Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, June 28, 2004

City of Ashland

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, and Lewis; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies

Absent: Commissioners Amarotico and Rosenthal

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 – May 24, 2004 Under New Business item "3AM Bicycle Request Review," Commissioner Rosenthal expressed his support of the event "so long as it was not detrimental." Under New Business item "Meadowbrook Park Development Information," Vice-Chair Eggers asked that the original language from the May 24 meeting regarding "islands under tree groups" be reflected in the minutes. Also in that section, under "Discussion Among Commissioners," she expressed concern about "riparian protection and restoration in the park" (not "reparation").

MOTION Vice-Chair Eggers moved to approve the minutes as amended. Commissioner Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 3 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Bill Longiotti, P.O. Box 1, Talent, spoke of an upcoming event at the Ashland Gun Club and asked the Commission about the status of the gun club lease extension.

Ron Roth, 6950 Old Hwy 99 South, asked the Commission to formally request that the Jackson County Commissioners hold a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the Bear Creek Greenway ordinance prior to making their final decision on the matter.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA - None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

SIGNS, MEMORIALS, AND PLAQUES DISCUSSION

Director Robertson referenced the most recent revisions to the draft policy that came from the June 14 study session and asked Commissioners for their review and feedback.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed a number of issues about the draft policy. Commissioner Lewis read the document from the viewpoint of a person requesting a sign, memorial, or plaque, and found it to be useful. Vice-Chair Eggers reminded the Commission about their decision to not use "monument" but instead to use only the words "signs and memorials," as "plaques" would come under the heading of "signs." In terms of naming parks, trails, or other park-related sites, she stressed the importance of establishing a naming policy, asking that a paragraph be added to the document under the heading of "Policy." She asked that redundancies in the document be removed wherever possible, and agreed to forward appropriate wording to staff. Finally, she expressed her concern about the reflective signs under trees in Lithia Park, stating that the glaring is often hard on eyes.

Chair Gardiner asked Staff to explain historical maintenance practices for such items as signs, memorials, bridges, or trails. Director Robertson explained that Staff is ultimately responsible for maintaining all items in city parks and recommended that a statement be added to the document to the effect that, "any contribution to the park must be accompanied by a maintenance fee equivalent to twice the worth of the donated item."

The Commission agreed to reduce the title of the document to "Signs and Memorials" and to exclude "Plaques and Monuments."

NEW BUSINESS

BIKE SWAP REPORT

Director Robertson reminded Commissioners about the March 22 APRC regular meeting request that the Parks Commission partner with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission for the annual bike swap. He welcomed Lexi Delgado and David Chapman of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission.

Lexi Delgado, Bike Swap Coordinator, spoke about the success of the event and thanked the Parks Commission for their assistance. She reported that the swap took in approximately $2,400 and that the funds will be used for bicycle education classes in the community, utilizing Parks and Recreation staff for the coordination and administration of those classes. Specific classes could include an elementary school-level bicycle rodeo to teach basic bicycle skills in a fun environment; multi-generation rides around Ashland guided by local cycling enthusiasts; and a middle school-aged after-school program to teach bicycle safety and basic bicycle maintenance. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission will co-sponsor the classes.

David Chapman spoke with appreciation about the suggestion by Parks staff to run and manage future annual bike swaps, with support from himself, Ms. Delgado, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners congratulated Ms. Delgado and Parks / Bicycle Commission staff on the success of the event and expressed their excitement about continuing to work together in the future.

HABITAT FOR CATHY REQUEST

Director Robertson referenced the packet information regarding the request by a local citizen to be gifted her rental home, located in the North Main Street Park area, in which she has resided for nearly 20 years.

Public Comment

Cathy Tschanen, 669 N. Main Street, spoke about the history of the property, including its use as a peach orchard, and stated that the home in which she lives was brought to the site from another location in Ashland. She expressed that the house suits her needs well and that she would have difficulty finding another affordable home in Ashland. She reported that the entrance to the park would be prohibitive for vehicular access.

Sharyn Mandell, a Talent resident, is a friend of Ms. Tschanen’s who spoke in support of the donation of the home, expressing the desire to assist her friend in expanding the roughly 500-square-foot dwelling.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Director Robertson observed that there are two viable entrances and a third possible entrance into the future park, and that the drive off N. Main Street does not appear to be adequate for vehicular entrance into the park. He indicated that the area would fall into the "neighborhood park" category and would not be suitable as a "drive-to" park but could serve as a "walk-to" park.

He reported that the Commission will begin a process of creating a master plan for the site in the 2004-2005 fiscal year and the future of the site will depend upon the results of that process.

Chair Gardiner reiterated the need to create a master plan for the property and suggested a future site visit. He proposed tabling the request pending the creation of that plan.

Vice-Chair Eggers stated that the mission of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission is to create and maintain parks in Ashland, not to provide affordable housing to its citizens. She voiced her support for the creation of the master plan.

COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENTS

Director Robertson asked Commissioners for their consideration and approval of a 3% cost of living increase for regular full-time Parks employees, mid-level managers, and upper managers; effective July 1, 2004. He stated that the proposed budget for fiscal year 2004-2005 included projected COLAs of 3%, with projected increases of 20% for insurance costs, but that actual insurance costs for the fiscal year are 8%.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Vice-Chair Eggers noted that the matter was discussed at the June 14 APRC study session.

MOTION Commissioner Lewis moved to approve a 3% cost of living increase for regular full-time employees, mid-level managers, and upper managers; effective July 1, 2004. Vice-Chair Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 3 yes – 0 no

ASHLAND SOCCER CLUB’S PROPOSED CHANGES TO PARKS PLAN

Director Robertson referenced a request by the Ashland Soccer Club regarding some adjustments on the Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan relative to active sports fields located near the Ashland YMCA. He introduced a member of the club and invited him to speak to the Commission.

Public Comment

Rick Landt, 468 Helman Street, is a board member of the Ashland Soccer Club. He read a letter aloud, written by the club to the Commission, which indicated that the club is aware of some activity related to the property adjacent to the YMCA fields that was designated as part of the short-term list of Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan properties. The club felt that the Commission might be in danger of losing the opportunity to purchase that property. He noted that there has been no activity with regard to the Open Space funding situation in the past few years, despite the fact that the OS plan was unanimously approved by both the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission and the Ashland City Council. He expressed his desire to reduce the number of properties on the short-term list, which could invigorate efforts to purchase the remaining properties. The club would be interested in utilizing 2-3 acres of the 10 acres of land adjacent to the YMCA fields for the purpose of developing three full-sized soccer fields that would include buffer space and warm-up areas.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners reviewed a map provided by Mr. Landt and discussed dimensions of the proposed fields. Director Robertson summarized that adding the acres to the playing fields could create a bigger playing surface that might allow a larger range of ages to participate in activities, which would then make it easier for the Parks Commission to justify additional expenditures to improve the surface of the fields. The Commission directed staff to conduct further conversations with the developer of the property and to report back to the Commission in executive session about the status of the land in question.

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Trail Master Plan Committee Report

Commissioner Lewis reported on the Public Trail Meeting held at The Grove on Monday, June 7, at which 35-40 members of the public attended. Eight tables, representing local trail corridors, were arranged around the room for people to visit, learn about the trail areas, and voice questions and concerns.

A Trail Master Plan Committee regular meeting was held on June 17. Committee members evaluated the public meeting and determined how to best assimilate the information. A neighborhood meeting, potentially in the Wright’s Creek area, will be held in September. Neighbors and property owners will be notified in advance, and they and the public will be invited to attend. Based on the success of that meeting, other trail corridors will be addressed at subsequent meetings.

During the summer months, the committee will work on the document that will accompany the map. The document will include policies on trail use, standards for trails, flora and fauna, and trail history.

Director Robertson added that the draft map under consideration will be posted at various prominent locations around town, including the Community Development Building near the plaza, the Parks Department office in Lithia Park, the Ashland YMCA, and the Ashland Public Library. Readers of the posted maps will be invited to make comments or suggestions directly to Director Robertson via his email address. Director Robertson asked Commissioners for their thoughts on posting a map at the entrance to Lithia Park, but the group decided it would not be necessary.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

    • Chair Gardiner proposed a joint Ashland Parks Commission / Ashland City Council study session to discuss The Grove, the Lithia Springs / Ashland Gun Club lease extension, and Open Space funding.
    • Chair Gardiner proposed directing staff to draft a letter to the Jackson County Commissioners requesting a formal public hearing about the proposed golf course. Staff was so directed.
    • Commissioner Lewis asked about the outcome of the neighborhood meeting concerning the future of the Briscoe School playground. The Commission agreed to meet with representatives from the neighborhood committee at the next APRC study session on July 19.
    • Vice-Chair Eggers noted that construction for the Meadowbrook Park II subdivision has commenced and requested clear communication with workers regarding installation of construction fencing and protection of riparian areas during the building process. Director Robertson agreed to talk to Mr. John McLaughlin, Director of Planning, regarding those matters.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

    • Study session set for July 19, 2004, at 3:30 PM, Parks Department office, 340 S. Pioneer. The APRC will tour Lithia Park and later meet with representatives of the Briscoe School playground committee.
    • Trail Master Plan Committee meeting set for July 22, 2004, at 1:00 PM Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.
    • Regular meeting set for July 26, 2004, at 7:00 PM, Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Chair Gardiner adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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