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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, October 04, 2000

October 4, 2000



At 7:35 p.m., Chairperson Terry Skibby called the meeting to order at the Community Center. Members present were Terry Skibby, Dale Shostrom, Vava Bailey, Kay Maser, Gary Foll, Jay Leighton and Joan Steele. Also present were Associate Planner Mark Knox, Secretary Sonja Akerman and City Council Liaison Cameron Hanson. Members Bob Meiser and Keith Chambers were unable to attend the meeting.


Shostrom moved and Foll seconded to approve the minutes of the September 6, 2000 meeting as submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.


Planning Action 2000-095
Site Review and Side Yard Variance
180 Alida Street
Ilene Buys

Knox presented the Staff Report, explaining the applicant is proposing to construct a garage and a 721 square foot second residence on her property which has frontage on both Alida and Morse Streets. This proposal also involves a side yard variance from the required six feet to three feet, one inch. The accessory unit will be located on the back of her lot and access will be off Morse Street. The existing house faces Alida Street, which has a classic streetscape, with small, mostly Craftsman style homes. Morse Street is mostly the rear yards and garages for homes that front Alida Street. Planning would like to see Morse Street change to look more like Alida Street. This application would be a step toward that goal. Parking for the rear unit will be on Morse Street. The owner will access her new garage off Alida. Knox explained this lot is zoned R-2 and is 8,000 square feet, which will allow two units. The owner is requesting a side yard setback because the old driveway leads directly to this area. Also, there was an accessory structure that was recently removed from this location. She has explored other options, but because of vehicular back-up dimensions, turning radius constraints and building codes for the garage door placement, she has stated her proposal seems to be the best solution. If the structure were to be moved over, she would lose her rear yard and additional trees would need to be removed. The proposed location will still require a portion of her deck to be removed. Knox noted Staff's only concern is the two-foot eaves that will encroach into the setback area. Staff does not feel there is justification for a Variance to be granted for the extended eaves, and is recommending approval of this application with the condition all the eaves be reduced so that the maximum encroachment is 18 inches. The new unit will be a small, nice, affordable rental unit. It will have a four-foot front porch, a 6 x 12 roof pitch and symmetrical windows. The applicant will be required to install a sidewalk along Morse Street. All trees will be saved except a couple of small fruit trees.

Skibby asked about the fence and gate that currently exists off Morse Street. Knox stated the fence will be removed and replaced with a shorter one.

Shostrom stated if a structure is three feet from a property line, the building material needs to be one-hour fire rated. Since Craftsman homes typically have exposed rafters, this will change the look of the house because the eaves will have to be sheet rocked. He said he is concerned that once the house is constructed, it will not look right to have these eaves different than the open ones. He suggested mitigating this and moving the house back 18 inches.

Steele remarked the blue prints did not have much detail and Maser said she would like to see written specifications on the details. Shostrom stated it would look best to match what is on the existing house. Knox said the house will have 3-inch drop siding and the trim will be 6 inch. He will make sure the conditions reflect this.

Foll asked about the concrete building adjacent to the proposed house and was informed the buildings will only be three or four feet apart, and because of the eave overhang, may only be 18 inches. Leighton asked about the setback difference between these two buildings. Knox replied they will be close, but the porch of the proposed house will be recessed two feet from the face and will project two feet out.

Bailey asked about the garage door and owner Ilene Buys stated she would like to have a carriage door. If not, she assured the Commission it will be wooden. Skibby questioned the windows and Buys replied they would be double hung to match the newer ones in the existing house. After Shostrom asked about the width between the windows, she said she is also open to putting in a wider space between the groupings of two windows, and verified the trim will be six-inch. Buys related the roof material will be composition and will match the house.

Foll said he is concerned about the eave problem and asked if the house could be moved to the other side of the property. Buys responded solar could not be met on that side and that if it were to be placed there, large trees would have to be removed. Knox interjected the contractor is aware of the eave problem. Shostrom explained how the eaves would look if sheet rocked. He said even if they were reduced to one foot, they would not look right and asked Knox if there were any way to mitigate this. Knox said the applicant will have to explore this with the contractor and meet with the Review Board.

Shostrom asked on what basis Staff is recommending approval. Knox replied that a building was located there previously, Morse Street will get a nice streetscape, and an affordable rental unit will result. Shostrom then suggested 4 x 4 timbers be used on the eaves rather than 2 x 4, as he thought this would meet building code requirements for fire rating. Knox said he is sure the contractor will be able to work all this out.

The Commissioners agreed it would have been better to see more details in the drawings. They also agreed the new unit will fit in nicely.

Leighton moved to recommend approval of this application to the Planning Commission with the following conditions: 1) the applicant and/or contractor meet with the Review Board and present construction details which will match the existing house, and 2) the applicant and/or contractor present proposals for firewall and eave construction, creating symmetry between the north and south faces of the building. Steele seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Planning Action 2000-098
Site Review and Conditional Use Permit
50 Sixth Street
Qwest Communications

Knox explained this application is for a Conditional Use Permit and Site Review for a 2,840 square foot addition onto the existing communications building. The siding material will be veneer brick to match the existing. The driveway off East Main Street will be removed so the sole access will be off the alley on Sixth Street. This proposal also includes extensive landscaping. Close neighbors have requested the existing photinia hedge be allowed to grow to help screen the property. The building is very utilitarian and the number of employees will remain the same, thus the impact on the surrounding neighborhood will remain unchanged. Zoning would allow six units in the parent zone, so this proposal will have less of an impact on the neighborhood. The existing mechanical equipment will be enclosed. The East Main and Sixth Street side of the building will match with the brick veneer and the back and side will be block. Knox also noted a rest area for pedestrians with benches will be incorporated into the landscaping on the corner of East Main and Sixth Streets.

After a brief discussion on this application, Steele moved and Shostrom seconded to recommend approval of this application to the Planning Commission. The motion was unanimously passed.



Permits reviewed by members of the Historic Commission and issued during the month of September follow:

171 Van Ness Avenue

David Campbell


234 Seventh Street



283 "B" Street



253 East Main Street

Illuminate, Inc.


212 East Main Street

Bullseye Lounge


320 East Main Street



343 East Main Street




Review Board

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

October 5

Skibby and Bailey

October 12

Skibby, Leighton and Steele

October 19

Skibby, Meiser, Foll and Bailey

October 26

Skibby, Meiser and Leighton

November 2

Skibby, Maser and Steele


Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA# 99-062

Van Ness Avenue


PA# 99-102

141 Lithia Way


PA# 99-108

340 Oak Street


PA #2000-038

361 Scenic Drive


PA #2000-039

410 Siskiyou Boulevard


PA #2000-052

220 Fourth Street


PA #2000-074

15 South Pioneer Street


PA #2000-088

159 North Main Street


PA #2000-095

180 Alida Street


PA #2000-098

50 Sixth Street


Travel Itinerary

Steele reported she would like to have everything completed and ready to send in by November 1.


Certified Historic Renovation and Addition for 552 "A" Street

Historic Preservation Consultant George Kramer informed the Commission he is working with the owner (Carol Horn Davis) of the historic John M. Easterling Building (VFW). The VFW portion of the building will be fully restored. This building was constructed in 1908 with miracle block. The front portion was originally a restaurant and remained so until the VFW bought it in the 1950s and changed the front facade. The rear addition will provide 750 square feet of living area. There will be no direct access between the existing building and the addition. Kramer explained the existing rear portion of the building is substandard, so they will be taking advantage of this to demolish that portion and rebuild it as the service core. There is a grade drop to the back of the building, which enables a sleeping loft to be incorporated into the addition, with the living area to be located downstairs. According to Secretary of Interior Standards, they will need to leave a clean space between the old and the new. This is the reason for the variation of building materials. Davis, who is also an architect, looked at the vernacular housing in the area and designed the addition with this in mind. This is very typical of additions to masonry structures.

Kramer also explained this is a 25 x 122 foot lot. Buildings can be constructed on property lines but they can't have eaves. One condition in a certified historic renovation is that someone standing across the street looking at the building cannot see a new roofline. This proposed addition meets the standard by 16 feet. The historic portion will be kept in tact and the original volume of the building will not change. The addition will cause no visual impact because it won't be seen from "A" Street. Kramer stated the plans would not only be sent to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, but also to Washington D.C. because the standards need to be met.

On the front façade, the windows will be flush and the door will be recessed by three and one-half feet. Kramer and Carol Horn Davis stated they have found no historic photos of the building that show the storefront, but they believe this was how the original building looked.

The Commission thanked Kramer and Davis for coming to the meeting and commended them for the renovation work that will be done on the building.

Certified Local Government (CLG) Meeting Update

Knox reported this was a joint Washington and Oregon meeting held in Vancouver, Washington. Special assessments and benefits of being a CLG were among the topics discussed. Participants talked mostly about the Washington Special Assessment Program, which is relatively the same as Oregon's. Knox stated he also participated in the Oregon/Washington Heritage Conference, also held in Vancouver.


It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m.

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