MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
September 18, 2001 – 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber.
Councilors Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison, and Hearn were present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Regular Meeting and Executive Session minutes for September 4, 2001 were approved. The Study Session minutes were corrected to include Councilor Hanson as present.
SPECIAL AWARDS & PRESENTATIONS
Proclamation calling for support of citizens affected by September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
DeBoer referred citizens who want to help to the American Red Cross and challenged the community to perform five good deeds for others.
Presentation by the Senior Program Board on current activities.
Sharon Laws introduced the members of the Senior Program Board. A short presentation was made for the council listing services provided for seniors, including referrals and services. It was noted that students from local schools have participated in activities at the Senior Center. All seniors are encouraged to participate in activities, which are free or low-cost. A senior is defined as a person of sixty years of age or more. Food and Friends meals have been well attended. DeBoer noted that there is no age limitation for Board members and encouraged young people to apply.
Proclamation of Car Free Day as Friday, September 21, 2001 and Race Equality Day as Wednesday, September 19, 2001 were presented.
Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees
Confirmation of Mayor’s appointment of Colin Swales to the Planning Commission for a term to expire April 30, 2004.
Confirmation of Mayor’s appointments of David Dotterer and Robert Joseph to the Traffic Safety Commission for terms to commence September 20, 2001 and expire on April 30, 2003.
Reid requested that Item #2 be pulled for discussion.
Councilors Hanson/Reid m/s to approve Items 1 and 3. Voice vote: all Ayes. Motion passed.
Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve Item #2.
DISCUSSION: Reid noted that she does not intend to vote for the appointment of Colin Swales to the Planning Commission, as she did not feel he would be a benefit to the Commission. Voice vote: Laws, Hartzell, Hanson, Morrison, and Hearn – YES; Reid – No. Motion passed 5-1.
Bill Street/180 Mead/
Informed the council that he had spoken with various staff and council members about his concerns, particularly in the downtown area. He stated that other cities have developed similar ordinances by utilizing planning commissions and community meetings and urged the council to do the same.
Gabriel Lipper/923-1 Bellview
/Spoke of his concern for the loss of the small town feel of Ashland.
Ben Benjamin/323 Maple/
Spoke regarding the construction of a proposed trail connecting the existing trail to Granite Street and requested funding from the council to connect the trails.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith
/Commented on the requirements for art in the construction of public buildings and urged the council to move forward on a plan. In addition, he commented on the proposed development in the Railroad District and felt that the scale of the buildings did not fit within the design of the neighborhood. He questioned compliance for the Big Box Ordinance.
DeBoer commented or clarified on the following Public Forum topics: 1) Big Box Ordinance is scheduled for discussion on October 2, 2001; 2) Discussion has taken place regarding the development of an Art Commission; 3) Discussion on trail systems would be added to a future meeting for discussion; and 4) The Ashland Railroad Master Plan is in the design stage and still needs to go through the public process.
Councilors Hartzell/Hearn m/s to add the Big Box Ordinance to the agenda. Voice vote: all ayes. Motion passed.
Hearn noted that the developer of the Granite Street quarry area donated the land for the trail connection. He felt a variety of problems could be avoided by moving the issue up on the schedule for future council meetings.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Update on water use.
Public Works Director Paula Brown gave a brief update on the City’s water use. Stage 1 water curtailment has kept the City within guidelines and although average daily temperatures have been higher this year as compared to last years, water use is lower. She stated that the Talent Irrigation District (TID) is no longer providing water to the City as of September 17. Brown expects to release water curtailment requirements in October or early November.
2. Update on proposed ordinance regulating tobacco sales and outdoor smoking.
City Attorney Paul Nolte outlined the proposed ordinance and noted two portions of the ordinance: licensing tobacco vendors and prohibiting outdoor smoking in public areas. He noted the following amendments to the proposed ordinance: 1) Council will set the fee by Resolution for licensing tobacco vendors; 2) A section on tobacco advertising was removed as it may violate the Oregon Constitution; and 3) Civil penalties were altered.
Hearn noted his concern regarding vendor-assisted sales and questioned the reasoning for a 36-inch limitation for tobacco products when they are stored behind the counter and not accessible to minors.
Nolte clarified that licensing fees have not been set and that the 36-inch limitation was in the original proposed ordinance and is based on advertising heights.
Ryan Munn/604 So. Second Street, Central Point/Southern Oregon Drug Awareness representative/
Noted his support for the ordinance and it would help to deter use of tobacco products by youth.
David Katz/702 Pracht
/Noted his concern for those who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Katz read a note from his wife noting the death of her parents from cigarettes.
Judy Blickenstaff/426 Euclid/Ashland School District Nurse/
Noted the higher rate of addiction for adolescents and urged everyone to make access more difficult for children in the community.
Kimo Holgen/1506 Talent Ave, Talent
/Urged the council to pass the ordinance.
Russ Silbiger/562 Ray
/Spoke in opposition, noting the State’s preemption to regulate indoor smoking. He found it difficult to believe that any children would be affected by this ordinance, as enforcement would be difficult. In addition, he felt the ordinance was unclearly written.
Karen Borsting/602 Glenwood
/Spoke regarding HB 2828, which requires 90% of businesses to become smoke-free as of January 1, 2002. Education programs will be very public to promote the change, which would be an opportune time to introduce the ordinance locally. Borsting noted other cities and the range of fees charged for tobacco vendor licenses. She did not think the 36-inch height limit was as important as vendor-assisted sales. She noted her concern on workers exposed to second-hand smoke and children exposed to smoke and modeling by adults. Borsting urged the council to take a stand to support the ordinance.
Rebeccah Gomez/396 Idaho
/Spoke about her own experience as a smoking youth. She has spoken with middle school students and found this group is most at risk. She felt a mentor program could be successful. If smokers were considered outcasts to society, youth would be less inclined to smoke. She felt the best way to prevent youth from accessing tobacco products is through vendor-assisted sales.
Carson Clover/476 N. Laurel
/Stated advertising for tobacco products must be limited. Second-hand smoke is not just annoying, but also destroys healthy tissues in anyone who breathes in the carcinogens. Youth access must be limited.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith
/Spoke in support of tobacco products, stating that they should not be wholeheartedly condemned. He also felt prohibition only leads to greater usage.
DeBoer suggested contacting those who sell tobacco products to allow for their input. He voiced opposition to the proposed ordinance as the State has already passed legislation on this subject.
Hanson voiced his opposition to the proposed ordinance and felt that the issue had reached the point of over regulation.
Police Chief Scott Fleuter clarified that limiting access to youth was the most effective tool for prevention as citing youth has proven ineffective. Fleuter stated his concern for enforcement of smokers in public places.
Nolte noted that owners of businesses who sell tobacco products are not ticketed if a clerk sells to a minor. Violations range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $600 for violations. Reid suggested removing tobacco licenses if repeated violations are a problem. Nolte stated there were not enough data to support license removal. Fleuter agreed that certain vendors do have repeated violations.
Councilors Morrison/Laws m/s to move forward on a proposed ordinance.
DISCUSSION: Reid voiced her concern on enforcement and that businesses should be penalized, not just clerks. She felt she could not support the ordinance as written, especially bans on outdoor smoking. Hanson questioned the level of enforcement and how the ordinance would make a difference. Hartzell felt it was fair to step up education in conjunction with passing the State legislation. She wanted to hear more from the community. Hartzell suggested listing specific outdoor sites (public pool, skateboard park, and ice-skating rink), which would be easier for posting signs. Hearn was in favor of moving forward, but had concerns regarding tourism. He agreed the wording of the ordinance should be altered. He wanted to hear from vendors before putting restrictions on them. Morrison felt the enforcement aspect should be considered, and outdoor smoking restrictions needed to be redefined. Laws disagreed that more enforcement was needed for businesses; however, outdoor smoking would require more enforcement. DeBoer suggested tabling the issue for six months to allow vendors to come forward. Nolte clarified that state law takes place January 1, 2002, which allows for further discussion. Morrison was in favor of delaying the passing of the ordinance until late October or early November. Hartzell noted her concern for losing momentum by delaying, and urged going forward for a public hearing. Hearn stated it was important to notify vendors in writing. Voice vote: Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Morrison, and Hearn – all Ayes. Hanson – No. Motion passed 5-1.
3. Update on implementation of the Demolition Ordinance
Community Development Director John McLaughlin outlined the process for the demolition of buildings. Concerns included: 1) processing of demolition requests; 2) economically beneficial requirements for structures more than 45 years of age; 3) new development of properties with structures to be razed; 4) salvage and recycling requirements; and 5) the relocation of buildings 45 years of age or older. The update was informational only. No action was requested.
DeBoer stated that the Demolition Review Committee, which consists of three members, may not be effective. He suggested utilizing the Buildings Appeal Board to hear demolition requests, as they are an active group.
Hearn commented that he had noted citizens’ complaints about the ordinance. Hartzell explained that prior Councilor Fine, was involved with the ordinance before he left the council. She understood that the intent was to address recycling as related to demolition. The Historic Commission did not want to see a building demolished should it be of historical significance.
Laws voiced his opposition to the ordinance, as the State preempts the City from saving buildings purely for historical purposes. He felt making a distinction of 45 years or older does not mean the building has more or less sustainability. He was concerned with the wording of the ordinance and its ability to hold up at the State level.
Building Inspector Mike Broomfield clarified that approval comes through his office and appeals are taken to the committee for review. McLaughlin stated that there had been no neighborhood controversy regarding the demolition of a building or the interpretation of the ordinance.
Hartzell suggested putting off the ordinance for three months to allow a member from the Planning Commission, Historic Commission, Conservation Commission, Council, and other citizens to clarify the ordinance.
DeBoer requested clarification from staff at a future meeting regarding the January 2001 amendment in conjunction with the committee. McLaughlin stated staff was uncomfortable approving the razing of Fire Station #1 and the Hillah Temple without a review by the committee. Hearn offered to fill the space on the committee in replacement of Councilor Fine. Hartzell offered to participate in an ad-hoc committee, should one be developed.
Reid suggested separating the issues by removing the downtown area from the ordinance and that there be further discussion the issue at a future study session. Hanson felt the ordinance worked well, as written, and did not think there was a need for change. Laws agreed with Reid and approved making a change by excluding the downtown area. He did not think the process should be restarted.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith
/Spoke about the downtown area and the scale of buildings. He was concerned that the ordinance would allow for larger buildings.
DeBoer stated that a public meeting was needed for clarification on the process and suggested at least one meeting is scheduled. Council discussed options and agreed to a future evening Study Session.
McLaughlin noted the Planning Commission Meeting on the proposed Regional Plan on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. in the Civil Chambers.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, AND CONTRACTS
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
DeBoer noted the Study Session scheduled for the next day. Neither DeBoer nor Hanson will be in attendance.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:52 p.m.
Submitted by Barbara Christensen, City Recorder/Treasurer