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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

May 5, 2004


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

Historic Commissioners Present: Keith Swink, Tom Giordano (left at 9:20), Alex Krach, Joanne Krippaehne, Rob Saladoff, Terry Skibby, Sam Whitford, and Jay Leighton (who arrived at 8:50 and left at 9:15).
Absent Members: Dale Shostrom
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., Vice Chair Skibby called the meeting to order.


This has been postponed until the June 2 meeting.


Whitford moved to approve the April 7, 2004 minutes as submitted. With a second by Saladoff, the motion was approved with all voting aye.


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 that although this application had been advertised as a public hearing, it was heard informally last month due to issues that Staff had on parking. As a result, the application was delayed one month so the issues could be worked out. The most recently submitted design consists of a 1,130 square foot addition that has no upper story and no deck; instead, it has a clerestory on top that has the potential to eventually accommodate a full second story. The commercial storefront includes three sections that can either be entrances or windows. Knox stated Staff would like to see at least one of these areas recessed more. Parking will be around the perimeter of the lot on Oak and "A" Streets and three off-street parking spaces will be provided off "A" Street at the rear of the property. Staff is supporting this application with Historic Commission recommendations incorporated into the Findings.

Gary Caperna, 2908 Hillcrest Drive in Medford, stated he represents the design team for Batzer, Inc. for this project. He then explained the changes made since the last Historic Commission meeting. The addition now consists of three equal volumes. Each of the bays is one large volume. These volumes give the proposed addition an appropriate presence on "A" Street. By eliminating the upper story apartment, the parking requirements fit with the proposal. Skibby asked about the exterior lighting and Caperna replied the light will be behind a narrow flat steel sheet and will project downward. He added the color scheme of the building will be subdued; the CMU block will be a dark oak color. He then explained the three entry sections will be recessed 24 inches and the canopy extends four feet, so there will be a six foot protected entry. Caperna explained he wanted to design the building with longevity in mind, thus the potential for three separate openings. It will be built, however, with only one opening at the beginning. The canopy will be continuous. The middle portion of the alcoves can be either doors or windows; the rhythm would remain the same. The bronze anodized windows in the clerestory will be non-operable and are the same as used in the existing building and the "A" Street Marketplace across the street. He clarified the ceilings will be 16 feet high and the addition will be built to accommodate a second floor in the future. The CMU block is 8" x 16" and the grout will be the same color. The base of the building will be fluted, and then the building will go into common bond on split face block. On top, the cornice will be smooth block.

Knox stated he would like to see at least one of the alcoves (middle would be best) further recessed to help clarify the main entry. The door(s) will open onto the sidewalk and pedestrians walking by would have to be careful.

As there was no one in the audience who wanted to speak, Skibby closed the public hearing.

Whitford stated he feels Knox's point about recessing the center bay is important for the look of the building and for safety issues. Krippaehne and Saladoff both stated it would be difficult to identify the main entry, as it could eventually change. Giordano remarked the flexibility would be taken away if one entry were to be designated now. Ideally, all three bays would be recessed at least three feet. Knox responded the space is actually quite small and the middle bay is the most likely one to be the main entry. The addition will likely accommodate only one or two businesses. Giordano stated he would like to recommend all three be recessed.

Caperna offered to set up the return walls in the entries (alcoves) so if the space is used for a window, it can be forward and if used for a doorway, it could be recessed more. This would still allow for flexibility of the use. He would comply with a condition of approval stating doors would need to be recessed and windows could remain with a 24-inch setback. In discussing this further, Caperna and owner Al Carlson, agreed to recess all three alcoves, noting more square footage could be added in the rear to make up for the loss of space. The Commission concurred this would be the best solution.

Giordano moved to recommend approval of this application with the condition all three openings on "A" Street be recessed a minimum of three feet. Krippaehne seconded the motion and it passed with a unanimous vote.

Planning Action 2004-049
Conditional Use Permit/Transfer of Ownership
115 North Main Street
Jessica and Bruce Capp

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

Knox explained this application is for a Transfer of Ownership for a previously approved Bed & Breakfast. Although there are rarely complaints, he clarified this process gives neighbors a chance to voice concerns when a traveler's' accommodation changes ownership. There are no interior or exterior changes proposed.

There was no one in the audience who wished to speak regarding this application.

Whitford moved to recommend approval of this application and Swink seconded the motion, which passed with a unanimous vote.

Planning Action 2004-043
Conditional Use Permit
530 Catalina Drive
Dr. William Rodden

All members had site visits; none had ex parte contacts, although Skibby stated that while he was taking pictures of the property, a neighbor offered his personal opposition to the proposed use because of the deer.

Knox reported this application is for the construction of a temporary parking lot across from Ashland Community Hospital. The lot is currently vacant and would provide parking for the owner's patients and staff during the remodel of the Catalina Medical Building and upgrading of the existing parking lot. (Dr. Rodden owns both properties.) Knox explained a Conditional Use Permit is required because a parking lot should not be the predominant feature on a street. The proposal is to use the temporary lot for a two-year period, at which time the use will be reevaluated. The lot will be gravel with 16 spaces, a locked gate and perimeter landscaping, which will incorporate a bioswale at the rear of the property to capture and retain storm water runoff prior to pumping the excess water with a sump pump up to Catalina Drive. In addition, Knox related the existing tree is proposed to be saved while the property is a parking lot, but will most likely be removed when the lot is developed in the future. Staff is supportive of this temporary two-year use.

Designer Mark Reitinger (385 Vista Street), representing the applicant, stated this is a straightforward application. The property is zoned Health Care. He referred to the letter from Dr. Fried opposing the use and stated there is no real criteria for setting up a temporary parking lot so there is no clear criteria. After he received a copy of the letter, Reitinger submitted a letter to the Planning Department mitigating most all the points in the letter that could be contentious. The dust will be alleviated with the use of a biodegradable solution that will provide a temporary coating to the lot throughout the summer months, then would dissipate in the winter. He said they are hoping the bioswale and sump pump will take care of most of the drainage problems, since historically, the property drains downslope to the rear. Reitinger acknowledged there probably could be nothing that will alleviate the glare from windshields; however, landscaping the perimeter will help. Krippaehne questioned the parking configuration being in such close proximity to the tree and Reitinger responded that while the site plan shows parking tight against the tree, it will most likely be reconfigured to keep cars away from the drip edge of the tree. They may lose a couple parking spaces. He added that landscaping is only required against residential properties bordering parking lots. Although adjacent properties to the north and south are not residences, these borders will also be landscaped.

Krach asked if Reitinger had talked with Dr. Fried and he responded he had not talked with her but had addressed her concerns. Krach then questioned what the eventual use of the property would be. Reitinger said Dr. Rodden owns both pieces of property and may decide to build another medical office or he may decide to sell the proposed parking lot property. Rodden does not want to limit any future use of the vacant property. His intent is to use the temporary lot while construction is taking place on his existing office and parking lot. Reitinger also noted the hospital currently has major construction taking place and parking spaces are at a premium in the area.

Skibby asked about the temporary fill at the rear of the property. Reitinger said he suspects that that area would be filled no matter what the future use will be. Swink asked who would most likely use the lot and Reitinger replied half of the first year would be used mainly by staff for the Catalina Medical Building. When the existing parking lot is being brought up to current standards, the temporary lot would likely be used for valet parking because most of Dr. Rodden's patients are geriatric.

When asked by Saladoff if the Catalina entrance is the only access to the lot, Reitinger responded it is. Saladoff said the bottom three spaces will be difficult to use and Reitinger agreed, stating they will probably lose them in the reconfiguration. He added there is an existing curb cut that will be used, but staff may require it be moved when the lot is developed in the future because of its nearness to Dr. Fried's property.

Krippaehne wondered why the applicant is making such an effort to save the tree when probably in two years, a tree permit will be submitted to remove it for development. She stated the tree has not been maintained and looks like a mess. She could understand the efforts if it was a good specimen and didn't impede the development of the property.

Skibby closed the public hearing as there was no one who wished to speak.

Skibby stated there was a similar application a few years ago for the lot on the corner of Catalina and Maple prior to the construction of the now existing medical building. He sees the same process in the development of this property and commented a building on the site will impact both the lot and the tree. It is inevitable.

Krippaehne stated she personally feels it would be beneficial to make the most efficient use of the property and that includes mitigating for the possible loss of the tree.

Krippaehne then moved to recommend approval of this application with the recommendation that IF the tree presents an impediment to the most effective use of the temporary parking lot, the Historic Commission supports its removal and if that is the case, that the removal of the tree be mitigated elsewhere. Giordano seconded the motion and it passed with a unanimous vote.


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

May 6th

Skibby and Giordano

May 13th

Skibby, Krippaehne and Swink

May 20th

Skibby, Whitford and Krach

May 27th

Skibby, Swink and Saladoff

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)


PA #2004-018

322 Pioneer Street (Al & Sandra Carlson)


PA #2004-043

246 Catalina Drive (Dr. William Rodden)


Articles for City Source - Krach volunteered to write an article about historic preservation.

National Historic Preservation Week - Knox encouraged all members to attend the award ceremony on Friday. He also pointed out there would be three more walking tours - Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Possible National Register Nomination for Lithia Springs Property - The tour that was held on April 22nd was discussed, as well as the Parks Commission decision to study the Gun Club proposal and impacts the lease renewal would have on the site. Skibby stated one of the Parks Commissioners is still under the impression the Lithia Springs Property is listed as "surplus" and could be sold. He requested that someone notify the Parks Commission that it has been removed from the surplus list.

Carnegie Library Restoration - There was nothing new to report.


  • Krippaehne related she had two items to discuss with the Commission. The Conservation Commission (of which she is also a member) quarterly sponsors educational events. Looking ahead to next winter, she would like the Historic Commission to co-sponsor a workshop on how to build storm windows for historic windows. She feels this is a good topic to mesh the interests of the two commissions. North Mountain Park Nature Center hosts these events and also advertises them in the newsletter. The Historic Commission agreed this is a good idea and is willing to be a co-sponsor.

  • Krippaehne stated she lives on Terrace Street, which is on a ridge where there are old orchards. There are still small historic farmhouses standing but they are in jeopardy. A house dating back to 1865 just sold on the street and there are several other lots for sale in the vicinity. She wondered if there are ways the Historic Commission could appeal to the buyers to save these homes. The pressure for people to have large homes threatens the existence of the small historic houses with demolition or abuse because the buyers are paying a huge amount of money for the property. Giordano stated both he and Shostrom are on the Demolition Board and they carefully scrutinize these applications. Krippaehne said that to her, it seems too easy to meet the economic justification criteria in order to receive approval for demolition. Knox said the applicant needs to prove it would cost more to tear down a house and construct a similar one (including size) than to renovate it. The Demolition Board tries hard to look at the preservation of buildings as the most viable option, but he agreed that historic houses outside the Historic Districts are in jeopardy. He suggested the significant historic homes be documented as eligible for National Register status. Krippaehne commented there ought to be a way to do some outreach to educate the purchasers of these properties on the value of historic homes. She would like the Historic Commission to brainstorm ways to accomplish this without relying on more regulations, but appealing to their interest.

(Leighton arrived at this time.)

Giordano stated owners would need to be notified prior to the sale of historic homes, but it would be tough to convince them. Krippaehne asked about the process of creating a list of structures outside the District. Knox responded someone would be hired to go through the City's resources; however, Council approval would be required first.

Krippaehne moved for development of a memo to the City Council to request authorization for a multiple listing survey to place structures outside the existing four historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places. Krach seconded the motion with the stipulation the memo be reviewed by the Commission prior to submitting it to the Council. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

  • Leighton announced she would like to see the Historic Commission members at the Oregon Heritage Conference and encouraged them to attend. She noted daily fees were $20 for Thursday and $25 each for Friday and Saturday. She also stated she had a limited number of free passes to Governor Kulongoski's speech. (She left at 9:15p.m.)

  • Designer Bill Emerson presented proposed plans for an addition to the Unitarian Church on Fourth Street. Giordano stated he is working with Emerson on this project and felt it would be inappropriate for him to participate, therefore, he left the meeting at 9:20 p.m. Emerson stated the existing church will remain as it is, including the pinkish horizontal block. The existing basement portion with a one-story shed will be removed on the north side of the building and replaced with a larger addition. He showed elevations of the proposed addition from all sides.

Krippaehne said that while the design is a competent one that is a traditional style, she personally thinks it would be a mistake to add something that is reminiscent of a house. She would like to get away from re-imagining the past because it doesnít reflect the culture of our time and it robs the building of meaning. She does not feel new buildings should be made to look old. Whitford stated that while he doesnít always agree with Krippaehne, he does with this. He doesnít think the addition is in harmony with the existing church and said he feels the two should be more similar.

Emerson said his intention is to have both buildings look separate, even though they will be connected. He also noted he used contemporary elements in the design. Saladoff remarked this is not just about the style. There is a hierarchy of what is the use and what is needed in the neighborhood. The features on the proposed addition are residential in nature and the design fits into the neighborhood. Other options would be to match the existing building that was constructed in the 1960s or to make the design more contemporary. Whitford commented there are two churches that come to his mind. The historic Trinity Episcopal Church has a recent addition that matches the existing church. The Methodist Church on North Main Street has a separate building in the back that is a completely different style. They donít match, but they harmonize. Emerson commented both churches are historic with contemporary additions. This church was built in the 1960s when the Cityís Comprehensive Plan recommended the Railroad District be demolished to make way for apartments.

Skibby related he likes the proposed design. Swink and Krach said they could go either way with the design. Krippaehne pointed out she is not advocating mimicry with the new addition, rather a more contemporary design. Krach added this is a tough site and a tough call. He advised Emerson to gather the opinions of the Historic Commission members and then go with his heart, as he doesn't feel the members will see eye-to-eye on this project. Saladoff invited Emerson to come to the Review Board no matter which way the design goes.

  • Saladoff presented preliminary plans for his own house, which will be located at 150 Church Street. He stated the house is proposed to be larger than the maximum house size by 10% so it will be coming back to the Commission as a planning action. Before he goes further with the design, however, he requested input from the Commission. Saladoff said he thought it was important to design the house to fit the street as well as the needs of his family.

(At 10:00, Krippaehne moved and Swink seconded to extend the meeting until 10:15. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.)

In discussing the design, the Commission felt Saladoff should basically proceed with his proposed design.


With a motion by Krippaehne and second by Whitford, it was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 10:15 p.m.

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