Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meetings

Minutes
Tuesday, January 19, 1999

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 19, 1999
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m., in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

ROLL CALL
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon and Fine were present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The regular meeting minutes of January 5, 1999 were approved as presented.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
  1. Mayor’s presentation of Retirement Plaque to Captain Mel Clements.

  2. Mayor Shaw read a history of Clements’ contribution to the City over his 27 years of service in the Ashland Police Department, and presented him with a retirement plaque. Clements spoke briefly about how much he had enjoyed serving the City.

  3. Mayor’s proclamation of "A Season for Nonviolence."

  4. Mayor Shaw read the proclamation in its entirety.

  5. Mayor’s proclamation for "Census 2000."

Mayor Shaw read the proclamation in its entirety.

CONSENT AGENDA
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Monthly Departmental Reports.
3. Confirmation of Mayor’s appointments of Jesse Ferraro and David Young to the Bicycle & Pedestrian Commission for terms to expire April 30, 2001.

Councilors Hauck/Wheeldon m/s to approve the consent agenda. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
  1. Continuation of Public Hearing regarding Planning Action 98-091, a request for a Site Review to demolish the existing hotel and construct a 10,901 sq. ft. retail building, and convert the existing 24 hotel units to studio apartments for the property located at 1520 Siskiyou Blvd.


  2. Mayor Shaw read the guidelines and procedures for a Land Use Public Hearing.

    PUBLIC HEARING RE-OPENED: 7:22 p.m.


    IN OPPOSITION:
    Gaelyn Larrick/300 Sheridan Street/
    Spoke on the unique character of Ashland being threatened by this action. Stated that the Hillside Inn is a sort of historic landmark, and should be kept as a quiet, tree-shaded place to stay. Expressed concern at caving in to commercial development. Recognized that development will continue, but stated that it should retain the character of Ashland as much as possible. Feels that this could be the beginning of the destruction of the character of Ashland. Remember Councilor Hagen and his support of the Valdez Principles to conserve natural resources, and stated that the trees proposed as replacements are different and will never be the same. Urged the need to include the well-being of future generations in the Council’s decisions.

    Bram Larrick/300 Sheridan Street/
    Read a prepared statement, observing that even Planning Commissioner Briggs was shocked at the approval of this design. Noted the system has failed, but the Council has the opportunity to make it right. Noted that on page 60 of the Council packet, staff urged the developers to save existing trees. Also cited the Sight Design and Use Standards (AMC 18.72.100) which states that Council can require the retention of existing trees. Reiterated that staff had concerns with the removal of conifers, reading from the staff opinion that the design fails to address or ignores the existing trees, and could be modified without significant hardship. Stated that there is a need to reach a balance and retain the healthy large trees. Noted that the developer had convinced the Planning Commission that four-inch red oaks were a solution, and that the reason given for this design was that it was a market driven decision for national tenants. Emphasized that Ashland is unique, and trends nationally shouldn’t be a guiding force for design here. Suggested that a creative process will bring a solution, and that it need not be polarized, but can in fact be an opportunity. Emphasized the need to uphold the purpose and spirit of the standards and shape the future character of the City. Asked that Council return this item to the Planning Commission to seek a design which retains at least the two largest trees on the site.

    STAFF RESPONSE:
    Director of Community Development John McLaughlin gave a brief background of the Planning Commission decision relative to the work that was done with the applicant after the initial staff report. Pointed out that the subsequent staff report stated that the design had met all requirements. Mayor Shaw questioned whether there was evidence that this was the best design. McLaughlin stated that it balanced the elements requiring the building be oriented near the street and sidewalk with the need for grading, marketability, and the likelihood of the trees’ survival. Emphasized that the Planning Commission felt the design to be appropriate, and that it met approval criteria. Shaw clarified that no other design had been brought forward, and questioned if relaxing of the other standards by the City could allow the trees to be saved. McLaughlin did not recall this having been discussed by the Planning Commission.

    Councilor Reid questioned the previous statement by the applicant’s representative that the root systems of these trees can go well beyond their driplines, and that cutting into the root systems could kill the trees. McLaughlin noted that paving had occurred at Safeway and the trees there survived, but there were no excavations. Suggested that a site’s grade must remain the same to protect tree roots, and that perhaps trees could be protected if the grade change were minimized.

    Mayor Shaw questioned the Safeway example, asking whether trees would need to be removed if Safeway were to re-develop the site. McLaughlin stated that this would depend on how the application was submitted, the trees’ health, and the proposed use.

    Councilor Hauck asked for confirmation that the root structure effect discussed was for the plan as submitted, but that the potential effects on the trees’ roots from other options did not occur. McLaughlin stated that the Planning Commission’s review was limited to the application as submitted. Laws questioned if there was any evidence indicating the age of the trees. McLaughlin noted that core samples had been taken, and that this might be discussed in the applicant’s rebuttal. He stated that he felt the trees were less than 100 years old.

    REBUTTAL:
    Fred Wilson/129 N. Oakdale, Medford/Attorney representing the applicant, and John Galbrath/815 E. Jackson St., Medford/Landscape Architect for the applicant/
    Galbrath noted the past history of trees falling due to damage sustained from construction and paving. Stated that both a certified arborist and a forester have evaluated the trees on the site. Noted that for the type of trees involved, their roots can spread 2-3 times the height of the tree, and nearly all of the roots are in the top 24 inches of soil. Explained that the roots serve both to feed and to anchor trees. Root damage is long-term, and though rot begins immediately to weaken the tree though no one may be aware that damage has occurred. This creates a safety hazard with the potential for trees falling near the street and sidewalk. Gave the ages of some of the larger trees, noting that the cedar near Walker Avenue is 68 years old, the nearby cedar is 59, and the large fir is also 59. Stated that the forester’s report is in the Council packet. Noted that one double-trunked tree is already a safety hazard, as a cut occurred in the past, and the other is cabled together and requires regular monitoring and adjustment. Stated that they looked to the future in creating this plan, by eliminating potential liability of weakening trees. Emphasized that the large fir would be near the access, and those passing by might be targets if it fell. The cedars would be impacted by the proposed building. Concluded that the applicant worked with both the Tree Commission and the staff in preparing this design.

    Wilson concluded that the issue is the large trees on the site; stated that efforts have been made to balance the needs to be achieved. Emphasized that the current design was approved by the Tree Commission, the Planning Commission, and the staff.

    Mayor Shaw questioned what efforts were made to save the trees. Wilson stated that the plans were redesigned to save a large cedar at the rear of the site, and that the new trees proposed to be planted were chosen for their quick growth. Wilson emphasized that they had been able to save one tree with a redesign, but one near the road could not be saved, and two others were already in some distress now. Emphasized that a two-story design would have impacted these two trees and made things more hazardous.

    Galbrath confirmed his credentials for Councilor Reid, noting that he is a registered landscape architect in both California and Oregon, and has been designing since 1975. Stated that he has worked with arborists on many projects involving existing trees, has a degree in ornamental horticulture, and is a certified nurseryman. Noted that Philip Frazee was the arborist used.

    Alex Jansen/12466 S.E. Spring Mountain Drive, Happy Valley/Applicant’s son/Emphasized that they had reviewed the possible options of keeping the hotel as is, building a two-story structure, or demolishing the entire site. The design chosen is saving a large numbers of trees. Pointed out that they are saving thirty or forty trees on the site with the current design, not just three trees. At the Mayor’s request, McLaughlin showed the overhead which illustrated the significant trees to be removed. Jansen concluded that the damage to the trees’ roots would harm them anyway, and the grade cuts for the building would damage the roots regardless of the design chosen.

    PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:53 p.m.

    COUNCIL DELIBERATION:

    Staff confirmed for Councilor Reid that the overhead was not a complete depiction of the trees on the site, and showed only the significant trees that were impacted by the design.

    Councilor Wheeldon asked if this is the best application of the existing standards for this site, and if these standards are current. McLaughlin stated that he could not say whether this is the best design that could occur on the site. Confirmed that the standards are high. McLaughlin continued, stating that there is an art to finding a balance to reach the best development. In this instance, the design balances the standards’ requirement to orient the project toward the street and emphasize streetscapes, and the Planning Commission felt that these were important factors. Emphasized that the Council can, at its discretion, add more weight to the trees and shift this balance by calling for different design. Stated that calling this the "best design" depends on values, but that it is a good design for the site and the standards.

    Councilor Reid noted that when she served on the large-scale development design committee to develop standards, trees, elevations, and excavations were not discussed. While they looked at the size of buildings, and at streetscapes, they did not speak of trees. She now feels that this was short-sighted as Ashland’s hillsides require excavation and there are many trees that need to be considered.

    Councilor Wheeldon would also like to see the space incorporate trees, but feels that standards were set for the Planning Commission’s decision. Noted that certain values were laid out in the form of the standards, and these carry a certain weight that must be considered. Noted the problems on Ashland Street nearby where development did not occur to standards, and the number of values including natural aspects that need to be balanced on projects. Stated that trees are dying from nearby development disrupting the property. She stated that she questions whether the trees can be given a chance while incorporating values. Emphasized that she feels the design is of a human scale in that it is a single story with streetscapes. Recognized that Council cannot prohibit development, and stated that she doesn’t know if the trees can survive even with another design. Concluded that the City has created the standards, and while it is a shame that they cannot use the topography in carrying out the standards, there is substance to the standards and she cannot see denying the application. Suggested that if there is a desire to place more value on trees, then the process should start now and work towards changing the standards.

    Councilor Hauck stated that given the criteria, the design complies with Site Design and Use Standards, particularly #2(c)(1)(c)(5), in dealing with natural features of the site in its totality. Stated that he sees evidence that the whole site was addressed and that the standards have been met. Feels that the applicant has made a good faith effort to save as much as can be saved given constraints.

    Councilor Hansen concurred with Hauck and Wheeldon, stating that he feels the standards have been met, and efforts made, and the Council should move ahead.

    Councilor Fine stated that he differs with the opinions expressed by his three colleagues, and feels that the design has not met the necessary requirements. He cited section 2(c)(1) of the site review standard which states, "Developments of all commercial and employment zones shall conform to the following development standards...", which he suggested required development to meet each and every standard.

    Fine went on to note that under 2(c)(1)(c) Landscaping, #5 says efforts shall be made to save as many existing healthy trees and shrubs as possible. Emphasized that this is mandatory. Then noted the Planning Commission’s finding on page 19 at 2.5 which says that this standard can be met by planting some significant trees near the footprint. Expressed concerns that what has been proposed are 4" diameter trees at best, with some even smaller.

    Fine stated that the questions facing the Council are: 1) How rigorous must we be/How high a standard has been set by 2(C)(1)(C)(5)? and 2) Have the standards been met on the record before Council? With regard to the first question, he stated that the Council must be guided by the words in the standards, and when that wording is ambiguous there is a need to look to official statements of City policy. Noted page 17 of the site design & use standards which says, "The alternative desired in Ashland is to design the site so that it makes a positive contribution to the streetscape and enhances pedestrian and bicycle traffic." The need to shade the sidewalk requires the saving of these existing trees.

    Fine also cited the Comprehensive Plan, under Economic Development Policy, page 7-2, which states it is "important for the overall economic health of this city that a high standard of... architectural design, sign control and landscaping be required of new development. While this is most important in areas that are highly visible or in buffer residential areas, its also important even in industrial parks." Pointed out that this is a very high visibility area which helps to define Ashland.

    Fine continued that in the Aesthetic Resources section of the Comprehensive Plan, page 8-3 notes, "Trees, especially large trees, enhance the quality of life of life in Ashland in many ways: providing shade; protection from wind; erosion control." Stated that Ashland has a long history of honoring and protecting its trees, and has been a Tree City. Stated that trees are a fragile resource, and the proven benefits of trees can only be maintained through favorable consideration in the political process.

    Fine pointed out that the Goals and Policies on page 8-16 of the Comprehensive Plan, in paragraphs 11, 12, and 19, state that "especially on major arterials and on access routes into Ashland we should be requiring extraordinarily high standards of design and landscaping." Noted that there is a stated goal of increasing the portion of the City covered by a tree canopy, and a policy of developing urban forest interface to enhance aesthetics and recreational opportunities.

    Fine stated that of the City’s roughly twelve commissions, there are a Tree Commission, a Parks Commission, a Forest Lands Commission, and a Conservation Commission. Feels that all of this illustrates the high value placed on maintaining trees in Ashland, and if the standards are ambiguous then policies should be applied strictly. Stated that nothing in the record indicates that it would be impossible to maintain these uniquely significant trees. Emphasized that the trees could be saved without hurting the economic potential of the site, as stated in the testimony of Bob Taber and Ralph LePre. Expressed his concern with designing to meet the requirements of a national tenant. Stated that all property owners in Ashland have derived economic benefit from the very stringent application of land use laws, which make the City more livable and lucrative. The land is more valuable than it would be elsewhere, and it would not be an undue hardship if the applicant were required to design to retain the trees. Quoted Tom Brown 17th C English physician said "Generations pass while old trees stand, and old families last not three oaks." Initial tenants for the cite are likely to be quickly passing. Feels that the documents are a clear expression of public policy stating that 2(C)(1)(C)(5) should be rigorously applied, and not liberally construed so as to encourage commercial development. Does not find in the record that this criteria has not been met, the appeal should be approved and the planning action denied.

    Councilor Hansen suggested that the ambiguity Fine mentions should be solved in favor of those trying to meet the standards in question.

    Councilor Reid noted that she is fond of the trees, but feels that the Council should err on the side of safety due to the concern expressed by experienced professionals. Suggested that it would be wrong to mandate keeping the trees given the possibility of their falling. Concluded that while the trees are beautiful, the standards have been met and the trees could fall, and the Council would then be in the position of having created a hazard.

    Councilor Hauck stated that he does not see the ambiguity that Fine spoke about, and feels that the applicant has saved as many trees as possible, looking at the site in totality with all existing natural vegetation included. They have met the criteria by saving the vast majority of the existing shrubbery and trees. Stated that the section in dispute says "to save as many as possible", and the applicant has made efforts to this end.

    Councilor Laws stated that since he was not feeling "lawyerly" he would speak with his vote.

    Mayor Shaw stated that she agreed with Councilor Fine. Noted Comprehensive Plan policy #37 which emphasizes the preservation of forest vegetation to the extent feasible as forested areas of the City are converted to urban uses. Stated that these trees went in after development. Explained how site review came about as a result of Ashland Shopping Center’s construction, where a developer agreed to save as many as possible and then clear cut the site. Emphasized that this is a difficult case, as she knows and likes the applicant, but this is the first instance of cutting huge trees for commercial development and there is a lot more commercial property where magnificent trees are in the way. Trees will be jeopardized if not preserved in the City’s standards. Also stated that there are no clear alternatives presented in the application, and there are violations of the Comprehensive Plan. Emphasized that there is no committed tenant, and trees are the key component. Cited trees on other sites in commercial districts, and feels interpretation at this first step will set a precedent. Concluded that there is not that much ambiguity, but there is supporting documentation to ask for an alternative design that "shall conform" to the development standards and save as many trees as possible.

    Councilor Reid stated that the Council cannot take into account a tenant, as there are no laws pertaining to this aspect of the development. The Council must deal with the design standards, and the Council cannot discriminate by tenant. Emphasized that the tenant is irrelevant. Shaw referred to page 24 of the packet where a two-story design was not considered further as it was declined by a potential tenant. Shaw explained that the tenant cannot be a guiding force, but in this case the tenant has become a factor in the design.

    Councilor Hauck stated that there has been testimony that any construction would likely damage the trees, and the proposed design was chosen to save as many of the trees as possible.

    Councilor Fine stated that the standard calls for an effort to save as many trees as possible. It does not say to save as many as is consistent with the primary concept of the applicant. Noted that the Council could insist on other alternatives. Minor adjustments might not protect trees, but major adjustments could potentially save more trees.

    Councilor Wheeldon recognized the difficulty in saving specific trees. Stated that since she does not have the knowledge to know if trees will survive construction, she must rely on the testimony of professionals. Suggested that it is not the number of trees saved that is important, but the spirit of property, and that is a difficult concept to negotiate. It is difficult to find an operational definition of saving as many as possible or working with the topography, and as such she is hesitant to try to be artful. Shaw suggested that it is not the position of the Council to make those decisions; the Council can simply say that this one design does not meet the site design guidelines or the Comprehensive Plan, and ask for another design. The appeal can be upheld without prejudice, so the applicant will not need to wait another year. The Council need not decide on an alternative to meet the standards, but rather it needs only to decide if this design does not meet the standards.
    Councilors Reid/Hauck m/s to approve the application. Discussion: Hauck stated that there is a need to look at the totality of the site, and the Council cannot value certain trees over others. The standards only call for saving as much as can be saved, and he believes this has been done. Laws stated that either way this vote goes, it points out the importance of ongoing efforts to preserve existing trees and to continue planting and enhancing growth of new trees. Feels trees will die from number of causes, but want to continue to have an overhead that continues to grow greater. This issue stresses the importance of the City’s committees. Roll call vote: Wheeldon, Hauck, Laws, Reid, and Hanson, YES. Fine, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

  3. Public input on 1999-2000 Strategic Planning Process.


Public hearing opened at: 8:31

No speakers came forward on this item.

Public hearing closed at: 8:31

  1. Consideration and adoption of new Street Standards.


Associate Planner Maria Harris noted the Council’s October 20th review of the street standards handbook and granted their approval in concept with the changes discussed at that time. Stated that what is before the Council now is the actual ordinance amendments to put those standards into effect. Noted that in October, Council requested additional language to allow flexibility in the application of the standards to streets developed under the Local Improvement District process, and this flexibility is addressed at the end of the handbook, in section 7, pages 43-45. This adds the flexibility to change any ingredient of the street right-of-way, with curb to curb width only to be reduced by approval of Fire, Police, Planning and Engineering departments.

Noted that park row minimum widths have been increased from six feet to seven feet. The actual ordinance changes are made primarily to Chapter 18.88 Performance Standards Options, as most new streets are built for new subdivisions, either single family or multi-family residential. Other chapters in the Land Use Ordinance refer back to this Performance Standards Options chapter. Noted that there is one new item in the ordinance language, which was not in the handbook, which defines obstructed streets and prohibits their creation. This is intended to prevent gated streets and communities.
Councilor Fine stated he supports not having gated communities, but feels that the standard as written would also prohibit a gated, small industrial park with movable gate for security. Expressed his concern with this prohibition. McLaughlin noted that the section in question, on page 7 of section 7, refers to multi-family development and would not apply to employment areas. The multi-family residential zone is the only place where this prohibition would be an issue. McLaughlin confirmed for Fine that the heading has to do with access requirements for multi-family developments, and would not apply for other types of development.
City Attorney Paul Nolte questioned page 5, paragraph D, and McLaughlin confirmed that these Performance Standards only apply to residential developments.

McLaughlin noted that the Governor would be conducting a drive through of Ashland to view new streets as he has heard about Ashland’s street standards work.

Councilor Wheeldon clarified the intent of the flexibility on page 43, section 7 about not deviating from construction standards on elements of the street, even for retrofitting. McLaughlin stated that while the wording allows flexibility in reducing dimensional requirements and sidewalk placement, it does not make any allowance for substandard design.

Councilor Wheeldon questioned item 4, pedestrian paths. Discussed that this might mean that a path was not adjacent to the street due to topography, or construction not to sidewalk standards. McLaughlin question if Council would like clarification that the initial effort should be to provide sidewalks for all streets. Wheeldon stated that she did not want this to be an option unless it was a last resort.

Public hearing opened at: 8:44 p.m.

No speakers came forward for this item.

Public hearing closed at: 8:45

The ordinance was read by title only.

Councilors Reid/Wheeldon m/s to second reading with the minor administrative changes indicated in the Council’s discussion. Roll call vote: Hauck, Laws, Wheeldon, Reid, Hanson, and Fine, YES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC FORUM

Opened to public comment at 8:48 p.m.

Sugeet Posey/1071 Wildwood Way/Explained that while the year 2000 is 346 days away, 55% of businesses have already had Y2K problems. Our lives have already been impacted. Noted that Senator Robert Bennett, chairman of the Congressional Committee on the Year 2000, states on the record that many are dragging their feet due to a lack of adequate information to justify serious action. Emphasized that there is credible, reliable information that there is a serious problem that will affect every member of the community. Suggested that prudent precautions be taken to prepare for possible problems. Cited Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan quote that there is now a factual cause for fear and that this could be catastrophic. Asks that the City join with the Ashland Y2K Community Preparedness Project and keep an open mind. Noted the City’s responsibility to address these potential problems. Emphasized that the consequences of positive action are joining others in being prepared, and that no one will object to preparation if a problem does not arise. If there is a real problem, there will be a plan in place to keep the social fabric strong. This project needs the backing and support of the City to reach everyone and prepare all parts of Ashland.

Anton Abben/1280 Iowa/ Thanked Ashland Coalition and Mike Freeman for inspiring a community effort for preparedness. Stated that most people see this issue from an information and technology standpoint, and feel that keeping their own house will mean that all will be well. Suggested that the problem overlooked by this approach is that there is interconnectedness of all systems for pharmacies, gas stations, and grocery stores. Despite funds committed by the government and the private sector, there are serious concerns. Stated that not everything will be fixed, and the community needs to prepared. If only a few people have foresight, then those who are prepared will be vulnerable. All components of the community must work together, and look at contingencies dealing with more than just a couple of weeks. Asked that those interested attend a forum at SOU’s Rogue River Room on February 4th from 7-9 p.m., sponsored by the Community Issues Forum and the Chamber of Commerce.

Connie Dean/809 Garden Way/Manages a B&B here, and noted that she had customers who have canceled because of the Y2K issue. This made her aware that the web of small businesses integral to the community will be affected. Cited a Chamber of Commerce survey that noted 74% of respondents felt they were up to speed and would not have problems. Dean stated that everyone will have problems due to the interconnectedness of systems, and efforts must be made to prepare. City has stepped forward and prepared a pamphlet to be distributed with the utility bills, but her group is concerned with quotes in the pamphlet saying that things are handled, taking responsibility away from the people. Suggested that leaders must be informed and get information to citizens and trust them to prepare. Noted that where there is open communication, people are thoughtful and methodically prepared. On the other hand, the Redding government denies the issue, and people are splitting into factions and isolating themselves. Population centers will be effected more deeply than we are, and we are merely a gas tank away from them. Community leaders, schools, businesses, churches, friends and neighbors must become informed, connect and prepare for whatever happens.

Cate Hartzell/881 E Main Street/Questioned if there will be a public goal setting. Freeman concurred that it was intended that tonight’s hearing would serve as community goal setting, but because of confusion goal setting will need to occur at another time. Hartzell stated that she would submit her comments in writing. Also noted that she wants to read an item concerning the Calle during that portion of the meeting.

Closed to public comment at 9:01 p.m. Break called until 9:11 p.m.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS None.

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
  1. Council Meeting Look Ahead.

  2. Freeman clarified that item #6 is the changes to the LID policy. The public hearing being set tonight for the February 2nd was inadvertently omitted and will be corrected.

  3. Update on Implementation of the City’s Public Information, Communication & Marketing Plan.

  4. Administrative Services Director Dick Wanderscheid noted that the plan was adopted in September of 1998, and he felt this was a good time to update Council on progress to date. Noted that a lot has been accomplished, and without going into great detail he wanted to touch on some highlights. First, stated that the Council Chambers’ sound system will be worked on within the next month or so. Freeman noted that there is some concern over spending, and suggested that any improvements be movable and able to go to another location if needed. Council concurred that this was appropriate. Fine suggested that the goal be to at least equal the transmission quality of Medford’s broadcasts. Wanderscheid stated that this might not be accomplished initially. Fine expressed concern that "band aids" have been relied on in the past, and he feels that there should at least be a "once and for all" fix. Shaw suggested that there could at least be clip-on microphones to improve the sound quality. Laws seconded Fine’s opinion. Fine also noted his concern with the acoustics as they make it difficult for those with hearing aids. Freeman noted that there is a need for headphone access, and Wanderscheid suggested that infrared could be used.

    Wanderscheid also noted that a Strategic Marketing Plan for the Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) was in the works. Stated that an internal group has been formed, and a marketing firm has been employed, and the hope is to have a plan in place by the time services begin to be available.

    Pointed out that there will also be three new RVTV videos dealing with the Police Department, the Fire Department, and Conservation. Another is in progress for Public Works. Stated that the first three should be ready for a preview within a month.

    Wanderscheid stated that following completion of this year’s budget, they would like to prepare an explanation of the document. Emphasized the need to do this in a clean, concise manner. Explained that they are also in the process of looking at the utility billing insert and the employee newsletter for effectiveness, cohesiveness and long-term planning. Stated that these items need to be unified with the newsletter.

    Noted that there is a need for a graphic standards manual to create a more standardized look for all City documents.

    Stated that the new monthly City Source newsletter’s first issue went out in January, and he has been very pleased with the comments received to date. Noted that most people indicated that they appreciate the new format, and stated that it will continually improve. Explained that a meeting had just occurred to determine content for the March issue, as it takes that long to prepare things. Noted that they have suggestion cards, and a long list of items to work on for future issues, and would like Council input.

    Councilor Laws noted that he was opposed to the idea of imposing uniformity, and stated that he feels that there can be some variety to City documents. Emphasized that creativity and freedom should be allowed. Freeman clarified the standard appearance had more to do with the format of official correspondence, logos and etc. Shaw pointed out the need to be sure that phone numbers are included on all letterhead. Wanderscheid noted that he has a copy of the City of Lake Oswego’s graphic standards manual, and that he was thinking mainly of a standard letterhead format and improved logo. City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained that she had received the City of Lake Oswego’s manual at a conference, and noted that the document was created after many hours of work by a committee. Explained that it would make things easier to work with a standardized document format over and over again.

    Councilor Wheeldon questioned if the Public Information/Communications/Marketing topic should be an element of the strategic planning process. Freeman confirmed that it would be for that discussion. Wheeldon stated that there needs to be a verifiable process for public involvement to ensure that all the bases are covered. Noted her feeling that a lot of time is spent out of sync in the current process, and a public process should not be developed during a project. Emphasized that this should be developed in agreement with Parks. Stated that this could be addressed further in the strategic planning sessions.

  5. League of Oregon Cities Elected Officials Workshop.

  6. Freeman indicated that this was an informational item for the Council.

  7. Summary of discussion at Joint Study Session, January 12, 1999. Motion requested accepting summary document.

Councilor Laws noted that at the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission meeting held last night, questions arose concerning this document. His feeling is that the Parks Commission would appreciate more specificity. Stated that the goals are to contain a 100-year flood behind the Plaza and to continue the present uses. The problem is that as more space is used for water, less is available for other uses. While a good design might do more with less, there are options that would require less space for the water. A new bridge at North Main Street would allow for a different design. The Parks Commission needs clarification as to whether they should design for a new bridge in the distant future, or stick to the near future. A second issue is that some waters could bypass the existing channel and free that space for other uses. To keep all of the water in the channel requires taking space away from other uses. Noted that water could be directed to Main Street and Water Street with temporary walls. With this in mind, the Parks Commission would like a formal decision on split flows. Noted that this could be the cheapest and easiest way to provide for use of the Calle. A second option would be to remove the water from the channel and pipe it under the present creek channel or through the plaza, which eliminate the need for bridges. The Parks Commission questions whether the Council would like an estimate on a bypass pipe versus a bridge, and they need to know this information before an RFP is prepared. They also need to know if the Council wants a permanent channel or some temporary active flood measures that would not contain all flows but could be put in place for a flood. These four issues need to be addressed for the Parks Commission to continue with their RFP. Laws noted that a decision probably could not occur on these items tonight.
Shaw stated that all of these issues were discussed at the joint meeting with the Parks Commission. The split flow issue was discussed a year ago, was considered subsequently, and came up again at the joint meeting. The Council clearly said no to this option.

Wheeldon stated that active measures would be fine, because the North Main Street bridge will not be a priority in the near future. Feels that designs should be similar to those currently in place, and supplemented with active efforts to fight flooding. Noted that the pipeline option has not been discussed.

Reid questioned if the state has been contacted about their bridge on North Main, as she would not want to create a design and then attempt to force it on another entity. Stated that there is a need to look at the engineering of the bridge, and deal with state before addressing the design of the Calle. Designing the Calle for 100-year flows without addressing the bridge would effectively be a designed undermining of the bridge.

Public Works Director Paula Brown noted the possibility of speaking with representatives of the State, as they will be here on Thursday. Stated that they were in contact after the flood, but that there are no repairs on their list. Suggested that they might be willing to look at the issue with regard to flooding, but that any repairs would be 5-10 years away at the earliest.

Hauck questioned if the bridge could be redesigned to handle 100-year flows. Explained that the redesign is not necessary now as long as Calle work can proceed knowing the bridge redesign is possible. Brown stated that it could handle these flows with "supercritical" flow.

Laws expressed concern at waiting ten years, and they need a design to convey 100-year flows. Stated that it will be difficult to design the Calle as it is now if there is a need to convey all of that water.

Fine noted disappointment with the study session, explaining that the consultant hired and paid City money for concepts brought only two drawings, and one was abandoned immediately. The other was not presented in advance, and the consultant was present throughout all discussion. He felt this was not professional that only one real option was given. Would like Council to consider the options brought up by the Parks Commission if they can be done in the timeframe discussed, but there is a need to move ahead now. Emphasized that other professionally drawn options are needed in timetable.

Reid noted she approved of active measures and looking at the state’s bridge on North Main Street.

Shaw felt that a directive was already given to the Parks Commission to design the Calle to accommodate as much water as possible given the activities to occur. The flood mitigation portions of the project, and handling of waters, will be before the City Council. Stated that the Parks Commission is not charged with these responsibilities; they should merely bring back an idea of what can be done and the Council will make its decisions at that time. Emphasized that the time for Council action will be after the Parks Commission presents a design. The needs are to fix the creek and keep commercial development, within the timeline, and to provide updates to the Council every sixty days.

Laws stated that he feels it is a Council goal to channel 100-year flood flows, and expressed concern that efforts are wasting money if the threat of a flood is not to be relieved. Shaw confirmed that there was a consensus to keep commercial activities along the Calle, and to accommodate the maximum amount of water possible, with flood management to be addressed by Council.

Wheeldon stated that the designs brought by the consultant would handle 100-year flood flows, noting that one allowed for activities and one did not. The design showed the extent to which opening up the channel will be needed without losing function. Feels that the design needs to prepare for active measures and 100-year flows, with the option of more active measures as needed.

Fine noted that the consultant’s enhanced terrace design kept commercial activities and greenspace, but there are at least three other concepts (split flow, a large conduit, and active flood measures) that should be considered before a decision is made.

Shaw stated that active measures have been considered. Pointed out that the conduit idea is bizarre, given the amount of silt and debris carried in flood waters. Suggested that this would be a $4 ½ million hole in the ground that would clog and need further spending to clear. Emphasized that creeks run where they are open, and this gives the opportunity to see obstructions.

Fine expressed concerns with working downstream, but feels that there could be different concepts shown by the consultant. Feels that two years have been wasted, and Council should look at concepts, while proceeding with the timetable set in the joint study session.

Shaw reiterated that it is not under the Parks Commission’s purview to consider flood measures.

Freeman noted that agreement is lacking, as those in industry do not feel the measures discussed are viable options, and they were thus were not brought back by engineers. Explained that the granitic soil and the presence of numerous utility lines under the plaza area would make tunneling difficult. Emphasized that the City staff is not supportive of these alternatives. Brown concurred that these options are inconceivable with existing facilities. Explained that North Main Street bridge is considered a long-term project. Suggested not specifically splitting flows, but rather managing any flows that do split.

Hauck noted that Council has already made the decision not to engineer split flows.

Brown re-stated that the pipeline option was discussed and decided against due to the presence of utilities and the amount of granite. Also, the size of the pipe necessary and the amount of water involved are prohibitive. Active measures will be needed regardless of what is done in the Calle, and will be part of a flood management program to manage additional waters throughout the City.

Reid noted her concern with designing downstream. Stated that she was unsure if the 1997 flood was considered a 100-year event, but feels that the North Main Street bridge will need to be replaced. With this in mind, design options should be discussed with the state.

Councilors Wheeldon/Reid m/s to continue the meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Brown stated that Bluebird Park is a constriction point, and it needs to be looked at. Water Street needs to be looked at as a conduit, as part of active measures. Noted that she is unsure if a decision has been made as to the next improvement. Freeman explained that downstream improvements will come in as part of budget process.

Reid stated that if the Council could see the state’s plans, they could work with a longer term in mind. Discussion of whether City will be responsible for the bridge by the time improvements are made.

Wheeldon stated that she feels the Parks Commission is making this more difficult. Shaw stated that the second bullet reading "commission will be responsible..." should indicate for the Creek area or Calle area.
Wheeldon stated that the timeline needs to indicate that work will be in the creek by 2000.

Reid noted that improvements should not be linked to a swap of state property, as she is not convinced that the City wants to shoulder that burden. Shaw suggested that the bridge improvement is a cost that needs to be considered in talks with the state.

Cate Hartzell/881 E. Main/Council committed in repairing Winburn Way to go from upstream to downstream. Stated that it seems irresponsible to move ahead and pass this on to the Parks Commission. Emphasized that the Calle could not even manage a 40-year flood as occurred in 1997. Feels that there is a need to deal responsibly with this section, as was done for the sections done above. Questioned if a landscape architect is the appropriate credential needed for interpreting OTAK’s report and creating a design. Questioned removing large amount of land, irreparably, and changing the riparian corridor, to accommodate a temporary measure. Feels there is a need to look at the OTAK report, and the capacity of the North Main bridge. Emphasized that this section cannot be treated differently, given legal liability of Calle and downstream. Once the City re-designs, they have a liability for the impact of that design, especially if the design is only temporary.

Nolte stated that any action taken by the City on this issue would be protected as discretionary immunity.

Hartzell suggested taking some other level of responsibility, as the Winburn bridge created the situation at North Main, and repairs need to follow downstream. Wheeldon stated that the consultant will be doing this. Hartzell concerned that a landscape architect may not be qualified for such a task. Discussion of whether engineering is needed, or if Council needs to take back this project. Hartzell feels that discussion has indicated that Parks is to make a pretty design while the flood management portion lies with the Council.

Hauck stated that parameters have been set - that a design consistent with what has already been done upstream, supplemented with flood control. Hartzell expressed concerns that the uncertain status of the North Main bridge means that whatever is done in the Calle can only be temporary. Shaw emphasized that Brian McCarthy has indicated that the existing bridge could accommodate the necessary flows. Pointed out that the flow in the last flood never went through this bridge as it split around. The issue is not that the channel cannot handle the necessary flows. Hartzell suggested reviewing the OTAK recommendations to see if the channel could have handled these flows. Shaw stated that it was confusing to bring these issues before the Council when the Parks Commission is preparing the RFP for the design.

Laws asked that the Public Works Director confirm the possibility of getting flows through the North Main bridge, and also if the next section of creek could handle such flows. Brown stated that you could use training walls to accelerate flow through "supercritical" conditions. Pointed out that the Lithia Way culverts are terrible, and that there are constrictions at the Brewery. Feels that she cannot answer clearly at this time, but she feels that the Lithia Way culvert capacity is near 700 cfs, while the bridge will be conveying 3100 cfs.

Councilors Hauck/Hanson m/s to accept the summary document as amended, with numbered bullets. Discussed whether a decision excludes further discussion. Indicated that there is a willingness to return the design portion of the Calle improvement to the Council. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
  1. Second reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending the Telecommunications Title 16 of the Ashland Municipal Code to Add Provisions Regulating Cable Service and to Simplify and Clarify Requirements for Grantees."

  2. Freeman noted US West’s participation with City in reviewing the revisions to this ordinance, stating that they had recommended a number of changes, most of which were concurred with. This concurrence fell apart during the legal review process, and US West did not have the opportunity to review the final copy. Recommend postponing the second reading one month to allow for further comment from US West. Hauck noted that this would make it possible to incorporate language regarding the current cable franchise into the ordinance itself.

  3. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 18.88, Chapter 18.72, Chapter 18.76, Chapter 18.80, Chapter 18.82, and Chapter 18.92 of the Ashland Municipal Code - Land Use Ordinance, Adopting New Street Standards."

  4. (Dealt with following public hearing above.)

  5. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Authorizing Outdoor Burning under Certain Conditions between March and October 1999."

  6. Councilor Reid noted that she had spoken with constituents who are concerned with burning inside the City.

    Councilors Laws/Wheeldon m/s to adopt Resolution #99-03. Roll call vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine, YES. Motion passed.

  7. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Setting Public Hearings for Assessments to be Charged Against Lots Within Five Local Improvement Districts; Dogwood Way Local Improvement District No. 75; Orange Avenue Local Improvement District No. 76; Ann and Clinton Streets Local Improvement District No. 71; North Mountain Avenue Local Improvement District No. 72; and Fordyce Street Local Improvement District No. 77."


  8. Councilors Reid/Laws m/s to adopt Resolution #99-04. Roll call vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine, YES. Motion passed.

  9. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Setting a Public Hearing for the Transfer of Hospital Property (Swanson) to Ashland Community Healthcare Services, Inc., an Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Owned by the City."


Councilors Laws/Reid m/s to adopt Resolution #99-02. DISCUSSION: Discussed transferring from the City to a non-profit organization that the City owns. Nolte stated that this will be explained at the Public Hearing. Fine suggested that he would like a very detailed explanation of the history and policy behind this transfer. Roll call vote: Hauck, Laws, Fine, Hanson, Reid, and Wheeldon, YES. Motion passed.

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS:
Hanson questioned if making a motion to recommend taking a stand for proactive preparations to address the Y2K issue on a community level would be appropriate at this time. Hauck indicated that an issue of such importance should be placed on the agenda to allow adequate discussion.

ADJOURNMENT
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

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