Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Minutes 11/29/2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007



November 29, 2007



Chair Bill Street called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:


SOU Liaison:  None

Carol Voisin



Steve Hauck


Council Liaison:  Alice Hardesty

Regina Ayars



Bill Street


Staff Present:: 

Aaron Benjamin


Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist

Graham Lewis


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Richard Billin






Absent Members








APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Corrections: First page sentence regarding Ambuja Rosen’s request should read Commissioners not Commissions.  Page two under School Liaison reports should read “Housing did not make it on to any of the goals of the School Board although it was mentioned in their strategic plan.” Page two last paragraph should read “The truth is Kendrick & Access never submitted an application.” Voisin/Hardesty m/s to approve the minutes of the October 25th, 2007 meeting with corrections.  There was unanimous approval of the minutes.



No one spoke



Subcommittee Report

Education – No report.


                Land Use – No meeting


Finance –Voisin reported that the Committee met and went over the evaluations from the Housing Trust Fund Public Forum that was held on October 30, 2007.  Voisin thanked everyone for coming to the event including Brandon for all his good work. Evaluations were all very positive, they received great input and good information.  The minutes will be compiled and come back as an agenda item on December 20th.  Voisin commented that as a Finance Committee they are going to start dealing with the real tough issues such as how’s the money going to be used and what kind of revenue streams?  Goldman said the platform adoption is scheduled to go before the Council in August of 2008 with financing essentially six months after that.  Voisin would like the Housing Commission to spend time educating the future City Council candidates regarding the need for a Housing Trust Fund, making it a Political issue. 


Liaison Reports

Council –The Council made a recommendation to form a meeting with the Council, Planning and Housing Commissions to talk about Incentives and Regulatory Barriers that relate to the creation of apartment housing and affordable housing. 


Parks – no report


Schools – no report


Planning – Benjamin stated that at the November 13 Planning Commission meeting one of the significant topics was the Housing project at the Havurah site at 203 North Mountain. The Havurah submitted an Outline plan for 16 Units none of which were necessarily affordable. At the Study Session the Crowman site schedule was discussed.  Benjamin suggested that since it’s a Mixed Use development the Housing Commission should keep an eye out to keep the community alerted to Affordable Housing possibilities. 


Goldman reported that the Verde Village annexation was approved by City Council for 68 Units, 15 of which are affordable housing.  RVCDC will be developing 15 Town Homes using the self-help program like they did on Siskiyou.  Street asked what conditions were written to guarantee the Green aspects of the development.  Goldman stated that the conditions were quite extensive and included that the affordable housing is to be ‘green’ as well.  The applicant put together a proposal that the homes throughout the subdivision would be zero net energy ready.  Goldman said he assumes that the affordable Housing units would be one of the first ones to be built because the Town Homes and smaller cottages are considered part of Phase 1.


REGULATORY BARRIERS AND INCENTIVES - Goldman stated that this is a topic that the Land Use Committee has dealt with over the years trying to identify some regulatory barriers.  The Council had indicated at their meeting that they wanted to see more apartments built and wanted to know how to go about accomplishing that goal.  Goldman reviewed some of the Regulatory Barriers and Incentives.


Regulatory Barriers:

·          Is there enough land zoned for multi-family and if so is it a high enough density to build? 

·          Is the land outside the city limits but within the Urban Growth Boundary zoned correctly?  An increase density on lands would be a financial incentive to develop higher density housing.

·          Looking at the existing density allowed within our existing zones.  If densities were increased that could potentially promote multiply story apartments.

·          Accessory Residential Units -If that process is simplified it may encourage individual property owners to add a secondary unit on their property. Street suggested to Goldman that he spell out exactly what the average cost is to the home owner for the development of an ARU and how it will be reduced.  Ayers asked what would be the reason to come forward with an illegal unit.  Goldman answered that in terms of property valuation having two units on one property would be more valuable. Hardesty suggested the possibility of an amnesty for illegal units. 

·          Commercial and Industrial Lands and the potential to put housing located where jobs are. Goldman stated that in the C-1 Zone you can do 30 Units per acre downtown zone 60 Units per acre and in E-1 you can do 15 Units per area.  Encouraging workforce housing to be located with the Commercial Use is something that could be looked at. 



·          Urban Growth Boundary Expansion and Rezoning. Ayers asked Goldman who instigates a rezoning and what is the process.  Goldman explained that it can be initiated by an applicant or by the City. Typically the city has not initiated any rezones.  Goldman explained the process and said that the City Council is the final decision maker on a rezone but with the Urban Growth Boundary expansion that decision goes up to the state.  The State reviews our land needs against our buildable lands supply to be sure we are not expanding without showing that need.  Graham asked what the role of Housing Commission is in the adoption of land use.  Goldman said that typically the Housing Commission reviews land use applications at the pre application submittal but it is not part of the formal application review.  The Housing Commission is a recommending not a decision making body. 


·          Direct financial subsidy.  The CDBG funds that the City provides is Federal money that is passed though from the City of Ashland. Aside from the fee waivers the City does not provide any direct financial subsidy to affordable housing.  All the affordable housing units that have been built here in the last five years have either been supported privately or by CDBG funds as opposed to direct City subsidy.


Street asked if Goldman would be addressing a section on annexation.  Goldman said he has a six month time line that he has presented to Bill Molnar, the City’s new Community Director, to take the annexation ordinance that the Housing Commission has worked on to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval. 


Hardesty said it would be nice if the members of the new City’s Facility Master Plan committee could get a copy of these items also.  



Croman Property Master Plan – The City received a grant from the State to develop a Master Plan for the Crowman Site.  Crandall-Arambula were the consultants selected. They envision a series of three or four meetings the first meeting is expected to be around the end of January to kick off the project.  At the conclusion they would be presenting to the City a Master Plan for the area that the City would adopt including any implementing ordinance changes.



Project Goals:

·          Develop an identity and vision for the area

·          Maximize opportunities for business development and employment growth consistent with the findings of the Opportunities analyst.

·          Look at transportation connections

·          Circulation of pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles connections with local roads

·          Determine appropriate land uses of the area

·          Develop a parking plan

·          Analyze transportation impacts

·          Passenger rail connection

·          Incorporate sustainability and energy efficiency in site planning and design. 

·          Adopt a redevelopment plan and implementing code amendments.


Graham gave a brief history of the Crowman Master Plan.  Graham said about two years ago the owners of the property came to the Chamber and said they really wanted to do something that was good for Ashland.  They had previously been turned down two times in trying to get a residential area there.  The Chamber suggested an industrial development that was “Clean and Green” things that our community values.  At the same time Plexis (a medical software company) was looking for a site to expand to.  The two got together and they began the talking.  Plexis is looking at an industrial campus. They want to provide housing close to the facility for their employees coming in from all over the world.


Clay Creek RFQ Update – Goldman provided to the Commission the three proposals that the City received. Habitat for Humanity, ACLT and RVCDC will be invited to present to the Commission  to explain what their qualifications are to develop the property.  The property is located behind the Ashlander Apartments adjacent to Clay Creek. The City Parks department bought two acres and have dedicated 14,000 square feet of it to be used for housing.  Goldman said all three applicants have a proven history of doing affordable housing within the City of Ashland.  Ayars and Hauck have indicated they are interested in being on the ad hoc selection committee to review the RFQ’s.


Presentation to Council - Meeting to be held February 5, 2008.  The purpose of the presentation is to review what the Commission has done over the past year. Suggested items to talk about would be the Housing Trust Fund, Condo Conversion Ordinance, the 15 new affordable housing units and the Housing notebook. Brandon will put this topic on next months Agenda and asked the Commissioners to be thinking about their ideas.



December meeting will be on Thursday December 20, 2007 at the Council Chambers.


Alice will not be here, everyone else will.


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


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