December 4, 2003
Regular Meeting Minutes
Loftus, Jennings, Sager, Stockwell, Uto, Nelson and Holley were present. Council liaison Kate Jackson was present. Staff present included Don Todt and Maria Harris.
Call to Order
Loftus called the meeting to order at 5:03 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
Corrections included 1) changing of "postion" to position under A. Goals 2. Urban Forester, 2) replacing "dismissed herself" with recused herself under V New Business A. Site Reviews, and 3) replacing "sued" with used in last sentence under V. New Business A. Site Review. The minutes of November 6th, 2003 were approved as corrected.
Loftus welcomed guests. Steve Wood and Randall Hopkins introduced themselves to the Commission.
Wood said that six oak trees located behind the sidewalk on Piedmont Drive were removed in December 2000. He referred to a letter from Adam Hanks which verified the trees were located in the street right-of-way. Wood said he believed his neighbors, residents of 101 Scenic, had cut down the trees as part of a dispute with the developers of the subdivision. Jackson asked if the trees were put in with the subdivision. Holley asked if Wood was on speaking terms with his neighbors. Wood said he was not and described that he had asked them to participate in mediation. Nelson said that the homeowners association of a subdivision typically has to maintain street trees. Woods said there wasn’t really a homeowners association for the subdivision. Holley asked when the trees were planted. Wood said he thought they were planted in 1997 or 1998. Holley mentioned 667 Morton, and suggested requesting a report from Hanks. Holley asked Wood what he would like to see happen. Wood said he wanted the trees back on the street, and suggested the issue would get more attention if it occurred on a major street such as North Main Street. Todt said that people do cut down trees on Main Street and suggested the Tree Commission find money to replace the trees. Wood said he thought the neighborhood conflict has passed, and that the trees would not be cut down again if replaced. Wood said a nearby neighbor has agreed to hook up new trees to his irrigation system. Loftus said he didn’t think that the Commission should necessarily become involved in a protracted neighborhood dispute, but said it may be appropriate to replace the trees.
Hopkins said he hoped everyone had received his email regarding the removal of the "triangle tree" at South Mountain and Siskiyou Boulevard. Hopkins asked if anyone was consulted. Holley said he thought Robbin Pearce was consulted. Hopkins asked why a Commission member had not been consulted. Jennings said the tree was a Siberian Elm, and said she looked at four Siberian Elms nearby, but not at that particular tree. Hopkins made two suggestions. First, Hopkins discussed the street tree removal permit form. He said this permit should apply to all City of Ashland projects. Hopkins stated that he believed the current code requires the city to obtain a permit. Second, he suggested that the requirements of 18.61 should apply to the city projects as it does currently to private citizens. Nelson said that the Commission has recently asked the Public Works Director to review Capital Improvement Projects and she has agreed. As part of this new internal review, Nelson said Commission members have reviewed the Tolman Creek Road project as well as some work in front of Evo’s. Commission members discussed the development of the regulations in 18.61 as they relate to public lands. Todt clarified that he had looked at a Maple on Siskiyou, but had not looked at the Elm. Loftus said he agreed with Hopkins. Jennings said that the Commission didn’t know all of the details, such as the tree could have had root damage, and suggested that they didn’t have all of the information without talking to Pearce. Sager agreed and suggested reviewing the item at the next meeting with Pearce present. Holley suggested the packet include 18.61 and 13.16 for the discussion.
Loftus moved the agenda item to after New Business/Site Reviews.
New Business/Site Reviews
Loftus announced the Commission would review Planning Action 2003-151, 930 Tolman Creek Road. Sager removed herself from the proceedings and announced that her firm was involved in the project. Jennings also removed herself because she had worked on the project. Kerry KenCairn and Alex Knecht were present representing the applicant, Hamilton Place LLC. Harris gave the staff report. The Commission discussed the project. The Commission’s recommendation was 1) recommend removing mistletoe from the existing trees to remain, 2) suggest Quercus shunard instead of Q. Coccinea, 3) label Cladrastis lutea on legend, and 4) change width of parkrow on first section of street to minimum of seven feet in width and change street trees to be large canopy to provide shade over street.
Loftus announced the Commission would review Planing Action 2003-154, 280 Maple Street. Greg Covey, Jim McNamarra and Kurt Knudsen were present representing the applicant, Ashland Community Hospital. Harris gave the staff report. The Commission’s recommendation was 1) look at carefully to preserve 14" Blue Spruce, 2) since transformer will not be located in large parking area island, recommend driving width/area into three isalnds spaced throughout parking lot, 3) suggest flexible approach for installing sidewalks and/or pedestrian access (stairways) on Catalina Drive, but preserve trees. Established trees that can be moved, but a move will set trees back. If decide to move trees, could root prune first and move a year later, and 4) need irrigation plan.
Harris asked the Commission to review a request from SOU on the RVTV Facility. She said the request includes 1) using Cercis canadensis rather than the Zelkova Serratas specified on the street adjacent to on-street parking, 2) using drip for the irrigation rather than pop-ups and 3) using juniper across the front of the building. The Commission discussed and recommended 1)do not approve the use of Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ because it is too small of stature tree, breaks readily and has a low canopy. Commission said it is ok to not use the Zelkovas, but must replace with similar stature tree and form from the Recommended Street Tree Guide for a seven foot parkrow., 2) change in irrigation is ok, will be more maintenance, and 3) Juniper is ok, snow weighs down and plants don’t recover if break.
The Commission made Subcommittee Assignments for the four projects on their goal list. Tree Ordinance Mitigation Options – Jennings, Todt, Nelson. Urban Forester – Sager, Loftus, Holley, Jennings. Education/Outreach – Sager, Stockwell, Holley. There was a discussion about the time required if subcommittee members and balancing that with general Tree Commission duties. It was agreed that the Education/Outreach and Street Tree Maintenance Program goals would be deferred until after work on the Tree Ordinance Mitigation Options and Urban Forester goals was complete.
For the subcommittee reports, Sager reported on the Urban Forester goal. Sager passed out a draft of the job description and asked for comments from the other members. Loftus said he is supposed to get a budget together. Holley said they should demonstrate the amount of FRT already dedicated to this work in various departments.
Harris reported that the Planning Department is working on the three items on the agenda, and did not have additional information to report.
Jennings as the liaison for the Forest Lands Commission reported that a representative from the World Wildlife Federation had made a presentation to the commission. She also reported that there is a "Developing Community Canopy" conference in Portland, Or on June 4 and 5, 2004 put on by Community Trees. Jennings said she had attended past conferences and said they are great conference and good for networking with other communities. She suggested a member beside herself take the opportunity to attend.
Todt said he would like to remove two Liquid Ambers at 110 N. main and 346 North Main. He said he would replace with Maples. Todt said that the Parks Dept. has been working on replacing the Liquid Ambers and request removal when the tree begins to heave the sidewalks or push out the curbs. Todt also mentioned the tree grates that are going in downtown. He said he would also like to remove an Ailanthus tree on the Beaver slide that was hit by a car about 10 years ago. Todt asked if he should fill out the form. Loftus said he thought that the forms should be processed. Todt requested that the street tree removal permits be expedited.
Sager requested a deadline for comments back on Urban Forester position. It was decided the comments should be in to Sager by December 12. The Urban Forester Subcommittee agreed to meet on December 17 at 7am at the Beanery.
Holley asked that Don Todt as the Parks Liaison be listed on the Tree Commission membership roster. Todt said his 488.5340 number should be used.
Holley said he spoke to John Gallbraith of Medford Tree Committee, and they asked for permission to use the Ashland Street Tree Guide. Holley reported that he had told Gallbraith it was ok. Holley told Gallbraith the Ashland Tree Commission could write a letter of support.
Stockwell presented the photo of the tree of the year, and the poster draft. He mentioned that the Safeway tree photo is being displayed in Safeway.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20pm.
Bicycle Skills Training (commuter workshop, defensive biking)
Conduct Education in law & best practices (school papers/websites, ads, changing & existing laws)
Neighborhood Safety Assessment & Planning
Address questions about commission merging/restructuring
Catalyze education – fuel production predictions
Follow through and accomplishments (systems)
Bike Swap – convert to weekend gala event (collaborative; road capacity poster)
Improve monitoring (statistics/data collection)
Secure designation for Ashland as ‘bicycle friendly community’