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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, June 22, 2017

12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
1.  Enterprise Zone
2.  Housing Options Program
12 Noon
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12 noon in the Medford Room of Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Kay Brooks, Tim D’Alessandro, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Kevin Stine, Kim Wallan and Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Brian Sjothun; Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding; City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Planning Director Matt Brinkley; Grant Coordinator Angela Durant
Enterprise Zone
Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding spoke regarding the City’s Enterprise Zone, noting:
  • Allows businesses to be excluded from property tax collection for a period of 3-5 years
  • Generally benefits manufacturing and industrial zones
  • SOREDI manages the Enterprise Zone
    • Since 2008, 143.4 new acres annexed that could be included in the Enterprise Zone through an amendment
    • Amendment process:
      • Letter to taxing districts
      • Resolution authorizing amendment
      • Public hearing is required for re-designation or original designation; not for amendments
      • Council prefers public hearing
      • After resolution Business Oregon or Oregon Economic and Community Development Department for approval
      • Amendment would not include the incoming UGB properties
  • Enterprise Zone is an incentive to businesses
  • Without an Enterprise Zone, potential new businesses could choose surrounding areas that have a zone
  • Land not required to be contiguous; just 12 square miles
  • Can only have an ecommerce zone with an enterprise zone
  • Businesses could use the benefit multiple times if business improvements add jobs
Council requested Ms. Madding research:
  • Whether marijuana production businesses would qualify
  • If property taxes not collected, do businesses tend to leave after the benefit
Council preferred
  • Public hearing
  • Letter to taxing districts
Housing Options Program
Ms. Madding and Planning Director Matt Brinkley spoke regarding development and housing options, noting:
  • Background
    • Statistics of housing in Jackson County based on permit sales
    • Ownership expense
  • State housing programs
    • Generally 60% of the area median income qualify for housing subsidies; area median income is $53,000 for Medford and $44,000 for County
    • Vertical Housing Program Zone provides a property tax exemption up to 80% for a period more than 10 years
    • Mortgage credit certificate program (Portland only city offering)
      • For first-time home buyers
      • Allows for federal tax credit of 20% of the annual mortgage interest
      • Difficult to qualify; income credit based on the number of tax deductions
Council requested Ms. Madding research:
  • Specific zoning included within the vertical housing program
  • Redevelopment challenges and opportunities
    • Regulatory constraints
    • Development constraints
    • Financial constraints
  • Other cities offer
    • Expedited land use permitting
    • SDC deferrals, loans or exemptions (fees are paid in full)
      • Deferral time period begins after Certificate of Occupancy is issued
    • SDC credits
    • Direct support of affordable housing
    • Developer must prove there is a deficiency/need to qualify for any incentive
    • Incentive programs to builders; not subsidies or rent control
    • Green building incentives
    • Special Housing Opportunity Loans, low-interest loans
    • Redevelopment grants
    • Construction excise tax
    • Community Land Trust
      • Local jurisdiction or not-for-profit owns the land, but the home is owned by a private person
      • Could be used in conjunction with the receivership program
  • Medford’s goal is to have 4,000 people living downtown by 2050
Council requested Mr. Brinkley determine
  • Whether Council could potentially charge two excise taxes at once
  • City doesn’t have excise tax, but does collect the tax for 549c
  • Whether developers can depreciate SDC fees over life of project or right away
  • City revise land development code
    • Work directly with builders to provide access to funds; funds not associated with the City
    • Process annexations and building permits faster
  • Concerns
    • Housing issues are attributed to new marijuana legalization and creating additional housing will leave our area with excess housing
    • Lack of building professionals to actually build the homes
  • Possible CDFI funding for increasing affordable housing inventory
  • Create a workgroup/committee to prepare a plan and steps to coincide with the UGB approval to ensure buildable land for housing
    • Council should remain involved
    • Should include a broad representation from different interest groups
    • Mr. Brinkley to draft a proposed “roster” for Council approval
  • Potentially two City pilot projects
    • “Large” new construction on City-owned land
    • “Small” renovation project
Council did not object moving forward with a RFP for housing in the downtown core:
  • Provide draft timeline; approximately 5 months
  • Include Council priorities with values given for those priorities
  • Need to identify the City property available for this project
  • Should include affordable housing; based on visioning
The meeting adjourned at 1:27 p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder


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