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PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

JUNE 19, 2001


1. ROLL CALL: Chair Balen called the Planning Commission meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Chair Balen and Commissioners Milligan, Meatzie, Uhl and Cutter answered the roll. Commissioner Hauser was absent. A quorum was present.
2. SWEARING IN OF NEW COMMISSIONER: City Planner Thompson administered the oath of office to Art Cvar. Commissioner Cvar then took his seat at the table.
3. CITIZEN COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: None.
4. COMMISSION COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: Commissioner Uhl noted that at the last Council meeting, they were going to deliberate on the Riparian Zone and Development Code revisions. The Council would be taking up the issue at a special meeting on June 21 at 4:30 p.m., after a walk-though of the Ocean Hills property. He urged any members of the Commission who were interested in the topic to attend the meeting. Commissioner Uhl also asked what would happen if the Council was influenced by the opponents, wondering if the issue would have to go back to the Division of State Lands. Mr. Thompson clarified that the Council could determine the setbacks on Ocean Hills because it was a Goal 5 issue, however Fish & Wildlife had found fish in the stream, so it might be disputed. Chair Balen noted that his concern was that one dispute may lead to another and the City may not end up with any riparian areas at all. Commissioner Cvar noted that the public hearing was closed and the record was closed, he was concerned about the legalities. Mr. Thompson indicated that, depending on the argument, it might be appealed to LUBA or LCDC. Mr. Balen noted that the Economic Revitalization Committee had met earlier in the month, and they had suggested revisions of the Development Code, which he felt might be premature. He suggested that they wait until the City has the next report and the Commission and Council had a chance to review the proposed revisions. He also gave a brief report of the motel property and its potential dispensation.
5. MINUTES: The Commission considered the minutes from the May 15, 2001 Planning Commission meeting. Commissioner Cutter moved to approve the minutes as presented, Commissioner Meatzie seconded and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
6. CORRESPONDENCE: None.
7. PUBLIC HEARING: Chair Balen opened the Public Hearing, a continuation of the variance request from Lon & Sharon Clow. Commissioner Cvar asked whether he should participate. He had listened to the tape from the last meeting and had reviewed the materials from the last couple meetings, he had been a member of the Planning Commission and its chair, as well as being a part of the Periodic Review process. There were no objections to his participation.
 Staff Report: Mr. Thompson noted that the findings for the decision 1-V-94 were adopted on May 19, 1994. The only thing that was incorrect in the packet was in regard to the last page of the order, where the case file number was incorrect due to a clerical error. He noted that the applicant had declared that the requirement had been imposed after the building permit, which was actually issued in July of 1994, subsequent to the Planning Commission's adoption of the findings.
 Commissioner Cutter noted that Mr. Clow had asserted that the requirement for the parking was "tacked on" after the building permit was issued. However, it appeared that this was not the case, as the findings were adopted in May and the building permit was issued in July. He asked if Ms. Clow could clarify the issue. She indicated that the information they had showed that there was a discrepancy in the times. According to her recollection, the builder took the plans to the Planning Commission to be approved and then the building started. When they were ready to occupy the building, in order to receive a right to occupy certificate they had to have additional parking available. Commissioner Cutter noted that the order predated the building application by at least two months. Further discussion ensued regarding the dates of actions. Commissioner Cutter also had a question of the current owners of the Drug Store, indicating that he would like a clarification of the repercussions of the Planning Commission's actions. He stated that there was no point in granting a variance if the parties had no agreement for carrying out the variance. Mr. Ford responded that when they bought the building, the nineteen spaces went with the building although they had no idea where those spaces were. Discussion ensued regarding the location of those parking spaces and the reason for the request. Chair Balen noted that he felt that the City had to maintain its standard in requiring parking, He felt that in the future, parking in the downtown area could be relieved by relaxing the required parking if and when the City provided an area for additional parking. Ms. Clow noted that, when they acquired the pharmacy, it was in need of repair and their intention had been to remodel the existing building. She noted that the High School had done an extension, they were to supply 30 additional parking spaces, which has never happened. She felt that the City was selective in applying its standards. Commissioner Cvar noted that parking was allowed off-site, up to 500 feet away. He agreed that the City had not always been even-handed in handling similar situations in the past, however, he did not feel that this should be reason for doing so in the future. He read from the Development Code, noting that the parking requirements would have applied even for a remodel if it increased the area, let alone the fact that they had replaced the building. Commissioner Cutter noted that even if the City relieved the requirement for the parking, the easement for the spaces still remained between the two property owners. He also felt that the Planning Commission was forthright in imposing the requirement before the building permit was issued.
 Susan Woodruff noted that she had spoken the last time on the diagonal parking issue. Several members of the Economic Development Committee were advocating removal of all parking on Highway 101. She felt that this would increase the existing parking problems. Commissioner Cutter noted that the disputed area was not heavily used, even during the Beachcombers Days. However, he could definitely see that if Highway 101 parking was removed, the parking on the lot in question would be necessary and needed.
 Chair Balen closed the Public Hearing and opened the Planning Commission meeting to deliberations.
 Commissioner Cvar asked if they could discuss the various criteria for a variance. He sympathized with the Clows, but felt that the City had done its duty in processing the original variance in a timely manner, prior to the building permit and noted that the builder had known as early as March of 1994 about the requirement. He then reviewed the five criteria. He felt that they did not meet enough of the criteria in order to comply with the variance. Commissioner Cutter commented that his interest on the Committee came from reading the minutes from the last variance request on this property, where he felt that there was some room for a different outcome. He did feel that there was not enough argument presented to find in their favor at this time. Commissioner Milligan moved to deny the variance request. Commissioner Cutter seconded. The motion then carried unanimously on a voice vote.
8. OLD BUSINESS: None.
9. NEW BUSINESS: Planning Reports, May 11 and June 12. Mr. Thompson noted he was continuing on code enforcement. He reported that the car towing business was in violation again. Commissioner Cutter indicated that he would be in favor of an expeditious resolution to the problem. A brief discussion ensued regarding whether the Planning Commission wished to consider a review of land sales to ensure code compliance.
10. ADJOURNMENT: At 8:00 p.m., there being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, Commissioner Cvar moved to adjourn. Commissioner Uhl seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
Respectfully submitted,
Reda A. Quinlan, City Clerk
APPROVED by the Planning Commission this 17th day of July, 2001.
SIGNED by the Chair this 17th day of July, 2001.
Samuel L. Balen, Chair