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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

October 3, 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, Gary Foll, Jay Leighton and Rob Saladoff. Also present were Associate Planners Mark Knox and Brandon Goldman, Secretary Sonja Akerman and Council Liaison Cameron Hanson. Member Bob Meiser was absent.


Steele moved and Leighton seconded to approve the minutes of the September 5, 2001 meeting as submitted. The motion was unanimously passed.


Caroline Spear and Sue Douglas, with the Catalyst Program at Ashland High School, spoke to the Commission about the proposed changes and upgrading for the walkway at Triangle Park. Spear explained the Catalyst Alternative Program is comprised of high-risk students who have had academic problems in school. These students are very enthusiastic about this project, as they have deep feelings and respect for the park. Douglas explained that the old sidewalk from Siskiyou Boulevard to the gazebo will be replaced with a visually attractive concrete walk that will be inlaid with clay tile. The tile forms will be triangular shaped to represent the park. Spear and Douglas said the walkway will follow the original location and be flowing and fairly simple. Natural organic shapes and leaf shapes will be used, interspersed with a few words the citizens of Ashland can all be proud of. The theme of the tiles will be tree appreciation. When asked by Chambers about funding for the new sidewalk, Douglas responded that Parks & Recreation has budgeted $1,500 for the replacement of the existing walkway. Skibby passed around an old photo showing the original walkway moving from Siskiyou Boulevard to the gazebo then turning back toward Siskiyou Boulevard forming a loop. The Commission asked if it would be possible to extend the walkway as it was originally. Douglas and Spear said they hadn't realized there was more to the original walkway so the extension would have to be considered in a different phase. They would both very much like to see the walkway replaced in its entirety. Skibby pronounced it would not be historically correct for the walkway to go around the gazebo. Douglas and Spear said that now they have seen the photo, they will make sure the walkway will be placed as close to the original as possible. Chambers stated he hopes the class will stress the historical aspect of the park. Spear said the students have already been interviewing older people about historical features and events. She also mentioned it would be very helpful for a member of the Historic Commission to speak to the class at some point. Leighton volunteered. Spear related that the students feel very strongly about the park and plan to bring multi-generational and multi-cultural aspects together. They will come back next month, perhaps with students, to share the progress of this project with the Commission. Douglas invited the Commission to a get-together in the park on October 13 from 10:00-2:00.


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

Knox explained that although the Historic Commission heard this proposal last month, there was an error in the sign that was posted in that it was not changed to reflect the application now involves a land partition. Therefore, the City Attorney declared it would be best to begin the process again. No public testimony was taken at the Planning Commission meeting and it was re-noticed. As a reminder, Knox stated the owner is proposing to convert the existing house into two apartments, divide the property into three lots, and build a cottage on the lot with the existing garage. Last month the Historic Commission had asked the contractor to make some changes and submit more details and this was reflected in the motion. As a result, a new condition (#2) has been added as follows: That at the time of building plan submittal, all recommendations of the Ashland Historic Commission be incorporated into the building plans.

Contractor Steven Dewey passed around and explained the changes he had made on the new elevations of the cottage based on the discussion and motion last month. The changes include: 1) upper and lower crowns were added to all the windows, which will match the existing house, 2) porch was narrowed by two feet in order to hip the roof, 3) belly band was added to the elevations, 4) the banister cross section was corrected and will be 8 x 8, 5) the mansard was removed from the back of the building, 6) the windows are now all the same height and width, and 7) details have been provided of the window moldings and belly band.

Shostrom clarified that Dewey has only brought the porch in one foot on each side and the Review Board had suggested it be brought in two feet on each side. Dewey said he will change the plans to reflect this.

Chambers moved to recommend approval of this application with the stipulation condition #2 be added to the Findings as stated in the Staff Report, the items explained by Dewey be incorporated into the final building plans, and the porch be redrawn taking two feet off each side. Maser seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed.

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

Goldman explained the applicants are requesting a Conditional Use Permit to construct a second story addition on a non-conforming garage in the rear of their property. Neighbors called this action up for a public hearing after Staff had originally administratively approved it last month. The house, which was built in 1890, was initially located where the garage is now but was moved to the front of the property sometime after 1911. The application also includes a request to enclose the rear patio landing of the existing house, which is located within three feet of the property line. In 1982, the previous owner removed the existing pitched roof on the garage and constructed a flat roof he wanted to use as a sundeck. He did not receive approval from the Planning or Building Departments, but subsequently was issued a permit to complete the roof in order to weatherproof it. In 1983, the previous owner applied for approval to construct a sundeck on top of this garage which would expand the recreational area of the small lot without increasing the ground area density. He had added a railing to the edge of the roofline, but the planning action was denied so this roof area was never used. A public hearing was held and the denial was based on the negative impact it would cause upon the rear yard privacy of the adjoining neighbor and the incompatibility the flat roof would have on the historic neighborhood. Goldman said Staff is looking at this application as a one-story structure being converted to two stories. This will be an improvement to the existing building.

Shostrom inquired if the owner could be requested to remove the building and rebuild it with the proper setbacks since it is an illegal building to begin with. Goldman responded the current owner purchased the property as it is and could not be asked to retroactively remove it. The property has 65% coverage and only 45% is allowed, so the owners do not have the potential to add impervious square footage to the site.

The Commission discussed the window in the proposed addition overlooking the neighbor's back yard. All agreed it looked better than having a blank wall.

Foll asked about the solar requirements and Goldman replied the second story addition has been recessed to accommodate the shadow cast on the rear yard setback of the neighbor's property to the north.

Chambers stated the addition does not affect the primary house and is located in the rear of the lot. In his opinion, this is more of a Planning Commission decision.

William Machado, 61 Nutley Street, stated he is the current owner of this property. The purpose of the addition above the garage is to provide office space for himself that is separate from the home. He explained the design has changed because of requests from the neighbors. Originally the addition was drawn without windows to allow the neighbor more privacy, however, the neighbor requested a window be added to decrease the negative architectural effect of the straight wall.

Foll asked about the adjoining neighbors' statement regarding the use of the property as a traveler's accommodation. Goldman replied the previous owner had illegally used the house as such and the current owner will be required to sign an agreement verifying no kitchen will be installed in the new space. Knox commented this is standard when a studio or office is built in order to ensure the space will not be illegally rented. Goldman added the lot is too small to accommodate an accessory residential unit and is not zoned for a traveler's accommodation.

Skibby mentioned the applicant had been to the Review Board and he feels the proposed addition is in scale with the existing two-story house.

Chambers said he is concerned the neighbors' interests are being infringed upon with the second story addition that will overlook their back yard. This is not an outright permitted use. Goldman informed the Commission that if the second story was recessed another three feet, the owner could build the addition without a planning action. Shostrom stated that from a historical point of view, he sees no problem with the addition. Saladoff countered that even though the addition will not easily be viewed from the public right-of-way, the Commission needs to evaluate the impact on the neighbors according to the criteria for Conditional Use Permits. Shostrom agreed and said the addition will be creating more bulk close to the property line. Chambers related this puts the Commission into a dilemma because the design is nice but there is a need to be sensitive to the neighborhood. Skibby disagreed and said he could see no problem. Saladoff said the neighbors have the right to be concerned because it adversely affects the back of their property, however, when looking at what is permitted outright, by moving the second story in three feet, the property owner can build the addition anyway.

Steele stated that while the Historic Commission recognizes the suitability of the design, it is hesitant to recommend approval of the Conditional Use Permit because of the possible adverse affect it can have on the neighbor concerning the bulk and scale of the addition. She therefore moved to communicate this comment to the Planning Commission. Shostrom clarified that since the existing house has three foot setbacks on both sides, the second story addition on the garage (which will also be set back only three feet) will be adding to the bulk and scale. Leighton seconded the motion, and it passed with all voting aye except Foll and Skibby, who voted nay.

Foll stated he wanted the record to be clear why he disagreed with the motion. He does not feel the bulk and scale of the second story addition would adversely affect the adjoining neighbor's property. He also feels that too much weight is being put on what the neighbor may or may not perceive as an adverse affect. In addition, he is of the opinion the design is historically compatible. Skibby agreed with Foll's clarification.

The general consensus of the Commission was that, should the Planning Commission approve the application, design of the second story should include the window on the west elevation. Leighton said she feels the windows should remain in the existing garage also. Since the garage is not livable space, the neighbors would still have privacy and the windows make the design much more interesting.


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

October 4

Skibby, Steele and Maser

October 11

Skibby, Shostrom and Steele

October 18

Skibby, Foll and Leighton

October 25

Skibby, Leighton and Saladoff

November 1

Skibby, Chambers 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)


PA #2001-088

61 Nutley Street (William Machado & Denise Byron)



Goals for 2001 - The Commission decided to meet at 6:00 before the November 7 meeting in order to have time to thoroughly discuss goals and what it would like to accomplish in the coming year.


Skibby pronounced he was very disappointed the Planning Commission Hearings Board did not consider the Historic Commission's unanimous opposition to the architecturally compatibility, bulk and scale of PA # 2001-075. All the members agreed. Knox said that although he is not making excuses or speaking for the Hearings Board members, but September 11 was a very difficult day for everyone. Staff did bring up the design issues, but they were not fully discussed. Chambers stated the Historic Commission put in a lot of time during the meetings in August and September before making the decision, and carefully voted to the ordinance. When a decision is based on criteria the Commission is responsible to uphold, then something is not working right. Chambers sees a need to meet with and ask what the Planning Commission is looking for in decisions made by the Historic Commission. Knox stated a study session with the Planning Commission has been scheduled for October 23. (This date was later changed to November 27, then postponed until January or February.)


Steele announced there was a short article in the City Source regarding the addition of Ashland to the National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary web site.

The next meeting will be on November 7 and will begin at 6:00.


It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 p.m.

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