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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, May 04, 2005



Community Development/Engineering Services Building – 51 Winburn Way – Siskiyou Room


Historic Commissioners Present: Dale Shostrom, Keith Swink, Rob Saladoff, Tom Giordano, Terry Skibby, Jay Leighton, Alex Krach, Sam Whitford and Henry Baker
Absent Members: None

Council Liaison: Absent - Jack Hardesty
High School
Liaison: None Appointed
SOU Liaison: None Appointed
Staff Present: Maria Harris, Senior Planner; Bill Molnar, Planning Manager; Billie Boswell, Administration




At 7:06, Chairman Dale Shostrom called the regular meeting to order.





Ms. Leighton moved to approve the April 6, 2005 minutes. With a second by Mr. Whitford, the motion was approved unanimously.




Continuance of Planning Action 2005-00084

Site Review & Administrative Variance

Archerd & Dresner, LLC & Redco, LLC

165 Lithia Way & 123 North First Street


Mr. Saladoff explained that although he had to leave the April 6, 2005 Historic Commission meeting early and did not participate in the discussion of the Northlight project, he felt that he was familiar enough with the project and the issues to fairly hear the continuance.  Mr. Giordano expressed concerns that Mr. Saladoff’ had not fully heard all the comments raised by both the applicants and the public and should not participate.  Mr. Molnar said the Commission could allow him to participate but not vote.  Mr. Skibby felt Mr. Saladoff was sufficiently informed to participate and to vote.  Mr. Swink felt he should at least participate to be brought up to speed to participate in any future hearings.


Mr. Skibby made a motion to allow Mr. Saladoff to participate.  Mr. Baker seconded the motion. The approval vote was unanimous.  Mr. Skibby made a second motion to allow Mr. Saladoff to vote, which was seconded by Mr. Baker. Mr. Shostrom, Ms. Leighton and Mr. Giordano abstained.  The remaining Commissioners passed the motion unanimously.


Mr. Molnar reviewed the Staff Report Addendum highlighting some of the concerns of the Planning Commission and the Traffic Safety Commission and some of the changes the applicants have proposed to address them.


Mr. Molnar commented on Bill Street’s 18-point objection to the project as it relates to the design standards saying his objections to the buildings’ size, height and lot coverage do meet the current zoning requirements.  Staff felt the applicant appropriately addressed most of those concerns.


There being no further questions of staff, Chairman Shostrom asked the applicant to present their material.


Evan Archerd, 550 E Main Street, Ashland, along with other design team members, Russ Dale, Jerome White, Hal Dresner, Craig Stockbridge, and George Kramer talked about the collaborative efforts of the public meetings, the City staff, the development and design teams and the City Commissions to produce the current design as it relates to the vision of the downtown.  Their intent at this presentation is to address the specific issues of concern that came out of the Historic Commission and the Planning Commission meetings including the public comments.


Mr. Stockbridge, using a 3-dimensional “fly-around” computer presentation program, showed the design details of the changes made.  A newly raised parapet was added to the corner at Lithia & First streets for a total height on that corner of about 45 feet.  The two entries on the Lithia Way side were recessed an additional 18 inches for a total of 36 inches from the property line.  Mr. Giordano expressed his concerns about the entries still being too shallow for appropriate definition.  There was additional concern over the entries being labeled “future”.  Mr. Archerd confirmed that the entries would be built, but the tenants may choose to keep one of them locked if not needed.


It was pointed out that the canopy was lowered to 10 feet and is 5 feet deep.  The canopy was kept close to the building to encourage the public to be drawn to the windows and entries and still provide protection. 


On the First Street side, the residential lobby on the northeast corner of Building 1 was moved to the breezeway across from Building 2’s residential entry.  A small retail space was put in its place with an entry off First Street.

The above ground water feature in the breezeway was removed to maximize the public space. Public art would be added instead.  Ms. Leighton felt the water feature would be missed.  Recesses were also added to the third floor balcony.  The rear elevation on Building 1 was modified to bring the Moderne styling around the corner. Chairman Shostrom still felt the rear elevations of the two buildings were still too similar to break up the massing.  Other commissioners did not agree, feeling it added to the transition from commercial to residential.


The exterior materials on the row houses were switched to show more wood shingles and less stucco to help them blend better with the surrounding residential neighborhood.  The concrete planter boxes were removed and window boxes were added to the ground floors to soften and enhance a residential look.  Signage “blades” were added as a design element and to encourage home occupations.


There was some discussion of the design of the public spaces such as benches and a grated walkway overlooking the bio-swale area and more windows and landscaping on the blank walls.


Mr. Molnar raised a concern that the signage plan may be important to the overall look of the finished building.  Mr. Skibby also said the utility meters and boxes would have an impact.  The applicants said the transformers were designed in underground vaults and the meters would be placed in unobtrusive areas and obscured with landscaping.


There being no further questions of the applicants, Chairman Shostrom asked for comments from the public.


Bill Street of 180 Mead pointed out that the date on the Staff Report Addendum was incorrect and noted that the copy he received from the City was missing pages 22 and 23.  He also passed out three documents; the list of 18 design standards he addressed at the Planning Commission meeting, a copy of Section 6, page 1 of the Site Design & Use Standards, and a page of acknowledgements of the people involved in creating the design standards. 


Mr. Street discussed some of the design standards he felt were not met such as minimal variance in height, use of horizontal rather than vertical windows, historic openings, orientation, scale & massing, appearance of the townhouses as they relate to residences in the Railroad District, lack of weather protection, lack of public space, parking not divided sufficiently, and that the project doesn’t meet ALL of the design standards of paragraph 3 of the Downtown Design Standards. 


Colin Swales, 1282 Old Willow Lane, explained that a project of this size and mass is not compatible with the simple, low-rise buildings currently on Lithia Way and in Historic Railroad District or with the scale of the downtown core.  He pointed out that the front setbacks on that side of Lithia Way are supposed to be 20 feet.  There should be more public space on the front of the buildings and more distance between the buildings to comply with the standards.


Chairman Shostrom asked for rebuttal from the applicants.


Mr. Archerd read from page 6 of the Planning Department’s Staff Report Addendum describing how the Downtown Standards should be applied to new buildings.


Mr. White pointed out that most of the 18 design standards Mr. Street referred to were addressed in their original findings.  The standards are intended to have flexibility and subjectivity.  He feels this project meets the essences of the standards as intended by the body that drafted them.


Mr. Kramer talked about the difficulty of building on the north side of Lithia Way since it is zoned differently but must adhere to the Downtown Standards.  He said the standards were never meant to be prescriptive or the buildings would all look alike.  Variety makes it all work.


Mr. Stockbridge addressed Mr. Swales comment about the height of Building 2 being lowered.  Six feet of the interior space is to handle the mechanical requirements of an oncology clinic.  Also, the height allows the use of taller windows to allow daylighting as an energy saver.


Mr. Dresner also pointed out how public input insisted on a strong housing component, which the project provides. 


Chairman Shostrom closed the Public Meeting.


A motion was made by Mr. Giordano and seconded by Ms. Leighton and unanimously approved to extend the meeting to 10:30 PM.


The Commissioners agreed to focus on those elements of the Design Standards that still needed improvement. Discussion followed on each of the eleven original recommendations and whether or not the current changes proposed in this meeting satisfied the appropriate standards.


A motion was made by Ms. Leighton and seconded by Mr. Skibby and unanimously approved to extend the meeting to 11:00 PM.


Mr. Krach made a motion to recommend this action be continued and that the issues identified as still needing to be addressed be brought back to the Historic Commission for review at the next meeting. The motion also asked the Planning Commission to consider the Historic Commission’s recommendations prior to making a decision on the project.


1.      Row Houses – Two thirds of the Commission support the current design with some tweaking of the exterior materials to improve the transition into the residential neighborhood.

2.      Building Separation – Consensus from the Commission that the distance between the two commercial buildings is still too narrow for the heights of the buildings.  It was suggested the breezeway should fan out toward the parking area or deleting a portion of the third story (cascading effect) or make the full length of the breezeway 40 feet.

3.      Recessed Entries – Consensus from the Commission that the two recesses on Building 1 off Lithia Way are still inadequate to amplify the entrances.  It was recommended that the doors be recessed a minimum of three feet from edge of the glass windows and that both entries be built.

4.      Utilities and Sign Program – Illustrate location and general design of all exterior utility boxes and meters and define a signage plan.

5.      Rear Elevations – General consensus that the rear elevations are sufficient with differing materials used.

6.      Height of Buildings – General consensus that there is sufficient variation in building heights.

7.      Window Orientation and Amount of Glazing – General Consensus that windows meet daylighting and energy needs, and the larger windows balance the size and mass of the buildings.

8.      Rhythm – General consensus that the two buildings share vertical elements appropriately.

9.      Bulk and Scale of Row Houses – General consensus that the row houses are appropriate in this transition area.

10.  Weather Protection – General Consensus that new lowered canopy design provides adequate protection but should be flush with façade to provide full protection.

11.  Pedestrian Walkway Across Parking – General consensus that full 10 feet is necessary and that the area be protected with landscaping median (preferred) or structural elements (such as bollards).


Mr. Swink seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.


Planning Action 2005-00670


Applicant: Sarah & Christopher Linvill

973 C Street


Chairman Shostrom explained the Linvills were requesting a Variance to reduce the front yard setback from 20 feet to 14 feet in order to construct a new residence. 


The majority of the Commissioners visited the site.


Ms. Harris explained the site is a 5181 square foot, irregularly shaped lot on “C” Street.  At this point “C” Street has an unusually large right of way of 70 feet, a large portion of which is undeveloped.


The Commissioners were in consensus that the irregularity of the lot, the unusually large right of way was adequate reasons for the variance.  All were impressed by the design and felt it would enhance the neighborhood.


There being no one in the audience, the public meeting was closed.


Mr. Shostrom moved to approve the variance. Ms. Leighton seconded and it passed unanimously.


Planning Action 2005-00605

Conditional Use Permit

Applicant:  Kenneth & Donna Rice

338 Scenic Drive


Mr. Krach asked to be recused, as he is an employee of one of the applicants.


Chairman Shostrom said Rices are requesting a Conditional Use Permit to convert an existing guesthouse in the rear of the property to an accessory residential unit.  There are no exterior changes.  Mr. Whitford asked why this project required a planning action.  Ms. Harris explained that they are remodeling and adding a small kitchenette.  Due to the existing structure, no exterior changes and the location in the rear of a large lot, the Commissioners felt the request was reasonable.


Ms. Leighton moved to approve the request.  Mr. Giordano seconded and it passed unanimously.




A. Review Board – Following is the month’s schedule for the Review Board, which meets every Thursday from 3:00 to at least 3:30 p.m. in the Planning Department:


May 5th

Skibby, Swink, Leighton

May 12th

Skibby, Baker, Giordano

May 19th

Skibby, Saladoff, Shostrom

May 26th

Skibby, Whitford, Krach

June 2nd

Skibby, Leighton, Swink


B.  Project Assignments for Planning Actions


PA #2000-120

485 “A” Street (Steve Hoxmeier)


PA #2002-100

142 East Main Street (Earthly Goods)


PA #2004-026

81 Central Avenue (Wes & Lucinda Vail)


PA #2004-018

322 Pioneer Street (Al & Sandra Carlson)


PA #2004-100

80 Wimer (Tom & Kathy Petersen)


PA #2004-102

832 “A” Street (Ilene Rubenstein)


PA #2004-110

150 Church St (Robert M. Saladoff)


PA #2004-115

724 Iowa St (Dave and Jamie Kaufman)


PA #2004-138

234 Vista St (Sid & Karen DeBoer)


PA #2004-150

87 Fourth St (Unitarian Universal Fellowship Church)


PA #2004-154

180 Lithia Way (Archerd & Dresner)



685 A Street (William Reeves)



150 N. Pioneer (Stan Potocki & Bruce McLean)



C.  National Historic Preservation Week, May 8-14, 2005   - Brochures are completed. Articles have been sent to both newspapers. The Banner will go up by the end of the week.  Award Ceremony will be in the Trinity Church in the Parish Hall.  Mr. Skibby said he might not make it in time to take pictures.  Staff said they could take pictures if needed.  The Presentation Board will be ready on Tuesday.  It will be displayed in the Lobby.


D.  Co-Sponsorship with Conservation Commission for Fall Workshop – Mr. Saladoff met with Joanne Krippaehne.  Notes from the meeting will be added to the June Meeting packet.


E.  Lithia Springs National Register Nomination – No report


F.  Multiple Listing Survey for National Register of Historic Places   - No report


G. Single Family Residential Design Standards – No report








The next Historic Commission meeting will be on June 7, 2005 at 7:00 pm in the Siskiyou Room.



With a motion by Swink and second by Krach, it was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 11:00

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