Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, January 28, 2002

City of Ashland

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES

January 28, 2002

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Eggers, Jones, Landt, Lewis, MacGraw; Director Ken Mickelsen

Absent: None

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Landt called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting December 17, 2001 Commissioner Landt asked to add a parenthetical note under the Unfinished Business item "Presentation on Water Quality Options for the Upper Duck Pond" indicating "the cost (of the Lake Restorer) had been known to be reduced to $50-75,000." Under the Sub-committee and Staff Reports item "Land Partition on Cline/Bryant Property," second paragraph, Commissioner Landt also asked to add, "Landt expressed concern related to the lot lines as shown on the preliminary survey. He was concerned that these lines might unnecessarily limit entryway and/or transportation options." There was no opposition among Commissioners. Commissioner Eggers moved to approve the minutes of the December 17, 2001 Regular Meeting as amended. Commissioner Lewis seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes 1 abstain (MacGraw)

Special Meeting - January 7, 2002 Commissioner MacGraw moved to approve the minutes of the January 7, 2002 Special Meeting as written. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Criteria for land acquisition for open space & parkland acquisition plan

Director Mickelsen gave a brief presentation showing both the existing criteria for the Open Space Plan and a draft of the modified criteria as prepared and proposed by the Open Space subcommittee.

Susan Rust (42 N. Wightman) asked a few clarification questions of the subcommittee and said that she hoped the criteria was to be 'fleshed out' and that the criteria shown were not the only criteria to be considered. She hopes to see a proactive targeted approach concentrating on certain categories rather than an opportunistic approach.

Guy Nutter (1037 Pinecrest) expressed his concern that while athletic fields and neighborhood parks each had a discrete 'category,' trails was grouped in with open space. He explained that, for many people in Ashland, "our trails are our parks," and urged the Commission to differentiate trails into a category of its own. Mr. Nutter also suggested consideration of the use of funding to acquire easements--that is, paying a private owner for an easement across his or her property in order to extend trails for relatively little money.

Commissioner MacGraw noted that she didn't see a big difference between the draft of the modified criteria and the existing criteria, other than physical layout.

Commissioner Landt, a member of the subcommittee, explained that he sees the modified criteria document as a tool for documenting decisions and "leaving a paper trail" as well as for trying to make the process "more quantifiable."

Commissioner Eggers, the other subcommittee member, expressed her feeling that "it's really good to have our decision-making be really transparent."

Commissioner Jones stated that she has some difficulty with the idea of assigning a "point value." She also strongly recommended establishing a new category specifically for trails, referencing the strong community interest in trails seen at the Open Space Community Meetings.

Presentation by Southern Oregon Land Conservancy

Elizabeth Rogers, Executive Director of SOLC, and Jim Moore, SOLC Board Member gave a short presentation to the Commission, offering the SOLC as a resource to the Commission in the area of Open Space. Mr. Moore gave a concise history of SOLC and spoke briefly about conservation easements. The SOLC is interested in partnering with the Parks Commission on appropriate projects to further the preservation of open space lands.

Presentation--Redesign of Garfield Park skateboard area

Zach Mellecker (2909 Diane) and Adrian Moens (291 Sheridan) were present to seek approval for the redesign of Garfield Park's Skateboard Area. They explained that the current skateboard area at Garfield is unskateable--the asphalt bottom has deteriorated into gravel--and is therefore unused. Mr. Mellecker and Mr. Moens propose redesigning the area as a street-style skateboard facility and provided detailed plans, a three-dimensional scale model, and estimated costs in support of their proposal. They noted that the Garfield area was centrally located and densely populated and suggested that revitalizing the skateboard area had the potential to create a lot of fun, free, accessible recreational opportunities. The proposed street-style skate facility would provide a sanctioned space for people to be involved in street skating and would help to reduce the conflict associated with people skating on private or public property. The proposed facility, with its slower pace and much smaller transitions, would also be much more amenable to beginning boarders than the bowl-style Skateboard Park on Water Street.

In response to questioning, Mr. Mellecker and Mr. Moens agreed that they would support having the same rules and regulations as at the Water Street Skateboard Park, including the helmet rule. They propose funding this project with a mix of private contributions, grants, and monies from Parks and Recreation.

Commissioner MacGraw suggested, although the Commission would be unable to discuss funding tonight, that the Commission attempt to decide tonight--apart from funding--whether to grant permission for this proposed project. It was decided that this item would be added to the Agenda as the first item under New Business.

Budget items for 2002-2003 Parks and Recreation budget - None

Open Forum - None

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

Redesign of Garfield Park Skateboard Area was added to the Agenda as the first item of New Business

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Report pertaining to the use of field lights at North Mountain Park

Recreation Supervisor Emily Jones summarized the January 16, 2002 North Mountain Park Light Monitoring Committee memo. She explained that the Committee--comprised of Staff, neighbors, and sports group representatives--had agreed there were no problems related to trash, noise or parking as a result of light usage. The only concrete suggestion to come from the committee was to change, for the springtime, the 'no-light' evenings specified in the lighting policy. Rather than Sunday and Monday, the committee suggested Saturday and Sunday, an acceptable change to the sports group representatives as well. Ms. Jones also reported that the North Mountain environmental educators had found no adverse effects on the physical environment or on wildlife in the park as a result of the lights.

Public Comment - None

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner Eggers inquired about the specifics of monitoring done by North Mountain environmental educators.

Commissioner Sally Jones reported that there was baseline migratory bird-count data available from the yearly summer census taken in that area. She suggested it might be valuable to compare this year's data, once available, with that of last year.

MOTION Commissioner MacGraw moved to change the lighting policy for the spring season by designating Saturday and Sunday as 'no-light' evenings rather than Sunday and Monday evenings. Commissioner Landt seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes - 0 no

Subcommittee report on the Lithia Park Upper Duck Pond

Chair Landt reported that the study session immediately preceding this meeting was concerned with options for improving water quality at the Upper Duck Pond. The options discussed were Lake Restorer, Aquacube, and constructed wetlands.

Public Comment

Jim Hartman (1033 Clay Street), an environmental science teacher at Ashland High School, was present to express his support of the Lake Restorer. He urged the Commission to consider the educational benefits of installing a Lake Restorer in the Upper Duck Pond.

Discussion Among Commissioners

MOTION Commissioner Landt moved that the Commission "consider options for cleaning the water of the upper duck pond that include placing vegetation into up to 2/3 of the existing pond." Commissioner Eggers seconded.

Discussion of the Motion

Commissioner Eggers stated that "the reason I would like to consider wetlands as the sole treatment--or wetlands with some kind of circulation, if needed, as the sole treatment--is because I'm looking for a very long-term solution that uses, to the greatest degree possible, natural ways of cleaning up the environment." She would like to "keep it on the table with the Aquacube and the Lake Restorer at this point."

Commissioner MacGraw stated that while she does "honor the fact that it's an option to look at," she disagreed with the way this option was being presented and verbalized, stating that it was "almost to the extent of disregarding the work that's already been done." She went on to state "I think the Aquacube, and my primary choice, the Lake Restorer, address that issue (of wetlands) and I think we need to move forward."

Commissioner Jones stated, "With the (sub)committee's recommendation, I was set to support the Lake Restorer because it did have something that could immediately be worked on, plus the addition of a wetland, which I would like to see, too. Not two-thirds of the pond, but somewhat." She agreed with Commissioner MacGraw in that she is "anxious to get this problem solved." Commissioner Jones went on to explain her view that the Lake Restorer option, with a wetland component that could be added at a later date, satisfies both needs: "something long-term and something that we can get to work on immediately, which we've been waiting months to do."

Commissioner Lewis stated "I see this as an aesthetic and a historic issue in that two-thirds of the pond converting to wetland would greatly change the aesthetics, in my opinion, of the pond. And also the history of the upper pond--it would change that greatly too." Although he recognizes that things move forward and change, he explained "I guess I see these other two options (Lake Restorer and Aquacube) as maintaining both open water and as ways to convert some of these by-products into natural systems as opposed to getting rid of the problem by filling it in with mostly vegetation."

The vote was: 2 yes - 3 no (Jones, Lewis, MacGraw)

Paul Kay, Volunteer Consultant, spoke briefly to the Commission, urging support of the Lake Restorer and detailing some of the Lake Restorer's successes and benefits. He thanked the Commission for the time and effort it has invested in this process. He expressed his desire to move ahead with preliminary Lake Restorer design so that the water quality improvement process can be well on its way as the weather warms up. Mr. Kay also asked the Commission for conceptual approval of the budget shown in the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Grant Application he has prepared for this project.

MOTION Commissioner Eggers moved to proceed with the Lake Restorer in "solving our pollution problems, our water quality problems at the Upper Duck Pond and commit five thousand dollars ($5000) to the preliminary design to begin that project." Commissioner MacGraw seconded.

In response to questioning from Director Mickelsen, Commissioner Landt offered the friendly amendment "to contract with Ocean Arks for $5,000 for preliminary design." Commissioners Eggers and MacGraw accepted the amendment.

Discussion of the Motion

Commissioner Eggers stated that she supported the Lake Restorer over the Aquacube because the Lake Restorer is more complex and "will support more complexity of life."

Referencing the defeat of the previous motion regarding constructed wetlands, Commissioner Landt commented "We don't have enough information to know whether we've made the best decision...I think I'm going to vote 'no' but I do support the Lake Restorer, of the two options still on the table, as being the better option."

The vote was: 4 yes - 1 no (Landt)

Referencing Mr. Kay's request, Director Mickelsen voiced his concerns about the details of the grant, noting that Staff had not had the opportunity to look over the revised copy of the application. He stressed that Staff is supportive of the Grant Application, it just wants a chance to agree upon the details with Mr. Kay.

It was agreed that Staff would work with Mr. Kay to finalize the grant application in such a way that the details are agreeable to all involved.

MOTION Commissioner Lewis moved to support the grant application for the Upper Duck Pond and to direct Staff to follow through accordingly. Commissioner Jones seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes - 0 no

Status and planning for park property located at the intersection of Water and Hersey

Introducing the topic, Director Mickelsen explained that the Commission had previously requested this topic be revisited at the January 2002 Regular Meeting in order to review whether to continue with horse-boarding on the property. The Commission had previously agreed to provide three months notice, if at all possible, to the two horse owners if it decided to terminate horse-boarding. He reported that there had been no problems associated with the property. Director Mickelsen also explained that the Commission needed to consider issues of 'irrigation' and 'haying,' regardless of whether horse-boarding continues.

Public Comment

Ellie Read (398 N. Laurel), one of the two horse-owners, was present to speak on behalf of both owners. She expressed their desire to keep boarding the two horses at the property as long as possible. Ms. Read also noted that neither irrigation nor haying is required to continue horse-boarding.

Discussion Among Commissioners

MOTION Commissioner Landt moved to continue to allow the (two) "horse-keeping tenants," to give them three months notice before termination, and to review this matter again in one year (January 2003). Commissioner Lewis seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes - 0 no

After some discussion about irrigation and the logistics of haying the property, there was general agreement among Commissioners that it made sense to continue irrigation at this time.

MOTION Commissioner Landt moved to direct staff to continue to irrigate park property at Hersey and Water but to reduce or discontinue irrigation at times of drought or when the flow of Ashland Creek is at critically low levels. Staff is directed also "to mow the fields rather than to hay or other means of managing them." Commissioner MacGraw seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes - 0 no

Superintendent Gies asked whether the Commission preferred to still stay 100 feet away from the creek, or to mow right up to the creek.

Commissioner Landt replied "you can just put a footnote for me...'until such time as there's a plan, that we defer that decision to (the) horticulturist as to what would be best for restoring that area.'"

Report on Calle Guanajuato lights

Director Mickelsen outlined measures taken to ensure compliance of the outdoor lighting on the Calle with the Outdoor Lighting Policy. A prototype louver had been installed on the lighting fixture closest to non-commercial private property, and every other light had been disconnected to further reduce the amount of light generated in the Calle area. At this point, said Director Mickelsen, Staff is looking to the Commission to see if the Commission would like to pursue further measures, and if so, what those measures might be.

In response to questioning, Director Mickelsen explained that Staff felt the lights were in compliance with the Outdoor Lighting Policy (specifically point 3 "properly directs light to its intended target within parks and recreation system boundaries").

Public Comment - None

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner MacGraw inquired as to whether there had been any complaints. Director Mickelsen reported that there had been no complaints received since the measures were enacted.

Commissioner Landt stated his interpretation of the policy as "no direct light shines off of parks property on new installations" and stated his feeling that being able to see a fixture's bulb from off park property constitutes 'direct light' and is therefore a violation of the policy. He felt that all of the non-louvered lights are in violation of the policy and expressed his desire to "get these lights into compliance with our policy."

Commissioner MacGraw said that she would like to see some objective data that proved the lights are not in compliance with the policy. She asked that the Commission "talk in terms of practicality" and suggested "there must be some practical reason to have some light down there." She questioned whether it was really feasible to have (the light) 'cut off at a certain line,' as Commissioner Landt requests.

Commissioner Eggers voiced her support for the lighting policy, saying, "I really think it's an important policy, and I would like to see it adhered to, whatever it takes."

After some discussion among Commissioners and Staff about what does and what does not constitute 'direct light' (as opposed to 'indirect light'), Commissioner Jones noted that she had been down at the Calle on the previous evening and found the most intrusive light in the area to be the City's lights on the trash receptacles. She suggested that the Commission could better spend its energy by writing a letter to the City recommending mitigation of the trash receptacle light.

In response to Commissioner Jones' comment about the trash receptacle/restroom lights, Commissioner Landt stated "one of those lights is on our property and we should get it into compliance."

[NOTE: The Calle Restrooms were entirely rebuilt--and re-lighted--by the City. The majority of the building is on City Property, but because it was rebuilt partially on previous foundation, the building is situated in such a way that a small corner crosses onto park property. Of the building's four lighting fixtures, one is affixed to the north corner of the building, where it technically sits on park property].

Commissioner Landt indicated his desire to have Staff engineer the louvers to be 'solid' and to install them over all of the Calle lighting fixtures. "Then," he said, "there's no question that we are in compliance with our policy. For me, that's the only issue."

There was discussion about Commissioner Landt's interpretation of the policy as "no direct light shines off of park property," and further discussion about what constitutes 'direct light.' Superintendent Gies expressed surprise at hearing an interpretation of the policy as being a prohibition on seeing a Parks' lightbulb from off park property.

Director Mickelsen explained that the if the wish of the Commission as a whole was to 'not see the bulbs from off park property,' Staff could certainly accommodate that desire, but the Commission must keep in mind there may be very little light on the Calle. He reminded the Commission that no one has come forward with a complaint about the Calle lighting as it is now, and that the night sky was protected from the lights (as specified in point 1 of the policy "utilize lighting technologies that reduce light pollution by directing lights in such a manner that light is not wasted into the night sky").

Commissioner Jones requested the item be tabled until the next meeting, saying that she would like to take a closer look at the Calle lighting herself. Director Mickelsen suggested Staff attempt to engineer a 'solid' louver and invite Commissioners to look at its effect on one of the Calle lights and decide for themselves.

MOTION Commissioner Landt moved to add to the Outdoor Lighting Policy "that the definition of 'direct-light' is when the illuminating fixture bulb may be directly seen from off site, off parks property." The motion failed for lack of a second.

Noting that Commissioner Landt's proposed addition would have major ramifications, and expressing his reservations, Director Mickelsen requested that before the Commission enact such a measure, they hear from someone in the Electrical Engineering field regarding feasibility and pros and cons to such a policy. Citing the drastic effect on any lighting installed in the Parks System from here on out, Director Mickelsen said "I think before you do that, you'd want to know what this really means...I'd hate to pass that policy without understanding the ramifications. We can block the light but I don't know if that's in the best interests of what you really want to do."

Commissioner Lewis expressed his support for the suggestion of modifying one light and then "we could all go down and make our own subjective decision." He stated "I would like to compare: we see a louver, we see them off... one painted, one solid louvered and we see which has most effect for our dollar." He also expressed his desire to "get the job done more economically than less."

In response to questioning from Commissioner Landt, Commissioner Lewis stated that he would need to go "hike around" the Calle. Stating "they (Staff) feel they've done it, you (Landt) feel they haven't" (met the policy), Commissioner Lewis suggested Commissioner Landt "point me to a spot, mark it 'x', and say 'hey, from right here we don't meet that policy. Here's the spot that doesn't meet it.'" Commissioner Lewis reiterated his desire to see for himself several effects--louvered, not louvered--to see which one would work best.

Commissioner Landt inquired as to whether the Commission needed to review this policy at next month's meeting.

Commissioner MacGraw expressed her support for reviewing the policy, stating "we need to review it because there's ambiguity in terms of how it is interpreted." Commissioner Lewis agreed, noting "we have to be able to interpret this from now on."

It was ultimately agreed that the Commission would meet for a study session on the Calle so that each Commissioner may view the lighting and compare the alteration(s).

Proposal to ban smoking in park playground areas and in athletic field areas

Commissioner Jones briefly summarized her January 22, 2002 memo, emphasizing that many, many other communities have enacted similar prohibitions. She proposed the following park rule:

Smoking is prohibited in all playgrounds located in city parks and at the following parks and recreational facilities (except in vehicle parking areas): Hunter Park, YMCA Park, and North Mountain Park. For the purposes of this rule, a 'playground' is defined as an area containing playground equipment, including any areas within 25 feet of equipment, and 'smoking' means any inhaling of, exhaling of, burning of, or carrying of a lighted cigar, cigarette, or other tobacco-like product.

Public Input

Kaaren Borsting (602 Glenwood Drive), past chair of Tobacco-Free Jackson County, spoke in support of the proposed ordinance. She stated "for me, it's a given that kids learn from modeling and so what they're seeing is an important part of what they're learning." Citing the 30+ 'Class A' carcinogens contained in cigarette smoke, Ms. Borsting explained "if you can smell the smoke, you're being exposed to the carcinogens and there is no 'safe' level of those carcinogens." She encouraged the Commission to move forward with the proposed rule "because it's important that we protect the residents and especially our children."

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioner Eggers inquired as to why Oak Knoll was not included in the proposed ordinance. Commissioner Jones cited the difficulty with enforcement at a golf course.

Although he personally "has a strong bias against smoking," Commissioner Landt questioned "whether we want another rule that will have some unintended consequences...I'm just wondering what problem we're solving here, because I haven't seen the problem." As a parent who has spent time both on playgrounds and in the stands of athletic areas, he does not see a need for this type of rule.

Commissioner Jones replied that, since she'd been working on this issue, parents and grandparents have approached her with stories of having to leave playground areas because of smoking. She reported that many people have expressed their thanks for the earlier ordinance (no smoking at certain parks facilities), and she related her personal experience with people smoking in stands and bleachers.

Commissioner MacGraw expressed her wholehearted support of the proposed rule. Although she had been opposed to an earlier suggestion of a complete smoking ban in all parks areas, the fact that smokers can leave the stands and smoke in the parking area without having to 'leave the venue' or forgo participation in the event makes a difference for her.

Commissioner Eggers noted that she has observed people smoking in the Lithia Park playground and has often seen cigarette litter about the area. She voiced her support for the motion, even though it does not include Oak Knoll Golf Course.

Commissioner Landt asked whether there had been any problems at athletic events in Ashland's parks. He said, "I think I could support this if...if it'd be just for the playgrounds, and get a chance to see how that works and then if it comes to our attention that there's a problem at the athletic fields, to move broader at that point."

Stating "This isn't new; Ashland is behind in this," Commissioner Jones urged Commissioner Landt and the rest of the Commission "let's be proactive."

MOTION Commissioner MacGraw moved to adopt the park rule regarding smoking as outlined in the January 22, 2002 memo. Commissioner Jones seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes - 0 no

MOTION TO EXTEND At 9:57 p.m., Commissioner Lewis moved to extend the meeting by 15 minutes. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes - 0 no

NEW BUSINESS

Redesign of Garfield Park skateboard area

Commissioner Eggers suggested tabling this item until the February Regular Meeting. There was no opposition among Commissioners.

Election of officers

Commissioner Lewis nominated Rick Landt for Chair. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 3 yes - 2 no (Jones, MacGraw)

Commissioner Lewis nominated Joanne Eggers for Vice-Chair. Commissioner Landt seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes - 1 no (MacGraw)

Acceptance of the 2001 audit report

Commissioner MacGraw moved for acceptance of the 2001 Audit Report. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 5 yes - 0 no

Tree Ordinance: should standards for Parks Department be different than for private citizens?

Director Mickelsen explained that the Department horticulturist and arborist, Donn Todt, has been very active in the City's Tree Commission for over 18 years and has been their chief consultant. He reported that Staff supports the Tree Commission's proposed guidelines for Parks. Rather than garnering a permit for each eligible tree as is proposed for private property owners, the Tree Commission proposes that the Parks Department "shall provide an annual plan to the Tree Commission outlining proposed tree removal and topping activities, and reporting on tree removal and topping activities that were carried out in the previous year."

Commissioner Landt expressed his belief that any standards or rules set by a government for citizens "should apply to the government bodies also." He proposed that the Commission send a resolution to the City Council and to the Tree Commission stating that the Commission would like the standards under the tree ordinance be at least as stringent for the Parks Department as they are for private citizens.

Commissioner MacGraw pointed out that private citizens do not likely have an arborist in their home, while the Parks Department has the benefit of Department horticulturist and arborist Donn Todt. Citing the lateness of the addition of this item to the agenda, she expressed discomfort with discussing this topic at a time when the Parks Department Arborist Todt was unable to attend. She stated her belief that the Parks Department, with an "incredible history and expertise" in this area, was different from a private citizen.

Commissioner Eggers said that she "also thinks its very important to say that this law applies to everybody the same, because in this community...there is some suspicion, mistrust, that government can get away with things that private people can't get away with."

Commissioner Landt said that he thought the ordinance was too strict for private citizens. He stated, "As it's written, I wouldn't want to be asking the Parks Department to comply with what's being asked of private citizens, because its just way to much work. But that's the reason why private citizens shouldn't have to do it. And so what I'm asking is that we just say that we want to be held to the same standards as private citizens and the people writing the ordinance can make that work."

Director Mickelsen reiterated Staff's support of the Tree Commission's proposed guidelines for Parks: "even if the City deletes the ordinance about private property requirements, we still think this (guidelines for Parks) is a good section to put in." He also reported his understanding that this item had already been discussed and debated by the Tree Commission, and stated "the Tree Commission, which is responsible for this, must've felt comfortable including this in the ordinance." He suggested the Commission needed to hear from Department horticulturist and arborist Todt, the person who has been directly involved with the Tree Commission meetings, if they wished to pursue Commissioner Landt's suggestion. Saying "I think you can have different guidelines for different segments," Director Mickelsen stressed "we do have an arborist, a horticulturist on our staff, someone trained to make those decisions. I think we have a pretty good record in relationship to that."

Stressing that he thinks the Parks Department does a great job with trees, Commissioner Landt explained his view that "the issue is simply consistency between what we ask of private citizens and what we ask of ourselves as government bodies."

MOTION Commissioner Landt moved "to pass a resolution, that Staff directs to the City Council and to the Tree Commission, that says that the standards under the proposed tree ordinance for the Parks Department be at least as high as the standards for private citizens." Commissioner Eggers seconded.

Discussion of the Motion

Commissioner MacGraw expressed her non-support of the motion and indicated she had not had enough time to study this issue. Lack of sufficient study time, she pointed out, had been an issue for Commissioner Landt and other Commissioners in the past. She also stated her strong desire to have the Commission consult with Donn Todt, the Department expert in this matter. Saying that this "is an important issue," Commission MacGraw expressed her surprise that "this has just kind of come up, and there hasn't been enough time to study it."

Noting that this item had been placed on the Agenda the Thursday previous, Commissioner Landt explained his haste with this topic by saying "this is now a big issue for a lot of people in town and decisions may be made before our next meeting."

Commissioner Lewis noted that there had been nothing in Commissioners' Meeting Packet pertaining to this topic and explained that he has not yet had the opportunity to read the part of the proposed Tree Ordinance pertaining to Parks. Although he thinks he will agree with Commissioner Landt, Commissioner Lewis supported delaying this item for a month to get input from Staff and from the public. He suggested it was unlikely that the Tree Ordinance would be adopted within the next thirty days.

Noting that at least two Commissioners would like to see this issue tabled until next month, Commissioner Landt withdrew his motion; Commissioner Eggers withdrew her second. This item was tabled until the February 28 regular meeting. There will be a Staff Report at that time.

MOTION TO EXTEND At 10:15p.m., Commissioner Lewis moved to extend the meeting by 15 more minutes. Commissioner Eggers seconded.

The vote was: 4 yes - 1 no (MacGraw)

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

STATUS OF NETTING--YMCA PARK

Referencing the January 18, 2002 memo on this topic, Director Mickelsen explained that since the older youth and adult soccer programs had been relocated to North Mountain Park, there had been no further difficulty with errant soccer balls. Since the problem was resolved in another way, Staff used its judgement to not spend money installing an unnecessary net. Director Mickelsen explained that no action by the Commission was necessary, but if the Commission wished to pass a motion rescinding its earlier approval of netting to restrain the errant soccer balls, it could certainly choose to do so.

Commissioner Eggers expressed her desire to have Staff report back to the Commission in situations like these to explain that circumstances have changed and to receive direction from the Commission.

Director Mickelsen explained that although previous Commissions had not wanted this, if this Commission did, Staff could certainly accommodate that desire.

Recalling that the Commission had been contacted via letter from an attorney representing the owners of the adjacent apartment complex, Commissioner Landt asked whether the Department had received a letter from that attorney indicating that the current situation was acceptable.

Director Mickelsen reported that, since the older youth and adult soccer programs had been relocated, there had been no contact with the attorney. He explained that it was unlikely the attorney would send such a letter, even if the net had been installed. Director Mickelsen suggested it did not seem prudent to reopen the issue by requesting such a letter from the attorney.

Expressing his concern about liability, Commissioner Landt disagreed, saying that he did wish to contact the attorney.

Director Mickelsen again expressed his concerns about reopening the issue and said that he would need to consult with the City Attorney before taking any steps along that line. He agreed to consult with the City Attorney, and report back to the Commission at the February Meeting.

COMMISSIONER--PUBLIC ARTS COMMITTEE

Director Mickelsen explained that a City Council member had volunteered for the Public Arts Committee and both the Council and the Committee thought it appropriate to have a Parks Commissioner sit on the Public Arts Committee as well.

Although there was general agreement among the Commissioners that this was an important issue, no Commissioner felt s/he had the time to volunteer at this point.

Director Mickelsen volunteered to attend the meetings on behalf of the Commission in order to keep the Commission informed.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS - None

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

Upcoming Meeting Dates

  • Regular Meeting set for 7:00 p.m., February 25, 2002, Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Proposed Agenda Items for February

  • Redesign of Garfield Park Skateboard Area
  • Calle Guanajuato Lights
  • Tree Ordinance: Should Standards for Parks Department be Different than for private citizens?
  • Status of Netting - YMCA Park

ADJOURNMENT By consensus, with no further business, Chair Landt adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Robyn Hafner, Department Secretary, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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