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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Historic Commission Meeting

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

                                                     ​ASHLAND HISTORIC COMMISSION      
                                                                     Meeting Minutes
               September 7, 2016
Community Development/Engineering Services Building Ė 51 Winburn Way Ė Siskiyou Room
Commission Chair, Shostrom called the meeting to order at 6:01 pm in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison:
Shostrom Carol Voisin
Leonard Staff Present:
Ladygo Mark Schexnayder; Staff Liaison
Emery Regan Trapp; Secretary
Commissioners Absent:  
Leonard motioned to approve minutes from August 3, 2016.  Whitford seconded.  No one opposed.
There was no one in the audience wishing to speak.
Voisin gave the Council Liaison report.  Items discussed were: 
  • Band committee is looking at refurbishing the band shell.  It needs to be brought up to code as there are issues with electrical, lighting, speakers and dry rot.  They would like to raise up the rooms on the left and right hand side of the stage for better access and add some LED lighting.  Public Works will be overseeing this project. 
  • Study Session:
    •  They will continue the homeless shelter at Pioneer Hall on Tues/Thurs with a few changes. 
  • Council meeting:
    • Grandview guardrail will remain. 
    • 10 x 20 ordinance passed.  The goal is to replace 10% of electricity with clean local renewable energy. 
  • September 15th at 5pm at the Community Center Ė The options for City Hall will be discussed.  This will be an opportunity for citizens to comment on options for City Hall. 
OWNER:  Spartan Ashland Natalie Real Estate, LLC
APPLICANT:  Bemis Developments, Inc.
DESCRIPTION:  A request for a modification of the previously approved Planning Action PA-2015-01517 for the property located at 221 Oak Street.  The current request would modify the original approval to allow the historic home at 221 Oak Street to be deconstructed and rebuilt in response to numerous foundation, framing and non-structural deficiencies and fire damage uncovered in a structural engineerís assessment of the home.  The project engineer has determined that the building is unstable and unsafe and that repairs are not feasible.  (The previous approval granted Outline & Final Plan, Site Design Review, Conditional Use Permit, Variance, Exceptions and Tree Removal Permit approvals for the properties at 209-221-225 Oak Street and 11 B Street.)  COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Low Density Multi-Family Residential; ZONING: R-2; ASSESSORíS MAP: 39 1E 09BB; TAX LOTS: 15900.  
Skibby mentioned that when he went to take pictures he received a tour of the property by the owner.  Emery declared that he asked to enter the property during a site visit. 
Schexnayder gave the staff report for PA-2016-01641.
Shostrom opened the public hearing to the applicants.
Ed Bemis, of Bemis Development PO Box 1018, Ashland, OR addressed the Commission. Mr. Bemis described the project in detail and stated that during the refurbishing of the walls of the building on the second floor at 221 Oak they discovered that the framing was a ďscab typeĒ framing.  When looking at the framing it was originally built as balloon framing and he believes that at some point the floor was raised, possibly with the newest addition.  Mr. Bemis described that an unconventional siding material appeared to be used in the new addition and the siding is taking on an S shape because itís so thin and over time has decayed.  He described that the building is filled with mold and the foundation is chiseled stone set on top of dirt.  Where the building sits on the foundation is rotting and with all the problems, they feel they cannot proceed with saving the building as planned.   
Skibby asked if removing the addition would be feasible and just keep the original pieces of the house. 
Mr. Bemis stated that all he may be able to salvage are the four walls of the original house but did say that they can save the original stones from the foundation to be placed around the perimeter of the new foundation.  Mr. Bemis stressed that he canít promise that there will be anything salvageable but he feels strongly that what they can salvage should be visible.   He wants to keep with Anderson windows as the replacement and mentioned that all the paint on the building is lead based paint which is very hard to remove. 
Mr. Bemis stated that he doesnít think that anyone could have determined earlier on that the building was in as bad of shape as they thought.  He doesnít want to place blame on anyone and stated there were tenants in that building up until they started construction. 
Shostrom gave the description of the property (called the Smith-Elliot House) from the historic record. 
Shostrom closed the public hearing and opened to the Commission for comments.
Emery stated that itís nothing he hasnít seen before and understands Bemisí plight.  He understands the economics of tearing down and expressed that heís not fixed on one way or another but is leaning towards saving the building because itís Historic Contributing.  In his opinion, the building can be restored and itís not that much of a stretch to do it. 
Swink stated that the siding along with the lead paint and the round headed box nails are an issue.  He thinks that the stones around the perimeter of the foundation is a great idea and one that will give it back some historic feel.  Heís unsure of the necessity of removing the entire building.
Shostrom says itís a tough call and the issues raised are significant but itís nothing they havenít dealt with. He stressed that new siding would take care of structural issues and went on to say that the fact that itís been remodeled does make it less historic and disagrees that repair is not feasible.  Shostrom commented that the job would be expensive but it could be done and hates to see a historic building go. 
Skibby stated that when he toured the building it seemed pretty sound and the floors looked really good. 
Shostrom re-opened the public hearing to the applicant for rebuttal.
Mr. Bemis addressed the Commission and stated that he has a letter from an engineer that says the building is unsound and feels that there is no compromise.   Mr. Bemis stated that the decision is about quality and went on to say that the owner has told him that he will board the building up and move on if they canít make any headway on this project.  His proposal stands and doesnít want it to be changed in any way.  He would like the commission to allow him take components of the building that are safe and re-usable and use them where they see fit (preferably on the exterior).
Shostrom suggested that the applicant save the floors and the foundation and Mr. Bemis interjected that itís a lot of extra work to save something that will not be seen. 
Giordano stated that in his opinion, the commission is asking too much of this building.  He feels that a full demo could be in order based on the evidence provided.  Giordano went on to say that they will get a much better product if they deconstruct rather than restore whatís left. 
Whitford stated that he agrees with Giordano and is impressed with the project.  He too, is putting a lot of weight on the engineering report and doesnít want the owner to pull up stakes because he thinks itís too hard to build in the Historic District.
Shostrom closed the public hearing and opened to the commission for comments.
Swink agrees with Whitford and Giordano and emphasized that he is hopeful that the applicant will do as good of a job on this as they did at 209 Oak. 
Skibby stated that itís no longer historic if all these changes made.
Emery stated that although the building is historically contributing itís not as significant as 209 Oak. 
Leonard reiterated the fact that the owner has stated that he would make it look like the historic home it should be, they should give the applicant a chance to do so. 
Whitford motioned to approve PA-2016-01641 with below siding recommendations.  Giordano seconded.  Skibby and Shostrom opposed.  Ladygo abstained.   
  • Siding should be rabbited beveled half inch thick with a five inch exposure. 
  • Review board schedule
  • Project assignments for planning actions
Piper von Chamier was introduced to the Commission by Shostrom.  She has put in her application to the Mayor and is considering joining the Commission.   

                  Review Board Schedule
Sept 15th Terry, Taylor,
Sept 22nd Terry, Bill, Dale
Sept 29th Terry, Sam,
Oct 6th Terry, Keith, Bill
Project Assignments for Planning Actions
PA-2014-01956 Lithia & First All
PA-2014-00710/711 143/135 Nutley Swink & Whitford
PA-2014-01283 172 Skidmore Shostrom
PA-2014-02206 485 A Street Ladygo
PA-2015-00178 156 Van Ness Ave Shostrom
PA -2015-00374 160 Lithia Way Emery
PA-2015-00878 35 S. Pioneer Ladygo
PA-2015-01496 35 S. Second-Winchester Inn Shostrom
PA-2015-01695  399 Beach Skibby
PA-2015-01769  860 C Ladygo
PA-2015-01517 209 Oak Shostrom
PA-2015-02203 868 A Street Whitford
PA-2016-00073 151 Pioneer Swink
PA-2016-00275 574 Allison Emery
PA-2016-00387 95 N. Main Shostrom
PA-2016-00763 5 N. Main Swink
PA-2016-00209 25 N. Main Ladygo
PA-2016-00818 175 Pioneer Shostrom & Skibby
PA-2016-00847 252 B Street Whitford
PA-2016-00587 872 Siskiyou Blvd Skibby
PA-2016-01027 276 B Street Shostrom & Leonard
PA-2016-01641   221 Oak Street Shostrom
Next meeting is scheduled October 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm
There being no other items to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm
Respectfully submitted by Regan Trapp

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