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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, May 30, 2019

May 30, 2019

6:00 p.m.
City Hall, Medford Room
411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:00 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 Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks (arrived at 6:30 p.m.), Tim D’Alessandro, Alex Poythress and Kevin Stine
City Manager Brian Sjothun, Deputy City Attorney Eric Mitton, Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard

Councilmembers Dick Gordon, Eric Stark and Michael Zarosinski were absent.
Goal Setting
City Manager Brian Sjothun introduced Megan Davis-Lightman from Davis Consulting Group who would guide the Council through the evening’s review of goals.
Health and Safety:
  • Neighborhood livability partnership (previously revised through G3 meetings):
    • Revised to include 12 properties per biennium
  • Address Livability Issues (previously revised through G3 meetings):
    • Implementation of the livability team
    • Increase patrols in the downtown and on the greenway
    • Link at least 40 individuals to available services
    • Remove ten acres of non-native vegetation along the Greenway
  • Homeless System Improvement Plan:
    • Adopt plan by October 1, 2019 and set priorities for grant funding by November 2019
  • Public Safety Level of Service:
    • Topic added through the budget process
    • Adopt the level of service and strategic plans for Fire and Police
    • Identify resources if additional staffing is needed in future bienniums
  •  Emergency Management:
    • Transfer this topic from Public Infrastructure to Health and Safety
    • Adopt an update to the City’s emergency management plan
    • Employees and Council complete all required NIMS training
Ms. Lightman clarified there were no objections to moving the Health and Safety goal to the June 20 meeting.
Housing Strategies
  • Increase opportunities for Downtown Housing:
    • Review and approve changes to development standards
    • Adopt new parking policies that encourage residential development
    • Goal of establishing 100 units of residential housing
  •  Increase Opportunities for Housing:
    • Review and consider staff recommendations
    • Includes Housing Advisory Commission recommendations
    • Use of Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) for incentives, tax abatements, etc.
It was clarified that the Housing Advisory Commission makes HOF recommendations to Council. The Council makes the final decision.  
  • Homeless System Improvement Plan:
    • Adopt October 1 and set priorities by November 2019. Would provide recommendations for housing and grants committees.
Councilmember Poythress requested the inclusion of reducing/waiving of SDC fees for Additional Dwelling Units (ADU) within this section.  Planning Director Matt Brinkley advised that staff is researching the use of the HOF or the use of urban renewal funds to offset the SDC expense for homeowners.
Ms. Lightman clarified that pending the revision to include language regarding SDC fees for ADU’s, there were no objections to moving the Housing Strategies goal to the June 20 meeting.
Public Infrastructure:
Mr. Sjothun noted this goal included Council support of funding allocations to support the Bear Creek Master Plan, Feasibility of a Potential Aquatics Center and another Citywide Space Needs Assessment. He noted the first two topics were higher priority and recommended a study session regarding the space needs assessment and possible funding options for that topic.
  • Public Works’ Infrastructure:
    • Review and approve recommendations from the Transportation Commission on prioritization of a six-year capital improvement list of street projects.
  • Emergency Management:
    • Topic now within the Health and Safety goal.
  • Staff Led Suggestion; I-5 Viaduct:
    • Create partnership with ODOT to allow Council involvement with the design, noise impact and space utilization under the viaduct
Councilmember D’Alessandro noted the City currently has a good relationship with ODOT and that staff should move forward to build that partnership as soon as possible.
Councilmember Stine requested “welcoming” signage on all entrances to Medford; Mr. Sjothun suggested adding a wayfinding goal and include “welcome” signage. 
Ms. Lightman clarified that pending the wayfinding signage revision there were no objections to moving the Public Infrastructure goal to the June 20 meeting.
Downtown Redevelopment
  • Liberty Park Plan:
    • By October 1, identify and prioritize projects and direct staff to amend the City Center Revitalization Plan
  • Reimagine Parking District:
    • No comment
  • Seismic Retrofit Program:
    • No comment
  • Public/Private Partnerships:
    • Update land use and design standards for MURA and downtown areas that establish a higher use to achieve Council goals
    • This goal is not limited to the downtown area; language will be included stating that the Council and staff will seek to replicate this goal throughout the City
Ms. Lightman clarified there were no objections to moving the Downtown Redevelopment goal to the June 20 meeting.
Community and Employee Engagement
By June 6, in association with adoption of the 2109-21 Biennial Budget, Council to express support and approve funds to move community engagement forward
  • Develop a board-based vision with community stakeholders:
    • Staff will research how outside organizations determine the livability statistics used by national publications
  • Community Engagement:
    • No comment
  • Government partnership engagement:
    • Invite collaboration with organizations and agencies
  • Employee Engagement:
    • Internal staff to promote engagement efforts with employees
Ms. Lightman clarified there were no objections to moving the Community and Employee Engagement goal to the June 20 meeting.
Economic Development
  • Regional Economic Development Strategy:
    • Participate in the strategy development with SOREDI. Review implementation strategies specific to Medford and adopt into the Medford Comprehensive Plan.
  • Develop a policy framework that integrates economic health, social sustainability and environmental stewardship to inform economic and community development strategies and guide inter-departmental collaboration
    • Adopt a policy framework by July 2020 applicable to Council, City staff, Boards and Commissions
  • Identify and Remove Barriers to Economic Development
    • No comment
The completed document formalizes the Council’s vision and goals, provides the framework for staff to achieve the goals, will assist in formulating the new budget to more closely reflect Council’s priorities for City projects. 
Councilmember Bearnson spoke about funding the goals; Mr. Sjothun advised that a motion was made and staff will bring something back to Council for consideration.  He clarified that after the goals were approved, the City could move forward with funding priorities for the goals.
Ms. Lightman clarified there were no objections to moving the Economic Development goal to the June 20 meeting.
Ms. Lightman left at 6:50 p.m.
Mayor Wheeler declared a recess at 6:50 p.m.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Study Session reconvened at 6:55 p.m. with same members present.
Planner IV Sarah Sousa outlined proposed minor Code amendments regarding bicycle parking, supporting density and removing housing barriers. Staff sought input on these amendments from internal staff, Housing Advisory Commission, Planning Commission, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Opticos Design, Inc.
Proposed changes to bicycle parking:
  • Removing the requirement that bicycle parking had to be closer than the nearest automobile parking
  • Requiring a bicycle parking diagram
  • Providing bicycle rack standards
Proposed changes to building height measurement methods:
  • Currently building height is determined from the peak and the eave to the ground. Proposed change to measure height from the top plate to the ground.
  • For sloped properties, building height will be measured in both the front and rear. The greater elevation will apply for deterring the setback.
Proposed changes to the lot lines requirements for duplexes:
  • Eliminating the requirement that a lot line divide a duplex in SFR-4 and SFR-6 zones.
  • Reducing the minimum lot width for duplex lots in SFR-4 and SFR-6 zones.
Proposed change to remove restriction that limits attached housing to a one story home if it is within 20 feet of an SFR property.  Building height is restricted to 35 feet for all residential zones, from single family to multi-family. Ms. Sousa provided an example that this restriction would not allow a two-story townhome within 20 feet of a detached single family home.  A typical single family home requires a seven foot setback while that same size townhome would require a 20 foot setback.  Staff proposed the same setbacks for buildings of the same height within the same zoning.
Proposed changes to multifamily residential standards in commercial zones:
  • Revise to match setbacks and building height to the underlying commercial zone
  • Commercial building height is 85 feet and typically has a 10 foot front setback
Proposed changes to the locational criteria for SFR-4 zoning to encourage density in specific areas:
  • If 70% of the area proposed to be rezoned exceeds a slope of 12% or greater
  • If it is within a wildfire hazard zone
  • Property is not more than one gross acre in size
  • If the property is within the Southeast Area Overlay
Mr. Brinkley advised that this revision would not eliminate existing SFR-4 zoning; it would apply to future zone changes only.
Proposed changes to SFR-10:
  • Revise existing requirement that one parcel abutting the subject property is zoned SFR 10 to one parcel within 200 feet of the subject property is zoned SFR-10
  • Revise the alternate requirement that the area to be re-zoned is five acres or larger to three acres or larger.
Ms. Sousa noted that properties located in commercial zones that were previously single family residences are allowed to convert use back and forth from single family use to commercial.  Staff proposed additional changes to expand the non-conforming use:
  • Eliminate the density requirement
  • Eliminate the minimum square footage attributed to commercial versus residential use at a location
Mr. Brinkley stated that Planning will make revisions to density and zoning regulations as legally allowed and as Council directs. He also explained that there are pending state law changes which would allow quad-plexes within single family residence zoning.
There were no objections to considering these amendments on the July 18 agenda.
The meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.
Winnie Shepard, CMC
Deputy City Recorder

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