MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
January 18, 2000
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hauck, Wheeldon and Fine were present, Councilor Hanson was absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular meeting of January 4, 2000 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS (None)
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
The following corrections were made to the Study Session of January 25, 2000: page 2, paragraph eight, delete from third sentences “there” and delete an unfinished sentence at the end of paragraph “Brown stated.”
The following corrections were made to the Joint Study Session of January 6, 2000: page 1, 1st paragraph, last sentence should read “. . . the future as far as possible.”; page 3 of 3, 6th paragraph, should read “. . . explained Food & Beverage Tax and funding allocation of 1/3 of 1/3 to OSF . . . ”
2. Confirmation of Mayor's appointment of Nancy Richardson to the Housing Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2001.
Councilors Reid/Fine m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Public Hearing regarding vacation of a portion of Bush Street.
Public Works Director Paula Brown presented map of area which indicated the portion of the alley off Bush Street proposed to be vacated. Brown stated that this had come before the Planning Commission and that the Planning Commission supported the request which included that there be a five-foot pedestrian easement. She explained that a 14' public utility easement has been added to the proposed ordinance, primarily for telephone. Brown explained that the alley was originally vacated in 1982 to accommodate the construction of Wesley Hall by the First United Methodist Church.
Brown clarified that in the future, if the easement that runs through the church parking lot is needed, pedestrians could use the parking lot. Community Development Director John McLaughlin explained that there is a placeholder at this time and that the church may come back at a future date for a planning action that could allow opening up of the fence and getting a pedestrian easement to connect to Laurel Street. McLaughlin explained that we are more aware of the importance of mid-block connections than we were in the 1980's. McLaughlin explained that the remainder of the alleyway, where the gate exists, is property of the church.
Shaw voiced concern with the uninviting nature of the proposed alleyway and that there is no signage for the alleyway that would encourage bicycle-pedestrian access.
Public Hearing OPEN: 7:15 p.m.
Maxwell Foster Jr./63 Bush Street/Pointed out that there was an error in the proposed ordinance which indicated two different utility easements. He explained that the 14' utility easement is the official and agreed upon easement.
Brown explained that Mr. Foster had not received a corrected copy of the proposed ordinance, and the version that the council had received in their council packet was correct.
Public Hearing CLOSED: 7:17 p.m.
First reading in full of "An Ordinance Vacating An Unnamed Alley off Bush Street and Reserving a Pedestrian Access and Public Utility Easement."
Councilors Hauck/Laws m/s to approve first reading and place on agenda for second reading of ordinance.
Councilors Fine/Reid m/s to amend motion to correct SECTION 2 of ordinance under (1), to remove the words “are recorded.” Councilors Wheeldon/Fine m/s to approve first reading with amendment and place on agenda for second reading of ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Hauck, Laws, Wheeldon, Reid and Fine, YES. Motion passed.
Bonnie Moody/511 E Hersey/She stated that there had been almost no public discussion of the proposal to erect 23 60'-90' light structures at North Mountain Park. She feels that this would effectively transform this park into a sports complex with 170 flood lights that could be seen from many city neighborhoods. She felt that the glare from the lights and fixtures would be prominent enough to neutralize views of the moon and stars at night and the mountains by day. Feels that installation of the lights is a violation of the city's comprehensive plan and that it also violates the spirit of the Food & Beverage Tax.
James Earley/1067 E Main/Astronomy teacher from Hidden Valley spoke in support of saving night light and spoke against light pollution. Shared definition of light trespassing and how it has affected this area.
Duane Whitcomb/1179 Village Square Drive/He read the current definition of structure as is set in city ordinance and compared this definition to the company that will potentially receive the contract for lights at North Mountain Park. He stated that the fields have been wired for 23 poles that are set to be 60'-90' tall and are multi-sectional. He feels that the proposed lights are beyond the definition of utility pole and that the poles are a structure not a conduit. He requested that council consider the Comprehensive Plan when making their decision.
1. Draft Public Information and Communication Plan.
Administrative Services Director Dick Wanderschied presented plan and recommended approval. He explained that this plan is a work plan for his department and that the plan would also give them the ability to ask the Budget Committee for funding. He stated that if the Citizen Involvement Plan had been used initially on the issue of lights at North Mountain Park, this could have been resolved long ago. But, he doesn't think that the proposed plan is going to avoid the current situation regarding North Mountain Park. He feels that some of the other things that staff is working on may help in the future, but that it is hard to go back and fix things that happened in the past.
Wanderschied clarified that this is not a process, but a plan that includes a number of things that staff hopes to accomplish in the next year through funding or staff allocation. He stated that this plan should improve communication both internally and externally within the city.
Councilors Wheeldon/Reid m/s to approve Plan. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
2. Draft Marketing Plan.
Councilors Wheeldon/Reid m/s to approve Marketing Plan. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Council meeting Look Ahead.
City Administrator Mike Freeman noted the difficulty of scheduling the joint Council and Planning Commission meeting. He explained that the meeting will be held January 25, 2000 but due to scheduling conflicts for Town Hall, the City Administrator, Mayor Shaw and Councilor Hauck will not be in attendance.
2. Mayor's appointments of Council liaisons to various boards and commissions.
Mayor Shaw noted a change in appointment liaisons as Susan Reid for Bear Creek Greenway Committee and Don Laws for Trans Advisory Comm (TRADCO), added Building Demolition and Moving Board and David Fine as liaison.
3. Annual Review of City Burning Regulations.
Fire Chief Woodley explained that the ordinance that regulates city burning requires an annual report by the Fire Chief to the council regarding the previous years statistics. He explained that there will be a resolution in February that will need to be executed to set the dates for burning in the calender year 2000. He also provided to council an analysis of the burning activity within the city for the last 9 years. Woodley stated that they continue to recommend and encourage alternative ways to burning. He explained that there are certain hardship situations where burning is the only reasonable way to remove wildfire fuels.
Woodley clarified for council that it is difficult to look at numbers without taking into consideration the number of burning days that were allowed. He further clarified that 87 is the correct number in determining the total number of permits issued.
4. Update on the Implementation of Council's 1999 - 2000 Strategic Plan Priorities.
No action due to time constraints.
5. Second Quarter 1999/00 Construction and Major Project Activity Summary (#2).
No action due to time constraints.
Nolte addressed confusion by council in regards to what section of the ALUO was presented to LUBA. He explained that the ALUO sections brought up before LUBA are intertwined and that you cannot define one without looking at the other to see what the effect is. He explained that this is the reason interpretation is being brought forward so that the staff makes sure it is following what the council has done.
Councilor Reid clarified for the public that council is not being asked to make a decision on the driving range or lights at the North Mountain Park. She voiced concern that council is being asked to avoid a public process. She commented on the conflict of avoiding a public process and the recent development of communication tools with the community. Reid stated that she does not want to do something that will deny public processes.
Hauck stated that staff made their interpretation and the result is the action that council is contemplating. He stated that neither of the issues mentioned resulted in a planning action that would call for defined processes. He explained that there are a lot of things that are released by the staff that are done by the city and private citizens that do not call for planning actions. Hauck stated that in this case the council is specifically being asked the following, are the interpretations that have been used by the staff in the past how the council see the ordinances that are written to mean. He stated that the intent is not to avoid a public process, but that there are certain types of actions that do not require a public process.
Nolte explained that the job of the staff is to find what process should happen and in this case staff did not find a process. He stated that if council should define structures in the same way the Planning Commission did, it would trigger a finding that would trigger a site review process.
Fine commented on his confidence of the staff involved and that there has been no special treatment in the two projects that have been mentioned. He asked council to always be firm in insisting that this be so. He noted that the city holds itself to very strict standards.
Laws noted that there are side issues, which include night lighting and public processes, that the council will need to address in the future. He commented that these issues are not relevant to the matter before the council and that the council needs to limit their discussion on the question of interpreting the meaning of our ordinance provisions. Laws felt that the council needs to look at what the ordinance provision meant at the time they were written and interpreted by staff. He stated that they should not be looking at what we would like them to mean, not what they should mean in the future, nor what we would want to change or clarify them to mean, but what did they mean at the time of interpretation.
Shaw noted that when the North Mountain Park was first proposed and went back to the Parks Commission and the community group, this area was largely undeveloped. She explained that the area has changed now and a different component of our community, through a long and difficult public process, said what they wanted there. Shaw explained that the community came to an agreement of what was wanted at this park. She explained that there are no set decisions about lights and that this is not the issue before the council. She felt that staff may have foreseen a problem surrounding lights as a structure simply because it is similar to the problem associated with the driving range. She explained that it does an injustice to the council because it pushes the council to present to the public that this is a decision that has been made, when it is not.
Reid noted that it is more important to know what the result of the decision will be. She feels that if the result of the decision is to deny public process, then it is not the way she wants to go. Reid feels that the light poles are structures and should have a building permit process to ensure public safety.
Nolte clarified that LUBA did not request items #9 and #10 and that they had nothing to do with the LUBA decision. He explained that the requested interpretations were brought to council, under a provision in our ordinances which state, when there is a doubt as to the meaning it can be referred to the Planning Commission, which is then automatically referred to the council. He stated that not all of these are specific issues that were raised by LUBA, but that this would be a way to tie up loose ends to see if the council agrees with staff interpretation. Wheeldon clarified that council is only looking at the actions of the Planning Director and links in ordinances that allow him to make an interpretation. Nolte explained that LUBA did not remand this to the council, but that this is a remand for the city to explain how the Planning Director made his decisions or choices. Nolte clarified that the ordinance states that this is referred to the council, regardless of the action of the Planning Commission, to accept, modify, reject, etc.
The following are the items referred for interpretation:
1. Is a public golf course a public recreational facility as that term is used in ALUO 18.20.020.E.
Council found consensus on agreement with Planning Commission recommendation.
2. Is a driving range in conjunction with a public golf course an outright permitted accessory use to a public recreational facility in ALUO 18.20.020.
Fine does not feel that a driving range in conjunction with a public golf course, is an outright permitted accessory. He stated that to be an accessory use, under the terms of our ordinance, it has to be incidental. He used a definition from the dictionary that described an accessory as having a minor role in relation to a more important thing and not essential. He felt that there is no guarantee or reason to assume that this driving range will always play a minor role in relationship to the Oak Knoll Golf Course. He stated that when the ordinance is interpreted, it has to be interpreted so that it can be consistently applied to all cases. Fine noted that our ordinance states that in a residential zone, one may never ever have a free standing driving range. He felt that the reason may be, because it is anticipated in many cases that a driving range can be contrary to purposes of a residential zone. Because of these reasons, Fine stated that he would vote no on this interpretation.
Hauck disagreed with reasons stated by Fine because he felt that what was being discussed had to do with land use, which means a use of the property in question. He stated that in the case of the golf course, which is a designated use of the property, that the driving range is an accessory use because it is not the primary use of the land and is subordinate to the main use of the land. He explained that the ordinance speaks to and makes a differentiation between a public and private golf course. Hauck explained that a public golf course is an outright permitted use and he agrees with the interpretation of staff and the Planning Commission.
Shaw commented that the golf course has existed for quite a few years and she does not agree that the driving range would be the primary use. Wheeldon feels the driving range would be incidental to the golf course. Reid felt that the driving range is subordinate as an outright permitted use. Laws noted that the Parks Commission feels that the driving range is essential to the financial success of the golf course and that it is an essential part to the golf course and he agreed with the reasons presented by Fine.
Council agreed with interpretation by staff and Planning Commission with a majority vote of 3-2.
3. Are planning staff responses, to questions regarding the intent or meaning of the ALUO, proceedings, which constitute a planning action as that term is defined in ALUO 18.08.595.
Hauck clarified that what the council is being asked is that when someone comes and asks the staff a question, regarding interpretation of an ALUO, does this mean that it is a planning action that needs to be documented and then noticed before the advice from staff can be given. Hauck responded that this is not the case and he agrees with staff and Planning Commission interpretation.
Councilors Reid and Wheeldon responded that they also agree with staff and Planning Commission interpretation.
Nolte explained that the specific question from LUBA is that John McLaughlin did not explain in his letter why his response to the inquiry is not a planning action.
Council unanimous in their agreement with staff and Planning Commission interpretation.
4. Does the term structure, as defined in ALUO 18.08.750, include poles or posts, standing by themselves or connected to each other by fencing, netting or utility wires or cable.
Reid stated that if it is more than a certain height, and used the current six-foot fence requirement, that it needs to be included in this definition. Laws felt that you could interpret ordinances, which do not have height provisions, into having height provisions. He suggested and Nolte confirmed that an ordinance would need to be amended rather than interpreted at this time. Nolte explained that, if it is connected to something it is a structure, and it would not matter what its height is, as long as it is over 18 inches.
Fine stated that the words in the ordinance need to have fixed meanings and cannot just mean anything at any particular occasion. He believes that structure would not include something like a power line supported by occasional poles or that a structure would not include a freestanding pole as in a light pole in a parking lot. He read a dictionary definition that stated that a structure is a set of interconnecting parts of any complex or framework. Fine compared the example of an aviary, which has poles with netting both on the sides and on the top and designed to keep birds in, to the driving range which would be designed to keep golf balls in. He felt that this design would constitute a structure. He feels that an engineered array, which becomes a framework for a complex illumination system, becomes a structure.
Hauck voiced his difficulty in making an interpretation and noted the definition, which states any piece of work, artificially built-up or composed of parts joined together is a definite matter. He stated that if you followed the letter of the law a pole would be this. He conceded that it is important to go back to what the original intent of the ordinance was when it was written and what they were trying to accomplish at that time. He stated that he does not want to make an interpretation that goes so far as to make handling and administration of this ordinance ridiculous.
Councilors Hauck/Reid m/s to extend meeting to 10:30 p.m. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Reid felt that poles would be structures and agreed with the Planning Commission interpretation. She stated that the concern she has is with safety and wants assurance that these would be engineered and installed properly. She would like to create a process that would require a building permit to ensure these factors.
Wheeldon stated that you would not have to say that these are a structure in order to require a building permit. Nolte explained that if council determines it is a structure, and it is an interpretation that is defensible and could be upheld, it would trigger action by either a site review or building permit. Nolte stated that if council should consider this a structure then staff would need to request from council an exemption for certain structures from the land-use review. He explained that staff would need to analyze the code to see if there is a defensible way to say that, because we regulate fences in another provision, we do not necessarily trigger a site-review for every fence.
Laws stated that if we were to use a dictionary definition we would have to say that virtually anything is a structure. He felt that we are not here to interpret the dictionary definition, but to interpret what our ordinance means. He does not feel that when the ordinance was written that it was intended in this way. Laws felt that none of these are structures in the meaning of the ALUO.
Wheeldon commented that if we attach the use of the word infrastructure, it would create site-reviews. Reid felt that staff had bundled several issues together in a cumbersome way and she would prefer to err on the side of interpreting that these are structures and would require a permit.
Shaw agreed with Reid's concern on the need for additional public process within the Planning Commission regarding potential lighting or a driving range at the golf course. Shaw did not believe that there was any intention on the Planning Commission to not have additional public process, but that this has evolved through time.
Councilors Laws motioned that it is counsel interpretation that structure as defined in ALUO 18.08.750 does not include poles or posts, standing by themselves or connected to each other by fencing, netting, or utility wire or cable. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Hauck, Wheeldon, YES; Reid and Fine, NO. Motion passed 3-2.
5. Does the definition of height of buildings in ALUO 18.08.290 apply to the poles or posts described above.
Nolte explained that this raises the question of how do you measure the height of a structure. He explained that there is a definition of height of buildings and how to measure these buildings. The question is, is there a height restriction on structures without roofs? Fine used the definition in 18.08.290 and stated that the question is whether this applies to poles or posts.
Hauck voiced his agreement with the staff and Planning Commission interpretation and Fine concurred that the definition does not apply.
Council voiced consensus of agreement on interpretation by staff and Planning Commission.
A. Does the term driving range in ALUO 18.20.030.E apply to driving range, which is an accessory use to a golf course.
Wheeldon stated that the driving range is an accessory use to the golf course, of which Hauck and Reid agreed.
Nolte explained that the staff had interpreted the golf course in section E, as a private stand-alone recreational facility. He stated that staff did not mean that it was an accessory use to a private golf course. That you could have a driving range with a private golf course as an accessory use, but you could not have a driving range, as the provision is interpreted, as a driving range by itself.
Based on reasons stated previously, Fine felt that it does apply and the contrary answer would suggest that the city is getting a deal for city facilities that we would not allow private facilities. Nolte explained that the interpretation is that you can have a driving range as an accessory use to a private golf course, which would be the same deal. He further explained that you couldn't have a driving range without a golf course.
Councilors Fine/Laws m/s to answer the question to #6 as YES. Roll Call Vote: Laws and Fine, YES; Reid, Hauck and Wheeldon, NO. Motion denied 3-2.
B. Is a vending machine of golf balls or other products, or is a vehicle with attachments, such as to mow lawns or retrieve golf balls, mechanical equipment within the meaning of ALUO 18.08.485.
Councilors Wheeldon/Fine m/s to answer the question to #7 as NO. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
C. How is square footage measured as used in ALUO 18.108.030.A.6 when a structure is unenclosed or has no roof or floor.
Fine stated that the answer is to measure the square footage of surface area and Reid seconded this statement as a motion. Shaw clarified that the motion is to go the opposite of the Planning Commission interpretation. Roll Call Vote: Reid and Fine, YES; Laws, Hauck and Wheeldon, NO. Motion denied.
D. Is outdoor lighting a use as defined in ALUO 18.08.810 and is it subject to a planning action or any permit or approval under the ALUO as unenclosed or has no roof or floor.
Councilors Fine/Hauck m/s to answer question to #9 as NO. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Wheeldon and Fine, YES. Motion passed.
6. How is direct illumination to be interpreted in ALUO 18.72.140
Fine voiced is concern with information that was provided and felt that direct illumination is a term apart of certain branches of engineering, and that there is not enough information to respond at this time.
Council consensus to put this item off until another time for further discussion.
7. Request for Council approval to begin preliminary design and coordination for the formation of a Local Improvement District for the improvement of Strawberry Lane, Westwood Street, Scenic Avenue, Alnut Street, and Nutley Street.
Councilors Fine/Reid m/s to approve request. Roll Call Vote: Laws, Reid, Hauck, Wheeldon and Fine, YES. Motion passed.
Approval of Boundary Line Adjustment at Garfield Park and Authorization to Sign a Land Partition.
No action due to time constraints.
9. Update on Management Study of the Ashland Fire Department.
No action due to time constraints.
10. Presentation of the Economic Development Committee report to the City Council.
No presentation due to time constraints.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Vacating An Unnamed Alley off Bush Street and Reserving a Pedestrian Access and Public Utility Easement."
Item dealt with under Public Hearings.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
None due to time constraints.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder