Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 6, 2004 - 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.

ROLL CALL
Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.

MAYOR'S ANNUAL ADDRESS
Mayor read aloud his annual "State of the City Address." (complete annual address attached to minutes)

Mayor reminded the citizens of the upcoming Boy Scouts Christmas Tree pick-up day scheduled for Saturday, January 10th.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 16, 2003 were approved with the following amendments:
• Page 2, after Public Hearing, paragraph 4, first sentence to read "Comment was made that accessory unit housing is mixed and not just affordable housing."
• Page 3 under Status Report on the Grove, paragraph 5, first sentence to read "Councilor Hartzell stated she has not heard of a coherent proposal for how the building could be used that would meet the need for which it was originally established within while meeting the HUD requirements."
• Page 4, paragraph 6, first sentence should read "Councilor Hartzell suggested possibly pointed out that relocating the Senior Center to The Grove was a possibility."

City Recorder Barbara Christensen noted the following amendment to the motion could not be made without reviewing the tape: Page 4, motion for staff to proceed with Option #1, should read "proceed with Option 1, Number 2." Upon review of the minutes from December 16, 2003, the motion was correctly stated and no change will be made.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
The Finance Department was presented the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the current fiscal year from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). This award is the highest form of recognition in government budgeting and represents a significant achievement.

CONSENT AGENDA
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.

Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
1. Public Input for 2004/2005 Council Goals and Priorities.

City Administrator Gino Grimaldi explained that each year the City Council conducts goal setting to layout the path the City will take in the coming year. The City Staff then uses this layout to prepare the budget. The following public input is part of the process for the 2004/05 Council goal setting.

Public Hearing Open: 7:23 p.m.

Joanie McGowan/951 Clay Street/ Requested that the City create incentives for people to walk rather than drive, address the issue of affordable housing, and look at the possibility of making the Mayor a paid position.

Public Hearing Closed: 7:27 p.m.

Council commented that the Bike and Pedestrian Commission did hold events on "Car Free Day" for several years, and also encouraged everyone to participate with the commissions and volunteer for sub-committees.

PUBLIC FORUM
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Street
/ Commented on the Forest Service's actions regarding the Mt. Ashland Expansion. Navickas asked that the City step-in and request an independent analysis of the public comments. He also suggests that the City demand that the comments received from Ashland residents be separated from others because this is affecting the Ashland watershed and the citizens of Ashland are the ones held liable if anything were to go wrong.

Susan Rust/42 N Wightman/Explained that the Oregon Military Dept. had filed a Notice of Appeal against the decisions of the Planning Commission and the Council in regards to the use of the Armory. Rust stated the notice was filed on Dec. 23rd, and the deadline to respond is Jan. 13th. She explained that the neighborhood is pursuing legal representation to address this appeal, and asked several legal questions regarding intervening.

Councilor Morrison/Hartzell m/s to place this issue on the agenda for discussion. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

City Attorney Paul Nolte explained by January 13th, the City is required to provide a record from the date of the appeal. He also explained if there are any other parties who wish to become part of this case aside from the appellant (Oregon Military Dept.) and respondent (City of Ashland), they must move to intervene with LUBA by January 13th. On January 24th, the Military Dept., through the Attorney General's office, will submit a brief specifying the errors it feels the City made in approving the Conditional Use Permit and imposing certain conditions. The City then has 21 days to respond to the brief.

In response to Rust's question, Nolte stated the City cannot represent the Neighborhood Association individually, only the City of Ashland.

Nolte explained the City's interest and the neighborhood's are the same, and stated the City plans on aggressively presenting their case to LUBA. Nolte also stated the affected citizens are permitted to consult with the City and provide additional information.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Public Input Particulate Matter (PM10) in the Medford-Ashland Air Quality Maintenance Area (AQMA).

Ann Seltzer Management Analyst stated at the last meeting, Council requested Staff to prepare a revised resolution and letter to be submitted to DEQ. Seltzer explained there are two options that could be included in the proposed attainment plan:

1) Emissions Offset - retains the current stringent restrictions on the amount of particulate matter pollution that can be emitted by major industry.
2) Growth Allowance - allows major industry to emit a greater amount of particulate matter and yet that allowance is still below Federal levels.

Currently, the proposed DEQ plan includes the Growth Allowance option and not the Emissions Offset allowance. Seltzer explained that a resolution had been prepared along with a cover letter encouraging the DEQ to retain the stringent requirements currently in place in the Rogue Valley, and recommends that the plan move forward with the Emissions Offset, and withdraw the Growth Allowance option. In addition, the resolution and letter recognize the importance of moving forward from non-attainment to attainment, in order to not jeopardize Federal funds for the Regional Transportation Plan.

Councilor Jackson brought forward, for council consideration, additional suggestions to the two recommendations previously explained. She explained the additions that have been added to the resolution as the following:

1) "Request that the proposed plan include a strategy for emission offset exchanges between industry point sources and the vehicular transportation related sources, an approach taken in other regions of the country and one that benefits both the pubic and private sectors."
2) "Request that the proposed plan include a strategy to both monitor both PM10 and PM2.5 and to analyze the specific point and non-point sources of these pollutants with the objective to identify specific ways to further improve air quality in the AQMA in respect to respiratory illness."

Jackson explained the intent was to provide substantial comment, including options other than the Growth Allowance.

Council questioned whether Section 3 of the revised resolution would reduce the City's level of control.

John Becker, representing Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) explained offsets are a possibility that could be workable in some venues and stated it was an idea worth looking into.

Dan Moore, representing Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) stated the offset program is a good idea. He explained if vehicle miles traveled, were reduced due to increased transit service, they could use the savings from the Transportation Emissions Budget and give that back to industry.

Council expressed concern over the two different types of pollution (PM10s and PM2.5s), and stated if one type is being traded for the other, than their flexibility to really effect the reduction of transportation pollution is limited.

Moore stated it wouldn't be limited, and further explained there would be unlimited potential because the more money that was put in to increased transit service using this offset idea, would be a benefit overall.

Council replied the pollutants would be replaced by industry, and stated there was no actual reduction when using this strategy.

Moore agreed with the Council, however, noted the amount of pollutants generated from transportation is about 70% of the overall PM10 generation in the valley. Moore further explained they could see some huge gains, and stated he does not know that industry could use up all of the credits. Moore believes this would be a good program for our area, and could go a long way in helping reduce vehicle miles traveled and emissions from transportation.

Council questioned how track-in and track-out dust fit into particular matter.

Moore explained that a lot of the PM10s are generated from unpaved parking lots and road wear. He stated an increase in street sweeping would be a major benefit, especially in the biggest problem areas are (such as White City).

Council commented that if they succeeded in reducing automobile related emission, it would leave room for industry to grow without having to decrease the current standards.

John Becker clarified the Emissions Offset Program is primarily based on reducing emissions in the same geographical area that they are produced. For example, if vehicle emissions in Ashland were reduced, that would be of very little benefit to the rest of the County for industrial offset. Becker explained that from an industrial emission credit offset prospective, the only place where emission offset credits are available in the Rogue Valley are where there are DEQ permitted facilities. At the current time, there are no emission offset credits available anywhere in the Valley.

Becker explained the Medford/Ashland Advisory Committee had wanted to carry forward all of the air quality rules for the State of Oregon and Rogue Valley to continue to protect the air. But when they came across this emissions offset requirement, they found themselves in a bind. Knowing that there were no offset credits available locally, they decided to look into the safety margin scenario instead.

Becker noted the Rogue Valley has the most strict air requirement in the state of Oregon, and is one of the strictest in the nation. He also explained the removal of the Emissions Offset Option would allow Jackson County some flexibility if they wanted to locate someone locally in an area where credits would not be otherwise available. With that said, he stated this might not be a big issue for Ashland because Ashland does not have a large amount of industrial zoned land and he does not foresee Ashland bringing in a large corporation that would need offsets.

Becker explained the Significant Emission Rate allows a business to produce up to 5 tons of emissions before they are required to obtain any offsets or perform any type of analysis. Most small businesses in the Rogue Valley emit somewhere between 0-5 tons emissions. The larger industrial sources in White City range anywhere from 7 to 15 tons emission apiece. The very large facilities, such as Sierra Pine emits 220 tons a year and Boise Cascade and Timber Products emits over 100 tons a year. Becker explained that the rest of the state allows up to 15 tons of emission before any action must be taken. Becker stated under the Federal Government guidelines, businesses are allowed to emit up to 250 tons a year before they have to perform any of the actions that Oregon requires at 5 tons in the Medford/Ashland area.

Becker explained the Rogue Valley has been in non-attainment for ozone, Co, and particulates for the last 20 years. They are working on the particulate maintenance plan now, to demonstrate to the EPA that they will stay within Federal standards over the next 10-15 years.

Becker stated he does not feel the existing industry in the Rogue Valley will be affected by the emission offset credits. He further explained that the committee came up with the growth allowance and safety margin in order to address the needs of other areas in the Valley who may want to bring in a new business at the 6-ton level. Becker also noted the committee is also carrying forward the LAR technology, which is required for expansions of all businesses that are above the Significant Emission Rate.

Council expressed the want to have better air than what is currently in the valley, and also the need to find out where the more hazardous components are coming from.

Moore stated that Ashland can help by paving unpaved roads and requiring certified wood stoves and the newer wood stoves (which put out barely no emissions at all).

Mort Smith/129 5th Street/ Commented that he is confused that pollution from China can show up on the North Pole, but that winds carrying particulates from White City could not reach Ashland. He stated that the air quality is better because we do have strict requirements, and feels it is a poor tradeoff of health for economy. Smith noted that population is increasing, and along with it the production of air pollution. Smith noted he would rather have non-polluting industry brought into the area.

Joanie McGowan/951 Clay Street/ Supports the Council's recommendation and encouraged the public to attend the third hearing on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at South Medford High School at 5:30 p.m. McGowan stated that there were over 400 people at the previous meeting and the overwhelming majority was in favor of keeping the high standards that are currently required.

Chuck Keil/359 Kearney/Stated that he knows a lot about this subject and has worked on public health for most of his life. He explained this is a very complex subject and there are no absolute safe and unsafe numbers when dealing with air quality standards. Keil noted that just because they say the risk to public health has been reduced enough, doesn't mean they can continue to reduce the risk. He encouraged the Council and the rest of the valley to approach this subject as, not what the acceptable level of risk is, but how good can we make it.

Michael Riedeman/632 Iowa/ Voiced concern over the pollution increases the DEQ's proposal would allow, and commented on what he felt was wrong with the proposal. Riedeman explained that typographically, the Rogue Valley is one of the two worst smog-entrapping valleys in the nation, and also stated that Jackson County's highest annual particulate level last year was significantly higher than any other county in Oregon containing a moderate to large sized city. And, that lifting the emissions offset requirement would make it possible and very desirable for major polluting industry to locate along the I-5 corridor, and could make the valley less desirable and negatively affect business investments and home values.

Mary Rexford/129 5th/ Thanked the Council for their ability and willingness to address this complex issue. Stated the valley has the strictest air quality standards in the state because we need them, and noted the valley's distinct geographic locale. Rexford explained that Ashland is a part of the valley, and what happens in White City and North Medford is a concern for Ashland residents. Rexford stated she strongly objects to the DEQ's proposal.

David Chapman/318 Wrights Creek Drive/ Stated Jackson County is not only part of the 10% worst counties for PM10s, but worst in PM2.5s as well. Explained that if they retain the same plan they have now (non-attainment), by 2015 they could have 46% more pollution than currently in the valley. Chapman explained they need to focus on reducing miles traveled, especially for diesel trucks. He stated that 6% of the vehicles on the road are heavy-duty diesel trucks, and yet they generate 70% of the particulates. Chapman wants to make sure that if they switch to attainment, than the past restrictions with non-attainment are still in place.

Mary-Kay Michelsen/2810 Diane Street/ Commented that the DEQ's proposal is headed 180 degrees off, and every effort should be to decrease pollution not increase it. Michelsen requests that the Council pass their proposed resolution in opposition to DEQ's proposal.

Conde Cox/705 E "C" Street, Jacksonville/ Stated this is the residents' opportunity to do something to protect them on an environment quality question that they will never have again. Cox noted the significance of DEQ's plan, and how it could affect tourism. He stated that the DEQ's proposal would allow the entire Rogue Valley to become as polluted as White City is today in particulates. Cox stated the DEQ is instructed by legislature to fight and oppose any attempt by the Federal EPA to impose emission offset requirements on industry in Oregon. He also stated the EPA in August of 2003, stated for medical and health reasons, particulate levels should be reduced to between 13-30 micrograms for coarse particulates, and reduced to 12 for PM2.5s. Cox explained the DEQ's proposal would allow for a 50-microgram level.

Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to approve letter in regards to moving plan ahead with Option 1(Emissions Offset), and pass the revised longer resolution. DISCUSSION:
Councilor Hartzell explained she is still not completely comfortable with Section 3, and would like for someone to address concerns of trading PM10's for PM2.5's.

Councilor Jackson explained Section 3 is instructing DEQ to, instead of going to a growth allowance, to retain the emissions offset, and work to broaden the way emission offset exchanges would be included in improvements to the public transportation system. Jackson stated nothing that she has written suggests trading PM2.5s for PM10s.

Councilor Laws stated Ashland has a real concern for particulates in all parts of the valley, and stated he believes the Council has a stronger voice in the first (shorter) resolution. Laws explained that anything that can be done to refine offsets should be investigated further, and stated he would rather have clean air than bring in industry over 5 tons. He stated that the Medford/Ashland area has the potential to be one of the two worst polluted areas in the United States, and is opposed to allowing pollution levels to get up to within 5% of the existing safety limit.

Councilor Morrison stated he does not fault those who want to see economic improvement in the valley, however this is the wrong way to accomplish it. He appreciates the testimony heard, and would like to adopt the longer resolution and cover letter that goes along with it.

Councilor Hartzell/Laws m/s to amend motion by removing Section 3. DISCUSSION:
Councilor Jackson explained Section 3 does not allow increase growth in emissions; it is a straight trade, however the credit system would need to be developed.

Councilor Hartzell stated if they remove this Section, they still have a very strong statement.

Voice Vote on removing Section 3: Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, YES; Jackson, Morrison and Hearn, NO; Mayor, YES. Motion Passed.

Roll Call Vote on original motion: Laws, Hartzell, Amarotico, Jackson, Morrison, and Hearn YES. Motion Passed.

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Election of Citizens Budget Committee members (2).

Councilor Laws/Hearn m/s to reappoint Raymond Olsen and Russ Silbiger to the Citizen's Budget Committee to December 31, 2006. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

2. Council Election of Chair to City Council.

Councilor Morrison/Hearn m/s to elect Councilor Hartzell as 2004 Chair of City Council. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

3. Mayor's appointments of council liaisons to various boards and commissions.
Mayor presented his council liaison appointments for the year 2004 and explained how he had made his decisions.

Council discussed having more councilors participating on the Regional Boards and how the council could improve the liaison functions so that information is transferred better.

Councilor Laws/Jackson m/s to approve appointments. DISCUSSION: Council briefly discussed how to improve communication between the liaisons, and it was noted that the minutes from the different commissions are provided in the council packet for councilors to review. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

4. Update on sale of Strawberry Lane Property.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained staff is recommending a three-lot partition (which will ultimately be 4 lots). Two lots would become available for sale right away, and approximately a year from now the other two would become available.

Mayor DeBoer asked how the access to Lot 4 would be developed. McLaughlin explained that it depends on the adjoining property, and stated they are leaving the options open.

McLaughlin clarified the sale of the first two lots should easily cover the commitment to The Grove. Each lot should sell between $250,000-$350,000, and they only require about $250,000 for The Grove.

Councilor Hearn/Hartzell m/s to approve recommendation. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

5. Amendments to Communication Services Subscription Agreement with Medford Police Department.
Mike Bianca, Police Chief explained that it will have been one year since the City entered into an agreement with the City of Medford to provide dispatch services for police and fire communication services. Bianca stated that new needs have been recognized that the original agreement did not have. The amended agreement includes:
1) the trade of dispatch equipment to Medford, in exchange for Medford assuming all initial costs for connecting the Ashland's radio equipment to the Medford Communications Center
2) partnering with Medford for software purchase used in mobile data computers
3) providing monitoring of the Public Works radio channel after hours when crews are activated by RVCCOM

Councilor Jackson/Morrison m/s to approve amendments. DISCUSSION:
Council expressed concern that both the primary and back-up systems and located in Medford.

Staff clarified that if the first two systems were to fail, they can always utilize Ashland's equipment. Staff also explained they have an agreement with Qwest, which would transfer services to a target number should they encounter any problems with 911. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Various Provisions of the Ashland Food and Beverage Tax in Ashland Municipal Code Chapter 4.34."

Assistant City Attorney Mike Franell noted the only revision from the first reading is located in Section 2(F).

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve Ordinance #2903. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Jackson, Amarotico, Morrison, Hartzell and Hearn, YES. Motion Passed.

2. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Withdrawing an Annexed Area from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 (Russ Dale Annexation, 250 Clay Street).

Councilor Laws/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #2904. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Hartzell, Morrison, Amarotico, Laws and Jackson, YES. Motion Passed.

3. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Section 10.30.020 of the Ashland Municipal Code to Simplify the Annual Consideration of Outdoor Burning Regulations by the City Council."
Ordinance was read aloud in full.

Fire Chief Keith Woodley explained to the Council the purpose of the annual reports. That burning regulations had not been in conformity with what Jackson County was doing, and there was some conflict that developed. When Council amended the ordinance to conform with Jackson County, they also added an annual review to monitor the process.

Woodley recommended that the City conducts it's burning at the same time as the county, and added that this process will not add to air quality issues.

Councilor Morrison suggested adding the word 'safely' to Item 2(B), and it was done in Section 1(A).

Councilor Hartzell/Hearn m/s to approve first reading with noted change and move to second reading. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Jackson, Laws, Hearn, Morrison and Amarotico, YES. Motion Passed.

4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution declaring the city a hybrid entity under HIPAA."
Assistant City Attorney Mike Franell explained the Federal Government passed HIPAA in 1996 with a compliance deadline for medical providers of April 2003. The Act affects Ashland because we are a medical services provider through the ambulance service. Franell explained the City has a compliant program with the ambulance service dept., however since the service is ran by the City, if they do not declare themselves as a hybrid entity, then they would need to have a compliant program throughout the city.

Franell stated the hospital is not affected by this because the City does not operate the hospital. Franell also stated that Greg Case is the City of Ashland HIPAA Coordinator and Privacy Official.

Councilor Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve Resolution #2004-02. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Hearn, Morrison and Jackson, YES. Motion Passed.

5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Urging a Yes Vote on Measure 30." (proposed by Mayor DeBoer)
Mayor DeBoer read the resolution aloud. He noted that the hospital is anticipating over an 18 month period, a loss of 2 million dollars in revenues due to changes in the Oregon Health Plan.

Councilor m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to approve Resolution #2004-03. DISCUSSION: Councilor Laws questioned the legality of passing a resolution of this sort. Staff clarified that elected officials can pass this resolution without violating the law, which states that public funds cannot be expended. Council discussed changing the wording to say "consider voting Yes".

Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s to amend language. DISCUSSION: Morrison noted, and council agreed, that there were two areas in the proposed resolution that would need to be changed. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion Passed.

Roll Call Vote: Jackson, Hearn, Laws, Morrison, Amarotico and Hartzell, YES. Motion Passed.

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Mayor noted the Bemis appeal is on the agenda for the next council meeting, and proposed that the Council keep Thursday, January 22 open in case they need more time to reach a decision.

Staff noted there will also be one more meeting by January 29th to adopt the findings for the Bemis appeal.

ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

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