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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

April 7, 2004


Community Development/Engineering Services Building - 51 Winburn Way - Siskiyou Room

Historic Commissioners Present: Chair Dale Shostrom, Keith Swink, Tom Giordano, Alex Krach, Joanne Krippaehne, Jay Leighton, Rob Saladoff, Terry Skibby and Sam Whitford.
Absent Members: None
Council Liaison: John Morrison (absent)
High School Liaison: None Appointed
SOU Liaison: None Appointed
Staff Present: Associate Planner Mark Knox and Secretary Sonja Akerman


At 7:05 p.m., Chairperson Dale Shostrom called the meeting to order.


Krippaehne moved to approve the March 3, 2004 minutes as submitted. With a second by Saladoff, the motion was approved with all voting aye.


Planning Action 2004-026
Site Review
81 Central Avenue
Wes and Lucinda Vail

All members had site visits; none had ex parte contacts.

Knox briefly reviewed the Vails' presentation to the Historic Commission during the March meeting. Their proposed building will be a two-story, mixed-use structure. The narrow property is part of the old rail spur that connected downtown businesses with the main Southern Pacific Railroad line. A 1,792 square foot apartment will be on the second floor and the first floor will consist of 1,781 square feet that will be for commercial use. A 423 square foot garage on the first floor will provide parking for the apartment and the base for a deck. An existing alley at the rear of the property with access off Helman Street will be improved and paved to City standards to the end of the applicants' property. The remainder of the alley right-of-way to Water Street is very steep and will not be improved. This alley will provide access to the angled parking area for the property. There will also be one space in the garage and one behind the garage.

Knox said the design of the building is traditional and similar to the one the Vails built on Van Ness Avenue. There is deviation to the front of the building and on the downhill side. The entry to the apartment is in the front of the building off Central Avenue. The entry on the low side of the building will lead to the commercial space. Landscaping will complement the second floor apartment on Central Avenue as well as the commercial area below. He stated the Historic Commission had concerns last month about the siding material but after researching the durability and cost of wood shingles, the owners have decided to use the natural color hardi-shingles. Staff feels the application meets the Site Design & Use Standards and is recommending approval. One of the conditions of approval is that all recommendations of the Historic Commission be incorporated into the building plans and that such plans shall be reviewed by the Review Board and approved by the Staff Advisor.

Owner/Applicant Wes Vail clarified the two issues of concern during the last Historic Commission meeting were the material for the siding and the plainness of the west side of the building. A band around the middle of the building has been integrated into the design. The cornice line will also go around the entire building. Vail said he feels strongly that the hardi-shingles are the only way to side the building. He has investigated the cost of installing redwood shingles and received an estimate that would cost him between $175-200,000. He was also told that that if second growth redwood is used, the building would most likely need to be painted after about four years and that the shingles tend to curl after approximately five years. He would like to paint the exterior with a darker color. Hardi-shingles will hold the paint and their shape.

Skibby asked about the spacing of the shingles. In response, Vail passed around a Hardi-panel brochure and pointed out the two styles of the shingles, noting he would like to use the "staggered" style.

Giordano questioned the smallness of the pediment over the entry door to the apartment, saying that to him, it should be more generous. Knox noted that since it is not the entry to the commercial portion of the building, it would be best to keep that entry on the smaller side. Vail passed around a photograph of a building that he modeled the design and material after and said he would agree to make the entry broader and use a wider door. Vail said the door will also be inset about two feet. Skibby stated the Site Design & Use Standards encourages a strong sense of entry so he agrees the entry may look better a little larger. Whitford stated he feels the entry will stand out more when it is actually built, especially since the trim will be painted a different color. Swink agreed. Giordano suggested they study the prospect of making the entry more substantial to see what it would look like. Shostrom commented the added design elements make a nice continuation.

Krippaehne stated the Vails have done a good job in being responsive to the Historic Commission comments. However, she will vote against it as a token expression in getting away from traditionally designed buildings. She explained she has a philosophical aversion to creating new buildings with traditional styles. The style proposed by the Vails for this new building is not found in many historic buildings in Ashland. It represents a bit of a degenerate style. In her perspective, she sees a problem with introducing new buildings with older styles. She would like to see the Historic Commission discourage applicants from bringing in other styles like this to Ashland and would like to see instead designs that are more compatible with the Historic District. This will be a symbolic vote on her part.

Discussion ensued regarding the size of the shingle exposure after Vail passed around pictures of the hardi-shingle material on existing homes. Vail said in his research, different colors of paint showed the gaps differently. He would like to paint the building a dark color and use a narrower exposure. Whitford suggested using straight shingles with no more than a 6 inch exposure. Giordano suggested painting the building first with a darker color, then applying a thin layer of a lighter color for highlights. The Commission agreed the exposure should not be more than 6 inches. Vail asked about the shingles, stating he would prefer to use the four-foot panels. The Commission agreed the panels could be four feet, also that they should be textured and straight across with no staggers.

When asked about the windows, Vail said he would like to use double hung vinyl windows that are dark brown clad. In discussing this, it was noted that the dark color was no longer available in the vinyl windows, only white and almond. The Commission agreed the Vails should use clad windows rather than vinyl in order to avoid the light color, which would precipitate changing the color of the building to much lighter tones.

Vail asked about the use of new windows with mullions that have shadow lines. Shostrom stated the Commission typically suggests windows with mullions built in not be used because they are imitations. Real mullions, however, would be fine.

Shostrom opened, then closed the public hearing because there was no one in the audience to speak either for or against the application.

Giordano commended the applicants for a great job in the design of the building on such a difficult site.

Giordano then moved to recommend approval of this application to the Planning Commission with the following suggestions: 1) the shingles have no more than a 6 inch exposure - 4 foot panels are alright, 2) the shingles be straight, not staggered, 3) the owners look at different kinds of paint - for example, a darker base coat and a thin layer of a slightly lighter color, 4) the owners look at making the apartment entry on Central Avenue slightly larger, 5) almond or white colored vinyl windows will not work with the design and color of the proposed building - the owners should use clad double hung windows so they will be darker, and 6) unless the owners use windows with real dividers, the windows should be unbroken with no mullions. Whitford seconded the motion, which passed with all voting aye except Krippaehne, who voted nay for the reasons stated above.

Planning Action 2004-018
Site Review
322 Pioneer Street
Al and Sandra Carlson

All members had site visits; none had ex parte contacts.

Knox explained there are still issues regarding parking and vision clearance so Staff is asking the owner for a continuance on this Planning Action. Owner Al Carlson and Designer Gary Caperna were in attendance and agreed, stating that based on the parking situation, they now want to make changes also. Since the application will be continued, there was no need for a public hearing, however, Caperna and Carlson asked for Historic Commission input. This Planning Action will come before the Commission in May as a public hearing.

Caperna explained the application, as proposed, is for retail space on the ground floor with an apartment on the second floor. The site is odd, thus making it a challenge architecturally. On the recent upgrading of the existing building, Caperna said the general feel of the original building was kept by reusing the siding and keeping it with an industrial look. They don't want the addition to be historically deceptive so they have proposed using unpainted CMU block, with cornices for articulation. The canopies will be the same galvanized metal material as was used on the existing building. He also noted the doors will be recessed 16 inches. Because the owner is unsure what type of business will occupy the space, they would like to be somewhat flexible with regard to the design of the openings. Carlson stated he would like to have one tenant occupy the space rather than to break it up for more tenants. They would also like to keep the apartment if possible.

Shostrom asked about the vertical element on the design that had been submitted and Caperna replied it is a galvanized panel projecting from the building with a light behind it that will project up and out. He added the base will be fluted CMU, the main portion of the building will be smooth water table block, and the cornice will be split face and smooth CMU. Krach asked about the size of the block and Caperna said each block is 8" x 8" x 16". He stated they want to clearly define the new portion from the existing building.

Swink related it is not necessary to bring in so much galvanized material to make the addition compatible with the existing building. Saladoff agreed, then added this is an opportunity to think "outside the box" on this project, which would be relevant to Krippaehne's remarks earlier. He said the design that was presented is OK and safe. Caperna agreed the design is benign. Saladoff offered there have been interesting things done in Portland and Seattle with industrial buildings.

Skibby conveyed this has always been an industrial area. Leighton commended Caperna for not using canvas awnings.

Shostrom remarked the CMU block seems to be the "material of the day." He suggested using a buff color to offset the new portion. The design fits and looks industrial and commercial. He also suggested making the vertical light material smaller in order to look more like sconces rather than an architectural material.

Caperna stated if the apartment was removed because of the parking issue, they would still like to keep the same mass and volume of the addition. The Commission commented it would like to see the apartment remain if at all possible. Knox said if the square footage of the apartment were reduced to 500 square feet, the number of required parking spaces would be reduced. Carlson noted he was unsure if a smaller apartment would be worth building.


Review Board - Following is the April schedule for the Review Board, which meets every Thursday from 3:00 to at least 3:30 p.m. in the Planning Department:

April 8th

Skibby and Krippaehne

April 15th

Skibby, Swink and Whitford

April 22nd

Skibby, Giordano, Saladoff and Krach

April 29th

Skibby, Shostrom and Swink

Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA #2000-120

485 "A" Street (Steve Hoxmeier)


PA #2002-100

142 East Main Street (Earthly Goods)


PA #2003-005

35 S. Second Street (Winchester Inn)


PA #2003-092

124 Alida Street (Kirt Meyer and Vadim Agakhanov)


PA #2004-017

364 Hargadine Street (Ken Kolar)


PA #2004-026

81 Central Avenue (Wes & Lucinda Vail)


Carnegie Library Restoration - There was nothing new to report.

Possible National Register Nomination for Lithia Springs Property - The Commission was invited to tour the Lithia Springs Property with the Ashland Parks Commission and the Ashland Gun Club on April 22 at 4:30 p.m.

National Historic Preservation Week - Knox stated Governor Kulongoski will be in Ashland for the Oregon Heritage Conference and is scheduled to speak at the noon luncheon. Mayor Alan DeBoer will preside over the award ceremony at the new fire station.


Leighton asked for volunteers to help her register the people attending the Oregon Heritage Conference and also to help with the bus tour to Jacksonville on Saturday. Knox asked for volunteers to help with the walking tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Krach said he is concerned about the many different designs of street lighting currently being installed in the City (especially new subdivisions) and asked if the City has a lighting plan. Knox responded Scott Johnson in the Electric Department is in the process of heading such a plan. The Commission shared Krach's concerns.


It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 9:35 p.m.

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