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Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes

Minutes
Monday, August 12, 2019

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 12:00 noon in the Medford Lausmann Annex, Room 151, 200 S. Ivy Street, Medford, Oregon on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
 
Commissioners Present
Mark McKechnie, Chair
Joe Foley, Vice Chair
David Culbertson
Bill Mansfield
David McFadden
E.J. McManus
Jared Pulver
Jeff Thomas
 
Commissioners Absent
E.J. McManus, Unexcused Absence
Patrick Miranda, Excused Absence
 
Staff Present
Kelly Evans, Assistant Planning Director
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Madison Simmons, Senior Assistant City Attorney
Karl MacNair, Transportation Manager
Kyle Kearns, Planner II
 
Guest
Nathan Emerson, CSA Planning Ltd.
               
20.    Subject
20.1 DCA-18-180 Concurrency
Kyle Kearns, Planner II reported that the Transportation System Plan (TSP) was adopted in December 2018 with policy guidance to implement provisions of the Transportation Planning Rule (TPR).
 
There was public testimony received from CSA Planning Ltd., asking that DCA-18-180 be continued to a future hearing.  There were additional comments received from Transportation Commissioner Kim Parducci.  Their concerns were regarding missing Transportation Planning Rule language and analysis.  Staff met with Mr. Harland and Ms. Parducci to review staff’s responses to their comments on August 7, 2019.  Staff has incorporated several more changes that will be discussed during this study session.
 
Prohibiting TPR Subsection (9): Optional provision of TPR.  It would allow for zone changes, without TIA, if zoning met the comprehensive plan and adopted TSP. Inclusion of this provision, would in effect remove TIA. Bend, Oregon has implemented a similar approach.  Without further direction, staff is not suggesting inclusion of subsection (9) allowance. 
Commissioner Mansfield asked for the pros and cons so he could understand it better.  Mr. Kearns reported the pros would streamline zone changes and when zoning is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and applicants would not have to analyze transportation impacts.  It would put more pressure on staff to make the TSP come true.  It would put more financial burden on the City and could end up causing unforeseen impacts to the transportation system.
 
Karl MacNair, Transportation Manager added that they did not analyze every single intersection in the City that could be impacted; there may be some projects that were not accounted for.  Another con would be that the TSP looks at the full buildout at 20 years and what is expected based on development patterns and the Tier 1 project list.  As development occurs over time there may be more development in one area than anticipated and less in another area. 
 
Commissioner Mansfield asked, is one option a plan to analyze impacts as it goes and the other is a set plan per the TSP?  Mr. MacNair responded yes. 
 
Commissioner Mansfield asked, which way is staff recommending?  Mr. MacNair stated to analyze as you go.
 
Allowing Failing Facilities: Optional provision of TPR.  Rare circumstances (CSA indicated use of one time in 10 years). Allows approving authority to allow failing facilities when, even with mitigation, the facility will fail in the future year of the analysis.  As Medford develops, this provision may get more applications when roadways are over capacity (e.g. Stewart and Highway 99). Staff has incorporated this allowance under Code Section 10.204(D).
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, if someone proposes a development in the vicinity that would have an impact on the intersection projected to fail, they would work it out with the City Engineer to make changes to make it no worse or pay money to contribute to a solution recognizing they cannot fix it by themselves?  Mr. MacNair responded that this is not what this is getting at.  It is saying that if the analysis shows the intersection to be failing in the future, they can do mitigation to make it operate better in the year of opening (or baseline condition) but in the future year it is still worse than what the baseline condition shows.  This allows the City to approve it if they feel the near term improvements are enough of a benefit to outweigh the future degradation of a transportation facility.         
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, is this the one where Transportation (Engineer) agrees and approves with the applicant but if it does not get approved the applicant pleads their case to the Planning Commission.  Mr. MacNair replied yes. 
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, is this a situation of proportionate share for a future fix?  Mr. MacNair responded this is not proportional share. 
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, is it objective or subjective that there is a basis to making a decision to short term/long term benefit or not?  Mr. Kearns replied that it is based on analysis that is objective but there is some subjectivity in the decision making.
 
Added Average Daily Trips (ADT) into Medford Land Development Code: Discussions with CSA Planning Ltd. and Transportation Commissioner Parducci, staff decided this is not necessary.  Adding it to the code could cause complications in the future.  This has been removed.
 
Removed Pipeline Trips: Comments described the burdensome and inaccurate uses of pipeline trips.  Staff has proposed the use of “traffic count growth rates,” based on the Regional Model, in place of pipeline trips.             
 
Vice Chair Foley asked, if someone has a restriction will they now be able to apply, under the new rules, and reduce the restriction?  Mr. Kearns replied yes. 
 
Commissioner Pulver stated there are developments in north Medford that have restricted zoning due to intersection issues; now, the intersections analyzed may be on the Tier 1 projects list.  The applicant would be able to reapply and then take credit for the Tier 1 project and might get the restrictions removed.  They then build housing and the City receives SDCs to help fund that project or another Tier 1 project.  Is that the idea?  Mr. MacNair reported that the pipeline trips are different with removing concurrency looking at the existing year and requiring Level of Service to meet the target in the existing year.  It is looking at the horizon year of the TSP and requiring it then.  Being a Tier 1 project does not mean an older restriction could be removed. 
 
New City Policy on Trip Rates for Zone Changes: Staff has proposed a policy, as opposed to MLDC language to avoid lengthy code amendments in the future if rates change.
 
Mr. MacNair reported that staff will be working with CSA Planning and Transportation Commissioner Parducci on the 1500 trips per acre for larger commercial zones.  When talking about a 40 acre parcel it does not make a lot of sense.   
 
Common Peak Hours: Comments described how the use of varying peak hours results in less accurate analysis such as intersections near schools versus employers.  Staff is proposing the use of one common peak hour for future Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA).
 
Mr. MacNair added that it is a lot of work for the consultant’s analysis to balance different peak hours.  When using different peak hours there is a greater variation between intersections.
 
Future Policies: Some of the comments received have sparked additional policy discussion, including:
•             The use of Subsection (9) in the TPR – “One Map” Land Use – Would allow for zone changes, without a TIA, when comprehensive plan is consistent with TSP analysis.  Would create a “one map” land use approach. If the City implemented this there would be a zoning map and a comprehensive plan map, but it could lead towards a “One Map” system. 
 
•             Partial mitigation of transportation impacts when adding traded or industrial sector jobs – Subsection (11) of TPR is available without MLDC changes.  A Type IV land use review could aid in the larger policy discussion; however, applicants could site partial mitigation in their findings, employing the use of TPR (11) as a mitigation measure.
 
•             Allow use of all Tier 1 projects (i.e. remove “Mega-Corridor” exemption) – The inclusion of this exemption was to avoid appeals regarding the unfunded Tier 1 projects in the TSP.  Without further direction this exemption will remain.
 
For the next steps staff will go back to the Transportation Commission on August 28, 2019 to get another recommendation since staff has added substantial changes.  It will go before the Planning Commission on September 12, 2018 and City Council on October 3, 2019.   If any of the “Further Policy” items are desired, additional code amendments would need to be initiated or a recommendation to City Council will be needed.
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, what improvements to the system does the Tier 1 projects presume?  Mr. MacNair responded that the TSP analyzed the 2038 baseline without any improvements to the transportation system.  Failing facilities are identified and, generally, put on the Tier 1 project list.  A mitigated scenario is done to make sure the proposed improvements improve the failing issues. 
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, does the second scenario factor in the Mega Corridor?  Mr. MacNair replied that it included the Mega Corridor in the 2038 Mitigated TSP analysis.  The road improvements along North Phoenix/Foothill are not Tier 1 projects (Note: The projects are Tier 1 projects, but are not funded) but the intersection projects that are needed to meet the Level of Service are included as Tier 1 projects and funded. 
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, did Mr. MacNair state that the roads are not included?  Mr. MacNair stated that it costs a lot more to improve the entire road to five lanes.  So they put in Tier 1 projects that widen the road at key intersections that were failing.  Putting in turn lanes if needed and additional through lanes getting the capacity at the intersections. 
 
Commissioner Pulver stated there is a lot of roadway between the Phoenix boundary and the north Medford boundary.  Is the idea that the property owners upon development do their share?  How do those roads get improved if it is not the City?  Mr. MacNair reported that property owners would do their frontage improvements as they develop.  The City did intend to build it but did not have the funding to show they could build it all which is why they were lumped into the Mega Corridor. 
 
Vice Chair Foley asked, are the signals at North Phoenix and Hillcrest and McAndrews and Foothill funded?  Mr. MacNair replied those are funded also, the signal at Delta Waters.
 
Vice Chair Foley asked, those signals are funded therefore can be used in concurrency but won’t that allow most of the development Mr. MacNair talked about to happen?  Isn’t it the intersections where the failure is not the roadway? 
 
Commissioner Pulver commented that the big one is South Stage.  One theory is that if the South Stage crossing is built it will take pressure off Barnett Road.  
 
Mr. MacNair reported that the City is working with ODOT on the South Medford Interchange area.  Recently they had a meeting to develop a scope of work to look at alternate mobility measures at the South Medford Interchange, that the TSP called for, as well as if there are any projects in that vicinity that could be done to say the City is doing everything they can to support the Interchange but there still needs to be an alternate mobility target. 
 
Mr. Kearns stated that the intersection projects are not included in this exemption. 
 
Commissioner Pulver asked, is CSA Planning and Kim Parducci aware of where staff is and are they happy with where this is at?  Mr. MacNair commented that they are closer to agreement.  The outstanding item that he is aware of is that they will be working on the 1500 ADT for larger commercial parcels.
 
Commissioner Pulver stated that in Mr. Harland’s memorandum he was suggesting that the TPR be incorporated in its entirety or this particular portion of it.  Staff recognizes it but modifying the code selectively as appropriate based on that rule.  Is that correct?  Mr. Kearns responded that is correct.  A lot of the provisions in the TRP are “may” not “shall”.  Staff implemented what works best.           
               
100.        Adjournment
101. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:48 p.m. 
 
Submitted by:
 
 
Terri L. Richards                                                                               
Recording Secretary

 

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