Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

JUNE 23, 2004

Chair Matt Small called the meeting to order at 4:08 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services building in the Siskiyou Room located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR 97520.
Commissioners Present: Matt Small, Chair
Faye Weisler
Don Mackin
Liz Peck
Carol Voisin
Absent Members: Kim Miller
Amy Korth
Council Liaison: Kate Jackson
High School Liaison: None
SOU Liaison: Ryan Heihn, present
Staff Present: Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary

Small noted that the outlined agenda would look the same each month. New agenda items will include Project Updates, Other Business from Housing Commission Members, and Commission Coordination. Peck was voted as timekeeper.

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - The minutes of the April 28, 2004 and May 26, 2004 meetings were approved as submitted.
3. PUBLIC FORUM - (On-going agenda item to report on happenings at the Federal and State levels. Can include items in the packet. Further discussion of these items under Other Business from Housing Commission Members.)

No one came forth to speak.

Goldman reported on the non-profits and what has been accomplished to date.
Six-unit low income housing project at 41 Garfield - Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT).
ACLT is working on acquisition of a duplex on Grant Street.
Last week, Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation (RVCDC) completed the purchase of 2001 Siskiyou Boulevard. The property will accommodate 10 units.
Between the two projects listed above, the City expended $633,000 last week for affordable housing.
Other projects
The Planning Commission approved the Strawberry Lane partition and Findings have been mailed. We are awaiting the 15 day appeal period. Next step: Survey.
Hargadine and how it relates to the Big Box is going to be addressed more comprehensively in the Downtown Plan update.
Housing Alliance - Dept. of Community Development has the funds available and the Housing Commission will be joining.
Peck reported that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was contacted by Diane Hess, Fair Housing Council of Oregon to have a consciousness raising, educational event based around the production "A Raisin in the Sun" which deals with housing discrimination. Peck and Tim Bond are putting together an event scheduled for September 26th. They are planning to have an educational panel. A portion of the ticket sales will be going to the Fair Housing Council. Various sectors in the community and valley will be invited to attend. They could end up donating about $900 to the Fair Housing Council. The event will include a reception and a discussion after the play. Peck asked for help from anyone on the Commission who might be interested in helping.
The Commissioners had some other ideas such as a forum before the play and Affordable Housing Awareness Week. The Education subcommittee will work on this. This would address an item in the Housing Action Plan - Have a yearly summit on affordable housing.
Voisin thought we should make a recommendation to the Council to select a representative to the Housing Alliance.
Small suggested striking up a correspondence with town(s) in similar situations as Ashland that have successful affordable housing programs. Goldman offered to locate a town. Towns mentioned were Basalt, Bend, Jackson Hole, Park City.
FINANCE - Goldman reported they are developing a platform for the Housing Trust Fund and a means by which we could select projects and then, bring to the Commission how funds should be awarded.
Next meeting - July 12th, 7:30 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. (second Monday of the month)
EDUCATION - The next meeting is June 30th at 5:15 p.m. at the SOU Starbucks. They will work on ways to get the affordable housing message out by using the same message over and over. In addition, they are working with Ann Seltzer to get information in the City Source.
LAND USE - They have not met, but after the study session, they now know where the group wants to go. Jackson expressed an interest in participating.

Upcoming meetings:
Tuesday, July 27th, 7:00 p.m. - Joint Study Session with the Planning Commission, Housing Commission, Council at the Council Chambers
Topic: Minimum densities within multi-family zones precluding single family use.

The Land Use subcommittee will try to meet again before the meeting on the 27th.

Voisin left the meeting. (5:20 p.m.)

Goldman said Sandler asked the Housing Commission if the Pioneer lot was suitable for affordable housing. The site is 26,000 square feet and next to the old Copeland building. It is zoned C-1 and its intended use is for commercial development. Housing can only be built above a permitted use within the zone. A public parking lot is a permitted use. The Hargadine site required no residential parking (C-1-D); the Pioneer lot would require residential parking (C-1) on the site. The base housing density is another distinction between the Hargadine lot and the Pioneer lot. The base density in the downtown is double that of the C-1 zone of 30 units an acre. That would lower the number of units on the Pioneer lot to 15. In looking at getting a tax credit project, they typically go to larger scale projects and 20 units is quite small. The property would have to be rezoned to allow more density. Rezoning is complex.

Jackson explained there was a charrette process done by Russ Dale on the Pioneer lot. They have not yet brought in the pre-application. We wouldn't want to start a rezone until after we've looked at the Downtown Plan.

Goldman will speak with Sandler regarding the tax credit programs and discuss the uncertainties surrounding the Pioneer project.

Mackin suggested the following: The Commission decided it would be appropriate to respond to a positive manner to the concept brought to the City by Allan Sandler of using public land to provide an incentive for affordable housing. We wonder if there are other possibilities that the Council would want to explore. As the Downtown Plan is reviewed, if the Council supports that concept, they can have an influence on whether or not it will be included in the Downtown Plan. The Housing Commission goes on record as saying the concept has merit. We are in favor of anything that can be used to promote affordable housing in Ashland, and in particular downtown the concept of using public parking for leverage.

Goldman noted there are a number of large scale projects coming up in the next six months that will have an affordable housing component because they are rezones or annexations.

Jackson said she would like to see the comment Mackin suggested written and make it an Action Item to the Council. It is a way of giving them a report on what they have asked us to do and will give people a chance to comment on that Action Item.

Goldman wondered if the Commission would want included in the report work that has been done on developing the request for proposal and target income levels. He will write it up and forward it to the Commissioners.

Madeline Hill spoke about the NowX2. The Housing Commission has a chance to bring it the Planning Commission again. She owns one of the properties discussed during the NowX2 hearings. She wants to donate a significant amount of land.

The Commissioners asked if Goldman could do some research to see if there is still time for more input in NowX2. He will bring a report next month.

There will be a meeting of the Land Use committee on July 8th in the Lithia Room.

Weisler and Mackin will not be at the joint study session. Weisler will not be at the July Housing Commission meeting.

11. ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Yates, Executive Secretary

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