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Tree Commission minutes

Minutes
Thursday, November 08, 2007

 

ASHLAND TREE COMMISSION

MINUTES

November 8, 2007

 

CALL TO ORDER –Chair Laurie Sager called the Ashland Tree Commission meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. on October 2, 2007 in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR.

 

Commissioners Present

Council Liaison

Laurie Sager

Russ Silbiger - absent

Kelly Cruser

 

John Rinaldi Jr.

Staff Present

Zane Jones

Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

 

Anne Rich, Parks Department

 

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Rinaldi/Cruser m/s to approve the minutes of September 6, 2007. Voice vote: all AYES, Motion passed.  The minutes of November 8, 2007 were approved as presented. 

 

PUBLIC FORUM

John Ward, the Chairperson of the Bear Creek Watershed Council came and spoke with the Tree Commission regarding the ongoing watershed assessments. Nearly 800 members of the public have been invited to various public meetings to discuss the findings of the watershed assessments. He would like to provide the Tree Commission with assessment documents for their review. He requested input from the Tree Commission on what they felt the Watershed Council should address.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

PLANNING ACTION: 2007-01398

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 167, 185 and 203 North Mountain Avenue

OWNER/APPLICANT:  Havurah Friends Investment Group, LLC

DESCRIPTION: Request for Outline Plan Approval to allow a 12-lot, 15-unit subdivision for the properties located at 167, 185 and 203 North Mountain Avenue.  Also included are requests for: the modification of a previously approved Site Review and Conditional Use Permit (#2001-0039) for the Havurah Jewish Synagogue; Site Review approval to construct a two-story, six-unit residential building; a Tree Removal Permit for the removal of one nine-inch diameter pine tree from Tax Lot #1701; and a boundary line adjustment with Tax Lots 1600, 1701, 1800 and 1700.  (This request supersedes the previous Outline Plan approval for a 14-lot, 13-unit subdivision granted under Planning Action #2006-01091.) COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5-P; ASSESSORS MAP #: 39 1E 09 AA Tax Lots #1500, 1600, 1701, 1800 and 1700

 

Amy gave a staff report about the project proposal. The Tree Commission asked about the proposed tree protection and preservation plan and proposed tree removal, it was unclear from the application what was going to occur.

 

Applicant Testimony – Mark Knox, Urban Development Services; Tom Madera, Landscape Architect and Larry Medinger, Medinger Construction were present to discuss the planning action. They gave a brief history of the project and how it has evolved. Members of the synagogue became involved in the planning of the project and wanted the religious aspects of the site, such as the ‘Suka’ tree preserved. There is a storm water drainage problem on this site and in hopes to remedy the existing situation the applicants are proposing to funnel some of the storm water on site to the wetlands. The applicants explained that this portion of the project is outline plan and any significant modifications to the tree protection or the subdivision layout would require a modification to this outline plan approval. The walnut on the street looks like it is bad condition during the winter months but in the spring the foliage returns and the tree looks healthy and thus the applicants have proposed to retain the tree.                              

Public Testimony – None present

Commission Discussion – Commissioner Rinaldi stated that it does not appear that there are any street trees in front of the existing synagogue and that no new trees are proposed. The commission stated a condition should be added addressing this issue.

Recommendations:  That if not existing, street trees shall be planted in the parkrow in front of the synagogue in accordance with the Street Tree standards.

 

PLANNING ACTION: 2007-01756

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 705 Helman Street

OWNER/APPLICANT: OgdenRoemerWilkerson Architecture AIA

DESCRIPTION: Request for Site Review approval to construct an approximately 6,400 square foot gym addition and a 5,010 square foot library addition at Helman School, with related interior modifications and sitework, for the property located at 705 Helman Street.  The application includes the removal of six trees; because these trees are less than 18-inches in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) and located on public school property no tree removal permits are required. 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5; ASSESSORS MAP #: 39 1E 04 BC; TAX LOT #: 200, 600 and 700

 

Amy gave a staff report about the project proposal.

 

Applicant Testimony – Applicant representative, Landscape Architect Greg Covey discussed the tree removal – trees not required to meet 18.61 and thus not subject to tree removal requirements. Mr. Covey also addressed the issue of landscaping between the Randy Street frontage and the new gymnasium. Amy read the condition regarding the landscaping. Applicants believe with some well placed conifers and columnar trees will break up the mass of the building and the landscape architect does not think the green screen should used because climbing vines are not the best for maintenance.

Public Testimony – None present

Commission Discussion – The Tree Commission expressed their concern regarding the screening hedge along Randy Street and that will the foot traffic the hedge may not thrive and that the hedge should be broken up with paver blocks so as to provide pedestrian path through.

Recommendations:

1) That a large stature conifer shall be planted between the Randy Street frontage the gymnasium building to mitigate the removal of the spruce.

2) Tree Commission concurs with the staff recommendations to improve landscaping between street and building to break up the mass by including columnar trees and conifers.

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

Heritage Tree List – Commissioner Jones took the pre-existing ‘heritage tree’ lists and consolidated them. The Tree Commissioners agreed to do site visits to verify that the trees are still there and that they look to be in good shape. Next month each person will bring back our tree findings. Everyone should also verify common name, Latin name and address.

 

Back Page Articles – The article on Gingko trees was submitted to the Daily Tidings.

Commissioner Rinaldi suggested the Tree Commissioners write about trees they like and that would create a back log of the tree articles for the Backpage.  Commissioner Sager suggested that the commission put a disclaimer that the articles are not ‘technical’ and that they are strictly the opinion of the Tree Commission. The Commissioners agreed that it would be beneficial to add info about street tree guide, the website and vacancies. Since the Tidings are not giving the Commission a deadline, the article author could just email the article and any pictures to the Tidings.  The Live Christmas tree article from last year will be sent to the Tidings for re-printing this year.

Amy let the Tree Commissioners know that she had been in contact with Max Bennett, the Oregon State University Extension, State Forester. He agreed to write an article for the Commission but didn’t have a specific topic in mind at this time.

 

Revision of Street Tree Guide – Tree Commissioners are to come back in December with ideas for which trees should be removed from the list. Amy will contact the Street Department, the Electric Department and Public Works to get their input on trees that are notorious for damaging the City’s infrastructure.

 

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Liaison Reports – The Parks Department invited the Tree Commissioners to join them on their annual Tree Walk/Inspection in Lithia Park. The walk is to allow the arborists competing for the tree removal/pruning bid to see the trees proposed for pruning and removal at one time. The park walk is a 1:00 PM on November 14. Interested parties were invited to meet at the Parks Office on Winburn Way.

 

New Business – No new business

 

Current Balance – $518.24

 

ADJOURNMENT - Commissioner Sager adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by Amy Anderson, Assistant Planner

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