Planning Commission ‘OK’ signals willingness to work with developers

The result of PAR/VAR-2019-01 is that the Sanderbrinks can partition their property despite having approximately 7ft of front setback from the new extension of Hillegas Ave. Staff photo

CRESWELL – Planning Commission members approved the property partition of David and Hannah Sanderbrink, as well as updating the Comprehensive Plan Amendment during their Thursday, Nov. 21 meeting.
The Sanderbrinks, who own the property at 628 N. 5th St., asked the commission to partition their property into three parcels to create two additional residential lots, as well as retaining the existing residential structure. The Sanderbrinks also asked for a Class C variance in order to remedy the setbacks and orientation of the existing structure.
City Planner Maddie Phillips told the commission that this question will come up again in a variety of other forms. The Sanderbrinks have a ”unique” situation with their existing structure being impacted by the subdivision; Phillips said that with infill development, there are pieces and parts that don’t fit in the same lines as a new development, and it’s harder to fit the design criteria.
As is, their house faces west toward the street but their request is to reorient their house to the east to reutilize their back door, which would change the address of the house. Their setback is seven feet, although the City’s variance asks for one and a half to two feet. There is also a design request that allows up to 20 feet between the front door and street, and the change in orientation would make it 25 feet.
The development code doesn’t have a variance section that would cover these issues, which is why the Sanderbrinks were asking for a Class C.
Phillips said that as the commission sees more of these cases, the City is learning a lot about what types of leniency they are able to accommodate. She said that the Sanderbrinks worked with her and the city engineer to provide plans to help meet the City’s requirements.
”I thought this request had a level of merit because they’re willing and able to meet design requirements with architectural design standards,” Phillips said, including sewer pipe lines.
Commissioner David Christopher moved that the Commission conditionally approve the request, which was seconded by Commissioner Ed Gunderson; the board approved it unanimously.
Afterward, Phillips brought up the amended Comprehensive Plan proposal that addresses Creswell’s housing needs for the next 20 years. The plan has been amended after being brought to the City and Planning Commissioners. Christopher moved to approve the amended Comprehensive Plan; Commissioner Patrick Gering seconded and the motion was approved unanimously.



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