Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
August 3, 2004 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

ROLL CALL
Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn were present; Councilor Jackson was absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of July 20, 2004 were approved as presented.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor's Declaration to commemorate Hiroshima Day (Aug 6th) and Nagasaki Day (Aug 7th) was read aloud.

CONSENT AGENDA

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application from Chun H. Chan dba Chun's Palace, Inc.
3. Approval of Amendment No. 1 to Fund Exchange Agreement No. 20521, Water Street Bridge Project, between the City of Ashland and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. Continuation of Public Hearing regarding Appeal of Planning Action 2004-052, 904 Garden Way, Ashland.

Mayor DeBoer read aloud the Public Hearing procedure for Land Use Hearings.

Public Hearing Continued: 7:09 p.m.

EX PARTE CONTACT
Mayor DeBoer and Councilor Morrison received an email from Oak Knoll Meadows Home Owners Association; however neither read the message due to the public hearing being closed. Mayor DeBoer stated he forwarded the email to Staff.

IN OPPOSITION TO APPLICANT
Lynn Costantino/892 Harmony Lane
/Presented a poster displaying pictures of the subject property. Mr. Costantino voiced concern that no architecture was considered and noted the close proximity to the adjoining property. He also commented on the petition signed by the 46 neighbors and stated he is not the only one with concerns.

STAFF RESPONSE
Community Development Director John McLaughlin stated the Council should consider the options presented in the Staff Memo, which deal with the concerns raised during the first portion of the public hearing.

Mr. McLaughlin clarified the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the accessory unit is an allowed use of the zone under certain conditions. He stated there is only one other approved accessory unit in this zone, however Staff has been notified of others that might be operating illegally and they will be investigating these claims. Mr. McLaughlin stated an ordinance amendment would be required if the Council wished to set a number of the allowed CUPs per neighborhood.

Ms. Harris noted the neighbors have raised concerns regarding the need to protect the electric pole. Ms. Harris clarified that although the pole location is not ideal, there is nothing that prohibits its close location to the proposed driveway. However, Council could ask for a condition that would provide a barrier to protect the electric pole. The Electric Department would need to review this property in order to determine the potential risk.

Mr. McLaughlin stated there are currently 94 approved accessory units and noted they are located throughout the City. It was noted that Staff has not had any experience with negative impacts to neighborhoods as a result of allowing accessory units.

Mr. McLaughlin clarified that the ordinance does not require homeowners to occupy homes with accessory units.

Mr. McLaughlin stated that the traffic generated by the proposed accessory unit would be no different than that of a normal single family unit. In regards to architectural compatibility, the accessory unit would not change the architecture and there is no reason to believe there will be any affect on air quality. In addition, Staff does not see this application as setting a precedent for future applicants.

Mr. McLaughlin clarified the Council could deny the permit if they determine that the conditions are inappropriate. However they would need to specify which conditions they do not agree with.

Mr. McLaughlin clarified that remodeling can be done without obtaining permits. It is only when the owner wants to make a separate living unit that a CUP is required. City Attorney Mike Franell stated that the potential violation of not obtaining the necessary building permits should be handled as a separate issue.

REBUTTAL
Jane VanDyke/668 Leonard Street
/Stated they were taken back by all of the negative comments expressed at the last council meeting. She and her husband are attempting to do something that is positive, and were under the belief that this was something that the City supported and encouraged. Ms. VanDyke stated she would like to respond to some of the specific concerns and mis-information provided at the last meeting. First, they did not turn the garage into an apartment. The garage was converted to two bedrooms and a bath in the 1970's, 30 years before they purchased the house. Additionally, their house is 13 feet away from the neighbor's, not 5 feet as stated by the opponents. Ms. VanDyke stated that they want to have a legal unit, which is why they are going through this process. Ms. VanDyke stated she does not understand why this neighborhood is only willing to welcome "certain types" of people, and questioned if this property does not meet the affordable housing goals of the City, than what does?

Public Hearing Closed: 8:13 p.m.

COUNCIL DELIBERATION
Mayor DeBoer expressed concern that this case was only heard in front of the 3 member Hearings Board, and felt that it should have been heard by the full Planning Commission. He also expressed concern that two rental units are being placed in a single-family residence. Mayor DeBoer stated he does not support this application based on the parking issues and the negative impacts on the livability of the neighborhood.

Council discussed the seven factors that are to be considered, which include:

1) Similarity in scale, bulk, and coverage,
2) Generation of traffic and effects on surrounding streets. Increases in pedestrian, bicycle, and mass-transit use are considered beneficial regardless of capacity of facilities,
3) Architectural compatibility with the impact area,
4) Air quality, including the generation of dust, odors, or other environmental pollutants,
5) Generation of noise, light, and glare,
6) The development of adjacent properties as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan, and
7) Other factors found to be relevant by the Hearing Authority for review of the proposed use.

Councilor Hartzell suggested two additional conditions to add to those recommended by the Hearings Board and Staff:
Condition #17 - Ask the Electric Department to review the driveway pole and make any recommendations that they see fit to ensure the electric pole meets safety standards.
Condition #18 - The accessory unit not be increased more than 500 sq. ft.

Concern was raised regarding setting a condition that would limit the size of the house and the unit in the future. It was stated that building permits are required to add on to a house and questioned whether this would be more of a legal condition.

Mr. Franell stated there are already building limitations in place. There is a condition that states the accessory unit cannot exceed more than 50% of the floor space of the primary unit. In addition, the Maximum Lot Coverage Ordinance would apply. However, Council could add an additional condition further limiting the size of the accessory unit.

It was noted that the applicant would have to apply for a new application if they wanted to make any of these changes to the property in the future.

Council discussed whether Staff's Condition #16 should be included at this time or handled separately.

Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to uphold the application, denying appeal, with the following conditions: Conditions #1-13 from the Hearings Board, Conditions #14 and #15 as stated in the Staff Memo dated July 28, 2004, an additional condition that states that the Electric Department review the driveway pole and make any recommendations they see appropriate to ensure protection of that pole and neighborhood safety, and a condition that states that the accessory unit will not be increased more than 550 sq. ft; If the owner wants to increase size of the accessory unit they would pursue an amendment to the Conditional Use Permit. DISCUSSION: Mayor DeBoer voiced his concern with livability. Council Hartzell stated she shares in the Mayor's concerns. Voice Vote: Councilor Laws, NO. Councilor Amarotico, Hartzell, Morrison and Hearn, YES. Motion passed 4-1. Mayor DeBoer spoke to the owner of the house, and stated it is very critical with a rental situation like this to monitor the rental closely.

Councilor Hartzell motion to direct Staff to take the action as noted in Condition #16 and that Council direct the Planning Department Staff to investigate any accessory units in that neighborhood that might be unpermitted and take necessary action. Motion dies due to lack of a second.

Mayor DeBoer noted that Staff is already required to follow any illegal activities. He also noted that if neighbors are concerned, they can make a complaint to the Planning Department, and they will send someone out to investigate.

Council discussed whether it was appropriate to direct Staff to only investigate this one neighborhood. Opinion was expressed that because a complaint was raised, it is appropriate to formally ask Staff to follow up. Opposing comment was made that Staff is already required to investigate complaints and Council should trust Staff's discretion on how to follow through.

PUBLIC FORUM
Ryan Navickas/711 Faith Avenue
/Requested that the Council reconsider the most recent approved ordinance regarding public nudity. Mr. Navickas spoke regarding the cultural norm in regards to the human body and expressed his concern with the passive and compulsive nature on the passage of this ordinance. He noted there are already laws regarding lewd behavior and requested that this issue be placed on the agenda for council discussion.

Erik Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Spoke regarding the proposed Mt. Ashland Ski expansion. Mr. Navickas requested that the Council move to halt the NEPA process until the Waste Treatment Facility on the Mt. Ashland development is dealt with. He stated there are high nitrogen levels in the effluent and others serious problems that exist in the current development.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS

1. Eighth Annual Report on implementation of the Valdez Principles.
Electric & Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid stated the Valdez Principles were adopted in May of 1990 and require an annual report on implementation of the principles. The annual report was submitted to the Council and is included in the public record. Mr. Wanderscheid noted the new items are in italic and gave a brief explanation of each.

Mayor DeBoer acknowledged the use of bio-diesel fuel being used by the Ashland School District buses. Public Works Director Paula Brown noted there is a Department of Energy program that will reimburse the City 25% of all of the costs associated with going to the bio-diesel fuel.

Mayor DeBoer spoke regarding the styrofoam ban, and stated that it is his understanding that the new styrofoam now dissipates quicker in a land fill than plastic. Mr. Wanderscheid agreed and noted that CFCs are no longer being used to create styrofoam. Mr. Wanderscheid stated he will talk with Ashland Sanitary and the Conservation Commission to revisit this topic.

It was noted the Cities for Climate Protection and the Community Wildfire Protection Plan was missing from the report.

The BPA Power Shift Program was noted. Mr. Wanderscheid stated they have been disappointed in the response to this program. The City has the ability to do 100 homes, at last count Ashland was only at 40.

It was noted that the bulk of the sign-ups came as a result of a front page article ran in the Daily Tidings. Mr. Wanderscheid stated he is currently working with BPA to do a direct mailing to residents. It was noted that the program offers a $100 rebate and residents can visit the City's website to sign up.

Mr. Wanderscheid quoted an article on Good Watch, which explained that this is a home energy management system that employs technology that allows customers to automatically control their home energy uses. Homeowners can program their thermostat, pool pump, water heaters and other devices, at home or remotely, around the clock via the internet. They can also monitor their settings whenever and wherever they happen to be.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Setting a Public Hearing with Intention to Form a Local Improvement District for Sidewalk and Traffic Calming Improvements to W. Nevada Street from Helman Street North to the Billings Ranch Subdivision."
Public Works Director Paula Brown presented the Staff Report on the intent to form an LID from W. Nevada and Helman Street, North to the Billings Ranch Subdivision. Ms. Brown stated they will be looking at the district boundary and also the costs. It was noted that the City may have over-estimated what the actual cost will be. It was also clarified that the City received seven plans, and from those seven Staff created one consensus plan.

Council requested that both the original and consensus plans be provided to the Council for review. It was clarified that at the public hearing, Council will be able to view both plans and cost estimates and receive testimony from anyone who wishes to speak on this issue.

Ms. Brown clarified the decision the Council is making tonight is to form a LID, they are not making a decision on design. Concern was expressed that the change in costs would result in the need to re-notice the neighborhood.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to approve Resolution #2004-30. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Morrison, Hearn, Laws and Amarotico, YES. Motion passed.

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
Mayor DeBoer stated there are currently opening on the Historic, Public Arts and Airport Commissions. He also noted that applications are kept on file for 6 months.

A Study Session is scheduled for tomorrow at noon in the Council Chambers. Topics of discussion include making land use decisions and ex parte contact. In addition, Ashland Town Hall will be airing on RVTV at 6 p.m. tomorrow night.

ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor


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