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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, July 28, 2016

12:00 PM
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
  1. Urban Growth Boundary
  2. Developer Street Improvements
  3. Police Station Tours

12:00 PM
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Pro Tem Alison Chan; Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Principal Planner John Adam, Planning Director Jim Huber; Senior Assistant City Attorney Eric Mitton; and Jeff Condit, attorney with Miller, Nash, Graham & Dunn
Councilmember Stine was absent.
Principal Planner John Adam provided a history of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) amendment.  Staff moved forward with Councilís preference of Option 4, worked on the findings, held a study session, then reviewed the findings with Land-Use Attorney Jeff Condit, invited Perkins Coie to comment and made some additions based on their input. The most significant change was in the urban growth management plan, because the County now has a comprehensive plan map.  The County is using their comprehensive plan designation instead of ours.   The management plan was revised to secure the Cityís ability to urbanize.
Mr. Condit stated that he discussed the number of acres with Perkins Coie and thinks the City has a defensible argument to rely on the 2010 housing analysis. Although the issue is open to debate, he thinks that we need to rely on the assumptions already made; otherwise the City would end up in a catch-22 and continue duplicating work.  At some point we needed a baseline to begin work.  He noted it was helpful to have the Perkins Coie lawyers involved, because of their five-year history as well as staffís help and perspective. 
Councilmember Zarosinski asked about planned neighborhoods and the path to Chrissy and Prescott Parks; he felt there was a stronger emphasis on the pathway in the testimony than was reflected in the findings.  Mr. Condit responded he would need to go back to review the background documents to determine the baseline evidence for findings. 
Councilmember Zarosinski asked about MD-5 and the transportation impact for the most eastern part. There was concern regarding a public safety evacuation route for the urban wildfire interface zone.  Mr. Condit said he would review that portion.
Councilmember Gordon asked whether the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) regional representative [Josh LeBombard] was going to provide analysis of the proposal to Jim Rue and LCDC; if so, it can be difficult to revise or change that analysis after it is in writing.  Mr. Condit responded there is a process with discussions, meetings and hearings before a final amendment to LCDC.  He has found that discussions beforehand can help, because we can provide enough information to allay concerns.  The findings clarify why it is important to rely on the numbers and work done previously.  Mr. Condit spoke regarding previous cases litigated on this same issue (i.e., acknowledgement of the Housing Element).  If there is a final land use decision that is made and not challenged within 45 days, it is final and the city can rely on it. 
Mr. Adam explained Planning is on track to present during the August 18, 2016 Council meeting.  If the revision is approved by Council, it will be taken to the County Board of Directors for approval and then to the LCDC.
Developer Street Improvements
Planning Director Jim Huber explained todayís meeting was to provide information on a Code amendment, which will come back to Council at a later date.
Proposed changes to Articles II and IV of the Development Code to revise exception process, right‑of‑way dedications and street improvements:
  • Clarify/simplify Code language to eliminate interpretation differences with Planning and SPAC members
    • Differing opinions from developers and staff
    • Inconsistent results from SPAC, causing a lack of predictability for applicants as well as Planning and Public Works
  • When does Article IV call for developer to make street improvements when building
    • Ambiguous with both higher- and lower-order streets; applicants donít know whether SPAC will require improvements
    • Varies because the Code is not clear; silent on sidewalks and the City has requirements for school walk zones
  • Sometimes the Code requires more right-of-way than is needed
    • Code requires right-of-way, even if Public Works doesnít need or want it
    • Public Works canít reduce the right-of-way dedication, unless the applicant files an exception
    • Applicant and Public Works should be able to stipulate right-of-way reductions, with SPAC approval to prevent applicant paying fees for an exception
    • Eliminating street lights and sidewalks would not be included in the exception process
    • Article 4 provides for deferred improvement agreements (DIA) with the payment of 125% of the cost of the improvement as deposit  
      • Although the deposit is required, it is not always paid
    • If SPAC requires improvements, developers can file an exception eliminating the street improvements
    • Modifications to 10.253 to create exceptions to the exception process and provide additional guidance
  • Propose adding section 10.430(b) to note the Public Works Director can modify the right‑of‑way requirement for approval by SPAC
    • Issues with infill requiring 20 feet of right-of-way, when the City doesnít need that much, but staff cannot reduce that number of feet
    • Additional right-of-way can discourage development
    • Modifications would be site specific
    • If Public Works agrees to a reduction in right-of-way, SPAC could approve/disapprove to avoid filing an exception application
    • Not revising the current process for modifying the right-of-way
 City Manager Pro Tem Alison Chan noted it will be awhile before this Code revision comes back to Council for recommendation.
The meeting adjourned at 12:51 p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder

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