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Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Housing Commission Regular Meeting

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26, 2012
Chair Regina Ayars called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room located at the Community Development and Engineering offices at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR  97520.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Regina Ayars Carol Voisin
Brett Ainsworth  
Barb Barasa Staff Present:
Evan Lasley Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Ben Scott Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Clerk
Michael Gutman, arrived at 4:10  
Ainsworth/Lasley m/s to approve the minutes of the August 22, 2012 regular Housing Commission meeting. Voice Vote:  All Ayes; minutes were approved as presented. 
Brandon Goldman, City of Ashland Senior Planner spoke.  Goldman acknowledged that the Normal neighborhood Master Planning effort is now well under way.  The City has had interviews with most of the property owners in the area as well as received surveys back with responses on how they would like to see their neighborhood developed.  Goldman explained this is of interest to the Housing Commission as it’s the last large area, approximately 94 acres, for residential development within the City’s Urban Growth Boundary.  On October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. there will be a public design charrette at the Ashland Middle School followed by a second meeting on October 25th.  At the first charrette a concept plan that has already been drafted will be presented allowing the participants to have the opportunity to give input on what they would like to see.  The next meeting on the 25th will have a revised plan showing those changes and suggestions from the prior meeting.  Goldman invited the Commissioners to attend those meetings. 
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder and David Lohman, City Attorney gave a presentation on the Rules, Regulations, Laws and Ethics of public servants.  They were asked by City Council to provide training to the Commissions giving them the information they need to know what is expected of them. 
The following are some of the main points;
  • All public records associated with this commission are public record, notes, agendas, reports, correspondence, pictures, emails etc.
  • If using your own computer it can be called up for public records
  • Communicate with each other through your staff Liaison
  • All business must be conducted in a setting the public has access to
  • If a quorum is not met everybody goes home and no meeting can be held
  • All meetings are open to the public, held within the City limits and have a 36 hour public notice
  • Minutes are not verbatim they are a record of what happened at the meeting
  • Do not use your public position to obtain financial benefit
  • Gifts, including services, cannot be accepted if they are not available to everyone in the community
  • Remember that everything is about perception, how will it be perceived?
  • Disclose, Disclose, Disclose.  If any decision you are about to make can be a financial benefit or detriment to you your family or associated businesses, disclose it.
  • If there is a conflict of interest do not participate and leave the room
  • City of Ashland Code of Ethics says do not accept any valuable gift from a source directly or indirectly interested in business dealings with the City.
  • Do not speak for the City in your Housing Commission capacity unless the commission deputized you to do so for them. 
Christenson asked the Commissioners for their input on uniform policies and procedures in section 2.10 of the City Municipal Code.  They are looking to define what excused and unexcused absences are regarding Commissioner’s meeting attendance.  What is considered an excused absence and what does unexcused mean?  What should the reporting method be?  Christenson asked the Commissioners to send their ideas and suggestions to Reid who will forward them on to her.
Christensen thanked the Commissioners for volunteering and the time they devote to the Commission.  It is very much appreciated.  This presentation on Ethics training is available on the City Website
Reid explained that the CAPER is the City’s annual report to HUD which is a required document for receiving Community Development Block Grant Funds.  With our CDBG funds we create a five year grant application called the Consolidated Plan.  The Consolidated Plan sets goals for the money we receive.  In January people apply for those funds.  The City awards those funds based on the priorities that are set in the Consolidated Plan as well as which goals have been met and which have not.  The City would encourage funding for those goals which we have not yet attained.  We then do an Action Plan and award the funds.  Reid tracks the recipient’s progress throughout the year to see that they are meeting the goals they set. The CAPER explains what the City said they were going to accomplish and what they actually did accomplish.  All the information in the CAPER was what happened for the year 2011. 
Ayars opened up the public hearing for comments.  No one in the audience made comments, the public hearing was closed.
Ainsworth/Gutman m/s to approve the CAPER as presented.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed unanimously.
Reid gave an update on the Housing Needs Analysis.  In July the Housing Commission reviewed and made their suggestions and comments followed by the Planning Commission who also reviewed the document and made suggestions.  Some of those suggestions were incorporated into the document.  This final document is now ready to go before the Planning Commission again on October 9th for a public hearing and then on to the City Council for adoption on November 6th.
Reid cleared up a misconception about what this document actually is.  This document is about what the City is more likely to see with regard to future housing populations rather then what the City would like to see.  All this document can do is see what we have now and project that forward into the future.  What does our population look like now and how is that going to change over a 20 year period and how do we meet the needs of that population.
Reid pointed out a couple of the changes to the recommendations that were made to the document;
  • Examine opportunities for reductions in parking requirements for the provisions of apartments meeting certain conditions.
  • Evaluate land use incentives to provide for small lots intended for small unit development
  • It was suggested to add “multi-family” to the sentence, “Designating certain lands for rental units would encourage development of apartments”.
This will be a technical supporting document to the housing element of the Comprehensive Plan.  It will help with decisions as the City goes forward with planning actions to see what types of housing is needed.  If the Council adopts this on November 6th it would be appropriate for the Housing Commission to move forward with some of the recommendations as they select goals for the coming year. 
City Administrator, David Kanner is asking for feedback on how to define excused and unexcused absences, membership reduction and potential changes to the code regarding being physically present at meetings verses participating by phone.
The Commissioners discussed ideas. 
  • Regarding missing two meetings in a row, felt this should be over a period of a year January through December not six months
  • Commissioners felt it would be more appropriate for the Mayor to write the criteria of what is excused and what is not excused.  Should be his discretion for those guidelines.  They would like to see medical emergencies, illnesses, unplanned events
  • Liked the idea of giving the Chair as well as the Staff Liaison an eight hour notice of absence prior to the meeting.  This allows the Commission to determine if they will have a quorum. 
  • Would like to encourage the possibility of the Commissions and Council to participate in public meetings by phone or skype.
  • The Commissioners liked the moving to a seven member Commission from a nine member commission, though would rather the quorum be based on the seats filled rather than total number of seats.
Quorum Check – Gutman will not be present
Vacation Rentals – agenda item
Discussion of meeting times place
Next Housing Commission Regular Meeting
Goal Setting retreat – Saturday November 17, 2012 9:00 – 12:00 at the Parks Department
No meeting is scheduled for December
October 24, 2012 4:00-6:00 PM in the Siskiyou Room located at the Community Development and Engineering Building at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland Oregon.
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener

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