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Agenda & Minutes

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Housing Advisory Commission (View All)

Housing Advisory Commission Agenda & Minutes

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

10.   Roll Call
The study session of the Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) was called to order at 12:01 PM in the Lausmann Annex Room 151. 200 S. Ivy Street, Medford, Oregon on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Commissioners Present Staff Present
Randell Embertson, Chair
Steven Erb
Randy Jones
Debra Lee
John Michaels
Matthew Stranahan
Paul Tanner
Commissioners Absent
Jason Elzy, Vice Chair
Clay Bearnson, City Council Liaison
Matt Brinkley, Staff Liaison
Angela Durant, Staff Liaison
Aleia Fletcher, Staff Liaison
Eric Mitton, Legal Staff Liaison
Carla Paladino, Staff Liaison
Staff Absent
Harry Weiss, Staff Liaison
20.   Public Comments
The HAC welcomed guest, George Adams, who has extensive knowledge of housing, transportation, and accessibility for those with disabilities. Mr. Adams shared that there is a lack of housing for those with disabilities in the area, and there is projected to be an increase of individuals with disabilities within the next five years, from 30,000 to 60,000 individuals. Mr. Adams emphasized the importance to develop plans, resources, and housing to assist those with disabilities with this prospective increase in the population in the near future.

Staff liaison Carla Paladino explained that she is working on applying for a grant through AARP to help Medford become certified as a Livable Community, a certification based on helping make communities livable for those of all ages and abilities.

A second guest, Lynn, supported and encouraged the City of Medford to continue pursuing ways to decrease costs for Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) development. She explained that, when she began looking into developing an ADU, she was shocked at the ADU fees. She expressed that, with the possibility of the creation of permit designs for ADUs funded by the Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) to assist with decreasing costs for development, it would be beneficial to also create permit designs that involved accessibility accommodations,

30.   Approval of Minutes Ė 3/27/2019, 5/22/2019, 10/9/2019, 11/13/2019, 12/18/2019
Minutes approved as submitted.

40. Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Development Program
Planning Director Matt Brinkley discussed the potential ADU development program, as ADUs are seen as a way to help: 1) bring more affordable housing into Medford; 2) build economic resilience for homeowners; and 3) provide opportunity for homeowners to age in place.
From a recent City Council study session, Medford is proposing to reduce System Development Charges (SDCs) for ADUs by 50% that the City collects in most areas of Medford. In areas where Rogue Valley Sewer System (RVSS) provides the sanitary sewer, the City will need to approach and discuss what RVSS may be willing to do to support this. If someone wishes to add a water meter to an ADU, they would still need to go through Medford Water Commission (MWC), which has declined to participate; this will not likely impact the program, as the MWC has not needed to assess or collect SDCs on an ADU in the past 16 years since ADUs are able to run off the existing water meter under most circumstances.
In addition to the proposal to reduce fees by 50% for SDCs, an ADU assistance program would also be implemented.  SDC fees for an ADU are approximately $6,000-$7,000 without fees from the MWC.  Regarding the proposed, the remaining 50% of the SDC fees for ADUs would be assisted through help from the Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF). The City is also proposing to fund 5-10 prototypes for ADUís, incorporating accessibility into some of these designs to assist with master permitting. With these designs, ADUs would then be approved through plan review, where they would be able to apply for and obtain an express permit over the counter, decreasing overall costs and time. 
Mr. Brinkley explained that the next phase would be to investigate fees for mixed-use development and consider the possibility of reducing or waiving fees for the residential component, which be explored at a later date.
Mr. Brinkley examined the types of SDCs. The most expensive type of SDC is correlated with the development of a new ADU versus conversion of existing garage or structure.  He discussed that financing SDCs over the life of the loan can be expensive due to the amount of interest that accrues.  If SDCs are relieved, ADUs may become more financially appealing to homeowners due to affordability. 
The prospective fiscal impact of the proposed plans regarding SDCs for ADUs has been assessed. With this in mind, Mr. Brinkley further explained the following goals of the proposal: 1) to produce 30-40 ADUs per year, as ADU production has varied throughout the years and is currently averaging about 10 ADUs per year and 2) ensuring sustainability of the Construction Excise Tax (CET)/Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) fund, due to funding recently received being less than projected.
With this in mind, staff is proposing to dedicate $130,000 from HOF funding to offset remaining SDCís and support the above proposal with the purpose of stimulating ADU development to achieve outcomes of 30-40 ADUs this year. Once funding has been exhausted, staff will review outcomes and revisit potential future program funding. Marketing options explored for this program include staff outreach, marketing through brochures, information, and referrals at the front counter of Development Services, marketing on the City website, and potential tours of participating ADUs within the community to help spark homeowner interest,
As proposal is in the development process, staff will revisit this proposal with the HAC and seek further commission guidance and recommendation once more has been formalized. 
50.   2020-2024 Consolidated Plan Update (D)
Principal Planner Angela Durant provided an update on the development of the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan, mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) when receiving federal funding (as the City receives funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program) and occurring once every five years.
Mrs. Durant discussed this process, which actively involves citizen participation and involves the setting of goals and priorities that will be used to prioritize not only federal funding but also local for a period of five years. The City is consulting with ECONorthwest to assist with the development of this plan. In addition, Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) has also supported development of the plan through assistance of data tables and maps. During plan development, a
community survey and community listening session were utilized to stimulate citizen participation with results reviewed with the commission, which will be included in the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan.
60.   Future Agenda Items (D) 
The following items were referred to as future agenda items: 
  • Consolidated Plan
  • ADU Program
  • Rental Registration Program
  • Housing Pipeline Project
  • Community Health Improvement Plan
  • HB 2001-2003
Remainder of items tabled. Meeting adjourned at 1:34 PM.

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