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Agendas and Minutes

Historic Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

August 7, 2002


At 7:10 p.m., Vice Chairperson Chambers called the meeting to order at the Community Center. Members present were Keith Chambers, Joan Steele, Tom Giordano, Rob Saladoff, Jay Leighton, Terry Skibby, Gary Foll and Joanne Krippaehne. Also present were Associate Planner Maria Harris, City Council Liaison Kate Jackson and Secretary Sonja Akerman. Member Dale Shostrom was unable to attend the meeting.


Krippaehne moved and Skibby seconded to approve the minutes of the July 3, 2002 meeting as submitted. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.


Bill Emerson, local designer and long time resident of the Railroad District, presented his proposal for the portion of Railroad Park that has been designated as the history area for the Golden Spike. He clarified he had received approval from the Historic Commission in 1997 for the basic design and was encouraged to take it to the Parks Commission but had not taken it further (as reported he had done so in the July 3, 2002 Historic Commission minutes). Because many current members on the Historic Commission were not members in 1997, he thought it would be helpful to bring in the design again. In the early 1990s, the Parks Commission approved Emerson's overall design for the Railroad Park and it was built accordingly. At that time, a portion of the area between Seventh and Eighth Streets was designated for use as the Golden Spike history area but detailed plans had not been worked out. Emerson presented his drawings of the transition this area has gone through over the years. His drawings that were approved in 1997 illustrate the Golden Spike portion he had presented at that time. They include a small amphitheater (reminiscent of the roundhouse that was demolished), interpretive panels relating to the Golden Spike, and a Chinese arch with a screen print that (while a person stands under the arch in a certain spot) illustrates the driving of the Golden Spike (the exact location has been pinpointed and will be seen in the print). Emerson said the only change to the 1997 plans is the design of the amphitheater shell. He has kept it compact as it will be in a small area. There will be no amplification. The main purpose will most likely be for small plays and for kids to use on their own to put on plays. Access to the stage area, including wheelchair accessibility, will be through the rear. Giordano asked about the material and Emerson said he envisions it as all concrete. Emerson related this is the only portion of the park that is currently undeveloped. The area will also have an arbor, a lawn area that slopes down toward the amphitheater, and plantings behind the shell. He said this will create a new functional place that is useable in the park.

Skibby noted that in the travel itinerary on the National Register web site, the National Park Service felt the Golden Spike was worth creating an icon representative of the Railroad District. Foll asked if there would be a planning process that would be necessary for the development of this area since there are now subdivisions that have been built on the other side of Eighth Street. He said he is also concerned about parking during events. Harris responded that no planning action would be required because a park is a permitted use. She also explained when the park was created, parking was assessed at that time. Emerson stated this is a very small area so large events would not be practical. Steele asked if the real Golden Spike location is in the area that has already been considered in the long-term development of the Railroad District Plan. She would hate to see the location "lost". Jackson commented that Emerson's design would be a nice end to the park and that maybe the City needs to say the Golden Spike location needs to be preserved. Emerson then remarked that since the exact location has been pinpointed, no matter what happens in the background, that spot will always be there.

Chambers thanked Emerson for his presentation and stated it is good to not lose sight of the railroad. The Commission supported Emerson's design and Jackson encouraged him to go forward to the Parks Commission.


Planning Action 2002-075
Site Review
"A" and Pioneer Streets (SE corner)
Alan Sandler

Harris explained this application is for the enclosure and addition to an existing open-sided metal shed for use as retail space. Parking requirements will be met with the construction of eleven on-street spaces (only seven are required). The applicant will also be making street improvements, replacing curbing, installing sidewalks, trees and landscaping. The applicant is keeping the vernacular design of the existing shed by utilizing the framing and roof with the enclosure of the 1,680 square foot shed and with the construction of a 557 square foot addition on the south elevation. The three street-facing elevation walls will make use of existing and new metal wall panels, while the rear wall with the addition will be concrete block with a sand slurry finish. The existing galvanized metal roof will remain. Harris also explained that two abutting entrances, one facing "A" Street and one facing Pioneer Street, were designed for the corner because of the existing corner beam that could not be changed. In addition, the two transformers in front of the building's entrance will remain due to the excessive costs associated with their relocation. The east elevation has only one door, but will eventually be hidden by future planned buildings. In staff's opinion, Harris said this application meets the Detail Site Review Standards.

When asked about the glass blowing business that had been proposed, Harris responded that at this time, the use of the building is unknown. However, she said glass blowing would be a permitted use as long as building and fire codes are met.

Leighton questioned the proposed bump-out on the corner, stating when the architect first brought the plans to the May meeting, it seemed quite large. Harris stated it is mainly a pedestrian area that will provide a shorter crossing of "A" Street.

Applicant Alan Sandler, 1260 Prospect Street, clarified the bump-out was necessary because of the location of the transformers. Architect Gary Caperna, 2908 Hillcrest Drive in Medford, added that the landscaping had been proposed where the steps stopped, but the trees have now been moved out to the street and a small hardscape plaza area has been designed. The bump-out will also give pedestrians more visibility as they get ready to cross the street. In addition, with the realignment of the steps, a better transition is created.

Chambers asked about the technique of ensuring the galvanized metal material will blend the old with the new. Caperna said much will be figured out as they go because they won't be able to use all the existing siding, so as it is removed, they will keep the old together and change to new when the corner is turned. Caperna also explained that since his initial visit in May, he worked with concerns the Commission had at that time. As a result, he pulled the building back on the south elevation, reworked the windows based on recommendations by the Commission, and will use industrial steel recycled windows with the same type of frames as the building across the street.

Chambers opened the public hearing.

Philip Lang, 758 "B" Street, stated he owns property within 200 feet of this site on First Street, so is concerned with this proposal. He said there are important issues that don't always get dealt with and he would like to list them. First, the Railroad District cannot sustain this type of development, either economically or physically. The Railroad District has traditionally been a working class area and now more tourists and cars are being drawn in. Calamities are bound to happen and the local taxpayers will be liable. Secondly, the initial proposed use as a glass blowing facility presents serious health hazards because there are dangerous chemicals involved. Being in the health business himself and having a friend who was a glass blower recently die, he is very concerned with this.

Sandler addressed Lang's concerns about the health hazards, stating he has made quite a few safety films for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) so he knows it is important to comply with all codes. He stated that Mike Broomfield, Building Official, has insisted he hire a hazard engineer and they just recently received the plans with conditions that need to be incorporated prior to building department approval. He said he will abide by all the conditions. Caperna added that although they are not certain a glass blower will be occupying the building, Sandler has gone to great lengths to assure the building would be approved for most any kind of business, including glass blowing. Jackson also informed the Commission that, speaking from experience, the type of engineer Sandler hired is typical in metropolitan areas for all types of projects.

As there was no one else in the audience to speak for or against this application, Chambers closed the public hearing.

Skibby said that historically, this area has had more heavy industrial use. He is happy with the design and stated the applicant responded well to the concerns of the Historic Commission at the May meeting.

Skibby then moved to recommend approval of this application to the Hearings Board and Krippaehne seconded the motion. Chambers stated he thinks the environmental issues are important and Lang's concerns have been noted. He urged the City to continue to look carefully at these things. The motion was approved with a unanimous vote.

Planning Action 2002-094
Conditional Use Permit
340 Oak Street
"A" Street Marketplace LLC

Harris explained approval of this proposal would allow a variety of events, including theater, nightclub and bar uses within the Marketplace and pavilion. Because it is in the Employment zone, a Conditional Use Permit is required and with the scope of events, the neighborhood could be impacted. The Marketplace proposes to use the entire pavilion area and sometimes a portion of the interior for the events. When the original application was submitted, the proposed pavilion had seasonal, smaller type uses. To use the pavilion as proposed, 48 parking spaces would be required and there are only 51 existing spaces for the entire Marketplace. Therefore, businesses in the primary structure cannot be open simultaneously with the pavilion if an event is taking place. One of the conditions of approval will be that prior to each unique use proposed, the applicant will need to present a plan delineating the area of the building that will remain accessible to patrons. Harris stated another issue is noise. Therefore, another condition will be that prior to operation of the open-air sound system, the applicant will need to provide the City with an independent noise analysis demonstrating that the equipment will comply with all applicable noise standards detailed in chapter 9 of the Ashland Municipal Code. There is also a need to assess the impact of lighting because it will change event by event, so another condition will be that no theatrical lighting shall directly illuminate the public right-of-way or adjoining properties. Harris concluded by stating staff is recommending approval with nine conditions.

Giordano stated that owner Alan Sandler had talked to the Review Board at one time regarding closing in the pavilion. Harris responded that is not part of this application.

Chambers opened the public hearing.

Sandler clarified he does anticipate the enclosure of the pavilion but is not ready for that yet. He is not asking for anything more than what other businesses have been given. He started this process several years ago and when the architect designed the remodel of the building, he wanted approval for the broadest possible use. When sound checks were tested earlier this year in the pavilion, however, it was found they did not comply with the ordinances. Sandler stated it will be very cumbersome to bring in special reports before every different type of performance so he will be proposing to work out the parking issues with the City for night performances, perhaps by using a fixed formula. He stressed the fact that they will abide by all City ordinances, including the noise ordinance, therefore not having amplified concerts at night. He will bring back a plan to enclose the pavilion at a later date.

Giordano asked about the parking that was approved with his original application and Sandler replied the requirements have changed for different uses. He stressed he is not in conflict with what the City is asking him to do and he is willing to do what the City tells him to do. Giordano said he is concerned with the parking and feels the area is impacted already.

Philip Lang, 758 "B" Street, said most of his development concerns with the previous planning application apply to this one also. This, however, has a different history. He said that parking is so inadequate, no interior store will ever be able to remain open if the bar is open. Lang said there has been a strange history associated with this property. All of a sudden something more was happening than what was originally proposed. Now, with more liquor involved, we can look forward to more accidents, trash, etc. He said this violates the criteria for a Conditional Use Permit and he questions the approval of this application. In addition, Lang noted the original application violated the law of the detail site review area in that it used bright primary colors. He urged that this application not be approved.

Sandler explained Lang was referring to a newspaper article when he talked about the strange history, and said he had no control over how the article was written. He also said he resents being attacked, as he has broken no law and he assured the Commission he would break no law. Sandler stated he has done a lot of developments in Ashland by taking old buildings and remodeling them. He is not going to break any codes and if he does, Lang is welcome to attack him then.

Steele asked Sandler how he plans on managing the businesses in the main building and the performances in the pavilion. Sander responded all the businesses have signed leases that have a condition they will abide by all codes. If the primary tenants remain open in the evenings, performances will not take place. He has the responsibility of making sure the laws won't be broken. Steele commented it could be a cumbersome process to assure compliance.

Chambers closed the public hearing.

Giordano related that he did not feel a decision on this application is within the purview of the Historic Commission; it is a planning issue and he will abstain from voting for that reason. Chambers stated that because this application requires a Conditional Use Permit and the fact that it is in the Historic District make it Historic Commission business.

Skibby recounted that this site, home of Oak Street Tank and Steel since 1945 and before that a warehouse for Ashland Fruit and Produce, has been industrial and used to have a very loud whistle that blew periodically. Leighton added that for the sake of history, the nearby natatorium had dances that lasted all through the night.

Skibby moved and Foll seconded to recommend approval of this planning action to the Hearings Board with the conditions as proposed by the Planning Department. The motion was approved with all voting aye except Giordano and Steel, who abstained because they did not feel it was within Historic Commission purview.

Planning Action 2002-098
Conditional Use Permit/Site Review
521 North Main Street
Darrell Boldt

Harris reported this application is for the construction of an 81 square foot addition to an existing medical office on the corner of North Main and Coolidge Streets. The existing building is 2,665 square feet, with 2,031 square feet of medical office and a 634 square foot second floor apartment. The new addition will be used for medical office space and will be added under the existing exterior stairway on the west (parking lot) side of the building. No more parking will be required. Harris also informed the Commission the same siding and trim (which is 1" x 6" lap siding with 1" x 4" window and corner trim) will be used. Harris said that in staff's opinion, this application meets all the criteria and is recommending approval with three conditions.

Chambers opened the public hearing.

Applicant Darrell Boldt clarified the footprint of the building will not be changed, as the addition will be constructed under the existing stairway. It will be used for office/clerical space.

As there was no one else in the audience to speak for or against this application, Chambers closed the public hearing.

Steele moved to recommend approval of this application to the Hearings Board. Giordano seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed.


Conservatory Addition to Winchester Inn (35 South Second Street) - Architect Ken Ogden presented revised plans for the conservatory addition, stating that he took the Historic Commission comments and feedback from the June meeting and reduced the proposed addition by 133%. The proposed conservatory is now much smaller and lower, and it does not cover the bay window. The octagons have also been eliminated, thus simplifying the design. The glass of the conservatory will have a lot of visual penetration, and the visual impact will be lightened by removing the garden trellis and replacing it with the conservatory. Ogden noted the size of the conservatory will be proportional to the Community Center porch.

Ogden clarified for Skibby that the hipped roof that was proposed has now been replaced with a gabled roof. Foll commented Ogden had done a wonderful job in revising the plans and all other members agreed. Ogden said with this configuration, the original articulation of the Winchester Inn will remain in tact. Leighton asked if outside seating would still be available and Ogden replied it would, depending on weather and wasps. She then asked if the new design met his client's needs and Ogden responded it does.

Review Board - Following is the August schedule for the Review Board, which meets every Thursday from 3:00 to at least 3:30 p.m. in the Planning Department:

August 8

Skibby, Leighton and Foll

August 15

Skibby, Krippaehne and Saladoff

August 22

Skibby and Chambers

August 29

Skibby, Steele and Giordano

Project Assignments for Planning Actions

PA #2000-124

51 Winburn Way (Hillah Temple)


PA #2000-120

485 "A" Street (Steve Hoxmeier)


PA #2001-029

455 Siskiyou Boulevard (Fire Station)


PA #2001-064

237 North First Street (Ashland Comm. Food Store)


PA #2001-059

50 Sixth Street (Qwest)


PA #2001-075

348 Iowa Street (Eva Cooley)


PA #2001-088

61 Nutley Street (William Machado & Denise Byron)


PA #2002-002

472 Scenic Drive (Kirt Meyer & Vadim Agakhanov)


PA #2002-010

103 S. Laurel Street (Laura Shrewsbury)


PA #2002-021

25 Granite Street (Carol Dutra)


PA #2002-023

660 "B" Street (Susan Dempsay)


PA #2002-064

542 "A" Street (David Gremmels & Cary Bryant)


PA #2002-080

286 Eighth Street (John & Mary Ellen Cole)


PA #2002-075

SE corner of "A" & Pioneer Streets (Alan Sandler)


PA #2002-094

340 Oak Street ("A" Street Marketplace)


PA # 2002-098

521 North Main Street (Scott Young Medical Center)



Keith Chambers' Sabbatical - Chambers announced that due to unforeseen circumstances, he has had to postpone his sabbatical.

2002-2003 Goal Setting Date and Time - The Commission decided to hold the regular monthly meeting from 4:00-6:00 on October 2, then discuss goals and have dinner afterwards. The place will be decided depending on availability of meeting rooms.

Election of Officers - Skibby moved and Leighton seconded to keep the same officers as were elected last year. The motion passed with a unanimous vote. The officers for the fiscal year 2002-2003 will remain as follows: Shostrom as chairperson and Chambers as vice chair. (Note - in 2000, Chambers was elected as City Council liaison and Foll as Planning Commission liaison.)


Steele reminded everyone to please write down in the log book the Commissioners in attendance at the Review Board meetings.

Saladoff commented on the e-mail he had sent to the other members regarding the replacement of older, modest houses with very large homes. He said this is common around the country and all cities are going through issues that are similar to Ashland's.

The members were reminded to make every effort to attend the Oregon Cultural Trust Summit on September 10 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in Pioneer Hall. Leighton informed the Commission that the Trust is a fund that was set up by the State of Oregon to raise significant new funds to invest into Oregon's arts, humanities and heritage. These funds will be distributed to counties and tribes in Oregon to support local cultural projects and collaborations through competitive grants that support cultural projects of regional and statewide significance, and through additional funds to Oregon's cultural agencies to support collaborative partnerships and ongoing statewide efforts. She explained funding for the Cultural Trust comes from three sources - a tax credit for direct contributions to the Cultural Trust, from the conversion of surplus state-owned assets, and revenue derived from the sale of a special "culture" license plates.


It was the unanimous decision of the Commission to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

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