City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
February 23, 2015
Present: Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Miller, Shaw; Director Black; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent: City Council Liaison – Mayor John Stromberg
CALL TO ORDER
Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Regular Meeting – January 26, 2015
Study Session – January 13, 2015
MOTION Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes (Gardiner abstained)
MOTION Shaw moved to approve the minutes as presented. Landt seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA
2015 CALLE CONTRACTS DISCUSSION AND ACTION
Dials said each year, restaurants along the Calle Guanajuato and the Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland (LAMA) had the ability to request seating. Restaurants were charged $7 per square foot and LAMA $5 per square foot for the determined season upon approval by the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission. Parks staff, restaurateurs and the manager of LAMA worked together to address any concerns before submitting requests to the Parks Commission. Eight Calle Guanajuato applications were received for the 2015 season. She reviewed the square footage requested by each restaurant:
Dials said five Commission actions were needed that evening:
- Umi Sushi
- Mix Sweet Shop
- Lithia Artisans Market
1 .Determine the “season of operation” for artisans and restaurants
a. Staff recommendation: Season spanning March 15 – November 15, 2015
2. Approve or deny the new Concessionaire’s License for LAMA, which includes the ability to utilize the Calle on the 4th of July
a. Staff recommendation: Convert the five-year LAMA contract to an annual Concessionaire’s License, similar to the one used by restaurants
3. Approve or deny the request for LAMA to utilize the Calle on Memorial Day and Labor Day
a. Staff recommendation: Approve the request
4. Approve or deny seven seating agreements for the Calle Guanajuato
a. Staff recommendation: Approve seven of the eight received seating requests
5. Approve or deny the space allocation proposed by Jordan Mackay, owner of Oberon’s Tavern
a. Staff recommendation: Deny the seating request based on the current space allocation policy
Dials said 2015 would be the first year the LAMA contract was an annual license rather than a five-year contract.
Marcus Scott, 1205 Talent Avenue, current manager of LAMA, said he hoped to see the proposed Calle opening date of March 15, 2015 approved by the Commission. He commended Ashland Parks and Recreation for their work along the Calle and said Dials was easy to work with. LAMA was comfortable converting its five-year contract to an annual license. In terms of operating the market on Memorial Day and Labor Day, LAMA tried it several times but it was never officially sanctioned by the Commission.
Gardiner asked what impact market operations would have on restaurants if the market ran on Memorial Day and Labor Day. Scott said the impact would be minimal, since the market’s opening and closing times would be the normal operational schedule for LAMA.
Ann Wilton, 391 Liberty Street, speaking as the owner of Renaissance Rose, said she had two private backdoor access points to the Calle, along with a front public entrance. Renaissance Rose had operated in that location since 2006. Prior to the Calle Resurfacing project, boundary lines for the building were not clearly understood and she and her staff used spaces on the Calle that traditionally were used by Renaissance Rose. She showed a number of photos taken along the Calle near her building, the first of which was the area used for receiving merchandise. Another photo depicted a storage shed that was removed for the resurfacing project but not returned as quickly as she would have expected. She learned from her landlord that a portion of space on the Calle was sold to the City, an action she described as a violation of her lease. Based on that land sale, starting in May of 2014, Louie’s was able to use the space directly adjacent to her business. She expressed concern about another business utilizing space directly behind another business on the Calle. She showed photos and described how Louie’s blocked her back entrance with tables, chairs and umbrellas. She asked the Commission to deny Louie’s’ request to use the space directly adjacent to Renaissance Rose. She also requested that Oberon’s Tavern be allowed to use the space behind its restaurant.
Tom Dubois (manager of Louie’s) and Melissa Jensen (owner of Louie’s), 690 S. Mountain Avenue, said Louie’s had leased the property on the Calle since 2002. During their twelve-year relationship with Renaissance Rose, if any issues arose, they were dealt with quickly and directly. Dubois said every square inch of space on the Calle had to be factored in when running a restaurant. He asked that Louie’s be allowed to rent the same space in 2015 as it had in 2014.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt said some of the statements heard that evening reflected conflicts between private parties and were not the Commission’s to resolve. He asked about the property purchase aspect of Wilton’s testimony. Dials said during the Calle Guanajuato project, beginning approximately 1.5 years ago, some boundary line adjustments occurred, including for the building occupied by Renaissance Rose. Ashland Parks and Recreation worked with the property owner on a land swap and the land behind Renaissance Rose became City property.
MOTION: Shaw moved to determine the “season of operation” for artisans and restaurants as proposed by staff: March 15 – November 15, 2015 – with the additions of 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
Additional Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt said every square inch on the Calle was valuable. He acknowledged that some encroachments occurred in the past, which were brought to staff’s attention, and said the Renaissance Rose backdoor entrance/exit had to remain clear, for the sake of safety and fairness, with chairs and tables kept out of the eight-foot right-of-way. If rules were followed, concerns could be alleviated.
In terms of the staff recommendation to deny Oberon’s’ request for seating on the Calle, Lewis asked for an explanation about that decision. Dials said in 2014, the Commission chose to split the space between Salame and Oberon’s; however, Salame ultimately rented Oberon’s’ Calle square footage because Oberon’s couldn’t pay for it. Oberon’s said Salame verbally agreed to relinquish the space in 2015, allowing Oberon’s to rent it, but then applied for the same square footage in 2015. Staff notified Oberon’s that they lost their 2015 space given the current seating policy. Gardiner said he and Dials met with Mackay of Oberon’s two weeks earlier. Mackay made a compelling statement about asking the Commission to reconsider allowing Oberon’s to get their square footage back; however, Gardiner felt 2015 would not be the year to make that determination.
Landt said he would not be supportive of making big changes to the seating policy on the Calle unless a majority of restaurants came forward with comments. Dials reminded the Commission that space on the Calle was allocated in terms of seniority and proximity. Lewis said the Oberon’s situation might be a symptom of a flawed policy. Given that there were so many restaurants close together along the Calle, he asked how the Commission could assist them in succeeding. He suggested having a Commission discussion on the topic before another similar situation occurred. Shaw reviewed the history of the adjacent restaurants – Salame and Oberon’s – and said that given the current seating policy, Oberon’s would not get a second chance for seating unless Salame gave up their space or the Commission changed its policy. Gardiner said he thought the Oberon’s situation would be something the Commission would face again in the future. If at least two commissioners wanted to review the policy, he would be open to having that discussion; however, he would not vote to change the seating policy in 2015.
MOTION: Landt moved approve the seven restaurant seating agreements as recommended by staff. Miller seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
With regard to the space allocation request from Jordan Mackay, Dials asked if the Commission wanted staff to research the division of Calle space with the help of a subcommittee.
Gardiner and Miller offered to explore the matter in more detail within the next four to five months.
AAUW SPRING GARDEN TOUR COLLABORATION DISCUSSION
Black said staff received a request from American Association of University Women (AAUW) representative Mimi Pippel regarding Parks Commission sponsorship of a banner across E. Main Street for the 2015 Spring Garden Tour fundraising event. He invited Pippel to speak to the Commission.
Mimi Pippel, 681 Glenwood Drive, speaking on behalf of AAUW, said her club would host its 20th annual spring garden tour in June, their largest fundraiser of the year. Two years earlier they learned that in order to hang a promotional banner across E. Main, they needed to have sponsorship of a City Commission, with the Commission changing each year, or be a recipient of a City of Ashland grant. Two years ago they were sponsored by the Conservation Commission and in 2014 they were backed by the Firewise Commission. If approved for Parks Commission sponsorship, their annual spring garden tour booklet would feature topics relevant to the Parks Commission; for instance, Ashland’s Bee City USA status or the Parks Commission’s integrated pest management (IPM) policy. The purpose of the annual garden tour was to raise money for women and girls to attend RCC or SOU. Parks Commission endorsement would give AAUW additional credibility and show garden tour participants the shared areas of interest between AAUW and the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission. Pippel said the AAUW had 153 members and sold 500 garden tour tickets a year.
MOTION: Landt moved to approve AAUW banner sponsorship over E. Main Street for the annual spring garden tour fundraising event. Shaw seconded the motion.
Discussion of Motion
Lewis asked if the inclusion of Bee City USA information or the Parks IPM policy should be added to the motion. Gardiner suggested having staff work with Pippel on providing information for the AAUW spring garden tour brochure.
The vote was: All yes
APPROVE CIP BUDGET – INTERNAL REALLOCATIONS
Black said CIP budget reallocations for BN 2013-2015 were discussed at the February 9 study session. Staff reported that a number of projects went over budget and an internal reallocation of funds was necessary. Black said the project most affected by cost overruns was the Butler-Perozzi Fountain rehabilitation project, initially budgeted at $500,000. Due to other Lithia Park projects in 2013-2015, the remaining balance for the fountain project would be $111,095.33. This could be used for the fountain or another Lithia Park project per Parks Commission direction. Black said the meeting packet CIP spreadsheet was identical to the spreadsheet distributed on February 9 with one exception: second Dog Park construction project (taken out of the Daniel Meyer Pool bathhouse line item). Black recommended Commission approval of the reallocated CIP budget. He said CIP budget reallocations would demonstrate efficient budget management by the Commission as they headed into their BN 2015-2017 season.
MOTION: Landt moved to approve the reallocated CIP budget as recommended by staff. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
Shaw said the Dogs Subcommittee (Miller and Shaw) met the previous week to talk with Black and Golf Clubhouse Manager Tom Cronin about possible recommendations for dogs at the golf course. The subcommittee talked about where dogs could safely traverse, the importance of keeping dogs on leash and the installation of Woof Waste stations. Also discussed was the future second Dog Park off lower Clay Street. Plans for that park would be considered after the opening of Ashland Creek Park (spring 2015). Black said funding for the new facility would become available in BN 2015-2017.
Open Space Subcommittee Update
Landt said the Open Space subcommittee (Shaw and Landt) recently met but the realtor was not present. Positive news would be forthcoming in the next month or two, presented either in a public meeting or an executive session.
Golf Course Subcommittee Update
Lewis reported that the Golf Course Subcommittee (Gardiner and Lewis) met on February 19 at the Golf Clubhouse. Also attending were Dickens, Dials, Cronin, Harvey and Black. Discussion included a free FootGolf event scheduled for Friday, March 13, and youth golf lessons in summer 2015. Also discussed was the pool table relocation to The Grove, golf course maintenance, golf signage updates, replacement of poles, the installation of a cart path, the golf clubhouse remodel, a new children’s playground area and the need to hold quarterly Golf Subcommittee meetings (minimum). Gardiner talked about the importance of a cart path for those who could not play golf without using a cart. A continuous cart path around all nine holes was discussed, allowing for golfing throughout the year (even in bad weather, when carts are not allowed). Black talked about estimates for a cart path and new poles and said staff would bring back to the Commission two cart path options: paved and decomposed granite.
With regard to the free FootGolf event on March 13, Black said the activity would be open to the public between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Four holes of FootGolf had been offered on a free trial basis for the past few months, with participants signing in and filling out comment cards. If approved by the Commission, two FootGolf holes would be installed per regular hole of golf (18 total holes). Black said materials for the summer recreation program guide were due by March 17 so a special meeting would be held on Monday, March 16 (along with a study session) to allow the Commission to vote on adding FootGolf as a summar 2015 option at Oak Knoll Golf Course. Black explained what FootGolf was—a combination of golf and soccer—and said it was popular around the country. He indicated that regular golf and FootGolf could be intermingled without conflict for either activity. He said FootGolf opened the course up to a different demographic while exposing non-golfers to the joys of golfing.
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC INPUT
Gardiner said he received a request from Jordan Mackay of Oberon’s Tavern to speak on a topic that would normally have been handled during the Calle contracts discussion earlier that evening. Gardiner said he would allow Mackay to speak.
Jordan Mackay, 45 N. Main Street, said he chose not to speak earlier in the meeting, during the contentious portion of the Calle contracts discussion. He asked for one single table on the Calle for the 2015 season. Since his restaurant was already in grave danger with the OLCC, if one customer stepped off his back door onto the Calle, he could be in further violation of OLCC rules and receive between $500 and $5,000 in penalties per violation. One table would provide the help he needed and wouldn’t impact neighbors very much. He thanked the Commission for their consideration of his request.
The Commission chose to take no action on Mackay’s request.
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Landt asked staff about their plan for additional monitoring at the Skate Park with regard to enforcement of rules. Black said complaints were heard from time to time and staff spoke with CAP Officer Matt Carpenter about increasing patrols at the Skate Park. Black suggested a higher level of enforcement for all parks near the downtown area.
Gardiner reported speaking with City Councilor Rich Rosenthal about the regional pool and learning that pool funding would be on the March 3 council agenda. Council needed to decide if this would be something the City wished to pursue. Black said he planned to attend that council meeting but the Parks Commission had authority to make recreational programming decisions for the community, not Council.
UPCOMING MEETING DATES & PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS
ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:27 p.m.
- Study session and special meeting set for March 11 at 12:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
- Study session and special meeting set for March 16 at 7:00 p.m., Parks Office, 340 S. Pioneer Street
- Regular meeting set for March 23 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
Susan Dyssegard, Administrative Supervisor
Ashland Parks and Recreation