Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


NOVEMBER 20, 2002



Chair Nancy Richardson called the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m. Other Commissioners present were Jonathan Uto, Andy Dungan and Kim Blackwolf. Absent members were Larry Medinger, Richard Seidman and Joan Legg. Cate Hartzell arrived at 4:20 p.m. Diana Shavey submitted her resignation from the Commission prior to today’s meeting.


There were no minutes to be approved.

Add to the agenda: Resignations.

JOB DESCRIPTION - Housing Coordinator

Molnar distributed the job description to the Commissioners and said it should be advertised within the week. Wording was added regarding expectation for attendance at some night meetings.

Hartzell arrived at the meeting.

Dungan wondered if there would be input from the Commissioners. Richardson thought there should be input since the Commission would be working directly with the person who is hired. Blackwolf would like to have the ability to review all the applications and thought at least two people should review them. Blackwolf moved to designate two people to review applications - the Council Liaison and a Housing Commissioner. Blackwolf volunteered to review applications. Dungan seconded the motion and everyone approved. Molnar will run this by McLaughlin for his approval.

Dungan wondered how Molnar or Staff feels about this position becoming permanent. How enthusiastic is the Planning Department about this position? Molnar said a few months ago there was concern on McLaughlin’s part about the commitment of the community for affordable housing. However, now it seems there is a lot of momentum and a real commitment to address this issue and this is probably the best way to approach it. It would be much more useful if it is a City of Ashland person that is here and has a presence. Hartzell noted that there are budgetary constraints that could play a role in whether further funding would be available for this position. Dungan and Shavey had lunch with the Mayor yesterday and he would hope that DeBoer would be a proponent.



Richardson thought it important that the Council read both the Needs Analysis and the Action Plan before we have the joint study session.

Hartzell said she would send personal invitations to the Budget Committee, inviting them to the Council/Housing Joint Study Session on January 8, 2003 at noon in the Council Chambers. She asked that Yates send a notice to them also.

How do we want to approach the study session? Uto has classes in the evening and cannot attend. Hartzell said some study sessions have been in the evening.

Molnar said we are still tentatively planning to have Kurt Webring come down on December 3, 2002 to present the Action Plan to the Council. At some point, we need some type of confirmation from the Council that they have seen the plan and a nod that the Housing Commission and Staff can begin pursuing the items in the plan.

Hartzell challenged personally the use of Webring’s time to present to the Council. She believes it would be a more valuable use of our money to have him add to the Action Plan. Hartzell said she would make time to work on an addendum to the Action Plan.

As an alternative, Dungan mentioned the Lee County report. It puts a cost to not doing affordable housing. Hartzell said we could formulate a committee locally of economists. A numbers report would be valuable as a marketing tool.

Dungan wondered if the Housing Commission should present the report. Molnar said it may not cost us anything for Webring to come down to make a presentation to the Council. Even for the minimal cost, Staff feels procedurally, it is still beneficial to have Webring present the plan to the Council to get some sort of formal acknowledgement of the plan, instead of none. Hartzell wants this item on the Council agenda so they can make a formal adoption of the plan. They can’t do that at a Study Session.

Kate Jackson said a study session is a better place for discussion of the documents. The next step can be the final adoption of the plan. Hartzell is hoping they can create an addendum that has priorities and more clear action steps and will be adopted. Jackson said if there is going to be a Housing Commission supplement to the Action Plan, perhaps the Commission would not want to have the author of the report present.

Molnar said Webring’s presentation would give some formal closure and getting the "nod’ to move ahead. If this Commission makes some addendum or feels there are certain sections to add or elaborate upon, that can be done. Part of the Housing Coordinator’s main job will be to implement the Action Plan.

Richardson agrees it should be December and that we do need a go ahead from the Council.

Hartzell asked what our goal is for the study session. The Council has had a study session on the Needs Assessment. Now they will have one for the Action Plan. The Action Plan did not tier back to the Needs Assessment very well. The Council needs to walk away with the understanding of what the Needs Assessment says and what it means. They need to know the trajectory the Commission is on and what the Action Plan says. Her hope is that we will walk away with the Council saying, "I get it.".

Jackson said the study session should be the holistic look at what we have done and what we want to have happen next. We can de-emphasize Webring.

Richardson believes Webring should present on December 3rd, let the Council give the go ahead and we can take care of some of the rest of this at a study session. Jackson suggested the Council can take care of acknowledging Webring’s report. The Housing Commission would be present and notes it is part of a bigger plan and they will have a study session on the bigger plan coming up.

Hartzell believes the importance of anything we do in December and January has to be to convince the Budget Committee and the Council that there is a need to fund the housing position in the 2003-04 budget.

Richardson recapped. Webring will present the Action Plan on December 3rd. The joint study session will happen later and adoption of the plan will be at a later date. The Commission would like Webring to present either December 3rd or December 17th.

Hartzell said we need to clarify our purpose and goals for the study session. We need a prep packet including the report Dungan referred to (he will e-mail to everyone). Hartzell will put some effort into finding some people in the community to customize the report. Lastly, we can produce an addendum to the Action Plan. Dungan said the presentation needs to be well-orchestrated.

Hartzell asked that the joint study session be taped for TV.

Hartzell suggested present the most salient pieces of the problem, the eventual outcome if we do nothing, the course of action, and to present a packet that has distilled out the key points and what is reasonable to achieve. Jackson doesn't want to scare the Council with the vastness of the problem.

Hartzell and Blackwolf will work on the addendum. Jackson will help with this too.

The Education and Outreach Committee will put together a package for the study session and set up the framework for the study session.


Project and UBG Expansion

Hartzell reported on the UGB expansion. Shavey and Hartzell will meet with Amy Amhrein to talk about the UGB and Willow Wind. Also, she will try to get a meeting with the Mayor and someone else to talk about the potential of the City becoming more involved in the railroad property.

Hartzell and Shavey had discussed the possibility of having a large public meeting in February or March in the evening and invite people who care about affordable housing. Out of this meeting would come committees and the Housing Commissioners would act as liaisons to larger committees made up of members of the public. Kim suggested putting this on the next agenda (encouraging public participation). Hartzell said if we don’t get buy-in from the rest of the community, we will fail.


Richardson, Shavey and Hartzell will be meeting with Tuneburg, the City’s Finance Director, on Friday to discuss putting the Housing Coordinator position into the budget. Other Commissioners are invited to attend. Blackwolf asked for an e-mail update as to what transpires at that meeting.

Molnar said we were trying to schedule the Big Box ordinance for the last Planning Commission meeting, however, there have been several controversial proposals before the Commission which take up the entire meeting time.

Molnar said he just spoke with Don Greene with regard to proposed ordinance change for annexations for affordable housing and adding an additional approval standard for zone changes to meet a public need, specifically, affordable housing. Greene and Russ Dale met but philosophically they were not able to come up with anything. Molnar said next month we could about stipulating length of time affordable units have to be in the program. We could move this part forward. The Housing Commissioners agreed that this should move forward without delay and asked Molnar to advance it.


Richardson announced her resignation. Her last meeting will be the December meeting. She is going to try and create a sustainable living "how to" building show for Harvest Built Homes. The profits will be channeled back into building affordable homes.

Dungan moved to pass along the Commissions’ deepest gratitude and thanks to Shavey and Richardson for everything they have done. Hartzell seconded that expression of appreciation.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:05 p.m.









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