MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chair Roxane Beigel-Coryell at 6:00 p.m. Commissioners present included Risa Buck, Bryan Sohl, David Sommer, and Jamie Rosenthal. Staff member Adam Hanks and Council Liaison Stefani Seffinger were also present. Commissioners Marni Koopman and James McGinnis were absent for the beginning of the meeting.
2. Commission Vacancies Update
Beigel-Coryell announced that there were still two vacancies and encouraged the Commissioners to let others know apply. Hanks stated that if anyone is interested they may go to the website (ashland.or.us/vacancies) for the application and instructions on how to apply.
3. Consent Agenda
Beigel-Coryell asked if there were any changes or corrections to the September 26, 2018 meeting minutes. With none, Buck moved to approve the minutes as written with Sommers providing a second. A vote was taken with all in favor.
4.1. Next Regular Meeting: November 28, 2018 (reminder December meeting will be 12/19)
Beigel-Coryell announced that the next meeting will be held November 28, 2018. She also reminded the Commission that the December meeting will be moved up to the third Wednesday of the month (December 19) instead of the regularly scheduled fourth Wednesday. Commissioners who plan on being absent need to let Beigel-Coryell or Hanks know.
James McGinnis arrived at 6:03 p.m.
4.2. Upcoming Sub-committee meetings
Buck announced that the Waste Prevention Sub-committee will be planning a meeting that night.
4.3. Other Announcements from Commissioners
Beigel-Coryell read the agreements for the group. Hanks will create a 11 by 17 poster for the agreements to post at each meeting.
Rosenthal reminded the Commission of the two leaf drop days Recology is having at the Recycle Center on Water Street. The days are November 4 and December 9. Community members can bring as many leaves as they want, but will be responsible for taking the containers holding the leaves back with them. Rosenthal also reminded that compostable leaf bags can still be purchased through this week at the reduced rate of five bags for $10 from the Recology office on Oak Street. She also announced that the Chamber of Commerce awarded Recology with Green Business of the Year.
Sommers stated that the Ashland School District (ASD) will meet with AMERESCO (an energy service company), Johnson Controls, and Robert Lloyd Sheet Metal representing Schneider Electric all in November. Sommers and the District had some concerns about working with these large companies since Ashland is farther away than their typical client base. ASD has also purchased some more electric leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, and weed eaters.
Buck announced the City of Ashland’s Volunteer Recognition Celebration will be held on Thursday, October 25 at 4 p.m. All Board, Commission, and Committee members are invited to attend.
Beigel-Coryell updated the Commission on Southern Oregon University’s (SOU) Real Food Challenge Banquet on November 19, 2018 starting at 5:30 p.m. The event is to celebrate the pledge by the University to have 20% real food on campus by 2020. Real food includes food that uses humane harvesting practices, free trade, and is ecologically sound. This banquet will have 100% of real food. Tickets are $15 to $20 for community members. Please email Beigel-Coryell if interested. Those interested can also buy a ticket for a student with SOU’s lottery program. Beigel-Coryell also announced that two of SOU’s solar installations went online. One was installed by True South Solar and the Recreation Center installation was installed by E2 Solar out of Bend. The solar installation for the library will go online next month.
5. Public Forum
Huelz Gutcheon, Ashland, OR – Gutcheon spoke at the Planning Commission encouraging them to require solar panels and wiring for electric car chargers on new constructions. There was some discussion from the Planning Commission about the effects on affordability if these requirements are made.
Sohl asked if it was true that plans for future developments are not required to be wired for solar or EV charging. Hanks said that currently it is not part of the mandate in land use code, but can be done by developers voluntarily. Stu Green is meeting with the planning staff soon to discuss the potential to include EV charger wiring in the building code for multifamily and commercial new developments. Solar becoming mandated by the code is a different issue that will affect affordability and other factors.
6.1 Council Liaison Update
Seffinger stated that the Council is waiting until after the election to decide on long term decisions with the hopes that the Council can do some more strategic planning. The long term decisions include affordable housing and implementing the Climate and Energy Action Plan. Seffinger added that a few options for the winter shelter has been discussed. One of those being the Grove for a short period of time while a Church property on East Main Street, which is currently vacant, is going through approval by Jackson County.
6.2 City Operations/Administration
Hanks announced that there is a Volunteer Appreciation Event tomorrow (October 25) at 4 p.m. in the Community Center. All Board, Commissions, and Committee members are invited. Hanks informed the Commissioners that the City is down one street sweeper. Currently, one sweeper will run seven days a week. Hanks added that Public Works will get back to two sweepers, but it will take some time. The Food and Beverage Tax was realigned allowing for more funding to start the paving of Hersey Street among others. A new technique will be used where the Streets Division will grind down 18” to 24” and reuse the old asphalt to create a new layer instead of taking out the asphalt completely and using new asphalt. This method is better for the environment since there is less waste and also shortens the time frame for repaving.
The Imperatrice Solar Park Request for Proposal (RFP) for the 10 by 20 Ordinance is in the packet for the November 5 Business Meeting. Once approved by Council it will be ready for release. Hanks will include the Conservation Commissions Memo last year in the packet materials.
Two administrative policies have been created and are ready for approval by the City Administrator. One includes that any additions to the City fleet needs to be non-fossil fuel unless there is justification the equipment cannot be non-fossil fuel. The second policy includes that no new buildings built by the City will use natural gas.
Sommers had to leave shortly and gave a quick update on promoting electric tool equipment to businesses in the community. Sommers is hoping to reach out to businesses who sell this equipment to ask if they will give a reduced rate to other businesses like landscapers. The outreach would be more helpful if demos of the equipment could be given. Stu Green will send Sommers information on the Oregon brand equipment demo.
Sommers left 7:07 pm
7. Old Business
7.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
The following articles were decided on for the following months:
• December – the Commission will reuse the “Go Green for the Holidays” article. Hanks will review the article for any information that needs to be updated before submitting, particularly the tree collection dates.
• January – will be written by Green and Hanks about Empower Ashland. CEAP 2.0 will approve the article.
• February – Beigel-Coryell offered for Koopman and Green to write an article about the City’s EV charging pilot program and Electric Vehicles for Ashland.
• March – McGinnis volunteered to himself and Sommers to write an article about incentives and best practices for the electric landscaping equipment.
• April – Rosenthal proposed to write an article about annual household hazardous waste.
• May – Hanks suggested that the water sub-committee write a piece with Julie Smitherman about water conservation.
7.2. Sub-committee updates
• Energy Conservation
No updates and can be taken off the list for now.
• Renewable Energy
No updates and can be taken off the list for now.
Buck met with Julie Smitherman and discussed the laundry to landscape project and permitting with the DEQ. Smitherman will attend November’s Conservation Commission meeting. Ashland tied with Bend for the Best Conservation Program in the State. The City has permitted sites for laundry to landscape and also looking at more permeable surfaces for parking lots too.
• Waste Prevention
Beigel-Coryell stated that the group did not meet this month, but will soon. Buck announced that the DEQ grant application was submitted from last meeting. Hanks expects to hear back about the grant in mid-December.
8. New Business
• DEQ Materials Management Grant Application Update
See Waste Prevention Sub-committee update.
• CEAP 2.0 Committee Update
• CEAP 2.0 Permanent Commission draft ordinance
• Conservation Commission Powers/Duties draft ordinance
McGinnis stated that the CEAP 2.0 Committee’s current focus is to review the CEAP 1 Ordinance and give a recommendation to Council. CEAP 2.0 is looking towards proposing two Ordinances outlining two Commissions about Climate and Energy. The Commissions would be the Climate Outreach Commission (currently Conservation Commission) and the Climate Policy Commission. The Climate Outreach Commission would focus on education and public outreach of Climate and Energy goals and the Empower Ashland plan. The Climate Policy Commission would focus on the more technical items, like the Greenhouse Gas inventory, and recommending policy to Council. Hanks informed the Commission that Conservation could keep its name and both Commissions could meet every other month in order not to require as much staff time. Sub-committees of each would then have more time to meet and make progress on projects in between. Green stated that CEAP 2.0 approved the Climate Policy Commission Ordinance, but wanted to hear from the Conservation Commission about creating the Climate Outreach Commission. Green stated that since 75% of emissions are residential and the City can’t pass Ordinances controlling emissions, it would be up to the Conservation or Climate Outreach Commission to educate the public. Sohl asked if that meant the current Commissioners of Conservation would be disbanded. Hanks will let Sohl know about the potential disbandment if that is recommended. Most Commissioners liked the ideas presented and the discussion will continue to November’s meeting.
9. Wrap Up
9.1 Items to be added to next agenda
Beigel-Coryell asked if any members wanted items on the agenda to please send them to Beigel-Coryell. Meeting was adjourned by Chair Beigel-Coryell at 8:02 p.m.
• Commissioners who plan on being absent for the next meetings need to let Beigel-Coryell or Hanks know beforehand.
• Hanks will create a 11 by 17 poster for the agreements to post at each meeting.
• Green will send Sommers contact information on the Oregon Power Equipment demo.
• Hanks will review the December article for any information that needs to be updated before submitting, particularly the tree collection dates.
• Hanks and Green will write the January article about Empower Ashland before the meeting in November.
• Koopman and Green will write an article about the City’s EV charging pilot program and Electric Vehicles for Ashland for February before the meeting in December.
• McGinnis and Sommers will write an article about incentives and best practices for the electric landscaping equipment for March publication before the meeting in January.
• Rosenthal proposed to write an article about annual household hazardous waste in April before the meeting in February.
• Hanks suggested that for the May article that the water sub-committee write a piece with Julie Smitherman about water conservation before the meeting in March.
• No updates from the Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Sub-committees and they can be taken off the agendas for now.
• Hanks will let Sohl know about the potential disbandment if that is recommended.
• Hanks or Beigel-Coryell will put the update on CEAP 2.0’s discussion and possible decision on November’s agenda.