Planning Commission to rule on development
Last updated 12/14/2022 at Noon
The Sisters Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to make a decision on the controversial proposed Sunset Meadows development along Highway 242 at their meeting on Thursday, January 19, 2023.
At the conclusion of the December 8 Planning Commission meeting, the public hearing on Sunset Meadows was closed, and the written record left open for submittal of additional information. With the public hearing now closed, the Planning Commission will not receive any additional oral testimony regarding this proposal.
The Planning Commission will review the record (all the evidence submitted, including project plans, burden of proof, written public comments, applicant presentation, staff findings on how the proposal does or doesn’t comply with the application criteria of the Sisters Development Code, etc.), and make a decision to approve the master plan as submitted, approve the master plan with conditions, or deny the application.
The master plan, as proposed by Woodhill Homes, would include a 71-lot residential development with 22 lots for single-family detached dwellings, 48 lots for attached townhouse dwellings, and one large parcel for a multi-family residential development including 72-124 apartment units. The 12.92-acre parcel would also include approximately 3.17 acres of open space, mainly along the frontages on Highway 242 and Hood Avenue. Access to the units would be from two alleyways off of a two-lane road running north-south through the property.
A number of issues have been raised by the public and Commission during the land- use review process.
Approval or denial of a Type III application can only be based on the development code, and if the plan meets the code requirements, the Planning Commission is obligated to approve it.
According to a summary from Principal Planner Matthew Martin, planning staff recognizes that the other issues are valuable and important to those individuals who raised them. However, they are not directed to development code criteria or standards applicable to this proposal. Other issues include adequacy of commercial services, affordable housing, growth/development moratorium, parks, scenic byway, view protection, and wildlife impacts.
Several who testified asked how the proposed development correlated to the Sisters Country Vision strategies. Staff pointed out that in the comprehensive plan it states, “Both plans have significant crossover, but include key differences such as geographic, focuses, scope, and implementation strategies. The Vision was completely community-driven without requirements from the State and is now in the implementation stage through community-led action by the Vision Implementation Team.”
Therefore, staff concluded that the Vision does not include development review criteria applicable to the proposal.
There have been questions about the Western design standards for the proposed development. The Western Frontier Architectural Design Theme applies only in all commercial districts. The subject property is not located in a commercial district.
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The following open-record periods provide the opportunity for participants to submit additional information regarding Sunset Meadows:
Open record period #1 – Opportunity for any participant to submit additional written evidence or testimony. Submittal deadline: December 22 at 4:30 p.m. Open record period #2 – Opportunity for any participant to submit response to new evidence submitted during open record period #1. Submittal deadline: January 5, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. Open record period #3 – Opportunity for only the applicant to submit final written arguments in support of the application. This opportunity can be waived by applicant. Submittal deadline: January 12, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.
Written evidence and testimony may be provided to Sisters City Hall at 520 E. Cascade Ave. (mailing address PO Box 39, Sisters OR 97759) or emailed to [email protected] Comments should be directed toward the criteria that apply to this request and must reference the file number(s) MP 22-01/SUB 22-01/MNR 22-02.
The Planning Commission meetings are accessible to the public either in person or via Zoom online meeting. Meeting information, including the Zoom link, can be found at https://www.ci.sisters.or.us/meetings. All evidence and materials submitted into the record are accessible on the City website under community-development/page/sunsetmeadows-master-plan-record.
For more information, contact Matthew Martin, principal planner at 541-323-5208 or [email protected]