MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING
ASHLAND CITY Council
May 7, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilors Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison, and Hearn were present. Laws and Reid were absent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of April 16, 2002 and the Special Council Meeting of April 16, 2002 were approved as presented.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS
Proclamations for National Emergency Medical Services Week and National Historic Preservation Week were read aloud.
Representatives from the Ashland School library thanked the City for recently declaring, "Library Week," and noted that since 1944 until now, library circulation has doubled, and that the number of library media specialists and librarians are decreasing. Bob Wilson, of the Ashland branch of the Jackson County Library system, explained that the library has never had finances or facilities to meet the needs of students, and currently faces budget cuts.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve consent agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.
1. Public Hearing on Grant Award for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Affordable Housing Project Proposal.
Maria Harris, Community Development Planner, reported that two applications for CDBG funds for affordable housing projects this year had been received. These were: 1) Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation (RVCDC) to do a mixed use project with 15 residential rental units and 10,000 square feet of commercial space on Ashland Street, and; 2) Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT) to acquire property that provides 6 residential units for ownership through the Trust in the East Village Subdivision, which is in process. She explained that both proposals clearly address the highest priority need identified in Ashland's Consolidated Plan. Staff considered the creation of affordable housing, implementation readiness, budget, and timeline, and recommended the ACLT project. The Housing Commission recommended the RVCDC project.
Council discussed various aspects of both projects, including relocation plans and expenses, and project administration.
Carlos Harris/686 Cherry Lane/Representing the Ashland Community Land Trust (ACLT), stated that the ACLT was created to address the need for perpetually affordable housing stock in the City. The ACLT has three goals: 1) To provide an organism that is comprised of every community member who chooses to be part of the solution giving communal guidance for ACLT's endeavors so that it will forever reflect the will of the whole regardless of the political climate, governmental hubris, or partisan will; 2) To provide a conduit through which the public will and need can be served to the holistic betterment of all Ashlanders, and; 3) To plan and develop living, and growing, and working spaces that will remain affordable to all the people of Ashland in perpetuity. In deference to the Housing Committee's input, not withstanding the City staff's recommendation, and in the spirit of cooperation and community, ACLT respectfully withdrew its application. ACLT would appreciate future consideration for these funds, should the competing project fail to proceed. He requested that the Council understand that although ACLT will not receive CDBG funds in this round, its endeavor is to bring the subject property into our community will continue with no less resolve than before.
Ron Demley/165 Crocker/Executive Director for RVCDC, acknowledged his respect for ACLTs work in regards to affordable housing. He explained that RVCDC is a non-profit corporation with a mission to provide a better quality of life for those in the 60-80% of median income range. He noted that upon completion of this project, there will have been 32 units created for affordable housing at 60% of median income, which is minimum wage.
Sharon Neilson/Neilson Group in Portland, Oregon/Neilson explained that in structuring the project they had multi-source funding strategies, and that while the project is complex and possibly risky, they have completed successful projects throughout the State using this strategy. She explained that in order to complete for funds from the State, the project needs local funding first.
Elane Kebler/993 Dead Indian Memorial Road/Spoke in favor of the RVCDC project, in terms of relocation plans.
Diana Shavey/ 6940 Oak Knoll/Ashland Housing Commission/Shavey noted that affordable rental housing is a primary need in the community and that the RVCDC project offers 15 units of housing in the first round, meeting the needs of households at 60% of median income. She stated that the use of tax credit financing is an accomplishment, which will break ground for future affordable housing actions. She noted that Ashland is one of the 10 smallest cities in the USA to receive an automatic allocation of CDBG funds, and that unfortunately the allocation is so small that it is difficult to do much with one year's funding. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will not permit carry-over of more than 50% of one years funding under the current administrative rules. Shavey explained that the Housing Commission believes an administrative waiver of this rule might be possible. She urged the Council to instruct staff to initiate discussion with HUD, about obtaining authority to carry over CDBG funds for up to three years in order to amass sufficient monies to be meaningful in Ashland's housing market.
Nancy Richardson/93 California Street/Noted that the Housing Action Plan will outline numerous actions the city may take to increase its supply of permanently affordable housing and that it will be complete by the end of summer. She noted that while the city doesn't want to be "in" the housing business, taking action to support a provision of affordable housing is beneficial to the entire community and an appropriate action for the Council to take. She noted that the Housing Commission had requested the Council add a full time employee allocation to the city budget for the Community Development Department. This position would support the actions necessary for the implementation of the Housing Plan.
Rich Rohde/124 Ohio/Spoke in support of the RVCDC proposal on behalf of Oregon Action, noting that it is critical for Ashland to address the issue of affordable housing and that this project offers a decent relocation plan. He hoped that in the spirit of cooperation, the city could move forward and put all its efforts into this plan.
Councilors Morrison/Hartzell m/s to approve RVCDC proposal. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion carried.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s that the City Council recommend to the Budget Committee the inclusion in the budget the consideration for funding one FTE for the last half of the next budget year. Discussion: It was noted that there is nothing that prohibits the city from funding its own staff to help these projects move forward. Mayor urged a "no" vote on the motion and that it is not proper for the Council to recommend to the Budget Committee. That it is the position of the Budget Committee to recommend to the Council. He noted that this issue could be brought up and then placed in the "parking lot" during normal Budget Committee hearings, and that the entire city Council, including the Mayor, sits on the Budget Committee. Hartzell/Morrison withdrew the motion.
Hartzell/Morrison m/s that in order to implement our Strategic Plan goal we direct staff to take steps necessary to fund implementation of the Housing Action Plan and the staffing required to do so. Discussion: Morrison noted that he thinks this is consistent with the city goals toward affordable housing that have already been established. That what is being asked of the Council is for emphasis. Mayor reminded the Council that this is not an agenda item and urged a "no" vote on the motion. City Administrator Greg Scoles commented that if the Council request staff to budget for a position, the process would have to take place at the budget level. He noted that the budget is already prepared and that the Budget Committee is considering it now. It was noted that it is important that the Budget Committee understand that this issue is important to the Council and that this action indicates a direction the Council wants to pursue and will be discussed in public meetings.
Hartzell/Morrison m/s that the City Council requests staff to present to the Budget Committee, a recommendation for resources to implement the Housing Action Plan. Voice vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
Council directed staff to explore the possibility of obtaining an administrative waiver from HUD.
Jay Lininger/1253 Tolman Creek Road/Spoke concerning the Ashland Municipal Watershed, noting that it is owned by the American public and managed by U.S. Forest Service. He suggested that the top priority for the watershed is fire planning. He noted that we have a successful Fire Hazard Reduction Project, but there is much left to do, including planning for fire suppression operations, and updating the watershed analysis. He stated that this effort is under-funded and understaffed by the U.S. Forest Service. He urged the Council to recognize the level of responsibility that the city has. That the Council has the prerogative to go to the Forest Service and ask them to reevaluate priorities, in terms of funding and staffing, to ensure that Fire Planning is on the fast track.
Eric Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Spoke against the Mount Ashland expansion proposal and presented slides illustrating conditions on the Mountain, including wetlands, seepages, active landslides, sedimentation, and erosion movements in the area.
Ryan Navickas/711 Faith Avenue/Spoke against the Mount Ashland Ski expansion proposal and noted that this is an ethical decision that must be subject to the democratic process. He noted that as citizens, we must demand ethical accountability by our public servants in regards to projects done in the name of the City of Ashland.
Jim Kidd/175 Crispin Street/Representing Ashland's, "2002 Relay for Life." He requested that the city co-sponsor this community-based event and allow an informational banner to be installed across East Main Street. He explained that he is not asking for financial support, just approval to hang the banner.
Elizabeth Bretko/1370 Oregon Street/Spoke concerning the wild-lands and wetlands of Mount Ashland Ski expansion and her opposition to further mechanization of wild places. She stated concern about the negative effects of dynamite, human waste, and pollution on wildlife and wild places.
Hartzell asked for clarification on banner policies. Scoles explained that previous Councils determined that city events and co-sponsored events were appropriate to be on banners, and that the last city co-sponsored event was the Ashland Independent Film Festival.
Morrison/Hearn m/s to put this banner issue on the agenda for discussion. Voice vote: All Ayes. Motion passed.
1. Joint Presentation by Department of Environmental Quality regarding Water Quality in Urban Streams, and by Rogue Valley Council of Governments regarding Storm Water Management.
Brad Prior, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Caitlin Quinby, Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG), gave a joint presentation on the Bear Creek Watershed Water Quality Management Plan, and Phase II Stormwater requirements. They also explained the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act State requirements and that
Bear Creek and most of its major tributaries are included on the 1998 303(d) list; and are known to have problems with temperature, bacteria, nutrients, biochemical oxygen demand, habitat modification, and flow modification. It was explained that as required by the Clean Water Act, DEQ is developing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for all water bodies on the 303(d) list. For each TMDL, a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) is developed to describe strategies for reducing water pollution to the levels necessary for the streams to meet water quality standards.
Prior noted that there are a number of Designated Management Agencies (DMAs) in the Bear Creek Watershed. Each DMA is responsible for developing an individual WQMP or Implementation Plan.
Both the TMDL and the WQMP for Bear Creek are scheduled for completion in 2002. The draft WQMP has been compiled by the Oregon DEQ with assistance from the Bear Creek DMAs and a subcommittee of the Bear Creek Watershed Council. Appended to the WQMP is a draft Guidance Document for Local Governments which includes a number of suggested Implementation Measures. Prior stated that the DEQ is now asking each urban DMA to review the draft Guidance Document, make suggestions on how it can be improved, and suggestions are submitted by June 30, 2002.
Quinby reported that Stormwater affects essential quality of life issues; such as public health, water quality and stream habitat quality and that municipalities face the important task of changing the way they manage urban Stormwater. Under Stormwater Phase II, smaller communities will be required to obtain permits, which entails developing a Stormwater Management Plan describing specific actions the municipalities will take to reduce the impacts of urban Stormwater. This plan must cover the following elements: 1) Public education and outreach; 2) Public Involvement and participation; 3) Illicit discharge detection and elimination; 4) Construction site run-off control; 5) Post-construction Stormwater management, and; 6) Pollution prevention/Good housekeeping.
Quinby explained that because the TMDL regulations apply to all municipalities in the Bear Creek watershed it makes sense for communities to work together in responding to water quality regulations. That development of a Stormwater Management Plan will satisfy a portion of the TMDL requirements; it also makes sense for communities to look at both TMDL and Stormwater Phase II requirements simultaneously. RVCOG has developed a regional effort, in coordination with DEQ, that will assist municipalities in the watershed in developing plans that will simultaneously satisfy Phase II requirements and a portion of the TMDL requirements. As a part of this effort, four informational workshops have been held, an Advisory Team has been formed, a planning guidance document is being developed, and funding options for planning and implementation measures are being researched.
Quinby asked that the Council review the documents and approve the signing of the Letter of Participation. She noted that in the Letter of Participation one change would be made: removal of the words, "resources necessary." She commented that by documenting local municipal support for regional efforts in Stormwater Management Planning, RVCOG would be better able to obtain additional funds to assist communities in their collaborative efforts. That any additional funds obtained will enable RVCOG to continue to assist Bear Creek watershed communities in developing practical, multi-objective Stormwater Management Plans that reflect each community's priorities, goals and constraints, and simultaneously satisfy multiple regulatory requirements.
Public Works Director Paula Brown illustrated the success of Ashland's wastewater treatment plant by showing bottles containing water samples taken before and after installation membrane filters.
Council Hearn/Hartzell m/s to authorize Mayor to sign the letter of participation. All ayes. Motion passed.
Scoles clarified that staff was participating in the process and would be commenting on the guidance document.
Paul Kay/1234 Strawberry Lane/Chair of the Bear Creek Watershed Council, spoke about the Water Quality Management Plan and Stormwater Management Plan, Phase II. He noted innovations in technology and ways of thinking that can enhance riparian areas. He noted that an objective of the Bear Creek Watershed Council is to have a swim-able and fishable Bear Creek, and that they are available as a resource for advice, education, and collaboration.
Susan Rust/42 N. Wightman/Read a statement from the Ashland Watershed Partnership, noting that the partnership is a group of Ashland citizens interested in preserving and restoring the natural function of the community watersheds. The Partnership works cooperatively with local and regional groups to support the City of Ashland it its efforts to protect our watershed by taking comprehensive approach to water management.
Carol Carlson/509 N Mountain Ave/Spoke concerning the water quality of urban streams and the impact of a new residential development close to the stream. She asked that before we create developments we think about how water run-off will be cleaned, where it is going to go, what affect it will have on animals, vegetation, and people, and how to use the water effectively.
NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
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."
City Attorney Paul Nolte gave an update on the recent legal input by the Oregon Law Center, and attorneys Jerome Lidz, and Jeff Condit. He noted that there is "disagreement" among the attorneys regarding preemption, with Condit maintaining that the city is preempted. He noted that if the Council desires to move forward, there are language changes suggested by Condit, that would further clarify the ordinance. These suggested changes have not been incorporated in the draft before the Council. Condit suggested looking at how the State of Arizona provides for mobile home relocation cost funding which is a $1 per year fee attached to annual mobile home license renewals. This fund can be used for relocation costs when a park closes or, electively, when a landlord raises rents more than 10% in a one-year period. The fund is administered by the Arizona State agency in charge of Housing.
Hartzell/Morrison m/s to extend meeting to 10:30. Voice vote: All ayes. Motion passed.
Nolte noted that there is such a significant interest in this by park owners and tenants that the legal challenges may be advanced if the Council moves forward. In his opinion, he believed the city could do this, but not without some doubt and possibility of legal challenge. An unintended consequence might be that park owners would build the costs of this ordinance into rents, which would increase the costs of housing.
Rich Rohde/124 Ohio/Representing Oregon Action, listed reasons why this ordinance was brought forward, including evictions of mobile home owners. He noted that this is an issue of homeowner's investment and landowner investment, with homeowners paying off the debt of the landowners yet being subject to eviction without recompense of their investment. He stated that in regards to Condit's letter, they are willing to set this ordinance aside for two or three months to meet with owners and lawyers to find a way to address the issue on a State-wide level. He asked the Council to table this issue for a few months.
Ivan Simonson/ 215 Tolman Creek #29/Noted that he appreciated the intent of the ordinance, however the benefits are not as great as they appear. He stated concerns about the effects of immediate rent increases as his landlord intends to offset the effects of this ordinance by raising rents.
Colleen Alms/1090 Ellendale Drive/Read a statement on behalf of the tenants group, "Residents United." The following points were noted: 1) Manufactured home living is a form of affordable housing worth preserving; 2) Citizens who purchaser manufactured homes deserve the standard of living and dignity that they have worked hard to provide for themselves; 3) Existing laws governing the closure of mobile home parks are outdated and in need of revision; 4) We know first hand what it feels like to have the home you worked for threatened. She asked the Council to give careful consideration to this ordinance, as it is a wonderful way to preserve affordable housing.
Pete Peterson/215 Tolman #13/Concurred with other citizen speakers. He questioned, on Page 4, item G, who would benefit from the $5000 - the owner of trailer or the person (renter) getting moved out? He questioned the valuation of homes and suggested that if the houses that sell for $50,000 are reimbursed at $5,000, then perhaps they should only be taxed on $5,000.
Jennifer Henderson/321 Clay #8/Spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance and supported the city Council on affordable housing.
Morrison suggested that this was an opportunity for the Council and the community to lead the way for StateWide organization leaders to sit down look at this and talk.
Councilors Morrison/Hearn m/s to table the proposed ordinance for 3 months in order to give park owners and organizations the opportunity to address the issue. Discussion: Morrison noted that this may avoid a legal challenge and that there would still be opportunity to bring it back. Roll Call Vote: Hartzell, Morrison, Jackson, and Hearn. All AYES. Motion passed.
2. Second reading of "An Ordinance Adding Section 11.24.020.H to the Ashland Municipal Code to Prohibit Trucks and Buses from Idling while Parked."
It was clarified that, "to stand," means to stop in a lane of traffic.
Councilors Hartzell/Morrison m/s to approve Ordinance Discussion: Roll Call Vote: Hearn, Jackson, Morrison, Hartzell. All AYES. Motion passed.
3. First reading by title only of "An Ordinance Adding Youth Liaison Members to the Bicycle and Pedestrian, Historic, Traffic Safety, and Tree Commissions."
Moved to Continued Meeting due to time constraints.
4. Reading by title only of "A Resolution Adding Youth Liaison Members to the Conservation, Forest Lands and Housing Commissions and the Senior Program Board."
Moved to Continued Meeting due to time constraints.
OTHER BUSINESS FROM Council MEMBERS
1. Discussion of city's current fund balance policy requested by Councilors Cate Hartzell and Don Laws.
Moved to Continued Meeting due to time constraints.
2. Co-sponsoring of the 2002 "Relay for Life."
It was rationalized that Ashland Community Hospital is sponsoring this event, and because the City of Ashland is the sole owner of the hospital, that the City could co-sponsor this event. It was suggested to further explore criteria for future banner placements and co-sponsorships.
Councilors Hearn/Hartzell m/s to co-sponsor event and allow the banner placement with the understanding that banner placement fees are paid by the applicant. Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Meeting as adjourned at 10:28 p.m. and continued until 11:30 a.m. May 8, 2002.
Jan Brunelle, Assistant to the City Recorder