MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
November 16, 2004, 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Laws, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 2 and Executive Meeting Minutes of November 2, 2004 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Announcement of Award of "El Pipila de Plata" to Senora Chela Kocks.
Mayor DeBoer presented Senora Chela Kocks the "Pipila de Plata" Award. It was noted that this was a very significant award and this was the first time it had been given to a foreign citizen. Several individuals, including 2 exchange students from Guanajuato, addressed the Council and shared their sentiments of Senora Kocks.
2. Presentation of Tree of the Year.
Tree Commissioner Bryan Holley and Councilor Hartzell, Council Liaison to the Tree Commission, announced the Monterey Cypress Tree located at 407 Scenic Drive as Ashland's 17th Tree of the Year. The other 4 nominees were recognized and Mr. Holley thanked all those involved in the process. It was noted that the nomination process had changed and citizens could now send their nominations to Assistant Planner Amy Anderson throughout the year.
3. Mayor's Proclamation of the month of November as National Alzheimer's
Proclamation was read aloud.
4. Charter Review Committee Update to Council.
John Enders, Chair of the Charter Review Committee explained that the Committee had been reviewing the current City Charter and have determined that it requires substantial revision. He explained that they are now in the process of gathering information and have contacted a Charter Expert who is assisting the Committee with their work. Some of the items contained in the existing Charter that the Committee might propose changing are: the City's strong Mayor form of government, the election of the City Recorder and Municipal Judge and their compensation, the election of Parks Commissioners, the number of Council members, consideration of how the City deals with annexations, and the powers of the Planning Commission. Mr. Enders explained how the Committee will solicit public input and stated they intend to have the proposed changes ready for Council review by June 2005.
Commissioner Carole Wheeldon stated that the City Charter could not be changed without the vote of the people, and that they would like to have this issue placed on the September 2005 ballot. It was clarified that the Commission was following the Oregon Model Charter, but would incorporate the items that make Ashland unique.
Mr. Enders stated that the Commission had primarily been dealing with process issues, but now that those are set, they were hoping that the public would become more engaged in the process. It was noted that the Charter Review Committee meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of every month in the Council Chambers, and the public is encouraged to attend. In addition, all of the meeting communication is posted on the City's website, including a citizen survey on the Charter Review.
Mayor DeBoer read a letter from the Wilsonville City Recorder acknowledging Ashland City Recorder Barbara Christensen's accomplishments.
Mayor DeBoer noted that there were three vacancies on the Citizens' Budget Committee and urged anyone interested to submit an application to the City Recorder's Office.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
Councilor Jackson/Morrison m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing on the Modification of Prior Year CDBG Action Plans and Reprogramming of Program Income.
Housing Program Specialist Brandon Goldman stated that the City Council had previously held a Public Hearing on the allocation of CDBG funds at the October 19th Council Meeting and at that time approved the allocation of $274,000 to RVCDC for the acquisition of property to construct 6 affordable housing units and also determined that ACLT could retain $80,000 in previously awarded CDBG funds for the acquisition of property located at 39 Garfield Street for the development of two affordable housing units. Mr. Goldman clarified that the modification of past action plans was a requirement of the CDBG Program and provides the public an opportunity to comment on the action plan that is presented.
Public Hearing Open: 7:54 p.m.
Public Hearing Closed: 7:54 p.m.
Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to approve the modification of the prior years CDBG Action Plan as presented. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
No one came forward to speak.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Approval of a Land Partition Plat and Creation of a Deed Restriction in Preparation of the Sale of City of Ashland Owned Property at Strawberry Lane and Westwood Street.
Public Works Director Paula Brown stated the subdivision of land had already gone through and clarified that the Deed Restriction was requested by the neighbors to further ensure conformance with neighborhood development and construction standards.
Community Development Director John McLaughlin stated that the proposed restrictions were not as extensive as those placed on the adjoining subdivisions and would not affect the value of the property or its ability to be sold. Mr. McLaughlin clarified that most of the deed restrictions are regulated at some level by the Ashland Municipal Code, but that some go beyond the Code and reflect a higher standard that is similar to the conditions of the surrounding neighborhood. It was noted that the restriction regarding the fire sprinkler system was required as a condition of approval for the partition. It was clarified that in order to change a condition of approval, it would need to go before the Planning Commission, but to change the deed restrictions would require action by the Council.
Council discussed whether to keep the requirements contained in the proposed Deed Restrictions. It was suggested that the Council not restate in the deed what was already a condition of approval and concern was raised regarding the wording of the recreational vehicle restriction. Additional comment was made voicing support for the redundancy for the reason that placing the restrictions in the deed would make it very clear what was required and potential owners would be notified upfront of the conditions. Mr. McLaughlin clarified that that the Council had the option to not place any additional restrictions on the property.
Councilor Hearn/Morrison m/s to approve the land partition plat and attached deed restriction for the Mayor's signature. DISCUSSION: Mr. McLaughlin stated that he believed it would be very difficult to find merit to change the deed restrictions. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Councilor Amarotico/Hartzell m/s to sell the properties and reimburse City funds for prior costs. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Ashland Fiber Network Quarterly Report.
Electric and Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid explained that this report covered the first quarter of the fiscal year and noted that Staff had revised the format of the report to provide more and improved information. Mr. Wanderscheid stated the numbers for cable modem and cable tv looked good, and stated that the City was well on its way to exceeding their target. Mr. Wanderscheid gave a brief explanation of the information contained in the report and noted that although the new report did not contain a graph on the number of high speed data and bulk tv accounts, Staff would report any significant changes in this area in subsequent reports.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg explained why they choose to include the various charts contained in the report. He stated the focus of 3 of the 6 charts was on cash flow and noted the importance of setting aside sufficient funds to make their $800,000 debt service payment, which is due in July 2005. Mr. Tuneberg gave a brief explanation of the data contained in each chart and clarified how to analyze the charts. He also noted that presently, the plan did not translate will into each month, but added that Staff was gathering the necessary information to determine what the appropriate "curve" should be.
Mr. Wanderscheid clarified that AFN's monthly expenses were approximately $218,000, although it varied from month to month. He also mentioned that Staff could prepare a cumulative revenue chart in future reports if Council desired. Mr. Wanderscheid also pointed out that Staff had budgeted for a rate increase scheduled for the end of the year, and stated that it would take two months before they would see revenue generated from the increase.
Mr. Tuneberg noted that the first quarter of the fiscal year was not typically a growth quarter and that it was difficult to hit a positive ratio based on the first few months. Mr. Wanderscheid clarified that AFN rates and accounts were up compared to this time last year and added that AFN had more customers now than it has ever had. He also stated that AFN would easily meet its goals for this year and would probably exceed them.
Council discussed whether different charts would be beneficial in future reports. Suggestion was made to provide a comparison chart for the number of AFN accounts in the previous year. Comment was made voicing support for the current format of the report. Mr. Wanderscheid mentioned that they could provide the graphs in a rolling 12 month period format. It was noted that this report would be presented to the Advisory Committee and that they might recommend different measures as well.
3. Acceptance of Audit Committee Report and the June 30, 2004 Comprehensive
Annual Financial Report.
Finance Director Lee Tuneberg identified the critical pages in the Financial Report, including the Auditor's Opinion contained on page 1 and the Management Discussion and Analysis on pages 3 through 13. Mr. Tuneberg pointed out that the Audit Firm found no material issues that needed to be corrected, and determined that the Financial Report accurately represented the financial status of the City. Mr. Tuneberg stated that from year to year the City's assets had remained constant, and stated that this was a sign of stability in our organization. He stated the City was sitting well in regards to its cash balances, but noted there were some funds that needed more attention, including the Street and Airport Funds. Mr. Tuneberg noted that revisiting the fund balances for each individual fund was a Council Goal, and thanked all those involved for their help in preparing the report.
Councilor Morrison/Jackson m/s to accept the Audit Committee Report and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2004 as presented. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code, Land Use Ordinance, Regarding Minimum Densities in Multi Family Zoning Districts."
Community Development Director John McLaughlin noted that a Public Hearing was held at the last Council Meeting, and noted that Council had requested one minor change to the Ordinance regarding the clarification of replacement of single family homes due to fire or natural hazards.
Mr. McLaughlin clarified that under 18.24.040, 2-C, the term "exempt" would apply as long as the conditional uses were in place. He also clarified that under 18.24.040, 2-F, Staff used the language "may" instead of "shall be" on purpose in order to allow some flexibility. Suggestion was made to change the wording in 18.24.040, 2-F to "riparian areas" instead of "land drainages". Comment was made that the Ordinance should stay with the broader term of "land drainages". Recommendation was made to revise number 1 under 18.28.040, to read "The density of the development, including the density gained through bonus points, shall not exceed the density established by this section." Mr. McLaughlin noted that this wording was also contained under Section 2, and would need to be changed there as well.
Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve the first reading and move to second reading, including the grammatical change to 18.28.040 Sections 1 and 2. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hartzell, Amarotico, Laws, Jackson, Morrison, and Hearn, Yes. Motion Passed.
2. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Vacating a Public Alley between Oregon Street and Madrone Street."
Councilor Jackson/Morrison m/s to approve Ordinance #2912. Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Morrison, Jackson, Hartzell, Amarotico, and Laws, Yes. Motion passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL
1. Proposed resolution from Councilor Don Laws regarding Veterans' Day Flags.
Hal Jamison/60 Golden Spike/Spoke in opposition to the proposed resolution. Mr. Jamison voiced his concern with the last sentence in the resolution, which read that the individuals who vandalized the flag holders should "experience a sense of shame and humiliation". Mr. Jamison stated that the American flag not only symbolized America and its soldiers, but could also been seen as approval of any war that the government has engaged in. Mr. Jamison stated that the Council should not assume what motivated the persons who committed this act and did not feel that the proposed resolution reflected the feelings of all of Ashland's citizens.
Councilor Laws read the Resolution aloud and explained his motivations for bringing this issue to the Council.
Council discussed possible changes to the language of the proposed resolution and Councilor Laws stated he would welcome any such changes by the Council. Council agreed that the acts committed by the vandals were shameful, however some disagreed that passing the resolution was the best way to deal with the issue of civil disobedience. Comment was made that the Council should not dignify the vandalism by passing such a resolution. Additional comment was made that the Council should not pass this resolution without knowing what motivated those who committed the crime. Council further discussed if a resolution was the correct tool to deal with this issue.
Mayor DeBoer stated that he was offended by the acts of vandalism and urged anyone who might have information on this case to come forward and report it to the police.
Councilor Hearn/Laws m/s to approve Resolution #2004-38, with the change of removing "and humiliation" from the last sentence of Section 1. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Hearn, and Laws, Yes. Councilor Morrison, Amarotico and Hartzell, No. Mayor DeBoer, Yes. Motion passed 4-3.
2. Billings Golf Course Update
City Attorney Mike Franell informed the Council that Jackson County had met to discuss this issue and although he had not been able to confirm, he believed that the County had made an interpretation of their Code to determine that the regulations regarding the Greenway District did not apply to the land in question. Mr. Franell stated that it could be possible for the City to interpret the County's decision as a land use action, and that it could be possible to make an appeal to LUBA. He further stated that the County's interpretation should not have a substantial affect with this particular property because the property was still subject to the regulation that states that anything done would need to be consistent with the Greenway Plan.
Council encouraged Staff to gather more details on this project and report to Council on their potential options.
Councilor Hartzell/Jackson m/s for Staff to bring back information sufficient for describing the options for Council to respond to the County's decisions regarding the Billings Gold Course, and to do so in a timely manner. DISCUSSION: Suggestion was made for the Council to be provided with information regarding the design of the golf course and how it's use would affect the greenway area. Suggestion was made for Council to conduct a tour of the site.
Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
It was noted that a land use application had not yet been filed. Comment was made that given the 120-day period, it was prudent for the Council to inform themselves of their options. Mr. Franell clarified that the County had identified the greenway land as an "area of special concern", which is an actual overlay zone that the County has within their ordinances. He also clarified that an "area of mutual interest" is an area that the City and the County have agreed to work cooperatively together on. Councilor Jackson called for the question. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor DeBoer noted there was a Study Session scheduled for Wednesday, November 17. Topics of discussion would include the Croman Property Masterplan and Measure 37 Implementation.
Mayor DeBoer also noted that there was a Special Meeting scheduled for November 30th to implement procedure for Measure 37.
Meeting was adjourned at: 10:09 p.m.
April Lucas, Assistant to City Recorder
Alan DeBoer, Mayor
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