Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, April 25, 2005

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

April 25, 2005

 

ATTENDANCE

Present:    Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige; City Council Liaison A. Amarotico

Absent:     None

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting – March 28, 2005  Under Unfinished Business item “Capital Budget Discussion,” Eggers asked that a sentence be clarified to read: “Eggers advocated for land acquisition and development, noting the importance of shifting budget funds beginning with the upcoming fiscal year, because land prices are increasing at a much greater rate than the overall cost of living.”

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Study Session – April 18, 2005  Under Old Business item “5-Year Capital Improvement Plan,” Eggers requested that the first sentence be changed to read: “Robertson presented a 5-year capital improvement plan, which was based on suggestions he received from commissioners, staff, and the general public throughout the 2005-2006 budget planning process and on an existing 5-year plan found in departmental archives.”

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as amended. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Julia Sommer, 573 Scenic Drive, speaking on behalf of the Scenic Condo Association and neighbors in the surrounding area, expressed concern about the large tractor trailer container containing CERT supplies that was deposited on the N. Main / Scenic park site approximately one month ago by the Ashland Fire Department. She conveyed her overall disappointment with the condition of the park site, including the lack of maintenance, the dearth of “No Parking” signs, and the generally unsafe and unclean conditions at the location.

Susan Rust, 42 N. Wightman Street, spoke of her appreciation for the work of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission and the department, and especially for the work of the staff at N. Mountain Park in terms of their Environmental Stewardship Program. She also expressed gratitude for the fire reduction efforts in the Siskiyou Mountain Park area, the management of forest lands, the trails work around and within the city, and the public meetings regarding the development of a linked trails system in Ashland.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

LITTLE LEAGUE BATTING CAGE REQUEST

Robertson reminded the commission about the request by the Ashland Little League to add a permanent batting cage structure at Hunter Park. He suggested placing the permanent structure closer to the baseball field [than where the temporary cage is currently located] to allow for future growth of the tree canopy.

Jack Opgenorth, 575 Elizabeth Avenue [Ashland Little League vice president], and Matt Small, 385 Cherry Lane [design architect], reiterated their desire to install a permanent batting cage facility at Hunter Park and responded to the concern expressed at the March meeting regarding lighting the proposed batting cage. Opgenorth and Small agreed with the staff suggestion to move the cage closer to the baseball field.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed avoiding the drip lines of trees and deliberated about whether the structure would require lights. Gardiner called for a motion.

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the installation of a permanent batting cage structure at Hunter Park, including lights, on the condition that staff would oversee and approve adequate setbacks. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

BUDGET APPROVALS

Robertson read aloud the packet memo entitled “Adoption of Proposed 2005-2006 Budget” and thanked staff members and the commission for their efforts throughout the budget preparation process. He recommended the approval of the proposed 2005-2006 APRC budget.

Susan Rust, 42 Wightman Street, asked staff to post the Parks Department budget on the City’s Web site for the benefit of the citizens of Ashland, and she spoke of her appreciation for the funds allocated toward open space acquisitions in the coming fiscal year.

Greg Weston, 620 Sherwood Lane, spoke on behalf of the local baseball community in requesting the inclusion of North Mountain Park baseball field lights in the 2005-2006 budget.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners reviewed the memo and Eggers offered some clarifying points, specifically with regard to the support the department would provide to the senior community in Ashland.

Commissioners reviewed the Parks budget spreadsheets and asked questions relating to a number of items, including potential cost savings for tennis court lights. Eggers again expressed her uneasiness with the inclusion of funds for baseball field lights and reiterated her desire for a renewed effort with regard to the acquisition of open space property. Rosenthal asked the commission to consider developing a long-term capital improvement plan for the Oak Knoll Golf Course in the upcoming fiscal year. Eggers asked a number of additional questions relating to details within the spreadsheets and staff provided feedback. Commissioners expressed appreciation for the information provided during the budget process, and Gardiner called for a motion.

MOTION D. Amarotico moved to approve the proposed 2005-2006 Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission budget. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

NEW BUSINESS

UTILITY EASEMENT REQUEST

Robertson reported that two citizens requested a utility easement across Parks-owned land at 752 Terrace Street. He welcomed the property owner and the developer and invited them to speak to the commission.

Dallas Hymans, 752 Terrace Street [property owner] and Tom Bradley, 700 Terrace Street [property developer] requested a utility easement at the top of a 5-acre lot between Terrace Street and Ashland Loop Road, at the forest interface but within City limits, that would be sufficiently wide to enable the placement of a natural gas line for a private residence.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked about the history of the property and staff provided background information. Robertson informed the commission that utility easements are common in many places. When asked whether utility equipment could damage the land, the commission was told that the small equipment used for such purposes generally does not harm the landscape to any significant degree. Lewis asked that the easement be limited to a single-service easement [gas only] for a single residential unit so as to minimize potential damage to the land. He also asked that staff review the project and approve it in terms of potential impacts on the surrounding trails and plant life. Gardiner called for a motion

MOTION Eggers moved to approve recommending to the City Council the request for a utility easement across Parks-owned land, on the condition that it would be used solely for a single residence and a single utility, and contingent upon staff review and approval in terms of environmental impacts. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SIGNS, PLAQUES APPROVALS

Gies reported that the Signs, Plaques, and Memorials Subcommittee and staff toured Lithia Park with the intention of locating areas within the park that might accommodate benches with plaques, and that they found three sites that could accommodate a total of four benches. He reported that the subcommittee reviewed all existing requests for benches with plaques and found four that clearly fit the criteria outlined by the subcommittee.

Judy Kettler, 488 Lori Lane, requested the placement of a memorial bench with a plaque in Lithia Park in honor and memory of her husband, Jake Kettler, who was deceased more than one year ago.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners voiced appreciation for the work of the subcommittee and Gardiner called for a motion.

MOTION Lewis moved to approve the placement of four benches with plaques in Lithia Park. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Robertson reported that the Ashland City Council proposed a series of joint study sessions with the Parks Commission and the Ashland School Board in June and July to discuss topics of mutual interest or concern, including the lease on the Ashland Gun Club, open space funding, the future of the Briscoe and Lincoln Elementary School playgrounds, and any other issues of mutual concern. Commissioners agreed to the proposed meetings and requested notification of specific dates and times in the near future.

Robertson thanked North Mountain Park staff for their outstanding work in creating a successful 2005 Earth Day event on Saturday, April 23, at which approximately 4,000 people attended.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Eggers updated the commission on the outcome of the recent goal setting study session of the Forest Lands Commission, on which she serves as a regular voting member.

Eggers asked staff for an update on the landscaping at the Meadowbrook Park II subdivision.

Commissioners discussed the request from the Ashland Chamber of Commerce for the use of Lithia Park; specifically, the Butler Bandshell and the lawn area between the playground and the lower duck pond, on July 3 and 4, for the purpose of staging and conducting the annual 4th of July events in the park. Eggers asked that vendors be instructed not to drive their vehicles on the vegetation and not to dump their wastewater into the gutters, and that Chamber organizers provide an alternative receptacle for the wastewater.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

·     Public meeting set for April 28, 2005, at 6:30 PM, Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way, for the purpose of receiving public input toward the development of a master plan for the N. Main / Scenic park site.

·     Study session set for May 16 at 7:00 PM – Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer.

·     Regular meeting set for May 23 at 7:00 PM – Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:55 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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