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MARCH 25, 2003

1. ROLL CALL: Chair Balen called the meeting to order at 6:33 p.m. Chair Balen and Commissioners Milligan, Hauser, Uhl and Cvar answered the roll. Commissioners Meatzie and Cutter were absent. A quorum was present.
3. COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: Chair Balen asked about the status of the letter to the newspaper. Staff noted the letter had been forwarded to the media, Mr. Lewis will check with the papers on Friday.
4. MINUTES: The Commission considered the minutes from the February 25, 2003 meeting. Commissioner Cvar moved to approve the minutes as presented. Commissioner Uhl seconded, and the motion carried, with Commissioner Hauser abstaining due to not being at the meeting, all others voting "Aye".
  A. Night Lighting: Mr. Lewis noted that this was proposed language, not current language in the code. A brief discussion ensued. Commissioner Cvar suggested taking out language regarding any zone, and just leaving it that exterior lighting shall be situated in such a manner as to not face or shine directly onto a residential lot, street or highway. Light pollution may be a separate issue and Mr. Lewis will check into it further, for issues such as lights shining on the water. Chair Balen suggested that if a property owner wanted to illuminate the far corner of their property, they should install a light there rather than trying to illuminate from the house. The same holds true for street lighting - it should be directed down toward the street rather than illuminating an entire area. Consensus of the Planning Commission was to find more information and further work on the language to cover the issue. This issue will be placed on the next agenda for discussion.
 B. Draft Downtown District Zone: Mr. Lewis reviewed the proposed language and indicated the idea was to throw out some ideas for the Commission to consider. He will also be providing the information to the advisory committee, and then revisions and suggestions would be incorporated into a proposed text amendment for the development code. Discussion ensued. Mr. Lewis clarified that this would be a whole new district zone, that would apply to C-1 property in the downtown zone. Commissioner Milligan noted recent improvements in Nye Beach and Depoe Bay, and wholeheartedly supported the proposal, feeling that this will go a long way to improving the look of the downtown area. Commissioner Uhl expressed excitement as well, noting that lighting and making it pedestrian friendly will help the downtown area. Mr. Lewis explained that the issue of a 3 or 4 lane highway would not really impact this proposed language change. Commissioner Cvar would like to see wider sidewalks and a bike lane, but this will only happen if the highway changes to 3 lanes. He expressed some concerns about architectural guidelines, feeling that aesthetics should be left up to the individual rather than being regulated. He also felt that the main attraction for this area was the availability of fishing and crabbing, rather than tourism, and efforts should be directed to those assets. Chair Balen stated that the Commission had raised many interesting points, and felt that adding language to the Code to deal with the central business district was a good idea. This may encourage property owners to develop their commercial properties to their fullest extent. He agreed with Commissioner Cvar that the only aesthetic the City should dictate in regard to architecture is that it be in the vernacular of the area - i.e. wood, shingles, cornices, porches, etc. Commissioner Milligan agreed with Commissioner Cvar about the bay and the river being the City’s best resource, and noted that gateway signs are one method of promulgating the availability. She felt that the City was not trying to be competitive with other cities for tourist dollars, but would like to maintain a healthy business district. Getting language in the Code is the first step. Then the City and business community can look at things like fundraising for gateway signs and other improvements. Mr. Lewis noted that the next meeting of the Economic Development Committee was April 8, and this language would be presented to them then. Once they have had a chance to review it, Mr. Lewis will schedule a work session for a regular meeting night. The Commission may decide to hold a special session to further refine the language, that can be determined at a later date. Mr. Lewis also noted that it may be possible to add language to this section regarding lighting, signage, and other issues.
 C. Planner Report: Mr. Lewis reviewed his written report. He noted that the soils analysis at the skatepark showed that everything would be fine as long as they don't excavate more than six feet below grade.
 D. Other Issues: Commissioner Cvar asked Mr. Lewis to look at moving the skatepark sign from the south end of the property to the area where the skatepark will actually be.
8. ADJOURNMENT: At 7:50 p.m., there being no further business to come before the Commission, Commissioner Hauser moved to adjourn. Commissioner Cvar seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote. The next Commission meeting will be April 22, 2003 at 6:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Reda A. Quinlan, City Clerk
APPROVED by the Planning Commission this 27th day of May, 2003.
SIGNED by the Chair this 27th day of May, 2003.
Sam Balen, Chair