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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

September 5, 2001


At 7:35 p.m., Chairperson Shostrom called the meeting to order at the Community Center. Members present were Terry Skibby, Dale Shostrom, Joan Steele, Kay Maser, Keith Chambers and Rob Saladoff. Also present were Associate Planner Mark Knox, Secretary Sonja Akerman and Council Liaison Cameron Hanson. Members Bob Meiser, Gary Foll and Jay Leighton were absent.


Steele moved and Chambers seconded to approve the minutes of the August 8, 2001 meeting as submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.

Planning Action 2001-043
Conditional Use Permit and Site Review
125 Third Street
Patricia Lorenz

Knox reported this application is for a single unit traveler's accommodation, which will be located in the small cottage that was recently built on the rear portion of the lot and originally intended to be a rental unit. The property is owned by the applicant's sister, however, the applicant will be the business owner and will reside in the original house that was constructed around 1912. This property is between "B" and "C" Streets and backs up to owner Mary Nelke's property on Second Street. Knox said that during the time the cottage was being built (it replaced a garage), the original house was restored and extensive landscaping was completed in accordance with Ashland Tree Commission approval.

The original application was called up for a public hearing by Phillip Lang because of concerns which included the fact that the owner would not be living on the site and that the property was more than 200 feet from a collector street. Lang has since written a letter rescinding his desire to have a public hearing. Knox stated that the GIS mapping data resulted in a different measurement than the tax lot map, and after clarification by the City Attorney, Staff concluded the property does meet the 200-foot requirement. Also, since the applicant is the business owner of the traveler's accommodation and she will be living on the property, this requirement will also be met. Staff is recommending approval of this application.

Chambers wondered if, as the housing stock goes out of rental use and is added to the growing number of traveler's accommodations in the City, there is a stipulation in any of the ordinances that requires these units to revert back to rental units when no longer being used as traveler's accommodations. Knox said there is currently nothing in our ordinances addressing this, however, the City Council has been discussing how to minimize the saturation of B & Bs in Ashland. Chambers commented the market force adjusts the level of traveler's accommodations and said it shouldn't take long once the saturation point is met, that these units would revert back to rental housing. In discussing this, Knox said that although there has not been a study on this, he knows that some of the traveler's accommodation units are only used for this purpose during the peak summer tourist months, and are rented out during the school year.

Maser asked if traffic would be inherently impacted in this situation because it seems as though traffic would be increased with a year-round rental unit. Knox responded that when uses are compared, traveler's accommodations result in fewer vehicle trips, less water usage, etc. There are, however, intangibles that also need to be considered. One question is "what does this do to the neighborhood, especially at night?" In this application, the traveler's accommodation is in the rear and the business owner will live in the front house. This ensures there will be lights on at night, thus securing the neighborhood.

Saladoff asked if the Planning Department would have treated this application differently if the owner had asked for approval of a traveler's accommodation from the beginning. Knox replied it would have been the same.

With a motion by Steele and second by Maser, the Historic Commission unanimously approved recommending approval of this application to the Hearings Board.

Planning Action 2001-088
Conditional Use Permit
61 Nutley Street
William Machado & Denise Byron

Knox stated this application has been delayed for a month.

Planning Action 2001-075
Conditional Use Permit, Physical & Environmental Constraints Permit and Solar Waiver
348 Iowa Street
Eva Cooley

This proposal was initially heard at last month's meeting. Knox explained the applicant is proposing to build a home off a flag lot that she partitioned a couple years ago. It will have pedestrian access off Iowa Street and vehicular access off the alley. She is also proposing to include a 443 square foot attached accessory residential unit. The main house will be 2,747 square feet. A Physical & Environmental Constraints Permit is required because of the slope and a Solar Waiver is required because of the shading on the property to the north, which includes the original house on the parent lot. Knox said staff feels the proposed house is very large and is not compatible with the neighborhood. He cautioned the Historic Commission of the necessity to base its decision on how the accessory unit fits in to the neighborhood. Steele asked if the decision also needed to be based on mass and Knox replied it would.

Designer Doyle Brightenburg, 350 Phelps Street, discussed concerns with the size and scale that were voiced last month and provided photographs of the property. He also had made drawings of what the house will look like on the hillside from Iowa Street. He stated there are currently a mature redwood and spruce on the property between the existing house and the proposed house, thus aiding in his belief the house will not be visible from the street. The mass of the house is broken up and stepped back, which results in the loss of height for the three stories.

Skibby asked if the footprint of the existing house could be compared with the proposed house, and Brightenburg replied they are close to the same. Saladoff stated that last month the Commission discussed whether or not there were comparable houses of this size in the immediate neighborhood. (Brightenburg did not provide comparisons.) He then asked what design changes Brightenburg had incorporated into the current design and Brightenburg replied he had lowered the roof height by a foot to meet City requirements. The house is 28 feet high on the alley side and 38 feet high on the down hill side facing Iowa Street.

Steele asked Brightenburg when the Meade Street water line would be replaced as stated in his submitted findings. He replied that according to the Public Works Department, it would be next summer. He also noted a fire hydrant will be installed close enough to the property so that a sprinkler system will not have to be installed in the house.

Saladoff asked what type of siding is being proposed and Brightenburg stated it would either be stucco or hardi-plank horizontal siding. Skibby asked if a different design had been considered and Brightenburg responded his client had this design in mind and did not want to fluctuate. The house is basically two stories except in the mid-portion, where it is stepped back and will be three stories. When Chambers asked about square footage, Brightenburg replied the entire structure would be 3,990 square feet, which includes the main house, accessory unit, garage and storage area.

Chambers emphasized trees are not permanent so designs should not rely on them. Houses can outlast trees. Brightenburg acknowledged this and stated he was showing what was already existing on the lot. He added there are also several deciduous trees on the lot that will loose their leaves in the fall.

Saladoff stated the elevation on the alley side is quite nice. He noted there are many homes in Ashland that are one or two stories on the uphill side and more on the downhill side. When he asked about the distance between the street and the front of the house, Brightenburg said it will be approximately 130 feet.

Steele commented she is sensitive to Brightenburg's position but disclosed she feels she has a responsibility to the Historic Commission to not approve something that is inappropriate for the neighborhood due to the design and scale.

Knox questioned Brightenburg about spreading the mass on the west elevation toward the garage in order to lower the roofline. Brightenburg said his client has a certain type of style in mind. He also related he had spent a considerable amount of time and energy with his client in designing the garage and keeping it back toward the alley. Shostrom asked about the square footage on the third story and the plate heights. Brightenburg responded the third story is 455 square feet and includes the stairwell, a bedroom and a bathroom. He also stated the plate height on the first floor is nine feet, the second floor is eight feet and the garage has different heights because of the hillside.

Skibby asked about the style of the design. Brightenburg said if a label has to be put on it, it is most like French Country. Skibby then asked Knox whether or not this would be close enough to styles that are discouraged in the Historic District. Knox replied the Site Design and Use Standards designates Tudor and Western styles as inappropriate and this could fit into those categories. Skibby then commented this property is in the Historic District and the design of the proposed house seems like a style from elsewhere that doesn't really fit.

Chambers said that in a case like this, the strongest thing the Commission can do is to read the ordinances and ask if the design is compatible in the Historic District. In his opinion, it is clear the criteria for a Conditional Use Permit are not being met as follows: #1) Similarity in scale, bulk, and coverage. The proposed house is much larger than surrounding houses. #3) Architectural compatibility with the impact area. The house does not fit in with the neighborhood and it has the potential to have an adverse affect on the neighborhood and this would be detrimental in Ashland. Chambers said he would have liked to have the applicant/owner present to hear these concerns.

Skibby stated he would not be against this design in another location, but it is inappropriate for the Historic District. He would like the owner and designer to look at other designs that have less mass.

Steele and Maser agreed with Chambers' comments. Saladoff said that taking in to account what Chambers and Knox have stated, and that the Commission does not dictate how the changes need to be made but the direction they need to take, he could not vote to approve this.

Shostrom thanked Brightenburg for his presentation. He said he personally feels the bulk and scale are not appropriate for that site and he would like to see the third story eliminated.

Steele moved to recommend denial of this application based on the criteria as discussed. Maser seconded the motion. Chambers stated he would like to add a friendly amendment to clarify the motion and both Steele and Maser agreed. The Commission feels the applicant has failed to meet two important Conditional Use Permit criteria. These are #1) Similarity in scale, bulk, and coverage and #3) Architectural compatibility with the impact area. The Commission also strongly suggests the applicant work with the designer to eliminate the third story issues of scale and bulk. The motion passed unanimously.

Skibby then moved to recommend the Planning Commission allow the applicant to continue this application in order to allow her to work with the Historic Commission Review Board in order to come up with a better design specifically for her property. Chambers seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed.

Planning Action 2001-078
Site Review and Land Partition
107 Manzanita Street
Kathleen Mitchell

Knox explained this application was originally for a Site Review to convert the existing single family residence into two apartment units and construct a third residence adjacent to the existing garage. Several neighbors called this proposal up for a public hearing. The application now includes a three lot Land Partition. The existing 20th Century American Bungalow house was constructed in 1915 and has been going through an extensive remodel, which is being monitored by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) because the property was granted special tax assessment status. The applicant is still proposing to convert the existing house into two units. No exterior changes to the main house are proposed. The third residence will now be on a separate tax lot and located to the east of the existing garage. It will be a "shotgun" style design resembling the existing house and will measure 1,000 square feet with an eight-foot front porch. Opposition to this application included that fact that work has been progressing on this property without first receiving approval. Knox pointed out that while the applicant has installed several hundred dollars worth of landscaping, she is well aware that if the Tree Commission has changes, she will have to comply. He also pointed out that all property owners have the right to landscape their property. Another concern was with parking, especially on Manzanita Street, and the property's close proximity to Briscoe Elementary School. Knox explained two parking spaces per unit are required. Four will be on-site spaces and two will be on-street spaces off High Street. No on-street spaces are proposed for Manzanita Street. Staff does not see any deficiencies in this application and is recommending approval.

Knox also explained that seven or eight units (under the density bonus program) would be permitted out-right for this parcel, which is 22,499 square feet. The owner is proposing two units on one parcel and one small residence on one of the parcels now, and on the third parcel, a single-family residence will most likely be built in the future. It is important to remember the owner has been upgrading the property and that the Planning Department has received several letters in support of the owner's proposal.

Saladoff asked about letters that had been submitted mentioning the owner had planned to use the units as traveler's accommodations. Knox stated that since the property is greater than 200 feet from an arterial or collector street, it would be impossible and that the owner is aware of this.

Knox discussed the safety issues involved with the location of the school across the street. He noted the intersection of North Main and Manzanita Streets is very congested in the morning when school is about to start and in the afternoon when school lets out. The applicant has already put in a portion of a sidewalk on High Street, and she is proposing to install a sidewalk on the remaining portion of property on Manzanita Street as well as High Street.

Maser asked if any existing trees will be removed and about clarifying the location of the proposed cottage. Contractor Stephen Dewey, 90 Ridge Road, answered it will not be necessary to remove any trees and that the cottage will be built forward from the existing garage (toward Manzanita Street).

Shostrom commented the drawings and the architectural details that were provided are not drawn to scale. He asked that the contractor provide more detail. Dewey stated the deck of the cottage will be constructed with tongue and groove wood and that the house will have a concrete foundation. When questioned by Shostrom, Dewey responded there will be a bellyband above the foundation and that most of the detailing will match the existing house. Shostrom maintained the Historic Commission is looking for accurate drawings and would like to see these details called out. He also noted there is no consistency in the window size or detail. He then pointed out the roof on the west elevation is hipped while the front elevation is gabled. He would recommend both be gabled to match the existing house and suggested the owner could provide a Solar Waiver if necessary. Shostrom also stated that Dewey should match all the trim and noted that typically, window trim on the top is about the same as on the side or just slightly different and is usually 6 to 8 inches. In addition, the shed porch roof has a different pitch. While this might be all right, it is inconsistent and has an awkward connection to the cottage. Saladoff agreed with this and said it can be confusing. He suggested one continual roof rather than the lower roof connection. Shostrom stated it could go into a hip and wrap around the building.

Saladoff remarked that the windows on the west and east elevation have different head heights and it is unclear whether they are double hung or fixed. He stated he would like to see more consistency in the windows. Dewey responded they were designed as submitted because of plans for the interior of the cottage. Saladoff continued this is more of a contemporary modern approach and he feels that overall, the style of the outside of the building has historical precedence. Shostrom stated there should also be a consistency of the openings to get a rhythm going. It is less historical to see horizontal windows. Maser disagreed and said she thinks the higher windows would be all right, especially if Dewey uses all the same wood trim.

Steele asked about the future of parcel 1 and noted on the site plan there will be a two-story residence constructed. Knox replied the applicant was required to submit what will be proposed for the lot because of one of the neighbor's written concerns. At this time, however, it is unknown. There will probably be a single-family residence constructed on that lot in the future.

Chambers acknowledged the contractor needs to redraw the plans for the cottage, which includes the call outs, then come back at least to the Review Board for approval.

Saladoff moved to recommend approval of this application based on the following: 1) The Commission would prefer to see a gable rather than a hipped roof on the west elevation and that a Solar Waiver be considered if necessary. 2) The windows and door headers be more consistent. 3) Hip the roof on the porch. 4) New drawings be submitted that are more accurate and that show details such as bellyband, size of porch posts, size of window trim, etc. 5) The applicant consider using higher vertical windows as opposed to more horizontal windows, and consider grouping the vertical windows in a series (i.e. instead of using two larger windows, using three or four more vertical windows to create a rhythm). Chambers seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


Review Board - Following is the September schedule for the Review Board, which meets every Thursday from 3:00 to at least 3:30 p.m. in the Planning Department:

September 6

Skibby and Maser

September 13

Skibby, Chambers, Saladoff and Steele

September 20

Skibby, Steele and Shostrom

September 27

Skibby, Leighton and Maser


Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA #99-108

340 Oak Street (A Street Marketplace)


PA #2000-039

410 Siskiyou Boulevard (library)


PA #2000-052

220 Fourth Street (Robert Lombardi)


PA #2000-074

15 South Pioneer Street (OSF)


PA #2000-106

239 Oak Street (Oak Street Station)


PA #2000-107

House Move to Laurel Street (Jim Lewis)


PA #2000-124

51 Winburn Way (Hillah Temple)


PA #2001-021

215 Scenic Drive (Steve Koskella & Linda Chesney)


PA #2000-120

485 "A" Street (Steve Hoxmeier)


PA #2001-042

472 Scenic Drive (Kirt Meyer & Vadim Agakhanov)


PA #2001-029

455 Siskiyou Boulevard (Fire Station)


PA #2001-047

269 Maple Street (Ashland Orthopedic Association)


PA #2001-052

39 Fourth Street (Jean Moseley)


PA #2001-064

237 North First Street (Ashland Comm. Food Store)


PA #2001-063

544 "B" Street (Richard & Leslie Lovett)


PA #2001-059

50 Sixth Street (Qwest)


PA #2001-079

685 East Main Street (Talent Properties)


PA #2001-075

348 Iowa Street (Eva Cooley)


PA #2001-078

107 Manzanita Street (Casey Mitchell)



Goals for 2001 - This was postponed until the October 3 meeting.


Discuss Triangle Park Redesign - Skibby said there was a recent article in the Daily Tidings about "a new look" for Triangle Park and he had questions about what is being proposed. He talked to Parks Director Ken Mickelsen and was told students from the Catalyst Program at the High School will be creating a walkway with mosaic tiles. The tiles will replace the existing walkway. He was assured by Mickelsen that the final design will come to the Historic Commission prior to implementation. Skibby said Triangle Park is linked with Siskiyou Boulevard and is part of the Siskiyou-Hargadine Historic District. The Commission concurred it would like to have a presentation of what is being proposed. Staff will try to arrange this for the next meeting.


Shostrom announced the Skidmore-Academy Historic District was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14.

The next meeting will be on October 3.


It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m.

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