MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
March 19, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Reid, Hartzell, and Morrison were present. Councilors Hearn, Laws, and Hanson were absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of March 5, 2002 were approved as clarified by Councilor Hartzell on page 1 of 3 under Public Hearings to indicate, "interest," rather than "concern," and "sometimes the leverage of small grants can make a difference," rather than "sometimes we can make a difference."
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS (None)
1. Minutes of Boards, Commissions and Committees.
2. Liquor License Application - Braden J. Benton dba Q's Bar & Grill at 140 Lithia Way, formerly known as Mojo's Café.
3. Liquor License Application - Leo J. Hull dba Campus Grounds Coffee Den & Eatery located at 1474 Siskiyou Boulevard.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing regarding adoption of a sidewalk café ordinance regarding use of sidewalks and public rights-of-way.
Director of Community Development, John McLaughlin, gave a brief synopsis of the proposed sidewalk dining ordinance to establish a procedure and standards for how outdoor dining would occur and how it would be permitted. He noted it is under the direction of the Public Works Director with review by both the Director of Community Development, and the Chief of Police when it involves liquor licenses. He noted standards for distances, cleanliness, and staffing. He explained a suggested fee structure of a $250.00 Application Fee and a $30.00/seat (minimum $100.00) Annual Permit Fee.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:12
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:12
2. Public Hearing regarding Supplemental Budget for fiscal year 2001-2002.
Finance Director, Lee Tuneberg, gave a brief report on the Supplemental Budget Resolution proposal noting that it adjusts the fiscal year (FY) 2001-2002 budget for unforeseen events including unanticipated revenues, Fund Balance carry-over, and Capital Costs beyond anticipated levels. He explained various procedures for changing appropriations after a budget has been adopted and recommended that the council approve the proposed Resolution.
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN: 7:17
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED: 7:17
Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to adopt Resolution #2002-04. Resolution read by title only, "A Resolution Adopting a Supplemental Budget Establishing Appropriations within the 2001-2002 Budget." Roll Call Vote: Morrison, Hartzell, and Reid. All Ayes. Motion passed.
Joseph Powell/21752 Indian Memorial Road/Spoke concerning the logging of the Winburn parcel and proposed preserving the parcel as a historical site and promoting it as a tourism area for Ashland.
Malena Marvin/107 Alida Street/Spoke concerning the Rail Road property and stated that the Master Plan for that area is inappropriate and inadequate, has no housing for low-income people, nor innovation in environmental sustainability. She expressed her belief that the process is flawed and suggested a moratorium on that entire area until the plan can be publicly reexamined.
Tom Romano/912 Siskiyou Blvd/Spoke regarding his concern that many bicyclists ride unsafely in the city, especially after dark, and endanger themselves and those around them. He explained that, as a hiker and pedestrian on the city streets, there have been many times that he has been almost run down by careless bicyclists. He suggested that bicyclists be cited for infractions and be required to be properly equipped.
Mayor noted that Marvin would be put on the mail/email notification list for Rail Road district processes.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
1. Request to consider a maximum gross floor area ordinance for residences.
City Administrator, Greg Scoles, presented to the council a request from George Kramer that a building maximum-gross-square-footage is imposed in the Historic residential neighborhoods of Ashland. He noted that if the council wants to consider an ordinance of this type then it should be forwarded to the Planning Commission for recommendation. He noted that this issue was considered at a joint study session with the Historic and Planning Commissions and that no direction was developed during that process.
George Kramer/ 386 North Laurel/Believes that establishing a maximum-gross-floor-area standard is necessary if we are serious about protecting our Historic character. He stated that the traditional concept of in-fill is being transformed into what might be termed as, "hollowing-out," threatening the character and scale of established neighborhoods. He suggested that strategies be developed to protect the quality of life for Ashland's long term future and asked that staff be directed to develop a draft for Planning Commission review.
Council discussed various aspects of such a regulation, and touched on various ways to approach the issue of creating a maximum building envelope. Strategies mentioned included, incentive-based regulations and lot sizes. It was noted that this issue would go through the regular planning process, including a Public Hearing.
Councilors Reid/Morrison m/s to organize a study session around this issue. Voice vote. All Ayes. Motion Passed.
2. Proposed Communication Plan.
City Administrator, Greg Scoles, gave a brief overview of the Proposed Communications Plan and explained that it is more of an umbrella document that will help guide the communication process used by the city on various projects rather than just a checklist or work plan. He noted that it is something that will help improve communication efforts by the city sought the councils input on the plan. Communications and Marketing Director, Ann Seltzer, explained that the plan would serve as a guideline and foundation for specific plans and recommended shifting from a yearly plan to a long term plan that is reviewed and updated as needed with the council input.
Council discussed various aspects of the proposed plan, including: 1) costs and budget process, 2) increased dialog between staff, commissions, and council, 3) benchmarks as a way of tracking progress, 4) focus groups as a way of putting substance behind statistical data, 5) prioritizing, and 6) how the plan interfaces with council goals. It was clarified that no action was required at this time.
3. Voluntary withdrawal from the Oregon Utility Resource Coordination Association (OURCA).
Electric & Telecommunications Director, Dick Wanderscheid, spoke briefly about the City's history with OURCA and noted that circumstances have changed dramatically since the agency was created. He recommended that the City voluntarily withdraw from the organization as it has outlived its usefulness. He stated that withdrawal could result in the savings of two to three thousand dollars per year.
Councilors Reid/Hartzell m/s to adopt Staff recommendations. Voice Vote. All AYES. Motion Passed.
4. Electric Rate Design discussion.
Electric & Telecommunications Director, Dick Wanderscheid, spoke regarding the Electric Rate Design and noted that the City rate model had been utilized to analyze the current rate classes under the new BPA rate schedules to determine if major rate redesign was needed. The analysis determined that only a minor adjustment to commercial rates is warranted. He recommended that the commercial rates be changed from declining block to flat or inclining block rates effective July 1, 2002. He noted that the fiscal impact on the City should be minimal since the revised rates would be designed as revenue neutral as is practical. He noted that there is no action required of the council at this time.
ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS
1. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Adding Chapter 10.114 to the Ashland Municipal Code Relating to the Conversion or Sale of Mobile Home Parks."
Nolte stated that the Housing Commission, in response to a proposed closure of one of the mobile home parks in Ashland, initially proposed this ordinance. He noted that this proposal went through the Planning and Housing Commissions last November and that public discussion was held at that time. Based on the input received at that time, the wording was amended and the result is what is before the council today.
He gave a brief report on the proposed ordinance and outlined various legal issues raised by Jeff Condit, a Portland Attorney representing HMC3 L.L.C. in a letter to staff. Condit contended that the council has no authority to adopt this ordinance, as it is preempted under State law under the Landlord Tenant Act. That it is not in compliance with Land Use Laws, and that the language raises questions on several points. Nolte explained that staff would investigate these issues, including how the City of Eugene handled this when they adopted a similar ordinance 10 years ago. He suggested that the council hear public testimony, digest the substantive concerns brought forward, and then direct staff to come back to the council with conclusions.
Bruce Davis/4120 Douglas Blvd, Granite Bay CA/Stated that real property and real property rights are affected by the proposed ordinance and that state law already addresses this issue. He asked, that if this is proposed for mobile home parks, then why not apartments and other kinds of housing too? He asked clarification on where and how this proposal came about and suggested allowing public input.
Myron Corcoran/4640 Scenic, Central Point/Owner of Table Rock Mobile Village and a mobile home park builder. He asked why this would be required of mobile home park owners but not to other landlords. He noted that the proposal puts an undue burden on parks thereby killing the industry and creating slums.
Jennifer Henderson/321 Clay St. #8/Spoke in favor of the ordinance. She explained that purchasing a mobile home was her only affordable option and that if she has to move she will have to leave Ashland. She noted that this ordinance offers a small step toward equalizing power between mobile home owner and landowner.
Divina Tilles/321 Clay St. #68/Spoke in favor of the ordinance. She told her story of how insecure it is to be a renter and how a mobile home was her only affordable option for home ownership. She asked that the golden rule be the council's motivation when voting on the ordinance.
Edward Allen/1090 Ellendale Dr. #11/ Spoke concerning affordable home ownership and how mobile home owners desire to remain in the homes they have maintained. He advocated the proposed ordinance as a sane and humane way to keep affordable housing.
John Brenneman/8031 SW Sacajawea Way, Willsonville OR/Representative of the Manufactured Home Association in Oregon, spoke against the proposed ordinance, explaining that it would discourage future construction. He noted that people who create this kind of housing will do so in areas friendly to them and discouraged the council from taking this step.
Jack Blackburn/805 Oak Street/ Expressed neutrality in this issue and explained that he believes the ordinance, as written, is preempted by state statue, violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the US Constitution, that the requirements of the location provision are subject to the Takings Clause of the 5th amendment, and that imposing this after the fact is prohibited by Article 1 Section 9.3 of the US Constitution. He commented that passing this ordinance would involve the city in litigation for the next several years and that the ordinance could be changed to conform to the law. He suggested that we: 1) Decide what we mean by "affordable housing," 2) Decide how much we want, 3) Decide what it will look like, 4) Find out how much will it cost in tax increases, and then, 5) Put it to a vote of the people.
Rich Rohde/124 Ohio/Stated that he worked with Oregon Action and noted that he participated in developing the ordinance. He explained that we need to remember that mobile home owners are property owners, and the landowners are property owners, and that a balance must be found between competing property needs. He stated that the provisions in the proposal are extensions of Oregon law and that the law is old and doesn't reflect the present costs of moving and relocation. He noted that the City of Eugene has had this ordinance for 10 years.
David Allen/630 Ray Lane/Spoke against the ordinance and asked if this ordinance is reasonable and beneficial to all, how does it apply the Golden Rule? He asked if there is a possibility for new parks in Ashland and noted that without the Golden Rule, there is no possibility of relocating for anyone.
Jack Hardesty/575 Dogwood Way/Spoke against the proposed ordinance saying it is discriminatory, not well thought out, imposes a double standard, and raises legal issues. He suggested offering a benefit to park owners rather than penalizing them and commented that if the council is really concerned with affordable housing then why not purchase the mobile home parks and offer them to the residents.
Aslauy Sindelar/321 Clay street # 106/Spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance explaining that her mobile home is her property, her home, her life investment, and that she pays property taxes of $1400 per year. She would like to feel some security, knowing that her home is safe, and she is able to stay where she is. She asked that the council look at the ordinance and provide security for mobile home owners.
Nancy Richardson/93 California St/Chair of Housing Commission, noted that the process has been a public one and that people have had the opportunity to talk to us. She noted that this is an issue of when the property rights of one infringe on the property rights of another and that it is not like the situation where you just rent a place to put your furniture. She stated that affordable housing is the biggest issue facing this town and that this ordinance is a tool to protect affordable housing.
Marilyn Briggs/590 Glenview Drive/Stated that the proposed ordinance is a useless imposition that doesn't approach the core of the problem and only postpones the difficult task of finding real solutions. She noted that the City doesn't have an affordable housing definition in place.
Suzy Aufderheide/321 N. Mountain/Spoke about the importance of considering how we can we provide affordable housing, noting that we have to take care of the people who dwell on the land as well as the people who own the land. She advocated the finding of a solution that is good for everyone.
Sandra Burke/1651 Ashland #8/Noted that she is with Oregon Action and spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance saying that it seems to her as if landlords have all the power with no moral conscience. She explained that they are dealing with human lives and seem afraid of balance between homeowners and landlords. She wants the solution to be a fair, win/win situation for everyone, but that there seems to be no option for the homeowners.
Ally Fulcher/796 Oak Street/Stated her support for this ordinance as 1) diversity, 2) sense of community, and 3) low-income housing. She noted that with the "Gentrification" of Ashland we will lose our sense of community and comfort. She stated that we all agree that the city needs to look at low-income housing, and asked that we be preemptive about this.
John MacDairmid/90 Dear Dr. Central Point/A mobile home park owner, told how he used to live in a trailer and while he worked to change that he always tried to create housing. He noted that if the proposal passes that it would send the message to not build affordable housing in Ashland. He suggested that if the city wants that segment to grow, do not penalize the industry.
Ron Demele/165 Crocker/Spoke in favor of the ordinance explaining that while passing the ordinance would not solve the affordable housing issue, and it would give a signal that Ashland is serious about the issue. He felt the city is on the right track and to consider the impact on the city if many housing units are lost. He reminded the council that they are gatekeepers for all citizens of Ashland and urged passage of the ordinance.
An email from Councilor Hanson was read stating that he favored moving this along. He urged people to do the right thing and said that a mobile home owner doesn't have the resources that other renters have.
Council and staff discussed issues concerning the proposed ordinance including,
1) Legalities, including the issue of preemption;
2) Creating zoning for mobile home parks and what effect that might have, including sustaining dated parks and affecting the potential of new parks;
3) The high cost of fees required of park owners to bring change requests to the council;
4) The need for stability for park residents, including both mobile home owners and mobile home renters;
5) Exploring how Eugene handled its ordinance;
6) Community involvement and reaction to the proposal;
7) Making some technical detail and language changes in the proposal;
8) Making a determination of if this is a Land Use issue;
9) Possibility of creating a housing relocation fund to help buffer financial impacts for homeowners.
Council directed that the first reading of the ordinance be postponed and for staff to bring back a revised proposal for first reading and public comment.
2. First Reading by title only of "An Ordinance Adding Chapter 6.44 to the Ashland Municipal Code Regulating Sidewalk Cafes."
Mayor suggested centralization between the Parks Department and the City, using one single enforcement officer. Scoles noted that the Calle is handled by the rules set by the Park Commission and that they want to be able to modify their rules to mirror ours so the process and fees are similar. Reid noted that it is not enough for her, to have similar guidelines, but that there must be central administration with no duplication. Scoles noted that it is important to keep the Public Works department involved in order to managing the public right of way and that he could bring back a report at the second reading of this ordinance.
Councilors Morrison/Reid m/s to approve first reading of ordinance and move to second reading with stipulation that staff brings back a report. DISCUSSION: Council discussed various aspects of the issue, which included the following:
1) Flexibility built into the ordinance to take into account future change, including adding a review clause;
2) Adequacy of the 15-day noticing time frame required of business owners, and possibility of extension;
3) Clarification of liquor licensing process and jurisdiction;
4) Walkway clearance;
5) Streamlining and centralizing administration and jurisdiction;
7) Clarification that barriers would not be required around seating areas.
Reid went on record as favoring moving forward. Councilor Hartzell/Morrison m/s to extend the meeting past 10:00pm. Roll Call Vote: Reid, Morrison and Hartzell. All Ayes. Motion Passed.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS
1. Determination of process for replacing Councilor Cameron Hanson during period of military leave.
Mayor suggested and the council agreed, to postpone this discussion until more members of the council were present.
2. Request from Councilor Hartzell to discuss bus parking in downtown.
Council discussed the parking and idling of buses in the downtown area and how it related to air quality issues. It was noted that buses park and idle in areas where it is both legal and illegal to park. Scoles provided the council with information that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) sends to tour companies regarding parking, loading, and unloading. He noted the difficulties with the process and how some don't follow the suggestions.
It was suggested that the City work with OSF and the Traffic Safety Commission on this issue and consider the possibility of locating busses outside of the downtown area while plays are in session. Morrison noted that, as council liaison to the Traffic Safety Commission, he has heard discussions on the issue in the past, and suggested that the issue could be revisited.
The mayor noted that he had received a citizen complaint about truck idling in neighborhoods and suggested that unattended idling be included in the discussion. He suggested going to Traffic Safety and the police department for clarification on current rules, regulations, and authority to ticket. Hartzell commented that the Traffic Safety Commission mainly deals with parking issues and that she would like to stay focused on idling issue. Scoles suggested having the Traffic Safety Commission, OSF, and the police department work together on these issues, which would include idling concerns.
Reid referenced a letter from Laurel Engle to Hartzell which noted noxious odors from asphalt paving and the adverse affect on health. It was noted that this is not a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issue and that the issue would have to be dealt with as a community. Council directed that the issue be put on the next agenda.
Hartzell noted that there would be no Town Hall type meeting in March, but that there would be one in April.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.