The design concept for a new 17-lot subdivision at the south end of Kestrel Parkway was approved by the Planning Commission at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The subdivision, which is still in the early planning phases, would include 15 single-family units to be built first, and a potential 50 multi-family units to be built in a later phase to provide a tentative total of 65 units.
The developer, KDA Homes, has requested the removal of 15 trees near the proposed development site because of proximity and to improve spacing. Sixty-four new trees would be planted.
The plan also includes preservation and restoration of a large wetland area. Two sidewalk paths leading around the wetland area would deter people from walking over it, and a few benches could be added.
A storm water detention system would be installed to help preserve the wetland area. The non-native vegetation which dominates the area will be removed and native shrubs will be planted.
“The plan does speak to preserving natural features,” Ashland Senior Planner Derek Severson told commissioners.
The applicant will also dedicate six acres of floodplain corridor land to the city as park land, as required by the North Mountain Neighborhood Plan. This will allow for the continuation of the Bear Creek Greenway, Severson said.
The North Mountain Neighborhood plan was created in 1994 during a four-day charrette, an intensive planning process. This is presenting some challenges now because some of the regulations and requirements created in that rushed manner are turning out, planners say, as less realistic now during a more detailed planning process.
Severson said the subdivision requires six major modifications to the neighborhood plan.
Primarily, the changes allow for the preservation of the wetland area and creating the paths around it, Severson said.
“A lot of the character of that area couldn’t be thought out in such a short charrette process,” Severson said.
Parking may eventually present a challenge, but for now the proposed 15 units have accommodated parking, Severson said.
The existing Kestrel Parkway street will eventually connect to North Mountain Avenue, looping outside the southwest side of the Mountain Meadows neighborhood. That connection will be halfway developed along with the first subdivision, providing an additional 33 on-street parking spaces.
“The topography presents a challenge for off-street parking,” Severson said. The multi-family homes have two-car garages, and so will the proposed new multi-family units. The garages lead into a back alley that has very little curb space for street parking.
The overall plan was approved, with formal approval expected at the next regular Planning Commission meeting. Then, a final plan approval will work out details.
KDA Homes has 18 months to come back for final plan approval.
In other action, the commission completed approval of a 72-unit studio apartment community, The MidTown Lofts, at 188 Garfield St. on what is now a vacant lot between Quincy and Iowa streets.
A plan to split one parcel at 1661 Ashland St., site of a Rogue Credit Union branch, into three lots was also given final approval. Plans call for one of the new lots to be the site of 29 affordable housing units, plus a manager’s unit. Twenty-five of the proposed units would be studios and the remainder would be two- and three-bedrooms units.
A two-story commercial building is planned for the third lot.
The affordable housing units and parking allocations were approved at Tuesday’s meeting, but the commercial building will come back to the commission at a future meeting, Severson said.