Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, August 27, 2007

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

 

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

August 27, 2007

 

ATTENDANCE

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

Absent:     City Council Liaison Navickas

CALL TO ORDER

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – July 16, 2007

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – July 23, 2007

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

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Jack Opgenorth, 575 Elizabeth, President of the Southern Oregon Water Polo Club, thanked staff and the commission for the club’s use of the Daniel Meyer Pool for water polo practices, especially in light of the recent closure of the SOU pool. He asked the commission to allow the club to use the pool all winter or to consider a March opening.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None

NEW BUSINESS

CITIZEN REQUEST TO SWIM IN ASHLAND CREEK BY SOUTH PIONEER STREET BRIDGE

Robertson reported receiving a request from a neighbor of the park requesting official permission to swim in the creek below the South Pioneer Street bridge, as his family had enjoyed the tradition for fourteen years. Robertson invited the resident to speak to the commission.

Eric Dusenbury, 343 Granite, said he and his family enjoyed swimming in that section of the creek and requested permission to continue the practice without fear of law enforcement intervention. He asked the commission to designate that section of the creek as an approved swimming location within Lithia Park boundaries.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked about the history of the ordinance restricting swimming or wading locations within Ashland Creek. Robertson reported that the ordinance, established in 1916, was later amended in the 1940s. Commissioners considered Dusenbury’s request and debated such issues as erosion, enforcement, liability, dam building, and habitat disturbances. They discussed visiting the area to consider its suitability as a swimming area within the park.

Commissioners agreed to visit the site and discuss the matter in more detail in the fall timeframe.

RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR HIGH SCHOOL DANCES IN CITY FACILITIES

Teige reported an increase, over the past two years, of teenagers renting City facilities to host high school dances and parties. She said the rentals created problems related to underage drinking, facility damage, and lack of parent/guardian supervision and that, on separate occasions, emergency services were contacted, alcohol and drugs confiscated, and over $1,200 in damages sustained at The Grove. She indicated that the problems occurred despite staff efforts to meet with parents and guardians and discuss concerns prior to events.

Teige presented a list of recommendations—developed between Parks staff, Ashland High School staff, and the Ashland Police Department—that were designed to provide possible solutions. Recommendations included:

§         Dances and parties require an $800 refundable deposit.

§         The only facility allowed for high school functions is The Grove building located on East Main Street.

§         Parents/guardians are required to reserve the facility and meet with Parks and Recreation staff at least three weeks prior to the event.

§         Two uniformed security officers must be hired by the renter and proof of this must be faxed to the Parks and Recreation office two weeks prior to the event.

§         All backpacks, purses, and personal items to be searched at the door.

§         All exits to be monitored by security or adult chaperones at all times.

§         Alcohol, drugs, and weapons are prohibited in any Ashland Parks and Recreation facility.

§         A current high school ID is required to attend the event.

§         Chaperones 25 years and older are required during the event at a ratio of one for every 20 students.

§         Parks and Recreation staff will check in throughout the night to make sure all rules are being followed. If not followed, the event will be closed down with the assistance of the Ashland Police Department and the deposit forfeited.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked several clarifying questions and expressed support for the recommendations.

Motion    Gardiner moved to accept the recommendations of Parks staff regarding high school dances and parties at Ashland Parks and Recreation facilities. Noraas seconded the motion.

Amendment     rosenthal suggested amending the motion to reflect that the recommendations were proposed for high school-aged dances and parties at Ashland Parks and Recreation facilities. Gardiner accepted the amendment and other commissioners expressed approval.

     The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PETITION FOR USE OF PA SYSTEM AT AHS SPORTING EVENTS, NORTH MOUNTAIN PARK

Robertson reported receiving a request and petition from the Ashland High School Athletic Director, Karl Kemper, to use sound amplification before softball and baseball playoff games at the North Mountain Park fields. He referenced the Parks policy prohibiting amplified sound at North Mountain Park and reported receiving six emails from residents expressing concern about the possibility of amplified sound and the perceived lack of notice for the agenda topic. He shared the emails with the commission and then introduced Kemper, inviting him to speak to the commission.

Karl Kemper stated that the amplification, if approved, would be used for up to three playoff games per sport, in the event that AHS teams made the playoffs. He expressed willingness to provide advance notice to Parks staff about the amplification, should it be needed, and said it would be used to introduce the teams, read the OSAA script, and sing the National Anthem, all of which would not exceed fifteen minutes per game.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Eggers expressed concern about the request and reminded the commission of their promise to the neighbors of the park—at the time the fields were built—to help maintain peace and quiet. She said that setting a precedent of allowing amplification might erode the Parks/neighborhood relationship and invite additional requests within the community. Lewis stated that, compared with the Salmon Festival, this would involve a minimal amount of amplification. He suggested approving the request and reevaluating the matter in one year’s time. Noraas asked for assurance from Kemper that the sound would only be audible to spectators of the games, not neighboring residents or park patrons.

Public Input

Harry Purslow, 432 Clinton Street, speaking on behalf of his neighbors and himself, voiced several concerns about the proposed amplification but also expressed willingness to support limited amplification for the benefit of the overall ballgame experience.

Motion    Rosenthal moved to approve the use of limited amplification, not to exceed fifteen minutes, prior to any OSAA baseball, soccer, or softball playoff game at the North Mountain Park fields. Lewis seconded the motion.

Amendment   Gardiner suggested amending the motion to state that this one-year exception to the Parks policy prohibiting amplification at North Mountain Park would require Ashland High School representatives to return in one year to request continued amplification based on the results from the previous year. Rosenthal accepted the amendment and Lewis seconded.

Amendment   Noraas suggested amending the motion to include only baseball and softball games, not soccer. Rosenthal did not accept the amendment and the initial motion and first amendment stood.

                                         The vote was:   Gardiner, Lewis, Rosenthal—yes / Eggers, Noraas—no

SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Eggers reported that the Signs, Plaques, and Memorials Subcommittee met to consider: 1) a request by the Ashland Little League to place a plaque on the outside wall of their new batting cage at Hunter Park in acknowledgement of its contributors; and 2) the placement of memorial benches within the parks system in memory of Carole Wheeldon.

Gies provided an update on the construction documents for North Main / Scenic Park. He indicated that KenCairn Sager Landscape Architects completed the construction drawings and the RFP for construction documents would begin in two weeks’ time, with the notice posted as distantly as Portland. He said the RFP would remain open for three or four weeks and Public Works would assist with the paperwork.

Robertson reported that a fire occurred on the Parks/City-owned property behind the Ashlander Apartments on Saturday, August 25. He said the Fire Marshall conducted an investigation into the origins of the fire, and that no individuals were harmed and only minimal damage occurred at neighboring homes due to the quick and effective response of firefighters.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Gardiner reported receiving notification from the KenCairn Sager landscape architectural firm about their split. He questioned whether they planned to complete the Hersey Street Park construction drawings, and staff assured him they would finish the work despite the termination of their partnership.

Eggers reported receiving a communication from the City’s Personnel Director requesting input from the Parks Commission for the recruitment of two City department heads. Commissioners agreed to provide input as individual commissioners, not as an entity.

Eggers asked Robertson whether he contacted the Planning Director about speaking to the Parks Commission about potential impacts of the riparian ordinance on Parks-managed lands. Robertson said he planned to invite the Planning Director to an upcoming study session.

Eggers asked about the additional water quality testing conducted by Public Works over the past year. Robertson stated that he would forward the results to the commission the following day.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

§         Study session and regular meeting set for September 17—Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.

§         Study session at 6:30 PM—Southern Oregon Land Conservancy presentation

§         Regular meeting at 7:15 PM—SOU student report on upper duck pond (tentative)

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the regular meeting at 8:45 PM.

ADJOURNMENT INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION

  • Real Property Acquisition ORS 192.660 (2)(e)
  • Consider Documents Exempt from Public Disclosure ORS 192.660 (2)(f)

ADJOURNMENT OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION – By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the executive session at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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