Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, February 27, 2006




FEBRUARY 27, 2006


CALL TO ORDER – Chair Faye Weisler called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR.


                Commissioners Present:          Faye Weisler, Chair

                                                                Bill Street (left at 7:00 pm)

                                                                Carol Voisin

                                                                Don Mackin

                                                                Jennifer Henderson (left at 7:00 pm)

                                                                Liz Peck

                                                                Alice Hardesty

                Absent Members:                     Matt Small

                SOU Student Liaison:              Sunny Lindley

                Council Liaison:                       Cate Hartzell (arrived at 6:50 p.m.)

                Staff Present:                           Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist

                                                                Sue Yates, Executive Secretary


Goldman announced there will be a review of a pre-application at this meeting. 


The CDBG public hearing is scheduled for March 20, 2006. 


Goldman introduced Sunny Lindley.  She is the SOU Student Liaison. 



There were two corrections to the January 9, 2006 Housing Commission minutes.  Under “New Business” and “Old Business” there were two incomplete sentences that need to be struck.  Voisin/Mackin m/s to approve the minutes as corrected.  Voice Vote:  The minutes were approved as corrected.


PUBLIC FORUM – No one came forth to speak.




Education – Hardesty submitted a written report.  Save Our Schools and Playgrounds (SOSP) comprised of 300 members would like to organize a large educational kind of meeting.  The purpose would be to brainstorm and educate their members and the general public about the affordable housing problems but also to come up with resources and ideas.  SOSP would run the effort, but with the Housing Commission attending to help out. 


The Housing Commission expressed an interest in participating, but would need to know the date, place and time of the forum. 

Employer Assisted Housing - Hardesty said they want to keep the interest going. 


Hardesty said she’d heard from the Carleton Hart architectural firm in Portland, developers of Oleson Wood.  They asked if there would be an interest in hearing a presentation from them.  What is the possibility of inviting them to the study session on April 26, 2006?  The purpose of a visit would be for them to tell the Housing Commission and perhaps Planning Commissioners and the Council about how they were able to do what they did by combining affordable housing with environmental concerns – green building and funding.  She would like to respond to their offer.


Hartzell arrived at 6:50 p.m.


The study session was set for April 26th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.  A potluck was suggested.  Goldman suggested potential modifications of the annexation ordinance as a topic.  An e-mail reminder will be sent to Commissioners.


Henderson and Street left the meeting at 7:00 p.m.


Hardesty noted that Street has agreed to chair the Education Committee. 


Land Use - Hardesty is now chairing the Land Use Committee.  Other members on the committee are:  Peck, Henderson and Mackin.  They discussed inclusionary zoning and what kinds of changes could be made to the code to make it more beneficial to the community and improve the aspect of affordable housing in these developments. Goldman said he would research construction costs for typical project developments.  The regular meeting date will be the second Thursday of the month from 12 to 1:00 p.m. The next meeting is March 9th from 12 to 1:00 p.m.


Finance Goldman brought the committee up-to-date on work that had been done previously.  Goldman understood they were looking for a consultant to investigate continuous funding streams.  The Commissioners brought up other ideas and questions.  However, mixing too many issues will only add to the Commission’s frustration, for example, learning about funding sources, hearing from developers as to why they are not seeking funds for affordable housing, different housing needs – workforce, homeless, transitional, etc.  The Commission decided to focus on how to get the housing trust fund to work.  Goldman said he will go to the Planning Director and City Administrator to see if there are funds available in the current budget for hiring a consultant.  There was consensus by the Commission for Goldman to proceed with hiring an outside consultant to look at potential funding streams for a housing trust fund.  A recommendation would be made to Bill Molnar, Interim Planning Director and Gino Grimaldi, City Administrator to see if there are funds under the current budget to allow for a consultant.  Hartzell mentioned it to Grimaldi this morning and she suggested the request go straight to Grimaldi.  Goldman thought a consultant would work independently and provide a report.  Hartzell suggested Goldman come back to the next meeting or Finance Committee with a potential scope of work. 


A possible future agenda item would be the relationship of the existing land trust to our formation of a housing trust fund.


Liaison Reports – Hartzell reported the Council has not prioritized their goals, but one of the highest goals was the creation of 200 affordable housing units by 2010. Goldman will send the document he produced in this regard. 


David Pearce Snyder, Washington, DC, was the keynote speaker at the Workforce Housing Summit.  Hartzell will send a link to his informative website.  She took notes at the housing summit and can share those with the Commission.  Goldman can provide extra packets to those who are interested. 


Hartzell attended last month’s meeting of the Homeless Task Force of the Jackson County Housing Coalition.  They said if Ashland gets to the point where we are asking for money for homelessness, consider ourselves a subcommittee of that task force and that puts us in line to get money.  Goldman noted the City has been a member for the last three years.


Hartzell, during the cold snap, organized a homeless shelter using The Grove.  Unfortunately, not everything was in place until too late.  It at least jump started the process and hopefully it will put some concrete things in place for the future for cold nights.   


Lithia Lot – Peck said the funding for Kendrick (developer) came back $400,000 short of their goal to create the housing.  It has been sent back to Kendrick saying they need to figure out how to close the gap.   Kendrick came back saying they would turn 1500 square feet of the proposed housing into commercial or market rate house.  Goldman said he will meet with their representative to determine what their proposal is.  He will then take it to the Council because it could be a modification of the project.  There was consensus that Weisler contact Grimaldi for the Housing Commission to review it before it goes to the Council.



Pre-Application Review for the property at 146 S. Mountain Avenue; Applicant:  Fullerton/Henthorn.  Request:  Conditional Use Permit to convert existing units into condominiums.  Final Plan with Outline Plan Approval for a three-unit Performance Standards Subdivision.


Goldman said the applicant is required to have at least 25 percent of the houses affordable.  The standards require ownership units at 120 percent for condominium conversions or rental units at the 80 percent AMI for a period of not less than 20 years.  In this case, one unit will have to meet the affordable requirement. 


ANTHONY HENTHORN said they built two of the units two years ago.  Each unit has its own private yard.  The one bedroom is already rented to meet the affordability requirement.  All the units currently exist. 


The Commissioners did not have any suggestions or recommendations.



Annexation /Zone Change Criteria Discussion

Goldman said his memo in the packet outlines the existing Land Use Ordinance relating to affordable housing.  Are the five standards for affordability under ALUO 18.106.030 G. adequate to attain affordable housing?  Even though this ordinance has hardly been used over the last several years, as more pressure develops on lands outside the City Limits but inside the Urban Growth Boundary, the ordinance will be used more often.  Goldman suggested the Land Use Committee review any changes in wording and the Housing Commission could review it again on April 26th at the study session.  Then, immediately schedule a joint study session with the Planning Commission to recommend any changes.  Hopefully, there would be specific language that could come out of the study session that might address the concerns raised.  What is the target goal, how do we define workforce and affordable housing and what is the intention behind the annexation ordinance to provide what housing for what income group? 


Hartzell thought they were going to talk to developers to find their break even point. Goldman isn’t sure Staff has direction yet from the Commission as to how to craft language to serve what purpose.  Hardesty had listed six items that the Land Use Committee suggested as types of changes that could be made to the ordinance.  Goldman would like to bring the concepts to the Land Use Committee.  The language will require legal review.  Mackin said there will be two regularly scheduled Land Use meetings before the study session.  They can talk about the concepts.  Hartzell would like to begin scheduling the joint study session with the Planning Commission.


Density Bonus Criteria Discussion

Goldman explained this is a voluntary bonus people can get that develops affordable housing.  They can increase the percentage of units on the property by an equal percentage of affordable housing.  For every affordable unit you add, you get a one unit increase.  This has not been working too well because of land costs.


Weisler thought as we discuss these things, can Goldman give the Commission an idea of how much the density bonus has been utilized and how much affordable housing has been added and how much will be anticipated in terms of applications and trends?  She would like to see the Commission focus on the changes that will bring the most affordable housing.


Hartzell said it would be helpful to put on the agenda when we know there is a decision to be made or where we want to get with a particular item.  Goldman said Annexation and Zone Change will not be coming back to the Commission in March. Condominium conversion criteria discussion can be put on the next agenda.  Ask the Land Use Committee to structure that portion of the study session to be organized so they can focus and move down the list. 



Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) applications.


Peck said she would be happy to talk to any of the Commissioners about the ten units in the downtown (Lithia Lot).  At what cost do we want the ten units on the ground? 



RICH ROHDE, Oregon Action, said he was impressed with the work the Housing Commission is doing and the public ought to know that.


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by

Sue Yates, Executive Secretary











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