. As far as what the School District is going to do with their vacant parcel, Mr. Adams deferred that to Jay Harland who represents the School District.
Mr. Harland stated that the Planning Commission processed a zone change on the school site that is identified in the Southeast Plan. There was an agreement with a property owner to sell it to the School District, but then the property owner decided he did not want to sell. There was litigation between the School District and the property owner on the enforceability of the agreement. Mr. Harland did not read the actual case. The School District ended up buying the Coal Mine Road site instead. The problem is that when they did the School Districtís Master Plan, it was determined that while the site is a good location, it may not be large enough. It is only 11 acres and there are wetlands and a future road that will go through it. It would be a large enough site for an elementary school, but they will need a middle school facility and the site is not large enough for that.
Commissioner McKechnie stated the purpose is to get the process started. A member of the public will have at least one more opportunity to weigh in on this process. Mr. Adams reported yes. They will have at least two opportunities. Once staff drafts the amendment language it comes back to the Planning Commission in a study session. Then formal recommendation with the Planning Commission and to the City Council.
Commissioner McKechnie reported that this is okay. As a general rule he would rather staff does not put items on the consent calendar that the Planning Commission has not had a chance to be aired in public. This seems to just be getting the process started.
Vice Chair McFadden stated that there are topics that get brought to the Planning Commission that seem to pop out of nowhere, and they are asked to make a quick decision without enough discussion.
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner, stated that this is similar to when a property owner comes in and requests that the City consider a code change. Staff does not allow the public to come in and do a code change. It has to come through the Planning Commission for initiation, and then it moves forward with staff.
Commissioner Foley asked, will the ultimate step be a Planning Commission public hearing? Ms. Paladino replied yes. It will be a formal Comprehensive Plan amendment.
Commissioner Pulver asked, what is the criteria once it comes to the Planning Commission public hearing? Ms. Paladino stated that it will be the Comprehensive Plan amendment criteria, such asÖ.does it comply with the statewide goals, does it meet the Conclusions, Goals, Policies and Implementation Strategies of the Comprehensive Plan, and so forth?
Ms. Paladino reported that when the 549C School District plan came in there was talk about the Hull Road property being outside of the Urban Growth Boundary. There was a conflict that had to be worked through. In this case there are minimal school properties that impact Medford.
Commissioner Pulver asked, is there a timeframe? Ms. Paladino did not believe so.
Commissioner Culbertson reported that in 2014 during the stages of the RPS, Phil Long came to a small group of people in MD-7. They asked what the main goals were. He tried to divert the Hull Road school site to the school site off Kings Highway. At that point in time Mr. Long stated they were in discussion with Phoenix-Talent about redrafting the lines and Talent would go to Ashland and Phoenix would go to Medford and create one school district. Has that died?
Vice Chair McFadden stated that he wished more people read the Comprehensive Plan. That is one of the reasons he supports putting all this in comprehensive plans so that people know that type of issue from the beginning.
Commissioner Culbertson and Vice Chair McFadden commented that this needs to move forward. Chair Miranda thinks it sounds good so far.
Commissioner Thomas stated that he thinks Mr. Long would have liked to have seen that done, but he had no power or authority to do that. It is a legislative change. There are 116 school districts in the State. From the school districts standpoint they are looking at lots like the Hull Road lot. They liked the Hull Road lot because it was donated to them and they could swap it. Just like with the 11 acres that is not big enough for a middle school. If they can have control of that then they can swap it.
Mr. Harland reported that the Southeast Plan property is not a bad school site. They may end up putting a school there. There were a lot of conversations through the Master Plan process of what to do with that piece. The other question was if they did not need it to sell it now. There were approximately $20M of things the School District could use that the bond money did not cover. Since they could not definitively determine what they may or may not need in the future, Mr. Harlandís recommendation to the School District was to hold onto the property.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:21 p.m.
Terri L. Richards