Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

AUGUST 25, 2004

Chair Matt Small called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services building in the Siskiyou Room located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR 97502
Commissioners Present: Matt Small, Chair
Amy Korth
Don Macklin
Liz Peck
Carol Voisin
Alice Hardesty
Faye Weisler
Kim Miller (arrived at 5:00 p.m.)
Absent Members: None
Council Liaison: Kate Jackson, present
SOU Liaison: Ryan Heihn, absent
Staff Present: Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist
Sue Yates, Executive Secretary
2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - Voisin noted a correction on page 2, second bullet, second paragraph, last sentence omit the word "are." Voisin/Mackin m/s to approve the Minutes of the July 28, 2004 Housing Commission meeting.
3. PUBLIC FORUM - No one came forth to speak.
Limitation of for-purchase housing in Multi-Family zones (Staff) - It was decided to treat the proposal for Minimum Densities and the Limitation of for-purchase housing independently for the sake of clarity. Limitation of for-purchase housing will return to the Housing Commission after further research as requested at the Planning/Housing Commission Joint Study Session in July.
CDBG RFP (Staff) - Last month the Housing Commission chose Option 3 (to immediately issue a RFP for the 2004 re-program funds and a new RFP for the 2005 program year). The Council will review the decision on September 7, 2004. The RFP has been sent out and the 30 day return is September 7th. The Council will see how many proposals are received as they make a decision whether or not to issue the Request for Proposal. The Housing Commission will later evaluate the proposals.

Jennifer Henderson, President of Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT), said she is frustrated because ACLT could do a better job of submitting a proposal if they had more time and if they knew the proposal on September 7th would be awarded to somebody.

Goldman said with Option 3 to do two RFP's, time became a sensitive issue. Weisler made a recommendation that in the future to allow a longer period of time to respond to a RFP.

City Bond Proposal
Philip Lang, 758 B Street
, followed up from his last month's proposal to sell bonds to gain affordable housing. He submitted a letter dated August 25, 2004 reviewing the cost/income figures and giving another hypothetical.

Small suggested forming a quick ad hoc committee to take a look at Lang's proposal and come back next month with a report to the Commission. He invited Lang to attend the committee's meetings. Mackin, Weisler, Voisin and Small volunteered for the ad hoc committee.

Jackson reminded the Commission they need to keep asking Staff if the Commission is asking for too many things all at once.

Cate Hartzell asked the Housing Commission to look at the following:
1. Tax credits.
2. Periodic training at Commission meetings - invite speakers
3. Housing report card (forum idea)
4. Take today's trends and grown out 10 years (forum idea)
5. National League of Cities has a website: On the website is "American Dream". The vice president of NLC from Massachusetts is calling for towns on September 28 to call a Town Hall to talk about housing. The biggest component is about wealth and what is happening in towns across the country.
6. Explained her vote against the RFP last week. She is still supportive of affordable housing. She believes there are still things to talk about such as housing downtown and housing over parking lots. The Housing Action Plan contains the strategy to fund the Housing Trust Fund. She wanted to look as much as possible at assets that we have that would fit the best strategy.
Jackson said with regard to a "living map" she would encourage Staff to do what they can with the GIS information they already have. She would like to see a map showing structures with zoning.

Jackson said for discussion at a later meeting, should we consider looking at areas outside the City Limits but inside the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) that are beginning to see development potential? The areas are not currently zoned to create multi-family housing. Goldman said it means looking at Comprehensive Plan Map changes. It is an Action Plan item. Small suggested the Land Use subcommittee could discuss it at their meetings. Mackin said because we aren't expanding the UGB, we have to do master planning. It is a priority. The message to the Planning Commission is to keep housing density in the forefront.

Goldman said when it comes to changing the land use of a particular area, it has less to do with support from the Planning Department as it does with having compelling land need information for the types of housing and number of housing units provided. The data has to be there to support the decision. He will make an effort to gather information.

Peck reiterated her desire to see a "living map." What steps can be taken to generate such a map? Goldman said to make such a map would be a substantial undertaking.

Finance - They discussed general housing issues in Ashland and guidelines for what qualifies as an affordable housing unit. Goldman developed a schedule laying out in detail what steps are involved in creating the housing trust fund. Commission members requested a copy. Meeting time: Every month, second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at 51 Winburn Way, Siskiyou Room.

Education - They will not be having a community event on November 4th. They will meet once a month to develop a program for early spring. They will be meeting September 15th, October 20th, and November 17th. All meetings will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.

Before the end of year, they might schedule a time on Jeff Golden's radio show for some affordable housing education.

Kim Miller arrived at 5:00 p.m.

Land Use - They followed up on the joint study session of the Council and Housing Commission. They are trying to get as much land use orientation as possible. They will move the regular monthly meeting to the first Thursday of the month at noon in the Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.

Ralph Coppersmith, Director of Acquisitions, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, gave a presentation on tax credit funds (Section 42).
Minimum Densities in Multi-Family Zones
Goldman said the ordinance modifications are in the packet for the Commissioners' review in order to make a recommendation to the Planning Commission. The proposal is to require minimum densities in the R-2 and R-3 zones to be 80% of the base densities for those zones. Exceptions are included.

Public Comment
Allen Douma, Planning Commissioner, believes it is important to quantify what the Housing Commission has done. What type of units can be expected and how many additional units can we expect? Will we be discouraging people from building anything at all? Unless we set some goals to see how are far we've gotten, we are unable to evaluate the impact of what we are doing.

Dave Dotterrer, Planning Commissioner, agreed with Douma's remarks. If we don't establish goals, how do we know whether something has happened or not. What if there are negative impacts?

Jackson said we need to put a variety of programs in place. Mackin said we have to do something. Not having all the information is a not a reason to do nothing.

Weisler expressed concern with 18.28.040.D.3. If a large property is granted a CUP there might not be any opportunity for affordable housing. Goldman said he took the wording from the City of Portland's ordinance. He will check with them to see if they have had any problems.

Voisin/Miller m/s to extend the meeting until 6:15 p.m. The motion carried.

Jackson/Voisin m/s that the Housing Commission provide their support in forwarding the ordinances changes to the Planning Commission for minimum densities in multi-family zones. Staff will look into the third exception. Staff will make any change to 18.28.040.D.3, if necessary, keeping in mind that housing remains the highest desired use. Voice Vote: Unanimous.

Parking Lot RFP, Update on City Council review held August 17th. The Council recommended that Staff make revisions to the RFP and outline some of their concerns and come back with changes to the Council on September 21st.

Housing Alliance - Agenda Caucus Meeting is tentatively scheduled for October 17th. Goldman will be attending. If other members wish to attend, contact Goldman.

Ashland Charter Review Committee - A letter of introduction is included in the packet.

1. Find a way to have a "living map."
2. Comprehensive plan map amendments - potential rezoning of lands coming into the City.
3. Report from ad hoc committee formed at this meeting to report on Philip Lang's letter and tax credits.
4. Meeting dates for the next few months.
10. ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

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