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Agenda & Minutes

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Planning Commission (View All)

Planning Commission Agenda and Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, January 09, 2020

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 5:30 PM in the Medford City Hall, Council Chambers, 411 West 8th 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
David Jordan
Bill Mansfield
E.J. McManus
Jeff Thomas
 
Commissioners Absent
David McFadden, Excused Absence       
Jared Pulver, Excused Absence
 
Staff Present
Kelly Evans, Assistant Planning Director
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Madison Simmons, Senior Assistant City Attorney
Alex Georgevitch, City Engineer
Greg Kleinberg, Fire Marshal
Terri Richards, Recording Secretary
Dustin Severs, Planner III
Steffen Roennfeldt, Planner III
Kyle Kearns, Planner II
 
 
10.          Roll Call
 
20.           Consent Calendar / Written Communications (voice vote).
 
30.          Approval or Correction of the Minutes from December 12, 2019 hearing
30.1        The minutes for December 12, 2019, were approved as submitted.
 
40.          Oral Requests and Communications from the Public. None.
 
50.          Public Hearings
 
Madison Simmons, Senior Assistant City Attorney read the Quasi-Judicial statement.
 
Continuance Request
50.1 LDS-19-076 Consideration of tentative plat approval for the Medford Center, a proposed commercial pad-lot subdivision in order to separate 11 buildings on their own legal tracts of land. The property is located on a single 24.42-acre parcel located east of Biddle Road between Stevens and E Jackson Street in the C-R (Regional Commercial) zoning district (371W19CD 1000); Applicant, LBG Medford, LLC; Agent, Neathamer Surveying, Inc.; Planner, Steffen Roennfeldt.  The applicant requests this item be continued to the February 13, 2020 Planning Commission meeting.
 
Chair McKechnie stated that if there are members in the audience that have come to testify on this agenda item and cannot attend the February 13th hearing, please come forward and the Planning Commission will hear your testimony at this time.  Please keep in mind that it is possible that your questions may be answered when staff presents their staff report on February 13th.  There will be no decisions made this evening on this agenda item.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission continued LDS-19-076, per the applicant’s request, to the Thursday, February 13, 2020 Planning Commission meeting.           
 
Moved by: Vice Chair Foley                         Seconded by: Commissioner Culbertson
 
Voice Vote: Motion passed, 7-0-0.
 
New Business
50.2 SV-19-047 Consideration of a request for the vacation of a portion of Austin Street public right-of-way running roughly east to west from Pine Street to North Riverside Avenue within the C-C (Community Commercial) zoning district; Applicant, Kids Unlimited; Agent, Scott Sinner Consulting Inc.; Planner, Steffen Roennfeldt.
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex-parte communication they would like to disclose.  Commissioner Jordan disclosed that his employer provides insurance for Kids Unlimited and he has no involvement in the purchase of the insurance or the servicing of the insurance.  Chair McKechnie disclosed that Scott Sinner is his neighbor but would not affect his decision on this matter. 
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
 
Steffen Roennfeldt reported that the Vacation of Public Right-of-way approval criteria can be found in the Medford Land Development Code Section 10.228(D).  The applicable criteria were addressed in the staff report, included with the property owner notices and hard copies are available at the entrance of Council Chambers for those in attendance.  Mr. Roennfeldt gave a staff report.
 
Commissioner Culbertson asked, was it reviewed how the ingress and egress to the parking lot would be affecting traffic coming off Riverside Avenue?  If blocking off the one road right before it there is only one access.  Currently, they can go in on the road and turn right into the parking lot.  Mr. Roennfeldt deferred the question to the applicant. 
 
The public hearing was opened.
 
a. Scott Sinner, Scott Sinner Consulting, Inc., 4401 San Juan Drive, Medford, Oregon 97504.  Mr. Sinner reported that the Public Works is requiring no access off Riverside Avenue.  Stopping traffic coming through there is a great safety issue for the campus and provides more parking spaces.  The applicant’s circulation plan comes in from the streets in the back.   
 
Mr. Sinner reserved rebuttal time.
 
The public hearing was closed.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission based on the findings and conclusions that all of the applicable criteria are met or are not applicable, forwards a favorable recommendation to the City Council for approval of SV-19-047 per the staff report dated January 2, 2020, including Exhibits A through M. 
 
Moved by: Vice Chair Foley                         Seconded by: Commissioner Jordan
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7-0-0.
 
50.3 SV-19-048 Consideration of a request for the vacation of a 15-foot wide Public Utility Easement (PUE) on a single 0.76-acre parcel located at the corner of Garfield Street and Center Drive in the Regional Commercial (C-R) zoning district (371W32B3605). Applicant, Lariot Corporation; Agent, Berghausen Consulting Firm Engineers, Inc.; Planner, Dustin Severs.
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex-parte communication they would like to disclose.  Commissioner Jordan disclosed that Lariot Company is insured with his employer and he has no interactions regarding the purchase or servicing of the account.   
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
 
Dustin Severs, Planner III reported the Vacation of Public Right-of-way approval criteria was addressed in the previous staff report.  Ms. Severs gave a staff report.  
 
The public hearing was opened.
 
a. Robert Lore, 390 E. McAndrews, Medford, Oregon, 97501.  Mr. Lore reported Lariot Corporation owns the property and wishes to build a new KFC to replace the older facility on Barnett Road.  They agree with the findings of the staff report, 
 
Mr. Lore reserved rebuttal time.
 
The public hearing was closed.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission, based on the findings and conclusions that all of the approval criteria are met or are not applicable, forwards a favorable recommendation to City Council for approval of SV-19-048 per the staff report dated January 2, 2020, including Exhibits A through G.
 
Moved by: Vice Chair Foley                                         Seconded by: Commissioner Thomas
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7-0-0.
 
50.4 ZC-08-144 Consideration of a request to amend a condition of approval requiring a right turn pocket on N Ross Lane for the proposed Pioneer Marketplace development. The 7.34 acre site is located on the southeasterly corner of N Ross Lane and W McAndrews Road within the C-C (Community Commercial) zone district. (372W26AD2400 and 2600) Applicant: CDT-BAR, LLC; Agent, CSA Planning, Ltd.; Planner, Kelly Evans.
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex-parte communication they would like to disclose.  Chair McKechnie disclosed that CDT-BAR is owned by his cousins.  He has no personal interest or is his company involved in this project. It will not affect his decision making on this project.     
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
 
Kelly Evans, Assistant Planning Director reported the Zone Change approval criteria can be found in the Medford Land Development Code Sections 10.227.  The applicable criteria were addressed in the staff report, included with the property owner notices, and hard copies are available at the entrance of Council Chambers for those in attendance.  Ms. Evans gave a staff report. 
 
Chair McKechnie asked, is the North Ross Lane Driveway the right turn being discussed?  Ms. Evans replied yes.  Chair McKechnie asked, is it a right turn in only with no exit?  Ms. Evans responded it is a protected right turn pocket.  Chair McKechnie asked, if it is protected it make the road three lanes?  Ms. Evan replied yes.
 
Chair McKechnie is curious that it ends up with two Newbridges offset.  That is something they do not like.  Does staff prefer to have the right turn in and not the street or ask the company to the south put the street through the middle of their development?  Ms. Evans responded that it is going to be an interesting solution.  The property owner to the south was party to the DDA.  It will be interesting to see because when all that happened with the zone change in 2008 and the SPAC decision in 2010 Newbridge was not a twinkle in anybody’s eye.          
 
The public hearing was opened.   
 
a. Jay Harland, CSA Planning Ltd., 4497 Brownridge Terrace, Suite 101, Medford, Oregon 97504.  Mr. Harland pointed out that he also does not want to be the one to gore that ox.  He agrees they do not line up.      
 
Mr. Harland reserved rebuttal time.     
 
The public hearing was closed.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission adopts the findings as recommended by staff and directs staff to prepare the final order for approval of the revision to conditions of approval for ZC-08-144 per the staff report dated January 2, 2020, including Exhibits A through C.
 
Moved by: Vice Chair Foley                                         Seconded by: Commissioner Culbertson
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7-0-0.
 
50.5 LDS-19-079 Consideration of tentative plat approval for Falco Fields, a proposed 7-lot residential subdivision on a single 0.93-acre parcel located at 2737 Howard Avenue in the SFR-6 (Single-Family Residential, six dwelling units per gross acre) zoning district (372W13BB 6900); Applicant, Michael Falco; Agent, Scott Sinner Consulting, Inc.; Planner, Dustin Severs.
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex-parte communication they would like to disclose.  Chair McKechnie disclosed that Scott Sinner is his neighbor but it will not affect his decision.
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
 
Dustin Severs, Planner III reported the Land Division approval criteria can be found in the Medford Land Development Code Sections 10.202(E).  The applicable criteria were addressed in the staff report, included with the property owner notices, and hard copies are available at the entrance of Council Chambers for those in attendance.  Mr. Severs gave a staff report.
 
Chair McKechnie asked, how wide is the planter strip?  Mr. Severs reported it is a 5 foot sidewalk with an 8 foot planter strip.   
 
The public hearing was opened.   
 
a. Scott Sinner, Scott Sinner Consulting, Inc., 4401 San Juan Drive, Medford, Oregon 97504.  Mr. Sinner reported that the streets are fully improved for the paved section.  It has curb and gutter on both sides with a 10 foot dedication and conforming lots.      
 
Mr. Sinner reserved rebuttal time.     
 
The public hearing was closed.
 
Motion: The Planning Commission adopts the findings as recommended by staff and directs staff to prepare the final order for approval of LDS-19-079 per the staff report dated January 2, 2020, including Exhibits A through G.
 
Moved by: Vice Chair Foley                                         Seconded by: Commissioner Thomas
 
Roll Call Vote: Motion passed, 7-0-0.
 
50.6 DCA-19-002 An amendment to portions of Chapter 10, the Medford Land Development Code (MLDC), creating a Type II administrative review land use process for certain multi-family residential developments; Applicant, City of Medford; Planner, Kyle Kearns.
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether any Commissioners have a conflict of interest or ex-parte communication they would like to disclose.  Commissioner Jordan disclosed his employer provides insurance for the City of Medford.  He does not have any involvement in writing the coverage or servicing the account.  
 
Chair McKechnie inquired whether anyone in attendance wishes to question the Commission as to conflicts of interest or ex-parte contacts. None were disclosed.
 
Kyle Kearns, Planner II reported the Development Code Amendment approval criteria can be found in the Medford Land Development Code Sections 10.220.  The applicable criteria were addressed in the staff report and hard copies are available at the entrance of Council Chambers for those in attendance.  Mr. Kearns gave a staff report. 
 
Commissioner Thomas asked, how is there less opportunity for the public to come speak about public benefit if a public hearing is removed?  Mr. Kearns reported that if the public came to a SPAC hearing to testify against a multi-family development it would almost be for nothing because now you cannot deny an application that adheres to the clear and objective standards outlined in the code.  Commissioner Thomas understands that but he is saying the public’s input is not for nothing.  He thinks there is an opportunity, when allowing the public to come and speak in front of a public body, even if it takes an extra four to five hours to do those things.  He does not see how telling the public their input is not important is a benefit.  He said the same thing at the study session.  The option where completely taking the public out of the equation he does not think is ever in the public benefit.
 
Note: In Exhibit A, staff has used “Option 1” as the criteria for when a SPAR – Type II land use process would be used; this option considers all multi-family developments as a Type II land use process unless they have a Type III or IV land use review associated with the development.  If the Planning Commission is seeking a different recommendation, the aforementioned options discussed at the previous study sessions can be found in the “Site Plan and Architectural Review (SPAR) – Type II Land Use Review (DCA-19-002) Summarized” section.  The options are;
 
Option 1 – All multi-family reviewed as Type II (HAC and Staff Recommended)
Option 2 – All multi-family reviewed as Type II, except when abutting SFR-00, SFR-2, SFR-4 and   SFR-6 zones (Mapped in Exhibit B)
Option 3 – All multi-family housing when up to three net acres
Option 4 – Other not defined
  
Vice Chair Foley asked, does Option 3 have more discretion in the larger developments for SPAC to be able to move things around or provide different amenities that may not happen strictly per the code?  Mr. Kearns commented that there could be more things that come into play with a larger parcel.  Vice Chair Foley is leaning towards Option 3.    
 
The public hearing was opened.   
 
a. Dennie Conrad, 5661 Aerial Heights, Medford, Oregon, 97504.  Mr. Conrad is worried about public input.  He listed numerous organizations he is affiliated with not as a qualification, but to share that he hears the voices of many constituents that are worried about housing, but just as worried about the solutions.  In the Planning Commission’s deliberations he suggested for their consideration Option 4.1 – “Multi-family projects of 10 units or less under one acre as Type II review, unless abutting or within 300 feet of SFR-00, SFR-2, SFR-4 and SFR-6 zones”.   Do not loose public input but expedite the process.
 
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner reported that the process that staff is proposing is still a public process.  Currently, the process for when an application is going to a hearing, staff sends notice to property owners within 200 feet.  Staff will continue to send those notices but now it is proposed to be sent to property owners within 300 feet.  This notice still gives people the opportunity to write a letter, call staff, come into the office and provide their feedback and to appeal.  The proposal simply replaces them [residents] from coming to an evening meeting and presenting to an entire body.     
 
Commissioner Mansfield asked, does her comment apply to Option 1?  Ms. Paladino responded that it would apply to all three options. 
 
Chair McKechnie asked, is there a fee involved if someone wants to appeal to the City Council?  Ms. Paladino replied there is a fee.  The fee caps at $600.  Chair McKechnie commented that they can come talk to the Planning Commission for free.  Ms. Paladino responded that they can talk to the Planning Director for free.  
 
Mr. Kearns reported that staff has mapped what Mr. Conrad proposed.  If limiting it to the criteria in Option 2 the total available acres for development is 36 acres; in addition, if 10 units or less and an acre and less are set as the criteria the number of available parcels would be limited even more.  The average lot size is 0.17 at that point.  Medium lot size is 0.12 acres.  That would limit the vacant land availability. 
 
Chair McKechnie stated that proposing a multi-family project with a zone change regardless of size would come before the Planning Commission.  What is being proposed with Options 2 is primarily indicated in red on the map on page 218 of the agenda packet.  Is that a true statement?  Mr. Kearns stated that the red is the only eligible land that meets the criteria of Option 2.       
 
Commissioner Culbertson asked, is the red indicated at the bottom of the map at the end of South Stage Road San George Estates?  Mr. Kearns reported the map does not reflect the vacant land.   
 
Vice Chair Foley asked, is the qualifying piece the Planning Commission needs to be focused on are the design standards?  Chair McKechnie responded that Option 1 would be substituting Administrative Review for SPAC review for multi-family. 
 
Commissioner Jordan asked for further explanation on the 36 acres.  Mr. Kearns responded that the City has a buildable land inventory of approximately 1000 plus acres, meeting the criteria of Option 2.  Of that 1000 acres available only 36 acres is vacant for multi-family development.
 
Commissioner Jordan asked, how much time does the recommended Option 1 save?  Mr. Kearns stated approximately one or two weeks.  A public hearing can go on for months. 
 
Ms. Evans reported the average processing time for a Type III application is 100 days.  A Type II application is 30 days to deem complete and the process is 41 days. 
 
Commissioner McManus asked, are options I, 3 and possibly 4 relative to what other municipalities have done?  Mr. Kearns responded that a lot of cities have moved to the Type II land use review that have clear and objective standards.                            
 
The public hearing was closed.
 
Main Motion: The Planning Commission, based on the findings and conclusions that all of the applicable criteria are satisfied, forwards a favorable recommendation using “Option 3” for approval of DCA-19-002, to the City Council per the staff report dated January 2, 2020, including Exhibits A through N and including Exhibit O and Exhibit P.
 
Moved by: Vice Chair Foley                                         Seconded by: Commissioner Culbertson
 
Amended Motion: Substitute Option 1 for Option 3.
 
Moved by: Commissioner Mansfield                                       Seconded by:
 
There was no second so the amended motion failed.
 
Vice Chair Foley stated that the smaller acres makes perfect sense.  There is not much discretion and it has already been zoned.  It is talking about how to build the building.  Larger developments have more discretion for amenities and etc.  Those projects need a public hearing.     
 
Commissioner Culbertson agrees.  His concern was the lack of community involvement or input.  He echoes what Commissioner Thomas stated earlier.  You do not want to leave the public out.  A governing body sometimes has a greater impact.  It needs to be shown the citizens can be heard in an open forum. 
 
Commissioner Culbertson agrees with the acreage limitation. 
 
Commissioner Culbertson is in favor of streamlining the process.       
 
Chair McKechnie agrees with the comments offered.  The developments less than three acres are generally small.  There are already multi-family design standards.  He is in favor of Option 3.     
 
Roll Call Vote Main Motion: Motion passed, 6-1-0, with Commissioner Mansfield voting no. 
 
60.          Reports
60.1 Site Plan and Architectural Commission
Commissioner Culbertson reported that the Site Plan and Architectural Commission has not met. 
 
60.2 Transportation Commission.  None.
  
60.3 Planning Department
Ms. Evans welcomed David Jordan to the Planning Commission. 
 
There is a Planning Commission study session scheduled for Monday, January 13, 2020.  Discussion will be on the overview of HB 2001.
 
There is business scheduled for Thursday, January 23, 2020 and Thursday, February 13, 2020.
 
The meeting of Thursday, February 13, 2020 will be the election of officers and appointments or reappointments to the Site Plan and Architectural Commission and Transportation Commission.
 
Next week City Council will hear the Liberty Neighborhood Plan and McDonald’s pedestrian easement on Barnett Road.  
 
70.          Messages and Papers from the Chair.  None.
 
80.          City Attorney Remarks.
80.1        Ms. Simmons welcomed Commissioner Jordan.
 
Ms. Simmons commented it was a good discussion on the code amendment.  She likes to see a good record created.  
 
90.          Propositions and Remarks from the Commission.
90.1        Vice Chair Foley will be out of town for the Thursday, February 13, 2020 Planning Commission meeting.
 
100.        Adjournment
101. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:54 p.m.  The proceedings of this meeting were digitally recorded and are filed in the City Recorder’s office.
 
Submitted by:
 
Terri L. Richards                                                               
Recording Secretary
                                                               
Mark McKechnie
Planning Commission Chair
               
Approved: January 23, 2019
 

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