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PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

JUNE 24, 2008


1. Call to Order and Roll Call: Chair Perry called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. Chair Perry and Commissioners Johnston, Smolen, Power and Holland answered the roll. Commissioner Maré was excused. A quorum was present.
2. Citizen Comments and Concerns: None.
3. Commission Comments and Concerns: Commissioner Holland noted that the trench at the old Middle School property was apparently the City’s outflow for the storm system. A brief discussion ensued regarding stormwater and potential treatment.
4. Minutes: The Commission considered the minutes from the May 27, 2008 meeting. Commissioner Power moved to approve the minutes as presented. Commissioner Holland seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
5. Correspondence: None.
6. Public Hearing(s):
  Noting that people were present for both other public hearings, the Commission moved Whispering Woods to item "C".
  A. Case File 2-CU-PC-08, Atkinson Conditional Use Permit Application: Chair Perry opened the public hearing and called for abstentions, bias, conflicts of interest.
  Staff Report: Mr. Lewis reviewed his staff report, noting that the applicant was requesting a conditional use to operate a dog-grooming business in a residential (R-3) zone. Chair Perry noted that the structural alteration language was a bit broad, and suggested that it might be revised to read that any exterior structural alteration would need to be approved by the Planning Commission.
  Commissioner Smolen noted that there are tenants over the garage that park on the street, and a boat that is not currently being kept on the property. She felt that the application would add to the existing congestion. Mr. Lewis clarified that on-street parking is permitted in that area. Commissioner Power noted it is a pick-up and drop-off kind of business, so any parking would probably be temporary.
  Applicant’s Presentation: John Atkinson addressed the Commission, noting that Commissioner Smolen’s concerns were well-founded. Currently he is parking his boat on her property with permission. The present two tenants will be moving in July, and they will be looking for a single tenant in the future, so only one parking space would be needed. Additionally, there is enough space in the garage to park his boat, so that would not be an issue either. Ms. Atkinson also noted that there would only be one dropoff and one pickup at a time, and no boarding of pets. Commissioner Holland asked about the sign. A brief discussion ensued. Mr. Lewis pointed out that the limit for signage in a residential zone is 24 square feet. The applicants had no problem with reducing the size of the proposed sign.
  As there was no additional testimony, Chair Perry closed the public hearing and opened the Planning Commission meeting for deliberations. Commissioner Power moved to amend the recommended conditions to add the sign size limitation. Commissioner Smolen seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote. Commissioner Power moved to approve the conditional use with the conditions as recommended by the Planner and including the amendment to Condition #3 to read "exterior alterations". Commissioner Johnston seconded, and the motion carried, with Chair Perry and Commissioners Holland, Johnston and Power voting "Aye", and Commissioner Smolen abstaining. Consensus of the Commission was to have the Planner prepare the findings for signature, to become effective upon signing by the Chair.
  B. Case File 1-ZC-PC-08, Boucher Zone Change Application: Chair Perry opened the public hearing and called for abstentions, bias, conflicts of interest. None were noted.
  Staff Report: Mr. Lewis reviewed the staff report, noting that the applicant was requesting a zone change from R-2 to R-3 and approval of a conditional use permit to operate a personal professional office. Two letters of support had been submitted from neighboring properties. This building had been used for decades as an oyster factory.
  Commissioner Power asked if the change to R-3 required the sewer holding tank. Mr. Lewis responded that the non-residential use would allow for the holding tank, whereas a residential use would not. The abutting properties were larger and probably had septic systems, but this property was too small to allow for that. Commissioner Power asked about the travel trailer parked on the dock, wondering if that is allowed in the current zoning. Mr. Lewis noted that it was permitted in conjunction with a valid building permit. Once the improvements have been made the trailer can remain, but would have to be stored unoccupied. Herk Martens, an adjoining property owner, addressed the Commission, noting that they were impressed with the current owner. The property had been allowed to deteriorate, and the structure collapsed to the point where most of it ended up in the bay. However, Mr. Boucher had done an amazing cleanup job, and the neighbors were well-pleased with the result.
  Brent Boucher, son of the applicant, addressed the Commission. He explained that his father was a manager of a stock brokerage, and this would be a small satellite office for him to use on weekends and vacations. There would be no customer traffic, though it was noted that there were a couple of parking spaces available and they were anticipating at least one inside the building as well.
  Chair Perry closed the public hearing and opened the Planning Commission meeting to deliberations. Chair Perry noted that the property was contiguous to R-3 zoning by virtue of the highway, so this would not be considered spot zoning. Additionally, when the property had been zoned R-2 the zoning basically removed any permitted uses, as the property had been in commercial use and was not large enough to use for residential purposes without sewer being present. Following discussion, Commissioner Power moved to recommend approval of the rezoning request to the City Council, based on a finding that the zoning previously adopted for the area was in error. Commissioner Smolen seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote. Discussion then ensued regarding the conditional use application. Consensus of the Commission was to refine the language to state that the conditional use permit would be specifically for a personal professional office, and any change to the proposed commercial use would require a new conditional use application. Mr. Lewis also noted that the conditional use permit would be granted only if the Council approved the proposed zone change. Commissioner Power moved to approve the conditional use permit. Commissioner Johnston seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote. Consensus of the Commission was to have the Chair sign the findings upon completion.
  C. Consideration of Findings for Whispering Woods: Mr. Lewis noted that this was actually not a public hearing, as that had been closed at the previous Commission meeting. The deliberations on Case File 1-SUB-PC-08 then continued. Mr. Lewis reviewed the amendments to the findings which had been proposed at the last meeting. Discussion ensued. Commissioner Power moved to approve the findings as amended. Commissioner Holland seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
7. Discussion/Action Items:
  A. Planning Report: Mr. Lewis reviewed the April 15-June 13 Planning Report.
  B. Comprehensive Plan Amendments: Mr. Lewis reported that at the last meeting the Commission had talked about transportation and energy policies. He has started a draft of needed and desired transportation improvements, which should be available by the next meeting.
  C. Other Issues: Staff reminded the Commission that the Land Use training would be held the following day at 1:00 p.m.
8. Adjournment: At 3:50 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 22nd day of July, 2008.
SIGNED by the Chair this 22nd day of July, 2008.
Dave Perry, Chair