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Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes

Monday, June 24, 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:
Commissioners Present
Joe Foley, Vice Chair
David Culbertson
Bill Mansfield
David McFadden
E. J. McManus
Commissioners Absent
Patrick Miranda, Excused Absence          
Mark McKechnie, Chair, Excused Absence          
Jared Pulver, Excused Absence
Jeff Thomas, Unexcused Absence
Staff Present
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
20.1        DCA-17-104 Food Trucks in the Public Right of Way and Food Pods
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner reported that City food truck regulations go back to the 1980s.  The Code recently changed in 2017 that clarified truck size and measurements.  There was a City Council and Planning Commission Joint Study Session in 2017 to discuss food trucks in the Right of Way.
Staff is proposing Right of Way vending:
•             Permitted in the Central Business and Historic District only. 
•             Allow on street vending from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Commissioner McManus asked, was there any discussion about during the day on weekends?  Ms. Paladino reported discussion was specific to nights.  Since the food pods are already happening on private property there may not be that need. 
Commissioner Culbertson commented there is parking enforcement on weekdays until 5:00 p.m.
Ms. Paladino stated that on street vending could be loud and impact sidewalks.  At night is different because a lot of stores are closed and it is geared for specific events and activities still occurring downtown. 
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney reported that at a previous study session someone raised a concern about competing too much with brick and mortar restaurants. 
Commissioner Culbertson stated that 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. is after the majority of the brick and mortar restaurants close.  Bars will be opened.  Is the City in a position to consider restraining a trade?  If someone wants to have a mobile vending as opposed to a brick and mortar, who is to say that mobile vendor needs to be in a bricks and mortar.  That is not the City’s position.  The City’s position is if someone wants to provide a service people use it.  If people do not use it or like it they will not be in business.
Commissioner Mansfield commented people that own real property in the business section of town like to rent their property.  By letting people use the right-of-way for free is competing with those landlords.  The City is competing with free enterprise.
Commissioner Culbertson commented they have to have a permit to park on the street.  Commissioner Mansfield responded that fee in insignificant.  It is too small to make a significant difference.
Commissioner Culbertson reported that the Planning Department just increased their wholesale fees.  Maybe this is one of the fees that needs to be reconsidered. 
Vice Chair Foley stated that the chart in the staff report shows the hours of the restaurants and bars downtown.  Most of the hours do not conflict with the brick and mortars.  There is not a huge overlap between the brick and mortar at night. 
Commissioner Culbertson asked Commissioner Mansfield if his position is that the food vending trucks should not be allowed on the street; find private property only.  Mr. Mansfield responded that is his position.             
•             Provide trash receptacle
•             No seating unless as part of a sidewalk cafι permit
•             Designated streets only
Proposed Street for Night Vending:
•             8th Street
•             Main Street
•             Central Avenue
•             Front Street
•             Bartlett Street
•             Evergreen Parking Lot
Commissioner McFadden asked, is this for night vending and not the food pods?  Ms. Paladino stated this is for on-street vending at night.
Commissioner Culbertson commented that Bartlett Street in front of the university building is incredibly narrow.  It may not be accessible.
Commissioner McFadden suggested a section close to the Holly Theater.
Commissioner Culbertson asked, for some of the downtown businesses, instead of parking in the garage does the City sell an annual permit for parking on-street long term?  Mr. Mitton stated that staff is working on a code change.  There used to be an option that if one received a ticket they could convert it to a permit for longer parking.  There is a limited number of spaces for long term permits.  There is a wait list for those spaces.  The current parking permit fees are $10 to $40 a month depending on the exact terms.  
Vice Chair Foley does not think it is a bad idea along with a business license to require an on-street parking permit only good for 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on the proposed streets.
Ms. Paladino asked, like an annual parking permit fee?  Vice Chair Foley stated monthly or quarterly.  The City is going to have an expense because Code Enforcement will have to check on these vendors for code compliance and $100 a year will not cover that.
Daily pods are one or more mobile food vendors on private property during daily operating hours.  Semi-Permanent pods are one or more mobile food vendors on private property on a 24 hour basis.  They would be allowed in all Commercial zones, I-L, I-G, and P-1 zones. 
For daily pods if the site is paved currently the City does not have a review process.  Staff could do a Type 1 or administrative staff review.  Currently they have their lease with the property owner, set-up and leave.  The City only regulates them getting a business license. 
Semi-Permanent pods will be a Type III – Site Plan and Architectural Commission review or Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission review.  They will show where the trucks will be parked, landscaping, lighting, utilities, structures, seating, etc.
Commissioner Culbertson asked, if they came before the Site Plan and Architectural Commission will they be required to improve a piece of property that was not previously if they are going to create semi-permanent pods?  Ms. Paladino replied, yes.  It is no different than a new building being built. 
Mr. Mitton reported that storage overnight and utility hook-ups is a trigger for the semi-permanent pods.  Trucks can still be recycled every week if wanted but it is like the food court at the mall.  The food court has restaurants coming in and out on a regular basis as the business fails.  The food court itself is the permanent. 
The site standards (Semi-Permanent)
•             Paved or concrete surface
•             No obstructions to:
o             Walkways, landscaping, parking, fire equipment / access, easement or vision clearance
•             Comply with buffer yards, landscaping and setbacks
•             10 foot separation required between food vendors, parked vehicles, and combustible materials
Vice Chair Foley asked, how did staff come up with the 10 feet?  Ms. Paladino stated that came from the Fire Department comments.
•             Control for trip hazards (cords, hoses, etc.)
•             Submit a pest control management plan
•             Restrooms required
•             Trash Bins, Recycling Bins, and Dumpsters required
•             Other structures on site need proper permits
•             Identify seating areas and other accessory items
Vendor Truck Design Standards
•             Trucks must be self-contained, maintained, and ready-to-move
Commissioner McFadden has concerns with the wording of “ready-to-move”.  Ms. Paladino stated the wording could be changed. 
•             Maximum size is 16 feet and 20 feet
•             Business License, Operational and Health Department permits required
•             SDCs apply to Semi-Permanent Pods
Commissioner Mansfield stated that the City has always called their business tax a business license.  It is a misnomer.  There is nothing license about it.  It is not regulatory in any way.  It should be named a business tax.  The evil of it is that the average citizen considers once a person displays a business license the City has endorsed that business.
Mr. Mitton disagrees.  The City does shut down businesses if they do not comply with the law related to their business.
Commissioner McFadden asked, did the Police have comments on this subject?  Ms. Paladino reported the Police Department was not too excited with the on-street vending but they said okay.
Commissioner McManus asked, would the food trucks have to pay SDCs?  Ms. Paladino responded that the property owner applying for the proposal when applying for a building permit for storage or restroom will trigger SDC’s for the number of truck units. 
Daily Pods                                                            
•             Water on the truck
•             Wastewater to be disposed of properly
•             Temporary power connection permitted
Semi-Permanent Pods
•             Connection to water and sanitary sewer required
•             Connection to power required
•             No generators permitted
Parking Requirements
•             One parking space per food truck
•             No minimum if site located within a 1/4 mile of a public parking lot
Commissioner McManus has concerns with the 10 foot buffer between food trucks.  It seems to be very challenging to not only enforce it but opportunities to have a 10 foot distance between the trucks.  Ms. Paladino commented that she would clarify with the Fire Department of side to side or front and back. 
Ms. Paladino asked, should the daily pods have some kind of review like the ones at the post office?  Commissioner McManus has concerns with the daily food pod by Sky Oaks on Bartlett.  They change where they put their trailer and it seems the patrons are getting closer to 4th Street.  They should have a setback.
Mr. Mitton mentioned he emailed Ms. Paladino regarding grease traps.  Ms. Paladino reported she needs to talk with Public Works again. 
Ms. Paladino will update the amendment and send it out to approximately 20 food truck vendors to get their perspective.  This will come before the Planning Commission on Thursday, July 25, 2019.           
30.          Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 12:39 p.m.
Submitted by:
Terri L. Richards
Recording Secretary

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