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Planning Commission Study Session Agenda and Minutes
Monday, September 28, 2020
The study session of the Planning Commission was called to order in a Zoom webinar at 12:00 p.m. in Medford, Oregon on the above date with the following members and staff in attendance:
Kelly Evans, Assistant Planning Director
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner
Eric Mitton, Deputy City Attorney
Terri Richards, Recording Secretary
Mark McKechnie, Chair, Excused Absence
Joe Foley, Vice Chair, Excused Absence
David Culbertson, Excused Absence
Bill Mansfield, Unexcused Absence
Jeff Thomas, Unexcused Absence
20.1 Housing Needs Analysis and Housing Production Strategy Update
Carla Paladino, Principal Planner reported that House Bill 2001 (Middle Housing) and House Bill 2003 both relate to address housing needs on different levels. House Bill 2001 requires medium cities of 10,000 to 25,000 in population to allow duplexes on a lot or parcel zoned for residential use that allows for the development of single family dwellings. House Bill 2001 requires large cities more than 25,000 in population to permit duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters and townhouses in areas zoned for residential use that allow for the development of detached single family dwellings. This needs to be adopted by June 2022.
In August 2019, the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 2003 into law, which requires cities over 10,000 population to adopt a Housing Needs Analysis on a scheduled cycle. For Medford, this means every eight years from adoption. The analysis measures the amount and type of needed housing units for current and future residents. The City of Medford has an existing housing needs analysis that was adopted in December 2010 (referred to as the Housing Element in the Comprehensive Plan). In addition to the Housing Needs Analysis, the law states cities must adopt a Housing Production Strategy within one year of completing the Housing Needs Analysis. This study session outlines the regulatory and economic incentives the City will pursue to promote the development of all needed housing types.
The City of Medford applied and received a Technical Assistance grant from the state to begin this work. The City will be working with consultants from EcoNorthwest until June 2021 to complete these projects and adoption December 2021. The Housing Advisory Commission will be the advisory committee for the project and the Planning Commission will be updated as staff moves forward. The Housing Production Strategy will be one of the first prototypes in the State (three other cities working on one).
Commissioner McFadden asked, is the same agency working with the other cities? Ms. Paladino replied no not all of them. EcoNorthwest is working with the City of Medford and one or two others.
The Housing Needs Analysis includes four main components: Housing Needs Projections; Buildable Land Inventory; Residential Lands Need Analysis; and Measures to accommodate needed housing.
The Housing Production Strategy is similar to the Housing Advisory Commission’s recommendations that staff is always referring to but more in depth. The Housing Production Strategy has five State regulated components: Contextualized Housing Need; Engagement; Strategies to Accommodate Needs; Conclusions; and Achieving Fair and Equitable Outcomes.
The project timeline to date is the City signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with DLCD. The kickoff meeting for the Housing Needs Analysis was September 22, 2020. The kickoff meeting for the Housing Production Strategy will be September 29, 2020. October will be data gathering.
Project timeline for the Housing Needs Analysis is to have Advisory Committee meetings scheduled for December, February, March, April and May. A public meeting is scheduled for May. Final deliverables is June and the hearing process to begin in the Fall.
Project timeline for the Housing Production Strategy is Advisory Committee meetings scheduled for December, February, March and May. Planning Commission and City Council meetings in May, Final deliverable in June and formal adoption process to begin in the Fall.
Commissioner Pulver looking at it from an economic standpoint it is great identifying the need and ways to encourage production. The dollar is driving the process. Developers and or organizations like the Housing Authority are only going to be able to do what they can do financially and what financially what makes sense without money from other sources. Is there a penalty if the City is unable to produce units at the level the State thinks the City should? Ms. Paladino responded that she did not dig into the rule making rules. There is a check in point. There is an eight year gap in adopting the Housing Needs Analysis and the next review. The rules set a mid-point where the City turns in what they have done, where they are at and why.
Commissioner McFadden commented that would follow what the State and what is in the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan. It would be unusual to see a penalty but it is possible. Ms. Paladino replied that it would be benchmarks of what has been done and if not meeting the mark what can be done to meet that mark.
Commissioner McFadden stated that if it is kept opened enough and not too specific or progressive then the goals should be able to be met. Ms. Paladino reported that hopefully with the urbanization plans coming through this year it is an indication that people are moving forward in the development of the land.
Commissioner Jordan asked, does this strategy include homelessness and are there planning ideas at this point? Ms. Paladino reported that Angela Durant heads up the Housing and Community Development Division in the Planning Department. She has been working on the homeless system action plan that the City Council has been working through. There are strategies in that plan and a consolidated plan that specifically targets homelessness and housing for people with a certain area medium income. The combination of the three plans, the Housing Needs Analysis, Consolidate Plan and the Homeless System Action Plan will help guide staff. There will be implementation strategies pulled out of those documents to be included in the housing strategy. They want to be a uniform goal. Ms. Paladino would be happy to send the links to those documents if Commissioner Jordan is interested. Commissioner Jordan responded that he would be interested.
Ms. Paladino stated that as the Housing Advisory Commission reviews the data staff would schedule study sessions with the Planning Commission the same month so they can keep up. Does that sound like a good plan moving forward? Commissioner McFadden replied yes.
Does the Planning Commission want Ms. Paladino to send them the link to the rule making? Commissioner McFadden commented that is always good to see.
Commissioner Pulver asked, are they still going through the process of creating the rules for the bill that created the requirements or has House Bill 2003 not yet been passed? Ms. Paladino reported it has been passed and is law. After they create the bills they do rule making that puts the details, process, definitions, etc. in the Oregon Administrative Rules.
Commissioner McFadden commented that with the fire south of Medford that now would be the time for ODOT to purchase property since they have complained that the right-of-way is not large enough along Highway 99 to accommodate further traffic. There is a lot of property between Phoenix and Medford outside all the urban growth boundaries that no one has wanted for years. It has been a thorn in the County’s side because supposedly they are not into managing urban areas to that level. Has Ms. Paladino heard or thinks the City, Phoenix or both might end up bringing some of those properties in? Ms. Paladino responded that she had not heard anything. There were a lot of mobile home parks damaged along Highway 99. It will be up to the property owners to bring back those units for the people that still want to live in Phoenix and Talent. That is probably more of a conversation for those communities and maybe for ODOT to be a part of that conversation if they feel they need right-of-way. In terms of expanding the City’s jurisdiction south she does not think the State will give a pass on any of the process that the City would have to go through to do that. There is the Regional Plan that set the boundaries and the City has gone through the Urban Growth Boundary amendment. She does not think without going back through those procedures the City could expand south. Anything is on the table. There has been discussion internally to accommodate the fire victims until they get their homes back to where they want them to be or they want to live somewhere else.
Commissioner Pulver asked, is a portion of Phoenix going north part of their urban growth boundary expansion area on Highway 99? Ms. Paladino does not know. She knows that PH-5 is on the east side by Home Depot but she is not sure on the Highway 99 corridor.
It is Commissioner McFadden’s understanding that on the east side Phoenix and Medford come together south of South Stage. Ms. Paladino mentioned that the City has property south of South Stage. She is happy to send a map if the Commission is interested. Commissioner Pulver is just curious. Their information regarding their Regional Problem Solving Plan Urban Growth Boundary Expansion plan is limited.
30.1 The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:38 p.m.
Terri L. Richards