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Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Minutes 05/22/2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008



May 22, 2008



Vice Chair Carol Voisin called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:

Richard Billin


SOU Liaison:  Alexandra Amarotico, Absent

Carol Voisin



Graham Lewis


Council Liaison:  Alice Hardesty

Steve Hauck



Bill Smith, arrived at 4:38


Staff Present:: 

Aaron Benjamin


Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist



Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Commissioners Absent



Regina Ayars




Page two, liaison reports last sentence of the first paragraph should read “Hardesty encouraged the Commission too not go to far away from the 200 goal.” Hauck/Lewis m/s to approve the minutes as corrected from the April 22, 2008 Housing meeting. Voice Vote:  Approved



Allan Sandler, 1260 Prospect, gave a presentation of a proposed ten unit apartment rental project over the City of Ashland Lithia parking lot.  It is Mr. Sandler’s desire to get on the June 17th Council meeting agenda.  Mr. Sandler would like the Housing Commission to advise the Council at to whether this is something they think should be looked into.  Mr. Sandler would like the City Council to ask staff to put in about two hours of their time to go over his plan and submit their opinions back to the Council.  Mr. Sandler read through his plan and gave a copy of his presentation to each of the Commissioners. 


The Commissioners briefly discussed Mr. Sandler’s project. 


Goldman explained if the City Council directs staff to go forward they can also direct that any agreement be put before the Housing Commission before going back to them.


Hardesty said this project makes a lot of since but the only reason why she wants so see the Commission take more time with it is if they want to talk about the possibility of doing a different parking lot so they get more units. 


Hauck/Voisin m/s to place this item on the agenda today for discussion. Voice Vote:  Motion passed with Hardesty and Lewis opposing. 



Subcommittee Reports

Finance – Voisin reported the committee met and their intent was to look at means of revenue for the Housing Trust Fund.  The Committee decided they wanted Goldman to begin working on the ordinance and resolution that outlines the policy procedures. While that’s in process they will be working on revenue streams. Goldman gave an update that he just finished an initial draft of the ordinance establishing the Housing Trust Fund and a resolution establishing procedures.  Goldman has sent them to legal for initial review and was hoping to have them back in time for the June 10, 2008 Finance Committee meeting.


Liaison Reports

Council – Hardesty reported that at the last meeting the Council repelled the twenty foot setback on the north side of Lithia Way and asked the Planning Commission and Planning Department to look at what kind of business would inhabit the first floor of Commercial spaces downtown.  The reason they requested this was because offices tend not to be friendly to pedestrian shoppers, and retail spaces are more appropriate.  The Council also asked the Planning Commission to look for a way to increase the sidewalk space on the south side of Lithia Way.  Hardesty said the Council passed a fifteen foot sidewalk including the park row for arterials downtown as part of this ordnance.   


Goldman informed the Commission that Linda Reid the new Housing Specialist will be starting on June 3, 2008. 


Parks – Hauck did not attend the Parks meeting but got the tape and watched it. There was nothing relating to housing issues.  Hauck will be attending the next scheduled Hearing with the Parks Commission on June 23, 2008. 


School Board – No report.


Planning Commission– No report.


Ad-Hoc/Public Meeting Updates

Annexation and Zone Change Ordinances Ad-Hoc Committee –

Goldman reported they did meet and went over the proposed annexation and zone changes to bring up the familiarity with the Planning Commission members as to what the Housing Commission had worked on. The Housing Commission forwarded to the Ad-Hoc Committee two points;

1) Rentals be restricted to sixty percent AMI as opposed to the eighty percent which was allowable under the existing and proposed annexation ordinance. On that specific issue there was some concern at the Ad-Hoc meeting if that discourages the development of apartments. 

2) One of the Planning Commissioners recognized that the Housing Commission had established minimum size for a one bedroom unit was six hundred square feet and that was taken from the home program rules. Under the City of Ashland parking requirements as well as density requirements five hundred square foot units are counted as only .75 of a unit. This means that if  600 feet were rolled back to 500 feet it may allow for either an increase in number of units or a reduction in parking requirements.

The draft annexation ordinance is scheduled to come before the Housing Commission in June.  Study Session of the Planning Commission is tentively scheduled for June 24th to review the Ordinance.  The Commission meeting to make a formal recommendation on the draft would be at the regular meeting on June 26th.


SDC Meeting-Hauck reported that the recommendation from consultants was when they set the formula for the SDC’s they left out pedestrian and bicycle facilities as part of how they would calculate those.  The Committee voted to go back to the way they have always done and consider those fees part of transportation.


Facilities Plan – Hardesty said there is a Study Session planned in June 2 to discuss the gun club. Hardesty said the lease is up in 2009 and they are asking for the Council to give them an early lease. Someone from the Planning Department is working on possibilities for use of the gun club property.  Voisin said that the City is still looking at serious consideration of using the Grove.  Lewis stated his group has decided not to try to utilize the building and is not prepared at this time top make such a request.



Staff Presentation – The Commissioners had received the 2008-2010 Housing Work Plan in their packet. Goldman reported that the Housing Work Plan was presented to the City Council to provide them with a better understanding of the different activities that are currently being worked on by the Ashland Housing Program.  Goldman reviewed the distribution of time dedicated to each aspect of the Housing Program over the course of a year and gave a general overview of the Work Plan.



The Annual Retreat will be on Saturday July 12, 2008 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Lunch will be provided by the City.  It was suggested to spend the majority of the time on Goal setting and the Action Plan.



The Commissioners discussed Allan Sandler’s proposal for a ten unit apartment rental project over the City of Ashland Lithia parking lot. Smith confirmed with Mr. Sandler that he was requesting the Commission to decide if they think the business aspect of the project is worth the City Council’s time for reviewing. 


Mr. Sandler said they have chose to build a very attractive, more expensive, units then most low income housing in order that the tenants would take pride in ownership. Mr. Sandler confirmed that he is open to using a different parking lot if one is available and works with his plans.


Hardesty said her concern is that the Housing WorkPlan has a ten percent time allocation for project development and is not sure they have the extra time this takes to devote to the project. Hardesty would maintain that the Commission should consider thinking more seriously about using a bigger parking lot in order to get more units.


Hauck believes this is worth taking a look at and Billin doesn’t see any downside since its not taking the funding away from anything else.


Benjamin see this project as a possibility for not just low income Housing but could be an affordable workforce project as well. 


Lewis stated it’s a good idea to give it to the Council for them to talk about and decide if it’s a project worth going forward with.


Hardesty commented she is not sure this is a good use of the Housings Specialist’s time and believes the Commission should set their priorities first before deciding. 


Hauck/Lewis m/s to recommend to the City Council that they take a look at this project to see if it’s worth proceeding with. Voice Vote:  Motion passed with Hardesty and Voisin opposing.  


Community Meeting Regarding Homelessness and Poverty in Ashland

Lewis met with Chief Holderness, United Way, Saint Vincent DePaul and a group of other interested organizations regarding the poverty and homelessness in Ashland.  They are putting together a document that can be handed out to individuals who ask for help explaining the different available programs in the Community.  They will also be giving out bus tokens. Lewis said there will be another meeting with the Faith Community people and the City to see how they can work together to help not just the homelessness but the impoverished.


Frost asked questions regarding the Education sub-committee.  Benjamin explained what the past efforts and direction of the sub-committee had been.  Currently this Committee has been put on hold.  




The next regular meeting will be Thursday June 26, 2008 at the Community Development Building 4:30-6:30 pm.


The Planning Commission Study Session on Annexation Ordinance revision will be June 24, 2008


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


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