Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, January 23, 2006

 

 

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

January 23, 2006

 

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 Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting – December 19, 2005

MOTION D. Amarotico moved to approve the minutes as written. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Study Session – January 11, 2006

In the section entitled Vogel Park Master Plan Review, under “Discussion Among Commissioners,” Eggers asked that the sentence referring to additional garden plots be clarified to read, “Commissioners discussed increasing the community garden area by up to 33% over the current area.”

In the section entitled Community Garden Policy, under “Discussion Among Commissioners,” Eggers asked that the sentence referring to tenure and gardener waiting lists be changed to read, “’the core group of gardeners/volunteers,’ some of whom might not have a plot should tenure limits be imposed….”

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Art Bullock, 791 Glendower, distributed a document regarding “Ashland Sustainability Park (‘Vogel Park’)” and asked the commission for an opportunity to present and discuss the matter at greater length. The commission invited Bullock to attend the February study session, at which the Vogel Park master plan would be discussed.

Matt Sheehan, 185 Suncrest, spoke of the Vogel Park in terms of the creation of a “sustainable” park. He reported that both he and Bullock belong to the Jackson County Sustainability Network.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Gardiner expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve as chair in both 2004 and 2005 and read a speech outlining the accomplishments of the commission over the past two years. He called for a nomination for chair for 2006.

MOTION Lewis moved to nominate Eggers as chair for 2006. Eggers seconded the motion.

MOTION Gardiner moved to nominate Rosenthal as chair for 2006. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

By a show of hands: Rosenthal was elected chair for 2006.

Gardiner called for a nomination for vice chair for 2006.

MOTION Rosenthal moved to nominate D. Amarotico as vice chair for 2006. D. Amarotico declined and the motion was withdrawn.

MOTION Lewis moved to nominate Eggers as vice chair for 2006. Eggers declined and the motion was withdrawn.

MOTION D. Amarotico moved to nominate Lewis as vice chair for 2006. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

By a show of hands: Lewis was elected vice chair for 2006.

Gardiner turned the chair position over to Rosenthal, who assumed that role for the remainder of the meeting.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

COMMUNITY GARDEN POLICY RECOMMENDATION

Teige reminded the commission of the work of the Community Garden Subcommittee and the proposed Community Garden policy that emerged. She requested direction about tenure and urged the commission to consider the policy’s approval, noting two changes requested by the commission: 1) deletion of the rule that gardeners have just one plot at a time [since that, more appropriately, would fall under guidelines]; and 2) addition of #8: “Priority will be given to applicants who live within walking or biking distance to the garden.”

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the issue of tenure limits, a topic which could not be agreed upon during subcommittee meetings. Eggers made the following proposal / motion:

Motion Eggers requested that item #9 be added to the policy, stating that: “If there are more applicants than garden plots by the signup deadline, plots will be assigned first to those on the waiting list, next to new applicants, then to previous participants; however, in order for the program to benefit from the skills and experience of previous participants, up to one-third of the plots may be assigned to previous gardeners who have complied with the policies and guidelines of the community garden program.”

                                            The motion died for lack of a second.

Additional Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the proposal / motion and most agreed that, with the addition of more community gardens throughout the city, the issue of waiting lists and tenure limits would become irrelevant, since the plots available would adequately serve the needs of the gardeners within the community. Most commissioners agreed that staff could monitor waiting lists and that staff would ask the commission to review or revise the policy if needed. Gardiner read his own version of point #9, stating that: “The commission will maintain the first come, first served policy and allow staff to make best use of the gardeners who wish to rent a plot and to determine how best to fit them into the program without taking away plots from those who wish to come back from the previous year.”

Rosenthal called for a motion regarding the proposed garden policy.

Motion Gardiner moved to approve the Community Garden policy, amended as follows: “When there are multiple garden sites, priority may be given to applicants who live within walking or biking distance to garden sites” (revision of item #8); and “After reapplication, vacant plots would be assigned on a first come, first served basis and staff would maintain a waiting list for open plots” (revision of policy item #9). D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

                                         The vote was:     D. Amarotico, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal  – yes

                                                                  Eggers – no

PROSPECTIVE GOALS FOR 2006-2007 FISCAL YEAR

Robertson introduced the topic, reading the 2005-2006 goals list as well as the prospective list for 2006-2007. He requested the commission’s direction in refining the 2006-2007 goals list as well as their possible adoption of the revised goals list at the February regular meeting. He informed the commission that staff prepared a press release inviting members of the public to attend the goal setting session, stating that the press release was distributed to media outlets throughout the Rogue Valley. He read aloud four requests staff received from members of the public. Eggers requested the inclusion of an additional goal of touring all parks properties for potential community garden sites and reviewing existing lawn areas for most appropriate uses.

Rosenthal acknowledged the members of the public in attendance, inviting them to speak to the commission regarding suggested goals for the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

Public Input

John Weston, 997 Oneida Circle, speaking on behalf of the Rogue Valley Master’s swim group and as a representative of the AHS Athletic Department [for which he serves as Assistant Athletic Director], asked the commission to consider a way in which to provide an indoor swimming pool on a year-round basis to Ashland residents. He read a statement from Karl Kemper, AHS Athletic Director, proposing taking over the management and maintenance of the SOU pool [in conjunction with the commission] “by this time next year.”

Christi Gilmore, 338 Scenic Drive, speaking on behalf of the AHS Water Polo team [for which she serves as head coach] stated that the SOU pool is the most viable option for a year-round indoor pool in southern Oregon. She asked the commission to consider working with SOU to brainstorm a solution.

Daniel Greenblatt, 501 Allison Street, speaking on behalf of the Rogue Valley Master’s swim group, stated that there is a great need for a reliable, year-round aquatics facility in the Rogue Valley.

Dan Thomas, 897 Oak Knoll Drive, expressed that he has children who participate in aquatics programs in Ashland, that swimming is a lifelong recreational activity and should be encouraged, and that the SOU pool is the only local aquatics facility capable of accommodating swim meets. He asked the commission to consider ways in which to meet the needs of aquatics users within the community.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the SOU pool and staff agreed to visit with university representatives and bring suggestions back to the commission, considering both short- and long-term solutions. Commissioners agreed to add “Commissioner Tour of Parks” to the goals list, for the purpose of targeting potential community garden sites and reviewing existing lawn areas for most appropriate uses.

NEW BUSINESS

LEASE FOR ACCESS TO I.O.O.F. BUILDING

Robertson introduced the topic, stating that the occupants of the building maintain an annual lease agreement for stairway access to the building housing Munchie’s Restaurant, located in the basement. The city owns the access points to the building and allows access to occur based on the lease agreement that has been in existence since 1981. He reported that the lessee would prefer to buy an easement into the building in lieu of continuing the lease option and, upon review, the City Attorney suggested that the lease be turned into an easement that the owners could purchase. The easement would be transferable should the building ever be sold. Robertson asked for direction from the commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners debated the matter and asked clarifying questions, for which staff provided answers. Staff agreed to draft appropriate language around the design of an easement, with the option of revoking it in the event of future unforeseeable circumstances.

EARTH DAY CONCERT REQUEST

Teige introduced the topic, stating that the Earth Day Committee hoped to provide amplified music at their Earth Day event at North Mountain Park in April 2006. If approved, the amplification would occur on the baseball field, since it could accommodate more people than the area directly surrounding the event. She requested direction from the commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners expressed concern about such things as the protection of the natural areas, potential disruptions to neighbors, and whether the field would be an appropriate venue for a concert [since the Lithia Park bandshell was designated as the venue for outdoor concerts within the city’s parks system]. They asked how the concert would provide increased value for the event. Several commissioners expressed a potential desire to support the request, but added that restrictions would need to be placed around the approval, including monitoring of sound levels and confinement of the concert to a restricted area.

The commission directed staff to request further clarification from committee members about several commissioner questions and concerns, including how the concert would serve the overall purpose of, and/or enhance, the Earth Day event.

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

None

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Rosenthal reported that he completed a pilot study of the Oak Knoll Golf Course as a requirement for his master’s degree from Southern Oregon University and that he planned to conduct academic research and sampling over the next few months, which he expressed might be useful during the commission’s 2006-2007 goal setting process.

Eggers reported that her planned involvement in a project over the next ten weeks would prohibit her attendance of Forest Lands Commission meetings and asked Lewis to serve as the Parks Commission representative during that time, to which he agreed.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§         Study session set for Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics to include:

§         Earth Day concert request

§         Vogel property discussion

§         Charter discussion

§         Budget discussion

§         Regular meeting set for Monday, February 27 at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.

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

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department

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