Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, March 27, 2006

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

March 27, 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

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – February 16, 2006

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as written. Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – February 27, 2006

In the section entitled Call to Order, Eggers asked that the minutes reflect that Rosenthal called the meeting to order, not Gardiner.

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Neti Rest, 76 Union Street, questioned whether the property owned by the railroad could be used as an additional Dog Park area and expressed her desire to see another Dog Park built somewhere within the City.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

NORTH MAIN / SCENIC PARK MASTER PLAN

Robertson reminded the commission that, at the conclusion of the March 20 study session, staff was directed to place possible adoption of the North Main / Scenic Park Master Plan on the March regular meeting agenda. He read the list of items the commission asked to review further, based on their March 20 discussion. Items included:

§         Identify potential restroom and garden shed footprint

§         Review play area size; consider enlargement

§         Evaluate park design based on minimum ADA standards to ensure compatibility with requirements, without sacrificing function

§         Ensure parking area is ADA compliant and pedestrian friendly

§         Select native or native-like vegetation that requires minimum water and maintenance

§         Expand community garden site to accommodate up to 12 plots

§         Incorporate additional fruit trees on site

§         Strike balance between lawn / shrub areas

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers asked for a change to the final item on the list, “Strike a balance between lawn/shrub areas.” She requested that it be broken into two sections: 1) Identify lawn size needed considering use in that particular neighborhood park and for those particular neighborhood characteristics; and 2) Evaluate the shape and slope of lawn area in terms of irrigation and maintenance.”

Commissioners agreed that the amended list accurately reflected the thoughts expressed at the March 20 meeting and asked staff to attach it to the existing plan to ensure the items’ inclusion in any future documentation associated with the project.

Public Input

Mary Douglas, 581 Scenic Drive, president of the Scenic Condos Homeowners’ Association, expressed a desire to see the community garden spaces relocated to a different section of the park site, as the current design had the plots facing the residents’ front windows.

Further Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners agreed to add to the addendum list, under the community garden item, “Consider shifting / reorienting community garden sites to another location.”

Motion Gardiner moved to adopt the North Main / Scenic Park master plan with the attached addendum list. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

NEW BUSINESS

GREENWAY MANAGEMENT PLAN

Robertson reported that the Greenway Committee worked, over a period of two years, to develop a management plan for the Bear Creek Greenway. He introduced Craig Harper of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments and invited him to speak to the commission.

Craig Harper, Natural Resources Program Manager for RVCOG, stated that the Bear Creek Greenway Management Plan is divided into two parts: 1) the management and implementation plan; and 2) the budget. Harper reported that the Greenway Management Plan, an “operations and maintenance plan,” was completed in July of 2005. He indicated that the plan describes the day-to-day, as well as annual, efforts needed to maintain the Greenway at an acceptable standard. He stated that the Greenway runs through five jurisdictions, plus county land. While all parties involved agreed that the Greenway required joint management, a plan for coordinated management had not yet been determined, and he requested the commission’s input, for the ultimate goal of implementing a cross-jurisdictional management plan. Harper outlined four potential management options for the Greenway, including:

1.       One local government jurisdiction to assume the lead;

2.       A special district or service district to be created;

3.       A private non-profit organization to coordinate;

4.       Coordinated management by local governments would continue to maintain the Greenway.

Harper reported that the Greenway Committee chose the fourth option as their preferred management option. This option would: 1) ensure that jurisdictions perform standard trail maintenance; 2) establish a contribution amount for a “major maintenance fund” calculated from population and trail mileage within their jurisdictions; 3) create a project list from which to prioritize major maintenance projects; 4) empower the Joint Powers Board, with a representative from each jurisdiction, to meet quarterly and prioritize projects; 5) request that the Greenway Foundation attend meetings and direct their funding for special enhancement projects, with possible support of Joint Powers projects; 6) hire one full-time coordinator to serve as the single point of contact for the entire Greenway system; and 7) ensure that all matters are formalized within the Joint Powers agreement. Harper discussed the benefits of such a system, including better cooperation among agencies, consistent and standardized maintenance throughout the system, increased use and improved safety, sharing of equipment and personnel for more efficient and cost-effective maintenance and management, and better allocation of resources. He reported that public outreach and coordination would occur throughout the process and that RVCOG hoped to complete the management plan by the end of the year.

During the budget discussion for the project, Harper indicated that the total cost was estimated at $6,600 per mile, calculated based on costs associated with regular maintenance, not for major repairs or projects. The overall contribution for Ashland was estimated at $23,000, including in-kind services, with estimated out-of-pocket funds totaling $9,755. Funds would be appropriated for costs associated with staff and major maintenance, and implementation could take place either in the 2006-2007 or the following fiscal year.

Harper stated that RVCOG representatives planned to attend an upcoming Ashland City Council meeting to present the proposal. Staff was directed to place the budget item on the Parks Commission agenda for the April budget study session for review and possible recommendation of approval to the City Council.

CLAY STREET PARK ENTRANCE REQUEST

Robertson introduced the topic, stating that The Siskiyou School, a Waldorf-style school located at 621 Clay Street, wished to connect its property corner with a Parks-owned property corner along Cemetery Creek to gain better access to Clay Street Park for use of its play facilities and as a location for some of its physical education classes. He introduced Tom Giordano, a representative for the school, and invited him to speak to the commission.

Tom Giordano, 2635 Takelma, agent for the school, and Stephen Sender, 707 Morton Street, a board member for the school, reported that the school planned to expand at their Clay Street location. The expansion would be done in two phases, with the first phase projected for completion by fall 2006 and the second phase by fall 2009.

Giordano reported that, during the pre-application review by Planning Department staff members, Planning staff recommended a public easement from Clay Street along the northern boundary of the school into the Clay Street Park. During the neighborhood meetings [to discuss the master plan for the expansion], Giordano reported that a neighbor whose property bordered the potential easement expressed opposition to the easement. The neighbor was not opposed to having the school use the crossing but was opposed to having the public access the park using the proposed bridge over Cemetery Creek. To avoid the proposed easement, the neighbor suggested that the school children cross over a portion of his property, which would negate the need for the proposed bridge over the creek.

Giordano requested guidance from the commission. Sender stated that the ultimate goal was to ensure that the school had perpetual access to the park.

Public Input

RC Heublein, 678 Glendale, the neighbor whose property borders the school, stated that he opposed the proposed easement for a number of reasons, with an important one being that an existing bridge crossing was located just 200 feet away, adjacent to the Stratford Apartments. He expressed that an additional crossing over the Cemetery Creek riparian area [which, he expressed, was “in poor shape”] would be unnecessary. He reported that the creek is completely within Parks’ jurisdiction once it leaves the corner of his property. He asked the commission to act as “stewards of the creek” and not compromise it any further. Heublein read from a Planning Department document, prepared in January of 2006, stating: “Cemetery Creek in this location is being severely degraded with banks in poor condition and showing signs of erosion.” He indicated that he worked out a compromise with the school, in which the school would use a corner of his property when crossing into the park, enabling them to avoid the riparian area.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Rosenthal asked the Parks Commission to wait for the outcome from the March 28 Planning Commission meeting before making a decision and he expressed that the Planning Commission would most likely have the same goal as the Parks Commission: to protect the riparian area.

Robertson summarized the four proposed options discussed: 1) Grant private access for public use [Parks Commission]; 2) Allow parallel access to the stream down to the existing bridge [Parks Commission]; 3) Direct the children to cross over a portion of Heublein’s property to access the park [Heublein]; and 4) create a pedestrian access easement [Planning Department].

Staff was directed to send the four options, as summarized by Robertson, to the appropriate Planning Department staff member.

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

None.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Eggers asked for a timeline for consideration of the three options regarding maintenance of Briscoe and Lincoln School grounds. Robertson reported that they would be discussed at the upcoming April budget study session.

Lewis asked staff about the timeline for starting the construction documents phase of the North Main / Scenic Park site. Robertson responded that the majority of the funds associated with this phase of the project would not become available until the next fiscal year, but the remaining ’05-’06 funds could be used to begin the process. Robertson also reported that the matter would be discussed at the upcoming budget study session in April.

Rosenthal reported that he received a call from Bryan Holley, Chair of the Ashland Tree Commission, regarding the impending removal of the historic “Tree of Heaven” located at the entrance to Lithia Park.

Rosenthal asked about the possibility of rescheduling the April regular meeting [set for April 24] since it was to be held at the Parks office due to a Budget Committee meeting conflict, preventing the Parks Commission meeting from being held and televised at Council Chambers. Commissioners agreed to conduct the regular Parks Commission meeting at the Parks office at the designated date and time.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§         Study session set for Monday, April 11, at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topic to include:

§         2006-2007 budget discussion

§         Regular meeting set for Monday, April 24, at 7:00 PM— Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics to include:

§         Approval of 2006-2007 budget

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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