Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Regular Meeting 09/25/2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008



September 25, 2008



Chair Bill Smith called the meeting to order at 4:35 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:

Carol Voisin


SOU Liaison:  Alexandra Amarotico

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

Richard Billin








Hardesty/Voisin m/s to approve the minutes of the August 28, 2008 Housing meeting.  Voice Vote:  Approved


Smith made an amendment to the agenda. Under Sub-committee reports he included Brandon Goldman in order for him to give an update on the Clay Street Project.


Candidates Fair-Education Packets Updates

Ayars discussed with the League of Woman Voters the idea of providing a packet of materials from the Housing Commission to the Candidates and it was decided they would not allow the Housing Commission to put education packets on the tables.  If was their concern if they did this for the Housing Commission they would then be obligated to do that for anybody that might approach them.


Croman Site Discussion

Reid confirmed that the Croman Site plan has been updated on the Ashland website (, long range planning). The next meeting date has not been scheduled.  The draft redevelopment plan is being worked on and is expected to be completed in mid November of this year.    The Housing component is only in the Mixed Use area. 



No one spoke



Sub-committee Reports

Finance – No report


Education – No report


Land Use – Ayars distributed her minutes from the September 11, 2008 Land Use meeting. Action items were:

·         Review Historical information on Lithia Way Vertical Housing

·         Reviewed Inventory of City owned land.

The committee discussed the possibility of using the Water Street lots, the Lithia Lot or the Second Street lot for vertical housing sites.  Each committee member did a site inspection of each of the various locations. 


The Committee also discussed the City owned properties that could possibility be sold for monies to be deposited in the Housing Trust Fund for purchase of affordable housing.


Liaison Reports

Council – Hardesty reported that at the last Council meeting the Housing Trust Fund Ordinance was passed.  Because the mayor was on vacation Hardesty was appointed to take his place at a dinner meeting with the mayor of Portland, Tom Potter, his wife and three assistants along with several business people from Ashland.  Mr. Potter was amazed at how high our median home prices are when at the same time the area medium income is so low.  He was very interested in what we were doing particularly with regard to the Annexation and Zone change Ordinance.    


At the next Council meeting the Commissioners will be discussing the transient occupancy tax and how to divvy it up. It was recently raised from 7 to 9 percent of which seventy percent of the increase has to go to tourism. Some of the money that goes in the General Fund has in the past been divided up into several categories such as small grants and the Chamber of Commerce. This year the City Economic Development and Strategic Planning will get a part of the non tourism money. Hardesty believes it could be conceivable to askt the Council ask that part of the non tourism dollars be dedicated to the Housing Trust Fund.  Hardesty inquired how the Commissioners felt about her idea of having some of the non tourism dollars.  The Commissioners talked about the fact that it might be better to wait until the strategic planning and economic development gets under the way. 


Parks Commission – No update.  The Parks Commission is still gathering information regarding potential areas where they might be able to do some land swaps.


School Board – Frost was not able to attend though said they are not doing anything related to housing at this time.


Planning Commission – Benjamin said that the main topic of the last meeting was the Water Resources Protection Ordinance.  He was not aware of anything that might be of interest to the Housing Commission.



Brandon Goldman gave a power point presentation regarding the item of the Clay Street acquisition that will be going to the Council on October 7, 2008.  The Council will be reviewing what purchasing the property will entail and then it will come back to them again on October 21 with the purchase agreement in hand for signature. 


The property is ten acres in size, located next to shopping, schools and the YMCA. The property is zoned multi-family with one acre of wetland and has potential of up to 107 units. The purchase agreement that has been negotiated has a 3.6 million dollar purchase price.  As part of the negotiated purchase price there are land trades that are proposed as a source of funds; the Strawberry Lane property and the Lithia Lot property.  The Lithia lot parking lot was appraised at $350,000.00. In negotiating with the seller of the Clay Street property, Doug Irvine has agreed to assume its value of $500,000.00 with the expectation that he would develop it privately.  It would be considered a straight land trade where he would own a Commercial downtown lot. 


The Housing authority is looking to acquire a portion of the property and they would be bringing 1.2 million dollars to the acquisition in order to help purchase that property. The City would be looking at an inter-fund loan to come up with the $700,000 for the shortfall of the purchase price.  Hauck explained that an inter-fund loan is set up that you can borrow from other City Department funds though you have to pay it back within a year’s period of time.  Once you pay it back you can borrow it again.  It does have a small interest.  Another possibility is that the Parks Department might purchase part of the land for a Park, which would then eliminate the need for an inter-fund loan.


The development of the project could move rather quickly since the Housing Authority needs to have the property divided and owned by them no later then February 2009 in order to make an application to the state for funding. Development could start as early as June of 2009.  One of the considerations regarding the Lithia parking lot trade is the loss of the thirteen parking spaces in the downtown area. Brandon will present this proposal at the City Council on October 7th.



Reid explained that the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER) is submitted every year to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to tell them how we met our annual plan goals. In 2007 the City did not have anyone who came up for funding so there were no goals to meet. The CAPER is the City’s opportunity to report on CDBG funded activities and consolidated plan goal accomplishments.  It also allows entitlement Communities to recognize City funded activities that support consolidated plan goals that leverage funds with CDBG activities and help to meet the needs of its low to moderate income citizens.


Reid reviewed the CAPER report with the Commissioners and answered their questions.  Each Commissioner received a copy of the report and it is on our City website. 


The discussion was opened for public hearing.   


Hulez Gutcheon, audience member, said that all CDBG funds should be used for zero net energy and should be included in the price of the house for thirty years. 


Benjamin suggested that the CAPER report be included as an addendum every year to the Housing Notebook.


Voisin/Hardesty m/s to accept the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report.  Voice Vote:  approved.



Reid reported that a new Request For Proposals (RFP) has been issued for the City’s CDBG funds.  They are anticipating at least one applicant. A notice was put in the Daily Tidings on September 18, 2008 and it was posted on our website and a mailing was done to social service agencies and community development agencies.  Because of a shortened time line these funds need to be expended by May of 2009.  Applications are due on October 17, 2008 by 3:00 p.m. The following week is the Housing Commission meeting and it is on the agenda to hold a public meeting to make award recommendations to the City Council.  The Housing Commission will forward their award recommendations to the City Council at their meeting on November 18, 2008.   A minimum of $150,000.00 of the $345,000 in CDBG funds has to be spent in order for the City to meet HUD’s timeliness requirement.


Mr. Gutcheon, audience member, announced that on the C-SPAN site had a program on affordable housing including information regarding HUD.



·         Goal Setting

·         Quorum issue

·         Public Hearing RFP proposals



Hauck volunteered to represent the Housing Commission at the City Council meeting when they review the Annexation Ordinance.


Quorum Check-Graham and Hardesty will not be here and Billin might be late. 


Amarotico  mentioned that the Executive Cabinet of the Associated Students of SOU met recently to set their goals for the coming year.  One of the main discussions they had was to revisit the work done in the past regarding the bias against student renters for student housing.  She will be doing the research and then present it to the Housing Commission.   The students would like to see landlords uphold what was decided upon in the past. 



ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by, Carolyn Schwendener


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