Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Regular Meeting 12/17/2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



December 17, 2008


Before the meeting was called to order the Commissioners had a reception for Carol Voisin honoring her years of service on the Housing Commission.  She was presented with a certificate of appreciation.  She will begin her position as City Councilor in January of 2009.



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:



SOU Liaison:  Alexandra Amarotico, absent

Nick Frost



Graham Lewis, absent


Council Liaison:  Alice Hardesty

Steve Hauck



Bill Smith


Staff Present:: 

Aaron Benjamin


Linda Reid, Housing  Specialist

Regina Ayars, absent


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Richard Billin, absent








Smith tabled the homeless liaison discussion until the January meeting when Commission Lewis would be present.


Frost/Benjamin m/s to approve the minutes of the November 25, 2008 Housing Commission meeting with two spelling corrections.  Voice Vote:  Approved.



No one spoke



Reid reviewed the process for the Action Plan Amendment. Once the City Council decides what to do with the Community Development Block Grant money an Action Plan is drawn up and sent to HUD.  A public hearing is held at that time and then HUD approves how the money is spent.  Because the City did not spend the money in the last go around an Action Plan Amendment was put together stating the new activity.  The City Council and the Housing Commission has awarded $345,000 to the Housing Authority of Jackson County for public facility improvements.  The newspaper has been notified of the public hearing and the City will accept public comments at this evenings meeting or in writing until December 31, 2008.  Any comments received will be sent up to HUD and await their approval.


Smith opened up the meeting for public comment.  No one came forth to speak.


The Commissioners discussed the amendment making spelling and grammatical corrections.


Hardesty/Hauck m/s to accept the 2008 CDBG Action Plan Amendment as edited.  Voice Vote:  Approved



Sub-committee Reports

Finance – No report

Education – No report

Land Use – No report



Liaison Reports

Council – Hardesty commented that Shaun Donovan, the newly appointed secretary of HUD looks like a marvelous person and they were lucky to have him. He has done an outstanding job in New York City and is committed to affordable housing as well as cleaning up HUD. 


Parks Commission – No report


School Board – Frost reported that the Governor’s budget came in allowing for a 2.5% increase in educational funding for each year. Ashland usually runs at about 5% increase, consequently the school board announced that they will probably be having lay offs.


Planning Commission – Benjamin reported that the thirteen unit condominium on 2300 Siskiyou Blvd was approved.  Some neighbors objected to the high density that this will create though it was well within the allowable amount stated Benjamin.



Benjamin acknowledged that the Housing Commission was given authorization to become part of the pre-app process.  He believes it would be a great idea to somehow find a mechanism to become a strong advisory to the Planning Department early on.  When opportunities come along like Coming Attractions located at 2200 Ashland Street he would like to see the Housing Commission have an opportunity to get involved.


The Commissioners discussed possible ways in which they could give input on upcoming Planning Actions and become more pro active.  They discussed expanding the pre-app parameters and talked about what criteria could trigger reviews by the Housing Commission.


Reid reminded the Commissioners that the City Council gave the Housing Commission the ability to review pre-apps and then they wanted someone to come back within a year and report on how that it was working.  The City Council was reluctant to grant new powers for the formal application process.  Perhaps the next step is to report on how that pre-app process is working.  Reid reminded the Commissioners that as individual citizens they always have the right to go to the Planning Commissioners meetings and share their concerns about any project and ask them to include affordable housing.


The Commissioners discussed the ordinance changes. 



The Housing Authority is anticipating submitting their formal application in January. Currently they are working on their storm water run off plan as well as their wetlands mitigation plan. 


Benjamin asked Hardesty if with the recent publicity about the potential City budgetary problems could affect the City’s contribution to the Clay Streets property.  Hardesty did not feel it would be a problem. Reid said the City’s purchase agreement is closing right now and should be done within the next day or two. 


Hardesty said if the Parks Department decides they don’t want the land the Housing Commission should then take a big look at what could be done with the land.  It’s a tremendous opportunity and would have to be some kind of mixed income development in order to pay back the $620,000.  Alice suggested approaching the school district, SOU, and the hospital with a partnership idea to develop employer assisted housing on either just the land on the south side which would provide 18 to 20 units, or dependent on the parks decision the whole thing could be available for development.   If the entire property were available for development then a comprehensive plan could be created to get the best solar orientation of all the buildings. 



Homeless Liaison discussion

Ask Brandon Goldman to attend and discuss the pre-application process and parameters

Reid will resend out the retreat information



Tuesday January 6th, 2009, City Council Chambers 7:00-10:30 PM – Mayors “State of the City” Address

Next Regular Housing Commission meeting will be January 22, 2009 at 4:30 PM


ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by, Carolyn Schwendener

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