Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission - 4/17/06

Monday, April 17, 2006



April 17, 2006


CALL TO ORDER Ė Vice Chair Matt Small called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR.



SOU Liaison

Faye Weisler, Absent

Sunny Lindley

Bill Street


Jennifer Henderson, Absent

Council Liaison

Alice Hardesty

Cate Hartzell

Liz Peck


Carol Voisin

Staff Present

Don Mackin

Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist

Matt Small

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk



Aaron Benjamin submitted a written correction to page 3.  His correction is as follows:  ďOne of the applicants does create a net increase of 6 units, using all of the available $360,000, while the other would add only 2 additional units using $328,000, with the remaining $32,000 being used to pay a salary.Ē  Street/Voisin m/s to approve the minutes of the March 20, 2006 meeting as corrected.  Voice Vote:  Approved. The minutes were approved as corrected.



OLENA BLACK, 2110 Creek Drive, Ashland Planning Commissioner said she has a concern is that the information necessary for Planning Commissioners to make comprehensive decisions regarding housing is missing.  She stated that the Planning Commissioners are trying to make policy decisions without having substantial information. 


MICHAEL DAWKINS, 646 East Main St., Ashland Planning Commissioner, has spent 20 years in Aspen, Colorado and related what has happened in Aspen to what is taking place in Ashland at this time.   As the City of Aspen began to look at affordable Housing they formed a Housing Commission which was an elected post.  Mr. Dawkins stated that their Housing Commission is in charge of all affordable Housing. 



Hardesty acknowledged that the presentation by Brian Carlton was wonderful. 



Condominium Conversion Ordinance Development Discussion

Goldman explained to the Commissioners that they are to look at the Condominium Conversion Ordinance and forward any recommended changes to the Planning Commission. Goldman discussed the five different points to be addressed and explained their impact on the ordinance.  He stated that the Land Use Committee suggested working with the Planning Commission to establish and Ad Hoc Committee to look at both the Condominium Conversion Ordinance proposed changes as well as the forthcoming Annexation Ordinance. 


The Commissioners discussed the ordinance changes.  Mackin asked Goldman if it is the state law that determines if an individual buys a mobile home court and then evicts the tenants it they have to offer up to $3500 for relocation expenses.   Goldman stated that if they give an eviction notice for one year there is no relocation money offered.  He also mentioned that when someone makes a filing for Condominium Conversion they are obligated to provide all the existing tenants with a 120 day notice that the project is going through the Condominium Conversion. 


Street inquired how the 25% figure was arrived at for affordable housing and can it be changed to 30%, 35%, or even 40%?  Goldman said that changing the affordability requirement will bring into question whether it is requiring more affordable units than were required underneath the grandfather ordinance.  Itís a matter of economics.  If you are precluding Condominium Conversion through establishing an affordability requirement that cannot be met, the project becomes not financially feasible.      



Ms. Black asked how many ARUís have been built in Ashland.  Goldman said since 1990 there have been 108 in the R-1 Zone.  He also explained that in R-2 zones we do not have ARUís but multiple dwelling units.  


Public Testimony

Michael Dawkins shared his concerns regarding the Condominium Conversions and taking rental units off the market.   Loosing affordable rental stock is something our town should not be doing.  He would like to see a united voice from the Housing Commission to the Planning Commission. 


Olena Black asked how many units in Ashland are apartments that could be converted into Townhouses or Condominiums.  Goldman explained that he does not have that data and that a Rental Needs Assessment is something the Housing Commission has requested through the budget process.  


Street proposed that the Housing Commission move the concept that has been discussed tonight forward to the Planning Commission with a general agreement voted on by the Commission that Condominium Conversion does lead to a loss of affordable housing in Ashland.  The Commission needs to look at language which will change the Ordinance that will make that less likely.  It leads to the loss of affordable rental units.  The Commissioners agreed to that proposal unanimously.  At the next monthly meeting the Housing Commission will address the details of the Condomiumn Conversion Ordinance after receiving more information on what other communities are doing. 


It was agreed that the Land Use Committee will discuss this at their May 11, 2006 meeting.  They will then bring their conclusions to the full Commission meeting on May 15, 2006. 


Community Development Block Grants

Goldman explained that through the Department of Housing and Urban Development the City as an entitlement community has to create an action plan.  The preparation of the action plan has to be available for public review for a 30 day period, and have a public hearing by which the decision making body on the action plan hears testimony from the public.  It has been notified in the paper and now the public needs to be able to give testimony.


The City Council awarded ACLT funds for their project and ICC was awarded $32,000.00.


The shift to having the Housing Commission be the final decision maker on the action plan was part of the consolidated plan amendments that were forwarded to Council earlier this year. 


Goldman reviewed the action goals and discussed goal 9 page 19 of the action plan. Goldman met with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon in an endeavor to try and do some Fair Housing activities in Ashland and Southern Oregon in general.  As part of their application for HUD funds, they will be proposing to do 4 web cast televised broadcast of Fair Housing Training.  One each to realtors, landlords, tenant advocates and to building officials and planning professionals.  It was proposed to have those trainings all take place in Southern Oregon. 


Hardesty was interested in knowing more about the employee assisted housing program.  Goldman explained it was a City goal for City employees. He met with Tina Gray, the City Human Resource Director.  Ms. Gray will be sending out a survey to all City of Ashland employees to find out what their housing needs and desires are.  With that data they will be looking at what programs might be available. 


Vice Chair Small opened the public hearing for discussion.  Having no comments because no one was present to speak at the public hearing was closed.  Goldman stated that this item will come back to the Housing Commission as a final draft.  If any public comments are heard at that time they will either be incorporated into the plan itself or if not, appended to the end with a determination from staff as to why we did not feel it needed to be incorporated into the plan itself.  That will be the final review opportunity on May 15th.  At that time it will be mailed off to Department of Housing and Urban Development and they have a 30 day review period allowing public comment further before itís actually closed. 


Reports and Updates

Lithia Lot Update:  Goldman stated that Kendrick Enterprise has not completed re-creating the project Performa.  No meetings have taken place since the Housing Commission meeting last month.  Goldman reviewed the issues that Kendrick is dealing with and explained that because of the large changes it will be recommended to come back before the Housing Commission for an evaluation of the proposal as it is presented.  It will then go to the City Council for final approval. 


Peck asked if they can accept the Housing Authority Proposal as was unanimously voted on by the Housing Commission.  Goldman said that they would be in a position to then start negotiations with the Housing Authority to insure that their project is still feasible. 




Subcommittee Reports

Land Acquisition Update:  Hardesty distributed a report the Land Use Committee meeting on April 13, 2006.  Goldman will send the Commissioners a copy of the 12 properties that were selected from Diane Paulsonís report.  These are selected properties that would be purchased from the sale of the Strawberry Lane property


It was suggested that Paulson do the negotiations with the homeowners.  Goldman said they would focus in on the three properties. Then Paulson will bring forward the one which works best for the project and give feedback at the May 15th meeting. 


The Commissioners discussed the possibility of forming a joint sub committee with the Planning Commission to talk about annexations, zone changes and possibly the condominium conversions.  Goldman suggested that the Ad Hoc Committee include Michael Dawkins, Olena Black and Mike Morris along with members of the Land Use Committee.  Hartzell suggested that the Housing chair write a letter to the Planning Commission Chair for their next study session asking who might be interested in attending.  


Education:  Street reported that the Education Committee met on April 3, 2006 at the Ashland High School library where the May 4, 2006 forum on work force housing will be.  This forum is being planned with Melissa Mitchell Hooge of the Save Our Schools and Playgrounds Foundation.  The invitations will be going out this week and a large crowd is expected. 


Finance:  No report.


Liaison Reports

Hartzell met recently with a member of the Ashland School Board and Parks to talk about the way the playground parks maintenance will take place.  Jim Lewis from Parks and Ruth Alexander from the Ashland Schools have shown interest in being on the Housing Committee.


Commission Coordination

Goldman stated that for the first time, the Oregon Senate Interim Revenue Committee will be meeting in the Medford City Council Chambers.  It had previously been in Salem.


Weisler has requested to be reappointed to the Housing Commission.  Small will be stepping down.  Hardesty thanked Small for his many years of service to the Housing Commission.  Small acknowledged that he has enjoyed his time on the Commission and feels that the current commission is the best he has seen. 


ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk





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