APRIL 26, 2005
CALL TO ORDER
Chair Russ Chapman called the Ashland Planning Commission meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. on April 26, 2005 at the Civic Center Council Chambers,
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Russ Chapman, Chair
ABSENT MEMBERS: None
COUNCIL LIAISON: Jack Hardesty - absent
STAFF PRESENT: John McLaughlin, Planning Director
Bill Molnar, Senior Planner
Sue Yates, Executive
Chapman thanked for Briggs for her eight years of dedicated service on the Planning Commission and presented her with a historic photo.
Chapman introduced John Stromberg, new Planning Commissioner.
PLANNING COMMISSION RETREAT
The Commissioners laid out the following agenda and timeline for their retreat on May 20, 2005.
DISCUSSION OF POWERS & DUTIES OF THE PLANNING COMMMISSION
What is the Planning Commission’s responsibility?
Quasi judicial role
Receiving citizen input.
Piece by piece start reviewing the ordinances (an RFP has gone out for a consultant to go through our ordinances and find areas that are unclear).
Have the authority to initiate ordinances.
Review the Comprehensive Plan
Chapman advised the Commission that whatever task(s) we assign ourselves, the Commission must retain a tight focus. And, don’t try to assign yourself tasks that would require a fulltime person to do a task.
JOHN GAFFEY, 637 Oak Street, thinks the Commission is trying to take on too much. They might want to think about pulling back, instead of going forward.
COLIN SWALES disagreed. Only the Planning Commission has those decision making powers and he feels the Council might be looking for guidance from the Planning Commission.
DOWNTOWN PLAN – What role should the Planning Commission take?
McLaughlin gave some background on the most recent meetings that have been held concerning the Downtown Plan. There was an overwhelming response to the first two meeting meetings. We are heading toward an update of the 1998 plan. The first couple of meetings indicated a much broader interest in the project than the City thought there would be and a broader concern of the project than just an update.
For various workload reasons, the Council has suspended the process and has prepared a Request for Qualification to bring in a consulting team to begin building a work plan. They would begin public involvement again and continue building on past efforts. A consultant is scheduled to be selected by July or August.
Briggs suggested making copies of the 1988 and 1998 reports so the Commissioners would have something solid in front of them.
What role should the Planning Commission take?
Should the Commission take the lead? What would that mean?
It will be about a two-year process.
Form a subcommittee.
Form a Downtown Planning Advisory Committee.
Involve other Commissions or other key people (stakeholders) on the advisory committee
Not every Commissioner would be expected to participate. There are two or three Commissioners that have a real interest in serving on another committee or commission.
Do we have the time to take this on?
If the Planning Commission is going to commit to something, let’s put our efforts into the Downtown Plan.
Model the approach to the Downtown Plan after the Siskiyou Redesign.
Douma suggested at the next meeting, have a five minute discussion on what the role of the Planning Commission should be concerning the Downtown Plan and then take a vote. Next, forward the recommendation or suggestion to the Council.
NEXT REGULAR MEETING – Chapman said he would be stepping down as Chair for his last year on the Commission and we will need to hold an election of the Chair and Vice Chair at the regular meeting on May 10, 2005.
ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.