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April Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, April 03, 2014

TREE COMMISSION MINUTES
April 3, 2014
 
 
CALL TO ORDER –Ashland Tree Commission meeting was called to order at 6:11 p.m. on April 3, 2014 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 Staff Present
Russ Neff Michael Pina - Staff liaison
Casey Roland Anne Thayer - Parks liaison
 
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Schmidt motioned, Roland seconded to approve the March 6, 2014 regular meeting minutes and the motion carried unanimously. 
 
WELCOME GUESTS & PUBLIC FORUM
Christopher John, owner and arborist of Canopy Arbor Care was in attendance interested in joining the tree commission.
 
PLANNING ACTION REVIEW
PLANNING ACTION:         PA-2014-00 251                                
SUBJECT PROPERTY:       30 South First Street
APPLICANT:                        Oregon Shakespeare Festival
DESCRIPTION:                    A request for Site Review approval to allow renovation of the existing OSF Scene Production Facility, a historic contributing building at 30 South First Street,  into a Rehearsal Center.   Also included is a request for a Tree Removal Permit to allow the removal of eight trees over six-inches in diameter-at-breast-height (d.b.h.) COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Downtown Commercial; ZONING: C-1-D; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09BD; TAX LOTS: 5200
 
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 Site Review approval renovate an existing historic building from the scene shop to a rehearsal center; and to allow the removal of eight trees over six-inches in diameter-at-breast-height (d.b.h.). There are eight existing trees on the southeast side of the existing building which are likely to require removal, including: three 20-inch junipers; a 12-inch juniper; an 18-inch juniper; a 14-inch fir; and two ten-inch walnuts. While the applicants desire to retain all of the site’s trees, the locations of these trees relative to the existing building and mechanical equipment mean that the proposed exterior renovations and energy upgrades are likely to necessitate their removal. The applicants are accordingly requesting Tree Removal Permits to authorize the removal of these eight trees, although as building permit and utility plans are finalized the applicants will endeavor to preserve as many of these eight trees as practical in achieving the desired upgrades. After reviewing the application at its April 2014 regular meeting, the Tree Commission recommended approving the application as submitted, but provided to recommendations for conditions of approval:  1) that mitigation for the trees removed shall be in accordance with AMC 18.61.084; and 2) that a revised landscape and irrigation plan be submitted with building permit materials, specifically indicating which trees are to be removed and how mitigation is to be addressed. Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the changes as recommended to the staff advisor including the need to address parking landscaping and tree requirements in the final landscape plan.

PLANNING ACTION:         PA-2014-00266                                             
SUBJECT PROPERTY:       27 East Hersey Street
APPLICANT:                        City of Ashland Parks & Recreation Department
DESCRIPTION:                    A request for a Site Review approval to construct a new neighborhood park along Ashland Creek for the property located at 27 East Hersey Street. Also included are requests for a Physical & Environmental Constraints Review Permit because the site lies within floodplain corridor lands; a Limited Use Permit to place a new public sidewalk within the Water Resource Protection Zone; and Exceptions to Street Standards to allow a portion of the new sidewalk along Hersey Street to be installed curbside to accommodate preservation of an existing fig tree, and to allow a maintenance access drive to be placed closer than 75 feet from the nearest adjacent driveway on a collector street.  (The application also involves the removal of two cherry street trees to accommodate sidewalk installation along the Hersey Street frontage; street tree removals do not require Tree Removal Permits under the Land Use Ordinance.)   
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-5; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 04; TAX LOTS: Map 04CD Lots 800, 806 & 3700; Map 04CA Lots 2709, 4500 & 5000

 

Piña gave a brief report outlining the nature of the request. Site visits conducted by all, no ex parte contacts. The current request is for a Site Review approval to construct a new neighborhood park along Ashland Creek that includes the removal and replanting of three street trees, in additional to significant plantings throughout the park. Because these trees are located within dedicated public right-of-way, they are subject to the Street Tree Removal Permit process, which is an administrative review and not part of the land use action. After reviewing the application at its regular meeting in April of 2014, the Commission noted that the street tree specimens proposed for planting along Hersey Street (four Shumard Oaks and one Valley Oak) were well-selected and appropriate given the riparian setting, despite being a deviation from the recommended street tree guide, therefore recommended that it be approved. Neff motioned, Schmidt seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, in the addition to a revised landscape and irrigation plan be submitted with final approval from the staff advisor.

PLANNING ACTION:         PA-2014-00280                                 

SUBJECT PROPERTY:       245 Tolman Creek Rd.

APPLICANT:                        Bruce Ziegler / A to Z Tree Service
DESCRIPTION:                    A Tree Removal request to remove five hazard Poplar trees adjacent to an identified possible wetland, for the property located at 245 Tolman Creek Road. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Low-Density Multi-Family; ZONING: R-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 11CD TAX LOTS: 1900
 
Piña gave a brief report outlining the nature of the request. Site visits conducted by all, no ex parte contacts. The application proposes to remove five poplar trees greater than six-inches Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) in the southwest corner of the property, just north of a possible wetland, and along an irrigation ditch running along the property’s west boundary line. Three of the trees are within the 30-foot protection zone for the possible wetland. The applicant’s findings note that these three trees are completely dead, and due to the species being known for dropping limbs, pose a hazard to both the a nearby apartment building and the YMCA park area adjacent to the property. The remaining two tree’s roots have grafted together across the open irrigation ditch, and created a damn blocking water flow and causing flooding of nearby apartment buildings. After deliberating the request at their April 3, 2014 regular meeting, the Tree Commission recommended removal with a condition that mitigation trees shall be healthy, deciduous trees planted elsewhere on the property, irrigated regularly, and heavily mulched. Neff motioned, Roland seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the changes as recommended to the staff advisor.

PLANNING ACTION:         PA-2014-00284                                 
SUBJECT PROPERTY:       1065 Siskiyou Blvd.
APPLICANT:                        David Jones
DESCRIPTION:                    A Tree Removal request to remove three trees (one Pear and two Cottonwoods) at the property located at 1065 Siskiyou Blvd. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Commercial; ZONING: C-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 10CC TAX LOTS: 5200 & 5400

 
Piña gave a brief report outlining the nature of the request. Site visits conducted by all, no ex parte contacts. The application proposes to remove two Cottonwoods and one dead Pear tree, located internal to the property. The two Cottonwoods are approximately 35-feet tall, and completely dead; one of which is placed directly over a plumbing line behind one of the buildings. The applicant’s findings note that Cottonwoods are not appropriate in residential settings, especially in tight, outdoor seating areas. The applicant proposes to mitigate the removed trees with a combination of Dogwood and Birch trees throughout the property, in nearby locations.  The City of Ashland Tree Commission reviewed the proposal at their April 3, 2014 regular meeting, and in deliberating the request, the commission found that the mitigation proposed is appropriate. Schmidt motioned, Neff seconded, that the application be approved as submitted.

PLANNING ACTION:          PA-2014-00370        
SUBJECT PROPERTY:       73-75 Garfield Street
OWNER/APPLICANT:         Robert L. Brent
DESCRIPTION:         A request for a Tree Removal Permit to remove a Catalpa Tree behind unit #75B at the Greenwood Apartments for the property located at 73-75 Garfield Street. The tree removal is requested under the Hazard Tree Removal provisions of the Tree Preservation and Protection Ordinance as the tree is causing damage to the foundation of the building. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: High Density Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: R-3; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 10BC TAX LOTS: 3200.

Piña gave a brief report outlining the nature of the request. Site visits conducted by all, no ex parte contacts. The applicant proposes to remove a decaying Catalpa Tree behind unit #75B. The applicant’s tree care professional, Absolute Tree Care, provided materials indicating that the tree should be removed under the hazard provisions of the Tree Ordinance as it is causing damage to the foundation of the building. the tree is planted in a narrow planting strip under the eaves of the unit, between the building and an adjacent walkway, and virtually the full width of the planting strip, and is growing into the building and very near its eave, posing a hazard to the structure’s continued integrity.  The City of Ashland Tree Commission reviewed the proposal at their April 3, 2014 regular meeting and were supportive of the request. Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted.


PLANNING ACTION:         PA-2014-00372                                 
SUBJECT PROPERTY:       35 S. Pioneer
APPLICANT:                        OSF
DESCRIPTION:                    A Tree Removal request to remove a hazardous 15-inch Red Maple tree located within the “Bricks” area located at 35 S. Pioneer. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Commercial; ZONING: C-1-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 09BB TAX LOTS: 14000
 
Piña gave a brief report outlining the nature of the request. Site visits conducted by all, no ex parte contacts. The applicant proposes to remove a 15-inch Red Maple located within the western landscape island adjacent to the Bowmer Theater. The certified arborist report, submitted by Willie Gingg of Southern Oregon Tree Care, inspected the trees and noted that a significant portion of the tree had yet to bud out, indicating those branches were dead. The report concludes that with a heavily used pedestrian space directly beneath the dead branches, that the risk of injury to people is too great, therefore recommends removal and replacement of a smaller tree in the same location. The City of Ashland Tree Commission reviewed the proposal at their April 3, 2014 regular meeting. In deliberating the request, the Commission agreed with the arborist statement that this particular tree needs to be removed, however noted that Red Maples are traditionally thin skinned and susceptible to reoccurring damages to the bark by irrigation lines and sun scold. Therefore, the Commission recommended that a Tupelo (Sour Gum), Swamp White Oak, or Northern Red Oak would be good replacement trees in the same area without significant disturbance to the existing railing. Additionally, the Commission recommends that a minimum caliper of 2.5-inch caliper tree be chosen as the replacement tree. Russ motioned, Schmidt seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the applicant considering an alternate species as the mitigation tree.


PLANNING ACTION:           PA-2014-00385                                  
SUBJECT PROPERTY:       1323 Lee Street
APPLICANT:                        Susan Goodman / Nautilus Design Studio   
DESCRIPTION:                    A request for a Site Design Review Permit approval for multi-family development for two new dwelling units, including one converted structure, in addition to the main unit, both less than all less than 500 square feet; an exception to the Site Design and Use Standards to buffering requirements between parking spaces and a residential unit; and an Exception to the Street Standards for a curbside sidewalk. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: High-Density Multi-Family; ZONING: R-3;
ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 10CC TAX LOT: 1500
 
Piña gave a brief report outlining the nature of the request. Site visits conducted by all, no ex parte contacts. The application proposes two additional residential units less than 500 square feet, and no tree removals. The application does however request an exception to the Site Design and Use standards to protect two, well established trees along the east property line. In reviewing the application, the Tree Commission at their April 3, 2014 meeting noted that a size- and specie-specific landscape plan was not submitted along with application materials, therefore were unable to provide comments on the landscaping proposed. Although, in considering the exception proposed, that paving within the tree protection zone be permeable to allow water percolate to the roots of the protected trees. Roland motioned, and Trunnell seconded, that the application be approved as submitted, with the recommendation that a size- and specific- landscape and irrigation plan, showing paving materials as recommended, be submitted at time of building permit with final approval from staff advisor.
 
DISCUSSION ITEMS
Arbor Day Events - The Commission discussed the upcoming Arbor Day events, including Earth Day and Tree Planting at Ashland Christian Fellowship. Staff will provide the Commission information on coordinating with each during the weekend.
 
Oregon Community Trees - OCT meeting on June 5, 2014. Topic is on getting more volunteer effort in our communities for tree maintenance, as well as risk assessment. Both staff liaisons Piña and Thayer attended last year, and found the conference informative and inspiring.  
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:17 pm
Respectively submitted by Assistant Planner Micha

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