Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, September 27, 2004

City of Ashland

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

September 27, 2004

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, and Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; City Council Liaison Hartzell

Absent: None

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 – August 23, 2004 Under New Business item "Request from Ashland Pop Warner Football," Vice Chair Eggers clarified that she urged the commission to discuss the matter at a later date during a study session and "to receive all such requests during the budget process." She further stated that she "did not want to set a precedent for receiving such requests outside the yearly budget process." Under New Business item "The Grove Communication," Vice Chair Eggers clarified that the group discussed that "the board to oversee or manage activities at The Grove would be composed of teen representatives as well as others." Under Items from Commissioners, Vice Chair Eggers requested that the minutes reflect that she pointed out "the possible need for fire hazard reduction measures" at the newly donated property off Granite Street.

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum - None

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

Director Robertson requested removing the New Business item "Ice Rink Lease" from the agenda and discussing it at a future executive session. The commission concurred and the item was removed.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

GUN CLUB LEASE

Director Robertson referenced the packet memo relating to the Ashland Gun Club lease. He reported that staff received a legal opinion from the City Attorney stating that the issue needs be resolved by both the Parks Commission and the Ashland City Council, and that, given commission schedules and staff workloads, the best time for that meeting would be April of 2005.

Discussion Among Commissioners

The commission directed staff to pursue the proposed meeting and to schedule the joint study session for April of 2005. Commissioners asked staff to research some of the items relating to the club’s lease extension, including environmental cleanup, wetlands delineation, historic values, and legal issues. Director Robertson assured the commission that staff would pursue the matters prior to the April 2005 study session.

BASEBALL FIELD LIGHTS

Director Robertson reminded the commission about the request by representatives from the local baseball community for approval to fundraise to purchase lights for the varsity baseball field at North Mountain Park. He referred the commission to the lighting policies enclosed in their packets, and informed them that Mr. Greg Weston of the baseball community, as well Ms. Bonnie Moody of the concerned neighborhood group, were on-hand to offer their opinions and answer their questions.

Discussion Among Commissioners

The commission debated whether the policy document under consideration, which was approved by motion in the year 2000, was indeed a policy or merely a set of guidelines or goals for the commission. After much discussion, it was determined that portions of the document entitled "Athletic Field Lights at North Mountain Park" were guidelines for the commission to follow when making decisions about field lighting.

Public Comment

Greg Weston, 620 Sherwood Avenue, thanked the commission again for allowing him to make the request to raise funds for baseball lights at North Mountain Park. He answered a previous question by the commission regarding the number of participants in the baseball community within Ashland, reporting that the total number of baseball players [in the 2004 season] was 109, including three players that were double rostered. Lights were also discussed and it was estimated that, in the month of July, for example, the lights might be used a maximum of 12 nights for up to 1-1/2 hours each night.

Bonnie Moody, 511 East Hersey Street, a resident who lives directly across from North Mountain Park, spoke with concern about the parking situation at the fields and stated that the problem affects the entire community. She suggested not allowing two sports to play on two fields on a given night, because that would exacerbate the already difficult parking situation in the area.

Carol Carlson, 509 N. Mountain Avenue, also lives across from the park. She likes the lights but does not enjoy the fact that they shine into her home. She suggested lowering the lights so they shine directly onto the field, and proposed erecting some type of barrier around the lights.

Joe Peterson, 294 Village Park Drive, wrote a letter asking the commission not to light two fields on the same night. He also addressed other concerns regarding the lighting of any additional field(s).

Larry and Sharon Ince, 515 North Mountain Avenue, who live in the Riverwalk subdivision, wrote a letter to the commission regarding parking problems near the park, insufficient restrooms, and how additional lights could be a concern to residents in the area.

Additional Discussion Among Commissioners

The commission discussed existing parking spaces [approximately 100] and suggested ways in which parking problems could be ameliorated, including ride sharing and ensuring that two fields were not lit at the same time. Other issues discussed included: consideration of lights shining on natural areas [especially if additional lights were installed]; new lighting technologies; and tabling further discussion until budget time. The commission directed staff to bring lighting specifications, pole positions, and materials / plans for impact on the natural areas to a future commission meeting.

Additional Public Comment

Greg Weston, 620 Sherwood Avenue, stated that he previously perceived the lights were allowable [by the commission] and that the baseball community simply needed to raise the funds. After hearing the meeting discussion, his perception of the situation was quite altered.

Rick Landt, 468 Helman Street, speaking as a former Parks Commissioner, stated that many people involved in the creation and development of the park were not aware that lights would be installed later. Once the fields were finished, the commission was approached by groups wanting lights. He concluded by stating that the lights don’t meet the spirit of the rules established by the commission; another set of lights close to residences could pose a problem; and the commission might wish to consider waiting until the money for lights is raised before spending additional time on the matter.

LOWER DUCK POND PROPOSAL

Director Robertson reported on the presentation by Leslie Gore at the September 8 study session in which she proposed a method by which to clean the water in the lower duck pond.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed whether or not to issue an RFP [Request for Proposals] in determining the best solution or vendor for the water quality improvement project. After much deliberation, the commission directed staff to research a system and put together a program outlining costs, with the intention of moving forward with a plan for implementation.

Public Comment

Paul Kay, 1234 Strawberry Lane, thanked the commission for the opportunity to work on cleaning the water in the lower duck pond and invited them to a demonstration of his methods on Monday, October 4, at Science Works Museum. He stated that the current cleaning system in the pond has to be removed by the end of October or in early June. Staff agreed to discuss setting a date for the its removal before the end of October.

NEW BUSINESS

SOUND AMPLIFICATION REQUEST

Director Robertson referenced the packet memo outlining the request by North Mountain Park staff for a one-time exception to the sound policy for North Mountain Park in order to amplify sound at their annual Salmon Festival for the purpose of maximizing the effectiveness of the programs. He deferred to Ms. Linda Chesney of the North Mountain Park Nature Center.

Staff Comment

Linda Chesney, Environmental Education Co-Director at the North Mountain Park Nature Center, talked about the program elements that would benefit from sound amplification, including acoustical music [one performance from noon to 1:00 PM] and announcements for group tours.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the feasibility of this one-time request for sound amplification and agreed that it would benefit the programs at the event. A commissioner asked that the amplification not go beyond the park boundaries, if possible.

MOTION Commissioner Rosenthal moved to grant a one-time exception to the sound amplification policy for the annual Salmon Festival at North Mountain Park. Commissioner Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SIGNS, MEMORIALS, AND PLAQUES SUBCOMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

Director Robertson reported that seven requests for signs, memorials, and plaques are pending commission approval and requested the formation of a subcommittee to review and process those requests.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners Amarotico and Eggers volunteered to serve on the subcommittee and were duly appointed to it by Chair Gardiner.

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Trail Master Plan Subcommittee Report

Commissioner Lewis reported on the September 13 public meeting of the Wright’s Creek Trail corridor, at which approximately 40 people attended. A follow-up meeting was held the next day. On Thursday, September 23, Trails Supervisor Jeff McFarland gave a tour of the Tolman, Clay, and Hamilton Creek Trail corridors. The public meeting to discuss those corridors will be held on Monday, October 11, at The Grove, 1195 East Main Street, at 6:30 PM.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

    • Vice Chair Eggers reported that she attended the Oregon Parks and Recreation Association (ORPA) conference and found it valuable.
    • Commissioner Rosenthal asked for a status update on the Briscoe School playground situation. Director Robertson reported that the Parks Commission tentatively plans to meet with the Ashland School Board in November in a joint study session to discuss the matter.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

    • Executive session set for September 29 at 4:00 PM – Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.
    • Trail Master Plan Subcommittee public meeting set for October 11 at 6:30 PM – The Grove, 1195 E. Main Street. Topics will be the Tolman, Clay, and Hamilton Creek Trail corridors.
    • Trail Master Plan Committee regular meeting set for October 14, 2004, at 1:00 PM – Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Discussion to be the October 11 public meeting.
    • Special meeting set for October 18 at 7:00 PM – Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Discussion will be concessions in Lithia Park.
    • Study session set for October 18 at 7:00 PM – Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Discussion will be public meetings, records, and ethics rules followed by an update on the Meadowbrook Park II Development project.
    • Regular meeting set for October 25, 2004, at 7:00 PM, Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Chair Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 10:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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