Agendas and Minutes

Tree Commission (View All)

Tree Commission Regular Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, January 07, 2016



TREE COMMISSION MINUTES
January 7, 2016
 
CALL TO ORDER
6:00 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room of the Community Development and Engineering Services building located at
51 Winburn Way.
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
 
• Approval of December 3, 2015 regular meeting minutes.
• Approval of December 10, 2015 Study Session meeting minutes (Wild Fire Ordinance).
 
Commissioners Roland/Oxendine m/s to approve the minutes as submitted.   Voice vote:  All AYES.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS & LIAISON REPORTS
 
• City Council Liaison
Councilor Voisin updated the Commission on the Council’s agenda and topics.
 
• Parks & Recreation Liaison
Baughman gave an update on the recent storm’s impact on many trees throughout the City’s parks.
 
• Community Development Liaison
Heck informed the Commission the City was recertified as Tree City USA and announced that the tree of the year for 2015 is the Oak tree on Normal Avenue. Community Development Director Bill Molnar explained to the Commission that this tree is in the public right of way and may be subject to removal because of a identified railroad crossing that has been in the City’s Transportation System Plan (TSP) for several decades. Molnar encouraged the Commission to formalize the Tree of the Year program and to create criteria to nominate and select appropriate specimens for Tree of the Year designation.
 
PUBLIC FORUM (For items not on the agenda)
Welcome Guests – No one present spoke at public forum.
 
TYPE I REVIEWS
 
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2015-02255
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     630 Siskiyou Boulevard
APPLICANT:                       Stanley Elliott
DESCRIPTION:                   A request to remove two Maple (Acer) trees at the subject property.
The first Maple Tree located at the Northeast corner of the primary dwelling is approximately one foot from the structure and exhibiting soil heave, surface rooting, and root rot. The second Maple Tree located on the West side of the dwelling shows similar issues also including surface rooting, mechanical injury, and mildew. The arborist notes that these defects can cause tree root and trunk base failure with the risk increased significantly due to the trees proximity to the dwelling.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Low Density Multi-Family Residential;
ZONING: R-2; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 09DB; TAX LOT: 3900.
 
Commissioner Oxendine disagreed with the arborist report, which was seconded by Roland. Both Commissioners stated there was no disease or rotting of the subject trees. However, the Commission recognized the hazard the trees presented due to their location in proximity to the house. Roland/Oxendine m/s to approve plans as submitted, noting that the approval was not because of disease but rather proximity to the house, and recommended mitigation trees to each tree that is proposed to be removed.
 
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2015-02312
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     2350 Ashland Street
OWNER/APPLICANT:      Jalaram Hospitality LLC
DESCRIPTION:                   A request to remove an Incense-Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) of approximately 20-inches DBH. The applicant has previously applied to remove the tree, which was denied because there was no arborist report in the application. This current application includes an arborist report that states the tree is a hazard and should be removed.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Commercial; ZONING: C-1; ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39
1E 14BA; TAX LOT: 100
 
Commissioner Oxendine wanted to see the full report the arborist used to determine the subject tree as a hazard. There was a lengthy discussion between the commissioners concerning what constitutes an “arborist report”. The commissioners felt an arborist report needs to be a full ISA Tree Risk Assessment, performed by a certified arborist. Furthermore, they noted the concern of conflict of interest when the consulting arborist is also the arborist submitting a bid for removal. Moreover, due to concerns of liability, the Commission approved the plans as submitted. Oxendine/Roland m/s to approve plans as submitted with a mitigation requirement that will equal the canopy coverage of the stature cedar tree that will now be removed.
 
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2015-02369
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     543 S Mountain Ave
OWNER/APPLICANT:      Peace House
DESCRIPTION:                   A request to remove two Birch trees on the east side of the building. Both trees have an approximate diameter at breast height (DBH) of 12 inches. The application includes an arborist report that recommends removal. Both of the trees on the site were listed as being preserved as part of the landscape plan for the original Conditional Use Permit.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-7.5;
ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 16AA; TAX LOT: 100.
 
Commissioner Oxendine mentioned this is the “ideal” tree removal permit as the applicants are removing dying trees and asking for suggestions for mitigation. Roland suggested the property owners stay away from conifers due to sunlight constraints and recommend the following tree varieties as mitigation trees: ginkgo, Japanese maple, English Oak, Wedding Bells. John/Oxendine m/s to approve plans as submitted with mitigation trees, one per each tree removed.
 
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2015-02381
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     903 and 905 Bellview
OWNER/APPLICANT:      Oregon Architecture/Raven Woodworks, Inc.
DESCRIPTION:                   A request to remove four trees to accommodate a previously approved housing development. One of the trees, a cedrus atlantica, is in the footprint of a proposed building. The other trees to be removed, all pinus pondersas, are to be removed because of poor health and proximity to other trees. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: R-2;
ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 14CA; TAX LOT: 7808, 7807, 7806, and 7805.
 
The applicant, Alan Sandler and a representative from Raven Woodworks, was present to represent their proposal. A neighbor of the project was also present to express his concern over the removal of the cedrus atlantica. Oxendine mentioned it would be a shame to loss the Cedrus atlantica, noting its general rarity and presence on the site. Oxendine stated the tree should be preserved and deserves a tree protection zone. The Commission was not supportive of removing the Cedrus atlantica, tree number 11 on the site plan. However, they were okay with the removal of the proposed Pinus ponderosas. Oxendine/Battistella m/s to approve the removals of the Pinus ponderosas, but not the Cedrus atlantica, which they recommended has a tree protection zone at the drip line of the tree and that all site work within the protection zone to be supervised by a certified arborist. Furthermore, if any roots are to be cut, they shall be cut clean by the certified arborist. 
 
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2015-02301
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     777 Oak Street
APPLICANT:                       Martha Howard-Bullen
DESCRIPTION:                   A request to remove a 50+ inch diameter at breast height Black
Cottonwood at the southeast corner of the subject property. The applicant has expressed concerns of the tree falling down and has obtained two arborist reports that claim the tree is a hazard. In a former planning action (PA#2014-00307), preserving the subject tree was listed as a reason for granting a Water Resource Protection Zone Reduction permit.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-10;
ASSESSOR’S MAP: 39 1E 04CA; TAX LOTS: 2707.
 
The applicants, Laurie Sager and Martha Howard-Bullen, were in attendance to represent their application. Sager brought forth a new arborist report by Tom Meyers, who was the original consulting arborist of the project. Meyers’ latest report noted a lightning strike and stated the tree is a hazard and should be removed. Oxendine recommended the fallen logs be used as wildlife habitat in the creek corridor. Battistella/John m/s to approve the plans as submitted.
 
TYPE II REVIEWS
 
PLANNING ACTION:        PA-2015-02287
SUBJECT PROPERTY:     123 Clear Creek Drive
APPLICANTS:                     John Fields/Clear Creek Investments LLC
OWNERS:                             Clear Creek Investments LLC & Cooper Investments LLC
DESCRIPTION:                   A request for Site Design Review approval to construct four two-story mixed-use buildings, consisting of leasable ground-floor office space and eight residential dwelling units on the second floors, and one two-story office building for the property located at 123 Clear Creek Drive.
The request would also modify the previously approved Clear Creek Village Subdivision by further subdividing Lot 8 under the Performance Standards Options Chapter to create five new buildable lots to accommodate the proposed development.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Employment; ZONING: E-1; ASSESSOR’S
MAP: 39 1E 05 CD; TAX LOT: #1803
 
Oxendine recommended all newly planted trees have deer guards (black plastic – “AM Leonard”) and mentioned the pear trees will not be well suited for the site. Roland recommended quercus rubras and hornbeams instead of the pear trees, further noting the rubras will need sun protection. Oxendine/Roland m/s recommend approval of the plans as submitted with the aforementioned recommendations.
 
NEW BUSINESS/ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
 
  • Airport Code Changes.
    Director Molnar updated the Commission on what the existing regulations are for tree removal near the airport and what the proposed ordinance change will involve. The Commissioners were in support of the update.
     
  • City street tree removal process.
    Director Molnar gave an update on the City’s process for street tree removal. Heck handed out the emails sent by Mr. Whitall for the Commission to review. There was a lengthy discussion on the process and how to modify in order to ensure significant trees are preserved if at all possible and to not repeat an incident similar to the 338 B Street removal. One suggestion was to have a city arborist to inspect trees and evaluate private arborist reports. In the interim, there was a discussion to see if Peter Baughman from Ashland Parks could help out. There was a call to update the Street Tree Removal Form and to include standards from the ISA Risk Assessment form. Oxendine discussed the certifications for arborists and explained they are many and not all are the same. Roland mentioned liability concerns for the Tree Commission as well as the City for disputing an arborist report. Molnar ended the discussion stating all future Street Tree Removals will be reviewed by him or the Planning Manager and that “significant trees” (greater than 18-inches d.b.h.) will be reviewed by the City Administrator. 
     
  • Updating the Street Tree Guide.
    No Discussion at this meeting.
     
  • Updating the AMC to include “Historic Houses” as areas of concern for tree preservation.
No Discussion at this meeting.
 
  • FireWise landscaping plant list.
No Discussion at this meeting.
 
  • Proposal to the City of Ashland to look at funding for a City arborist position.
No Discussion at this meeting.
 
  • Development of a tree preservation fund (through payment in lieu of mitigation).
No Discussion at this meeting.
 
DISCUSSION ITEMS
  • Tree of the Year program
  • Arbor Day 2016
     
ADJOURNMENT
Next Meeting:  February 4, 2015                                            
 
Respectfully submitted by Zechariah Heck
 

Ashland 24/7

Pay Your
Utility Bill
Connect
to AFN
Request Conservation
Evaluation
Proposals, Bids
& Notifications
Request Building
Inspection
Apply for
Building Permits
Apply for Other
Permits & Licenses
Register for
Recreation Programs

©2017 City of Ashland, OR | Site by Project A

Quicklinks

Connect

Share

Email Share