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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Medford City Council Study Session

August 27, 2009



The meeting was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in Room 151 of the Lausmann Annex with the following members present.


Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Bob Strosser, Al Densmore, James Kuntz, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Ben Truwe, Greg Jones and Jill Stout.


  1. Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing: Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke introduced the topic and noted that this item has come forward in response to the Housing and Urban Development’s National Call to Action.  Neighborhood Resource Coordinator Louise Dix introduced Bob Tull and Lenore Drake from the Regulatory Barriers Task Force who presented an overview of the report.  Mr. Tull noted that the task force report found that the City of Medford did not have a lot of barriers to affordable housing.  In addition, they found that the City had some strong tools in place to assist in the development of affordable housing through its Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance and the Planned Unit Development ordinance.  Mr. Tull noted that the task force did forward some incentive recommendations that the City of Medford could adopt to make affordable housing development more attractive and requested that the City Council assume a leadership role in moving affordable housing forward in the City.


Ms. Dix addressed the council and noted that the members of the task force were in attendance and available to take any questions the council may have and noted that many of the incentives in this report have been addressed through the revisions to the Housing Element and work done by the Planning staff, since the report was finalized


Councilmembers raised several questions regarding the report and requested that the task force identify their priorities within the report.  It was noted that a number of the recommendations have been implemented through additional revisions to the Housing Element and other planning department work plans.  Of particular interest to the task force were the development of a clear policy of what infill development standards would be; streamlining of the permitting process; increase incentives pertaining to traffic impacts in mixed use developments; incentives for energy conservation; use of government relations consultant to forward legislation that will minimize the BOLI requirements for affordable housing projects; include statement in the Housing Element that strongly supports affordable housing; and implementation and funding of a housing trust fund.


  1. PUD Notification:  Jim Huber, Planning Director and Bianca Petrou, Assistant Planning Director addressed the council regarding an update on the work undertaken to modify language on neighborhood notification on Planned Unit Development (PUD) applications.  Ms. Petrou noted that the Southeast Medford Citizens Organization (SEMCO) group and the Citizens Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC) would like to see a pre-application neighborhood meeting be included in PUD process and CPAC would like to see this in all applications.  Councilmembers expressed concern regarding the potential for misunderstanding that the neighborhood informational meeting does not give attendees “standing” at a public hearing. 


Council consensus and direction given to staff was to bring forward a code amendment that included the neighborhood information meeting, expanded notification to 75 property owners total beginning at 200 feet and expanding by 50 foot increments until the 75 property owner limit was reached, making the neighborhood meeting notification area the same as the public hearing notification are and only applying this to the PUD applications to begin with.  Staff with further review the sign notification requirements and bring back further recommendations on that issue.





Glenda Owens

City Recorder

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