January 8th, 2004
Regular Meeting Minutes
Commissioners in attendance were Bryan Holley, January Jennings, Bryan Nelson, Laurie Sager, Fred Stockwell, Jonathan. Council Liaisons in attendance were Cate Hartzell (incoming) and Kate Jackson (outgoing). Staff present included Donn Todt, Parks Liaison, Mark Knox and John McLaughlin, Planning Department. Cate Hartzell arrived late.
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 5:03 p.m. by Ted Loftus, Chair.
Approval of Minutes:
Minutes for December meeting were approved with corrections from Bryan Holley.
Welcome Guests & Public Forum:
Tom Marr, Matt Mar & Mary Pritchard. The Commission and staff discussed the merits of the five-minute limitation but agreed to remain flexible.
The Commission and staff discussed ORS 244.040 Code of Ethics for Commissioners. John McLaughlin gave a brief history of the issue and discussed the purpose of the law. After some discussion, the Commission agreed that if a Commissioner is a consultant on a Planning Action, the Commissioner would step out of the room and abstain from discussion.
Before going on to the planning actions, Ted Loftus introduced a new proposal to have the tree commission take votes on planning actions. Bryan Holley registered his opposition to the idea and a discussion followed. Loftus determined that the majority of commissioners did not want to change from a tradition of not voting, so he proposed that in future planning action reviews, he would simply ask after the public hearing and all commissioner discussion, "are there any objections or concerns?" And, if none, the commission would then send forward its recommendations to the Planning Commission as has traditionally been done.
Planning Action Items:
PLANNING ACTION 2003-158 is a request for Final Plan approval for an 81-lot subdivision under the Performance Standards Options, located within the North Mountain Neighborhood Plan area west of the North Mountain Avenue, east of Bear Creek channel and south of the unimproved section of Nevada Street. The application includes a request to modify a condition of Outline Plan approval to permit the removal of an existing wetland, while mitigating its removal through the establishment of additional wetlands elsewhere in the project (i.e. Near Creek Floodplain). Comprehensive Plan Designation: North Mountain; Zoning: NM; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 04 AC; Tax Lots 400, 501, and 700.
APPLICANT: North Mountain Land Company, LLC
Staff presented the background of the application and the current proposal to remove a previous condition of approval that required the retention of the wetlands. Staff reviewed the Commissions recommendations from the Outline Plan and noted that none of the recommendations were incorporated into the new plan. Staff made a point of forwarding the recommendations to the applicant and their representatives.
Tom Marr discussed the merits of the wetlands and believed they should be retained. He offered suggestions about how the development plans could be altered in-order to stay clear of the wetlands. The mitigation proposal to put the wetlands in the floodplain area does not make sense. He also expressed concern about use of herbicides and suggested the applicants manually remove the Blackberries.
Matt Marr also discussed the merits of the wetlands and believed they should be retained. He noted there were numerous errors (typo’s’) in the wetland report and that the Division of State Lands has not yet approved of the removal or mitigation proposal. He expressed concerns about the springs on the other side of Nevada Street and how the improvements would impact them. He noted that the trees along the White’s property had been cut in half (topped).
The applicant’s representative, Kevin Niering, arrived late and was asked if any consideration had been given to re-aligning any of the streets to fully protect and perhaps enhance the wetland.
Staff noted that the grading plan appeared to impact a large Oak Tree on an adjacent parcel (Cislo Property).
After some discussion, the Tree Commission recommended: Retain fill around perimeter of Oak Tree on Cislo Property. Determination on the location of the retaining wall shall be determined by an Arborist. Trees to be preserved shall have fencing around the dripline and ideally the root zone. Tree protection measures, such as fencing and signing as noted in ALUO 18.61.200 shall be implemented prior to any site disturbance (Cislo and White Property). All associated tree protection fencing shall be flush with the grade and fencing posts shall not penetrate into the root zone. Incorporate previous recommendations noted in Outline Plan approval. Specifically, native tree and plant species types.
Also, should the action be approved, Tree Commission recommends:
Reduce turf to minimum necessary within Greenway area. Utilize native plants that require minimum fertilizing (in Greenway). Meet with Ashland Parks Department to revise plan to address the two above concerns. Bring back the plan for review of the Storm Water Facility after review by the Ashland Parks Department, bring back the final plan for the Greenway area.
PLANNING ACTION 2004-001 is a request for Outline Plan approval and a Tree Removal Permit for a ten-unit residential subdivision under the Performance Standards Option for the 2.4 acre property located at 940 Clay Street (east side of Clay Street, south of Siskiyou Boulevard). Comprehensive Plan Designation: Single Family Residential; Zoning: R-1-7.5; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 14 CB; Tax Lots: 600.
APPLICANT: Cota Homes, LLC
Staff and the Commission reviewed the proposed plans. The landscape and irrigation plan will be reviewed at the time of the Final Plan application. John Galbraith, Landscape Consultant and George Cota, Applicant were present for any questions. After some discussion, the Commission recommended the following: Landscape Plan to be reviewed with Final Plan application. Trees to be preserved shall have fencing around the dripline and ideally the root zone. Tree protection measures noted in ALUO 18.61.200 shall be implemented prior to any site disturbance. All associated tree protection fencing shall be flush with the grade and fencing posts shall not penetrate into the root zone.
PLANNING ACTION 2004-002 is a request for Site Review and Tree Removal Permit to construct a multi-floor, 8,325 square foot mixed use building at 88 North Main Street. A Physical Constraints Review Permit is requested to permit "development" within the Ashland Floodplain Corridor. Comprehensive Plan Designation: Commercial; Zoning: C-1-D; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 09 BB; Tax Lot: 9800.
APPLICANT: Lloyd Haines
Staff and the Commission reviewed the proposed plans. Staff noted the project would be heard by the Planning Commission in February due to floodplain issues. Staff noted that the large White Alder Tree is proposed to be removed and the three multiple-trunk trees (Acer) near the floodplain are proposed to be saved. John Galbraith, Landscape Consultant and Lloyd Haines, Applicant were present. Mr. Haines noted his desire to retain the large Alder tree, but due to its location, the arborists’ report and the City’s Main Street Design Standards, he is asking for the tree’s removal. He expressed his desire to make some form of sculpture or public art from the tree.
After much discussion, the Commission recommended the following:
Tree protection measures as noted in ALUO 18.61.200 shall be implemented prior to any site disturbance for trees along creek. All associated tree protection fencing shall be flush with the grade and fencing posts shall not penetrate into the root zone. Tree protection signs, as noted in ALUO 18.61.200, shall be installed and visible from the construction zone. Avoid compaction in root zone and use plywood or wood chips. Mitigate loss of large White Alder within adjacent State right-of-way. Mitigate with large specimen tree listed in the Recommended Street Tree List. Consider State right-of-way as "gateway" for future public art. Commission suggests that the Public Arts Commission, applicant, City staff and ODOT work with Tree Commission to create a plan for that area that is safe while restoring and enhancing this "gateway."
PLANNING ACTION 2004-003 is a request for Site Review and Conditional Use Permit to authorize the conversion of a non-conforming structure into a studio apartment for the property located 987 Siskiyou Boulevard. Comprehensive Plan Designation: Multi-Family Residential; Zoning: R-2; Assessor's Map #: 39 1E 10 CB; Tax Lot 6600.
APPLICANT: Marc and Aaron Heller
Staff noted that this action was approved as a Type I and inadvertently left on the agenda. Staff noted that the large Ash Tree on the rear will be preserved.
Bryan Holley asked that these be listed on the monthly agenda.
Urban Forester – Sager, Loftus, Holley, Jennings. Holley discussed history of proposal. His discussions with Gino Grimaldi, City Administrator, have been constructive as Gino pointed out flaws. Tina Gray, Administrative Services Officer, will look into grant opportunities. Gino will mention Urban Forester position at the Council’s January 9th / 10th Goal Setting. Councilor Cate Hartzell offered some advice by "quantifying" the position as it relates to staff’s time. Look at what is the benefit and what is new since the last attempt to get this position filled.
Education/Outreach – Sager, Stockwell, Holley. Work continuing.
Tree Ordinance Mitigation Options – Jennings, Todt, Nelson. Donn Todt is working on an estimate for mitigation purposes as to the real costs of purchasing and installing a tree. Bryan Holley asked if there was any money remaining from 661 Morton Street? John McLaughlin suggested identifying specific mitigation opportunities as they relate to mitigation requirements in Chapter 18.61. Donn noted that it could be two – three months to figure out a dollar amount.
Bryan Holley asked that the Tree Commission’s budget amount be listed on the monthly agenda.
Permission to Enter: John McLaughlin reported that he’s had conversations with the City Attorney and that Commissioners should not enter a site during construction as there are liability issues. He requested the Commission contact the Code Enforcement Officer (Adam Hanks) or Planning staff should they notice any violations. Cate Hartzell suggested a form be created that identifies the issue/problem and provides a space for a response from staff.
Heritage Tree List & Design Professional Ordinance Amendment: Mclaughlin explained these could be completed within the next six months. The City Attorney’s office will be doing some house cleaning over the next six months.
Cate Hartzell, City Council, said she has discussed some of the issues with Kate Jackson.
January Jennings, reported that in her role as liaison to the Forest Lands Commission she had attended a United States Forest service seminar that was very instructive. She is encouraged to see momentum growing among all stakeholders in the Ashland Watershed.
Donn Todt, Parks Department, said he will provide the Park’s Department Tree Removal Activities Report as part of next month’s agenda. Discussion ensued about the City’s Electric Department presenting their annual report to the Commission and staff will contact them and arrange for them to attend a future meeting soon with their 2004 report.
Bryan Nelson said that he was almost finished with the one-page matrix.
To be discussed next month
Discussion of Piedmont Homeowners issue with cutting of required street trees. Bryan Holley suggested a letter from the Tree Commission be drafted noting that the home owners have the ability to force the issue and have the trees replaced. Ted Loftus agreed to write and send the letter on behalf of the tree commission.
January Jennings went to the Parks Commission December meeting regarding the O.C.T. (Oregon Community Trees) $100 membership. The Parks Commission will probably decide at their next meeting and may agree to pay half.
Fred Stockwell gave some aerial photos to the Commissioners and asked if such photos could help the work of the Tree Commission. Discussion ensued about the benefits and commissioners noted the importance of a Tree Inventory List, regardless of Urban Forester position, as it helps build community support.
The Commission discussed the seed offering from J.H.S. (Jay Herbert Stone Nursery) as they would like to donate seeds for Arbor Week. The Commission asked for additional information from Robbin Pearce, but basically discussed the negative realities of the program and decided against accepting the seeds due to their poor survivability ratio.
The Commission discussed 2004 Arbor Day as they would like to combine it with Earthday (April 24th). Will discuss in February. Bryan Holley will come with some ideas; all ideas welcome.
The Commission discussed starting the meetings at 7 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. Staff noted 7 p.m. was preferred as it was difficult as the Tree Commission meeting is the night after the Historic Commission meeting and thus does not allow any family time for three days. The Commission discussed the importance of limiting the meetings to two hours and agreed to try the new time for one month (February). Bryan Holley was concerned that opportunities may be missed if there is a two-hour limitation. Staff said they will make sure the public notices reflect the new time.
The Commission discussed sending a Tree Commissioner to Planning Commission meetings. Bryan Holley noted he will continue to go but not as a Tree Commissioner representative. Discussion ensued and staff agreed as a policy for the Planner of record to read the Tree Commission’s comments.
Meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.