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PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

JANUARY 22, 2002


1. ROLL CALL: Vice-Chair Hauser called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Commissioners Hauser, Meatzie, Cutter and Cvar. Commissioner Milligan arrived at 6:35 p.m. Chair Balen and Commissioner Uhl were absent. A quorum was present.
2. CITIZEN COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: None.
3. COMMISSION COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: Commissioner Cutter asked about the status of the stop signs at Crestline and Range. Staff informed him that the County was still studying the situation.
4. MINUTES: The Commission considered the minutes from the October 16, 2001 meeting. Commissioner Meatzie moved to approve the minutes, Commissioner Cutter seconded and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
5. CORRESPONDENCE: None.
6. PUBLIC HEARING: 3-V-01 - Jack Peterson Request for Variance: Vice-Chair Hauser opened the Public Hearing, and read the applicable criteria for the request. She then called for abstentions, ex parte contact, and conflicts of interest. None were stated.
 Staff Report: City Planner Thompson reviewed the staff report, noting that the property was in an R-3 zone, and was in Peterson Park. He turned the Commission's attention to the requirements for granting of a variance. He stated that the front and street side yard setbacks were 20', and the applicant was asking for a variance to the street side yard to 11'. He reviewed his recommendations for denial of the variance.
 Applicant's Testimony: Jack Peterson addressed the Commission, and presented them with a handout. He then made some corrections to the staff report, which were duly noted. He felt he did meet the first requirement, noting that the constraints imposed by the building location, drainfield location, and lot size limited his ability to locate a garage on his property. He noted he wanted to put in a two-car garage, as he and his wife both had vehicles they wished to store indoors. He contended that the 20-foot setback was intended to allow for parking a vehicle in the drive without extending into the street. In his opinion, there were no adverse impacts on sight distance or health, safety or aesthetics. He felt that a single-car garage devalues property, as one car would then be parked in a driveway. He stated that the fact that he had no room for putting in a two-car garage was a hardship. Granting the variance would meet the intent of code, by allowing the cars to be stored indoors. Neighbors evidently are in favor of project, as there were no objections filed.
 Commissioner Cutter noted that the drawing showed the garage was detached and was about 5' away from the house. He wondered if attaching the garage would decrease the setback. Mr. Peterson noted that the drawing submitted that evening was more accurate than the one submitted with the building permit, and stated that 20' wide by 24' was standard for double-car garage. Commissioner Hauser asked about the dimensions of a single-car garage, Commissioner Cutter responded that the minimum that any contractor would recommend was 12' to 14'. Cvar noted that the two drawings were drastically different, and wondered about the location of the drainfield, which had to be 10' from anything else on the property. Commissioner Cutter ascertained that the slab was already poured. His concern was that the new drawing did not appear to account for any overhang. Mr. Thompson noted that this would not count toward the setback.
 Proponent's Testimony : Peggy Wentworth, mother-in-law and adjacent property owner, addressed the Commission. She noted that the two-car garage would be to the betterment of all concerned. Visibly it would prevent an eyesore of parked cars in the yard and along the street, and would not lower property values in the area.
 Opponent's Testimony: None.
 Deliberation: Chair Hauser closed the hearing and opened the meeting for deliberation. Commissioner Cutter noted that in argument of variance requirement #2, he felt it does apply, as the applicant has shown that in order to maintain a request for a two-car garage on a piece of property, the location of the house and drainfield did make it difficult to empower the property owner to enjoy a property right similar to others in the area. He felt it was unfortunate that the slab had already been poured, as it could have been placed closer to the home. A one-car garage was not practical, without moving it closer to the house even that could meet the minimum setback requirements. Commissioner Cutter also noted that he felt 3, 4, and 5 were also met. Commissioner Meatzie mentioned he had driven by the property, and vision was not an issue. Also, given the configuration of the property, if the other houses could have a two-car garage, so should he. Commissioner Cvar stated that he had a problem with getting a plan in with an application and then being presented with a totally different plan at the meeting. He suggested putting the decision off for further investigation. City Planner Thompson noted that the Commission could go another 30 days, but the decision would have to be made within the 120-day window, including the appeal. Commissioner Hauser asked if the Commission was setting a precedent by this decision. Commissioner Milligan noted that the drawing that came with the plan had a notation of location of the drainfield, which the new drawing did not. She stated that she would like to have the additional information of the dimensions of the drainfield for that particular property. Commissioner Cutter noted a concern about moving the garage further from the house in order to accommodate the setbacks, if the Commission required it to be relocated on the property. Commissioner Cvar moved to hold the request over to the next meeting, and request the Planner to get information on the drainfield and any other information necessary. Commissioner Milligan seconded. The motion carried, with Commissioners Hauser, Milligan, Meatzie and Cvar voting "Aye", Commissioner Cutter voting "Nay". The next meeting will be February 19, 2002. Mr. Thompson will take a copy of the most recently submitted plan and the county records and do an on-site inspection of the property.
7.  OLD BUSINESS: None.
8.  NEW BUSINESS:
 A. Request for Extension - 2-S-94, Whispering Woods: Mr. Thompson explained that the materials in the packet were submitted by Vista Land Corporation's attorney, and at the back of the material was the Waldport City Attorney's response. He gave a brief review of the history of the requests for extensions. Commissioner Cutter asked about the 1996 extension, noting that although the sidewalks were eliminated, the requirement for curbs was still included. Mr. Thompson noted that the developer was allowed to ask for an extension, though it was not a public hearing. Doug Holbrook, attorney for Vista Land Corp., addressed the Commission. He explained that what was before the Commission was a request for a time extension. The original application was in 1994, the approval was given in 1995. Vista voluntarily agreed to contribute to straightening out Norwood Drive as part of that approval. He stated that one decision the Commission had to make was whether they could legally reattach a condition which had been disposed of previously. He explained that the extension is governed by the 1994 version of the City's code. Commissioner Cutter asked if any improvements had yet been made, the answer was "No". Mr. Holbrook noted language in 1994 code which did imply that conditions could be attached when considering a request for extension. Mr. Schulte addressed the Commission and gave a history to-date. At the time of the original application, the subdivision had 64 lots. The realignment of Norwood was not part of the original discussion. This came about when he had decided to change from 64 lots to 48 lots and brought up Norwood Avenue as part of that reduction, and was based on the consideration of dropping the number and increasing the size of the lots. He stated that the surrounding subdivisions had asphalt curbs and no sidewalks. Putting in sidewalks would also require additional property and removal of additional trees. Mr. Schulte noted that previous extensions had not had a requirement for sidewalks, and Mr. Holbrook noted that the sidewalk issue came in as a result of the latest request for extension. The extension from February, 2000 had included the performance bond, the road agreement and an updated geotech. Commissioner Cutter asked if the other extension was valid, if the conditions had not been met. Commissioner Milligan asked if the riparian zone had placed any restrictions, Mr. Thompson indicated that it had not. Mr. Schulte noted considerable effort had been expended to-date on the subdivision, although ground had not yet been broken. Commissioner Cutter asked the City Attorney if the Road Agreement had not yet been completed, how could they grant an extension? Mr. Hammersley responded that there had been a tentative approval on a subdivision, which had been extended in 1996, 1998 and 2000. His take was that these conditions had to be met prior to construction, rather than as part of the extensions. He also stated that if the Commission wanted to address the requirement for sidewalks in the current extension, they should do so. Also, the current code allows only a one-year extension. This could be argued either way, but he would suggest consideration of a two-year extension. Commissioner Hauser stated that part of the job of the Commission was to make the City a better place to live, and she felt it was important that the Commission now require sidewalks. Mr. Schulte responded that this was a "pocket area" that would have sidewalks where no other area had sidewalks. He also noted that this lent itself to an "urban appeal" as well. Commissioner Cutter indicated that he did not feel sidewalks were always appropriate, and regretted that previous Commissioners had not dealt with the sidewalk issue, leaving it to the Mayor to append the requirement to the road agreement. Mr. Holbrook noted that because the 1994 code was applicable to the development, it would be entitled to a 2-year extension, and the sidewalk requirement was not applicable, by state statute. Their position was that the verbiage in the City's code may allow "bootstrapping" new requirements, but the State code did not allow that. Mr. Hammersley's stance was that the developer was on notice given in the City's code, that additional requirements may be imposed. However, he would not recommend holding to the one-year extension, and advised allowing the two-year extension. Further discussion ensued, regarding the proximity of the property to the City's park property and the proposed trail system in the City's Transportation Plan. Mr. Schulte stated he could see putting in sidewalks on one side given the idea of putting a trail in. He also asked if every subdivision from now on would be required to have sidewalks. He then suggested that the Commission consider getting rid of the agreement, and putting in sidewalks on one side. Commissioner Hauser stated that the problem on Norwood was actually a City problem, given the fact that it was a City street. She would rather see sidewalks, and let the road take care of itself as time permits. Commissioner Cutter's final statement was that he respectfully disagreed with the requirement for sidewalks, however, the current code states that sidewalks would be required and extensions were only for one year. In order to be legal, if they were going to enforce the requirement, the application had to follow the new code. Commissioner Cvar noted that, as a person who walks, he looked for sidewalks for safety as well as aesthetics, and appreciated their existence. Commissioner Milligan moved that the Planning Commission grant the extension for two years, with a condition for sidewalks on both sides of the street, and getting rid of the road agreement. Commissioner Cvar seconded. The motion then carried unanimously on a voice vote.
 B. Planning Reports: The Commission considered the Planning reports from November, 2001 and January 2002.
 C. Request for Exception - Alan and Jane Clark: Mr. Thompson noted that this was a request to place a 6-foot wood fence adjacent to Crestline Drive. He explained that this was a corner lot, on View and Crestline. Commissioner Cvar noted that he had looked at the property, and the level of the road did vary from the front to the back of the property. The applicants explained their proposal, noting that the fence would be inside the property line and would be on the house side of the trees and shrubbery. Following discussion, Commissioner Cutter moved to accept the proposal. Commissioner Milligan seconded. Commissioner Cvar noted the absence of visual aids in making the decision and moved to amend the motion, to grant approval based on submission of a plan showing where the fence would be located. Commissioner Hauser asked if the Commission would then be requiring something that was not required by law. The amendment died for lack of a second. The main motion then carried, with Commissioners Hauser, Milligan, Meatzie and Cutter voting "Aye", Commissioner Cvar voting "Nay". Commissioner Meatzie suggested that, in the future, drawings be submitted in conjunction with requests of this nature.
 D. Conditions for Towing Business: Robert Underwood, new manager for the towing business, was present to address any concerns. Commissioner Cutter excused himself from the discussion, as he had availed himself of the business' services recently. Mr. Underwood indicated that he had been in the process of cleaning up the last person's mess, and stated he had removed all non-running vehicles from the premises. Mr. Thompson gave a review of the issue to-date. He noted that the conditions on the business license were attached to the business license, and the letters sent also contained the list of requirements. He had all the certified stubs to prove those letters had been received. He noted that the Commission was not able to remove a business license, but could recommend removal to the Council. Mr. Thompson showed the photographs he had taken to support the claim, and indicated it had been an on-going problem, being cleaned up when notified, then reverting in a couple of weeks. Mr. Underwood explained that he had been hired as a tow truck driver in December, and had been promoted to manager a week ago. Commissioner Milligan moved to recommend to the City Council to hold a hearing on the revocation of the business license, and requiring the business owner to appear at that hearing. Commissioner Cvar seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
9. ADJOURNMENT: At 8:50 p.m., there being no further business to come before the Commission, Commissioner Cutter moved to adjourn, Commissioner Milligan seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
Respectfully submitted,
Reda A. Quinlan, City Clerk
APPROVED by the Planning Commission this 19th day of February, 2002.
SIGNED by the Chair this 19th day of February, 2002.
Samuel Balen, Chair