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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, December 06, 2000

December 6, 2000



At 7:39 p.m., Chairperson Terry Skibby called the meeting to order at the Community Center. Members present were Terry Skibby, Dale Shostrom, Jay Leighton, and Keith Chambers. Kay Maser arrived late. Also present were Associate Planner Mark Knox and Clerk Derek Severson.


Shostrom/Chambers moved and seconded to approve the minutes of the November 8, 2000 meeting as submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.

It was agreed to adjust the agenda to deal with the Hospital's application, PA #2000-105, first, as the majority of those present were here for that item.


Planning Action 2000-105
Site Review
559 Scenic Drive
Ashland Community Hospital

Public hearing opened at 7:40 p.m.

Knox explained that the commission had approved an application for nearly the same project in 1998. Knox noted that the plans were displayed on the wall, and stated that the architect was present to explain any changes that may have been made since this item was last reviewed by the commission.

Knox noted that the project is at the juncture of Catalina, Maple and Scenic, and stated that it will involve the demolition of the northeast corner's building. He explained that the new building will be built in the northwest corner, with parking behind, and emphasized that it meets all planning requirements and will include sidewalks on the three frontage streets.

Knox clarified that vehicle access will be from Catalina (facing the hospital) only. Knox also pointed out that given the fact that this project approaches the maximum 65% lot coverage there will likely be no further building on this lot.

Knox concluded that the staff is in favor of this application, and reminded the commission that it has already been reviewed and approved once.

Ken Ogden, architect for the applicant, explained that this design changes from the previously proposed slab building to a raised foundation to allow more flexibility. Ogden also stated that the building is limited to hospital use, and will be used to house administrative functions to free up valuable medical space within the hospital.

Ogden pointed out that the secondary/emergency exit has been re-oriented, with straight stairs perpendicular to Maple, with a raised floor to allow under floor venting.

Skibby questioned the change in window screening since the last application. Ogden explained that the rooms were previously intended to be exam rooms, but have now been changed to general office use with a visually penetrable aluminum window system, with 4 1/2 - 5" wood trim. Ogden noted that the building would be done in earth tones, with deeper accents and bronze trim.

Skibby questioned the possibility of future expansion, and Ogden responded that this represents the maximum coverage for the zone. Ogden suggested that any considerations of expansion would require a zone change at some point in the future.

Ogden also pointed out some changes to the east elevation over the previous design, and explained that the building would be shiplap wood siding with architectural fiberglass composition shingles. Knox drew attention to the three-strip bellyband.

Chambers questioned the demolition of the existing building on the site. Ogden explained that the building is in decent shape, but that it is not economical to relocate it. Hospital Administrator Jim Watson noted that the building's appearance is only as good as it is because of remodels and ongoing visual maintenance. Watson noted further that the Hospital would be willing to give the building to anyone who would be willing to move it, at no charge, but recognized that the applicants would have to go through the city's demolition ordinance process in any case.

No other speakers came forward. Ogden, Watson and Jim McNamara noted that they were present to answer any further questions the commissioners might have.

Knox noted that staff is excited about this project, as represents a nice addition to the neighborhood.

Public hearing closed at 7:53 p.m.

Leighton stated that she believes this is a nice plan that complements the Hospital well.

Chambers noted that this plan is an improved over the previously approved version, and that it looks great. He suggested that the applicants look at the use of the building.

Shostrom and Maser both indicated their approval of the application.

Skibby noted that he feels comfortable with the proposal, and that he agreed with Chambers' comments.

After discussion, Chambers and Leighton moved and seconded to recommend approval of this application to the Planning Commission. The motion was unanimously passed.

Knox noted that in the past, the planning commission has requested that applicants advertise that a building is available to be moved prior to allowing demolition. He suggested that the applicants might want to consider this as soon as possible to avoid potential delays.

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Planning Action 2000-118
Conditional Use Permit and Solar Waiver
63 Bush Street
Robbin Foster & Colleen Curran

Public hearing opened at 7:55 p.m.

Knox briefly explained that this application is for an existing garage to become an art studio and guestroom. Knox noted the plans, and explained that the applicant will be repositioning the building on the lot relative to the property line. He noted that the project would be historically compatible, and emphasized that the existing garage is of little historic value. He further explained that the existing garage was built in the 1940's and is in questionable shape due to poor maintenance, and pointed out that there is now a tree growing out of the foundation of the structure.

Knox noted for the commission that the staff had concerns over parking, and as such a condition has been proposed to require that one off-street parking space be maintained. Knox explained that the applicant would need to work this into the site plan or present some alternative to address this condition.

Knox noted that neither the applicant nor their architect has any major concerns, and that the staff is very supportive of the application. Knox introduced Joyce Ward, a former Historic Commissioner, the architect for this project.

Ward noted that this is a classic house, and explained that she has attempted to match the existing home as well as possible. Ward noted the use of a trellis to mark the entry to the yard, and pointed out that they may be granted an easement for parking by the neighboring church. Ward emphasized that the existing garage, as it is now, is not compatible with anything.

There was discussion of the fact that this project involves moving the building relative to the property line while maintaining the existing footprint. Knox discussed the difference between a variance and a conditional use permit here, and noted that in this case the applicant is replacing an existing building.

Ward noted that the church is happy with the upgrades, as they are consistent in mass and style.

Public hearing was closed at 8:08 p.m.

Maser commended Ward on her report, and noted how nice it would be if all applications were written up this well.

Shostrom concurred, and noted how well done and thorough this application was.

Chambers stated that he was in favor of this application.

Leighton stated that she had nothing to add to the previous comments.

Skibby noted that upon review, it appeared that this project would have very positive impacts and he was comfortable with recommending approval.

Chambers moved to recommend approval of this application to the Planning Commission. Maser seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

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Planning Action 2000-119
Physical Constraints Permit, Administrative Variance, Variance and Solar Waiver
180 Logan Drive
Ken & Priscilla Laws

Public hearing opened at 8:10 p.m.

Knox explained that this property is not within the Historic District except as a technicality, and noted that the property was excluded from the National Register application. He continued by discussing that the area does not fit the district or the typical historic home.

Knox emphasized that the design is compatible with other homes in the area, and noted the roofline details and other design elements intended to address requirements of the hillside ordinance. He pointed out that this application is requesting both standard and administrative variances, and stated that the Fire Marshall did not foresee any problems with the proposed driveway grade. Knox continued by explaining that the Fire Marshall did require that the house include fire sprinklers because of the slope.

Knox discussed the height from grade, the massing, and other issues predicated on the 18% slope of the driveway. He reiterated that this project is not typical for the Historic District, but stated that he felt that the commission should consider this site within the surrounding subdivision rather than within the District as a whole.

It was noted that the wall and trees currently on the site would remain, and the site plan was discussed. It was explained that the shared drive could affect the neighbor's driveway.

Knox explained that this parcel was included in the District because it was set up before there were base maps.

Chambers suggested that the project be excluded from review. Skibby stated that the parcel is technically in the district, but noted that he had no objections to this idea. Knox noted that the front of the project is not impacting the district, and is thus compatible from the street. Skibby suggested that the commission only consider those portions of the site which impact the Historic District. Knox explained that the parcel is within the District only up to the trees, and emphasized that these are not disturbed by what is proposed.

Ward questioned whether the Commission was going to address this item, and stated that she would not go into detail if the Commission were not. She noted that she had been unaware of the historic designation for this site. Ward briefly discussed the difficulties created by this site, and stated that the plan was largely determined by the land and the city's zoning requirements. She stated that she believed she had managed to key the design off of the existing homes on the hillside, and that the home blends well with the surrounding homes. She also stated that the siting of the home on the lot should further lessen any impacts.

Chambers suggested that since the portion of the site in the district is not being changed, it should be approved.

Public hearing closed at 8:30 p.m.

Leighton and Maser moved and seconded to recommend approval of this application to the Planning Commission, as the area affecting the Historic District is to remain unchanged. The motion was unanimously passed.

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

125 Third Street

Mary Nelke


175 Hillcrest Street

John and Kathy Griffin


544 "B" Street

Leslie and Richard Lovet


157 North Main Street

Guy Nutter and Patti Sanders

Front Porch and Stairs


Review Board

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

December 7

Skibby and Leighton

December 14

Skibby, Leighton and Chambers

December 21

Skibby, Maser and Shostrom

December 28

Skibby, Maser and Steele


Project Assignments for Planning Actions


559 Scenic Drive



63 Bush Street



180 Logan Drive


Discuss and List Siskiyou Boulevard Historical Elements

Shostrom noted that he had attended the Siskiyou Boulevard Redesign meeting on December 4, and explained that they had strolled the Boulevard. He explained that he believed that ultimately, the redesign would involve bike lanes in the street, with a narrowed median, given budgetary limitations.

The Commissioners listed the following elements as essential to the historic character of the Boulevard: sidewalks, retaining walls, trees, center medians, park rows, and the types of vegetation and landscaping used.

Shostrom suggested that they should work to achieve a canopy effect with trees along the Boulevard, without "tunneling."

Leighton read a quote that she had found from a resident who had stated in 1976 that the Boulevard had changed three times since 1949, with each change in City Manager.

Skibby expressed concern with the removal of sidewalks and trees, which show how the Boulevard has changed over time. He emphasized that mature trees and park rows are important. He stated that there is a need to maintain those fixtures listed above. Skibby recognized that the center medians/islands have changed as recently as the late 1960's, and stated that the dimension of these islands could be cut without anyone noticing.

Leighton suggested that the addition of raised planters would be detrimental to the character of the Boulevard.

Skibby stated that there is a need to recognize the importance of the Boulevard and to retain its historic quality, which is largely pedestrian-based with many mature trees.

Shostrom noted that intensive design charrettes are scheduled to occur January 10th and 11th and stated that he felt it was important that Commissioners attend these sessions.

Skibby noted that the need to pay attention to things like the finish on concrete, which can vary in color, finish and texture.

Chambers suggested that the Commission need not be particular or prescriptive in making recommendations, but that it should emphasize the importance of maintaining the overall ambience.

Discuss Review Board Comments on Library Design

Knox provided background, noting that because bids had been higher than expected the council had directed staff to look at ways to reduce construction costs to more closely approximate the initial estimate. Knox emphasized that any changes made would not affect the exterior architectural design, but might involve elements such as changing the type of metal roof or making changes in some internal features.

Knox explained that the commission would have the opportunity to do some follow up review in a few weeks. He suggested that the commissioners type their review board comments and fax them to the architects for a response.

Skibby questioned what was to be done with the retaining walls in the front. Knox stated that the walls might change, as they are in need of repair. Skibby recommended that they retain the style of the old walls; the other commissioners concurred.

Knox stated that the Review Board would be seeing this project again once changes have been made.

Chambers questioned whether John Fields' idea of reducing the library footprint was being considered. Chambers expressed his concern with reducing the quality of the design versus reducing the size of the project. He emphasized that he is wary of further changes just to save money without further review occurring.

Knox reiterated that this would be seen by the Review Board again, and noted that they are simply looking at the options at this point.

Leighton stated that she would recopy the Review Board comments, and that either she or Maser would type them.

Maser questioned if the voter approved bond ties this project to a specific size. Knox explained that City Attorney Paul Nolte is speaking to bond counsel on this issue. Knox also asked that in typing the comments, that they include Chambers' concerns.


Skibby noted that there was no new business.


Knox announced that there would be a Siskiyou-Hargadine National Register Nomination neighborhood meeting at Lincoln School on December 7th. Skibby stated that he would try to attend, and Leighton stated that she would be there as well.

Knox also noted that there would be a brown bag luncheon meeting with City of Jacksonville on December 8th in Jacksonville. He also stated that they would try to do at least one seminar or presentation each month, and asked that commissioners give him any ideas or suggestions they might have for future presentations. Knox noted seminars could include items such as map reading, drafting, or windows for historic structures.

Maser suggested that they consider a presentation on the basic types of Victorian and Craftsman homes. Knox stated that this might work well with a tour of homes of each type in Ashland.


Leighton and Maser moved and seconded to adjourn at 9:03 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.

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