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Agenda & Minutes

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Housing Advisory Commission (View All)

Housing Advisory Commission Agenda & Minutes

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

October 9, 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 12:02 P.M. in Room 151, Lausmann Annex, Medford on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners Present
Jason Elzy, Vice Chair
Randell Embertson
Steven Erb
Randy Jones
Debra Lee
 Commissioners Absent
Jeffrey Bender, Chair
Paul Tanner
Matt Stranahan
Staff Present
Clay Bearnson, City Council Liaison
Matt Brinkley, Staff Liaison- arrived at 12:05 PM
Angela Durant, Staff Liaison
Aleia Fletcher, Staff Liaison
Kyle Kearns, Staff Liaison
Carla Paladino, Staff Liaison
Madison Simmons, Legal Staff Liaison
Harry Weiss, Staff Liaison
Guests Present
Cindy Dyer, Housing Director for Columbia Care
Eddie Wallace, Communications Director for OnTrack

20.     Public Comments
Commissioners welcomed guests, Cindy Dyer, Housing Director from ColumbiaCare and Eddie Wallace, Communications Director from OnTrack.

30.     Approval of Minutes – 3/13/2019, 7/17/2019, 8/14/2019, 9/11/2019
Minutes approved as submitted.

40.     Code Amendments – Multi-Family Residential (MFR) Housing Review
Staff liaison Kyle Kearns requested guidance and feedback regarding the creation of a new land use review process for multi-family housing in the City. In 2017, The Housing Advisory Committee developed recommendations for regulatory changes and economic incentive strategies, which City Council then adopted as an ordinance, to help improve market-rate and affordable housing throughout Medford. Kyle reviewed regulatory changes that have already occurred including: the creation of a new type of housing called cottage housing, allowance of duplexes in low-density zones (previously not allowed), creation of the Construction Excise Tax (CET), and creation of the System Development Charges (SDC) deferral program.

The 2017 recommendation from the Housing Advisory Committee discussed administrative and procedural reforms, including streamlining the review process of local development ordinances. Mr. Kearns discussed a proposed shift in the review of multi-family housing to be reviewed administratively versus going to public hearing (which adds time to the development process) due to clear and prescriptive multi-family housing design standards for development in terms of 3 or more attached units, special use regulations for various forms of development, and zoning overlays.

Mr. Kearns reviewed Medford’s multi-family housing review process in comparison to other cities. Staff is proposing to create a new Type II land use review, which would continue to provide notice to the public, notice to surrounding property owners, but would be considered a Site Plan and Architectural Review that would not require going to a commission. This would allow for any multi-family unit with 30 units or less on one acre or less to be reviewed administratively with the Planning Director as the decision maker. Affordable housing developments at 60% Area Median Income (AMI) or below must also be reviewed administratively, per state law. Townhouses, four-plexes, cottage housing, and affordable housing would be included in this proposal. Housing not included would be: any housing over 30 units and/or over one acre, multi-family housing in the historic overlay, and properties over one acre.

Other changes include: updating standards used for downtown development, removing the conditional use permit for downtown apartments, and the removal of SFR-10 apartment ownership requirement.
Staff sought direction on the maximum units and acreage for a multi-family administrative review, along with whether adjacent zoning should be factored into the review process for multi-family housing development. Staff clarified that, if there were any exceptions or variances, the review would go to public hearing, along with any proposals the Planning Director sees fit, or if appealed. Commission provided general direction to include multi-family housing options in administrative review process and incorporate flexible development standards, in order to avoid Type III exception for minor deviations, to encourage multi-family and affordable housing development within the community.

50.     Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) Recommendation
Staff liaison Angela Durant reviewed that the commission is on schedule for the first annual HOF with staff seeking a formal funding recommendation to present to Medford City Council on November 7, 2019. Options were discussed, with final recommendation seeking to align with 2020-2021 City Council Goals and the Statewide Housing Plan Goals from Oregon Housing & Community Services (OHCS). 

Motion: I would like to move with Option A: Allocate full funding to No. 1 ranked proposal and remaining funds, up to the full request, to the No. 2 ranked proposal for the first year of HOF funding with $150,000 to Hearts With A Mission and $250,000 to ColumbiaCare, subject to Council approval.
Moved by: Randy Jones                   Seconded by: Steven Erb
Voice Vote: Motion passed 5-0.

Mrs. Durant sought direction from commission to recommend projects to apply to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program due to the nature of the projects; projects included Community Works, Compass House, and OnTrack.

Motion: Housing Advisory Commission further directs staff to recommend to City Council on November 7, 2019 Community Works and Compass House to apply to housing stabilization funding sources and OnTrack to apply to CDBG funding for rehabilitation for consideration, based on Council’s funding priorities.
Moved by: Debra Lee                       Seconded by: Randy Jones
Voice Vote: Motion passed 5-0.

60.     HOF Request for Proposals Process Review
Mrs. Durant discussed with the commission the possibility of streamlining the application process for all three funding sources, the Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and General Fund Grant (GFG), to make easier for both prospective applicants and staff, in order to help assist with overall capacity. In the future, staff may explore professional platforms for grant applications to assist with the application process.

70.     Future Agenda Items
Mrs. Durant explained that commission will need to review System Development Charges (SDC) relief program. Planning Director Matt Brinkley mentioned that there is a housing study being conducted, and preliminary findings will be discussed shortly, which will assist with conversation regarding System Development Charges (SDC) relief. Mr. Brinkley also mentioned that there is a City Council study session on October 10, 2019, which will assist with funding priorities for other forms of economic incentives including SDC relief.

Mrs. Durant discussed that she had spoken with Angela Warren from Jefferson Regional Health Alliance to present the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) to both commissions (as potential joint study session) as housing is identified as a social determinant of health. Research data may also assist with the development of the City’s five-year Consolidated Plan.
Executive Director of the Medford Urban Renewal Agency (MURA) Harry Weiss expressed that the downtown housing study will also provide insight into the disposition of publically-owned properties.

80.     Remarks from Council Liaison
City Councilor Clay Bearnson recently toured Bend and learned about their increased affordable housing development that has occurred in the past few years. Key highlights included density bonuses (if zoned for ten and promised five for affordable housing, will allow for fifteen units), platinum energy rating, working with parking to reduce to one space per unit with deed restriction, taking surplus properties and placing a deed restriction to build affordable housing units (land may be a unique shape, possibility of having commercial in one portion and affordable housing in another portion of property), and SDC deferral.

90.      Remarks from Commissioners
Staff requested how commission wanted to present HOF recommendation; Commissioner Randy Jones requested that chair or vice chair present to commission.

100.    Remarks from Commission Chair
Vice Chair Jason Elzy commended the HAC on doing so much in a short amount of time; Mrs. Durant also commended on the HAC’s hard work.

110.    Remarks from MURA Executive Director

120.    Remarks from Staff Liaisons
Mrs. Durant reiterated that the Medford City Council will be having a study session on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 6 PM in Room 330 to discuss funding priorities; all commissioners are invited to attend.

130.    Adjourn
Meeting adjourned at 1:28 PM.

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