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Commission OKs rezoning for more multi-family units

The Medford planning commission on Monday night approved rezoning a parcel of land near Taylor St. owned by Corlas and Ardis Meier to allow for the construction of three duplexes.

The property was previously zoned R2 which allowed for one and two family homes. However, plans to build multiple duplexes on the parcel required it to be zoned R3, multifamily residential use.

During the public hearing on the request held at the start of the commission meeting, a resident questioned the road access. Currently all the road traffic will be coming off of Taylor Street.

The resident also asked about the intent of developing the property for housing and if it was going to be for active seniors or if it would turn into low income housing.

Ardis Meier noted that she has lived See COMMISSION on page 11 next door to a 5-plex apartment for many years and found them to be excellent neighbors. She explained that their goal was looking at appealing to active seniors or young people starting out. She explained that the units will only have two bedrooms each to give context to what they are attempting to develop there.

Residents also questioned how the change in zoning could impact the assessment or value of homes of nearby property owners.

City planner Bob Christensen said that the value of a property will be determined be the assessor, however he was doubtful it would change as a result of the zoning change. “Do I think it will have an impact, probably not,” Christensen said.

Residents also expressed concern about the wooded lot and if all the trees will be removed. “They are interested in making the trees part of the lots,” Ardis Meier said.

It was noted by city coordinator Joe Harris that the Meiers could currently put two duplexes on the property without the zoning change, it was the plan to put a third that required the change to R3. He also explained that the concept is to go with a courtyard type approach and not remove more trees than necessary.

A question was raised about stormwater runoff from the buildings and how that would be handled and if it would flow to the north or south.

Christensen said that at this point the plans are conceptual and that no formal stormwater map had been submitted. He said he would see the water going north toward Taylor Street. “It would be up to the builder to come up with a stormwater plan,” Christensen said.

During the planning commission meeting, commission member Dave Zimmerman asked if the property was considered a planned unit subdivision and if each structure would have to meet the same setbacks as if they were on separate parcels.

Christensen said it is too small of a development for a planned unit and said each structure would have to abide by the zoning setback rules.

It was also questioned if the duplexes could be sold off separately in the future. Christensen said that the two lots are being combined into one parcel and that it would take changing the zoning classifications to being condominiums to allow them to be sold separately.

Commission members unanimously approved the zoning change. It will now go to the full city council for final approval. Under state law it would take a two-thirds majority of the city council to go against the commission recommendation for the recommended zoning change to not be adopted.

Commission members also approved, on a unanimous vote, a zoning change from C-1 commercial to R-1 residential for a residential lot that will be facing Emmerich Dr. The lot would combine an existing parcel with the northern portion of the lot that In Stitches and Ink is located on to create one lot that would be used to put a single family home facing Emmerich Dr.

Following the vote on accepting the zoning change, there was discussion on how the planned home would be placed on the lot.

Christensen said because the platted roadway has a larger angle to it, it would potentially impact the setback for where Olson wants to built the home making it less than what the codes required. However, the road as built does not have as great an angle which would make the setback difference negligible to someone seeing it.

Christensen said that the discussion on it at this time was to see if there was strong opposition to the plan, and without opposition Olson will bring back a formal site plan for how he wants the home to be placed.


Commission members also addressed two annexation requests, both of which cleaned up mistakes or oversights done in the past.

The first was from Andrea and Dale Neubauer who have Neubauer Plumbing office at 1190 S. 8th St. They have purchased the parcel and it was discovered that there was a 1,588 square foot narrow triangle of town parcel running under their existing building. The Neubauer’s purchased the wedge of property from Cassandra and Russ Jablonsky and asked for it to be annexed into the city. Commission members agreed to it and it goes to the city council for final approval later this month.

The other annexation request was for a portion of dedicated road right of way for a planned town of Medford road south of E. Conrad Dr. that was never built. The road was vacated by the town in 2005. While other portions of the mapped road had been annexed as part of adjoining parcels, the property owned by Dustin and Melanie Heier had been missed and it was only during a revaluation of the town of Medford that the parcel was discovered as a town island. The annexation cleans up the boundary to eliminate the town island. It was approved unanimously and will go to the city council for final action.