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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Agenda
Wednesday, March 07, 2001

ASHLAND HISTORIC COMMISSION
Minutes
March 7, 2001

 

CALL TO ORDER

At 7:36 p.m., Chairperson Terry Skibby called the meeting to order at the Community Center. Members present were Terry Skibby, Dale Shostrom, Kay Maser, Gary Foll, Jay Leighton, Bob Meiser, Vava Bailey, Keith Chambers and Joan Steele. Also present were Associate Planner Mark Knox, Secretary Sonja Akerman and Council Liaison Cameron Hanson. There were no members absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Foll moved and Steele seconded to approve the minutes of the February 7, 2001 meeting as submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Planning Action 2001-019
Conditional Use Permit and Site Review
521 North Main Street
D.A. Boldt Construction Co.

Knox reported this application involves a 40 square foot addition to an existing medical office, which was built in 1990. There have been several additions to the building over the past five years. This proposal entails the expansion of an existing room that will be used as a recovery room. All materials, including siding, windows, trim and roof will match the existing building.

Applicant Darrell Boldt clarified the addition will be exactly like the rest of the building, and in fact, will improve the facade by breaking up the flat line of the south elevation. Because of a change in the national certification regulations, the doctor needs additional space for his recovery room to meet this requirement.

Chambers asked about the roof slope on the addition and Boldt responded it will be 4 x 12, which is the same as all the existing pitches. Boldt also noted that although the handicap ramp meets the requirements, it will be widened.

Foll moved to recommend approval of this application to the Hearings Board and with a second by Shostrom, the motion passed unanimously.

Planning Action 2001-021
Conditional Use Permit and Site Review
215 Scenic Drive
Steve Koskella and Linda Chesney

Knox explained the applicants are proposing to build a single story detached 675 square foot accessory residential unit on their property. The existing house was built circa 1948 and is listed as "Historic Contributing" in the National Register nomination prepared by George Kramer. The parcel cannot be divided because it does not meet the width requirements, so Staff feels the proposed unit is a good use for the property. The unit will be compatible with the existing house and the surrounding area.

Owner Steve Koskella stated the house was actually built in 1952 and was marginal when he and his wife purchased it. They tried to keep the interesting character of the house when they added on in 1993. The accessory unit will fit in nicely. It will have horizontal slider windows similar to the ones in the existing house and siding will be 6" hardiplank. Foll asked if the windows in the existing house are vinyl and Koskella responded they are, as well as the windows for the proposed unit. Chambers asked if he had considered casement windows and Koskella said he would have no objection. Skibby inquired if Koskella would consider wider trim and Koskella agreed it would look better.

Maser questioned the type of rock that will be used on the foundation and base of the new unit. Koskella confirmed it will be river rock. Shostrom stated the Commission usually asks for more detail in clarifying the size of materials as they relate to the house. He suggested using something to cap the rock (cap-stoning) before the walls begin. He explained that in a traditional design, there is a base with a cap, then the walls begin. Leighton added this makes the rock look like an actual foundation. Koskella stated he has a designer working on the plans, but did not want to go further with the design until he received approval.

Shostrom stated the four foot porch seems quite shallow and recommended it be increased to six feet. Chambers added now is the owner's chance to enhance the look of the unit. Koskella agreed and stated they would also like to enhance the look of the existing house.

The Commission concluded the general concept of the proposed unit is fine and that it will defer approval of the plans to the Review Board after they are submitted to the Building Department.

Steele moved and Shostrom seconded the Commission recommend approval of this planning action to the Hearings Board, subject to Review Board approval when the plans are submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.

Planning Action 2000-120
Site Review
485 "A" Street
Steve Hoxmeier

Knox reported the applicant has submitted new plans and has agreed to most of the changes recommended by the Historic Commission during previous meetings. All the brick and the rounded arches have been eliminated. The other main concern was the roofline on the south elevation. Staff and the Commission felt it would look better if the higher roofline was extended all the way through to the east side, but this is not reflected in the revised plans. Also, Hoxmeier has added a trellis and an awning on the south elevation and has proposed the bike parking area in front of it. Knox noted Staff would prefer the bike rack to be behind the building. For the most part, details have been identified.

Owner/applicant Steve Hoxmeier explained he intends the arched awning over the door to come all the way out and cover the bike rack. It will be behind a fence off "A" Street so it will not be visible. He noted he would like as much as possible of the existing fence to remain. Hoxmeier clarified the changes that had been made to the plans in the past month, including elimination of the brick and arches. He noted the concern about maintaining the line of windows on the south side, but said he could not change them because of the ceiling height in the building. He also stated the people that rent the building prefer to have the awning on the south side of the building. Shostrom interjected the Commission needs to see the elevation without the awning because the awning is not permanent. Hoxmeier clarified the small round "window" on the dormer on the south side is actually a vent. On the same side, the round window above the door on the right is a blue window he has and wants to use. He further explained he added fish scales on the south and east sides. As far as the roofline is concerned, he stated he went to the builder of the trusses on the existing building and was told it was doubtful they would support any more weight than what is there now so he does not want to raise the roofline. He also talked to engineers at Marquess & Associates and was told the existing roof probably could not support a two-foot higher roofline.

Shostrom asked about the roof pitch and Hoxmeier replied every roof and every dormer will have the same pitch.

Chambers noted the porch on the east side of the existing building is 6 x 6 and wondered why the new porch will be 4 x 4. Hoxmeier said the west side will eventually be removed so he did not feel it would be necessary. Chambers stated it would look better to have a "beefier" porch on the west side because it is hard to say how long the building will remain that way. Hoxmeier agreed he could make all the porches 6 x 6.

When Skibby questioned the rooflines, Hoxmeier offered to bring in elevations of the roof and slopes.

Knox said he is concerned with the awning. Hoxmeier stated he would like it to do double duty. Knox related Staff is concerned it will be become a dominant architectural feature. The awning should be smaller and reflective of the door, not 8-10 feet long. Hoxmeier said he wouldn't mind moving the bike rack, he just thought this would be a good place to locate it. Knox maintained the roofline still seems lopsided, as it is another jog and more like a third element. However, Knox thinks the applicant has done a great job in making the two phases more compatible. Hoxmeier said that by going higher on the roofline, it increases the weight and he does not know if he can reinforce the trusses to hold more weight.

During the Commissioners' discussion, Meiser said he appreciates the changes that have been made and feels the roofline is all right. Although the awning is a small issue, it is one that still needs to be addressed. Bailey agreed this is a nice improvement, but stated the bike rack should be in back and a more integrated roofline would look better. Steele said she not only agreed with Bailey, but also with Planning Commissioner Kerry KenCairn at the January 9, 2001 meeting, who wondered if the Planning Commission is allowed to approve a project that was looking at future phases without areas being delineated for more than just open space. She stated she would like to look at the entire plan with all the phases. While she feels comfortable with the way the design is now going, Steele stated this building is in a prominent area and she too would like to see the final phase.

Chambers also said he feels the latest design will look much nicer, but he is still not convinced this is the design for that site. The City is trapped in an odd situation because of this. He feels uncomfortable with the non-commercial nature of the building.

Shostrom agreed but stated it is still necessary to look at the existing building and the proposed addition. It seems as though the awning is trying to hide the disproportionate look of the "A" Street side. Why not look at making the entire building better instead of trying to integrate the existing with the new?

Leighton related she likes the addition of the fish scales, but would also like the roof to be taller. She told Hoxmeier she hopes he can figure out a workable solution. She also agreed the bike rack should be moved to the back and the size of the awning should be reduced. Foll said he likes the direction the design has gone and the roofline does not bother him. He somewhat agrees this is the wrong building in the wrong place, but acknowledged there is a residential area nearby. Foll recognized the giant strides Hoxmeier has made, but would like to get the windows on the south side raised a bit. He feels the blue window will be all right and he likes the fish scales.

Skibby announced he still feels uncomfortable with the design and confusing rooflines. This is not the ideal design for that area, but recognized the need to work with the existing structure. Knox interjected that Staff has talked to Hoxmeier about designing more of a commercial look to the building and feels it is going the right direction and phase 3 may eventually fit in better. It is important to remember that the addition is compatible with the existing structure and that the proposal is appropriate for an addition onto an existing building. It would not be appropriate at this point to have a completely different style of building.

Chambers asked Hoxmeier if he had thought of moving the existing building to a different site, and Hoxmeier replied he had thought of it.

Shostrom stated this application meets the criteria for what is being proposed, however, the window proportion is not being carried through. He would prefer Hoxmeier did not hide the inconsistency with the trellis and the awning. Steele said she feels the problem is the way the existing structure is situated on the lot.

Chambers asked Hoxmeier to explain the issue of not being able to get the window heights consistent. Hoxmeier responded the issue is raising the plate level. If he can get the trusses reinforced, he would be able to raise the window heights. Shostrom asserted Hoxmeier could make it work and in doing so, the windows would fit proportionally. This is early enough in the design stage for it to happen. Leighton said that would make the building more aesthetically pleasing and told Hoxmeier she would like to see him further investigate the engineering.

Hoxmeier said he would postpone his application and turn in another plan for next month. Knox stated he can ask for a 30 day continuance and Hoxmeier said he would. Chambers then moved to delay this application for 30 days. Leighton seconded the motion. Shostrom amended the motion for clarification purposes that 1) the buildings need to be more compatible in bulk and detail, which means the addition should match the existing building in plate height, and window and header height, and that these elements need to be carried around to the south elevation; and 2) it is necessary to draw the south elevation without the awnings in order to see the architectural details. Chambers accepted the friendly amendment and the motion passed unanimously.

BUILDING PERMITS

Note: With the new computer system, there is no building permit log that indicates permits issued during the month. Sorry.

OLD BUSINESS

Review Board -- Following is the March schedule for the Review Board, which meets every Thursday from 3:00 to at least 3:30 p.m. in the Planning Department:

March 8th

Skibby, Steele and Bailey

March 15th

Skibby, Foll and Leighton

March 22nd

Skibby, Chambers, Meiser and Shostrom

March 29th

Skibby, Maser and Foll

Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA #99-108

340 Oak Street

Shostrom

PA# 2000-039

410 Siskiyou Boulevard

Skibby

PA # 2000-052

220 Fourth Street

Shostrom

PA #2000-074

15 South Pioneer Street

Skibby

PA #2000-088

159 North Main Street

Bailey

PA #2000-095

180 Alida Street

Foll

PA #2000-098

50 Sixth Street

Leighton

PA #2000-106

239 Oak Street

Meiser

PA #2000-107

House Move to Laurel Street

Leighton

PA #2000-108

552 "A" Street

Foll

PA #2000-124

51 Winburn Way

Foll

PA #2001-011

130 Helman Street

Leighton

PA #2001-019

521 North Main Street

Shostrom

PA #2001-021

215 Scenic Drive

Meiser

Policy Regarding Proiect Presentation-- Meiser presented questions to the Commission, while emphasizing the need to define what types of buildings need a more formal review and what applications should come to a full Commission meeting with the architect/designer prior to formally applying for planning approval. He spoke for the members as he noted his frustration that some of the biggest projects get treated the lightest as far as seeking input from the Historic Commission. Knox stated the pre-application stage would be the best time for the Review Board to comment that prior to spending more money and time on a particular application, the Review Board would like the full Commission to review prior to application. Meiser stated he realizes this will need to be amended in the Municipal Code. Knox added it will take public hearings before the Planning Commission and the City Council.

The members agreed that public/civic, new commercial and major additions to commercial buildings (changing over 10% of the front facade) should receive input from the full Commission. Criteria details for presenting the planning actions should be standard and should include cross sections of details, size, color and dimensions. Knox said there are four stages for planning actions -- pre-application, full Historic Commission, final planning application, and building permit. The Review Board should make the discretionary call.

Travel Itinerary for National Register Web Site -- Steele announced she had completed the final revision of the historical context and asked the Commissioners to forward comments to her as soon as possible, as she had vowed to get this sent by the middle of next week.

The Commission unanimously agreed to extend the meeting beyond 10:00p.m.

NEW BUSINESS

National Historic Preservation Week (May 13-19)-- The theme for this year's celebration is Restore, Renew, Rediscover Your Historic Neighborhood Schools. Leighton, Skibby, Chambers and Maser will meet next week to determine the schedule of events.

Adoption of the Ashland Historic Cemeteries Preservation Plan -- Skibby said he had noticed the base on one of the gravestones at Ashland Cemetery had recently been replaced with a concrete slab. He was concerned that the Cemetery Preservation Plan Kay Atwood had submitted to Public Works was not being followed. In talking with Atwood, he learned the Plan had not yet been officially adopted by the Council. Akerman asked Public Works Director Paula Brown what needed to be done to accomplish this and was told she hadn't had a chance to get it to the Council for adoption, but planned to do so in April. Brown would like Commission members to attend the Council meeting in support of the Plan. The Commission will invite Atwood to a regular monthly meeting so she can present the completed Preservation Plan. Steele moved and Shostrom seconded to recommend the Council officially adopt the Ashland Historic Cemeteries Preservation Plan. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

Downtown Plan Phase 2 -- Knox asked for volunteers to be on the Downtown Plan Phase 2 Committee, which will be reviewing the Downtown Plan and making recommendations on such items as street furniture and parking. Steele and Leighton volunteered.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

As part of the Cities of Ashland and Jacksonville free historic preservation workshop series, Jim Lewis and Dave Skilton will speak about commercial and residential window restoration on April 6 from 11:00-12:30 at the Ashland Springs Hotel. Knox stated invitations will be mailed to contractors, architects, designers and property owners within the Ashland Historic District and the City of Jacksonville. He is hoping for a large turnout.

The Historic Commission will present an update for the City Council on May 1. This will tie in to National Historic Preservation Week, so those who give the presentation can also mention the awards and schedule of events.

DISCUSSION

Because Southern Oregon Historical Society is in danger of losing a large portion of its budget, Leighton announced the Society would like to enlist the help of the Historic Commission in writing letters to the Jackson County Commissioners and/or the Jackson County Budget Committee, or in writing letters to the editor for our local newspapers and sending a copy to the Jackson County Commissioners. She said the Commission and SOHS are both working to preserve our heritage and to educate people about the past. She urged the Commission to write letters, especially if the members have had an event associated with SOHS that affected their outlook on life.

ADJOURNMENT

It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 10:15 p. m.

 

 

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