Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, April 06, 2010

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL

April 6, 2010

Council Chambers

1175 E. Main Street

 

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

 

ROLL CALL

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

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Stromberg shared an update on the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) and their transition home.  The Demobilization Ceremony, tentatively scheduled for April 24, 2010, will start with a foot march from the Medford Armory and end at the Spiegelberg Stadium in Medford. 

 

SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?

The minutes of the Study Session meeting of March 15, 2010 and Regular Meeting of March 16, 2010 were approved as presented.

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS

Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) Director Michael Cavallaro presented the annual RVCOG report that included a financial overview and 2009 programs and projects.

 

The Mayor's Proclamations of Arbor Week in Ashland April 4-10, Independent Media Week April 18-24, and April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month were read aloud.

 

Assistant Planner Amy Gunter and representatives from the Tree Commission, the local Oregon Department of Forestry and the head of the Oregon Department of Forestry Operation presented the City of Ashland as Tree City USA for the 25th consecutive year.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

1.   Does Council wish to approve a Liquor License Application from Sukhdev Singh dba Stop N Shop, at 110 Lithia Way?

2.   Should Council approve continuance of First Reading of an Ordinance related to Storage of Vehicles to the May 4, 2010 agenda?

3.   Should Council approve continuance of First Reading of an Ordinance related to the Advanced Financing of Public Improvements to the May 18, 2010 agenda?

4.   Will Council approve and agreement with Jackson County for the City to assume maintenance responsibilities for the improvements to be installed on Clay Street in conjunction with the Snowberry Brook Subdivision development?

5.   Does Council wish to authorize the Mayor to sign the second 12-month extension amendment to the 1994 Lease Agreement between the Ashland Gun Club and the City of Ashland, extending the lease of real property to the Ashland Gun club to May 30, 2011?

6.   Will Council approve a scrivener’s error correction to Exhibit A of Resolution No. 2010-07 revising rates for water service, which was approved at the March 16, 2010 Council meeting?

 

Councilor Voisin requested Consent Agenda item #5 be pulled for public input and discussion.

 

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Consent Agenda items #1-4 and #6. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

Cathy DeForest/1067 Emigrant Creek Road/Added to the record a handout titled “Impacts of Lead Ammunition on Wildlife, the Environment, and Human Health – A Literature Review and Implications for Minnesota.” This publication addressed the fatal impact to birds where grit is essential to their digestive systems and they ingest lead shot instead.  She requested an extension of the analysis of the impact of gunshot lead on birds adding that Brown and Caldwell studied bird life only two days.  She also submitted additional material to the record titled “Ingestion of Spent Lead Ammunition:  Implications for Wildlife and Humans.”

 

Bill Longiotti/245 Arnos/Introduced himself as the Vice President of the Ashland Gun Club and was available to answer questions regarding Gun Club practices.

 

Councilor Voisin suggested extending the lease no more than six months and adding language that would allow the City to terminate the lease within 24 hours if the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) found additional damage and asked whether the City was liable for the damage.  Staff confirmed the City is legally liable as owners of the property and the new lease incorporated several safeguards to protect the City with a month-to-month termination clause.

 

Councilor Voisin motioned to continue the item until questions were answered. Motion died due to lack of a second.

 

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve the extension of the lease for 12-months with the conditions the Gun Club work with staff and the consultant to select and implement Best Management Practices that are appropriate to reduce the risk and the Gun Club also work with Kramer and Company and staff to respond to the Lithia Springs Management Plan about the historical artifacts.

 

Councilor Navickas motioned to amend the motion and require in a six-month interim a report on implemented Best Management Practices.  Motion died due to lack of a second.

 

Continued Discussion on original motion:  Councilor Jackson explained the ecological study was going to ODEQ and staff has been working with the Gun Club on renewing the lease and doing the studies.  In order to facilitate the City’s continuing relationship with the Gun Club, a lease extension was required.  Councilor Navickas noted the one-year extension would allow time for environmental assessment processes and additional studies.  He thought the Gun Club should immediately implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) and suggested switching to steel shot instead of lead to reduce some of the harmful impacts to bird life.  Councilor Voisin expressed concern how the BMPs would be monitored.  Councilor Jackson commented on the City’s working relationship with the Gun Club and assumed the Gun Club was willing to implement changes.   Councilor Lemhouse added the Gun Club has expressed a strong willingness to assist the City in moving forward and already have some BMPs in place.  Mayor Stromberg explained the City’s relationship with the Gun Club has been positive and cooperative and that this was not an adversarial negotiation. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman, YES; Councilor Voisin, NO. Motion passed 5-1.

 

Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to ask the Gun Club to return in three months and report on what has been accomplished regarding Best Practices Management.

DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin explained this would allow the Gun Club to provide a progress report on BMPs.  Damage has occurred to the property and the City was allowing it to continue.  Councilor Navickas thought the motion was in the interest of all involved parties and due diligence to ensure BMPs are followed.  Another practice they could implement immediately was using rubberized targets.  City Administrator Martha Bennett confirmed the City would fund any further studies ODEQ requests.  The current lease requires the Gun Club to return the property to the condition it was in when they took it over in the 1960’s and it was previously a motorcycle track.  The City is ultimately the property owner and responsible.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Navickas and Jackson, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, Silbiger and Chapman, NO.  Mayor Stromberg broke the tie with a YES vote.  Motion passed 4-3.  

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1.   Should the Council approve the first reading of ordinances adopting Chapter 18.53 Croman Mill and related ordinance, Ashland Comprehensive Plan, and Comprehensive Plan and Zoning map amendments?

Mayor Stromberg called the Public Hearing for Planning Action No. 2009-01292 to order at 7:48 p.m. and stated the rules for the conduct of the hearing were in the Public Hearing Format for Land Use Hearings – A Guide for Participants and Citizens and available on the wall in the back of Council Chambers.

 

ABSENTIONS, CONFLICTS, EX PARTE CONTACTS

Councilor Silbiger declared a conflict of interest and requested Council to recuse him from the discussion.

 

Chapman/Voisin m/s to allow Councilor Silbiger to recuse himself from participation due to a conflict of interest. DISCUSSION:  Councilor Jackson explained Councilor Silbiger’s potential future conflict of interest was on a part of the action that was quasi judicial because it was re-zoning and this precaution went beyond what was necessary.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse, Jackson and Chapman, YES.  Motion passed. 

 

Councilor Silbiger left the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

 

Councilor Chapman noted numerous conversations with individuals regarding the issue.  Councilor Jackson also noted conversations with members of the Planning Commission and the community involved in development activities and specifically Mike DiRienzo who shared information similar to what he provided to the Planning Commission.  Councilor Lemhouse had no conflicts to declare.  Councilor Navickas disclosed he had attended all pre-meetings and Planning Commission meetings before the hearing, and had various conversations with community members regarding this issue. Councilor Voisin explained everything she had heard was in the record.  Mayor Stromberg noted his involvement from the beginning and everything was included in the record.

 

Mayor Stromberg announced all participants have the right to rebut and can challenge or discuss the issues revealed in the Ex Parte contacts during Public Testimony.  He then read aloud the list of the Ashland Municipal Code applicable substantive criteria for the decision.

 

CHALLENGES – None.

 

STAFF REPORT

Community Development Director Bill Molnar provided history and a presentation that included the following:

Guiding Principles – Proposed Master Plan

  • Land Use
  • Circulation
  • Policies and Regulations

Land Use - Principles

  • Provide for a large number of family wage jobs
  • Allow for Light Industrial and Manufacturing  and Office employment
  • Allow a mix of uses
  • Consider a range of housing options
  • Do not create uses that compete with downtown

Land Use – Compatible Industrial

  • 35% of area
  • Light industrial
  • No residential

Land Use – Office Employment

  • 30% of area
  • Professional office
  • No residential

Land Use – Mixed Use

  • 20% of area
  • Ground floor office or light industrial
  • Upper story residential or employment

Land Use – Neighborhood Center

  • 5% of area
  • Neighborhood serving shops and services
  • Upper story residential or commercial

Land Use – Open Space Conservation

  • 10% of area
  • Central Park

Land Use - Principles

  • Preserve Streams and Wetlands
  • Incorporate Public Gathering Space

Circulation - Principles

  • Mitigate impacts of Auto and Truck Traffic
  • Create Safe Routes to Bellview School
  • Preserve Rail Access for commuters, passengers and freight

Polices and Regulations – Principles

  • Mandate Green Development

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to extend public hearing until 9:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

Senior Planner Maria Harris continued the presentation:

Planning Commission Highlights

  • Industrial-Office Split

Land Use – Mixed Use

  • Physical constraints
  • Transition from residential
  • Flexibility for residential units

Land Use Refinements

  • Size limitation for retail, shops and restaurants
  • Allowance for manufacturing in Office Employment overlay
  • Lesser design requirements for industrial development off of Central Boulevard

Phase 1 – Begin Constructing Central Boulevard

Phase 2 – Alternatives for Central Boulevard

Transportation Analysis - Planning Commission Recommendation

  • Green Development Standards
  • Parking Management and Financing Strategy
  • East-West Street Alignment Option & Revision

Public Hearing Package

  • New Plan designation
  • New zoning district
  • Create development standards

 

THOSE WISHING TO PROVIDE TESTIMONY

Pam Marsh/696 Siskiyou Boulevard/Explained she was Planning Commission Chair and the Master Plan was constructed on the principles articulated in the public meeting process.  The Master Plan attempts to unify and organize development already allowed.  It is conceptual, details can be amended or added during the process and it is internally integrated changing one component affects others.

 

Ms. Marsh went on to explain the Planning Commission did not accept the Minority Report because it went beyond specific planning decisions, incorporated testimony not part of the public record and was considered inappropriate to include as part of the official Planning Commission documentation and provided an example. 

 

Mike Montero/4497 Brownridge Terrace Ste #105, Medford/Represented the owners of the Croman Mill Site and commented on the owners’ willingness to work with local government to meet community needs. The property owners appreciated the comprehensive analysis, supported the Master Plan, and urged Council to adopt it.  He added that Plexis Healthcare Systems Inc. were pleased with the progress and looked forward to being a part of the plan and site.

 

John Kruese/148 Greenway Circle, Medford/Explained he owned property at the site and opposed the plan.  He expressed concern that Phase I would be implemented soon but Phase II may not occur for many years.   Changing Mistletoe Road into a 90-foot boulevard would cut through his property and he wanted to know how the City would compensate the loss.  The plan would have a major impact on his property and he wanted his opposition noted in the record.

 

Paul Steinle/Associate Professor/Southern Oregon University (SOU)/478 Siskiyou Boulevard/Read a letter from Jim Kline, the SOU Provost that was submitted into the record supporting development initiatives that expand and diversify the employment opportunities in Ashland and southern Oregon.  Many students leave the area to pursue their careers after graduating.  A variety of employers who offer well-paying jobs can provide more options for graduates and ensure the future well-being of the community.

 

Kathie Kennedy Hamlin/132 Greenway Circle, Medford/Did not oppose or support the project but explained how the plan affected the Hamlin-Kruese buildings.  The buildings were on two tax lots with light industrial for both.  The proposed plan for Phase II discussed that evening was new to her but the previous plan showed the commercial street going through both buildings and dissecting the tax lot.  The possible “taking” of value even though it may not happen for 10-12 years affects the property right now.  If the City does not modify Phase II, they will not be able to negotiate right-of-ways on the proposed maps because it dissects the tax lots and the buildings.  She did not believe the City surveyed these properties, noting some maps show the road going through the buildings while others show it going partially through the buildings.  Phase I was not a problem, Phase II was a major problem today, not ten years from now.

 

Graham Lewis/152 North Pioneer/Noted the numerous public meetings held regarding the plan. Having a sustainable economy required space for buildings to employ higher wage individuals.  It will keep the community vibrant and increase job opportunities.  A vote for this plan was a vote for economic sustainability.

 

Mark DiRienzo/700 Mistletoe Road/Supported a plan to turn the Croman Mill Site into a vibrant flexible dynamic economic center that encourages the growth of existing and new companies.  The proposed infrastructure will most likely cost more than the City, businesses and developers can afford.  It was unclear how many costly improvements the first business moving in would incur.  He questioned why his businesses were thrown into the plan at the last minute when they had not participated in any of the planning.  The change to the existing zoning overlay and lack of inclusion from the start will have a detrimental impact to his property and sends a message to new businesses an investment in Ashland commercial property is not a secure one.  He urged Council not to approve the plan, have it revised and simplified, made clear and affordable for existing and new businesses to thrive the Croman Mill area.

 

Tom Bradley/700 Terrace Street/Noted his fifteen years experience as a commercial real estate owner, developer and broker.  He acknowledged the effort stakeholders put into the plan but expressed concerns regarding over design and over regulating.  Economic conditions that exist today will not be the same in ten years.  He suggested simplifying some of the criteria and allowing more latitude for the future.

 

Zach Brombacher/1370 Tolman Creek Road/Owns E-1 property from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to Mistletoe Road. He was not against the plan but concerned it keeps changing and discouraged with the path it is taking.  The City is pushing this development for a private developer and has ignored adjacent property owners.  He suggested the City analyze what they intend to get out of it.  He was extremely concerned with the infrastructure needed and not interested in paying for someone else’s development through another Local Improvement District (LID).  He put in expensive infrastructure on his property and the City needed to consider the current property owners’ needs.  He resented that no one approached him about putting Washington street right through the best piece of his property.  He was leery of how the plan was progressing and did not think it was affordable.

 

Melanie Mindlin/1248 Calypso Court/Explained she was the primary author of the Minority Report and a member of the Planning Commission and noted a change to one design standard geared for businesses with more than 100 employees now accommodated smaller businesses.  The plan addressed the details of implementation, not whether it is valid.  Did the City really want a high-density area on the outskirts of town that might be better suited to the downtown area reserving the Croman Mill Site for businesses requiring space?  The design standards set for this area will be very difficult for lower capitalized businesses to afford.  She recommended removing the complex and expensive design standards, determine the road system and require a few environmental resources focused on standards like energy and water and let it develop naturally.    

 

Michael Dawkins/646 E Main Street/Read previous comments by Ms. Marsh regarding the Minority Report that the Planning Commission was typically assigned to consider technical aspects of the plans such as materials used on buildings not to discuss big picture issues.  He noted when the process first started former Mayor Morrison gave a directive that the area needed to be high density, Living Wage and green jobs.  Mr. Dawkins voiced concern then on over-regulating the property instead of infilling next to the downtown area. He felt the Planning Commission failed at having public input and discussing the larger issues and disagreed with Ms. Marsh’s comment.

 

Cate Hartzell/Mayor Stromberg read a request from Cate Hartzell to leave the Public Record open for additional input and project review.

 

John Fields/845 Oak Street/Explained he was a previous Planning Commissioner.  The plan was off track, geographically remote, lacked incremental steps and development and should be a 50-year plan.  He did not support it and thought there were fundamental critical pieces that needed to be resolved.

 

Colin Swales/Mayor Stromberg read a statement into the record from Colin Swales that the plan as presented did not fulfill the City’s industrial employment needs.  He preferred the City focus on the “Railroad Property Draft Master Plan 2001,” “The Downtown Draft Plan II 2001,” and the “Draft Infill Study 1995” instead of up zone the Croman Mill Site.  Central locations would better provide opportunities for easily serviced businesses in close proximity to established residential neighborhoods where transit is near or not needed.

 

PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED – 9:16 p.m.  Public Record will be kept open until 5 p.m. on May 4, 2010.  Comments and responses will be done in writing.

 

It was clarified that it is not Ex Parte for Council to speak to staff.

 

Councilor Lemhouse expressed overall support for moving forward but was concerned about over regulating. 

 

Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to continue item until May 4, 2010. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

PUBLIC FORUM

Zach Brombecher/1370 Tolman Creek Road/Spoke regarding the dumping and storing of items along Mistletoe Road including railroad ties, garbage, mobile homes, cars and trucks and requested the Police Department look into this problem. 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)

 

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS (None)

 

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

1.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 9 concerning weed abatement and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.  Division Chief - Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman explained the rewrite updated intent and made enforcement feasible and current.  During the previous year, the Fire Department mailed 500-600 letters focusing on weed abatement education with 90%-95% compliance.  Ten people were eventually cited with only one case going to court.

 

Mr. Appicello further explained the uniform abatement process and clarified the ordinance applied to city limits.  The Class “A” violation was limited to the City Charter and Chapter 108 as it currently exists with up to a $500 fine. 

 

Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve first reading and set second reading for April 20, 2010.

Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Chapman, Lemhouse, Voisin and Navickas, YES. Motion passed.

 

2.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending adding a uniform violation abatement procedure to the Ashland Municipal Code and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.  The ordinance was a companion to the Weed Abatement Ordinance and allowed staff to address properties with debris that created a hazard.  

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve first reading and set second reading for April 20, 2010. DISCUSSION: Councilor Lemhouse supported the ordinance and noted issues the City could have dealing with hoarding or storing junk that becomes hazardous.  This was a good mechanism for the City to take action.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Jackson, Voisin, Navickas, Lemhouse and Chapman, YES. Motion passed.

 

3.   Should Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending AMC Chapter 14.06 relating to water curtailment and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.  Public Works Director Mike Faught explained the proposed changes, clarified that some residences have an additional meter for irrigation purposes and during water curtailment, those residences would not use their irrigation source.  Staff will research how many residences have two meters and whether this causes them to receive additional water as well as address the request to have the water table in cubic feet or provide equation and conversion information to customers.

 

Council and staff discussed the Waste Definition that included restaurants providing water without asking patrons and using City water for filling swimming pools in excess of 100 gallons during curtailment.  Staff clarified that Stage 4 Water Curtailment regulates outdoor use of water to trees, shrubs and food plants and noted that Ashland has never gone beyond Stage 1 Water Curtailment.  Currently staff was developing the process for 14.06.060 Exemptions and Appeals (6) “For residential gardens where water supply reductions will result in loss of food production crops, residential water curtailment rates identified in the Water Allocation Table can be increased up to 25% after confirmation by the City that the account has instituted all applicable water efficiency improvements.”  

 

Councilor Jackson/Lemhouse m/s to approve first reading and schedule second reading for April 20, 2010.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Jackson addressed Stage 4 Water Curtailment and thought it was inappropriate to use treated potable water for irrigation of food supply during a water curtailment situation. Councilor Lemhouse suggested removing the language citing a resident for waste even though they had not exceeded their allotment.  It did not seem fair and thought there should be a clear definition of waste.  Mayor Stromberg noted that during curtailment there were certain maximums that included no car washing or filling swimming pools.  Councilor Navickas was not convinced during curtailment the City should allocate an additional 25% for a residential garden and thought perennial trees would have a higher priority over food crops.  Councilor Voisin did not think it was fair for the City to encourage citizens to have food producing gardens and not provide an additional water allocation.  Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Lemhouse, Navickas, Chapman and Jackson, YES. Motion passed.

 

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting was adjourned at 10:06 p.m.

 

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

John Stromberg, Mayor

                      

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