Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Regular Meeting 08/28/2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Chair Bill Smith called the meeting to order at 4:37 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:

Carol Voisin


SOU Liaison:  Alexandra Amarotico, Absent

Nick Frost



Graham Lewis


Council Liaison:  Alice Hardesty

Steve Hauck



Bill Smith


Staff Present:: 

Aaron Benjamin


Linda Reid, Housing  Specialist

Regina Ayars


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Commissioners Absent



Richard Billin






Voisin/Lewis m/s to approve the minutes of the July 24, 2008 Housing meeting.  Voice Vote:  Approved




Barbara Christensen City Recorder and Richard Appicello, City Attorney gave a short presentation on Public Records Law and Public Meeting Guidelines.  Ms. Christensen encouraged the Commissioners to call her office or the legal department if they have any specific questions regarding anything that has to do with being a Commissioner.  As an appointed Commissioner you are representing the citizens of the Community and you are subject to Public Records Law as well as Public Meetings Law.


Some highlights that Ms. Christensen and Mr. Appicello pointed out were:

  • All meetings are open to the public.  Meetings must be advertised, accessible and held within the City limits.  Though the public has a right to attend and listen to the meeting they do not necessarily have the right to participate, that is up to each Commission on how they manage it.
  • A quorum has to be met and minutes are required to be taken.  The minutes are a summary of what has happened during the meeting. No meeting can be held without a quorum.
  • Anything and everything you do that has to do with your Commission is public record.  It is allowable for the public to come in and tape your meeting provided they are not disrupting the meeting.  They cannot video tape you before, after or during a recess. Be aware that citizens who are present to listen to the meeting do not have to identify themselves.  If they come forward to speak in the public forum they then need to identify themselves though they are not required to give their address. 
  • Because anything and everything you do has to be open and available to the public you should not be using email as a method of discussion.  If you use your own home computer it could be subject to public records inquiry.  The best use of email is to notify staff of agenda items to put in the packets for discussion at the next meeting. 
  • Remember that as a Commissioner you have more duties, responsibilities and liabilities then you have power. 
  • Do not exceed your authority.  Official misconduct is knowingly violating a statute applicable to the public records law. 
  • Oregon State Retention law states records must be kept for three years. 




No one spoke



Liaison Reports

Finance – No report


Education – Because the Sub-Committee did not have a quorum on August 13, 2008 a meeting was not held.  Benjamin did spend time talking with Goldman regarding air rights and the application of Frost’s presentation on Community Land Partnership.  They discussed the distribution of the DVD’s that were made by RVTV and the Education Sub-Committee. There is a Candidates Fair at SOU on October 11, 2008 and they discussed the feasibility of providing each table with a packet of material including the Housing Notebook to help educate the Candidates.  Linda will find out if this is a possibility; there may be a lobbying issue. Ayars is organizing the Candidates Fair and will check with the League of Woman voters to see if they will be open with the idea of the distribution of materials.  Put this on next month’s agenda. 


Land Use – Ayars distributed her minutes to the Commissioners from the August 27, 2008 meeting. The Committee looked at the four proposed Land Use goals in order to determine priorities. It was decided the priority would be to target City owned air rights/vertical housing RFP for parking lots. The next meeting will be September 10, 2008 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.


Liaison Reports

Council – No report.


Reid reported that Ashland ranked high with Oregon Housing and Community Services” Consolidated Funding Cycle application based on the fact that Ashland has very little affordable housing.  Reid confirmed that the Stratford deal did fall through.  Since the intended use of the CDBG funds was for the Stratford’s rehabilitation, a new RFP will need to be issued to find a new proposal for the remaining CDBG funds.  Reid said she will advertise an RFP that the money is still available.  The balance of the CDBG funds is $346,000.  They money has to be spent by May of 2009.   Put the RFP on next months Agenda. 


Parks Commission – No report.


Ayars reported that at the last Park Commission meeting the Commissioners did not make a decision regarding the Westwood property and have scheduled an on site visit to the Clay Street property. 


School Board – No report.  Frost was out of town.


Planning Commission – Benjamin said that after much discussion the Planning Commissioners finally approved the amendments to the Ashland Land Use Ordinance regarding annexation as was submitted to them by the Housing Commission.  The Ordinance will be going to the City Council on October 7, 2008.


Benjamin commented on the Housing Commissions continued interest in the Croman Site with regard to workforce/affordable Housing.  Assuming that the land will be developed with light industry the Commission would like see Housing somewhere in the City of Ashland if it’s not going to be on the site itself.


Cate Hartzell, City Councilor, said what she heard the Land Use Planners say was that if you try and put Housing to close to large Commercial zones you may dilute the value of it as a Commercial or Manufacturing District. 


Graham/Hardesty m/s that the Commission encourages the Planning Commission and City Council when looking at economic development issues for the City of Ashland that Housing be a component of the study. 


Hardesty/Graham m/s to amend the motion to include master planning as well as economic development.


Voice Vote on the motion and amendment:  All Ayes, both motion and amendment passed unanimously.



Move to next months agenda.



John Wheeler, Director of Acquisitions and Construction for Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation, gave an update to the status of Terrace Court, Verde Village and the Clay Street Parks property.


Terrace Court will have a ribbon cutting on September 26, 2008. Six houses are almost done.  This project has a total build time of seven months.  These houses already have owners. The cost of the two bedroom homes is $138,000, $145,000 and $146,000.  No down payment is necessary because the loans come through Rural Development. Mr. Wheeler said it is very important that each family is capable of making their monthly payment and should never pay more then one third of their income for their mortgage. When the house is completed it has to have at least 15% of its value in equity.   If the homes are sold it must be to another qualified low income family.


Verde Village was required to set aside a percentage of the houses for affordable housing.  Because the Williams decided to donate the land to RVCDC those houses will be able to be net zero energy ready, Leeds Platinum Standard Homes and have solar hot water heaters.  They probably will not be able to have the photovoltaic panels at this time but they will be ready for them in the future. The purchase price will be $140,000 or less. The biggest problem for RVCDC is recruiting families. Mr. Wheeler purchased a mailing list that included every apartment renter in Ashland. He mailed out 1200 postcards and one person showed up to the meeting.  At this time they need five more families to participate.  For every person that qualifies there are at least 100 who get rejected due to income requirements, bad credit or they are just not interested.   


Clay Creek property off of Chitwood.  After Verde Village gets started Mr. Wheeler said they will begin to develop this project.  This will probably not be a self help project but a straight build and find buyers for it.  They are exploring options such as lease to own.   


Mr. Wheeler thanked Reid and Goldman for the wonderful Affordable Housing News Letter that came out.  



  • The Croman Site Development
  • CDBG Caper review and approval
  • Finalize goals
  • Material for Candidates Fair



Parks Commission Meeting August 25, 2008, City Council Chambers 7:00 - 9:00 pm


Regulatory Barriers Meeting joint Planning, Housing Commissioners and City Council meeting – September 30, 2008 Council Chambers 7:00 - 9:00 pm


Housing Commission regular meeting –September 25, 2008 4:30 – 6:30. Community Development Building


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 6:36 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by, Carolyn Schwendener



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