Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Monday, May 04, 2009

MINUTES FOR CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Monday, May 4, 2009
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:37 p.m.

Councilor Navickas, Voisin, Jackson and Chapman were present. Councilor Lemhouse and Councilor Silbiger were absent.

1. Discussion regarding Two Ordinances implementing the Downtown Taskforce's Recommendations relating to Right of Way.
Project Manager Adam Hanks provided a presentation on Sidewalk Rights of Way that included:

  • Background - Why We Are Here
  • Downtown Task Force
    1. Parking
    2. Signs
    3. News racks
    4. Private/Commercial Use of R-O-W
  • Existing Codes & Spec's
    1. Minimum 6 Foot Clearance
    2. ADA Requirements
    3. Vision Clearance
  • AMC 13.02.040 - No person may occupy or encroach on a public right-of-way without the permission of the City. The City grants permission to use rights-of-way by franchises, license, and permits.
  • Purpose
  • Multiple Uses
  • Competing Interests
  • Maintaining Function & Enjoyable Use
  • Purposes
    1. Pedestrian Circulation and Access to Buildings and Other Public Spaces
    2. Buffer between Roadway and Buildings
    3. Community Interaction Spaces
  • Multiple Uses
    1. Safe Walking Area & Surface for Pedestrians
    2. Public Utility Placement
    3. Street Trees for Pedestrian, Vehicle Parking and Streetscape Enhancement
    4. Benches, Garbage Cans, Bike Racks for Clean, Orderly Use and Community Enjoyment
    5. Select Commercial/Private Use by Permit - Sidewalk Dining, Sidewalk Sales, etc.
  • Competing Interests
    1. Limited Sidewalk Space - 8 to 12 Feet
    2. Ability to Exit Vehicle from On-Street Parking
    3. Landscaping Features to Buffer Pedestrians from Travel Lanes and Creation of Comfortable Spaces
    4. Clearances for Storefront Access and View
    5. Garbage/Recycle, Bike Racks, Benches for Pedestrian Uses Distributed Throughout the Downtown Area
    6. Needed Space for Utility Uses: Power Poles, Light Poles, Crossing Signals, Electrical Transformers, etc.
    7. Clearances to Access & Work on Utilities

Public Works Director Mike Faught and GIS Technician I Richard Best presented a GIS map depicting the current 6-foot clear zone for pedestrian passage with the space measurement based on the distance from a building or the edge of objects in the sidewalk. The map included a legend of what the objects were. Mr. Faught explained the code requires a minimum clear zone of six feet and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has a 4-foot clearance requirement with an additional 5-foot space every 200 feet for wheelchairs to pass.

Mr. Hanks continued with the Sidewalk Rights of Way presentation:

  • Sidewalk Rights of Way - Maintaining Functionality & Use
  • Existing City Standard Functional Items
    1. Garbage Cans
    2. Benches
    3. Bike Racks
    4. Tree Grates
  • Proposed Additional City Standard Items
    1. Planter Boxes
    2. Publication Boxes (news racks)
    3. Cigarette Disposal Containers
  • Maintaining Functionality & Use
  • Standard Functional Items Regulations
    1. Standards will be adopted and maintained by resolution and included in Public Works Standards Guides
    2. Standards provide consistency of look and assurances of durability and public safety
  • Three placement categories
    1. City purchase items
    2. Items donated to City of Ashland
    3. Items on loan to the City
  • Proposed Regulations for Functional Items

City Administrator Martha Bennett and City Attorney Richard Appicello discussed standards for flower boxes, bollards and benches with the Council. Bench standards could be about durability, maintenance and public safety, have functional descriptions rather than precise objects or be an item that must fit within a certain dimension and function. Mr. Appicello cautioned establishing a standard for functional items could create functional equivalent arguments. Another option would be the City having five bench designs businesses could lease or purchase. Storefront property owners could move non-standard items into their alcoves or onto their private property as long as it did not interfere with fire codes. A phase out period for benches that did not meet the standard would go into the Resolution.

  • Private Use of the Sidewalk Right of Way
    1. Sidewalk Dining
    2. Sidewalk Sales
  • Proposed Modifications
    1. Limited only by Permitted Zoning Uses
    2. Charged by Square Foot (min 50 sf)

The City receives approximately $3,000 a year from Restaurants leasing space for sidewalk dining. There is a base fee, plus a cost per chair of $30 that decreases when the permit is renewed. The current charge for square foot is $150-$200 depending on location. The Council discussed using a market rate to charge for sidewalk space with the option business owners could rent sidewalk space on a monthly basis.

         3. Interim Placement Standards for Publication Racks

New standards for publication racks will include that racks are secure, require a permit and meet the current placement standard of 18 inches from the curb with a 6-foot clear zone for pedestrian traffic. The ordinance would make publication racks a City Function Item standard that would not interfere with the free press restriction. It would also specify news racks outside of the downtown area be placed in groups of four with a 200-foot separation. The resolution would adopt a map where in the downtown area groups of four can be closer than 200 feet. Staff discussed with the Council the possibility of the City placing news racks to hold local publications.

The Council requested maps showing 8-foot restrictions from the outside in and one indicating what is currently established with area recommendations for benches, flower boxes, etc. and available space for commercial use at market rates.

  • Next Steps
  • Council Input
  • Ordinance Amendments AMC 13.02 Standards & Forms for Right of Way Regulation and AMC 13.03 Uniform Sidewalk Regulations & Repealing of AMC 6.44
  • Draft Resolutions
    1. Update PW Standards to include functional items
    2. Application and Permit form template
    3. Uniform Sidewalk Regulations Fee Schedule

Meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Dana Smith
Assistant to the City Recorder

 

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