Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, October 23, 2006

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

October 23, 2006

 

ATTENDANCE

Present:   Commissioners D. Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies; Superintendent Teige

Absent:    City Council Liaison A. Amarotico

CALL TO ORDER

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – September 18, 2006

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – September 25, 2006  In the “Unfinished Business” section entitled Sherwood Park Fire Station Proposal, Eggers asked that a sentence be clarified to read: “Staff was directed to draft the letter as written above, send it to the commission for review, obtain the commission Chair’s signature, and forward it to the City Administrator for further distribution.”

In the “New Business” section entitled Frisbee Golf Course Request, under “Discussion Among Commissioners,” Eggers asked that the sentence more accurately reflect the phrasing: “with Eggers requesting that existing parks be evaluated for potential siting of the course….”

In the section entitled Subcommittee and Staff Reports, Eggers asked that the sentence regarding the maintenance area in Lithia Park read: “Eggers stated that the maintenance area near the Parks office is not an attractive feature of Lithia Park.…”

In the section entitled Items from Commissioners, D. Amarotico requested clarification of the sentence regarding the upcoming plans for the Vogel and Scenic park sites and Robertson stated that “staff needed to contract with a landscape architect to draw up construction documents for the Scenic park site.”

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as amended. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Terrence Stenson, 297 Garfield Street, distributed copies of a report sent to the Congress of the United States and to Greg Walden, Oregon Congressional Representative, in which he proposed the rebuilding of rock cascade waterfalls in all mountain rain shadow streams of southern Oregon and northern California using natural boulders and rocks in order to eliminate the drought cycle from the region, restore the northern rainforest effect of the Klamath Siskiyou Mountains of the Cascade range, and guarantee proper annual maintenance of the Sacramento Valley Watershed source water aquifer.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

CLINTON STREET PROPERTY PROPOSAL

Gies directed the commissioners’ attention to the preliminary designs that were prepared, in conjunction with Clinton Street neighbors, by staff horticulturists. He indicated that the FY2006-2007 budget included funds for the project and that neighbors were willing to supply materials and labor. Commissioners asked questions about the size of the lawn area, which is approximately 5,000 square feet (2% of the overall property), and the suggested location of the picnic tables (lawn area). He indicated that staff planned to install irrigation to help establish plantings but expected to be able to cut back on water usage over time. In terms of sidewalks, he reported that the concrete sidewalk along the street was in place and the other one, a loop, would be made of granite. He explained that the sidewalk was designed as a loop to aid Parks staff in maintaining the beds and that the two patches of lawn would add continuity and aesthetic appeal to the entrance area.

Public Input

Bow Seltzer, 593 N. Mountain Avenue, speaking on behalf of his neighbors and himself, endorsed the plans presented by Parks staff horticulturists, stating that the area is not suitable for use in its present condition but that the proposed changes would allow residents to make use of the common park space.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Additional questions/comments from the commission included:

§         Were the two small patches of lawn at the entrance area included in the plan solely for the purpose of aesthetics, and would it would be possible to include other greenery besides lawn for the sake of water conservation?

§         The Parks Commission received guidance from the Conservation Commission regarding appropriateness of lawns, and this would qualify as an appropriate use of lawn.

§         Would it be possible to move forward with the project and revisit the lawn at the entrance area at a later time in order to identify another alternative?

Additional Public Input

Zerir Baugh, 525 Clinton Street, stated that he and his wife live on one side of a proposed lawn section near the entrance and would not object to the turf; however, another planting would be acceptable.

Additional Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners agreed to move forward with a motion.

Motion Eggers moved to adopt the landscape plan with the exception of changing out the lawn areas at the entrance to a non-lawn alternative, as per commissioner discussion, leaving the choice of alternative planting to Parks staff. D. Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

DISC GOLF COURSE REQUEST

Robertson reminded the commission of the September 25 request by Mr. Marty Karlin for consideration of a disc golf course in Ashland. He reported that Karlin conducted further research and requested another opportunity to speak to the commission.

Marty Karlin, 1580 Greenmeadows Way, reported that he reviewed four pieces of property within Ashland since September 25 and found that the land adjacent to the sewage treatment plant showed potential as a site for a disc golf course despite its lack of trees. He distributed literature obtained by Robertson at the NRPA conference regarding disc golf courses, stating that the courses range in price from $20-$25,000 and asking the commission for direction in moving forward with the proposed project.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners thanked Karlin for his efforts and agreed, after considerable discussion, that an ideal location for a disc golf course did not appear to exist within Ashland City limits. They discussed Emigrant Lake as a possibly suitable location and questioned whether staff could establish a partnership with Jackson County Parks to assist in the creation of such a course. Karlin was invited to participate in upcoming 2007-2008 budget planning sessions and staff was directed to contact Jackson County Parks about a potential partnership for the project.

IOOF ACCESS EASEMENT

Robertson directed the commissioners’ attention to the request by Lloyd Haines, IOOF building owner, for a permanent access to the basement of the building, which is located on the Plaza. Robertson reported that the City owns the property immediately surrounding the building, including the staircase leading to the restaurant in the basement, currently occupied by Munchie’s Restaurant. He stated that a long-term lease agreement had been in effect with the building owner but had expired and he reminded the commission that, in winter 2006, they directed staff to investigate a permanent easement with a revocable clause. He indicated that the City Attorney determined that such a contract would not be possible and instead prepared the easement contained within the commission packets, valued at $8,000. Robertson requested that the commission consider recommending approval of the proposed easement to the Ashland City Council.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked for clarification on the location of the easement and Eggers questioned whether, by its approval, anything valuable would be lost to Ashland citizens.

Motion Gardiner moved to accept the access easement proposal as presented and recommended approval to the Ashland City Council. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

REVIEW OF GOALS AND PRIORITIES FOR JOINT STUDY SESSIONS

Robertson referenced the list of goals and priorities generated at one of the first joint study sessions between Schools, City Council, and Parks, reminding the commission of the discussion at the October 5 joint meeting in which each entity was asked to review the list to determine if it was still relevant to their mission and/or to suggest changes or modifications.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Rosenthal spoke approvingly of the joint sessions but stated that he hoped to see more council participation, since they had not met their quorum at the last two meetings. Eggers asked for the more refined list of goals and priorities that was generated out of a later meeting. Staff was directed to locate the consolidated/refined list and to provide it at the next regular meeting. Robertson suggested that the commission consider a yearly calendar for the joint meetings, allowing staff and elected officials to plan their schedules accordingly. Commissioners were reminded of the two working groups created from the larger group—Transportation and Housing—and Lewis reported that the Housing group met for the first time on October 18 and planned to begin meeting on a monthly basis. Gardiner reported that the Transportation group had not yet met. Rosenthal suggested a meeting between Parks and Schools to discuss topics pertinent to those groups, which could allow more time to discuss other issues at the joint meetings.

Robertson agreed to prepare a draft intergovernmental agreement between Schools and Parks, with the assistance of the School Superintendent, regarding 1) use of YAL proceeds and 2) development of a plan for school grounds maintenance for a minimum five-year period, with the commission reviewing it at their next regular meeting.

REVIEW FIRE STATION CORRESPONDENCE

Robertson acknowledged that, at the September 25, meeting, staff misunderstood the commission’s requests regarding the potential impact on Sherwood Park in the event that the proposed fire station expansion bond was passed by voters in November.

After careful review of the recorded discussion of that meeting, Eggers revised the correspondence to the City Administrator as follows:

“October 23, 2006

Dear Martha,

On September 25, 2006, the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission discussed the impact on Sherwood Park that the proposed reconstruction of Fire Station #2 might have.

 “At this time the commission neither endorses nor opposes the reconstruction. However, in the event the levy passes in November, the commission wishes to make the following recommendations:

§         Keep as much area as possible for Sherwood Park, so that it will continue to be a viable neighborhood park. Possible changes might include moving the building as close to Ashland Street as would be allowable in the downtown commercial area and/or extending the park into the portion of Sherwood Street that will be closed.

§         Relocate the bocce ball courts to a different neighborhood park if there is not adequate area remaining for the neighborhood park.

§         Protect the heritage oak tree and the area within its drip line. Keep or replace other existing trees.

The commission realizes that the Sherwood Park service area is overlapped somewhat by the service areas of Hunter and Clay Street Parks. However, due to the adjacent long blocks and busy streets, Sherwood Park is in a location that offers a needed recreation resource to the community. The character of the immediate neighborhood, with its small apartments, houses, and yards, underscores the importance of outdoor space, shade trees, and a space to relax or play.

Please convey these comments to City Council and any affected staff.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Rich Rosenthal, Chair

Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission”

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners agreed to the proposed changes and Robertson suggested adding a sentence at the top of the letter stating that it was a clarification of the original correspondence.

Motion Lewis moved to approve the clarification as drafted by Eggers. Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

NEW BUSINESS

“SLACK LINING”

Robertson reported on an activity called “slack lining” that staff observed in parks in which a rope was tied between two trees—fairly close to the ground—and a person walked across the rope. He indicated that Parks staff asked participants to remove the ropes because they damage trees and are against park rules. He reported that slack liners had been invited to Parks Commission meetings but did not attend, and that Parks staff asked participants to pad the trees or use thicker trees, but participants did not cooperate with those requests. He requested direction from the commission as to whether to continue discouraging the activity or to channel the activity into a safer form for the trees.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners agreed that the activity is harmful to trees and talked about ways to permit the activity without using trees. Staff was directed to continue to warn participants against using the trees and to sink two posts into the ground at a City park to allow the activity to occur without the use of trees.

TRAIL EASEMENT APPROVAL

Robertson stated that, over the past few years, the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association (AWTA) had talked with willing private property owners along the Talent Irrigation Ditch Trail regarding the potential for trail easements along the privately owned sections. He directed the commission’s attention to the packet memo and map regarding the proposed Alton and Patricia Perrin trail easement, noting that the segment is located above Taylor Street between Idaho and Guthrie Streets and that it appears on the Open Space map and is consistent with the Trail Master Plan.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners spoke favorably of the proposed trail easement and Rosenthal called for a motion.

Motion Eggers moved to recommend to City Council the acceptance of the proposed Perrin trail easement. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

PARKS PROJECT UPDATE

Gies outlined the projects completed in the parks system over the past ten months, including those at the golf course, in playgrounds, at Lithia Park, and within other areas of the parks system. Commissioners expressed overall satisfaction, with Rosenthal thanking staff for the improvements at the golf course and Eggers asking for more information about the proposed climbing rocks designated for two parks.

2006 REPORT OF GUIDED LITHIA PARK WALKS

Robertson summarized the 2006 report provided by Tom Foster, coordinator of the volunteer guided Lithia Park walks, and the commission thanked Foster and his team for their continuing service to the community.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Rosenthal referenced an article on the life cycles of municipal golf courses, noting its usefulness in terms of Oak Knoll’s aging irrigation system.

Teige thanked staff and volunteers for their efforts in the success of the Third Annual Salmon Festival at North Mountain Park on October 7, 2006.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§            Study session set for Monday, November 13, at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topics to include:

§            Continued discussion of fees and charges for facility and park rentals

§            Discussion of a possible “No Smoking” ordinance for City parks

§            Regular meeting set for Monday, November 20, at 7:00 PM—Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT

By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks & Recreation Department

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