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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, February 07, 2001



February 7, 2001


The meeting was called to order at 7:37 in the Ashland Community Center by Commission Chair Terry Skibby. Members present were Skibby, Keith Chambers, Dale Shostrom, Kay Maser, Gary Foll, Jay Leighton, Vava Bailey, and Joan Steele. Also present were Associate Planner Mark Knox, Clerk Derek Severson and Council Liaison Cameron Hanson. Bob Meiser was absent.


Commissioners Steele/Shostrom m/s to approve the minutes of January 3, 2001 as presented.


Planning Action 2001-011
CUP/Site Review
130 Helman Street
Talent Properties #1, LLC

Open 7:37 p.m.

Knox provided background information on this application, noting that the applicant is converting a house into a two-unit hotel/motel in an E1 zone. Knox pointed out that in the E1 zone, the owner is not required to live on site. He also explained that the house in question was built in 1885, and converted for use as an office in the 1990's. He noted that the garage was built in 1991, and will be converted into one of the units.

Knox also explained the available parking, noting that there was also parking available on the street in addition to the off-street requirements.

Knox discussed the fact that there will be a slight demolition required on the back porch, but he showed photos and emphasized that there will not be significant changes to the house.

Knox noted for the commissioners that other uses that might be permitted outright in this zone could have more severe impacts and could result in irrevocable changes to the structure. He stated that this use is more in keeping with the residential nature of the structure, and noted that staff recommends approval of the application.

Knox introduced Scott Kurtz, agent for the applicant, and noted that staff does have a question relative to the stairwell. Knox confirmed that the porch being demolished is to the rear, and questioned the purpose of the stairway in question.

Kurtz clarified that the stairway on the north side leads to the second story bedroom and deck. He stated that these stairs are to remain, but noted that they were to be re-directed out of the driveway to provide egress and/or a service entry, as well as a possible fire exit. Kurtz stated that the applicant would not be opposed to removing these stairs if required to do so.

Kurtz noted that the back porch off of the east end serves the east bedroom, and by removing this porch and its stairs, a third parking space will be created. He explained that the sliding glass door currently in place will be replaced with an egress window that matches the others on the house. He also noted that siding will be used which matches the other siding on the house.

Kurtz briefly explained the floor plan for Shostrom, and noted that removing the stairs would not create a problem as there is a stairway inside.

Kurtz discussed that the fence is to be removed, but stated that the pergola at the front will remain as an entry from the sidewalk. He clarified that there will be a short, three-foot front entry gate, with all of the other front fencing to be removed.

Chambers confirmed that the project involves removing front fencing, keeping the façade as is, and demolishing the back porch. He expressed concerns that the application does not include elevations. Kurtz recounted the proposal, emphasizing that the façade was not changing and that no structural changes would be taking place beyond the removal of the back porch and the reorientation or removal of the north stairway.

Kurtz noted that the "garage" is now used as a tiny professional office, and stated that it will become a small motel unit. Shostrom explained that the commission will be concerned with the garage's appearance once the fence is removed and things are opened up making it more visible. Shostrom clarified that the commission is concerned that it be compatible rather than historic.

Bailey questioned what type of windows would be used.

Kurtz asked how much had to be done to make the building compatible, given that it is not an historic building.

Knox clarified for Kurtz that there is not a lot of information on the floor plan or elevations to allow historic review here, and stated that staff would have no problems with this application if sufficient details were brought back to the review board before the certificate of occupancy is issued. Knox also noted that there is no permit on file beyond simply a garage, and stated that there will be a need to pay systems development charges to make this a legal unit. Knox stated that the review board would need to see elevations of what is going to change on the exterior.

Kurtz noted that the garage currently has garage doors on the rear and stated that this allows for storage. He asked for clarification that this could be left as is without review, but would require review if changes were made. Commissioners confirmed that this was the case.

There were no questions from the audience.

Knox asked the commissioners if they would prefer to have the stairs removed and to have elevations presented to the review board prior to issuance of a business license allowing the hotel/motel to operate. He noted for the applicant that removal of the stairs and placement of appropriate windows would likely be required, along with elevations in at least 1:10 scale. He stated that elevations would also be needed if the garage changes.

Foll stated that he would like to see elevations of whatever is to be done to the garage, and stated that he would prefer that the stairs be removed.

Leighton stated that it was too bad that the rear porch had to be removed.

Shostrom recommended that the applicant provide more specifics on siding and windows, and stated that the commission would like to see these details. He suggested making the building look more like it did originally, and asked for at least an 1/8" scale. He stated that they would like detail for the second story as well, and explained that the building will be more visible with the fence gone.

Chambers emphasized that this is an opportunity to refresh an older building, and stated that this is positive for the owner, the city and the neighborhood.

Maser concurred with Chambers.

Bailey stated that this will be an improvement, and asked that the stairs be removed and elevations be brought to the review board.

 Skibby concurred, noting that the 1885 portion is original. He stated that the stair removal would improve things, but asked to see elevations. He emphasized that the proposal will improve the property.

Leighton approved of the fact that the property would continue as a living place.

Closed at 8:33 p.m.

Shostrom moved, and Bailey seconded, that the application be approved with the following conditions: that the north stairs be removed; that the upstairs bedroom door be replaced with compatible windows and trim; that the east sliding glass door be replaced with compatible windows and trim; and that 1:8 scale elevations depicting these changes, and any changes to the west side of the garage, be submitted to the Historic Commission Review Board for review prior to permit issuance. Discussion: Steele clarified that elevations were to be reviewed before permit issuance or occupancy.

Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.

116 Central Avenue Discussion

Skibby noted that this item had been referred to the full commission from the review board.

The applicant noted that the review board had expressed concerns with the windows in the project, and explained that he had redrawn the plans to illustrate the windows as requested.

There was discussion of the double hung window unit spacing, and it was noted that the front windows will be wood framed, and that the remainder of the windows will be vinyl trimmed with wood. Shostrom noted that two 2x4's, covered in a 3" trim piece, can be used between the windows to separate them. The applicant confirmed that the slider could be replaced with a double hung window.

Skibby stated that the applicant's revisions were quite an improvement.

The applicant confirmed for Shostrom that the right-side elevation shows a boarded-up porch.

Chambers confirmed that the applicants have stepped back from using sliders. Applicant stated that they would retain the window dimensions except where changes were needed to meet city egress requirements. Chambers noted that the windows can be oriented to be high rather than wide to remain compatible with the appropriate era.

Shostrom clarified that the applicants were matching the existing windows on the right side, and stated that they could simply replace the sash and replicate what is in place now. Shostrom stated that sill heights and proportions should be matched by section, and stated that the elevations were fine. Shostrom requested that the applicant provide a photo of the porch on the right side.

The applicant confirmed that the porch is currently boarded up, with plywood, and is used as a bedroom. The applicant stated that the siding will be matched to the rest of the house, and that no windows will be added. It was noted that the porch would be more incorporated into the overall scheme.

Skibby stated that he is comfortable with the application, and stated that if the applicant came back to the review board on Thursday the permit could be picked up Friday.

Shostrom suggested that the applicant note on the plans that the double hung windows are to be separated with 2x4's, and that siding will be used on the porch section.


Planning Action 2000-124
Comp Plan Map Amendment, Zone Change, Site Design & Use Review
51 Winburn Way
City of Ashland

Open 8:35 p.m.

Knox provided background information on the application, noting that it includes both a zone change and Site Design & Use Review. He recounted the history of this application before the commission, noting that last month the commissioners had agreed that a more civic entry was needed. After considering the recommendation, the Planning Commission expressed their preference for retaining the gabled pavilion entry with some changes.

Knox clarified that last month, the Historic Commission had move to recommend denial of the application and requested that the architect appear at this month meeting. Knox noted that the architect was not in attendance, and pointed out that City Administrator Greg Scoles' wife was in the hospital and he was thus unable to attend.

Knox pointed out the changes made since last month, explaining that the gabled front is more engaged with the existing building in the new design. He also stated that the skylight orientation has been changed, and is now East/West rather than North/South.

Knox suggested that if the Historic Commissioners remain opposed to the gabled design, they should articulate their concerns to the Planning Commission. He explained that there is some concern on the part of Planning Commissioners with micro-managing architectural design details by commissioners.

Knox clarified that the applicant should be considered "not present" for this meeting, but stated that he would attempt to answer whatever questions he could.

Shostrom gave a brief explanation of the Planning Commission discussion. He noted that the current design represented no change other than the skylights. He explained that the third drawing, known as Hillah Temple Design Scheme #2, was presented as being what had been selected as a design guideline by the council.

Hanson clarified that the council's direction was not a detailed one, and included a decision not to go with a two-story design. The artistic rendering was approved as a general concept.

Shostrom stated that the architect is essentially resubmitting the design with only minor changes.

Skibby asked if there were any questions of staff. No questions were raised.

Knox concluded that the three drawings as presented on the wall are the design being presented for approval or denial.

Bailey commented that she does not like the design, and stated that the entry looks like a grocery store or nursing home. She suggested that Scheme #2 is a better compromise and is more sturdy.

Maser agreed with Bailey, and suggested that in Scheme #2 the windows look sturdier and the building looks more integrated. She emphasized that the proposal presented is not integrated with the existing structure and looks like an add-on.

Steele yielded her comment period to Shostrom.

Chambers asked that Knox clarify the staff report's recommendation for approval.

Knox explained that staff had not liked the entry design as discussed last month, but the Planning Commission has said that it likes this feature so staff is recommending approval. Knox emphasized that staff would not normally recommend denial of an application over one feature.

Chambers questioned the accuracy of Scheme #2. Knox clarified that this is a conceptual rendering, and is not a part of the application being considered.

Chambers stated that he is unhappy with the design, but recognized that some are concerned over "micro-managing" designs. He stated that the entry design seems hollow and fake, and has no function.

Shostrom clarified that the Commission cannot conduct its design review without looking at the design. He emphasized that the design need not be historic but it should be historically compatible and should fit the surroundings. He recognized the similarity between the entry design and that of the newly opened PC Market of Choice.

Shostrom also pointed out that there is a disparity between the weight of the brick used and the amount of glass on the entry, and agreed with others that the Scheme #2 design is a good compromise. He recommended a more compatible entry to fit other more historic details, with less glass and less metal and a more solid feel. He suggested brick columns into the gable with a weightier column design that would be visible in the side elevation. Shostrom concluded that the current proposal for the entry is a little too modern to be historically compatible.

Chambers asked that Shostrom prepare some bullet points outlining his concerns.

Leighton agreed that more historic balance was needed, and noted that the two designs not being considered (the flat-roofed entry and scheme #2) have more weight in the gable, more brick, and would be less "floaty."

Foll noted that he was present at the Planning Commission meeting, and he noted that scheme #2 was presented as what the council had liked. He noted that the Planning Commission liked the gabled design, and stated that he could accept the gable if it were better presented. He emphasized that scheme #2 is a general, conceptual, non-architectural design. He stated that he will go to the Planning Commission's next meeting to express a preference for a strengthened, heavier design.

Skibby stated that the gable is reminiscent of buildings in Medford's South Gateway development, and suggested that he would like a look more suited to Ashland. He noted that gables have been used historically in Ashland, and cited the hospital as one successful design. He agreed with the other commissioners' concerns that a stronger entry design is needed.

Steele suggested that Shostrom prepare bullet points of his concerns for the Planning Commission meeting.

Leighton noted that the design as presented is wrapped around the existing Hillah Temple building, and stated that a more integrated design is needed.

Shostrom discussed the features that worked in the proposed design, including the single story design, the use of brick, the headers, and the overall rhythm. Shostrom suggested that the problem is the entry, and stated that he felt the entry could work if it were more in perspective.

Knox suggested that several members might wish to be present to convey these concerns before the Planning Commission.

Shostrom recapped that on the whole, the commission likes the design, but has problems with the entry. He stated that the overall perspective works well and suggested a brick facade, with less glass and more traditional windows as possible means of addressing the entry issues. He recommended more roof overhangs and eaves, a more civic/historic presence, and more traditional window work. He further explained that the entry windows should be less like a curtain wall, and expressed his preference for a solid gable with more recessed windows below the header line for a more traditional, solid massing.

Foll asked that scheme #B2 be included in the Planning Packets along with the Historic Commission's motion.

Shostrom stated that he would like to see the roof done in bronze, weathered copper, or a similar dark color. He emphasized the need for a darker, more neutral color rather than blue or green.

Knox again suggested that commissioners consider attending the Planning Commission meeting.

Skibby concluded that the Historic District should look historic, and emphasized that the civic use of the proposed building should influence its design.

Closed 8:54 p.m.

Foll moved that the Historic Commission approve the general concept of the applicant's proposal, noting that there are many positive elements (including the one-story addition's strong base, the use of brick, the general harmonious blending of the various elements, the rhythm of the windows and cornices) which garner the Historic Commission's approval, but stated that the Historic Commission unanimously has concerns with the entry as presented and makes the following recommendations to improve the entry's design:

1) That the facade be done in brick, with a more solid gable and no glazing extending into the gable's pediment, as illustrated in Hillah Temple Scheme B2.

2) That the windows be of a more traditional, recessed design, rather than clerestory or curtain wall type windows.

3) That there be more eaves and over-hangs.

4) That the historic and civic presence of the entrance feature be better expressed in the design.

5) That the window headers be lined up at the same level.

6) That the roof be done in a darker color, preferably a weathered copper.

Leighton seconded the motion.

Under discussion, Chambers clarified that the need to recognize the positive elements of the design while suggesting ways to address concerns with the entry design.

Shostrom agreed to prepare a hand-out with bullet points outlining the Commissioners' concerns for the Planning Commission next week.

After discussion, Hanson called for the question. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.


Review Board Appointments and/or Volunteers

February 8 Skibby, Bailey, and Foll

February 15 Skibby, Maser, Steele and Meiser

February 22 Skibby, Chambers and Maser

March 1 Skibby, Meiser and Leighton

Project Assignments for Planning Actions

2000-124 51 Winburn Way Commissioner Foll

2001-011 130 Helman Street Commissioner Leighton

Travel Itinerary Web Page Update

Steele explained that a new person has been assigned to the web page, and stated that they want the information presented differently. She went on to explain that they now are looking for 3 to 5 contextual essays from 600-1000 words to be added to the existing materials. She suggested that the National Park Service's web site for Cumberland, Maryland be looked at for an example.

Steele discussed the suggested topics as: 1) establishment/settlement; 2) growth in the 19th Century, to include education and culture; and 3) revitalization in the 20th Century. She explained that the discussion of Cumberland on the web site deals with the significant role of the Railroad. Steele discussed the topics she had in mind as the theater and the university, and discussed a potential theme as "Ashland, From Stagecoach to Center Stage."

Steele questioned the willingness of the other commissioners to write articles, and emphasized that the entire thing had to be complete by June. Maser noted that local historian Marjorie O'harra's writings on Ashland might be appropriate for use on the web site. Bailey suggested looking at the item on the back cover of the current Oregon History magazine.

Those present discussed including links to other entities on the web site. Knox noted that there should not be a link to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as it is commercial, and suggested that the Chamber of Commerce and the City were appropriate links. Knox also pointed out that both of these sites have links to the Festival's web page.

Steele clarified that the National Parks Service will not allow commercial links. She also noted that she will need a list of specific links, and stated that the bibliography is no problem. She suggested that a "Mayor's Welcome" was noted, but questioned if it needed to be written by the Mayor or if it could be prepared for his endorsement.

Knox suggested looking to either Marjorie O'harra or Kay Atwood for historic writings, and suggested that this needed to be done well before June.

Steele agreed to look at the book 100 Years of Ashland. Leighton suggested looking at the work of Louise Lynan, who wrote portions of the Spirit of Ashland historic walking tour brochure. She also suggested linking to the Southern Oregon Historical Society and the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society.

Chambers/Foll m/s to extend the meeting to 10:30. Voice vote: All AYES. Motion passed.


Policy Regarding Project Presentation

Knox noted that Commissioner Meiser, who was absent, was the one working on this, and suggested that it be dealt with upon Meiser's return next month.

157 N. Main Street Discussion

Bailey gave a brief background for this item, noting that it had been referred to the full commission by the review board. She explained that the applicants had shown the Review Board a compatible design when the permit was brought in prior to the over-the-counter permit but that the design was altered. She went on to note that the issue of concern is whether certain elements are compatible, including the stair height and rail height. She noted that the siding to be used may tone down the overall effect of the work being done.

It was noted that if a historic photo had been available, the building department would have had no problems with allowing more compatible stair and rail heights. However, because there were no photos or historical evidence of the stairs being there in the past, the building code left no leeway for more compatible heights.


Knox made the following announcements:

State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation will be meeting in Roseburg at 9 a.m. on February 23 to make a final decision on the Skidmore-Academy Historic District.

The CLG/Historic Landmarks Commissioner's meeting will be held in Albany on March 16-17.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

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