Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, March 09, 2006

                       

Ashland Tree Commission

Regular Meeting

March 9, 2006

Minutes

 

 

I.              CALL TO ORDER:   Chair Bryan Holley called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. on March 9, 2006 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development/Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way.

 

Commissioners Present:  Bryan Holley

Mary Pritchard

Laurie Sager, arrived at 8:20

Ted Loftus

January Jennings

Steve Siewert

 

Council Liaison:                  David Chapman, arrived at 7:20

Staff Present:                       Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

                                                                               Anne Rich , Parks Department                                                                                                                                         Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

 

II.            APPROVAL OF MINUTES:   Pritchard/Jennings m/s to approve the minutes of February 9, 2006. Voice vote:  All AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of February 9, 2006 were approved as presented.

 

III.           WELCOME GUESTS AND PUBLIC FORUM: 

Robbin Pearce, Conservation Analyst for the City of Ashland spoke. Ms. Pearce recently met with Kristan Ramstead the City’s Regional Oregon Department of Forestry Representative.  Ms. Ramstead shared that the scholarship that David Wood has applied for is right on track.  Ms. Pearce reported that Bill Harrington, Arborist for the City of Medford, is interested in coordinating Regional meetings.  Ms. Ramsted talked with Ms. Pearce about the Oregon Community Trees (OTC) workshop, Tree Inventory and Management Plans in Salem on June 1, 2006 and Ms. Pearce would like to see at least two representatives from the City attend.  Ms. Pearce encouraged the Tree Commission to become OCT members.  She would also like the Planning Staff to support Amy in attending the CTMI classes in 2007. 

 

Scott Johnson, Operation Superintendent for the Ashland Electrical Department, spoke.  Mr. Johnson would like to have an inventory that shows all the trees in the City of Ashland.  Dave Wood attended an ISA sponsored seminar in November that discussed Public Utility Commissions.  The PUC is trying to strengthen their control on tree trimming.  Mr. Johnson stated that his main goal this year is to get David Wood ISA certified. He acknowledged their appreciation for the letter of reference Holley wrote on behalf of the Tree Commission in support of David Wood. 

 

IV            PUBLIC HEARINGS:

 

PLANNING ACTION: 2006-00078 is a request for an Outline Plan approval under the Performance Standards Chapter 18.88 to subdivide the property into 24 lots including 22 lots for single-family homes and two lots for open space purposes for the property located at 247 Otis St.  An Exception to Street Standards is requested to allow a meandering sidewalk along the Otis Street frontage to preserve existing mature trees.  Seven trees on site are proposed for removal, and a Tree Removal Permit is required to remove two of those trees, sized 18 inches diameter at height and greater, on the property.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Single-Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5P; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 04 BC; TAX LOT: 400

APPLICANT: Sage Development

 

Amy showed the landscaping plans, identifying the trees for removal and read the staff report.

 

Applicant Testimony:

Landscape Architect Kerry KenCairn was present to represent the applicant Sage Development. Ms. KenCairn stated they looked for alternative ways to deal with the sidewalks adjacent to trees that have problem roots. They felt the sidewalks could be raised slightly.  They are not advocating taking the trees out but because of where the streets are and where the sidewalks need to go Ms. KenCairn acknowledged that the trees might be compromised during construction.

 

Public Testimony:

Lija Appleberry, 704 Willow St. testified.  Ms. Appleberry stated she was concerned about the shallow soils in the area of the proposed development. Her trees roots extend about 20 feet from the canopy and she feels any houses that will be built next to trees on the proposed property will go into the root system and compromise the trees.  She would like a Hydrology report on the land. Ms. Appleberry also commented that about two or three years ago a lot of trees were removed on the property. 

 

Cynthia Dion, 897 Hillview spoke regarding her concern about the soil.  She brought to the attention of the Commissioners sulfur hot springs that are present on the property. Ms. Dion stated that the abundance of water is doing a lot of things to the soil in the neighborhood and causes drainage problems. Ms. Dion also requested that a Hydrology report be done on the property. She asked the Commissioners to request a soil plan be done so they can determine what kind of depth these tree roots have.  Ms. KenCairn informed Ms. Dion that they will be required to do ground truthing of the wetlands and have soil plans for the entire site.

 

Holly suggested that the neighbors and the applicant meet together to discuss their concerns. 

 

The Tree Commissioners discussed this Planning Action and made recommendations. 

 

Recommendations:

1)                   Tree Commission recommends a Certified Arborist be on-site and present during the pruning of the subject sites trees as prescribed in the approved Tree Protection and Preservation Plan.

2)                   Tree Commission recommends meandering the sidewalk around the trees along the Otis Street frontage.

3)                   Tree Commission recommends alternative sidewalk construction e.g. floating sidewalk over critical root zones of trees to be preserved along the Otis Street frontage. 

4)                   Tree Commission recommends hand digging prior to excavation for foundation installation when working within the critical root zones of the trees to be preserved (Proposed Lots #2, 3, 6, 19, 20) to determine if roots greater than two (2) caliper inches will be encountered.

5)                   Tree Commission recommends that if it is determined that roots greater than two (2) caliper inches are encountered a Certified Arborist shall be consulted to determine the method of cutting of exposed root.

6)                   Tree Commission recommends that if it is determined that roots greater than two (2) caliper inches are encountered the foundations within the critical root zones of trees to be preserved shall be hand dug and/or constructed using an alternative, engineered installation methods.

 

 

PLANNING ACTION 2006-00284 is a request for Conditional Use Permit and Site Review to expand the use of the property located at 631 Clay St. for a private elementary school (Waldorf School).  The school is grades K-8, and is projected at full build out to include ten classrooms and accommodated up to 180 students.  The proposal includes the addition of five buildings and site improvements including parking and landscaping installation.  A Physical Constraints Review Permit is requested for a pedestrian crossing of the drainage, Cemetery Creek, at the northwest corner of the property.  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Single-Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 14 BB; TAX LOT: 1300

APPLICANT: Kula Ohana

 

Amy showed the larger maps and read the staff report.

 

Holley remembered that the Tree Commission looked at this property under another Planning Action proposal within the last two years.  He inquired of Amy if she had identified what their recommendations were for the previous application.  Amy found the recommendation in the file and read them to the Commissioners.

 

Applicant Testimony: 

Greg Covey, Landscape Architect and Ian Wessler, Wessler Design Associates, were present to represent the applicants. Mr. Covey stated that he actually represented both applicants for the project that Holley was speaking about and offered to answer any questions that the Tree Commissioners might have.  The one specific issue that they had to wrestle with was fire appratus access.  Fire Marshall Hickman did a turning radius test of the pavement after which allowed retention of the existing width.  Hickman did request that the trees be limbed up to 15 feet to allow clearance for the fire apparatus.  Mr. Wessler asked that the Commission take special note that there is a larger landscape buffer between the street and the school building.  They put a lot of effort into that area to improve the current appearance. 

 

Public Testimony:

R.C. Heublein, 678 Glendale St. testified.  Mr. Heublein explained that he is opposed to the access from the school to the City Park.  Currently there is a bridge to access the park from the Stratford Apartments just 200 feet away.  He would like to see pedestrians go the additional 250 feet to the south and come off of Clay St. and use the existing bridge to access the park.  He does not want to see the riparian area compromised.  Mr. Heublein would like to have trees planted on the school side of the fence line for the purpose of shielding the apartment complex from his view.   

 

The Commissioners discussed the planning action and made recommendations.  Pritchard wanted the applicant to take any additional measures that can be implemented to protect the riparian area.

 

Recommendations:

1)                   Tree Commission recommends that care be taken with respect to work within and/or near the Riparian Area for Cemetery Creek and that vegetation specific to Riparian Areas be planted in that area.

2)                   Tree Commission recommends working with neighbors regarding proposed screening and enhancement of screening of the adjacent properties to the west of the subject parcel.

 

V.             DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

A.       Electric Department Annual Report

Dave Wood and Scott Johnson presented the Electric Departments annual report.  Mr. Wood commented that there are a lot of differences this year in Electric Utility Vegetation management as compared to previous years.  Two examples were the clearing out around power poles and the clearing of vines growing up guy wires.  Mr. Wood stated that plant material around the pole is OK at the base as long as there is ample access for a crew to get in to do work and climb poles when necessary.  Mr. Wood stated there have been a lot of customer requests this year and he is spending more time educating the citizens regarding trees and vegetation.  In subdivisions where the utilities are underground, transformers and cabinets are being installed.  Vegetation clearance around them should be at least 8 feet from the front of the transformer or cabinet and three feet on the sides and back.

 

Mr. Wood will be taking his test to become a Certified Arborist in August

 

B.      Public Works Capital Improvements Projects (CIP)

In the back of the Commissioners packet was a list of the CIP for 2006. 

 

C.      Arbor Day Planning

a.        The notice for Arbor Day Celebration was put in the utility bill.  Amy noted that the tree being planted is a Red Maple not a Black Maple as previously stated.  At the next meeting the Commissioners will discuss what activities they would like to do. Holley suggested that a Commissioner contact the home owner and schedule a time and place for installation of the plaque.

b.       Earth Day Booth.  The Commissioners will each bring a list to the next meeting of 5 recommended trees to replace the Ailanthus tree in Lithia Park. It was suggested to mount pictures of the trees with descriptions on a poster board for the Earth Day Booth.  Amy reported that the Budget Committee chose the Ailanthus to be on the cover of City’s Budget report this year.  They are also commissioning a water color artist to paint a rendition of Fred Stockwells photo. 

 

Loftus asked the Commissioners to look at page two of the City Source and notice the cuts on the tree. Stubs are evident.  It was agreed the drawing needs to be updated.

 

 

A.      Item from Commissioners

a.        Mitigation sub-committee report

Amy handed out the resolution that was given to her by City Attorney Mike Reeder.  Loftus and Sager gave an update.  They arrived at a simple rule for replacing trees.  The formula will be:  One mitigated tree 2” in diameter at breast height or greater for every six inches of diameter of breast height tree that gets removed. Siewert suggested using the term Caliper in place of DBH.  It was decided that the ordinance should read:  the owner must replace trees that were removed with or without a tree permit and if there is not sufficient space on site then trees shall be procured and installed by the Ashland Parks Department at the owners expense. 

 

VIII.         ADJOURNMENT

 

Commissioner Holley adjourned the meeting at 9:55 pm requesting to table the rest of the Agenda items.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by  Carolyn Schwendener

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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