Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
November 15, 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.
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ROLL CALL
Councilors Hardesty, Amarotico, Hartzell, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present.
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APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Regular Council Meeting Minutes of November 1, 2005 were approved as presented.
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SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Presentation by the Tree Commission.

Tree Commission Staff Liaison Amy Anderson, Commission Chair January Jennings and Commissioner Bryan Holley announced the Giant Sequoia located at 165 Almond Street as the 2005 Tree of the Year. The English Walnut Tree located at 84 Garfield came in second place and the California Black Oak located at 872 Hillview came in third. In addition, an Honorable Mention Certificate was awarded to the Siberian Elm that sprouted itself out of the pavement at Evo's Cafe.

Mr. Holley briefly commented on a possible ordinance modification regarding tree protection fencing. He stated that this modification was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission and requested that this nuance be included as part of the Planning Ordinance audit. He also noted the Tree Commission's recent partnership with the Ashland Daily Tidings and stated that they have published several articles and have more planned.

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2. Presentation of Government Finance Officers Association's "Distinguished Budget Presentation Award".

Finance Director Lee Tuneberg accepted the Government Finance Officers Association's Award. He stated that this is the sixteenth year in a row that this has been presented to the City and noted the criteria for receiving this award. Mr. Tuneberg clarified that the cost to engage in this program was $350 and recommended that the City continue to participate.
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CONSENT AGENDA
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees.
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of David Young to the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2008.
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Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES.
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PUBLIC HEARINGS None
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PUBLIC FORUM

Dick Trout/830 Garden Way/Spoke regarding the Community Policing Ordinance. Mr. Trout commented on the process for how this ordinance came forward and questioned the qualifications of the small group of people who brought forward this proposal. He questioned the rush to implement the ordinance and stated that there does not seem to be an immediate need for it. He stated that an inappropriate ordinance could make a police officer's job more difficult and could possibly open the City up to lawsuits. Mr. Trout suggested the Council inform themselves on this issue before holding a public hearing and suggested a number of individuals they should consult on this issue. Mr. Trout suggested that: 1) the Council cancel any public hearing based solely on this group's proposal, 2) appoint an official committee to study and report on the matter, and 3) postpone the entire matter until a later date when the impact of a single event has faded into its proper scale of significance.

Art Bullock/791 Glendower/Suggested that the Council respond to the charter amendments proposed by the four different citizens group at their upcoming Special Council Meeting. Pam Vavra and the IRV group could be invited to discuss their majority vote ballot initiative. John Gaffey and the AFN group could be invited to discuss if and how Council plans to place AFN on the ballot. Robin Lawson, Fred Roberts and Al Whilstater could be invited to discuss Council's response to their charter amendment requiring majority vote on any Property Transfer Tax. And the AshlandConstitution.org group could be invited to discuss their five proposed amendments to the charter language. Mr. Bullock also requested that the Council clarify which charter amendments they wish to pursue and which ones they don't.  [MR. BULLOCK'S WRITTEN TESTIMONY WAS SUBMITTED INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD]

Ed Bemis/398 Dead Indian Memorial Road/Spoke regarding the Measure 37 claim for the Mark Anthony property. Mr. Bemis noted the statement he received from the City's Legal Department informing him that a decision had already been made, and expressed his concern that a decision was made without public input. He also expressed his concern that they did not receive notice until after the decision was made and were now only allowed to submit written testimony. Mr. Bemis requested that the Council call this issue up for a public hearing, so that he can submit new information to be considered.

City Attorney Mike Franell clarified the City's process for handling Measure 37 claims. He stated that per the City's procedural ordinance, after review if it appears that a claim does not meet the requisite requirements to be considered a valid Measure 37 claim, Staff prepares findings and submits them to the Council for review. Council then has a period of time after the preliminary decision has been made to call the matter up for a public hearing. At the same time, notice is also sent out to the property owners in the area and they can submit information they consider relevant to the decision. Before the decision becomes final, comments are reviewed to determine if any of the new information changes the preliminary decision. If it does, Staff would come to Council and ask them to schedule a public hearing. If there is no information presented that changes the preliminary decision, and Council does not call the issue up, the decision becomes final.

Mr. Franell clarified that the period to accept written comments from citizens has ended. He noted that a request from Mr. Neuman's attorney was submitted and that Council would be given adequate time to review this request. If the Council wishes to call this issue up for a public hearing, they need to notify the City's Legal Department by Thursday, November 17th.

Joaquin Saloma/321 Clay Street/Expressed his disappointed that the Council was not acting on the Community Policing Ordinance at tonight's meeting. He stated that this was a serious issue and suggested that the Council move forward on adopting the ordinance.

Mayor Morrison clarified that the draftees of the proposed ordinance asked that it be taken off the agenda for tonight's meeting. He stated that it has not gone away; rather the draftees just needed additional time.

Carole Wheeldon/835 Oak Street/Spoke regarding the challenge of hiring a new City Administrator and Community Development Director and about community goal setting. Ms. Wheeldon commented on the number of goals that are directly related to these positions and noted that 22 of the 25 goals involve departments that do not now, or will not in the near future, have tenured leadership. She suggested that the only additional goal should be to hire suitable replacements and allow these individuals time to acclimate and assess the organization before adding to their already long list of goals. Ms. Wheeldon also suggested that the Council consider thinking about goal setting in a way that acknowledges the workforce they have budgeted for, gives the public a way to participate and assess progress, and reflects a consensus of the Council. [MS. WHEELDON'S WRITTEN TESTIMONY WAS SUBMITTED INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD]

Brent Thompson/582 Allison Street/Commented on a Sign Code modification that would permit signs on more than two building faces. Mr. Thompson explained that he brought this issue to the Council in November of last year after experiencing hardships because of this restriction. At that time, Council agreed to address the matter, but it has since seemed to have been tabled. Mr. Thompson requested information on what happened to the proposed ordinance, that this issue get "un-tabled", and for the Council to have discussion. [MR. THOMPSON'S WRITTEN STATEMENT WAS SUBMITTED INTO THE PUBLIC RECORD]

Mayor Morrison clarified that this issue did come before Council; however it turned into a more complicated matter than anticipated and was returned to Staff for clarification. He stated that he understands Mr. Thompson's predicament, but negatives were identified and they wanted to proceed carefully. He also noted that due to the current demands on the Community Development Department, this matter may take a little longer than anticipated to come back before Council for a decision.

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UNFINISHED BUSINESS None
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NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Public Art Selection for McGee Memorial.

Management Analyst Ann Seltzer was joined by Public Arts Commissioner Jennifer Longshore. Ms. Longshore explained that the City received $19,000 from the estate of the Everett McGee family for the purpose of creating a memorial to honor the McGee and Neil families. The site selected for this memorial sculpture is the open area at the corner of Lithia Way and Pioneer Street. The memorial project is intended to recognize the significant civic and business contributions of these two families, and through these families contributions, the theme "Nourishing our Community" was selected. Ms. Longshore explained that an RFP was sent out for artists to respond to. Twenty-five applications were received and a panel of citizens selected the proposal from artist Lonnie Feather. Ms. Feather's qualifications were noted and Ms. Longshore provided a brief description of Ms. Feather's concept for the memorial. Staff's recommendation is for Council to approve the selection and installation of this memorial. It was noted that the City's Legal, Engineering and Planning Departments reviewed the proposal and determined that the site and the sculpture would not violate the City's vision clearance codes.

It was clarified that the existing sidewalks would remain as is. Ms. Seltzer clarified that the Engineering Department recommended the space underneath the panhandle be incorporated into the site.

Clarification was requested on the site clearance standards and it was questioned if there would be any visibility issues. City Attorney Mike Franell explained that the Legal Department reviewed the code concerning the vision clearance issues and determined that this project would not violate the code, as the site is exempt from the restrictions listed in ALUO 18.68. Mr. Franell stated that vision clearance standards come into play through the site design process, however since this site is on public property, it is not subject to site design review. From a code perspective, the vision clearance is not an issue. It was noted that this project was also evaluated from a practical standpoint by the Engineering Department who determined that it would be safe and approved the location and the artwork. The Engineering Department also verified the project complied with AASHTO requirements.

Suggestion was made for the base of the artwork to be constructed in a way that would allow the sculpture to be moved, should the need arise. Ms. Seltzer clarified that this was a common issue with public art projects and stated that a clause to this effect would be included in the contract with the artist.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to accept recommendation for the McGee/Neil Sculpture. Voice Vote: all AYES.

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2. Adoption of Findings for Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change for an approximately 1.6 acre parcel located at 593 Crowson Road.

Interim Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained that this is the final step in the land use process for the annexation of a 1.6 acre parcel off Crowson Road. He noted that the applicant and the neighbor were asked by the Council to work out their issues and memorialize an agreement. Mr. Molnar stated that the provisions of that agreement are referenced in Condition #6 in the proposed findings. Staff recommends that the Council approve the findings with the attached six conditions.

Councilor Amarotico/Jackson m/s to adopt the Findings for Annexation, Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map change for an approximately 1.6 acre parcel located at 593 Crowson Road. Voice Vote: all AYES.

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ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First Reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to Adoption of the 2004 Oregon Fire Code."

Fire Chief Keith Woodley and Division Chief Margueritte Hickman presented the Staff Report. Mr. Woodley stated that the action before the Council is the adoption of the 2004 Fire Code, which is essentially the 2003 International Code with the Oregon amendments. He noted that this action comes before Council about every four years.

Ms. Hickman stated that most of the changes to the Fire Code are language changes. She commented on how the Fire Code fits into the code process and new development process. She also stated that the Land Use Ordinance, the Building Code and the Fire Code all address fire code issues and stated that it is important for all three to work together.

Ms. Hickman noted the proposed modifications to the Fire Code Ordinance:

Page 1: Language was modified by legal counsel to properly adopt the Fire Code.
Section 15.28.020: It was determined that the new code adequately defined the duties. The previous language was deleted and the Fire Code was referenced.
Section 15.28.030: Language was cleaned up.
Section 15.28.040: Above-ground storage was changed to identify the code location.
Section 15.28.050: After consulting with local LPG providers, it was determined that a 500 limit was more than adequate.
Section 15.28.070.A: Change was made from 150 ft. to 250 ft. in order to be in cooperation with the Land Use Ordinance.
Section 15.28.070.B: Language was added requiring boxes to be installed and maintained in accordance with manufactures instructions.
Section 15.28.070.C: States that a hydrant needs to be within 300 ft. unless there are fire sprinklers in the building and then it can be extended to 600 ft.
Page 4: Exception #3 has been eliminated.
Section 15.28.070.F: Changes were made to the height of buildings to make it congruent with the Land Use Ordinance.
Section 15.28.080: Has been removed and the process listed in the Fire Code was adopted.

Mr. Woodley clarified that there are two issues in the Fire Code that diverge from the State's standards; one is the minimum fire flow for single-family dwellings and the other is the length of dead-ends before a turn-around is required. He stated that in regards to dead-ends, the 250 ft. length has been in place for several years and does not affect the response capacity of the Fire Department. He added that this adjustment was necessary due to the existing street right-of-ways and the development patterns within Ashland.

Concern was expressed about these two modifications from the State requirements, especially in regards to hillside properties. Mr. Woodley stated that the biggest issue for them is that the development guidelines take precedent over a number of the Fire Code issues. Mr. Woodley clarified that they have to accommodate existing infrastructure, and explained that in many applications, houses and right-of-ways are already in place and they need to find ways to work with that. He stated that under no case do they permit developments that would jeopardize fire protection. It was questioned if these issues regarding new development would be better addressed in the Land Use Ordinance. Ms. Hickman responded that this would be an appropriate place to start.

Mr. Woodley provided an explanation of how the fire engines position themselves during emergencies and stated that entrapment should not be an issue. He added that they always leave themselves with a quick exit when dealing with wildfires. It was questioned what the time difference between backing up 150 ft. and 250 ft. would be. Mr. Woodley stated that it depends on a number of factors, but would be an increase of seconds, not minutes.

Comment was made requesting discussion on what is actually safe in the hillside lands. Mr. Woodley explained that these issues need to be addressed in the Planning Ordinances, the Building Code and the Fire Code because they each have their piece; and noted that the Fire Code is subservient to the other two in many areas. He suggested that there be additional discussion on how these pieces fit together, how the codes compliment each other, and how the City of Ashland should be developing.

Mayor Morrison agreed that in terms of the broader picture, additional discussion needs to be had so they can define where they want to go and give Staff direction on the coordination of the three elements.

City Attorney Mike Franell pointed out that the Fire Code was the easiest of the three codes to amend. He also noted that when it comes to these types of issues, the Land Use Code prevails and contains the 250 ft. standard. It was noted that the Land Use Code is currently under review for possible amendments or clarification.

Request was made for this issue to be discussed at a future Council Study Session.

Councilor Jackson/Amarotico m/s to approve first reading as written. DISCUSSION: It was questioned what the urgency was in moving this forward and comment was made that there are constructive changes that could be made. Opposing comment was made that it is important to adopt the current version of the Code under Oregon State Law. Mayor Morrison suggested that the Council pass the Fire Code, but agreed that the congruence between the three Codes needs to be looked at. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Hardesty, Amarotico, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES. Councilor Hartzell, NO. Motion Passed 5-1.

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Councilor Jackson left the meeting at 9:00 p.m.
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OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
1. Request from Councilor Hartzell to consider assistance to hurricane affected area.

Robin Rose/2300 Siskiyou Boulevard/Noted that she had previously come before Council to address this subject. Ms. Rose presented a slide show of photos from her recent trips to Southern Louisiana and suggested that the City develop a relationship with the Houma tribes, who have been heavily impacted by the hurricanes but have not received much assistance. Ms. Rose stated that the City of Ashland is in a position to make a difference and could really help by creating a sisterhood with this community.

Councilor Hartzell submitted information to the Council on establishing relationships for assistance to hurricane affected areas and suggested that the Council agree to establish an official relationship with representatives of the United Houma Nation tribes to support the rebuilding of their communities.

Councilor Silbiger/Hardesty m/s to officially work towards establishing a relationship with the representations of the United Houma Nation tribe. Voice Vote: all AYES.

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ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 9:17 p.m.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John W. Morrison, Mayor


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