Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, March 02, 1999

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 2, 1999
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m., in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Councilor Fine requested that his statement on the bottom of page 5 of the regular minutes of February 16 be amended to read as follows: "Fine indicated that while he feels the $2000 requested is reasonable, he has concerns that this might give the appearance of the City’s endorsement of a government that has never held free national elections in the lives of those present in the City Council chambers."

The minutes of the regular meeting of February 16, 1999 were approved as amended.
The minutes of the executive session of February 16, 1999 were approved as presented.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
1. Mayor’s Proclamation declaring the month of March, 1999, as Hunger Awareness Month.
Mayor Shaw read the proclamation in its entirety. Councilor Hauck noted the existence of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank as another local resource in the fight against hunger.

2. Mayor’s Proclamation of Y2K preparedness.
Mayor Shaw read the proclamation in its entirety.

CONSENT AGENDA
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Monthly Departmental Reports.
3. Six-month Financial Report for period ending December 31, 1998.
4. Approval of Liquor License Application from Gerald Allen dba/Oak Tree Northwest.
5. A motion to adopt the findings for the approval of Planning Action 99-006, "Neuman" Annexation (Applicant: Doug Newman), adjacent to the Washington Street extension, east of Jefferson Avenue and north of the railroad tracks.

Reid asked that item 3 be pulled for discussion.
Councilors Wheeldon/Hanson m/s to approve the remainder of the consent agenda. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
1. Public Hearing to levy special benefit assessments for Lot 129 and reducing assessments for Lots 126 and 127 in the Dogwood Way Local Improvement District #75.
Public Works Director Paula Brown provided background on this item, noting that the LID notice was sent out with lot 129 missing and lots 126 and 127 assessed for full lots when each should have been assessed half. Noted that lot 129 had been noticed of this hearing, and that no response had been received.

Public hearing opened at 7:15 p.m.
No speakers came forward.
Public hearing closed at 7:15 p.m.

Reading by title only of "A Resolution Levying Special Benefit Assessments in the amount of $1,791.64 for curbs, gutters, and paving improvements for Lot 129 and reducing assessments for Lots 126 and 127 in the Dogwood Way Local Improvement District No. 75."

Councilors Hauck/Fine m/s to adopt Resolution #99-15. Roll call vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine, YES. Motion passed.

PUBLIC FORUM
Skip Andrews/Ashland Y2K Community Preparedness Group/
Thanked the Mayor for her proclamation. Suggested that the risk inherent in the uncertainty of the Y2K situation justifies contingency planning as insurance. Emphasized that the potential problem has less to do with computers than with people’s reaction. Requested that the City appoint an officer to coordinate neighborhood and community preparedness, perhaps organizing the City by grade school districts. Stated that it is advisable to prepare for a few weeks of problems, and suggested that a liaison between the City and the citizens was essential to preparedness. Mayor Shaw suggested Councilor Hanson take on this position.

Brent Thompson/P.O. Box 201/Asked that the Council sponsor the Alternatives to Growth-Oregon workshop which is to be held at the Ashland Community Center on April 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Also requested that the fee for renting the Community Center be waived. Mayor Shaw asked that this item be moved for discussion under "New and Miscellaneous Business" later in the meeting.

Ryan and Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Expressed their concerns about the proposed expansion of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Discussed hazard zones and potential landslide areas, and noted their concerns that the City should try to encourage a more sustainable project. Noted the possibility for public images problems and a possible boycott of the City by environmentally-conscious tourists. Councilor Fine noted that a study session had already occurred on this issue, with testimony from scientific authorities, and that this presentation would have been more timely if it had occurred at that session.

Councilors Laws/Wheeldon m/s to extend the public forum by seven minutes to allow time for the remaining speakers. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Amy Amrhein/804 Ashland Street & Barb Heyerman/555 Carol Street & Kevin Cooney/1280 Madrone Street/ Representing the Ashland Schools Coalition. Expressed their concerns with the funding of K-12 education in Oregon, emphasizing that the proposed budget would mean the loss of six teachers in Ashland. Noted that they have been lobbying at the state level, and are very concerned with the education funding levels in the proposed budget. Asked for a resolution of support from the Council that they could take to the Legislature to urge adequate funding for the local school districts.

Councilors Reid/Wheeldon m/s to place this item on the agenda. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Councilor Reid/Wheeldon m/s to direct staff to work with the Ashland Schools Coalition in drafting a resolution in support of finding more funds for education at the state level.

DISCUSSION:
Mayor Shaw stated that she supported the idea of a resolution, and Reid endorsed this option. Laws stated that he feels the situation with the state’s funding of education is unfortunate, but he is uncertain where additional money might come from. Cooney suggested that school funding should be the number one priority, despite the fact that when adjustments are made for inflation, the proposed budget would spend less for education than was spent in 1991. Emphasized that 20 teaching positions have already been eliminated in Ashland since Ballot Measure 5 was passed, and the proposed funding levels would require the elimination of 6 more.

Shaw suggested that she believed that funding levels in Ashland have actually increased since 1991, but are still not enough to meet needs. Shaw suggested that the "kicker" state tax refunds should be kept and used to fund education. Shaw also noted that people had the option of giving their personal "kicker" refunds to schools, and suggested that an increase in the City’s recreation serial levy be considered. Emphasized that the proposed levels of funding are unacceptable, as students need to be prepared to compete in today’s world.

Amrhein stated that two steps are necessary here - a short term way of dealing with this emergency situation now, and a longer term means of finding some stable financing.

Wheeldon stated she was uncertain where cuts could occur to find money for education at the state level, but emphasized that State Representatives are in office to figure this out, and the people need to send them a message to try harder.

Shaw urged the Council to agree to draft a resolution, to include the suggestion that the state to keep the "kicker" refunds and earmark them for education.

Fine noted that he supports a resolution, but had concerns about where funds could be found. Suggested that the proposed resolution be mindful of the fact that finding funds for education should not mean abandoning programs for the disabled, state highways, police, or other essential state services.

Laws questioned whether the "kicker" refunds were adequate to address the problem, and suggested that a resolution should indicate that proposed funding is inadequate, emphasize the need that education be a top priority, and urge the state to find adequate funding for K-12 education.

Councilor Reid/Wheeldon m/s to amend the motion to include Councilor Laws concerns. Voice vote on amended motion: All AYES. Motion passed.

Amrhein noted that on March 9th, there would be a "State of the Budget" meeting with John Daggett and Loren Luman. On March 11th, there will be a letter writing campaign at several middle schools, and on March 13th, at McLaughlin Junior High in Medford there will be a Community Forum with state legislators.

Noted the need for the drafting of this resolution in a timely manner.

Amrhein confirmed for Wheeldon that she believed the Ashland School Board supported the efforts of the newly formed Ashland Schools Coalition.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS None.

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Council Meeting Look Ahead.
City Administrator Mike Freeman offered to answer any questions the Council might have about the Look Ahead. The Council had no questions

2. Update on the Oregon Department of Transportation Draft 2000 - 2003 Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan.
Public Works Director Paula Brown explained that this was a quick status update on the proposed plan, and emphasized that she had fought to be sure that the improvements to Siskiyou Boulevard from 4th to Walker were included. Noted that the listed projects were important to a jurisdictional exchange, as the funds listed would be part of any exchange payment. Emphasized that discussions of an exchange are at very preliminary stages.

Reid questioned whether the barrier near the signal at 2nd and Lithia would be removed, as it affects handicapped access. Brown stated that she believed all three signals would be corrected in that stretch and that all would be brought up to current code. Stated that she would verify this with ODOT. Brown confirmed for Wheeldon that signals would be improved to current standards at the time of repair.

3. Overall status update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant and related issues.
Brown noted that improvements have been significant, and pointed out two small changes in the contract. Explained that the current pump station is awful, as are the pumps. Stated that preliminary costs for replacement with a new pump station were under $1 million, including design, and without replacement there is the possibility of a raw sewage overflow into the Creek. Noted that this station was a problem during the 1997 flood as well. Stated that she would like to move ahead with the necessary pump station improvements and include them in the coming budget process.

Reid stated that she supports these improvements, but questioned why this issue was not raised in the original discussion. Brown explained that in the 80's when the project began, they were looking at it as part of the bigger picture and had proposed pump replacement in the plan twenty years ago. The pumps were replaced, but an entirely new facility is really needed. Stated that she thought this had been included in the project 3 years ago, but that it was apparently missed. Explained that the pump station is more than forty years old, working conditions are horrible, and the station is really not worth further efforts to rehabilitate it.

Wheeldon questioned the varying reports of final costs she has heard. Brown noted that the last page of the update presented in the Council packets includes costs. Explained that it is difficult to compare costs between the various studies that have been conducted, as they do not allow for an apples-to-apples comparison. However, the $28.4 million figure is the total cost as the entire project currently stands, and includes the wetlands, the land purchase, and the pump station replacement.

Council discussed the Food and Beverage Tax, and noted that it had never been intended to pay for the entire Wastewater Treatment Plant. The tax was to be combined with sewer rates to fund the project, and as costs rise there will need to be an increase in sewer rates as well. If the project comes in below estimates, sewer rates would be reduced.
Brown noted that staff was looking at final costs, and has spoken with the DEQ about varying the loan for an additional amount. Stated that it appears that the DEQ would be willing to allow this to replace the pump station, and this would ensure low interest rates.

Wheeldon questioned if the improvements would bring treatment up to a Level 4. Brown stated that it would not.

Explained that the project is presently almost three months ahead of schedule. Explained that the oxidation ditches should be done in June or July, and that things are on schedule and going well. Pointed out that the ultra-violet system is up and running, which meets the first hurdle in complying with DEQ requirements.

With regard to the off-site spray irrigation/bio-solids reuse program concerns, noted that the area involved is nearly ¼ the size of the City (1.25 square miles for the site versus 5.2 square miles of City lands). Noted that the design is 95% complete. Noted that DEQ review has occurred for the spray irrigation, bio-solids and interaction with the Wastewater Treatment Plant, but that there has been no final approval. The DEQ has asked for further detail on the bio-solids area, relative to whether tilling would occur and what the application rate would be. Stated that the Oregon Water Resources Division of Dam Safety has given conceptual approval but has asked for monumentation details, having to do with preventing the movement of the larger facility.

Explained the site arrangement, noting slope stability concerns which have been addressed by the arrangement and construction of the bases. Stated that the effluent reservoir has the capacity to hold 65-69 million gallons of water, and that this is 30-days of storage for the year 2020 demands. Emphasized that storage will only be used in the summer when it is too wet to spray. The placement is such that it is in the most stable location, and avoids creating cut banks and unstable soil areas. There is also storage for one year’s worth of processed bio-solids.

Explained the drying process on the site, and noted the irrigation zones and the placement of "big gun" sprinklers to spray treated effluent. Each of the five zones will have one sprinkler on for 10 minutes, and then the sprinkler will change based on conditions in that zone, including wind, weather and soil saturation. Emphasized that the sprinklers will not spray if there is a possibility of drift, and that there are sensors to detect run off and turn off the spray.

Noted that there will be water in the reservoir in May, and then again from September to November or December, and that the City can discharge into the creek beginning in November or December when the creek flows are up.

Further discussed the site and the possibility of failure of the systems. Noted that while there is a possibility of slumping in wet condition, catastrophic failure is not possible given the design..

Brown confirmed that there would be no run-off, and that if run-off did occur, it would collect in the tail-water areas. Emphasized that these will address what they consider to be a worst case scenario - that one sprinkler was left on for 24 hours.

Discussed level 2 treatment versus level 4, noting that level 2 is considered to be suited to agriculture re-use. Brown stated that treatment to level 4 might increase project costs by $2 to $2½ million or more. If conditions were as they have been in peak months, with 5½ million gallons per day (mgd) produced, costs would be as much as $4 to $4½ million more, and discharging into the Creek would still not be permitted. Explained that this had to due with DEQ phosphorous standards, and also noted that the chlorine used in level 4 treatment would be bad for agricultural use and fish.

Stated that level 2 treatment is acceptable for agricultural use under DEQ health and safety standards, and that if treatment were raised to level 4 for Parks use, it would be even more costly still as a distribution system would be needed. Shaw questioned if raising the treatment to level 4 now would save money over the long run. Brown stated that it would not.

Laws noted earlier cost estimates of $40 million to return water to the Creek, and questioned, with recent advances in technology, what the cost would be to return the water to the Creek now. Brown stated that this would require tertiary treatment, and she did not have numbers readily available. Laws questioned if some portion of the $9 million being spent on off-site facilities could be added to the treatment plant for tertiary treatment, and Brown noted that there would still need to be money spent on off-site facilities to address the bio-solids. Brown clarified for Laws that there could be an anaerobic digester added adjacent to the treatment plant site, but that up to ten truck loads of bio-solids would need to be directly applied to some site.

Laws requested that staff bring back ball park figures and details for getting back to discharging into the Creek. Shaw concurred, and also stated that she would like to know the costs for the various options required to address bio-solids through off-site irrigation versus keeping things closer to the plant, and to what degree funding could be pulled from the off-site improvements to upgrade the treatment plant for tertiary treatment.

Reid suggested that the value of the land at the spray irrigation site also needed to be considered. Reid stated that there was a need to talk about wetlands again. Freeman stated that a discussion had occurred some weeks ago, and it was determined that wetlands site was not a likely solution.

Brown noted the neighborhood meetings that had occurred, and cited the concerns that were raised: odor, site geology, impact to TID canal, effluent/bio-solids disinfection levels, hillside appearance, effluent sprinkler system and farming practices. Explained that the proposed agricultural use of the site would be for rotated cattle grazing, as is done in Napa Valley in California. Noted that there is still a LUBA appeal decision pending, which Nolte indicated should be issued April 15th.

Hanson stated that Laws had a good point in seeking to considering upgrading the treatment plant to allow discharge back into the Creek. Emphasized that he, and many people in the community, do not like the idea of spraying, and he feels that the Council should look at putting water back into the Creek.

Shaw called a break at 8:30 p.m.

Opened to public comment at 8:42 p.m.

Mayor Shaw noted that speakers would be strictly limited to three minutes to ensure that there was time for all those who wished to speak tonight.

Steve Pierce/700 Butler Creek Road/
Read a prepared statement in opposition to the off-site spray irrigation site. Stated that the proposed use is a dangerous and improper use of EFU land, and that an Environmental Impact Study should have been done as part of the planning process. Efforts at community meetings on behalf of the City have only been patronizing attempts at placating citizens. Because of this, the citizens’ group has initiated LUBA litigation. Noted frustration at withdrawal of the County Conditional Use Permit application, and expressed concern for potential environmental effects and devaluation of property. Noted instability of the site, and concerns over landslides. Suggested that the proposed agricultural use of the site is merely a way to justify final treatment of effluent and sludge on EFU land. Questioned the presence of pathogens in bio-solids. Suggested hooking up to the BCVSA pipeline or looking in to better filters at the new treatment facility. Urged the City to follow the Valdez Principles that it has endorsed.

William Craven/1999 Eagle Mill Road/
Emphasized that he is not one of those involved in LUBA litigation. Stated that in response to Brown’s comments, he has spoken to Dr. David Lewis, PhD., an EPA researcher on the issue of hazardous waste. Noted that Lewis is currently serving as an expert witness in a New Hampshire wrongful death suit due to sludge fumes. Stated that according to Lewis, EPA sludge rule 503 was passed without the consensus of EPA scientists or the outside scientific community. Expressed concerns that the ultra-violet treatment does not work according to Lewis, that treatment is not to the level originally promised, and questioned the effectiveness of the big gun sprinklers in limiting drift when wind is a factor. Stated that this is a threat to the tourism economy, as well as to the health and well-being of the community. Suggests that the spray irrigation project be scrapped. As it is, the project has missed addressing the health and environmental concerns of the community.

Laura Craven/151 Ashland Acres Road/
Conceded her time to William Craven.

Bonnie Ryan/1330 North Mountain Avenue/
Stated that she is a Rogue Valley Medical Center neo-natal nurse, and lives within a few feet of the spray site. Expressed concerns about the potential pathogens released through the spray irrigation process. Suggested that this might be of particular concern given the number of older people in the retirement community nearby.

Joseph Iverson/1720 North Mountain Avenue/
Stated that his home is the second closest to the project, and feels that there is a significant risk to the neighborhood and the community. Quoted a University of Arizona study concerning the danger of pathogens, viruses and parasites in sewage sludge, and the difficulty in accurately measuring the presence of pathogens. Stated that the project is a serious mistake that has been inadequate in considering the safety of the neighbors and the community. Urged the City to use tertiary treatment to discharge into the Creek or to use the BCVSA regional treatment option.

 
Larry Bradford/720 Meadowlark Way/
Noted that he worked on the Sewer and Water Board in Mendocino, California before moving to Ashland, and he saw how project costs could escalate. Noted that in speaking with the superintendent of the Mendocino Wastewater Treatment Plant, concerns were raised with level 2 spraying as it creates a bacterial aerosol effect and is very dangerous. Suggested that the Council’s decision to pursue this project has isolated it from the community, and it should reconsider before proceeding. Emphasized that BCVSA or discharge into the Creek are both viable options, and both are safer than spray irrigation.

Katherine Iverson/1720 North Mountain Avenue/
Spoke of the "Mulholland Effect", wherein William Mulholland built the Saint Francis dam in the San Fernando Valley, and the dam broke killing more than 450 people. Concerned with the 13-acre reservoir on this site, when there are earthquake faults nearby, as well as homes. This causes nightmares for her, and she does not feel the City can legitimately say that catastrophic failure is not a possibility. Asked why the City would continue on its present course when there are better options available. Tertiary treatment allows San Luis Obispo, California to return water to their creek.

Patricia Tilford/1235 North Mountain Avenue, #5/
Manages the mobile home park, and is the second parcel below the proposed dam. Represents the park’s owner. Noted that when their septic system had to be replaced, they had to bring the treatment to level 4 on their own land. Questioned why this standard should apply to the citizens and not to the City. Cannot believe that spray from the sprinklers will not carry, and applauds Councilors Laws and Hanson for their suggestion that other options be reconsidered. Emphasized the importance of this issue, and urged a decision that takes into account the health and safety of all involved. Begged Council to look at other avenues to address this issue.
Closed to public comments at 9:08 p.m.

Brown responded that the DEQ has said that level 2 treatment is acceptable. Stated that the project does not pose a threat to public health or the environment. Noted that her memo in the Council packet addresses the issue of pathogens. Explained that level 4 is treated ten times more than level 2, and while treatment at the Wastewater Treatment Plant exceeds level 2 it is not meeting level 4.

Stated that spray irrigation can be controlled, because there is a three hundred foot buffer zone. Emphasized that this exceeds the state’s seventy foot requirements, and was done in order to address concerns over wind.

Hauck questioned the timeline necessary for DEQ compliance, versus looking at other options. Brown stated that the City has until December of 2000, with application at the spray irrigation site to begin in May of 2001. Construction needs to begin summer of 1999 to meet the DEQ requirements. Brown stated that she could provide Council with a quick financial analysis of alternatives in April, but without a full design being in place there would need to be DEQ approval for an extension. Noted that the City has failed to meet DEQ deadlines in the past, and while DEQ has been flexible, they would be very skeptical of allowing discharge into the Creek without meeting their goals.

Shaw questioned Tilford’s statement that a septic system had been required to treat at level 4. Brown stated that she would need to look into that. Laws clarified that the DEQ’s allowing agricultural use at level 2 is because the area is a restricted site.

Wheeldon questioned the pathogens in sludge. Brown noted that the current process would be different if there was tertiary treatment at the treatment plant, due to the use of a digester. Brown stated she would bring information on options back to the Council, and noted that her source of scientific information is Carollo Engineers and their subcontractors.

Brown clarified that sludge is not considered to be "toxic waste" as suggested in some public comments. Brown also noted for Council that there would either be staff on-site at the spray irrigation area or regular daily monitoring with routine checks 3-4 times each day.

Laws questioned the possibility of transporting waste to Medford for class V treatment and release into the Rogue River. Noted his concerns for the potential effect this would have on Grants Pass’ water supply.

Reid and Shaw asked that Brown look into the article mentioned by Mr. Bradford mentioned from Mendocino, California, and bring information back to the Council about how this information relates to what is being proposed here in Ashland.

1. Removal of the property at 209 Almond Street from the Ashland Heritage Landmarks List.
City Attorney Paul Nolte noted that, as explained in the packet, there is a state statute which states that historic status may not be imposed without consent, nor may removal from a historic landmark lists be prevented. Stated that by state law, the City must remove this property from the landmarks list at the owner’s request. Noted that the letter received from the owner’s attorney requested removal from the list, and this falls under the state statute. Emphasized that the Council has no discretion in this matter.

Hauck clarified that the City adopted the Heritage Landmarks List in 1989, with this property included without the owner’s consent. At the owner’s request, the Council must now remove the property from the list.

Fine agreed fully with Nolte, explaining that by his reading of the law the Council has absolutely no discretion in this matter and must grant the request.

George Kramer/386 N. Laurel/Historical Consultant/Noted that the statute adopted discussed imposition, and had to do with the owner at the time of historic designation. Stated that this law has never been challenged, and may not be legal. Stated that his assumption is that the owner at the time did not object to historic designation.

Laws suggested postponing a decision, allowing time to research the history of the property before considering the request. Shaw noted that Kay Atwood may have information on whether objections were made by the property owner, or it may be in the record, but that in either case, it would likely be easy to determine if an objection had occurred.

Hauck questioned the definition of "imposition". Nolte stated that while it might be possible to look at the intent of those who passed this statute, in general, in looking at legal matters, silence is not considered consent. As such, the property owner’s failure to object to being placed on this list did not constitute consent.

Laws asked that this matter be postponed, to allow time to gather information for making a decision.

Jud Holtey/575 Liberty Street/Attorney for the property owner/Explained that the legality of this situation is as it was explained, and emphasized that there is no ambiguity in the statute. Noted that Javna purchased the property, and considered restoring it, but it is now uninsurable and poses a threat to the neighborhood. Previously, moving the house was approved, but that fell through due to the SDCs not going with the structure. Stated that the Javnas had no idea the property was on the Heritage Landmarks List when he purchased the property, and that they had purchased and restored the house next door. Noted that restoration would be more costly than building a new house. Pointed out that the previous owner would not have spoken at a public hearing, and that the ordinance adopting this list did not require notification to the property owners, and constitutes an involuntarily imposed restoration. Emphasized to the Council that there is no leeway in the statute. Discussed the meaning of the word "impose".

Wheeldon stated that she would like to hear those who wish to speak. Reid suggested that the item could be postponed, but since it was not she then questioned what year the property was placed on the list, and suggested that Javna would have known of its status on the list as a neighboring property owner.

Holtey emphasized that the house is a hazard, and that it is preventing the owner from getting insurance on his entire property and thus putting the owner in jeopardy.

Shaw questioned Nolte as to whether postponing a decision was an option. Suggested three options: 1) Continuing to hear the matter; 2) Granting the request now; or 3) Postponing a decision.

Councilors Hanson/Fine m/s to remove the property at 209 Almond Street from the Ashland Heritage Landmarks List. DISCUSSION: Wheeldon noted the level of concern in the community for this house, and suggested a dialog with the owner about somehow securing the house. Hauck agreed, and that absent positive action by the owner he feels this constitutes an imposition and that there is therefore no discretion in the matter. Roll call vote: Wheeldon, Fine, Laws, Hauck, and Hanson, YES. Reid, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

Jim Lewis/640 A Street/Questioned whether there is a demolition and moving ordinance that would hold up under this statute, or whether there might be an existing ordinance that addresses this elsewhere in Oregon. Nolte stated that a commission would be upheld, but explained that approval could not be withheld based on inclusion on a Heritage Landmarks List. Stated that he did not know of an existing ordinance elsewhere.

Kramer asked that the City’s ordinance be changed so that this will not occur again. Suggested the creation of a citywide demolition ordinance that is not linked to historic status. Noted that the current demolition ordinance only deals with properties in the historic interest area, excluding many very significant homes. Noted that other Oregon cities, such as Portland, have such an ordinance, and can say no to the demolition of a house. Under such an ordinance, the City could require the sale of the property with an agreement to restore. Suggesting changing SDCs so that they stay with historic houses rather than lots, to provide a penalty for the demolition of a historic structure.

Reid suggested that such an ordinance should be a top goal in the strategic plan. Shaw and Fine agreed, with the request that Planning Department staff begin gathering information on such an ordinance, in cooperation with Mr. Kramer, and report back to Council as quickly as possible. Reid noted that something might be able to be done with the SDCs in this case to facilitate moving the structure.

Chris Rose-Merkle/185 Almond Street/
Neighbor. Recognized that history is important, but the current circumstances are also important. Discussed the previous owner, and noted the hazards created by the state of this house.

John Javna/215 Almond Street/
Wanted to set the record straight. He supports historic preservation, and has been put in a difficult situation. Noted that he had restored the house at 219 Almond, and the restoration has been received with respect and was nominated for the Historical Preservation Award. Noted that no one else expressed any interest in purchasing the house in the six months that it was on the market, noting the horrible condition the house was in at the time of purchase. Noted that he bought the property and spent $8,000 to explore the possibility of restoration, even though he had the opportunity to demolish the house at no cost. It was determined that restoration was not a reasonable possibility, and there was a failed attempt to give the house away to be moved.

Shaw questioned this situation’s having put Mr. Kramer and Mr. Lewis at odds with Mr. Javna. Shaw recognized Lewis’ contribution to the community through his leadership on the Historic Commission, and stated that this situation is very upsetting given that she feels both Javna and Lewis ultimately want the same things. Javna agreed, and expressed concern that the Historic Commission was turning allies into enemies.

Reid left at 9:57 p.m.

Javna stated that he may not demolish the structure, and will look at options, but that he no longer had faith in the process and had requested removal from the list for that reason.

Laws concluded that staff should look into the ordinance changes discussed. Emphasized that the Historic Commission has done a remarkable job at persuading residents to preserve historic structures in Ashland.

1. City of Ashland Telecommunications Franchise Agreement with Ashland Fiber Network.

Councilors Fine/Hauck m/s to approve the City of Ashland Telecommunications Franchise Agreement with Ashland Fiber Network. Roll call vote: Fine, Laws, Hauck, Hanson, and Wheeldon, YES. Motion passed.

2. Update and presentation regarding the Ashland Fiber Network.

This item was postponed to a later meeting.

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Levying Special Benefit Assessments in the amount of $1,791.64 for curbs, gutters, and paving improvements for Lot 129 and reducing assessments for Lots 126 and 127 in the Dogwood Way Local Improvement District No. 75."

(Dealt with under "Public Hearings" above.)

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL
Discussed Consent Agenda item #3, "Six-month Financial Report for period ending December 31, 1998." Wheeldon questioned whether this was the document needed to move ahead with scheduling further budget committee meetings. Freeman noted that the Audit Report was the document needed.

Councilors Wheeldon/Laws m/s to approve Consent Agenda item #3, "Six-month Financial Report for period ending December 31, 1998." Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Councilors Fine/Wheeldon m/s to approve the request for a fee-waiver in the February 26th request from Brent Thompson. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Council confirmed for Thompson that they intended to co-sponsor the "Alternatives to Growth-Oregon" workshop as he had requested.

Wheeldon noted a request from Myra Erwin regarding the creation of an ordinance to deal with outdoor lighting and light pollution, as has been done in Eugene, OR and Tucson, AZ. This was referred to Administrative Services Director Dick Wanderscheid for consideration. Hauck noted that City lights already meet the standards in these model ordinances, so any ordinance adopted would be to apply to private lights.

Wheeldon questioned whether work could be done to include the Y2K issue in the Emergency Management Plan. Freeman expressed his hesitancy to include organizing the community within the plan, but suggested that the community could be made aware that there is an Emergency Management Plan in place, and that a Y2K simulation had occurred on February 25, 1999 and went very well.

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned to an executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(1)(e) (which allows the City Council to meet in executive session to consider the potential purchase of real property) at 10:00 p.m.

The meeting was resumed at 10:17 p.m.

Councilors Hanson/Fine m/s to place the purchase of real property discussed in the executive session on the agenda. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

Councilors Hanson/Hauck m/s to approve the purchase of real property discussed in the executive session for the amount discussed in the executive session. Roll call vote: Laws, Hauck, Hanson, Wheeldon, and Fine, YES. Motion passed.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:19 p.m.

Derek D. Severson, Assistant to the City Recorder

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