MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
CALL TO ORDER
March 17, 2015
1175 Main Street
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Seffinger, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present.
Mayor Stromberg moved agenda item 1. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Chapter s 18.2.2, 18.2.3, 18.4.3, 18.4.7, and 18.6.1 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance relating to definitions and accessory travelers’ accommodations in various residential zoning districts”
under ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
to PUBLIC HEARINGS.
In addition, he moved agenda item 1. Process for Implementing Welcome Signs Beautification project
under NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
after the CONSENT AGENDA.
Mayor Stromberg went on to announce the retirement of Police Chief Terry Holderness, thanked, and commended him for his outstanding efforts. Chief Holderness thanked the Council and City for the opportunity to serve as the Police Chief and for their support. Council noted Chief Holderness’ success as a professor at Southern Oregon University (SOU) and how his leadership and communication skills helped shape the Police Department and that he introduced the nationally acclaimed program You Have Options.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Study Session of March 2, 2015 and Business Meeting of March 3, 2015 were approved as amended to reflect rewording of comments made by Mr. Green on March 3, 2015 under Public Forum as the following, “Expressed his feelings about local police conduct in the community.”
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Tree Commission Chair Greg Trunnell provided the annual presentation from the Tree Commission. To date, the Tree Commission had reviewed and made recommendations on thirty-five land use applications, conducted the Arbor Week events for 2014, tabled at Earth Day 2014 and began discussing the street tree removal process. He noted the upcoming events and the Tree of the Year award going to Southern Oregon University (SOU) for a large Silver Maple. He explained the criteria needed to meet Tree City USA requirements. He noted the loss of two trees due to improper protection during construction and not following the correct process for moving trees. The City intended to remove the 2014 Ashland Tree of the Year on Clay Street. As the City continued growth plans, tree would become obstacles. The Tree Commission asked Council to remain vigilant in the City’s tree protection strategies.
Councilor Rosenthal thought the Tree of the Year process and methodology required review by the Tree Commission. He noted there was a lot involved regarding the removal of the 2014 Tree of the Year and encouraged the Tree Commission to do their best to avoid the politics if possible. Councilor Marsh suggested the Tree Commission run a campaign to encourage residents to plant trees as trees age. Chair Trunnell would add the suggestion to the next Tree Commission meeting. Councilor Voisin responded to Councilor Rosenthal’s comment and noted as the Liaison for the Tree Commission she had not found them to be political. They were extremely committed to the life and sanctity of trees, especially old growth trees.
The Mayor’s proclamations of April 5 to 11, 2015 as Arbor Week in Ashland and a Culture of Peace Community were read aloud.
Eric Sirotkin/2026 Ashland Mine Road/
Thanked the Mayor and Council for endorsing a Culture of Peace Community.
Public Works Director Mike Faught explained the potential for drought this summer was highly probable. Having the Talent Ashland Phoenix Intertie (TAP) in place would provide an alternative if drought occurred. Currently snowpack was slightly higher than the previous year at 16 inches. Hyatt Lake and Howard Prairie were 37%-43% full. Both lakes provided water to the Talent Irrigation District (TID) the City used to supplement the water supply.
He recommended keeping the reservoir full for as long as possible. In the event Ashland ran out of all water sources and needed to use 4 million gallons a day (mgd) out of the reservoir, the supply would last only 43 days. He suggested having that amount reserved by September 2015. TID would run similar to last year and shut down September 24, 2015 if the current weather pattern continued.
Generally, the City could pull 1 mgd daily from the TID without shutting off supply to downstream users. Once the need rose above that, they would shut off users downstream. The City could shut off users upstream from Ashland if needed by notifying the users they could no longer use TID then use enforcement. Mr. Faught would look into the possibility of TID banking water in reserve for use later in the season.
Staff would put together messaging on how to water landscapes and trees during a drought and bring it to Council at a future meeting. Mr. Faught would also provide the rate increase of water per gallon if the City had to use TAP. Reeder reservoir needed to remain at 65% of the capacity of the reservoir or 170,000,000 gallons.
Mayor Stromberg noted the need to keep old legacy trees watered to prevent fire hazards. He had also supported moving TAP to 3 mgd. The current 2 mgd was for indoor use.
Marcus Scott/1205 Talent Avenue, Talent, OR/
Explained he was the manager for the Lithia Artisans Market and described issues they had regarding the street light pole pennant permit. He requested Council consider recognizing the Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland as an approved designee of the City of Ashland. This would allow the group to apply for a banner permit.
Councilor Lemhouse/Rosenthal m/s to place the item at the end of the agenda under New Business. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
Joseph Kauth/1 Corral Lane/
Explained poison hemlock was a nationwide problem. He suggested a task force to address the problem. He went to address the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) project and the appearance of poison hemlock at the same time. He suggested AFR replace the young trees removed with rhododendrons.
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions, and Committees
2. Liquor license application for Aaron Glover dba The Organic Alcohol Co.
3. Recommendation for endorsement from the Public Art Commission for Main Street banner
4. Solid Waste and Collection Rate resolution
5. Request to increase and extend contract for Terra Survey-special procurement
6. Appointment of Danielle Amarotico to the Transportation Commission
7. Approval of MOU between the Ashland Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team
8. Approval of a resolution titled, “A resolution authorizing a loan from the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund by entering into a financing contract with the Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority”
9. Approval of an Intergovernmental Agreement for Lidar Data acquisition
Council pulled Consent Agenda items #3 and #7 for further discussion. Deborah Hofer represented Southern Oregon University, addressed Consent Agenda Item #3, and explained that Southern Oregon Arts and Research (SOAR) held an annual weeklong campus celebration of student research and faculty work. SOAR was seeking endorsement from the Public Arts Commission to hang a banner across Main Street during the May 11-15, 2015 celebration.
Police Chief Terry Holderness addressed Consent Agenda Item #7 and explained the Police Department was looking into using volunteers and researching applicable grants to help staff the You Have Options Program. One of the reasons for moving the existing program to the Jackson County Sherriff’s office was the lack of space at the Ashland Police Department. City Administrator Dave Kanner added the Jackson County Sherriff’s Department had made formatting changes to the memorandum of understanding but the content remained the same.
Councilor Voisin/Seffinger m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Process for Implementing Welcome Signs Beautification project
Management Analyst Ann Seltzer explained the criteria requirement for placemaking experience was part of environmental graphic design.
Council suggested using vandal and graffiti resistance material for the signs and changing the eligibility from graphic designers to qualified professionals. Ms. Seltzer confirmed all three signs would be the same but could vary in shape and size depending on the location.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s to approve the proposed process to implement permanent welcome signs. DISCUSSION:
Councilor Lemhouse considered the members on the Public Arts Commission, art professionals who knew about the business of art and how to implement art. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Chapter s 18.2.2, 18.2.3, 18.4.3, 18.4.7, and 18.6.1 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance relating to definitions and accessory travelers’ accommodations in various residential zoning districts”
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:43 p.m.
Jordan Parker/137 North Main/
Did not support opening R1 zoning for short-term rentals. It would have deleterious effect on achieving the affordable housing goal and greatly reduce rental stock. Short-term vacation rental companies had rapidly developed a well-documented history of running roughshod over long established zoning ordinances creating an enforcement nightmare. He urged Council to preserve the sanctity of single-family zones from commercial activity.
Douglas Smith/60 Granite Street/
Passing the ordinance would take away the present rights of R-1 owners in favor of new business interests not compatible with protecting residential character. Other towns reliant on tourism had restricted areas. Changing the R-1 rules altered the contract the City had with all R-1 residents. This was a new trend fostered by short-term vacation rental corporations. Actual results showed that online short-term rentals in Ashland had occupancy that was not yet full. It created unfair competition with Bed and Breakfast and short-term accommodations in legal areas.
Linda Smith/60 Granite Street/
Described traffic and parking on Granite Street and did not want to see more vehicles parking on the street for short-term rentals in R1 zone. Her neighbors next door were renters given an eviction notice so the property owners could use the house as a short-term vacation rental. It was upsetting because there were already several houses on Granite Street that rented part time.
Mary Coombs/70 North Mountain Avenue/
Supported the ordinance and did not think enforcement would not be a problem. She explained how the short-term rental companies managed parking and suggested modifying the food restriction to no prepared food.
James Orr/407 Clinton Street/
Voiced his opposition to the proposal. He had firsthand experience with an illegal rental operation next door. His Home Owners Association also expressed opposition and voted unanimously to oppose the proposal. Half of the homes in his area would be able to apply for a conditional use permit. This was a quality of life issue. He attended most of the Planning Commission meetings regarding short-term rentals in R-1. None of the meetings explained the economic need to expand the number of places available for tourists, or noted a lack of adequate options already available.
Adam Lemon/451 North Main Street/
Read from the Ashland Municipal Code 2.12 and 2.14 regarding the duties of the Planning Commission and Planning Hearings Board. At the last Planning Commission meeting, the Chair requested a motion to table ATA’s in the R-1 zone. Instead, a motion not to allow ATA’s in R-1 zones was made that resulted in a split vote. A split vote was not a recommendation to proceed. Council should cease further discussions of the ATA or an ordinance the Planning Commission did not endorse with a unanimous or majority vote.
Steve Larson/635 Siskiyou Blvd/
Licensing accessory travelers’ accommodations (ATA’s) in R-1 neighborhoods violated the very essence of the R-1 designation. R-2 and R-3 zones existed for people interested in having a 24-hour a day business. If the ordinance passed, hundreds of owners would apply for a license for ATA’s in every neighborhood. Enforcing vehicle traffic, rooms rented, the presence of the proprietor, and kitchen use would be difficult.
Jennifer Bacon/602 Fairview/
Explained she was one of the former owners of the Ashland Hostel and ran a Bed and Breakfast as well. She was acutely aware of the need for budget accommodations in Ashland. Not having budget accommodations resulted in lost revenue for the city and merchants. Code Compliance Specialist Kevin Flynn had noticed no discernible impact from traffic, parking, or nuisance regarding short-term home rentals. She urged Council to allow short-term vacation rentals in R-1 zones.
Kevin Boog/40 Granite Street/
Was a long-term renter over 25 years in Ashland and saw rents skyrocket while the availability dwindled. Allowing travelers’ accommodations in R-1 zones would limit middle to low income rentals further. He questioned the ability to enforce the new accommodations. There was an illegal travelers’ accommodation just a few doors from his place and the owners did not live there. The Code Compliance Officer was aware of the situation but the illegal activity continued. This past fall the owners rented the house to a young couple with a baby on a monthly basis without informing the renters that in the spring it would return to a vacation rental. He was concerned this tactic would catch on. He questioned if the City would put concerns about low rents for tourists over low rents for community members.
Ronna Smith-Hileman/570 Siskiyou Blvd/
Had lived in a tourist town in the past. Young families could not rent or buy homes resulting in a decline of schools and the town itself. She encouraged Council not to support the ordinance.
Laura Smith/1100 Paradise Lane/
Disallowing short-term rentals in R-1 zones were arbitrary and discriminatory to property owners. Micro managing individuals’ personal decisions regarding their own property over stepped reasonable government oversight. When Council talked about affordable housing, they should recognize and think very clearly about all the property owners just barely living in Ashland whose property taxes help build affordable housing for others. If the City was serious about affordable housing, people who lived in Ashland needed the right to make their own home affordable through whatever gentle means they could employ.
Tom DaBois/690 South Mountain Avenue/
Reminded Council of conversations over the past two years asking for fair treatment and the same exact opportunities given to every other home based business that have operated harmoniously over the last twenty years and was fair and reasonable.
Sidney Taylor for Annie Dunn/
Ms. Taylor read Ms. Dunn’s statement that explained she was a current owner of the Ashland Hostel and what the Hostel offered. The letter noted the trend during the past two years of long-term rentals ending in spring. The fact that people offering and reserving short-term rentals were good people was not relevant. The real issue at hand was the covenant between the City and the homeowners in R-1 districts.
Catherine Moore/473 Maple Way/
Respectively requested Council vote no to changing R-1 residential zoning to include short-term rentals. As a long-term renter, she watched affordable long-term rentals slowly diminish over the past five years. She witnessed friends, citizens, and non-citizens transform long-term rentals both legally and illegally into short-term rentals for quick increased profit. After seven years of renting a house in the Rail Road District, new owners evicted her to convert the house into a higher profit generator. A house previously a long-term rental in her neighborhood was being remodeled for short-term use.
Larry Chase/509 James Street, Talent/
Ran and operated a short-term rental in 2011 from a house he rented. It was successful with no deleterious effect on the neighborhood that many opponents claim would happen. As a non-Ashland resident, he urged the City to pass a reasonable ordinance that allowed short-term accommodations in R-1 zones. He asked Council to revisit the prohibition of renters being allowed to offer accessory travelers accommodations. He cited ordinances that allowed home occupant businesses and renters to conduct businesses from their homes through a lease agreement from the property owner.
Steven Richie/1480 Windsor Street/
Purchased a house in an R-1 zone and rented it as a short-term vacation rental unaware of the City rules. Disappointed, he sold the property and purchased a legal vacation rental in the C-1 zone. He now had a large mortgage, higher property taxes, and operating expenses but accepted it because the rental was legitimate and legal. Allowing short-term rentals in R-1 zones was unfair to those who followed the rules. His rental was 30% booked for 2015. Other legal short-term rentals were not fully booked. Opening R-1 for short-term rentals would lead to more problems than any small increase in revenue to the City would justify.
Val Bachmayer/172 Skidmore Street/
Spoke as a former land use planner from Washington state. In a situation like this, they would give written notice to all the residents of any zoning change. Her concern was young families living next to a short-term rental with renters changing every couple of days or weekly. She noted earlier testimony regarding home based businesses and did not know of many with overnight customers. She asked Council before they passed anything to give notice to the residents in the R-1 zone and the opportunity to comment, possibly anonymously.
Francisca Amery/860 Ashland Street/
Recently moved to the area and spoke on the difficulty of renting due to the money property owners made from short-term rentals. She ended up having to purchase a house. The town she moved from was like Ashland only ten years from now where most of the locals had moved and the town was now full of tourists. She asked Council not to make R-1 short-term rentals legal.
Ellen Campbell/120 Gresham Street/
The proposed ordinance could not protect long-term rental stock. The Planning Commission recognized that and could not unanimously recommend the ordinance. People testifying for the ordinance already had long-term rentals in R-1 zones, wanted their rentals legalized or converted to short-term accommodations and would evict long-term renters to do so. If the ordinance passed, there would be less affordable rentals, citywide rent increases, and affordable housing issues would worsen. She urged Council to make the decision best for the whole community.
Abby Hogge/1700 Parker Street/
Explained her family was able to move back to Ashland by purchasing a foreclosed home. Because of the opportunity they had with a short-term accommodation, they were able to overhaul the home and add value to the neighborhood. They were not scary outlaws but members of the community who also wanted to protect their neighborhoods. According to the last Census, over 50% of Ashland’s housing stock went to long-term renters and the average in the state was 35%. She asked Council not to deny this evolution and limit regulations to where no one could participate. There was no evidence showing that host occupied stays had a greater impact than long-term renters did, or a home business.
Donald Hunsaker/448 Clinton Street/
Strongly opposed short-term rentals in the R-1 zone. It destroyed the sanctity of the R-1 zone. He shared his work experience as a planner noting there was always a greater public good behind each project. He could not find the public good in allowing short-term rentals in the R-1 zone. It would become an enforcement nightmare. He supported all the testimony that opposed short-term rentals in the R-1 zone.
John Baxter/831 Liberty Street/
Owned a long-term rental and kept the rent low for affordability. They also rented a room out in their house in a residential zone on a short-term basis and stopped when they discovered it was illegal. When they rented the room there were no complaints from the neighbors and no impact on the neighborhood. It made their house more affordable for them. That was an important consideration because there were many people trying to afford to remain living in Ashland. He thought short-term rentals would be good for the economy. People had raised legitimate concerns. The ordinance would address those concerns.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 8:59 p.m.
Community Development Director Bill Molnar confirmed the City allowed accessory travelers’ accommodations in R-2 and R-3 zones within 200-feet of a major street or in the Historic District. This left approximately 300 properties not eligible for short-term accommodations. There were 1,500 properties in R-2 and R-3 zones within the 200-feet of a major street that could provide travelers’ accommodations. Ashland had an estimated 9,000 homes in Ashland with 50% rented. This was typical of university towns.
Planning Commission member Michael Dawkins explained Council had asked the Commission to create an ordinance and discuss whether the Commission supported travelers’ accommodations in the R-1 zone or not. The Commission was neutral on the matter.
City Administrator Dave Kanner noted during the summer, the total occupancy rate for all available lodging units in Ashland was 75%-80% and had remained constant for years. Hotels held the highest occupancy rates while Bed and Breakfasts had the lowest. Over the course of a year, the occupancy rate for Bed and Breakfasts was well below 50%. The occupancy level for short-term vacation rentals was also below 50% but slightly higher than Bed Breakfasts. Occupancy rates were typically determined July through September.
Mr. Molnar explained there were 2,200 properties in R-2 and R-3 zones and 1,500 within 200-feet of a major road. Removing the 200-foot requirement would allow all 2,200 to convert to short-term home rentals. Initially, the 200-foot boundary maintained an equal playing field and controlled traffic. Statistically a travelers’ accommodation generated more traffic than a single family home. Since accessory travelers’ accommodations (ATA’s) were single units, the 200-foot limitations did not apply as much. Commissioner Dawkins added removing the 200-foot rule would disperse short-term rentals throughout the community instead of concentrating them to specific areas. Other Commission discussions noted concern that the R-2 zone was often a “dumping ground” for different uses.
Mr. Molnar anticipated some impact on staff if the ordinance passed but did not think they would need additional resources. He explained the current process the Code Compliance Specialist used regarding short-term rentals and went on to describe the application and permit process. The majority of people operated within the confines of their approval. He confirmed that C-1, E-1, R-2, and R-3 zones could have short-term rentals.
The Planning commission had the authority as part of a conditional use permit (CUP) to grant the CUP for a specific period, with a CUP review at an additional charge. This was usually case-by-case and did not happen often. The original travelers’ accommodation ordinance had a provision for the first three years the applicant came back and staff processed an administrative Type 1 approval, noticing the surrounding properties as an opportunity for the City to determine complaints. The City charged a fee for each review. After three consecutive years of review, the applicant received permanent approval. The provision repealed ten years ago because there were very few circumstances where owners operated outside the conditions of their initial approval.
The home occupation permit allowed hone occupation from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The City was not required to notice every property within the R-1 zone. Notice to properties was required if the City was limiting land use or removing existing land uses. In R-1 zone there were 5,200 properties and 2,200 in the R-2 zone. The CUP would require neighbor notification of any property within 200-feet.
Staff defined the parking requirements to resemble parking for a single family home. The requirement intended to limit physical changes to a property that might be more disruptive to the neighborhood.
City Attorney Dave Lohman further clarified noticing. The matter before Council was a legislative change and did not require noticing the entire community. Legislative changes tended to benefit some, not all.
Mr. Kanner noted the ordinance did not change the definition of travelers’ accommodations or repeal the provision that travelers’ accommodations were allowed in R-2 and R-3 zones within 200-feet of a major street.
Mr. Molnar explained a property owner or a business owner could manage a standard travelers’ accommodation and could have one to nine units depending on location. They could provide meals and kitchen facilities. Accessory travelers’ accommodations were limited to the homeowner of the property, one unit with one reservation at a time with a maximum of two bedrooms, no more than two people per bedroom. Kitchen facilities were not allowed nor were prepared meals. Standard travelers’ accommodations in R-2 and R-3 zones suggested structures be at least 20 years old but were not a requirement.
Commissioner Dawkins added the Planning Commission determined if the unit had a kitchen, it could be a long-term rental. The Commission did not assume there would not be a coffee maker, microwave, or a small refrigerator. The unit could have an outside entrance.
Councilor Marsh thought the substantive question was whether the short-term rental model undermined the character of the neighborhoods. She did not think it belonged in the R-1 neighborhoods. It made sense to have them in R-2 and R-3 zones outside the 200-foot requirement.
Councilor Marsh/Seffinger m/s to approve First Reading of an ordinance amending chapters 18.2.2, 18.2.3, 18.4.3, 18.4.7, and 18.6.1 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance relating to definitions and Accessory Travelers Accommodations in various zoning districts, and move the ordinance on to second reading with the following amendments:
- Table 18.2.2.030 Uses Allowed by Zone, E. Commercial Uses, Accessory Travelers’ Accommodation changing “CU+S” to “N” under R-1 and R-1-3.5 to prohibit that use.
- 22.214.171.124 Travelers’ Accommodation, last line, first paragraph, strike (i.e. more than one guest unit).
- C. Accessory Travelers’ Accommodations strike (1), (7), and (8).
Councilor Marsh clarified the amendments would maintain travelers’ accommodations as they currently were, within 200-feet in R-2 and R-3 zones. It would allow accessory travelers’ accommodations, the rental of a single bedroom, single traveling party, to parts of R-2 and R-3 outside of the 200-foot requirement. It would not allow travelers’ accommodation or accessory travelers’ accommodations in R-1 or R-1-3.5. It would also remove the home occupation prohibition on travelers’ accommodations per staff recommendation.
Councilor Seffinger added it would provide additional housing for travelers without affecting the R-1 zones. It was important to protect affordable housing and encourage diversity in Ashland. Quality of life in R-1 neighborhoods was of paramount concern.
Councilor Lemhouse thought the motion presented a compromise and expanded opportunities in R-2 and R-3 zones. The amendments were reasonable and allowed for some expansion of opportunities for commerce in those areas. It was appropriate for the City to zone certain uses throughout the town. Councilor Morris explained there were places in R-1 and R-2 zones where travelers’ accommodations would work as well as places in both zones it would not work. It was difficult to tell people what they could or could not do with their property. He would support the motion and was not sure it was the end of the matter.
Councilor Voisin visited several travelers’ accommodations in town the year before and thought travelers’ accommodations would work for the community. Over the past four weeks, she realized there were many people in the R-1 zone concerned with the issue and it changed her mind. Opening up the potential for 2,710 to ATA’s was too much. Enforcement would present issues. There was a covenant with R-1 homeowners to keep that zone truly residential. Councilor Rosenthal was concerned of the impact ATA’s would have on the affordability of housing. He was not comfortable having them in R-1 and R-1-3.5 zones. Any Council action that created inflationary pressure on property values at a time when affordable housing was a civic priority sent an inconsistent message. He would not support the motion. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, and Seffinger, YES; Councilor Rosenthal, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
Mr. Lohman explained a public hearing was not required for the second reading of the ordinance. Council could take public input on the agenda item if they wanted. Traditionally they took public input on the changes only and did not allow the same people who spoke earlier to testify again.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS-continued
2. Citizen Budget Committee appointments
City Recorder Barbara Christensen explained prior to the meeting a third Budget Committee member resigned. The three positions each had different terms. Council discussed options for appointing the candidates. Some suggested appointing each applicant to a term by the dates the City received the applications and another suggestion thought it should go by experience.
Councilor Seffinger/Voisin m/s to appoint Pamela Lucas to the Citizen Budget Committee with a term ending December 31, 2018; to appoint William Gates to the Citizen Budget Committee with a term ending December 31, 2016 and appoint Shaun Moran to the Citizen Budget Committee with a term ending December 31, 2015. DISCUSSION:
Councilor Seffinger explained this was the order of experience she had determined from the applications. Councilor Voisin agreed and commented she was not able to interview Shaun Moran. Councilor Lemhouse noted they were each good candidates. Regarding experience, Mr. Moran earned his degree in 1989 and Ms. Lucas earned hers in 1990. Councilor Marsh added all the candidates were outstanding, could be reappointed at the end of their terms, and disassociated from the hierarchy laid out in the motion. Councilor Rosenthal agreed with Councilor Marsh these were three viable candidates. He disagreed with the notion that for three Councilors, this was their opinion of the order the applicants should go in and that did not represent the other four voters. Appointing the positions through tabulation was the fairest way.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Voisin, Mayor Stromberg, Seffinger, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Morris, Lemhouse, and Rosenthal, NO. Motion passed 4-3.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First reading by title only of an ordinance titled, “An ordinance amending Chapter s 18.2.2, 18.2.3, 18.4.3, 18.4.7, and 18.6.1 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance relating to definitions and accessory travelers’ accommodations in various residential zoning districts”
Item moved to Public Hearing portion of agenda.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS/REPORTS FROM COUNCIL LIAISONS
- Discussion of hanging flower basket program
City Administrator Dave Kanner explained at the February 17, 2015 meeting Council approved a program of hanging flower baskets using cascading petunias on cobra-style light installations in the downtown. At the March 3, 2015 Council Meeting, a Bee City advocate came forward and asked the City to substitute some petunias baskets with pollinator plants instead. Four Seasons Nursery was willing to substitute four baskets at no additional cost. Mr. Kanner distributed and submitted into the record a map depicting where the pollinator baskets might go. He was not sure if the baskets would attract yellow jackets and wasps. The Bee City advocates did not think it would present a problem. The locations were outside City Hall and by the Wells Fargo Bank, across the street from the gas station on Lithia Way.
Councilor Voisin expressed concern for the herbicide Four Seasons Nursery would use on the baskets that might harm the pollinators. Councilor Seffinger clarified Four Seasons Nursery would spray at night with a three-hour period before the bees appeared. It should not affect pollinators. Mr. Kanner further clarified spraying would occur at between midnight and 2:00 a.m. Councilor Lemhouse did not support adding pollinator baskets. There were many people seriously concerned with bee farming and allergic reactions to bees in town.
Councilor Seffinger/Voisin m/s to substitute four baskets of pollinator friendly flowers for baskets of petunias in the areas identified by staff. DISCUSSION:
Councilor Seffinger stated as an environmental issue, it was of upmost importance regarding global climate change and issues with crops and pollination. Pop cans attracted wasps. They did not seek out plants. It was worth a trial. If there was a problem, they could remove the plants. Councilor Voisin agreed with Councilor Seffinger. Ashland was a Bee City and needed to have pollinating plants. This was a good, measured way to go. Councilor Lemhouse appreciated the comments but wanted the downtown to feel inclusive for people with bee allergies. He would oppose the motion. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Rosenthal, Voisin, Seffinger, Marsh and Morris, YES; Councilor Lemhouse, NO. Motion passed 5-1.
- Discussion regarding consideration of officially recognizing the Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland as an approved designee of the City of Ashland.
Council added the topic to the next meeting.
Councilor Lemhouse announced that Councilor Rosenthal was taking thirteen little league baseball players to the first baseball exchange with Ashland’s Sister City Guanajuato during spring break.
Councilor Voisin voiced appreciation for one of her favorite staff people, Tami DeMille-Campos. She explained Ms. Demille-Campos’ role and her expertise transcribing minutes.
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS MEETING
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
John Stromberg, Mayor