Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, May 17, 2005


MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
May 17, 2005
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Morrison called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

ROLL CALL
Councilors Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson and Silbiger were present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of May 3, 2005 were amended and approved by adding the following: "Mr. Giordano stated that the addition would not increase the intensity of use and noted that if it did, the City could revoke their conditional use permit. Mr. Giordano stated that 'You could even put in wording like the Planning Commission did saying never would these two ever operate at the same time' and noted that all churches have overflow parking on Sundays."

The Continued Council Meeting of May 4, 2005, and Special Council Meeting of May 10, 2005 were approved as presented.

City Recorder Barbara Christensen clarified that the suggested change to the Unitarian Church motion could not be done without reviewing tape and confirming that the motion was verbatim.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Mayor Morrison presented Pamela Joy the James M. Ragland Memorial "Volunteer Spirit" Community Service Award.

Detective Lynn Parlette was presented with a Retirement Plaque for his 28 years of service with the Ashland Police Department.

Cathy Shaw/886 Oak/Shared her experience with Mr. Parlette and spoke regarding his caliber, professionalism and thoughtfulness, and stated that he would be sorely missed by the citizens of Ashland.

CONSENT AGENDA

1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's reappointment of Doug Morrison, M.D. and the appointments of Marie Donovan and Marty Lenk to the Hospital Board for terms to commence July 1, 2005 and expire June 30, 2009.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. Public Hearing and reading by title only of "A Resolution Levying Special Benefit Assessments in the Amount of $292,758.18 for the Tolman Creek Road Local Improvement District for Improvements to Tolman Creek Road Consisting of Paving, Curbs, Gutters, Storm Drains, Sidewalk and Associated Improvements."
City Engineer Jim Olson stated that the purpose of the public hearing was to consider any written objections to the proposed assessments to be levied against the property owners for the Tolman Creek Road Local Improvement District. He stated that notices were sent out to the 160 property owners in the assessment district and Staff has received 8 letters of objection that should be considered by the Council at this time. Mr. Olson briefly summarized the objection letters and Staff's responses. Both the written objections and Staff's written responses are included in the council packet material.

Public Hearing Open: 7:46 p.m.

Dennis DeBey/2475 Siskiyou Blvd/Stated that the trucks are continuing to travel over the area that he has landscaped and asked for consideration for compensation. Mr. DeBey voiced his concerns that he was being overly charged and questioned if his assessment should be reduced due to the easement he granted to the City.

City Recorder Barbara Christensen clarified for Mr. DeBey that the lien on his property would not prohibit sale of the property and clarified that there is no penalty charge if the assessment is paid in full.

Barbara Nina Council/2970 Diane Street/Voiced her surprise with the City having the ability to assess her property. She stated that she was on a limited income and stated that she preferred the neighborhood before the LID was done. Ms. Council claimed that she had not been notified in a timely manner and requested that her assessment be lowered.

Joyce LaVelle/2951 Diane Street/Stated that the residents had been told that they had to pay for the improvements because it was not a main road, however from the discussion tonight it appeared that Staff was now stating something different. [Staff clarified that this road is defined as a "major collector"] Ms. LaVelle stated that this was a nice country road but the improvements turned it into a busy "main" road. She voiced her concerns with the islands and how traffic navigates these and stated that it was a "big mess".

Public Hearing Closed: 7:56 p.m.

Ms. Christensen explained that the next step is to send out option letters to the property owners which will give them the option to pay the assessment in full, make payments over a 10 years period, or request a deferment. She stated that in circumstances where property owners find it difficult to make the payments, she works out a payment schedule that works for the property owner.

Mr. Olson clarified that normally, the City pays 40-45% of the improvement costs, however for the Tolman LID, the City paid 60%. He noted Resolution 1999-09, which outlines the City's participation and the method used to determine assessments. He also clarified that for parcels that are not yet developed, the property owner would have the option to defer the payments. Ms. Christensen noted that this option would be listed in the letter to be mailed out to the assessment district.

In regards to the issued raised about the placement of the islands, Mr. Olson stated that the islands are typically spaced out equally, however they have to take into consideration driveways and intersection and adjust the placement of the islands accordingly. He also commented that the incline was only about 4% and would not pose any problems in terms of maneuvering the islands.

Comment was made which noted that there was a development plan for the City, and it would be beneficial for realtors to inform customers where the City has planned for development and improvements.

Mayor Morrison noted the number of public hearings which were held on this project and stated that everyone was given the opportunity to have their say; however this does not mean that everyone gets their way. He noted the transportation plan which holds the City to certain standards, designs and goals.

Mr. Olson commented that you seldom hear from citizens who are satisfied with the improvements, and felt that the ratio of objections to property owners speaks for itself. Out of 160 properties, only 8 voiced opposition.

Councilor Hardesty voiced his opposition to the LID process and stated that the City should pay for the all of the improvement costs.

Mr. Olson clarified Mr. DeBey had requested that a parking bay be constructed along his side of the street, but due to the 3 lanes of traffic at that location, there was not enough right of way to accommodate this request. An agreement was reached that if Mr. DeBey provided an easement, the City would construct a parking bay along the front of his property. Mr. DeBey agreed and the parking bay was installed. Although it is a public parking space, it is primarily used by him.

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Resolution #2005-15. DISCUSSION: Mr. Olson questioned if the Council wished to consider the adjustment to Mr. Smucker's assessment.

Councilor Amarotico/Hartzell m/s to amend original motion to reduce by 50% Mr. Smucker's assessment. Voice Vote: all AYES.

DISCUSSION (cont.): Councilor Hardesty requested that he be allowed to abstain from voting due to potential conflict on interest. City Attorney Mike Franell explained that the Council could consider Mr. Hardesty's request to abstain, and stated that it is technically a potential conflict of interest according to state statute; however this statute would apply to the entire council. No motion was considered.

Roll Call Vote on amended motion: Councilor Silbiger, Hartzell, Amarotico and Jackson, YES; Councilor Hardesty, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

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2. Appeal of Planning Action 2005-00056 - 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 Hersey Street. An Administrative Variance to the Site Design and Use Standards is requested to locate the off-street parking between the building and the street. A Variance is 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.

EX PARTE CONTACTS
Councilor Jackson disclosed that she had performed a site visit and noted her acquaintance with Gary and Sandy Moore. Jackson clarified that it was a business acquaintance and did not believe this created a conflict of interest.

Councilor Hartzell stated that she had performed a site visit and noted that she was present at the Tree Commission meeting when this application was reviewed.

Councilor Silbiger noted that he had performed a site visit.

Mayor Morrison read aloud the procedure for Public Hearing for Land Use Hearings and called the Public Hearing to order at 8:18 p.m.

STAFF REPORT
City Planner Maria Harris explained that the building located at 394 Hersey was approved as a residence and studio commercial space, with a parking configuration back in December of 1988. The application before the Council is for a modification of the parking configuration and a relocation of the refuse recycle area.

Ms. Harris presented slides indicating the subject area of Planning Action 2005-00045. She stated that the proposal is to install two parking spaces at the rear of the building, which would serve the commercial portion of the structure. She noted that the original parking configuration was approved with seven parking spaces and displayed the proposed configuration. She stated that the patio area would be extended and there was a question as to whether a tree was going to be removed. Ms. Harris noted that the Hearings Board approve the application on February 8th with 12 conditions, and stated that one of those conditions was an adjustment from the standard 10 feet of vision clearance to 25 feet. It was noted that the applicant revised their site plan to meet this condition. The approval was subsequently appealed, which is why this issue is before the council.

Ms. Harris pointed out that the newly submitted site plan does not show the landscaped area, which included a decent sized tree, and stated that this is something that the applicant should address during the public hearing. She stated that if the tree was being eliminated, this would be a concern of Staff and they would recommend that the landscaped area be retained.

Ms. Harris commented that due to the limited parking area, it would be difficult for this building to undergo any future expansion; especially with the 25 foot line of site required by the Hearings Board.

Planning Manager Bill Molnar clarified that the design of Rogue Place could accommodate the weight of commercial trucks and noted that the current trip generation was very low with only 5 residences on this street.

Mr. Harris clarified that as part of the standard review process, the Fire Department had reviewed this application.

APPLICANT
Stephen M. Terry/1016 Aspen Street, Medford/
Stated that he is the agent for the applicants Rick and Barbara Schiller. Mr. Terry explained that that the Schiller's have embarked on the remodeling of their antiquated commercial space, and along with that they are required to address the ADA standards for handicap access.

Mr. Terry stated that there was no net gain in the number of parking spaces, it was only a reconfiguration. He noted that in order to meet the vision clearance requirement, a portion of the block wall would need to be removed, and there was a fence that would need to be relocated. He stated that there was tree that would have to be removed, however it would be replaced with a like species. The proposal includes enlarging the patio space by approximately 6 feet and the refuse area would be relocated and accessed from Rogue Place. Mr. Terry spoke regarding the ADA requirements, which were not in effect when this building was first approved back in 1988. He noted that their site plan has placed the handicap access at the front of the property, which is most convenient, and stated that the proposed parking area in the back would be landscaped and would be a great improvement from what is there now. Mr. Terry stated that because the main access is from Hersey Street, it is anticipated that those parking spaces will be utilized more frequently by the customers, while the spaces off Rogue Place would be use by employees.

Mr. Terry clarified that the refuse containers would be the same as the ones used by the surrounding residences and would not post a problem for the pick-up service. He also noted that the containers would be kept in the confines of a screened facility with a latching gate. When asked why the applicant's couldn't move the containers to Hersey Street on collection day, Mr. Terry stated that the contours and the steepness of the terrain posed a problem. He commented that having the refuse picked up on Rogue Place should not be a big impact because collection vehicles already retrieve material from the five other residences.

Mr. Terry clarified that the applicants were looking at an office use for the commercial space and were not interested in a retail use. Comment was made by a councilor that the Council should look at the potential use, and not just what the applicants are proposing to use if for at this point in time. Mr. Terry stated that the applicants would agree to limit the hours of operation from 9 am - 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, and stated that they would be happy to report this as a restrictive covenant against the property.

Council commented that one for the criteria for the variance is "demonstrable difficulty due to unique and unusual aspects of the proposed use of the site". Mr. Terry stated that the way the site was configured in terms of parking made it relatively awkward to maneuver on site, and stated that eliminating the three spaces and reducing it down to one ADA space would make it easier to maneuver on site. Mr. Terry stated that redesigning the parking configuration from what has been proposed would create more conflicts.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to extend Public Hearing until 9:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Council commented that there appeared to be a fair amount of space between spaces 4 & 5 and it was questioned if this could be redesigned to accommodate the parking requirement. Mr. Terry clarified that there was a landscape feature in this area and is the location where the old refuse facilities were. He stated that removing the landscaping and inserting more parking would create a much more awkward situation.

It was noted that the Mr. Terry had stated that spaces 1 & 2 would most likely be used for employee parking and it was questioned if this was something that the applicant would be willing to have as a condition. Mr. Terry stated that yes, they could stipulate to that.

OPPONENT
Gary Moore/482 Rogue Place/
Stated that the project is located at 394 E. Hersey and is a mixed use property with seven parking spaces, and stated that they do not have any objections to this. Mr. Moore stated that in January of this year, the residents received a planning action notice that this property was requesting a variance however the notice did not accurately describe the addition of a parking lot that would open onto Rogue Place. He stated that they first learned what was actually being proposed at the Hearing Boards meeting on February 8th and voiced his concerns at that time. Following the Planning Commission meeting, Mr. Moore stated that there have been a number of changes to the plans, and noted that the number of parking spaces in the rear has changed from three to one and now to two.

Mr. Moore stated that the codes are designed to meet the needs of a lot of situations, however this one is unique. He stated that the code states that a variance can be granted if approval of the variance will not substantially negatively impact adjacent properties. Mr. Moore stated that they feel that this will negatively impact the adjacent properties. He noted that until they had appealed this action, there was no street sign designating Rogue Place and there was no dead-end sign. Mr. Moore noted the photos they had submitted which displayed how many cars disregard the no parking signs. He noted that the traffic and safety concerns would be enough to deny the variance, but also noted the confusion of finding a parking lot with no address, on a street that is four blocks driving distance from 394 Hersey.

Mr. Moore gave a comparison of his home to this application and state that it met the codes and everyone approved it, but it was a dumb idea and was one of those unique situations that slipped through the cracks. He stated that the confusion created by this variance was a mistake waiting for Council's approval.

Mr. Moore explained that the original property was approved for seven parking spaces accessed from Hersey and noted that there are three off-street parking spaces right in front of this building, and plenty of spaces along Williamson Way where employees could park. He stated that surely there was a way to keep the seven parking spaces where they belong at 394 Hersey and not have to bring business traffic onto Rogue Place. Mr. Moore stated that it would be fine it the applicant wanted to have a gate at the back of their property so the refuse containers could be picked up on Rogue Place.

THOSE WISHING TO PROVIDE TESTIMONY
Carol Kim/422 Rogue Place/
Stated that the hearing noticed that the residents received did not give them all of the pertinent information and stated that they would have had more of a presence at the original meeting had they known there would be access onto Rogue Place. Ms. Kim stated that safety would be negatively impacted by the proposed increase in traffic and stated that it is difficult to back in and out of driveways as it is. She explained that it would be impossible for the business clients to avoid backing out onto Rogue Place and noted that the overflow cars might decide to park on the street despite the no parking signs, and noted that this already happens all the time. Ms. Kim stated that vehicles that enter from Rogue Place and find that the parking area is full would either have to do a three-point turnaround, back out of Rogue Place or use one of the resident's driveways to turnaround. Ms. Kim gave examples of where she witnessed vehicles having difficulty maneuvering and voiced her concern that as more cars use their street to access this business, there would be more of these instances.

Arlen Gregario/474 Williamson Way/Voiced his support of the appeal and stated that the proposed change would create substantial negative impact on the surrounding homes and indirectly affect the entire neighborhood. Mr. Gregario requested that the Council not approve the variance request.

Andrew Kim/422 Rogue Place/Commented on the traffic generation numbers mentioned by Mr. Terry of 15 vehicles per day, and stated that they could potentially generate about 40 per day. Mr. Kim stated that this would significantly impact the safety on their street.

Jennifer Braught/462 Rogue Place/Noted that her driveway is across from the proposed parking spaces 1 and 2. Ms. Braught stated that although the legal requirements have been met, people need to hear what actually happens on this street with errant vehicles. She noted how she has witnessed vehicles driving over her lawn to get turned around and stated that there is a problem with parking on the street, even thought there are no parking signs posted. She stated that Rogue Place was a narrow street and was difficult to maneuver, even for the residents who do it daily. Ms. Braught voiced her concern about how many vehicles would be coming down their street on a daily basis and stated that it was conceivable to believe that if someone came down the street and saw that the businesses spaces were occupied, that they would either try to park on the street, ignoring the signs as many others have, or they would try to turn around in one of the driveways. She stated that she has 4 children who frequently play on her lawn and in the driveway and stated that they should be able to continue to do so without worrying about errant cars.

STAFF RESPONSE
Ms. Harris clarified that in regards to a maximum vehicle trips per day, a neighborhood street is generally targeted at handling up to 1500 trips per day. She also clarified that they do not have a differentiation in the standards between dead-end and through streets.

REBUTTAL
Mr. Terry stated that the application has met the burden of proof of the municipal code in terms of site design, and urged the council to mitigate on-street parking of Rogue Place to address the concerns of the residents by vigorously enforcing the code. He stated that the economic viability of this property would be enhanced by the application and stated that Staff and the Hearings Board determined that the application conforms to the code. Mr. Terry requested that the Council approve the project as presented.

Public Hearing Closed: 9:29 p.m.

COUNCIL DELIBERATION
It was questioned whether the ADA standards would render all E1 property built prior to 1991 to claim demonstrable difficulty related to unique or unusual aspects of the proposed use. Mr. Molnar stated that he did not suspect that Staff would see a lot of this, and stated that most of the E1 properties had adequate room to accommodate the ADA handicap space requirements. Mr. Molnar clarified for Council that you could design a parking lot with a maximum of seven spaces before you had to have a turnaround.

In regards to the three on-street spaces mentioned during public testimony, Mr. Molnar stated that the applicant had not initiated a credit for those spaces and explained that generally, they would receive one space credit for every two spaces along their frontage. Mr. Molnar stated that the applicant was currently providing all of their required parking on site, however it was conceivable that they could remove a space and utilize the on street parking. Mr. Molnar clarified that it would be up to the building official to determine if one of the parallel parking spaces could be converted to an ADA space. Ms. Harris stated that she believed that the parking requirement could be met if the applicant utilized the off-street credit. She added that if the applicant used one on-street credit and had six spaces located on-site, she did not believe that any of the landscaping would need to be removed.

Ms. Harris stated that a condition requiring that spaces 1 & 2 are only used for residential use would have workability issues.

Council continued their discussion regarding whether to allow an entrance from Rogue Place. Comment was made noting the record of illegal parking, the narrowness of the street, and the fact that Rogue Place is a dead-end, all pointed to their being a substantial negative impact from the approval of this variance.

City Attorney Mike Franell stated that if the Council felt that the applicant had not met the burden of showing that the parking should be moved over to Rogue Place, than the Council could deny the application and would not need to address the conditions.

Support was voiced for allowing the refuse to be picked up on Rogue Place, but not approving the parking request.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to extend meeting until 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Comment was made that one of the conditions should be that the applicant needed to submit accurate drawings depicting everything on site. It was questioned if the Council denied the proposal, could the applicant present a new application right away or would they have to wait six months? Mr. Molnar stated that the applicant could re-file right away, but they would be subject to the application fee. Mr. Franell clarified that if the parking request was denied, the applicant could still relocate the refuse bin without requesting a variance. Mr. Molnar concurred and stated that if the request was denied, the applicant could relocate the refuse area and manipulate the current parking area without having to reapply.

Councilor Jackson/Hartzell m/s to deny the application 2005-00045. DISCUSSION: Clarification was made that the applicant could move forward with relocation of the refuse and reconfiguration of the existing parking. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson and Silbiger, YES. Motion passed.

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3. Planning Action 2005-008 - 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) that allows a residential component and in the Detail Site Review Zone which requires additional building design features.
Item moved to the June 7, 2005 council meeting.

PUBLIC FORUM
Tom Giordano/
Requested the Council to reconsider the vote taken on May 3, 205 regarding the Unitarian Church appeal. Mr. Giordano stated that according to AMC 2.04.120, the Council could reconsider their vote. He explained that the applicant was not given the opportunity to provide input or rebuttal on the two last minutes conditions that were added to the motion to approve. He stated that the City's legal and planning staff were also not consulted about the additional conditions. Mr. Giordano stated that the applicant felt that the amendments to the motion would be difficult to monitor and do not reflect either Staff's or the applicant's testimony. He noted several scenarios and questioned how these conditions would be applied. Mr. Giordano respectfully requested that the Council reconsider the May 3rd vote and continue this issue at a future meeting. He stated that the applicant had granted a time extension in order to give the Council additional time for discussion and noted that they had prepared two conditions which were very similar to what was stated.

Bill Emerson/90 Fifth Street/Proposed the following wording for the two motions made by Council: "The church shall not be allowed to operate a function in the sanctuary and the social hall at the same time. But, as long as there is only one function that does not exceed the seating capacity of the main sanctuary, they may be allowed to move from one space to another." For the second motion regarding seat capacity, "Occupancy of the building shall be limited to the existing maximum capacity of the main sanctuary after eliminating the existing overflow capacity of the existing gallery."

Philip Lang/758 B Street/Stated that he objects to what is happening and stated that the Council had just accepted new evidence and suggestions and had effectively reopened the hearing. Mr. Lang stated that this issue was not subject to reconsideration because the Council had already had two meeting since their decision was made and noted that AMC states that it needs to be done at the same meeting or at the next meeting. Mr. Land noted his reasons for filing the appeal and submitted a statement into the record.

Mayor Morrison stated that they have before them a request to reconsider a vote.

Councilor Jackson motion to place this issue on agenda. Motion denied due to lack of second.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Council election of Audit Committee member.

Councilor Hartzell motion to appoint David Williams as the Budget Committee representative for the Audit Committee. Motion died due to lack of a second.

Councilor Silbiger/Amarotico m/s to appoint Marty Levine as the Budget Committee representative for the Audit Committee. DISCUSSION: It was noted that Mr. Levine is a CPA. Comment was made expressing support for new faces on the committee. Voice Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson and Silbiger, YES; Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

2. Adoption of 2005-2006 council goals.
Issue postponed due to time constraints.

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1.   Public Art Commission Request for Funding.
City Administrator Gino Grimaldi request direction from Council in regards to this issue. He noted that the Council could either have a special meeting tomorrow at noon to discuss this issue, refer it back to the Budget Committee, or deal with it when the Council adopts the budget in June. Council agreed for Staff to bring back this issue in June when they adopt the budget.

2.   Council election of Council Chair for 2005.

Councilor Hartzell/Amarotico m/s to appoint Councilor Jackson as Council Chair for 2005. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

Request was made for clarification on the Measure 37 claim on Lowe Road. Mr. Grimaldi stated that the Council had approved to send a letter to the county and stated that he would follow up to see where they were at in the process.

3.   RVTV Agreement for Services.
Mr. Grimaldi stated that this issue could be postponed and dealt with in an upcoming meeting.

4.   Replace Bid Award - Jet Rodder.

Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to approve award bid to Ben-Ko-Matic Brush and Equipment Co. for a Jet-Rodder quoted at $131, 580. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS  (None)

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
1.   Update by Councilor Jackson on Regional Problem Solving Project.

Councilor Jackson noted that she would be attending a meeting on this issue with the Mayor on May 24th and was available to answer questions.

Mr. Grimaldi reminded the Council of the Council Dynamics session scheduled for Saturday at 9 am.

ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor


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