Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Thursday, December 14, 2006

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

STUDY SESSION
MINUTES

 

December 14, 2006

 

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:     Commissioner Lewis; City Council Liaison A. Amarotico

CALL TO ORDER

Rosenthal called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street.

LITHIA PARK FEES REVIEW

Teige introduced the topic of fees and policies associated with renting areas within Lithia Park. She reviewed current fees and policies, including those associated with weddings, group picnic areas, the Butler Bandshell, and security deposits, and offered recommendations about adjusted fees and rules. She distributed copies of the current rental permit and read the drumming ordinance aloud.

Facilities Manager Lang reported receiving numerous noise complaints from neighbors and stated that she tries to limit to three the number of amplified bandshell events per week. She indicated that sound complaints are most often received in response to amplification of religious events but that even City Band concerts and Ballet in the Park performances generate complaints. She asked the commission to provide direction regarding the scheduling of amplified events.

          Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the current amplification policy, which states that sound is not to exceed 75 decibels when monitored from a point directly across from the bandshell on the park side of Granite Street and that amplification shall occur for a maximum period of 1.5 hours per event, and agreed that it is difficult to maintain a steady level of sound. They discussed ways in which to monitor and regulate sound and enforce rules, whether to limit sound to a certain number of hours and / or days in a week, and how to allow for sufficient sound amplification without disturbing neighbors.

          Public Input

Steve Read, 398 N. Laurel, stated that the bandshell is located in a canyon and serves as a megaphone. He indicated that many factors are involved in sound amplification, including wind, weather, and time of day, and offered to prepare for the commission’s review a document regarding sound measurement for possible distribution at bandshell performances.

        Additional Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the possibility of allowing three amplified events per week in the months of June and July, including City Band concerts and Ballet in the Park performances, and two events per week during the remainder of the rental season. Eggers asked that ballet rehearsals not include amplified music. Staff was directed to provide an average number of amplified events per week over past years and to make a recommendation regarding the number of events to allow per week over the rental season. Teige recommended allowing Lang to reserve areas within the park up to a year in advance, not starting on January 1, which was the historical practice. Additional recommendations by Teige included:

§         Increase wedding reservation price from $200 to $250 for residents / $250 to $300 for non-residents

§         Allow two weddings in the park per day (with an occasional exception)

§         Limit rental time for group picnic areas to four hours (rather than all day)

§         Increase bandshell rental cost from $50 to $150

§         Limit bandshell rental time to eight hours

§         Require renter to be 21 years of age to rent any facility, ballfield, or park area

§         Require signature on bandshell contract

§         Increase refundable security deposit rates:

o       Weddings and Bandshell– from $25 to $150

o       Picnic Areas – from $25 to $50

Teige indicated that the January study session would include discussion on all indoor facilities, including a review of facility renters not charged fees or receiving discounted rates. Commissioners discussed phasing in fees to free-of-charge or discounted users rather than immediately implementing full fees. Robertson stated that any fee changes recommended by the Parks Commission would require City Council approval.

YOUTH HOCKEY FEES REVIEW

Teige distributed information regarding fees for adult hockey, adult open skate, youth hockey, and youth open skate as well as proposed punch card rates. She indicated that recent increases in hockey rates had caused an apparent economic hardship for some members of the community and asked for direction from the commission regarding lowering hockey rates. She reported that the current adult and youth hockey rates are $4 per session per person and she proposed a reduced rate of $32 for the adult hockey punch cards and $25 for the youth hockey punch cards (ten sessions per card).

Commissioners debated the matter, with Rosenthal stating that the reduced rates potentially could serve to increase revenues at the rink and Gardiner indicating his interest in increasing the number of skaters at the facility. Commissioners agreed to allow for a reduction in punch card rates and to maintain current pricing for individual skating and hockey sessions.

SMOKING POLICY

Robertson reported that he requested clarification from the City Attorney regarding the smoking policy that was approved by the commission at their November regular meeting but stated that he had not yet received an answer. He indicated that he asked whether the policy could be enforced as an ordinance and if the Parks Department was required to provide a smoking area for employees.

ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION

§         Executive Session: Real Property ORS 192.660 (1)(e)

§         Executive Session: Employee Evaluation ORS 192.660 (1)(i)

ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 10:18 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

Ashland 24/7

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