Planners to tackle six-lot subdivision

A 4.6-acre piece of land near Lithia Park could become six plots — five of them with houses — if Ashland Planning Commissioners approve plans for the subdivision at their Tuesday meeting.

Robert and Lara McLellan have submitted plans to divide their 500 Strawberry Lane property into five lots for houses and one lot for open space. The Birdsong Hiking Trail runs through the lot that isn't designated for development. There is one house already on the property, which would occupy one of the lots. Houses could be built on the other four lots.

The commission approved a basic version of the plans a year ago. Because the proposal has not changed drastically since then, the commission will address only a few aspects of the subdivision plans, said Derek Severson, associate planner for the city.

Commissioners will look at parking and sidewalk issues at the 7 p.m. meeting at the Civic Center.

The subdivision has been a point of contention with neighbors.

After the commission approved the initial plans, Lou and Catherine Dimino, who live near the property, filed an appeal with the City Council.

The Diminos apparently were concerned that the subdivision and building of new homes on the property would obscure views from their house and crowd the neighborhood, Severson said.

When the council upheld the commission's decision, the Diminos filed another appeal with the Land Use Board of Appeals, a state agency. However, before the hearing, the Diminos and McLellans were able to reach an agreement and the Diminos withdrew their appeal, according to the city.

Part of that agreement was that the McLellans would plan for only two parking spots on the lot closest to the Diminos, instead of the proposed three, Severson said. However, city planners believe that the lot requires three parking spots, and they are recommending that the commission not approve the parking reduction.

City planners are also recommending that the commission require the McLellans to create other parking spots and street improvements, such as sidewalks, in the first phase of construction, instead of the second phase as the McLellans had proposed.

Because hikers frequently park on the streets surrounding the property, which is located at the intersection of Strawberry Lane and Hitt Road, the city is requiring the subdivision to include the creation of two parking bays, each with space for two cars, on Hitt Road.

City staff members are recommending that the commission approve the subdivision on the condition that the McLellans change some of the parking and street improvement plans for the project.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or

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