Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Vice Chair Richard Billin called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers located at 1175 East Main St. Ashland, OR  97520.



Commissioners Present:

Council Liaison

Nikki Pons

Mike Morris

Ben Scott


Barb Barasa

Staff Present:

Richard Billin

Linda Reid, Housing Specialist

James Dills

Carolyn Schwendener, Account Clerk

Commissioners Absent:


Jody Waters


Regina  Ayars, excused







Barasa/Pons m/s to approve the minutes of the April 27th, 2011 regular Housing Commission meeting. Voice Vote:  All Ayes, minutes were approved as presented.


Dills/Barasa m/s to approve the minutes of the May 25th, 2011 Housing Commission meeting.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, minutes were approved as presented.  



No one spoke



Brandon Goldman, City Senior Planner, gave a presentation of the Transportation System Plan that Pubic Works is currently working on.  Goldman wanted to update the Housing Commission on how this project could impact Housing.  The overall objectives of the project is to promote higher transit use as well as provide alternative means of transportation looking at specific projects for enhancing the Transportation System City wide.


Goldman explained that a Pedestrian Place is defined as a location in which you can live and work, where there is a concentration of pedestrian activity and where people generally congregate. These places are generally located at areas where transit is available allowing people to get around without a car.


The three pedestrian connections the Transportation Commission is looking at are;

  • Walker Avenue and Ashland Street
  • Tolman Creek Road and Ashland Street
  • N. Mountain Avenue and E. Main Street


The Planning Department is looking at this plan in a broader way.  How can these parcels be developed and how will this fit into Housing.



Goldman was available as a resource to answer any Planning questions that the Commissioners might have regarding the current Land Use Code for Manufactured Homes. There are two different areas to look at regarding Manufactured Dwellings.   


Manufactured homes that sit on individual lots in an R-2 and R-3 Multi-family Zone are permitted though subject to some criteria such as size, materials, skirting around the base, potential for dormers, pitch of roof, garage etc.  The Ordinance also discusses putting the homes on property that is in relatively level zones and compatible with neighborhood Single Family Homes.  Manufactured Homes are not permitted in Historic Districts and must meet State Building Codes.


The other land use Code pertaining to Manufactured Homes addresses the creation of new Manufactured Home Parks. A subdivision where multiple units are constructed on one parent parcel are required to go through an outline plan review approval that eventually gets reviewed by the Planning Commission.


The Commissioners wondered if it would be feasible to use the remaining Clay Street property for affordable Manufactured Homes.  The main issue with this is density.  It would make more sense to build two story units which would accomplish more units per acre then Manufactured Homes could.



Reid said the staff is looking for a recommendation from the Housing Commission from the list below or a new one that the Commission would like to make.

  • Land bank, keep it until such time that the market turns around and the City could sell it.
  • Sell the land for Market Value
  • Solicit a proposal for an affordable/mixed-income development.


Goldman acknowledged at the last Planning Commission meeting Groundworks, formerly RVCDC, withdrew their application for the development of the 14,000 square foot property at the end of Chitwood Lane.  The project was going to be five affordable Housing units in which the Housing Commission initially recommended through a Request for Qualification process (RFQ).  The decision to not move forward was due to a number of reasons; contentious planning application process with the surrounding neighborhood and appraisal value just to name two.  Basically the price Groundworks would pay to build the units is higher then the appraised value of the finished units.  Groundworks Board Members made the decision to focus on existing developments to make sure they go forward with those projects. They did not want the responsibility of the Chitwood property along with the current projects which have already exceeded budget.


The Commissioners discussed the process of issuing an RFP.  Since there are a limited number of affordable Housing providers it was suggested to contact each possible applicant before issuing an RFP to confirm they are not too busy to take on another project.


Barasa/Pons m/s to issue a Request for Proposal to City Council for the Chitwood property.


After a discussion the Commissioners made an amendment to the motion.


Billin/Barasa m/s that the Commission issue a Request for Proposal for the Chitwood Property with the perimeters that they be ownership or rental units at 120 and below AMI.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed unanimously. 


Scott/Dill m/s that the Commission issue a RFP for the Clay Street Property with the same parameters as the Chitwood proposal.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed unanimously. 



Liaison Reports

Council – Morris reported that Council is still working on the Budget and Land Use appeals.


Parks – No report


School Board –No reports


Planning – The next Planning Commission meeting will be a joint meeting with the Transportation Commission and RVTD to discuss different modes of transportation, shuttles, express routes, rail, cable cars, etc.


Transportation – No report


SOU- No report


Staff – Reid reported that today was Project Homeless Connect.  Though quite a few less attended then last year it was considered successful.  About 270 people were served.  Reid said all went well and expected television news coverage this evening as well as an article in today’s paper.    The organizers did purchase bus passes to give out but pets are not allowed on RVTD busses which may have created a problem for some attendees.


Ashland Community Land Trust will be having their ribbon cutting ceremony for the Bridge Street project next week and everyone is invited to attend. 


It was suggested to add a section on the agenda for Commissioner announcements.  Scott made an announcement about a project called Clean Energy Works Oregon.  It was started in the Portland area as a low cost loan program to help people with energy efficiency upgrades such as windows and insulation.  The program offers cash rebates ahead of time with no fees, closing costs or deposits.  In our area it is financed through Southern Oregon Credit Union. 



Barasa will bring the letter she wrote regarding vulnerable properties to the next meeting for review and approval.

Dills has prepared a rough draft for the Housing Trust Fund and will email it to the Commissioners

Goldman might be available to speak about the Buildable Lands Inventory preliminary draft.


Quorum Check – Billin will be gone



Homeless Task Force Meeting – July 19, 2011: 10:30-12:00 Housing Authority Conference Room 2231, Table Rock Rd, Medford


Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting

4:30-6:30 PM; July 27, 2011, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street


ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener


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