OCTOBER 22, 2012
1. Call to Order and Roll Call: Vice-Chair Maré called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. Commissioners Woodruff, Andrew, Hafner, Maré and Perry answered the roll. A quorum was present.
2. Citizen Comments and Concerns: None.
3. Commission Comments and Concerns: Commissioner Hafner noted that the issue brought up at the Council meeting regarding the number of Commissioners was not on the agenda. City Manager Leonard responded that this would be included in her discussion with the Commission. Commissioner Maré noted that the Woodland Trail continues to reach further south, with the completion of the area near the PUD station on the corner of Range Drive and Crestline Drive. He informed the Commission of his suggestion to the Council regarding getting the high school students involved in a signage project for the trail, and reported that his discussion with the high school staff had been well-received.
4. Minutes: The Commission considered the minutes from the September 24, 2012 meeting. Commissioner Woodruff noted that under Item 7A, his intention was to state that the Planning Commission was a citizen committee. As citizens they could report enforcement issues in building and land use. Commissioner Woodruff moved to approve the minutes as amended. Commissioner Perry seconded, and the motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.
5. Discussion/Action Items:
A. Discussion with the City Manager: City Manager Leonard addressed the Commission, reviewing her background in land use as a property appraiser and later Chief Appraiser for the County, then as County Commissioner and finally as City Manager. During those years she also served on many boards which dealt with land use in some form or another, including an appointment to the LCDC Board at the request of then Governor Kitzhaber. She talked about the history of land use planning in Oregon and the important role it plays in maintaining structured growth for a community. Commissioner Maré noted that the Commission would like to understand its realm of responsibility, and a clarification of the decision-making process, as well as ways to improve the flow of information so that all involved parties are kept apprised. City Manager Leonard distributed a flow chart to the Commission, designed with a focus on the planning process, to assist in clarification. She explained that on land use applications, such as conditional use permits, variances, and subdivisions, the Planning Commission is the decision-making body. Those decisions, if not appealed to the Council, are final. On issues such as revisions to the Comprehensive Plan or the Development Code, the Commission is a recommending body, with the final decision being the purview of the Council. Discussion regarding the process ensued. It was suggested that the City Planner include Council actions on issues forwarded to them by the Commission as part of his regular monthly report. Ms. Leonard noted that, on issues within the purview of the Commission, they could request letters to be drafted to the Council to explain their decisions or give insight into the process by which they reached their recommendations. Additionally, as citizens they can also ask the Council to consider tabling issues to be sent back to the Commission for further review.
The Commission talked about the Habitat for Humanity property. City Planner Lewis noted that the original building permit had been applied for and approved. Subsequently, the applicant had come back for a conditional use permit. The structure was started based on the approval of the conditional use permit, and the contractor stated at the hearing that he was aware that if the conditional use was not approved, he would have to move the building. The Commission also discussed several other previous applications, including the application for a planned development on Yaquina John Point which had been denied. It was noted that the Planning Commission has the ability to review conditional use permits and revoke them if the conditions are not being met.
The Commission took up the issue of the proposed reduction in the number of Commission members. Following discussion, consensus of the Commission was that they felt more comfortable having a seven-member body, with a minimum of four required for a quorum. They also discussed the public hearing process, and the required declarations for bias, conflicts of interest and ex parte contact. Ms. Leonard explained that direct financial gain was the requirement for recusing oneself from the hearing process.
B. Yaquina John Point Land Use & Transportation Plan: Consensus of the Commission was to set this issue over to the next meeting for review and discussion.
C. Planning Report: Mr. Lewis reviewed his written report.
D. Other Issues: Discussion ensued regarding the meeting dates for November and December. It was decided that the Commission would meet on November 19th for their regular meeting, and will set a meeting in December only if it is needed.
8. ADJOURNMENT: At 3:40 p.m., there being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned.
Reda Q. Eckerman, City Recorder
APPROVED by the Planning Commission this 19th day of November, 2012.
SIGNED by the Chair this 19th day of November, 2012.
John Maré, Commission Vice-Chair