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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Historic Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Regular Meeting Minutes

January 2, 2008


Community Development/Engineering Services Building – 51 Winburn Way – Siskiyou Room


Historic Commissioners Present: Dale Shostrom, Terry Skibby, Henry Baker, James Watkins, Allison Renwick, Keith Swink, Alex Krach, Sam Whitford, Tom Giordano
Absent  Commission Members:  None

Council Liaison: Eric Navickas, Arrived at 7:20pm

High School Liaison: None Appointed
SOU Liaison: None Appointed
Staff Present: Planners: Maria Harris, Angela Barry, Derek Severson




At 7:05 pm, Chairman Shostrom called the Historic Commission meeting to order.




Mr. Whitford made a motion to approve the December 5, 2007 minutes and it was seconded by Mr. Baker.  Approval was unanimous.


PUBLIC FORUM:  No speakers


SPECIAL RECOGNITION:  Alex Krach shared that Maria Harris has been promoted and would no longer be the Historic Commission’s Staff liaison.  He joined the Commissioners in recognizing Ms. Harris for her service of artfully navigating the waters of planning and the intersection of the public and the business of the public with a very gentle heart and with great honor.  He stated the Historic Commission is a stronger and more effective commission because of what she has contributed.  Mr. Krach made a motion to recognize her service to the Historic Commission.  Mr. Baker seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. Chairman Shostrom presented Ms. Harris with a Certificate of Appreciation and a historical picture as a thank you. 


Ms. Harris thanked the Commission and commended them on their talent, wide range of expertise and their ability to work well together.  It was her opinion that the Historic Commission is a “Poster Child” of what a city commission should be like.  Ms. Harris introduced Angela Barry as the new liaison for the Historic Commission.  Ms. Barry is an experienced planner who has been with the City of Ashland for the past two years and has previous experience with the City of Phoenix and the RVCOG.





A.            PLANNING ACTION:  PA2007-02101



DESCRIPTION:  Planning Action #2007-02101 is a request for Site Review approval to construct a two-story mixed-use commercial and residential building to be located at 11 First Street, within the Detail Site Review Zone.  Also included is a request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove four trees sized six-inches diameter at breast height and greater.  {This application reinstates approvals already granted under Planning Action #2006-01546, which had expired.}


Tom Giordano recused himself and left the meeting room due to a conflict of interest. There were no other conflicts of interest.  Ms. Harris said this planning action is a result of the expiration of the original planning action that was approved and that the previous Historic Commission recommendations were incorporated into the current plan.  There were no further questions of staff.


Bill Emerson, designer for the property owner, confirmed the design elements recommended by the Historic Commission were incorporated into the building plan including the windows being changed to six feet.  Chairman Shostrom asked about an awning or marquee.  Emerson said there was not a marquee planned.


Chairman Shostrom made a motion to approve the project as presented. With a second by Mr. Swink, the motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Giordano returned to the meeting.


B.           PLANNING ACTION:  PA 2007-01939


OWNER/APPLICANT:  Urban Development Services, LLC

DESCRIPTION:  Request for Site Review approval to construct a 16,246 square foot, three-story mixed-use building for the property located at 123 North First Street and 165 Lithia Way.  The proposed building will contain basement parking, commercial office space on the first and second floors, and four residential condominiums on the third floor.  Also included are requests for modification of Planning Action #2007-00091 to allow the consolidation of two lots and an Administrative Variance to the Site Design and Use Standards’ Downtown Design Standards VI-B-3 to allow recessed balconies on the front of the proposed building. 


Ms. Barry explained this 16,000 square foot building, to be built on two lots of a recently approved subdivision, would be three stories high with underground parking and some common parking area.  The façade will primarily be brick with stucco on the upper story.  Awnings will be powdered coated steel in light and medium brown.  There will be a plaza area in the front and on the west side of the building which will include outdoor eating space.  She explained the applicants are asking for an administrative  variance for the balconies shown on the street elevations, feeling they would be a minor design feature that would better meet the stepped building height requirements.


Mark Knox, Jerome White, Jeff Strickland were present with the owners, Evan Archerd and Russ Dale. Mr. Knox explained they laid out the subdivision to be as traditional as possible to reflect the downtown design.  They merged two of the lots and designed this building with the 20-foot setback to eventually emerge as a mid-block building with an urban pedestrian park feel. 


Jerome White addressed the issues raised by the Historic Commission in the last meeting.  Vertical columns were added to enhance the vertical orientation.  Balconies were added to give the impression of varied heights and light and dark colors were used to enhance them.  The second floor windows were increased to six feet in height.  Marquees were also added to identify the entries.


Mr. Watkins asked if a plan had been formulated for the public space.  Mr. Knox detailed that plan. There was discussion regarding the walkway between the buildings.  Mr. White felt the light shaft will help keep the area brighter.


Chairman Shostrom stated that the quality of the design was well done, especially with the columns.  However he felt the pedestrian corridor corner appears weak and is not as substantial as the other side of the building.  He suggested narrowing the opening and widening the column on that side.  Mr. Giordano thought the entrance could be emphasized more to promote the asymmetrical look by adding a lintel above.  Mr. White said the eight foot easement was a condition of the subdivision and they may not be able to encroach upon it.  Mr. Swink was concerned about creating a “hiding” space behind a large column.  Mr. Giordano felt the trellis on the third floor was not in character with the rest of the building and should be boxed in to give it a more substantial look.  It was suggested the lower trellises should have a stronger horizontal element.


Chairman Shostrom was concerned about the building not having a recessed entry.  Mr. White said the resistance is because of the all the space in front of the building – it is 28 feet from the curb. It was felt the marquee would emphasize the entry.  Chairman Shostrom also commented on the rear and east elevations not having much detail or anything to break up the height except for two decks.  Since it is open to the parking lot, he felt some of the architectural details of the south and west sides need to wrap around to the rear.


Mr. Navickas raised the issue of combining two lots for this building.  Mr. White explained that the tenants, locally owned businesses, needed more square footage than could be provided on only one lot.  Mr. Archerd also pointed out that it certainly would have been cheaper and they would not have been subject to large scale detail standards including the plaza area if they had built a smaller building, but this is what the tenants wanted.  He pointed out that the Comp plan also calls for Economic Development as a main component.  Chairman Shostrom asked the Commissioners if any of them had an issue with the combination of the two lots and none did.


There being no one else in the audience wishing to speak the public meeting was closed.


Mr. Giordano moved to recommend approval of the application with the condition that the revised plans with architectural details are submitted for review of the full Historic Commission prior to submission of the building permit application – strongly recommend the review of the revised plans during early design development phase.


Specific recommendations are following.


·               Pedestrian Passageway

Strengthen column on southeast corner of building next to the pedestrian passageway to create a symmetrical division of the Lithia Way facade.


·               North Elevation

Wrap elements of architectural details to north side of the building to create visual integrity with the south and west elevations, to provide vertical and horizontal relief, to provide a sense of a base and to break up the mass and height of the building.  Suggest using treatments such as wrapping columns around corners, continue base line around back of building, use of change in color of materials, joint lines.  The Historic Commission recognizes that this is a non-street elevation and that to some degree it could be less significant that the south and west elevations.  However, the rear of the building, which is the tallest side of the building, will be visible because of the parking area behind it and to neighboring residences.  This is a different perspective than that of a narrow alley with buildings on both sides.


·               Pedestrian Protection on North Side of Building

Use pedestrian awning over sidewalk on north (rear) side of building.  In addition to providing weather protection for pedestrians, it will make the building mass relate more to the human scale and provide a horizontal rhythm. 


·               East Elevation

Strongly recommend using plaster on east elevation instead of concrete board.  Also joint lines should be used to continue horizontal and vertical rhythms from south elevation.  Concrete board does not weather well, and the east elevation is highly visible.  While another building will eventually be built on the east side of the proposed building, the amount of time that will lapse before another structure is built could be years.


·               Administrative Variance for Balconies on Lithia Way Elevation

The Historic Commission supports the Administrative Variance because the recessed balconies break up the mass of the building and creates a staggered streetscape appearance.  This was shown to be effective on the Jasmine building across the street.


Mr. Baker seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


Mr. Giordano left the meeting at 9 pm.



C.           PLANNING ACTION:  PA 2007-01941

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 1070 Tolman Creek Rd

OWNER/APPLICANT:  OgdenRoemerWilkerson Architecture AIA, Ashland School District

DESCRIPTION:  Request for Site Review approval to construct an approximately 52,163 square foot elementary school on the Bellview School site located at 1070 Tolman Creek Road.  The application proposes partial demolition of the existing buildings and construction of a new 42,678 square foot elementary school facility.  The 9,485 square foot original Bellview School building (circa 1903) is to be retained and renovated as part of the proposal.  Also included are requests for a Variance to the required number of bicycle parking spaces to allow 33 bicycle parking spaces where 68 spaces are required; and Tree Removal Permits to remove three Oak trees and one Sequoia greater than 18-inches in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.).  The application includes the removal of six smaller trees; because these six trees are less than 18-inches (d.b.h.) and located on public school property they do not require Tree Removal Permits.  [The Planning Director has determined the proposal is not subject to the Development Standards for Floodplain Corridor Lands because the applicants have provided a survey establishing the floodplain boundary as outside of the proposed area of disturbance.]


Mr. Severson explained that even though the Bellview Elementary School is not located within a historic district, because of the historic significance and the interest of the Historic Commission in retaining the original school building, the site review was being brought before them for their comments.  He also thanked Mr. Krach, Chairman Shostrom and George Kramer for their contribution in providing material on the history of the school that ultimately resulted in the decision to retain, restore and upgrade the original school and make it a part of the whole design.


David Wilkerson, the architect representing the School District, said they want feedback from the Historic Commission on how to address the relationship of the new structure to the historic structure.  The four variables to consider were:


1.      How much of the existing building to retain

2.      The purpose and use of the retained structure

3.      The location and orientation of the new buildings and how they would relate to the existing building

4.      Construction phasing


The School District decided to move the children off site to keep them out of the construction site.  The faculty, staff and parents wanted to capitalize on the views and daylight to the east.  There was also a desire to separate the different types of traffic between vehicles, school busses and children walking.  By building the new structure behind the original building it allows the historic school to retain prominence.  Mr. Wilkerson went on to describe the architectural details on the new building and some of the upgrades to the original building such as replacing windows with wood-clad.  The historic portion will be used for art, lab, faculty room, faculty lunch room, restroom and an unassigned classroom.


Julia DiChiro, School Superintendent, pointed out some of the challenges such as elevation changes that made accessibility requirements difficult and trying to use sustainable products wherever possible.


In answer to Mr. Skibby’s question, Mr. Wilkerson explained that they would be modernizing the interior while retaining the same exterior except for window changeouts.  Chairman Shostrom asked about restoring the windows on the east side.  Mr. Wilkerson pointed out that there was an addition added to that side of the building and there wasn’t money in the budget to redo that wall but they would look into it when they do their window survey and if budget will allow.  The bond money is specific to building a new building and there are not provisions for a full restoration of the old building.  Chairman Shostrom suggested using a historic color palette for the existing and new buildings.  Mr. Wilkerson showed samples of the colors to be used.


Mr. Navickas suggested the columns on the small tower building be carried up to the entablature.


Chairman Shostrom commented that the plan elevations are lacking in architectural detail.  He felt the original schematic drawings were much easier to understand.  There was discussion regarding whether or not this project is subject to the level of detail and reconstruction requirements suggested by Chairman Shostrom.  Mr. Wilkerson felt they were not.  Mr. Severson explained that the code does suggest that the Historic Commission can condition the site review to protect the historic building. Mr. Wilkerson said they would be submitting for a building permit in March. Mr. Wilkerson that more detailed plans could be submitted by the end of January that would be available to the Commission for review at their February meeting.


There being no one else in the audience wishing to speak the public meeting was closed.


Chairman Shostrom made a motion to recommend approval of the application with the condition that the plans with architectural details are submitted for review of the full Historic Commission prior to submission of the building permit application – strongly recommend the review of the revised plans during early design development phase.  The applicant stipulated that they would be reaching that point in the project design on January 25 & 25 and would bring back the details for the February 6, 2008 Historic Commission meeting.


Specific recommendations are following.


·         Color Palette

Recommend investigating use of historic “Italian” color palette that is referenced in original architect’s description of the 1929 building for repainting existing building and for new buildings.


·         East Windows

Consider replacing east windows on historic existing building to match original openings and proportions (appear to be same size as on west side of building). 


Mr. Swink seconded the motion and it was passed unanimously.





A.      Carole Wheeldon Memorial – Mr. Severson explained Ms. Wheeldon’s desire to have a memorial in the island between fire station and the library because of her involvement with the Siskiyou boulevard redesign project.  The friends and family of Ms. Wheeldon are seeking support for the bench design, sign and shade tree proposed.  Mr. Krach felt the concept is terrific.  There was consensus among the Commissioners that the bench design was too rustic and should have a more classical design. If the intention is to be a piece of art, the Public Arts Commission should make decision.


B.     Croman Mill Site Redevelopment Plan – Ms. Harris announced there would be a public meeting on January 30, 2008, 7-9 pm at the Bellview Grange.





A.      Review Board Schedule - Mr. Baker announced he would not be able to attend the February Commission meeting. 

January 3rd

Terry, Keith, Sam

January 10th

Terry, Tom, Allison

January 17th

Terry, Henry, Sam

January 24th

Terry, James, Dale

January 31st

Terry, Allison, Alex

February 7th

Terry, Keith, Tom



B.     Project Assignments For Planning Actions165 Lithia Way was assigned to Ms. Renwick; 1070 Tolman Creek Road was assigned to Chairman Shostrom, Mr. Krach, and Mr. Swink.


PA #2004-138

234 Vista St (Sid & Karen DeBoer) {Under construction}



820 “C” Street (Randy & Helen Ellison) {Extension appvd to 2/08}



11 First St (Ron Yamaoka) (Bldg plans incomplete – Planning Action Expired}



145 EMain/150 Lithia Wy (Urban Dev Serv/SERA Arch) {No Struc final}



125 Sherman Street (Russ Dale) {No Building Permit Submitted Yet}



175 North Main (First Methodist Church Remodel) {Under constr)



160 Helman (Batzer-Comm Bldgs) {New Bldg App recd-in review}



25 N Main Street (Sandler – Masonic 3rd Sty Addn) {No Bldg Permit}



237 Almond Street (Don Sever – ARU) {Under Construction}



80 Wimer Street (Thomas Petersen – Kitchen Addition) {under contr}



485 A St (Hoxmeier – Modification of Site Review for Mixed Use) {under constr)



542 A St (Gremmels/Delgado – Rebuild Shed & exist business) {No Bldg Permit}



165 Lithia Way (Archerd & Dresner – Commercial Mixed Use)



1070 Tolman Creek Rd (Bellview School)




C.     Ashland School District – (see PA-2007-01941, 1070 Tolman Creek Rd - Bellview School project above)


D.     Lithia Springs National Register Nomination – Mr. Baker stated the issue is getting polarized. The question is what is the best use of the 28 acre site?


E.     Single Family Residential Design Standards – No report


F.      Co-Sponsorship with Conservation Commission for Fall Workshop – No report






The next Historic Commission meeting will be on February 6, 2008 at 7:00 pm in the Siskiyou Room.




It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 10:55 p.m.

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