Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)


Thursday, June 24, 2010



June 24, 2010



Chair Steve Hauck called the meeting to order at 4:34 p.m. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.



Commissioners Present:

Council Liaison

Nikki Pons

Eric Navickas, absent

Nick Frost, arrived at 4:40


Regina Ayars

Staff Present:

Steve Hauck

Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

Jody Waters

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk



Commissioners Absent:


Richard  Billin





Ayars/Pons m/s to approve the minutes from the May 27, 2010 meeting.  The minutes were approved as presented.



No one was present to speak



The Commissioners welcomed new member Jody Waters.  Ms. Waters is a professor at SOU, has been involved with homelessness for several years and also volunteers at Peace House.  Waters explained that the teaching assignments at SOU have been recalibrated for the Fall creating a conflict for her with the Housing Commission meetings.  At this time Waters will continue her membership with the Commission and make a decision in the near future regarding whether she will be able to continue. 



Liaison Reports

Council – No report

Parks – No report

School Board – No report

Planning – No report

SOU – Ayars asked Waters if she would be able to help with the recruitment of a new SOU liaison.  Waters felt confident she could find some volunteers in the Fall when the students return and would be happy to assist with that.


Staff – Reid reminded the Commissioners that Project Homeless Connect is tomorrow, June 25th from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. at the Medford Armory.  The City is sponsoring a Fair Housing Training for Home Owner Associations and Community Managers.  It will take place at the City of Medford offices.



Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner for the City of Ashland was invited to speak this evening in order to give some background on how this project came to be and how it came to have an affordable housing requirement. Goldman explained that part of the land use rules through an annexation is that projects are required to have affordable housing.  Because it was mandated that affordable housing be provided and it is based on the density of the development purposed between fifteen and thirty-five percent of the units have to be affordable.  The lower the income level that is targeted the fewer the units.  Fifteen percent was required of this project when it originally was presented back in 2006.  A private developer was going to be developing 117 units which dropped to 107.  That original development was not constructed and HAJC stepped forward as a buyer and took over the original application amending it to modify the site review component of where the buildings would be along with other changes.  The City of Ashland worked with the HAJC as a partner.  The Planning Department in evaluating whether the conditions of the original annexation were met had to confirm that at least 17 of the units on the site were affordable.  Currently all 60 units on the project are one hundred percent affordable and meet the criteria, comprehensive plan concept and zoning density for the affordable housing objective.


Goldman explained that the first phase was known but the second phase using the remainder of the land has not yet been designed.


Jason Elzy, the HAJC developer for the Snowberry Brook project introduced himself.  Mr. Elzy explained that originally in February 2009 they were given an estimate of $55,000 for all building permit fees.  Mr. Elzy acknowledged that this estimate was given before building permits were applied for making it difficult to arrive at an accurate number.  Current System Development Charges and building permit fees that have been paid are $107,000 creating a $50,000 gap in their budget.  Mr. Elzy stated that they feel it is an inequitable split because no where on the site plan approval did it state that the entire 17 units required to be affordable would be assets to the Snowberry Brook project. 


The HAJC would like to make an equitable split of the 17 units proposing a 9.52 split with the City.  They are requesting a refund for the remaining $14,000 in fees.  They are not asking for a wavier but asking the City Council to appeal this decision due to the conditions of the IGA and the financial hardship that this money is placing on the project.  The HAJC is respectfully asking the Housing Commission members to support this request.


The Commissioners discussed Mr. Elzy’s request.


Pons/Ayars m/s to recommend the City Council to waive the entire amount of fees.  Roll Call:  Pons, Frost, Ayars, Waters voted yes, Hauck voted no.  The motion passed.



The Commissioners discussed the process they would like to take in developing Ad Hoc and Special Committees.


Frost made a motion that the Chair would appoint the members of the Ad Hoc Committees.  Motion failed for lack of a second.


Ayars/Pons m/s that the process for creating Ad Hoc Committees is done by group consensus with volunteers.  Voice Vote:  All ayes, motion passed.


Judith Benjamin, Aaron Benjamin’s wife, contacted Reid to discuss setting up a memorial fund in Aaron’s name.  People can donate to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in Aaron’s name.  That account has been set up through the finance department and it will be published in both the local newspaper as well as in New York where Aaron had lived before moving to the Rogue Valley.



This retreat is to review the past year’s goals and to look at whether they were accomplished or still of interest as well as to discuss new ones for the coming year.  Reid will send out an email with dates and times and arrive at a date that works for everyone. 



Reid informed the Commissioners that there has been quite a bit of media coverage recently about Student Fair Housing.  She said it would be really hard for the City to include students as a protective class without having some kind of student involvement in the process.  Reid said that when she discusses Fair Housing Laws with landlords, property owners or property mangers she tells them that these laws do not state that they have to rent to a student, families etc. landlords generally have objective criteria for screening perspective renters, such as rental history, criminal background, and credit checks.  Fair Housing laws don’t change those criteria landlords just need to treat everyone in a clear and objective way. 


Hauck would like to see language that identifies students as a protected class included in the ordinances to review.  Reid will move forward with the ordinance which still has to go through legal review but it will help clarify things and bring our code a little more inline with State and Federal.  We can also move forward with doing some research and getting some student input, outreach and education and finding out what the community needs and seeing if there is some interest with the Council. 


Reid reviewed the Fair Housing Ordinance going over the changes.  Some of the additions are from State and Federal regulations.  Most stem from Fair Housing Council’s recommendations offered in the analysis of impediments. 



Homeless Liaison

Homeless Shelters

Discussion regarding future meeting times taking into consideration Ms. Water’s scheduling needs



Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting

4:30-6:30 PM Thursday June 24th, 2010 Community Development Building


ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener

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