A. Purpose. This district is designed to provide an environment suitable for traditional neighborhood living, working, and recreation. The NM district and Neighborhood Plan is a blueprint for promoting a variety of housing types, mixed-use developments, neighborhood oriented businesses, and community services in a manner which enhances property values and preserves open spaces and significant natural features. The purpose of the Neighborhood Plan is to provide a comprehensive set of design standards, policies, and regulations to guide future development within the identified area. Through the use of the standards a greater sense of neighborhood can be accomplished, as well as accommodating all forms of transportation, including walking, bicycling, and transit.
B. Location and Character. The North Mountain Neighborhood Plan Area contains approximately 53 acres and is located south of Interstate 5 and north of the North Mountain Avenue/Hersey Street intersection. Access to the area is provided via North Mountain Avenue. The characteristics of the area consist of rolling terrain and pastures, the Bear Creek Flood Plain, possible jurisdictional wetlands, and approximately nine residences dot the landscape. The area has been included in the Ashland City limits or many years, but experienced limited growth due to a lack of public facilities including, sewer, water, and paved streets. When the City’s Comprehensive Plan was prepared in the late 1970s, this area was given a large lot zoning designation to discourage urbanization until full urban services were available. As a result, the zoning was RR.5 (half acre zoning) for more than 20 years. The construction of a Senior Housing complex consisting of multiple housing types began east of the subject area. The land use pattern and building architecture of the Senior Housing project is similar to the Design Standards established within this document.
C. Background. The initiation of this neighborhood plan was directed by the City Council of the City of Ashland. A Steering Committee, comprised of residents and property owners, was formed and the guidelines were developed as a joint effort by the Steering Committee and Community Development Department’s planning staff members. Throughout the process and during three study sessions, additional input from the Ashland Planning Commission was given staff and formulated into this document. In addition, the City received a grant from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the hiring of the consulting firm Lennartz & Coyle, Architects & Town Planners. Lennartz & Coyle completed a four day planning charrette with the citizens of Ashland to formulate the basic land use principles for the North Mountain Neighborhood. The Neighborhood Plan and related implementing standards were adopted by the City Council on April 2, 1997 (Ordinance No. 2800).