MINUTES FOR THE STUDY SESSION
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor DeBoer called the Study Session to order at 12:11 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson and Morrison were present.
Councilor Laws and Hearn were absent.
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi, City Attorney Mike Franell, Community Development Director John McLaughlin and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg were also present.
1. Measure 37 Implementation
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi explained that the purpose of the Study Session was to discuss the implementation of Measure 37. He stated that the City would need to move quickly in establishing an ordinance and noted that a Special Meeting to adopt the ordinance would be held on November 30th, 2004.
City Attorney Mike Franell stated that he would need the Council's direction on the following issues:
Establish a Claims Procedure Ordinance
Mr. Franell explained that Measure 37 did not contained a clear definition of what constituted a valid claim and stated that most jurisdictions were putting their own procedures in place to help resolve these ambiguities. Mr. Franell requested that the Council discuss what information they would like to require when submitting a claim. Council suggested that the following information be required: Name, Address, Regulation the owner is contesting, Amount of the claim, Preliminary Title Report, Date property was purchased, and a Copy of the Property Deed.
Council discussed whether they should require a formal appraisal to be included as well. Mr. Franell stated that there was a risk in requiring the appraisal at the time of filing, and suggested that the Council not include this in their requirements as it could open the City up to additional lawsuits. Suggestion was made for the City to ask, but not require, that the claimant include a calculation of the property value and an explanation of how that number was determined.
Determination of Claim Validity
Mr. Franell clarified that Measure 37 indicates that only the governing body could make the determination of claim validity. He also stated that many of the jurisdictions were bifurcating the process, and questioned if the Council would like the Planning Department or the Administration Department to determine the claim validity. Council agreed that both the Planning and Legal Departments should be involved in determining whether a claim was valid. Suggestion was made for the City Administrator to deal with the issue of claim validity. Council discussed at what point they would want to become involved in the process. Suggestion was made for Staff to weed out the frivolous claims that might not need to come to Council. Mr. Franell clarified that Staff would keep the Council informed of all claims that are filed and clarified that the issue of compensation vs. waiver would definitely involve the Council.
Implementation of Claim Processing Fees
Mr. Franell explained that the Council needed to determine whether they would like to charge a fee for processing the claims. He explained that some jurisdictions will not required any fees, others will require a payment for all claims and some have determined that they will keep track of the costs and issue a bill only if the claim is found invalid. Mr. Franell stated that Measure 37 would produce a significant cost on local jurisdictions and stated that the City had no Staff time budgeted for this Measure.
Council discussed charging a fee for Staff time. Mr. Franell stated that because the City did not have experience with how much Staff time these cases would require, it might be difficult to determine a flat fee. Suggestion was made for the City to require an initial deposit and then track Staff time and charge appropriately. Comment was made that Staff should inform the claimant up front of what the expected costs would be.
Devaluation of Surrounding Properties
Mr. Franell stated that some jurisdictions have included a provision in their ordinance, which states that the claimant will be held responsible for the devaluation of surrounding properties. He stated that the City could include in its ordinance a cause of action that would provide the opportunity for surrounding properties owners to sue the claimant for a loss in their property value. Council agreed that they would like to include a cause of action in the ordinance.
Procedure for Waiving Regulations
Mr. Franell stated that the City would need to set up its procedures for waiving the regulations. He stated that the City had the option of not implementing a rule for a specific property and that a waiver could be issued to the property owner. He clarified that the waiver would be specific to the property owner and would not be transferable if the property were sold.
Mr. Franell stated that the land use application should have to go through the process and be denied before a claim could be filed. Also, the claimant should have to determine which regulation they would like a waiver on and allow the Council the opportunity to waive it before a claim could be filed. Council questioned if there could be some sort of penalty if the applicant did not follow through with their building plans after a regulation was waived.
2. Topics for Issue Paper - Croman Property
There was not enough time to address this issue. It was noted that Council could submit their comments to Staff via email.
ADJOURNED: Meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder
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