Planning Commission - Minutes

Wed., Jul. 12, 2017

Commissioner Saylor called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.  Commissioners Caplinger, Doherty, Flaiz, Fialka, and Erz were present.  Commissioners Hamm, Rebman, and Frederic were excused.


Minutes of the June 14, 2017, regular Planning Commission meeting were approved as written.

Unfinished Business

City Planner Spencer presented a power point presentation to update those in attendance on the status of the proposed zoning amendments to address the residential needs in the Hermiston area.  The three main issues are the high cost of raw land, the cost of installing necessary infrastructure, and the high cost of skilled labor.

The City can address the cost of raw land by amending the zoning ordinances to increase the residential density by increasing lot coverages, reducing setbacks and reducing the minimum lot sizes.  An infill code provision will streamline the variance process for eligible properties.

The City is currently working with property owners of the industrially zoned land on Diagonal Blvd to rezone the property. All of the property owners are in favor of the rezone.  

Frank Gehring 79344 Prindle Loop Road- Mr. Gehring likes the proposed changes.  The lot coverage increasing gives builders the incentive to build different types of houses and allows home buyers more options for adding structures later. He doesn’t like smaller lot sizes, but stated it did get building flowing again in Eugene when they reduced their lot sizes. He said the garage setback should stay back so large pickups do not block sidewalks.  He stated that swales are not popular with close to 33% of his clients in town.

Virginia Miller 120 Willow Drive Stanfield- Ms. Miller thanked the commissioners for finally getting around to the zone change on Diagonal Blvd.   

Jerry Brandt 439 E Bella Vista Drive- Mr. Brandt likes the options for smaller lot sizes.  It gives options and fits the need in the market.  He spoke to the benefit of bio-swales over dry wells.  He stated that swales are more environmentally sound by keeping the road pollution on top of the ground where it can decompose.    Bio-swales are also much less expensive to install.

Mr. Brandt said that the city has been built with a rural residential moat around it.  He feels this really stops any sizable development.  He would like the city to figure out how to get an arterial out to the larger parcels for development.  City Planner Spencer responded that the city is confined by the Urban Growth Boundary.

The commissioners further discussed the proposed changes and concluded that they would like to have the side yard setback remain at 7 feet for the R-1 zone, and reduced to 5 feet in all other residential zones.

Planner Comments and Unscheduled Communications

City Planner Spencer informed the commissioners that at the last city council meeting, the councilors agreed to take over the portion of W Highland Ave.  This means curb and gutter will be part of the mini storage development.

Money has been set aside for Ott Road in the transportation package that the legislature passed.

There will be a planning meeting in August.

Meeting adjourned at 7:50PM.

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