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LONGVIEW PLANNING COMMISSION - DOC

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					LONGVIEW PLANNING COMMISSION February 2, 2005
Chairman Jim Barnett called the regular meeting of the Longview Planning Commission to order at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 1525 Broadway, Longview, Washington. 1. ROLL CALL Present: Jim Barnett Craig Collins Jim Fisher Barry Morrill DeAnne Nelson Patricia Price Dave Spencer, City Attorney John Brickey, Assistant Director/Building Official Jeff Cameron, Public Works Director Chris Whiteside, Administrative Secretary Lyle Smith Dave Spencer Roy Hewson

Staff Present:

Not Present:

2.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Hearing no corrections or changes to the regular minutes of January 5, 2005, the minutes were approved as published. 3. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION OR CORRESPONDENCE 3.1 Oral Communications. Persons in the audience may discuss business not scheduled on this agenda on any item of interest within the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission. The Commission will listen to all communication, but in compliance with the Washington Open Public Meetings Act, will not take any action on items that are not listed on the agenda. There were no oral communications brought before the Planning Commission.

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Comprehensive Plan Update Meetings Mr. Brickey reported that there were upcoming public meetings regarding the Comprehensive Plan Update process and extended an invitation to the audience to attend and participate. He gave a list of four public meetings and gave the dates and places. Mr. Brickey advised that this process will take approximately 18+ months and that it was very important to get citizen input. 3.2 Written Communications. Correspondence for the Planning Commission received after preparation of this agenda. Mr. Brickey noted that several letters were received after the preparation of the agenda relating to one of the cases and would read them into the record when considered on the agenda. 4. DECLARATION OF EX PARTE COMMUNICATION AND APPEARNESS OF FAIRNESS DOCTRINE was read into the record by Mr. Brickey. PUBLIC HEARINGS PC 2004-19 Petition by Alan Engstrom to amend text of LMC 19.78.080(3) relating to required parking for commercial and professional offices. Commissioner Collins declared a conflict of interest in Case No. PC 2004-19 and recused himself from hearing this agenda item. Mr. Brickey presented the staff report to the Planning Commission, finding that: The parking provisions of LMC 19.78.080(1) & (2) for large retail buildings, commercial buildings and professional offices require more parking than is necessary in many circumstances. Minimum parking requirements are desirable to assure adequate parking to accommodate the anticipated needs generated by the range of uses which might locate at any one site over time. Maximum parking requirements are desirable to limit the amount of impervious paved surface in our community in light of or community’s storm water collection/treatment issues. The proposed amendments to LMC Chapter 19.78 support several economic and environmental goals of the Longview Comprehensive Plan. Additional landscaping requirements will aid in reducing the unappealing visual impact of large paved parking areas. Staff recommends that the Planning Commission forward a recommendation of approval to amend the Longview Municipal Code Sections 19.78.030, 19.78.080, 19.78.120 and 19.78.140.

5.

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Audience Participation Alan Engstrom, PO Box 2, 111 North Pacific, Suite B, Kelso, identified himself as the attorney representing the applicant, Cheslock Professional Building LLC. Mr. Engstrom disclosed that when they originally filed this application, they were trying to reinstate the language that existed in the Longview Municipal Code from 1978 to 1996, which was inadvertently dropped when other sections of the code were amended. The revised language allows for 30% less parking spaces than previously required. It also clarifies the minimum and maximum standard of parking spaces allowed, which can be designed according to the use of the building. Mr. Engstrom pointed out that the provision covering commercial facilities over 10,000 square feet was not part his client’s petition. City staff wanted to make this part of the application since an amendment was already being sought. Mr. Cheslock does not have a position either for or against the provision. Mr. Morrill inquired as to the location of Mr. Cheslock’s project and was told that it is 950 11th Avenue in the area of the former Fir Street Medical Complex. Linda Praast, Executive Director of the Lower Columbia Contractors Association, 820 Ocean Beach Highway, Longview, stated that she was contacted by City staff recently to comment on this proposal. The LCCA Government Affairs Committee brought this before the membership and as a result, determined that Lower Columbia Contractors Association has no objections to the proposed text amendment. Ms. Praast wanted to take the opportunity to thank City staff, specifically John Brickey, for his continued communication with their organization on these issues. Board Discussion and Action To respond to a question posed by Commissioner Morrill, Mr. Brickey explained the formula used to calculate the number of required parking spaces under the current ordinance. Mr. Morrill wondered why the change was made in 1996 to allow less parking than what was required. Mr. Brickey explained that while less parking will be required with the proposed text amendment, a business has the option of getting more parking spaces, depending on their need. Mr. Brickey disclosed that he was not involved in the 1996 text amendment, and could not explain why it is worded the way it is. Mr. Morrill wanted to know how this would affect an existing business which currently has more parking than what would be required under the proposed amendment. Mr. Brickey explained that there is no retroactive effect for existing parking, and they would be allowed to maintain whatever parking they currently have. However, if they chose to remodel or add on to their business in the future, it would lessen their parking requirements.

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Mr. Barnett inquired whether more landscaping would be required if a business remodeled or built an addition. Mr. Brickey replied that the scope of work would dictate what the landscaping requirements would be. Referring to the staff report, Mr. Barnett noted that there were four Appeal Board of Adjustment cases mentioned that requested and were granted relief from the parking requirements. His research revealed that those cases were Sinnett’s Market Place on Commerce Avenue, the 15th Avenue Safeway, Fred Meyer and the new Triangle Center redevelopment project. Mr. Barnett was unclear about some of the landscaping restrictions. Mr. Brickey told him that the City does not currently have a list of landscape that is acceptable. While this might be an advantage in the future, for the scope of this particular change, staff did not feel that it was appropriate to include that level of detail at this time. Mr. Brickey felt that it certainly could be looked at during the Comprehensive Plan Update process. Mrs. Price made a motion to send a recommendation of approval to City Council for Case No. PC 2004-19, a petition by Alan Engstrom to amend the Longview Municipal Code Sections 19.78.030, 19.78.080, 19.78.120 and 19.78.140 based upon staff’s recommendation. The motion was seconded by Mr. Morrill and carried unanimously. 5.2 Case No. PC 2004-13.1 Petition by Ed DeVries, representing Larry Wood, to amend the City of Longview Comprehensive Land Use Map for two parcels totaling 26.58 acres within the 5400 block of Ocean Beach Highway, within Longview planning area, but outside the city limits. Mr. Brickey presented the staff report to the Planning Commission. Correspondence regarding this proposal was received and made part of the agenda packet. However, additional letters were received after the publication of the staff report and were read into the record by Mr. Brickey. One letter was from the proponent, Larry Wood dated January 31, 2005, agreeing to the requirement of expanding the scope of the Transportation Impact Analysis to include the Ocean Beach Highway corridor east to 30th Avenue at the time a specific development project is identified. Another letter was received from Mike Wojtowicz of the Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning dated January 28, 2005 with comments on SEPA and Critical areas. Mr. Wojtowicz finds that the site is within a seismic hazard area and within an aquifer recharge area. The property has hydric soils which may indicate wetlands adjacent to the drainage ditch on and bordering the property.

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Addressing the Comprehensive Plan, Mr. Wojtowicz felt that it is premature to reclassify the area when the full impacts and studies inherent to reclassification to commercial have not been evaluated and determined appropriate…He further notes that a premature decision may compromise the City’s ability to provide services, analyze traffic needs and controls, or provide other adequate infrastructure. Three letters in opposition to the proposal were received from the following: 1) Veldon & Sandra Price, 2237 52nd Avenue; 2) Richard & Debra Shuren, 2261 52nd Avenue; and 3) Greg Curniski, 2282 52nd Avenue. Six letters in favor of the proposal were received from the following: 1) Sheila Myers 224 Robertson Road, Longview; 2)Lonnie Mustion of Fender Mender, 1320 12th Avenue, Longview; 3) Nancy Austin Randall 5565 Solo Pointe Drive, Longview; 4) President of Ostrander Rock & Construction Co. Inc. 6150 Ocean Beach Highway, Longview; 5) Mike & Cindy Smith 2139 Grove Street, Longview; and 6) Carolyn Guy, Manager of Heron Pointe 234 Concord Place, Longview. Since the SEPA process will not be complete by the February 2, 2005 Planning Commission hearing date, staff recommends that the hearing be continued to the Planning Commission’s March 2, 2005 regular meeting. Prior to opening the public hearing to receive public testimony, Chairman Barnett called a five minute intermission. Chairman Barnett first explained some ground rules before receiving public comments. He stated that the proponent, Larry Wood, would open first with a slide presentation. After which, the public is invited to address the Planning Commission with a three minute time limit. He asked the public to refrain from unnecessary clapping, cheering, or booing. Larry Wood, 2340 Cascade Way, Longview, gave an overview of his presentation, which includes a brief introduction, a slide presentation, and hopefully, an opportunity for rebuttal after all public comments are received. Mr. Wood admitted that he was not native to Longview, having lived in Vancouver, Seattle, and Spokane. He also travels extensively. He felt that this has given him a good perspective of the needs of this community, which he now calls home. Utilizing a slide projector, Mr. Wood presented several photos of developments in the PortlandVancouver area. These slides depicted the blend of residential and commercial properties. There were varying styles of buffers used to separate the two uses. Mr. Wood showed examples of what he envisions for his property using good architecture and landscaping. He noted that houses and businesses are integrated in certain areas, and it is viewed as a convenience to the people who live there.

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Mr. Wood disclosed that Starbucks is the only retailer to commit to his project. He admitted that he cannot pursue a key tenant until proper zoning is acquired. It is Mr. Wood’s intention to erect a significant buffer and provide extensive landscaping between his commercial property and the adjoining residential area. If the Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezone request is granted, he plans to draw up a concomitant agreement that would make these provisions mandatory to any future developer, should he not be able to fulfill his vision of developing the property. Referring to the property in question, Mr. Wood predicted that development will occur there, now or in the future. The Rizad Foundation wants to sell the property for the highest possible price in the interest of their non-profit organization. Mr. Wood believes that commercial development is the highest and best use of the land. Several pictures were shown of examples of what Mr. Wood did not want to see on the property. He remarked that when development is limited to small parcels, there is no continuity or congruity. It is a traffic nightmare with numerous signs and driveways, one right next to the other. It is not what he envisions for the property. Mr. Wood concluded his slide presentation by saying that if a person had an opportunity to develop a large parcel of property and utilized good architecture and planning design, it could become a great asset to the community. There are many challenges to what he is proposing to do, according to Mr. Wood, one of which is opposition from the neighboring property. He would prefer to deal with a Homeowner’s Association, but there is no association in the neighborhood. Mr. Wood disclosed that when the Baker’s Landing development was being constructed, Qwest purchased an easement from the Rizad Foundation to lay their phone lines in. Since Mr. Wood cannot build on this easement, he would consider granting the adjoining property on 52nd Avenue a five or six foot extension of their property into that easement. Additionally, he would provide an extensive landscape buffering on their side of the fence, giving them a choice of the type of trees to plant. With regard to neighborhood concerns about traffic, Mr. Wood stated that if commercial property was developed next to the residential area, he understood that the entrance to 52nd Avenue would be closed to commercial traffic. Public Works Director Jeff Cameron affirmed that the City would not want commercial traffic going through a residential neighborhood. Mr. Wood expressed that within two miles of his proposed project, there is absolutely no problems with traffic. He stated that the City has had questions about the potential future impacts of any project in West Longview to the 30th Avenue and Ocean Beach Highway intersection. He does not believe that there are any. The light at the intersection of Mt. Solo and Ocean Beach Highway would go from a three-way to four-way light.

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Another fear that has been expressed is that small businesses will suffer. Mr. Wood indicated that one thing he learned from the Lowe’s process is that retail synergy is important. He polled some of the property owners of the area to determine how people felt about his proposal. Businessman Terry Wallace of Bakers Corner Store was not so much against other competition, but he is very concerned about the traffic. The owner of Papa Pete’s Pizza Parlor feels that a development might be advantageous to his business. One of the reasons that Mr. Wood feels this would be a positive project is because of the neighbors. As mentioned in a letter read earlier, Heron Pointe Mobile Home Park, with nearly 500 residents, is in support of development. Snooks Mobile Home Park, approximately 150 residents, is very much in favor. The residents of Solo Pointe, a 17-unit condominium, believe it is a good idea. Sunset Village Apartments, next to Roy Morse Park, with approximately 80 residents, feel it would be very advantageous for their residents who do not have cars and have to walk. Mr. Wood mentioned that his development, Willow Pointe Subdivision, a 58-unit project under construction across from Mt. Solo Middle School, will benefit because of the convenience. Mr. Wood found that people understand that there are pros and cons; while it will bring growth and convenience, it will also bring traffic. Mr. Wood remarked that the Department of Transportation wants cities to reduce intersections along thoroughfares. This development will have 1,354 feet of frontage on Ocean Beach Highway, having to create only two additional driveways. He also pointed out that there is a nursery and a mini storage in the general area that does not generate much traffic. According to Mr. Wood, there are two intersections in Longview, 38th Avenue and Mt. Solo Road that has direct access to Industrial Way. Easy access to Industrial Way would keep the truck traffic off Ocean Beach Highway. Noting that the new Applebee’s Restaurant brought in 115 jobs, Mr. Wood believes there is potential for 300-500 jobs, depending on the businesses that locate there. The tax base is also a benefit to the City. Mr. Wood believes that if this site is developed as residential, it will be a drain on City services. If it is developed as commercial, there will be significant gains. Mr. Wood stated that we should learn lessons from development in the Vancouver area. If his proposal is continued to the March meeting, Mr. Wood saw this as an opportunity for the Commissioners to tour some of the areas he mentioned such as Highway 99, where businesses are built on small commercial lots; it is hard to develop it in a very successful way. Then look at 164th Street that boasts five or six examples of what he would like to see built here. Mr. Wood feels it would be a great addition and would promote quality of life in Longview. Mrs. Price commented that Mr. Wood’s vision reminds her of development in the Beaverton area where upscale homes are being built next to commercial businesses. She stated that today’s construction is creating a better marriage between residential and commercial uses than in the past.

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With regard to the concomitant agreement, Chairman Barnett asked staff if it this is something that could be executed early on in the development stages. Without the benefit of legal counsel, Mr. Brickey expressed that as he understood it, this type of agreement could not be entered into at the Comprehensive Plan Amendment stage, but only during the rezoning stage in a quasijudicial action as opposed to a legislative action. He noted that this could be a condition of the building permit during the construction stage. Mr. Wood wanted to clarify that a buffer should only be made a condition if the property were developed commercially. If it were for a residential development, it would be an unfair burden to the developer to have to build a $400,000 buffer wall for a housing development. If his proposal is approved, Mr. Wood hoped to secure a key tenant within less than a year, but he did not want the burden of having to construct a buffer wall before this happened. Once construction started, he would agree that the buffer would need to be constructed prior to granting final occupancy. Mr. Barnett had concerns about added traffic from Mr. Wood’s potential development and how it would affect the residents of 52nd Avenue. He wondered if it would have enough of an impact to require traffic revisions. He asked if staff could provide the distance from the Mt. Solo Road intersection to 52nd Avenue on Ocean Beach Highway. Mr. Brickey told Mr. Barnett that all the considerations he mentioned were project specific. If the Planning Commission chooses to continue this case, Mr. Brickey can provide the information requested. However, any other mitigation measures would be premature to address at this time without a specific project. At this point, Mr. Barnett invited the rest of the audience to comment. He reminded everyone of the three minute time limit for receiving testimony. Mike Nichols, 133 Nimmo Road, Kalama, identified himself as the Chairman of the Board of the Rizad Foundation. He explained that the Rizad Foundation is a philanthropic organization that was established to help emergency services volunteers in Cowlitz County. The property that is being discussed has been an asset of the Foundation since its inception. Referring to a concern about a possible green belt open space provision on the property title, Mr. Nichols disclosed that they had no knowledge of such a provision. Through their attorney, a diligent search of the title was conducted and as a result, found that here is no such restriction to this title. Mr. Nichols gave a brief background on the Rizad Foundation. He stated that the Foundation is to support the local 700 plus emergency workers in Cowlitz County. This includes Search and Rescue, Police Reserve, volunteer firemen, etc. They have no other agenda. The Foundation would like to maximize their ability to support the emergency volunteers; therefore, they urge the Planning Commission to give favorable consideration to Mr. Wood’s proposal.

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Linda Praast, Executive Director of the Lower Columbia Contractors Association, 820 Ocean Beach Highway, Longview, remarked that Larry Wood is a member of their Association, serving as the Chairman of the Governor’s Affairs Committee. She wanted to make the Commission aware of that, in the interest of full disclosure. Ms. Praast noted that the Association plans to participate in the Comprehensive Plan Update process. They are in support of responsible growth, which is needed in the City of Longview. They also feel that the Comp Plan should be amended to respond to the needs of the City. Ms. Praast pointed out that Lowe’s and the redevelopment in the Triangle Center have created a momentum which should help our area out of its recession. We need to continue this momentum. Longview needs the growth and the jobs. She called attention to the Mint Farm being 50% empty; she also mentioned that there were over 1,500 applicants for 115 positions at the Applebees Restaurant. In the absence and decline of industrial businesses and jobs, it seems clear that retail is what the citizens of Longview need to focus on. Noting that she has come to know Mr. Wood personally through his membership with the Association, Ms. Praast is confident that he will proceed cautiously and responsibly, keeping the best interest of the local neighborhood community in mind. She is impressed with the way he has been communicating with the residents of the area, assuring them that his development will benefit them as well. Ms. Praast attested that Mr. Wood will do good quality work. Todd Cooley, 111 Sweet Birch, Longview, operates the Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center in Kelso. Mr. Cooley expressed that what Mr. Wood is proposing to develop would provide the citizens of Longview a wider diversity of products. He pointed out that the Red Lion sponsors softball teams that play at the Roy Morse Park. A development at the site in West Longview would be most convenient to the teams and their families. Mr. Cooley expressed that occupancy at the Red Lion Inn and other local hospitality industries as a whole has been declining for the past ten years. Mr. Wood’s development would create a sound tax base for the City. Additionally, the actual development itself would create jobs from the very beginning with construction of the buildings and subsequently, its on-going operation. Mr. Cooley can vouch that Mr. Wood is an honest and reputable individual and supports his proposal. He looks forward to this project moving forward not only for the Red Lion, but for the entire community. Jerry Baker, 11318 NE 192nd Avenue, Brush Prairie, WA, identified himself as the developer of the Bakers Landing subdivision. Mr. Baker described a scenario that he suspects occurred which created the myth about not being able to build on the open property adjoining the subdivision. He stated that he contacted the Foundation and learned that the property was part of an estate that Mrs. Rizor had donated to the community, and that some day she had hoped that there would be something there for community services. Mr. Baker stated that once the subdivision was finalled, he sold the property to different local builders, who in turn sold it to individual home owners. He believes that once the property was exchanging hands and realtors got involved, the myth grew. Mr. Baker disclosed that he was certain some day that parcel would be developed because it was prime property.

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According to Mr. Baker, Phase 3 of Bakers Landing Plat was recently recorded. To address an earlier remark that Mr. Wood made, Mr. Baker stated that a Homeowners Association is in the process of being formalized. Mr. Baker still owns property on 52nd Avenue, and has a concern that there is not just an abrupt wall to buffer the residents from lights and noise. He felt that the issue of transitional zoning was very important. The biggest concern Mr. Baker had was the physical effects that this development would have on the subdivision. He had hoped that the engineering design of the development would route any stormwater or drainage directly to Ocean Beach Highway and not through the subdivision. He did not want 52nd Avenue to become a feeder for the development, and recommended closing off access completely. With regard to Mr. Wood’s proposed development, Mr. Baker expressed that he takes a neutral stand; it just needs to work through the process. He mentioned that a better example of development can be found at 134th and I-5 in Vancouver. He stated that the Homeowner’s Association across the street from the new Fred Meyers contested its development. However, once it was built out, it seems that everyone is happy with it. The property values of those homes are actually higher because it is close to amenities. Mr. Barnett interjected at this point to comment about the 99-year moratorium. He explained that City Attorney Spencer had written Mrs. Rizor’s original will which reserved it for community use. However, in Mr. Spencer’s research of the property, he found out that the provisions of the will were apparently changed some time later. Sherry Davis, 2325 52nd Avenue, Longview, expressed a concern to preserve the safety she currently enjoys in her neighborhood. Mrs. Davis entered an emotional plea to the Commission that they consider the feelings of all the homeowners of the neighborhood. Ideally, she would like to see the property developed with residential homes, creating a 53rd and 54th Avenue. She is happy to see businesses coming into the City, but they are being built where they should be. Mrs. Davis will be attending the Comprehensive Plan Update meetings because she wants to see Longview develop, not only with businesses, but with beautiful neighborhoods where families can thrive. Daniel Prescott, 2254 52nd Avenue, Longview , referenced a grocery chain store that was mentioned might locate at this property. He wondered if Longview could support another grocery chain. What would happen if that store could not make a profit and had to close its doors? We would end up with a big empty building in the middle of a field. Mr. Prescott challenged Commission members to look anywhere in Longview to find a residential community that is actually flourishing like 52nd Avenue.

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He pointed out that there are military people who he works with in Portland who reside in Vancouver who are actually considering moving to Longview because it is cheaper to live in Cowlitz County. Mr. Prescott feels that a good issue for the Planning Commission to discuss in the future is where residential communities could expand in Longview. Dan Seidl, 2238 52nd Avenue, Longview, referred to Mr. Wood’s comment that he will keep coming back to the Commission with his proposal, and if he is not able to develop the property, another developer will. Mr. Seidl pointed out that this can only happen if the Commission approves the Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezone request. Mr. Seidl does not believe that we should be building any more retail stores until we see how the other new stores in Longview do. He pointed out that some of the retail space in the strip mall adjacent to Papa Pete’s Pizza Parlor remains vacant. Disclosing that he is a machinist by trade, Mr. Seidl remarked that it is industrial businesses that bring in the livable wages. He cannot be convinced that the wages made at Applebees is comparable to an industrial-wage paying job. Delores Branham, 5317 Ocean Beach Highway, Longview, pointed out that Ocean Beach Highway is a state highway. She felt that commercial property along a highway, especially if it is well developed, would bring in revenue from people who live out of the area. Mrs. Brannum is definitely in favor of the project. Brad Thorstenson, 5657 Finch Drive, Longview, is familiar with some of the areas on the slides provided by Mr. Wood, and he is very excited such a development could be built here in Longview. He is delighted by the prospect that he no longer would need to drive out of town because we will have the same conveniences right here in West Longview. Mike Ware, 341 Meridian Drive, Kelso, has a house located at 2795 Ocean Beach Highway, Longview, which will be impacted by the proposed Lowe’s Store. Mr. Ware knew that development was inevitable when he purchased that house because Ocean Beach Highway is a major thoroughfare through Longview. He remarked that with all the residents west of Longview, there should be amenities made available to them. He stated that he has friends who live in West Longview who complain that they live so far out and need to drive into Longview. He is in favor of Mr. Wood’s development. Lynn Boe, 5341 Oriole Drive, Longview, agreed with the gentleman who testified earlier that industrial jobs, not retail, bring in livable wages to the community. He demanded that the Planning Commission look at the wall photo behind them which shows the mills and port area. He stressed that this is the type of business that brings jobs into our area. He stated that retail businesses do not boost our economy; it merely splits up the pie. Shirley Prescott, 2254 52nd Avenue, Longview stated that Mr. Wood’s vision for the City of Longview is probably correct and that growth in West Longview is inevitable. She wanted to know why it needed to grow in an area already deemed residential. People do not want to live in a city that has high crime rate or does not provide nice housing for families. Planning Commission Meeting 11 February 2, 2005 Minutes

Mrs. Prescott remarked that Fred Meyer and Safeway is only 3.5 miles from the Bakers Landing area, which is not very far to drive. She also worried that if a development was allowed to be built, what would happen if the stores fail? A big empty building would remain on the lot. She expressed concerns for traffic, crime, and safety. Mrs. Prescott understands that in Vancouver developments are built adjacent to residential areas, and that is why they elected not to live in Vancouver. Some people like to live that way, but others are looking for another quality of life. Noting that she is grateful for a process whereby people can express their concerns, Mrs. Prescott wondered why it was necessary to have the Daily News present to report on it. Larry Davis, 2325 52nd Avenue, Longview described himself as a local businessman who grew up in this area. Mr. Davis’s dream was to raise his family in a nice house in a good neighborhood. His neighbors share the same dream. He did not feel it was fair that one man could destroy everyone’s dream. Mr. Davis mentioned that the strip mall near Bakers Landing cannot fill all the vacancies for retail shops. If anything had to be developed, he would like to see a 53rd and 54th Avenue and more residential homes built. Longview lost many good jobs with the closure of plants and businesses, and Mr. Davis believes we need to focus on attracting more industrial businesses into the area. Judy Mellema Walling, 2274 52nd Avenue, Longview, recommended that the Planning Commission not approve Mr. Wood’s request. They like their neighborhood and would like to keep the area low density residential. With the new Mt. Solo Middle School being built in West Longview, Mrs. Walling encouraged the City of Longview to attract families and not commercial businesses. She stated that the City lacks areas of low density residential. Referencing the buffer wall Mr. Wood proposes to build, Mrs. Walling believes that it would end up to be an ugly wall to stare at out her front window and an invitation for criminals to bring crime into their neighborhood. Mrs. Walling also cited concerns for noise from not only cars, but from delivery trucks associated with the businesses arriving late at night or early morning. Keeping the area low density residential would encourage housing developers to build homes similar to the houses in the already established neighborhood. Hopefully, Mr. Walling expressed that this would increase property values or at least keep them the same. If the new zoning is granted, property values will decrease along with morale and the neighborhood. Veldon and Sandra Price, 2237 52nd Avenue, Longview live directly adjacent to the subject property. They understand that the 99-year moratorium was determined not to exist and therefore, they have no legal recourse; however, there are moral ramifications involved. They were led to believe that the property could not be built upon and they feel taken advantage of. Planning Commission Meeting 12 February 2, 2005 Minutes

Mr. Price feels that no changes should be made to the property until after the Comprehensive Plan is updated. The big reason they chose to move here from Astoria was because of the undeveloped land behind their lot. If a commercial development is allowed to occur, Mr. Price cited some of the negative effects: noise, bright lights, fumes, and a buffer wall where homeless people can loiter, drug addicts can make deals, and graffiti artists can practice. Becky Seidl, 2238 52nd Avenue, Longview, wanted the Planning Commission to take into consideration how big this parcel of land is. She believed that it was bigger than the Triangle development area She felt that we need to wait and see how the Triangle Center does before expanding out to West Longview. Rick Anderson, just recently moved to 52nd Avenue from Skamakowa just two weeks ago. He believes that development is a good thing, but that particular area should remain residential. He feels that industry is coming back to this area, and we need to have places available for those people to live. Al Harrington, 5508 Ocean Beach Highway, Longview stated that Mrs. Rizor had a stipulation in her revised will that Ralph Iddings be allowed to stay on the property. Mr. Iddings has since died. This was the only provision of her will, so Mr. Harrington was unclear about where the moratorium issue came from. Secondly, Mr. Harrington stated that people have expressed concerns about traffic. He has learned to live with the traffic and his house is located right next to the road. Mr. Harrington expressed that you cannot slow down progress. If Mr. Wood does not develop this property, someone else will. Bill Branham, 5317 Ocean Beach Highway, Longview, has no qualms whatsoever with Mr. Wood’s proposal. With regard to traffic concerns, Mr. Branham expressed that if the trucks were re-routed to the industrial routes, the traffic problem on Ocean Beach Highway would be reduced. Joni Geier, 2246 52nd Avenue, Longview also represents Cascade Construction Company, which was the builder of homes in Phase 1 of Bakers Landing. Mrs. Geier believes that more residential area is needed in the City. There are not many lots left in the City to build on. She would like to see the parcel in question developed, but with residential homes and not commercial businesses. Linda Miles, 2229 52nd Avenue, Longview, urged the Commission to reject Mr. Wood’s proposal. She asked to wait until the Comprehensive Plan Update is completed before considering any changes in order to make a more informed and intelligent decision.

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Greg Curniski, 2282 52nd Avenue, Longview, appreciated Mr. Brickey inviting everyone to the upcoming Comprehensive Plan Update public meetings. If Mr. Wood’s proposal is allowed to proceed however, Mr. Curniski wondered what good it is to participate in a process that was not given due process. It occurred to Mr. Curniski that the property being considered may not only be the 26.5 acres, but may also include another 32 acres. Mr. Curniski’s recommendation is that Mr. Wood’s proposal be rejected as submitted, then let the Comprehensive Plan Update process play out. Mr. Wood has a multi-year option on the property, so he can wait the 16-18 months to finalize the process. Pat Christensen, 1854 Island Drive, Longview, believed that we can no longer rely on our mills. He feels that industry will return to Longview bringing good family wages. When they do, they will take a close look at our community to see what we have to offer in terms of residential areas and access to commercial services. It is Mr. Christensen’s opinion that there will have to be more commercial development in West Longview. It is inevitable that this is where residential growth will occur. To attract more jobs to this area and to be more competitive, Mr. Christiansen felt that we have to have something substantial to offer. He remarked that if the development is built as Mr. Wood proposes, it will be a great asset to the community. Larry Perket, 5345 Oriole Drive, Longview, asked that if 26.5 acres of low density residential property was made into commercial property, where would we find property to replace it. He stated that he is in favor of a delay until the Comprehensive Plan Update process is complete. Mr. Perket was unsure what would be allowed in a General Commercial zone. As a worst scenario, he envisioned the property being used as a 24 hour distributing truck service. Mr. Brickey was asked to define what General Commercial meant. Mr. Brickey replied that the Comprehensive Plan amendment references three designations of commercial zone – 1) Prime, which are areas identified as the downtown area; 2) General, which is in the outlying areas; and 3) Neighborhood, which are small commercial such as convenience stores. He explained that the General Commercial designation does not specify uses; that comes from the zoning of the property. It is the zoning designation what defines what type of commercial activity can take place in the General Commercial area. In looking to the future, Mr. Brickey informed the Commission that Mr. Wood has requested that the property be designated C-4. Mr. Brickey read the permitted uses of a C-4 zone into the record. Ed DeVries, 1200 Spruce Street, Longview, identified himself as an employee of Larry Wood. Mr. DeVries wanted to address the question of continuing consideration on this until the Comprehensive Plan Update has been completed. The projected duration of the process is anywhere from 18 to 24 months. Planning Commission Meeting 14 February 2, 2005 Minutes

Mr. DeVries asked City staff to check with their consultant on the Comprehensive Plan Update for their input as to whether the City should put a freeze on any planning issues during Update process. Their response, as Mr. DeVries understands it, is that the consultant is not opposed to the City considering any requests similar to what Mr. Wood has proposed. Mr. DeVries urged the Planning Commission to continue consideration of Mr. Wood’s proposal. He added that it is also the City Attorney’s opinion, which was affirmed by Mr. Brickey, that the City should continue to consider planning issues and not stop for a period of 18 – 24 months while the Comp Plan is being updated. Mr. Wood gave his final comments. He assured that the key tenant would be located on the other end of the property so no problems are created with truck deliveries. There will be no nightloading area right against residential back yards. Mr. Wood expressed that developing property is a long, arduous process. He has been working on this proposal with the City for over a year. This is a very unique situation and believes that it can work. He urged the Planning Commission to consider it. Sherry Davis had one last minute comment. She stated that her son witnessed his teacher get in a fatal accident on Ocean Beach Highway. She wanted to make the Planning Commission aware of the consequences that could occur by adding businesses without proper planning. She urged that they not act prematurely on this. Since the public hearing on this case was declared closed, Mr. Morrill asked whether public comments would be received should this case be continued to the next Planning Commission meeting in March. Mr. Brickey stated that if any new information were presented, it would be advisable that the public hearing be re-opened to the public. Mrs. Price made a motion to continue Case No. PC 2004-13.1, a petition for amendment of the Comprehensive Land use Map from Low Density Residential to General Commercial for two parcels within the 5400 block of Ocean Beach Highway submitted by Ed DeVries on behalf of Larry Wood, Wood Development to March 2, 2005 as recommended by staff. Mr. Morrill seconded the motion and carried unanimously. 6. 6.1 NON-PUBLIC HEARING ITEMS Set Public Hearing for Case No. 2005-1 Comprehensive Plan Amendment request by S.E. Grainger LLC for property at 30th Avenue and Ocean Beach Highway from Low Density Residential LDR to General Commercial GC for various property owners.

Mr. Brickey stated that staff is recommending that the Planning Commission set a public hearing for the next regular meeting in March to hear this case.

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Responding to an inquiry from Commissioner Morrill as to the location of this property, Mr. Brickey utilized an overhead to show an aerial photo depicting the location of the area. He explained that the property is currently where the Rio West Restaurant is located, including two residential properties to the east of the restaurant, and one residential property to the south. Mr. Fisher made a motion to set a public hearing for Case No. PC 2005-1 for March 2, 2005. The motion was seconded by Mr. Collins and carried unanimously. 6.2 Set Public Hearing for Case No. 2005-2 Rezone request by S.E. Grainger LLC for property at 30th Avenue and Ocean Beach Highway from C-1/R-1 to C-3 for various property owners.

A motion was made by Mr. Fisher, which was seconded by Mrs. Price to set a public hearing for Case No. PC 2005-2 for March 2, 2005. The motion carried unanimously. 6.3 PC 2004-10 Text amendment to LMC 19.6.080 Signs in RPD submitted by Gary Mellema of Wilson Oil.

Mr. Brickey recalled that this case was continued at the request of staff. Since this hearing was held, staff made a thorough review of the staff report that was prepared and of the City’s ordinance and past practice and interpretation of the provisions that were being sought to be amended. It has been determined by staff that the request was unnecessary and the applicant has asked that Case PC 2004-10 be withdrawn. Mr. Brickey read the applicant’s letter of withdrawal into the record. Mr. Brickey advised that there is no action required from the Planning Commission. 6.4 PC 2004-17 [Set Public Hearing] Longview City Council request for Planning Commission reconsideration: Petition to amend text of LMC relating to signs within the Downtown Commerce (D-C) area. Mr. Brickey stated that City Council debated this item at length at their meeting on January 27. While they respect the Planning Commission’s acknowledgment of the Downtown Advisory Committee’s request, they asked that the Planning Commission reconsider their recommendation to reduce the size of the area where the signage would be permitted. Mr. Brickey provided an overhead of the area that City Council is requesting the Planning Commission reconsider. Mr. Brickey advised that a new staff report will be prepared and he will convey what City Council included in their deliberation for reconsideration. Mr. Morrill made a motion to set a public hearing on March 2, 2005 for Case No. PC 200417. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Nelson and unanimously carried.

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7.

OTHER BUSINESS

Public Meetings The Planning Commissioners discussed who would be attending the upcoming Comprehensive Plan meetings scheduled within the next two weeks. It was decided that Commissioners Barnett, Morrill and Price would attend the meeting at the PUD building on February 16th. Commissioner Nelson volunteered to attend the meeting at Mt. Solo Middle School on February 9th; Commissioner Collins will attend the meeting at St. Helens Elementary School on February 8th; and Commissioner Smith, along with Commissioner Fisher, will attend the meeting at Cascade Middle School on February 15th. Mr. Morrill asked whether anyone planned to attend the annual banquet sponsored by Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Government and whether there was a budget to attend such an event. Mr. Brickey offered to look into the matter. PLANNER’S REPORT 8.1 Comprehensive Plan Update

8.

Mr. Brickey informed the Commission members that they would learn more about the Comprehensive Plan Update process at the community meetings. The information prepared by the consultant will be presented and there will also be display stations. He called attention to a memo from Assistant City Manager Bob Gregory expressing how important the Planning Commission’s participation in this endeavor is. Mr. Brickey stressed that this Commission will be very, very involved in this process. 8.2 Principal Planner Interviews

Mr. Brickey took great pleasure in informing the Planning Commission that a final candidate had been selected for the Principal Planner position. His name is Steve Langdon, who has been currently serving as our Interim City Planner. Mr. Langdon is very familiar with our community having worked at the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments for approximately 14 years. He was an interim planner for the City of Longview four years ago, and also for the City of Kelso. He has performed planning services both with COG and his current employer, Gibbs and Olson, for a number of smaller communities in our general area such as Woodland, Winlock, Ryderwood, etc. He has a very good knowledge of planning for both small and medium sized communities and brings good people skills to the Community Development Department. Mr. Langdon will take the lead in the Comprehensive Plan Update process. Mr. Brickey explained that Mr. Langdon was unable to attend tonight’s meeting because he had a Planning Commission meeting in Winlock. He will be attending our next Planning Commission meeting so everyone will have an opportunity to meet him then.

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Mrs. Price remarked that Mr. Brickey has done a remarkable job filling in for the Principal Planner. Mr. Brickey stated that he will still have some involvement, but it is the intent that Mr. Langdon take over the majority of the planning duties. He noted that even though there have had some challenging meetings, he has enjoyed working with the Planning Commission and thanked them for their support. 9. ADJOURNMENT

With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

Chris Whiteside, Administrative Secretary

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