Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)


Thursday, May 28, 2009




May 28, 2009



Chair Steve Hauck called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building, 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


Commissioners Present:


SOU Liaison:  Alex Amarotico, Absent

Steve Hauck,  Chair



Alice Hardesty


Council Liaison:  Carol Voisin

Graham Lewis



Aaron Benjamin


Staff Present:: 

Absent Members: 


Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

Bill Smith 


Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Richard Billin



Regina Ayars



Nick Frost






Voisin/Hardesty m/s to approve the minutes of the April 23, 2009 meeting.  Voice Vote:  Approved



No one came forth to speak.


Two guests in the audience introduced themselves.  Jack Murphy, a senior at Ashland High School and Tobias Cook a student at Rogue Community College.  Both gentlemen have government classes in school and were auditing the Commission meeting. 



Subcommittee Report

        Finance – No meeting/no report


        Education –No report


Land Use –Hardesty reported that the sub-committee discussed what to focus their attention on for the near future.  They discussed the possibility of building over a parking lot or just focusing on the Clay Street property. It was their decision to concentrate on the 1.25 acres and start to develop an RFP.  If the meals tax passes then the Parks Department will buy the portion of the Clay Street property that is near the soccer fields.  If the meals tax is turned down then the City has the option of developing the entire property.  The Committee would like to target the marketing for that housing towards City employee’s, teachers or school staff though they do not want to discriminate against non teachers and non City employees. Voisin said she would like to add the Hospital workers and Linda Vista Care center to the marketing target.  


Madeline Hill was present at the land use sub-committee meeting to provide input about FHA and HUD rules for loans on mixed-use structures.  Ms. Hill stated that it is a problem for some developers because they are required to have a certain amount of square footage devoted to Commercial. Graham said Ms. Hill is also concerned that we as a City understand the ratio of commercial to residential in mixed use.  Even if something is approved it might not really be qualifying for affordable housing because of the ratio issues.   


Reid acknowledged that the Housing Authority of Jackson County did receive their funding from Oregon Housing and Community Services.   HAJC was the number one application in the state.  They do have a revised timeline and will submit that soon to the Housing Commission. At the next land use sub-committee meeting on the 10th there is going to be a site visit to the Clay Street property with the Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT).  Meet on the site at 3:00 pm.



Liaison Reports

Council – Voisin reported that the Council is working on their goals and prioritizing them. The Council has put the Riparian Ordinance on the back burner until the July meeting because they are still discussing and working on it. They have determined a budget and are getting ready to adopt it.   The budget committee decided to raise property taxes to make up for the short fall. Because property taxes will be raised they voted for a reserve of $215,000 in a savings account that would have otherwise been used to pay for employees salaries that would have lost their jobs. The budget will be finalized on June 16th so that it can get to the State by July 1, 2009.  If the meals tax does not pass sewer rates will increase by 60% the first year, 40% the second year and then 20% the third year.


Voisin would like to recommend that the Education sub-committee work on having a plan where people come to Council during the public forum time and give a fact on affordable housing.  Some of the Councilors at this time are not at all convinced that affordable housing has anything to do with City Government. It would be beneficial for the Council to hear that it is.


Parks - Hauck stated that he went to the Mayors meeting of Committee Chairs and the Parks Department reiterated that if they pass the meals tax then they will be buying their portion of the Clay Street property.  At the meeting they discussed what each of the Commissions are working on and the Mayor gave them preliminary goals. 


School Board – No report


Planning – Benjamin reported that the Planning Commission has become deeply involved with the Croman Site. On April 28th the Planning Commissioners went on a site visit to the Croman property and on May 12th there was a discussion on the various aspects of their visit to the site. On May 26th they presented a tentative revised land use plan which they thought very highly of, the staff did an excellent job.  The site will include 24.8 acres of light industry, 21 acres of office and 12.7 acres of mixed use including housing over Commercial. 


Pat Acklin brought in her class to make a presentation on walking distances between important sites within the city.  It is likely that the planning staff will develop a map for tourist encouraging alternative transportation.


SOU- No report


Staff – Reid reminded the Commissioners about Project Homeless Connect on June 5, 2009 at the Medford Armory.  Bus tokens to get there will be handed out by the downtown police.  The City received the CDBG recovery Act funds.  Reid talked with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon regarding the analysis of impediments that they are working on for the City.  Reid will add it to next month’s agenda the presentation from the Fair Housing Council and email the surveys to the Housing Commissioners. 



The City of Ashland as an entitlement City was awarded Recovery Act funds in the amount of $55,622.00. Reid received the guidelines on May 5 as to how the funds were to be used which shortened the timeline.  It is currently necessary to amend the 2008 Action Plan and get it back to HUD by June 5th putting the City on a very tight timeline. The Federal Government with the Recovery Act Funds has a list they would like jurisdictions to target.

  • Preserving and creating jobs and promoting economic recovery;
  • Assisting those most impacted by the recession’
  • Providing investment needed to increase economic efficiency’
  • Investing in transportation, environmental protection, or other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits;
  • Minimizing or avoiding reductions in essential services; or
  • Fostering energy independence
  • Modernize infrastructure
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Expand educational opportunities and access to health care


 Because of the short timeline it was not possible to do an RFP, which would have been the normal procedure.  The City Council is the deciding body and the Housing Commission is a recommending body.  Bill Molnar, Planning Director, Brandon Goldman, City Planner and Reid looked at activities in the City that the money could be used for.  The City staff prepared the proposals for the City Council with their recommendation.  The Staff looked at what activities were currently going on internally within the City that we could partner these funds with or use the funds independently that would help meet some of the priorities established under the recovery act rules and still meet the requirements of the CDBG program, said Reid.  They came up with three projects.

  • Conservation Program-Weatherization
  • Parks Department-Garfield Park Improvements – resurfacing the basketball pad, skateboard cement and replace playground equipment.
  • Public Works-Iowa Street ADA Accessibility Requirements – replacing the wheelchair ramps along the sidewalk.


Staff is recommending to the City Council that the Public Works Iowa Street project gets funded fully $16,500 and the Weatherization project gets the remaining $33,560.00 which would assist approximately eleven households. 


The Commissioners discussed the different proposals.


Hauck opened up the public Hearing:  No one came forth to speak. The Public Hearing was closed.


Hardesty/ Benjamin m/s to recommend to the Council that the whole amount $50,060 of the CDBG Recovery Act funds be targeted to the conservation program for weatherization in pursuit of the healthy housing objective.


Roll Call:  Voisin, Hardesty, Benjamin and Graham voted yes, Hauck voted No.  Motion Passed



Reid gave an overview of the Consolidated Plan components. The Consolidated Plan has to be done every five years in order to receive CDBG funds.    The program has three main goals; decent housing, sustainable living environment and expanded economic opportunities.  The purpose of the Consolidated Plan is to evaluate your community needs and then prioritize your CDBG funding to meet those needs.    


The Commission will form a sub-committee to create the new Consolidated Plan.  The duties and responsibilities of those sub-committee members will be to gather information from interviews and surveys, organize data, analyze data, discuss all information gained from research/interviews/surveys and generate priority needs based on conclusions drawn from collected data. It was suggested to partner with the college. 


Hauck volunteered to be on the sub-committee and it was suggested that Ayars wanted to participate though she was not present.  The Commission will discuss who wants to be on the committee at next months meeting when those that are absent this evening might be present.



Tabled until the July meeting



Fair Housing Council


Quorum check- Graham and Voisin will be out of town.


Hardesty announced that she is moving to Portland the beginning of August.  The next meeting will be her last.  The Commissioners acknowledged she will be greatly missed.



June 2nd 2009 7 pm City Council Meeting – CDBG Recovery Act Grant Award

July 21st 2009 7 pm City Council Meeting – HC Ordinance 1st Reading

Aug 4th 2009 7 pm City Council Meeting – HC Ordinance 2nd Reading.

                June 10th 3:00 pm site visit to the Clay Street property


Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting – 4:30-6:30 PM; Thursday June 25th, 2009 Community Development Building



ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned at 5:58 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk


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