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Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, April 23, 2007

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

April 23, 2007

ATTENDANCE

Present:    Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; City Council Liaison Navickas; Superintendents Gies and Teige

Absent:     None

CALL TO ORDER         

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – March 7, 2007

Under “Budget Goals,” Eggers requested that the first bulleted item before “Public Input” read “greenhouse gas emissions” rather than “greenhouse gas consumption.”

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Study Session – March 14, 2007

Under “Review Recreation and Maintenance Budgets,” Eggers requested that the last paragraph on the first page relating to the adjustments to the Youth Activities Levy being “initiated” by the tax court ruling in Eugene be corrected to indicate that they were “prompted” by that ruling. On the second page under “Public Input,” Eggers asked that the sentence referring to providing feedback about meetings be revised to reflect that “Eggers requested, starting at the March 19 study session, that commissioners provide feedback regarding the process of their meetings.”

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Study Session – March 19, 2007

Under “Capital Improvement Projects,” Eggers requested that the sentence in the first paragraph on the first page regarding the development of projects be clarified to read, “… to develop the Parks budget without incurring additional expenses over previous years.” In the same section on the last page under “Discussion among Commissioners,” Eggers asked that the last bullet more accurately reflect that “Commissioners discussed and sought solutions regarding a funding request for ‘Identifying and addressing department practices which may contribute to greenhouse gases.’”

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – March 26, 2007

Under “Items from Commissioners,” Eggers [who was absent from the meeting but listened to the recording] requested that the term “Oak Knoll Golf Course pro shop” be referred to as “club house” to more accurately reflect that the meeting space Gardiner suggested allowing non-golfing groups to use would include the food service and pro shop areas of the building.

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

                                         The vote was:      Yes – Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal

                                                                    Abstain – Eggers

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

None

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

Gardiner requested an opportunity to discuss the golf course club house / pro shop issue during “Items from Commissioners.”

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

CALLE SUBCOMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

Robertson reviewed the commission’s decision to form a subcommittee for the purpose of determining issues associated with the Calle and making recommendations for its maintenance and use. He reported that the subcommittee met frequently throughout the fall and winter and followed a process in which they identified issues, grouped the issues into three categories, and evaluated the issues, with the goal of providing recommendations to the commission. He indicated that significant concerns were identified as: the physical condition of the Calle walking surface; lack of accurate maps of the Calle to designate space; and the need to update the fee schedule to reflect the growing importance of the Calle as a place of commerce and prepare for future maintenance and capital needs. Robertson outlined the subcommittee’s recommendations as follows:

§         Determine property lines with property owners

§         Establish a capital improvement fund for resurfacing the Calle and making other future repairs

§         Provide a hard surface from the bridge to the recycling center along the west back area

§         Convert the Lithia Artisans Market percentage rate and the Calle restaurant rate per chair to a $3.00 per square foot annual rate

§         Site booth and restaurant locations

§         Request enforcement [by random written checks] from police and CSO officers, with follow up from Parks staff

§         Allow Parks staff to administer contracts and collect fees quarterly or annually as determined by the commission

§         Allow Parks staff to follow up on the random written checks and deal with concerns as they arise

Robertson reported receiving a written correspondence from a lawyer representing a Plaza merchant/landowner on Friday, April 20. He indicated that the Assistant City Attorney, with whom he met after receiving the letter, determined that the agenda item could be discussed with the addition of the following sentence: “Siting of booth and restaurant locations need to address elimination of conflicts between all permitted uses, including the use of restaurants, artisan’s market, and property owner access.” Robertson reported that the Assistant City Attorney advised the commission to meet in executive session in the near future to discuss the merchant/landowner’s concerns.

Public Input

Jim Young, 1102 Holton Road in Talent, speaking as the president of the Lithia Arts Guild, thanked the Parks Commission for allowing artisans to conduct business on the Calle and pointed out the ways in which the guild contributes to the community. He spoke in support of the request by Munchie’s Restaurant for Calle seating.

Marcy Davy, 33 N. Main Street, speaking as the owner of Rare Earth on the Plaza, stated that complaints she outlined last year had not been resolved by the Parks Commission. She voiced a number of concerns about the proposed Calle Guanajuato Subcommittee recommendations.

Marcus Scott, 237 Willow Way in Talent, speaking as a subcommittee member, indicated his approval of the subcommittee recommendations, which he felt were fair. He stated that the Lithia Artisans Market adds flavor to downtown Ashland and the artisans contribute to the community while earning income from the market.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Gardiner spoke of his experience as a subcommittee member, stating that their goal was to determine an equitable process by which to lease the Calle space and to evaluate fair prices for users of the space. He encouraged the commission to approve the subcommittee’s recommendations as presented.

Lewis asked for further clarification about the process by which the $3/square foot fee was determined and Robertson provided an answer. Lewis questioned how best to resolve conflicts between Calle users and Robertson stated that the Assistant City Attorney’s suggested meeting with the commission in executive session would give them an opportunity to review the issues.

Rosenthal voiced approval for the recommendations and stated that, as a subcommittee member, he witnessed a rational and reasonable public process. He requested that the commission disregard the bullying tone of a Plaza merchant and the Assistant City Attorney’s suggestion for an executive session and that they approve the recommendations as presented.

Noraas spoke favorably of the proposed recommendations, stating that the topic was publicly discussed on three separate occasions and the subcommittee members [using the Calle for business purposes] were in agreement with the recommendations. She reminded everyone that Calle improvements were needed on the heavily traveled walkway due to safety concerns.

Eggers thanked the subcommittee for their work and expressed support for their recommendations.

Motion Rosenthal moved to approve the Calle Subcommittee recommendations as presented by staff, not including the Assistant City Attorney’s recommendations. The motion died for lack of a second.

Motion Noraas moved to adopt the Calle Subcommittee recommendations as presented by staff, including the Assistant City Attorney’s recommendations. Lewis seconded the motion.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Rosenthal requested a thorough review of the Assistant City Attorney’s recommendations before considering their possible inclusion into the subcommittee’s recommendations.

                                         The vote was:      Yes – Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas

                                                                    No – Rosenthal

MUNCHIES RESTAURANT REQUEST

Robertson reminded the commission of the request by Michael Cooke, owner of Munchie’s Restaurant, for outdoor seating along the Calle.

Michael Cooke, 479 Euclid Street, stated that he took ownership of the restaurant two years ago and had lost customers due to his inability to accommodate their requests for outdoor seating. He indicated that outdoor seating would provide a “win-win” for the commission as well as his customers and would provide more jobs within the community. He encouraged the commission to approve his request for outdoor seating.

Commissioners asked questions, including the number of tables requested and their proposed location along the Calle. Cooke stated that he wanted to place ten tables outside: four tables for four and six tables for two. He reported that he and his staff paced off the area and discovered that, even with the tables in place, the 8-foot clearance could be maintained. He indicated that he might place umbrellas over the 4-person tables and that he hoped to place a rolling serving cart on the Calle.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed the request in detail, with some expressing support and others raising concerns that were based on the limited amount of available space. Noraas requested an opportunity to see the proposed setup to better determine its practicality. Lewis suggested granting the request contingent on the site being marked in the near future, with adjustments made as needed. Navickas suggested a 30-day trial, with a review at the next regular commission meeting.

Staff was directed to place the topic on the May 21 regular commission meeting and to conduct further research prior to that date.

NEW BUSINESS

ASHLAND SOCCER CLUB REQUEST

Robertson reported that the Ashland Soccer Club requested assistance from Parks staff in lining the Ashland Middle School fields each week, indicating that the current school maintenance agreement does not include the work. He reported that Parks staff members provide that service on the North Mountain Park fields, on which the soccer club also plays, because those City-owned fields are managed by the Parks Department.

Public Input

James Peck, 981 Hiawatha Place, thanked the Parks Department for their mowing. He stated that the Ashland Soccer Club has 350 members and 22 teams, from elementary through high school, and he requested assistance from Parks in lining the Ashland Middle School fields each week during the spring soccer season.

Jeanne Chouard, 1178 Hillview, requested assistance in lining the fields since the soccer club does not own effective lining equipment. She stated that one of the missions of the Parks Department is community recreation and every additional dollar requested for soccer expenses potentially eliminates soccer families from participating in the program.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Gardiner pointed out that North Mountain Park is managed by the Parks Department while the middle school fields are not, and Schools pay Parks, on a “fee-for-service” basis, for their grounds maintenance. Commissioners expressed concern about setting a precedent of spending $3,000 of the Parks budget assisting with this group’s request and about discussing a budgetary issue after the budget planning process was concluded.

Staff was directed to add the topic to a future policy discussion regarding the Parks Commission’s overall mission for sports fields.

PUBLIC TRAIL EASEMENT APPROVAL

Robertson reported that, over the past two years, the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association (AWTA) had worked with neighbors along the Talent Irrigation Ditch (TID) to provide public trail access. He indicated that Nicholas H. Dienel, owner of approximately 71 feet of trail along the TID, granted a pedestrian access easement along his stretch located above Weller Lane. Robertson recommended the commission’s approval of the trail easement request.

Motion Gardiner moved to approve the trail easement as presented. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

     The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Park Design Update

Gies reviewed the process undertaken in hiring a landscape architectural firm to create construction drawings for two park sites in Ashland [North Main/Scenic and Vogel] and reported that the KenCairn Sager firm was chosen for the projects.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Gardiner asked about the golf course club house in terms of non-golfing groups’ use of the facility. Teige indicated that the Homeowners Association occasionally uses it during the day but that evening use would require staff time, unless the commission chose to leave it unstaffed.

Lewis requested an opportunity to update the commission on the work of the Joint Housing Subcommittee. The commission agreed to place the item on the May 10 study session agenda.

Teige reported that Earth Day 2007 was a successful event and thanked the entire committee—which included ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum, Ashland Sanitary, and Ashland Parks and Recreation staff members—for their assistance.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§         Study session set for May 10 at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer. Topic to include:

§         Affordable Housing Subcommittee report

§         Smoking ban update

§         Regular meeting set for May 21 at 7:00 PM—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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