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October Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, October 03, 2013

TREE COMMISSION MINUTES
October 3, 2013
 
 
CALL TO ORDER Ashland Tree Commission meeting was called to order at 6:05 p.m. on October 3, 2013, 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 - ABSENT Carol Voison - ABSENT
Gregg Trunnell  
Russ Neff Staff Present
Casey Roland Michael Pina, Assistant Planner
  Anne Thayer, Parks Horticulturist
 
 
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Roland motioned, Trunnell seconded the approval of the September 5, 2013 regular meeting minutes.
 
WELCOME GUESTS & PUBLIC FORUM
No guests.
 
TYPE I REVIEW
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2013-01367                                 
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     Calle Guanajuato, from Winburn Way to North Main Street
APPLICANT:                       City of Ashland, Department of Parks & Recreation
OWNER:                               City of Ashland
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for a Physicial & Environmental Constraints Review Permit to allow the resurfacing of the Calle Guanajuato pedestrian corridor, which lies within the floodplain corridor of Ashland Creek.  The existing concrete surface is to be replaced with scored concrete, utilities are to be re-routed to create a coordinated central utility corridor which will be surfaced with concrete pavers, two trees are to be removed, storm water quality facilities added, and minor modifications are to be made to the existing wall, curbing and railing. 
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Commercial Downtown; ZONING: C-1-D; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09 BB TAX LOT: 7500
 
All members visited the site, and cited no ex parte contacts. Staff liaison Piña presented the staff report. The application is a request for a Physical & Environmental Constraints Review Permit to allow the resurfacing of Calle Guanajuato, which lies within the floodplain corridor of Ashland Creek. The existing patchwork surface is to be replaced with scored, colored concrete, in addition to re-routing utilities in a coordinated central corridor which will be surfaced with concrete pavers to facilitate future access. The project will also involve removal of two existing trees; a 12-inch Maple nearby a pedestrian railing, and a six-inch Maple located in an existing planter area surrounded by curbing. The remaining trees are to be protected in place.
 
The applicants have requested to utilize orange construction fencing to provide required tree fencing where the ordinance standard calls for six-foot chain link fence, as they believe that comparable protection can be provided while providing a greater measure of flexibility to accommodate the nature and scale of the site work proposed. In deliberating the request, the Tree Commission expressed concern that contractors do not exhibit the same level of care for standard plastic construction fencing as they would for chain link fencing, and that the nature and scale of the site work proposed called for a further measure of protection. Therefore the Commission accordingly recommended that each of the tree trunks be further protected by wrapping them in wire supported by two-by-four lumber. Therefore, Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the changes as recommended to the staff advisor.

PLANNING ACTION:        2013-01398                            
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     37 Shamrock Ln.
APPLICANT:                       American Mini Storage / Tompkins   
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for a Tree Removal Permit approval to remove a 10.6 DBH Cottonwood tree located within the riparian corridor of Cemetery Creek, located at 37 Shamrock Lane.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: E-1; ZONING: Employment;
ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 10DD TAX LOT: 500
 
All members visited the site, and cited no ex parte contacts. Staff liaison Piña presented the staff report. The subject property is mini storage business located north of Ashland Street, directly adjacent to Mountain View Cemetery. The site has Cemetery Creek and its riparian corridor running along the west side of the property, where the two, dead, 20-inch DBH Poplar trees are located along the stream bank. Although the trees are clearly lifeless, the removal of significant trees within the riparian corridor requires a Tree Removal Permit.
 
In deliberating the request, the commission noted that Poplars are inherently weak and not suitable as wildlife snags. However, due to their proximity to the creek bank, removal of the stump would cause significant damage to the riparian corridor. Therefore, the Commission recommended that the stump(s) remain at approximately three to four feet above grade. The applicant has proposed to mitigate removal by planting a Cyprus tree in the same location. However the Tree Commission noted that Cyprus trees are not appropriate for the riparian environment, and therefore recommended that mitigation be achieved by choosing one of the options listed in AMC 18.61.084. Therefore, Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the changes as recommended to the staff advisor.

PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2013-01438                                  
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     250 N. Pioneer
APPLICANT:                       Umpqua Bank
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for a Tree Removal Permit approval to remove two Birch trees greater than six inches in  Diameter at Breast Height, located in the circular planter area in front of the building located at 250 North Pioneer.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: R-2/E-1; ZONING: Residential/Employment;
ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09BA TAX LOT: 13400
 
All members visited the site, and cited no ex parte contacts. Staff liaison Piña presented the staff report. The subject property is a bank located east of North Pioneer, between A and B streets. The lot has 10 trees on site, and approximately 2,240 square feet of lawn adjacent to Pioneer Street. The applicant proposes to remove a cluster of dying Birch trees located in the circular planter area in front of the bank’s entrance. An arborist report noted severe crown dieback, likely caused by girdling roots, neglect, and/or improper care. Furthermore, the remaining portion of the live crown are insufficient to allow for proper pruning for a structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing tree, therefore recommends removal and replaced by a species more appropriate for the location.
 
In deliberating the request, the Commission noted that the current trees are beyond saving due to the lack of attention. However, the approximate 154 square foot planter is large enough to sustain a larger stature tree, rather than a cluster of smaller trees. Therefore, the Commission recommends that a single, native, deciduous tree be chosen as a mitigation tree, with a minimum caliper of 2-inches, in addition to having the existing irrigation system be verified that it is working properly. Therefore, Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the changes as recommended to the staff advisor.

PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2013-01440                                  
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     346 East Main St.
APPLICANT:                       AmeriTitle
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for a Tree Removal Permit approval to remove a 10-inch DBH Modesto Ash tree that has a dead crown and leaning towards the building located at 346 East Main Street.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: C-1; ZONING: Commercial;
ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09BD TAX LOT: 6101
 
All members visited the site, and cited no ex parte contacts. Staff liaison Piña presented the staff report. The subject property is a downtown office building located south of East Main Street, between Second and Gresham Streets. There is a small area of established landscaping around the perimeter of the building, including the subject 10-inch Modesto Ash at the rear of the building with a significant lean towards the building. The arborist report noted deadwood within the sparse crown, and possible root girdling evidenced by the lack of root flare. Furthermore, the tree is significantly leaning towards the building, and if left as is, can reach a height of 70 feet with a crown spread of 60 feet, therefore potentially causing more damage to the historic structure.
 
In deliberating the request, the Commission noted severe inclusion on the trunk, and that this particular species is highly susceptible to disease, and therefore supports the removal request. The Commission also noted that the landscape area in which the tree is located should easily accommodate a moderately sized tree, and that smaller caliper trees tend to be more susceptible to sun scold due to their thin bark, especially in parking lot environments. Therefore, the Commission recommended approving the tree removal permit, with a recommendation that the mitigation tree be a minimum two-inch caliper, and provides a protective sleeve around the bark, in addition to having the existing irrigation system be verified that it is working properly. Therefore, Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the changes as recommended to the staff advisor.
 
DISCUSSION ITEMS
Piña informed the Commission that two street trees along East Main are slated to be removed in conjunction with improving the downtown streetscape. These trees have outgrown the planter in which they are placed, and have been considered potential hazards by the arborist report.
 
The Commission narrowed down the Tree of the Year nominations to five finalists. Staff will work on producing the ballot, and send to various media outlets to get the word out.  
 
ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned at 7:46 pm.
 
Respectfully submitted by Michael Piña, Assistant Planner

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