MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
December 2, 2003 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 18 were approved as presented.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License application from Robert Day dba Apple Cellar.
3. Adoption of Findings for Planning Action 2003-105.
Councilor Hartzell requested that item #3 be pulled from the Consent Agenda for discussion.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1 & #2. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
Councilor Hartzell asked about the alternative language used to clarify section 2.4 of the findings. City Attorney Paul Nolte stated the addition was necessary to clarify that any community function where there is live or amplified music or alcohol falls into a conditional use category, and is therefore subject to all the conditional uses that are specified in the findings.
Mayor DeBoer asked if the Military held their our function, would this apply as well. Nolte stated if it is a military activity, there are no restrictions. Nolte further clarified if alcohol is served for anything other than a military event, a conditional use permit is necessary.
Councilor Hartzell suggested modifying the language of condition #9 to read: "Any new outdoor lighting systems installed in relation to conditional use activities...".
Councilor Hearn stated he did not recollect alcohol as being the breaking point. Nolte stated the speakers who had addressed the Council had not made a point of this, however records show that this had been brought up previously.
Councilor Laws/Hearn m/s to approve Consent Agenda item with the noted clarifications. DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson asked why they wouldn't want the lighting condition applied for all events, and not just the conditional uses. Councilor Hartzell stated they do not require this of other businesses, and would be holding the Military to a different standard than they do the other local businesses. Nolte stated that the condition was written so that if the Military wanted to increase lighting for security purposes, Staff would not be restricting their ability to do so. Councilor Hartzell clarified that her modification was included in the motion, and stated she would not be voting in favor of the motion because she feels there will be adverse effects on the livability of the impact zone. Voice vote: Laws, Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison, Hearn; YES. Hartzell, No. Motion Passed 5-1.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)
PUBLIC FORUM (None)
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Michael Bianca as Police Chief.
Councilor Laws/Morrison m/s to confirm Mayor's appointment of Michael Bianca as Police Chief. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
Bianca stated he would like to see the Police Department not merely be an institution for law and order, but also one for peace and justice; Where all the employees act with professionalism, courtesy, and compassion. Bianca thanked the Council for their faith in him, and stated he is looking forward to serving the City.
Mayor DeBoer noted there will be a swearing in ceremony Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
Mayor noted his appreciation of Rick Walsh who acted as interim Police Chief. Walsh voiced his support for Mike Bianca as the new Police Chief.
2. Approval of Intergovernmental Agreement with the Ashland School District
for School Activities Levy, 2003-2007.
Mayor noted that the City was given an award at the League of Oregon Cities for their efforts to support schools.
Nolte remarked that this is the fourth agreement, for a term of five years. He noted the Parks Commission has approved this agreement, and the School District has informally approved. Nolte added the citizens of Ashland should be congratulated for their efforts.
Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Ashland School District for School Activities Levy, 2003-2007. DISCUSSION: Councilor Laws reminded the public that the State does not have adequate funds for schools, and noted the supplemental income tax coming up in the next election. Councilor Morrison noted that within the levy there is money provided for general public activities as well. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor DeBoer recognized Jim Nagel as award recipient for the Oregon Governor's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, Fitness Leadership Award - Mayor's Certificate.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adopting an Investment Resolution for U.S. Bank to meet the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. "
City Recorder Barbara Christensen stated the City does investments with US Bank, who has requested that the City assist in updating our files to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act.
Councilor Hearn asked if this had anything to do with the Patriot Act. City Attorney Paul Nolte stated the Bank Secrecy Act existed long before the Patriot Act, and was designed initially for tracing drug dealer funds. Not only do the banks have to report this, but so do other entities that deal in large cash sums. Nolte further clarified this does not impinge on anyones civil rights and is not related to the Patriot Act.
Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2003-38. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Jackson, Amarotico, Morrison, Hartzell, Hearn, YES. Motion Passed.
2. Reading by title only of "A Resolution regarding the Recommendation
of Future Growth Areas for the City of Ashland as part of 'NOW x 2,' the
Bear Creek Valley Regional Problem Solving Process."
John McLaughlin, Director of Community Development explained the City has been involved in the 'Now x 2' planning process for several months, holding 3 formal joint study sessions, and was addressed by the Planning and Housing Commissions in the last month for formal recommendations to the Council. McLaughlin explained 'Now x 2' is the regional planning project that is looking at what the Bear Creek Valley will look like with double the population, including where development should occur. All of the communities in the valley have been involved in looking at areas that would be most appropriate for future development.
McLaughlin explained there are 4 prime areas that are being proposed for Ashland. Two have been proposed as part of the planning process and reviewed by the region, they are called Ashland 1 and Ashland 2. AD1 is approximately 90 acres located near Tolman Creek Road and Siskiyou Blvd, and AD2 is approximately 90 acres as well, located along East Main Street. Two smaller areas have been proposed by private property owners. The first, proposed by Dr. Young, is 5 acres near Interstate 5 at Mountain Avenue, and the other is 15 acres proposed by Madeline Hill and Larry Medinger, located behind Mountain Meadows and adjacent to Interstate 5.
The Planning Commission has recommended by a 6-1 vote to not include any future growth areas. The Housing Commission has not made a formal recommendation. McLaughlin stated two resolutions have been presented for the Council tonight. The first lists the potential areas, and the Council could choose which one, or any combination they deemed appropriate. The second resolution states that no future growth areas will be adopted at this time.
Ron Roth/6950 Old Hwy 99S/ Stated housing is a major issue in Ashland and would like for the Council to identify AD2 as a potential growth area. Roth noted the other pieces of land that have been proposed, and encouraged the Council to not take the no action alternative, and to consider the other alternatives.
Madeline Hill/828 Boulder Creek Lane/ Remarked that the piece of land she is supporting has nothing to do with Mountain Meadows. Hill questioned if one of the proposed land owners offered to give their land to the City as a gift, would they be able to move forward. McLaughlin clarified that this would be handled as an amendment to the Urban Growth Boundary, which would require Council approval. Hill noted that there are viable options, and wanted to ensure that the Council was not shutting the door on this issue.
Mayor DeBoer clarified that if the Council decides to move forward with the no options resolution, this does not preclude them from annexing a piece of land, noting that any City can move their UGB if they follow the proper procedures.
McLaughlin added that if the City decided to modify its UGB, the regional body would be involved in the decision, not just the City of Ashland. McLaughlin added the region would have to concur on this decision, and the application process may not always be open, and the City may have to wait for this opportunity.
Councilor Jackson added it makes more sense to go the other way, and identify pieces and include them in the process. Jackson stated communities are sending out initial lists and will have the opportunity during the next stages of the 'Now x 2' process to have an additional level of review.
Councilor Hartzell commented on the complicated process, and asked for clarification from John McLaughlin.
McLaughlin clarified that Madline Hill was asking about near term options (within the next 2 years), which would follow the same process as they have today. McLaughlin stated they are still in the initial steps of this project, and there are many more steps to take before anything becomes final. McLaughlin stated they are looking at two separate issues. One being to address immediate affordable housing needs, and other as the long term urban form of the community.
Councilor Hartzell stated she does not feel they have adequately discussed the question of annexing in order to address the affordable housing needs. Hartzell inquired about the Hill Property, and asked if there is a set "buffer" from the highway located in the comp plan.
McLaughlin stated there are policies dealing with buffering residential neighborhoods from noise sources, including I-5 and the railroad.
Councilor Hartzell also asked about the streets that are stubbed out and asked about development on the other side of Bear Creek. McLaughlin stated there is land available in this area and did not want to preclude anyones opportunity, and this allowed for options for in future. Hartzell asked if there was development in this area, would it require crossing the creek. McLaughlin explained in an ideal situation Ashland would not have included the area across Bear Creek as part of the City limits of Ashland. He further clarified that they have produced the best neighborhood as they can, and stated they should not keep adding to that area and crossing the creek. McLaughlin added that the Fire Department has raised concerns over the event of a flood, and the isolation of the area.
Councilor Laws stated he does not feel it makes a big difference which way they proceed with this issue, and that the outcome will eventually be the same either way. He feels it is awkward for the Council to be discussing ways to beat the system, after they have already agreed to take part in this regional program. Laws noted that many of the residents of Ashland are opposed to doubling the size of the City, and there are many cities that want to more than double their sizes, and feels they should continue to develop Ashland in a conservative manner. Laws stated his preference is that they do not do anything now, to stick with what they have, and when and if the present UGB gets filled up or there are types of land that they need, to look at it again then.
Councilor Morrison asked what was the time frame for this project. McLaughlin stated this is based on what the region will look like when the current population is doubled, and he cannot say exactly how long it will be before this happens. Morrison also asked if the City currently has an official policy for infill, or is it just a current practice of the City. McLaughlin explained it is a combination of all of the policies. There is no one policy that states infill in the way they are proceeding, but a main guideline they follow is "the City will maintain a compact, urban form". Annexation policies are based on need, and policies push the use of vacant land within the City limits before expanding outward.
Councilor Morrison asked if it was reasonable to expect that the City will continue to grow. McLaughlin said the only thing that would change this would be a limitation of a major public facility, primarily water.
Councilor Laws commented that there are several other occurrences that could halt growth, including: devising and enforcing an immigration policy, if the internal population fell into negative growth, and noted a plague or atomic war.
Councilor Morrison stated he can not decide if it is a benefit or negative action to put the county on notice of where Ashland plans to expand, even if they don't intend to grow in that area immediately.
McLaughlin stated that some of the results of recommending a growth area could include a high restriction placed on the land for rural use. Lot sizes will be very large or may restrict partitioning until they are brought into the City. McLaughlin noted there is currently a 10 acre minimum lot size within a mile of Ashland's UGB, so some of the protection 'Now x 2' might set is already in place, however there are other parts that may also be affected.
Morrison asked if they made a decision, are they committed to annexing the defined areas into the growth boundary. McLaughlin stated he imagines that they will have the flexibility to change their mind later down the road. Morrison also asked if they do not define an area tonight, would the City be able to do so in the future without facing consequences. McLaughlin stated he does not believe this would create a significant financial impact for the City. Morrison asked McLaughlin if this has been a valuable process for the City and worth continuing to take part in this process for regional problem solving. McLaughlin stated it is very important for the City to stay a part of this process and to bring Ashland's priorities and differences to the table.
Councilor Hearn stated he agrees with Councilor Laws' view of focusing on infill and a slow incremental approach. Hearn stated that he supports the Planning Commissions recommendation.
Councilor Hearn/Laws m/s to support Option 2
recommending that no potential growth areas be adopted at this time, and
consider infill and increasing density in the future development areas within
the UGB, and review overall community form and development specific to Ashland.
Laws pointed out if they identify a piece of land, it changes the value and raises the expectations of the owners of the land.
Hartzell stated the City is surrendering some of its authority into this process, and suggests acting prudently so that they have some flexibility to respond to the Hill Property. Hartzell stated she is working hard at looking at affordable housing, and advocates bringing the Hill Property into this process for possible use as affordable housing.
Mayor DeBoer stated there is a lot of land within Ashland that is able to be developed and noted the City is limited in resources, especially water. DeBoer stated he would not annex any land unless the City had complete ownership and could use it specifically for affordable housing.
Councilor Jackson suggests bringing in the Hill and Young properties because of the owners willingness to use their properties for multi-family affordable housing. Jackson noted the importance of continuing to find land for the use of affordable housing.
Councilor Laws stated it was his understanding that it would take several years (possibly 6) before the new process would go into effect, and during these 6 years the City would be able to use their present process. In the mean time, if anyone wishes to offer the City free land for affordable housing, Laws suggests that the Council considers it.
Councilor Hartzell asked for further clarification on the number of years until the process is completed. McLaughlin stated it would be at least 2 years to complete the next phase, and he projects it will be several more years before the regional body and procedures are established. McLaughlin stated that through this process, they are estimating at least 10 years before looking at expanding the UGB. If the Council feels that annexing property to develop affordable housing is a high priority, they should be using a different process.
Councilor Jackson stated that any property that is identified now will go through the review process including a needs analysis, and that process is going forward right now. If an area is not identified, the need will not be assest. Jackson feels it is important for the City, as a participant in this process, to be considered a real participant by identifying potential growth areas.
Councilor Morrison stated it appears the Young and Hill properties are being looked to remedy immediate affordable housing needs, and does not feel they need to be identified for the 'Now x 2' project. Morrison also noted that it is imperative for the City to continue to participate in this planning process.
Councilor Amarotico stated he does not feel there is any reason to expand the Urban Growth Boundary, and feels that affordable housing should be addressed within the current City limits.
Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Morrison, Amarotico, Laws; YES. Hartzell, Jackson; NO. Motion Passed 4-2.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Mayor DeBoer noted there are openings on the Housing & Traffic Safety Commissions, and mentioned a possible opening on the Budget Committee.
Councilor Hartzell commented on the negative article in the Daily Tidings regarding Siskiyou Blvd, and noted that the cones will be going away. Grimaldi added the article made it seem as though the project had been halted, and clarified that this simply was not the case. Grimaldi stated the City is wrapping up the project with the exception of the final layer of asphalt, which will be completed in March or April.
Councilor Hartzell noted that RVTV will be down for the month of December, but before they do so they will be taping a show on the Forest Interface which will air after RVTV comes back up.
Councilor Jackson stated she had attended the Oregon Business Plan Committee, which is an economic development committee, and encouraged citizens to visit their website: oregonbusinessplan.org
Councilor Jackson also stated that one of the Tree Commission's goals is to define the tasks that an Urban Forester Position would provide, and stated the Public Arts Commission is working on their first annual report, which will contain a proposed budget they will be bringing to Council.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor
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