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August Tree Commission Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, August 09, 2012

TREE COMMISSION MINUTES
August 9, 2012
 
CALL TO ORDER –Ashland Tree Commission meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m. on August 9, 2012, in the Siskiyou Room in the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, Oregon.
 
Commissioners Present Council Liaison
Ken Schmidt Greg Lemhouse - ABSENT
Tracy Peddicord  
Tom Myers - ABSENT Staff Present
Casey Roland Michael Pina, Assistant Planner
Russ Neff Anne Thayer, Parks Horticulturist
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Neff motioned, Schmidt seconded the approval of the July 5, 2012 Regular meeting minutes.
 
WELCOME GUESTS & PUBLIC FORUM
No guests.
 
TYPE I REVIEW
PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2012-01073                      
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        461 Holly
APPLICANT:                         Del Thompson / Highland Pines
DESCRIPTION:                     A request for a Tree Removal permit to remove a 36-inch DBH Pine tree located east of 461 Holly Street, within the Highland Pines Subdivision. The tree has been reviewed by a certified arborist and deemed to be showing many signs of stress and dying. 
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Low-Density Multi-Family; ZONING: R-2;
ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 09CA; TAX LOT #: 5310
 
Piña gave the staff report. All commissioners visited the site. The Commission noted that the tree is in decline and it is appropriate to remove as presented. A mitigation tree is recommended to equal similar stature once mature. 

PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2012-01121                      
SUBJECT PROPERTY:        70 Water Street
APPLICANT:                         Scott English 
DESCRIPTION:                     A request for a Tree Removal permit to remove a 25-inch DBH Alder tree located along Ashland Creek behind 70 Water Street. In conjunction with the Ashland Creek Restoration Project, a 10-inch irrigation pipe is to be installed adjacent to the Alder’s root zone. A certified arborist noted that due to the tree’s lean towards the Ashland Creek Inn, installation of the pipe would severely compromise the tree’s structural integrity and will become a hazard. 
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Employment; ZONING: E-1;
ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 09BB; TAX LOT #: 16400
 
Piña presented the staff report. Some Commissioners visited the site. The application notes that this particular tree was not included in last year’s removal request because the applicant thought the irrigation pipe could be installed without compromising the tree’s stability. However, once the underlying blackberries and bamboo were removed from the area, the project manager felt that installation of the pipe would not be feasible without severely compromising the tree’s structural integrity, causing the tree to become a hazard. While the Commission concurred that installation of the 10-inch irrigation pipe will cause significant structural damage to the subject tree, and removing it at this stage of the project is the best option, they felt that removal would have a negative impact on erosion, soil stability, and the flow of water within Ashland Creek due to the size and habitat this particular tree creates. So the Commission felt that the project manager should revise the submitted mitigation and replanting plan that was submitted last year in addition to replanting the largest tree possible in the same location.

DISCUSSION ITEMS
Commissioner Neff noted, again, about the dead trees located at 670 and 678 Siskiyou Blvd. Staff noted that while trees within the right-of-way are the adjacent property owner’s responsibility, historically the City has not forced property owners to replace street trees as the ordinance states. However, staff can draft a letter to the property owners notifying them of the ordinance and liability.
 
The Commission also talked about the Electric Department’s tree trimming policy and would like to have David Wood from the Electric attend a meeting to discuss what their process is and how it affects our urban canopy.   
 
ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned at 6:51pm. The Next Meeting will be Thursday September 6, 2012
 
Respectfully submitted by Michael Piña, Assistant Planner               

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