City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
February 23, 2004
Present: Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Regular Meeting – January 26, 2004 Under Election of Officers, Vice-Chair Eggers asked that the minutes be amended as follows, "Commissioner Eggers stated, for the record, that it is not the policy or practice of Commissioners to take turns being Chair." Also, under New Business item "Correspondence from Local Groups," Vice-Chair Eggers asked that the minutes reflect that the Native Plant Society requested "a long-term agreement with the Department to use the Community Center for its Fourth of July wildflower exhibit."
MOTION Commissioner Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Vice-Chair Eggers seconded the motion.
The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no
Evan Dahlquist, 797 Windemar Drive, and Kyle McBaine, 1300 Oregon Street, both Ashland High School seniors, spoke of their desire to install an 8-hole Frisbee golf course in Lithia Park for their senior class project.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Commissioners agreed to place the topic on the March agenda and invited the students to make a formal presentation to the Commission for further consideration.
ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA - None
GUN CLUB LEASE EXTENSION REQUEST
Director Robertson introduced the Ashland Gun Club’s request to extend their existing lease, scheduled to expire in 2009, for twenty additional years. The longer lease would allow the club to seek grants and utilize existing grants for improvements to the facility. Director Robertson referenced correspondence received from the Ashland Historic Commission indicating their interest in nominating the 66-acre Ashland Gun Club site for the National Historic Register and expressing concern that a lease extension granted to the club could hamper those efforts.
Chuck Parlier, 6801 Irish Lane, the President of the Ashland Gun Club, spoke of improvements the club made to the property over the years. They have a membership of 400 families, 80% of which are area residents. The club is used by the Oregon National Guard, Ashland City Police, Talent City Police, and the local forensics laboratory, and hunter and handgun safety classes are taught there. While over a thousand people use the club every year, he assured the Commission that safety concerns have not arisen.
Bill Longiotti, P.O. Box 1, Talent, the Vice President of the Ashland Gun Club, informed the Commission that there is no fresh water on the site so the club uses sealed vault outhouses for its members, as part of an overall effort at responsible property stewardship. The club has an archery course and an archery range that goes out 50 yards, with side berms and a complete back berm to deflect arrows. There is a police range that is used by police for training purposes, with 100-, 240-, and over 300-yard berms to catch all the bullets on the property. The City’s Water Department regularly checks the quality of the Lithia water for lead content and there have not been any reports of lead leaching into the water. Club membership is $35 per year and all new members are required to complete a safety orientation.
Bill Lambe, 2930 Wedgewood Lane, the Shotgun Coordinator, reported that the organization received two matching grants, one from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the other from the Friends of the NRA, which combined total slightly over $9,700. The money from the grants (and the club’s matching funds) will be used to build a skeet range, a high and low house, and a storage shed. The grants stipulate that the club must have a minimum of a 10-year lease extension in order to access the funds.
Doug Irvine, 495 Emigrant Creek Road, a neighbor of the Ashland Gun Club, stated that the club is a good neighbor. He spoke of his concern about the urbanization in Ashland and asked the Commission to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of extending the club’s lease.
Jerry Scripter, Army National Guard Staff Sargent, asked the Commission to allow the club to operate at its present location, to ensure that soldiers benefit from training at the local facility. He stated that he and his fellow soldiers use the club extensively and find it to be a very valuable resource for their weapons training sessions.
Dale Shostrom, 1240 Tolman Creek Road, Chair of the Ashland Historic Commission, read a prepared statement from the Historic Commission that provided some historical background on the club’s land, which is the source of Ashland’s Lithia water supply. The statement referenced a comprehensive study of the site that was performed in 1987 for the City of Ashland to comply with Oregon’s LCDC requirements to identify historically significant resources. The report concluded that the site contains features that make it eligible for the National Historic Register and stated that the club’s presence seriously threatens the integrity of the site, as the features exhibit scars from bullets, and some features have been seriously scarred. The report recommended the discontinuation of the use of the property by the Ashland Gun Club. The Historic Commission asked the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission to consider a number of questions relating to environmental, archeological, and historic preservation issues before determining whether to extend the club’s lease.
Joanne Krippachne, 520 Terrace Street, also of the Ashland Historic Commission, stated that the site of the current Ashland Gun Club is historically significant to the City of Ashland. She articulated that the club’s use is contributing to the considerable degradation of the site and that it should be preserved for its historic contribution to the development of our area and as a potential interpretive or historic wayside along the future extension of the Bear Creek Greenway. Finally, she asked the Parks Commission to consider a study session at the site and to reject the club’s request to extend their lease.
Jay Leighton, 206 Cambridge Street, a member of the Ashland Historic Commission as well as a staff member at the Southern Oregon Historical Society, asserted that a gun club is an important resource for any community and that she is not convinced that the present location is ideal for our city, as it jeopardizes some of its historic elements. She encouraged the Parks Commissioners to consider researching the issue so as to preserve the resources of both the club and the site.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Chair Gardiner asked Mr. Shostrom to estimate what portion of the land might be considered historically significant. Referencing the map in the Commission packet, Mr. Shostrom replied that the entire area is significant. Vice-Chair Eggers thanked the Ashland Gun Club members and the Ashland Historic Commission for their input and spoke favorably of a study session at the site. The Parks Commissioners agreed that a site visit, to include all interested parties, would be appropriate within one or two months. Director Robertson recommended scheduling the tour during daylight hours.
CONTRACT RENEWAL FOR LITHIA ARTISAN’S MARKET
Director Robertson introduced the request by the Lithia Arts Guild to renew their use permit and service contract to operate the Lithia Artisan’s Market on the Calle Guanajuato, and he indicated that Staff recommended the approval of the request for a 5-year period ending October 31, 2008.
Jim Young, 1102 Fulton Road in Talent, Chair of the Lithia Arts Guild, requested an extension to operate the Lithia Artisan’s Market on the Calle Guanajuato. He responded to the concern expressed by Vice-Chair Eggers regarding amplified music, assuring the Commission that he and his fellow artisans always try to carefully monitor the sound level and have never heard any complaints in the past. He thanked the Parks and Recreation Commission for the wonderful four-year relationship with the Lithia Arts Guild.
Cyril Maitland, 66 Crocker Street, President of the Lithia Arts Guild, commented on the wonderful spirit of cooperation and camaraderie within the Guild and on the growth and success of the market on the Calle. The Guild is run like a business, with a manager, an assistant, a paid bookkeeper, and a tax accountant, and it is up-to-date with both federal and state taxes. He reported that the Guild raises money each year and donates it to an orphanage in Ashland’s sister city in Mexico, and to some local causes. In response to a question about the number of Ashland residents belonging to the Guild, he replied that the majority of Guild members live in Ashland.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Commissioner Rosenthal congratulated the Guild members on their philanthropic efforts and for their assistance with the Calle project.
MOTION Vice-Chair Eggers moved to approve the use permit and service contract by the Lithia Arts Guild for the Calle Guanajuato Marketplace for a 5-year period ending October 31, 2008. Commissioner Amarotico seconded the motion.
The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no
SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
TRAIL MASTER PLAN COMMITTEE REPORT
Commissioner Lewis reported on both the January 29th meeting and the February 19th meeting, stating that the Committee is working on a mission statement, public process and outreach, a written document to accompany the trails plan, a timeline, and maps. The committee plans to separate into subcommittees to divide up the work. Director Robertson reported that he spoke with Public Works Director Paula Brown and obtained permission to use the services of Rich Hall, a Public Works GIS Specialist, to continue creating maps for the project.
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Vice-Chair Eggers thanked Staff for including the memo from Donn Todt (about the removal of madrone trees in Lithia Park, which was included in the Commission packets), but indicated further concern on the matter. Director Robertson responded that Staff should have presented a list of trees (targeted for removal) to the Tree Commission before they were taken down.
Commissioner Rosenthal complimented Staff on the recent work at the Dog Park and remarked that the new landscaping and sidewalks have transformed the area.
Vice-Chair Eggers asked about the status of the Bear Creek trail connection from North Mountain Park to Oak Street. Superintendent Gies and Director Robertson responded that surveying and topographical work is nearing completion, and that easements are in the process of being procured.
UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS
ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Chair Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:45 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Office Manager, Ashland Parks and Recreation