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Agenda & Minutes

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Housing Advisory Commission (View All)

Housing Advisory Commission Agenda & Minutes

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August 14, 2019                                           
12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.                                                                                  
Lausmann Annex, Room 151
200 S. Ivy Street, Medford, Oregon
10.   Roll Call
The meeting of the Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) was called to order at 12:01 P.M. in Room 151, Lausmann Annex, Medford on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:

Commissioners Present
Jeffrey Bender, Chair
Jason Elzy, Vice Chair
Steven Erb
Randy Jones
Debra Lee
Paul Tanner- arrived at 12:15 P.M.
Matt Stranahan
Commissioners Absent
Randell Embertson
Denise James
Adam Rutledge

Staff Present
Clay Bearnson, City Council Liaison
Matt Brinkley, Staff Liaison
Angela Durant, Staff Liaison
Aleia Fletcher, Staff Liaison
Carla Paladino, Staff Liaison
Staff Absent
Madison Simmons, Legal Staff Liaison

15.   Commission Membership Changes
Chair Jeffrey Bender added an item to agenda, as there has been a member resignation from Denise James, and this commission seat is in process to be filled. In addition, Matt Stranahan was welcomed as a new commission member.
20.   OnTrack “Generations” Project
Staff Liaison Angela Durant introduced staff and board from OnTrack, who came to the Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) in order to present and answer questions regarding the OnTrack “Generations” project, which has been vetted through the City’s process, received prior approvals, and has been dormant for several years.
OnTrack’s Housing Director Joanna Garcia reviewed the “Generations” project, an affordable housing, intergenerational, ecologically aware, sustainable neighborhood proposed project from 2007/2008 envisioned to contain 82 units, serving an estimate of 150-300 people, comprised of attached or single-family housing site to include community spaces, senior spaces, a library, gardens, and potentially an on-site daycare or preschool with an emphasis on fostering intergenerational connections between neighbors. Sixty-two units were designed to be reserved for seniors with 19 units for young families, and 34 units for townhouses. OnTrack purchased 6.5 acres on Harbrooke Road in Medford in 2007; City of Medford approved the Planned Unit Development plan on August 28, 2008. This project planned to have multiple agencies involvement, including access to on-site resident services.
While this project received approval, due to the expenses in development related to the large scale of this project, this project has not come into fruition/reality and has laid dormant. OnTrack has attempted to secure funding from multiple funders including Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to no avail, including in efforts to begin a first phase of initial development of 35 units. In order for project to continue to be pursued, the project will need a redesign to help increase affordability with involvement from multiple partners, as scope and cost of the project is too colossal for OnTrack to take on solely themselves at this time. OnTrack is open to hear from potential partners interested in pursuing this project.
30.   Code Amendment Update
Staff liaison Carla Paladino provided the Commission with several code amendment updates regarding Cottage Cluster Development and Minor Historic Review, which were approved by City Council on August 1, 2019.
Cottage Cluster Developments are 800-1200 sq. ft. units (attached or detached) centered around an area of common open space to create an emphasis on community living. Typically, there are 4-12 units per cluster. Cottage Cluster Developments are now permitted in four of the City’s Residential Zoning Districts, including SFR-4 (corner lots only), SFR-6, SFR-10, and MFR-15 with up to 2x maximum density of underlying zone allowed. Parking requirements are based on the number of bedrooms and for 2 bedrooms, 1.5 parking spaces are allowed. If the site is within a ˝ mile from transit or bicycle facility, there is a one space reduction to incentivize public transportation. Property owners can own the entire lot, create separate pad lots (where property owners own the home and land underneath), or condominiums.
Regarding changes to minor historic review, changes have been made to promote necessary upgrades to housing in the historic district, without a labor and time intensive process. This allows for the expansion of over-the-counter permits for minor changes (i.e., paint color) with minimal processing and reduction of time needed to review, including residential fencing if not visible from the right–of-way, new signage for downtown, and allowance for properties for non-contributing, non-historic changing existing windows or doors.
40. 2019 Housing Opportunity Fund Proposals
Mrs. Durant provided an overview of the accepted proposals from the first Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) Request for Proposals (RFP) for HAC Commissioners to review, along with HOF evaluation forms. Six proposals were reviewed for a total request of $1,058,849 in funding with $400,000 funding available from the HOF, leaving a deficit of $658,849 in proposal requests.
Proposals accepted for review included: Columbia Care, Community Works, Compass House, Hearts with a Mission, OnTrack, and Sturdy Homes with 76% of funding proposed for the construction of new permanent housing for $800,000, 14% for construction of new transitional housing for $150,000, 5% for rehabilitation of existing permanent housing for $56,249, and 5% for rental support for transitional housing of $52,600.
Commissioners will evaluate items on a scale from 1-10 using criteria provided on evaluation forms from staff; staff previously assessed points for bonus point for high and low funding priorities and leverage bonuses in advance. Commissioners will watch proposal presentations on August 28, 2019 with evaluation forms due back to staff by September 5, 2019; scoring and rankings of proposals will be discussed on September 11, 2019. Mrs. Durant requested commissioners send all questions regarding applications to her directly, at which time she will relay this to the grant applicants and send follow-up responses to all commissioners.
50.   Remarks from Council Liaison

60.    Remarks from Commissioners

Commissioner Randy Jones asked for clarification regarding the role of the HAC in reviewing the OnTrack “Generations” project and what type of direction staff and OnTrack are looking for from the commission.
Staff clarified that since this project has obtained prior approval by City, City recently inquired about OnTrack’s intent with the proposed project due to inactivity on this project, as this project presents a unique opportunity for multiple prospective partners to collaborate to create a unique, affordable, one-of-a-kind housing complex.

70.     Remarks from Commission Chair

Chair Jeffrey Bender discussed that both he and Mrs. Durant would like input from HAC commissioners regarding agenda items that Commissioners would like to address, and commissioners should let staff and Chair know. Commissioner Jason Elzy recommended setting a placeholder suggestion for agenda building on the agenda, at which time items may be discussed to be placed on future agendas.

80.     Remarks from Staff Liaisons

Mrs. Durant let the commission know that the Community Development Grants Commission will be reviewing the Homeless System Action Plan (HSAP) in a study session next week, which will include prospective ideas regarding the implementation of the $150,000 in funding from City Council with $100,000 for the HSAP and $50,000 for the reunification program.
She also previously attended a webinar regarding the Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeless Shelter Study and will compile an overview of this for the commission, as Oregon has one of the highest number of unsheltered homeless in the United States.
She also inquired how Commissioners felt with current schedule, as the HAC has scheduled multiple study sessions, due to workload. Right now, the HAC is scheduled to have one meeting with one study session per month. Commission agrees that this is sufficient for now and will review the need for this during future meetings.
Commissioner Paul Tanner inquired about a comprehensive guide to help locate housing resources in the region. Nicki Hart-Brinkley, GIS Specialist and Assistant Planner from Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG), is working on development of an interactive resource using GIS.
Planning Director Matt Brinkley mentioned that the commission should discuss Accessible Dwelling Units (ADUs) in future meetings.
90.   Adjourn
Meeting adjourned at 1:33 P.M.

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