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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, May 02, 2001

May 2, 2001


At 7:40 p.m., Chairperson Terry Skibby called the meeting to order at the Community Center. Members present were Terry Skibby, Dale Shostrom, Kay Maser, Gary Foll, Jay Leighton and Keith Chambers. Also present were Associate Planner Mark Knox, Secretary Sonja Akerman and Council Liaison Cameron Hanson. Members Joan Steele and Bob Meiser were absent. The Commission is currently one member short, however, a new member will be appointed at the May 15 City Council meeting.


Leighton moved and Foll seconded to approve the minutes of the April 4, 2001 meeting as submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.


Planning Action 2000-120
Site Review and Variance
485 "A" Street
Steve Hoxmeier

Knox briefly explained the changes that were recommended by the Historic Commission last month regarding the design of this proposed addition. The majority of previous recommendations have been incorporated into Hoxmeier's design, however, the window alignment on the south elevation and the roofline were not changed. Knox turned the floor over to Hoxmeier to explain.

Hoxmeier again thanked the Commission for hearing his application again. He reminded the Commission that last month he brought three options for different rooflines and window treatment. He explained he prefers the windows as he originally drew them on the south elevation because they line up with the windows and door on the east elevation. He said he doesn't see this as an issue. As for the roofline, he also kept his original design because he personally dislikes the type of architectural treatment that was recommended. To bolster his original design, he submitted photocopies of a house he found that has an almost identical roofline. Hoxmeier then passed out a list of changes he has already incorporated into his design based on Historic Commission recommendations. These changes include the removal of arches above the doors and windows on the east and south elevations, the elimination of the brick veneer on the east and south elevations, the relocation of the bicycle parking area from the south side to the west, and the shortening of the length of the awning on the south elevation from 12 feet to six feet. He also increased the size of the posts on the east porch and the north deck from 4 x 4 to 6 x 6, maintained 1 x 6 cedar siding to match existing siding instead of hardplanking, and maintained equal heights for door and window headers in the addition. Furthermore, he increased the width of the south elevation dormer and extended the roof eave in front of the dormer on the south elevation, which were recommendations from the pre-application submittal.

Chambers asked for clarification as to which option Hoxmeier was proposing. Hoxmeier responded it would be option 1 from the last meeting, however, he has since added the skylights. Hoxmeier then stated the height of the difference in window treatment on the south elevation will be lessened by the trellis and the awning. Chambers said one small window above the door on the south side would make the building look more harmonious. Hoxmeier said he could do that in order to get approval.

Shostrom stated there is still a difference in the drawing compared with the photograph on the south elevation.

Leighton said she realizes the option recommended last month would not be the best, but stated she would rather not see option 1 on "A" Street.

Skibby asked about phase 3 and Hoxmeier responded he still plans on it. Skibby stated phase 3 would change the design of what is presently being proposed. Hoxmeier added he has been working with an architect but didn't want to go too far without approval first.

Knox informed the Commission that condition #17 in the draft staff report can be reworded to reflect the Historic Commission decision.

Maser said she strongly urges Hoxmeier to add the small window above the door on the south elevation since he won't be changing the height to eight feet, as this will make a huge difference.

Chambers noted he has been by this corner many times in the past few months and he is still troubled by the fact the drawings are not to scale. Although Chambers said it is still difficult to determine the window heights in the addition on the south side, Hoxmeier assured the Commission the windows will be the same height. Chambers again declared he would like to see light above the French door on the south side.

Shostrom expressed his frustration that the drawings are still not accurate. A building with an 11 foot plate line should have windows and doors to scale, and he said he would like to see a continuous line of windows. He also said he prefers the hipped roof over the gable. Leighton concurred, and said her concerns are the inaccuracies of the drawings, the window alignment and the roofline. She also noted the skylights on the south elevation are new with this submittal.

Foll said he is also concerned the applicant has not submitted accurate drawings. He noted he has no objection to the roofline Hoxmeier is proposing.

Skibby stated he is in agreement with condition #17 of the staff report (window alignment and consistent roofline) and that he would like to add the small window above the French door as a condition. He said the design, as presented, is not appropriate for such a prominent corner; it should be more commercial. He would like to see the Commission make a motion regarding the direction it thinks phase 3 should go.

Chambers moved to recommend acceptation of the staff report to the Planning Commission with the following change in wording for condition #17: That prior to issuance of a Building Permit, the applicant shall submit revised elevations showing the south elevation's new window head height aligned with that of the new door, and a fixed or opening window (transom) above the French doors to bring the door head height equal with the adjacent window. The elevations shall also show a consistent height roofline as described in the staff report. Leighton seconded the motion and it passed with all voting aye except for Shostrom, who voted nay. Shostrom declared that based upon the fact that the applicant had been asked numerous times to submit scaled drawings and didn't, the fact that he thinks the applicant can make the windows consistent but won't, and the fact that the design is not historically compatible, he could not vote for approval of the project.

For the record, Chambers moved to recommend the future development of this corner property should be consistent with a commercial design rather than a residential appearance. Shostrom seconded the motion and it passed with all voting aye except Foll, who voted nay.

Planning Action 2001-042
Site Review and Outline Plan Approval
472 Scenic Drive
Kirt Meyer and Vadim Agakhanov

Knox explained this application is for an eight unit Planned Unit Development between Rock Street and Scenic Drive. When this project began last year, staff had many issues with the design. Since then, an architect has been hired and several meetings have been held with neighbors to work out mass, scale and density. The existing building will be demolished. It was built in the 1960s for medical office use and was placed in the middle of the large lot. There are significant vehicle trips per day associated with a medical building. The lot would accommodate ten dwelling units. There are 12 trees that have over a six-inch diameter and all these will be saved. Knox also noted there will be a private drive connection between Rock Street and Scenic Drive similar to what is existing. The units will be built with six-inch horizontal siding, heavy columns, porches, shingle siding on the bases, and wider trim on the windows. Staff feels that overall, the site plan has worked and there has been a commitment to the neighborhood. The only problem is that three lots don't meet the solar criteria. The architect, however, should be able to make the necessary changes without compromising the design of the units. Staff is recommending approval with 16 conditions. Knox also noted the driveway has to be a minimum of 20 feet wide to accommodate a fire truck. Staff has recommended the developers pave 15 feet of the driveway and install a five-foot sidewalk flush with the driveway. The sidewalk will be constructed to support a fire truck.

Tom Giordano, architect and agent, stated this has been a real challenge because of the existing trees, topography, historic guidelines and neighbor concerns. He explained what can be changed in order to create adequate solar access for the three units. He also stated as much of the existing vegetation will be kept as possible. Leighton asked about the letters from concerned neighbors that were included in the packets. Giordano responded they have had several meetings, and although change is difficult for many, the neighbors like the design and the project has been scaled down to eight units. Foll asked if all the units would be sold and Giordano answered that they would be.

Brent Thompson, 582 Allison Street, stated he is in favor of the project and that the setback issue is not a strong one. In doing infill and neotraditional planning, he feels it is appropriate to have reduced setbacks, especially in historic areas such as Scenic Drive and Rock Street. While we need to treasure our Solar Access Ordinance, it is time to look at it again in order to make it more design friendly. If changed in the right way, it is possible energy won't be lost.

Knox added the solar ordinance rarely affects the Commission, but it certainly can with the necessity of changing rooflines, etc. Compatibility of design needs to be considered. This proposal meets zoning, design, and transportation requirements.

Giordano then asked if the members would mind giving their opinions on putting in sidewalks at this time. He said that in his opinion, since there are no sidewalks installed in that area, it would change the historic character. The owners would be willing to sign in favor of an LID so when sidewalks go in in that area, everyone will have them. He made it clear that they are more than willing to put in sidewalks if necessary.

Foll stated he lived in a similar project for 16 years and liked it very much. He likes the design and the single car garages. He asked about visitor parking, and Knox said on-street parking cannot be counted unless sidewalks are installed. Foll added this project is a good plan that provides infill. Knox interjected and said the City is really trying to get sidewalks installed as infill happens and that this would be more a question for the Planning Commission. He noted that the color and texture of the sidewalk can be changed so they won't be noticeable.

Shostrom related this is a great project and that it is refreshing to have professional plans. Being able to save the trees is also commendable. The units are historically compatible, however, he said he has a slight concern with all the small windows in unit #5 on the east elevation, the smallness of the window in unit #1, and the windows that are not in alignment in unit #1. Giordano said some could not be changed because of the floor plans, however, he will work on what he can. He thanked Shostrom for his input.

Chambers agreed with Shostrom that this is a great project and commended Giordano for working with the neighborhood.

Maser concurred with Shostrom that the balance seems a little off on some of the windows. Giordano will see what can be done with those units.

Skibby noted the architect and applicants have worked closely with the Review Board and that he feels comfortable with the project. As a person that relies on walking for transportation, he said he feels there is a need for sidewalks, but would leave that up to the Planning Commission. Knox stated that eventually, the entire neighborhood will have sidewalks. Chambers said that although all neiborhoods are different, he personally feels that sidewalks make a big difference.

Knox asked about coloring in the sidewalks. Shostrom said if a hard trowel finish is used on the sidewalks, then washed, they will look more antique.

Shostrom then moved to recommend approval of this planning action to the Planning Commission and Leighton seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

Planning Action 2001-029
Site Review
455 Siskiyou Boulevard
City of Ashland

Knox explained this application is for a 15,000 square foot fire station and administration building. A significant amount of the design has been the result of Historic Commission comments. One change from the last design is the addition of the fourth bay. The City is happy about having a fire station of this magnitude in the downtown core. A museum for an old fire truck will be located in the front of the building. The volume of the building extends along East Main Street. Precut concrete and masonry veneer will be used for the majority of the building, with pre-finished metal roofing. Windows will be wood clad and aluminum storefront doors and transoms will be used for the entries. Colors will be very similar to what was presented in the drawings Knox displayed.

Skibby asked about the four bays, and Fire Marshal Dave Hard replied that there are four existing bays. Currently only one truck can be parked in each bay, but with the new building, a truck and an ambulance can be parked in each. The four bays were needed to accommodate growth and safety of the fire fighters. The main entrance for the trucks will be on East Main and they will exit on Siskiyou Boulevard. Knox added the City was able to consolidate parking with the adjacent property owner. Skibby

asked about the public entrance to the fire station. Hard stated the main entrance doors are in the front of the building, there is one off East Main Street and a handicapped entrance on Siskiyou Boulevard. The public will be able to access the reception area, the museum, the restrooms and the training area so there won't be security issues.

Foll asked if the second floor will be the living quarters and Hard replied the second floor will consist of the sleeping room, exercise area, study room and day room. The kitchen will be located on the first floor.

Brent Thompson, 582 Allison Street, said he was sorry he missed prior meetings. He does not disagree with the need for a new station, however, four years ago, he sent the fire chief pictures of neotraditional examples of fire stations that would work in the Historic District. Because of its location, it must not conflict in style and values of the district, it must be consistent with neotraditional planning, and there is a need to make sure it doesn't have elements of suburbia. With a building that is only one or one and a half stories, you have a low-density structure with a suburban style that does not fit into a historic zone. We can't keep building these types of structures in town because it is hypocrisy. The City should not embrace this type of style because it is a waste of land. The footprint is just too large. There is a need to have two stories over the entire building in order to not have a hybrid project.

Hard said that before he came to Ashland, he knows that many designs and locations were studied. The consultant came back with four possible sites and the only one that worked was the existing one. The City also acquired the ambulance service within the last few years. Moreover, many uses are required to be on the first floor. Everyone involved with this project has worked very hard to make this work.

Foll noted that with all due respect to Thompson's viewpoint, he saw a two-story design for the fire station, and it looked massive. He likes this plan, it fits as an entrance point into Ashland's downtown core, and he thinks the citizens will like the building once it is constructed.

Leighton asked Hard about the projection for the longevity of this building. Hard said the building will be able to accommodate staff as projected in the 2025-2050 plan. Also, it will be able to house more than twice the number of firefighters currently employed. While he did not have the number of years projected for the building, he said it would be adequate for at least 30 years.

At 10:00, Leighton moved and Foll seconded to extend the meeting to 10:30 if necessary, and it passed unanimously.

Shostrom said that he is sympathetic to the loss of the Blue Mountain Café. The proposed building, however, fits well with the downtown standards. If a second story were added above the bays, the building would be looming. He said the design has a nice scale and the materials are appropriate.

Chambers thanked Thompson for his comments and added these important issues should be kept in mind. However, he said he likes the design of this multifunctional building.

Maser commented Thompson's issues are the main fear of Ashland residents. She feels the same, but has no choice, as the City is left with what the architect has submitted. This will be a functional building. She said she feels that some of the City's charm, however, will be lost when all these buildings look the same (referring to the library and Hillah Temple).

Skibby stated it is important to keep the government downtown and he is glad this site was able to accommodate the expansion.

Leighton moved to recommend approval of this design to the Planning Commission. With a second by Shostrom, the motion passed unanimously.


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

May 3


May 10

Skibby and Maser

May 17

Skibby, Foll and Shostrom

May 24

Skibby, Leighton and Steele

May 31

Skibby, Steele and Chambers


Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA #99-108

340 Oak Street


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


PA #2000-106

239 Oak Street


PA #2000-107

House Move to Laurel Street


PA #2000-108

552 "A" Street


PA #2000-124

51 Winburn Way


PA #2001-011

130 Helman Street


PA #2001-019

521 North Main Street


PA #2001-021

215 Scenic Drive


PA #2000-120

485 "A" Street


PA #2001-042

472 Scenic Drive


PA #2001-029

455 Siskiyou Boulevard


National Historic Preservation Week ` May 13-19 - The members voted on the nominations in the various categories. Winners are as follows: 76 Alida Street (Residential); 212 East Main Street (Commercial); Joe Peterson, Marge O'Harra and Jay Treiger (individuals); 620 North Mountain Avenue (civic); Ninth Street Alley cottages (historically compatible - residential); and 108 Hersey/498 Oak Street (historically compatible - commercial). Everyone was reminded to participate in the events and to attend the award ceremony on May 18 at noon in the lobby of Ashland Springs Hotel.


Historical markers - Skibby informed the Commission that Parks Commissioner Jim Lewis has proposed placing historic markers for the old dam sites that were recently removed in Lithia Park to allow fish to swim farther up Ashland Creek. The dams supplied water for the flourmill in the 1800s. All members thought this was a fine idea and will support Lewis.

Knott/Prescott Marker - Skibby stated the marker commemorating Ashland's two slain police officers, which for many years had been a part of the Siskiyou Boulevard median, has been removed and remounted at the Police Station. A dedication ceremony will be held at noon on May 14. Neither the Historic Commission nor the Public Works Department were notified of this prior the removal. Skibby believes the marker will be temporarily located at the Police Station for three years, then moved back to Siskiyou Boulevard once the reconstruction has been completed. He will keep the Commission informed.


Skibby noted the Historic Cemeteries Plan will go the City Council on May 15 and that it would be good to have some of the members in attendance. He reminded everyone the June 6 meeting will begin at 4:00 because of the goal setting/orientation meeting afterwards. The July meeting has been set for Tuesday, July3.


It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 p.m.

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