Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, August 23, 2010

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

August 23, 2010

ATTENDANCE

Present:    Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendents Gies and Dials

Absent:     City Council Liaison Jackson

CALL TO ORDER

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – July 19, 2010

In the section entitled “Nature Center Presentation of Programs and Services,” Noraas questioned whether all $12,500 allocated in the Nature Center budget for the Americorps position (left unfilled in FY 2010-2011) would be utilized to provide backfill at the Nature Center and Dials said a portion would be used for that purpose. Noraas asked that the sentence include the word some for the sake of clarity.

MOTION Eggers moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes [Gardiner and Rosenthal abstained]

Regular Meeting – July 26, 2010

Under “Items from Commissioners,” Eggers said she’d asked about (not questioned) the recent low water level at the upper duck pond and the de-mossing within the TID ditch (rather than the TID water).

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

OPEN FORUM

Bryan Holley, 324 Liberty Street, speaking as both a community gardener and the volunteer community garden manager, said thefts of produce occurred over the summer growing season at the Ashland Creek Park community gardens on Hersey Street. He asked the commission to lock the gate leading into the gardens for the remainder of the season (through November 1).

Commissioners said they would consider adding the item to the agenda during “Additions or Deletions to the Agenda.”

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

Commissioners agreed to add to the agenda the issue of community garden security and to place it at the end of the “New Business” section.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None

NEW BUSINESS

GARFIELD PARK AMPLIFICATION REQUEST

Dials said the “Friends of Ashland Shopping Center” submitted a special event request to hold a rally in Garfield Park on October 5. She said the spokesperson, Rod Newton, requested amplified music as well as portable toilets and extra trash cans. She said Parks could provide the trash cans but not portable toilets. She invited Newton to present his request and answer any questions from the commission.

Rod Newton said the purpose of the rally was to appeal the proposed cell tower on the roof of the Ashland Street Cinema. He said the rally—set for the evening council would discuss the issue (October 5)—would feature a potluck dinner, music, and family activities at Garfield Park before the meeting, with the group walking over to council chambers for a peaceful demonstration at the start of the council meeting and then returning to the park for more music following the meeting. He said the organizers hoped to draw 200 to 300 participants and wanted to bring in a food vendor for those not participating in the potluck dinner.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked staff and Newton questions about parking, how the proposed event fit (or didn’t fit) Parks policies, and any previous requests for amplification at Garfield Park. Newton said a similar number of people attended a Planning Commission meeting at that location and parking was adequate. Dials said the amplification request did not fit the commission’s policy and could not be approved at the staff level. She told Newton the maximum amount of amplification, if approved, would be 1.5 hours at a decibel level no greater than 75. She said the commission approved sound at Garfield Park for “Movies in the Park” events in summers 2008 and 2009. In terms of a food vendor, Dials told Newton that selling is prohibited in City of Ashland parks. She said the Garfield Park restrooms could accommodate rally participants and remain open beyond the normal closing time that evening.

Commissioners discussed approving the Garfield Park amplification request with the guidelines that someone (other than the sound person) monitor sound at the event; that organizers determine start / end times for amplification before and after the council meeting; and that organizers notify Parks staff of those designated times prior to the event.

Motion Noraas moved to approve the request for amplified sound at Garfield Park on October 5, with rally organizers following the guidelines established by the commission. Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

STUDY SESSION ON DOGS IN PARKS

Robertson said the topic for the September 20 study session was dogs in parks. When the commission chose the topic, he said they discussed having a full public meeting and possibly using a facilitator. He said a facilitator could be hired, as was done for the pool public meeting, or Parks staff and the commission could facilitate the meeting, as was done for the pesticide public meeting. He said both formats worked well and both public meetings allowed participants to hear an overview, gather at smaller tables to look at materials and discuss issues, then reconvene with the larger group to share what was discussed. He said any supporting documentation such as maps would need to be prepared by staff in advance of the meeting. He suggested using Pioneer Hall to allow for a larger audience. He said people had their own views about dogs, with some enjoying them for companionship and others expressing concerns about sanitation, health, and safety. He asked for direction on the type of facilitation desired by the commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Some commissioners suggested hiring a facilitator while others felt staff and the commission could self-facilitate. Commissioners said it was important to hear all viewpoints and educate participants about the areas in which dogs were currently allowed. Lewis asked staff to send materials in advance by email that included the City’s dog ordinance, Parks policy on dogs, and a list of options for dogs / no dogs in parks. Gardiner asked staff to research other communities’ methods and policies on dogs in parks. Noraas said it would be helpful to learn how other tourist communities dealt with tourists’ pets.

Robertson and Eggers agreed to work together to coordinate facilitation of the study session on dogs in parks.

ASHLAND CREEK PARK COMMUNITY GARDEN SECURITY

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners reviewed the request to lock the Ashland Creek Park community garden gate on Hersey Street through November 1. Robertson said the park hours were dawn to dusk. Dials reported checking with other community garden managers in Oregon and said most either locked their gates or hired caretakers to live on the garden grounds while also utilizing police departments for patrols. Robertson recommended a trial period during which the gates leading into the Hersey Street gardens would be locked. He said theft had not been reported at the Clay Street Park gardens and only one incident of theft was reported at the Scenic Parks gardens. He said locking off the entire Ashland Creek Park facility would be contrary to the commission’s goal of providing open lands for citizens. He said the Parks Department could supply the lock and the community gardeners would be responsible for locking and unlocking the gate, with no Parks custodial crew involved. In response to a commissioner comment about providing a sign explaining the lock, Robertson said staff could put up a sign stating that due to vandalism, the garden gate would be locked through November 1, 2010.

Bryan Holley said he would work with Parks staff to notify gardeners about the lock and to give them the combination. He suggested using the same combination on both the shed and the gate. He said he would forward any feedback from gardeners to Parks staff.

Motion Eggers moved to direct staff to work with the garden program coordinators at the Ashland Creek Park community gardens about locking the garden gate for the remainder of the gardening season (through November 1) on a trial basis. Rosenthal seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Gies said the golf course driving range would be closed the following day for a week to allow for the replacement of the nets on the right side, with the pump house roof undergoing a renovation at the same time.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Eggers requested that meeting minutes include more details than “the program was a success” when referring to Parks staff reports about programs or events.

Eggers asked staff to schedule the first meeting of the Lithia Park Master Plan Subcommittee and to provide subcommittee members with any recommendations for additional interpretive and regulatory signage.

Eggers asked for an update on the Parks Department’s “Green Business” status. Robertson said the work was nearly finished for the Parks offices and shop and he planned to meet with Conservation Analyst Robbin Pearce of the “Green Team” to finalize any additional work associated with becoming certified a “Green Business.”

UPCOMING MEETING DATES

  • Study session set for September 20 at 7:00 p.m., Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way. Topic to include:
    • Forum on Dogs in Parks
  • Regular meeting set for September 27 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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