Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ashland Tree Commission
Regular Meeting

February 3, 2005

Minutes

 

 

I.              Call to Order:   Chair January Jennings called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. on February 3, 2005 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development/Engineering Services Building at 51 Winburn Way.

 

Commissioners Present:  January Jennings

Bryan Holley

Mary Pritchard

Laurie Sager

Fred Stockwell

Ted Loftus (absent)

                                               

Council Liaison: Cate Hartzell 

Staff Present:                       Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

                                                                                Donn Todt, Parks Department

                                                                                Carolyn Schwendener, Clerk

 

II.            Approval of Minutes:   The following corrections were noted for the January 6, 2005 minutes. Page 2 and 3 of 7 change Pyramid Alis to Pyramidalis.  Pritchard / Holley m/s to approve the minutes of January 6, 2005 with corrections. Voice vote: All AYES, Motion passed. The minutes of January 6, 2005 were approved as corrected. 

 

 

III.                 Welcome Guests & Public Forum: 

There were many guests in attendance for tonight’s meeting.  They are as follows;  Albert Peppi., John Galbraith, Steve Terry, Tom Giordano, Andy Cochrane, Greg Gargus., Max Gargus, Vicki Ashford and Mike Star.

 

 

IV            Public Hearings: 

 

A. PLANNING ACTION 2005-00045 is a request for a Site Review Approval to add three off-street parking spaces on the east side of the building adjacent to Rogue Place, to relocate the refuse/recycle area, and to expand the outdoor patio area of the residence on the north side of the building for the property located at 394 E. Hersey Street.  An Administrative Variance to the Site Design and Use Standards is requested to locate off-street parking between the building and Rogue Place.  A Variance is also requested to exceed the maximum allowable number of automobile parking spaces by two spaces – a total of six surface parking lot spaces are permitted and eight are proposed.  Comprehensive Plan Designation: Employment;

Zoning: E-1; Assessor’s Map #: 39 1E 04 DC; Tax Lot: 3509.

                APPLICANT:  Rick Schiller

               

Staff report. 15,000 square foot lot, located at the end of the improved portion of Hersey Street.  The lot slopes gently to the north for 130 feet, the remaining 20 feet are part of the street cut and there is a steep slope down to Hersey Street.  The lot has an existing single-family residence of 1,780 square feet and an attached commercial space of 1,352 square feet.  The applicant is proposing the addition of three (3) off-street parking spaces on the east side of the building adjacent to Rogue Place, relocation of the recycle and refuse area from the parking lot accessed from Hersey Street to the Rogue Place side of the building.  The applicant is also proposing to expand the existing patio area attached to the single-family residence on the northeast side of the building.

     

      The parking spaces that will be removed from the main lot will be re-vegetated with Viburnum davidii and Nandina moyers.  There is a tree very near the proposed parking spaces.  The tree looks large enough to have its species and size identified on the site plans.  The tree may require tree protection fencing, or if it is to be removed it may require a tree removal permit.  It is the burden of the applicant to accurately show all trees and how any changes to the site will affect the established tree.

     

      At this time staff cannot support the expansion of the patio area.  There is an existing Purple Leaf Plum tree (according to original land-use approval) that is not identified on the site plan.  Staff does not know if this tree will be removed or retained.  If the tree is over six inches in diameter at breast height it may require a tree removal permit.  The size and species need to be identified on a revised landscape plan before staff can support the patio enlargement.  The slope to Hersey Street to the north of the residence is steep.  If the patio is to be extended towards Hersey Street staff will need the elevations of any potential retaining walls on the slope down to Hersey Street. 

 

      Also, there are three trees on the southern lot line of the parcel that were approved as part of the original landscape plan that are not on the proposed site plan.  All vegetation that was approved, as part of the original approval shall be replanted.  There are nine conditions with four pertaining to trees and landscaping.           

 

Applicant testimony: Steve Terry, Natural Systems Landscape, spoke on behalf of Rick Schiller. Mr. Terry went over the site plan with the commissioners explaining the landscaping design and species. 

 

Public Testimony: None present

 

The Tree Commission discussed the proposal.    The commissioners discussed the caliper size of the recommended trees.  Commissioner Sager asked that the caliper size go up to 2” for the replacement tree and 1.5” for the other trees.  Different Tree species were discussed and recommended to Mr. Terry. Commissioner Sager also suggested replacing any tree that is within 3’ of any concrete.  Amy Anderson suggested that ground cover be planted in the right of way along the Rogue Place frontage.  That area has become a dog restroom.  Mr. Terry had done a site visit and noted that it has been cleaned up by the neighboring property owners.

 

Recommendation:

 

1)       Tree Commission suggests choosing a tree other than the Betula pendula (European White Birch) to replace landscaping from the original approval.  Chose a tree from the city Recommended Street Tree Guide to be planted on the southern lot line. 

2)       Tree Commission recommends removal and replacement of the Plum tree near the proposed parking area with a 2” caliper tree of comparable species.

3)       Tree Commission recommends 1.5” caliper trees to be planted throughout the site.

 

Read recommendations back to commission. All in agreement with recommendations.

 

 

B. PLANNING ACTION 2004-141 is a request for Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change from Jackson County zoning RR-5 (Rural Residential) to City of Ashland zoning R-1-3.5 (Suburban Residential) for an approximately ten acre parcel located at 380 Clay Street.  The request includes Outline Plan and Site Review approval for a 130-unit development under the Performance Standards Option. An exception to the Street Standards is requested to meander the proposed sidewalk on the Clay Street frontage around a cedar tree located in the southwest corner of the property.  A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove the nine trees on the site.  Comprehensive Plan Designation:  Suburban Residential (proposed), Rural Residential (current); Zoning:  R-1-3.5, RR-5 (current); Assessor’s Map #:  39 1E 11 C; Tax Lot:  2500. 

APPLICANT:  D and A Enterprise

 

Staff report. The application involves the annexation and subsequent development of a 10-acre parcel on the east side of Clay Street, between Ashland Street and East Main Street, at 380 Clay Street. The property slopes gently (approximately 3.5%) to the north. The original single family home, barn and other accessory structures are situated on the property nearest to Clay Street and are proposed for removal. The proposed R-2 zoning is consistent with Ashland’s Comprehensive Plan designation of Low Density Multi-Family Residential. The project will entail the construction of a mix of housing types.  Approximately 28 or half of the 56-fourplex units will be condominiums, allowing for each unit to be purchased separately.

 

The draft City of Ashland Wetland and Riparian Corridor Inventory and Assessment identifies the location of a narrow wetland protruding into the northerly portion of the property. The wetland is described as being part of a larger 1.5-acre wetland that runs from south to north through the neighboring semi-rural properties north of the project. This wetland is considered part of the wetland that extends through the eastern portion of Bud’s Dairy Subdivision, a housing development currently under construction further down Clay Street.

 

Approximately 31 trees (> 6-inches dbh) have been identified on the site, with the vast majority of trees located near the southwest corner of the property in the vicinity of the existing residence and out buildings. A Tree Protection/Tree Removal Plan identifies trees scheduled for retention or removal. Of the 31 trees, nine are specified, in the opinion of the project’s Landscape Architect, as hazard trees because the trees present “a clear public safety hazard or a foreseeable danger to property.” Additionally, a Tree Removal Permit is requested for three eight inch in diameter Almond trees. Consequently, 19 of the existing 31 trees will be preserved, with tree protection measures installed during the installation of public infrastructure and home construction.

 

A few tremendously large Poplar trees are located in the area surrounding the existing home. A neighborhood petition has been included in the record requesting the preservation of these mature Poplar trees (i.e. Cottonwoods). Poplar and related species are identified Ashland’s Prohibited Street Tree list. Each tree is an old specimen tree that is considered near the end of its life expectancy (see pages 5 & 6 of Tree Removal Narrative). Generally, the Poplar species is thought to be undesirable within residential neighborhoods due to the potential for frequent breaking and dropping of limbs.  There are twenty-three conditions with three pertaining to trees and landscaping.    

 

Applicant testimony: Tom Giordano, agent, shared that they felt they had done an admirable job preserving as many of the significant trees as possible.  They tried to balance the densities that are required from planning and also try to keep as many trees as possible.  Because these trees are so large they take up a lot of area and they would lose a number of units because of that.

 

John Galbraith, project Landscape Architect, spoke regarding the three large poplars. He felt that if they leave a big enough area to preserve the largest tree they will be creating an area for people to go under creating a hazard.  The other trees around the property lines and at the front of the property along Clay Street are almost dead.  He also commented that there were a couple of Almond trees on the site that are dead.

 

Commissioner Holley asked Tom if during his pre-app Bill asked him to redesign his plans in order to preserve the larger trees.  Tom said it was not addressed during his pre-app.  He reminded them that there is danger that the limbs could fall at anytime.

 

Cate Hartzell asked about the White Oak on the Tolman Creek side of the property.  John Galbraith said the tree is taking itself out.  There is a wire that is embedded in it and it is very sparsely leafed at this time.

 

Amy Anderson explained the confusion regarding the wetlands report.

                                                                                                                                                               

Public testimony: Albert Pepe, 321 Clay Street, testified that he would like to see the developers leave some open space.  If they would leave an acre or two around the Poplars it could be accessed by the people from this proposed plan or any other neighbors who would use this area.  He feels that the trees are not in bad shape and he would like to see them stay there.

 

Greg Gargus, 400 Clay Street, shared that his concern is for the three large cottonwoods.  He has lived at that address fifteen years and testified that they have not dropped any limbs nor does he feel they are dangerous trees.  A local arborist, Ben Cochran, came out and inspected the trees and reported to Greg that they were healthy and had no decay or disease.  Greg feels that this area is a natural park setting and he would like to see it stay that way. 

 

Amy Anderson read an email from Allison and Robert Wildman explaining their concern over the removal of the three Poplars.

 

Rebuttal:  Tom Giordano reminded the commission that his expert, John Galbraith stated that they are a dangerous tree as is written in the City recommended street tree guide. Tom feels that though they are loosing some of the trees they are keeping a lot of them and planting even more.  By planting the trees they are proposing he believes it will help mitigate the loss of the large Poplars.

 

Andy Cochrane, applicant, explained the difficulty of putting together a site like this. It’s a challenge to try to fit it all together. He has to deal with solar ordinances, impervious surfaces and because it is an annexation he was required to have a density that was 90% of the base density for the zone. He shared that they did look at a lot of different options and that he would have loved to save those trees.

 

Commissioner Holley asked how many units they might lose if they saved those trees.  Tom explained that by saving those trees it didn’t just take away units but also had ripple effects in the site plan.

 

The Tree Commission discussed the proposal.  Amy Anderson brought to Mr. Cochrane’s attention that his sign is not up.  He said he would take care of it tomorrow. Commissioner Holley asked that they see the final plans.  He would like an opportunity for the Tree Commission to take a closer look at the landscape plans to see the recommended trees and scrubs.

 

Recommendation:

1)       Based on public issues and City required density v. trees, the tree commission would like to see an attempt made to save the 3 large Poplar trees.

2)       Tree Commission recommends protecting Poplars if independent, certified arborist determines that the trees are structurally sound through aerial inspection.

 

Read recommendations back to commission. All in agreement with recommendations.

 

C.  PLANNING ACTION 2005-008 is a request for Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change from Jackson County zoning RR-5  (Rural Residential) to City of Ashland zoning E-1 (Employment) for an approximately 1.6 acre parcel located at 593 Crowson Road.  The portion of the parcel adjacent to Crowson Road is proposed in the Residential Overlay (R-Overlay) which allows a residential component and in the Detail Site Review Zone which requires additional building design features. The application includes a request for Site Review approval for a business complex including offices, light industrial space and three residential units.  A Tree Removal Permit is requested to remove six trees on the site.  Comprehensive Plan Designation:  Employment (proposed), Rural Residential (current); Zoning:  E-1 (proposed), RR-5 (current); Assessor’s Map #:  39 1E 14 D; Tax Lot:  500.

APPLICANT:  Crowson Business Center, LLC

           

Staff report: This request involves property approximately 1.6 acres in size. The site is located on the northwest side of the intersection of Crowson Road and Benson Way.  The land slopes gradually downhill from the rear of the parcel (west) towards Benson Way.  According to the application, the property contains eight trees which appear to be six inches or greater in diameter at breast height (dbh).  The trees are identified as a redwood, a spruce, a cedar, a zelcovia, three cottonwoods, and two fruit trees.  The majority of the site is a mowed field containing non-native grasses.

 

The proposal involves a request to annex 1.6 acres into the City of Ashland.  The proposed zoning is Employment (E-1).  The portion of the site adjacent to Crowson Road containing proposed Building A is identified as in the Detail Site Review Zone and in the Residential Overlay (R-Overlay).

 

The proposed buildings range from 1,000 square feet to 14,000 square feet in size for a total of 31,580 square feet.  Four of the five buildings including the existing home are one-story, and the building facing Crowson Road (Building A) is two stories.

 

A Landscaping and Tree Removal and Protection Plan are included in the application.  The landscaped area will cover 24.7% of the developed area, exceeding the 15% landscape requirement for the E-1 zone.  The landscaping addresses the street tree requirements, parking lot landscaping standards and screening standards.  The proposal is to remove six trees greater than six inches diameter at breast height (dbh). Two evergreen trees located near the front of the residence are identified for preservation.   

 

Crowson Road in this location is under Jackson County’s jurisdiction.  The width of the travel lanes meets the City standards.  However, the bike lane must be extended, curb and gutter constructed, and a planting strip and a sidewalk installed.  Normally, a minimum of eight-feet is required for sidewalks in commercial areas.  The applicant is proposing a six-foot wide sidewalk.  This appears to be an adequate width given that the area will likely not experience high pedestrian traffic flows given the location on the periphery of the City and the light-industrial uses in the vicinity.

 

Benson Way is an improved city street without sidewalks.  The annexation criteria require that sidewalks be installed on the property frontage and that new sidewalks are connected to existing sidewalk systems within ¼ mile of the site.  There is an existing sidewalk system on the west side of Benson Way approximately 100 feet to the north.  The application states that the sidewalk connection will be completed.  A design for the sidewalk improvement is not included in the application.   The right-of-way behind the curb is sloped and contains landscaping and rockwork.  Staff believes further information is needed on the design of the sidewalk connection prior to the Commission decision.

 

The majority of the landscaping is situated at the front of the property around the existing home.  Parking area landscapes is evenly spaced throughout the parking area.  A minimum of seven percent of the parking area is required in landscaping.  Calculations are not provided with the application and should be verified.  The standards also require a minimum of one tree for each seven parking paces.  Parking lot trees are required to be species that are large canopied for shade and are required to be evenly distributed throughout the parking area.  There area several generously sized planters in the interior of the parking lot which do not include trees. 

 

Six trees are proposed for removal.  Since the trees are greater than six inches diameter at breast height (dbh), a Tree Removal Permit is required.  Two cottonwoods are identified as hazard trees due to the incompatibility with development and tendency to drop limbs.  Four trees including a Zelkova, two fruit trees and a cedar are identified as non-hazard trees.  The reason cited for the trees in conflict with the design of the driveway to accommodate large trucks.  The Zelkova which the application states is 36 inches dbh appears to be the most significant of the four non-hazard trees proposed for removal.  The canopy spans over the north driveway and adjacent parking area.  Given the light industrial zoning, truck access needs, and requirement for off-street parking, it appears the tree removal is necessary to be consistent with other applicable Ashland Land Use Ordinance standards.  There are 29 conditions with five conditions pertaining to trees and landscaping.

 

Applicant testimony: Tom Giordano, agent, and Mike Starr, Starr Landscaping, project landscape designer, both spoke regarding the landscaping design, placement of trees and the removal of the 6 proposed tress.

 

Public testimony: none present.

 

The Tree Commission discussed the proposal.  The large multi-trunk tree in front of the residence is not on the site plan. Discussion was centered around the improperly identified trees on the site and whether the large Zelkova could withstand the damage from the grading of the parking lot. 

 

Recommendation:

1)       The tree in front of the residence looks large enough to be identified on the site plan and if removal is slated, a Tree Removal Permit is required.

2)       Tree Commission recommends having an independent arborist to determine the species and health of the Zelkova/ Siberian Elm to determine whether the tree can be saved.

3)       Tree Commission recommends reviewing the Landscape Plan again next month.

 

Read recommendations back to commission. All in agreement with recommendations.

 

V.             ACTION ITEMS

 

A.                  Street Department Tree Report

Dave Wood, Tree Cutter, from the Street Department gave the annual Street Department report on the status of the trees and the Public Utilities Commission guidelines and regulations that he has to act under. 

 

VI.           DISSCUSSION ITEMS

 

A.                  DeBoer Trees – Mitigation Ideas:

Some mitigation ideas include: near the new playground area at North Mountain Park. East of the playground the city is attempting to maintain the existing Oak Savannah.  On Tolman Creek Road some of the new bays do not have trees.  If irrigation is available the trees would be a nice addition to the street.  Also on Siskiyou Boulevard there are dead and damaged trees in the park-rows.

 

B.                  Arbor Day

a.        Tree Walk – April 3rd Lithia Park

January, Laurie have prepared the tree walk to be in conjunction with the state sponsored event.  They asked if fellow Tree Commissioners could help lead the event.  The Tree Walk group will be meeting at the lower duck pond.

b.       Earth Day Celebration – April 23rd North Mountain Park

Amy received a letter from N. Mtn. Park regarding the donation for booth space.  Bryan Holley has been in contact with the event organizers.  Amy will be posting information on the Tree Walk, the Earth Day event and the Tree Planting Ceremony with the Mayor on the City web site.

c.        Tree Planting Ceremony with Mayor

Bryan Holley will be contacting the Mayor to verify his participation.     

 

VII.          ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

 

A.             Liaison Reports

B.             Old Business

a.       Public Works Training Day Report

Bryan Holley gave a report on how January and his presentation on protecting trees during protection went.  The Public Works employees were responsive and the presentation was effective. 

    

C.                  New Items

D.                  Current Balance $510

E.                  Tree Commission Goals

a.       Education

                                                                           i.      Tree Tips

1.        Daily Tidings Back Page

a.        Bryan Holley gave a report on the Back Page progress, and the meetings he has had with Scott Bolsinger of the Daily Tidings.

                                                                           ii.      Tree Clinics

1.  Mary said that she is in contact with North Mountain Park and is working on securing a tree to do a pruning presentation at the Earth Day celebration.   

b.       Monitoring

                                                                            i.      Tracking reports to the City Council

 

 

VII.          ADJOURNMENT

 

Commissioner Jennings adjourned meeting at 9:50 pm

 

 

 

 

 

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