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PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

MARCH 22, 2005


1. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL: Chair Balen called the meeting to order. City Clerk Quinlan swore in Commissioner Milligan. Chair Balen and Commissioners Milligan, Power and Cutter answered the roll. Commissioner Meatzie arrived at 6:35 p.m. Commissioner Perry was absent. A quorum was present.
2. CITIZEN COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: None.
3. COMMISSION COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: None.
4. MINUTES: The Commission considered the minutes from the February 22 meeting. Commissioner Cutter noted he had also been absent from the meeting. Commissioner Meatzie moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Power seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
5. CORRESPONDENCE: None.
6. PUBLIC HEARING(S):
  A. Case File 2-CU-PC-05, Chris Graamans - Conditional Use Application: Chair Balen opened the public hearing, calling for declarations of bias, conflict of interest, or ex parte contact. Nothing was declared.
Staff Report: Mr. Lewis reviewed his staff report. He noted that this was an application to expand an existing conditional use. He indicated that required parking would result in 18 spaces, but the Commission had allowed a reduction in the original application, and applying the same logic, 11 spaces would be adequate for the use.
  Applicant’s Presentation: Mr. Graamans noted that he would be happy to answer questions. The expansion was being done initially for storage, but eventually machinery may be moved in. The new building would have the same construction as the existing building. He currently has 3 parking spaces, (one ADA) and was planning on gravel for the additional spaces which will total 11. He noted that customer traffic was minimal. Commissioner Milligan congratulated the applicant on his expanding business and good reputation.
  Chair Balen closed the public hearing and opened the meeting for discussion. Commissioner Cutter asked if the Commission needed to acknowledge that machinery may be moved in at some point. Mr. Lewis indicated that this could be incorporated into the findings. Commissioner Cutter moved to approve the conditional use permit, with the staff recommendation for parking, and including manufacturing as well as storage. Commissioner Milligan seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
  B. Case File 1-PD-PC-05, Joseph and Nancy Penzola, Planned Development Application: Chair Balen opened the public hearing, calling for any declarations of bias, conflict of interest, or ex parte contact. Nothing was declared.
Staff Report: Chair Balen asked about the relationship between the applicant and the property owner, and Mr. Lewis responded that it was his understanding the applicant was purchasing the property from the Leongs. Mr. Lewis then reviewed his staff report. He noted receipt of written testimony from one property owner, and a request from the Fire District to provide some sort of turnaround. Chair Balen asked about clear vision provisions, and Mr. Lewis responded that the requirement was 30 feet for residential, and the corner of the proposed building on lot 7 was apparently on that line.
  Applicant’s Presentation: Dawn Pavitt, representing the Penzolas, addressed the Commission. She explained that the buildings would be done in “Craftsman style”, with shake siding. She also noted that the applicant could have put 31 apartments as an outright use on the property without having to come before the Commission , but that they had tried to come up with a plan that would keep the single-family residential character instead. Mr. Penzola met with Public Works staff and submitted plans for water, stormwater and sewer which, with some revisions, have now been sent on to the State for approval. The applicant and the City will split the cost of paving Fayette Street, and the applicant would provide a turnaround if necessary. The intent was to keep the pathway informal, with the common area protected by CC&R’s. Ms. Pavitt noted that the applicant was not proposing any changes to the R-3 height requirements, and also explained that what was on the plan was a proposed building envelope with the construction to occur within the requested areas. The actual structures may be smaller, and each home would include a 2-car garage plus driveway. Ms. Pavitt indicated that the elevation was established at Alder Street at 2' above floodplain, and the floor levels will be set at the existing grade, which should be adequate, though a base flood survey would also need to be submitted. The front homes would be single-story, with the building heights then stair-stepped toward the rear of the property so that all homes would have a good view of the bay. In response to a concern from Commissioner Cutter, Mr. Penzola noted that the size of the structure on the plan was the footprint rather than the square footage, the houses are actually one-, two- or three-story buildings.
  Public Testimony: Sherrie Smolen addressed the Commission, stating that she owned property on the north side of Fayette. She noted that every proposed lot was undersized and, referring to the conceptual plan included with the materials for the recent zone change, did not understand why they increased the number of proposed homes from six to eight. She felt this would be unattractive, and was also concerned about the setbacks between the buildings. Ms. Sones, another property owner, noted that Fayette and Alder both deadend right now, and was concerned about an increase in the number of juveniles in that area and the potential problems that may arise. Mike Smith noted that he did not oppose the application, stating that Old Town has needed something like this project. His concerns were in regard to the density of building and the impact on the riparian area. Ray Woodruff mentioned he was the Chair of the Central Oregon Coast Fire and Rescue District Board, as well as an adjacent property owner, and noted that the plan did not adequately address fire safety and access for emergency vehicles. Discussion ensued regarding the size and type of turnaround needed. Cindy Strauss was concerned about loss of access to the beach and the riparian area. Susan Woodruff noted that she was excited to see development occurring, but had concerns about the common area. She noted that the idea of a planned development was to provide a shared common area in exchange for a higher density, but felt that the proposed area would only benefit a couple of the houses. Doreen Fox expressed opposition to any “tenement-like” structures.
  Applicant’s Rebuttal: Ms. Pavitt indicated that the intent in regard to the common area was that the CC&Rs would make the homeowners responsible for keeping the area clean. The plan was to improve the street for public use, but not to limit or prohibit access to the beach or the riparian area. She asked that the Commission consider as a condition of approval that the applicant work with the Fire Department and the City to design an acceptable emergency access and turnaround. The applicant was proposing to install an additional hydrant at the corner of Fayette and Alder, which would improve the fire protection in that area. Ms. Pavitt also noted that the proposed setbacks were based on a “worst case” scenario, and that the actual setbacks could be greater. Terry Remmers addressed the Commission and noted that the whole concept from the beginning to this point was looking at revitalization and highest and best views of the property. He believed that the overall proposal in comparison to the permitted outright use of an apartment complex was better for the City. Ms. Pavitt added that one of the conditions required by the City was to extend the water and sewer lines, which would benefit the neighboring property.
  There being no further testimony, Chair Balen closed the public hearing and opened the meeting for discussion. Commissioner Cutter indicated that he liked the design, but had concerns regarding the required turnaround and the fact that the common area was really only benefitting lots one and two. He noted that the intent of a planned development was to have a central green space for all the homes. He was also concerned about retaining public access to the beach, and felt the size of the proposed yards were inadequate. He suggested either reducing the size of the proposed buildings or increasing the size of the proposed lots. Commissioner Power concurred, noting that she was concerned about the bayfront and riparian area, as the dunes have already been disturbed and tend to lose or gain ground on a yearly basis. She also expressed concern for emergency services and the lot sizes. Commissioner Milligan indicated that she applauded the effort of the applicant, and felt that the plan would address the problem of blight in Old Town. She noted that the preponderance of recent homebuyers have been “baby boomers” buying second homes and retirement homes, not young families; and that the applicant could have put in a condominium instead, which might have resulted in little or no yard at all. Commissioner Meatzie felt that the emergency services accessibility may interfere with the proposed lot sizes, and that the applicant was asking for a great deal of modification to the code requirements. Commissioner Balen noted that more consideration should be given to a true common area within the development, and expressed concern regarding the number of undersized lots that were being requested. He suggested that the applicant reconsider the design, given the comments and concerns expressed by the audience members and the Planning Commission, and noted that an artists rendering of the houses on the lots would be appreciated. Following further discussion, Commissioner Balen moved to continue the issue to April 26, to allow for the applicant to respond to the concerns regarding lot sizes, side yard requirements, access for emergency vehicles, and an accessible common area. Commissioner Cutter seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
7. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS:
  A. Planning Report: Mr. Lewis reviewed his written report.
  B. Continued Review of Proposed Development Code Additions/Revisions: Consensus of the Commission was to defer this item to next the meeting.
  C. Other Issues: None.
8. ADJOURNMENT: At 9:25 p.m., there being no further business to come before the Commission, Commissioner Cutter moved to adjourn. The motion was seconded, and carried unanimously.
Respectfully submitted,
Reda A. Quinlan, City Clerk
APPROVED by the Planning Commission this 26th day of April, 2005.
SIGNED by the Chair this 26th day of April, 2005.
Samuel Balen, Chair