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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Historic Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, February 08, 2006



February 8, 2006


Community Development/Engineering Services Building – 51 Winburn Way – Siskiyou Room


Historic Commissioners Present: Dale Shostrom, Keith Swink, Terry Skibby, Jay Leighton, Allen Crutcher, and Henry Baker, Rob Saladoff
Absent Members:  Sam Whitford, Tom Giordano

Council Liaison: Jack Hardesty - Absent

High School Liaison: None Appointed
SOU Liaison: None Appointed
Staff Present: Maria Harris, Senior Planner, Billie Boswell, Administration




At 7:08, Chairman Dale Shostrom called the regular meeting to order.





Ms. Leighton suggested a correction be made to the second paragraph of Planning Action #2005-02105 to change the verbiage to “as a modern architectural style”.  She made a motion to approve the minutes as amended and it was seconded by Mr. Saladoff.  The motion passed unanimously.


PUBLIC FORUM:  No speakers




Planning Action 2005-01307

125 Sherman Street

Site Review, Conditional Use Permit & Solar Variance

Russ Dale


Chairman Shostrom read the description of the project and verified there were no conflict of interest issues. Most of the Commissioners had visited the site.  There were no ex parte contacts.


Ms. Harris reviewed the staff report pointing out that the applicant had changed the orientation of the gable and preserved more of the yard by adding a second story above the garage.  The new accessory unit would be finished with board and batten siding to match the original house.  Ms. Harris said staff recommended approval of the application.


The applicant, Russ Dale, 585 Allison Street, said that he had reduced the size of the unit and reoriented the entry.  The garage would be accessed off the alley.  He wanted to match the vertical siding of the original house, explaining that horizontal siding would not be attractive due to the elevation changes in the various buildings.


There being no further questions of the applicant and no one in the audience wishing to speak, the public meeting was closed.


Mr. Swink said he was very disappointed that vertical siding had covered the original asbestos siding and the new structure would also have vertical siding instead of the more historically appropriate horizontal siding.  Chairman Shostrom agreed pointing out that with so many structures in close proximity, the vertical siding became monotonous and did not reflect the varied looks of buildings in that historic time period.


Mr. Crutcher was not supportive of the use of a natural wood finish.  He felt it would make the structure stand out even more and not be compatible the painted siding common in the neighborhood.


Ms. Leighton pointed out that changing this building to horizontal siding would make it stand out even more. Also, the original siding would only be covered and not removed so it could potentially be restored at a future date. Mr. Saladoff agreed commenting that the Historic Commission can’t change what has already been done to the original house. Mr. Baker concurred.


Chairman Shostrom felt the asphalt driveway triangle should be removed, the retaining wall reshaped and the landscaping reestablished up to the alley to soften the structure. 


Mr. Saladoff was concerned about the extreme turning radius needed to access the garage off the alley.  He suggested an access easement be required as a condition to facilitate the turn.  Ms. Harris pointed out that the Municipal Code does not address turning radiuses.


Chairman Shostrom moved to recommend approval of the application with the following conditions:


  • Removal of the old driveway asphalt (to the East of the proposed unit) and replaced with appropriate landscaping to the alley boundary.
  • Mutual access easement needed to access the garage
  • The Historic Commission is strongly opposed to the original siding on the main house having been covered with vertical siding resulting in the loss of the historical integrity on the structure.  But since it is already covered, most of the Commissioners believe it is more compatible to keep the vertical siding treatment on the new addition consistent with the main house.


The motion was seconded by Ms. Leighton and approved by a 5-2-majority vote with Mr. Swink and Mr. Skibby opposing.








Chairman Shostrom read the description of the project and verified there were no conflict of interest issues. Most of the Commissioners had visited the site.  Mr. Saladoff and Mr. Skibby disclosed they had had conversations with a neighbor, Jerome White, 253 Third Street, who was in support of the project.  Both Commissioners felt they could be impartial in their decisions.


Ms. Harris described the site as very narrow (25 feet) with the existing house not meeting current setbacks.  She pointed out Staff’s concern with how the Maximum Permitted Floor Area (MPFA) is calculated when portions of the ceiling are less than the seven feet of headroom referred to in the code (AMC 18.24.040 I).  She asked the Historic Commissioners to clarify if the intent of the MPFA included useable living space in existing and new spaces that are less than seven feet high.  In this application, if all floor space were counted regardless of ceiling height, then the proposed additions would exceed the MPFA by 135 square feet.


Chairman Shostrom felt the formula used by the Building Code to identify livable space should be used.  Mr. Crutcher believed any existing space used as living space should be counted regardless of ceiling height. 


There were no further questions of staff.


The applicant, Marc Valens, 247 Third Street, expressed concern that he did not receive a copy of the Staff report until it was handed out at the meeting.  He said he could have provided drawings that detailed the ceiling heights in the sloped areas that were in question.  Mr. Valens explained the decision to add two gabled dormers to the upstairs to increase space instead of one long shed dormer were more historically compatible. 


Chairman Shostrom asked if the applicant knew how much of the Master Bedroom ceiling was seven feet or higher?  Mr. Valens said all of it except where the corners of the room dropped down.


Mr. Crutcher questioned the height of the wood stove vent, feeling it was extremely tall and visible and requiring additional bracing.  Mr. Valens pointed out the pictures were somewhat deceiving, but it would meet building code requirements.


Mr. Skibby asked about the window framing.  Mr. Valens said they would match the existing, original windows.


Jerome White, 253 Third Street, said he was a neighbor of the applicants and had been working with them on the design of the addition.  He felt breaking up the second story into two gables would be much less imposing than one long shed dormer.  He also pointed out that the “gingerbread” detail on the existing gables was added by the previous owner in 1993 and was not historic to the house.  In response to Mr. Skibby’s question, he felt the original house probably did not have a second story, only an attic.  Mr. White stated he was supportive of the project.


There being no further comments from the audience, the public meeting was closed.


Ms. Harris pointed out that the plans show a composition roof but the narrative identifies the desire to use a metal roof to facilitate rainwater collection.  Mr. Skibby said that metal roofs are not historically common. Mr. Crutcher agreed but also feels support for dwindling resources should be considered.


Mr. Skibby was concerned that the architectural details shown on the plans were insufficient.  He would like to see more information on the porches and railings.


Chairman Shostrom noted that the drawings are inconsistent from view to view.  He also felt the four-foot balcony was a non-historic element and not very usable or necessary.  Shostrom suggested the front porch roof match the garden room roof for consistency.


Ms. Leighton indicated that the shakes shown on the plans for the new addition did not match the fish scale shakes on the original front of the house.  Recommended using the decorative shakes only on the front and 5” straight-cut shakes on the south alley and rear gable ends.  It was agreed that the siding should match the original siding including the groove size.  The Commissioners also agreed that the wood-clad windows would be preferred, but if vinyl windows are used, they should match the existing window design details.


The Commissioners were also concerned about the extra wide fascia board and soffitt detail and requested it match the front.


Chairman Shostrom made a motion to recommend continuing the application to the March 8, 2006 meeting with the following comments and items addressed:


  • Commission believes the approach of including the floor area with seven feet of headroom or more in the existing and future spaces in the MPFA as a way to encourage applicants to retain and use half-story structures with pony walls is consistent with the intent of the ordinance language of 18.24.040.I.
  • Submission of revised drawings to accurately reflect:
    • Type of exterior materials (roofing, windows, siding, etc)
    • Trim details (porches, railings, windows, etc.)
    • Dormer pony wall reflected on front elevation
    • Belly band location (plans show a drop from front to south elevations)
    • Show details on front elevation that are being  retained and/or changed
    • Elevations at ¼” scale or larger.
    • Recommended changes:
    • Keep front elevation details except gingerbread additions on porch
    • Change gable end on ground floor rear addition to hip roof like front of house
    • Use decorative shingles on new front elevation gable end and retain those on existing front elevation gable end
    • Use straight shingles with approximately a 5” reveal on new south alley dormer and rear gable end, do not stagger
    • Siding and trim should match existing materials – match existing v-groove siding.  Siding should be wood.
    • Suggest using wood-clad windows.  If vinyl is chosen, match proportions, sash and mullion detail to existing windows
    • At west end of south addition, match eave and soffit details and fascia board to front of house
    • Remove balcony off master bedroom since it is not historically compatible
    • Metal roofing is not compatible.  Use composition shingles.


Mr. Swink seconded the motion and it was approved by a 6-1-majority vote with Mr. Baker opposing.







Chairman Shostrom read the description of the project and verified there were no conflict of interest issues. Most of the Commissioners had visited the site.  There were no ex parte contacts.


Ms. Harris explained that the applicant is requesting a variance to add detached living space for a library and a greenhouse in the form of a 2nd story addition above the existing garage built in 1994. The main house was built in 1992. There is also a separate guest cottage remodeled in 1994.  The proposed addition is 14 feet from the rear property line instead of 20 feet as required for a second story.  Ms. Harris pointed out that the majority of the homes in the neighborhood are one-story. 


Mr. Saladoff asked and Ms. Harris confirmed that the garage structure is 6 feet from the side property line not 5 feet as stated in the Pre-application documents. 


The applicant, Philip Lang, 758 B Street, reviewed the proposal with the Commissioners.  Ms. Leighton asked why the greenhouse couldn’t be built on the ground outside of the setback area.  Mr. Lang stated the yard would be too small to accommodate his wife’s garden. 


There being no further questions of the applicant and no one in the audience wishing to speak, the public meeting was closed.


Mr. Skibby stated he felt the variance request was self-imposed since the second-story greenhouse could be eliminated and built in a different location within the yard.  Chairman Shostrom did not believe there were unique and unusual circumstances to justify the variance. 


Mr. Crutcher felt the alley was becoming too dense and another second-story structure close to the property line would add to problem.  Chairman Shostrom pointed out that the historic neighborhood was primarily single-story houses.  He also added that a deck and greenhouse are not historically compatible.


Several of the Commissioners did not like the look and design of the old deck railing running around the perimeter of the second story.  Most felt the bulk and scale were not compatible.


Ms. Leighton made a motion to recommend denial of the variance for the following reasons:


  • The Historic Commission does not find that there is a unique or unusual circumstance for this site that necessitates a variance to the rear yard variance setback.
  • The positive benefit of the proposal does not outweigh the negative impacts.  Specifically, the bulk and scale of the second story addition on an accessory structure is not compatible with the neighboring alleyway architecture.
  • The proposed deck on the south side of the second story is an incompatible element.  Replace with a gable end roof.
  • Remove deck railing around the building and use a belly band instead.


Mr. Skibby seconded the motion and the motion to recommend denial was supported unanimously.







A. Review Board  Following is the month’s schedule for the Review Board, which meets every Thursday from 3:00 to at least 3:30 p.m. in the Planning Department:


February 9th

Terry, Allen, Keith

February 16th

Terry, Dale, Henry, Jay

February 23rd

Terry, Allen, Sam

March 2nd

Terry, Sam, Tom

March 9th

Terry, Rob, Keith




B.  Project Assignments for Planning Actions


PA #2000-120

485 “A” Street (Steve Hoxmeier)


PA #2004-026

81 Central Avenue (Wes & Lucinda Vail)


PA #2004-102

832 “A” Street (Ilene Rubenstein)


PA #2004-110

150 Church St (Robert M. Saladoff)


PA #2004-138

234 Vista St (Sid & Karen DeBoer)


PA #2004-154

180 Lithia Way (Archerd & Dresner)



685 A Street (William Reeves)



249 Hillcrest Drive (Russell & JoAnn Manzone)



70 Water Street (Ashland Creek Holdings, LLC)



820 “C” Street (Randy & Helen Ellison)



11 First Street (Ron Yamaoka)



145 East Main St (Urban Development Services/SERA Arch)



125 Sherman Street (Russ Dale)




C.     National Historic Preservation Week – May 21-27, 2006 – Nominations – The spreadsheet showing building activity in the Historic District during 2005 was passed out and reviewed.  Any additional nominations should be called or emailed to Ms. Boswell.  It was agreed that the March 8, 2006 Historic Commission meeting would begin at 6:00 PM to allow time to go over the nominations.  Mr. Swink said he had been working with City Staff on arrangements to show the “Blue Vinyl” film during the event.


D.     City Design Review Process Memo – Mr. Giordano was absent. Discussion to be continued to next meeting.


E.     Co-Sponsorship with Conservation Commission for Fall Workshop – No Report


F.      Lithia Springs National Register Nomination – No Report


G.     Multiple Listing Survey for National Register of Historic Places – No Report


H.     Single Family Residential Design Standards – No Report


I.         Brown Bag Meeting – No Report





A.      Ms. Leighton brought to the Commission’s attention the intent of a developer (Sage Development) proposing to convert the 4.3-acre Helman Baths property into a large housing development. A public meeting was being held on February 16th at 6:30 PM.  Since the Helmans were one of the founding families of Ashland, she felt it was important for the Historic Commission to do what they could to protect the historic buildings still standing.






The next Historic Commission meeting will be on March 8, 2006 at 6:00 pm in the Siskiyou Room. This meeting is ONE HOUR earlier than regularly scheduled. 




With a motion by Shostrom and a second by Leighton, it was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 11:20 p.m.

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