Agendas and Minutes

Planning Commission (View All)

Study Session

Minutes
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

 

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION

STUDY SESSION

MINUTES

September 28, 2010

 

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Pam Marsh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.

 

Commissioners Present:

 

Staff Present:

Larry Blake

Michael Dawkins

Dave Dotterrer

Pam Marsh

Melanie Mindlin

Mike Morris

John Rinaldi, Jr.

 

Bill Molnar, Community Development Director

Maria Harris, Planning Manager

Brandon Goldman, Senior Planner

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor

 

 

 

 

Absent Members:

 

Council Liaison:

Debbie Miller

 

Eric Navickas

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Community Development Director Bill Molnar noted the Commission’s annual retreat has been scheduled for Saturday, January 8, 2011. He also noted the on the record appeal of AT&T’s application will be held next Tuesday before the City Council.

 

Council Liaison Eric Navickas noted the City Council approved a feasibility study to look into urban renewal districts and tax increment financing; and noted the Planning Commission would be involved in this process if the Council decides to move forward. He commented briefly on this concept and clarified the Council is considering this type of financing for improvements to the railroad property, downtown, or the Croman Mill site. 

 

PRESENTATIONS

A.      Public Meeting Procedures/Ethics

City Recorder Barbara Christensen provided a presentation on public meetings law, public records law, and government ethics. The following is a summary of the key items presented by Ms. Christensen:

·         All meetings must be open to the public.

·         If a quorum is not present, no meeting can be held and the members should go home.

·         Meeting minutes must include: members present, all motions and measures proposed, the result of all votes, the substance of any discussion, and a reference to any documents discussed. They do not need to be verbatim.

·         Every person has the right to inspect public records and there is very little that is exempt from public records law.

·         All of the commissioners are considered “public officials” and it is their duty to act in the public’s best interest.

·         An “Actual Conflict of Interest” is defined as: When the action taken by a public official WOULD affect the financial interest of the official, the official’s relative, or a business in which the official or a relative is associated.

·         A “Potential Conflict of Interest” is defined as: When the action taken by a public official COULD affect the financial interest of the official, the official’s relative, or a business in which the official or a relative is associated.

·         Officials must publicly announce the nature of a conflict of interest before participating in any official action on the issue.

 

Ms. Christensen recited the “6 Levels of Decision Making” and concluded her presentation by encouraging the commissioners to work towards the public trust and to remember who it is they represent.

Commissioner Marsh asked about financial reporting requirements and Ms. Christensen clarified this is now done annually each April instead of quarterly.

 

B.      Copenhagen Bicycling and Pedestrian Facilities

The Planning Commission watched two short videos on the bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

A.      PC Subcommittee Recommendations on the Pedestrian Places Public Process

Commissioner Marsh noted the Planning Commission subcommittee on the Pedestrian Places public process met twice and have drafted a “Publicity and Workshop Framework” document. Commissioners Mindlin and Rinaldi provided an overview of their work and highlighted the following items:

  • Educating the public will be an important component, including explaining the benefits and the reasons for engaging in this process
  • Changed the name of the public sessions from “Open Houses” to “Workshops”
  • Changed the title of the project from “Pedestrian Nodes” to “Pedestrian Places”
  • Recommended Planning Commissioners facilitate breakout groups at the workshops

Planning Manager Maria Harris requested the commissioners give their preference on the timing of the facilitation training that will need to occur before the first workshop. The Commissioners went around the room and consensus was reached to meet a half-hour before the October 26 Joint Study Session.

 

The Commission reviewed the Publicity and Workshop Framework document developed by the subcommittee and indicated who would be responsible for each task. It was decided that staff would handle the following items: 1) publish a workshop notice in the CitySource, 2) send meeting invites to properties within 200 ft, 3) send meeting invites to businesses in the area, 4) create a project webpage on the City’s website, 5) post news items to the City’s homepage, 6) draft a press release, and 7) create a slide for RVTV channel 30. Ms. Harris stated overall this is an ambitious list in terms of work for staff, but they will do as much as possible while balancing their other projects and demands. Marsh voiced her support for the increased publicity outlined in the framework document and requested staff email the commissioners a copy of the press release and any other documents they produce.

 

Commissioner Mindlin noted the radio and television component and stated she would want some talking points before she felt comfortable speaking with the media. Ms. Harris noted that staff has already begun working on these, however the group agreed it was more appropriate for the general media and Jefferson Exchange interviews to occur after they are further along in the process.

 

Commissioner Marsh stated she would handle the letter to the editor, and Commissioner Dotterrer offered to make an announcement and distribute handouts at the Ashland Rotary meetings. Commissioner Morris was asked to investigate the feasibility of approaching the Chamber, and the other commissioners were asked to make announcements and handout flyers at their respective service clubs. Marsh stated she would post workshop flyers at local bicycle and running shops, and suggested they approach the Daily Tidings about publishing an article. The group also briefly discussed the possibility of extending the notice area and mailing postcards instead of letter-sized flyers.

 

ADJOURNMENT
Before the commission adjourned, Ms. Harris noted the Proclamation for Community Planning Month that will be read by the City Council at their next meeting and highlighted the activities staff is conducting to promote this.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor

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