Port, Planning commissions hold brief meetings

The Planning Commission hearing on a new development has been postponed

July 18, 2020 — This week’s scheduled Planning Commission meeting had been the subject of considerable interest among property owners and neighbors of a proposed multi-unit housing development (PUD) on the corner of Rhododendron Drive and Fifth Street. 

The proposal seeks approval for a 126-unit multi-family complex, combining attached and detached dwellings along with several separate homes.

Neighbors have expressed concerns with the proposal for a number of reasons but primarily regarding traffic congestion at the corner of Rhododendron Drive and fifth Street and negative impact on groundwater tables that could lead to runoff issues.

All Commissioners were present during the tele-conferenced meeting. The agenda for the meeting was approved and consideration of Resolution PC 20-07 PUD 01 began. Chairperson John Murphy next informed the committee that the applicant, represented by Mercedes Serra, Senior Urban Designer from 3J Consulting, had requested an extension in holding the public hearing scheduled for the meeting. 

“We understand that a lot of public testimony has been entered into the record and [we] would like to take the time to address this testimony prior to the hearing,”  Serra wrote.

Murphey than accepted a motion to postpone the hearing and rescheduled further presentations until Aug. 25. The city will continue to accept public comments on this and other issues and Kelli Weese, City Recorder, updated commissioners on the evolving technical advancements being initiated to allow for more interactive public meetings.

“The City has come to the realization that with the adoption of the Phase 2 guidelines from the Governor’s office, we will likely be having these meetings for a while and with that we needed to figure out a way to have a more inclusive public process,” Weese said, “So we are going to add back in public comments for both action items and general public comments.” 

The second action item was also postponed as the applicant, Rosa Cazares, requested the opportunity to provide the commissioners with additional information in support of her application for a conditional use permit for a retail marijuana location at 470 Highway 101. 

This request was also approved by the commission and the public hearing was rescheduled for July 28.

The final area of discussion undertaken by Commissioners was the acceptance of the latest update in the city’s COVID policies, which was quickly approved with little discussion. 

For more information on the City of Florence’s Temporary Public Meeting Policies, visit the City of Florence website at https://www.ci.florence.or.us/em/public-meeting-during-covid-19. 

Port Commission

The Port of Siuslaw Commission also met this week with a very brief agenda for commissioners to consider. 

The meeting was held via teleconference and all commissioners were in attendance. The agenda was approved as were the financials and a brief report from Administrative Assistant Kelly Stewart was also accepted.

Port Manager David Huntington walked commissioners through the evening’s main discussion item, the sealing and striping of the Harbor Lot. 

There was a brief discussion which resulted in commissioners and Huntington agreeing that the specifics of the three bids received lacked specificity and needed to be clarified. 

This led to the decision by the Commission to have Huntington restate the terms of the bid with the interested contractors, and then move forward with the selection of the contract recipient.

There were no public comments. The next Port of Siuslaw Commission meeting is scheduled for Aug. 19.


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