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PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

JUNE 27, 2006


1. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL: Chair Balen called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Chair Balen and Commissioners Cutter, Streeter and Power answered the roll. Commissioners Perry, Meatzie and Milligan were absent. A quorum was present.
2. CITIZEN COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: None.
3. COMMISSION COMMENTS AND CONCERNS: Chair Balen noted item 6 C needed to be moved to 7 A on the agenda, as the Proposed Development Code Amendment was not a public hearing.
4. MINUTES: Chair Balen corrected two minor errors in the minutes of the April 25, 2006 meeting. Commissioner Power moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Commissioner Streeter seconded and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
5. CORRESPONDENCE: None.
6. PUBLIC HEARING(S): Appeals on Case File #3-PAR-06 and #4-PAR-06: Chair Balen noted that both applications were nearly identical, and could be discussed simultaneously, though any motions would be considered separately. He asked for any declarations of bias, conflicts of interest, or ex parte contact. There were none. There were no objections to any member of the Planning Commission hearing the appeal.
  Staff Report: Chair Balen clarified that this was an appeal of the Planner’s decision, and it was up to the Commission to decide if he had made an inappropriate decision in administratively handling the applications as partitions rather than subdivisions, which would have come to the Planning Commission. That decision has been appealed, and there were 7 reasons given by the appellant. The Commission had to determine if the reasons were applicable and then, if applicable, how they should affect the application. Mr. Lewis reviewed the location of the partitions. Chair Balen asked how the remaining smaller lots were accessed and Mr. Lewis responded that at present they are landlocked, though on paper there is a roadway that comes down east of the property. Mr. Lewis reviewed his staff report, containing the 7 reasons for the appeal and his responses to those reasons. Three letters had been received, from Pat Ball, Genie Papas, and Dan Sagaitis. Chair Balen asked Mr. Lewis to review the conditions from the original staff report associated with the administrative decision. Commissioner Power asked what was required to fulfill the second condition, regarding documentation of legal access. Mr. Lewis responded that part of the final approval process included the submittal of a finalized plat which, among other things, identifies legal access to each and every lot. The plat will not identify that legal access unless it is confirmed that it exists.
  Applicant’s Presentation: Dan Sagaitis, representing the Township 13 Homeowner’s Association, addressed the Commission. He indicated that the greatest concern was access to the property, stating that Township 13 has private roads, and unless a person is a member of the Association and participates in paying for the upkeep and maintenance, they are denied access. He therefore contended that the property should not be divided without access to a public road. Additionally, it was felt that by partitioning the property rather than subdividing, the property owner could get by with minimal improvements to the access of the properties, ie a dirt road, rather than having to adhere to stricter standards. Mr. Sagaitis also felt that the Planner selectively interpreted the Code when determining the requirements for the application. He expressed concern regarding the potential impact on capacity for water and sewer provision, and felt that the Superintendent’s approval was insufficient for reviewing the final engineering plans, citing problems with the Ocean Hills subdivision as an example of what could potentially happen. Mr. Sagaitis stated that if all the conditions of a subdivision were met, the Homeowner’s Association had no problem with the application, but felt that there were too many issues with the property to allow for an administrative decision.
  Additional testimony was received from several audience members, including Genie Papas, Thomas Cropper, Vickie Mugnai, and Kenneth Sanford. Concerns were expressed regarding access to the property, wildfire issues, soil conditions, drainage, and the fact that street and utility improvement costs should be borne by the developer. It was stated that if the applicant wanted to compensate the Association for the use of the roads, and would develop the adjoining property in the same manner as Township 13, subject to the same CC&R’s, there would be little or no objection from the Association. Marc Atkinson noted that Mr. Ball had originally meant to develop the whole property and stated for the record that the objectors to the application did not necessarily speak for the entire Association. Opponent’s Presentation: Mr. Vandehey addressed the Commission. He stated that when he purchased the property from Mr. Ball, the warranty deed included access to the property. He read the letter from Pat Ball into the record. Mr. Vandehey noted that access to the remaining landlocked properties would have to be given across his land, though it is not in writing at this time. He indicated there may be drainage from Township 13 onto his property and suggested that the Association work with him on any necessary easements in that regard. Mr. Vandehey stated that he would be paving the streets to City standards, including installation of sidewalks. He indicated that he had originally thought about possibly constructing the subdivision as it had been approved, but that application had expired. He stated that he now was not putting in a subdivision, which is why he had applied for the partition.
  Rebuttal: Mr. Sagaitis noted that the memo from the Planner had stated that deeds and CC&R’s were not applicable to the City’s review of the application. He then read a section of the Declaration from the CC&R’s for Township 13, noting that the Subdivision No. 3 (the application which had expired) was intended to be part of Township 13. He reiterated concerns about access to the property and questioned the legality of the deeds. Chair Balen closed the public hearing and opened the Planning Commission meeting for deliberations. He noted that the issue before the Commission was whether the Planner proceeded appropriately in making the administrative decision as opposed to presenting it to the Commission. Commissioner Cutter stated that the discussion about the access was not pertinent, as it was an issue which needed to be worked out between the Association and the developer. Ultimately, it was up to the developer to show that the lots had legal access before final approval could be granted. Commissioner Cutter stated that the conditions the Commission may have put on the application were the ones that were already included in the staff report accompanying the administrative decision. Commissioner Power concurred, and asked about development of the property. Mr. Lewis clarified that the City cannot prohibit a property owner from grading or landscaping, but that final approval would have to be obtained prior to any substantive development. Following a brief discussion, Commissioner Cutter moved to find the Planner’s actions appropriate and to deny the appeal of Case File #3-PAR-06. Commissioner Streeter seconded. The motion carried unanimously on a voice vote. Commissioner Cutter then moved to again find the Planner’s actions appropriate and to deny the appeal of Case File #4-PAR-06. Commissioner Power seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote. Consensus of the Commission was to have Chair Balen sign the findings when completed.
7. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS:
  Chair Balen noted that the Council had asked the Commission to review the requirements for ocean-front property and the calculation of gross land area. He asked Mr. Lewis to summarize the issue and include this on the next Planning Commission agenda for discussion.
  The Commission took up discussion regarding the proposed Development Code amendment and the concerns expressed by the City Council, Chair Balen indicated he had contacted some colleagues with regard to the proposed architectural guidelines and standards proposed. Based on their comments, the Planning Commission made the following changes: strike the language referring to "designs of the Oregon Coast" and add language regarding use of complementary materials to provide some degree of consistency; soften the language by eliminating the requirement that all items listed must be met in regard to building elevation design standards; and relaxed the standards for building entrances, fenestration and decoration, and display windows. Following a brief discussion, Commissioner Cutter suggested changing the parking requirement from 1 space per every 600 square feet to 1 space per every 500 square feet. Mr. Lewis noted that this was the same as the requirement in the new Model Code for Small Cities. Consensus of the Commission was favorable to the change. In regard to the old Middle School property, the Commission concluded that it would not be necessary to change the boundaries of the district, as the current application for the property showed it would be developed as a mixed use property. The Commission then reviewed the suggestion to limit the number of uses along Highway 101. It was noted that a few years ago there had been discussion that Highway 101 should have tourist-oriented businesses and Highway 34 should have service-oriented businesses. However, it was felt that it may be difficult to differentiate between the two, and further limiting the proposed uses might also only serve to increase the number of vacant properties. Commissioner Streeter pointed out that one of the main intents of the code change was to make the area pedestrian-friendly, which may serve to restrict the uses in any case.
 A. Planning Report: The Commission reviewed the Planning report. A brief discussion ensued regarding an application which had been approved by the City and County but ultimately had been rejected by a homeowner’s association. Commissioner Cutter suggested that the City may want to stamp applications with language that states that City approval does not necessarily relieve the application from compliance with other requirements such as approval by a homeowner’s association.
  B. Other Issues: Commissioner Cutter asked that staff provide an update on term expiration dates for the Commission members.
  C. Proposed Development Code Amendment: Previously discussed.
8. ADJOURNMENT: At 8:35 p.m., there being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted,
Reda A. Quinlan, City Clerk
APPROVED by the Planning Commission this 25th day of July, 2006.
SIGNED by the Chair this 25th day of July, 2006.
Samuel Balen, Chair