Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL

January 18, 2011

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, Morris, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger, and Chapman were present.

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Stromberg noted the passing of Bill Patton and shared his critical role in the development of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival then honored Mr. Patton with a standing ovation.

 

He went on to announce his intention to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) in response to the recent shooting in Arizona that killed six people and wounded 13 others.

 

Mayor Stromberg commented the Ashland Advisory Water Committee was having an Open House January 19, 2011 to present six alternative water supply options identified by Carollo Engineering. 

 

Additionally, the City of Ashland was beginning the annual appointment process to City Commissions.  The deadline for submitting applications is March 18, 2011.

 

SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?

The minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 4, 2011 were approved as presented.

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS

1.      Presentation regarding the results of the Ashland Creek Ecoli and Fecal Coliform Study.

Rogue Riverkeeper Program Director Leslie Adams explained how the program worked to protect and restore water quality and fish populations throughout the Rogue River basin. 

 

Water Quality Coordinator Forrest English provided a presentation and explained the study set up six sites along the Talent Irrigation District (TID) ditch and nine sites along Ashland Creek to isolate areas that might contribute E coli and Fecal Coliform to the system.  Ms. Adams noted the E coli source was inconclusive but the study could serve as baseline data for future studies.  She explained as water levels decreased in the creek during the summer TID contributions have a greater impact. 

 

The study resulted in four recommendations:

1.      Public education on dog waste removal along the TID ditch trail and how TID water feeds into Ashland Creek

2.      Provide Dog Waste Stations on the TID ditch trail

3.      Pipe the TID ditch inside city limits to protect water quality

4.      Conduct a further study on the TID ditch and the area above the park

 

CONSENT AGENDA

1.   Will Council accept the Minutes of the Boards, Commissions and Committees?

2.   Will Council approve the 2011 Council liaison appointments to City boards and commissions, to be effective immediately?

3.   Should Council approve a resolution to adjust budget appropriations for changes in operational expenses to remain in compliance with Oregon Budget Law?

4.   Should Council approve a legal services contract with Douglas McGeary that could exceed $50,000?

5.   Does Council wish to set a public hearing for February 15, 2011 for the review of a Development Agreement and call-up for review the Planning Commission’s decision to approve planning action 2010-1239 - A Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment, Zone Change and Site design Review to construct a 10,632 square foot building at 85 Winburn Way?

6.   Will Council adopt a resolution supporting the application for a Safe Routes to School Grant in the amount of $300,000?

7.   Should Council approve a telecommunication franchise for LS Networks?

 

Councilor Voisin/Slattery m/s to approve Consent Agenda items. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS (None)

 

PUBLIC FORUM (None)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1.   Does Council have questions for the consultant team of Kittelson and Associates, Inc. regarding the status of the Transportation System Plan?

Public Works Director Mike Faught and Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained the Transportation System Plan (TSP) was currently working on Chapter 6 Pedestrian Places and described what Chapter 7 would address.  

 

Principal Engineer Marc Butorac from Kittelson and Associates provided a presentation on the Transportation System Plan that included:

Project Status - White Paper Process and First Delivery Group

  • Pedestrian & Bicycle Improvements:  Road Diet, Street Patios, Railroad Crossings and Other Modes of Transportation
  • Safety & Operations Improvements:  Offset Intersections
  • Alternatives to LOS and Corresponding Funding Strategies
  • Opportunities for Research Related Funding
  • 9 months remaining to Draft TSP
  • Work Completed
  • Remember the Challenges:  Myths and Biases, Alternative and Creative Funding Vehicles and Political Will

White Papers: Group 1 Road Diet

  • Road Diet Purpose:  Reallocate existing roadway right-of-way, better serve pedestrians, bicycles and transit
  • Road Diet benefits:  Improved traffic flow, reduced vehicle speeds closer to desired operating speed, reduced conflicts and number of crashes, more attractive environment for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Road Diet Opportunities:  North Main Street, Helman Street-Schofield Street, Schofield Street to Valley View Road 

White Papers: Groups 2 and 3

  • Group 2:  Roundabouts, Bike Route Connectivity, Bike Boulevards, Shared Streets, Green Street Standards
  • Group 3:  Funding Programs, Transit and Rapid Transit, Will Dodge Way, Multiuse Trails, Safe Routes to School

 White Papers: Groups 4 and 5

  • Group 4:  Passenger Rail and Commuter Rail, Downtown Access Plan, Streetcar, High Density Housing, Access Management Plan
  • Group 5:  Freight, Airport, Special Transportation Area, Addition of an I-5 Exit

Overview of White Paper Schedule – Based on Planning and Transportation Commissions Availability

  • January 20 – Discuss Group #1 with PC and TC
  • February 10 – Discuss Group #2 with PC and TC
  • February 24 – Discuss Group #3 with PC and TC
  • March 10 – Discuss Group #4 with PC and TC
  • March 17 – Discuss Group #5 with PC and TC

Oregon TSP History Perspective

·         First, Second and Third Generations

Alternatives to LOS and Corresponding Funding Strategies

·         Discuss Traditional Approach

·         Discuss Progressive Approach

Traditional Approach to LOS

·         Developer:  Performs a TIA ($15,000 to $25,000), mitigates intersections with vehicle LOS deficiencies, pays a transportation SDC

·         Result:  Wider roadways and System improvements

·         Uncertainties:  Cost for the developer, improvements for the City

Progressive Approach to LOS

·         Developer:  Performs a safety assessment, Mitigates safety issues, Pays multimodal SDC

·         Result:  City able to apply money and fund improvements on a systematic basis

·         Certainties:  Higher level of certainty for developer, Higher level of control and flexibility for the City

Opportunities for Research Related Funding

·         Federal Research Funds

·         Regional Research Funds

Key Near Term Dates and Work Items

 

Mr. Molnar explained the Pedestrian Places Project focused on three neighborhood centers. The first was the Tolman Creek Road and Ashland Street intersection where the draft vision would improve pedestrian-bicycle connectivity.  The second center was Ashland Street and Walker Avenue with a draft vision that would identify the area as a university district hub. The third center was East Main and North Mountain where the draft vision would look at it as an arts community center. The Pedestrian Places Project group identified building blocks for these areas to include better transportation, public spaces with areas for informal displays of art.  A portion of the TSP Pedestrian Places, the Planning Commission, and the Transportation Commission were looking at these areas as an opportunity to create more mixed-use centers along the major transportation corridors over the next 30-40 years.

 

Planning Manager Maria Harris explained the project originated from a 2007 workshop on Designing Great Arterial Streets that incorporated into the TSP as a Pedestrian Places component.  Two Pedestrian Places Public Workshops had occurred and the project had a draft vision statement, an opportunities site map, and the beginning of an illustration plan for each location.  A final public workshop will occur February 22, 2011.  In an effort to engage more of the public, staff set up an online forum on the City website called “Open City Hall.”

 

Planning Commission Chair Pam Marsh added it was refreshing to look at transportation planning in a manner contrary to the traditional focus on single occupancy vehicles for reasons that encompass sustainability, livability, and equity and making the best use of funds. 

Council and staff discussed a concern whether the Tolman Creek Road-Ashland Street area was the best location for a pedestrian node.  Staff anticipated the area evolving into one of the higher levels of re-development in addition to it becoming one of the fastest growing residential areas.  The Planning Commission was also interested in the intersection and the need for pedestrian and bicycle safety for residents from all the adjacent residential communities.

 

2.   Does Council have additional direction about the proposed business license ordinance prior to first reading?

Interim City Attorney Megan Thornton explained the proposed ordinance would give authority to regulate business activity, provide criteria to deny and revoke a business license under specific circumstances and establish a fee structure that would allow data collection.

 

Paul Kay/1234 Strawberry Lane/Expressed concerns the proposed ordinance stepped on the right to privacy and civil rights.  He supported tying business licenses to City services, infrastructure, and neighborhood influences but thought there should be specific thresholds and detailed definitions.  He provided examples of automated enforcement and neighborhood impact on home business situations.

 

Council discussed 6.04.040 Licensing exemptions and suggested changes to subparagraph (B) that would eliminate non-profits from the fee but not the licensing requirement.  Changes to 6.04.040 Licensing exemptions (E) would add language that the operation of a display space etc. was exempt “…provided that the total length of all sales combined is fewer than four days in any one calendar year.”  6.04.040 Licensing exemptions (F) would replace language: “…or less than four rooms in one residential unit,” with “or unless it is the individual’s primary residence.”  6.04.040 Licensing exemptions (G) Domestic Help would limit one per residential household, specify babysitter, or leave the language as is. The final suggestion was remove 6.04.040 Licensing exemptions (I) that referred to farm products raised in Oregon.   

 

For 6.04.120 Denial or revocation of license, Council suggested removing language from subparagraph (4): “…including a violation which does not lead to a conviction…,” and condense and combine subparagraphs (3) and (4).  Additionally, staff recommended striking language from 6.04.120 Denial or revocation of license (1) that suggested the City could revoke a business license if there was a sign code violation.

 

Staff explained the process for enforcing business licenses initially starts with citizen complaints about a business.  If a business code violation occurred, the business would receive a notice giving them 30 days to comply before a hearing was set.  If the business complied within that period, the City would discontinue the revocation process.   Failure to comply would result in a hearing where the business would present evidence to the Administrative Director who would make a decision based on all the evidence provided.  The business would receive another notice within 5-10 days apprising them of the decision.  The City’s intent with enforcement was to get businesses in compliance, not revoke business licenses.

 

For individuals conducting business without a license, the City sends them a notice stating a business license is required.  If the business fails to comply, the City mails a notice requesting them to cease and desist.  Failure to comply with the notice would result in a citation and a court process.  It was extremely rare to have a situation escalate to the citation level and there were only a couple cases over the past five years where it actually occurred. 

 

Council discussed the Fee Structure and having a flat rate fee of $120 for companies with more than five employees instead of charging $5 for each additional employee.  Staff will provide information on current business licenses with more than five employees to determine actual charges as well as a comparison to what the City of Medford charges for business license fees.

 

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS

1.   Which Council members will be appointed to screen applications for the City Attorney position?

City Administrator Martha Bennett explained in the past Council appointed two members to meet with the Mayor, review resumes, and recommend candidates for the interview process.  Council appointed Councilor Lemhouse and Slattery.  

 

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

1.   Will Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance titled, “An Ordinance Relating to Creation of a Firewise Commission”?

 

Councilor Voisin/Lemhouse m/s to approve Ordinance #3044. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Morris, Chapman, Lemhouse, Slattery, Silbiger and Voisin, YES. Motion passed.

                 

OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS 

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting was adjourned at 10:03 p.m.

 

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder   
John Stromberg, Mayor

 

 

                      

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