Irrigon Planning Commission
May 7, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Irrigon City Hall
500 NE Main Avenue
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
Commissioner Foster Carroll called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m.
Planning Commission members present were: Foster Carroll, Margaret Anderson, and Bill Earle. Tom Roberts and Harold Poeling were absent.
Staff present: City Manager, Gerald Breazeale and City Clerk Penny Moore.
Audience: Scott Hellinger and Teresa Hellinger.
2. Approve Minutes from the April 15, 2013 Planning Commission Meetings
It was moved by Commissioner Earle and seconded by Commissioner Anderson to accept the minutes from April 15, 2013 Planning Commission meetings. Vote was taken. Motion carried.
Public Hearing – Statement to Applicant and Audience
City Manager, Gerald Breazeale read the Statement to the Applicant and Audience.
Statement to be Read before Public Hearing
1a. the applicable approval criteria in Chapter 10 of the Irrigon City Code and associated standards apply to the application or appeal.
b. Testimony and evidence shall concern the approval criteria described in the staff report, or other criteria in the comprehensive plan or land use regulations that the person testifying believes to apply to the decision.
c. Failure to raise an issue with sufficient detail to give the Planning Commission and the parties an opportunity to respond to the issue, means that no appeal may be made to the state land use board of appeals on that issue.
d. Before the conclusion of the initial evidentiary hearing, any participant may ask the planning commission for an opportunity to present additional relevant evidence or testimony that is within the scope of the hearing. The Planning Commission shall grant the request by scheduling a date to finish the hearing (a continuance) per City Code, or by leaving the record open for additional written evidence or testimony per City Code.
2. Continuance: If the planning commission grants a continuance, the completion of the hearing shall be continued to a date, time, and place at least seven (7) days after the date of the first evidentiary hearing. An opportunity shall be provided at the second hearing for persons to present and respond to new written evidence and oral testimony. If new written evidence is submitted at the second hearing, any person may request, before the conclusion of the second hearing, that the record be left open for at least seven (7) days, so that they can submit additional written evidence or testimony in response to the new written evidence.
3. Additional Evidence or Testimony: If the planning commission leaves the record open for additional written evidence or testimony, the record shall be left open for at least seven (7) days after the hearing. Any participant may ask the city in writing for an opportunity to respond to new evidence submitted during the period that the record was left open. If such a request is filed, the planning commission shall reopen the record.
a. When the planning commission reopens the record to admit new evidence or testimony, any person may raise new issues that relate to that new evidence or testimony.
b. An extension of the hearing or record granted pursuant to this subsection is subject to the limitations of Oregon Revised Statutes 227.178 (“120 day rule”), unless the continuance or extension is requested or agreed to by the applicant.
c. If requested by the applicant, the city shall allow the applicant at least seven (7) days after the record is closed to all other persons to submit final written arguments in support of the application, unless the applicant expressly waives this right. The applicant’s final submittal shall be part of the record but shall not include any new evidence.
d. The record shall contain all testimony and evidence that is submitted to the city and that the hearings body has not rejected.
e. In making its decision, the hearings body may take notice of facts not in the hearing record (e.g., local, state, or federal regulations; previous city decisions; case law; staff reports). The review authority must announce its intention to take notice of such facts in its deliberations, and allow persons who previously participated in the hearing to request the hearing record be reopened, if necessary, to present evidence concerning the noticed facts.
f. The review authority shall retain custody of the record until the city issues a final decision.
Commissioner Carroll asked the Commissioners if there was need to declare any ex parte contacts concerning the application. The Commissioners stated no.
3. Open Public Hearing – Variance Request from Setback Requirement 375 SE Division Street
Commissioner Carroll opened the public hearing at 6:08 p.m. for comment and asked the public to state their first and last name.
When testifying Scott Hellinger stated that they were asking for a variance at 375 SE Division Street to build a storage shed and before starting they had come into the office and talked to Ms. Moore and there was some confusion in the discussion that she didn’t realize the size of what they were talking about at the time. At one point they were to check with the county because there were no requirements in the city for a shed. Mr. Hellinger stated that he talked to the people at the county office and they said they were in the city and the county didn’t have anything to do with them. He continued to say that they went ahead and started building the shed and one night the code enforcement showed up and a neighbor had complained that they were close to the property line and to check with the city. They did check with the city and found out that they couldn’t build on the property line. At this point Mr. Hellinger stated that at this point they had invested close to $1000 into the shed. The way the property is laid out makes it very inconvenient because they need to have access from the front of the driveway the front of the shed because it is going to hold ATV’s and heavy equipment and to get it on the trailer and out of there. It is a narrow lot and there is no way to go around to the back of the lot to pull the equipment out.
Commissioner Carroll asked if the Hellinger’s had a gate. Teresa Hellinger stated yes, a small one to the back yard, not large enough to take ATV’s through. Commissioner Earle asked about distance between the other shed and the corner of the house, it is wide enough. Commissioner Earle stated that if their request is turned down for the variance and the shed had to be moved would there be enough room to drive between the house and the other shed to get to the back yard. Mr. Hellinger stated that it’s possible but the dog pen in there. He said there are trying to keep the neighbors from complaining about the dogs barking and where the dog pen is, it is quieter. The only open part is to the house and they would have to move that to get in and out of there.
Commissioner Earle asked if the Hellinger’s had checked with the county records before building. Mr. Hellinger stated yes they had checked and the county said we are in the city, check with them. Commissioner Earle asked if they had their deed, and are there recorded easements along there. Mr. Hellinger stated that he believes there are utility easements on the other side of the property. Mrs. Hellinger stated that she has heard nothing in the eight years she has lived there. Commissioner Earle stated that the city has to abide by county regulations, as far as building permits and what have you, his understanding is that if you are building anything greater than 120 square feet (City Manager Breazeale stated it has changed to 200 square feet) a building permit is required. However, under 200 sq. ft. they might not need a permit.
Commissioner Anderson stated that the issue is that the Hellinger’s need to have a 10 ft. setback away from the property line, otherwise the other property owner would have to have a 20 ft. The fire code states that the buildings need to be 20 ft. apart. Mrs. Hellinger stated that there is nobody on the other property, no building. Commissioner Anderson stated that the owners might sell or divide the property and someone might build on that property someday and they would need to start their building 20 ft. away from the property line. If the city was to grant the Hellinger’s to build on the property line it would be as issue for the adjacent property owners. Mrs. Hellinger stated that she doesn’t believe that would be an issue since they own a double lot. However, it was stated that one lot would be unusable.
Commissioner Carroll stated that storing ATV’s in this building are petroleum powered vehicles; the lot next to the Hellinger’s is dead grass, a potential fire danger, only 8 ft. from their house. Mr. Hellinger stated they only have one ATV and it coincides with the fire regulation for the state, it shouldn’t be a problem, he is not driving it next door. Commissioner Foster asked what the building will be made of. Mr. Hellinger stated wood. Commissioner Foster asked if the wood will be fire proof. Mr. Hellinger stated no, what difference does it make, what is the difference between having a gas can in the building; a lot of people around here have gas can it their buildings. Commissioner Foster asked if they were 8 ft. from the house. Mr. Hellinger stated yes, and quite a few, and not 20 ft. between houses on Division. And he continued to say that apparently they have had variances granted. Commissioner Earle asked it the adjacent property owners were notified. Commissioner Anderson stated that yes they were.
Commissioner Carroll stated that if the 8X10 shred was moved back toward the rear fence, and build the new shed closer to the side the fence. Mr. Hellinger stated that they have invested all this money after being giving the wrong information. Mrs. Hellinger states that they have already pour concrete. Mr. Hellinger states, because they were gave the wrong information to begin with and now we are out all this and then inconvenience again to tear everything down in their back yard. Commissioner Carroll asked if when they spoke to Ms. Moore were they clear with what you intended to do. Mr. Hellinger stated that at that time it was even a bigger shed, 20X16 and he down sized because of the cost. Commissioner Carroll asked if he had talked to Mr. Breazeale. Mr. Hellinger stated no. Commissioner Carroll stated in this instant prior to their construction project then they didn’t have all of their information they should have been able to acquire. Mr. Hellinger stated that they did not know that they should have talked to Mr. Breazeale; they were not given that information. Commissioner Carroll stated that it’s being used now for a depository, old BBQ and perhaps some boxes. Mr. & Mrs. Hellinger stated no, right now it has a BBQ and a make shift table that they put together, which was used while cutting the lumber and the ATV. Commissioner Carroll asked what kind of finish was the shed to have. Mr. Hellinger stated it was going to have the same siding as the house.
Commissioner Earle stated his heart tells him to give the variance but his head says wait a minute, he hopes this doesn’t cause any problems in the future. Commissioner Anderson states that it is going to cause problems in the future, because the future owner or the owner of the adjacent property, especially if they decide to spit the property, one of the lots will be completely unusable, if buying dual lots, you would expect to be able to build on it or spit it. Commissioner Anderson continued to say that 20 ft. would need to be taken off the lot before building anything. Mrs. Hellinger asked why they wouldn’t; they had 20 ft. before building their shed. Commissioner Anderson stated that the shed is on the property line, it should be 10 ft. from the property line. Mrs. Hellinger asked why wouldn’t they that lot is the same size as theirs and they had 20 ft. away, the same as they were. Commissioner Anderson stated, because it would have to be 20 ft. away as well. Commissioner Earle stated that the lot size is 57.67 ft. wide and 130 ft. deep and that’s not much width, 20 ft. out of there doesn’t leave much. Commissioner Anderson stated that with10 ft. off the other side only leaves 27 ft. wide for a house, which is not much room. Manager Breazeale stated that the lots do meet minimum size of 50 ft.
Commissioner Anderson stated that she can’t see putting limitations on the future property owner(s) and that’s what they would be doing; they would have to go back 20 ft. (the neighboring property owners would need to go back 20 ft. before building). Mr. Hellinger stated that there are houses build here that aren’t 20 ft. from each other. Commissioner Anderson stated that was before the code was put in. Mr. Hellinger stated that a year ago a gentleman on Idaho was given a variance. Commissioner Anderson stated that she did not know anything about that.
Commissioner Carroll stated that if the Hellinger’s were to go behind the fence and convert the fence to a gate and move the 8X10 a trailer could get back to the shed. Mr. Hellinger stated that he would have to tear the dog pen down and move everything back. Commissioner Carroll stated that according to the Hellinger’s site plan the dog pen is completely on the other side of that area. Mr. Hellinger asked how would they not be10 ft. from any property line, if they moved it back 10 ft. they would be over the top corner of the house and 10 ft. from the other structures.
Commissioner Anderson stated that if they moved the shed over and against the fence. Commissioner Carroll asked if that was an alley back there. Mrs. Hellinger stated yes. Commissioner Carroll stated that the setback on their alley is only 2 ft., stated in the code book. Mrs. Hellinger stated that technically it’s not an alley, its private property. Mr. Hellinger stated that it would be hard to pull in and out of there with a trailer. He continued by asking how the city granted a variance for a gentleman right on the property line that’s not even back 30 ft. from the road. The commissioner’s stated that they had not granted a variance for anyone like that. Mr. Hellinger stated that it was Philip Rand less than a year ago. Mrs. Hellinger showed a picture from her phone. It was stated that the city is not aware of a variance for that. Commissioner Carroll stated that had not come before this body in the last year. Commissioner Earle asked how much it cost to pour the concrete. It was stated $200. The Hellinger’s were asked if they had any further comments. There were not.
Public Hearing Closed at 6:35 p.m.
4. Planning Commission Decision – Variance Request – Relief from Setback Requirement
Commissioner Carroll asked for a consensus of the commissioner present. Commissioner Anderson stated that she stands on what she said early, she understands that they didn’t know what the codes were or may have been misinterpreted on the explanation of what they wanted to do. She stated that she can’t put that kind of requirement on the neighboring property. Commissioner Earle stated that he feels the same way as Commissioner Anderson, however, he just can’t grant the variance, especially with it being a double lot. And Commissioner Carroll stated that if they were able to purchase the property next door, the issue would be moot point.
It was moved by Commissioner Anderson and seconded by Commissioner Earle to deny the variance on the grounds that the adjacent neighboring property owner was have to double their setback to allow for the fire code (fire protection). Vote was taken. Motion carried.
Mr. Hellinger asked if the city would be willing to help reimburse them. City Manager stated that would be a request to take to city council.
5 Ordinance Development for RV Parks
City Manager Breazeale stated that this potential ordinance is to be developed in response to the issues with the RV park that is going in. A number of subjects were brought up and it was suggested to look at doing an ordinance to regulate the parks in zone 1 & zone 2. The mayor came up with a rough draft in code language for suggestions. One issue is a lot of large construction projects scheduled in the future that are starting presently. With economic development the concern is if the limit of stay is too short the workers will not be able to complete the project with no place to stay. The Commission needs to establish some specific limitations; these would apply to existing RV parks in the city. The city attorney has said that if the existing RV parks did not comply with the new ordinance they would be in violation of the code.
City Manager Breazeale stated that the Commission could start working on the issues that they would like to see changed. Workshop(s) would be needed in the future to exchange ideas. It was suggested to look at other RV parks that they like and bring some of those concepts to the table.
6. Building Permits – First Quarter Review
A list of building permits for the City of Irrigon was provided for informational purposes only.
7. Additional Discussion
Commissioner Carroll read a note from Mayor Burns announcing Jerry Breazeale’s retirement potluck dinner set for 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Stokes Landing Bed & Breakfast (located next to the Irrigon Marina), everyone is asked to bring a potluck dish (RSVP your dish of choice to City Clerk Penny Moore or Mayor Burns). Entertainment will be provided.
It was moved by Commissioner Anderson and seconded by Commissioner Earle to adjourn the meeting. Vote was taken, the motion carried.
The meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.