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Tree Commission (View All)

February Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, February 06, 2014

TREE COMMISSION MINUTES
February 6, 2013
 
CALL TO ORDER –Ashland Tree Commission meeting was called to order at 5:56 p.m. on December 5, 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 Carol Voison - ABSENT
Gregg Trunnell  
Russ Neff - ABSENT Staff Present
Casey Roland Michael Pina – Staff liaison
  Anne Thayer, Parks Horticulturist
 
 APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Neff motioned, Roland seconded to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2013 regular meeting and the motion carried unanimously. 
 
WELCOME GUESTS & PUBLIC FORUM
No guests.
 
TYPE II REVIEW
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2013-01896                     
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     143 Hitt Road
OWNER/APPLICANT:      Christopher & Theresa Siler   
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for a Physical and Environmental (P&E) Constraints Review Permit to allow the construction of a new single family residence on Hillside Lands with Severe Constraints for the property located at 143 Hitt Road.  Also included are requests for: 1) Administrative Variance from the Development Standards for Hillisde Lands for continuous wall surfaces in excess of 36 feet without a minimum six-foot offset; 2) Modification of the original Strawberry Meadows Subdivision approval (PA #2003-020) to allow for changes in the approved driveway location, building envelope and lot coverage allocation for the subject property, which is Strawberry Meadows Lot #5; and 3) the removal of 19 trees located within the proposed building envelope and driveway, including one significant tree, a 22-inch diameter Ponderosa Pine.         
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION:  Rural Residential; ZONING: RR-.5; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 08AC; TAX LOTS: 505
 
Piña gave a brief report outlining the nature of the request. Site visits conducted by all, no ex parte contacts. The request is for a Physical and Environmental Constraints permit for the construction of a new house on a vacant lot. The application proposes to remove 19 trees of 78 total trees, located within the proposed building envelope and driveway, or so close to disturbance they would likely not survive construction. The applicants note the home’s design was driven by the desire to save as many viable trees as possible, while improving the safety and stability of the driveway, while alleviating the overall drainage of the site. One significant tree, a 22-inch diameter Ponderosa Pine, is included in the list of trees proposed for removal. Under the Tree Preservation and Protection Ordinance (AMC 18.61), the removal of significant trees on vacant property zoned for residential purposes including in RR zones requires a tree removal permit, and tree removals are also considered under the broader umbrella of the Development Standards for Hillside Lands for their impacts to hillside slopes. Mitigation trees are proposed to replace the trees being removed, and the application suggests that the replacement trees were selected to compliment the existing canopy and do well in the native environment. 
 
In reviewing the request at its regular meeting of February 6, 2014 the Tree Commission was generally supportive, and recommended approval with the addition of the following conditions: 1) that all trees be appropriately and correctly identified on a revised landscape, irrigation, and tree protection plan, including those slated to be removed; 2) that the applicants mark all trees to be removed and obtain a Tree Verification Permit, and associated inspections, prior to removing any trees or otherwise disturbing the site; 3) that a Certified Arborist be on-site during excavation within the Tree Protection Zones of the trees to be preserved and provide staff with a written report of their findings; and 4) that more appropriate street trees be chosen that tolerate heat and sun exposure. The Commission noted here that conifers are not approved as street trees, and that zelkovas and japanese maples would be inappropriate due to their susceptibility to sun scald. Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the changes as recommended to the staff advisor.

 
DISCUSSION ITEMS
Commission Chair Elections – The commission discussed that since Myers had resigned last year that the commission had not elected a chairperson since. Therefore the Commission has tentaviley elected Trunell as the Chairman, and Schmidt as the vice-chair.   
 
Arbor Day Planning – The Commission discussed plans for the upcoming Arbor Day celebration in April, and discussed locations for the annual tree planting. This time we discussed planting riparian trees on the Ashland Christian Fellowship (ACH) property along Ashland Creek. Next meeting we will further finalize plans
 
Downtown Beautification Committee - The Commission appointed Neff as the TC's Liaison to the Downtown Beautification Committee. Based upon his interests, previous experience, and possible time available, the Commission felt that he would be the best person to provide input on your committee.
 
Siskiyou Blvd. Street Trees – The Commission discussed possible projects within the city that the TC can help assist on. One area of opportunity is the street trees along Siskiyou Boulevard. Staff feels that from the Fire Station to Safeway, street trees along this area are in much need of help and could use more TLC. An education and replanting session would be beneficial to both the property owner and city employees.
 
Respectively submitted by Assistant Planner Michael Piña

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